tv With All Due Respect Bloomberg September 1, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
♪ >> he's gone back and forth and back and forth between softening and not softening. >> what they perceive of trump's softening. >> softening. >> softening of his immigration stance, and now he is being blamed for not softening of. -- enough. >> there was no softening. >> the rumors were rolling. there was no pivot, no softening. no softening. no softening. music] ♪
john: on this semi-soft newsday, donald j. trump, billionaire, and his team are still rifling through the reviews of his hyped up immigration speech last night in arizona. for days, trump himself and his campaign have been hinting that he was on the precipice of moderating his stance on immigration to make it more congenial to a general election audience. but his speech was moderate in immoderate in -- both tone and substance. there was no softening, no pivoting, just vintage donald trump. at the time the speech ended, trump was basically in the same place on immigration that he has been all along. it turns out some of trump's own hispanic advisory council thought that too. and they weren't too happy about it. here is one of them on cnn today, explaining why he is one of the least free trump advisors who are now saying adios. >> he gave the impression and the campaign gave the impression
until yesterday morning that he was going to deal with the undocumented in a compassionate way. and in that speech, he is basically saying, we either deport you or self deport you. it is even worse than what he initially proposed. so today i am saying, not only am i considering withdrawing my support, i am telling you today i am withdrawing my support from donald trump. and is not only me. many like me think the same way. john: undeterred by criticisms of that kind, donald trump was back on the campaign trail this morning. the rally in wilmington, ohio, where he framed his immigration posture as he always does as a matter of putting america first. mr. trump: we are going to build a wall. mexico is going to pay for the wall. we will treat everyone with dignity, respect, and compassion, but our greatest compassion will be for the american citizen. it will be, from now on, america first. [applause]
john: so nicolle, my friend, the lovely nicolle wallace here to guest host with me today. after all of the throwing and his big immigration speech last night, when it comes to that particular area, immigration that is is trump better or worse , off politically today than he was before? nicolle: i think he is the exact same guy that he has been since he started this madcap adventure . on immigration, he has always been to the hard right of his party. and i think it reflects how he sort of processes his choices. obviously, there was a discussion in his campaign about whether he should go to mexico, whether that would benefit him to be seen with another country's leader. he said, yeah, i will do that. he also chose something else on the menu, to double down in the state of arizona on the toughest and harshest rhetoric on his
immigration policy. so he chose all of the above. i think worse than a muddled message, it was almost a taunt a taunt that will set him back backd perhaps the party even further than they were , ahead of the primary. john: i think he is actually worse off today than before, in this sense. having raised all these expectations that he was going coupleme as his advisory -- council would say, move in a more humane place having raised , those expectations, he then went in the opposite direction. i think the hispanic vote now is gone to a large extent, for donald trump, and a lot of the people we are talking about, college-educated, suburban, republican women, they look at this and say, man, not only is he harsh and inhumane, but he has been all over the place. he ends up here. it is just not a good look. nicolle: and for the campaign, it underscores this temperament argument that hillary has been
making about him. it is not what it is about with trump. the argument they are trying to make is a leadership argument, that you can't trust someone with the gravest most consequence for decisions if they don't know their own mind. he gave them exhibit 33 yesterday. john: that is a low number. nicolle: one thing that is clear about trump's immigration speech is that he seemed to be giving up on broadening his base. he trickled -- tripled down on the notion that white voters are all he needs. that runs to the heart of the anxious written folks in the industrial rust belt of the midwest. that is exactly where trump was this morning. as we mentioned, he was in ohio today giving a speech to the american legion in cincinnati, followed by that rally in wilmington. just to hundred miles north, the clinton campaign dispatched joe, her secret weapon, to the buckeye state to play a little donald defense. listen to this. v.p. biden: we all come from the same neighborhood, whether
scranton, toledo pittsburgh. this other guy, he simply does not -- he does not understand this any more than you understand what it's like to live in a 30,000 square foot penthouse 80 floors up in new york. you don't understand that, i don't. he doesn't have any idea what it's like to sit at my dad's kitchen table, and hear my mom said honey, we need new tires on , the car. and he says, honey, you've got to get 10,000 more miles on it . i just, we don't have it right now. nicolle: he is good. trump is turning up a medical number of white voters. -- magical number of white voters. can trump when with this strategy, and why would he want to? john: i site the famed replicant share men, -- republican
shareman, reince priebus, who in 2012 pointed out correctly that romney lost to a large extent because he did not do well with nonwhite voters, and republicans need to do better with nonwhite voters. donald trump it seems to me is now doomed to do worse. as you said i usually go to the , roulette table and i put all of my chips on red or black. he has put all his chips on white. the only way it could work is if he was the overwhelming favorite of well-educated whites. there aren't enough blue-collar whites for him to win the presidency. there just aren't. and he is being crushed among white-collar whites by hillary clinton. nicolle: we talk about the damage he could do, down ticket, this is disastrous for the republican party. george w. bush won 44% of the hispanic vote. he is basically talking about about winning with none, zero. i don't know how you start the rebuilding when you literally dropped 44% in your support. terrible. john: it is going to have a long-term effect on the party, i think for sure. ,i think if you just start --
there was a time when you could have imagined trump putting together a different kind of map, maybe being able to compete not just in the industrial midwest, but maybe even as far as places like minnesota, illinois, wisconsin. but right now, hemorrhaging all , as i said, college-educated white voters, there is not a map that works right now for donald trump. unless something changes in a serious way, there are not enough of the kind of white voters for donald trump to put him in the white house. nicolle: we agree on that. again, as a republican, why would we want our national victories to be made up of just white people? it is the grimmest outlook ever for us. for labor day eve. john: you can't win that way, and why would you want to? over the past 36 hours, we have seen two very, very different donald trumps. there was the more measured, semi- statesmanlike, some would say sedated, donald
trump yesterday in mexico, and in phoenix, jekyll was replaced with mr. hyde. trump was scripted, suggesting unrest despite the big staff shakeup a couple of weeks ago. just as there has been before. you have been inside presidential campaigns. some functional, somewhat less -- some somewhat less functional. what of the last two days tell us about what is going on in trump world? nicolle: listen, my biggest window into trump world is kellyanne conway's role, because she served as a spokesperson for the campaign and is campaign manager, a job that i had. watch what she has had to say about immigration since she took control of that campaign. i think we have -- we don't have it, but she started on the sunday shows say the actual policy was to be determined. she assured viewers he was softening at the edges. her expertise is taking the most polarizing figures on the right and making them palatable to female voters.
so i think she made her case. it is apparent he was listening to her, but as with his vp selection process, he sort of deliberated in public, he did that bizarre interview with anderson cooper where he said -- anderson, you keep calling it a softening. it is actually a hardening. to watch him sort of take advice from different members from his inner circle in public, grapple with it in public, and then he came down hard-core on the breitbart right with that speech yesterday. it is obvious who sort of one and lost. -- won and lost. the people who thought he needed to look presidential won the fight on whether to go to mexico or not, and the people who wanted him to look like a badass won on the speech. and like i said before, it underscores hillary clinton for more fundamental case on how he manages things, and his selling point is that he is a rich guy who manages a successful business. he does not look like a good manager. john: i saw someone tweeted yesterday -- i thought brilliantly -- that they time
donald trump, for the daytime donald trump, kellyanne conway is under control. the nighttime donald trump, however, is under the control of stephen bannon. that was certainly how it looks like yesterday. we also saw in "the new york times" about chris christie having a role, rudy giuliani having a role. jerry questioner having a role. none of that is news exactly, but at this kind of key moment in the campaign, to have that much chaos, that much conflicting advice, not people singing out of the same songbook -- again, there are a lot of campaigns that are chaotic, but this campaign is now on version four of chaos, and it's not getting any better. nicolle: and i think candidates have to be able to take a lot of different information from a lot of different people. the problem is as we watch him process it he comes out on both , sides of a two-sided debate. when we come back we will take a , spin through battleground states. ♪
♪ nicolle: fox news has a new poll out that shows the race tightening up a bit. in a two-way contest, hillary clinton is beating donald trump by six points, 48% to 42%, but that is down from her 10 point postconvention lead one month ago. in a four-way race, the two candidates are essentially tied. hillary clinton at 41%, donald trump at 39%, and libertarian candidate gary johnson getting 9%, green party candidate jill stein getting 4%. ofry is the director politics at the university of virginia. he joins us now to make us smarter and talk about the state of the battleground states. so larry, what should we be paying more attention to, these two numbers that seem to be everywhere, or will people see what they see when they vote the
, four-way polls? larry: the two-way is more indicative of how the race will probably turn out, and the six points difference there in the two-way is close to the polling average of about five points for hillary clinton. there is some research indicating that, and i think it is very good research, that the four-way race, just by introducing the names of the third-party candidates, you increase their support, especially in a race like this. their numbers are going to go down between now and november. john: larry i want to talk to , you about battleground states. i know you say that colorado, minnesota, wisconsin, michigan pennsylvania, virginia, , all likely democrat, but there are a bunch of blue states, or traditional blue states that are closer than expected, nevada, ohio, north carolina, florida. you got those just as leaning democrat. among those states that barack obama won the last two cycles, where is hillary clinton most vulnerable right now? larry: she is vulnerable in
iowa, because almost half the population of iowa is white noncollege, and that of course is trump's bulwark. in nevada, they have been through a terrible recession, much longer and deeper than the rest of the country. and we all know that north carolina is incredibly close and always is. i tend to think it has a little bit of a blue tint this year. you know florida and ohio, , obvious to everybody, are highly competitive, but i still give clinton the edge. nicolle: larry, what do you think what do you attribute the , tightening this week to? because hillary clinton's numbers now look a lot like what they looked like after the comey press conference. it seems like she goes through a scandal, there is a tightening, when she gets a couple of good weeks, she widens the spread. do you think this is sort of a pattern we can expect if the contours of the race status same? basically the larry: no, i think it is the
gradual evaporation of the convention bounce. donald trump had a very brief convention bounce that was not very impressive, because to be blunt, his convention was not very impressive. the democratic convention was excellent from a lot of different perspectives. hillary clinton got a big bounce off of it. but just on schedule, the convention bounce has declined as we approach labor day, and we are back to a lead that makes sense. now remember how polarized we , are. i think is very unlikely that hillary clinton is going to do much worse than barack obama did in 2012. he won by four points, or much better than barack obama in 2008, when everything was going the democrats' way. he won by seven points. john: let's go back to the map and look at some of these states that are traditionally red states. people are talking about the possibility of the clinton campaign could play. they are going on the air in arizona. there are five other normally republican states that could be
in play, georgia, arizona, and to some extent maybe, maybe utah, kansas, missouri, south carolina. which one of those normally-red sowhich one of those normally-red states is the place where trump might the most vulnerable? larry: there are only two, arizona and georgia. the other ones are fun to talk about, but in the end, they will go for trump. the margins for him as the republican nominee will be considerably lower than for other republican nominees, the popular vote, that is. but it doesn't matter as long as he gets one more vote than clinton in those states. but arizona and georgia are for the picking, and yet we are so polarized -- , on my map, i have still kept them light red, simply because in the end, i think the partisans will come home, but if i am wrong, it will be about arizona and georgia. nicolle: all right, so finally let's shift to the state of the , senate races. you say democrats are now the
slight favorite to win back the chamber. walk us through that path of victory. larry: sure. of course the senate is 54 seats republican, and democrats have to win four seats, assuming tim kaine becomes vice president and breaks the tie. there are two seats just about everybody can concede to the democrats. republican incumbents in illinois and wisconsin are likely to lose. so then the question becomes where did the other two seats , come from? the most likely third seat is in indiana, where the senator is trying to reclaim his own seat. and then i think pennsylvania and new hampshire are both leaning to democrats, which are -- with a republican incumbents. democrats only have to worry about nevada. nicolle: i am happy to hear my friend rob portman is not on your list of people you are worried about. thank you very much for giving us a look into your crystal ball. when we come back, we will talk about the man behind trump's campaign finances. ♪
♪ john: it's a fairytale about a wealthy businessman with no political experience who went from making deals in new york to working on the national presidential campaign. no, we are not talking about donald trump. we are talking about his national finance chair. mnuchin the subject a new bloomberg businessweek story, called trumping's top fundraiser. joining us is one of the reporters, bloomberg's max abelson. thank you for coming on the show. tell us about this guy. question my the cowriter and i had. no one in the business world really knew about him. the jobs he had over his life art things that trump fans are not crazy about.
he went to jail he drove a drove awent to yale, porsche. he worked at goldman sachs. he ran hedge fund money for george soros. he became a hollywood guy, he bought a bank. during all this, by the way, he was giving money to democrats, including hillary clinton and barack obama, so people were surprised that he got this job. nicolle: and his role as i understand it is much more than just dialing for dollars. talk about his role in trump's sphere of influence. who are his allies is he close , to the family? tell us about his orbit. reporter: it's not like steven mnuchin is just raising money for trump. but he is on the economic advisory council, or the other members, and by the way there are like 17 seats. there are lot of guys. the other guys told us that they see stephen as a guy with donald trump's ear. he has been spending a lot of time doing things that campaign finance guys don't normally do.
he traveled with him to scotland. were there aren't a lot of american citizens who are allowed to donate. so clearly he is part of the inner circle. john: so max what is steve , mnuchin's end game? he has not been a big player in politics. what is his endgame. max: but is the number one question that we had. people who have known him for a long time what the theory in new , york and l.a. is is that this is a guy who can spot an opportunity. he has seen a trade. there is definitely a downside. there are people in wall street -- people think of wall street as conservative. they are pretty liberal. a lot of people are really suspicious about his ties to trump. but if he has to put up with tom clucking, ifongue this man gets in, stephen mnuchin is the kind of guy. he could be the treasury secretary. that could be the payoff.
nicolle: that seems like his thinking. finance chairs are usually in charge of the bundling process, the big and it seems to me that dollars. a little better with a small donations, like the rallies. how successful has he been in campaign? max: we found out that the actual operation that steve mnuchin is a chart of -- he is in charge of -- these guys spent decades building of these kinds of networks. -- building up these kinds of networks. what trump has looks like a classic donald trump business. you know when he has cologne like success, which i have back in my desk. nicolle: do you seriously? max: i seriously do. nicolle: are you wearing it it? reporter: not right now. nicolle: they do smell great. max: so these colognes are made by other people. these are businesses where trump
remember donald trump did not have networks of people and ways of making money, and neither did steve mnuchin. john: we don't have a lot of time left, but i want you to give us a picture of what is , this guy like? first of all, i can smell you here in los angeles. i am sure you smell really good. is he charming, is he scheming, is he tough? i mean like just give us a quick , personality sketch. max: well, i will say that it was a little intimidating to write about him, because he comes across as a little bit bland. he is not a guy who is like super into donald trump. he seems like kind of a businessman on the verge of a business deal that he does not want to get into. you can say to him, stephen, why are you doing this? he said it is a very unique opportunity at a very unique time. i think you repeated the word unique four times. but he is very goldman sachs.
you can tell that he really grew up around goldman sachs partners. in fact, lew eisenberg was his dad's cmc. steve mnuchin when he was 10 years old. he told me steve was a very cute 10-year-old. john: max, i imagine you were a a really cute 10-year-old, too. max: that is right. i smelled like success. the piece is great in the new business week. thank you for being on the show. coming up, wall-to-wall coverage of the trump wall. we will talk immigration, after this. ♪
executive director of america's voice, and a legal analyst at the center for american studies. -- i'm immigration studies. also on set, we are joined by a reporter from bloomberg. thank you for being here with me. i want you to start hearing from all of you on just a policy level. there is plenty of time to get into the politics, but can you both tell me your take on the substance of what he proposed in his policy address last night? let's start with you. >> the media has been demanding a lot of detail for the past couple of weeks. they got it. this was a very long speech with a variety of provisions in it that, if enforced, would actually have an effect on reducing our problem of illegal immigration and open borders. it is quite different from what we have been told and sold by politicians on both sides from the past few years.
the idea is that we can only have some sort of massive, comprehensive bill that few people will read and that enforcement will take -- come later. said we will put all of these measures in place first, we will get a hold of our immigration system, and then we will deal with those who are here after all of that. i think that does get us closer to an actual fix on the illegal immigration problem. nicolle: frank, i would like you to weigh in here, because i know you have a very different view on the actual policy. let me hear from you of what you think of the policy proposals. frank: sure, this is one of the most hard-line proposals we have ever seen from a nominee in modern political history. all the steps add up to a mass deportation strategy that would drive millions of undocumented immigrants, most of whom have lived in the country for more
than 10 years, out of the country. either through government deportation where they are picked up by agents or local police and detained or deported, or they are forced out because life is so miserable they could not work, they could not survive. this is a real far right, hard-line proposal aimed at driving 11 million people out of the country. nicolle: do you think we at least now -- obviously we will get into politics and a with second john, but do we know what is in his mind on where he comes down on immigration once and for all? was that achieved? reporter: yes, i don't think he could have been clearer. he was making his policy hazy, his rhetoric softer, and now we know this is the donald trump we know from the primaries, all the things that he campaigned that works so well with republican voters deportation is on the , table for everybody. he will prioritize the criminals. legal status and citizenship are completely off the table.
there is a different entry and exit system. he is going to do e-verify to make it very hard for people who are here to find jobs. this is the donald trump anti-immigration vision that took hold in the republican primary, not only with donald trump, but with the runner-up ted cruz. this is something republicans have to deal with. there are a lot of republican strategists who are extremely nervous about what this means to the future of their party. so we have clarity. guests would agree that one candidate on the democratic side is running on the most pro-immigration platform we have seen in modern times, and one candidate the most anti-immigration platform we have seen in modern times. this is a very stark choice. john? john: frank, sahil, last night when he gave his speech, there was something fusion among my colleagues in the media about whether he had in fact moderated at all in terms of substance. because of the fact that he did not call for the immediate mass deportation of 11 million undocumented workers in the united states. did trump's often at all from the policy fight, or is this -- trump soften at all, or is this
just harder than ever, or even harder? frank in the matter of policy, i i don't think he softened at all. he got a few headlines from kellyanne conway saying, let's just say we will enforce the law aggressively. let's not call it a deportation force, let's say we will triple the number of ice agents. i do think it was an attempt to sound more reasonable. quite frankly i expected it to , have more rhetorical flourishes. i never expected he would move away from his hard-line policy. it ended up being much more of a stephen bannon speech than a kellyanne conway speech. john: john, let me ask you the same question. is your view now -- is this a tougher set of proposals then he offered during the nomination fight, is it basically about the same, or would you see any sign that he has moderated at all? john in many ways, it is what he
website for his months now, his immigration platform. what he made clear last night is that the interests of the american worker are going to come first. in washington, the people driving the debate on immigration are primarily cheap labor lobbyists who want more immigration at all costs. and by the way, i would not call this anti-immigration. this is anti-illegal immigration. we have a country made up of people who are very generous. we have the most permanent residency of any other country by a long shot. and at the same time, it does not mean we have to tolerate illegal immigration. on the other hand, i do say i , would agree with you that it is a stark choice, because i don't know where hillary clinton stands on any of these issues. does she think the border in its current state is fine? i don't know. does she think e-verify should be mandated as donald trump has proposed? i don't know. under her plan, i think we would have some mass legalization in the first 100 days, and then we would have more illegal immigration. that's not fixing the problem.
>> john, you mentioned that this is about illegal -- you mentioned this is not anti-immigration, just about illegal immigration. sure, there are anti-illegal immigration components in there, but this is absolutely about legal immigration, too. what you just referred to, it calls for a big crackdown on the h-1b standard to the green card is restricting immigration. so this is an attack from all angles, not just illegal immigration. jon: i would agree with you, welcoming a greater conversation of, on the illegal immigration angle. the main thrust in d.c. isn't so much amnesty. all of these comprehensive measures have comprehensive increases. there was a gallup poll that came out last week, nobody, not liberals, not hispanics only 15% , of mexican immigrants born in mexico want unlimited immigration.
people need to realize there are a lot of people unemployed at all skill levels, and the idea of drastically increasing illegal immigration is flawed. john: i know you are about to come out of your chair, so i will give you the last word. frank look, hillary clinton is : in favor of comprehensive immigration reform. a gallup poll came out just the other day -- or sorry a fox news , poll came out and said that 77% of the american people think that 11 million undocumented immigrants should be given a chance to get legal, rather than round up as many as we can. only 19% say, let's get rid of the undocumented population. so donald trump is speaking to that 19%, but not to the broad majority of americans who say, can't we figure out how to be a nation of immigrants and of laws? can't we figure out a way to have legal channels that work and make sure people here assimilate that make sure people come into the country elite --
legally? there is broad support for that. unfortunately, the republican party far right is the tail wagging the dog right now. n: if it were popular, it would have passed under bush and obama, but it hasn't because the american people are saying no. nicolle: i am going to get the last word on all you guys. fox news has a poll out saying 77% of registered voters are in favor of setting up a system to legalize immigrants who are in the united states illegally. presidents from both parties have tried and fallen short, but the popular support is behind setting up some system for dealing with people who are already here. john, frank, thank you all for being with us. i am sure this debate will continue for many more days. when we come back, we will check in with our friends on the campaign trail. if you are watching us in washington, d.c., you can listen to us on the radio at 99.1 fm. we will be right back. ♪
♪ john: our next guest is one of our favorites "washington , post" political correspondent then. . we have talked a lot about donald trump. it is now time to talk about hillary clinton. i have talked about, it seemed to me, ever since the events in mexico city that the clinton campaign seems to be taunting donald trump. have you noticed that, and what is that all about? guest: i think it is not by coincidence. for sure, they are taunting him, they are kind of trying to poke a little fun certainly at what they see as a debacle for him, going to mexico to begin with,
and then having two different messages in the same day. but what i thought was most interesting was john podesta issuing not one but two quite troll like taunts yesterday to trump that used kind of wall street negotiator language, to say that trump was a poor negotiator, that he did not close the deal in the room, that -- he got beat in the room. doesn't that sound like wolf of wall street or something? john: they call him a choker, which is one of trump's favorite , not most favorite, but favorite adjectives. he likes to call people a choker or a choke artist. i think they are trying to get in his head a little bit there. anne: yeah, get under his skin a little bit. the clinton campaign has long seen as their best weapon
against trump, trump himself and his thin skin, or what they see as his thin skin. a lot of people think hillary clinton has a thin skin too, but it seems she has done a better job of getting under his skin that he has getting under hers. had viceanne they president biden was on the trail. do they view him as a secret weapon in states where she is surprisingly close to trump, states like iowa, wisconsin this week came out close in the margin of error -- do they need biden in places where he can shore up those kinds of voters? anne: yeah, i don't think biden is a not so secret weapon, really. really, his chief utility will be twofold, going straight at trump in very strongly much. he is more comfortable even than
obama and clinton sometimes at letting the other side have it. and also, talking to white, working-class, traditional democrats, many of whom have been disaffected and for whom trump has pulled some appeal. that so far has been the main way they have tried to use biden, and i expect they will continue to do so. nicolle: his story today about sitting around the table talking about not having the money to buy the new tires we need, i can't think of anyone in the democratic convention all-star lineup that could deliver that message with the kind of credibility that biden could. he seems to be sort of in a league of his own as a surrogate that can speak to the voters that hillary clinton is the weakest with. i am yeah, the sort of with you, i am trying to help rebuild the middle class, give
everybody a path into the middle class and sort of renew the promises of what the middle class meant, that is a foundational argument for hillary clinton's campaign, and it is one that she tries to apply her own family experience to. but as you just pointed out, there is a greater sense of authenticity and personal stake personal experience when , you hear it come from joe biden. john: all right, a one of our favorites, always great to have you on the show. we will see you next time, and we will be back. ♪
for a wide-ranging discussion about two topics that people typically avoid, religion and politics. i started out by asking her about exactly what compelled her to write this book. >> i started my book when my son asked me, what are we? my husband was raised jewish, and we both left our faith. i had no answer. i said we are nothing. i immediately regretted saying that. i felt terrible. i spent three years going around -- john: not great for self-esteem. catherine: exactly. i spent three years going around the country, interviewing people about what they are doing to fill the vacuum that is often left when they leave their religious traditions behind. john: so what are they doing? catherine they are doing all : kinds of things. they are seeking community, and they are seeking ritual, and they are seeking ways to get out and do work in their wider neighborhood, and they are basically creating a diy experience to replace religion,
because they got tired of the institutions, and the institutions were no longer serving them. so they are taking back into their own control the things that they miss about it. john: i think it is one of the most interesting things in our society and our politics that so much of what we talk about in the public sphere is framed around the assumption that people are godly, and there is not really a discussion about this. not one presidential candidate , if you think about all of the prospal taboos, -- possible taboos, has come out and said i'm sorry, i'm an atheist. , it would be politically dead. given that that is true and continues to be the case, it is a growing phenomenon, right? we have more people without faith than there used to be. do you have a sense of why that is? what is driving the growth in this phenomenon? catherine for decades, for as : long as people have studied religious affiliation, the number of americans who said they were nothing was 7%. starting in the 1990's, it started to go up. it is now nearly 25%. one of the primary theories
about that is the counterculture of the 1960's creating a boomerang effect, the moral majority, which hardens the -- hardened into the religious right. once that happened politics , started coming into religion, and it affected it in such a way that people said, if christianity is about gay rights , and if it is about a woman's right to choose, that's not me. i'm out of here. i am going to go do something on my own, because i can't identify with that. john: you think in some ways the fact that politics, that politics have co-opted religion to some extent, and religion has co-opted politics, and is that part of the reason that people have drifted away from religion, towards the status of being not affiliated -- if not unbelievers unaffiliated with , organized religion? catherine exactly. : most of the is affiliated still believe in god. what they are leaving is not god. they are leaving the institution. i met a woman in california in island, california, and she
in her 60's, and she was raised catholic and treasure those memories of being in the catholic church with her family. she said once the priests started talking about those social issues instead of charity, good work, how we can help others, she felt lost and disillusioned, and she left. john: recently we saw donald trump attack hillary clinton, saying she has no religion, we have no idea anything about her. kind of this mysterious -- it was like a negative -- an attack on her for not having any clear religious affiliation. of course, she has been a methodist all her life. there is no mystery about that whatsoever. but to the unaffiliated, when they hear those kinds of political attacks in the presidential campaign, how do they react to that? catherine the religiously : unaffiliated would prefer not to know about hillary clinton's religion, that would make them very happy. and they do primarily vote democratic. john: interestingly, we talked to our pollster before we set down for this interview. she pointed out that in our last bloomberg national poll, 18% of likely 2016 voters were the nones, no religion, and among
the nones, 64% were for clinton, or leaned toward her, and 20% were for trump. which is interesting because again if you take your thesis, it is clear that the place where religion and politics most intersect is on the right, rather than on the left, and a -- it kind of makes sense that that would still be the case. catherine exactly. : i would say this election is one in which religion is not as relevant. when you have donald trump trying to align with the evangelicals, i think most of us know they are not connecting over matters of faith. they are connecting over the sense of nationalism, other things that they connect and agree on. bernie sanders, the first major presidential candidate who is not very religious, the way he describes himself, he sounds like a secular humanist to me. and hillary clinton is really the one who is the most religious, and she does not wear that on her sleeve. so i think in this particular
election, religion is not as important. john: so if you were going to if , you are asked to advise a presidential candidate, democratic or republican, how to talk about faith in the context of this phenomenon that you have written about in the book how , would you advise them to talk about it? would you say you don't talk about it at all, or would you advise them to talk about it in a particular way that would appeal to both affiliated and unaffiliated? catherine: president obama did something interesting in his first state of the union address. he was the first president to welcome nonbelievers. when he says, we welcome jews and catholics and people of faith, and people of no faith. to bring the unaffiliated to the table and to acknowledge their growing presence is really important. i think people increasingly want to know that they are being heard and respected. just because they are not in the church or synagogue or mosque doesn't mean they are not important. john: earlier, i asserted something which i believed to be true in the current society which is that it would be hard
to run for president, in certain parts of the country it would be ok, but largely to be unaffiliated or actively be an atheist or agnostic. it would be a huge political liability. do you think that will be the case 20 years from now, if you think about the trends you are observing with the unaffiliated voter do you think that is a taboo that will eventually start to go away? catherine it is happening so : quickly. when i started this, about 20% of people were unaffiliated. in just three years, it is almost 25%. i mean, that is just happening so fast, and these groups are becoming more vocal and they are becoming more accepted. people sort of like when the gay community, people are starting to say, oh, hey, i have a friend who is an atheist and they are , not so bad. john: speaking as one, we are not that bad, the unaffiliated. right, you are great. >> thanks for having me. john: thanks again to catherine osmond. the book is called "grace without god."
♪ nicolle: head to bloombergpolitics.com right now for a look at florida's fight against zika. coming up on "bloomberg west," emily chang talks with facebook live former project manager on his latest adventure. and as for tomorrow, sayonara. john: don't say sayonara yet. you have got to let me say thank you for guest hosting. nicolle: oh, ok. john: it was great to have you. now we say sayonara. nicolle: sayonara. ♪