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tv   Smerconish  CNN  May 28, 2016 6:00am-7:01am PDT

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game six between the warriors and thunder. tip off is set for 9:00 eastern. >> thank you. that's it for us. we'll see you back here at 10:00 eastern. it's happened, donald trump closed the deal. he's the gop nominee and has hillary draws near her goal some people are looking for other options. so with the convention to name the libertarian candidate happening this weekend, it's suddenly significant. the libertarian candidates will be on the ballot in 50 states and i will talk to the leading presidential contender for that party, gary johnson and his vp pick, bill well. trump has been back in the
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trenches digging up 1990s attacks on hillary and bill clinton. will that tactic work. white male voters are flocking to trump but in a country of changing demographics can they be his margin of victory. multiple polls have a virtual heat between trump and hillary. the polls this early could be way off but first memorial day weekend is of course a time to honor those who have served and signals the start of summer and this summer is going to be dominated by two major party conventions. but first, there's a convention this weekend in orlando where the libertarian party will nominate its candidates tomorrow. the stage suddenly seems set for libertarianism to move from college dorm rooms to mainstream households. many headlines were written this week about national polls showing donald trump and hillary clinton in a dead heat, buried within the data a much different story emerged.
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an abc news poll showed trump beating clinton 46 to 44 while trump supporters were asked why they were for their candidate, 53% said they oppose hillary. when hillary supporters were asked by they support their candidate 48% said it's to oppose trump. eally telling 57% said they have negative impressions of both major candidates. in a separate survey almost half of voters, 45% said they'd be open to a third-party candidacy if donald trump and clinton are the nominees and that's why there's been so much talk this season about third-party candidates but only one party besides the democratic and republican party will be on the ballot in all 50 states and that's libertarians. is america ready for a ticket based on economic conservatism and social liberalism i'd argue yes while the loudest voices
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among those tend to be those who tether themselves to extremism most americans are more independent in their thinking and snert ris in their views. whether libertarians can make a play for that vote depends on the candidates making it to the debate state. the commission on presidential debates requires a showing of 15% in the national polls for that to happen but first libertarians need to be included in those polls. i hope the major polling out let's will include them in their surveys. a party that has ballot access in 50 states deserves that treatment. if they meet that mark libertarians could raise the value of the debates by forcing the left and right to defend their views against independent thinking. joining me now is gary johnson, the former governor of new mexico and the former governor of massachusetts. governor johnson bernie sanders has had to explain democratic socialism. i think you're going to be called upon to explain
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libertarianism. what is it? >> you set the table perfectly. libertarianism is being fiscally conservative and when it comes to military interventions i think military intervention has resulted in a world that is less safe. that's it in a nutshell. we're offering a unique combination that i think combines the best much what it's supposed to be to beat a republican and combines the best of what's it's supposed to be a democrat. >> most people are really somewhere in the middle and right now given the polarization of hillary and trump i think the vast majority of americans are libertarian, they just don't know it. >> governor are you libertarian enough for that crowd behind you? >> i've always described myself as a libertarian.
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i agree with governor johnson. we don't have to say we're anti-trump or anti-mrs. clinton. all we have to do is say we don't agree with either party. we don't agree with the anti-abortion and anti-gay rights, let's make personal life decisions for you, the attitude of republicans in washington at least and we don't agree with the endless reckless spending on the democratic side in washington and the polls show that that mix of policy positions, ours, commands the support of between 40% and 55% of the people in the country. that's a pretty good opening. >> governor johnson it sounds like there's a lot of enthusiasm in that room behind you. is this about winning or being spoilers. >> michael, you set the table. we would not be doing this if this if there weren't the opportunity of winning but the only chance of winning is to be
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in the presidential debates and to be in the debates you have to be in the polls. look, put us in the polls. i think that by putting us in the polls there will be attention drawn to what it is that we're saying and you know what if, if that happens anything is possible. >> governor weld, you know critics will say at one end they're two former republicans, all they're going do is pull from trump and they're going to get hillary elected, others say if you're successful what you'll do is throw this to the house of representatives and get trump elected. you would respond how? >> i would never use the word spoiler. i'm very comfortable with where we are. we're going to speak truth to power and we are going to speak truth and with you don't have to trim or modify our positions. if we wind up nudging the democrats toward the right on economic issues and nudging republicans to the left on social issues i think we will have done the country a really big favor maybe in a national
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consensus that does not appear to exist at the moment. >> governor johnson you've seen the maps and everybody likes to play electoral college mathematics in this campaign. are there states where if you both win nominations on sunday could actually capture electoral college states. >> i think anything is possible michael given just how divisive the two major parties are right now. clinton and trump back to just the notion that most people are libertarian. this is an unbelievable opportunity to move america in directiona direction that really they actually desire. 50% of americans right now registering to vote are registering as independents. where is their representation?
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it's not from the democrats. it's not from the republicans. it's somewhere in the middle. we're going to be the only party on the ballot in all 50 states. really there's a legitimacy to having our name in these polls right now given the climate and the climate has never been seen before. this is unbelievable. i can't believe this is what's happening in america today. >> governor johnson, if you get 15% and you are standing on that stage with donald trump and with hillary clinton, what's the message you most wish to deliver? >> look, we're all about small government -- smaller government. government tries do too much. it taxes too much. at the end of the day if it taxes too much that's money out of my pocket that i could be spending on my life. and when it comes to civil liber liber liber liberties, people should be able to make their own choices in
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their own lives as long as those choices don't put others in harm's way and these military interventions is the world safer today? i'm going to argue that it's not and that that -- that that policy, the military policy is being carried out by the president and the military as opposed to congress. let's get congress involved in declaring war if you will, declaring what we should be doing militarily. we've got 69 treaties with other countries that we're going to have to come to the defense of their boarders. these were not treaties that were passed by congress. this was executive the president of the united states doing all of this in conjunction with the military, involve congress. >> i hope you get in the surveys. i would love to see the left and the right have to defend themselves against nuanced
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independent thinking. good luck to both of you. >> thank you. having heard from governor johnson and governor weld let's learn more about this libertarian moment in the sun. joining me now is matt welch. matt you heard my conversation with the presumed candidates. let me ask you is bill weld libertarian enough? >> it's going to be an interesting question to find out here in the next couple of days. he wasn't nominated. he was suggested because they vote differently for vice president than they do president so his suggested hat in the ring from governor johnson was treated with some skepticism definitely in this room which i've seen and heard talking to people, seen as a liberal republican governor who has a track record that includes flirting with the libertarian party in new york in 2006 and then backing out of it and some
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other things so he might not be libertarian enough. we'll see. there's an element of prag tichl here. he has name recognition. >> are libertarian, wouldn't they would have 34 t/4 of a loa and win then no loaf at all. >> they're willing to starve themselves to death and we're all need to lose a few pounds. to me what's fascinating is with a johnson/weld ticket, the libertarian party, they're in the mainstream of america and gary johnson was talking about this. it's like when you talk about we don't want to go over seas and bomb countries, we want to have abortion rights, we want to have
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drug regulation, all sorts of stuff, like the libertarian party right now in the current politic context is at the dead center of america where there's 2/3rds of people who are libertarian. these guys can bring that to an audience that has never happened before in american politics. we coined the term the libertarian moment. it's now the libertarian momentum because what will happen ultimately is that these guys are not going to be the next president and vice president of the u.s. but these two parties are going to take stuff from the libertarian platform and then incorporating into their establishment. >> how does the buzz in orlando compare to the ron paul and rand paul moments in the past because i think when americans think of libertarians they think of that father/son duo. >> ron paul is still the most
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beloved politician among libertarian members according to polling but these are the activists. these are 1,000 people from across the countries who have gotten ballot access. so they've been working in the trenches for a super long time and what they're noticing is they've never seen so many people interested in what they're talking about right now. there's 250 media credentials here and there was maybe 20 last time. we're talking about this on cnn and we weren't last time. there's a feeling of interest and potential here with two candidates who are not only super unpopular but they're unusually status for their own tribes. hillary clinton is more libertarian than barack obama and donald trump, who knows what he is but it's not been lessen control of government. americans generally tend in that direction and the two major
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party candidates are so anti-that that it's an historic opportunity. >> not knowing who hillary picks as a vp or who trump picks as a vp running mate neither could equal the executive experience that the libertarians will have with johnson and weld with two term governors. >> absolutely. you're talking about 16 years of executive experience and these were guys who were moderate republicans back in the '90s when that was possible. what we're looking at in the libertarian party is something that is very different and it's kind towards the center of a great american tradition of saying i love free minds and free markets. i want to be in charge of the decisions that matter most to my life. that's what these guys are about and it's a message that is long overdue. i was going to say michael when you left the republican party that's the direction you were going in. that's where these guys are and hopefully they'll be able to head a discussion towards that
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whether it happens in the lp or republican or democratic party it doesn't matter to me, it's this question of where are we going, towards more choice and more individual freedom or hillary and trump. >> matt and nick, i think you're about to have a moment. enjoy it. >> thank you. coming up pat bu canadian is now calling gop nominee donald trump the great white hope given the 2016 demographics how can that possibly be a good thing. listerine® kills 99% of bad breath germs. this is 100% useful for a 100% fresh mouth. what's it like to not feel 100% fresh? we don't know. we swish listerine®. as do listerine® users. the very people we studied in
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try your favorite ranch with a fresh taste so crisp, you'll be surprised it doesn't crunch. hidden valley cucumber ranch. just one of our delicious ranch flavors. disenfranchisement of the white middle class has been a steady theme throughout this campaign. is there a way to fix it. pat buchanan writes middle aged whites are four times as likely as middle aged blacks to try to kill themselves and their
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physical health is failing which helps explain the alcohol and drug addiction. joining me now is pat buchanan. what is the social disaster that you see right now for white middle america? >> partly what you described there. i read that new york times story and was astonished by it that this is the only group of middle class white folks for whom the mortality rate is rising in middle age. in my view there's a number of reasons for it. one is the economy. you've seen the real wages have been flat and ftremendous numbes of people even though unemployment is low have dropped out of the labor force. i think they're under assault. the phrase angry white male is one of the few slurs that can be
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used today. merl haggard had a line that said are the good times really over for good and i think for the white american middle class they feel the good times are over for good and they look to donald trump the way that african-americans looked to barack obama with hope. >> when you say they're under cultural assault as i read your piece i thought the w.a.s.p.s probably thought the same thing when my forefathers were coming to this country at the turn of the last century. >> some of my an sesors were were under assault and they rose up and came into their own and they came into the middle class. i don't think the w.a.s.p. really to their credit they built the country but i don't recall them being under assault.
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>> you refer to donald trump as the great white hope and indeed you said so just a moment ago. are you helping or hurting him when you cast his campaign in those terms? >> well, i think that i just took that term from jess willard in 1915, the great white hope, and it's just a term, but what is very important is what it indicates. the largest turnout ever has taken place in the republican primaries and enormously the votes for donald trump had been white votes, working class votes, middle class votes, people driven by nationalism and popularism who have never come out before and i think we have to explain that and understand it and i make the best effort i can do to do that and i think to have the political correctness line thrown at you on every line you use in the column i don't
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think is helpful. >> isn't donald trump stirring that base by pointing in the direction of the others and laying off the blame on them for what's going on among this core constituentsy? >> i don't agree with that. he says the folks coming across the southern boarder are mexican folks coming across illegally. he's referring to them. he's going to build the wall. i understand that and people take that as anti-mexican where some of us take it as trying to preserve the character and laws of the united states of america which are under assault. >> when you talk about the economic problems of those that you write about, up say it's largely attributable to illegal immigration and you say the effect of globalization. i think it's probably technology and globalization not so much people who are coming illegally to do jobs that frankly many americans don't want do and aren't willing to do. >> i believe i said in the column that i not only referred
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to legals but illegals -- excuse me, i include legals there respect if you add 40 or 50 million folks in the united states as we have since 1965 and a million more illegal every year, that's a huge increase in the labor supply and the demand remains constant and therefore the wages go down. real wages have been stagnant for american workers and american families of the working and middle class almost since 1974. in addition to that 55,000 factories were exported in the first decade of the 21st century and something like 6 million manufacturing jobs lost. you have to look at these figures and understand they have a dramatic impact upon americans working in middle class and those folks that made that report has gotten to the reason why or indicated it. >> final question, political ramification of all of this.
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are demographics not destiny. are there enough of the buchanan/trump constituents left to get somebody president. >> the republican party is under a demographic death sentence in these terms. even if you get 60 to 65% of the white vote which nixon and reagan got, when the white vote diminishes it's now about 62% of the electorate. as it goes down further and further you're going to have to get hispanic votes and more african-american votes and you have to get more asian-american votes or the republican party is going to go the which of the wigs. i wrote that in my book "suicide of a super power ". >> thanks for being here. >> thank you.
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to make more sense of pat buchanan great white vote i have the lead pollster for mitt romney. you heard what he said. evaluate it. >> that was depressing. >> for the countries or republicans or both. >> i think you put it in perspective and pat gets us started in the right direction. we've talked about this before but this is the longest period of sustained possess michl. we've had 12 straight years where americans think the country is off on the wrong track. you talk to voters and focus groups and what they're telling us is they're working harder and they feel like they're just not getting ahead, that they see everybody else getting bailed out but them so there's a rising frustration and anger and i think you see that bubbling up
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both on the democratic side of the aisle with bernie sanders and obviously donald trump. >> on the republican side of the aisle and we have had this conversation -- let me put on the screen what george will wrote and noted for "the washington post." bush and romney got the same percentage of the white vote, 59 59%. you can't win the white house with the buchanan/trump constituentsy, right? >> no the math is problematic. 72% of the vote in the 2012 was white voters and those numbers are going down. if you have 70% or 69% of the vote voters will come out to vote in 2016 being white, what percent does donald trump have to win to win the election? you're talking about 65%, 66%.
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this reminds me of the days when i worked on the campaign in philadelphia and you couldn't count on any african-american vote and you had to get 62% of the white vote to win. there becomes a point in time where it becomes almost impossible to achieve those numbers in a presidential election. >> there have been four different surveys that have come out saying it's a neck in neck race between donald and hillary. when do these polls begin to matter. >> there's a ton of fluidity out there. when you have a majority of americans having an unfavorable impression of trump and hillary and about 1/4 unfavorable of both, it's going to be a while. let me recommend people kind of lean back and wait until after the two conventions, things will settle down. i think that -- right now you
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look at the data and donald trump is doing better among republicans and pulling more republican vote than hillary is among democrats. that's not what anybody expected but let's see what happens after the conventions and i think it's going to be extraordinarily fluid until after the conventions. >> in 2013 you were and pollsters were hired to work together and find the size of the middle. you said 51%. which way are they leaning. >> i finished focus groups this past week in three midwest communities in iowa and ohio and the last question was if we held the election today for whom would you vote and it looked like we asked everybody to eat a sour pickle. i call this a nose holder
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election. people want to hold their nose when they vote right now. i think those middle voters are waiting to see what's going to happen. this is a long ways of being determined who is going to win this election. there's not a thing that's happened in this campaign cycle so far that's been predictable so to try to figure out what's going to happen between now and november it's nonsense to try to say that. >> thank you so much for being here. >> pleasure. donald trump's latest nickname for a person he wants to take down. this time it's elizabeth warren, pocahontas. why does he do this? does it work. you'll be surprised it doesn't crunch. hidden valley cucumber ranch. just one of our delicious ranch flavors. ♪ one coat, yes!
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early in the campaign bernie
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sanders let hillary clinton off the hook about her use of private e-mail back when she was secretary of state. this week the state general department wasn't as generous saying she wouldn't have received permission if she had sought permission to use it. is it time for bernie to start talking about those damn e-mails. i think bernie is making a mistake. i think he believes if he talks e-mail he sounds like republican talking points but sometimes republican talking points are correct. >> you have to remind me when that was, but the fact of the matter is his people don't care about these e-mails. he had that right when he said it. i don't care about these damn e-mails. that's an issue that the republicans are going to drive home as much as they can. the only thing that matters is not the general's opinion is does the fbi ask for an
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indictment. if that happens the world turns off over. >> people don't care because it's never been properly explained. >> yes, i agree with bob in this respect. i don't think the focus should be the e-mails. it should be all of it. it should be that hillary clinton thinks she is above it all, she's above e-mails, and white water and benghazi. somehow the inspector general is a democratic appointee who came out with the fact that she should have been abiding by the rules and did not. >> california comes up on june 7th. a poll was released this week. i can put it up on the screen but what it shows is a neck in neck race. if she should cross that finish line limping, meaning she loses california but nevertheless captures the nomination, then where is she? >> i frankly don't think it
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matters where she comes in. barack obama lost five out of the six final primaries and caucuses in 2008 and he went on to become president. so i think these things will fade pretty quickly. the thing that's not going to fade is her using the women's card against trump which she should and trump using the male card against her and the idea trump would be out there attacking bill clinton on his sexual problems, you talk about a glass house, this guy has more problems than bill clinton ever had. >> that's to neutralize bill clinton because it's trump serving notice if you play these things against me i'm going to remind everybody about lieu win ski. >> women's lib, it's not about stacking the deck so you come out a winner it's about having fair play. if people like elizabeth warren throw punches they should expect to get punched back if you're going to dish it get ready to
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receive it. >> speaking of elizabeth warren let me show everybody what donald trump has been saying about the senator from massachusetts recently. >> pocahontas, that's elizabeth warren. i call her goofy. >> is that offensive? very offensive. >> i'm sorry about that. >> yes. >> pocahontas. i think she's as native-american as i am. >> she did regard herself as a minority, it happened at the pennsylvania law school. >> i didn't know you went to the pennsylvania law school. he's now picked out -- i don't know what other group he has to get angry with. here's the most important thing when she shot back at this guy on twitter, he rose to the bait. he can't stand it when a woman attacks him so he came back and hit her over and over.
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it was unnecessary. then the next day he goes after the highest ranking hispanic woman, the governor of new mexico, and this is somebody he needs. forget elizabeth warren. >> that's what is real. again should he not react at all because she's a woman? she's a big girl. she goes out there and plays big politics and i think that that again goes right to the heart of this. you don't get special treatment because you're a woman and you don't get to get slammed with no repercussions because you're a white man. it's about equal play. that's the sort of political thinking that people are sick of around the country. >> how does that taking on the republican governor of new mexico which is a swing state. >> it's not smart, but it's honest obviously and he's reit' >> she didn't show up and it's real because he has a real
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problem with strong women. >> strong women, no. first look at his daughter who is a very good businesswoman and his daughter tiffany just graduated from the university of pennsylvania so i know that she can't be no slouch either. i don't think that he goes after smart women. i don't think he's afraid of smart women. i think he says what he thinks. the governor is not supporting him. he doesn't have to support her either. >> donald trump is apparently saying there are 15 key states we will target. we think we know ten of them. look at this map. you'll notice that california and new york is on that map. is it conceivable that donald trump could compete in states like new york and california. >> it would as conceivable as me becoming a republican. it's an impossiblity. when hillary clinton takes him on in those two states, the word for donald trump is man up.
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man up and tell us what you mean. he won't do that. she ought to say you're not half the man my husband was. >> i'm bummed because at the end of the week donald trump said he thought it would be inappropriate were he to debate bernie sanders. i was hoping they would get it on. that would be great tv. >> it would be great tv. it would not be politically wise because bernie sanders is not the nominee and there's still a democratic primary going on but at least trump respected him enough to discuss it whereas clinton thinks she's above it. she says i'm the nominee. i'm going to focussed on trump exclusively. you're not yet so you still have primaries to win and votes to earn. >> bad day for bernie. >> have a great holiday weekend. thank you. >> you too. >> you too. coming up, donald trump has been digging up old bill clinton scandals dating back to vince foster. will this strategy succeed? ♪
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donald trump's attacks have stepped on hillary clinton dredging up everything whether true or not. that hit a new peak or low this week when trump brought up the death of colleague foster which was ruled a suicide. trump said i don't know enough to discuss it. i will say there are people that continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. i don't do that because i don't think it's fair. he doesn't know enough but he puts in play the phrase absolutely a murder even though three official investigations on foster's death concluded he committed suicide. is this a politically savvy move. joining me now the man who wrote the book "strange death" who questioned the way the investigation was conducted and said there may have been a cover up but it was not a murder. he is the ceo of news max a conservative news magazine organization.
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he hasn't endorsed anyone. while he's supportive of donald trump he said hillary would make a good president. if conservatives, you who wrote the book on vincent foster doesn't think this was a murder and it's old news and not relevant, why is trump going in this direction? >> maybe that's a question to ask donald. he obviously finding it interesting and intriguing. he raised the issue of jfk's assassination with the ted cruz campaign and the birther issue. if i were advising him i would tell him that the voters are not really interested in these issues 20 years ago and they're not interested sort of like ancient history and that the pressing issues right now facing the country are what really is going to drive this election and that's the stuff he should be focusing on. >> you would caution him against
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bill's infelldity and white water. you know the list better than i do but you would say to him none of this plays in 2016? >> well, what i would say to him michael is this, that in the '90s, the republicans and i was part of that machine, the clinton attack machine that went after the president at the time, we really -- it really made -- at the end of the day the republicans looked very bad and clinton came out way ahead and hillary came out way ahead. she went on to become a popular senator from new york. so i think it backfired from a political point of view it wasn't smart. i didn't do it as a political thing. i did it as a journalist. i looked to the vince foster case and i wrote a book about the subject and there were several investigations that said it was a suicide and the public
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has accepted that verdict. so what is the benefit now 20 years later after six investigations to say well it really wasn't or maybe it wasn't? i don't understand that, especially when i think he has really great issues to run on. i like donald. i think i'm going to be voting for donald trump in the general election. he's running on the issue of jobs and the issue of having secure boarders and having a foreign policy that defeats isis. he's been winning on those issues so why go into this ancient and controversial history right now. i don't particular get it. >> my hunch is i think the man has an unbelievable ear. i think he knows what he's doing and he tests these different lines of thought to see how they play. the foster line ended with a dud, particularly when foster's sibling wrote for "the washington post" and i think that's why
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>> well, at the end of the day, donald likes to control the news cycle and he has been controlling almost every single news cycle for a year now. so any time he mentions these types of issues, i think he needs to start thinking about the types of things he does that wins the election in november and i think relitigating the personal pasts of the clintons, i think this is irrelevant for voters. the voters want to talk about the issues. >> interesting talking about christopher ruddy. christopher, thank you for being here. >> thank you, michael. >> still to come, a memorial day story involving a 96-year-old famous veteran who has saved countless lives and saved one more this week. you don't let anything keep you sidelined.
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usa! usa! >> it could be i'll have to debate because you know what, if you're in first place you don't want to really debate a guy that was in second place. >> i heard he was going to debate me and then i heard he was not going to debate me. well, mr. trump, what are you afraid of? >> she said she was sexually assaulted by a baylor student last march and after she tried reporting the attack, it went nowhere. >> how do we prevent this particular bacteria, which is resistant to antibiotics