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tv   Author Discussion on President Trump the Republican Party  CSPAN  December 24, 2018 9:56pm-10:43pm EST

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addicted to debt quick. >> like a consumer society? that is halfway true but looking at the debt it isn't a flat screen entertainment system or even for computers. those are pretty much things that cost less than they did 20 or 30 years ago education is bi big, health care, housing. the basic needs. i do think that some of the generation would say really they are probably just buying a college education. >> squeezed is the name of the book the author alyssa court thank you for being with us in miami on the tv.
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>> what a pleasure. think you [inaudible conversations] . >> please take a seat. good afternoon. good afternoon. welcome to the 35th book fair i am the dean of the honors college here at miami-dade it is an absolute pleasure to be here with you. first i would like to acknowledge our sponsors including the knight foundation and many other sponsors we also have our friends of the fair. please raise your hand and be acknowledged. [applause] we ask that you please silence your cell phones for the
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duration of the panel we would also like for you to know the book signing will take place to the right of the elevator. we will do q&a for the last 15 minutes of the session at this time i have the distinct honor to introduce our guest a seasoned republican strategist and infamous negative ad maker is regular column the daily beast is a must-read published in "the washington post" and the hill, the federalist independent journal review also a frequent guest with cnn and msnbc and with friends like these and national networks please join me to welcome rick wilson. [applause] . >> thank you. pleasure. we also have with us a senior at the council of foreign relations a council for "the
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washington post" in a global affairs analyst for cnn the author of the road not taken in the corrosion of conservatives the political commentator recounts his extraordinary journey of lifelong republicans to trump opponents. [applause] . >> normally they give me a microphone but we come to you today as to apostates of the republican party of today. [applause]
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both of us come from that quaint era we believed in limited government personal responsibility strong national security personal freedom, constitution, the law. [laughter] decent haircuts. [laughter] and now we have become part of the rebel republican ticket most of us seem to be bald i don't know what that means necessarily. >> we don't believe in haircuts anymore. [laughter] but two guys from different parts of the republican apparatus from the politics side of campaigns, both of us reached a point where you cannot pretend donald trump was a normal republican. you certainly couldn't pretend he was a conservative and even harder to say he was a normal human. [laughter] so we went out and did what you do to speak out publicly
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and made a principled stand that set us conservatives we cannot live with this guy i said that in all the networks in a lot more colorful language but we have discovered there are a lot of people out there not just as democrats but a lot of republicans who were disengage from politics where everything seem so incredibly dangerous and consequential everything is so fried peerless for the country. so max and i will have a conversation where we come from and then we will switch over to do q&a and after that
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we will see where we can figure out where the hell to take the country. that's the easy part. >> thank you rick i am a longtime admirer of yours but it is a weird situation we find ourselves in i am amused to read online and on twitter every single minute i am not a real conservative that i told you i did a good job fooling you i spent a lot of years working and writing for publications like the commentary of weekly standard i advise candidates on foreign-policy so i was a maid guy part of the republican establishment as rick was as well so it is kind of weird i
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cannot speak for him but is weird for me to be sitting here in the role i never thought i would be doing even when donald trump announced his candidacy summer of 2015 that something i write about in my book corrosion of conservativism how i was instantly repulsed and this is literally repulsed he began attacking mexicans as rapists and murderers. then a few weeks later he followed up to say that john mccain was not a war hero i thought he was toast there is no way somebody that says stuff like this could possibly win the nomination of the republican party i didn't think he would win us single primary which shows how much i knew about the republican
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primary which shows what i know about what was really disorienting about me and soul crushing was to see all of these republicans that i respected bending at the knee and kowtowing to donald trump just cannot make it up i was an advisor to marco rubio in the 2016 presidential campaign i was cheering him on when he said trump was a con man that was not fit to have the nuclear codes then he endorsed him lindsey graham called him a kook and a religious bigot but that he endorsed him paul ryan called him out for his racism on attacking a judge on latino ancestry and had has had nothing negative to say since then this is not the republican party that i thought i knew but what you
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might find interesting that it made me go back to re-examine the history of republican party these forces were there all along i was in my ideological bunker blind to what was going on but you could trace this back to the origins of the modern conservative movement barry goldwater phyllis schlafly who claimed these liberal wall street elites had taken control of the republican party preventing them from winning presidential elections to foster a communist takeover of america there was always this crazy conspiracy mongering and nuttiness which change is that this used to be the fringe now is the
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mainstream moving into the white house. there has always been conspiracy mongering in this country but normally people who wear tinfoil hats not who give press conferences in the rose garden but that's where we are today. is very strange to find myself out of the conservative movement but not as strange as it is defined donald trump in the white house. >> when i read the book the premise of my book is everything trump touches dies so at first i was a little flippant ha ha bankruptcies casinos the only guide america who cannot make money running a casino math and stupid people in a room together how do you lose? but i realized the things that
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were in the party as a political operator for 30 year starting here in florida working for connie mack 1987 then went to work for george h.w. bush. guess what? you would love that. [laughter] you would love it if he was in the white house right now why? he was honorable and dignified he treated people with respect he had not one iota of tolerance for racism when bush was president and lee atwater was the chairman of the rnc david duke ran for office in the louisiana they sent guys like me down there to kick the living republican out of him this president cannot bring himself to denounce david duke
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in the campaign finally he said i disavow. okay? that's as much you can do i'm sorry a republican in my world would drag them out into the street and horse with him. this party always had an element we pretended it was not there and fought against it because we did have republican leaders at the top were not tolerant robert wong - - ronald reagan scorched of the clan this time of surprise they don't have a concession stand with the conservative movement where these people are overtly dog whistling to the volume of the air raid siren i'm sorry i don't know
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the rules here because i do have a notoriously salty tongue. >> on the 72nd delay i did report one morning and i called them chicken shut their way is a 72nd delay i was told i shouldn't say things like that on national television. . >> but the death touch of trump those horrified consequences to be his ally have played out in slow-motion they are not done yet they are 336 seats across the country by the time they are counting they will have lost 40 house seats and by the time it is done plus one or plus two in the senate but when republican
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started the year they looked at the tax bill the economy and the money they had for candidates and said we will pick up nevad nevada, keep arizona, west virginia all these other places they were predicting plus six or plus seven you are surprised a republican one in north dakota? it is supposed to do that that is like an airplane flying. so now we are in a situation where the downstream consequences to the g.o.p. that we both believe in and all these things as a fabric of conservativism with racial
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animus and the central pillar of the republican party anybody know what it is right now today? it is hatred of the media. they hate the media i'm sorry i missed that part of the constitution i missed the part that owning the media was part of conservative performance anyway. >> you can tall not all think alike i disagree with rick i don't think it is all animosity towards the media that binds the republican party i think it is the cult of personality around donald trump that you could make a reasonable case as animosity
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toward liberals and democrats in general there is almost no positive platform it all spews hate and file against perceived enemies and fox news makes a lot of money by doing that. but just to pick up on the point about the midterm election because i will admit my immediate reaction was some degree of disappointment because i had written before everybody should vote 100 percent against republicans but i thought it was imperative to embrace against the can spy on - - conspiracy mongering what trump represents and i was disappointed that some republicans won including the state of florida that was not the outcome especially after the disgraceful campaign desantis ran was a hard pill
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to swallow but as we have seen since as we see more votes come in democrats picked up 37 or 40 seats in the house that you see that in southern california i grew up there that was reagan country but now there's not a single republican holding a single seat but that is the birthplace of the modern republican movement now it has been decimated and will have a single statewide office democrats have super majorities in both houses there is no republican party
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in california anymore is a sign of things to come across the country. in the nineties they turned against democrats they were decimated so they were perceived as anti- latino that was the kiss of death in california now that same demographics play out nationally the by 2024 the republican party will be angry old white people not enough to keep winning elections for decades to come. [applause] they could do it for a few more elections may be but then
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of course, donald trump will go off to his gilded palace wherever that may be. and then he will leave devastation and ruin in his wake and the republican party will spend decades paying for his thin. >> i had a conversation with a donor by e-mail he utterly despised donald trump he put millions into another primary campaign you are familiar with him short and three word name. he was absently furious but i explained you either do this now and 2015 get together and
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invest 25 million to take him out he is a clown he is not what he plays on tv and right now people are voting based on the character they see on "the apprentice" for 15 years that is where he played brilliant negotiator good judge of people all those things the tv character written by a writer in hollywood you can spend a few million dollars now by the way this is the kind of person who finds $25 million in the couch cushions on his private jet, or in the spring with a little more attraction spend 100 million or you can sit on your ass and not do a damn thing and billions of dollars later so as usual i am right. [laughter]
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in part because i can do math i'm actually pretty good at it for humanities guy and a writer i'm good at understanding math i figured out a while back there is no successful republican coalition that consist of only 55 -year-old in their basement it is a narrow slice of the party and there is allusion inside the g.o.p. that says the basis with chop 80 percent guess what that no longer includes any african-americans the number of people he said i will get you 40 percent and how did that work out? fewer and fewer hispanics in the republican coalition , white women who are
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college-educated they had a moment in 2016 the "access hollywood" pussy grabber tape with a republican said i have to separate from my husband and then was stormy daniels they got divorced from the g.o.p.. right now at the point there is a restraining order because they are done with the republican party. they are gone and college-educated women are what allows republicans to hold seats in pennsylvania are the suburbs of philadelphia - - philadelphia now they are doggone that was a redwall flipped over now it's all democrats they want sweeping victories democrats one in wisconsin and michigan walking away not even breaking a sweat
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because it is every week he wakes up and says how do i make my hair higher, how do i this off another group that used to be gettable through the republican party and alienate them forever? it will not happen that death touch of trump does not kill you right away some people it takes out immediately poor sean spicer he has the thousand yard stare it doesn't stand for trauma that trump a lot of people around him they are knocked off their pedestals from where they thought they would be hello steve bannon. but in the case of the party it is a slow-motion poison it takes years not one election cycle they will not repudiate trump they will not walk away
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they will fight this down until the last dog dies only he will own it appropriately so we have this slow-motion problem with the conservatives that are left that will be joined by other people who say that variance between the stated values what he is and does and says, i cannot live with that it will go on and on for a long time. >> i don't want to put a damper on the note of optimism. [laughter] i agree that donald trump
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could win again it isn't outside the realm of possibility you have to hand him credit for his talent. he knows nothing about governance or politics or policy or economics, history, military but he is a salesman of genius he does know how to bamboozle and with those skills he is unmatched in american in history. but folks like george wallace or mccarthy or huey long or others they did not become president he did. so you cannot underestimate his ability to call me american public you saw that
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with the hysteria right before the midterm about this caravan into the nativist with the short-term memory he also had hysteria in april and may when nothing happened they were not invaded nothing happened but those kids with backpacks are terrifying. >> p-letter does have the ability to play two people's fear and snow them with the rhetoric and the other point i will raise quickly is that the way i feel about the democrats or the palestinians they never miss an opportunity and they are experts at snatching defeat from the jaws of
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victory. >> they did do a good job this time around but they have two whole years to screw it up and as a republican party goes to the right democrats will go far to the left that will increase the odds of trump being elected they have a once in a generation opportunity to be a light american politics to make it this fringe movement to become a broad ruling party but my fear is they will now take the advantage of the opportunity but if they can scoop up all those people like rick and me who are ready for the alternative.
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>> i would like to see them be good at politics how did you win 1100 seats 2008? republicans netted 1196? how? by being better at all the things in politics democrats are good at something some of the time they are great at occasionally getting a superstar candidate bill clinton or barack obama who has political skills but they are awful at to block and tackle and knock on doors and those that don't work more broadly now we are coming up short. what happened? you did not organize your
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people well enough you did not think talking about gun control the matter how much you like in miami does not work north of i-letter four at all so sometimes that means you don't get that every time. i don't know who this person is but i described the democrats you need a military veteran someone who are served who has moral standing to say to donald trump and swaggers around to call him on his shit and then go into his environment and get on his head. policy he does even know what policy is, politics he cares about television and ratings and how the news feels the
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viewer in his face that is much more valuable than somebody who checks off the ideological box. >> in that regard just today our president was insulting the admirable one - - the admiral the joint special office commander when osama bin laden was taken down. >> i actually thought about that. so how you guys get tricked that your belief for purity is good politics i know a lot of you think cortez is a new
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fabulous face but you know, what she is she cannot scale nationally do think connor land in pennsylvania you think modern democrat of what they did not talk about was gun control super progressive we will give everybody free everything talking about nuts and bolts that matter in the economy that he was seeking to represent if i was a democratic strategist gave me 50 cortez to run nationally she could win 25 seats you give me connor lamb i will blow 50 hard republican seats wide open to put him in power pick the smart candidate now what your poly instincts want but the people that can win that's a big chunk of my book
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here is how you blew it and blow it and here's how to fix it just picking a person the furthest left will not get you home i tell you if you had governor graham she would have blown out ron desantis out by 15 points. [applause] . >> now it is time for the floor show and q&a. [applause] . >>. >> thank you for your bravery is there any organization that could bring you guys together with the moderate democrats that want to get our country in better shape.
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>> there are attempts i am actually part of a group called the new democracy initiative like gary kasparov bringing people together from the centerleft or center-right and that has been one of the most heartening parts of what has happened that for example, i just happened to see from mother jones i never imagined a world i would be retreating kevin thornton he would retweet me but there has been a tremendous ability to break through that our policy differences when we face the existential threat to american democracy. >> so a lot of the comments
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that you made that donald trump will be the nominee in 2020 so i have two questions to test that assumption is there any event you think that could occur that would cause him to leave office before 2020 like if bob mueller would find obstruction of justice is there a chance they would turn against him? and second do you see any possibility of someone running for the president to challenge donald trump quick. >> certainly there will be a republican challenge and the steepness of that hill. that person has to raise a billion dollars fox news
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reaches 90 million households every day that weapon eyes platform is turned against this person somebody with a sterling reputation but that cannibal child slavery it is very hard but when pat buchanan he is a knot and he is a kook and someone coming up bush as a conservative and 92 led to ross perot leading to clinton. i think he will do whatever he can to prevent a primary but as for leaving the white house? the most likely scenario for him to leave early is he pulls an elvis and is found dead on the toilet one morning. [laughter]
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because he will fight until the last dog dies because once he is out of the white house , game is over. the fun is over there is no glorious trump presidential library for kids who cannot read good. >> he has no immunity from prosecution once he leaves office. remember that. [applause] . >> donald trump loses 2020. what happens to the republican party? how do you rebuild it? the leaders that he emerge on - - that emerge? how do you expand the base which is pretty narrow right now? that's a great question but nobody has a great answer because the republican party has so firmly identified with trump as john weiner said the
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real republican party is taking a nap somewhere it is trump's party a lot of that will depend on the circumstances is that a big defeat are the acolytes? what do they look like because they remade themselves in trump's image so the saving grace is how unprincipled and insincere that they don't actually believe what they are spewing out but because that is where the votes are. the fact they are hypocrites and putting their futures above the party or the country it is dismay but also salvation they tie themselves to the current leader donald trump and those that have the
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republican nomination. and ultimately that could be the salvation. >> with that historical analogy like this is a witchhunt like nixon. 197449 republicans lost house seats. eight republicans lost senate. we are entering a window there are 20 republican seats that our vulnerable and then a bunch of these and then to put their heads up i'm not playing
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this anymore to be expedient bs but a few will survive. and with that stupidity out of that current iteration. >> it is important to sufferers' devastating defeat you cannot win political power by appealing to your worst instincts. [applause] that they see that as a winning tactic you will get more of the same. >> somebody that knows trump from living in new york for a while and with his business dealings i keep hearing he is very good in the media and i believe that but i also
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believe this is a guy who gets his news from the media and feeds off of fox and that is not the most fact-based source in my mind. i believe that trump really believes what he says but there is a part to manipulate that. >> he does not believe these things. maybe he is a reset on - - a racist and he made that case clearly but he is playing the ruse i know reporters who talk to him he'll say that was funny i got them on that one he is so deeply cynical and such a con man to the highest degree that the things he has
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done that makes them more unacceptable to me than the guy who understands when he talks about barack obama birth certificate by the way i was the first republican consultant in the country 2008 to say this is the dumbest thing i have seen in my life and then to establish he had a birth certificate than found the reference in the newspaper that barack obama to be born that day and unless he has a time machine so trump new the acting attorney general was working the case. >> it's all coming together. [laughter] so he understands the buttons he is pushing he understands those racial infections. he understands when he doesn't
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say that charlottesville are lowlife scumbags that ought to be whipped he knows what he is doing he is conscious of and you can tell when he pulls back and then pop the chain and pull the leash back you can tell when he doesn't want - - he has to read a teleprompter he's miserable his game was caught. >> i don't think it's all just lies i do think he does believe his own bs. >> a lot of things in the world because for example, with bob woodward's book talks about the white house economic advisor try to explain that we are not actually losing money from the trade deficit because we're getting stuff in return but he cannot compute that he said this is what i believe in this is what i will believe he tunes out that reality he will not consider alternative evidence that's why he keeps
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repeating the same lies over and over again every single day. >> thank you for sanity on cable news every day. i would like your reflections on whether you think or to what extent in the next few weeks if they can stop mueller from doing what he wants to do? and your reflections to what extent trump is an agent? put on its face it is very troubling that he insults
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pretty much everybody how do you explain that? we hope with bob mueller will explain that but that is precisely why trump is so anxious to impede the investigation. this is richard nixon on steroids the department of justice, he is fire the fbi director the attorney general to stop the investigation of his campaign and kudos to you for raising that and in many ways the most important issue they face right now is somebody it is questionable constitutional legitimacy with his appointment with his statements to exonerate of any wrongdoing he does not have that legal background to be the attorney general he is the henchmen because he wants to
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impede the investigation now it's very hard at this point that mueller is far along but there are things he can do to make it much more difficult if he has to come to him about important decisions which would require a battle in one of the most disturbing things that i point out a few days ago that you had donald trump talking about the inner workings of mueller this is first time he ever it referred to the inner workings of the investigation and by the way matt would occur could probably read all of mueller's files this is happening it is obstruction of justice to the nth degree why it is so imperative january cannot come soon enough for the house democrats to take over. [applause]
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. >> that is all the time we have. thank you for the enlightening discussion. [applause] [applause] we will introduce you to a sociology studies professor from stony brook university her name is crystal fleming also the author of a couple of books the most recent is how to be less stupid about race. who was stupid about race? . >> this whole country and anyone raised in the united states socialized into abso


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