tv Washington Politics and Trump Victory CSPAN March 2, 2017 2:03pm-2:39pm EST
>> he certainly had a dog in the fight. he was somebody who had been kicked out by castro along with all of the casinos and mob people. they are the ones that really really want to get rid of castro. so the cia said, we have $150,000 on the line, whoever kills castro, the money is theirs. >> at 8 will okay, on the president okay, ben stein, former speechwriter for nixon and ford reflects on nixon's time in the white house, his energy policies, initiatives in israel. >> accused of being an anti-semmite, left in the way no other president had. >> for a complete american history tv schedule go to c-span.org. >> over the next few hours we will watch some of the political action conference held at national harbor just sought sou
washington. you can see more at c-span.org by typing cpac in the search bar. right now analysts discuss what president trump's election means in the alignment of both republican and democratic parties. buyon york, chief political swoernt for the washington times and susan bathe, bureau chief of usa today. this is 35 minutes.pbathe, bure of usa today. this is 35 minutes.abathe, bure of usa today. this is 35 minutes.gbathe, buref of usa today. this is 35 minutes.ebathe, bure chief of usa today. this is 35 minutes.athe, bureauf of usa today. this is 35 minutes.the, bureau of usa today. this is 35 minutes.he, bureau c of usa today. this is 35 minutes.e, bureau chf usa today. this is 35 minutes., bureau chi usa today. this is 35 minutes. >> that proves you can't tell anything. thiser. goes to the right, this pern to the left. >> i have an excuse. >> how are you all enjoying cpac so far? [ applause ]
>> is anyone a wee bit tire? coffee, liquid courage. eneveryone on this panel i feel like i have a special relationship with. ralph hallow, very special. but he is married to bailey hallow who we affectionately call the little general. she is the one running around telling us all what to do. she is vice whar of the foundation. i get titles wrong but she is like the right hand person to wane la pierre and very special person. so ralph a real honor to have you with us today. and susan page, we grew up in the same town, different years, but she went to one rival high school and i went to the other rival high school. we be we both travelled from wichita from time to time. i don't know if they are here but much of my family from wichita is here today. they are all happy that you're here. shout out for wichita, kansas. come on.
and rick unger, i will admit, a little less wing than i am, but know the cpac audience will be polite and respectful with even a guy who is a little off on issues from time to time. we think it helps liven up the conversation. because i want to know what the heck is going on, what did the democrats do. and byron york, someone i get to talk to several times a day in the fox green room. come on. and byron and i have a special relationship because we go to the same hair stylist. byron has this perfect hair and i'm trying to get mine like that too. >> you do a great job with that while color. >> it is cool to be confused with mike pence. i'm enjoying that. so as you know, this is a question about realignment and there is a lot of realignment going on in politics. a matter of fact, if you like politics, 2016 would have been
the year you chose to be covering politics because there is so much change on both the right and left. i want to start with ralph who has been covering politics for the washington times. and other papers, for a long time. and ralph, you covered from both id logic id logical perspectives. have you seen a year like 2016? >> no, none of us have ever seen anything like this. i usually get elections wrong. i don't think i have ever predicted the outcome after presidential election right. but this one, unbelievable.oaft presidential election right. but this one, unbelievable.faft presidential election right. but this one, unbelievable. aft presidential election right. but this one, unbelievable.afte presidential election right. but this one, unbelievable.fter presidential election right. but this one, unbelievable.ter presidential election right. but this one, unbelievable.er presidential election right. but this one, unbelievable.r presidential election right. but this one, unbelievable. presidential election right. but this one, unbelievable. i didn't think trump would run. that was a joke. he couldn't be serious. when he started to run, i didn't think he could win anything. and after a while, i realized everything that i had learned over 50 years in journalism, out the window. i didn't understand wlas going on, but it was fun.
trump made it fun. and trump said a lot of things that many of us either thought consciously or thought unconsciously. and so some of us, i admit this, found ourselves cheering when he said what for everyone else the most absurd things. >> some of us weren't cheering so much. >> that's right. susan, with realignment, let me ask you -- i put my proposition out there, i think there is a lot of realignment going on with both parties. a lot of change. do you agree? >> i do. i think this is an election we will see with the benefit with more perspective. i think you saw here at cpac yesterday with the president's speech, describing the republican party in different terms than we have heard before. the party of the working man. a party of the rust belt. including three states. remember, three states for nearly a quarter century was
part of the blue wall. michigan, pennsylvania and wisconsin. unexpectedly went for president trump in november. >> i think someone here from michigan, wisconsin and pennsylvania. you know, you also see today some of the repercussions of that in atlanta where democrats are electing their new national chairman. democrats also trying to figure out where their democratic party fits in a world where they are most coastal and have more in the midwest and the south is pretty republican for some time. >> okay, unger. you know, what is going on with this election for the -- to be the dnc chair and just generally in the democratic party? i'm kind of enjoying it. it's a popcorn moment for me. >> it is a mess. i remember on the radio program in early days of the election the conversation was about the
dysfunction that is going to exist in the republican party. and every now and then i would pop up and say, you know, we're not talking about it but let me tell you what's happening on the democratic party. it's worse. it's worse. and it didn't really come to light until the republicans won the election. the factionalization in the democratic party right now is stunning. i can't tell you as we sit here the voting has begun who will be next chairman. >> are there super delegates? >>. >> whoa. whoa. >> it's not rigged, is it? >> democrats, of course it's rigged. no, it's not rigged. don't anybody quote that. >> yeah, it's just between us. >> if it is one or two ballots, keith ellison will probably be chairman. >> oh, they like that.
>> that's not a good sign. >> if it goes six or seven you could have strange things happening. >> byron? ? >> trump won by challenging or if you will blowing up republican orthodoxy in key areas. trade being one of them. entitlement being another. i went to trump rallies where he said we won't touch your social security. you paid for it and you will get it. his criticism of george w. bush was brutal. >> it was brutal. >> and he also exploited republican division that exists on immigration. and doing all that he won. so it told that you people that vote republican are not as perhaps orthodox as some people in washington said. then susan mentioned the blue wall. i was a big believer in the blue wall. the idea that if you look at the states that it voted for
president democrat in last election. that was 242 electoral votes. so we all thought that democrats started out with 2042 electoral votes. you only needed 28 and they win and trump blew it up. michigan and wisconsin, pennsylvania, he just punched through that blue wall. >> don't get used to it. it will never happen again. >> they believed it with this obama coalition that democrats will be elected from now on, forever and ever because of demography. that idea is just gone right now. he change sewed many things that we thought about. >> so i was -- i kind of like you. >> there you go. >> i was taking the train from washington to new york to be there on election day.
mercy and i were heading up. and we were on a train just filled with clinton campaign operatives. you all know that pit you get in injury stomach on election day. you don't know what's going to happen. this election day more than most, what's going to happen, all the chatter from the clinton people that had their laptops up and tablets and everything and not good from my perspective, right? it felt good the day before and i started getting that pit in my stomach and i just didn't know. let me ask, you guys are such experts, at what point, i'm not asking you to -- i'm not setting you up. i'm not asking about the prediction date but at what point in the process did you realize it would be president trump? literally early that morning and the next morning or somewhat earlier? >> i don't want this go any further than this room. this is really inside nfgs
information. the night of the election i had written and prepared to run on page 1 an analysis of the election. and the lead was why donald trump lost. that's how good i am at this. it doesn't mean i wasn't for him. by that time i was hoping he would win. i believe, there is this block and especially if you're trump, and the absurd things he said, and i like some of the absurd things he said. >> actually, ralph, you say some of the absurd things he said. >> but it isn't going further than this room, right? >> i think ralph was helping channel trump before trump decided to do this. if you read your columns, you could see some of these things. >> yeah, there was a realignment, right? did we say that?
>> i believe there is a realignment and that is my next question but i was going to let them get through answering these questions. >> the republican party is no longer the party of adam smith and free markets. once a religious tenant that that conserve serve tis em meant free markets -- >> unimpeded. >> unimpeded, yes. thank you. he is good with words. that word, at least. then along comes pat buchanan and he tries to change that. he is talking about fair trade. and he gets nowhere and along comes somebody else who talks about america -- oh back in -- america first. didn't get anywhere. and then running on things that republicans historically pose and the republican congress
amazingly is not beating the bejeesus out of him under what every member of that republican congress has run. >> there is a lot of time on the clock. >> yeah. >> susan? ? >> we haven't had the fights about the details, about entightment, about other issues, those fights may come but election nights are humbling things i think for people who cover politics. it doesn't matter what you think or what the polls show you, it only mat whaers polls do. and i've covered several election nights where it's been a surprise and i think this last election night was a surprise. i do the analysis for usa today for a series of editions. the first deadline was at 6:30 on 7:00. >> oh my lord. >> that one did not predict who would win. >> one for the ages. >> like trying to look at exit polls and tell what people are thinking. but the analysis of each edition became friendlier to the
prospect that donald trump would be the next president. by the last deadline we had president trump, donald trump being elected president. but not until, you know, i don't know, 8:00 that night maybe. i thought, he is going do this thing we said he could not do. >> rick? >> i was covering the election if youngstown, ohio. >> what was first prize? >> youngstown is my hometown. >> that's the center of this. >> it is. that to me is the center. the beltway. >> anybody here from yungstown? >> why not? >> rick? rick? >> so doing --
>> so heading toward the trump event, on 6th avenue, i run into a well known republican, and it is late in the afternoon and they are pressed about the exit polls because the exit polles from florida don't look good. >> look terrible. >> you don't win florida, you don't win. it is a very early night. and the idea even when trump seemed to be a little bit ahead is there is this big group of voters in broward that would come through and win for hillary clinton. so there has been this debate before election day among some republicans that they wanted trump to do better than mitt romney. romney got 212 electoral votes and so many nef trump republicans had been saying trump would lead the parties, this devastating catastrophic
historic defeat. if he does better than mitt romney, he will say hey, doing better than you. but then, so i get to trump, the trump event, and it is early in the evening and i run into jeff sessions. and sessions is very circumspect. he is cautious and doesn't seem very optimistic and he is circumspect. and he said, got thing about this, is trump has shown the appeal of the message in many important places. it is kind of like, yeven if he doesn't win it will have done a lot of good. so we good through and the "new york times" had this meter of trump -- >> oh, yes. mercy covered it all night. right. >> and it started at 2% chance of winning. >> yes. >> so later in the evening things are better and he said somebody just told me the "new york times" said trump is 59% chance of winning. and i said, senator, it is bigger than that. i pull out my phone and show him
and it goes to 8 wi9%. and sessions goes, he is looking at it, and he is -- 89%? the lord is in this thing. >> so the mood shift is unpolice officerable. . >> so i will answer my own questions. mercy, she is reading everything and checking twitter and she is following the "new york times." i said, but they won't get it right. she said, no, you don't get it. if the "new york times" said there is a chance then it is really, really good. that's right. and we were in trump tower election night and hanging out with these folks and you know, it was actually a pretty calm environment that night. and after it it looked promises we were going to the trump celebration and couple things i remember. i walk out on the street and for some reason there is construction going on.
i guess in new york construction is happening at night. and the guy goes, he's gonna do it, he's gonna do it, and he's gonna do it without the party. >> i wasn't invited to trump tower. i don't know what happened. >> we will work on it, rick. we go to the celebration and i get stuck in with the donors. which is fine with me. i'm up with the donors at the trump celebration and you know i'll be honest with you, i've been working republican politics for 20 years. often times i know a lot of the donors. i knew one. very great guy. because a lot of the institutional donors obviously did not jump on board. these are donors i had never met before. i talked to them as the evening went on. to punctuate the whole evening when the network news finally said he was over the top, a woman who was not caucasian came running out of the kitchen, with
her kitchen outfit on, and she said, in her thick accent, he did it, he did it, he did it. >> that is beautiful. i'm married obviously to someone whose parents came from another country and it was a lot of regular joes and janes and felt like their voice was heard. this goes back to you, ralph, of realignment. is this a permanent change in what makes up the coalition of voters who can elect republicans to the white house? or is this a temporary trump phenomenon driven by a rather unique and spectacular individual and doesn't have lasting impact on this coalition? >> there's no way to answer that question, matt, with precision at this point. first hundred days. the next -- the mid terms
elections is next year are 33 senate seats up. 2 p a 23 are democrat. traditionally the party that owns the white house loses at least four seats. suspect if things go the way they are going that won't happen. and the republicans will hold what they have or maybe add to it. so far what president has been able to do hasn't required much from congress. almost nothing. we do know the following. this party no longer, eat least f at least for the next few months, maybe next four years,tt for the next few months, maybe next four years, at least for the next few months, maybe next four years,at least
for the next few months, maybe next four years, is no longer committed to the religious belief of the adam smith view of trade. this is truly important. because it means that party, republican party, has a real chance to appeal to working men and women in a way that never happened before. including with reagan. because working men and women got left out when free trade or buchanan used to say globalony prevailed. it raised consumers prices but hurt american prices. it made america no longer a nation of manufacturing. this has already changed. how long it lasts will determine -- >> jump in here, panel. is this permanent realignment? >> there is not a permanent alignment in american politics. american politics are constantly shifting. i know that people, and this audience is very enthusiastic about the fact that the three blue wall states went for donald trump but they went for donald
trump by a combined total of 107,000 votes. >> tiny. >> that's very small number. that said i think we see the two parties defined in new way answers the increasing party of the coasts of millennials, racial diversity, a lot of women, high number of college-educated voters. this is not like the past decades ago and the republican party is increasingly rural and suburban areas, whites, more male than female. and it's got real strength in some these industrial midwestern states that historically were democratic. it is different definitions of these two. >> one second. let me jump on to this for one anecdote. i want you and byron to talk about this as well. i was shocked in the green rooms before you good on tv, you learn so much interesting stuff. most of us are not like donald trump. we say the most interesting thing before the camera gets on.
he does the opposite. in the green room it is just, the camera turns on and he says very interesting things. but one of the things i heard from a democrat i thought was so blatant is i said well, why are you doing -- why are you for this iran deal and why are you doing so much to introduce, you know, real panic with your jewish supporters and they are like, they are not part of our co-liegs a coalition any more. we're not worried about them. is there a change in what we assume are the blocks of these coalitions? >> on my side, my party, i've seen this movie before. we will move to the left and lose a lot of elections. then come back to the center. i've seen this movie in my lifetime. what's happening in the republican party is fascinating to me. i listen to steve bannon. on your panel. and when he says economic nationalism, i just went, wow. and i'll pose it as a question. i'll pose it as a question. while you may agree with that approach, i appreciate that.
are you still in the party of reagan if you are going into that direction? i'm not answering it. but it is an interesting and intriguing question to think about. i don't see that as ronald reagan. >> there a movement called the reformicons. whose basic premise was that reagan pr reagan was president a long time ago and things changed and they were trying to maybe update reagan's core of values that were so important to people, to fit our current conditions. now trump's success or failure will have a huge determination of how much republican party changes but the naekt wfact tha he won doing it already has change. there is a debate among a lot of republicans never in the public about after trump loses what is post trump synthesis to be. >> so there would be some republicans if you know trump has sort of seized their
nomination. he loses in a landslide. we can go back to being just what we were before. and others say look what happened in the primaries. look who won the nomination. you will have a -- >> can i ask you this question. >> yes. >> would this, this kind of throws it all on its head, but would any of the other 16 won? >> you mean of the presidency? >> of the candidates. >> i personally don believe that. hillary clinton was a terrible candidate. >> but trump is the only one who could have won, you're saying? >> in my opinion, yes. >> we add betthad a better cando would have won, which would have been joe biden. >> you think joe biden would have won? >> i do. >> we have a lot of people here from delaware. >> it is not whether or not you like joe biden. i think if you look at the numbers how they add up, he would have. i think byron is right, donald
trump is the only one to beat hillary clinton. hillary clinton was a bad candidate. >> i remember spending a couple of days watching ted cruz, they went up to around mason city and this is in that phase in which he was like nobody was going to have a bigger bible than ted cruz. >> yeah. >> he was just going to carry a huge bible around if he had to. we would go to events some of which were in churches and he would quote scripture. the same day, it was in the surf ballroom, trump appeared. and he got a bigger group of evangelicals than cruz had by carrying the big bible around. and there was something different going on. >> you don't have to be an evangelical to get the support of evangelicals? >> yeah. they didn't -- obviously they had elected rick santorum and elected mike huckabee and those are the last two caucuses. but what they were telling me
was they felt they were under attack in the larger culture lawsuits, cake baking, all of this stuff. they felt they were under attack. and that they felt donald trump could protect them and their interests. >> i agree with that. >> susan, let me ask you a question. >> that's absolutely right. >> some of us believe that democratic process was not as open as it should have been, shall we say. do you think that the democrats actually harmed themselves by quote unquote whatever they did, donald trump would say, rigging it, would bernie sanders have been a better general election democratic nominee? >> i think all of the democrats not affiliated with hillary clinton would agree that system should have been more open. i think there are younger up and coming democrats who maybe think i should have run. maybe someone other than martin o'malley could have done better at challenging people there. i think it is hard to rerun an
election. if you knew trump was going to be the republican nominee i think bernie sanders is a better counterpart. because he -- they have some overlap appeal. i can't tell you how many people i talk to in iowa and new hampshire were trying to decide between hillary clinton and bernie sanders and donald trump. >> oh, i tell you, it's true. >> so if you're going to nominate, if republicans nominate donald trump, bernie sanders is a great match-up. i agree that joe biden, he might have lost, but it would have been a different kind of race. i think joe biden would have been a formidable candidate against donald trump in places like stranton cranton or yungso. >> you remember all of the republican debates all over the country and i would always be in an uber car and asking the uber driver who they supported. and it was interesting how many times susan they said i can't decide between bernie sanders or trump. and for the first couple of times i was like, what?
what are you talking about? then i realized, wow, this is a real theme. this gets back to the forgotten man and woman and i also asked them every time if they were going to vote. and they said, sir, i can't vote, i'm going to be driving my uber car. and i thought this also tells me we have a lot of sanders/trump people, you don't get the full amplification in the primaries. >> the first time i was in a rally in iowa and someone said i'm trying to decide between bernie sanders and trump, i sent out a tweet saying, i'm at this rally and -- then like the 16th time someone said that i decided i would no longer be -- not tweeting it. >> it wasn't news. >> what happened it bernie sanders i think is few-fold. one, hillary didn't pull enough voters from certain democratic constituency, bernie sanders would have really had that problem. the other problem is we're being honest with each other here,
bernie sanders' programs didn't work. they were nice ideas but if you put pen it paper, they didn't work. >> i think unger is playing up to the crowd here. >> perhaps the biggest reason that hillary clinton lost is she did not recreate the obama coalition. >> right. >> and black and other minority voters did not turn out in the numbers they had for president obama twice. and i actually, i remember going to a bernie sanders rally at the fox theater in atlanta, and he was in a southern swing trying to appeal to black voters. the crowd was overwhelmingly white. he really packed the place. when he walked out, they stood up and they remained standing for the 1:14 that he spoke. they stood the whole time. but there weren't that many black voters there. i felt i could speak to every one of them there, which i did,
and they were all young and all told me they kept trying to convince their parent to vote for bernie. and -- >> wow. >> they said, i just can't do it. just with clinton. just won't leave clinton. it is because of bill. they don't really like her that much. because it is because of bill. and they won't change. i think bernie sanders would have had a hard time getting those voters and might have done worse with the constituencies that are vital to democratic victory. >> but a totally different dynamic. elections don't follow the path we think they will follow. which was evidenced last year. that would have been a fun election to cover. >> yes. >> ralph? >> yes. >> so we have trump victory. first 030 days. i can't imagine that a president knows that all of you are important to him succeeding. it's been a great 30 days.
he is fulfilling his promises. but it's been 30 days. what are the one or two things that must turn around in the economy and society in order to go to the american people three years from now and say look, i've done what i said i could do and we are on the right path. we are talking about a lot of issues but what's the one thing? >> i don't know. there are so many that he has on the table. he has to show that there is something being done with the wall. there is a huge constituency for the wall. there is some symbolism. and he is serious about this. you put, byron, about protecting evangelicals. his wife gave some public speech this week, last week, opened it
with the lord's prayer. really important. because it shows that the president, his wife, the presidency believes in the religion square. this man won a record number of evangelicals on november 8. outdoing george w. bush who then held the record and who was a true evangelical. trump never claimed he was an evangelical. no one thinks he is an evangelical. but they do believe it and they believe he has the power to carry out what he promised. i can't think of -- almost everything at the top of his to-do list has it happen. and once people think that trump isn't magical, he doesn't have all the power that they think he
has, then problems will arise. >> rick? >> your last statement, i agree with. one thing trump isn't doing is sending legislation to congress. because that moment in time, people figure out he doesn't have all the power. >> important point. i don't know if that the case. we will find out shortly. he doesn't have the wherewithal -- he doesn't have the symbol -- >> every president going back as far as you want, within the first 30 days of their administration, yes there were executive orders. but there was legislation. >> i agree. >> i haven't heard a word of legislation. >> he has been in the executive action phase of his presidency. a lot of them were angry at obama for using it and they want to see their guy using it.
>> did obama know there was a congress? you get that obamacare thing. >> he set more legislation the first 30 days. he had things passed. >> he had a good 30 days. i amazing what you can do with 265 votes in the house. >> that goes well. >> susan, what is the one thing -- >> i respectfully disagree with you. one thing -- >> thank you. >> yes, very respectful. i don't think he needs to check a lot of boxes, he needs to make people feel like economy is working better for them. that's the definition of the forgotten man and woman. that's the reason he won pennsylvania, michigan and wisconsin. when i talk to voters in rallies what we say is he is a businessman and he will help the economy in a way that a poll sigs can't. i think that is the fundamental test for president trump. >> awesome. what a greatan