tv Newsmakers CSPAN July 17, 2016 6:00pm-6:33pm EDT
propelled cleveland. it is such a vastly different city. we're a city that really went through a 40-year recession. very difficult part of the world, manufacturing hub of the world in many ways and things have turned around so showcasing that long term is probably the biggest benefit. host: jo in florida. caller: he doesn't really represent mr. trump or the republicans that are there. he uzz just the money man for getting the arena. he's like the head of it. but i do have a comment and i don't think he can answer this. when trump was in sarasota, florida, i have a permit to carry a gun. i'm a democrat. and i'm a member of liberals with guns. i went to the arena after mr. trump said that if everybody had been armed in the mall shooting that it probably wouldn't have happened. well, i went to his arena and at
-- here in sarasota and tried to get in with my gun. they wouldn't let me in. it seems contrary to what he said. now, are they going to let people into the arena with guns? i know outside they will allow them to permit to carey. host: let me jump in at that point. ohio is an open carry law. security. that's separate. but did that have an impact on preparing the city and the infrastructure and making sure that the different facilities will be ready to go? did it have any impact? guest: it's an interesting balance in that because first and foremost we have a right of free speech in this country. laws of our city, laws of our state. and until all of that had to be taken into conversation by law enforcement in making sure those are very safe and security
atmosphere around the convention. so i give our safety forces huge credit for coming up with a plan. this was a year in the making the specific plan to make sure they she will discuss the lawsuit filed on behalf of antitrust protesters ahead of the convention. andowed by kendal unruh randy evans. then kristen johnson will preview monday's events.
>> joining us on "newsmakers" is next, with kelly ward. the democratic director of the national campaign committee. and joining us with the questioning is david wasserman from the cook political report and sean sullivan who covers political races for the "washington post." let me begin with donald trump. how close will you be tying donald trump and his message to republican candidates running this fall? kelly: thank you for having me. that's exactly the right question to ask. for us, elections are about a contrast and elections are about meeting voters where they are and talking with them about how the election is going to impact their life. what we have seen this entire cycle is voters are viewing the 2016 election through donald trump. it is what they are thinking about. it is what they are talking about. as we pivot to the general
election, they are solidifying with a think about him and starting to see the contrast between him and hillary clinton, and which is critical for us, the convention starts the conversation for how donald trump reflects the party and how he impacts the rest of the candidates on the ballot. so we will be tying donald trump directly to the republicans and having him as their standard bearer. and the impact that has on their lives. host: do you see republicans trying to distance themselves from donald trump? kelly: they are trying, but they will not be able to do that.
mike coffman is a perfect example. he released an ad trying to show how he is different but what he failed to mention is that he failed to say he would support the nominee and stand behind the nominee who in a few days will be donald trump. the ability to somehow say i'm supporting the nominee but i don't necessarily agree or i'm different from the nominee, to voters, it sounds like a political doublespeak. it sounds like politicians being politicians. voters are viewing the election through the framework of donald trump and what he stands for and they will be comparing with a think about mike coffman against that. when they know when he is of their party and represents their
party, he now reflects the standardbearer of what it means to be in the party of mike coffman. general election voters, it is not going to sit well for what they think and how they will ultimately vote. host: we're going to turn to some of those in just a moment. reporter: a lot of democrats i talk to are excited about drawing that contrast you talk about. we are a little over three months from the election. are you in the position to win back control of the house? kelly: it is too early to tell. the convention represents the pivot into the general election. its regular people starting to pay attention and look at what is happening. they have been watching donald trump this entire time and have very strong opinions. they are now going to reflect those opinions or the rest of the ballot and the rest of the election. what the overall environment is going to look like, as you know, the house races are at the mercy of the top of the ticket, so goes that presidential dynamic, so go the down ballot races underneath it.
once we see how that starts to solidify, we will know how close we are to the 30 we need for the majority. but i would rather be us than them this cycle. reporter: any idea how many seats you're comfortable to pick up? kelly: i think we will be very excited about our outcomes regardless of being able to. i think we are going to push deep into the map. reporter: democrats lost 13 seats in 2014.
if democrats gain back 13 seats, would you be happy with that outcome? kelly: we always want to push toward the majority. i think picking up seats is a terrific victory and i also think that we have a lot of districts republicans are renting. the district has a democratic dna and it is time for them to have a representative that reflects their values. so as far as that will take us, our job is to push as close to 30 as we can get. reporter: are there races you think will be the bellwethers? i want to ask about your home state of nevada. that's key presidential battleground. two of those are democratic targets. the republican who stated in 2013 -- hillary clinton is not doing as well as as a lot of people would expect given the demographics of the state. what is going on in your home
state and talk about those races. kelly: i think those are races we should look at because they are a microcosm of everything happening in this election. one of the things that is so intriguing that we will be watching is the latino vote and what happens with hispanic voters in the face of donald trump's hateful and awful rhetoric for the hispanic community. i think that's an underlying factor of what you will see as well as a minority plurality district. you also have the other dynamic effecting house races, the suburban district and how suburban districts think about donald trump. what we are seeing all over the country is that it is the suburban districts, the higher educated that are really put off by his rhetoric. we have both dynamics in nevada so there's so much potential to pick up those seats. as far as hillary clinton in nevada, presidential polling ebbs and flows and we have seen those ebbs and flows start when donald trump won the nomination after ted cruz dropped out, after his horrible remarks about
the judge, his numbers tanks -- his number tanked. they went even further down after orlando. we are coming off the comey comments on clinton and we're headed into the republican convention. we are seeing pivot in the polling and after the conventions, you will see that surge once the general election dynamic settles in and we start to see what voters really think about donald trump and the contrast with hillary clinton. we feel very good about that contrast. reporter: even hillary clinton says she has a trust issue. how do you regain trust in three or four months when she has had such a long and public history? kelly: that's exactly what it is. hillary clinton has a long and public history as a public servant and with a great story. we are very proud of her as our nominee. she has said she would do it differently and has answered
every question that could be asked of her. we have to trust the highest judicial officials in the land that have looked at this when they came up with their judgment to not take any action against her for that. i trust her and i think what you will see from her campaign and as it relates to the general election is that story about her service and what she has done for this country and the world for 30 years. we feel very proud of that and the story we can tell with her as our nominee contrasted against donald trump and what he represents in his last 30 years of lining his own pockets and saying hate all things. we all know candidacies, the campaigns reflect what they are
governing and this is what we get from donald trump. that contrast is going to be the story and i think we come out on top of stop reporter: you mentioned a range of controversial things donald trump has said. are there specific ideas or positions he holds that you think are more destructive than others? are there things you are going to be singling out? kelly: i think we mentioned all his remarks against the hispanic community. you see the same thing with the gay community, with women, with muslims, which is another population in nevada to pay attention to. there's a large muslim population in the vegas valley. so, yes, the comments he makes are just so offputting, and only to people themselves but the golden rule in the things we teach our children.
what we see in the polling as you see particular groups of people who are not on his side and really don't like him. and you are seeing how that translates across to general election voters, the swing voters, particularly women, married women of all ages, so, yes is the short answer. but that is why. he sets a tone and those comments set a tone and a tenor that people feel like i can't get on board with that. reporter: but donald trump won the nomination by insulting so many of these congressional republicans and 24% of the 247 republicans in the house have not endorsed him. the membership of that group is in the swing district you are targeting. what is it given that he does not have a legislative record or
record in public office that allows you to tie house republicans to his candidacy? kelly: they are doing it themselves. that's why conventions are so interesting. they are about to walk into the convention and fall in line with donald trump. you have the leader of the house republicans, paul ryan, speaking at the convention. kevin mccarthy, the majority leader is speaking. they will stand on stage as their party and fall in line behind him. earlier last week, when we saw paul ryan in his cnn town hall, he said i'm putting my party over what is right for the country. republican voters asked him, donald trump is so terrible, how can you be behind him? he said let's stand behind him even though he's not that great
for our country. putting party over country is not what we need and that is what they are doing and they are telling us they are doing it. i think the convention is the pivot point. that's the conversation we will have. reporter: conversely, we spent a lot of time talking about how donald trump is unpopular, but hillary clinton can be a drag, what's a piece of constructive criticism you might have for the clinton campaign on the best way to lift all democratic votes? kelly: i think the clinton campaign is doing exactly what they should need doing, telling the full part of her story back in the beginning of her service she had for this country and the visit she will have moving forward and how we can be proud of that stop they recently released with the kids and what that means for how we have two sets examples of leaders, i feel so much better and i think the majority of americans will feel
better knowing hillary clinton is setting that standard and that vision and providing that role model that we need for our kids much more than donald trump. i have a four-year-old and one of the books i read to her is hillary clinton's story. she asks for it at night. it's a great story to tell. the full story of hillary clinton is what this country needs and that will help us down ballot. host: we have not tended to see the kind of massive waves that we you would need to take control of the house. what is it about this year that is different, that makes you think you can pick up dozens of seats in a presidential cycle? kelly: that's a good question.
it's an open presidential seat, so there is a shift happening. that creates a momentum and interest among voters. the electorate, higher turnout helps democrats, so that gives us a list. the increased turnout is going to give us a lift even further than we get a presidential year and in the house battlefield, there's a natural shift happening in this country where the ships are becoming more democratic. there's more millennials, more minority voters coming into the electorate. that's an electorate that favors democrats. you have migration patterns where voters are moving from districts that are democratic and it is making districts more,
democratic over time. you have a natural shift that's going to enable democrats to pick up more seats every cycle. donald trump is accelerating those trends because those same voters, millennials, the higher educated voters, that's the same voters directing the shift for us. it's accelerating and pushing us into new district. what it's doing this cycle is bringing new districts onto the map we have never had before. suburban districts are competitive because of donald trump and that is driving up our numbers. reporter: let's talk money and surrogates. how much money will you need to be competitive and how much of you raised so far? will the president be campaigning for house members? kelly: yes is the answer to your second question.
we expect the president to campaign with us. the president will be campaigning. he has helped us this cycle and last cycle and that's moving in our favor. we never have enough money as democrats. we always get outspent and i think this cycle we will get outspent more than we have in previous cycle because republicans have more money. we are at parity with the nrcc, which is our counterpart and we outraised them by $40 million last cycle, which we needed in the midterm. we held the losses to where we lost them even in a tough environment. i expect them to have more money than we do and we will have the resources we need. we don't need to outspend them in a presidential year in the same way we need to out spend them in the midterm because the dynamics and electorate are already in our favor. reporter: do you have an estimate of how much you think you would raise? kelly: last cycle, we raised
about $190 million and i think we will raise that again. reporter: how much money was raised in the democratic sit in on the gun issue and what these what do you say to critics who say it was simply a stunt to raise money? kelly: it was absolutely not a stunt. i think paul ryan used that word to redirect the attention from the real issue, which was him not putting a vote up which was all anyone was asking for. the thing to understand about the grass roots is this is their power. there are normal people and regular people all over this country who care about the future of our country. they don't have a lot of money or time or the ability to give hundreds of thousands of dollars were come to washington dc or do a march or volunteer on campaigns, but they can show their advocacy online and
and there's so much power to that and that is what you saw with the sit in. you saw a bunch of people who are so proud and excited that finally somebody was standing up for this issue on guns no one has been able to address. finally, you saw the democrats stand up by sitting down and you felt the energy around the country of people supporting them in that and grassroots activists support those efforts in a number of ways. they share information on social media and give low dollar contributions. it's all one package for the grassroots and an important part for power as americans. we are very proud of that activism and proud of the dccc
to be a vehicle to generate interest and excitement and be part of what's happening in washington d.c. to change. reporter: i want to get inside the mind of medical operatives commandeering a campaign to win the house back. this is your third cycle you have been at this. give an example of what it is like to recruit a candidate who maybe hasn't run for anything before to serve in a congress that is really unpopular and gridlocked. kelly: recruitment is a huge part of what we do. the contrast in elections start with the candidates who are running and we spent a lot of time talking to candidates and recruiting them to run. it's what we do. we want people who reflect the district and we want people who are in touch with the district to have a story to tell and are passionate about a particular
issue and we help them understand the nuts and bolts of translating their story into a campaign and being a member of congress. that is always a back and forth. what is exciting for us is our members are so engaged and we have a very diverse pocket and across section of america and our caucus and we have a member who can speak to that question. we have members who can speak to that and we can speak to members all over the country traveling near and fall. members are so passionate about the work they do that they can tell that story and there are a million stories even freshmen and sophomores who just got here who are very passionate about an issue about the work they did in their district, brought it to congress and have terrific stories to tell about the changes they are making. it might not be national news, but it matters to people. when you tell that story to potential candidates, they see what they can do in the minority
and that package brings together -- reporter: is there an example of a candidate who's army have been able to twist? -- example of a candidate whose arm you have been able to twist? kelly: i think that speaks to the terrific candidates we recruit. reporter: looking to the final stage of this race, few get to a point where down ballot republicans decide en masse to separate themselves from donald trump to the point where they are running ad after ad saying i'm running a check and a balance against president clinton, how would you deal with that from a messaging standpoint? kelly: the first thing to look at for republicans in the swing
district is they have a math problem. the electorate already works against them. that is what makes it competitive in a presidential year. part of the reason they are trying to squirm their way around donald trump is they have a lot of republican voters that will vote in this election and if they reject donald trump to overtly, they run the risk of alienated their base that they need and in a presidential year, they really need their base to turn out and come in strong for them in order to make up the numbers for the increased democratic turnout. they cannot overtly reject their republican base which is why you'll see them stand beside him and fall behind him. if they reject him, they have a problem.
then you move into how you square that circle with independent voters and that is where we are seeing donald trump's numbers really work against him. his numbers among independents are terrible everywhere in our swing districts. when you are starting the conversation with independent voters in a way they already have a lot of questions and concerns about the top of the ticket republican nominee, weekend translate that to the rest of the ballot and republican house member in a logical way for voters. that will be the conversation we have. reporter: when this campaign began, there was a lot of talk about marco rubio or john kasich -- be honest. when donald trump secured the nomination in may, what was your reaction? kelly: as an american, i felt very concerned and questioning how this could happen in our country. as a political operative, i immediately saw the opportunity. we feel very responsible for talking to voters about how bad
donald trump would be for this country. those two things square together. as an american and as a mom, donald trump is a huge problem. we have a responsibility to bring that responsibility to voters. and the rest of the ticket that got him there. they had an opportunity to stand up against him and chose not to. he is now their standardbearer. as our chairman said, you take -- you break it, you buy it. they have a responsibility to prevent that from happening in a failed in that effort and now they need to be held
accountable. we have a strong purpose to make sure donald trump does not become president and we have to make sure house republicans are not able to be untruthful or two squirmy in their ability to separate from that and it goes to their ability about message. the agenda of house republicans for years has been not different from what donald trump is saying. you have heard president obama say this -- there's a real genesis of donald trump's behavior, rhetoric and actions from what we fear now to the -- from what we hear now to the house republican caucus. their agend and inability to do anything, have a long habit of putting their party over country. donald trump allows us to tell that story. reporter: is there one race you should look at as a bellwether that you think will tell us a lot about where the rest of the country is going to move toward and how this election is going to turn out? kelly: i am biased toward las vegas because it's my hometown, but i would go back to nevada three. it has all the elements and
dynamics that will affect the house races and the interesting part about that district is that it is open. the open seats are whole piece of our battlefield we did not get to talk about in moderate districts because moderate republicans were done here and left to run for office in that district or said i can't do it anymore and decided to retire. it's not one incumbent versus another. we have a terrific candidate in jackie rosen and the republicans just elected a very right wing, not the moderate they wanted and that's a terrific story to tell. the district has a large latino and minority population and has those suburban dynamics that affect us and where you see donald trump really underperforming. and you have a presidential
battlefield, so i would draw your attention to nevada three. host: kelly ward is the director of the democratic campaign committee. thank you for joining us. >> we continue the conversation with sean sullivan. and david wasserman. let me begin with you. what will it take for the democrats to regain control of the house. reporter: it would take a hillary clinton landslide, on the magnitude of 10 points. there are two districts i will be watching because the electoral college votes are divided by district in nebraska and maine. democrats are aiming to pick up the second district in maine where the the republican has played coy on his support for donald trump.
he has been endorsed by the local chamber of commerce. the events endow us in baton rouge, louisiana, and earlier in the month of june in orlando, putting guns and racial divide in this country front and center. how will that play out? reporter: it is early to say at this point. i think certainly the gun issue has been elevated in a way we have not seen in previous election cycles. it is clearly something that democrats are eager to talk about, as we heard from kelly. in many of these suburban districts the democrats are talking about winning back, that is certainly an issue a lot of voters care about. i think it's too early to predict whether it's going to be a major focal point for voters but a lot of republicans and democrats i talk to are surprised we are talking about
that to this extent. some of that is the tragedy we are seeing unfold. host: donald trump has high negatives and so does hillary clinton. is this going to be a personality driven campaign? reporter: this has been the most substance free campaign i have seen for president since i have been covering politics. down ballot, there are issues candidates will use to try to use to differentiate themselves. host: one individual race in florida, one representative under investigation in the jacksonville area, how is that shaking out? reporter: she's in trouble, but legal problems are not her only problems. her district was redrawn by a court for 2016 that extended it from jacksonville to tallahassee. that district used to go all the way to orlando. instead, it runs