tv Newsmakers CSPAN October 9, 2016 10:00am-10:36am EDT
robhis week on newsmakers, engstrom. they giveo see you, for joining us. we would love to talk about the role the chamber played the cycle. you have been part of an effort to build a firewall around congressional republicans in the unprecedented political year. this and elaborate a little on the trumpet effect. do you see your candidates attempting to separate themselves from this? b: unprecedented is a good
description the cycle. to defend the american free i do note system, think there has been a cycle that has been more important. been morehat has important. help us with the impasse of federal policy. we involved ourselves historically early on behalf of candidates who have the courage to govern and get things done. that is the goal. to be involved vigorously in the primaries. and as we find ourselves 30 days before the general election. >> toma -- tell us how much you have invested? about $20r we spend million. vigorous in the final months. i think it is noble -- notable how big it has been in the last couple of cycles and also the primaries. sometimes counterintuitive, they
have been less than the last cycle and 2014 in particular. voters are focused on the impact of federal policy. in the primary, not a single -- blishment >> are beginning to fully pay attention. we're past labor day and we find ourselves short months before the elections there it through the primaries, voters have measured carefully what the local candidate's's positions are that are important to getting back to a. of -- a time of state economic growth. attention, for
candidates who have the ability to win the election and the car she get things done for the country. >> why does the chamber of congress focus your energy on the chamber of commerce? rob: has been clear that we will have a united front as it relates to economic issues. we work with each administration in different ways on different issues. with this president, we have had a fundamental difference of opinion with regard to health care. obama care has been an unmitigated failure by any measure. and labor policy. the job is to assist the federal government on issues we do agree. on policy, specifically the highway bill and immigration reform, the chamber stands strong and we will continue to wefocused on ensuring
attract the smartest people around the world. 95% of the world live somewhere else. both presidential candidates are wrong on ttp. no matter who gets elected, you have a candidate who will disagree with you on trade policy. very vocal this cycle about president trump, he has called his positions on trade morally wrong and politically stupid and they tweeted some pungent very vocal this cycle about presidentcritiques. working withu do the trump administration? do you see that as a salvageable relationship? rob: it is morally wrong and politically stupid.
we are living in a global economy. hillary clinton herself as secretary supported ttp. the reality is when you sit behind the desk in the oval office, you have an obligation to represent trade as an american issue. relates to thet free trade agreement, the south korean free trade agreement, newt gingrich worked effectively with president clinton on nafta, president reagan and tip o'neill. that will continue. we will not walk away from our beliefs in the fax. secretary clinton is fundamentally wrong. the u.s. chamber has been around for years and we will be around for more. look forward to helping the next administration understand the value of trade along with leader mcconnell.
that brings up a good question about the future of the pelican candidacy. i know you have supported more democrats in the past. split, we arental seeing candidates in ohio turn -- now is opposing ttp. where does the party go from here? a great question. the first point, both of the senators are both friends of the u.s. chamber. we have invested heavily in both of those elections and will continue to do that. both are up in their elections. the definition of being pro-business means different things in different places. we respect local economies and
there have been impacts in both of those states. those senators have been 90% in the u.s. chamber. they fundamentally walked away from a marketing business community as it relates to economic policy. the chamber endorsed 39 and investors millions of dollars probably in television and radio ads and direct mail and so forth. to five dropped down democrats in 2012 and five this cycle. is the legacy of nancy pelosi, failed legacy of former leader harry reid and also the legacy of the administration as it relates to the democratic they, walking away of federal level. at the state level, there are democrats who work constructively with low state chambers. the democratic party needs to come back to the table.
think both chambers to the american free enterprise system, both said at the press conference that they are fundamentally supportive of trade. they need to understand more fully what are the rules, specifically inside of ttp. we appreciate their voting records at the u.s. chamber and as it relates to that. >> you are expecting to hear they will change their positions on ttp and if they do not? rob: you have to pass the bill before you find out what is in it. i think what senator portman is saying is we have to find out what is in it before we pass it. that is the u.s. chamber's position. it is a fundamentally .esponsible position known for being pipe art -- bipartisan and constructive. we expect and believe that congress, senate, and the
leadership are prepared to move forward to discuss what ttp looks like and go further and talk about what is the next trade agreement. countries are cutting trade deals on different issues. we do not want the united states to be left behind. the u.s. chamber has fought for free trade. we will continue to do that. thesn't that arguably position of secretary clinton? a differentant agreement and more protections did he said clearly that he does not believe in trade. those are different positions. rob: secretary clinton fundamentally was the key architect and supporter of ttp and i think some of the language and rhetoric testing we might be different but subsequently, she the trade deal, a
fundamentally different place than where she began. when the next resident looks leader mcconnell in the eye and looks the speaker in the eye after they are strong -- sworn in, the obligation is to represent the country and free and we believe we will have a constructive discussion once the dust settles in the election. >> leader mcconnell, senator mcconnell from kentucky, you think will be elected as the senate majority leader, how optimistic that -- are you that republicans will keep the senate and how many losses to you think are realistic? rob: i have traveled to every state and stood with press talented was the most group of candidates in a generation who support the american free and i system. the reason why leader mcconnell will come back in my estimation is because those candidates are taught me about local impassive federal policy in the demo at apollo -- strategy seems to be
two words, hope and hide. hope donald trump impacts the race to their benefit and then hide from the campaign trail. will demand the candidates have the courage to govern and it is why democrats have pulled out of ohio and why they have pulled out of florida with senator marco rubio. indiana will win and i'm confident -- candidates who support free enterprise have been rain spoken, and speaking with courage on the issues that impact their state. were held today, republicans would hold the majority and we look forward to 2018. democrats up and ate republicans. there are a handful of them is in the senate, some of whom will reelection who work
with the chamber constructively on issues like energy policy. i commend senator donnelly as an example. my friend, joe, who as -- when it relates to energy policy and revelatory policy, the senators with thelationship senator and we encourage the democratic party to come back to as it relates to issues related to jobs and the economy. matea: blue the chamber consider putting money behind their efforts? rob: four endorsement, 70%. when we go from endorsing 39 that iss to five, another example in a symptom from a party that has fundamentally walked away from the chamber. it is how they voted. candidates are prepared
to vote, they will find no greater friend. you talk about big races like ohio pier 1 about wisconsin? week and ithere last think this state has changed more in the past 10 years ago on behalf of economic issues. ceo, theedit to the state chamber in wisconsin. this is an organization that has on a changed balance of this work. voters whoese were changed the attorney general and elected someone and we know the record of governors that the note -- governor scott being elected in a defending of the american free enterprise from environmental extremists. the races within four or five points. have been inold
office for years and this is an opportunity for a start contrast. we have advertised on behalf of senator johnson. i believe there is a stark contrast in the race and we will see what happens. >> will you continue to put money in the race? rob: stay tuned. >> can we talk about north carolina? you put a huge amount into that. they're looking much tougher than they were at the beginning of the year. i was talking to stephen law of crossroads and their concern that he has not been able to have enough of an identity for himself to distinguish himself in the year where republicans are facing a tough challenge. what is your assessment of the plan? first to thelates balance, initially, senator reid and senator schumer, the strategy was to go to blue and purple states, gain the
majority. it has gone from perp states to red states and in places like north elena, for example. as you mentioned, the senator, our close friend, sustained $65 million of may advertising, the most expensive race in the history of our country. we are back in north carolina again. i give better to the obama campaign in 2008 and 2012. there are some incredibly's heart -- incredibly smart operatives on the ground. i respect that and think they have done a good job. ever rossa's far left and i'm 95%ident the senator with a rating will be elected. brings us to missouri, another state that has turned incredibly competitive in the chamber has not invested any money in yet. we seeing there a democratic other source has
of economic measures. what is your out look on missouri? when he was in the state legislature, he supported sinker pay -- single-payer. that is not were voters are. i'm fundamentally confident the senator will be back. the ceo and i traveled the state. we have been active in missouri and will continue to be in the final months to ensure that the senator is reelected. >> i'm curious about your assessment of the lack of primary challenges in the long run. a lot of people were bracing for .ore civil war in that why do you thing in the year of trump that we did not see more insurgent antiestablishment primary challengers succeeding on the national level? rob: it is a great question and
the challenges conventional wisdom. donald trump a year ago was beginning to gain traction and senator cruz was beginning also to gain traction. there were a lot of prognostications that that at the top of the ticket would also bleed into the down ballot races. the first example of that was my first in the state of alabama where it you added up the share of the vote were donald trump arson, whose doctrine you were almost set 70% of the primary vote at the presidential year. our good friend senator shelby was elected. alabama,an from reelected with 67%. in alabama, our friend was reelected with 69%. it says voters are paying attention to the impact of federal policy. they want a firewall. they want protection from whatever will happen at the top
of the ticket. they want certainty first to they have turned out in historic numbers and the number of primaries that have been competitive, coward -- counterintuitively, have been very small. michelle: you have invested quite a bit to support the establishment republicans but you have not made any investment yet in house races and the general election. republicans are unlikely to lose the 30 see majority, but why have you decided to stay out of i thinkces so far? rob: a lot of the strategy this cycle was to get involved early particularly on the senate side first. we are historically acted in an early way in july in an off year to shape the environment. i think the chamber and many other groups who invested
against on behalf of sen. portman: i think the investment paid off with democrats beginning to pull out all of their money. record highesta brand. there's a reason why they call it chamber of commerce. arms around candidates early in the primaries and also on the senate side and acid find ourselves in these months, we continue the investment. where those faces are most competitive. i think that is a fierce advocate and champion for the american enterprise system. a critical race, she has done a fantastic job representing her stitch wednesday in a very , also anotherrict
example of you look at the next generation of leadership in the country that is my friend carlos down in florida. this is a man who fundamentalist ports education reform, fundamentally supports trade, is an articulate advocate for reform and barbara comstock, out in the suburbs, someone with the to govern. encourage those will help determine not just the majority but with the u.s. chamber is equally interested in. >> a few more questions. a few more.d there will find a moment in time a couple of years ago where there would be a deal struck to bipartisanchanges, agreement. -- howcurrent climate, optimistic are you that in the
coming year or two, there would be an agreement around immigration reform? rob: i am optimistic we will have a solution as it relates to immigration reform. i get the russian and ask by saying raise your hand if you think america pauses immigration system is working and not one person in all 50 states has ever raised their hand. there is more agreement than their otherwise perhaps would be obvious. the first is we need to retain of the smartest people we bring here. america is a magnet. imagine if the inverse were true. i think there is also bipartisan agreement as it relates to securing the border. done first and we have to roll our sleeves and figure out how we deal with the health care sector as the baby boomers continue to age and what
do we do with the pathway to citizenship? in the next two years, to get substantive things done on immigration reform, with members of both political parties on the house side, there is an agreement with that and we know that they think that get done in the country that last are done in a bipartisan basis. america's job creators are inherently optimistic important we believe the immigration system will be fixed in the country. continue to became in the next congress. we will continue to turn up the to be focused.ue there are bipartisan majorities in the senate and the house of leaves that ought to be done. we will ensure that the immigration reform is completed. to up the you working
chances that ttp will be passed in the lame-duck or next year? a great question. our team covers the world pair 116 american chambers of commerce and 116 across his world. the u.s. chamber's work closely with the federation. we held hundreds of events in those swing districts. aggressively to ensure that the voters have the facts. with regard to lame-duck, we believe there will be an opportunity to morley -- more fully that the details, also in regards to the pharmasset issues that relate to the particular piece of legislation. we will convict the next year to get that done. i will give tremendous credit to that.
policy, thegard to degree to which the ceo and board of directors have moved more fully into politics. i think it is a significant part all candidateshy were successful through the primary season. >> thank you for being this week's newsmaker. reporters. with our , i want to look back to the strategy in 2016. what did they say they would do from the beginning? what is so fascinating is the challenge they face was not what they are to it going in. they tried to head off a series of strong primary challenges that rocked premium -- previous
cycles and their relative hearted was trying to deal with insurgents not counting incumbents. that is the dog that did not bark. ended upething they having much more success at fending off and those challenges as strong as many anticipated. one thing no one anticipated that really hit home for the strategy is the fierce, anti-trade sentiment that donald trump has touched on right now and really inflamed with all of his rhetoric about america's role in the world. they are dealing with a future president who is not supportive of ttp, one of the central policy goals. they are dealing with a republican party deeply split over trade, long the bedrock of the party.
michelle: many of the candidates the chamber is supporting like pennsylvania, they have all come against theongly trade agreements, the transpacific -- partnership. how therd to see chamber both supports the people in their pro-trade positions, going into next year and how the senators go back from anti-trade on positions to supporting things like the partnership. tohas the chamber started try to change the story and the angle on it? to try tottempting rebut what people are saying about trade?
>> i think what we heard was a little awkward. he sort of dance around the question where he pointed at -- pointed to the fact the candidates are indeed effectively localizing their races and talk about issues donald trump cannot really touch. rob portman is talking a lot ohio the heroin crisis in and new hampshire. that trade and their views on the economy, our local issues where we do not think they really are. >> one of the things that was most difficult for him to finesse, and this goes to part of the challenge, is explaining why the chamber is comfortable with rob portman saying they need more details about ttp, essentially the same position that hillary is and has if she wants a written trade agreement, but she is still pro-trade. that is very different from donald trump'stance and it is hard for the chamber to make an argument that the two
presidential candidates are in the same space in that issue. is bullish about the chances for republicans to keep the senate. on the ground, what is it looking like? >> to us, it looks like girl he the cycle, democrats like they have a great map. nine republicans up for reelection in states president obama has one. is now looking like the lands caught -- landslide democrats were looking for is not materializing for them part of that is the groups like chamber's credit, they started ohio, 2015, long before the election start giving the case of ohio, they really help solidify rob portman's lead against the democrats to the point where the democrats have pulled out about
$11 million of advertising. basically leaving their candidate behind. the met has shifted a little bit and blindsided people like the chamber of commerce to the writer states like north carolina, missouri, indiana, where they were expecting the challenges, to coast through? they do not have the money they would like. between three and five or six. narrower than anyone anticipated and many republican strategists feel confident because they are fighting on red terrain, largely. put it, there are challenges not anticipated and missouri and north carolina in particular are worrying republicans right now. greta: thank you very much for being on newsmakers.
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> our campaign 2016 coverage continues on c-span with live debates for u.s. house races. utah fourth district congressional debate. followed at 10:00 from the senate contest between john mccain and democratic congresswoman -- on tuesday evening at 7:00, democrat roy cooper. wednesday evening, republican senator mike lee and a democrat debate for the utah senate. thursday afternoon, the eighth district congressional debate between brian fitzpatrick and at 7:00, the republican senator and democrat deborah debate for the
u.s. senate. friday night at 8:00 eastern, -- ron johnson and former democrat and cost hosting congressman joe and democrat catherine cortez debating for the nevada u.s. senate. the complete 2016 coverage on c-span and online at c-span.org and listen on the c-span radio app. satelliteat c-span's truck for donald trump tonight in the seconder debate. we will see what is going on on the campus america debate.
c-span and online at c-span.org the c-span radio app. plenty of talk about the 2000 five video featuring donald trump making lewd comments about severalhich has led republicans to pull their endorsement parent on cnn'state supporteron, trying rudy giuliani was asked about that and we also heard the dnc chair share herself -- her thoughts on abc's this week. >> i was not aware of the exact number until you gave it to me but i was aware yesterday there were various people who asked for him to step down. he is aware a number of republicans pulled their support. he will not drop out. he will remain. he will apologize for what he did and explain to people that is not the man he is today. he will count on the fact that are decentn people
people and when someone asks for forgiveness, they usually give it. this is not the man who ran for president for a year and a half and has one of the tremendous concern is the american people have an really is the only one right now in a position to straighten it out. can draw a straight line from what donald trump said in 2005 and what he has been having every day on the campaign trail over the last year and a half. it is not a changed man. it is who donald trump truly is. when you criticize a judge because of his mexican heritage, when you call women some of the most disgusting things and you criticize john mccain, criticize disabled, i am surprised republicans are disgusted by donald trump after all the things he has said it all of the comments he has made over the last couple of years.