tv Washington This Week CSPAN November 13, 2016 2:56pm-3:11pm EST
could extend the nuclear option -- we could see the senate extend the nuclear option to other nominations and other contexts as well. right now, as you know, the nuclear option only included the judges that -- david: below the supreme court. senator daschle the nominations : -- right. below the supreme court. but not legislation and not the supreme court. so -- but that wouldn't surprise me if we go through a long and very contentious debate. that's always on the table as well. david by the way, did either of : you ever vote against confirming a supreme court justice? senator lott: i voted against -- and i think i voted for everyone in my 19 years in the senate but one. i won't mention his name because he's on the court. but i felt like -- [laughter] david but you can go to cq.com : and figure it out. senator lott i felt like he had : a conflict of interest. but i voted for -- i usually refer to this, ruth bader ginsburg because i felt she was
qualified. i knew that she would vote on the supreme court on ways i almost never agreed with. but my thinking was -- and i think the attitude then was -- that elections do have consequences. presidents do have a right to their nominations. and once you go through the advise and consent process, i would hate to see the nuclear option imposed. i would hope that the senate could work through these nominations but it begins with , the president. if president-elect trump comes up with a strong nomination, look, there will be opposition , but i would hope that that person would be confirmed. david would you ever vote : against one? do you believe that the ground rules have changed irreverseably and potentially for the good or the ill? it's not just about personal qualifications but it can be about ideology?
senator daschle i did vote : against clarence thomas. i voted in favor of justice scalia and justice kennedy and a number of others, of course, from the bill clinton period. norms are changing. i'm troubled by the fact that norms that changed as much as they have. there is almost as such that it takes 60 votes to do anything in the senate. it does not have to be that way. we don't have to rely on the contentious less to continue -- contentiousness to continue. i think the norms that have been lost may be lost for good. i think it has a lot to do -- trent and i talked a lot about the importance of leadership. we sure need a lot of leadership now on both sides of pennsylvania avenue. david: would you counsel senator sherman to tread lightly on going to cloture?
senator daschle again, as we've : said a couple of times, it really depends on the degree to which there is inclusive feelings and the kind of partnership that you've got to create between the executive and legislative branches. if that partnership exists, if people are working in good faith to find common ground, i think it's probably inappropriate and very ill advised to start going to the floor to stop everything. but there has to be that inclusion. there has to be that degree of cooperation. and right now we're -- we can only hope that that's exactly what the attitude will be. david: and senator lott would you encourage senator mcconnell to foreswear the use or expansion of the nuclear option? senator lott i would. : i think it would be a mistake. i think for a supreme court nominee, a vote of 51 has been the tradition and i would recommend that he continue that. picking up on something that tom just said. there are two ingredients that really are so critical in washington to get things done, particularly in the senate.
number one is communication. tom and i talk a lot about that. he makes the point that one of the most important parts of communication is using your ears. we've lost that. right now you don't hear -- have enough talk across the aisle, across the capitol and certainly between the congress and the president. they've stopped talking. the second part of that is chemistry. tom and i had agreement. number one, i will try not to surprise you and i hope you will do the same for me. messed upand then, i and would feel the need to go to tom and say i did not do you write on that, can we work it out? but also, you need to have respect for each other. the leader of your opposing party needs the respect that goes with the position. but also in the case of tom, i trusted him. we had a good relationship. i am hopeful maybe check and
mitch wouldck and develop that relationship, get an understanding. over ofsend tom a list the things we were going to try to do in that time, so he had time to talk to his conference about it and develop their positions. little things like that make a huge difference. i would encourage mitch mcconnell and chuck schumer to work to make that happen. i am hopeful. i think that potential is there. >> we are not going to adjourn it there. republicans, many republicans, even though mr. is notas won, are still crying in the streets, they are crying "lock her up" and they want presidential to do something -- president trump to do something to punish mrs. clinton.
the two of you who saved us from a long and protracted impeachment trial in 1999, how can that magic be worked again, or should it not? pardonpresident obama mrs. clinton during his last eight weeks in office? >> no. pardon her for what? we don't know there is a crime there. >> although president ford pardoned president nixon. >> we knew what happened there. [laughter] that question was for tom, wasn't it? the election is over. i would like for her to be able to go on with her life in a private setting. i don't know what might be going on in the justice department. none of us know what is going on in the f.b.i. anymore. i would hope we could move on from the recriminations and begin to find a way to do some things for our country.
the american people deserve better than they have been getting. >> i agree with that totally. we really have to worry about precedent. this is what happens in countries around the world. you imprison your opponent and you never see him or her again. god forbid our country ever comes close to anything like that. it is not even -- it is hardly even worth talking about frankly. >> by the way, this is a very scholarly, well-informed group. [laughter] i am shameless about this. but i know you need to read this very timely -- it makes a very nice christmas gift. written a year ago. the purpose of the book is not really about how we made things work in spite of challenging things. we went through 9/11, the impeachment trial, and were still able to get things done. the purpose of the book is to
say we learned some lessons, but there are other things we think would help america in terms of getting people to participate more in elections, understand civic responsibility, how you get things done in washington. that title describes where we are. we are at a crisis point. are we going to begin to turn this thing around in the right direction or not? and how this president-elect and congress deals with the issues will decide which way we go from this crisis point. thank you for allowing me to do this, i paid commercial. [laughter] >> i think we initially titled the panel "beyond the crisis point." is there anything in the election results tangible, polling data, or a result, that gives you a sense of optimism at all? >> first of all, i don't know i am ever going to trust a poll again. i am so disappointed and
perplexed by modern-day polling today. if you are looking for optimism, what i find remarkable is the voter turnout, in spite of the fact the electorate really did not see either candidate lived up to their expectations of what they thought a president ought to be, the voter turnout was phenomenal. one of the things trent and i talk about is how critical it is to have participation. i did not see the final numbers. but i have to say i am encouraged by the fact people turned out. >> it was down. >> it wound up being down maybe 4 million or something like that. >> i do know mr. trump received 2 million fewer votes than john mccain and one million fewer than mitt romney. >> she received 5 million less than obama. but still, 59 million voted for each one of them. pretty good number.
>> [indiscernible] >> we might want to discuss that. whether ask backstage when they were in the senate, whether there was ever any discussion of changing the system so it was not an electoral college. not really? >> it came up of course in 2001 the same thing happened. i don't think any proposal got traction. there has always been a concern , be carefulappens what you wish for kind of thing when you eliminate the electoral college. i don't suspect you will see any real constitutional effort to do that this time either. trumpson who was a big supporter from the beginning, and i supported other candidates, he was dogging me the last couple of weeks about how we need to get rid of this electoral college and go to the popular vote. it is amazing how quickly he changed on that over the last two days.
>> the same way the election was rigged and then it was not. >> that is right. i thought a lot about it. i thought maybe it is time we change and go to the popular vote. but i have found over the years that most of the things our forefathers did in the constitution turned out to be pretty wise, so i have been very hesitant about changing that. i went through a process at one point where i was for term limits. and then i started to study why we don't need that. what was the deciding factor for me is i was reading about the great debates between henry clay, johnson calvin, and webster. i realized neither one of the three would have been in the senate they had had term limits. >> very interesting. >> i hope what we can say in a month or two months relates to something i will never forget. i had a conversation with justice scalia as we were
leaving the inauguration in 1992 of bill clinton. as we were walking out, he said to me, just imagine -- just think of what you have just witnessed. we have seen the transfer of power in this country from one party to the next, from one man to another, without a shot being fired. he said that is the miracle of this democracy. i hope we will always be able to boast and expect a peaceful transfer of power, in spite of how difficult it may be and the challenges it presents, the extraordinary nature of our country and this democracy rests on that premise that we can switch back and forth as we have done so many times over the last 20 years between parties and among leaders. that will be the essence of what we can look to with great pride if we can continue to pick up on the tone we have had for the last 24 hours.
>> that is heartening. thank you. i want to take it to something more policy-centered. senator daschle, both of you actually, would you advocate the rewriting of federal health care policy the first big ask or not? i think you both said transportation infrastructure should be the first big ask instead. >> it is one they can find common ground. none of it will be easy. excuse me, tom, go ahead. >> i agree. i would say look for small things we can agree to and build on those, build some trust and chemistry. find ways to work together so you can take on the bigger things. besides that, the affordable care act is now about the most important element of public
policy as it relates to health. that will take a lot of time. there is an enormous amount of detail involved. we are dealing with 20 million people that did not have insurance before. we have 21 states that have expanded medicaid. new opportunities for 26 euros to sign up on their parents -- 26-year-olds to sign up on their parents' plan. the marketplace and exchanges. you cannot say we will repeal that and let the chips fall with a mate. it will take a lot of thought to figure out how we are going to do that. i think taking it piece by piece and recognizing so much of this is now ingrained in the health infrastructure, it is really important if they want to keep the kind of tone we have been talking about. your encouragement is they do small balls first. that sort of flies in the face of conventional wisdom, the 100