tv Munk Debate on President Trump and American Democracy CSPAN October 12, 2017 7:00pm-8:41pm EDT
today, there's a lot of reasons for it. but i would argue economic stagnation is one of the greatest reasons for it. income levels, wage stagnation, flat living standards, that is the stuff of anxiety. that is the stuff of the polarization we see in america. we get growth and opportunity restored and confidence resnord this country, which is what tax reform gets you, it's going to help a lot of our problems. it's not going to solve every problem in america, but it's going to make a bunch of them a lot better. mr. fuelner: it sure. is paul, i just want to say as we wrap this up that our joint mentor, jack kemp, would be very, very proud of you. thanks for everything you're doing. mr. ryan: appreciate. it thank you. thanks for coming back. mr. fuelner: thanks for coming over. mr. ryan: really. [inaudible] thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] take you live now to toronto on major world and policy issues.
deon willich and e.j. presidency and is president trump to blame. and now on to toronto. >> one nation after trump. two pairs of terrific debaters and let this house assemble and get these people in their seats and we will have a terrific toronto fordowntown the debate on the crisis of american dempsey. i'm your moderator and i organized these debates and our
>> the canadians -- you can't take it away. >> barack obama has rebuilt the trust of the world in our willingness to work through the security council. >> you must not talk to anybody in the world. >> call this a mafia state, it is a disaster. >> if i were -- very immense. >> indiscernible] >> i won't let you do this >> show me the words. >> you can keep screaming it.
>> we don't want pity but opportunity. >> it's an appalling slander to me to the muslim religion. >> i demever said the word muslim. >> it is that kind of restraint, hat kind of sober-minded inintelligence that obama represents. canadianment -- canadian. [applause] >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. good evening. wow! to begin with, i want to welcome he canadian-wide audience on canadian broadcast corporation
and across the continental united states live right now on c-span. a warm hello to the online audience watching this debate from facebook live to bloomberg.com and debate to have you as participants and hello to you, the 3,000 people for yet another munching debate. we salute your interest and desire for informed public discussion for big issues of the day. of the ty to bring to world's sharpest minds to this stage to the city of torpto to debate those issues that are on our mind and would not be possible without the generosity of our hosts tonight, peter and
melanie munching. [applause] >> i would be remiss if i did not on behalf of a grateful city also thank you petter and melanie for your gifts to the million donation hat will save lives. [applause] >> we are mere moments now from getting our two debaters and going to be tackling the resolution tonight be it resolved american democracy is
in its worst crisis in a generation and one man donald j. trump is to blame arguing in favor of the resolution is the editor, the father of the modern-day blog and and ladies . d gentlemen, andrew sullivan [applause] > andrew's partner is author and scholar at the brookings institution and a must-read columnist in the "washington post." ladies and gentlemen e.j. dionne ! [applause] one team of great debaters
deserves another. let's welcome back to this stage, the former speaker of the u.s. house of representatives d the author of the recent best-selling book "understanding rich. newt gring [applause] time debater tonight is a celebrated wall street jourm columnist, ladies and gentlemen, straussel. [applause] >> a few more housekeeping details before we go to opening
statements. and those of you watching online and join onto the online debate and we have a online poll where people will be voting on your /kk ormance at munchinggates and for each of the segments, and closing statements we are going to put a clock up that will count down the minutes of the presentation. when that clock reaches zero join me in a round of applause and our debate on time. so, let's now find out, this audience of 3,000 people here coming into this debate how did you vote on our resolution, be it resolved, american democracy
is in the worst crisis in a generation and donald trump is o plame. 68% agree, 3 % agree. this debate is very much in play maybe more than our debateors thought about it here in downtown toronto. how fluid is the debate. could you potentially switch your vote depending on what you hear in the next hour and a half. a this audience in play, 87%, very open-minded group hire tonight. this is going to be fun. second vote at the end of the evening and which one of these teams wins the debates. let's begin the opening
statements. and apped drew sullivan, your six minutes starts now. >> thank you for having me. i come here to tell you something that in your hearts you already know. [laughter] >> the united states is in a state of emergency. this emergency began on january 20 of this year. it began because we have a president uniquely unfit to hold the office that he does. he represents a threat, the core values of american dempsey and the stability of the country, a threat to the national security of the united states and to the world. those are big words, i know. let me briefly tell you why i passionately and sincerely believe that statement.
the first is that this president has waged a war on the truth from the minute he took office. and throughout the campaign beforehand he lied and he lied and he lied and he lies. the "washington post" counted 1,300 falsehoods that he has uttered since he became president of the united states none of which he has retracted from the i had on the chiropractic claim that his you can see by aerial photographs is simply not true. to eli some dangerous that three million voted illegally in the last election, something that attacks the heart, core and integrity of the democracy itself. he is unfit because he was
violated and has no respect for the rule of law. this is a president who has told police to abuse suspects as they arrest them and told the military that they should torture suspects if they are npt or not. he has encouraged violence who he is dared to protect and offerings to pay the legal fees to those who commit crimes. general y his attorney ne of the most hard core republicans recused himself from a campaign in which he was involved. he asks, the f.b.i. director to declare his personal loyalty to trump, not the rule of law but to trump and when he refused, he fired him and he went to l on
brag. is is a man who has no understanding. a man who despises the first amendment and he the owner of the "washington post" with an antitrust action, this week said he would remove the license of nbs because it dared to report the truth and his secretary of state called him a month ron. on national security, this is a man who is like a school yard kid, a dictator with nuclear weapons.
>> not in control of himself but who is in control of us. i wish this were not the case. there are many problems in america that pre-date him and many since on the left in overreacting to him. excesses andl tral elite that refuse to understand that on the american working class. all of that is true and none of that is perpt. this debate is about the worst possible response and those legitimate feelings. this is about a man who has abused those feelings. and one thing, his own effective self agran diesment.
he disgraced the united states of america and should be removed by all constitutional measures by the 25th amendment by those around him who know the threat that he is. [applause] >> andrew, a very opening statement. kimberly, you are next. >> thank you for me. i would like to introduce a new word here tonight, i have three children before i left. i was telling them about this debate and the resolution and i asked them, how mom, tell me why you think donald trump has been bad for democracy and they have several reasons why. and my six-year-old used her
favorite word she said he's bad poo-poo-head. nd andrew used firey words and that is why my opponents, they don't like him because he is a pmpomp o-pmpomp o-head and will argue he has violated all the political norms and has no respect for his office. and will say he has undermined his relationship with the rest of the world and largely they are right, but that has nothing to do with democracy. democracy is not just what we continue like someone. democracy is a very formal concept. it is government for the people and by the people and in the united states, it's even something more specific in the minds. it's documents, the declaration
of independence, life, liberty nd the pursuit of happiness, free from a government that overregulates. it's the constitution and it's the saying that we are a government of laws and not of men that we have separation of powers, the congress makes laws and the judiciary interprets them. donald trump was elected because his predecessor violated that constitution day after day. and the backlash that grew in the united states put him in office because he ran as the law and order candidate. it was his predecessor who was frustrated when he cannot get people confirmed and declared the session out of senate because the supreme court voting 9-0 because that was egregious
and barack obama who came to office with ageppeda programs like immigration reform and he acknowledged that he needed congress to change the laws and when they didn't do it. there was barack obama who was secretary of state who didn't have to follow the laws of public oversight the way everyone does and destroyed her barack obama as -- [crowd booing] >> was that good? i hope that was good. this was the prior government that seized assets and taking $5 trillion that sicked the i.r.s. and on a witch hunt.
and this was a former government that recently we have been talking in the last few days and apped drew mentioned saying the president threatened to after nbc. sticks and stones can break my bones. the president makes a lot of threats. the measure is whether or not he has done anything. [applause] >> he is still having some trouble with that legislative agenda. what donald trump has threatened is nothing with barack obama who had his attorney germ see and fox hrough the emails of news. donald trump has put people in office that ran against these campaigns. they are law and order candidates and are there to make
sure we restore democracy. by getting regulations, with a new tax code that doesn't reward hose and only those. this is about fundamental change and restore of the rule of law. and you know what? you don't have to take my word for it. it was funny ap i saw an article that appeared in the "washington post" and the headline was how donald trump is saving our democracy. and why am i flying to canada when he has agreed to me. even on the basis of what e.j. and apped drew that our president is could rose i have, they think there could be benefits and pay more attention
than in the end we could end up with a stronger society than we have now. but again, this is a president who was brought to office by americans who can't to see a return to law and order. and if anyone suggests that isn't happening. it's only interested in all the bright and shining things that donald trump says and what the administration is doing behind the scenes. thank you. [applause]
>> i ask you to send a signal to those americans that the threat that donald trump poses to our democracy. want to say -- [applause] >> it's a great honor to be a guest on the longest undefended border of the world. may it stay that way. may there be no walls between the united states and canada. we have stood with each other, but perhaps we have learned from each other. everyone wants a neighbor who embodies decency and we americans are lucky to have you.
and as you can tell from my last name, my family headed south from quebec -- [speaking french] >> and i want to salute the courage of our opponents to show up tonight -- [laughter] >> after the week that donald trump has had and has a commitment to the idea that the show must go on. this is a week in which donald trump challenged the very idea of a free press. it bothered him that people can like whatever they want, which sound like the first amendment to me. he threatened a network he didn't like with removing their license, which had two problems with it, which is network license in the first place dr
and the other is threat of using presidential power with people you disagree with is not the mark of a democrat but an ought cat. [applause] >> and he told our fellow sit serns in puerto rico that he might just walk away and allow them to suffer and yes, i salute the briferery of our citizens. but throughout this debate, they ll cling to one bees of this resolution like a life raft and talk about all the problems that the united states has had for 5, 10, 20 years and andrew will not dispute that we didn't have problems. they will try to plame everything that's wrong on liberals or barack obama or on
hainthaint. they will do everything in their power to avoid the central issue because deep down i think they know so much that donald trump does and says is indefensible and blame everything else for a crisis that donald trump has created. we did not talk about george w. bush or barack obama. yes, we are talking about the collapse of the norms of democracy. we did not talk about that before donald trump. we are talking about and andrew outlined it. we did not talk about this before donald trump and yes, we are talking about senator corker needporter, a president in of a an adult day care center.
we never had a president who from his very first day in office he had no business to be president. andrew talked about our threats to our liberty and i want to talk about norms. norms are the things that you need people to live by because you cannot write rules for everything. we could start with the most basic norm. the great reporter for "the toronto star" just reported that president trump got a new personal record for the most analysis claims in a week. that's an amazing record by daniel day's account. he clocked in at 40. d 1,300 lies or misleading
statements amendment amounted to five statements a day. that is quite a record. please do not let our records. i know they hold democracy to a that higher standard and i hope we can per wade them tonight to stand up for our dem kick life. trump arouse is anger and fear, fear about whether our institutions can survive and prays is strong men abroad and ees them as a broad model. the united states hasn't faced a reater theft for many decades. onald trump is to blame! [applause]
>> i want to pose a problem for all of you and a real problem for free society. ow would you know. the four-star general in the son wentrps who lost a to the press corps and said so much of what you report is false. but it is an enormous problem. john four-star germ, kelly, serving as secretary of defense, said yesterday, the media reports about trump wanting to have a 10-fold increase in nuclear weapons are falls. they become trumized and no longer know the truth.
but you may decide that a great deal of what you believe is total holewash, and news immediate yeah and in its own way of keeping score it doesn't have a clue what donald trump is doing and captain think objecttively. his speech in wausau is comparable to reagan and i say with that knowledge because the speech writer said, anything reagan ever said, but if you are on the left, tv idea you would defend western civilization is prove that there is something wrong. read reagan's speech which has a core argument, but it's not
trivial. says, the base of freedom starts with sovereignty. if the sovereign countries who reesm agreements is useful. we are moving towards a globalization with a bureaucratic legal is particular system which our nations are subordinate, parts of this larger thing and stunningly dangerous. i don't know about you, but i headed along with george mitchell studied the united nationses. the idea that the general assembly should replace the canadian parallelment or the american congress as an
authority. look who belongs to it. and if you are not a tyrant or a dictator, you are not allowed on. israel should be condemned. srael is condemned 100 times a year. venezuela want to and wouldn't want to consider what the chinese are doing. in which they are now tracking every cell tone in china. that would be inappropriate. so i think what trump is saying is very profound. u can agree or degree, he is following the law and i know my riends who claim about democracy. the great numbers of executive
orders were signed by barack ama and not signed by donald trump. the america cap people rebelled. this is not a local thing. heaping in the city of austria and roman cat loan yeah. captain blame all of those things. merkel had the worst election. people are unhappy in the planet and the source is washington and wanted someone to kick under the table. here's where we are. e's' draining the swamp. the alligators and they are defending him. [applause]
>> let's here from the two hungry alligators and go into pro--side and the first and apped drew for your rebuttal. >> i'm very glad to. i'm going to take specific points that were made to address them. the first is that everything i cited is some invention of the liberal media. everything i cited is in the public records on television, his quotes are bad, track to look at and examine. there is nothing here that is spin and everything i cited here was facts. one thing that ought cats wag do is mix facts.
and they present tend the people and ought cats do this, that a free press is the real danger to society. and a free press is essential and we have a conservative press and conservative media and liberal press and liberal media. the facts decide on the liberal side. and i will concede that barack obama did commit and execute executive orders that were out of line. he did so because he was subjected by the insane publican party's to obstruct everything this man did -- [applause] > when he was inhernting the
worse economy. and now, they are proposing to borrow more money to pay the tax cuts not for the middle class but the wealthy and they claim it will did he keys the deficit. i will note that yes, when you look on paper, people can write peeches. idea. ur i also listened to the inaugural fear. of hatred and popular er he lost the vote. [applause] >> he is rightly president because our constitutional
courts ruled against him tried to blim him ol future terrorism. he said blame him. and the court system. it was donald trump who falsely said that president obama had tapped his phones and spelled it -p-p. way t-a and donald trump said he fired the f.b.i. director because of the russia thing. our case is not based on propaganda or falsehood, it is based on what donald trump has said. [applause] >> what he just said. what donald trump has said.
if you listen to everything that e.j. and apped drew, they cannot mention a concrete an example to undermine democracy. name a column that you haven't been able to write. and he used it up there tonight. he cannot do so. this president has not interfered to engage and cover him and say whatever they want no matter how false. and the scapt articles said donald trump's approval rating is 35%. do you want to know what the united states' approval rating is 12%. they aren't in a position tore lecture and that was well before donald trump came to office.
talk about anything. i defy my opponents and how donald trump has. tram amed offer the rights of the and name for me one time that the supreme court has ruled 9-0 to stop one of his actions. and e.j. just mentioned the lower courts and his travel ban and the supreme court held it up because it was hell. by contrast to his predecessorso decision to illegal immigrants. by the way, this is a problem we have to try to overcome and get just said,apped drew why did barack obama continually
ask in a lawless place. he was obstructed. was that justification? i'm sure they would be alarmed that chuck schumer now gives donald trump license. that's why we don't like. wall street jourm editorial page i have fought for the rights of dreamers leaving in the united states to continue living in the united states and offering the amazing contributions they do barack e oppose the way obama has done it. donald trump is returning to us to that and/or democracy, our institutions and rule ofla will be stronger and that's what we need to measure him on.
[applause] i did think the task ticalt mistake to bring up the lower cut decision by a nut cake decision. that is one of the complaint about the judicial system. the ninth circuit judge which is crazy and they do make decisions that are crazy and on national security and they were reputeyade. and he has the obligation to defend america. but no judge should interpossess themselves which makes america ore vubblenerble to attack and the president says you made the united states more vulnerable.
president roosevelt and major complaint was anticipate court and i appreciate jefferson's appreciate of the media and the newspaper to attack hamilton whether they are both serving in e same cabinet was anability to take bribes was weert. breesht you bringing up jefferson. and all of you who worry about dissent in america that one of the most popular musicals is ased on the vice president shooting the secretary of the treasury. we haven't had an incident and i feel america will endure and succeed.
but let me go to a step further. the first is something that apped drew said you should think about its viciousness and ishonesty and putin and trump. putin was fraped by the k.g.b. he kills reporters who write the wrong things and he is involved in attacking and eastern ukraine and seized cry mere yeah and to suggest there is anything in the america can system is pro foundly dishonest and makes it unreasonable to have a discussion. u are already in a crazy environment. he real hostility for of
freedom in america. plaque lines matters would not let her speaker physically and on the ground she had no right to be there. the most violence in america today is on the left, not the right. [applause] >> tharpg you for a terrific opening. let's now dig in the specific issues. his debate has a political dimension and cult tran -- nsion and let me pick on >> is there a meaning? cool. ink those are so >> plaque socks. >> is this kind of a candidate yab.
>> you and i can trade socks at the end of the. >> there is a debate here. w, look, let me pick up on kimberly's point. many things that trump says we disagree with and many of this awed yeps and given the specific concrete action that has resulted from this president that has undermind the institution and norms of american democracy? >> let me give you a specific example. >> he said he was ok. it was i don't think gin defensible ap it's not lig
like it. here is a classic example. a man who faced obstruction in the congress from his own party. who has been unable to construct the workable majority to the meart he has vucked. the fact that he will and intent is not there. [applause] >> the fact that the constitution order of the united states has been ordered is not a great achievement. here's how we react. and that is the health care law, affordable care act, which is the law of the land and he is required to enforce the law of
he land and has been unable. he he is using his office at the expense of millions of people on health care. that seems to me sabotaging things when he captain things. [applause] >> we'll ask kimberly to respond. >> a wall that is collapsing under its own weight. when you have states that no longer have any more than one option and when business owners can no longer -- many people have no health care because of it. another]over one
> the bigger point is how to sabotage it. it's hard torl sabotage. >> let kelly finish her point. >> you are talking of the law of e land and can change 4 times. this has now become a a definition of the law because president didn't respect his own law. >> the regular layings to enforce that law are part of the executive bench. and using executive power to undermine that law [applause] dempsey. about america
>> i want to pick up on something that apped drew invented the linching between putin and trump and said it was dishonest and not sullivan but donald trump who said that putin, the man you said was a k. g.b. agent was a stronger leader than barack obama. it was donald trump who said over and over and over again to say a critical word. you want actions. trump fired james comey because he got too close to the russia thing. [applause] >> that is troubling in this administration. donald trump uprated his attorney germ because he refused urm the se are
behavior. >> he is alleging that the president has taken that has harmed american democracy. >> i'm not sure which part. he said a large number of conservatives agree, tell me one thing -- >> he was asked on television and the point you just made, he's a killer. >> i know you don't want to hear this. we kill people as well. how can any democrat has said such a thing, you would impeach a thing. [applause] > i never heard a word about
moral aquiffleance. >> he committed perjury in a civil of trial. >> and someone you want to phrase. [applause] . . he is the chief executive. are you but not as obstruction of justice. >> this is what i'm talking about. mueller is out there with 17 lawyers. >> not because of him. >> but he's out there. >> and you are arguing. >> the powerful ought cat. he can't be because he is too incompetent.
the fact is the investigation is under way in the senate and the house and the justice department and under way at the "washington post" and new york city times because whenger freedom an competent person cannot achieve any of the things you are worried about. i just don't understand. [applause] >> when a president openly hopes for an investigation and fires someone to obstruct an investigation under the rule of angerhen he see this with at an attorney general because wheneys the rule of law, he tells police officers to break the rule of law, when he tells u.s. serviceman to break the law, his words matter. continually undermine the rule of law and the constitution of this country. >> words or acts?
you could not come up with anything he has done at other than -- >> we did. used his executive power in health care in the exact same way that barack obama did. >> no. no. >> when you are talking over each other, the audience can't hear you. so -- the entire way -- and you guys are the worst example of this -- the media has completely turned around this russia story is incredible to me. james comey was aware that the president was not himself under the investigation. the president asked james comey several times to clarify that. he refused because james comey was a political player in washington. we know he was keeping secrets. not only did he leak things to the press, he in general was -- look, everyone, he wanted talk about things that should scare people about democracy? how about the head of the fbi
was actively investigating both candidates for the presidency simultaneously with the use of a secret court and wireless [indiscernible] that we are attempting to exercise some oversight and find out exactly what happened and what inspired such a probe and what actions were taken, all kinds of obstruction is happening, but not from the trump administration, but from the career bureaucrats left over. >> think andrew and i have already made progress because newt conceded that trump has not been an effective authoritarian because of his incompetence. kim said wasnk incredibly dangerous. what she did and what supporters do all the time, and it is why we are frightened about truth in our politics, is she has
ascribed all sorts of evil motives to james comey, who, if we know anything about what he did, intervened in the election in a way that health hillary clinton and he did not come out on they information donald trump investigation that was ongoing. comey was not willing to make a statement before the investigation was over. the muellerm investigation, that they have not closed off the idea that donald trump was involved. they have not settled the matter. is attack on james comey great piece with what andrew and i are worried about. and donald trump was vocally upset when sessions recused himself and there would not be a special counsel if the deputy attorney general had not insisted. and what we are concerned about and the reason why we worry about our democracy is we don't know what is going to happen at the end.
will bet know if there a saturday night massacre, if the equivalent of elliott richardson will be fired in this case. donald trump's behavior up until now can give no one confidence that we will avoid that path this time. [applause] you know, let's go back to comey for a minute. all right. when comey was a number 2% under bush, he appointed a special counsel for what he knew was not , what involved leaking a name for the cia, which they knew at the time was not a crime. and they knew who leaked it. and they told the person who leaked it to shut up. they appointed a special counsel who tried to get vice president cheney and couldn't get him. to getthe end, managed
somebody who is a totally decent some servant on a technical argument. this is where mueller will end up going. fuller will get somebody -- mueller will get somebody. you don't get lawyers who voted for hillary to change their career, come to work as part of a task force and i can someone. >> you are already tried to discredit an ongoing investigation, and say this was political. that's what i'm worried about. one possibility of neutral enforcement of the laws by career professionals, by someone is repetition has stood up for republican presidents, including george w. bush, at great risk to his own career -- [crosstalk] >> just a minute, kimberly. once. are all talking at the audience cannot hear anyone of you individually. now.has the floor right
>> it is comey who under oath in the senate said, oh, yes, i deliberately leaked a memo through a friend of mine, knowing "the new york times" would publish it and it would force the assignment of a special counsel. i don't care what the causes is. the guy who is the director of the fbi, telling you he broke the law, which he did -- >> there was no longer can -- there was no law broken. >> notice how the argument has been diverted, how we are now engaged in a character assassination of one of the most honorable people who has ever served in washington. because a not a crack, a man you cannot tolerate come a man who resists any non-zero-sum has infected the minds and souls of
these people so they are attacking the integrity [indiscernible] >> we will let kimberly respond to that. >> the last time i heard a group of people who were just incensed over the abuses of a career bureaucrat and the license he was taking with his office was the entire left-wing establishment and price when james comey decided to come out and criticize hillary clinton in public in the middle of an election. >> not me, kimberly. prove it. .> then you are alone in that everyone else was out there. so please don't suggest that it is just conservatives or here on the stage that now are questioning the integrity of james comey. we all know that people in powerful positions -- they also need to be held to some account. it is concerning that you have a net me i director who is now vigorously opposing any
anrsight of what he did -- fbi director who is now vigorously opposing any oversight of what he did. topics to a lot of cover. we have spent a lot of time on this. let's also down for a moment. [laughter] take a collective breath. [applause] and move onto the next ask -- next aspect of this. i want to pick up on something --t speaker goring geertz speaker gingrich said. his cap says that it is a crisis of the left. identity politics, micro aggressions, a whole litany of views of how america should be reconfigured and restructured is what precipitated this acute moment in american culture. this resides with the left, not the right. >> i've known speaker gingrich
for about 30 years. in times of high unemployment or of low unemployment, in times of national concorde and national discord, he has always said that the problems in american politics come from the left. so i don't think that that should suit -- should surprise us in the least. i just want to make a point about this extended discussion we had just now. it proves the central point that andrew and i were trying to make, which is that our opponents in this debate have to keep diverting you from what trump has actually done. they do not want any of us talking about the fact that it is republicans, like bob corker, who are very worried about the possibility of world war iii. it's republicans in congress who privately say they are worried about many of the same aspects about donald trump's
personality, his approach to issues, his tempestuous news, his lack of focus. instead, we have talked about a man named james comey. so it is donald trump who is on trial here today in this proposition. secondly, if we want to have a long debate over problems in the american, economy about the problems of inequality, we could have a very long debate about that and i would welcome it. but i do not think it is the left side of american politics that is dividing us in the way donald trump did on the day of charlottesville, when he tried to create a moral equivalence between clansmen and not seize -- clansmen and nazis and those who oppose them, because many of those who were in the streets opposing them were peaceful protesters trying to oppose the
rise of this far right. and look at the rise of the far right itself. i believe this movement has empowered new forms of political action on the right, the far right end of politics, that i know kim and newt have to oppose in their hearts and their consciousness -- consciences. we see these movements empowered in our country and given airing. it is not just that for liberals. it is bad for the entire conservative movement. >> let me be clear about what e.g. was just saying. -- ej was just saying. no one on the left lhasa take the student violence in connecticut, where they injured a professor when they tried to stop a conservative from speaking, nobody on the left peopleo take the antifa at berkeley who say they are eager to use violence to stop people from speaking, nobody on
the left wants to confront the fact that, in the latest studies, professors under 35 r 12 to one democrats, and the idea -- are 12 to one democrats. no one wants to look at the kind of limited described a minute ago. i thought it was ridiculous. respect -- they physically stop a woman from speaking at william and mary. she could not even mingle with the people who came to talk with her. no one on the left was to do with this. to deal with how soros is funding network after network and undermine democracy and -- >> [indiscernible] >> i rest my case. you cannot talk factually about what is going on america and then have it taken seriously because it totally does -- totally discredits their case.
[applause] know, esther gingrich and you may know, kimberly, that i have been very vocal about this poison on the left. i do it every week. i do it in venues where i may get a lot of blowback. i do it at the risk of my career and my job. you are right. there is an awful poison on the left. there is a poison that is dividing this country. it is a poison that is increasing racial divides. ej is right. rightoul, disgusting, far movements in this country. my point is this, and it's about donald trump. he is president of the united states. it is his job, his responsibility to attempt to bridge the divide, not to exploit it, deep in it, and make it much worse. [applause]
>> i think, if you are familiar with my work, then you also know that i have spent years now writing about the scary of use of government power, and the attempt of people to silence their political opponents using not just tactics like speaker gingrich was talking about, but former scary once -- scary ones. so i know about abusive power and was like autocratic security. let me tell you about something in the united states a few years ago. in wisconsin, a liberal district attorney was mad at conservative groups and his republican governor. he launched an investigation on a john doe law. it allowed him to do it in secret and impose a gag order on everybody who was investigated. there were predawn raids staged on their homes.
in one case, a child of one of the targets, the parents were off on a charitable fundraising trip. allow himould not to call his lawyer or his grandparents. and if you tell anything -- anyone what happened this morning, you will go to jail. that is abuse of government power. that is on the left. if i saw donald trump engaging in anything like this, you can believe me would be the first person to say something about it. [laughter] but this is ridiculous. no, to this point, we have lots of words -- i talk receipt, tyranny, etc. -- we don't have an example, even the gym comey example, you are not making the case that it's illegal for him to do it. >> it's illegal to obstruct justice. >> and nobody has found him to have obstructed justice. >> we are under the investigation to find out. >> nobody has yet come up with anything to suggest that he has undermined any democratic institutions or laws.
it's not proven. >> this is a sea of red herrings. what ano idea investigation in wisconsin many years ago has to do with today. they pardon of joe arpaio has more to do with what we are talking about tonight. >> suddenly, you have a very fine [indiscernible] theo you care about pardoning of joe arpaio? it? you written about don't you consider that a clear violation and abuse of power? pardoning a public official -- >> let me say something. [laughter] was accused of violating the constitutional rights of people in arizona.
to donald trump tried first end the investigation and he couldn't succeed in doing that. so he pardon a man accused of constitutional violations and the rights of minorities. this is an action -- i am not making this up. this is not what mr. gingrich likes to call the terrible news media. this is a fact. and when the president of the united states uses this rather unlimited pardon power to pardon somebody who violates the constitutional rights of american citizens, i don't know whose constitutional rights are safe, because you remember the line -- first they came for these brothers and sisters of hours and we do not know where that story ends, but it rarely and some well. >> let me start with that. [applause] quoting bonn hopper, which was a
friend of the nazies. mueller. marnie >> thank you for correcting. next time, i will try to get it right. [laughter] why don't we quote somebody who nazislking about the knot when we talk about trump. >> i was not talking about nazis. it's about tyranny. >> let me just suggest to all of the joe arpaio pardon is a perfect example of what we are talking about. you can make a pretty good case. it was a dumb pardon. a bad pardon. he shouldn't have done it. that's a policy question. you had an 89-year-old man who had spent his entire lifetime in
law enforcement, who had been reelected over and over by massive majorities -- booing] >> i understand the absence of passion for people you don't agree with. i'm assuming those are mostly liberals who are groaning. think about it from this standpoint. i'm trying to make a deeper point. so trump decides that an 89-year-old former law man probably shouldn't go to jail. no, by you would say, god, what a chance to show police nobody is above the law. let's punish this 89-year-old who is clearly a danger. that's not the argument we are having tonight. that's a policy argument. you can say it is a stupid thing to do. there is reason to -- zero question as a matter of the united states constitution that the president of the united states can pardon anyone at anytime. zero question.
prayed's why i am so a -- so afraid that he will abuse his power. bute may abuse the power, he will be and not a crack. he will be -- an auto crack. he will -- autocrat. he will be doing exactly what the founding fathers gave him to do. >> did the founding fathers believed that the president, if this turns out to be the case -- it's a possibility -- finds the people in his campaign broke the law in colluding with russia, in trying to distort the results of the election, and the president decides to pardon them, do you think pardoning his own people and in deed himself is something the founders really thought the power was supposed to be used for? >> you are making my case. what the founders would have said is that that is why you have the impeachment provision.
>> correct. >> and if it turns out that a president or to pardon himself and the congress were to decide that was unacceptable, they have the full power to impeach him. you are making my case. everything you just complained about is totally constitutional, was totally written into the document. he did not in any way abuses power. he may have done something not right in terms of policy. he did nothing wrong in terms of constitutional authority. [applause] underminingively the spirit of the constitution, the norms and procedures that are essential to maintain the constitution, and he actively, every day, experian's and exhibit's contempt to the notion of republic under law, in which he is equal, not about everybody else. he fundamentally mistakes the understanding of the presidency , in waysited states that makes everyone externally
nervous. the rhetoric that this man has , his praise of a man who was extrajudicially -- who has extrajudicially killed thousands of people, surely you are troubled by the rhetoric and tone of this person. surely, you are troubled by a president who tells officers to abuse something. surely, there are some lines you don't want a president across. >> there are some things i wish he wouldn't say everything will day. [laughter] [crosstalk] >> did you read the editorial page? we do come on a daily basis, point out things that make him a real head -- a real poo poo head. but they do not become law. they do nothing come action. prewitt,met's inky,
any of the people that he has installed in these positions. they are the folks making the decisions and running the government. and many of them are constitutional law professors. again, scott pruitt, before he was put in head of the epa led the charge on dozens of states to sue the obama admin straight and over its own overreach -- obama administration over its own overreach of federal powers. they are running the government. random things happen in donald trump's head. until you can prove to me that they are put in action, than they are nothing more than your fears and radically -- and rhetoric. [applause] >> ok. this has been a terrific debate. i have been superfluous as a moderator. [laughter] important issues being tackled. we have our closing statements.
we will but three minutes on a clock for each of you. we will do our closing statements as is the tradition of these debates, in the opposite order of our opening remarks. so newt gingrich, you will be a first with your three-minute closing statement. youet me just suggest to that, had they worded the proposal for the debate differently, it would have been impossible to have any arguments. donald trumps a poo poo head and says really weird thing sometimes. it would have been tough. [laughter] reality is this is the first person in american history never to have held any public office, to come out of nowhere, defeat 16 republics, defeat hillary clinton, defeat a billion-dollar campaign, deadbeat the media.
he has a hostile takeover of the republican party and a hostile takeover of the national government. and that problem -- second a person probably has edges. [laughter] been the debate topic had resolved -- donald trump has some edges and they are a little strange, i would have refused to come up. i would have said are you crazy? willing to debate front of some of canadians come even if set -- even if they boo. [indiscernible] [laughter] [applause] but still, you have to have some sense here. that's not what the question is. america has many challenges. venezuela has many challenges. catalonia has many challenges. austria has many challenges. germany has many challenges. britain has many challenges. we are living in a period where our culture and our economy is turmoil, -- is in
where systems like google are changing the landscape and all of us are having to adjust. in that setting, the wording of the debate strikes me as a most impossible for them to carry. that the problems of the american democracy are donald trump? he is a manifestation of the problems. he was elected because a vast number of americans are deeply uncomfortable. and they preferred taking the risk on somebody with rough edges and 70 who occasionally would say rough things big -- and somebody who occasionally would say rough things he can as it would break up a system was decaying. i think that is what is happening. of course, if you are in the old order or you grow up in the old order and you are part of the old order, this is all horrifying. as i said at the beginning, i fully expect, as the swamp
diminishes, that the alligators will be snapping and biting and arguing and yelling autocrat, ac utocrat. when what has happened -- when what is happening is america's once against reinventing itself. [applause] >> i want to thank you all for your attentiveness. i salute newt gingrich for trying to make donald trump seem almost cute and eccentric at the beginning of this talk. [laughter] i also appreciate is calling us out again is because they are cute in their own way. to put out that what happened at the end of the debate is precisely what i said would happen, which is our opponents want to hang on a few words of this proposition and say that, if you don't believe
that donald trump caused all the problems that the united states faces, then you really can't vote for this proposition. we are asserting some thing else. we are asserting that donald trump is the crisis, is the problem. they say we presented no specifics. they couldn't really answer us until joe arpaio. they had to go on a long bit of character assassination to dispute what was said about james comey, which is true, which is donald trump said he didn't like what james comey was doing about the rush investigation. that should be genuinely alarming. it is trump himself who holds himself above the norms that every other politician -- i should say including mr. gingrich -- hold themselves. he says i don't have to get rid of my businesses. i don't have to release my income tax returns. you don't have to know anything
about me. i can do what i want. if that isn't autocratic, i .on't know what is american democracy was never supposed to give us a leader like donald trump. we have had more or less ideological presidents, more or less competent presidents, presidents who divided us, but never as consciously as donald trump has. we have never had a president who has aroused such grave and widespread doubts about his commitment to the institution of self-government and to the norms of democracy. we urge you to vote for this proposition to send a message to us. i believe to us, meaning we americans -- i believe the united states is more tolerant than donald trump. we are more committed to democratic freedoms than he is. the american people are more open to progress and hope and it to the future -- and into the
future and that is why the vast -- rity of americans i want to assure all our canadian friends here that we shall overcome. [applause] so let's think about what we have established your tonight. wt said we established that the president is a bit of a poo off, does notcome govern like anyone else had and says things that we wish he hadn't all the time. many do not agree with his policies and are angry that he was elected and will discredit him.
there is massive and hostile campaign. we established that, if you throw around scary works -- words like autocrat and tyranny and putin and put them in the same sins with donald trump, you can make them scary. but here's what we have not established because it goes to tonight's resolution. we have not established that donald trump has undermined or hurt in any way the actual rules and forms of democracy in the united states as we americans view them. ok? they mentioned to jim comey. he had the right to fire him. they mentioned joe arpaio. he had the right to pardon them. movesalk about different he has taken to there is no one disputing that the present has the right to change regulations within health and human
services, to change the president took care law. you may not like how he is doing it. you might not like that he got rid of the climate program. but he did so because it was pushed through without congressional approval. it likelynized that violated the constitution because of the way it was put through. no one can point to anything that has undermined, again, those basic structures that we have. >> what about banning the lgbt from the military? [applause] one is disputing that he can do that, too. i'm not saying it is the right policy. , butpeople can disagree you don't just get to rebel because you don't like it. that's why we have elections. i appreciate that a lot of people in this room do not like the way this election went.
on the right side, donald trump is not our first choice for the nomination either. had anhad innominate -- election that was peacefully conducted and honestly conducted. [booing] see what actually happens before you make up your mind. don't believe the hype. base this on the facts he has done so far. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, i want to end with agreement with speaker gingrich, that america is facing in the world is facing extraordinaire he challenges. ofraordinary challenges economy, of technology, and the extraordinary dangers and difficulties of a multiracial and multicultural society. america is the first what majority country in the history of the world to become nonwhite
majority country. technology is ripping people's lives apart. it is impoverishing many people in stagnating the wages of many more. it is a difficult, emotional, troubling time. but it's precisely because we are in such a typical moment -- theicult moment that constitution of the united states to my respect for the rule of law in these united states, civility in our language and discourse is maintained in the united states. and rules and norms and procedures that have protected our democracy for centuries be upheld. that is why, when we have a president to have contempt for that constitution, who has pushed it in nine months to the breaking point, who has exhibited every capacity and capacity for -- every capacity and instinct for authoritarian divides americans
every day in completely unnecessary ways, a man who can turn the national football league into a matter of deep division, and who acts on the international stage with a restlessness and eagerness and a pride and a vanity that puts all of us and our lives and our secured at stake. it is because he is absolutely the worst possible answer to these problems, that he is intensifying and deepening these divisions, that he is terry america apart -- emotionally, culturally, and politically. the --e country is fast fast dividing into two warring tribes. and the one person we need at this moment to bridge those divides, to address these problems with sincerity is the
president. and he has a chance if he had reached out to the democrats, engaged on infrastructure, with held his vicious tongue. if he were able to control himself, he would have been a great president. but he isn't. he is what he is. and what he is is a danger the likes of which we haven't seen in our lifetimes. [applause] >> thank you. that was a terrific and hard-fought debate. it reminds me of something peter morgan once said on this stage. it is one thing to give a speech in front of an audience of people who agree with your disagree. something quite different to get in verbal and engage combat with your intellectual peers.
ladies, a round of applause for our debaters. [applause] gentlemen, a round of applause for our debaters. [applause] >> well, we are going to have some fun now. you have a chance to vote again on tonight's resolution. we know what it is. be it resolved, american democracy is in the worst crisis in american history and donald trump is to blame. let's look at how you voted it the beginning of tonight's debate. 32% of you disagreed. the rest of you were in favor of the motion. again, we asked how many of you we could change her mind's. up to 80% might potentially switch your vote to one side or the other. so you each have a ballot in your program. there is a pencil with that
ballot and there are ballot boxes on the way out. vote once. vote carefully. send a message. gentlemen,ladies and for being a part of tonight's debate. watching of you online, please stay tuned. we have behind the scenes conversations with our debaters. we will hear from nick and can kimy first -- from newt and berly first. we will have these exclusive debater interviews, the after action report for you in just a few moments. this is exclusive to our online-watching audience. i'm richard griffiths, moderator of the munk debates. stay with us for the post interviews. thanks again. ♪
>> that wraps up our live coverage of the munk debates from toronto. and headlines of politico, president trump's varsity\after threatening puerto rico aid. president trump backk lash after threatening puerto rico aid. coming up, president trump signing an executive order on health care insurance. -- takingkelly asking questions from reporters at the white house. later, paul ryan on tax reform legislation. washington's
journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, discussing the first amendment and press freedoms. then trump's association -- relationship with the republican party. also, a conversation about the health care executive order signed by president trump. the future of health care. be sure to watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern friday morning. join the discussion. presidentwhite house, trump signed an executive order to expand access to health care insurance by allowing plans to be sold across state lines. the order directed three cabinet agencies to develop rules that would expand access to less expensive, less competence of insurance, including policies that could be sold by trade associations to their members.