Skip to main content

tv   Munk Debate on President Trump and American Democracy  CSPAN  November 23, 2017 10:00am-11:36am EST

10:00 am
the basic principle which is the foundation of the family and the women in your family. the true heroes. as far as i'm concerned. everybody should sit down and while they go around and talk about politics, republican and democrat and independent and whatever it republican, democrat, independent, whatever it is. shouldan in the family be the discussion today and every day. that's what's going on in this country. thank you for the call. before we let you go, we will let you listen into what the president said as he thanked those troops overseas to keep -- safe.afe area [video clip] fellows, me than you, believe me. for the heroes that really have this tremendous courage that you have to defend us, to defend freedom.
10:01 am
much.t to thank you very it doesn't get more special. , we haveing the army the first brigade combat team of the 82nd airborne conducting afghanistan in support of operation freedom's sentinel. colonel toby, where is he? raise your hand. where is he? i hear so many good things about you, toby. that's good news. happy thanksgiving to all of you. i have to say, everybody is talking about you folks in afghanistan, everyone is talking about the progress you have made since i opened it up. i opened it up. we are fighting to win. you people are really, you have turned it around over the last three to four months like nobody has seen and they are talking
10:02 am
about it. so, thank you very much. host: from west palm beach, florida, the president thanking the troops serving in america. in military bases and in harms way around the world. thank you for sharing your anchoring holiday with us. on c-span two possible tv this holiday weekend, if you love tv this-- c-span2's holiday weekend, if you love history, join us there. we are back tomorrow morning with another live brad -- live broadcast of c-span's "washington journal." enjoy your day. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] ♪
10:03 am
>> coming up on c-span, former house speaker newt gingrich and washington post columnist ej dion debate the state of american mock received. and then john mccain is honored with the national constitution center's liberty medal. lifetime achievement award ceremony remarks for john kerry. former house speaker newt gingrich and washington post recently ej d on were in toronto for the month debate and they joined a forum on the trump presidency and the future of american democracy. this is 90 minutes. ♪
10:04 am
>> brilliant minds, even mediocre minds, operate better after stimulus. >> barack obama has systematically rebuilt the trust of the world in our willingness to work through the security council. >> you must not talk to anyone in the world, any of our allies. >> what ever you want to call this system, a mafia state, a feudal empire, it's a disaster. >> historically, chinese foreign-policy can be described as [indiscernible] >> science and religion are not incompatible. >> religion forces nice people to do unkind things. >> no, i won't let you leave. [laughter] word, the text.
10:05 am
>> you can keep screaming that and it doesn't change that the way. -- the point. >> it's an appalling slander, to me, to look so ridiculous. said the word that kind of restraint, that kind of sober minded, sensible foreign-policy that obama represents. i guess i'm telling you that he's sort of a closet canadian. a vote for him, for god's sake. [laughter] [applause] ♪ [applause] >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. good evening. to begin with, i want to welcome audienceian wide tuning into this debate on the canadian broadcasting corporation and on cpac and
10:06 am
across the continental united states, live right now on c-span. a warm hello, also, to the online audience watching this debate. everywhere from facebook live to it's great to have you as virtual participants in the proceedings. hello to you, the over 3000 people that fill the roy thompson hall for another debate . we salute your interest, your commitment, your desire for public discussion of big issues of the day. i want to take this opportunity to acknowledge that our ability year in and year out to bring some of the world's sharpest minds and brightest thinkers to this stage, the city of toronto, to debate the big issues that are on our minds and have captured our attention, it would not be possible without the public spiritedness and generosity of our hosts tonight.
10:07 am
gentlemen, peter and melanie monk -- munk. [applause] now, i would be remiss if i did not on behalf of a grateful city and everyone in this audience thank you for your remarkable gift of the toronto general hospital and its cardiac center. a $100 million donation to cardiac science. [applause] a remarkable thing. are just mere moments now from getting or two debaters out here on center stage, where they will be tackling the resolution tonight that is on all of our minds.
10:08 am
resolved, american democracy is in its worst crisis in a generation. one man, donald j. trump is to blame. arguing in favor of the resolution is the renowned editor, father of the modern-day log, and celebrated social commentator. ladies and gentlemen, andrew sullivan. [applause] now, his debating partner tonight is a best-selling author of numerous books, of scholar at the brookings institution and a must read columnist in "the washington post." ladies and gentlemen, e.j. dionne. [applause]
10:09 am
now one team of great debaters , deserves another. let's welcome back to the stage, the former speaker of the u.s. house of representatives and the author of a recent best-selling book "understanding trump." ladies and gentlemen, newt gingrich. [applause] our final debater tonight, newt gingrich's teammate, a celebrated columnist and well-known u.s. political commentator. ladies and gentlemen, kimberley strassel. [applause]
10:10 am
a few more housekeeping details before we go to opening statements. number one, we have a hashtag. #munk debates. those of you in the audience are watching online, join into the conversation, join the online debate. we have a rolling poll. people will be voting on your performance minute by minute throughout this debate. also, my favorite part of the munk debates, the countdown clock. for each of the segments of the debates, opening statements, rebuttals, closing statements, we are going to put it clock up that will countdown the final minutes or so of each debaters presentation. lynette clock -- when that clock reaches zero, join me in a round of applause that will keep our debaters on their toes and our debates on time. let's find out, this audience am -- of 3000 people here, coming into this debate tonight, how did you vote on our resolution? it resolves american democracy
10:11 am
is in the worst, best and the -- the worst crisis in a generation, and donald trump is to blame. let's see the agree disagree. let's see the pre-audience about. 68% agree. 32% disagree. this is very much in play, maybe more than some of the debaters thought here in downtown toronto. our second question, because we always want to see how fluid is the debate, how fluid is people's minds, would you potentially switch your vote depending on what you hear over the next hour and half? let's see those numbers. is this audience in play? 80%, yes. and very open-minded group tonight. [laughter] this is going to be fun. iowa's love that second vote at the end of the evening, which will let us know which of these teams wins the debate and which does not. let's begin with opening statements. as is the tradition, begin with
10:12 am
the pro side. andrew sullivan, your six minutes start now. andrew: 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 began a 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 democracy 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 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. throughout the campaign beforehand, he lives and lies -- lied and lied and lied. he has uttered 1300 lies,
10:13 am
counted by a newspaper, none of which has see retracted, from the idiotic claim that his inauguration crowd was the biggest in history, would you can see photographs is simply not true. to a lie so dangerous that 3 million people voted illegally in the last election. something that attacks the core, heart, and integrity of democracy itself. he is unfit because he has
10:14 am
violated, wants to violate, and has no respect for the rule of law. this is a president who has told police to abuse suspects as they arrest them, told the military that they should torture suspects, the worse the better, even if they are innocent or not, they deserve it, he said. he has encouraged violence against people who dared to protest and heckled crowds. and often to pay the legal fees of those who commit crimes and assault protesters. he is still seething with theory every day because his attorney general, one of the most hard-core republicans you could find, actually dared to reach use himself -- recuse himself from the russian investigation. he asked the fbi director to declare his personal loyalty to trump, not the rule of law, but to trump. and when he refused, he fired
10:15 am
him. after he fired him, he bragged that that was why he fired the fbi director. this is a man who has no understanding for, and indeed contempt for the constitution. a man who despises the first amendment, a man who threatened jeff bezos, from amazon, if he dares to criticize the president. a man who threatens to remove the license of nbc because they reported the truth about what he said, after which his own secretary of state called him "an effing moron." [laughter] on national security, this is a man who taunts like a schoolyard kid a dictator with nuclear weapons holding the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in his hands with the responsibility of a teenager chatting on 4chan. this is a man who has undermined
10:16 am
nato, declared there is an absolute moral equivalent to the united states and vladimir putin. a fouled dictator. this is a man who the republican chairman of the senate foreign relations committee has said to drag us into world war iii. a man who described the white house as an adult day care center, in which adults have to go in shifts. this is a man, fundamentally, with no sense of responsibility to the power he holds and the sacred duty he is required to uphold. he will use that power, that office and everything that has come before it, something that hundreds of thousands of americans have died for, in order to launch petty vindictive attacks on private citizens, be spoiling the seat he sits in. he is a man who is not in control of himself, but is in control of us.
10:17 am
i wish this were not the case. there are many problems in america, many on the left overreacting to him, and elite that refused to understand that trade in immigration are good. -- best dresses that trade and mass immigration are good on the american working class is your all of it is true and not pertinent to the debate tonight. the debate is about the worst possible response to those causes. those are legitimate feelings. this is about a man who has used those feelings for one thing only. his own pathetic self aggrandizement. he is a disgrace to the united
10:18 am
states of america. he should be removed by all constitutional measures as soon as possible. by the 25th amendment, by those around him who know the threat that he is. [applause] rudyard: andrew, a strong opening statement. kimberley strassel, you're next. kimberley: thank you for having me. i would like to introduce a new word tonight. i have three children. before i left, i was telling them about this debate and the resolution. i asked them to help mom prepare for this. tell me why you think donald trump is bad for democracy. they had struggle articulating a reason why, until finally my six-year-old used for favorite word.
10:19 am
she said he's bad because he is a poo-poo head. [laughter] while andrew did a much more eloquent version, that sums up what i believe my debate opponents will say tonight. they don't like donald trump because he is a poo-poo head. [laughter] they will claim he has divisive, argue he has violated all of the political norms. they will say he has no respect for his office. they will say he has undermined america's relationship with the rest of the world. in all of that, they are largely right. that has nothing to do with democracy. a democracy is not just that we don't like someone. democracy is a formal concept. it is government for the people and by the people. in the united states, it is something more specific. it's documents, the declaration of independence, life, liberty
10:20 am
and 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 in a lawless fashion. 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 couldn't name his people and get them confirmed in the senate, so he declared the senate out of session, and took the supreme
10:21 am
tort voting 9-0 two tell -- him that was an egregious abuse of power. it was barack obama who came to office with agenda programs like climate programs and immigration reform. he acknowledged he needed congress to change the laws, and when he didn't do it, he claimed executive power. there was barack obama who was secretary of state who didn't have to follow the laws of public oversight the way everyone else does, set up a secret server, and then destroyed her emails. it was barack obama -- [crowd booing] kimberly: was that good? i hope that was good. this was the prior government that seized assets and taking $5 billion that sicced the irs on a witchhunt on americans. and this was a former government that recently we had been talking about in the last few
10:22 am
days, saying that the president threatened to the after nbc and its license. again, sticks and stones, but words cannot hurt you. the president makes the laws, but the measure is whether or not he has actually done anything. [laughter] [applause] kimberly: and yes, he is still having some trouble with that legislative agenda, fair enough. but what donald trump threatened is nothing compared to barack obama who actually has his attorney general look through the emails of the press, at fox news, an egregious violation of the first amendment. donald trump has put people in office that ran against him in campaign.
10:23 am
they are law and order candidates, they are to make sure we restore democracy to what it was before by getting rid of regulations that made crushing burdens on businesses, with a new tax code that doesn't reward those with the best accountant and only those. this is about fundamental change and restoring the rule of law. you don't have to take my word will for it. i was looking in the newspaper just the other day and i found an article that appeared in the "washington post" and the headline was "how donald trump is helping to save our democracy." him in it was written by e.j. dionne. my first thought was, why am i flying to canada when he has already agreed with me? the point is even on the basis of what ej and andrew would argue, that somehow the president is corrosive to the culture, they also think it could be benefits shall, causing
10:24 am
americans to pay more attention, and at the end we could end up with a stronger society. again, this is a president who was brought to office by americans who wanted to see a return to actual law and order. anyone who would suggest that is not happening behind-the-scenes is paying too much attention to a media that is only interested in the bright shiny things that donald trump says and not what his administration is actually doing. [applause] rudyard: thank you, kimberly. e.j. dionne, just six minutes on the clock. e.j.: i was standing here while andrew was speaking and i said a little prayer of thanks for such a vigorous argument on our side of the debate. i'm very grateful to kim for mentioning that piece i wrote, because i did indeed argue that donald trump could be great for our democracy. he could be great for our
10:25 am
democracy, because he is rallying so many americans to political action to oppose the very abuses that andrew opposed. i ask you tonight to take that 68% and make it 80% to send a signal to those americans who know the threat that donald trump poses to our democracy, that they have friends north of the border. [applause] i want to say it is a great honor to be on this side of the longest undefended border in the world, make it stay that way. [laughter] may there be no walls between the united states and canada. we have stood with each other, but perhaps more importantly, we have learned from each other. everybody wants a neighbor who embodies decency, and we americans are very lucky to have you. as you can tell from my last name, my family headed south from quebec. [speaking french] [applause] i want to salute the courage of
10:26 am
our opponents to show up tonight. [laughter] after the week that donald trump has had, they clearly have a commitment to the idea that the show must go on. [laughter] this is a week in which donald trump challenged the very idea of a free press. it bothered him that people can write whatever they want, which sounds like the first amendment to me. he threatened a network he didn't like with removing their license. which had two problems. networks aren't licensed in the
10:27 am
first place. [laughter] the other is that the threat of using presidential power against people you disagree with is not a mark of a democrat but of an autocrat. [applause] then, he told our fellow citizens in puerto rico that he might just walk away and allow them to suffer. so yes, i salute the bravery of our opponents here, but i want to point out that throughout this debate, they will cling to one piece of this resolution like a liferaft. they will talk about all of the problems the united states has had for 5, 10, 20, or 30 years. andrew and i will not dispute united dates had problems before donald trump and will have some after. they will try to blame, as kim just did, everything that is wrong on liberals, or on barack obama or on hillary clinton.
10:28 am
they will do everything in their power to avoid the central issue, because deep down, i think they know that so much that so much -- that so much that donald trump says and does is indefensible. they will blame everyone else for a crisis that donald trump has created. we are talking about the danger of autocracy. we did not talk about that under george w. bush, barack obama. we are talking about the collapse of the norms of democracy. we did not talk about that before donald trump. we are talking about this persistent lying. we did not talk about this before donald trump. we are talking about what senator bob corker, and early
10:29 am
trump supporter, of the president in need of an adult day care center. this is a crisis for our democracy. we have never had a president who, from his very first thing -- day in office, plainly showed that he had no business being president. andrew spoke eloquently about president trump's threats to our liberty. i want to talk briefly about norms. norms are the things you need people to live by because you cannot write rules for everything. we can start with the most basic norm, which is truth telling. daniel dale, the great reporter for "the toronto star" just reported today that president trump, and i quote him, "got a new personal record for the most false claims in a week." that's an amazing record. by his count, he clocked in at 40. those 1300 lies or misleading statements that andrew described
10:30 am
amounted to five statements a day. that is quite a record. please do not let our opponents in this debate hold democracy to a lower standard that i know they hold democracy to a higher standard. i hope we can persuade even then tonight that it is their job to stand up for our democratic life. trump arouses anger, but also fear, fear about whether our institutions can survive a leader who praises strongmen abroad and sees them as the model for bold leadership. the united states has not faced as great a threat to with the -- to its democratic values and republican institution for many decades. [applause] donald trump is to blame. thank you. [applause]
10:31 am
rudyard: thank you, e.j. we are now going to go for the last closing statement. speaker gingrich, we will put six minutes on the clock. the stage is yours. newt: first of all, i thought andrew was spectacular. i thought the rhythm, the litany, the pattern, it could have been a shakespearean speech. [laughter] a condemnation of the tyrant, a vicious unending problem. go back to it and listen to the rhythm. it's available online. his oxford education gives him an extraordinary advantage. in america, if you sound like him, you have a 20 point higher iq by the act of being able to speak. [laughter] my good friend ej continues the great tradition of the american
10:32 am
elite media, which is they hated trump before he ran, hated him while he ran, hated him when he was sworn in, and sworn to hate trump. i want to pose a problem for all of you that is a problem for free society. how would you know? a four-star general in the marine corps who lost a son in active duty went to a press conference in washington and said so much of what you report is false. that it is an enormous problem. another four-star general, chief of staff john kelly, retired, serving as secretary of defense, said yesterday that the media reports about trump wanting a tenfold increase in nuclear weapons, that's totally false. you may decide they have both been infected, as my friends would suggest. they have become trumpized, no longer know the truth.
10:33 am
you may decide that a great deal of what you believe is total hogwash. brought to you by your news media, which is so deep into its own incestuous ideology that it hasn't a clue what donald trump is doing because it cannot allow itself to think openly and objectively. i will give you examples. his speech in warsaw is an extraordinary document, comparable to reagan. i say that with some knowledge, because reagan's chief speechwriter helped write it. but of course if you are on the left, the very idea that you would defend western civilization is probably prove -- proof there is something wrong. read the united nations speech, which has a core argument, you may disagree with the argument,
10:34 am
but it is not trivial. he says the base of freedom starts with sovereignty. if the united nations was a collection of sovereign countries who reach agreements, it is useful. if, however, we are moving towards the globalization with a bureaucratic legalistic system in which our nations are subordinate to parts of this larger thing, then it is dangerous. i don't know about you, but i had it, along with george mitchell. a three-year study of the united nations. the idea that the general assembly should replace the canadian parliament or the american congress as a source of ultimate authority is insane. look at who belongs to it. look at who is on the human rights commission. if you're not a tyrant or dictator, you are not allowed on. the all get together and say, hey, we're doing fine. israel should be condemned. that israel is condemned about 100 times a year. you wouldn't want to condemn venezuela or cuba or zimbabwe.
10:35 am
you certainly wouldn't want to say what the chinese are doing to create a truly totalitarian system in which they are tracking every cell phone in china, that would be inappropriate. i think what trump was saying is profound. you might look at what trump is .oing to do regulate he is returning power to the states, to local communities, following the law, and i know from my friends who claim they worry about democracy. the great number of executive
10:36 am
orders that were illegal and unconstitutional were signed by barack obama, not donald trump. so there are profound , differences. look there is a simple problem. , the american people rebelled. this is not a local thing happening. it happened in austria. it happened in the city of rome, which elected the first woman mayor in its 2500 year history. it is happening in catalonia. you can't blame all of these things on trump. merkel just had the worst elections since 1946 for the conservative party in germany. people are unhappy around the planet. they were unhappy in the u.s. and they decided the source of their unhappiness was in washington, and they wanted to kick over the table. here is where we are. he is draining the swamp. [laughter] the alligators are unhappy, and two of the lead alligators are here tonight defending it. [laughter]
10:37 am
rudyard: let's hear from those two hungry alligators. we will hear from the pro side now. andrew, let's go to you for your rebuttal on the opponent's side statement. andrew: i'm glad to. i'm going to take specific points that were made in an attempt to address them. the first is that everything that i cite is some invention of the liberal media. the truth is that almost everything i cited is in the public records, on television. his quotes are there to look at and examine. there is nothing here that is spin. everything i cited was facts. one of the things that autocrats do is mix lies with facts. endlessly. they gaslight. they pretend that the people,
10:38 am
and all autocrats do this, that a free press is the real danger to society. i side with thomas jefferson and not with vladimir putin and donald trump. [applause] a free press is essential. we have a conservative press and conservative media, as well as a liberal press and liberal media. the facts decide. they are on the liberal media's side. i will concede that barack obama did commit and execute executive orders that were out of order. he did so because he was subjected from day one by the insane republican party's decision to do nothing but obstruct everything this man did, even when he was inheriting -- [applause] -- even when he was inheriting the worst recession since the 1930's, they didn't give him a single vote for a surplus.
10:39 am
now with a much greater debt, they are proposing another con, to borrow more money, tax cuts not for the middle class, but for the wealthy. they claim once again that will decrease the deficit rather than increase it. i will note that yes, when you look on paper, some people can write speeches. some people are smart in the white house, even though stephen miller isn't exactly your idea. your idea of arthur schlesinger. [laughter] they can write some eloquent speeches. i also listened to the inaugural speech, a cavalcade of hatred and fear and demonization. , a man, who by democracy standards, after he lost the -- actually lost the popular vote. he is rightly president because our constitutional republic has
10:40 am
rules that require him to be president, and i accept completely his legitimacy. but it is precisely those rules that he is a threat to. certainly i want to point out that speaker gingrich is correct and i agree with him, that globalization has gone too far and too fast. [applause] rudyard: we will leave that point for the moderated middle of the debate. you have run up against your three minutes. thank you for keeping our debaters on time. ej, you are up next, alligator number two. [laughter] e.j.: if andrew and i are defenders of the swamp, then mr. gingrich is here on behalf of the socialist international. [laughter]
10:41 am
trump has taken the swamp and just added in many new alligators and polluted the swamp far more than it ever has been polluted before. it is mr. trump's cabinet secretaries who have flown around on charter planes at taxpayers' expense when they could have taken a car or train from washington and gotten their -- there much more quickly. it is donald trump who uniquely among recent presidents who has refused to release his tax returns so we can know how many millions or billions the tax cut proposal he is pushing might save him. it is donald trump who has refused to separate himself from his businesses, unlike any president in recent memory. we don't know what is happening in his businesses, but we know that somehow there are more members of his golf clubs than ever and all kinds of influential people wanting to stay at his hotels.
10:42 am
the ways in which the swamp is far more polluted than when mr. trump got there is legion. it is not, as andrew pointed out, the media who have made up the things we are saying about donald trump. almost everything we are saying that is wrong with donald trump are things that have come out of donald trump's own mouth. [applause] it is donald trump who said that rather authoritarian sounding thing, "i alone can fix it." it is donald trump who said our american intelligence agencies, that they were taking a shot at him and asked, "are we living in nazi germany?" it was donald trump who said, don't worry about any of my businesses because the president can't have a conflict of interest. it was donald trump who, when the courts ruled against him on his travel ban, blamed them for
10:43 am
future terrorism. he says, if something happens, blame him, he said of one of the judges in the court system. it was donald trump who falsely said that president obama had tapped his phones. he spelled it, by the way, tapt, before the election. it was donald trump who said he fired the fbi director because of the russia thing. our case is not based on propaganda. our case is not based on falsehood. our case is based on what donald trump has said. and who he is. [applause] kimberley: i would like to repeat what he has just said. our case is based on what donald trump has said. if you listen to everything they
10:44 am
have mentioned, they cannot name an example, a concrete example of an action the president has taken to undermine democracy. name a column that you've not been able to write. andrew writes on his blog with more adjectives than he has used up here tonight. no one has ever said he cannot do so. this president is not interfered in the press's right and say whatever they want no matter how false it is. it makes me laugh. the press runs constant articles saying that donald trump's approval rating is 20 -- 35%, isn't that horrible? do you know what the united states media approval rating is? 12%. they are not in a position to lecture. that number was there well before donald trump ever came to
10:45 am
office. talk about anything. i defy my opponents. give an example that donald is trump has, in the way that barack obama has done, trampled on the congressional branch. name one time the supreme court has ruled 9-0 to stop one of his actions. in fact, noticed that ej mentioned the lower courts and his travel ban. what he did not mention is that the supreme court ultimately upheld the main provisions of it, because it was constitutional. it was legal, by contrast to his creed assessor's decision, to grant immunity to the illegal
10:46 am
immigrants in the u.s. by the way, this is a problem we all have to try to overcome. we have to try to get beyond justifying illegal behavior just because we agree with the policy. andrew just said, well, why did barack obama continually act in a lawless way? because he was obstructed. is that your justification? i'm sure everyone in this audience will be more than alarmed say that chuck schumer's obstruction now gives donald trump license to do whatever he wants. that is why we don't like presidents like that. i will give you an example. i have passionately fought for years for the right of dreamers. living in the u.s., brought by no fault of their own, to continue living in the u.s., and offering the amazing contributions they do. nonetheless, i opposed the way barack obama did it, because you don't simply exempt entire people from the law. we are a nation of laws. donald trump is returning us to that. in the end, as a result, our democracy, our institution, rule of law will be stronger. that is what we need to measure. [applause]
10:47 am
newt: that was a tactical mistake to bring up the lower court decision by a judge who was overruled by the supreme court. that is one of the complaints of conservatives about the judicial system. you look at the ninth circuit court, which is crazy. you look at the individual judges out there, who are crazy. they make decisions that are crazy. on national security grounds, they just repudiated 8-0, on national security grounds, the president as the commander in chief, has the obligation to take the steps to defend america, but no judge canned -- should interpose themselves in a way which makes america more vulnerable to attack and then be shocked if the president says you just made america more vulnerable to be attacked.
10:48 am
it is not at all inappropriate. franklin delano roosevelt attacked the courts. i appreciate jefferson's appreciation of the media. i always thought his newspaper to attack his opponent was an example of the freedom of the press that is worthy of being brought up by people like you. [laughter] i appreciate you bringing up jefferson. [applause] i want to remind all of you that worry about dissent in america that one of the most popular musicals of modern times is based on the vice president of the united states shooting the secretary of treasury. [laughter] we have not had, since hamilton, a single incident of such
10:49 am
passion. therefore, i feel comfortable that america will endure this. let me go one step further. the first was something andrew said that i think you should think about in terms of its viciousness and dishonesty. that is the clever mixing together of putin and trump. let's be clear. vladimir putin was trained by the kgb. he believes in torturing and killing people. his government routinely assassinates people. he kills people that writes the wrong things. he has imposed a vicious dictators have -- dictatorship. he has seized crimea.
10:50 am
to suggest there is anything in the american system comparable to putin is profamily dishonest intellectually and makes it impossible to have a rational discussion. if you accept the two words in the same phrase, you are already in a crazy environment. one quick example of the real hostility to freedom in america. at a college two weeks ago, black lives matter surrounded and aclu spokesperson, would not let her speak freely, and walled her off from her audience on the grounds she had no right to be there. the most violence today in america is on the left, not the right. [applause] rudyard: thank you for a terrific opening to this debate. you set the table. let's dig into some of the specific issues. we agreed this debate has a political dimension to it, economic dimension, and cultural dimension. let me start with you, andrew, and take up on -- >> is there a meaning to your green socks? they look really good. rudyard: i don't know. thank you. >> i feel almost embarrassed that i have boring black socks. rudyard: you and i can trade socks at the end of the evening. [laughter]
10:51 am
there is a debate here. can we please get going? [laughter] let me pick up on kimberley's point. i think it was an important one. andrew, you can answer. many things trump says we disagree with. many of us in this audience, --viscerally, by the reactions of the audience. give me an example of barack obama undermining democracy. andrew: let me give you an example that is equivalent to the obama administration. and i am not defending obama. did abuseat he executive privilege. kimberley: but you defended it. andrew: no, i don't think it was defensible, but i don't think the intent and the way he behaved as anything like as dangerous as donald trump.
10:52 am
here is a classic example. this is a man who has faced obstruction in the congress from his own party, who has been unable to construct a workable majority for any of the proposals he has constructed. the fact that he is too incompetent to be a dictator -- [laughter] -- doesn't mean the will and intent is not there. [applause] the fact that the constitutional order of the united states for the last 240 years of -- has not collapsed in the last nine months is not a great achievement. here is what he has been trying to pass for the last nine months. that is the affordable care act, which is the law of the land. he is required to effectively enforce the law of the land. he has been unable to change the
10:53 am
law of the land, so what is he doing? he is sabotaging it, using his office to sabotage and undermine the laws of the land at the expense of millions of people's potential health insurance and health care. [applause] that seems to me sabotaging things when he can't change them. the same thing with the iran deal. rudyard: before we get to that, let's let kimberley respond. kimberley: it is hard to sabotage a law that is collapsing under its own weight. [boos] you have entire counties across the u.s. that no longer have more than one option for the health care, when people are watching premiums triple, when average basic business owners can no longer afford -- andrew: they wouldn't have health care at all without obamacare. kimberley: many people have no health care because of it.
10:54 am
now they no longer have it. the bigger point is it is hard to sabotage it, but the point is -- it is hard to sabotage something that is failing. but also, the former president, this is a law unilaterally changed more than 42 times himself and changed it himself. this has now become such an elastic definition of what the law is, nobody knows what it is anymore. the prior president didn't respect his own law. andrew: a law does set up an institution and regulation. the regulations to enforce that law are a part of the interest of the executive branch to make sure the lies properly enforced. the last president attempted to use his executive power to enforce the rule. the current president is using executive power to undermine the rule.
10:55 am
kimberley: why is it not an abuse for obama to use that power? rudyard: rudyard: rudyard: this is a debate about american democracy, not health care. >> i want to pick up on something that new said, that this notion that andrew invented the link between vladimir putin and donald trump. [laughter] he said it was somehow intellectually dishonest. it was not andrew sullivan. it was donald trump, the man, that said that vladimir putin, the man you said was a kgb agent, with a stronger leader than barack obama. it was not andrew sullivan who said that. it was donald trump who has refused over and over and over again to say a critical word about vladimir putin. [applause] trump fired james comey because he got too close to the russia thing. that is an action that is genuinely troubling in this administration. [applause] donald trump berated his attorney general because his attorney general refused to
10:56 am
recuse himself from a casey was plainly involved in. these are intimations of autocratic behavior. rudyard: let's cause for a -- pause for a second, because that is an interesting example ej is making of a specific example that the president is taking that is undermining american democracy. newt: he said that he stronger. -- he said that if the term is stronger leader, tell me one thing -- andrew: he was asked on television. he was asked, actually presented with the point you just made, that vladimir putin is a killer. and i know you don't want to hear this, but he responded "we are killers, too." if you ask any democrat for a second, if they would say such a thing, you would impeach the guy. e.j.: you talked about moral equivalence. i have never heard a worst case of moral equivalence.
10:57 am
andrew: you launched a impeachment of a president because he committed perjury. but a president that obstructs justice is someone you want to praise? newt: so wait a second, this is something which andrew mccarthy, as a former prosecutor for the federal government, has outlined clearly. presidents have the authority to fire the fbi director. period. it's in the constitution. andrew: but not as obstruction of justice. not to squash an investigation. newt: this is exactly what i'm talking about. moore is out there with 17 lawyers, running around with a grand jury -- andrew: despite trump, not because of him. newt: but he's out there. your argument is trump is such a powerful autocrat and so incompetent, he can't be autocraticly autocratic, because
10:58 am
he's incompetent. all the things you are worried about are not happening because he's not smart enough, so the fact is the investigation is underway. in the senate, the house, the justice department, the washington post," "the new york times," at nbc news, but we are in danger of america losing its freedom because of in -- an incompetent person that can't achieve any of the things you are worried about. [applause] newt: i just don't understand. andrew: when a president openly hopes for investigation, and fire someone who -- obstructed an investigation and is angry with an attorney general who obeys the law? when he tells police officers to threaten. when he tells u.s. servicemembers to break the law. his words continually undermine the rule of law. his words matter. his words artifacts and they continually undermine the rule of law. kimberley: his words are acts, because, listen closely, andrew could not come up with anything that he has done --
10:59 am
andrew: we did. [laughter] kimberley: he used executive power in health care in the same way barack obama did. andrew: no. kimberley: so now -- >> he is not faithfully executing -- rudyard: when you are talking over each other, the audience can't hear. kimberley: you guys are some of the worst examples of this. the media has completely changed the russia story. james comey was aware that the president was not himself under investigation. the president asked several times for james comey to clarify that. he refused to do it because james comey was a political player in washington is anything you have ever seen. now we know he was keeping secret memos, that he leaked things to the press, that in general -- you want to talk about things that should scare people about democracy? how about the head of the fbi
11:00 am
actively investigating both candidates for the presidency simultaneously with the use of a secret court and wireless and now that we are attempting to exercise oversight and find out what happened and why there was such a probe and the actions, obstruction is happening, but not from the trump administration, but from the career bureaucrats left over. e.j.: i want to say a couple of things. first, i think andrew and i have already made progress because newt conceded that trump has not been an effective authoritarian because of his incompetence. so we have the incompetence of donald trump on the table already. but what i think what kim said is incredibly dangerous. what she did and what supporters of trump do all the time, it is why we are frightened about the role of truth in our politics, is she has ascribed all sorts of
11:01 am
evil motives to james comey, who, if we know anything about what he did, intervened in the election that did not help hillary clinton. he did not come out with any information on the donald trump investigation that was ongoing. comey was not willing to make a statement before the investigation was over. we know from the mueller investigation that they have not closed off the idea that donald trump was involved. they have not settled the matter. the attack on james comey is a piece with what andrew and i are worried about. donald trump was vocally upset when sessions recused himself, and there would not be a special counsel if the deputy attorney general had not insistent.
11:02 am
the reason we worry about our democracy is we don't know what will happen at the end. we do not know if there will be 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 one no confidence that we will avoid that path this time. [applause] rudyard: speaker gingrich. newt: you know, let's go back to comey for a minute. all right. when comey was the number 2 person under bush, he appointed a special counsel for what he knew was not a crime, for what involved leaking a name from the cia, which they knew at the time was not a crime. they knew who leaked it. and they told the person who leaked it to shut up. and they appointed a special counsel who tried to get vice president cheney, and couldn't get him, and in the end managed to get somebody who is a totally
11:03 am
decent civil servant on a technical argument. this is where mueller will end up get going. you don't get 17 high-priced lawyers, virtually all of whom voted for hillary, you don't get those kind of layers in a room to change their career, come to work as part of a task force, and not get something. e.j.: so you are already trying to discredit an ongoing investigation, and said enough, you say this is political. that's what i'm worried about. andrew: the possibility of neutral enforcement of the laws by career professionals, by someone whose reputation has stood up to republican presidents, including george w. bush, at great risk to his own career -- kimberley: at last training was -- rudyard: whoa, ok, you are all talking at once. the audience cannot hear anyone of you individually. newt: i was just going to bring
11:04 am
it to the present. it is james comey who, under oath in the senate, said, yes, i deliberately leaked a memo who -- through a friend of mine, and it would force the appointment of a special counsel. e.j.: because he was afraid trump was going to obstruct. newt: i don't care what the cause is. the guy who is the director of the fbi telling you he broke the law, which he did -- e.j.: he did not break the law. there was no law broken. andrew: notice, ladies and gentlemen, 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. because an autocrat, a man who cannot tolerate any opposition, a man who resist any any zero-sum, has infected the minds and souls of these people so they are attacking the integrity
11:05 am
of the very process -- [applause] kimberley: wait, wait, hold on. rudyard: that deserves a response. we will let kimberley respond. kimberly: i do remember the last time i heard a group of people who were just incensed over the abuses of a career bureaucrats and the license he was taking with his offense was the entire left-wing establishment and press when james comey decided to come out and criticize hillary clinton in the middle of the middle of an election. andrew: not me, kimberly. not me. prove it. kimberley: then you are alone in that. everyone else was out there. so please don't suggest that it is just conservatives or those on the stage that now are questioning the integrity of james comey. we all know people in powerful positions also need to be held to some account. it is concerning that you have an fbi director who is now so vigorously opposing any oversight of what he did.
11:06 am
rudyard: ok, i think we have re-litigated -- hold on. we have a lot of topics to cover. we have spent a significant amount of time on this. let's all sit down for a moment. take a collective breath, and move on to the next aspect of this. i will come to you, e.j., because i want to pick up on something speaker gingrich said, which is an argument that you'll have no doubt a strong response to, that is that the crisis of democracy in america today is a crisis of the left, that identity politics on the left, save spaces, micro aggressions, a whole litany of views about how america should be reconfigured and restructured is what reciprocated this acute -- what has precipitated this acute moment in american culture. this resides with the left, not the right. e.j.: i have known speaker
11:07 am
gingrich i think for about 30 years, and i think in times of high unemployment or low unemployment, in times of national concord and discord, he has always says the problems in american politics come from the left. i don't think that 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, and it is republicans in congress who privately say that they are worried about many of the same aspects of donald trump's personality, his approach to issues, his
11:08 am
tempestuousness, his lack of focus. instead, we 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 nazis and those who opposed him, 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
11:09 am
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 in their consciences. i think this should worry us. when we see these movements empowered in our country, it is not just bad for liberals, it is bad for the entire conservative movement. >> speaker gingrich. newt: let me be clear about what e.j. was just saying. no one on the left wants to take the student violence in connecticut, where they injured a professor to stop a conservative from speaker, nobody on the left wants to take the people at berkeley who said they were eager to use violence to stop people from speaking,
11:10 am
nobody on the left once to confront the fact that in the latest study, professors under -2 as democrats, no one on the left wants to ascribe to the language. they literally locked an aclu spokesperson and blocked her from seeing the audience so she cannot even mingle with people who came out to talk to her. no one on the left wants to do with this. no one wants to did deal with soros ise to which funny a network -- >> george soros -- you cannot talk about george soros -- newt: you cannot talk actually about what is going on in america and take them seriously because it totally discredits their case.
11:11 am
[applause] >> you may note that i had and very vocal and consistently vocal against this poison on the left. i do it every week. am liablenues where i to get a lot of blowback. you are right. there is an awful poison on the left, this poison that is dividing this country, and it is a poison that is increasing racial divides. there are some foul, disgusting far right movement. my point is simply this, 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 its, and make it much worse. [applause]
11:12 am
kimberley: if you are familiar with my work, you'd know i have spent years writing ofut the very abuse government park and the attempt of people to silence their political opponents using not just tactics like speaker gingrich was talking about, but more scary ones. what i know something about abuse of government power and words like autocrat and tyranny. that he give you an example. in wisconsin, a liberal district attorney was mad at conservative groups that had supported a republican governor. investigation into these groups under a law in wisconsin. do it in secret and imposed a gag order on everyone being investigated. they had their financial records taken, emails taken, there were predawn raids staged.
11:13 am
in one case a child of one of the targets, the parents were off on a trip, the police came, came in the house, put them in a room, when not allow him to call his parents, and said if you do not do what we tell you to do, we will put you in jail. that is an abuse of government power. that happened on the left. if donald trump engaged in anything like this i would be the first person to say something about this. but this is ridiculous. we do not -- to this point we have lots of words, autocracy, tyranny, etc. we do not have example, even a jim comey example. you're not making the case that it was illegal for them to do it? >> illegal to obstruct justice -- haserley: nobody obstructed justice. no one has come up with anything to suggest he has undermined any democratic institutions.
11:14 am
of red herrings. i have no idea what an investigation in wisconsin many years ago has to do with -- [laughter] e.j.: which happened this year and was done by donald trump has a great deal to do with what we're talking about tonight. ley: you care what is happening about what is happening in wisconsin. >> have you written about it? you consider that a violation and abuse of power? yes, the pardon power. kimberley: -- >> let me say something. arpaio was accused of violating the constitutional rights of people in arizona.
11:15 am
and donald trump tried first to end the investigation, and he could not succeed in doing that. manso he pardoned the 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 liberal news media. this is a fact. when a president uses this rather unlimited pardon power to pardon someone who violates the constitutional rights of american citizens, i do not 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 ends well. >> let me start with that.
11:16 am
quoting bonnhoffer, which was a friend of the nazies. >> it was martim niemauler. >> thank you for correcting. next time, i will try to get it right. why don't we quote somebody who is talking about the nazis when we talk about trump. >> i was not talking about nazis. >> it's about tyranny. let me just suggest to all of you that citing the 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
11:17 am
law enforcement, who had been reelected over and over by massive majorities -- [crowd booing] ok, i understand the absence of passion for people you don't agree with. [groaning] 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. some of you would say, no, by god, what a chance to show police nobody is above the law. let's punish this 89-year-old who is clearly such 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 zero question as a matter of the united states constitution that the president of the united states can pardon anyone at any time. zero question.
11:18 am
>> that's why i am so afraid that he will abuse this power. what he did in this case, he can do in another case. >> he may abuse the power, but he will be an autocrat. he will be doing exactly what the founding fathers gave him to do. this was not a bunch of stupid people. >> did the founding fathers believed that the president, if this turns out to be the case -- it's a possibility -- finds that 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 indeed pardoning himself is something the founders really thought the power was supposed to be used for? >> what the founders would have said -- and you are making my case. what the founders would have said is that that is why you
11:19 am
have the impeachment provision. >> correct. >> and if it turns out that a president were to pardon himself and the congress were to decide that was unacceptable, they have the full power to impeach him. but 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 abuse his power. he may have done something not right in terms of policy. he did nothing wrong in terms of constitutional authority. [applause] >> he is actively undermining the spirit of the constitution, the norms and procedures that are essential to maintain the constitution, and he actively, every day, excoriates and exhibits 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 of the united states, in ways that makes everyone extremely
11:20 am
nervous. the rhetoric that this man has used, that he loves putin, his praise of a man 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 suspects. 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. did you read the editorial page? we do come on a daily basis, point out things that make him a real poo poo head. ok? but what you are making it sound so that those things become law or become action. they do not.
11:21 am
thinking -- ryan zinke, 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 administration over its own overreach of federal powers. these are people with a deeply felt believe in federal was a and the rule of law. they are running the government. and what random things happen in donald trump's head -- \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 rhetoric. [applause] >> ok. this has been a terrific debate. i have been superfluous as a moderator. that is always a great sign of a andific conversation important issues being tackled. we have our closing statements.
11:22 am
we will put 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. newt: let me just suggest to you that, had they worded the proposal for the debate differently, it would have been impossible for us to have any arguments. to use your six-year-old term, donald trumps is a poo poo head and says really weird thing sometimes. it would have been tough. [laughter] newt: the objective reality is this is the first person in american history never to have held any public office, to come out of nowhere, defeat 16 republicans, defeat hillary clinton, defeat a billion-dollar
11:23 am
campaign, deadfeat the media. he has a hostile takeover of the republican party and a hostile takeover of the national government. and that kind of person probably has edges. [laughter] ok, so if the debate topic had been 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? i am willing to debate front of some of canadians friends, even if some of them boo because i think they are so much better than a berkeley audience. 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
11:24 am
in turmoil, 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. but 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 who occasionally would say rough things because 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
11:25 am
diminishes, that the alligators will be snapping and biting and arguing and yelling autocrat, autocrat. when in fact what is happening is america's once against reinventing itself. [applause] e.j.: i want to thank you all for your attentiveness. i have to say that i salute newt gingrich for trying to make donald trump seem almost cute and eccentric at the beginning of this talk. [laughter] e.j.: i also appreciate his calling us out again is because they are cute in their own way. and i want to put out that what happened at the end of the debate is precisely what i said would happen, which is our opponents here want to hang on a few words of this proposition and say that, if you don't believe that donald trump caused
11:26 am
all the problems that the united states faces, then you really can't vote for this proposition. we are asserting something 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 on 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 russia 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 -- held 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.
11:27 am
if that isn't autocratic, i don'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, we have had other 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. now, 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 to the future -- and that is why
11:28 am
the vast majority of americans disapprove of donald trump. i want to assure all our canadian friends here that we shall overcome. [applause] kimberley: so let's think about what we have established your -- here tonight. as newt said, we established that the president is a bit of a poo poo head, odd come off, does not govern like anyone else had and says things that we wish he hadn't all the time. we have established that a lot of people do not agree with his policies and are angry that he was elected and will discredit him. and that the media will do so. comese said, half of what
11:29 am
out of the media does not stop them from writing. so there is a massive and hostile campaign. we established that, if you throw around scary words like autocrat and tyranny and putin and put them in the same breath 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. -- him. they talk about different moves he has taken. there is no one disputing that the present has the right to
11:30 am
change regulations within health and human services to change the president's health care law. you may not like how he is doing it. you might not like that he got rid of the climate program. he did so because it was pushed through without congressional approval, had been immediately stayed by the supreme court because they recognized that it likely 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] >> i did not know we were debating. no one is disputing that he can do that, too. i'm not saying it is the right policy. many people can disagree, but you don't just get to revolt. that's why we have elections. i appreciate that a lot of people in this room do not like the way this election went.
11:31 am
many on the republican side donald trump is not our first , choice for the nomination either. but we had an election that was peacefully conducted and honestly conducted. [booing] and there is no proof otherwise, if you think so, you are reading that press again. see what actually happens before you make up your mind. i ask you to voted against this. don't believe the hype. actually 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 and the world is facing extraordinary challenges, extraordinary challenges of economy, of technology, and the extraordinary dangers and difficulties of a multiracial and multicultural society. america is the first white majority country in the history
11:32 am
of the world to become a nonwhite majority country. technology is ripping people's lives apart. it is impoverishing many people and stagnating the wages of many more. it is a difficult, emotional, troubling time. but it's precisely because we are in such a difficult moment that it is vital that the constitution of the united states, 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. and 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 and instinct for authoritarian rule, who delights in divides
11:33 am
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 recklessness 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 tearing america apart -- emotionally, culturally, and politically. that the country is fast dividing into two warring tribes. and in which the one person that we need at this moment to bridge those divides, to address these problems with sincerity is the president.
11:34 am
and he had a chance if he had reached out to the democrats, if had engaged on infrastructure, if he had 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 munk once said on this stage. it is one thing to give a speech in front of an audience of people who agree or disagree. something quite different to get on a stage and engage in verbal combat with your intellectual peers. ladies, a round of applause for
11:35 am
our debaters. [applause] fabulous debate. >> congress on break for the thanksgiving holiday. when members return on monday, the house will turn on 2018 federal spending. -- funding expires on december 8. also work on disaster relief. the senate continues with judicial nominations, including a vote monday to confirm a u.s. district judge in the district of columbia. the senate is expected to vote on the senate tax reform program, includes oil drilling in the arctic and repealing the health insurance mandate.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on