tv Quadriga - US- Midterms Tough Times for Trump Deutsche Welle November 9, 2018 1:30pm-2:01pm CET
discovered the way. subscribe to the documentary on you tube. hello and welcome to quadriga w.'s international talk show coming to you from berlin i'm brian thomas great to have you with us when the counting was over it was spin time in washington with both republicans and democrats saying they were the victors as they plot the course towards the presidential election in two years so who won the midterms jubilant democrats celebrating their new control of the house with full powers now to subpoena investigate and hold up legislation for the
republicans deepening their senate victory gives them a powerful tool as well as for donald trump the loss of the house means he'll have to find a whole new way of being america's president. us mid terms tough times for trump that's our topic today and to discuss it i'm happy to be joined by griff witte he's the bureau chief for the washington post in berlin he says both sides can claim victory and both have real reason to work. matthew card to shake europe correspondent for politico he says trump can still galvanize large portions of the american electorate a fact that will worry many people both inside and outside the u.s. with just two years until the next presidential election. and we can have its work says an editor for the weekly site she says the midterms showed the force of female power and the results limit donald trump's power to some extent but the country
will remain deeply divided. a warm welcome to all of you great to have you here if i could start with you you talk about the role of women in this election have women in america completely redesigned the political landscape in this election oh well i wouldn't go as far as say they redesigned the whole political landscape but we have seen that. never in history have been more women in parliament and right now i mean they've been i think combined house of representative and senators more than one hundred and one we have seen is that women are mobilizing i mean there are more women that are like gaining power and i think bad is something that was very optimistic about the election day and i think that is something very optimistic for the democratic party i think they should gain that momentum and try to. speak more to women who are leaning towards voting for democrats and i think that if the key for twenty trying to having go people go vote and i think the women is
a key electorate and the democrats showed yesterday that they can appeal to those groups especially suburban women and urban women were key in this vote matthew were they pivotal do you think or were there other groups as well. i think they're absolutely pivotal split especially in these former republican suburbs that you know appear to have gone in the democratic direction and their women played a very important roles for the suburban mom that you know tends to be conservative but really isn't happy with the way trump comports himself with the way that you know he's addressing a lot of the issues of the day and you know i think turned off by trump's personal style cheered up by his personal style his rhetoric you know obviously the some of the issues involving women the kavanaugh nomination the supreme court nomination that really galvanized a lot of women i think to actually go and vote in that clearly played a role here in many people's minds so i think it was a factor will continue to be
a factor although at the end of the day you know a lot of these races went down similarly to the way the two thousand and sixteen presidential election went between trump and hillary clinton of course agree if you were going to give the trumpet ministrations some advice to win back these key suburban and urban female voters what would you tell well far be it for me to give trump advice i don't think he would take advice from a washington post reporter but i think that you know obviously trump has to make a decision he can continue to govern in the style that he has which is to be deliberately provocative polarizing to intentionally alienate a lot of people but also win some real diehard fans or he can try to reach out and be a more bipartisan figure someone who is less abrasive someone who is less interested in attacking and more interested in going for some kind of consensus i don't know that it's in donald trump's d.n.a. to do the latter i think this is a politician who knows one way of governing one way of doing politics and it's to
be abrasive to attack and it's you saw in his comments yesterday he thinks he had a great night on tuesday he thinks that he won and so i don't think there's anything in the results that's necessarily going to change his behavior but he's. right isn't it for the candidates that he barnstormed for most of them didn't fact when so there was an element of success and how he approached campaigning for the midterms this was an election that didn't go as badly as it could have gone for donald trump i think there were a lot of liberals and democrats in america who comforted themselves after two thousand and sixteen and said he was just a fluke two thousand and sixteen was a one time event never going to happen again what we saw with the results on tuesday was that there is a real polarization in america it continues and he has a real base of support there he does have to worry though because you saw in twenty sixteen he blew a hole in the blue in the blue wall this this famous blue wall he got states like
michigan wisconsin pennsylvania the upper midwest states industrial states he won back those rust belt voters and you saw on tuesday night that democrats did very well in those states they won congressional seats they won governorships and so i think he has to be very concerned he can't just the republicans won florida they won some other big states but if they lose wisconsin pennsylvania and michigan it's all over for them and twenty twenty will be when it when you look at what happened would you call a winner in these elections was that the democrats was it the republicans i think it's really really hard to pick a winner here it's muddled isn't it is it kind of a mixed bag i mean for the democrats it was clearly a good night because they won back the majority in the house of representatives they show that they get their vote which is so crucial the midterm elections but then again the republicans they even got more seats in the senate so they only have a slight majority in the senate now they have a bigger majority there so i think i see the point in saying well this was a good night for us because the blue wave that everybody hoped for was more left
wing it was no really big wave it was not crushing the republican party but then we can win if we look at texas i mean the republicans won texas but how close was that i mean three maclean's well it was impossible to think that texas would even. we mostly go to it like a democratic candidate and it was so close and i think that is where the democratic party can draw hope from that their winning back rust belt states that they get close races in states that have been red for almost centuries and so i think it's a really mixed bag but i think the democratic party should gain that momentum and should be smart about that but the question is will the democratic party be smart about it ok are they matthew what do you think will they regroup looking at what happened what do you see the democrats doing moving forward well i think we're going to see more of the same they're going to continue to pour money i think into these areas where they think they have a chance our home state of arizona for example these states that appear to be shifting a little bit from the conservative camp towards the democrats some people call them
purple states and you're seeing a very interesting phenomenon in these places where the urban areas are clearly moving towards the democrats and in many cases are already pretty solidly blue whereas the rural areas remain red remain republican and i think this is going to be the challenge in two years because it doesn't matter how many votes you get at the end of the day in a lot of places it matters you know what you get in the electoral college and so this means that the rural areas is their electoral college is very important it's important very liberally was not to lose sight of the right and it's more reflective of the united states sent senate which trump held here than it is of the house of representatives and i think this is that this is a very important point a crucial point going forward because as you said those areas were trying really made a strong effort to campaign for people he won and these were races in many cases where the democrats had very high hopes in florida in georgia the governor's race in texas as you mentioned and in arizona and some of those races are have been
called yet there's too close to call but it looks like they're moving towards the republicans the rural urban divide was emphasized by the vote that we saw in the midterms it's almost like there's two different americas there's the. are two issues the democrats campaigning and voting for health care for example and the republicans and donald trump backing them with of course migration are we seeing two americas clashing in electoral cycles oh yes i believe totally that baddest true and that donald trump is the president to who wants that and he wants to widen this division and he is not a president who says we need to unite i think he wants this polarization and i think the american psyche is a society has been as polarized as it can be there is not one single issue guns women's rights religion health care where you have to pick a side i mean there's hardly any compromise from the outside it looks like there's
no compromise there's no common ground for compromise it's either or and the political parties both play that game and i think that if deeply troubling because they the politics should try to work together to compromise to reunite a society that has been clearly divided on a lot of issues ok one of those big issues is abortion. there was a referendum in iowa the past that considers life when the first heartbeat of a fetus can be heard now this is going to clear the path for a supreme court challenge on abortion is that something these midterms brought into focus as well a broad panoply of different issues not just migration not just health care but a one this often overlooked abortion for example well this is been kind of you know central issue for many of trump's supporters you know since the roe versus wade supreme court decision in the early seventy's which legalized abortion and this is
the long game that they're playing they want to put judges on to the supreme court who are going to which really are the way to which they now have the power to do and as you said people forgotten about this issue it's something that's been at the center of the political agenda for a lot of evan jellicoe christians for example for quite a long time and so i wouldn't be surprised if this issue you know keeps coming up and it is something it is a very powerful reason for many people who wouldn't otherwise support trump to vote for him because they say yes you know i mean of evangelical christian i don't like a lot of what he's doing but i know that he's going to choose the kind of judges who are going to overturn the abortions overweight and be straight up right for life so that they're locked down the evangelical christians now a poll in the spring published on the axios news website showed a full sixty percent of respondents wanted legal not illegal immigration levels cut now the issue was brought to a head by the so-called caravan heading north to the u.s.
border during these midterms the president made it as we've been talking about the centerpiece of his midterm barnstorming. trump describes the migrant caravan as a threat to the united states he says criminals and terrorists are mixed in with the six thousand migrants and the refugees are carrying diseases we have people coming into the country trying to cover and we're stopping a lot of them but we're taking people out of the country you wouldn't believe these people. these are people. these are adamant just. principled campaign promises to get tough under saddam seekers' he plans to send up to fifteen thousand u.s. troops to stop them as many as a country stationed in afghanistan and they have orders to shoot. saying he wants to abolish the guaranteed u.s. citizenship to children born in the united states of foreign parents hundreds of
thousands of children born to illegal immigrants are made automatic citizens of the united states every year because of this crazy lunatic policy that we can then nationalism and scare mongering once again trumps going for the doctor with his populist rhetoric about politics of fear what. was the president's fear mongering. oh yes absolutely i mean it's kind of sad to see how these people that are on track to come to the united states they they kind of he instruments allies them and it was just for him it was just such a lucky thing to happen just before the midterms i mean. it's heartbreaking for these people but for him it was of course great because he could play his migration card he can i mean he said he won change the birthright citizenship thing i mean that is part of the end moment of the constitution he cannot just do that but of
course he stands there and says i'm doing it anyways and i'll go to the supreme court to do it and of course i mean that is what is the. the troubling with everything he wants to do he doesn't have the majority in the house right now but he still has the power over who becomes the job and i mean we've seen that there were two supreme court seats vacant why he was president both were nominated with him from him with conservative judges and that's like a decision for life i think that is what is troubling me a lot of politics can change but what ari i mean the courts don't because that's like a position for life and he will play that card over and over again and of course people are afraid and he just like pushes people to be even more afraid and i think that is where a horrible horrible thing to do but was that grif a strategic error should the president of congress. some traded more on some of his economic success i think a lot of house republicans would say yes if you got them caught them in
a moment of honesty behind closed doors i think that they wanted. the republicans to run on their record which actually when you look at the economy is a very good one you have one of the lowest unemployment rates in recent american history you have real wage growth this is an economy that's that's going on all cylinders and i think there were a lot of republicans in these swing districts who would have liked a more unified less controversial less polarizing message of hey we're we're creating jobs we're putting money in your pockets trump doesn't do that kind of politics though he does the polarization he does the inflammatory and so he focused on immigration and i think it is a real question for a lot of republicans who lost in these swing districts if the message had been one of we've accomplished a lot economically and had not been this deliberately abrasive style of politics what would they still be members of congress today ok messy the republicans would say well the democrats did their own fear mongering we're going to take away your health care we're going to make cuts to social security is there
a qualitative difference between how the democrats address some issues and how don't trump those. yeah i think there is i think that you know takes things you know up another level from what has been kind of you know the traditional partisan politicking if you will and you know certainly his references to the caravan and so forth reflect that i don't think that there's any other politician mainstream politician in recent american history either on the left or the right who would resort to those to that kind of rhetoric and that's why you know he is part entertainer he's part politician and this is the attraction of a lot of people for a lot of people to him i think also on the left is somebody that people love to hate and he's sort of captivated you know the united states and and the world and everybody sort of tuning in to see what crazy thing he does next and i think the question after this election though is you know how sustainable is it i don't know that his attacks on the migrants for example that that really worked i think you
know we're going have to wait and see what the data says about that and how many people really responded to that because he's sort of you know going back to the old themes that you know helped win him the presidency but if those are issues that really resonate still isn't clear to me because you know as you said rick of the democrats did make inroads in these former republican strongholds so that's got to worry the republicans a little bit i mean overall i think that the you know the shift of the house to the democrats can't be that surprising that is if you stand back that's the historic norm you know usually that is residents come in with both houses of congress in their pocket they tend to lose you know the house at the at the at the midterm but you know there are have been presidents who despite losing that end up winning a second term that have been you know bill clinton won a second term barack obama won a second term and they both suffered at the midterm election just like like like trump has so i wouldn't say this is necessarily too negative for trump at the end
of the day i think the jury's still out ok what could be negative for him though is the fire. during of jeff sessions now he's made a tactical decision here to protect himself and attack basically the moeller investigation the russia probe was not a wise decision and will the democrats of pick up on that and subpoena investigate and make life difficult at that level now after this firing for donald trump i think absolutely i think you know washington is a very different place now than it was before the election before the election was effectively a one party town republicans controlled the white house and they controlled both houses of congress the democrats now have the house and that makes a big difference that's they they have subpoena power they control those committees they can basically drive the white house crazy just standing subpoena after subpoena after subpoena and trump is betting that he can fire jeff sessions and that there won't be much of a repercussion for that maybe the the replacement as attorney general will try to
shut down the miller investigation which he's he said as a tell television analyst that that is what the administration should do but i think that you're going to see a real really strong pushback from the house side on that the question i think is do any republicans also stand up and say that's what trump is doing is wrong and what if they try to shut down the investigation that's obstruction of justice or do two republicans stay stick with trump and stay in lockstep with with him i think that there's a real potential ultimately for a constitutional crisis here and i think that that's one of the big big questions to watch over the coming months reka there's been a lot of concerns expressed in the german press about america's system of checks and balances working we're facing chuck schumer the democratic leader was saying of a possible constitutional crisis when you look at the midterms and the democrats recapturing the house are you reassured that the american system works. well.
kind of because everything you said i think is true i mean the democrats will try to to use the regain power in the house of representatives and i think it's so important for the american political system to have checks and balances in place i mean that's imminent for the system so i'm happy i'm happy to have seen that yesterday that they regained the power but then again i mean it's. it's not oh not only a day after he fires jeff sessions and the new congress only comes into fashion in january so there are eight weeks to go and we don't know what will happen and everybody always says well trump cannot fire mahler and he hasn't done so yet but i mean every time we say cannot do this or that he had none of it i mean it's so unpredictable and there's still a week where the old congress is still in fashion so i'm just hoping we make it to january and then the democratic party can play its role and then we will see checks and both be in place again ok so your you feel confident that we will see checks
and balances i am exerting their due functions matthew when you look at the house victory with the democrats. the way you cover european politics and german politics do you think something that's something the german populace and german politicians are profoundly welcoming right now absolutely i think that any check on trumps powers something that europeans of all stripes of all political stripes would welcome because they see him as a loose cannon they see him as dangerous see him as somebody who opposes you know their core values and that is undermining the trans-atlantic relationship which has been key obviously to to european security since the second world war so i think anything that dilutes donald trump's power is something that people here will will look at very positively but you know i think in you know people also need to be
careful what they wish for because as he comes under pressure i think he will become more unpredictable in the sessions thing is the first indication of that in the risk here is that he does end up firing moeller or ending the moeller investigation and this turns into a very partisan issue that he tries to paint the entire russia investigation which he already is doing and has done as a witch hunt but say it's a democratic witch. and now they're you know they're there's a feeding all of these people and try to discredit it that way and you know that could happen that could happen very very quickly and it certainly seems as the direction that we're headed since we've mentioned russia would like to ask you when when you consider america's adversaries when talking about america's friends right now germany in europe when you look at russia for example in china do you think they could feel emboldened by a weakened president now that the republicans have lost the house and feel emboldened to foreign adventures the south china seas ukraine are two hot potential
flashpoints right now i think they've felt emboldened for a while now i think that they see an america that is in general weakened on the world stage and now you have such deep fractures within the western alliance and the fact that trump and europe are at odds with each other the fact that trump is portraying europe as and in some cases an adversary of the united states which i think is is you know a complete shock to the european leaders for russia and china that's that's a godsend they're there so they see this as a moment that they can capitalize on they're trying to capitalize on it they are capitalizing on it and i think that that that will continue and it would have would have continued regardless of who had won the election on tuesday ok what do you think that this is is this a cause for concern for america about emboldened enemies or is america going through a necessary process right now of dealing with an increased level of diversity on so many different levels and redefining itself it's
a process of nationally definition well i do think it's a natural evolution and i think that the both the chinese and the russians realized that trumps power in terms of the executive office that he holds and his decision making power over the military and so forth that hasn't been diluted he still has the final say on a lot of these crucial issues so if they were to try to do something in the south china sea or in ukraine i mean. that that that dynamic is not going to change and i think they realize that but overall i think that this is very good news for america's enemies you know they they like anything that is really disruptive and certainly the russians this is always you know the their ultimate goal is to destabilize the political system as much as possible and you know we're heading into a situation now with the russian vista cation that could be quite chaotic so it's definitely good for people who want to dilute america's power was your main takeaway from this mid-term election rekha. slightly optimistic but i
fear that we have. a little while longer and that it's getting more catalytic i think i believe that as well and that the fellow's ation will not stop anytime soon. i think both parties are going to have to do some hard thinking after this election and for democrats especially they now with the the race for two thousand and twenty starts it's started on wednesday it's already underway and there aren't real clearly clear lessons from this election but they're going to have to figure out which direction they want to go and i'd like to thank all my guests for being with us today for all our comments and input i'd like to thank you as well for being with quadriga don't forget to join us next week until that i'm brian thomas if i told.
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