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tv   Matter of Fact With Fernando Espuelas  Me-TV  January 30, 2016 6:30pm-7:00pm CST

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fernando: hello, and welcome to "matter of fact." i'm fernando espuelas. on monday, for the gop presidential candidates, it all boils down to the iowa caucus, and 30 delegates. and the rise of outsider candidates, like donald trump and senator ted cruz, is generating hand-wringing within the ranks of the republican party. michael steele is the former chairman of the rnc and he joins me now here in the studio. michael, thanks for coming. michael: great to be here. fernando: well, you've just come back from iowa. let me ask you right off -- do you think donald trump will win iowa? michael: i think he's well-poised to do it. depending on the polls you're looking at, there's still a very, very tight span between him and cruz right now. but the thing that's fascinating to watch is how cruz sort of eclipsed him, held that lead almost 4, 5, 6 points, and then
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turned it on the dime and moved the energy back in his direction. so i think, going into this, i think trump well-poised to win it and if he does, it makes the , rest of this effort by the other candidates that much more difficult. fernando: this shift in momentum, do you think it's connected to trump using the fact that ted cruz was born in canada as some wedge issue? michael: it contributed to it in a small way. what it did was, more importantly, is it got people to stop their inclination to move toward cruz. it said to them, well maybe i'll think about that. let me think. really? it can turn the table. and i think that's what that did. it was the combination. it wasn't the whole canadian birther thing, but it was, you know, no one likes him. the combination of these two. not only is he not from america, but no one likes him. and people are like, wow. fernando: is that really? it seems very odd to me that the senate refuses to help him out
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michael: it's because no one like him fernando: and what does that say, though? beyond the human aspect of not liking him, what does it say about a potential presidency? ted cruz presidency? if you aren't camping along your party in the senate today, what would change if you were? michael: well, i have two brains on that one. the first is it makes it very difficult to be president if that's the case. then you're witnessing pretty much what you've seen over the last seven years. barack obama had no relationship with members of the hill, quite honestly in both parties. it wasn't just the angina that republicans had with him or he with them, but it was also even among democrats who had no preexisting relationship and then over the course of seven years, not even developed a relationship. so ted cruz in that situation would pretty much find himself in a similar space, like barack
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republican senate and house that generally doesn't want to work with him or did not like working with him. the other side of my head though, which is more i think more to the correct side of this thing, is what will happen is by virtue of being president, the nature of the office and, ultimately, cruz is a smart guy. he understands that he's going to have to go out and probably work twice as hard to make his presidency work because of the animus that may exist there. i think he would take the early steps in his administration to make sure that he healed some of those wounds. but you're right. i think it sets itself up very nicely for the argument that trump wants to make about him that creates that pause in the momentum that ted cruz was experiencing. fernando: if you look forward and you see a trump versus a hillary clinton or even a bernie sanders, for that matter, do you think he has what it takes, in terms of broadening his appeal beyond this plurality of gop
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michael: i do. it really drives a lot of my friends on the left nuts when i say this, but they're turning a blind eye to what is going on inside their own ranks. that there is a reason why two bernie sanders is bernie sanders. why this, in the last evening of the last few days he's had 20,000 people show up at events and hillary's had 400. there's a reason why young voters are not enthralled by him -- by her, and more by him. so they need to take a closer look at what's going on inside their own party, because it's the exact same thing that's going on inside the republican party. that frustration doesn't have a partisan line to it. that anger doesn't have a partisan line to it. in a head to head race, what i'm finding is there is as much
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there is among republicans. people don't like to admit that publicly. people don't like to talk about it publicly, but it's there. but you go and you talk to people, they'll tell you. you know, i have a lot of my friends who are scratching their heads with their parents who were supposedly these -- you were the liberal, mom and dad, how can you be? but i like what he's saying. you know, the country needs someone to shake it up. what do you do with that? it's a whole new way of looking at politics. so i think in a head to head donald trump would make it very interesting against either sanders or clinton. i tell people that is not a fair at accompli for the democrats. that's not an easy get for them. fernando: well, thank you so much. i really appreciate your time. while many polls show republican voters are ready for an outsider candidate, it remains to be seen whether or not top party leaders will agree. >> coming up, who's destined to win and who can't afford to lose in iowa? >> all we got to do is hang tight.
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>> the caucuses are a completely meaningless event with
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fernando: iowa's first-vote status gives caucus goers immense power to whittle the candidate field. yet its voters reflect little of the nation's diversity. over 90% of the residents are white. so is it a fair test of america's political will? craig robinson, the editor of the "iowa republican," joins us now from des moines. greg, welcome to the program. as you know, many people question the role of iowa in the election process. why should it go first? in the country. perhaps not representative of the whole of america. what's the argument? what do you see that iowa's role is? craig: i think the role of iowa is really to winnow down a field certain candidates forward from
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i don't think anyone in iowa believes that we pick who's going to be the nominee for each party. i think we understand that we start the process and we help winnow it down so that other people in states that follow can make informed choices. fernando: you're very much and have been involved in the ground game. just give us your impression. who's doing the best at getting people motivated and ready to caucus? craig: i saw the top three candidates all yesterday on the campaign trail in eastern iowa. and it was interesting. the ted cruz crowds are very passionate. the donald trump crowds are very kind of big and full of protesters -- it's just a crazy event. and the marco rubio, a bit more subdued. so i think the energy is definitely there with cruz and trump. and then you have a lot of other candidates, even candidates that are polling low single digits, are still having some really
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comparing them to the donald trumps of the world, we would say that this is far more wide open than the polls seem to indicate. so, there's a lot of interest in the state. i expect a really large turnout. the excitement is definitely there with cruz and trump. fernando: craig, thank you for joining us. i'm now speaking to steve shepard. he is the campaigns and elections editor at "politico." steve, welcome to the program. steve: great to be here. fernando: so steve, tell me as you look at the panorama of this election, particularly millennial voters, what do you think is turning them on or turning them off? steve: well, i think it's very clear that millennial voters, just like a large portion of the electorate, are really disillusioned with washington. they're disillusioned with the way government is working. they think, depending on which side of the aisle they come from, they just think the institutions in washington have failed. so that's why they're looking at candidates like bernie sanders on the democratic side, who are promising radical change to the way things are done in washington, in addition to
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ideological perspective. and also candidates like donald trump on the republican side who are promising to really shake things up here. millennial voters do not believe that the government has their best interest at heart. fernando: and is there something, aside from the feeling and the sense in the country that the government's not working as well as it should be, are there particular issues? i know college cost is a major driver, but beyond that, what do you see? steve: bernie sanders and martin o'malley and hillary clinton have all used that as a rallying cry. on the republican side, republicans rely less on younger voters. younger voters make up a smaller portion of the republican primary and caucus electorates. we're talking about iowa and new hampshire, you're seeing some candidates say, hey, it's time for new leadership. marco rubio, for example, is one of the candidates in the republican -- fernando: well, i want to ask you about that, because he's made that argument in a very clear way. yet, he has, at least seemingly, very little traction in the polling. what do you think is the disconnect there?
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because younger voters make up a very small portion of the republican primary electorate, that's not an argument right now that's well-served for him, when it comes to taking down ted cruz and donald trump. but once they move to a general election, and it comes to facing the democratic nominee, cutting into the advantage that barack obama has had in the past two elections among younger voters is going to be essential for the republicans if they're going to compete in the general election. fernando: what would be that argument that would convince millennial voters that seem to prefer, at least at this point, democrats, as you said? in 2012, they preferred president obama. what's going to bring them over to the republican side? steve first of all, i think it : depends on the messenger. someone like marco rubio or ted cruz, you're talking about first term senators who have been not around washington for that long. who are in their 40's, facing either hillary clinton, who has been in washington for a very long time and is nearing 70, or 74-year-old bernie sanders who's
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1980's. they're able to make that generational change argument that isn't even really about the issues. it's just about the messenger. fernando: well, steve shepard, thank you so much for joining me. steve: my pleasure. >> up next, courting the vote that could swing this election.
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mr. trump. (phone ringing) you can't deal with something, by ignoring it. but that's how some presidential candidates seem to be dealing with social security. americans work hard, and pay into it. so our next president needs a real plan to keep it strong. (elephant noise) (donkey noise)
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fernando: it's a bipartisan reality. latinos are the nation's largest minority group, almost 20% of the population. the republican and democratic nominees will have to win a big share of this growing electorate in order to win the white house. but will eligible latinos turn out at the polls? matt barreto, with the leading polling firm latino decisions, joins me on skype. welcome to the program. matt: thank you for having me . fernando: so matt, as you're looking at this election, do you
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the numbers that people have expected or will it be 2014 kind of situation where there'll be underperformance by latino voters? matt: well, we've always seen this up and down in presidential elections and midterm elections. and it is true that 2014 was really one of the worst years for the latino vote. but some of the commentaries made on the republican side during the primaries about anchor babies, about mexicans as rapists, as well as building the wall, as well as some the other comments about other immigrants, such as muslim immigrants. these have really inflamed a lot of frustration in the latino community. and you're seeing not only everyday people coming out and protesting but the advocates and , advocacy groups are very involved this year. you are seeing a lot of that frustration on the one side. on the other side, what some of the other candidates are talking about, there has been a lot of attention on latino millennials as a new force.
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frustration and enthusiasm continues, that is a recipe for very high engagement. fernando: let me ask you a question. several polls, pew among others, show that latinos, like other americans, care about the economy and security and so forth, yet immigration continues to be a touchstone for this voter group. can you explain how that works? why is immigration so critical, especially since most latinos were born in the u.s.? matt: we find in our polling that two thirds of latino voters personally know someone who is an undocumented immigrant. and up to one third know someone who has actually been detained or deported. and so the immigration issue, it's a family issue. it's an issue that almost everyone, even if they were born in the u.s., has immigrant parents or immigrant grandparents or immigrant friends, and so it's an issue that's very close and personal. and when candidates start taking positions to say that they want to deport parents of u.s. citizens, for example, that's an issue that strikes at the heart of the latino community. so because of that, it elevates in importance.
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salient or more top of the mind than some of these other issues like the economy. and so, because of that, it's an issue that can mobilize latinos even when surveys show sometimes that people are saying that yes, i care about jobs, i care about wages and the economy, immigration is the issue that gets them to the polls. fernando: and last question, what is the threshold number of latinos or percentage of latino voters that a republican or a democrat has to earn in order to be elected president? matt: well, we used to think that that number was 40%, because that was the number that george w. bush was able to get. but that was back in 2000, 2004. much has changed. the latino vote has gotten much larger since then and as a result, republicans need to do better. and we've done a state by state analysis to look at that and our estimates nationally are that the republican party needs to be between 42% and 47% of the latino vote if they're going to be competitive with the national electorate in 2016. fernando: matt, thank you very
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matt: it's my pleasure, fernando. fernando: as both mitt romney and president obama found out in 2012, support from latino voters is the difference between victory and defeat in national elections. >> coming up -- an insider's guide to the iowa caucus >> we need a sticker. >> do you know how it really
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fernando: iowa is supposed to be a proving ground for presidential candidates. experts say the caucuses help reveal their strengths and weaknesses. so how did this century old tradition become the game changer in the political process? >> one. two. three. four. fernando: caucuses have been around for 100 years doing the local business of political parties.
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parties started using the meetings to gauge presidential politics. drake university professor dennis goldford is an expert in the process >> it occured to party officials to say, by the way, while you're here, whom do prefer to be the party's nominee. fernando caucusing differs : between democrats and republicans. for republicans, it is a matter of writing your candidate's name on a piece of paper and totaling the numbers. >> all we got to do is hang tight. alright. hang tight. hang tight. fernando: democrats do a lot more wheeling and dealing. >> do we as a group want to support one of these unviable candidates over here by sending anybody to help viability, maybe preventing somebody else from another camp, to get another delegate? fernando: goldford explains those caucusing often decide who they don't want to win and maneuver votes away from them. but he reminds us, while both
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differently, the result is the same. >> it provides an idea of what the local party thinks or their preference vote. >> the caucuses are a completely meaningless event with tremendous politcal impact. fernando: the delegates elected by the caucuses reflect candidate preferences, but they are non-binding. so they can cast their votes differently at the convention. historically, only 3 times since 1972 has the iowa caucus picked the eventual president -- jimmy carter in 1976, george bush in 2000 and president obama in 2008. i'd like to know your thoughts. tweet me at @matteroffacttv, check in on facebook, or connect with our video site to view and share videos from all our programs. >> when we return, why would the right line up to bump trump? fernando has the bottom line.
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let us be lovers, we'll marry our fortunes together [ cheering ] i've got some real estate here in my bag counting the cars on the new jersey turnpike they've all come to look for america [ cheers and applause ] all come to look for america all come to look for america all come to look for america i'm bernie sanders, and i approve this message. he was rated a+ by the nra. not for his promises, but for defending the second amendment... he's a man of deep faith, who fought time and again
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he laid out a plan to destroy isis months before paris. he'll strengthen our border and use conservative principles to put washington's broken fiscal house back in order. jeb bush. he's the conservative you can trust, to fight for our beliefs. right to rise usa is responsible for the content of this message. fernando: many of you at home
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my passion for this country and for politics. an avid reader, i was struck by the coverage of donald trump in the iconic conservative magazine, "the national review." struck by the who's who of republican thinkers and media stars blasting him and his candidacy. was this the so-called republican establishment fighting to retake control of the nomination process, trying to lift up anyone but trump? my observation -- the attacks seem only to fuel trump's claim that he's here to save america. not just from democrats, but quite pointedly, from the republican insiders lining up against him. to be sure, trump's positions have powerfully connected with a plurality of gop voters. voters scared by the waves of economic and social change washing over their lives. voters who don't believe a pledge to cut taxes will solve every problem. the gop has lost 4 out of the last 6 presidential elections.
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candidates. like president reagan's "morning again in america" brand of conservatism, the party needs a positive message that inspires, not just terrifies voters. that's my bottom line. you can read my thoughts on, or share your thoughts with us on twitter. thanks for joining us. i'm fernando espuelas. have a great week. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its
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>> i haven't had time to actually think about what it is
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life back.


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