tv Matter of Fact With Fernando Espuelas KOFY March 13, 2016 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT
announcer: today on "matter of fact," the most powerful democrat in the senate sizes up the republican field. >> ky for bringing a little class. >> marco rubio stands for nothing. who gets his thumbs up? and, it's winner-take-all tuesday. mrs. clinton: we have our work cut out for us. announcer plus, what's joe biden : saying about the battle inside the gop? ♪ fernando espuelas: welcome to "matter of fact." i'm fernando espuelas. when president barack obama announces his selection for the next supreme court nominee, there will be no shortage of verbal volley's on both sides of the political field.
>> we know what kind of judicial activist that this president puts on the supreme court. sen. reid: the constitution is not some ball you pick up and take home because you are mad at president obama. fernando: nevada senator harry reid is the senate's most powerful democrat. i've interviewed him several times over the course of the obama presidency, and i caught up with the democratic leader on capitol hill for a conversation about obstructionist politics but first, the race for the , white house. sen. reid: glad to be here. fernando: thank you, sir. you recently endorsed hillary clinton. how do you think are campaign is going? sen. reid: i think her campaign is going fine. has beenernie sanders a good job. i think he has refreshed the campaign. i think he has made her a better candidate, and we're going to have a really good next month. fernando: you said something interesting about comparing marco rubio to ted cruz, andou
said you are in disagreement with many, if not all of the ideas of senator cruz, but pointed out that marco rubio, based on your analysis, does not have any fixed positions. sen. reid: i told one of my republican friends just a few minutes on the telephone -- i said i disagree with virtually for,thing ted cruz stands but i admire him because he stands for something. he never wavers from his base voters. i appreciate that. marco rubio stands for nothing. i have no political respect for someone like that. fernando: do you feel betrayed that he walked away from his own bill -- i gained of eight immigration bill? sen. reid: that was a signature of a competent of this congress -- -- accomplishment of this congress -- last congress. we did something important for the country. it passed by a nice, bipartisan margin.
how can we just walk away from this? he walked away from it as if it never existed. people voted for this bill because of him. not everybody, but some did -- admired him for doing this. as soon as he gets a sniffing he might run for president, he decides he's going to be totally against the -- against something he was the framer of. fernando: what are your thoughts of donald trump, beyond the merit of his particular ideas? is there a super personality president that could actually override the congress in a way that he seems to think? sen. reid: well, i have been here a long time, and i have seen many different presidents come and go. i have a little more seniority around here. i have been working very closely with presidents, and, of course, a stronger personality might try to change things, but you would
need one that knows what they are talking about. the problem with trump is he does not let facts get in the way of anything he says. i cannot imagine how people don't see through that. i'm in, look at his vitriolic hispanics,about about muslims -- i just cannot comprehend how america, land of opportunity -- we accept everybody, those yearning to be free -- and to have someone like this going to be elected president? i cannot imagine how we are frowned upon today around the world -- this character, and that is what he is, character, might become a nominee for president. fernando: you wrote a powerful, pointed piece for "the washington post," about the nomination of a supreme court justice after justice scalia's death, saying this is what the constitution says, what
tradition says. what is the basis, do you think, ultimately, for blocking the nonee, and will it succeed? sen. reid: anyone watching this -- if they stop and think, and i know they will -- that without the president having named anyone -- a man, a woman, a --ocrat or a republican folks say we do not care who he nominates. we will not talk to him. they will not sit down and have a meeting with this person. they will not have a committee meeting, and they certainly will not have a vote. i cannot comprehend how they will do that. the reason i have been disappointed for a lot of different reasons -- the judiciary committee -- chuck grassley, who has been here a long, long time, has joined in this. the committee system here used to be powerful. they would not take orders from some republican leader or donald trump, and now senator grassley just capitulate on it, and
whatever o'connell wants, that is what i will do. fernando: this is your final year here. what is a pending, major item in your agenda you would like to see past? sen. reid: i would, first of all, like to see some degree of order. i would hope we could do funding of the government without a lot of fanfare. i hope something on comprehensive immigration reform. i've spent more time on copper has immigration reform that anything else. fernando: thank you for inviting us here today. i appreciate it. senator reid has long been a proponent for immigration reform. next month, the supreme court will hear arguments in a case challenging the president's executive actions on the issue. the ruling could come down in june, just weeks before the presidential conventions. announcer: coming up, could clinton's candidacy be hacked by her e-mail controversy? >> hillary clinton is not going to go down with a -- without a fight. announcer and, stealing union : members back from trump -- can
's most powerful player deliver the vote? mrs. clinton: thank you all so much. fernando: democratic candidate hillary clinton, under scrutiny for her e-mail controversy as secretary of state, pushes forward, and doesn't want any more surprises like her michigan loss to bernie sanders. on tuesday, five states are now -- up for grabs, but more importantly, in florida and ohio, it's winner-take-all. a.b. stoddard covers the election as an editor and columnist for "the hill" newspaper. welcome to the program. ddard: thank you for having it. we are --fernando: we are days away. how do you think things are shaping up? ms. stoddard: rubio's polling well.
john kasich is a new threat. there is a possibility that could be a contested convention. at other surprise could be on the democratic side if a michigan electorate appears in ohio -- the same kind of appeal for senator sanders among democratic voters with a strong anti-trade message. fernando: do you think marco rubio is still viable in some scenarios? ms. stoddard: i think marco rubio is looking really damaged in the polling in florida. most of the polls -- one poll had an eight points behind donald trump. another, 20, 20 3 -- 18. that looks like a tough climb. i do not know if he is going to get out. his campaign says he is going to stay young until florida. sometimes -- they in until florida. sometimes it sounds like he will stay in after florida. there is a lot of pressure to stop donald trump and also stop ted cruz.
i think it makes the most sense in another year for someone like marco rubio to leave, try to preserve his path to a political career, possibly run for governor in 2018. fernando: switching to hillary clinton, you have written about her legal problems in your perception that this is something that will potentially explode. what you think this e-mail scanned or is -- scandal is, and how will it play out? ms. stoddard: if there is a pattern over and over again, that would suggest to me she is in legal trouble. perhaps she is clearly exonerated. we don't know. so far, it does not look good. if prosecution is recommended, but then turned down by the attorney general, i believe that would potentially leak out. would then leak out and possibly make it to the press. depending on the time, whether it is before the nomination, or after the nomination, that
scares democrats in terms of how it could potentially damage their nominee. there are democrats who are never on the record, but i speak to them, who are very nervous about the political liability of that fbi investigation. fernando: speaking of scandals, trump university, and perhaps other things lurking in mr. trump's background doesn't seem to have much of an impact, or at least not a very visible impact as far as a result, certainly in michigan and other places. ms. stoddard: it certainly does not matter to trump supporters, and polls have found that very few people voting for or against trump actually are aware of all of those business failures, at the questions, etc.. you will see the antitrust forces try to educate the electorate on these. forces try to educate the electorate. hillary hunter will not go down
without a fight. they have been working for months to amass a campaign against trump. most of it will not be new. it will be potent. whatever is there -- no stone will be left unturned. the republicans waited for a long time to try to educate their own voters about donald trump's problems. it is probably too late. his authorities -- supporters are intense and they do not care. fernando: thank you for joining us. announcer: next, words for the donald. mr. trumka: his agenda is more bigoted than bold. can union power take back trump's blue-collar following? and, confused about what the candidates are really saying? >> are wild
fernando: for decades, the democratic party has been the beneficiary of support from labor unions, but when wisconsin governor scott walker cut collective bargaining rights for workers almost five years ago, public union membership dropped by half. today, less than a quarter of all public sector workers in the state are unionized. will labor still be a political force in this year's elections? richard trumka is president of the afl-cio. look into the program. : thank you for having me on. i have enjoyed your program. i look forward to it. fernando: thank you. we are in the midst of it -- of
an unusual election season. how do you see it playing out? it is unusual. to many people are trying to be divisive, run on hatred. in the end, that house of cards will collapse and people will come together and demand that the candidates talk about policies that address their that are forcies the country. i am hoping we get past the racism, the bigotry, the name-calling, all of that stuff, and talk about things that matter to people. fernando: how do you see the labor movement going forward, especially after the actions of governor scott walker? mr. trumka: look, we have income inequality. the best way to get a raise is for workers to come together, negotiate collectively. so, you look at the candidates -- what they say about that. trump has been very antiunion.
he is 100% for right to appear. he believes our rate -- our wages are too high. he believes guys like carl icahn would make a great treasury secretary. those attacks start at the top, but they spread out. there are about 25, 26 states were state legislatures are attacking working people's rights -- health and safety, voting rights, or the right to have a voice on the job through a union. fernando: so, does the union have a specific plan to derail donald trump? mr. trumka: donald trump's policies, bigotry, and outrageousness, are going to derail donald trump. what we are doing is going door to door, leaflets, phone banks, given the facts -- the fact that donald trump is 100% in favor of right to work, that he thinks wages are too high, that he thinks outsources are good, that he was a cheerleader for people like scott walker.
he did not have the courage to renounce the kkk whenever he endorsed him and he was asked about it. we will be giving everyone the facts about our candidates -- our members, and the general public, the facts about him and the candidate running on the democratic side so that people have the full array of knowledge, rather than the 32nd soundbite. whenever you do that, trump is like a house of cards. he collapses. when you show he is a bigot, a racist, how devices he is -- how he is running on hatred and fear as opposed to hope and policies to get us out of these --it is easy for the house to collapse. fernando: and, last question, as we move forward -- more of an opinion then a question --how do you think this will shake out?
i know next couple of days we will have some major primaries, but what is your expectation? will probablyump do well on the primary side, but i think his agenda is more bigoted than bold, and more condescending than comprehensive, and whenever it gets scrutinized, i think it will fall like a house of cards, and i think workers will vote in their best interests, as they always do, even though he is tapped into the anger that is out there because of stagnant wages that you talked about. fernando: two or four talking to me. mr. trumka: thank you for having me. i appreciate it. fernando: i appreciate it as well. today, approximately 11% of america's workforce belongs to a union. according to the "new york times," the decline has been particularly steep in former strongholds and politically key -- important states like michigan and ohio. announcer coming up next, would : today's gop question reagan's conservative credentials? mr. biden: he could no more get the nomination of the republican party than i can get the nomination.
mr. biden: ifmr. biden: ronald reagan were alive today seeking the nomination, he could no more get the nomination of the republican party than i could get the nomination. i am not joking. fernando: that was vice president joseph biden speaking at an event in dubai about the presidential race. as biden, and even some republicans, have pointed out, there's a lot of talk about divisions erupting within the grand old party. i asked renowned scholar and head of the annenberg public policy center kathleen hall jamieson if the divisions will stand. dr. jamieson: the current systems has made it difficult for a new party to emerge. essentially, the democrats and republicans have institutionalized the parties in ways that mean you do not get
much media access if you're not one of those parties, and you have ballot access threshold. for example, who gets into a primary debate -- republicans in a republican debate, democrats in a democratic debate. it means that a person who does not fit will come into the environment in the expectation that is the only way to get media coverage. you have people that actually are not part of the republican party running the republican party, and bernie sanders is running in the democratic party. rand paul does not long in the republican party, nor does bernie sanders belong in the democratic party. the parties has gripped the system, it is hard to do anything else. parties that stood for anything that is highly coherent in a long time. candidates have been defining what it means to be a party bargain the nomination of the party, and a party than falls in line with that identity. as a result, there have been wild swings in what it means to be a republican or a democrat as a presidential nominee. fernando: i'll have more with
fernando: social media is buzzing with commentaries to compare donald trump to adolf hitler, in response to asking voters to raise their right hand and commit to voting for him. as a political observer i was struck by the optics and the immediate references to nancy practice. at first, i thought it unwise. someone suggested i am jumping on the anti-trump bandwagon or an example of the liberally --
politically correct liberal media. part,ot judging trump's nor comparing him to hitler, but i'm wondering how this master pitchman -- someone who has turned the tidal wave of anger in america into a political platform failed to consider the symbolism of that image. oneur country where our united pledge of allegiance is to a nation indivisible and those elected take an oath to serve, i find it offensive to watch a candidate ask followers to show support using that gesture. even as a good humored event, it is sickening are specific and supremely non-american. i'm fernando espuelas. have a great week. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪