tv Matter of Fact With Fernando Espuelas KOFY June 12, 2016 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT
>> today on "matter of fact" -- a g.o.p. retreat from trump. marco rubio: it is inappropriate, wrong, offensive. mitch mcconnell: it's time to quite attacking. >> what's ahead for republicans who "un-friended" their nominee? >> why didn't it kick in earlier that this guy would a problem? >> plus -- has the obama white house failed to keep isis off our doorstep? >> our southern border is completely porous. >> the chairman of homeland security debates the tactics in the war on terror. then, is she to talk?
is he too emotional? is this election reversing the gender stereotypes? fernando: hello and welcome to "matter of fact." i'm fernando espuelas. should the g.o.p. turn and run from their presumptive presidential nominee, donald trump? mr. trump: we're building a wall. he's a mexican. fernando: republican leaders categorically condemned trump for his attack on the federal judge presiding over the trump university fraud lawsuit. paul ryan: claiming a person can't do their job because of their race is sort of the textbook definition of a racist comment. mitch mcconnell: it's time to quit attacking various people you've competed with. fernando: after days of additional attacks against the judge, trump did try to walk back his comments, saying they were misconstrued. then he took to the teleprompter with a canned message. donald trump: i understand the responsibility.
fernando: will republicans leaders now un-endorse donald trump? joining me now to explore this question is "washington post" conservative blogger jennifer rubin. welcome back to the program. ms. rubin: nice to be here. fernando: i have been reading all your recent columns and your last one was so impactful, you were suggesting that republican leaders effectively un-endorse trump. why and do you think it will happen? ms. rubin: i'll take the second question first because we don't know. what we saw on tuesday was the first of the un-endorsements and that was mark kirk. it is interesting because he is on the ballot in 2016 and he is going to have a tough race in illinois. it's interesting that he clearly saw it in his political favor to step away from donald trump. the question as to why they are doing it, i think of it a little differently.
why didn't they do it sooner? they saw this coming. they knew what they were getting with donald trump. i think it was his recent comments regarding the trump in the mesh the judge -- i think it was his recent comments on the judge in the trump u. that sparked this but he has said things before. he said horrible things about women, p.o.w.'s. he mocked the disabled. and you do wonder why it did not kick in earlier that this guy would a problem. i think they have been slow off the mark continually. they were slow off the mark recognizing that he would be a force. they were slow off the mark, once he was the presumptive nominee, trying to move into his campaign and to shape him in some way that would be acceptable. and i think they are slow off the mark now figuring out how to distance themselves. you even hear now that there might still be a primary fight on the convention floor. fernando: well, let me ask you about that. how tenable is it to take a position like speaker ryan's to
essentially call trump racist, or his comment racist, but still continues to support him? can those things live together in one person and that person be credible? ms. rubin: well, there is a phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance. but this takes it to a whole new level. because you are exactly right. how does one say, i reject racism, this a racist statement, and this is the guy i'm going to vote for, for president of the united states? i think it's intellectually untenable and politically untenable as well. i do wonder at some point whether they just cut the cord. if they cut the cord without a plan b, they may be dropping out of the airplane without the parachute. fernando: what about the libertarian party? gary johnson. he's a serious guy. reading the libertarian platform though, it is very not conservative. is there any possibility where people say this is the least of evils on the right? ms. rubin: i think the
libertarian party does have the opportunity to break out this election season. they have two very unattractive opponents, not physically, but their political makeup. and i think people will give them a shot. and i think it depends on which libertarian party gary johnson and bill weld present. two very experienced governors. they have more governing experience than either of the two candidates. 14 years between the two of them, and successful as budget cutters, tax cutters, fiscally responsible governors. do they present themselves as people who emphasize smaller government more effective , government -- or do they feature some of the racier topics that the libertarian party is known for? they are very big on drug legalization, not just marijuana. there are members of the party who insist we shouldn't have driver's licenses, there should be no government regulation.
i think if they show that leg, they are not going to build upon their party. do they want to and can they expand reach? it's not clear, especially with foreign policy. the libertarian party tends to be very isolationist. i think it's going difficult to be attract republicans when we have iran, and isis, and russia. fernando: thank you for your insights, always a pleasure to have you here. >> coming up -- calling out the president on national security. >> it is a risk we are not addressing. >> what's the fix? going one-on-one with the chairman of homeland security. plus -- gender role reversal? mr. trump: my preference is always peace. >> getting in touch with the softer side of trump. and sharing space with the largest section of the berlin wall outside of germany. can you guess where we are?
terrorism is a cancer, and it's spreading. in the wake of the paris and san bernardino attacks, america's fear of a terrorist attack on u.s. targets is growing. so i spoke with senator ron johnson, the chairman of the homeland security committee, and asked him about efforts to keep terrorist cells out of the u.s. senator welcome to the program. , senator johnson: thanks for having me. fernando: as you look at homeland security from your position as the chair of the committee in the senate and you , see isis spreading like a cancer across the european continent, northern africa, what do you think americans should be thinking about isis in terms of it crossing the ocean? is that a possibility? something we should be thinking about? senator johnson: my biggest concern is having operatives from isis come in from our porous southern border. when i took over as chairman of the senate committee, we established a mission statement, kind of a business person's approach to enhance the economic and national security of america. and then we established four
primary priorities. border security, cyber security, protecting our critical infrastructure, and really countering islamic terror. two of those elements are border security and counting islamic terror. our southern border is completely porous, and we have to secure the border. that is one of the things. but we have to defeat isis. it has been 22 months or more since president obama declared our goal as it relates to isis, which is degrade and ultimately defeat. how long did it take us to defeat nazi germany? i mean put this in perspective. we have got to defeat isis, because as you said, it is metastasizing like a cancer. it's a growing threat. we may be putting pressure on them, but we haven't destroyed them. we haven't destroyed that caliphate. fernando: well, they've lost roughly half their territory. but what else do you think the united states should do? should we send more combat troops? senator johnson: we have to lead in an effective manner. and the sooner we defeat isis the better, because as you said, they are metastasizing. affiliates, other groups are
affiliating themselves with that caliphate. that's not a good thing. they are spreading into other failed states like libya, the presence in afghanistan, the poppy fields, so we have to defeat them. but we have to be relentless. we can't defeat one group in this place, kind of pat our hands and say we are done with it. this is going to be a long-term struggle. we've got to be the leader of a committed coalition of the willing of the civilized world to once and for all defeat islamic terror. fernando: senator, you talked about the southern border. to my understanding, there has not been a single documented case of terrorists coming to the u.s. through those means. are you aware of people who have done that? senator johnson: you are correct. we have not documented anything, but we know how porous our border is and we've got to secure our border for a number of reasons. we have got to fix our broken immigration system. from the standpoint of public health and safety, you've got drugs and strands of tuberculosis and disease in less developed countries coming into
this country. and the national security. you know there's a term -- fernando there's no evidence : that has actually happened. senator johnson: well, there's evidence of individuals, s.i.a., special interest aliens. these are individuals from pakistan, somali, and syria that are being identified in central america. they could be operatives. again, it's definitely a risk that we are not addressing by leaving our border open. fernando: so let me ask you. obviously, your party is in the process of what seems to be a nomination for donald trump. he has advocated building a wall on the border. is that a policy that you think would work? senator johnson: we have to secure the border. certainly we have to have better fencing in the places we do have it. we probably need more fencing. fencing works. it prevents illegal immigration. from my standpoint, we have to concentrate on the incentives for illegal immigration. number one, by the way, the same reason our ancestors came to america, the opportunity here. so we need a functioning guest worker program. that's the number one incentive
for people coming in this country. let's make it a legal process that would really reduce dramatically the number of people coming in illegally. but, you know, things like deferred action on childhood arrivals. that's why we have the surge of children and now families coming in from central america. fernando: so are you in favor of a comprehensive reform? senator johnson: i'm in favor of a comprehensive process to secure the border. it's the first step. fernando: isn't this really a complex system with multiple parts? senator johnson: but it starts with securing our border. politically, and i just think ,rom the public perception americans don't trust the federal government because we've never secured the border. people have been talking about it but we've never done it. , fernando: but that's been on purpose. senator johnson: so we have to secure, that's the first step, so the public would actually support fixing the parts of our broken immigration system. fernando: thank you. senator johnson's seat is at risk as he battles former wisconsin senator russ feingold in november. >> up next -- the democratic playbook.
fernando: the presidential primary season comes to a close on tuesday when the district of columbia votes. with that finale, the presumptive nominees should be in ramp-up mode. yet, as our next guest has written, the trump train could be derailing on capitol hill. republicans in the house and senate are worried that trump's bombastic rhetoric provides clinton with a pivot point she can advance, putting them at a disadvantage. seung min kim covers congress for politico. welcome to the program. ms. kim: thanks for having me. fernando: thank you so much. there is a sense out there that
republicans in the senate, but also congress, may be frustrated by donald trump. that his uneven messaging, or surprising messaging perhaps is a better word, that throws off their best plans. is that happening? what do you hear? ms. kim: i think that's a fair characterization. we saw these controversial comments from mr. trump about that federal judge in indiana. not only are senate and house republicans overwhelmingly rebuking those comments as inappropriate, and in some cases un-american. they are really showing open frustration that those comments and the continuous coverage are stepping on their agenda. the classic case of that was this week when speaker ryan, he's very excited to roll out this six-point policy agenda that republicans are going to be running on this fall showing the american people that this is what republicans are about, support the republican party, trying to distract away from the top of the ticket.
he went to a neighborhood in d.c. and talked about anti-poverty programs, and he was overwhelmed with trump questions right off the bat. fernando: first question. ms. kim: i think all questions were about trump. fernando: the republican senate committee responsible for reelection put out a memo some months ago saying don't diss trump to reporters, but distance from his message. "i support the nominee, but i don't necessarily support what he has to say." is that strategy actually working, or is it getting totally overwhelmed? ms. kim: i think whether that strategy works, we will know in the fall after voters go to the polls. i think most republican senate candidates have little choice but to toe that line. they cannot completely disavow, except in some circumstances, they can't completely disavow mr. trump as the nominee. they need those republican primary voters who supported trump in the primary.
they need to drive out those voters in the fall for their own reelection campaigns. cannot, they do not and support the kind of comments he , distance themselves while still supporting the nominee. that's the dance they have to do. fernando: how do you -- what's your perception watching this so closely? do you think republican officials understand that their brand is now being redefined by mr. trump's comments? ms. kim: i think they are aware of the impact that trump can have on the republican party, which is why they are trying to run on their own brands. on the rob portman brand in ohio, or the pat toomey brand in pennsylvania, or the paul ryan brand in the house. that is why speaker ryan is trying so hard to roll out this policy agenda over the next six weeks. we have poverty, healthcare, there is a lot to talk about for house republicans there.
for senate republicans and the committee helping to reelect them, they have a phrase. we are telling our candidates to run as though they are running for sheriff. don't pay attention to top of ticket, that's out of your control. this is your own localized race and run as if running for sheriff. fernando: you talked about endorsements and senator kirk basically un-endorsing, do you expect more of those rhetorical separations between a candidate and mr. trump? ms. kim: i think there will be -- continue to be rhetorical separations. we talked to senator roger wicker. he's the chairman of the national republican senatorial committee that oversees the reelection of the senate candidates. he told us that he does not expect other senators to follow suit like what kirk did, but we will have to wait and see. fernando: thank you so much. >> coming up next -- his-story. her-story.
fernando: for generations in our country, women were termed the weaker sex, denied the right to hold office, vote, or own property. in short, to enjoy the full rights of citizenship. hillary clinton: thanks to you, we have reached a milestone. fernando: and now we witness history as hillary clinton claims the presidential nomination for the democratic party. this is a momentous occasion. but there is something else equally profound that has happened in this election. while clinton is still subject to some of the more subtle forms of sexist stereotyping, i'm surprised that the most predictable ones have not been used as weapons against her.
few have called her soft on america's enemies, too sensitive or emotional to be trusted with the nuclear codes, not as smart as a man. well, quite the opposite. actually, she is criticized for her hawkish positions on foreign policy, human rights, and terrorism. some people complain that she's too hard, too tough, too wonkish. maybe she's a bit cold, they say. strangely, it's the male candidate, donald trump, who is often accused of being too emotional. illogical and temperamental. too hot and hysterical to be trusted in a crisis. whatever happens in november, maybe, just maybe, the slur of the weaker sex has been vanquished from our national conversation. and hopefully becomes irrelevant to our assessment of character and capacity. >> send your thoughts and tweets to matteroffact.tv. and check in on facebook to view
fernando: i assume if you watch this show, you have more than a bit of curiosity. so we thought we'd share a bit of behind-the-scenes information. each week, our show comes from our washington, d.c., studio on the third floor of the newseum. if you visit washington, d.c., you'll find us on pennsylvania avenue between the capitol and the white house. look up as you approach, and you'll see 45 words of the first amendment carved into the stone edifice. ann rauscher, an exhibits editor, calls the newseum a museum of freedom. ms. rauscher: freedom of speech and the freedom of press almost go hand and hand. fernando: if you were here with me on the days we tape the show, you'd join visitors exploring history through the eyes of journalists. you could absorb the images of pulitzer prize-winning photos.
marvel at the remnants of the berlin wall. stop at the journalists memorial to reflect on the lives lost covering important stories, including two lost in afghanistan just last week. if you come visit, plan to stay awhile. there's a lot to take in. i'm fernando espuelas. have a great week. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is res caption cont
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