tv Face the Nation CBS August 14, 2016 8:30am-9:31am PDT
captioning sponsored by cbs nation," things are getting bleaker for donald trump, and a closer look at what makes a successful president. plus the city of milwaukee erupts overnight in violence, following the shooting death of an armed man by police. >police. it's been another week of zigs and zags for donald trump. incendiary comments and then backtracking, sort of. >> if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. although, the second amendment people, maybe there is. i don't know. isis is honoring president obama. he is the founder of isis. he is the founder of isis. >> dickerson: some said he's just kidding, but republicans worry they're headed for defeat. and even the candidate acknowledges the tough road ahead. >> , you know, the republicans do have a tougher path.
not my fault! to the my fault! >> dickerson: and increasingly raises the possibility of lose. >> can you imagine how badly i'll feel if i spent all of that money, all of this energy, all of this time, and lost. i will never, ever forgive the people of connecticut. i will never forgive the people of florida. and pennsylvania, and ohio. but i love them anyway. we'll see. i think we're going to do very well. >> dickerson: hillary clinton has her own problems as new e-mails surface that show a cozy relationship between the state department and the clinton foundation. we've got new battleground tracker numbers. republican senator susan collins tells us why she's not supporting trump. and we'll have a discussion of presidential attributes, just what skills does a candidate need in the nation's top job? it's all ahead on "face the nation."
good morning, and welcome to "face the nation." i'm john dickerson. we've got a lot of political news ahead, but last night, milwaukee, wisconsin, was the scene of violent protest after police officers shot and killed an armed man fleeing police who stopped him for what police called suspicious activity. cbs news milwaukee affiliate wdjt reporter, amanda porterfield, filed this report from last night's scene. >> reporter: we have video of people setting dumpsters on fire and throwing bricks at buses as they were driving by. in fact, a crowd of people, a large crowd of, i'd say about 50 people, crowded around our news car. they started cursing at us, calling us names, tell us that we're not from here. we're hearing profanities against police. we have pictures of police cars that have been smashed with bricks, one allegedly set on fire. there have been reports of a gas station and possibly another
building set on fire. our news crews have been out there. they came back bloodied and bruised. people attacked them. they were robbed down to their shoes. >> dickerson: turning to campaign 2016, we have new battleground tracker numbers from three key states, starting with florida. hillary clinton leads donald trump by five points, 45 to 40%. georgia is traditionally a red state, but at this point in the campaign, it's closer than usual. hillary clinton is down just four points. you'd expect her to be down boy more. donald trump is at 45, and clinton at 41. and new hampshire seems to be moving towards the blue column. hillary clinton now leads donald trump 45 to 36. there are only 85 days left until the election, so we turn to cbs news director of elections, anthony salvanto. anthony, give us a sense of your feeling about the overall picture of the election right now. >> when we look across all the states, john, hillary clinton now has a big enough lead in
enough of these battleground states that if she can hold it in fall-- and that's an if-- then she's in position to get elected, to win. you know, what you see in battleground after battleground now-- and new hampshire is a perfect example. we had that-- where we expect them to be close because they're always close and she's knot this big edge. if she holds it in the fall, we might not actually call them battlegrounds anymore. for donald trump, what this sets up for him, he doesn't just have to flip a close state here and there in order to win. he now has to actually actively go out and reverse big leads in a lot of states in order to be in position for him to win come fall. >> dickerson: so it's a steeper climb for him in these traditional states, or if they fall off contention altogether, that means his path to victory is really narrow. >> it's really narrow and i'll give you an example out of new hampshire of how tough this looks from here. so we asked people who aren't voting for donald trump, would you consider voting for him? and among women, when whom he is
down almost 20 points anyway, women who are not voting for him, the number who say, yes, they would consider it is zero. and the number who say maybe is 9%. so if you're at zero in the number of people who will consider you going forward, that just emphasizes what a tough hill it is. >> dickerson: and so what's his big challenge, donald trump's big challenge right now in the polls, as you see it? >> well, he's got a couple, and one is he's behind schedule, if you will, in rallying his own base, his own partisans. there are republicans who have fallen away. they haven't all shifted en mass to hillary clinton. the more undecide, unsure. but he is in the mid-70s, about 70-odd percent among republicans, whereas you compare that to hillary clinton, who is up, for example, in new hampshire, at 93% of democrats. so we're in a very partisan environment anyway, you have to get in the 90s with your base. that emphasizes one key challenge. >> dickerson: this week the
conversation was donald trump and heartburn in republican ranks, your poll numbers seem to show that in the regular people, in terms of not sticking with him. >> yes and she it's different from in the primaries. in the primaries, the voters said they didn't care what republican leaders said and did about donald trump, but here you have a much larger electorate that tell you in the polls that they do care somewhat. >> dickerson: what's his other challenge? >> he's got-- when you look at the number of people who are willing to swing, who are going back and forth, it's very small. it's still very small, because those undecideds have at this point shifted to hillary clinton. in fact, here's another small number for you. the number of folks who say that they feel like they have two good choices in this-- in this race is 1%. now, that's not to say hillary clinton isn't without some issues of her own. in fact, if i told you a couple of months ago that she'd be trailing donald trump in some of these states on ability to fix the economy, on honest and trustworthy, you might say she'd be trailing.
but in fact, it's these honest, and these judgment and temperament questions that trump has been facing, that are showing up in the polls. and that, in particular, is what's weighing him down. >> dickerson: so while hillary clinton has lots of weakness, voters picking temperament as the thing for them right now-- and it's hurting donald trump-- that's the thing that's guiding their vote the most. >> exactly. you've got seven in 10 folks in florida, for example, who feel like he does not have the judgment and temperament to be president. and that's really serving as an anchor on him, and hillary clinton is also beating him there, as she has been, on the commander in chief test. so that's where the campaign has gone. when you see those other metrics, like fixing the economy, you see in some sense for donald trump the campaign that might have been or that might still be if he were to shift the focus to emphasize on those issues. but as long as it's on that temperament and judgment, that's what's become an anchor for him. >> dickerson: final question is this week donald trump said
some exciting things then said,"i was kidding." how are voters-- how are they parsing his more intendary comments? >> well, we asked about that, and most of them feel it's irresponsible. there's only a minority that feel like he's joking. among his supporters, they say they think he's telling it like it is. but that's only 20-odd percent. so when you see a majority saying that they feel like that's-- those are irresponsible comments, that he's not joking, that then goes to that judgment and temperament metric that's become such the emphasis here. >> dickerson: all right, anthony salvanto, thanks, as always. we'll see you again real soon. >> thanks, john. >> dickerson: we're joined now by republican senator susan collins, who joins us from portland, maine. senator, last week you wrote in the "washington post" that you could not support donald trump. you said you realized that donald trump was never going to change. what tipped it for you? >> the tipping point for me was when he attacked the parents of the fallen soldier.
it was inexplicable to me that anyone, much lesa presidential candidate, would not honor the sacrifice and empathize with a family who lost a son in war. instead, he attacked them and attacked their religion. it was so difficult a decision for me, because i'm a lifelong republican, and i wanted to and expected to be able to supour party's nominee. but the barrage of comments and the attacks on people who are vulnerable and unable to fight back really troubled me. >> dickerson: so what you've talked about is what some of his supporters would say is his kind of blunt way of behaig. what's going to be responsible for allowing him to shake up washington. and he's not a lifelong
politician so, you know, maybe he's a little rough, but that comes with some good sides. so why are they-- why are they wrong in making that case? >> when you look at the challenges that we're facing at home and abroad, we need a president who has the judgment, the temperament, the knowledge, and the self-control to lead our country and to be the symbol of our country. i know that it is appeal to people that donald trump has jettisoned the politically correct, stilted campaign speeches that frustrate voters. but the problem is that there's a big difference between that and treating people with respect and common decency. and there's where, in my judgment, donald trump has failed. >> dickerson: so when you made this decision to write about this, this week, did you let the trump campaign know or the
republican national committee know oring anything like that? >> i did let the republican national committee know, and i placed a call to eyewitnes rein, and i let the senate majority leader and state party leaders know. >> dickerson: did they try to talk you out of it? >> no, i think they understood that this was a decision that i, like many americans, really struggled with. donald trump was not my choice in the primary, and i also expected that he would evolve and change and that we would see a new donald trump after the primary. instead, the constant barrage of the ill-informed and cruel comments continued. and that is just not what we need to heal the divisions in our country right now. >> dickerson: one of the criticisms of those who have taken the stance that you have is that you're basically helping to elect hillary clinton.
what's your response to that? >> if i were helping to elect hillary clinton, i would have endorsed her. i'd be working for her, and i'd be voting for her. i'm not doing any of those things. i, unfortunately, cannot support either major party candidate, and i'm taking a look at the libertarian ticket because it's headed by two former republican governors who are very successful governors, bill weld, the head of that ticket. it would be the easier choice for me because i know him well and respect him a great deal. so i may go that route or i may end up writing in the name of the person they think is best qualified to be our next president. >> dickerson: if, as a senator, you will you make the case then-- i know you're not voting for hillary clinton-- will you make the case then that it's important to have a republican senate as a check against hillary clinton if it
looks like she's going to be the president? >> i certainly will. i have assured party leaders that i'm going to continue to work for republican candidates all across this country. i believe it's essential that we have a republican senate and a republican house, and i'm going to do all that i can to bring that about. that is absolute an important check on whom ever becomes the next president. >> dickerson: all right, senator collins, thanks so much for being with us. >> thank you, john. >> dickerson: we're going to step back now and talk about the presidency with some who have actually served in administrations, what skills make a good president is what we're looking for. if we know that, maybe we'll know what to look for in the candidates asking for the job. tom ridge is the former republican governor of pennsylvania and served as the first homeland security secretary when it was formed after 9/11. william cohen is a former republican senator from maine who served as defense secretary under democrat bill clinton. he is now a consultant and sits
on the cbs board of directors. retired air force general michael hayden served as head of the n.s.a., and c.i.a., and is now a principal with the chertoff group in washington. rosa brooks now has a book out "how everything became war and the military became everything." and former utah republican governor mike leavitt who served as secretary of health and human serviceservices and head of the. he joins us from salt lake city. governor, i want to start with you. if we think of the campaign as a job interview and you were all here to hire this new president what, are you going to look for? what should you look for? a good metaphor to think about the white house and the job of the presidency would be an air traffic controller with 500 planes in the air at any given moment, all of which think they're about ready to run out of fuel or need to make an emergency landing. there's a lot happening.
there's a lot of voices. and you need a person who has the temperament-- that's a word that's been used a lot today-- but has the ability to operate in an orderly way, that has a history of making good decisions for fire, and that can deal with an atmosphere where there's going to be a lot of conflicting voices and people saying unpleasant things about him or her, and respond to them in an appropriate fashion. >> dickerson: secretary ridge, what are you looking for? >> in addition to everything michael said, i think someone who has the leadership qualities that combine respect from the body politic, republicans and democrats, alike. someone who projects an empathy and a humanity. i remember when jack kemp used to say, people don't care what you know until they know what you care." and we need somebody that kind of projects that image to americans. and we need a president-- frankly, we need a candidate who is the same person as a
candidate and as a president. i think that's a challenge with one of the candidates we have. and ultimately, we need someone that's decisive, with good intuiz, with really good intuition. mike mentioned all these challenges. it's the most complex 21st century i think any-- i don't think any president will have inherited a more complex world, whether the global economy, the currently of terrorism, and we need somebody to listen to different points of view and be devicive once he or she decides to make that decision. >> dickerson: secretary cohen? >> i think he should have or she should have access to good information and exercise judgment wisely. so someone who thinks deeply about serious issues and who speaks clearly and uses language to educate, to inspire, and not to inflame. and i would say that the commander in chief, given all
the complexities involved, you need to have a group of people who are also wise, seasoned, and will give you advice and not be simply "yes" men and women, but be willing to challenge you on crucial issues to say that you are wrong and need to change. so it requires a number of things, but i think having facts, information, know, wisdom, and the ability to change your mind based upon the advice that you're getting from other people. >> dickerson: rosa, from your perspective, what do you think? >> you know, in 2008, when i was comparing, as a democrat, hillary clinton and barack obama, and everyone said clinton's experienced, obama's inexperienced, i thought oh, experience doesn't matter. we need fresh faces. we need fresh ideas. and i've sort of come to regret feeling that way after working inside the government for a while, that we have this great government which is sometimes badly broken but has these possibilities of brilliance and
wonderfulness in it. and if you don't understand all the levers that make that government work or not work, and how to get the best out of the people, many of whom are talented people-- some of whom are not-- who work in the federal government, it's really hard to get things done. and the same is true, i think, for the hill. i think i've come to believe that experience in understanding the nitty-gritty aspects of what makes government work is really vital. >> dickerson: general, what's your contribution? >> well, first off, let me second all the ideas that have been put out there. but i boil is down to my most critical conversations with the president which have been about covert action. and that temperament, honesty, integrity thing really matters. when you're talking to the president about a covert-- it's covert fair reason. because, frankly, operationally, ethically, legally, the course ahead isn't all that clear. so when i'm talking to a president about that, i'm representing all the men and
women at the central intelligence agency, i want to know that i'm talking to a decent human being. i want to know that i'm talking to someone who baldly reflects the values of the country that we want to defend. >> dickerson: all right, we'll come back and talk about that decision-making moment in a second. but we've got to take a break and we'll be back with more from our panel.
with more on what attributes make a good president. secretary cohen, i want to ask you about this idea of telling the president no. time and again, people say that's a crucial thing, getting somebody-- talk about that a little bit, who can tell the president no. >> i've worked with five presidents during my career. four of those five i was able to meet with them and present an alternative idea. it goes back to jimmy carter, president carter, made a campaign pledge, for example, he was going to pull 5,000 troops out of south korea. i had just come back from meeting with the president of south korea, along with senator nunn, hart, and john glen.
and we met with president carter and said this could in fact trip a wire by you pulling those 5,000 troops out. to his credit, he listened to us, and he changed. that was one example of being able to go to a president and say, "mr. president, you're making a mistake." and i can give you an example with president reagan and certainly bill clinton as well, and having that ability to go to president clinton and say, "mr. president, we need," or "we need to do this, and the he would be willing to listen to me. >> dickerson: secretary ridge, when it comes to telling a president what to do, it seems like waving a wand and things will happen. give us a sense of the pace and timing in the real world. >> i would add a couple of things, a quick thought to what bill said. the moment the president has to make a decision, he's going to get advice yeasuspicious and nay, and i remember conflicting
security information about a potential terrorist threat involving commercial aviation. some thought it was a serious and credible threat, others didn't think it was credible. he listened to every word, and he distilled it down to the least common denominator. would any of you get on that plane you? need an intuition and introspection that i think is critical in the decision-making process. the process itself is sometimes i think is too slow. the advance of the 21st century moves a lot more quickly than i think the traditional decision-making process in the white house works. sometimes you have the aassistant principals and the principals meet and then you get the secretaries to scmet it can take months for decision making for a memorandum. and another thing i think the president in the 21st century has to do is expedite that process. the 21st century moves much more quickly. the information-gathering process has traditionally by the
white house. >> dickerson: you worked on the transuition mitt romney, if he were to be elected. he was a businessman. you are a businessman. is it possible to take the inefficiencies of business and get them into government to break through some of the bureaucracies? >> a willingness to make crisp decisions is an important attribute. on the other hand, government works ditchly than business. in business, you're often able be to make decisions based on your own intuition, whereas in government, there's an old phrase, "no matter how thin the pancake, there are always two sides." ( laughter ) a willingness to listen to those sides and have the discipline-- i remember one day in the oval office i had a meeting and i had a moment with the president, and i thought there's another matter i want to talk to him about. i want to push my point of view. and to his credit he said, let's let the process unfold here. i'd like to see it at all once." that's the kind of discipline that good decision-making, when you have all of those decision
swirling at any given time. yes, there are moments of emergency, but there are a lot of distribute decision making that takes place because there's so much there, and it's happening all simultaneously. there has to be an order about it. and a person willing to operate within that order and delegate to many other people parts that can be, but waiting for that essential moment when you have the information and can make the right decision. >> dickerson: all right, thank you, governor. we're going to be right back, flip some more pancakes, but for the moment we'll take a break. stay with us.
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. >> dickerson: welcome back to "face the nation." i'm john dickerson. we pick up on where we left off on presidential atrebts with tom ridge, former defense secretary, william cohen. former head of the nsa, and c.i.a., michael hayden. rosa brooks, and from salt lake city. you wrote in your book, "how everything became war and the military became everything," about decision making. and presidents don't just get options "a" and options "b." they're decision decisions thatt to them because they're stuck in the bureaucracy. >> the u.s. executive branch is like an iceberg and the president and the cabinet are at the top of the iceberg, but most of the government is way below and the president never meets the people and there's no reason he necessarily should. but you have all this stuff
going on at lower levels but it's kind of like a giant machine to weed out nuance before it ever gets to decision makers. a lot of time when the president is sitting there and he's sitting there with his cabinet-- and you've all been in this situation-- sometimes so much has been lost-- sometimes for good reason because somebody realized early on, that's a bad idea. let's not get that up to the prospect. but sometimes because for the dumbest reason. it didn't fit in the bullet points, there was only going to be one page and it didn't make it on to that page. i think it's very hard if you're an inexperienced president pup don't know who to ask and who to go back to and say, "you know what? i bet there was more stuff and i want to see that. and i think this is the point you made, if you don't know where the more stuff is and how to access it, you find yourself facing two choices, both of which may be dumb. >> sometimes, in the effort to build a consensus recommendation to the president, the tendency is we all want to be in unity to give the president advice. and you need a president who
says, if you can't-- i'm not interested in consensus at the lowest common denominator. tell me what i need to know, and if it's a tough decision, "a," "b," and "c," i'll make the decision. >> dickerson: general, there has been some reporting recently with sen-com, and information on isis. how does the president know what they don't know, when it's never getting to them? and as we're thinking about a campaign, what should we look for in this the kind of management skills of a candidate that they know about their blind spots or where there might be potential blind spots. >> as rosa said, he has to poke and pull, and the more experienced you are, the better equipped you are to do that. let me give you a slightly different phenomenon, and that's when the bureaucracy actually works well and goes into the president-- this happens in intelligence from time to time-- goes into the president with a conclusion about which they have great confidence that cuts across the president's personality, his policy, or his politics. frankly, i think that happened a bit in the current administration with the growth of isis, kind of slowed there as
that threat developed. i know it happened with me. when we went in there in late '07, with an assessment-- that frankly, i think still stands-- that the iranians had stopped a narrow part of their nuclear weapons program, the weaponnization of their nuclear device-- you could not get more unhappy information in front of president bush and vice president cheney. >> dickerson: they didn't want to hear it. >> lord knows, they challenged it. but we stood our ground. and in the end, not only did the estimate stand, but because the president had been relying on a previous estimate that said something different and made that public, he direct we made this estimate-- with which i think he still had some doubts-- he insisted we make that public, too. >> dickerson: governor levitt, let me ask you about hiring. when i asked president obama about these questions of attributes, he said, you have to realize there's a whole group of people you hire who then go and make decision that may never get to you. how important is hiring in terms of what this next president is
going to do? and that sets up their ability to perform in office. >> it's a very important point. when you hire a president, you don't hire just one person. it's a team game, if you will. nearly 4,000 people come in following a president, and they make a lot of decisions. but in the final analysis, when all of that blows up-- i was in the oval office one day, and president bush said, "look, they call this the oval office, because there are no corners to hide in." ultimately, the decision had to be his. and i think that was the point. all of this rolls up to the point that many of the decision are able to be made by others, but in the final arb that was, the president of the united states sets the tone, not just whether they will listen to information that's hostile to their original point of view, but whether those who actually come in that team of 4,000 will. >> i think that's absolutely right fi can jump in on that for
a second. i remember feeling early on in this administration when i was at the pentagon, tremendous frustration on some issues where i felt like, president obama, if only he bourb he would make the right decision. he has these staff gatekeepers who weren't letting these important issues get to him. and i realized after a certain point he's got these people there because he wants them there. that ultimately, presidents choose the staff they want, and choose the staff who will enable them or not enable them to be in a bubble. >> good leaders attract good people and empower them to do whatever they need to do in that leader's vision, and the nature of government is so large, you really do have to rely upon them. that's the the way it is. >> dickerson: william cohen, you know about communication, what role does that play in terms of presidential communication. let's talk about it externally, and maybe somebody else can weigh in, in terms of internal communications. >> let me emphasize what tom ridge talked about earlier, that what you want in a president is someone who has empathy,
compassion, understanding for the problems of the average person. in this country, we have a deep racial divide. you can only look at what's taking place in ferguson, missouri, in chicago, in baltimore, in terms of the divide between the black community and the police community that serves them. there are rebellions taking place. i recall when president bush 41 was traveling out to california in the wake of the rodney king beatings and the rebellion that was taking place out there, he asked me, "how should i address this? how would you recommend?" and so he was, the president of the united states, asking me how to approach this subject. and language becomes important. i think when it comes to donald trump, he uses language to-- he uses language to divide, to demean, and ultimately, to divert. he's diverting attention from the big issues, and it forces
you in the media to be chasing everything down a rabbit hole. what does he mean? was it sarcastic? was it clear. was it delphically ambiguous. and we go around and around. meanwhile you have issues with turkey and russia. you have issue in terms of what the russians are doing in syria. you have a bigger issue going in terms of how are you going to handle-- how would you ever recommend giving nuclear weapons or providing them to japan and south korea? these are big issues and yet we're talking about his latest comment about what he would do under these circumstances or we're cheating in philadelphia and elsewhere. >> dickerson: let me ask you, secretary ridge, based on your time, also, you spent time in the house. donald trump is also a negotiator, deal maker. he's had some considerable success getting to yes. who knows how he gets there? he has a talent getting to yes. isn't that something washington needs badly.
>> i think there's a difference between a deal making and a consensus builder. sometimes when i listen to some people, i think it was in the 10 commandments, yule commander turned to one of his aides and said, "let it be written. let it be done." i think one of the presidential qualities we need is somebody who is a practitioner, who understands the constitutional process, who is willing to engage the house and senate. from time to time i worry about a government that becomes very ideological. leaders become very ideological, it's my way or the highway. the everyman, the men and women that make america work, they're looking for leadership that understands the complexities of their world, the challenges they face, to build consensus. ronald reagan was great at that. he and tip, divergent point of view, he did it. president bush 41 told me last year, one of his proudest moments was signing the americans with disabilities act because it brought republicans and democrats together. anything big in this country has normally been around a consensus of both parties.
they think that's what americans are looking for-- leaderships that's aspirational, that builds a consensus around solving big problems and not just talking about them. >> dickerson: governor levitt, secretary ridge has made the case for the old bringing people together, but there's a feeling in the land that, that just doesn't cut it anymore. and that somebody does need to come in who might not have the niceties of the establishment, but can break through and get some things done with a different skill set. what's wrong with that argument? >> the skill set of the 21st century requires collaborative leadership and she that means the ability to bring people together and find their common purpose. there are times when you simply have to step forward and show the direction, but in a democracy like ours, what's been missing is that washington has become all about preparing for the next election. and controlling the news cycle, because you're sure if you had complete control, you would do
the right thing. these other people won't. well, the reality is that's true for both, and a president who can bring people together to find that common solution is what's been missing. and i think what people yearn for. and i-- there is a culture of divide that's really borne in our politics. it used to be that winning an election, you keep your base, and ride the middle enough that you can win. now we have enough apathy in the middle that people get will bed by lighting up their base. and enough that they can have the votes required. that's a change in the american politic. but it does require a new kind of leader, i think, for the 21st searchry. >> dickerson: all right, we're going to have to end it there. thanks to all of you for helping us sort through a little bit about what a president does to make better choices. we'll be back to talk about the highs and lows of this week and
bureau chief at "time" magazine, which ran a controversial story on donald trump this week. he's melting down there on the cover. audie cornish is host of "all things consider"at npr news. and michael gerson. if donald trump were deliberately trying to avoid winning the election, he could hardly be doing a better job. >> well, i think the reason for that is this is a changed environment in this election. and by his own actions, trump is drawing attention away from the vulnerabilities of secretary clinton on to himself by one controversial statement after another. and there's a pattern to that. i mean, the pattern is he makes a statement, there are several days of damaging coverage, he rolls it back. he sort of doesn't roll it back. so he keeps the story going, and in some ways, he creates another diversion to get out of the previous diversion. so he is not focusing on the
things that he might focus on if he were to really be serious about trying to win this campaign. >> dickerson: michael in the piece in "time" in the interview with donald trump, several times he seems to go-- he says, you know, my advisers want me to behave the way dan is talk about, a traditional campaign, doing things you're supposed to do, prosecuting the case against your opponent and staying on message." it's like he's wearing an itchy shirt. and today we tweeted, "i am what i am." >> "so far, i like the way i ran in the primaries better." even though he's not running in the primaries, it's a different electorate. trump is caught here in a vice. from the beginning he has always trusted his own gut and his gut did something which nobody at this table or in washington could do, within the republican primary. he was proved right. the problem, is it's not going to work a second time. and he has to work against his own instincts.
he has to stop talking about himself, in a race where both candidates are way you want water. he needs to focus things on clinton. it's very hard for him to do. and he needs to find a way to keep his brand children is probably more important to him than winning the election, the idea that trump is who trump is. and cater it in a way that doesn't turn off a majority of the country, which he is doing right now. he's struggling. in our interview, he was struggling. if you see him at rallies, he's struggling. it's almost like a public therapy session he's having with the american people now where he's trying really hard to figure out how he can become the candidate everyone is contingent him he needed to be, without losing the person he clearly loves very much. >> dickerson: audie, where do you think we are in the campaign? newt gingrich compared donald trump to harry truman in 1948. he said he's an outsider candidate, a scrappy fighter, not doing things a traditional way, trying to conjure memories of dewy defeet truman, in other
words, the great comeback. is donald trump in that bad a position? is he in needave big comeback, or is this just a temporary little hiccup here? >> i still think he's playing to the rooms where he is most enjoying support, right. he's still playing to these people in the reallys. i don't know if donald trump has met a voter who is ambivalent, undecided, needs convincing, right. he either talks to people who are hostile-- protesters, the media, biased and hostile according to him-- and people who love him. so i think he has zero concept of what to do with people who need to be convinced. and so his sense of noding to turn it around, i think is not there. experts and people in the beltway can certainly sit around and say, "work he's really got to do "x," "y," and "z"." but he looks around a rally and a room full of people powho adore him and says, why shouldn't i stick with my gut?" >> it's even more complicated than that. he has not solidified republicans in the same way he
needs to. hillary clinton faced a tough battle with sanders, but she's 90-plus now among attorneys pretty consistently, trump is in the low 80s. he has to change that in order to be competitive in this election. a lot of those people are republican women, a lot of them college educated who he is not appealing to in anyway-- in fact, driving them away. >> dickerson: there was reporting this week about a letter written to the r.n.c., from 70 republicans strategists, some who have been in the political game, some not so recently, saying the r.n.c. should cut donald trump, focus on the senate and house candidacies. that's not that easy to do, is it? >> negotiate it isn't that easy to do. "a," it's premature. we're only in august. we're not in late september or mid-october for one. and as people within the party who have experience with this will tell you, if you start to do that now, the money is going to dry up. donald trump is helping them to raise a lot of money.
and if they say, well, we're going to take it and send it elsewhere," he's going to say, "well, we're going to stop raising money." so the resources won't actually be there. it's a much more complicated question than simply saying, well, let's do this, and everything else will remain equal." >> dickerson: as somebody put it to me, you can't go to the big, fancy dinner and kick out the rich guy. you still have to raise the bill. they need the money he's raising for them. michael, i was struck in an interview with donald trump, when you asked about black and latino voters. his answer is-- it seemed like he said, basically, all i can do is the truth." in other words, he's going to run his campaign. there's not going to be a special outreach. who is your sense of this? we talked about wanting to know his gut, but theo stuff you have to do to win a campaign. >> it was a big shift from the primaries. we asked about the same voting bloc last year, and he was very confident. he would say, i'm winning republican hispanics in nesahd "aful" he would always cite this
one nevada poll. it's clearly not happening. it's clearly not working. and i think that answer, it was sort of a rare moment of modesty from trump. it sort of-- he's coming to acknowledge this. now, i think we're saying all these things about how he's in trouble. the polls show the seeds of how he could at least narrow this margin. in your battleground poll in florida, less than a third of people said he had the temperament to be president, which is a terrible under but he's still winning on fixing the economy. he's still winning on change. if he can focus the conversation away from himself and his own fitness for office, that's a real path here for him to at least narrow. >> dickerson: and audie, on that point, are we in the press kind of going overboard on the trump hyperbole, which is to say, when he says, "obama was founder of isis," does he have lesroom to be hyperpollic than other candidates who say things that are totally hyperpollic and she nobody takes them that seriously. but he is being fact checked. >> i've been thinking about
this, this week, because i think we are kreanchging up the outrage machine at a rapid pace. and the thing about trump that i maybe disagree with dan a little bit, is that when he says something, right, that people say is controversial, he now forces everyone to repeat the faulthood, to-- quote, unquote-- fact check it, normal eyes and contextualize it for him. you see a lot of conversations, "what you really meant was this and that." and he can say, no, maybe, just kidding." the media is doing all the work of explaining things for him and normalizing some things that might in another context be considered socially unacceptable. >> i think it's deeper than just gafs. >> gaffes are unintentional. >> but he's not showing empathy. when someone opposes him, he has to degrade them. he has to dehumanize them. when you go after goldstar families, when you go after a judge, a judge in your case, that's different than going after jeb bush, okay. it shows that you like empathy. and that, i think, is a real
problem for him. he has based his life on the notion that not to be a loser. he now is facing the prospect of being one of the biggest losers in american history. i don't know how he adjusts to that. we have not seen how he adjusts to that. could be a major factor. >> the danger is that he adjusts to it by saying the whole process was rigged, and afterwards delegitimizing the democratic process, which could be really hazardous for the country. >> dickerson: that's right. he mentioned when he was in pennsylvania, he said the only way it would be the case that he would lose pennsylvania is if the system had been rigged. this is the state a republican hasn't won since 1988. >> it is a dangerous step that he is taking. and i'm sure there are people who will are saying to him, "do not do that." i do not know that for a fact, but it would not shock me if reince priebus in their constant conversations is saying, "don't go there. don't do that." it is a rischy strategy, as
michael said, to delegitimize in advance the outcome of an election in which you may be on the losing side. >> dickerson: michael gerson, let's talk about hillary clinton for a minute. everybody has been saying there is things that donald trump could be talking about with hillary clinton, and there are more e-mails this week showing a cozy relationship between the clinton foundation and the state department. >> there's a significant portion of her support that doesn't think she's honest and trustworthy. that is a vulnerability. she is a vulnerable candidate. we could have a wikileaks, something damaging come out. we coff a u.s. attorney do something in these cases. there are a lot of factors out here. but she is the luckiest politician in the world to face the opposition she has because she's not a great candidate. she does have significant problems. i think republicans are kicking thenselves because they know they could have a competitive race at this point. >> dickerson: what do you think of the e-mails? >> i think it's interesting.
both candidates are struggling with something. there's a difference between commanding media attention and controlling it. ask kanye west and tyler swift. you think you have people on the idea of the narrative you will be, and you can face a backlash. i think clinton sometimes, things that fly out of her mouth fit a narrative that already have, her doubters already have, which is i can trust you? or does it seem like every time you say something i need to go back and check, do a line-by-line copy edit to figure out, to parse it out. and it's the opposite with trump. i think in the errav tabloid media, people know what a loose cannon looks like. if he says things that fit the narrative a person who can't control themselveses, that's something the voters can recognize, even if they think want media is bias. >> dickerson: the difficulty of hillary communicating, it's not just about the campaign, if president, doing press conferences it will have an effect on the way she
communicates with the country. >> i think the way she has conducted herself in some of those ways in this campaign will make her ability to govern all the more difficult if she becomes the president. an inability to acknowledge and admit a real mistake is clearly part of her character. >> dickerson: all right, thanks to all of you. we're going to have to leave it there. we'll be right back.
. >> dickerson: that's it for us today. thanks for watching. if you missed any part of the show or want to watch it again, "face the nation" is on cable system through on-demand. until next week, for "face the nation," i'm john dickerson. with the help of at&t, red bull racing can share critical information about every inch of the car from virtually anywhere. brakes are getting warm. confirmed, daniel you need to cool your brakes. understood, brake bias back 2 clicks. giving them the agility to have speed & precision. because no one knows & like at&t.
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