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tv   Washington Week With Gwen Ifill  PBS  December 11, 2015 7:30pm-8:01pm PST

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>> what's happening to this election? is donald trump knocking the g.o.p. off track? or leading it in a new direction? tonight, on "washington week." trump mania. >> donald j. trump is calling and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. country's representatives can figure out on. the hell is going don't worry about profiling. i promise, i will defend you profiling! >> are you a bigot? >> not at all. probably the least of anybody you've ever met. >> he steals headlines from other candidates who long for the attention. >> donald trump always plays on everyone's worst instincts and saying we're not going to let a single muslim in this country is a dangerous aboutaction in it's not the blow hards out there just
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saying stuff. not's not a program, that's a plan. >> he steals headlines from the president in we cannot turn by letting another, this fight be defined as a war islam. america and that too is what groups like isil want. >> and he's thrown his own party into a pre-primary tizzy. >> this is not conservatism. yesterday isosed not what this party stands for. and more importantly, it's not this country stands for. >> but is there more at work here? andshould republicans democrats and everyone else be worried? this strange crossroads with janet hook, for thel correspondent wall street journal, ed o'keefe, correspondent for the washington post, michael scherer, washington bureau chief fortime magazine, and alexis simendinger, white house real clearnt for politics.
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>> award winning reporting and as itis, covering history happens. live from our nation's capital, this is "washington week" with gwen ifill. corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by... >> thousands of people came out today to run the race for retirement. are youked them, completely prepared for retirement? okay. mostly prepared? more of --ay 1% could you save 1% more of your income? sound like much, but it could make a big difference over time. it.ou can do >> prudential. >> we're committed to strong. we're committed to sure. smart.ommitted to
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security and bold. in a world of enduring needs, boeing are women of proud to build and deliver capabilities for those who serve to protect our nation and its allies. indurings an commitment. >> additional funding is by newman's own foundation. donating all protests from own's food products to charity and nourishing the good. the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs you.on from viewers like thank you. >> once again, live from washington, moderator gwen ifill. >> good evening. i've got to be honest with you. figuring oute week how to have this conversation tonight. do we focus on the candidate himself? a new wall street journal nbc of americansws 57%
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object to trump's proposal to temporarily ban muslims from entering the u.s. but trump will be the first one to point out that so far, this polls, hurt him in the where he continues to hold the lead in iowa, new hampshire and nationally. >> worst thing that's ever happened to isis, the people in my party fully understand that. they're running against me. for the most part, they have no numbers. i'm leading by a lot. they get it. they're trying to get publicity for themselves. do we focus on the words he utters, which stirred such a at home and abroad? >> until we can get a handle on who should be here and who think something has got to be done. >> why did i come to this country? life?d i build my for what? i could have had all this animosity back home in all of concerns dominated the week in politics, because there domo question that for now, donald trump is driving the conversation and that his the mosthas caused
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political dismay among republicans, which is where we will start. of this is trump being trump and how much of this is jail care calibrate --nty strategy?calibrated >> donald trump knows that if you go to talk to his crowds, they'll say he's not politically correct, he'll say what no one else will say. and so he, all through this says things that are intentionally provocative, intentionally divisive, that play on people's fears. and that helps him. the question, over the long is whether there will be a ceiling he hits. a lot of his fellow republican hittinges think he's that ceiling now, that he's winning the polls right now but 32%.winning with 35%, or that's not 51% in the republican party. in adefinitely not 51% general election in this country. like you said, a vast majority countryeople in this are offended and disconcerted by what he's saying. his theory, though, is that in a
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time of fear, he started with immigration. i interviewed him a couple weeks ago. one of the most interesting was i just have a feel for people, he was saying, about he understands the toctorate, what they want hear. he said it started with immigration. he talked about that initial which he gave in said -- >> rapists and mexicans -- were criminals. and then he said that just moved over into terrorism. it, in his own mind, as something very similar. were.ontinuum, as it >> because in both cases he's playing on a real insecurity that a lot of americans have. he's directing them to a target. he's saying this is the problem. one,saying i am the strong everyone else are failures. we can solve this problem. follow me and not listen to what they're saying. >> so if you are the other republicans in the race and what is a kindt juggernaut -- say
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you're ben carson, who was doing well, and now you're showing fragility. >> i think ben carson has been declining in the polls not because of the way he's to donald trump. it's been more in his case the of focus to national security. he's kind of fumbled that. all of the other candidates seem to have taken slightly different on, how do you deal with donald trump? the farther down in the polls the more aggressively you attack him, because you don't have much to lose. kasich,ave john attacking him. he ran an ad that basically trump to hitler. at the other end of the spectrum, you have ted cruz, who has been treating donald trump of kid gloves. >> we've got access to a little audio, courtesy of the new york times, of ted cruz trying to whateverat needle, metaphor you're looking for.
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let's listen to it. >> people are looking for, who prepared to be a commander in chief? who understands the threats we face? havingi comfortable their finger on the button? now, that's a question of also ah, but it's question of judgment. and i think that is a question that is a challenging question for both of them. >> now, here's an important detail here, ed. of them -- he's talking about ben carson and talking about donald trump. was secretly recorded at a private closed event. fund-raising event. so he's not saying this publicly. >> no. days sincence the this broke -- i guess it's just been a day or so. >> every day feels long. >> feels really long and we're only in december. but he's denying it publicly. be --k it will >> denying that he -- >> denying that he essentially said this about him. him.ys, look, i respect he's my friend. and, you know -- >> bear hugs. >> whatever. twitter love today.
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>> and there was twitter love as well. what will be interesting is, this next weekof on the debate stage and really try to call him out and join the unfit for say, you're this, donald trump? you're not the one who should be our nominee. >> but is ted cruz the alternative? that's the other dilemma republicans find themselves in. for donaldd some way trump to slip from first place, who is in second place? >> well, one of the things i thought was interesting is that, as michael was suggesting, how this discussion with donald trump? we got into this discussion because donald trump feared that leading, was starting to lead against him. and he figured out a way to that, to change the narrative, so that his poll numbers, which we hear him talk constantly -- >> except when they're bad. whent he talks about them they're bad too. >> he says they're terrible. denouncing ans advance poll that isn't even out, in iowa. republican party
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people, they're all thinking that ted cruz was on the rise, that he had evangelical support, that he was doing well in iowa, that -- he has organized well, and so was very aware of that element. thes donald trump helping party by energizing interest in this republican primary, or hurting thes he party? that's part of the discussion that was being held in the establishment republican circles, as they started thinking, well, maybe we should about what might have happened if we had to have a -- which makes my head spin, that we're talking about that so soon. if you're asking that in the frame of a general election, with the electorate that has turned out, he's clearly hurting the republican party. i don't think you can make the argument. the trump gamble here is that he of people who love the apprentice who don't vote. a generalets to election, he thinks he can
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really broaden the electorate, sick out people who are and tired of politics, who don't think the political system has anything to do with it. 50% of the country who can vote doesn't vote. so there is a group there that into.ld tap it's also true that every cycle presidential candidates talk getting nonvoters to vote. it's very difficult to do. in iowa, on a cold, dark night. you have to sit there for a few hours. there are people who don't understand -- >> maybe they'll show up. we don't know. that it's possible that these valid snapshot polls be predictive, is there any organized g.o.p. pushback that we have seen? >> no. >> not organized. >> disorganized? is there'smain thing a lot of fear that any concerted, organized effort would basically -- there would be a backlash of the sort like donald trump would then leave party and run as an
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independent and there's nothing that would be worse for the himblican party than running as an independent, because he'd split their vote would win. clinton >> senator jeff flake of arizona, a pretty pragmatic republican, sort of tells it like it is, especially from a procedural standpoint. an interview this afternoon and was asked the question that so many other republicans have been asked. if he's theport him nominee? and he said he's not going to be the nominee. do you all say that? he said, because if we say he should leave the party or we say we won't vote for him, he's going to leave and run as a third-party candidate and we're lose.to hopefully this process will prevail and he won't be the will realizerump that -- >> it sounds like wishful thinking. they they wait him out, if can get into late january and he hasn't yet left, there are a lot states he won't be able to qualify for. question, whomur
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if donaldlp or hurt, trump goes the distance, what happens to other candidates down on the ballot? start to hear a lot more anxiety. >> if you're a republican the -- for senate or >> or the house, and you're further down on the ballot, what does donald trump's candidacy, if he really does go the distance, what does that do to candidates? >> especially if you have to spend your time going to mosques convincing muslims that you actually are not biased against them. >> that's why you heard one who is in a tough race in florida, called on donald trump to withdraw. talkll, let's move on and about the democrats. remember them? iny actually still exist this race. this is what they're say sphwhrg when we -- we need to be doing everything we can with people across the world to fight jihadists, donald trump newupplies them with
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propaganda. >> two months ago, we were supposed to hate mexicans and he criminals ore all rapists. now we're supposed to hate muslims. and that kind of crap is not in the united states of america. >> when donald trump said the hateful things he did about to seal off the borders and prevent muslim american neighbors from traveling, i had to ask myself, i wonder if he's going to begin with all of those patriotic muslim americans serving in our armed forces all around the world, keeping us safe? >> we even heard from white house press secretary, josh earnest. is about theon now rest of the republican party. goingether or not they're to be dragged into the dust bin of history with him. but secretlyy sad happy, janet? >> well, there is a clear sense that donald trump would be to beat than some of the more electable republican candidates. but i think that the democrats in the same position that we and all the republican candidates are in, just being of flabbergasted that he's
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holding on for this long. to there's been a temptation treat him as a joke, as a kind of marginal candidate, but when he says stuff like this, you kind of have to start treating him like a serious candidate who troublesomeriously things. >> so if you're bernie sanders and you were actually leading in butpolls in new hampshire nobody can hear it -- it's like a tree falling in a forest -- do? do you >> you just keep denouncing him and hope the democrats agree with you. they are flabbergasted. they are secretly pleased that this tumult continues. i think where they see the most down ballot the races. there's a good number of house seats in the south, sort of suburban districts that could flip, three or four republican senators who would be in big trouble if he's the nominee, they would have to spend every day of the campaign from what themselves he just said. in a matchup right now, you look at the polling. trump couldthat
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beat clinton. we'll see if that pans out. >> that's why i wonder if hillary clinton is beginning to view this differently. laugh when his name came up. now she's saying he's dangerous. strategy atange her all in making sure she continues to get heard? >> well, one of the things we week was secretary clinton, not only did she move buffoon to he's a danger -- that also happened at the same house, in briefing, he was both -- we also saw her try to fund raise, try to get people to sign up on her campaign. we also saw her put out a kind video ad. and the point she was making is donald trump is not the only extreme candidate in this race. all these republicans are like him, they are like donald trump light. tried to use a sound bite. >> trying to link them all together. out this new -- it's not really new. she's been trying before. she came back to it.
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>> two issues for hillary. one is, in a general election, i think her advisors would love to have donald trump. >> and she said that. >> because he is such a base motivator for her. the question for hillary clinton has been whether she can turn constituency that brought obama victory twice. if you're talking about people,ng young african-americans, women, all those -- base motivator in a different way. >> but for her numbers, the get,rs they would love to he brings them out for her. the second issue, though, i strugglinghillary is with, she has to demonstrate to she can standat up to someone like donald trump, because that's a separate question. she's being tested on her own right now. and here is this person who kind of looks like a bully out there, notshe's got to be able to just laugh at him but say, look, you're wrong and try to put him in his place. that's what you saw her doing. >> someone explain to me why the white house would get involved this, why they just wouldn't
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step back and say, all on you? the whole world is watching. the president and the administration understands, as bush understood after 9/11, that the world sees on.'s going >> and that's exactly right, because the thing that got the this house to step out was statement he made about banning muslims from coming to the united states. and you saw international it.tion to >> including benjamin netanyahu, saying, ah, whatever the conversation was, he was supposed to be going there on the 20th of december, trump was, and now he's not. >> there's also a national security issue here. there's no doubt that american closeforcement needs ties, working with muslims, who feel like they can talk to the to help government, defeat terrorist threats in the united states, and if this takes hold, that somehow the government or republicans or any part of what is, is against the muslim community, it becomes a real danger. anybody doubt, however,
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that for better or worse, donald trump completely stepped on the message?se it was just sunday that the president had an oval office to talk aboutech the threat of terrorism and isis. that was just sunday. ago, he delayed monday night football. people very next day, aren't talking about it anymore, maybe by tuesday. >> and in fact, we've been a within a few minutes of the president's address on sunday, donald trump tweeted, right?s it, he was offering his review of it. president obama gave a 13-minute address that was supposed to rally the nation. it was kind of a pep talk about, know, where we are and what we're doing against the terrorist attack, how safe the nation is supposed to be. and as you say, with less than 24 hours, it was totally eclipsed. >> there was lots of commentary that that was not a successful speech. house ever concede that? >> well, no. felt that it house
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was nudged almost reluctantly into it. it had to do something. and the white house could have done other things. know, oval office addresses are tough. and he had nothing new to say. >> okay. so let's step back, way back for a moment, because the most concerning thing about the week is how america has been dealing with all of this, how our this kind of at roll-out of -- do they just look it as politics, are they amused by it? at it as speaking to their deepest fears and someone is finally speaking of? or do we have an undercurrent of anger ande and bigotry that a clever and talented candidate has found a into it?p >> i thought it was best mel.ied by scott ham he said, i was in new jersey this week on business and i heard it.
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i thought, it's just trump being trump. i said, so what do you think? republican. here you are at an event for jeb bush. but, you know, what do you think? he says, look, it would be impractical to do it. you know, how would we vet all these people? them all out?eep and yet he says we've got to do something, because clearly what right now didn't work, if these people were able to do what he did. his neighbor that he brought with him to this event sat there and said, you know, i didn't but ihe way he said it, agreed with everything he said, she saide, because there are people in this religion who want to come over americans.ll we don't have churches telling kille to go out and non-christians. totally agree with him but i don't like the way he did it. they don't like the way he's it but agree with what he said, or they don't entirely agree with what he said, but has to saye somebody
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something, because whatever we're doing right now isn't working. a situation where trump or no trump, the level of anxiety about terrorism is on the rise. we might think, after paris, going to people are look at the candidate field and go for the guys with experience. ofns out there are a lot voters who think the response isn't to turn to somebody experienced but to turn to somebody tough. and so -- and i think you're right, though, that the fear and what's thef, possible solution, does cut across party lines. the wall street journal poll, when we polled on the question of, do you support ban on muslims? it actually -- there was a big difference in the parties. lot more supporters among republicans than among democrats. still republicans were split. >> they were, but it was a of all.trong majority >> and the majority of the country was against this plan. think the x factor is we know
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he could not have made that without those attacks in san bernardino. if there are more attacks, god anbid, it could really have effect on how this republican primary plays out, because it's clear that trump is very playing this card. he's very intentionally playing to people's fears and saying, need a tough guy. in my interview, i said, are you kindtime -- he's that of -- >> what did he say to that? nodded, said yes. >> he liked that idea. >> yes. he didn't really address -- dilemma of the trump interview, right? >> therthere were a lot of if therens that said is another attack, the blood is on his hands. i had several new hampshire that.icans tell me they said, if it happens now, it's because he took them there. >> one other thing that i have been fascinated with, that pollsters are actually being able to profile who are trump's supporters, who are these people. what do they believe in? we're learning a little bit more
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about who they are. mostly male, mostly white, educated. college we know that, interestingly, they're younger. include younger people. if that's the people he's attracted, that's also economic angst. it's not just the safety or national security of the nations, it's angst about institutions, about where they stand, what is happening with what is barack obama doing. >> so they turn to a tough solve problems of economic angst? >> well, what did the pollsters find? what do people like about donald trump? they say he's decisive and competent. they don't say he's experienced or that he can do any of these things. thought? >> i would just add to that, if you listen to trump speeches, a it is stillf focused on taking on china, talking to these economic immigration and terrorism. >> he's striking a lot of chords. >> the american dream is dead, he says. people really vibe
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on that. we're going to talk about it some more, but we have to go because, as always, the conversation is going to have to continue elsewhere, online, on the "washington week" webcast extra, where among other things, we'll tell you what's expected in next week's republican debate.tial you can find it later tonight and all week long at pbs.org/washingtonweek. up with developments with judy woodruff and me on the pbs newshour and we'll see you here week on "washington week"! good night! >> corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by... >> today people are coming out capital, ton's support an important cause that could change the way you live for years to come.
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help?n you by giving a little more. to yourself. future.ting for my >> people sometimes forget to help themselves. >> the cause is retirement. today, thousands came to the race for retirement and pledged additional 1% of their income. if we all do that, we can all win! >> prudential. >> additional corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by boeing. providedl funding is by newman's own foundation. donating all profits from own's food products to theity and nourishing common good, the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you!
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♪ good evening, and welcome to kqed "newsroom." i'm thuy vu. there is new video of a san francisco police shooting that killed a man last week. several officers fired at 26-year-old mario woods who the police department says was carrying a knife and was the suspect in a stabbing earlier in the day. we're going to show the new video. first, we want to warn you, it is disturbing. [ sirens ] [ bleep ] >> oh, my god! drop it! drop it! [ sirens ] >> drop it! just drop it! just drop it! just drop it, please!

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