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tv   Washington Week With Gwen Ifill  PBS  May 13, 2016 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT

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>> mr. trump goes to washington. agreeing with house speaker paul ryan it's time to unite the republican party. hillary clinton can't stop her campaign on two fronts, against trump and bernie sanders plus, the white house steps into the highly-charged debate over schools and transgender rights. i'm pete williams in for gwen ifill tonight on washington week. >> we had a very encouraging meeting. it's very important that we don't fake unifying, pretend, that we truly and uley unify that -- so that we are full strength in the fall. >> i think we had a great meeting today and agreed on a lot be things. it will be a process but it will come along. peter: donald trump turns on the charm. hoping to win -- win over
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republicans warey of his campaign. >> it's a temporary bafpblet it hasn't been called for yet. nobody's done it. this is just a suggestion. pete: can the g.o.p. be at war with its presumptive nominee ahead of what is sewer -- sure to be a contentious campaign? >> let me be as clear as i can be, we are in this to win the democratic nomination! peter: the big win in west virginia this week did little o distract from trump. >> my husband and i released eight years of tax returns. um got to ask yourself why doesn't he want to release them? pete: plus the obama administration tells public schools allow students to choose the bathroom that
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matches their chosen gender identity, with federal funds at stake. susan davis, n.p.r., jeanne cummings, political editor of "the wall street journal," and abby philip and josh gerstein discuss. announcer: award-winning reporting and analysis, overing history as it happens. live from our nation's capital, this is "washington week" with wen ifill. corporate funding for wolfpack swook provided by -- -- for "washington week" is provided by -- >> we're committed to strong. we're committed to sure. we're committed to smart and light, secure and bold. in a world of enduring needs, the men and women of boing are proud to build and deliver critical capabilities for those who serve to pro tekt our nation and its allies and
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that's an enduring commitment. >> thousands of people came out today to run the race for retirement so we asked them, are you completely prepared for retirement? ok, mostly prepared? could you say 1 -- save 1% more of your income? it doesn't sound like much but saving an additional 1% now could make a big difference over time. >> i'm going to be even better about saving. >> we can do it and it helps in the long run. >> prudential. announcer: additional corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by genentech. additional funding is provided by newman's own foundation, donating all profits from newman's own products to charity and nouroishing -- nourishing the common good. the ford foundation.
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the excellence in journalism foundation. the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. once again, live from washington, sitting in for gwen ifill this week, pete williams of nbc news. peter:good evening. anyone who happened to be near the u.s. capitol thursday could be forgiven for thinking the pope was back in town. nearly every available news camera in washington was focused on the front door of the republican national committee, for a meeting between donald trump and paul ryan. when it was over, both of them ccentuated the positive. >> i thought it was really a very, very good meeting. i thought paul felt the same way and everyone else did also. i think he's doing a good job. >> i do believe we're now planting the seeds to get ourselves unified and from here we're going deeper into the policy areas so -- to see where that common ground is and make
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sure we are operateding off those core principles. pete:susan, who needed this meeting more: trump or ryan? >> it's a little bit of both. part of it is because paul ryan endorse ed to publicly trump for the nomination. there is a lot of concern at the top of the ticket, because f the races that are up. paul ryan wants to protect his majority, not alienate the trump voters. on the other side we have what we'll call ryan republicans, more traditional, cruyff republicans, who are looking at donald trump and are not ready to get behind these guys but if donald trump is going to have a chance to win the white house he's going to have to win over these republicans. about a quarter of people who
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identify as republican voters say they're not ready to voted for donald trump. pete: what does unity mean in the party? stop criticizing or actual lay degree with each other? >> i think it's a combination of both. think i they're going to try to move trump, which is dangerous but within 24 hours or less he was moving on the muslim ban. we all recall when he first said that, paul ryan was one of the first to grab a microphone and rebut and refute what the republican party standing is on those kinds of issues. so we rble -- probably will see some movement. also they're going to have to give trump something, too. it's not unusual to have a unified republican party where the two candidates at the top have have -- have had their own disagreements. certainly paul ryan and mitt romney were on -- not on the same page on a lot of policy.
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hillary clinton in many ways will become a unifying force for the republicans but they do need to settle some of their bigger disagreements before they get there. pete: i thought part of donald trump's whole pitch was hey, look how well i did with the way i was, why should i change that now? >> because he can't win with what he had. he can't win the general. he could win the primary but now he's got to expand that coalition to these voters that are uncertain about him. a republican can't win the presidency without winning some of. suburbs. you could have hillary clinton go in and win philadelphia but then the republican has 20 go to the doughnut and start countering in those areas. well, in those areas some of the most influential voters are women and if you look at polls he is in terrible shape when it comes to women, particularly suburban women. >> donald trump has to add to the republican coalition, not take away from it.
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so he has to really work on the republican base. i was talking to republicans in swing states over this past week and they're saying, you know, he could actually put together something that works in, you know, the midwest if he solidifies the republican base. these are republican voters who are actually pretty traditional, tied to the establishment. they want to see the republican party espousing certain principles and following through on that and being fairly consistent. these are people who like paul ryan, for example, and so that's one of the reasons why they kind of need to come together and actually agree on some things because i think donald trump needs paul ryan. he's a pretty popular republican figure in a world in which most americans don't really like congress very much and he's going to need to get those people who like paul ryan to get out there and vote for him. pete: so, susan, if it's true
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you are not going to get paul ryan without getting his members, i heard one say they're going to get up every morning while he's running and have to respond to his latest tweet. >> there hasn't been a huge cascade of endorse menchts trump. although nine committee chairmen did come out to support him, unlike the speaker. but what he says tomorrow may be different from now or two months from now so why not hold back your endorsement in case he says something that might hurt you in your own race? >> i've always heard that every republican to a person says they believe paul ryan will endorse trump before the election. >> and that can cut both ways because there are democrats sitting in rural or semirural districts that are really very scared about how we -- he might activate voters on election
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day. louise slaughter in update new york had a very close election in the last cycle won by a tiny, tiny margin. she has the same opponent, so it's a quality opponent. donald trump went in her back yard and there we are, 10,000 people. now, they may be regular voters, they may be not. there is a lot of debate about whether he is truly bringing in new people or converting general election voters to win -- vote in the sflm so lots of work to be done on that. but there are as many democrats worried about donald trump as republicans. pete: another question about money. is part of donald trump's overture to the republican party because now in the general he needs their money, he's not going to pay for it himself? >> absolutely. it costs almost a billion dollars to run a presidential campaign. he can't do it. he would need to sell buildings. he's not liquid in that fashion. he said the party will finance
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my general election. they can't. he clearly didn't understand about campaign caps and limits on donation. he's got to have it all, all of those financial tools to his disposal and so as we reported this week his super pac is holding their first event. he's got his own campaign fundraiser already scheduled and the thing for him where this is going to hurt is a big part of his platform and these attacks is he called his rivals puppets because they were beholden to wealthy donors. well! [laughter] pete: abby, who better represents republican voters? paul ryan or donald trump? >> it's really hard to know at this point mp the republican party is very much split. paul ryan probably has a good 25 to 30% of the republican party. and trump has on his side about 25% to 30%.
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they need all of those to win. republicans are facing a situation in which the democratic candidate's likely nominee has been raising money with the d.n.c. for six months essentially. just this week she held two fundraisers where it cost about $100,000 a head to walk into the room. this is all money earmarked for the general election. they have a lot of catching up to do. in order to do that, donald trump needs to make nice with his party very, very quickly. pete: whose party is it? who is in zpharge >> donald trump is in charge of the republican party. >> he won the primary. he sets the tone. he had this interesting line we are said it's called the republican party, not the cruyff party. his positions that go against the paul ryan orthodoxy have this m the nomination and populist wave is driven by
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trump and he's changed what it means to be a republican. >> the stop trump people say the only way they get their party back is if he loses in november. a move to a populist republican arty, very different creature. pete: any thought that bernie sanders might shift his campaign into neutral vanished after his big win this week in west virginia. he still says hes in it to win it, while hillary clinton tries to look over his head toward the general election. >> i waunlt all to know that this campaign be will fight for every remaining vote and every remaining state. >> if i'm fortunate enough to be the nominee i am looking forward to debating donald trump come the fall. pete: abby, you write that hillary clinton is putting more resources into industrial states that have generally been safe for democrats. why is that? >> it's all about the populism, the economy, and really the
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sentiment that people feel they don't like politics as usual. donald trump is nothing if not an unconventional candidate. i think the clinton campaign feels very much like this is territory they know how to run in. the problem is they don't 2ul8ly know -- actually know what donald trump is going to do. there are rural parts of the state where he did quite well and that gives them cause for concern. if he can bring out people never seen before in general elections, democrats are going to have to do counterbalancing in the suburbs, bring out a lot more women and minorities, in states where it's a very white pap -- population overall, that's a place trump can do well. i think democrats on the ground in particular are concerned because they see the economy as a real uncertainty that hillary clinton hasn't quite landed on exactly the right message she eeds to compete there.
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pete: what do clinton's people say about what's changed since 2008? she did so well in places like west virginia and the rust best states against obama and has done to soar -- poorly in the face of the sanders onslaught. do they think they can recover that 8-year-old momentum? >> i don't think they think that they can recover it because they recognize that some of the places she did well were a sort of anti-obama vote. sanders is speaking to what voters want to hear in terms of the strictly populist economic message. it's just a very hard thing for her to crystallize because hillary clinton wants to talk about the government, about programs, about what she's done and voters are saying you guys are all terrible, we want to upend this whole system. >> the other thing that's gone
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on is that the democratic party in the last eight years has changed. the democrats took some time but this party right now, the party base, is more liberal than the president. and certainly more liberal than hillary clinton when she set foot on the stage for this election. if bernie sanders has done anything to hillary clinton, he has moved her to the left on some issues and people at first thought oh, this is going to be awful but in fact it actually puts her more alined with her own party because the party has changed so much. pete: what about those sanders voters though? are they going to be with her in the general election or sit at home? >> a lot depends on bernie sanders. my guess is he does the work necessary to try to keep them involved much the clinton campaign is sincere had they
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say we're not going to stop bernie, we don't want him to quick. the quickest way we can -- pete: even now they don't want him to quit? >> right. here's the point. they're thinking a head to how do we unify, the way you do that is you let all those sanders people in california, new jersey, wherever, cast their vote for him and then bring it together. so yes, they, they want to get to the end of this and bernie is just as or more animated about beating trump and if he works with clinton's campaign and takes that message to his people, then i think a good number of them are going to stick with her. pete: let me ask all of you, there was interesting polling this week about a potential clinton-trump matchup. what did we learn? >> the battle ground states, including pennsylvania, and it
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looks very competitive. the two sub sets that are interesting is the polarization. gender gap where women are for clinton and men for trump, that's never been wider and the for gap, white voters trump and nonwhite voters for clinton, and if those numbers hold true it's going to be a really ugly general election fight. >> what is interesting about the white-nonwhite breakdown, one nch the criticism was the break dourn was a little too high, not likely to reflect what we will see in neff. but donald trump could ratchet up the turnout and participation of turnout among white voters in ohio and pennsylvania and bring this much closer than democrats
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would like. that's the possibility i see when i talk to people that look at the numbers. they say we don't think it's going to work that way because it's really, really hard to do that but it is possible. pete: the obama administration late this week sent a letter to all the nations public schools and colleges, telling them they must allow transgender students to use the bathrooms conforming to their gender identity. not to do so, the letter said, would amount to sex discrimination. but some conservatives called it an attempt at blackmail. >> what the framework does provide is advice. for how school administrators can protect the dignity and safety of every student under their charge. and that advice includes practical, tangible, real-world suggestions to school administrators who have to deal with this issue. >> our parents and parents all
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across america do not want their children showering together. they don't want ghoys the girls' rooms. this is unheard of and this is the biggest issue i think for families in schools since prayer was taken out of the public schools. pete: the week began with the justice department suing north carolina over its bathroom law and a passionate call for transgender rights from attorney general loretta lynch. >> it was not so very long ago that states including north carolina had other signs bove rest rooms, water fountains and on public accommodations keeping people out based on a distinction without a difference. pete: josh, this was an unusual move by the administration. whats behind it? >> well, it was a pretty dramatic move. this is something the administration's been working on for some time. i think it was accelerated by the fight going on in north carolina about the law at the passed statewide that essentially prohibited these types of rules that some places
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were starting to implement. but what's maybe most significant is it eliminated one of the accommodations that had been worked out in a lot of districts where this transgender issue had come up, to set up private facilities for transgender individuals. they said that's not good enough, you have to allow them to use the group facility of their choice if that's their choice. a pretty dramatic move but the rhetoric as well as very, very strong especially coming from like the nation's first african-american attorney general to have her compare it to the jim crow laws is about as strong as you can be. peter: and in talking about north carolina of course she's talking about her home state. this seemed to come out of nowhere though. is this something that's been a big push for the administration before? >> it has not been by -- a big push but quietly for the people
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interested in this they had taken a series of steps in recent years. what i think escalated this is last november in houfs -- you -- houston there was a ballot measure where voters were allowed to vote on where people so -- would be allowed to pick any bathroom they wanted to use, and that was voted down by a big margin. that alerted people on both sides of the issue that this was going to be a trench fighting sort of battle. >> what's the nature of the let they sent out? is there some penalty? is it legally binding in any way? josh earnest called it guide avepblets is that really all it is? >> it's a dear colleague letter, which sounds fairly innocuous. but the threat is that federal funding could be cut off to any school that doesn't follow these rules. the whether it is legally
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binding, there is in the fourth circuit a case out of virginia that said this kind of guidance is binding. it's not clear every other court would agreement it really left the question for another day whether this is binding in other places and all state facilities and also the question of frankly locker rooms, which can be a trickier issue than bathrooms. >> josh, what do you think is driving president obama's actions on gay rights? on this this issue they seem to be leading it, not just responding to it. >> yes, it seems like we've moved out of the evolution face and part of it is there is not a lot of time left on the -- on the clock for the obama administration. some of these things are going to have to be fought out in court and if they're going to
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do that, we're already in play. they're probably likely to lose some of these battles in the trial courts, looking at the judges who is picked up some of these cases. so they're going to try to get an appeals court in their favor and maybe go to the supreme court. pete: quickly, are there other cases on this? >> in the past there haven't bain lot but we have four or five mainly revolving around this north carolina law where addressing this issue, people are on both sides and when they filed suit against north carolina were behavely responding to a suit the governor filed that same day. pete: all right. thank you it. thanks everyone. that's it for now, but our conversation will continue online on the washington week webcast extra. among the topics we'll be discussing, a setback for obamacare and how bernie sanders is quietly planning to be heard at the democratic convention. you can find it later tonight and all week long at pbs.org/washingtonweek.
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i'm pete williams, in for gwen ifill. ood night. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org/] announcer: corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by -- >> thousands of people came out today to run the race for retirement, so we asked them, are you completely prepared for retirement? ok, mostly prepared? could you save 1% more of your
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income? it doesn't sound like much, but saving an additional 1% now could make a big difference over time. >> i'm going to be even better about saving. you can do it and it helps in the long run. >> prudential. announcer: additional corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by boeing. genentech. additional fundinging is provided by newman's own foundation, donating all profits if newman's own food profits to charity and nourishing the common good. the ford foundation. the ethics in journalism foundation. the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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♪ hello and welcome to kqed "newsroom." coming up on our program, california billionaire environmentalist tom steyer has a new examable in tgamble in th game. a june measure that would tax all bay area property owners to help protect socoastal regions from rising sea levels. first, the continuing coverage on the controversy surrounding the san francisco police department. this week several san francisco supervisors joined community groups in demanding the chief

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