tv Washington Week With Gwen Ifill PBS October 21, 2016 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT
pete: donald trump says he's accept the election results on one condition. hillary clinton holds a clear lead in most battleground polls, but the nagging e-mail issue wont go away. im pete williams, in for gwen ifill, tonight on "washington week." >> i will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election if i win. [cheers and applause] pete: a defiant donald trump doubles down on charges of a rigged election during a final debate with hillary clinton. the candidates spar over taxes, gun rights, abortion and vacancy on the supreme court. ms. clinton: we need a supreme court that will stand up on behalf of women's rights, on behalf of the rights of the lgbt
community, that will stand up and say no to citizens united. . trump: the justices i will appoint will have a conservative bent. they will be protecting the second amendment. pete: and between the sharp exchanges over policy, plenty of personal attacks. ms. clinton: donnell went to mexico, had a meeting with the mexican president and didn't even ask about the wall. mr. trump: the only thing you have over me is experience and it's bad experience. s. clinton: you don't -- polls d we gauge the with jeanne cummings of "the wall street journal," philip rucker of "the washington post" and jeff zeleny, senior washington correspondent for cnn. >> award winning reporting and analysis, covering history as it
happens. ive from our nation's capital. this is "washington week with gwen i fill." 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 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. it helps in the long run. >> prudential. >> x.q. institute. ♪
>> additional funding is provided by boeing. newman's own foundation, donating all profits from newman's own food products to charity and nourishing the common good. the ford foundation. the ethics and excellence in journalism foundation. ku and patricia ewen through the ewen 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. pete: good evening. early voting is now underway in nearly half the states, including five considered battlegrounds. that means everything the candidates say and do between now and election day is even
more important, especially for undecided and independent voters. this week hillary clinton and donald trump went from a bitter clash on the debate stage, to poking fun at each other at a high-society dinner in new york. its a 70-year-old ritual. the candidates for president trading jokes in late october to raisney for charity at the al smith dinner, named for the first catholic presidential candidate of a major party. but this year, the comments had an especially rough edge. mr. trump: hillary is so corrupt . she got kicked off the watergate commission. ms. clinton: donald real really is as healthy as a horse, you know, the one vladimir putin rides around on. pete: it's hard to conceive of one of them congratulating the other when it's all over. during the debate, donald trump said he might not accept the outcome of the election.
but the next day, trump said that he simply meant he was preserving his right to go to court if there are signs of irregularities in how the votes were counted. mr. trump: of course i would accept a clear election result but i would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result. [cheers and applause] right? and always, i will follow and abide by all the rules and traditions of all of the many candidates who have come before me. always. pete: president obama called trump's threat not to accept the election results "dangerous." president obama: when you try to sow the seeds of doubt in people's minds about the legitimacy of our elections that undermine ours democracy, because our democracy depends on people knowing that their vote matters. pete: those comments sparked bipartisan outrage but how
dangerous were they to donald trump? jeanne: there were three risk he is took in doing that first of all that night, we had a group of voters who were undecided voters who said in our poll, the debates will mean a lot to us. we called them immediately after that debate and three or four -- for three or four of them that was an -- a deal breaker, moving them from undecided to away from him. his fellow republicans piled on again, creating more confusion, separation and division within his own party. some of them have real interests here. for instance, what if senator pat too manymy, running in pennsylvania -- toomey running in pennsylvania wins his election but donald trump decides to challenge because he didn't win. is it rigged for trump but not toomey? same type of situation could arise in new hampshire, arizona,
or north carolina. that's one of the reasons a lot of republicans were like, stop, slow down, do not say this anymore. pete: i hadn't thought about that. it's not possible to say at the results were just rigged in the presidential election without the rest of them. jeanne: you throw the night out. >> marco rubio said the same thing. pete: you had a piece in the paper about the shock waves this had throughout republican party. what's their worry about beyond trump, the rest of the party. >> trump's comments seem to delegitimize the american system of democracy. that's a real concern for a lot of republican leaders. publicly speaking, we are now two weeks from the election. there's yet another fresh issue that's dividing this republican party over its nominee. just in the spin room after that debate, reince priebus was trying to explain trump's position, say, i don't think he
means what he said, his campaign manager was doing the same. it's bad when he's not talking about the issues that republicans think could help him gain ground. pete: we didn't here from mitch mcconnell or paul ryan. why didn't they say anything? >> they do not want to get caught up in more comments on donald trump. they know, a, it can alienate some of their conservative voters and they don't want to. the m.o. basically for mitch mcconnell over the last several months is to speak only when he is pressed on camera about donald trump. otherwise he tries to stay out of it. his theory all along has been that senate races are big enough to withstand the presidential situation. this undercurrent. now some people close to him, i was talking to a couple of them earlier today, are worried about these republican senate races in the states you mentioned, jeanne. because democrats are four seats
away from a tie and five seats away from a victory controlling the u.s. senate. pete: let me ask you about that. what are the prospects that the republicans could lose control of the senate, that the democrats could tie or take control? jeanne: there are good prospects for the democrats suddenly for several reasons. some races have tightened up where they didn't expect them. missouri, arizona are a couple of them that they never expected to go compete in these areas against senator blunt and senator mccain. long-standing republican incumbents. they're tied. and the democrats have a lot of extra money. hillary clinton in particular has a whole lot of extra money. and donald trump doesn't have extra money. so her campaign and her super p.a.c. are now discussing and in fact doing, sinking money into missouri where she's not competitive but only to help the senator.
and in arizona, which she would like to make competitive. so they have the resources, they have numbers that are looking much better for them. they have a republican nominee who continues to stumble and make it much more difficult for the senators themselves to avoid conversation about him or taking a stand on him. we saw in new hampshire, kelly ayotte, the latest poll has her down eight, this is after she turned away if the trump campaign. pete: she was one of the first ones after the debate to do that. jeanne: that's how dangerous it is. pete: is there any chance that the talk of election being rigged, su pressing republican turnout? >> i think it could, without question. the whole conversation of the election, i think, could sort of depress turnout. people are so sick of all of it. trump's own supporters are motivated, yes. some republicans are motivated to vote against the democrat, of
course. but i think without a question if people are saying, it is rigged. they simply may not turn out. which also worries the republican senate candidates jeanne was talking about. pat toomey in pennsylvania needs those voters. kelly ayotte needs those voters. more interestingly is how we're seeing republicans separating themselves. a new super p.a.c. is coming out with a new ad strategy, basically saying, donald trump is going to lose, you need me to block hillary clinton's agenda here. you may see that in the next two weeks. it could work in florida or other states like that. it's not a done deal that republicans will lose control, but they will lose seats. >> we're seeing hillary clinton's campaign and president obama trying to tie the down-ballot candidates to donald trump. the path was -- president was attacking marco rubio say, you called him a con artist,
dangerous, here you are saying you're going to vote for him. that's the height of cynicism. pete: let me turn the question upside down. how much might this encourage hillary clointon supporters, she's say, we need you to come out and say this election isn't close so they can't say it's rigged. jeanne: it's an argument they're making but their operation is so sophisticated, they know who they have to get out, they're calling that person. trump is kind of a ragtag group. there might be some states that are really good and there are likely to be many that aren't. pete: won't the r.n.c. help him with that? jeanne: they're doing their best, that's their assignment. getting back to the message, it's rigged. there have been political analysis of that kind of rhetoric and the people that it most alienates are the people who are donald trump voters. they're not regular voters. they're intermittent voters. they're lower educated voters. and if they're told repeatedly,
you know, the system is rigged. it's not going to matter. then they don't think their vote counts. they are the ones mostly -- most likely to stay home. not the higher educate ones. what he risks is turning off really some of the margins of his own base. pete: let's talk about after the vets are cast, if there are questions, irregular lairties, recounts, does the trump campaign have a swat team of lawyers ready to be dispatched to trouble spots to file their papers? >> we know the clinton campaign does. they're recruiting hundreds of lawyers and train them to monitor at polling places and look for any irregularities and any problems that might emerge from the trump forces. i assume the trump campaign is getting some lawyers together, but interestingly the republican national committee is not. that's just their standard practice, they don't do that. it's incouple pent -- incumbent on the trump campaign. and as jeanne was saying, it's a ragtag group, not the fully
staffed, professional campaign we've come to expect. >> i'm told in so many areas, there are republican lawyers gathering to do senate races again. the overlap between the battlegrounds in the presidential states and competitive senate races are almost one-for-one so republicans will have lawyers in pennsylvania watching things there and other things. dofpbled trump has been saying he wants average citizens to be out there. i think on election day itself, media realtime polling place social experiment that we hope does not turn ugly but some of this rhetoric about who is voting certainly is the most ugly and vile that i have seen. pete: this is a question about, not irregularities but voter intimidation i think is perhaps what you're talking about, the linton people say, we have to be out there and make sure no one is trying to keep poem away. >> there are rules that govern this donald trump is on the campaign trail saying to his supporters, come out, monitor the polls, look in certain areas, but hst that's against
the law in a lot of places. all of these leches are governed by state and municipal ordinances. you can't in some places stand close to pooling place, can't go inside as a layperson and try to intimidate. >> you can't film. >> you've seen republican secretaries of state come out across the board, pushing back at their nominee. that's what's the most extraordinary thing. saying that no elections aren't rigged, we're running these elections. >> he's attacking the integrity of their own work. pete: yeah. >> and these are republican secretaries of state who have been caught in lawsuits in the past being accused of, for example, insisting on voter i.d.'s, suppressing the vote who are sayering our elections aren't rigged and they're pushing back at him. >> exactly. jeanne: and local republicans. the guys -- women -- guys and women who gather all these volunteers to actually run the precincts on the day of the elections. you know, there are lots of republicans in that position at
a very local level who work really, really hard. and it is their work he is criticizing. pete: donald trump has recently suggested there should be term limits for members of congress. what is that all ability? is that a shot at the republican leaders in the congress? >> i think it is a shot at that. it's also just a shot at the government overall. it's a shot at washington. he is trying to run as this change agent, someone who is outside the system. so the most popular, easiest boilerplate way to say it is term limits for all. but of course, i think mitch mcconnell, paul ryan, orrin hatch, you name them, there are a lot of republicans who do not support that idea at all. it's popular somewhat in the public area but you don't hear it talked about as much as you used to. >> and it would take a constitutional amendment. not something congress can do. pete: this week, russia proposed to send a team here to monitor polling places just as the u.s. does in countries where there's a history of government
interference in elections. american intelligence agencies have blamed russias leaders for the cyberattacks on campaign-related emails, and that subject came up in the final debate. mr. trump: she has noo idea whether it's russia, china -- ms. clinton: i-- i am not quoting myself. i am quoting 17 -- mr. trump: our country has no idea. ms. trump: he'd rather believe vladimir putin than the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us. mr. trump: from everything i see has no respect for this person. ms. clinton: that's because he'd rather have a puppet as novet united states. mr. trump: you're the puppet. pete: it's so much more civilized here in this room. jeffrey, were you surprised there wasn't more in the debate about the clinton emails?
jeff: i was. there was so much more new information available between the first debate and third debate which doesn't happen all that often. usually by debate three there's not really any new information to attack with. but i think that one, chris wallace, who i thought did a very admiral job, had his hands full on a lot of other topics he had to ask. but i think the thing i was surprised by that donald trump did not seize upon this opportunity to prosecute some of these questions about his opponent. about when she said in those paid goldman sachs speeches, you can have a position in private and a public position. where thes not at all populist movement of her party. is some of the calculated things all candidates or most do. i was surprise head didn't seize on that. that shows you preparation, versus not preparation.
she injected her research file into every other sentence she could. he did not. jeanne: i was really surprise head didn't bring up that particular email. her answer in the second debate, when he did wreng it up, was so bad. it was the worst answer. it was, i'm abraham lincoln. really. trump is a great counterpuncher and he smelled that one and hit her right back that she's certainly no abe lincoln. pete: he did mention john podesta, but some of -- which the average debate watcher probably doesn't know who that is. but he mentioned the poe dose ta emails, do you think that had ny impact? philip: she'd rather these had come out earlier in the summer, they might have had more damage to her candidacy in the primaries because they expose inconsistencies in her positions, they expose sort of
the politicizing issue like trade and the paid speeches. pete: had podesta called bernie sanders a doofus in the emails at that point? philip: it could have hurt her then. i don't think it's going to hurt her in the general election. jeanne: and the irony is, it's because bernie sanders won't condemn her. pete: he's being the definition of a good soldier. to what extent is the clinton campaign worried about the other shoe that hasn't dropped on these emails? jeanne: i think they are. in conversations i have with them they know everything that's in podesta's emails, they have gone through them. they're not sharing what they saw. so we don't know if there'll be anything more explicit between now and november 8 but a lot of democrats are concerned that this is going to continue through the transition if she wins and perhaps into her presidency if she wins. this could be something that, you know, is embarrassing. it could be even more than that they are concerned and this is
just one slice of the hacked emails. at the d.n.c. and other committees they're concerned about the other shoe to fall. there hasn't been a huge smoking gun, maybe there won't be, but this is a big unknown over the final weeks of of they have campaign which you don't like. pete: we saw the interjecting trump again and one of the interruptions has taken on a life of its own. it came while hillary clinton was talking about her economic plan. ms. clinton: my social security payroll contribution will go up, as will donald's a assuming he can't figure out how to get out of it. but what we want to do -- mr. trump: such a nasty woman. pete: that became an internetiof honor for women, who put clinton's face over janet jackson's in her song "nasty." has this had an effect on voters? jeanne: it's had a viral effect.
runningclinton has been a traditional campaign, she doesn't know how to talk to millenials they build the machinery for them but it isn't fun. but women across the country got online and adopted the nasty woman title. pip as a badge of honor. jeanne: as a badge of honor. there are now reports of -- we came upon the millenial women suddenly woke up like, this is cool. this is not boring anymore. and they also appreciated in the debate her strong defense of women on abortion rights and sexual harassment. so she, you know, through accident and through some policy, i think she has awakened the female millenials in a way she would maybe not have been able to do. pete: but they weren't that excited about the first woman president? jeanne: that wasn't jazzing them up in the way that president obama's status was going for the
black community eight years ago. it wasn't the same. pete: i want to ask you, phil, about something else. the clinton campaign is capitalizing on polls that show her support in battleground states is expanding, sending star surrogates, bernie sanders, michelle obama. is it that close in those states? does she have a shot at some of the red states? philip: in arizona, absolutely. she's tide or a little bit ahead in arizona. that would be a remarkable turn. s that red state. it's been rebly republican for a generation. if not more. and the latino vote is really important there. that's one of the reasons trump has struggled so much and hillary clinton is sending surrogate there is but also spending a will the of money on television ads, digital ads, putting boots on the ground, staffers and very tier, try to mobilize voters. it might pay offened might help lift up ann kirkpatrick, who is running behind in the senate race against john mccain. unclear if she'll be able to win
but it could make the race closer. pete: georgia an texas too? philip: georgia certainly but texas seems more of a stretch but some polls show that to be close too. pete: phil, thank you. thank you all. the conversation continues on "the washington week extra" where we tell you about the independent presidential candidate surging in the polls in one state where he might defeat donald trump and hillary clinton. trump has been warning his supporters as the potential of voter fraud in the lech but the expert says your odds of getting struck by lightning twice are more than the odds of voter fraud. see more at pbs.org/washingtonweek. i'm pete williams. good night. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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. it helps in the long run. >> prudential. >> additional funding is provided by -- >> the x.q. institute. newman's own foundation, donating all profits from newman's phone food products to charity and nourishing the common good. the ethics and complebs in journalism foundation. food -- ford foundation. the ewen foundation, committed to bridging cultural differences in our community. the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs stations from viewers like you. thank you.
hello and welcome to "kqed newsroom." i'm thuy vu. coming up on our program, congressman mike honda and challenger ro khanna battle to represent silicon valley on capitol hill. we sit down with each candidate. and the golden gate bridge, a bay area icon and sometimes the scene of tragedy. we look at new efforts to prevent suicides. but first only 18 days left until the presidential election. house speaker paul ryan is preparing to visit california next week to help republican candidates. as their party's nominee, donald trump is trailing hillary clinton by a growing margin in most polls. this week in the third and final debate of the presidential race, trump and clinton had testy exchg