tv Meet the Press MSNBC March 19, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
this sunday, credibility crisis. president trump's unapologetic defense of his unsubstantiated claims. >> as far as wiretapping, i guess -- you know, this past administration -- at least we have something in common perhaps. >> did president obama wiretap mr.trump? the former head of u.s. intelligence -- >> there was no such wiretap activity. >> the speaker of the house. >> i have not seen any evidence of this. >> the republican house intel chair. >> we don't have any evidence that that took place. >> the top democrat on the house intel committee. >> thus far we have seen no basis for that whatsoever. >> now fbi director james comey
will testify before the house tomorrow on spy claims and on russia's role in the 2016 election. the ranking democrat on that committee adam schiff of california joins me this morning. plus, that budget blueprint. sharp increases in spending for the military. sharp decreases in domestic programs for the poor. >> look, we want to give you money for programs that don't work. i can't defend that anymore. >> president trump's budget director mick mulvaney is here this morning. health care fight. can president trump win over enough republicans to get his bill through congress? i will talk to a republican no vote this morning, senator susan collins of maine. joining me are syndicated columnist george will, yamiche alcindor of the "new york times," robert costa of the washington post and anchor of bbc world news america, katty kay. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history,
celebrating its 70th year this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> good sunday morning. it was in the late '60s that the term credibility gap gained currency as people grew skeptical o president johnson's claim of u.s. progress in vietnam. now donald trump is facing similar growing disthe u.s. what began with claims on trivial matters as whether his inauguration crowds were bigger than president obama's -- they weren't -- have turned into something more koconsequential. they have been redefining president trump's insistence president obama had him surveilled or wiretapped. he took a swipe at the national security agency for listening in on german chancellor angela merkel's phone conversations. this week the administration's policy of ready, fire, aim, cause an incident with the uk
when the u.s. peddled a claim that they spied on mr. trump. james comey will testify today before the house intelligence committee where he'll be asked about meddling in the election. the president's credibility issues are growing as he's struggling to sell his agenda to congress. >> as far as wiretapping, i guess by -- you know, this past administration -- at least we have something in common perhaps. >> president trump claiming yet again on friday that president obama had him wiretapped despite unambiguous statements from republican leaders wholed -- who would know. >> there iso edence of this. >> i haven't seen evidence of this. >> now the british are livid after sean spicer used the white house podium to traffic an unverified claim by a fox news commentator that it was britain's spy agency that
monitored mr. trump on mr. obama's behalf. >> he's able to get it. there is no american fingerprints on this. >> he's able to get it and there are no american fingerprints on this. >> the british agency calls it nonsense, utterly ridiculous. the white house is refusing to apologize, quote, i don't think we regret anything. >> all we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television. >> he's referring to fox commentator andrew napalitano but fox news distanced itself. in the two weeks since mr. trump tweeted the allegations the president and aides can't let it go. >> the president has been clear he didn't mean specifically wiretapping. he had it in quotes. >> let's see if i prove it. i don't choose to do it now. >> the claims are straining his credibility with republicans just at the time he needs a united party to push his agenda through congress. two months into the presidency,
that agenda looks stuck in the mud. the president's revised travel ban, blocked again. this time by federal judges in hawaii and maryland. >> we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what i wanted to do in the first place. >> health care legislation, on the rocks with a house vote scheduled for thursday. the president promises he's getting republicans to yes. >> every singling person sitting in this room is now a yes. we made certain changes. >> the changes recommended by the house budget committee -- giving states the option to require able-bodied medicaid recipients to work in order to get medical care. and further limiting medicaid spending. freedom caucus can i haonservaty they need further changes before they support the bill. >> i have been fully articulating my problems for about two weeks. i don't know that those have changed. >> every time the bill is changed to placate conservatives they risk losing another moderate in the senate.
>> we want to be there for constituents who received the benefit of medicaid expansion. >> in addition to health care there is president trump's budget, the budget blueprint calls for significant increases for the defense department, homeland security and the department of veterans afi firf while making cuts in the epa, the state agricultural labor departments all taking big hits in the budget. joining me now is the director of the office of management and budget mick mulvaney. good morning. >> thanks for having me. >> on the surveilling do you take the president at his word he or associates were wiretapped? >> i thought it was tongue in cheek. i'm the numbers guy, doing the budget. i'm not involved in the wire thatting issue. >> on one hand are you concerned that eroding credibility on that issue mak you job harder in congress? >> no, no. those of us who see and work with the president believe him,
trust him have no difficulties like those in the press do. >> you don't think this is a difficulty for folks that they can take the president at his word on health care. he's said, hey, take my word for it. some of these folks are out on a limb. >> i was in the meeting thursday or friday in the oval office. the president had a clear argument, got folks to commit to the bill. it was a credible discussion. i don't have concerns. >> i want to start on the budget with something you said in 2013. you said and you're not the first to say something like this, remember, a budget is more than just a spending document. it is also a vision document. explain the vision behind this budget that does whack a lot of domestic program, some which a lot of people benefit from and puts all the emphasis on security. >> the vision is that this is what the president ran on. he's trying to do something that politicians aren't famous for which is following through on his promises. if you go back -- which is what
we did -- look at his speeches, interviews, talk to him and say what's important to you? look for the message the president was trying to deliver. that meant more money for defense, more money to security the border. more money for law enforcement generally and more money for things like veterans' affairs, veterans' health care and private and public school choice. that's where we spent more money. the president didn't want this to add to the deficit this year. when we added the $54 billion for defense we took that money from other places. that's the vision. more money for what the president said without adding to the deficit. >> he said we'll take care of those people, won't let people go untaken care of. you have seen story after story of specific programs that benefit his voters and he's taking a whack at here. why do that? >> some of the stories are just either grossly wrong or nearly wrong about how we cut meals on
wheels. the program we proposed to eliminate accounts for 3% of the meals on wheels funding across the nation. step back -- >> but you are getting rid of the block grant that it proves. >> it ontarly provides 3% of me on wheels money. that wasn't broadly reported. you asked about the trump voters. the president knows who the voters are. folks who pay taxes as well. for the first time in a long time you have an administration looking at the compassion of both sides of the equation. not just the compassion in terms of where the money go bus in terms of where the money comes from. could we as administration, could i as a budget director look at a coal miner in west virginia and say i want you to give money to the federal government so i can give toyota the national endowment for the arts. we finally got to the point in the administration where we couldn't do that. you owe $60,000 to the government. so do i in terms of the debt. the president said let's take
care of both sides of the equation. >> some cuts seem counter productive to the president's message on infrastructure. you want to do a bunch of spending on infrastructure at some point. you are cutting advanced technology, vehicle manufacturing, manufacturing extension partnership which provides assistance to small and mid sized manufacturers to get off the ground to create jobs in these very counties that need jobs created. why cut the programs and why do it before you have come up with the infrastructure plan? >> sure. when we looked at the infrastructure we know we are working on a plan for later in the year. we'll do health reform i think this week in the house. then tax reform. so that moves infrastructure to summer or early fall. we tried to find out where we thought the infrastructure money wasn't being spent as efficiently as it could and said let's take it out of the discretionary budget to put it back in the infrastructure bill. we think it is a better use of american resources. >> i want to talk about the issue. you said one of the president's
goals wasn't to add to the deficit as it is. but this budget will have a deficit. is that fair to say? >> sure. the deficit before we came into office would be $488 billion. this year according to the congressional budget office. after we spend all of the additional money on defense, border enforcement, law forcement, veterans, the deficit will be the same. we did as we plussed up, increased spending on the president priorities without adding to the number. >> i want to play something. candidate donald trump throughout the last year. >> i do want a balanced budget. >> we owe $19 trillion. we've got to start paying it down, balancing budgets. >> these people are talking about balancing budgets in 35 years from now? we can do it -- believe me -- much quicker. we can do it quickly. >> heav even made a pledge to g rid of the debt in eight years. if you are doing this quickly, nothing in this budget is close to balanced. the fact that you are doing
neutral to the deficit last year isn't congress. >> keep in mind what a budget blueprint is and this is traditional for the first year of a new administration. obama did it, bush did it. what this is is a spending outline. all it is as you mentioned is the discretionary spending part of the budget. that's only 25% of what the government spends. the other 75% roughly is the mandatory, what some people call entitlement spending. in may we'll introduce the full budget to address the ten-year budget window, tax flows, larger policy changes, health care reforms. >> are you pledging a balanced budget in may? >> not this year but trying to get it balanced within the ten-year budget window which is what republicans in the house and senate have done. >> the goal is a balanced budget within ten years but that means you will add to the debt every single year in the next ten years. >> that's correct. it's difficult. we have been -- >> that's not what candidate trump said. he said it would be easy. does it turn out this is complicated, too?
>> it is a very complicated budget process when your mandatory spending is driving most of your budget deficit. for example, you could cut the agriculture department to zero. hhs to zero. hud to zero. e f to zero. you wo still hav a deficit this year. over the course of the next decade we have to look at the mandatory spending side to figure out a way to make changes to the way we spend money. >> have you figured out how to pay for the trillion dollar infrastructure yet? >> no. one of the neat things about having a businessman in office and all of the folks come from the private sector is they have brought ideas that i don't think government has contemplated before. public/private partnerships, ways to capitalize future revenue flows, creative ideas. i'm a deficit hawk. i think it's why i got the job. but the more i hear about the infrastructure plan the more comfortable i'm getting. >> speaking of the debt ceiling we hit it on friday. extraordinary measures by the
treasury secretary mean a couple more months. you were a tough nut to crack when you were congressman mulvaney. why should people like-minded with you who said i will give you the debt ceiling but i want real cuts, real deficit reduction. at one point you said i will raise the ceiling in exchange for a balanced budget. you aren't making that ask this time, are you? >> i voted to raise the debt ceiling as most people in congress have. go back to the 1920s, 30s and 40s, the debt ceiling debate has been used to try to step back and say, okay, why do we have a definite problem? why do we have a debt problem? how can we fix it? we'll come forward with the ideas to raise the debt ceiling but at the same time try to address long term reasons we have a debt. >> you are not somebody that voted for a lot of budgets in congress. why -- this doesn't look like a budget congressman mulvaney would have supported. why would you support keeping the deficit? i feel congressman mulvaney would not support the numbers
that this budget shows. >> it's a fair question. keep in mind the administration is different than members of the hill, members of the house and senate. every house member -- as i used to be -- has a constituency, a group of people at home we represent. senators represent the state. there are a lot of special interest, lobbying involved. the president isn't beholden to that. the president represents everybody. consultants weren't consulted on this, lobbyists, special interests were not. this is a budget for the nation because that's who he represents. >> as you put together the budget did you look at your votes and go, hmm, maybe i shouldn't have voted that way? >> no. i did the best job i could to represent south carolina. now i'm the president's budget director and we put out a good budget. >> when will you be able to propose a balanced budget? what year? >> i don't know yet. we are getting into it now. by mid may, we are shooting for, we'll have a larger budget -- >> first term? >> i don't know yet.
we don't know what health care reform will look like, tax reform, the infrastructure program. those are the really big picture items we won't know about for a couple of months. >> we'll have to leave it there. mick mulvaney, thanks for coming on. >> thanks for having me. on health care president trump is working to get the republican support in the house and the plan to get through the house but the obamacare replacement faces tough on session in the senate as well. if all 48 senators vote no as ex3ek9ed the president can only afford to lose two republicans. now there are four republican nos. rand paul, mike lee who say the bill is too generous and dean heller and susan collins who argue the bill is too harsh. senator collins of maine joins me now. welcome back to the show. >> thank you. >> you were very tough on the house bill. you were unambiguous when it came to the no vote on the bill.
so very simply, what would it take to get you from no to yes? >> we have to deal with three issues. the first is coverage. under the house bill, 14 million americans would lose coverage next year. that rises to 24 million over the next decade. second, we have to do something about the fact that the house bill disproportionately affects older rural americans. the congressional budget office has estimated that a 64-year-old earning $26,500 a year would see an increase in his or her costs from $1700 to $14,600. that's unaffordable. third, we have to do something about the medicaid changes which
ship billions of dollars of costs to the states, to hospitals and other people who are insured. >> do you believe health care is a right and, if so, that it is a right the government is responsible for fulfilling? >> i believe that as a practical matter peo have a right to health care in that if they're sick and they go to a hospital they're not going to be turned away. in fact, federal law requires a hospital to treat someone who comes to an emergency room. but that's the least cost effective way to treat an individual who doesn't need emergency room care. so there is a lot that we can do to reduce the cost of health care by, for example, using managed care for the medicaid program. >> let me ask you a couple of questions on the president's budget. is there any part of the president's budget you support? >> yes. i do think we need an increase
for our veterans and that we need an increase in military spending because readiness has suffered. but i think we have to do a more gradual increase. one of the most disturbing parts of the president's budget is his slashing the funding for the national institutes of health. we have been making tremendous progress in the increasing nih's budget and that has helped us to develop effective treatments, new cures for expensive diseases. if we are serious about reducing health care costs the last thing we should be doing is cutting the budget for biomedical research. >> where do you get the money though? that's going to be the fundamental question. there are a lot of programs i think a lot of people can individually make a case for. think what the white house would say is, hey, maybe these are good programs that could be done better.
we have a financial problem in this country. we have a rising national debt. we can't seem to get out from under an annual deficit. where do we find the money? for instance, can we afford a massive tax cut? >> w do have to scour the dget. and tax reform does not necessarily mean that we are going to have a significant reduction in rev n-- revenues. it is possible to come up with one that's more pro growth, simpler and fairer and doesn't substantially reduce revenues. senator bill cassidy and i have a health care bill and we are looking at different paid fors for the bill including some that were included for the affordable care act. some others as well. so we need to scour the budget. there are duplicative programs that could be combined. we need to look at everything. but i'm worried about the
outlines of the budget that have been submitted. i would point out that i have never seen a president's budget make it through congress unchanged. >> that's for sure. let me ask you about the president and the issue of credibility. he continues to believe that he was somehow -- either he or his associates were wiretapped or under surveillance and it was ordered by president obama. you also have access to various intelligence. is there any way that statement, to your knowledge, is true? >> i have seen no evidence supporting that statement. what we need is evidence. if the president has evidence of that, i would encourage him to turn it over to the house and senate intelligence committee. we are in the midst of a big investigation of russian activities in our country and we want to look at this allegation as well. >> can you take the president at
his word? >> yes. do i think the president gets everything right? no but iant president trump, just as i have wanted every other president, to be successful because he is america's president. now that doesn't mean that i support his policies and it doesn't mean that i'm going to be with him when i think he's wrong or has misstated what the facts are. >> if he's wrong about this allegation, congressman tom cole said that president trump owes president obama an apology. do you concur? >> i would like to first get to the bottom of this before saying what should be done. i don't know the basis for president trump's assertion. that's what i wish he would explain to us on the intelligence committee and to the american people. i do believe he owes us that
explanation. >> senator susan collins, republican from maine, thank you for coming on the show and sharing your views. >> thank you. >> when we come back, tomorrow is a big day in washington. hearings begin for supreme court nominee neil gorsuch and james comey testifies on russia and the election and the wiretap thank you! imagine if the things you bought every day earned you miles to get to the places you really want to go. with the united mileageplus explorer card, you'll get a free checked bag, 2 united club passes... priority boarding... and 50,000 bonus miles. everything you need for an unforgettable vacation. the united mileageplus explorer card. imagine where it will take you. youthat's why you drink ensure. sidelined. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals.
welcome back. panelists here. syndicated columnist george will is making his 52nd appearance on "meet the press," but it's his first since 1981. have you been? have you been on another show that i don't think about. yamiche alsindor of new york times and katty kay, and i will give you the first word and that is on the president's credibility. at what point does it become a president on capitol hill when you are trying to sell the
healthcare? >> there is a much bigger credibility problem and secretary tillerson in the far east in korea raised the possibility of preemptive war against the ballistic missile program with north korea, that means that there is not a trivial possible they some time in the life of this term, this presidential term the president would have to come and say because of the intelligence services tells me x, y and z. these are the people that you don't trust and we don't trust and we're not sure about you particularly so it's hard to hermetically seal the loss of credibility. >> robert, do they understand this or are they not thinking about this? >> my sources inside of the white house tell me that e president reviews news organizations information sometimes even more than
intelligence information. >> so we're more important than the presidential daily brief? >> he gets the presidential daily brief and if you look at the tweets that started the whole wiretapping situation and it was part of a breitbart article and now he's watching judge napolitano on fox news and digesting all of this information rather than just the intelligence brief and he's disseminating it publicly. >> katty, i think about him with the house republicans this week going no, no, no, i'll make the fixes for you, you have my word on it. >> the question is how valuable is that word which is what we've had members of both republican and democratic parties asking quite publicly this week when they refuted from the idea that there had been wiretapping that the president, and it was very interesting susan collins, she didn't answer the question, do you trust him? that's a precarious position
for him to be in. >> there was this observation, yamiche, and he said this, it's very easy to have a good meeting with trump. it's very -- he'll promise you the world and he'll betray you. you don't know when to take the president at his word. >> that that means and the people that are ourllies are sitting down wi dald trump and they might have a great meeting with him and when they get on the plane to go back to their respective countries they can tell he might betray them and that was interesting, too, when i was waiting for senator collins say, i do trust him. he's someone that when he says something he'll do it. when i think about the credibility issue as a whole, i think about the fact before he was president and before he walked into the oval office this was someone who came into politics because he thought
president obama wasn't born in the united states and the central park five were guilty and those things are not lost on people including his own party, and only think about the fact that these are the credibility issues he has. >> you've had exactly that with two very important american allies. theresa may came here and thought she had a good meeting and she got to the plane, went back to europe and wakes up and the executive action had been ordered and trump never even thought about that. they were apologized to this week over the whether the gchq had spied on the president, if you apologize to your wife and you roll back the apology it never goes back well. you are left in a worse position than where you were originally. >> when the president stands next to angela merkel treating this wiretapping flippantly and a joke, he was standing next to someone who grew up in east germany when the stasy was listening all of the time and
it's not funny to people. >> not to her. >> and probably won't be funny to americans over time. >> one thing i keep hearing from ople in the foreign picy community and diplomats is who will shape the white house in the coming months? >> we know steve bannon, the chief strategist is there and you look at this rising force in this white house who wrote about it in today's post and dina pal from goldman sachs, gary cohn from goldman sachs. >> the new yorkers. the new york liberals. >> and they see it as a moderate force and a lot of people in the foreign policy world are saying, can dina pal, can gary cohn, can they have more influence in the coming months? >> we'll see. all right. we'll discuss this. i wanted to get to health care and now we'll do health care in the second when you guys come being bah, but first, the house intelligence committee does hear from fbi director james comey on russia tomorrow and about those wiretap claims. the leading
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welcome back. whenbi director james comey testifies before t house intelligence committee tomorrow we can expect to hear about two stories that have dominated the news. one, evidence that the russians interfered with the 2016 election, perhaps on behalf of the trump campaign and two, the committee has asked the fbi to turn over any evidence it has to confirm president trump's allegations of the wiretap of trump tower prior to the election. congressman adam schiff is the ranking democrat on the house intelligence committee and you will see him a lot tomorrow and he joins me for a preview.
congressman schiff, good to have you. >> thank you. >> the agency security director mike rogers, what do you hope, what light will be shed tomorrow, do you hope? >> i think for a lot of americans this is the first time to really tune in to exactly what the russians did and what the investigation involves, and i'd like to walk through with both directors. what do we know about the russian operation? what was its breadth? we know it was hacking and dumping of documents. we know their slick use of their media campaign, but more than that, i think we want to share with the country why we are so concerned about the issue of u.s. person involvement. were there u.s. persons that were helping the russians in any way? was there any form of collusion and what can we do to protect not only ourselves in the future, but our allies are facing the same russian onslaught. >> if this is an investigation by the counter terrorism and fbi, what do you expect director comey can say un.
lickly? >> on the issue of collusion he is limbited on what he can shar and how the russians operate in europe, what techniques they use and what we should be on the lookout for our investigation and in europe and other places, we see them use the natives of foreign countries that are terning and how they use paid social mea trolls. so the full range of russian intervention and what that looks like and so i think flushing out why this ought to matter to americans, i think people need to understand we are in a global war of ideas. it's not communism versus capitalism, but it is authoritarianism versus democracy and putin is very much at the vanguard of that movement and that ought to concern all of us. >> let me ask you. you received information on friday from the department of justice about president trump's claims on wiretapping.
what can you tell us? were you satisfied with the information they provided? >> well, i got a classified briefing on that response and they delivered it after moat of us had left town, butness wo again, no evidence to support the president's claim that he was wiretapped by his predecessor. i have a lot of respect for susan collins, but i have to differ with her on this. we need to get to the bottom of this. there is nothing at the bottom. >> do you think director comey will say that? >> i suspect he will. we have to put an end to the goose chase. what the president said is patently false and the wrecking ball it created has banged into the british allies and german allies and continuing to grow in terms of damage and he needs to put an end to this. i suspect what's really at root here, chuck, is this is just how the president does business. maybe this is the way he conducted his real estate business with half-truths and sometimes no truths and a lot of bluster. that, in my opinion, is no way
to run a business, but it's in no way to run a country. it's dangerous to us and it's alienating allies and as george will so correctly pointed out, when there is a crisis with north korea and iran and what not and every president has one in their term we need to be able to believe our president and he's making it very, very difficult. >> i want to get to the point of, look, collusion is sort of what hasn't been proven here between whatever the russians did and the trump campaign. in fact, the former acting director of the cia who was mike morel who was a supporter of hillary clinton. he essentially reminded people it took director clapper on his word that says there has been no evidence that has been found of collusion. are we at the point -- at what point do you start to wonder if there is a fire to all this smoke? >> first of all, i was surprised to hear director clapper say that because i don't think you can make the claim categorically as he did. i would characterize it at the outset of the investigation and there was circumstantial
evidence of collusion. there is direct evidence, i think, of deception and that's where we begin the investigation. now i don't want to prejudge where we ultimately end up and of course, there's one thing to say there's evidence and there's another thing to say we can prove this or prove it beyond a reasonable doubt or there's enough evidence to bring to a grand jury for purposes of criminal indictment and there is certainly enough for us to conduct the investigation. the american people have a right to know and in order to defend ourselves, we need to know whether these circumstantial evidence of collusion or direct evidence of deception is indicative of more. >> i want to get to the witness list here. you have subpoena power if you choose to use it. has congressman nunes, you can and congressman nunes need to come to an agreement on that. is he willing to use subpoena power? >> there will be people we need to bring before the committee who may not be willing witnesses and if we'll do this credibly and right now we're the only game in town, we and the senate
intelligence committee, we'll need the power of compulsion. i still think we have a lot of spade work to do before that. you don't want to bring the witnesses in before you've reviewed the evidence that you want to question them with. you may only get one shot at the witnesses, but we'll have to do that. >> you seem far behind. the senate intel committee has asked roger stone one-tim adviser, he's been ordered to preserve documents to make sure he doesn't destroy any documents and perhaps he is going to be subpoenaed by them. have you done that with any -- have you formally sent letters to potential witnesseses to say hey, you need to make sure you have saved any documents related to the campaign or russia? >> we were the first to send letters to the u.s. government to tell them to preserve evidence. >> what about outside? mike flynn, carter paige and roger stone. >> we've not yet is not letters to individuals.
it's a good practice. i'm not sure that if someone wants to hide that letter will have an effect that it ought to, i think in some respects we're ahead of where the senate investigation is, and in some respects they're ahead of where we are. i do think, look, at the end of the day the real question where the rubber will really hit the road is as you suggest when we have to use compulsion to get documents that we need, to bring in witnesses. i hope the answer is going to be yes from the majority. i also do think -- >> right now you have not been given that authority. >> well, we haven't -- >> you haven't asked for it. >> to subpoena certain witnesses, but we will be. there are a lot of witnesses. >> devin nunes agrees with you on this? >> well, he'll have to -- >> which means he doesn't yet. >> i don't want to say that. we hammered out a very detailed scope of agreement that allows us to look into issues like collusion with u.s. persons with
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"data download" time. in an issue i've been spending quite a bit of time on how the misuse of data has been destroying the political system. if you won the middle, you won the election. now campaigns are using or abusing big data to identify and mobilize like minded voters rather than using it to make arguments that change minds. so how bad has this polarization gotten in the last 20 years? according to pugh in 1994 there was areat deal of ideological overlap in the two parties. 36% of republican voters were more liberal than the typical democrat and 24% of democrats were more conservative than the typical republican. just 8% of republicans and 6% of democrats were more conservative lan the liberals of the opposite party and guess what? we've seen the same shift on elected officials. based on the initial analysis of voting records, there were 137 house members who fell in the
ideological middle ground with voting records somewhere between the most conservative democrat and the most conservative republican. in 2013 that number was down to four. let's go to the senate. in 2002 there were seven members, in 2013, zero. so as you can see in the last 15 years we've seen a complete hollowing out of the political center and this coincided with the advent of microtargeting in 2004, then advanced by team obama and now, of course, everybody usees it. look, the electorate and politicians alike used to be conditioned to know that the middle mattered. that's why big deals in washington were bipartisan. tax reform in the '80s and welfare reform in the '90s. flash forward to 2010, democrats passed health care without a single republican vote and right now republicans appear poised to try to do it the same way, but look, there is good news in this. big data can be used to fix the very problems that it helped create as long as there is a
political will to do it. the incentive structure has to change where we persuade the middle again because then elected officials who win by persuasion suddenly want to make deals. when we come back, how far are democrats willing to go in (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even a "truck-cicle." [second man] how you doing?
i think the biggest story next week will be the house vote on thursday for health care. george, where is this headed for republicans? >> they don't know yet because usually in legislative deal making it's an additive process, i support x if you support y, i'll support you if you support me and that's how coalitions work, and in this case addition is subtraction and the heart of boomcare is the expansion of medicaid. 20 republican senators represent states that expanded medicaid. add synthetics bench and they have huge holes in their budget and they're a problem. >> asa hutchinson, john kasich, brian sandoval and three republican governors all over the ideological spectrum, yamiche, signed a legislation saying be careful with this medicaid cut. >> he came out and saying all of these people would lose their health insurance it sent shock waves into the party and there are some things complicated for
voters to understand. losing insurance is not complicated. it's either you have it or you don't and while trump supporters didn't like the idea to be force tr ed to have insurance, and not having it is scary for a lot of people. >> it's intereing for use republicans who have gone on the conservative side with the effective worryi have gone from a hell no to possibly yes. now you have moderates among the republican party in the house and if this is going to die, where should i sign my name to it for the next two years. >> the poll out this week shows here's the president's approval ratings among republicans. he's got 83%, among all voters he's got a 55% unfavorable rating. you're corey gardner, republican senator, do you listen to the republican base who loves trump or do you overall, realize a majority in colorado don't trust
him and are unsatisfied and you go with him on health care? >> who actually has ownership of the health care bill? we know the speaker is tweaking it with the medicaid expansion and doing things so the conservatives want to get it through the house, when it from comes to the president does he want to get it? >> he's not driven by philosophy and his team and his populous talk about infrastructure and taxes. they didn't get elected in their minds to do health care first. >> george, is the debate over about whether the idea is involved with the government or not? there are some who say we shouldn't, the issue of whether it is a reit or privilege, senator cassidy in louisiana said hey, the debate's over, we have to provide these people health care. >> before the obamacare legislation was passed, 50 cents of every health care dollar was a government 50 cents and the government has been deeply involved in this forever and it will only become more so.
>> when i was listening to senator collins talk about not wanting to say health care is a right, as soon as you say that sentence you think about bernie sanders. >> right. >> in theory she made this point that we're paying for health care whether we like it or not so whetr we take medicate and fe like we're not paying for it in this way, you are still paying for it when people show up in the emergency room and have to pay for it and these hospitals have to provide them care anyways. >> very quickly, neil gorsuch, is it a filibuster? do democrats get to filibuster neil gorsuch? >> no. there will be enough democrats up for re-election to decide this is not the fight they want to have now. they may want a fight to the second pick. >> it's an easy to look bipartisan on this pick, isn't it? >> in almost any other period they would be consumed by gorsuch. when i talk to progressives they say russia, trump, the wiretapping allegation, chaos at the white house, they're focused on different issues. >> and health care. we'll be back in 45 seconds with
"meet the press" "endgame" is brought to you by boeing, always working to build something better. back now with "endgame" and i want to continue quickly, we talked about on the gorsuch conversation whether democrats is it the right strategy to just be a party of no? george will, you've been used to covering that and the answer to that used to be no, but perhaps it's better for them politically to be the party of no. >> it's better in the sense it energizes their base and you have action and you realize you can't win an election with the base alone. the old axiom used to be that american politics took place within the 40 yard lines, i still think it's true. >> yet, does anybody win that
way? if they don't think they win that way, whether they actually do or not, they don't think they win that way, yamiche, this is the why they act the way they act. when i talk to freshmen representatives who say we should be the party of no mainly because they feel their base is watching this and saying we need to stick to our grounds and we need to not make compromises when it comes to health care and not push a single-payer season and they should really stop and not make deals. >> we keep talking about the democratic party. who are the leaders of the democratic party? we know there's leader schumer and leader pelosi, but who is the soul right now of the democratic party if they are going to be the party of noes. it's senator warren? it's hard to tell. >> democrats can easily point to the last six years of the obama presidency and say, hey, it didn't do the republicans any harm being the party of no. take garland, case in point. why not try that, too?
>> it's not often we do viewer mail and we don't want to make a habit of it, this week is an exception and we took a tongue in cheek look if we applied repeal and replacing obamacare language to repeal and replacing sports and we reported that sports was on a death spiral when 50% of all teams are losers and if you throw in soccer into this, we even have losers and ties. it's important to give players greater access to more home runs, touchdowns and allowing players to choose the success that's best for them and that teams need t ability to cross state lines as the new york giants and jets did when they moved to new jersey. one viewer, kevin mcgoniccel, he wrote to offer a more conservative alternative to our examples. >> mcgoniccel writes that because of the death spiral, the san francisco, oakland, all expand leaving the los angeles angels of anaheim and without
competition the angels could increase prices by 160%. elizabeth warren and bernie sanders may say it's a basic right for citizens and non-citizens alike and that all states must have sports. in order to cover everyone, the nhl is forced to set up a failing team in a hockey hotbed like new mexico. subsidizing teams like that and others would force prices to rise for all hockey fans and of course, everyone will be mandated to buy season tickets to their home teams whether they want to or not. anyway, see? we can have a little fun here. that's all we have for today. we'll be back next week when, i guess, the big ten will teach the acc another lesson. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press". >> you can see more endgame in "post game" on the mtp facebook page. ♪ ♪
and very good sunday to you. i'm richard lui in new york city and welcome to the pulse of america, where your voice could be heard in real-time. here the are stories we want your pulse on today. all eyes on monday. that's when james comey faces the house intelligence committee on the president's claim of wiretapping. there is also the alleged ties between trump associates and russia. the top democrat on the committee now saying there is circumstantial evidence of collusion. the trump administration warns america's allies it