tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 27, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PST
and reality real estate tv star ryan sear head. can't make it up. see you there. stay right here on msnbc. . >> what's trump's end game on the shut down? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm steve kornacki in for chris matthews. today marks the sixth day of the partial government shut down and the prospects for a deal they are bleak. fresh off his whirlwind trip to iraq yesterday, the president renewed his shut down demands on twitter "have the democrats finally realized we desperately need border security and a wall on southern border?" do the democrats realize most of the people not getting paid are democrats? this coming two days after trump said that federal workers
support his stand on the shut down. >> many of those workers have said to me and communicated stay out until you get the funding for the wall. these federal workers want the wall. the only one that doesn't want the wall are the democrats. >> it was twitter where the battle over the wall largely played out today. though today mark warner responding to the president, "this is outrageous. federal employees don't go to work wearing red or blue jerseys. they're public servants and the president is treating them like poker chins at one of his failed casinos." amy klobuchar adding these workers bork for the fbi and they signed up to protect us and work for america regardless of party. later in the day, the president firing off a pair of tweets accusing democrats of obstruction on what he calls an the needed wall. underscoring just how far apart both parties remain on this
standoff, illinois's dick durbin wrote, no end in sight to the president's government shut down. technically, both houses of congress were in session today. although both the house and senate convened for only a few minutes, both took nothing steps to end the partial shut down. house members were advised there would be no more votes while the senate adjourned till monday at 4:00 p.m. effectively insuring the shut down continues through the weekend at least to the brink of the new year. i'm joined byia meech alcindor for the pbs "newshour" it, eugene robinson, wall street post and glenda blair, thanks to all of you for being with us. ya meech, trying to get to the bottom line. the key players in this. you've got the president, you've got the republicans on capitol hill. and you got the democrats on capitol hill. who has the appetite to the extend this the longest? and who the shortest right now
would you say? >> i just got off the phone with a democratic aide who says that democrats are not going to budge on what the senate already passed, which is this idea that essentially there will be no border funding in this cr. so democrats are saying they're not going to do this. president trump has already signaled the white house is willing to come down on the initial $58 billion ask but the president himself has not fully endorsed that. the key thing here is the house is going to turn into democratically controlled house and nancy pelosi will likely become speaker. that will make it even harder for trump to get what he wants. >> eugene, there is a school of thought that from the democratic standpoint, that transfer of power on january 3rd gives them a new bargaining position. so perhaps there's a political incentive for them to wait till january 3rd to really make their move. there's also a school of thought that there are republicans in
congress who might also prefer if that's the case because that potentially gives them somebody they can say the democrats have got some extra leverage here. maybe it gives them room to carve out a deal they wouldn't right now. >> well, i think that's kind of right. and steve, right now, democrats have no power. republicans are in charge of everything. they managed to shut down account government all by themselves, controlling the presidency and both houses of congress, and this is where we are. come january 3rd, democrats will be -- will have some power. they have the house and so i expect that they'll pass a funding bill without wall funding, and the president will say that's unacceptable. and who knows where we go from there. there isn't a lot of incentive for democrats to start putting offers on the table, particularly since as we've seen, you can get a deal signed, sealed and delivered except when
it comes to it, donald trump won't sign it. and so why should they put something out and then have the rug pulled out from under them? and that's going to be the question for democrats. plus, the wall is really a stupid idea, and you just have to let's deal with reality for a second. it's really a dumb idea. than ought to count, too. >> glenda blair, you know how the president thinks and approaches situations like this negotiations, stalemates, posturing, all the elements we're seeing right here. if you have democrats who want to pass something that's going to having no wall money, you've seen before the shut down, certainly on the senate side it seemed a willingness on the part of republicans to come to come signed of deal here. the wildcard is becomes the president. if there's a willingness on part of republicans to compromise with democrats on something, what about the president? do you see somebody here who is executing some kind of long game strategy who has an end game in
mind? is this somebodies who just winging it, improvising? r it? how is he approaching this? >> the long game for him is the same as the short game really. disruption, distraction, always pulling the rug out somebody was just referring to pulling the rug out. that's his play is pulling is the rug out so that nobody knows what to expect, and he is at the center always and everybody's on the end of their seat waiting to see what's going to happen. >> does he know though -- obviously he will say it's the wall, it's the wall. does he have a very specific bottom line on there? is there something -- do you sense it's something he's thought out, look i can sell it as a wall, as close enough? do you think he's that specific in his sort of approach? >> has to come out seeming like the winner and las to have his supporters, his constituent sill come out seeming like they won. does it have to be the wall? i don't think so. i think it has to be that he
won. that he came out on top. he vindicated -- he's vindicated and that it's all about anger, keeping that anger stoked. it's the democrats' fault, it's somebody's fault. he has to keep the anger thing going and has to come out on top and seem like the winner. if there can be a way that he can be the winner and the word w-a-l-l is a bunch of slats or a picket fence or some bricks or maybe it's just like, you know, some kind of imaginary wall, whatever, it's okay as long as he's a winner. >> right, we've heard him using terms steel, slat, fence, wall. we've heard him using a variety of terms in the last week. late today, as well, the president using a tweet from his predecessor tweeting out "i totally agree in response to a linked video a 2001 tweet from president obama, 2011 in which obama said i strongly believe we should take on once and for all the issue of illegal
immigration." that was a quote from obama's 20s 11 state of the union speech, calling in that speech for a negotiated bipartisan fix for immigration. the president today was very active on twitter. we aren't seeing press conditionses and rallies and marches like we've seen before. we're seeing everything on twitter. it's very interesting. but one of the things the president seemed to float was the idea out there a couple months ago, one of the last times we went through this telling it the democrats essentially daca fix and wall, pair those two things together. he seemed to walk away from na at the end the last time around. is that now dead on arrival for democrats, or is there any willingness on democrats' part to entertain something like that? >> i think now because democrats have more control when you have nancy pelosi likely coming to be the speaker of the house, democrats are likely not going to want to negotiate about that anymore. dick durbin already said on this network to chuck todd that he felt as though his hand had already been burnt, that he had
already touching that stove and president trump had essentially paid promises and pulled back. the president is the one who ended daca and this idea that young immigrants brought here as children as minors that they don't have any wrongdoing, the president took that program away. so essentially what you have is democrats who are already weary of negotiating with president trump because they have power and they got that power by basically saying they were going to push back on president trump. now you have president trump essentially mot able to negotiate in a way that because people don't really trust him on capitol hill. add to that i think what is the president's issue here, which is as other guests said, he wants to be a winner. he wants to be able to physically say i got this wall. he's already saying while he was coming back from visiting the troops in iraq, he said he was going to go to the ground breaking of the wall. there hasn't been any funding for the wall. the president doesn't have the money to bid the wall. he might be standing next to a
prototype for twitter and maybe rush limbaugh and laura ingraham. he's not going to get his wall and that will be a hard thing for him to admit to. >> yesterday, trump laid the blame at the feet of democratic leader in the house nancy pelosi. >> nancy pelosi is calling the shots, not chuck. and chuck wants to have had done. i really believe that. he wants to have this done. but she's calling the shots. and she's calling them because she wants the votes. and probably if they do something, she's not going to get the votes and she's not going to be speaker of the house and that would be not so good for her. so nancy is calling the shots and they all know look, politically speaking is, i'm doing nothing for politics. >> and this weekends, "the new york times" reports on trump's border wall battle noting "a partisan war may be just what he wants. he's privately told associates he is glad democrats won the house in last month's midterm elections saying he thinks that
guarantees his re-election because they will serve as a useful antagonist. he tweeted this is about the dems not letting donald trump and the republicans have a win. they may have the ten senate votes but we have the issue, border security 2020. the way he's talking there suggests this may be a president who is comfortable letting this stretch out farther into the future than maybe we initially thought, well into january, who knows how far. from the standpoint of democrats, january 3rd they're taking control of the house for the first time in eight years. they've got plans, investigations they want to focus on, bills they want to try to get through to put republicans in certain positions. how much appetites do you think democrats have politically have once they take over the house to us have this shut down issue looming? >> i think democrats would rather have the shut down issue
over. nancy pelosi will be the speaker and in a sense calling the shots for the house. i think she's very comfortable doing that. democrats i think will continue to pass legislation, opening the government and leave it to the senate which may or may not go along and then ultimately to the president who have to decide whether or not he wants his government open. i, too, noticed that daca for wall treat tweet today. i thought that sounded like a trial balloon from the president. if he wants to go that route, there would have to be something more than an ironclad guarantee. i don't think you can presign legislation, but there would have to be something, you know, very public and very guaranteed that anne colter couldn't torpedo with a tweet. and i don't know -- i don't think that's right. i don't think that's happening anytime soon. so they could last awhile.
>> glenda, two interesting comments from the president in iraq trying to bring nancy pelosi sort of to the forefront of this thing. it looks like somebody there who is looking for a foyle. you think back to 2016. we talked about this last night that, very narrow margin of victory trump had in 2016, the crucial ingredient was how unpopular hillary clinton ended up by the end of the campaign. next two years of his presidency, he's had republicans running the house and the senate. seems this is somebody eager to have the other party with a little bit more skin in the game here. >> yeah, but be careful what you wish for. this is a very, very different house of representatives that he's going to be dealing with. and beyond the shut down, there are things that every president wants and needs out of congress, and he's going to having to -- he's not just going to get it automatically the way he got it from paul ryan and mitch mcconnell. now mitch is still there, but now he's got to deal with nancy
pelosi. remember, congress has the power of the purse. and that is, you know, it's the article 1 institution. it's congress is important and i think we're going to see just how important and just how powerful in the coming months. >> what do you think, gwenn? how do you think that trump/pelosi dynamic? how do you think that's going to look the next two years to the country? >> he's trying to make a vudu doll out of her right now. he hasn't quite said lock her up. i think there's going to be some parallel chant when he goes on these campaign trips, campaign stops. we're going to hear something, another chant is going to somehow or other materialize. he needs that anger to stoke people. that's what he runs on. he really needs that. and without that, without that foyle, he's lost. soles he's going to -- somebody's going to have to be the person and right now it's nancy in the hot seat. >> we talked about this last
night a little bit. this is a president for the last two years who has not done what former presidents have done trying to expand that coalition. this is somebody intent looking like he wants to win in 2020 the same way he won in 2016 and that would require everything to break his way. ya michal sin door, gwenda blair, and eugene thank you. president trump telling it the troops in iraq we are no longer the suckers of the world. plus, new polling paints a stark image of a divided america. is there any room left for big picture bipartisanship and michael bloomberging? ing what about his equip that the presidency was not an entry level position? was that aimed at trump? was an opening salvo at potential democratic primary opponents. the government shut down feels a whole lot different than shut downs we have been through before. this is "hardball," where the action is. before this is "hardball," where the
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america shouldn't be doing the fighting for every nation on earth. if they want us to do the fighting, they also have to pay a price, and sometimes that's also a monetary price, so we're not the suckers of the world. under my administration, we're winning now. we're not playing to lose slowly like they've been doing for 19 years. >> welcome back to "hardball." in defending his decision to pull american troops from syria, president trump took a shot at his predecessors yesterday, telling u.s. troops in iraq that the united states will no longer be the sucker of the world. today "the new york times" notes that in making that decision so abruptly last week, quote, president trump managed to unite the left and right against a plan to extract the united states from two long costly and increasingly futile conflicts in syria and afghanistan. moreover, the president now appears more determined to
deliver on his promise of an america first foreign policy, even if it means rejecting the expert advice of his generals. ever since his campaign, trump has advocated for a diminished role abroad, saying the u.s. should get more out of its commitments overseas. >> our failed establishment has brought us nothing but poverty at home and disaster overseas. this is what we have, disaster. the wars we never win. we go in, we spend $3 trillion, we lose thousands and thousands of lives, and then matt, what happens is we get nothing. you know, it used to be to the victor belong the spoils. i didn't want to go there in the first place, but now we take the oil. we should have kept the oil! >> what you're saying is assad can stay in power, that's not your interest, your interest -- >> no, what i'm saying is we have bigger problems than assad. let syria -- and i says, fine. why do we care? so, now what are we going to start world war iii over syria? the united states cannot afford to be the policeman of the world
anymore, folks. from now on, it's going to be america first. >> i'm joined now by indira, columnist with the boston globe and david ciccilini of rhode island. he sits on the house foreign affairs committee. congressman, i'll start with you. just listening to those lines there, those speeches from donald trump pressing that idea of the united states not being the policemen of the world, he says, comparing it to that "the new york times" article we're reading from where you talk about policymakers, military experts, national security experts, both parties kind of being united against this. i guess, let me ask you the question in this way. what would you say to somebody, a voter out there, an american citizen out there who maybe likes what he hears, what she hears when donald trump talks the way we just played there and says, you know what, i've been burned by the experts. i was burned by them on iraq. i was burned by them on afghanistan. our country was burned by them. maybe we're listening to them too much.
>> look starks you -- look, the national security establishment always has an inclination to suggest military action. i think that's sort of part of their dna. what we need is a president who can listen to that and account for that in making decisions. but the process is beneficial because it ensures that the president has the most complete and most accurate and most current information when making a decision. it's also important because it includes our allies so that they understand what we're doing. and as jim mattis said in his letter to the president resigning, america's strength in part is because of our strong alliances and partnerships around the world and because america can be trusted. and so, when you don't have a national security process that engages or at least alerts our allies, you undermine that as well. >> talking about the process, here was an interesting argument i read in "the week" magazine from damon linker. he said objections to trump's decision to withdraw from syria are more about process than policy, writing, "like everything trump does, these decisions appear to have been made in an impulsive way without consultation with congress,
allies, or pentagon advisers. that's what policymakers call process, but that isn't a reason," he says, "to reject the policy shift." david lunker goes on to point out, suspicious process is good, but it doesn't guarantee wisdom." endir ra, i just thought this was an interesting piece and i'm curious your reaction to it, because essentially, what he's arguing is the process as it commonly plays out, he seems to be arguing, sort of inevitably leads presidents to defer to military voices, to defer to longer military commitments, and maybe by being ignorant of traditional processes, trump gets the country out of something that maybe the country wants to be out of. >> well, steve, i would argue it this way, that process is necessary but not sufficient. you need to have a process. the whole point of a democratic form of government, the way we do things, having a congress who advises and consents and having a cabinet that is there full of experts in an ideal situation to advise the president is that you want the president to get good advice.
i listened to that incredible montage that you showed and i was reminded of during the campaign, i think it was during a debate that then-candidate trump was asked, you know, who are you listening to, who do you take advice from? and he said, first of all, i listen to myself because i have a very good brain. you know, so the whole problem with that is once you get to the white house, great, it is your job to then listen to all the expert advice around you, but that's not enough. sure, expert advice can lead you in the wrong direction. i mean, i think we could have an entire show just talking about the pros and cons of being in syria, but i'm not sure that the president has thought through the fact that the u.n. just said a couple of months ago that there are 20 to 30 isis fighters still in syria and iraq. the whole point of the policy of having troops over there and in iraq and in afghanistan, for that matter, was to fight terrorists over there so that we wouldn't have to fight them back here at home. so, i think he's done this kind of hastily. and what really stays with me from listening to what he said out there on iraq is he used the term suckers.
he has this obsession with whether we're being duped or conned or something like that. and then he also says, you know, what really matters to him is everybody needs to pay for it. he's incredibly transactional in his policies. and above all, in his foreign policy. but what he's forgetting is that u.s. interests aren't just about money. it's also about values, it's also about the leadership and the voice that we have gotten to have in these last, you know, 60-plus years, post world war ii. so, i think he's throwing, you know, a lot of baby out with the bath water if all he's concerned about is the money that we spend on alliances and defense. >> congressman, on this theme of process, i wonder, is there part of the process here or something that maybe ought to be part of the process, that predates trump, that's part of this equation, too, and that is getting buy-in from the american public? i wonder how many people heard the news of what the president announced last week and said, wait a minute, we had troops in
syria? this wasn't something that went through congress? i'm wondering if it's kind of news to americans and if that's a critical piece here that's just been neglected? >> no, absolutely. i have been part of a group of members of congress who have been pressing hard, demanding that the president seek authorization from congress before engaging in military action in syria. that would give the president the responsibility of communicating to congress and to the american people, what is our objective in syria, what is necessary to achieve that objective, and then to persuade congress that it was a worthwhile investment of american treasure and american lives. the president doesn't have a strategy in syria, so pulling out may seem like a great idea in the absence of a coherent, thoughtful strategy with a set of objectives and really an articulation of how you're going to achieve those objectives. so, i think this has been something we've been clamoring for, insisting on, and the president hasn't requested it and hasn't articulated to the congress or to the american people exactly what we're doing in syria and what's the end plan. >> but what do you think the end plan should be? and what would you tell somebody out there saying, okay, if trump is wrong about this, if this is the wrong time, how much longer?
because he said, one of the things he said yesterday was they asked me for six months, i said okay. they asked me for six months, i said okay. what would you tell the sort of skeptical person out there, how much longer? >> we don't want american troops to be there one day longer than is absolutely necessary to protect the national security interests of our own country. so again, i think it's incumbent upon the president to articulate what's the plan, what's the purpose of our engagement there, what does he need to achieve that mission, and then to persuade members of congress to devote the resources necessary to do that. that's why congress has the authority to authorize the use of military force, not the president alone. our founders put that in the constitution as we are the only body that can declare war. we've been pressing for that for precisely this reason, to force the president to develop and then articulate exactly what the purpose is there. if he can't do that, then we wouldn't vote for him. but that's the role congress should be playing. that's the role many democrats have been demanding. and i expect that when we take the majority, you'll see
congress, in fact, require that of the administration. >> indira, you were citing statistics about why you feel there is a need for continued involvement there. what would you say in terms of how much longer? >> look, i think there are arguments on both sides, but i think it's interesting that the two countries that were really celebrating the u.s. announcement of pulling troops out of syria were russia and iran. and what does that tell us? you know, the president claims that he pulled out of the iran nuclear deal because he wanted -- because he doesn't trust iran and he, you know, doesn't trust their motives. well, in fact, they are the biggest beneficiaries, in a way, along with russia, who's a big ally and supporter who's been propping up bashar al assad's murderous regime all this time. so you know, there's that whole problem that he's not taking into account. i do think it's something that should have been discussed more with the american people, more with congress, and deciding what are the pros and cons and lining them up. but i don't think pulling out willy-nill is a great idea.
and i just want to remind people, a lot of americans may not realize that there was a group called al qaeda in iraq, and they were pretty powerful. and when they were finally diminished in 2011, when the obama administration completed the pullout from iraq that the bush administration had started, at that point, they reformed themselves as isis, what we now know. so, we do know that we pull out, problems are also created in that respect as well. >> all right, indira, congress man, thank you both for being with us. up next, heading over to the big board, we're going to break down the surprising extent to which our party affiliation is shaping our world view in the trump era. it was the best year, it was the worst year, depending on what party you were in. this is "hardball," where the action is.
welcome back to "hardball." we are just days away from the start of 2019, the end of 2018, everybody taking stock of what's happened over the last 12 months, how their lives changed, how the world changed, how their families changed. was it better? was it worse? well, here's an interesting way to think about, to look at how people all across the country are looking at and thinking about the year we just lived through, the year 2018. we talk all the time about a red-blue divide in our politics. does it extend to how people think about their lives, the country's life in any given year? interesting new polling data here. morning consult just came out with this one.
let me show you, first of all, check this out. asking people about the year 2018 in their personal lives, their professional lives. people agree. things got better by an 18-point margin, democrats said their personal life got better not worst by a 29-point margin, the professional point margin for republicans, an 18-point margin for democrats. a little bit of disparity on personal finances by a 7% margin, democrats theirs got worse. republicans saying theirs got better. there is a lot of overlap. you see a lot of plus signs. higher on the republican side but generally when you talk about personal, professional life democrats, republicans our lives did get better in 2018 compared to 2017. use that as a baseline and then start asking about our politics and check this out. compared to 2017, 2018 as a whole, the country, the year
democrats said no, no, no 51% a clear majority said the year was worst than 2017. ask you republicans about this, complete opposite. 58%, clear majority say no, things got better. 2018 was a bet iryear than 2017. the economy, more than two to one margin the economy worse in 2017 than it was in 2018. 56% of republicans saying economy better. 26% saying it's worse. ask them about national security, democrats beer than 2-1 margin saying it's gotten worse, republicans saying it's gotten better. so when it came to personal and professional status, there was some consistency when you started talking about politics, totally different universes except one question.
one question where both "breakfast with the arts" almost total agreement. compared to 2017, the party divide in this country, democrats 57% of them say it's gotten worse. only 10% say it's gotten better. republicans virtually identical. 57% say the red-blue divide got worse this year. only 12% say it got better. they don't agree how the economy is doing, they don't agree on the direction of the countries and whether this was a good or bad year but do agree they're disagreeing more. i guess they can see those numbers. we'll see 12 months from now how folks assess 2019 what the next 12 months bring. up next, former new york city mayor michael bloomberg sounding serious about a run for president in 2020. will his $100 million war chest give him an edge somehow in what's shaping up to be a very crowded field of candidates. you're watching "hardball." crowded field of candidates. you're watching "hardball.
welcome back to "hardball." believe it or not, the start of the 2020 presidential race just around the corner. dozens of democrats ready to jump in, potentially. watch for official announcements to start coming over the next few weeks, months, hey, maybe even the next few days, who knows. one of the democrats weighing a run, former new york city mayor michael bloomberg. he is a democrat now. certainly, he sounded like a probable candidate in an interview with chuck todd that's going to air on "meet the press" this weekend. the two were discussing climate change. let's watch. >> look, chuck, the presidency is not an entry-level job, okay? we have some real problems. if you don't come in with some real concrete answers, i think the public is tired of listening to the same platitudes that they get -- we're in favor of god, mother and apple pie, and trust me, i'll have a plan when i get there. no, you have to have a plan. >> now, if bloomberg decides to run, cnbc is reporting that he is prepared to spend at least $100 million of his own money. fund-raising may not be an issue for him.
voters are not signaling excitement for a bloomberg candidacy. this new suffolk university/usa today poll we talked about, look at this, bloomberg underwater with democratic and independent voters on the subject of a potential candidacy, more saying they don't think he should run than saying they're excited about the idea of a bloomberg bid for president. for more, i'm joined by philip bump with the "washington post," aisha moodie-mills, democratic strategist, evan siegfried, republican strategist. aisha, i'll start with you. climate change, gun control, mayors against gun violence, one of his innovations as mayor, two issues that i think matter a lot to the democratic base. obviously he tried to run on that. that question asked in that poll, do you not want him to run, or are you excited about the idea of a bloomberg candidacy? >> he is still a billionaire, completely out of touch with the democratic base. as he is today.
>> this sounds like a i don't want him to run. >> i have a lot of respect for him and some of the things he did, but let's not forget, he also was the guy who stood firmly behind stop and frisk that incarcerated so many black and latino people here and he continues to kind of champion that will to some degree actually. he has always loved the banks. he's always stood up for deregulation. completely out of touch with the populist tone that we're seeing on the progressive side of the party. i don't think that he connects with the base and i don't think he has far to go. >> philip, we say $100 million. that's about what he spent running for mayor of new york. 8 million people in new york, a couple hundred million nationally. but let's say he's just a limitless war chest if he runs. how far does that get you these days? it's a great question. the last guy who raised $100 million to run for president is jeb bush, who did not do very well. people remember that. the democratic party had a very successful 2018 midterm season in part with candidates who focused solely on small donors contributing to their campaigns, and i think that that proved effective in a lot of ways. i think that every single point that was just made is absolutely
dead on the money. this is not the democratic party of 15 years ago. this is not the democratic party of bill clinton and moving to the center and so on and so forth. democrats on the whole have grown more liberal over time. michael bloomberg -- there's a sense, i think, among republicans in particular, that because donald trump is so far to the right and so conservative that there must be space in the middle within the democratic party because it is the opposite pole to the republicans, but that definitely misses the change within the democratic party itself. i think this is a massive waste of $100 million. look, i've been wrong. i was wrong in 2016. i don't see how investing $1 trillion in this race does what michael bloomberg wants it to. >> it's interesting, you've seen him in new york, as a republican in new york, an independent, now a democrat, a democrat way back to begin with, too. the one constant there, he's looked at running for president a bunch of time, 2008, 2012, 2016. here we go again. he's 78 years old, i think now. what do you make of it? >> well, there is the curse of city hall in new york city. we've had prior mayors try to
run, going back to lindsey and lindsay couldn't do it in the '60s and early '70s and rudy giuliani failed in -- >> a combined one delegate between those two. >> my question is what's the constituency for bloomberg? everybody -- we're all in agreement. i think bloomberg's looking at it the way that ted cruz looked at it in 2016 and same with donald trump. to try to just get a plurality of votes here and there that picks off delegates left and right and gets there, but i don't see it. the argument he's making is, well, we need experience. that's san argument for several governors who are looking at the race as well as joe biden. at the same time, he said to chuck todd, well, he wants to put out a message that voters will listen to and not offer the same platitudes. well, so far in his visits to iowa, he said he's just listening. nothing there. and the other thing are bloomberg's me too problems. not only has he bashed the movement, but the bloomberg company has been sued multiple
times from the '90s on for sexual harassment. he himself has been sued for sexual harassment. "the atlantic" did an expose in september where it said, quote, bloomberg is insidious manifestations of misogyny. he's made some very crude remarks, and i would expect this would be a huge thing. he doesn't have a constituency. he can't run as an independent because it would hand the re-election to donald trump. so, is it a vanity project? >> he doesn't have a message. >> it seems like the message that he's -- i don't know if this is accurate or not, but it seems like the message he would try to sell the democrats is one of pragmatism, i could win. i would be seen as a centrist, a businessman who can match trump, get things done, in general the market for pragmatic. i always think back, 2004. democrats, remember their hearts were with dean, heads were with kerry. you saw how it worked out in november, but pragmatically, democratic voters, there seemed to be a turn in the campaign. we're going to be pragmatic and go with john kerry. is that pragmatism there in 2020? is that part of the equation?
>> that message in a democratic primary will fall flat because the entire field will be talking about medicare for all, free college education. they're going to be talking about what we do to disrupt in some way the 1% and bridge the divide between the wealth gap. there's going to be a much deeper populous conversation happening that everything he's saying is going to kind of wonk, wonk, wonk, and nobody's going to be paying attention to that at all. so i don't think he has a message and narrative that resonates in a democratic primary. now, he can take his centrist act on the road and maybe run as a third-party candidate or maybe try to run against donald trump in a republican primary, but that's not going to sell for the dems. >> meanwhile, gallup releasing its poll of the most admired men and women in the country. former president barack obama and former first lady michelle obama take the top spots. it marks the 11th year in a row that barack obama's been number one on that list. it's also the first year for michelle obama. she unseats hillary clinton, who held that spot for the past 16 years. president trump coming in second for the fourth year in a row. philip, we're talking 2020 here. the role of barack obama in the
2020 democratic primaries, how do you see it? >> yeah, it's a fascinating question. he's sort of the de facto leader of the party at this point in time for a variety of reasons. we'll see if that changes once nancy pelosi becomes speaker. but he doesn't seem to be someone who has a track record of kingmaking, right? he tried in 2010, in 2014 to really shape what the congressional elections look like, unsuccessfully. there have been conversations, apparently, between himself and beto o'rourke and potentially other folks as well. it's going to be interesting to see how much weight that carries. i mean, i think this gallup poll is mostly a reflection of partisanship and other things. i don't know that that carries much weight, but it will be fascinating see where he comes down on this. in the midterms, he waited pretty late in the cycle and mostly backed people you might expect him to back, so i don't know how he really gets into this thing. >> i'm wondering, too, evan, just, what is the formula? do you have a sense just looking at trump's political standing where you see his vulnerabilities in 2020? what do you see is the formula
that would be the most sellable for democrats in a candidate? do you see one? >> no drama and solutions. that's basically the slogan you want to have. government isn't functioning properly. you have the wheels going off the rails right now with the way government is working. and also, every morning we wake up to a tweetstorm, and a lot of people are tuning it out. but we also saw in 2018 a lot of voters say you know, i'm tired of this. this is just too much. i get my kids ready for school, et cetera. but there's one thing about, you know, the kingmaker aspect of barack obama. the longer he stays neutral in this, the worse it is for joe biden, because it creates that question of why hasn't he done his best buddy, joe biden, and it's going to be a question that will linger in the minds of first the press, and it will trickle down to the voters. >> and you got the sense all through 2015 that biden was just waiting for obama to come to him and say, i'm with you, joe, if you go, and he never got that message from him. obama, it seemed, maybe like a lot of other democrats, thought hillary was the most electable candidate. >> don't rule out michelle. it's not the obama factor, it's the michelle obama factor. she just broke records with her
book. she is selling out stadiums with her tour. >> do you think she makes an endorsement? >> i think she inspires people to come up and is game-changing in mobilizing the base. and it's not just about one candidate yet, but i think she's the x factor we should be looking at much more than barack. >> next, these three will tell me something i don't know. you're watching "hardball."
and we're back with the "hardball" round table. phillip, tell me something i don't know. a sort of fascinating sub text of this debate over the border wall. donald trump wants $5 billion for the wall. overall estimated it will cost $18 billion. corporate taxes are down 92 billion from what they were in 2017. you take one-fifth of that, and you could have paid for the entire border wall if you wanted to but that's not the priority. >> if you're walking along capitol hill, when this new congress comes in and you run into a white man who's a member, it's likely, two to one, he's going to be republican. if you run into a woman of color, also a member of congress, 20 to 1 likely she's a democrat. that says a lot about who the base of the democratic party is and what 2020's conversation is going to look like. >> and evan? >> the rick santorum of 2020 bernie sanders has been having
many of his associates go out and attack bait toe oh rourke because they see him as the biggest threat to him in the progressive party. he's being called uber conservative and voting with trump 70 plus percent of the time. that bernie beta stuff on twitter is always fun to watch. >> thanks to my panel. when we return, let me finish tonight with a surprisingly low key government shutdown. you're watching "hardball." let me finish tonight with a surprisingly low key government shut down. you're watching "hardball." key shut down. you're watching "hardball.
let me finish tonight with a government shutdown that feels different than we're used to. the president is firing away on twitter, but there's no sign of any serious negotiations, no votes looming, no loud rallies, no dueling press conferences, a lot of members of congress aren't even in washington, they're away for the holidays. democrats may be content to wait until the new year, that's when they take control of the house to make their move. republicans, they've been burned by the white house already. they may be fine with waiting until then too. as politico puts it today "this episode is remarkably low key." we've seen the opposite of low key with these shutdowns before. go back to two decades to november of 1995, newt gingrich, the first republican house speaker in 40 years, lock inside a staring contest with bill clinton. that government shutdown was all
anyone talked about for days. it led every newscast, big speeches, rallies, primetime addresses, a sense across the country that something major was happening. remember when newt seemed to suggest he wasn't negotiating because clinton had ignored him on air force one. one of the all-time political gifts the public sided decisively with clinton and against the republicans. less than a year later, clinton cruised to re-election, running against the gingrich congress. that, he said, had shut down the government. more recently there was obama versus the tea party in 2013. remember that one? ted cruz told republicans to close the government down and not to blink until obamacare was defunded. they held out for 16 days, but that was it. obamacare survived. although cruz's star with the republican base did rise. this shutdown is very real to the federal workers affected. but on capitol hill, around the country, this one is different, so far. it's a partial shutdown, only a quarter of the government, and also happening during the holidays. these are definitely factors that come into play here. it's also probably a sign, though, that in the trump era, what used to be shocking, so often now ends up feeling like not much at all.
that is "hardball" for now. thank you for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in". >> we have -- i mean, we have tonight on "all in". >> we have -- i mean, we have many people lined up for every single position, any position everybody wants to work in this house. >> dozens of unfilled positions on team trump, and no takers. >> this is a hot white house. we are a white house that people want to work with. >> tonight the emptiness of the trump administration, with a new year and a new congress just days away. then -- >> i got a call from mark burnett, a great guy, from survivor, et cetera, et cetera. and he's the guy. we did this thing together. >> how the guy who did the apprentice paved the way for the trump presidency. >> the apprentice was a tremendous success. >> new reporting on michael cohen and prague. the mystery mueller subpoena and the supreme court. and day six of the government shutdown. >> the senate stands adjourned. >> when n"