tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC August 1, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT
that wraps up this hour of "msnbc live." "andrea mitchell reports" starts right now. hi, andrea. >> hi, thank you. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," family feud. joe biden under fire from all sides and this time not just from kamala harris. >> tonight i think democrats are expecting some engagement here, and i expect they'll get it. >> under your plan, status quo, you do nothing to hold the insurance companies to task. >> mr. vice president, it looks like one of us has learned the lessons of the past and one of us hasn't. >> vice president biden, i didn't hear your responses when the issue came up of all the deportations. >> there's a saying in my community, you're dipping into
the kool-aid and you don't even know the flavor. >> he believed that people working outside the home would, quote, create the deterioration of family. >> everybody is talking about how terrible i am on these issues. barack obama knew exactly who i was. >> coming up, deputy campaign manager and communication director for the biden campaign joining us. and fired up and ready to go, but what do they gain from attacking president obama's legacy just to try to take down his former vice president? >> going after the obama administration in a democratic primary seems a little nutty to me. >> i began wondering how many republican commercials they were setting themselves up for by attacking the most popular democrat in the world. >> coming up here, colorado senator michael bennet joining us. and going after mitch mcconnell, senate democrats peel away the
republican leader for blocking the legislation. >> i don't know how anyone could be against the idea of putting country over narrow interests or putting national security concerns over political advantage. >> and good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. as democrats enter a crucial new phase in that heated primary race, after the rest of the pack tried to prove themselves on the debate stage by trying to take down a reenergized joe biden, more forceful than in the first debate, but still with a few stumbles and missed opportunities along the way. the former vice president campaigning in detroit as we speak. the strategy of the other nine last night seemed at times to take down biden by attacking the obama legacy on health care, immigration, and global warming. >> joe biden told wealthy donors that nothing fundamentally would change if he were president. >> in 2019 in america, for a democrat to be running for
president with a plan that does not cover everyone, i think is without excuse. >> mr. vice president, you can't have it both ways. you invoke president obama more than anybody in this campaign. you can't do it when it's convenient and then dodge it when it's not. >> mr. vice president your argument with not with me but science and unfortunately your plan is yujust too late. >> joining me now chief of staff from the obama white house and former communications director for the obama house and former communications director for hillary clinton's campaign, and michael steel, chair from the republican party and an msnbc political analyst. welcome all. >> january, let me go first to you and your twitter followers know that you made a special effort to get through traffic to get here in time. when you watch that stage, what is the percentage for democrats to try to take down the front-runner by going after barack obama? >> so it doesn't seem nutty. so let me explain to viewers why
people are doing this. there's two reasons. one is that joe biden has sort of for the time being, anyway, captured the moderate vote, and you have a very large number of candidates going for a smaller segment of the democratic primary vote, which is the more liberal voters. so that is why i think you see a lot of people pushing to the left, even though i do not believe that's what the huge majority is. >> the other thing is the candidates are trying to survive in order to make the next debate in september which was tougher rules to qualify. so they're all looking for their big moment where they can break through and try to raise more money so they can make the debate stage. and, you know, i don't think that -- i don't think that this night hurt barack obama, but i do think that it makes some of the democratic candidates look like they are out of touch, even with the democratic primary e electorate, let alone the
general. >> michael steele, you tweeted at one point, who lost the dem debate? barack obama got unnecessarily trashed by his own team by obamacare, deportations. >> it was the most amazing thing to watch. it was almost like slow motion at a certain point. it's like you guys realize you're taking down the most popular democratic president in history outside of fdr, right? so i guess what jennifer is saying, but i don't think this is the way the democrats really want this to play out. i had a moment where i was sitting there watching this and i was thinking barack obama 2020, meet george brush 2016. because in 2016 the republican party allowed donald trump to eviscerate the bush legacy and it played into a lot of the concerns beneath the surface that were bubbling about the bush administration and the war and all of that. the democrats can't afford to go down that road with donald trump sitting there chomping at the
bits waiting for them. so they need to come correct, i think, in the next round on this, back off of obama and his legacy. there are other ways you can go at joe biden without taking on barack obama. and that's why you see and i think you will see more of the vice president putting not just the cloak of obama on him, but the armor as well. and i think it's a very dangerous spot for them to do that, for morale and other issues going into the 2020 cycle. >> at one point bill de blasio and who was typical of the 1 percenters trying to to score, going after biden about president obama's deportation record. let's watch. >> so did you say those deportations were a good idea or did you go to the president and say this is a mistake, we shouldn't do it? which one? >> i was vice president, i am not the president. it keep my recommendation to him in private. he moved to fundamentally change the system. that's what he did.
but much more has to be done. >> jim mess seen na, aside from the fact that deblazio came to be playing debate moderator, i'm wondering where joe biden and some of the others didn't go after president trump's record from a democratic primary perspective, what's going on on the border right now, the new asylum changes, what bill barr is doing, what the aclu is fighting against. we've got all the reporting, separation of families. why defend ourself on deportations? why not pivot to what is happening right now with donald trump? similarly on health care, why go into the nuts and bolts endlessly of their competing plans? why not talk about the fact that the trump administration, the justice department is right now in court trying to eliminate preexisting conditions, which was the most popular talking point for democrats in 2018 midterms? >> yeah, a couple numbers are really interesting here.
first of all, barack obama's approval rating with democrats is 96%. donald trump's approval rating with democrats, 4%. so the fact that we spent more time talking about a wildly popular president and not talking about donald trump is just -- ceases to amaze me. and on health care we just won the house of representatives in large part because we wanted women voters across this country on health care, on going after trump's attempts to get rid of preexisting conditions and get rid of some of the protection thas obamacare give us. and instead of talking about that and staying on the offense with republicans, we're proposing pie in the sky schemes that will have us on the defense, just politically. you can argue substance all you want, but just politically we are better off staying on the offense on president trump, on health care, and on economic issues that make sense to voters. and i just don't fundamentally get the strategy of going after the most popular democratic
president in modern memory, and by the way, you're dragging in michelle obama. her approval rating with democrats is like 1,000%. none of it makes sense and it's all kind of tactical and missing the overall point. democrats desperately want to believe in people that have a plan for the future and can take us there and beat this president that we think is ridiculously bad in donald trump, and attacking barack obama ain't going to do either one of those two things. >> and then you've got tulsi gabbard, who is less than a 1 percenter. i don't know the exactly numbers, but she's fighting to stay on the debate stage, so she goes after kamala harris. and kamala harris who was so strong in the first debate, i think people acknowledge was playing defense not quite as well. but then she goes after her on her record as attorney general. let's watch. >> senator harris says she's proud of her record as a prosecutor and that she'll be a
prosecutor president. but i'm deeply concerned about this record. there are too many examples to site, but she put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana. she blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. >> as the elected attorney general of california, i did the work of significantly reforming the criminal justice system of the state of 40 million people, which became a national model for the work that needs to be done. and i am proud of that work. >> in the sfin room, she came back and said i'm not going to bother with her. she's just not really going to be a player, and then made the very valid point about her controversial embrace of assad in syria. why didn't she do that on the debate stage?
>> i think this is wise of kamala harris because she understands that she does need to defend and explain her record as attorney general of california and i actually thought she did that quite ably. and you've got to think about what viewers are watching, and i think to have engaged with gabbard at that moment about her own record might not have ended up to be to harris' benefit. >> fair point. let's talk about winners and losers here. to you, michael steele, who stood out to you? because let's say that for some reason joe biden were to falter, who on that stage last night could fill that space? >> that's tough for me. i was not that impressed overall. i thought the leading opportunity for harris was fumbled to really sort of gain some ground. cory booker showed up but i
don't know if there's sustaining power there beyond the moment. and everyone has got a weak. i felt that biden came out of it unscathed to the degree that his strength in the black community hardens more and i think you'll see that in south carolina pools, for example. and i think more broadly speaking he affirmed and acquitted himself to the degree that a lot of the base support that's sort of in the air will go, okay, maybe this is where they need to line up. it will be interesting, the september debate will be critical to your question i think going forward. but as of last night, i think biden just held his ground enough to stay in the front. >> jim, what about cory booker and julian castro and what about michael bennet, some of the others on that stage last night? >> i think last night was cory booker's night. he was kind of the happy warrior that you and i have been expecting to see from him. he had a very strong night.
he needs to move here and get up. he just qualified for the debates this week in september. so i think it was a night he had to have. julian castro had his second strong debate. the question is, is that enough to get him on the debate stage in september? because if it's not, anyone not on that stage in september might as well put a for sale sign on their campaign headquarters, because they're out of this race. and then i think vice president biden did exactly what he had to do. he showed more energy, he kept his lead and solidified his position with african-american and older voters. and any time he's not having big slip-ups when you're in the lead, that's good. and i thought he had the kind of night he had to have. >> thanks to all. and coming up, take two, joe biden's deputy campaign manager is here to respond to last night's slug fest. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. the way you triumph over adversity. and live your lives.
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and we have breaking news from capitol hill, the senate has just passed the budget bill, 67-28. this extends the debt ceiling until 2021 after the election and now goes to the president's desk for his signature. this is essentially the last vote before the senate goes away for five weeks of august recess. meanwhile, in a key faceoff in last night's debate, cory booker seized the moment to take on joe biden, delivering one of the most memorable jabs of the
night. >> in 2007 you became mayor and you had a police department that you went out and you hired rudy giuliani's guy and you engaged in stop and frikss. you had 75% of those stops reviewed as illegal. >> we have a system right now that's broken, and if you want to compare records, and frankly, i'm shocked that you do, i am happy to do that. >> there was nothing done for the entire eight years he was mayor. there was nothing done to deal with the police department. >> there's a saying in my community you're dipping into the kool-aid and you don't even know the flavor. >> joe biden's communications director. kate, it's great to see you. do you have a big sigh of relief? how do you think he did? >> it was a great night. poll after poll after poll shows that democrats want someone who can beat donald trump and they believe that joe biden is that person and i think last night we saw why. you know, he was on stage with
some of the best debaters in the democratic party, they certainly were not holding back in attacking him and coming at him from every direction and he fended those attacks off. most importantly, he turned the conversation to donald trump. he made a clear and concise case against trump. i think one of the biggest applause lines of the nature was his opening nature where he said directly to the president we're not going to leave it to you. and he made a really strong kies for a biden presidency, which would be a complete departure from the kind of failed moral leadership that we're seeing in the white house. so i thought he make a forceful case on building of the progress of the obama-biden administration which was eight years where change got done from ending the affordable care act to the paris accord, to the president speaking out on equality. they were great years of progress for people and i think
last night you saw joe biden remind people that one, he's the fighter to take on donald trump, and two, his vision for the country is one of meaningful change in their lives sochlt it was a great night for joe biden. >> let me just capture what "the new york times" wrote, which is joe biden did fine and that might have been enough, and the quote here is far from perfect, mr. biden nonetheless achieved some of the goals that seemed to allude him last time. he certainly was fired up. but one thing that people have been talking about is in defending the obama legacy, why not talk about preexisting conditions, one of the most important pieces of obamacare and of the 2018 democratic victories in the congressional elections, and donald trump is going after that right now in the department of justice in court, and also immigration, not being more specific about what the trump administration is doing at the border, rather than
getting tied up in knots trying to defend the obama deportations? >> well, i think he did make an incredibly forceful case for obamacare and he did mention preexisting conditions. in 2018, he traveled the country. he was invited into districts all over the country by democrats who wanted him to come in and help them get elected or reelected. and you know, he made a really forceful case for the affordable care account and it's a huge reason why we won the house back in 2018. so i don't think anybody could accuse joe biden hof not making a forceful case for the affordable care account. and you're right, the protection for people who have preexisting conditions to have the peace of mind to have health insurance, that was a key hard-fought, hard-won piece of the affordable care account. it's something that joe biden talks about on the campaign trail all the time and maybe more importantly hears about from people on the campaign trail all the time who come to him and talk to him about their stories and how the affordable
care act has meant so much in their lives. so it was interesting last night to see a debate in which a lot of democrats on the stage decided to attack the legacy of barack obama rather than to take it directly to donald trump, who as you said, is ripping children away from their families at the border, whose administration is arguing in court that migrant children shouldn't have tooth brushes and soap, whose immigration policies are inhumane and who is fundamentally trying to alter the fabric of this nation. and i think nobody got into this race making a tougher case against donald trump and i think you saw vice president biden do that on stage last night, too. >> kate, thank you very much. the day after and a lot more to come. coming up next, what about trump? the had heads to ohio for a campaign rally. how is he going to respond to the democratic brawl? you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. the weather's perfect...
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it's not enough just to beat trump. the only way to remove trump is to crush trump. and that's the question that has to be asked. who can crush trump? who is the street fighter? >> that's a great question. that was michael moore with brian williams. moore arguing against those democrats who say that the only way to defeat donald trump is to regain the donald trump democrats in michigan, wisconsin and pennsylvania. i'm joined now by heidi and an msnbc contributor and michael steele rejoins us as well. >> to all of you, who is the democratic street fighter that michael moore is dreaming of? he suggested michelle obama. i can promise you that she's not running for president. >> this is the process, is to figure out who that person is. >> was that person on the stage either of these two nights? >> we may be getting more questions than answers. i guess i'm with the conventional wisdom that biden
did okay. but to the point that michael moore is making, i don't think he answered very specific questions about whether he can far with trump. you look at some of the reactions from the democratic operative class and it's a bubble, of course, but a lot of the questions are is he on his feet enough, did he look old. those are aesthetics. maybe that doesn't matter. but to michael moore's point, does the candidate have the energy to do so. this is a process. obviously we'll see how it plays out. but i think we are sitting here with more questions than answers. >> i think 2016 is reinstructive for the democratic people in that the republicans tried all sorts of tactics, including rubio who wanted to be like trump and go to his level. that blew up. and then there was jeb bush who came off looking somewhat weak. that label kind of stuck to him and it was hurtful to him and he wasn't able -- he suffered by
not having enough fight. so i don't think we know the answer yet. but elizabeth warren is i think the contrarian potential here, just because coming into this cycle everybody assumed that this label pocahontas, that she would be the worst person to go up against trump. but in each one of these confrontations, she's come out and you've seen her poll numbers increase. so what do i think and what do the democratic base think? maybe two different. but right now she is on the rise. >> i would agree with that. i think if i'm going to look at the scrappers, if that's the moniker you're looking to label somebody, i think she will be more than a handful for a donald trump, not just on a debate stage, but throughout the campaign itself. she does have a way of getting under his skin and it will be interesting to see more importantly, how voters respond to that and whether they see that as enough of a draw to pull off of trump to move towards
her. those voters who are kind of in that spacing, we'll see. >> dan balls is writing in today's "washington post," what detroit showed most of all is that the democrats face a lengthy period in which they will be asked to sort out basic questions of who they are and how they plan to run against an unconventional president who has changed many of the rules of politics and already is in general election mode. that's exactly to your point. >> the one thing i can say about this team so far, they are all conventional players, all of them from cory booker to elizabeth warren, they're playing a very conventional game. >> andrew yang. >> marianne williamson. >> andrew yang, substantively. here's the point, you're going up against asymmetrical political actors we've ever seen in politics and if you come at him with a conventional strategy and mind set, he will not just your lunch, but he will take you
out to dinner, too. that's why you bring in smart people who look at this through a different lens, and there are those strategists and those players out there. >> first of all, i abide by the idea that no one knows anything and we all think there's a formula for beating trump. but in the end, what do we know? >> it's not a formula. just look at the man. >> as we go through this process as i talked to voters in the primary, there's two real questions that are being asked. one is do we go with the candidate we really love or do we go with the candidate who is best to beat trump. and those are not always the same two people. >> what you haven't mentioned is the person who is best to be president. >> well, yeah. the second question is, do we go with someone who we think can win back the voters we lost or do we go with someone who we think can gin up our base? because there are two ways to look at the problems that the democrats had, we lost these white working class voters,
let's bring them out. the other is we did not get turnout in the urban areas. these are the two fundamental questions that are perplexing the voters. >> i don't know that they are mutually exclusive. going into this, that is the reason why joe biden has the support that he has, is because he is the one who is viewed as the more conventional candidate who can go into pennsylvania and michigan, ohio and win back those voters, and that's why no matter how offensive it may have been to kamala harris or any of the other candidates, she was talked about early as a potential vp candidate because that aspect of appealing to the base and ginning up the base could be fulfilled, the early thinking was, with some kind of a vp pick that may wind up being wrong. but in the beginning and still now, i think, things haven't changed much that joe biden is the guy who can potentially stand on the stage next to trump and make him look small. >> and let's just say the president will be out in ohio. it's his first big rally since
north carolina, which was a series of racist attacks on the squad and others. and let's see what he has to say. is he going to go after elijah cummings again? who knows. ohio, of course, has always been the republican -- >> i'm sure he'll say something. >> he will dance all over that, yes. i don't think he lets that moment go by. because he thinks he won that argument. >> heidi, sam and michael, thanks to all. and coming up, election insecurity, senate democrats demanding action against russian interference. will mitch mcconnell back down? you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. or could it turn out differently? i wanted to help protect myself. my doctor recommended eliquis. eliquis is proven to treat and help prevent another dvt or pe blood clot... almost 98 percent of patients on eliquis didn't experience another. ...and eliquis has significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment.
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senator mitch mcconnell recently disparaged as moscow mitch for blocking election security legislation proposed after russia's interference in the 2016 election is coming under fire on the senate floor today. democratic senators are calling on the leader to allow a debate and a vote on that bill. >> they have blocked this, blocked this, despite the best advice from the intelligence officials in the united states of america. >> securing our democracy is not a democratic or republican issue. let's debate, let's vote, let's add amendments. but what we should not do is
simply pretend that this threat is going away. >> to my republican colleagues in the leadership, i say lead or get out of the way. to the president of the united states, lead or get out of the way. our national security is too important to make a partisan issue -- >> and joining me now is nbc news capital correspondent here on msnbc, casey hunt. also hosting the 2:00 today. casey, this would have seemed like a no-brainer. how do we have republicans blocking an election security bill? >> andrea, there are actually quite a few republicans that are trying to get something on this across the finish line. republican from oklahoma on the intelligence committee has been working with senator amy klobuchar. there certainly are instances of election bills from democrats that are coming out of the house that we don't necessarily anticipate it would have been
something that the senate would focus on. but it is hard to understand, everybody since mitch mcconnell does talk about russia interference and he says russia is a threat. the question is why has there been no action? and the idea that there isn't bipartisan work being done on this is simply not the case. one of the big hang-ups should be how involved should the federal government be in state election. this is a hot button. so that certainly is a sticking point. but in the big picture, the sense on the hill certainly among people like senator warren is that at the end of the day, mitch mcconnell is protecting the president on this. >> protecting the president. is it also his -- whether contributors or constituents, there's been talks about conflicts of interest here with election machine companies. >> potentially. it's hard to say exactly. there are nearly a dozen states that don't currently have a set-up that requires a paper
copy. so either you, yourself punch a paper ballot. you read a piece of paper that confirms your vote. that's something that this legislation would require every state to do, or at least the versions of the legislation that we think are most likely to pass would include that recommendation. so as with anything on the hill, there's a lot of back and forth and potential issues with companies that have a vested interest in how this all plays out. but this really is something that be be big enough picture to be beyond that, and i think there is some consternation, even among some republicans who want something to get done here and there's a thinking that this is really about the president not being able to handle anything that could possibly call into any question his victory in 2016. >> and the whole issue of russia and russia's role. now it's not just russia, we're told it's iran, china, other actors who see the inaction. yes, there have been steps taken, but it is not a
government-wide, led by the president and the national security team effort that goes across agencies. it just isn't. >> this is the kind of thing, andrea, and i know you talked to the officials who are focused on this all the time in the course of your work. this is something that they all say has to come from the top. there has to be a date frmandat the top to get them on the same page to execute. and that has not been the case with this president. if anything, it's the opposite. his advisers don't want this spoken about in his presence and that presents enormous challenges, especially because our election system is on purpose built to be diffuse across the country and not run in a central way. >> casey, we will see you at 2:00 in this chair. >> great to be with you. >> don't forget to catch kasie every sunday night at 7:00 right here on msnbc. >> and last night on the debate stage, senator michael bennet went on the attack against his fellow democrats and president trump. >> this is the fourth debate
that we have had and the second time that we have been debating who people did 50 years ago with busing, when our schools are as segregated today as they were 50 years ago. we need a conversation about what's happening now. for the last three years, we've been consumed by a president who frankly doesn't give a damn about your kids or mine. mr. president, kids belong in classrooms, not cages. >> joining me now is presidential candidate senator michael bennet of colorado who serves on the intelligence committee. senator, thank you very much for being with us today. >> thanks, andrea. >> i don't know whether you -- how you feel you did. you certainly stood out on that debate stage. but there have to be frustrations over the time limits and over the topics that come up. a lot of talk about immigration
and a lot of talk about health care, but not that much talk about what the trump administration is doing at the border or what the trump administration is doing to gut obamacare. >> and i think that's where we have to get focused. i'm always struck by the lack of overlap between what we hear on the debate and what i'm hearing in iowa and new hampshire and south carolina and people's living rooms. and their overwhelming concern is that we nominate somebody who can beat donald trump. >> when you think about who can beat donald trump, what is your frustration level to qualify for the next round you have to reach 2% in four separate polls. you have to have 130,000 individual contributors. it doesn't matter what amount of money. is that too high a threshold established by of course the democratic party? >> i think that it's too early, much too early in this field for the dnc to be whittling out the field.
there are a lot of people in america that haven't even started to look at this yet or watch it. i hope we don't do it prematurely. the 130,000 individual donors turned this thing a little bit into a circus of money landering and that's not going to be good for anybody except facebook. let me mention, if you don't mind. i saw that you were talking about election security when i came on, and as a member of the intelligence committee -- >> i was just going to say. >> yeah, we put out a bipartisan last week. it is absolutely clear what the russians did in terms of interference with local secretaries of state and others. but also the social media component of this is really something we need to pay attention to. the russians attacked us with
their pop begropaganda for a ye before we could distinguish their propaganda from our own political discourse, which obviously raises a question about our political discourse, but it also means mitch mcconnell's unwillingness to put something on the floor here to address it is really staggering. >> what do you think is going on there? >> i think he's just trying to protect donald trump. i think president trump is embarrassed by the fact that the russians interfered. i guess that's not right. he's not embarrassed by anything. he doesn't want anybody to think that the russians helped him and i think he's probably told mcconnell not to put it on the floor. but i know there are republicans who actually are anxious to vote on something having to do with election security. so my hope is that when people hear from the voters over the august recess, they'll come back and maybe we can actually do some work. >> all of the polling shows that most democratic voters want someone who can beat donald
trump, more than someone who agrees with them on all the issues. do you think that the party is moving too far to the left with a lot of people saying that right now elizabeth warren seems to be the best debater, with all due respect, and the most -- the toughest person to take on donald trump? >> well, i think she certainly did a good job the other night and we're going to -- through this process, we're going to determine who it is. my sense, talking to voters in their living rooms at home, is that they're not asking for loyalty on issues. what they want to know is that we're going to beat donald trump and in the end we have to pull together to do that. on the other hand, there are some really important issues that need to be litigated here and one of those is the health care stuff. and bernie's proposal, which li elizabeth has a droptd lock stock and barrel that would take away the right of people to choose private insurance from their employer and pay $33
trillion in taxes, i don't actually view that as a particularly progressive proposal, but i also think it's not something that the american people are going to buy. so in these early days of the process, i think it is important for us to have this competition of ideas. i hope that where democrats will coalesce with around the option that gives everyone a choice. i think we can get to universal health care in two years following that path, rather than the ten or longer it will take on medicare for all. >> i have to say as a former school superintendent in denver in your past on your resumé, it was very good to hear you speaking about education and issues like that that don't always come up on the national stage. thank you so much, senator. michael bennet. >> thanks for having me. >> good luck out there. >> it's good to tb out there. >> great to see you. and speaking of people who are out there, mike is still in
detroit covering joe biden today and it looks as though you're all assembled there waiting for biden to come out of that restaurant. >> that's right, andrea. we've been waiting for a little over an hour. joe biden is doing something i think he enjoyce a little bit more than what he endured on the debate stage, which was two hours of pretty sustained incoming fire. although he did fire back to his rivals as well. he's been in the coney island restaurant here in detroit just a little up the street, shaking hands, dining with his sister and also the mayor of detroit who has endorsed him. we thought we saw some movement here as he was making his way to exit, but that might have been a false start. but listen, this is a candidate who felt like he did what he needed to do last night. obviously after that first debate, there was a lot of questions about that performance, whether he showed the kind of fire that democratics expect out of a
candidate. ahead of the debate they set the expectations that he was aware and prepared for the incoming fire and he was willing to mix it up and talk about their records as well. kamala harris, her record as attorney general. cory booker, what he did on crime as the mayor of newark as well. and so we're hoping to have an opportunity here to talk about how he's feeling about after that debate and what he plans to do in the weeks ahead to sort of keep this momentum going. we saw after the first debate h poll numbers slipped. but talk about what the impact of the debate was on his numbers. but think a lot of democrats are looking for a match-up in september in the next debate with elizabeth warren, the one candidate at the top tier who has not really gone toe to toe with him just yet. >> and who has been so far really untouched in terms of being attacked by her fellow debate platforms participants. let's talk about biden and what he didn't do, because when the others were all going after the
obama administration's legacy on health care, obamacare, on immigration the detoportations, did you feel that he could have pivoted more to go two very iss than getting down in the weeds on defending what he did as vice president? >> absolutely. what his advisers have always said is when he gets attacked the intention is to obviously defend his record if need be but to pivot toward the future and talk about his agenda. i was surprised i have to say last night that at times when his rivals were trying to use his time in the obama administration against him that he actually seemed to put a little distance from him and what the president did, for instance, on deportations. and what is interesting about that, andrea, is we've heard him in other settings address that more clearly. for instance, about those 3 million deportations that occurred in the obama administration the former vice president has talked about how under the obama administration they prioritized deporting felons.
that this was a different system than what we see under president trump now. yes, this is something that i think we were surprised to see and you know what? we're now getting the heads up that he is coming out so we'll hopefully actually see that momentum continue on the way out here. we're expecting to see him joined by the mayor of detroit. he's got his senior advisers here as well. >> and senior advisers including of course his sister valerie who has been at his side for many of these events. he had the whole family in detroit as well last night and while we're waiting to see whether he comes out let me just see if we have time to bring in tremaine lee in flint, michigan, and watching the debate last night with voters there who are obviously concerned, outraged you might say, about five years later flint, michigan still does not have clean water, drinking water other than bottled water of course. and what concerns did they have? mike memoli is standing by and
we may interrupt you if joe biden does come out. let's talk about flint and the concerns of voters there. >> as you mentioned, it's a balance between concern and outrage where people are not only concerned about consuming the water but putting children and grandchildren in bath water that has this stuff. if ever there were a city that had a cause for skepticism and to be cautious in engaging with politicians, they've been lied to. people have died. it's the people of flint. when it comes to joe biden while some people harking back to the obama era, and they loved president barack obama, there is a whole new generation of people and more people learning more about the history of the crime bill. harken back to the anita hill stuff and are learning who joe biden may really be. they hear him talk about in praise words working with segregationists and racists and that is cause for concern. black voters that i spoke with last night at a black voters matter watch party, they said
beyond anything else no more song and dance. no more political shenanigans, smoke and mirrorsment give us some truth. come to our communities and deliver real issues not just the political banter between each other to make, you know, to score some points. come down to the community and give us something that we can actually build upon. few places are that clear than here in flint where they are still drinking dirty water. >> did the people watching the debate with you think cory booker made good sense to them in the way he took on joe biden over the 1994 crime bill, which was popular at the time in many inner cities. i was covering it. but of course it's now been criticized for leading to a lot of incarcerations of young, african-american men? >> people here no more than anywhere else, what mass incarceration did to destablize the black family. to your point, in 1993 peak homicides in this country. you know, cities coming off the
crack epidemic. things were really bad. but when you talk about cory booker, people like cory booker but surprisingly people liked what andrew yang had to say generally. not just about the way he is approaching race and, you know, hitting back at biden for his past comments and trying to undermine whoa he's trying to do but they like andrew yang and booker and kamala harris but the word on biden was kind of split. some people, i spoke to one woman who said, you know what? we are black america. we deal with this every day. no doubt there are racist people in the country including perhaps the president but the color that matters most to her is green. she wants an affordable wage. she wants folks in her community to get back to work to be able to put food on tables and the like. andrea? >> tremaine lee in flint, michigan where the rubber hits the road for sure. here is joe biden. you see congresswoman debbie dingell there. this is michigan politics. >> i must tell you i was a little surprised at how much
there was about barack, about the president. i mean, i'm proud of having served with him, proud of the job he did. i don't think there is anything he has to apologize for. i think, you know, it kind of surprised me the degree of the criticism. but look. as i've told you before, god love you, you've had to cover me a long time now, but this is a marathon. i feel good. i think we're, you know, we passed the quarter mark and i'm feeling good. >> mr. vice president you told us in the earliest days of your campaign you were not going to speak ill of a fellow democrat. you were pretty tough on some of your opponents last night. why the change in strategy? >> because i responded. look, i hope the next debate we can talk about how we fix, our answers to fix the things trump has broken not how barack obama made all of these mistakes. he didn't. he didn't. and so -- i want to make clear that this going back ten, 20, 30
years is just a game that's a game to make sure that we hand republicans an election coming up. look, folks. there's a lot of things everybody has done in their past and votes that no longer have a context today. they're taken out of context. and i just wanted to make the point that some of these assertions being made were absolutely, how can i say it nicely, not true and taken out of context, and if they really meant what they said they wouldn't have done a lot of things they did. >> do you think your party has gone too far to the left? do you think your party has gone too far to the left? [ inaudible question ] >> the world has changed since obama. here's the deal. this is about the future. it's about taking the same kind of integrity and moving beyond it. by the time we ended the president's term, he was able to begin to focus in ways on not
just taking -- keeping the car from going over the cliff and us going into depression. he was able to begin to focus. and he focused on immigration. what he did was serious. he changed the dialogue. he changed the whole question. he changed what was going on. and the idea that somehow it's comparable to what this guy is doing is absolutely bizarre. look, this is three years later. the world has changed. the president -- president trump has turned it upside down internationally. he has turned it upside down economically. people are hurting badly. there's no response. we faced a different problem ten years ago when the economy collapsed because of republican policies. now we face a problem that the economy as well as the soul of this country is collapsing because of this presidency. so it's a different problem. but with the same basic principle. we have to be honest, straight forward, and authentic about what we're going to do. i look forward to being able to go into some detail and explain
and deal with the differences we have and they're all good people. but what -- here is my plan for health care. what's yours? let's talk about it and discuss it. >> your party has changed as well. due think it is moving too far to the left even though immigration where some of your fellow democratic candidates say they want to decriminalize those who cross the border illegally? >> it's not about moving left or right. i think i represent the party. i think my views are where the vast majority of the democratic party are. there's a lot of really, really good people who got elected who are really pushing the envelope and it's good and healthy to do that, but the idea that they represent what the party is today does not comport with who gets elected, does not comport with how we won last in 2018. it does not comport. but it is a totally legitimate debate to have. the one thing we have to focus on and the one thing i agree with cory on last night, let's focus on what it is we can do together. we are so different. every one of those people on
that stage has a fundamentally different view than -- they talk about barack but they have a fundamentally different view than the present president of the united states. let's argue who has the best path forward to lead this country to greatness? okay. >> are you supportive of the debate stage shrinking going forward? >> i'm supportive of having a debate. not one-minute assertions. it's not anybody's fault the way it's worked. there's 20 candidates and that's a good thing. but the idea that we don't actually have a chance to explain our policies in less than one minute, and if you're not asked a direct question about your policy, you get 30 seconds. and if you're not asked -- the 30 seconds, you get 15 seconds. intervene. that's not a debate. i understand why it has to be that way but i'm lacking forward to getting -- looking forward to getting to where we can actually exchange ideas.
>> can your clarify your position on nafta? you said that house democrats were talking about four concrete changes to trump's deal. >> no. you asked me whether or not trump planned as offered. that's what i was asked. the four changes, as long as i got to make sure that this time they are written in stone. they are written in stone. they must be imposed. because last time, remember, there was a proposal that said you're going to have to -- this was 20 some years ago -- you're going to have to make sure you provide for alternatives for people who may get caught in the cross fire here. that did not happen. it's a different deal. someone had a question. yes. >> going back to last night is there anything you would do differently? >> instead of saying joe i would have said text. you know, i was so focused on making a case for joe i sa