hey, and my thanks to rick stengel, donna edwards, tim o'brien, and jason johnson. that is going to do it for this hour. i am steve kornacki in for nicolle wallace. and "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts right now. ♪ if it's thursday, the second debate is over. but now the democratic battle shortly begins. is joe biden ready for a long fight? >> the first thing that i'm going to do when i'm president is i'm going to clorox the oval office. [ laughter ] >> plus, kirsten gillibrand's clorox swipe. it might've been the line of the night, but will it help her clean up in the polls? the 2020 candidate joins me live. and mitch mcconnell gets russian trolled. the nickname that's really sticking and it's having an
impact in kentucky. welcome to thursday. good evening, i'm chuck todd here in miami. we've got a lot to talk about tonight. the president is right now en route to cincinnati where he will be holding his first campaign rally since his infamous "send her back" chant rally from about ten days ago. all as the president continues to stoke racial divisions ahead of the election. the president just spoke to reporters about those chants and his attacks on congressman elijah cummings. this comes tonight as the gloves truly did come off, yes, take the pun and smash it in the head, but that is what happened last night in this democratic contest where we have entered a new phase in the contest. hand to hand political combat. and the big question for democrats right now is this. is joe biden up for it? he had a chance to take command of this race, and he didn't. but he didn't crumble either. his performance last night, though, was, frankly, a bit uneven.
a lot of democrats watched biden last night the way i watch the national bullpen these days. hoping it's good enough to save the game, and, gees, you're nervous every second until it's over. those biden answers night, admit it, you were listening to them wondering, okay. today biden spoke to reporters in detroit where it felt as if he was trying to clean up some of the mistakes he believes he made last night. he had today what he arguably should've done a lot more of last night. he took the attacks on him and turned them around to be talking about all things about beating trump. >> well, i want to make it clear is that this going back 10, 20, 30 years is just -- is a game that's a game to make sure that we handle the republicans in elections coming up. some of these assertions being made were absolutely, um, how can i say it nicely, uh, not true and taken out of context.
the world has changed. the president -- president trump has turned it upside down internationally. he has turned it upside down economically. 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 that got elected who are really pushing the envelope. and it's good, it's 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 in '18. it does not comport. >> so you heard biden there almost dismissing all the attacks against him last night. let's be honest. there were a lot of them on him. >> mr. vice president, there's a saying in my community you're dipping into the kook-aid and you don't even know the flavor. >> mr. vice president, it looks like one of us has learned the lessons of the past and one of us hasn't. [ cheers and applause ] >> the vice president has still failed to acknowledge that it
was wrong to take the position that he took at that time. >> i didn't hear your response when the issue came up of all those deportations, you were vice president of the united states. i didn't hear whether you tried to stop them or not using your power, using your influence in the white house. >> middle-ground solutions like the vice president has proposed or sort of mid-ly average-sized things are not going to save us. too little too late is too dangerous. >> and as i mentioned biden's performance last night was a bit uneven. >> mr. president, this is america. let's get something straight. we love it, we are not leaving it. we are here to stay, and we're certainly not going to leave it to you. [ cheers and applause ] >> would you or would you not rejoin the tpp, yes or no? >> i would not rejoin the ttp. eight more years of donald trump will change america in a fundamental way. >> the fact is that the bills of the president -- excuse me, the
future president here, that the senator's talking about. if you agree with me, go to joe 3-0-3-3-0 and help me in this fight. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> after these past two nights, the dellons facing this -- the demons have been amplified. and the frontrunner in some ways looks a bit shakier. let's dive in with our experts tonight in miami. my pal marc caputo, senior writer at politico. and in new york brett stephens, columnist for "the new york times" and an msnbc analyst. >> let's start with you since you are one of the beat reporters on this campaign. have you felt the change, did last night's debate, were all of a sudden more of the campaigns just engaged at still beating the living daylights out of each other? >> really showed the way that
you can cut up and bloody joe biden. what joe biden did last night is show the campaigns that if he's going to go out, you're going to have to put him on his back. that didn't happen last night. the biden campaign was almost happy with the result of last night, even though for all the reasons you just highlighted, biden didn't do so well because he had a seven-man seven-candidate pile-on, and he survived and his mere survival for them is the mere -- that having been said, he hasn't faced elizabeth warren yet. that's going to be interesting. >> aderienne, i want you to reat to frank bruni this morning. i kept looking for an athurns referring to biden, that he couldn't liver, praying for a sign that after two miserably failed presidential candidacies. i didn't get that guarantee from him, but then i didn't get it from anyone else, including the ten candidates who debated the
night before. has he sort of got the sentiment right now of the establishment of the democratic party? >> yeah, chuck, i think he sort of does. but we've got to remember it is july, or i guess today is august 1st. secondly, i think bruni's column reflects exactly what a lot of moderate establishment democrats thought about joe biden's performance last night, which is it wasn't outstanding, but it certainly was better than the first performance. i think he drew a very significant contrast with kamala harris on health care, for example. joe biden is known for making the occasional gaff. i think his texting at the end instead of giving his campaign website was actually a little charming and people got a kick out of it. so it's early, but i do think that joe biden had a much better performance last night. he is still leading about 15 points higher than most of his other competitors in the national polls. and i don't think he's going to
lose much traction on that lead from last night. >> brett stephens is the unofficial captain of the never-trumpers looking for somebody to vote for, i guess. i want you to react to what dan balz wrote this morning. by the end of the evening the candidates had done a case to offer or connecting directly with the voters, they will need to win the presidential election. fair take? >> yeah. i think that's about -- that's about right. i mean, look. the consolation here is that we're in such early innings that the democratic party has a long time to sort of find its feet and start making the affirmative case against trump rather than simply having the candidates sunshi snipe at each other. but what they saw in the field, the positions that some of the candidates are taking are so far to the left never mind of the republican party, they're far to
the left of the obama administration itself. and you saw whether it was on immigration and border control or the green new deal or the question of college. i think a lot of americans came away feeling like, hmmm, none of these people is ready for prime time. all of them are taking positions that are a little far afield for us. and i think the democrat who's going to emerge as the frontrunner is going to start at least running as a mainstream candidate as quickly as possible instead of appealing to the twitter base. and is going to also have a break in some big way with the progressive orthodoxys of the party. >> well, it's interesting that candidate that i think some of us have thought is going to try to be that person is kamala harris. and, marc, she got put in the barrel last night, particularly on health care. let me play some excerpts.
she got hit two different ways, biden then tulsi gabbard. here it is. >> you notice there's no talk about the fact that the plan in ten years will cost $3 trillion. you will lose your employer-based insurance. and, in fact, you know, this is the single most important issue facing the public. and to be very blunt and to be very straightforward, you can't beat president trump with double talk on this plan. >> kamala harris just talked about kathleen sebelius who helped write her bill. this just pointed to the fatal flaw in her proposal. sebelius works for a private insurance company who will stand to profit under her plan. if we're seeking to really reform our health care system, we've got to shut out big insurance and big pharma out of the drafting process so they cannot continue to profit off the backs of the sick people in this country who are searching and in desperate need of care. >> what i found intriguing about the hits on kamala harris is that the fact that like biden, biden was feeling it from both
fellow practicigmatists and the. she tried to come up with a health care plan that was somehow going to straddle obamacare and medicare for all. and i think two things happened. number one, she got put into the medicare for all corner, and she didn't want to be. and, two, she didn't seem like she knew her plan yet. >> as biden pointed out at the debate, she had a few iterations of her plan and she just unveiled it before her debate, and that's a problem. and gabbard's messaging has been right. the progressive messaging on this is probably very good, who really loves their health insurance company, right? now people don't want to lose their health care or their health insurance. and the really odd broad issue here is that the progressives keep putting joe biden like brayer rabbit back in that patch. when you look at democrats and across the board. and they keep supporting a plan medicare for all which doesn't poll nearly as well. so if they want biden to do
poorly, proposing plans that are less popular with their own base than with the general electorate is probably not the way to do it. >> adrienne, are you concerned that the democratic party is going to basically take an advantage that they have generically on health care and fumble it away over this fight about changing health care again? i think the one thing we all know that we've learned in american politics, the party that advocates changing health care the most gets burned. >> yeah, chuck, i'm very concerned. and i thought rahm em annel really made the case that, hey, listen, guys, was really hard for us to pass obamacare. we had to really negotiate. we had to bring a lot of democrats to the table in order to get this passed. people remember that, the american electorate remembers that. and that's why i think you see a grow of number of democratic primary voters. i want to make fixes to obamacare, but i don't want to
completely overhaul this health care system again. i think there are a lot of people who do have concerns about this who watched that first debate in particular, chuck, and thought, my gosh, where is this party going? i want to beat trump, but i do have some concerns if we're going to give illegal immigrants crossing the border free health care and if my insurance is going to be taken away because it's not perfect, but i don't want to go back to starting from ground zero when it comes to health care reform. >> brett, let me take a step back here. are we putting emphasis on these debates in general? did the debates matter in '16? on paper trump was uneven in every primary debate. he'd get a moment, but we walked away by going what the heck did he mean by that. sometimes are we all overthinking this? biden's in much better shape than we realize? >> well, maybe. look, i mean, the debates in 2016 among republicans really did matter because they gave
trump an opportunity to communicate to a side of the republican base that had simply not turned out for mitt romney or for john mccain in the preceding -- in the previous elections. that being said, i don't think that the way that the democrat who's going to emerge is going to do so based on a turnout strategy. he's going to do so based on a vote-switching strategy. that's how the democrats did well in 2018. so right now i think the candidate who is going to come out of these debates on top at least in the polls isn't necessarily the one we and the media elect as the winner. it's the one who seems to be appealing to middle-of-the road democrats would want someone who's nonscary, who's familiaring and reassuring and they think can beat trump next year. >> that's why i always find iowa and new hampshire are just a little bit different than your typical political reporter. we'll just leave it there. up next, senator, kirsten gillibrand joins us. we are going to get her thoughts
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so, the first thing that i'm going to do when i'm president is i'm going to clorox the oval office. [ laughter ] >> welcome back. that was one of the more talked about moments in last night's debate. and the gillibrand campaign is certainly hoping moments like that will hope jump-start a campaign heading into what is a make or break stretch for a number of candidates. she secured two endorsements from very prominent new hampshire democrats in the hours following the second debate. but she's yet to secure enough donations or polling support to qualify for that third debate i just referenced next month. senator kirsten gillibrand joins me now. senator, good it see you. i think our friends at -- i think clorox is a productcter&ge company. so tell me item two in office. >> well, i think we need to restore our moral leadership on the world stage, and when i
answered that question, i said i would not only reengage on the global climate accords but i would actually lead a worldwide conversation about what we can do together to actually address global climate change as the greatest threat to humanity that exists. trying to tamp down rising conflict in the middle east and try to restore order. >> i want to talk about your back and forth with vice president biden. you did praise him when he came to syracuse when it came to women's issues. i am curious, why did you hit him on this op ed if you believe the person you've been dealing with while you've been in office has been a champion for women? >> so, when i read that op ed, i was deeply shocked, and i was deeply offended because the language he chose to use was really disturbing. to say that making sure more
middle class families could have access to childcare was going to somehow deteriorate the family, saying that, quote, parents were avoiding responsibility. i think that's a very alarming perspective. and so i really wanted to give him the opportunity on the debate stage to explain what he meant when he wrote us and tell us whether or not he still believes it. >> did you get a satisfactory answer some. >> no. he really avoided the question, and he wouldn't really give us a direct answer. but i think americans, america's women have a right to know because we need a champion in the white house for women. we need a democratic nominee who's going to fight for national paid leave, affordable daycare, universal pre-k, and i'm running for president because i am that champion. i've put forward a really robust agenda on a family bill of rights to explain exactly how i will do that. >> you have run a campaign that i feel like you've talked about this almost as a movement.
and i guess i got to ask, why do you think more women in general haven't signed up? why do you feel as if you're having to go on that debate stage going, please, get me enough donations. what do you believe has been the hurdle for you that you've yet to clear that once you clear that hurdle, okay, then you'll be in the next level of conversation? >> i think last night's debate was really important because i was able to establish this false choice that this national narrative is saying that you have to be a moderate who can win back those obama/trump voters. i can actually do both. so i have the ability to explain that to viewers, some of whom are seeing me for the first time. not only can i win in those red and purple places like my first congressional district and all those counties in upstate new york, but i also passed big things like don't ask don't tell repeal, the 9/11 health bill.
i can bring this country back together again. i can bring our party back together again, and i know i can govern. >> i know you've said you have no regrets over the al franken situation. do you believe though that some democratic activists hold that against you? >> i do, and i think they're wrong. because let's be clear about senator franken. he had eight credible allegations against him. two since he was elected, and the eighth one was a congressional staffer. and i had to make a decision about whether i was going to stay silent and continue to hold his water and carry his water, and i decided i could not. 34 other senators quickly followed me, some within manies, many of whom are running for president. it might not seem like that today because i seem to stand alone. but i could have told every single one of them that there is no prize for anybody who stands up to a man who is powerful and good at his day job, but we should have the courage to do it anyway. i am disturbed that members of our party and certainly even
candidates do not fully understand that this is a reflection of what kind of party we are. >> i know you had the debate last night, and i take it could've been tricky. do you regret not making it to the general hyden's confirmation hearing? >> i got to go to the hearing where the colonel was able to tell her story and to tell about these repeated incidents of harassment and assault. and i thought her testimony was exceedingly credible. i have very grave concerns about general hyten. i asked them to postpone the vote so that we would have more time for more hearings and more evidence. they refused. and i will ultimately vote against general hyten. >> whether it was the franken situation, his biggest beef is he feels like he didn't get due
process with the ethics committee. >> that's absurd, first of all. senator franken is the one who made the decision not to go through this ethics committee investigation. he made the decision to resign. he made the decision not to wait till his next election. those are his decisions. my decision was whether or not to defend him. and as a woman who has led these issues on ending sexual violence in the military, college campuses, changing how we deal with sexual harassment in congress, these are things i've led on. and so for me to continue to stay silent and defend him is something i was unwilling to do. >> but what i was trying to get at here with franken and general hyten where i think he thinks he got due process, but colonel -- >> the survivor certainly does not, yes. >> we haven't figured this out yet, have we, whether it's in government -- >> no. >> how do we have a due process where everybody feels as it's fair?
>> agreed. so that's why i work so hard to reform the process. so in the military context, i don't think someone in the chain of command, and in this instance who was general hyten, who was technologically less senior, i think a trained military prosecutor who has no skin in the game who doesn't know the survivor or the accused should actually make that decision. the same on college campuses. right now there is adjudication processes that may not even have basic training, that there's no collaboration with local law enforcement. so the bill i wrote is also about making the process better, professionalizing it, giving an opportunity for justice to be possible. >> final question is this. can any candidate keep going if you don't make that next debate stage? >> well, i fully intend to make the next debate stage, and i'm very close to reaching my goals. and i hope your viewers will go
to kirsten gillibrand.com and support me, especially if they want a champion for women in the white house, and especially if they like what we've talked about today. >> senator kirsten gillibrand, i appreciate you coming on and sharing your views. stay safe on the campaign trail. >> thanks, chuck. take care. next up, the house is close to having a majority of house democrats on the record supporting opening an impeachment inquiry. does that matter? will that move speaker nancy pelosi to also endorse the opening of an impeachment inquiry? and as we go to break, let's rewind the tape back to another moment from last night. >> the science tells us we have to get off coal in ten years. your plan does not do that. we have to have off of fossil fuels in our electrical grid in 15. your plan simply does not do that. >> to clarify, would there be any place for fossil fuels including coal and fracking in the biden administration? >> no. we would work it out.
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...and there's no looking back, because i am cured. talk to your doctor about mavyret. welcome back. quite the milestone. half of the house democrats basically now support opening an impeachment inquiry into president trump. but the committee that would conduct that inquiry seems to be in no hurry to proceed. house judiciary committee member ted deutsch and lowry announce
their support over the next few days and it brings the tally to 116. if you put two more democrats on that list, it will be officially a majority of their caucus. but the judiciary committee's application for grand jury material produced during the mueller investigation, ready for this? will not get a ruling until at lease october. a timetable the committee itself has agreed to. that's mighty late in an election season to start an impeachment inquiry. october, that is. chairman jerry nadler says his committee needed that material to decide whether to approve articles of impeachment. nancy pelosi who's been outspoken in her opposition hasn't set a deadline for when democrats must make a decision on impeachment. but she did say it isn't endless. so, yes, this course is growing in the democratic caucus that is calling for impeachment. the question now are the leaders listening? we'll be back with more "mtp daily" right after this.
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welcome back. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell's critics have a new nickname for him. it was even mentioned in last night's debate. it's one that is reportedly getting under his skin. >> conversely, if mitch mcconnell is the one that lets him off the hook, we're going to be able to say, well, sure, they impeached, but his friend mitch mcconnell, moscow mitch, let him off the hook. >> mcconnell is being blamed for holding up an election security bill, put forward mostly by democrats, but it actually has quite a few republicans who want to vote for the senate version of this bill. reportedly the majority leader is less concerned and more about what will happen if the legislative process works when they try to reconcile a senate version with one that has already passed the democratic-controlled house. mcconnell is known for his ability to ignore his critics or criticism. remember cocaine mitch. i think it became an emoji.
that has not been the case with this moscow mitch monnaker. this is phillip bailey, political reporter. so, phillip, what i have found most interesting about this dust-up is mcconnell is the king of never let them see you sweat, cocaine mitch, he seems overly irritated. some ia kentucky thing? what are we missing here? >> right. i mean, as long as we've known senator mcconnell in kentucky, he's been known to be thick-skinned. he usually embraces these criticisms. he talks about how he has 600 different cartoons mocking him on his senate wall. those i've talked to both confidants and aides tell me the senator takes this more personally because, number one, this isn't the failed senate candidate out of west virginia.
this is the washington post. number two, other than money and politics, i think the one thing he holds dear to his heart, he's a hawk who believes in the relationship between the u.s. and old europe. so he's definitely taking this more personally. i also think it's motivating the base. here in kentucky, the kentucky democratic party has already raised $07,000 off these -- $70,000 off these moscow mitch t-shirts, more than he raised off of those cocaine t-shirts in two weeks. >> what's interesting here is that amy mcgrath when she launched her candidacy, she had this great 24 hours and then she blew the brett kavanaugh question, and almost you could hear the champagne corks popping in mcconnell's office. but then this does seem to have -- you brought up the democratic base there. it seems like it's actually resonating in kentucky that this isn't like some sort of creation of d.c. >> right.
and not just within the democratic strongholds of louisville and lexington. kentucky democratic party spokeswoman told me today that they've raised money off of these nyett t-shirts in 64 counties. it's getting people plugged into the race pretty early. senator mcconnell is known to establish very quickly against his opponents. our secretary of state he established a narrative about her. well now the fear is that this narrative is being established about him that he has this sort of underling of vladimir putin and/or president trump. i think it's something that mcconnell people take exception to. and they are trying to find a way to fight back at. they just haven't figured it out quite yet. and from talking to mcconnell's office today, it seems that they're open to at least the idea. i talked to a mcconnell spokesman open to the day a bipartisan election security measure that could get 60 votes in the suspect, what that looks like mcconnell's office won't
necessarily say. but they seem to be finding an exit strategy or an exit ramp in this situation. >> i get why because i know quite a few senate republicans who are ready to vote for this bill and they kind of want this separation. i know mcconnell talks about that. i wonder if he also worries about a presidential veto on that front. let me ask you this, final question being this, which, i want to take a step back. i think fancy pharm is starting this weekend which is usually the beginning of your general election, one of the great political gatherings, and you have to eat really bad fish i think if i'm not mistaken. >> no, no, there's great pork down there, man. >> what is the lay of the land here on the governor's race, and is it realistic that mitch mcconnell's vulnerable? >> matt bevon, certainly is facing a formidable challenge
from the attorney general. bevon however is trying to consolidate republicans who he's upset in a lot of different places including the state legislature here. so it's within shooting distance for andy bashir tce i think that's why you see bevon pushing issues. is mitch mcconnell vulnerable? every six years we hear about his unpopularity. but mcconnell will tell you the only poll that matters is the one on election day. so amy mcgrath might be raising a lot of money nationally, but there still is a major question of whether any democrat can win. i think that's why you are seeing charles booker mentioned, mike, a farmer and journalist, rocky atkins, matt jones, sports radio show host. but i think at the end of the day, most kentuckians like myself, i was born when senator mcconnell was elected. i think that most of us believe
that mcconnell is still the favorite. >> phillip bailey, louisville courier journal. here's a live look by the way. the governor of kentucky, you know, it's a border state, with ohio who is also going to appear with the president. in a few hours, the president will be holding his first campaign rally. what's in store tonight? we're about to find out. that's ahead. plus, why i'm obsessed with bucking the trends.
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welcome back. tonight i'm obsessed with what people are talking about, or at their very least, what they're typing about. there are plenty of opinions about who won last night's debate, but, hey, i'm a numbers guy so let's look at the data. the most searched democratic candidate was joe biden. makes sense, right? it's a sea of biden yellow. but during the debate, it turned blue, and who was blue? it was tulsi gabbard blue. judging by google trends, hawaii congresswoman tulsi gabbard was the uncontested winner of the debate. except the latest polling shows gabbard hovering in and around 1%. same thing with night one. before the debate, most of america was searching bernie sanders. but during the debate, 49 out of 50 states were searching marianne williamson. montana was searching steve
bullock. neither have made it out of the bottom tier. look, journalists love to look at google trends to see what voters are searching for, we think. but that doesn't necessarily translate into who they're voting for. and maybe that's the point. when it comes right down to, trending online doesn't really mean very much. remember the dress. remember laurel and yonnie. "laurel." >> it's all people were talking about when they were talking about it. anybody still talking about it now? sure it can't hurt to be the most googled candidate. but it's surely not a reliable indicator of electoral success. so let's remember that trends are just that. snapshots of fleeting moments that when looked at in total right offer some perspective that could be the answer i'm looking for or maybe i'm going to click "just feeling lucky." but allstate actually helps you drive safely... with drivewise.
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i can't tell you whether or not they're going to do that chant. if they do the chant, we'll have to see what happens. >> will you stop them, sir? do you think you will? >> i don't know that you can stop people. we'll see what we can do. i'd prefer that they don't. but if they do it, we'll have to make a decision then. >> welcome back. that was president trump this afternoon on the possibility that his supporters might once again chant "send her back" or something like it tonight. the last time he held a campaign rally, he was condemned by
democrats for not cutting off the send her back chance the. republicans are concerned about a repeat performance when the president speaks to supporters in cincinnati. back with me, mark caputo. i should note the president said we shall see the if we have to do something. the congressman that represents this swing district, he goes i would discourage the crowd from doing anything inappropriate and saying something like that would be inappropriate. i would hope that the president would he tell them, hey, don't do that. there's no place for that. it's not helpful. it's not right. the president couldn't even reiterate what the local congressman asked him to do. >> well, of course, not. he wants them to chant that. i mean, he is both the master as well as the creature of his crowds like so many demagogues through history. it really illustrates the enormous contrast between the
republican leadership today and the republican leadership just a little over a decade ago when john mccain, to his infinite credit cut off a lady in one his crowds who described barack obama as an arab and mccain instantly stood up and spoke of his opponent in that election as a decent man with whom he just happened to have some differences. we're now looking at a republican party that resembles something out of rome a little bit before the establishment of the roman empire and the end of democracy. >> there's another picture. you can paint some pictures with us sometimes. you know, mark, there's always this question. is the president doing this on purpose? we know in some ways he is but why? is he doing it to stoke the base, to troll the press? is it he doing to almost force democrats to constantly respond to him? i don't think he thinks about it that deeply, but that -- he
always presents this dilemma for everybody that covers him or confronts him. >> i don't think it's a dilemma. >> but they can't figure out how to get him to stop. >> he's a 72-year-old man. he's set in his ways. he made a lot of money and inherited a lot of money. he's lived a life of privilege and comfort and always gotten his way by showing he has the biggest courage in the room or whatever the right word is. donald trump is going to do what he wants to do. remember this, he won the biggest contest in the world's biggest most important political system whenever everyone else was telling him he was doing it wrong and that he wouldn't win. he internalizes any criticism as being proof that he's right. >> he's not the only candidate. every candidate that i've ever witnessed always ends up doing the exact same thing they did in the first campaign they won. for donald trump, that was the last campaign he ran. adrian elrod, one of the
critiques you had of the debate is the lack of focus on donald trump. and it's been a critic out there with other democrats. at the same time, had you tom perez say don't get distracted by donald trump. how do you walk this line when he's gas lighting the country and the party like this at times? >> well, you know, frankly chuck, i didn't think that the issue of race played the role that i thought it would in this debate. sure, there was some discussion about it but it didn't come to the level i thought it would given what trump has done for the last few weeks attacking the squad, using racist xenophobic language to try to stoke his base, fry to gin them up and get them excited. it's a double-edged sword. on the one hand if you're running to seek the democratic nomination, you have to draw a contrast in your own party but on the other hand, voters want to see somebody who they can envision being on stage next to donald trump in a debate and i
think -- i'm not sure necessarily the policy issues are outweighing that at this point. so you know, look we've got ten more debates left. i think the field is going to winnow after the next debate. hopefully, we'll be able to have more of a constructive dialogue between the front-runners where they're taking trump to task more than the first two debate. how much pressure does speaker pelosi have on her if a majority of her caucus wants impeachment? isn't she obligated to go with the majority of her constituents? >> adrian be? >> yeah, look, i think the pressure is mounting. what we all know and what pelosi is try fog straddle here is the fact that if even an impeachment inquiry starts, it's going to essentially freeze the democratic primary because the entire focus of the media will be focused on is impeachment. she is trying to make sure that it doesn't completely drives the news cycle but at the same time
that justice is being served and she's doing her job and congress is doing her job. i don't know if she's able to stave this off much longer. >> i think the same thing. bret stephens, can democrats walk and chew gum? >> this is the greatquette for the next 18 months. i certainly hope that speaker he will pel finds a way to slow roll the process in various committees so it doesn't dominate the headlines when we should be focused on defeating trump. >> mark caputo, you spent a lot of time in swing districts. you live in a county that's going to matter a lot in this presidential race. is the impeachment that dangerous to democrats nationally or not? >> i doubt it. look at the news cycle. we can't remember what the news story. >> we couldn't remember yanni and laurel. >> the benefit to democrats for impeachment is giving one more bite at the apple for the public to learn all of the allegedly il say bad things that donald trump
did. the problem nancy pelosi has is she's been approaching the impeachment as if it's a legislative function and a bill and it's not. she's out of her league thinking about strategy and the like. the reality is if, if, if donald trump committed a high crime or misdemeanor and if democrats can believe that, then it is their job or republicans it is their job as members of congress to impeach. >> see, adrian, this is the conversation the base is having with the leader is what mark just expressed which is how do you defend not doing it? >> yeah, you know, chuck made this point a couple times. this could be if democrats fail to act on this, this could be their skooelz heel four or five years down the road as the iraq war was to those hose supported the iraq war vote back in the early 2000s. so again, i just -- i think at a certain point, something has to give. we either have to say we're not going to impeach and focus on
2020 or we're going to impeach and start the process and see where it goes but try to get it over as quickly as possible so we can focus solely on the election. >> you defend not doing it by saying it makes trump's re-election more likely just as impeachment served the purposes of democrats. >> why are you convinced of that? i'm -- i hear you and i've heard the analysis. i don't know if i agree or disagree. >> because voters are interested in what the democratic party is going to do for them in office in 2021, not relitigating what happened in 2016. that's i think the central issue, voters are focused on the future, at least the voters who will count in deciding next november. >> mark, you want to jump in? >> i just remember there was a lot of discussion how voters did not want to hear about hillary clinton's e mails. >> actually, it turned out looks like trump needed them. >> and votes even though they didn't want to hear about it
heard about it and apparently it made a difference and hillary lost. if impeachment is similar where voters don't want to hear about it but it's bad for trump the idea it helps trump is belied by the facts. >> this debate will heat up august. mark, adrian and brett, great panel. that's all i got for tonight. we'll be back tomorrow with more "meet the press" daily. good evening, ari. >> we have a big show tonight including some major political shifts from the second presidential debate. democrats not only advocating for a world after trump but for moving the party left of obama which is now drawing pushback from his vp in these new comments. >> i was a little surprised how much incoming there was about barack, about the president. the world has changed since obama. here's the deal. there is about the future. it's about taking the same kind of integrity and moving beyond it. the idea it's somehow comparable to what guy