tv Cuomo Primetime CNN June 27, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
be reunited with her mother. alison jiminez is in arizona. her mom is in texas. one of thousands uncertain about the status of their loved ones tonight. that's it for us. time to hand it to chris cuomo. primetime starts now. >> i am chris cuomo. welcome to "primetime." elections have consequences. president trump may not be remembered for anything he says or policies he gets through, but the impact of cementing a conservative majority on the supreme court during his tenure will make him a relevant figure in history. we have tonight key players on the left and right who may decide if the president's nominee gets a vote. republican senator john kennedy is here to tell you about what he calls the most important vote he may ever cast. the stakes in the midterms now higher. the democrats facing an identity crisis of what we just saw in the congressional primary, candidates popping up being
called socialists. tom perez, chairman of the dnc, says they are all on the same page. we have someone else tonight who is saying the democrats are turning a new page. is a muslim progressive millennial doctor running for major office in michigan the key to a blue wave in november? what an important night. what do you say? let's get after it. all right. i know there is a lot of talk about what justice anthony kennedy's leaving could mean. let's focus on what it does mean. there is going to be a vote so this would come down to numbers. 51-49 in the senate now, republican obviously. dems need to knock down a nominee they need two votes. where are they going to get votes? they won't have more if it happens before the election. republican senators, collins and murkowski say they are abortion
rights supporters and they voted for neil gorsuch last time. with roe v. wade on the line they may make a move to protect reproductive rights. if senator john mccain is absent this gets more interesting. we wish him the best and hope he recovers. he's in our thoughts. we are not trying to be morbid here. it is about the math. if he is absent then it is 50-49. then it can play out different ways. you could see the democrats needing one to get to 50. anything short of that, that's where we have the big "but" here. there is a big if. there are two. but on the vote there is a big if. if the democrats get all their membership, that's where votes like democratic senators heidi hitecamp comes into play. trump is in her home state now with a rally working to beat her. both voted for justice gorsuch.
so if one of them defects to the other side this is over. the best case scenario would be 50/50. that means the vice president mike pence can come in to cast the tie-breaking vote. what a dream that would be for him to tip the scales for a justice that could be the difference on roe versus wade. there is an even bigger if. that's if the vote can be delayed. who would do that? maybe senator mitch mcconnell. perhaps based on a sudden allergic reaction to hypocrisy because of what he said on the senate floor in 2016. >> the next justice could alter the direction of the supreme court and have a profound impact on our country. so, of course, the american people should have a say in the court's direction. >> now, today the democratic leader in the senate chuck schumer called out the gop to stand by what they said then.
will they? that's the single biggest question tonight. one of the key players who has to answer the question is republican senator john kennedy of louisiana. he's on the senate judiciary committee. they may make this call. so we put the question to him. here it is. now, the big question is will you support what schumer is asking for which is to reinforce the mcconnell rule, so to speak, which is you don't confirm, don't vote on a supreme court justice in an election year. >> no. i will not. here's why. there is no mcconnell rule. there is the biden rule which was established by then senator joe biden when he was chairman of judiciary. then senator biden said it is improper to confirm a supreme court nominee during a presidential election year.
we are not in a presidential election year. we are -- have midterm elections but we have those every two years anyway. we have a presidential, of course, every four years. >> you believe there will be a vote before the midterm election? >> i do. i think there will be a long confirmation hearing. i hope it's orderly. i hope everybody has plenty of time to ask questions. i know who i'm looking for. i want a cross between socrates and dirty harry. i don't want a hater. i want a whip-smart man or woman who understands the role of the supreme court vis-a-vis congress and the president. i think neil gorsuch was an excellent choice. i don't know if justice gorsuch has a twin sister or twin brother. if he does, that's the kind of person i would look for. >> you want somebody who makes conservative extreme positions at -- >> no, that's not what i'm saying. >> that's what gorsuch has done.
he voted with thomas, not even scalia. >> i think the next five or ten years you will be very surprised at how neil gorsuch votes. i'm not saying he's not a so-called conservative as some people define the term. he sees his job as looking at a statute and looking at the constitution and trying to discern what congress or in the case of the constitution, our founders and ratifiers and people who voted for the bill of rights meant. he's not the sort of person who is going to make policy on his own. that doesn't mean supreme court justices don't make policy. >> they just did it. >> of course. they do it within the confines and in the context of a particular case. if you want to be a free-roaming policymaker, you shouldn't aspire to be a federal judge. the senate, house or president
of the united states. that's the kind of justice i'm looking for. whip smart, understands the role of the court. calling the balls and strikes as justice roberts said. that's the kind of judge i think judge kennedy was. >> judge kennedy was that. he did make occasional decisions that aren't expressly partisan as we see from the court all the time. john kennedy, you are a plain spoken guy. you know there is something no matter who is power at the time. they want him to look at the law and they say they'll do that. they get on the bench and every decision falls on partisan lines. that's what we are seeing now, even if it means judicial activism. the janice union case was
existing precedent that the court agreed on but now the composition is different and they made a different ruling. the only difference is politics. trump wants people there to echo the sentiments of voters. that's who he's going to pick. you have to live with it. it's not just somebody who looks at the law and facts. they'll look at the politics, no matter what they say. >> that's one point of view, chris. i realize some see it that way. i have never been a federal judge. certainly not on the supreme court. maybe that's the way it works. i want to think otherwise. i pretend to -- i would want to look otherwise. >> look at gorsuch. he's an example of this. every decision is very conservative. >> you're being unfair to gorsuch. i don't think he's been on the court -- what, one term? >> true. >> you have to look at a minimum of five years, preferably ten. i think gorsuch is a call it as he sees it. if you look at his circuit court
opinions. >> yes. >> you would look at them and go i don't know if that's liberal or conservative. >> some of them, you're right. i remember that during our analysis period. i looked back and it's true. on the supreme court it's been a little different. let's le ee's leave it at this. do you believe you reflect the entire corpus, the body of republican senators? do you believe mcconnell will get everybody on board to pick a supreme court justice now before the midterms? >> yes, i do. now, will everybody get on board with a particular nominee? it depends on the nominee. >> right. >> i have been the only republican to vote against one of president trump's nominees. i did it. >> with good reason, by the way. >> yeah. i pretty harshly questioned another one he with drew. i want to see who the nominee is. i hope the president chooses well. i have no reason to think he
won't. i think there will be a vote. i'm not so naive as to think it won't be a knockdown, drag out in the dirt, bare knuckle, nose-biting fight. it doesn't have to be. i hope we have rational discussion. this will be one of the most important decisions if not the most important i will make in the united states senate. >> there are predictions that after this man or women is chosen you will have at least 20 states, maybe more, making up state laws to change reproductive rights. anticipate it going to the supreme court and maybe a change in one of the most fundamental pieces of law, roe v. wade. thank you for weighing in. timely and important. be well. >> thanks, man. all right. let's get perspective from the other side of the aisle. democratic senator of minnesota joining me. she's a member of the senate judiciary committee. thanks for joining us, senator amy klobuchar.
>> thank you, chris. >> he does it in a folksy manner but the mcconnell rule, there is no rule. they are having a vote. this is what they were hoping for. elections have consequences. you're going to lose here. >> i agree with senator kennedy on one thing. this is an important moment. the decision here and the person that's going to be put forward literalry ma rly makes decision affect people's lives. it is important to get it out to the american people. decisions about who they can marry. decisions about how safe their working conditions are. decisions about in the past even who can go to school. and when you look at the 5-4 votes you pointed out even in the last week about establishing unions, my mom moved to become a teacher in minnesota because they had strong teachers' unions. the decisions about refugees. the decisions about voting rights. those are all cases that were closely decided. you've got a pre-existing condition case where basically
the administration is arguing that you're not going to be able to keep your insurance if you have a pre-existing condition. they can kick you out. that's coming up to the court. >> it all matters. that's why elections matter. we had one. you have a republican in there. he's taking the advice from counsel, also known as the heritage foundation and the federalist group, for who to pick as judges. he's going to do that. can you stop it? >> we can. that's by getting the american people behind us. >> then what? >> you have seen over the last year whether it's pushing back and we picked up three republican votes in a dramatic moment to uphold the affordable care act, because of public pressure. we have thrown out some judges that didn't make it through the committee or didn't even get nominated because of public pressure. senator kennedy himself undid one nominee. those things have happened. i will admit this will be a tough fight. i think it is important to make the case to the american people. as for the mcconnell rule, i
have culled through some of the statements of my own colleagues on the republican side during that year of 2016 when they held up merritt garland. some referred to the presidential year, but a lot referred to senators. >> with mcconnell, though, i was trying to box him in with kennedy. mcconnell talked about a presidential year. he did that. he used biden as a reference for it. i guess the political question for you comes down to you then have two plays here. one is can i get people on the other side to forestall a vote until after the election? >> you have people like susan collins, lisa murkowski who have shown to be independent when it comes to women's rights and privacy rights. >> they voted for gorsuch. with roe v. wade on the table, maybe they may make a play. one, that might be political suicide. if they were to fore stall a vote and lose control of the
senate they would be forever blamed. you would just be delaying a vote until after the election in, what, the hopes that you would take over the senate. >> that can make a difference. >> oh, yes. >> for the hearing inings and everything else. one thing that hasn't come out is the average time for hearings is 140 days. that's past the election. if you look at how long the hearings have taken before a vote and before confirmation process ends it is past the election time. >> that's custom, not by rule. >> that's correct. the public pressure and focusing on what matters to the people here, that's on our side. the other thing we have is some republicans that have shown some independence over time. then we have the right to ask questions and ask as many as we want in writing, at the hearing. we have to be ferocious about it so the american people know what they are getting here. >> what's the chance that he puts somebody up that you would
be okay with? >> i don't know. it doesn't sound good given that he's been pointing to the number of some of the people that have come out in the top group, a number of those people, i had not supported the top five that they are talking about today or top four. that's not looking good. again, i think my colleagues have to weigh in now. he should be consulting with democrats and republicans and people like susan collins and lisa murcowski. i want a judge who is independent-min independent-mi independent-minded. when youi look at when justice kennedy showed independence and wrote the case guaranteeing -- the opinion guaranteeing marriage equality, when he took a stand and voted to affirm roe v. wade, something that's part of his legacy. you look at the independent spirit, someone that brings people together in consensus, that's what we want. >> a couple of votes can make a
big difference. but the president doesn't have to consult with anybody. he just needs to get the votes and this is such a prize for president trump to get a conservative majority. it would cement him in the history books. that alone may be enough for him to exert every bit of political capital he has. i do appreciate you, senator, laying out the possibilities. we will be watching this. >> okay. >> very closely. >> his goal may be a prize he's holding up like a trophy. our goal is to keep the rule of the law in place and to put an independent judge that follows the law and listens to the american people in terms of having a judge like that. that's our job. it's not a trophy. it's the future of america. >> senator, thank you very much for being here. >> thank you. what have we seen? two giant wake-up calls for the democrats within 24 hours. the stakes arguably changed with the supreme court upheaval. and the players for the democrats have changed with this
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there were a number of big decisions by the supreme court and they all broke against democratic interests this week. that's the fact. so what do we know moving forward? the court could be cemented as conservative. any chance that the gop would hold the vote after the election? is there a way the dems could force that? how are the democrats looking in the midterms? sure, now you have the stakes higher because of this. but are they really going to have a socialist component to their party given the upset in new york that reflect it s the bernie aaccolytes moving into te party? let's start with the great
debate. here tis the cover for the dail news. we are -- figure out the rest yourself. karine, the idea of this going one of two ways. one, that democrats will prevail upon republicans to vote against republican interests to keep a conservative judge off the court or that they will honor the people's will not to have a vote until after the election. make the case for either of those being realistic. >> i think we should wait until the midterm elections are over. as mitch mcconnell said in the past let's not do these votes during an election. let the people decide. everything is on the line, chris. when donald trump's choice for the supreme court to replace kennedy is going to erode a decade's worth of work, progress in the lgbtq community, the women's community. >> that's what they want.
from their perspective this is what they have been asking for for years. >> it's a horrible thing for us, for the majority of the people, the democratic party as i'm here to talk about this side of things. this is a real issue. even though we talked about how recently the supreme court voted on -- you know, they voted in the conservative majority, yes, on the labor organization weakening that, upholding gerryamandaering. the thing about kennedy is there were key issues. >> he gave you a chance. >> yes. he was the deciding vote. >> that's true. it's unlikely you get someone else like that. >> the folks donald trump could pick are far right to kennedy. that's dangerous. everything is on the line. >> steve cortes, you agree with the assessments. you just see the interests in the opposite way. there is one little hanging item out there. mcconnell in 2016 made this such
a big deal of protocol and decorum and the right way to do it and respect what biden said and let's not do this. now he would have to swallow the thought. do you have a problem with that at all? >> look, i'm not going to defend mitch mcconnell. that's up to him. i would say there is precedent in 2010. justice kagen in a midterm year was approved quickly before an election. it has happened. i'll leave it to mcconnell to depend his apparent hypocrisy on the issue. the more important issue, if i can take a quick look back at 2016, one thing that isn't talked about enough is one of the reasons donald trump won, i believe, was the untimely death of justice scalia. that sudden death of that intellectual giant rallied conservatives. i can't tell you how many i talked to, particularly religious conservatives who didn't love then candidate trump but they couldn't fathom hillary
clinton replacing scalia with her court pick. >> we said no matter what trump says, no matter what policies he tries to get through, a lot of it at this point are question marks or won't be remembered. if he cements a conservative majority on the court he'll go down in the annals of history. do you believe the republicans would let this go by in the interest of doing the right thing of letting the election happen first? >> well, i don't believe that's the right thing, no. they won't let the opportunity go by. >> an important point -- >> it was in 2016 -- >> here is an important point. that wasn't my decision. i'm not defending that. >> you have to defend it. you can't pick and choose. that's why there are two boxes. >> i'm a trump guy, not a mcconnell guy. here's the reality now. what i would say to karine and those who are worried. look, if you believe gay people should be married and women should have abortions if the court would overturn those
decisions it would not make the marriages or abortion illegal. they would say we are sending the decisions back to the people and the states. federalism works. >> that's the problem with protected classes. steve, i get your point. that's what protected classes are all about. karine, unless congress were to come in to define these categories as protected classes then they would be exposed to the vagaries of different states and different standards. >> or democracy. not vagary. >> sometimes that's the operative effect of the supreme law of the land to say certain things aren't okay anywhere any time. what would happen if you left issues like same-sex marriage or reproductive rights to states? what's your concern? >> that's a big concern. we are not there anymore. it is the law of the land, same-sex marriage. we have roe v. wade. why should we go backwards when we have already made progress over the last couple of decades.
this is the thing. we shouldn't have to take us back. we should uphold what we have currently. that's a very dangerous kind of thought. so lgbtq community people are supposed to feel like, oh, now i have to be concerned? women's right to choose? now i have to be concerned? if this happens in 18 months if he gets to pick someone who does not believe in the woman's right to choose in 18 months abortion will be outlawed. >> steve, these are some of the most fundamental questions of life. they are political, moral, philosophical questions. when does life begin? what constitutes marriage. this shouldn't be decided by five unelected justices. they should be decided by the people, negotiation and persuasion, not by judicial fiat. that's done damage to the constitution and our society.
these are important questions. we should handle them the democratic way, small d, through the american process. >> aren't some issues bigger than that? sometimes there are bigger principles, right? that's why i brought up race. this cuts both ways. it is an argument for why you need a federal standard. you need one standard overall so states can't make decisions that are out of line with american thinking. at the same time, things change, karine. this is the rebound of this one point. plessy v. ferguson, separate but equal was the law at one time. it was supreme court law at one time. things changed as the culture changed, thank god, in terms of progress on that issue. isn't that why we say elections have consequences? >> elections certainly do have consequences. i hope people listen to that and are awake and our side certainly has been energized as we go into the midterm elections. the thing about it is same-sex marriage became the law of the
land just three years ago. look how far we came from three years ago. before three years ago, decades of working on that issue. why should we take that away or give the potential of that going away? that's incredibly scary. that's not the way we should do this. >> karine, you should make your case and convince the american people, not rely on judges to intervene. convince the people that's what constitutes a marriage and california will have different answers than alabama. that's federalism at work. it's the laboratory of democracy. >> the majority of people do support same-sex marriage. that's my whole point. we have moved a long way in over three, four decades. we have really transcended things. what are you talking about? the majority of people are there. it's donald trump who will decide who to pick to put in the supreme court to replace kennedy who is going to potentially overturn these things.
important issues to people. >> the court would not make those things illegal. the court would send it back where it belongs. >> that's such a dangerous way to look at things. we are talking about real people's lives. >> that's democracy. >> no, real people's lives. >> the constitution -- >> that's not where we are. >> the constitution says nothing about marriage. >> steve, where we are is there is potentially a supreme court justice who could be chosen by donald trump. that could reverse a lot of important issues for people. >> the supreme court should be reversed sometimes. >> it's not just women's rights. it's also workers as well. environmental issues as well. >> the supreme court was wrong on dredd scott, wrong on plessy versus ferguson and roe v. wade. the supreme court at times makes catastrophic errors that should be reversed. i believe roe v. wade is one of those examples that should be returned to the people. the constitution says nothing about marriage, says nothing
about when life begins. those are political -- >> it says a lot about equal protections for people under law. >> exactly. >> including unborn people. >> it doesn't make that distinction. >> it does not make that distinction. >> here is why it gets sticky. we have this conversation. let's deal with the hardest one. thank god we have made some room on race. we have a long way to go. it does make the point that things change all the time. culture takes time to change. law comes last. roe v. wade, reproductive rights, it is so sensitive. when you say no, they do not regard the fetus as a person under law which is why it's not a homicide, right? people get angry. they say, you want to kill babies. it is so volatile that sometimes you need a standard of understanding what the constitution means under law that rises above the simple politics. we both know, steve, after this conversation karine will get beat up, i'm going to get beat
up because people will say i'm in favor of life and you want to kill babies which is both not fair because you don't know where we are personally, you know what we are arguing professionally and me as a journalist encouraging both sides but the question is so important, steve, if you just leave it down to the will of people, where can you have access to reproductive rights and where can't you, think about what that means for people's lives. don't be incensensitive to that >> i understand that. it's so important that we can't possibly leave it up to five unelected justices to make the decision. >> that's how the system works. stare decisus has been around since the 1700s. >> it was also dredd scott. >> you need proof of an inhumane wrongdoing. we'll see if that's the standard. >> i can't think of something more inhumane than against a
human in the womb. >> no one should be legislating what women can and cannot do with their babies. >> we haven't had this debate because of the court. we should. >> this is the conversation to have. i know it is uncomfortable. i know it is provocative. it's going to be real and we'll have it going forward. thank you for giving us a first step tonight. karine jean-pierre, thank you. and steve cortes, thank you. you have to deal with it. elections have consequences. especially when you're looking at the supreme court. it's been such a piece of red meat for republicans to have the chance. now they have it. it's the theme of the night. to go along with the theme, a big upset win for a progressive candidate in new york. elections have consequences there, too. voters chose democratic socialist alexandria cortes. she beat a ten-term democratic opponent. what does this mean for the future of the democratic party?
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before today the democrats were hell bent on taking over the house. with justice kennedy saying he's out, the senate is in very sharp focus as is a set of tough questions about who the democrats are. joining us now, perfect timing. dnc chair tom perez. thanks for being with us on what's turned out to be a huge day. i have to talk to you about the reverberations to the plans for the house and who just won here in new york, what it means about your party. but, but, but, this headline that shifts all intensity to the senate. justice kennedy maybe the most impactful decision he's made is when to retire and that comes today. how does it change the stakes for your party? >> our strategy has always been the same. we are organizing everywhere. we competed in alabama last year. people thought we were nuts
because democrats can't win down there. we always understood that in the world of trump we had to be prepared for consequences just like this. that's why we have been organizing early and organizing everywhere. frankly, we are at an inflection point in our nation's journey to form a more perfect union. what we have to do now is what we have been doing throughout -- get people out to vote. >> but the stakes, tom. for all of trump's talk about what he wants to do, judge gorsuch and the other judges that are being put through the senate with mcconnell's help, that's his big impact. how big is this judicial appointment in terms of the future path and partisan trajectory of this country? >> it's undeniably important. we're fighting like heck and we'll hold them to the standard they held democrats to in 2016. mitch mcconnell said you shouldn't consider a nomination during an election year. this is an election year.
>> are the dems able to stall the vote? >> what we are going to do is make sure we uphold the constitution. i think there is bipartisan consensus that roe v. wade is the law of the land. if you nominate a judge to the supreme court who is not going to uphold roe v. wade that should trigger overwhelmingly bipartisan opposition. we are going to fight for the constitution and make sure we are doing our level best. >> tom, that's -- >> we need more democrats, no doubt about it. >> i get that's your goal. you're running the dnc, but that's how elections have consequences. we just saw with the union and collective bargaining and what it means for public union, that was stare decisus, too. former judges can change decisions if they want to. this court has shown that inclination. roe v. wade is only as good as this bench says it is. the question is what can you do about it?
>> well, we can win elections, chris. >> can you take the senate? >> oh, absolutely. >> which races? you have people who are vulnerable, too -- red state democrats. >> here's the deal. we have opportunities in nevada, arizona, tennessee, an opportunity in texas. five states where we have opportunities. >> i will give you three of those where you have a shot. you have a couple where you are vulnerable also. do you think the joe manchin category of democrat, do you think they'll stall a vote though it could hurt them at home? >> listen. health care is a right for all, not a privilege for a few. that's in danger with the supreme court. we have seen democratic solidarity on issues of health care. the thing we have going for us in the senate races this year, chris, in the states where we are playing defense is that we've got a spectacular stable of incumbent democrats.
that's why i have a lot of optimism that we can take over the senate. >> let me ask you one political question while i have you here on the house side. this race in new york and this young woman, 28 years old, who beat a ten-term congressman in joe crowley matters. she represents things that are decidedly different than a lot of people in your party. she's left. she might be left of bernie sanders on some issues saying that i.c.e. has to go. is that a reflection of who your party will be across the country? >> listen, alexandria ocasio-cortez ran a spectacular campaign. as a latino it's inspiring to see another latina run and win. she ran because she was focused on the issues that people in her community cared about. just as when connor lamb won a few months ago he was focused on the issues that mattered to people in his districts. we have been winning state-wide elections, congressional elections, mayoral, et cetera.
our candidates have been laser-focused on health care, on immigration as alexandria was doing. >> her solutions, tom -- medicare for all. her solutions on immigration, get rid of i.c.e., are those things the party will adopt as a platform or are you going to leave it to district by district, make the choices that work for you as a candidate? >> listen, we believe as democrats that health care is a right for all, not a privilege for a few. we have a debate about how to get there. there are differences of opinion among democrats. joe crowley who had a distinguished career in congress was a proponent of the medicare for all proposal. we are going to have -- i think what's most important is where we are united as democrats. >> are you united on single payer? is medicare for all the democratic position? >> we are united on the fact that health care must be a right for all, not a privilege for a few. >> what does that mean?
what model are you going to adopt? single payer? >> there are many different ways, chris, to get there. >> single payer is a hot button for a reason. i keep saying it for a reason. i understand the economics, the logistics, we are all doing our homework to understand it. it is very complex. to voters, what that signals is a cost shifting that will make health care from the government perspective a lot more of a heavy lift. it will cost a lot more money if you go to single payer. where is your head in terms of whether or not that's where your party is -- single payer? >> our party is clear. we believe that health care is a right for all, not a privilege for a few. yes, we are having a debate on how to get there. what's important to know is the republicans are having a debate on how to move the ball backward. they want less people to have access to health care. they don't believe a pre-existing condition matters. that you can be denied insurance coverage for that. >> it does seem to be on the table for them, it's true. >> that's why this nomination
matters. there is so much at stake. i think the most important thing democrats can do is don't fret about this. we have to fight back. we have to organize and vote. >> i'll tell you what. it's no longer hypothetical. this is an existential battle in terms of political realities. it comes down to november and there will be a big eye on the senator. tom perez, thank you very much. >> it's been a pleasure to be with you, chris. >> like alexandria ocasio-cortez, abdul el-sayed is gaining popularity as a democrat with a bold progressive platform some say is simply socialism. he's 33 years young, running as a democrat for governor in michigan. if elected he would be the first muslim governor in american history. el-sayed joins us on "prime time." good to see you, doc. >> appreciate the opportunity to be here with you. >> let's make the most of it and get after it. where is the party? you know, nancy pelosi will say new york, what happened there,
is a one-off. congratulations to her. she ran a good race, but there are characteristics that make it not indicative of us overall. let's wait and see. what do you say? >> i think the party now is soul searching. what we realized in 2016 is our party lost a lot of voters. the reason why is we didn't have a message that was inspiring young people, people of color, progressives. then people like my uncle rick. i'll tell you about my uncle for a second. he's from the middle of michigan. he's driven truck his whole life. in 2008 he lost his trucking company. he was between a rock and a hard place. the economy isn't back for people like my uncle rick. he said, look, i have one person who won't come to communities like mine and won't talk about why the economy isn't back. the talking point is the economy is back. another who is saying, you know, your pain is real, but here are crazy things we'll do. blame it on brown and black people in urban communities. he voted for trump. you have to realize the awkward conversation we had.
we have to find our core. at the core we are a party that's always been about people, about how we empower people against big corporations and against the exploitation we have seen for a long time. this is what it's always about. >> do you think it's about -- which people? the democratic party was the blue collar party. now demographics suggest the party is not white collar, but higher income level than blue collar, largely about diversity -- women, younger people and minorities and that's the play for the party. forget about going back to what you were. then you have this other inclination within your party that says, no, no, no, we have to reclaim the working class. they, too, are browning up like the rest of the country and we have to make an overall fight. what's going to win? >> i don't think the two are mutually exclusive. i think they come together. we've got to remember we have always been about giving opportunities to working people and poor people.
giving opportunities through access to jobs that are union protected that pay a fair wage, $15 minimum. about providing access to afford something like health insurance. you should just have it. in my community in particular, access to clean water. i live in a state where our state government poisoned 9,000 kids in flint. >> that motivated you to run for office because of what you were seeing in detroit and what you were seeing in flint. i get that. i hear what you are doing on the environmental side. some of the ideas are provocative. the question is whether they are salable and politically doable. that's why i kept pushing tom perez about single payer. it's not whether i do or don't like single payer. people simplify our debates that way. it's not what i like. it's what you can get done. single payer is expensive. the environmental shifts you're talking about near term,
expensive. free college, expensive. what's the chance of getting them done? >> i wouldn't promise something unless it was possible. when i was health commissioner in detroit we did things outside the box. providing kids glasses and that was revenue neutral. this is about writing tright in ship. we subsidize corporations to the tune of billions of dollars. we are the second biggest subsidizer in the country. we won't talk about paying a fair share. it is making sure those corporations pay a fair share. if we invest that money in schools, a 100% renewable energy infrastructure, invest it in health care, i bet we'd be a lot better off economically and certainly better off socially. that includes people like my uncle rick in the middle of the state and people in communities like flint and detroit. these aren't mutually exclusive ideals. it is about embracing who we are as a party that's always been about bringing people together and helping to solve problems that we uniquely can solve and
get out of the way when we are not needed. >> so then you get into the political realities of this. you have sombe bernie people working for you. reminds me of alexandria ocasio-cortez in that way. she was an organizer for bernie sanders. but it's not lining up for you well now in the primary. i'm not going to put up poll numbers. none meet cnn's standards. you're taking a beating now. you're in third in what's essentially a one-person race now with whitmer who is a woman, a veteran legislator. a lot of women running, especially on the democratic side. now that's seen as progressive change as well. welcomed by the party. why aren't you doing better? >> >> my job is to have a conversation with the people of michigan. we've knocked on hundreds of thousands of doors. polls this early doesn't say
anything. if you ask zasaern ya, if you a her, in her race she wouldn't have been able to be on the board. what we've seen is an assault on basic things like human rights, basic things that the fact that you shouldn't allow the president to discriminate against certain groups of people. alexandria's time to star is really a bright light. when i've had conversations with folks across the state they're looking for leadership that allows them to believe in the concept and ideals of america again. my dad immigrated to this country from egypt, he took a bet to this society, it shouldn't administratmatter who is, how he prays, it shouldn't
be that. it should be for people and by people, it can be a force for good. i'm reminding folks that every day and they're reminding me every day. >> it's interesting how it all comes together. one problem will be if you or some people have somewhat similar, but also two degrees very different of the party, you can say you got a big tent. if you win, you've got to governor and coming to on things. if you' have some people saying there's no issue on the border and others are saying there should be some ice, you're going to have a big ass problem on your hand. doctor, thank you so much. don lemon standing by with "cnn tonight," very interesting what's going on in the democratic side. >> that's what we're doing to talk about, chris. of course you've been covering all the angel ls, we are as
well. the supreme court may have a role in the mueller investigation because, right, they could decide whether a sitting president can be subpoenaed or indicted. stay tuned for that one. also, we talk about elections have consequences, supreme court weighs in on national terrorism. general hayden, he's going to join us and break it down. those issues and more in just a few minutes. >> appreciate it. imagine though, i don't know if you were paying attention to the debate or working on their pretty hair of yours. one of the arguments that was made, hey, you know trent scott was wrong, plus the v. ferguson was wrong. look at it in the adverse. if you reverse it what would happen if you had a court come up and say, you know what, brown versus education, let's just liu it to the states. certain questions are too big just to be left to states and have a randomness on what must be absolute. that's what makes the stakes so big, don't you think?
>> yes, and what we have to remember that even decisions the that came for women's rights, rights for minorities, black and latino peoples' civil rights, the majority of the country was not always on the side of those issues. >> right. >> it took them a while to get there. by handing it over just to random states, i think it's a very dangerous precedent to set. >> don lemon see you in a second. >> yep. >> you know what happens in the media sometimes, we get overwhelmed with the media and sometimes stories get through, and you don't hear about them. not on my watch. we have some important updates for you. stay with us, next. mine's way better. this one's below market price and has bluetooth.
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the others don't. we offer up to 6 hours of 4g wireless network backup. everyone else, no way. we let calls from any of your devices come from your business number. them, not so much. we let you keep an eye on your business from anywhere. the others? nope! get internet on our gig-speed network and add voice and tv for $34.90 more per month. call or go on line today. . welcome back to cpt. this is a monumental day for america because of the the retirement of supreme court justice, anthony kennedy. there are other stories we shouldn't ignore. the first one, north korea. you got to keep your eye on this situation. satellite pictures show the roug regime is upgrading, not
dismantling one of their nuclear sites, despite kim jong-un's pledge at the summit. we'll keep watching. two, president trump's pick to head the affairs department, he's a controversial nominee. one time defender of confederate symbols. is he the best trump could find? will he past muster? we'll keep watch. also, the family separation crisis, what's happening on the border and now all over the country, very much still happening. the executive order did not stop it as promised. you won't hear the president talk about this at his rallies like tonight, but we will. because more than 2,000 children are still separated from their parents in custody. for all the talk about how its over and they're fixing and reuniting, six kids have been reunited with their parents since the day the president signed that order on june 20th.
six out of more than 2,000, according to the trump administration hhs numbers released yesterday. we will stay on it because it matters. thank you to all of you for watching us tonight. "cnn tonight" with don lemon is going to start right now. don. six kids, can you believe that? crisis of his own making. >> it is more reenforcement about the fact that the message of harshness was more important than the practicalities of how to deal with these kids than the fix it. what will happen next? we'll stay on it. >> can they comply with the judges orders to have some in 15 days, some in 30. who knows. all right chris. thank you, sir. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. president