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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  March 11, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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opinion votes show an ugly side of the network's face. this is something that comes up time and time again with fox. >> i'm very interested to see the next step, if there is a next step when it comes to jeanine pirro. it's one thing to give context to what you said, but an apology could be needed in that regard. thanks all for joining me. phil mattingly and "inside politics" starts right now. welcome to "inside politics." i'm phil mattingly. john king is off today. the white house sends its budget request over to capitol hill and i'm going to break some news for you, it will not pass congress. but it will give clues on the negotiations to come. the new cnn polling out of iowa gives pretty clear advice to the president. focus on your accomplishments, not your 2020 opponents. speaking of 2020, is joe biden in or out of the race?
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>> last week the vice president was reportedly at 95%. i know you recently spoke with him. is he moving closer to 100? >> he is moving closer. he is someone who i am confident is going to run. i am optimistic he's going to run. >> he kind of tipped his hand a little bit, junior senator from delaware. we begin with a spring ritual and what it tells about the president. this morning the president delivered his budget request to congress. they're big and they're worth about as much or as little as the dead trees they're printed on. the document more or less amounts to a very large paperweight. republican congress largely ignored the president's last two budget requests. democrats now in control of the house, they will do the same but with more gusto, if you will. read the very long list of what the president wants as a campaign document, and you start to see the sketches of his 2020 message. big border wall money. big money for the military. big cuts to welfare programs and
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programs like the epa. promises kept. taxpayers first. read the list and each promise pairs with the big demographic the president won in 2016 and will need to win again in 2020. senior analyst kaitlan collins is with us at the white house. kate, i know you memorized this -- >> in the last hour. >> tell us what you see when you look at this document right now. >> like you said, this is meaningless, especially now that democrats are in charge of the house, but what you're seeing is the president renew his demand that congress pay for the board wall. he's asking for $8.6 billion for the wall, some from the security committee, some from the department of defense. the president not learning his lesson coming off that shutdown fight, the fight that didn't earn any money for the president and his border wall, and they're
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saying the president has not learned his lesson. the president knows he's not going to get this money that he lost, even the sway he had last year, but this is sending a message for 2020 and setting the president up so he can make that point to his base that he's still here and he's still fighting for the wall. that comes as right now the senate is expected to vote this week on a resolution to disapprove his declaration of national emergency to build that wall, but the president is trying to send a message with this. you can tell he's still sensitive to those criticisms from people like ann coulter who say he's not living up to his promise to build the wall, because the president was lashing out at her over twitter this weekend. you can expect the white house to lay out its priorities. they're doing something they haven't done in a while, phil, today they're having a briefing. sarah sanders is going to brief reporters on the proposals laid out in this document. >> what a novel idea, speak to the reporters. here now to share their reporting and their insights, rachel bay with the "washington
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post," cnn's manu raju and politico's roger johnson. i want to note that inslee put out a statement that said, quote, the president's budgannu budget proposal is the first step in the federal budget process and will allow us to consider how his priorities align with the priorities of congress. you're on the hill every day. how do republicans say what's being sent to capitol hill? >> i think when they try to push for the president's money for the wall, they realize he's not going to get $8.6 billion. he couldn't get his original amount with the shutdown. they're going to put off the very difficult issues like the funding for the wall until the very end, right before the end of this current fiscal year.
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the ultimate question is going to be whether the president digs in, whether he demands money for the wall, and a lot of it has to do with these court challenges and the national declaration. if the court doesn't have the authority of moving money around, then we could have a repeat of the government shutdown. nancy pelosi will not give him any money. will she ultimately bend as we get closer to the end of the fiscal year? we'll see. but they're saying this proposal is dead on arrival because it is, and what they're proposing is not going to become law. >> why would pelosi bend? she looked extremely confident the first time when she didn't give him a dime for his wall. they're probably rolling their eyes. but again, this is probably not clearly aimed at changing policy on the hill. this is about 2020, and the president thinks the wall is
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something he can run on and this is a good message for his base, and so clearly he wants to keep that out center even though he's using the national emergency to try to do this at the same time. >> i've been sort of a skeptic of the coverage of the budget process long before president trump came to office. i think it's perhaps the most overcovered event in washington every winter, the president's proposal. because the congress is going to do what the congress does. yes, it offers some insights under the president's authorities. maybe that worked for past presidents. how much is this president even engaged in this budget document? is he even aware of some of the sort of top lines for his health department or hud? >> the thing that struck me in this budget was the request for wall money, which wasn't included in previous budgets at this amount, and it struck me as a concession of defeat. they wouldn't be asking for money to build the wall if they
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had gotten money to build the wall and if the building of the wall was underway. they are spending a certain amount of money to build the wall that they've done through a national emergency declaration, but that's not enough money to complete the building of the wall, and that's evident by the request for an additional $8.6 billion. part of that is to repay the national emergency funds, but $5 billion of that is needed for completion of the wall. and i think at this point because they're unlikely to get that money, it is something of a concession of defeat by the president. >> budget in other words is at m.i.t. if you want to attack him. i want to go to you. i think here's the concern when you talk to people on capitol hill. you laid out in september the budget is coming, the debt is coming, and eliana makes a good point. the president in a private meeting made clear, i didn't know that number existed and i want $5 billion and stalled at
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his staff a little bit in front of a couple lawmakers. is this setting up a clear fight that doesn't necessarily have an end game given the stakes we're facing in september? >> i think that's right. inc. the president kno-- i thin the president needs to show his base something he has not accomplished. this is the central piece of his campaign. he needs to show them he's doing something. he doesn't know, the congress doesn't know, the democrats know they're not giving him anything for this. in his budget document, the president campaigned on a limited national debt. that is such an insane proposal, to eliminate $20 billion -- $20 trillion national debt and climbing. this is nothing to even get rid of the annual deficit. he said he would get rid of the annual deficit over the next eight years. it creates a lot of aspirational
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goals but probably is something he's not going to fulfill. >> balancing in 15 but essentially locking in trillion-dollar deficits. you've got your finger on the pulse of house democrats more than anybody right now. the budget caps come into play in september, and to not walk into it too much, it would essentially authorize $2 billion. >> i think everyone knows the caps need to be raised. the president might be talking about his wall and privately might want to go to some sort of showdown in september when the federal budget needs to be renewed. on capitol hill, again, i don't see an appetite for this. mitch mcconnell in the senate, he's ea realist about this kind of stuff. he doesn't want to do another shutdown, so the debt ceiling is going to have to be dealt with. i think when it comes to dealing with the debt ceiling, mcconnell and pelosi are pretty much in the same place. they don't want to deal with
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brinksmanship. it's about the president, how hard does he push the party, and you have to feel for mitch mcconnell because you know he's not in the same place when it comes to these issues. >> the president wants $750 billion, and the spending cap is $576. that's $174 billion apart. they said they would go to the operating fund, which is kind of a cheesy way to pay the debt. that's always been the hook, right? democrats and republicans have to get together. what's your sense right now of how the administration wants this done? >> it's interesting, they've requested a 5% increase in defense spending. the president says he's committed to rebuilding the military. they want to cut domestic spending. they're simply saying the old formula of increasing every dollar that they request an
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increase for in defense spending, they're going to increase a dollar in domestic spending. the country cannot afford that anymore and they're not going to abide by it. we don't see it reflected in this budget and they've indicated they're going to push back on that. >> but the democrats have done this successfully before, she'll do it again. they'll say if you want more money for the military, which is something the president wants to campaign on in 2020 and say he's strong for the military, then you have to give some deomestic money, too. >> i imagine it will be pretty effective now that the democrats actually control the congress. buttigieg attacks vice president pence in the town hall. and the golden retriever er are very different. they eat, digest, and process energy differently.
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the ever growing field of democratic presidential candidates learn today where they could be giving an acceptance speech. officials tell cnn the dnc is hoping to hold its 2020 democratic convention in milwaukee.
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for now, though, those candidates spending time in austin, texas. 2020 democratic hopefuls descending on south by southwest this weekend, hoping to make an impression with voters. three of the more long shot candidates sat down with cnn for town halls. pete buttigieg, tulsa gabbard and tom delaney. all three barely registering with voters, polling at or below 1%, both now and back in january. comparing their numbers to the top four candidates in this poll, joe biden, bernie sanders, kamala harris and elizabeth warren, yes, quite a difference there. what were your takeaways as a keen observer of this 2020 process so far? >> reporter: phil, i think there is no question that mayor buttigieg made a point that he
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has in bars and restaurants. he does admit he's 77 years old. we've seen other candidates try to fudge their age or act a little older, and last night he said, look, i have military experience, i have executive experien experience. i think he was also trying to show he's strong enough to go after this administration, the president and also the vice president who is from indiana. by and large, you mentioned the polls right there. the national polls at this point, as you know, are essentially meaningless because they are a barometer of name i.d. only. but the iowa poll is certainly much more interesting. all these new candidates trying to make their way, make their voice, introduce themselves, but joe biden on top of the des moines register, a cnn iowa poll on sunday along with bernie sanders. one number that was interesting to me, 60%, 6 in 10 iowa democrats want him to jump in. they say his experience is needed.
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only 3 in 10 say it's time for someone new. so that is a challenge for these newer candidates here. we should point out everything, though. everyone will get a full look once summer begins and let's see who is standing in time for the iowa state fair come august. >> no question about that, jeff. be careful of the scooters. i've heard they're all over the place. i saw cars behind you. i want to make sure you don't get run over by a scooter. >> they're everywhere. >> jeff zeleny down in austin. scooters aside, and we live in this microworld of the twitter sphere. there is a bit of momentum. david axelrod tweeting, i've rarely seen a candidate make use of town hall as pete buttigieg tonight. crisp, thoughtful and relatable. he'll be a little less of a long shot tomorrow. >> any time you can get that kind of national tv exposure when you really aren't that well known is a huge asset for a
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candidate. and we're in this proving ground season where, in a wide open race, and you've got a couple candidates who have big name i.d. or obviously are on top of the polls, but you'll have candidates like mayor pete who can step up. there will be somebody next january/february who we aren't talking about now who is going to be near the front of the pack, i think, and it's just a matter of sort of who that is. when it comes to mayor pete, it does say a lot about what the incentives are in this era. a very talented politician taking a pass on statewide office to go directly from running for mayor to running for president. what's the down side of that? you get great exposure like last night. if you don't get the nomination, maybe you're on the ticket as vp, or maybe you're in the cabinet of the next democratic president. either way, you're showing your stuff and punching your ticket via this long national campaign for president. it really does tell something about how people rise now in the
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political stratosphere. >> is that the play here? just get your name out there. it's worth more than running for a lower statewide office given the fact with media exposure, you can just get your name out there and run. >> i think that's true, and some of the candidates right now, they won't succeed in doing that. but the reason why i think this town hall was a success for mayor pete was that he did impress some people like david axelrod that wasn't obviously -- we didn't see the same sort of reaction for the other two candidates who had them, but right now a lot of these democratic candidates aren't household names, and the point of going to a south by southwest, which is mostly attended by influencers, it's not your everyday voter, is to get people to pay attention to that. i think that was a success for them. they want to become a household name like joe biden and bernie sanders is now. these are the only two
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candidates that aren't tuned in to politics every day. that's the reason why he had nothing to lose getting in this race, and he just gained something yesterday. >> kind of took the job there that influencers were in austin and i was not. >> i wasn't, either, don't worry. >> one of the things i was struck by last night is, how are you in this? >> so many of these labels are misused. people don't have any idea what they even mean anymore. >> let's try to stay away from the terminology and the labels. >> bernie has to speak to what democratic socialism is. >> you are not one. >> i am not. and the centrists have to speak to whatever they are doing. >> capitalism or socialism? >> capitalism. >> it's bizarre you actually
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have to pause on that question accident but do the labels matter? i think people spilled a lot of ink over this the last couple weeks. >> obama did something similar. he tried torques i say, i'm not to label myself as a progressive. it's interesting that the one thing they're not saying is they're not socialists. i think there is a fear among a lot of democrats that the alexandria caocacio-cortez wingf the party will bring them all in and force them to answer to things they don't agree with. clearly that's the republican strategy heading into 2020, label everyone as a socialist. these democrats are trying to make clear they're not. the question is they'll have to differentiate themselves on various policies because the policies they don't agree with are very socialist. medicare or medicare for all.
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but that's one thing that some of those candidates may try to make clear over the weekend, that they're not socialists. >> we're already seeing republicans on capitol hill do that. the nlc are saying these guys are socialists. i think the other thing we saw play out specifically in mayor pete's interview, there is this question of how much do you talk about trump in the administration, how much do you talk about yourself? it will be interesting to see how other candidates, although he's not going to slingshot to the front of the line any time soon, they want to know how he'll handle that. he wasn't viciously snarling when he went after the administration, but he was very pointed. talking about vice president mike pence, and what was the phrase he used, something like
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t is pence a porn star for the presidency? those are very pointed criticisms at the administration and less about his own personal experience going after the administration. but the way he did that was well received, and i think it will be interest if other people try to mimic that. >> it is striking in the period of four or five months going from a democratic frame in the midterm election. very cautious, seriously targeted as issues like health care, and four or five months later, they're being branded as socialists. that does concern democrats especially on the hill, especially in the house who are trying to keep that majority that they just won last year. they're okay with the policies, but they fear the large e branding with the s word. >> always remember, the majority makers weren't the progressives, they're the mod raerates in the wing. trump takeaways and how the
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iowa poll factors into his campaign, up next. pardon the interruption but this is big! now with t-mobile get the samsung galaxy s10e included with unlimited data for just $40 a month. means they won't hike your rates over one mistake.
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do you guys sell other dogs? now that's simple, easy, awesome. customize each line by paying for data by the gig or get unlimited. and now get $250 back when you buy a new samsung galaxy. click, call, or visit a store today. iowa is home to the first major 2020 campaign contest, and when it comes to how iowa republicans view president trump, there are definitely some signs of strength and a few potential trouble spots for his reelection bid. the president still enjoys strong support with the state's republicans, even though 40% say they hope he faces a challenge for the nomination. let's dig in at what some of
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these numbers say. if you look at the president's approval rating, 81%. still very high and pretty much the same when he was last polled in december. his actual favorability rating, 7%. this president won by over nine points back in 2016. 67% of republicans say they would definitely vote for trump. 18% said they would consider somebody else, 9% saying they definitely will vote for someone else. the most interesting elements of the whole poll, though, is what do respondents actually want to hear from the president as he enters the 2020 campaign? let's take a look at that. how should president trump campaign for his reelection? 90% say focus on his accomplishments. only 4% say attack his opponents. that might be different from where the president is, but
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listen to this. he's done it before. z >> the economy is very ve, very stroon strong. if you look at the stock market, it's doing great and since my election it's up 40%. the border wall, we're doing a good job. we're actually going over recommended numbers. with the wall, we wouldn't have to do it. i inherited a mess. it's straightened out a lot. we're doing very well there. >> look, i think the biggest risk politically in what he just said is placing so many chips on the stock market. that's a volatile, you know, play -- volatile plays, i should say, and it's a daring play by the president to do that. look, the fact is that we've seen dips in the market during
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his presidency, and he does not react well. why say that in march of 2019 and the period between now and the election? who knows what's going to happen in the market let alone the broader economy. >> ai have a prediction for you. this president looks for external metrics by which to gauge his success. look, if the stock market dips, he'll switch to another metric and point to that. he'll look at unemployment. he'll look at women's jobs, african-american unemployment, spanish unemployment. i think it's a hill he'll be able to surmount. >> if it looks like a recession isn't coming closer to reelection time, that's something to look at. 30% wanted him to face a 2020
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challenger. if you look at the challengers, the favorability or non-favorability, john kasich 45%, schultz, 61%, hogan 84%, weld, 81%. a lot of these guys weigh whether they're going to consider a challenge. >> i thought that was fascinating about the iowa poll. it's split between moderates and conservatives. more moderates would like a challenge for trump in the upcoming primary. the chances for success in a primary challenge are very small given the overall enthusiasm the president has in his base and that could be potentially damaging in a general election,s history does not it face well.
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>> every president lost in the fall going back to '76. that is the challenge he faces, not being beat but being wounded by a primary challenger. you're right, it's the moderate win of the party that doesn't like his conduct, doesn't like some of his policies. the problem for hogan or whoever is their would-be voters are now called democrats. many of the softer republicans have become democrats because they can't buy trump or trump m trumpism. >> rachel, the country is doing what it can to close the doors on any kind of challenge. >> i mean clearly everybody is
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watching the mueller report now, right? we don't know when that is many and there is another thing here, and that is the rnc is 100% behind the president right now. last time there was sort of stepstep -- skepticism about trump, he got a late start. they're talking about midwest florida, they're talking about volunteers and raising money, and there are campaign rallies in some of these states. so he has that infrastructure not to mention the base, and the support of the base, that will make it harder for anyone to slip. >> he won last time and any slippage, i think, is problematic for him. if you look at the last reelections, they were not sitting governors of the in
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party who were ultimately challenge primaries, let alone they're not a problem. maybe that doesn't beat him in the primary, but if you don't get those folks back for the general, there is no path for him back to the presidency. >> it's a great point, but rachel also makes a great point. he has an infrastructure. he did not have any infrastructure for the broad part of 2016. so they certainly have a much bigger head start. >> he's an incumbent. up next, could mayor de blasio become president de blasio? some of his closest aides not exactly hot on that idea. of soft-serve ice cream? i got cones, anybody wants one! oh, yeah! get ya some! no, i can't believe how easy it was to save hundreds of dollars on my car insurance with geico.
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topping our political radar, the president today saying what everyone thought was a slip of a tongue was actually his way of saving time. social media did what social media does and obsessed over the president referring to apple ceo tim cook as this. >> you've really put a big investment in our country. we appreciate it very much, tim apple. >> tim apple, there you go. the president today provided an explanation. it was, in fact, all about government efficiency saying, quote, long after formally introducing tim cook of apple i quickly referred to him as tim plus apple, as tim apple, as an easy way to save time and words. all righty, then. we can all sleep well tonight. bill de blasio for president. anyone? the new york mayor is toying with the idea but even some of his closest allies are against it.
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politico says a former de blasio aide laughed out loud and called the whole notion of a run, quote, insane. he also told de blasio he was crazy to run for mayor but he won. senator jones is asking about a potential rematch with roy moore. it derailed his cam in the 2016 election. the public said the idea of a resurfacing is a joke. >> watching the reaction of the republicans who supported him a couple years ago, and now they're talking about he's a flawed candidate, ya da, ya da, ya da, and it's kind of a comedy, but we'll be ready for it next spring.
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democratic senator kirsten gillibrand facing scrutiny about how she handled a sexual harrassment in her office. one of the women resigned in protest last summer. someone spo cnn spoke to an aide about this. what's happening right now? >> reporter: this is certainly not a good headline for gillibrand who has made a name for himself as a champion of the #metoo movement on capitol hill. she spent years fighting sexual harrassment in the military, on college campuses, changed how it's handling on capitol hill, and she comes under scrutiny of the handling of this case. the accuser of politico did not name her, was not able to
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identify her yet. we are trying to reach out to the staffer whofrs was accused, former staffer, who was accused of making sexually harassing remarks last summer. gillibrand's office said they handled this just as she has called for these situations to be handled. a statement from the senator herself says, these are challenges that affect all of our nation's workplaces, including mine, and the question is whether or not they're taken seriously. as i have long said when allegations are made in the workplace, we must believe women so that serious investigations can actually take place, we can learn the facts and there can be appropriate accountability. that's exactly what happened at every step of this case last year. i told her that we loved her at the time and the same is true today. of course, this staffer was not satisfied with that. but as this aide pointed out to me, what senator gillibrand and her ofrls sls ofrs office say,
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avoid this. they argue that they handled this case as it should have been handled and extensive investigation. they interviewed severn employees. they launched an investigation and did not find evidence of sexual harrassment in this case. phil? >> zita jones, new york. what's your read on what kind of happens next? >> i think her statement was interested because she said in there, this was handled properly, we looked into this and we moved on, basically. but here's the problem. the staffer stayed in her office since this incident occurred for months, and then when politico started asking questions about it, she dismissed that staffer. so that raises questions about did she actually handle this the correct way? for gillibrand, this is an issue that if she wants to run for president, this is going to be front and center. she talks about this often ever since she came to the senate.
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for military sexual harrassment when brett kavanaugh was getting confirmed, she was one of the most vocal critics saying, believe the women. so if that's her public position, prooifivately she's clearly got an issue here. >> she's a centerpiece not just of the political campaign but in her career. this is one thing she's tried to be in the forefront of. let's also remind folks about the role she played in al franken, calling for al resigna. that angered a lot of democrats, and they said, how did you handle this in your office? she'll have to answer questions about this at least today, in the coming days and weeks, and we'll see how others respond. one person who is not responding? al franken. i reached out to his office and no comment. up next, are democrats tired of waiting for beto?
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>> student: i did mine on volcanoes. >> teacher: you did?! oh, i can't wait to read it. >> tech vo: so when she had auto glass damage... she chose safelite. with safelite, she could see exactly when we'd be there. >> teacher: you must be pascal. >> tech: yes ma'am. >> tech vo: saving her time... [honk, honk] >> kids: bye! >> tech vo: she can save the science project. >> kids: whoa! >> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ . a big question for beto o'rourke this morning, how long is too long to wait? the progressive phenom still teasing a big announcement about his 2020 plans, but are would-be voters losing interest in the former texan congressman? too early in the polls, if you believe them, says his debating might be wearing too thin on voters. he is down 12% in voters or likely caucus goers. and there is a 6% drop in net
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favorability. if he jumps in the race, the media is going to be insane, and i assume that's going to bump all those numbers up. but you talk to everybody in the democratic party. are there real concerns his waiting is hurting him in any way? >> there's no question that putting this thing off has sort of tarnished his launch. the question is, how much does that tarnish actually stick to his candidacy? to your point, there will be a momentary issue that will be raised and will he enjoy the first week of coverage or will this be a long-term problem for him? what helps beto is he doesn't necessarily have to sign up big donors and land them early because that's not how he raises his money. there are still going to be enough staffers for him to hire. but you kind of do wonder if he would have come out of the gate stronger in january if he had seized that post-election big mo and gone into the first of the year as a candidate.
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this is where he could be right now in terms of the early polling and in terms of raising money. >> it also opens the door to generation x kind of throwing a nuclear missile in his way. politico says, quote, it's a bit much. the question is does he have a secret sauce no reporter, no operative, no strategist understands? or is this just "the beto show"? and if this is just "the beto show," there's a breaking point between strategy and knar narci. >> this might be okay if you're joe biden, but he doesn't have the status. it might go smoothly, but if he
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announces and there are freshman hiccups, i think the irritation that's being expressed right now to people like j-mart might be bad. >> beto o'rourke's image crafters say he's barack obama but white. useful discretions or threads in a lifelong pattern revealing an indelible sense of entitlement? with a charmed life like his, you can never really lose. that's why beto's running for president, because he can. >> i mean, and not declaring he's letting these more predominant voices, these republicans, to define him right now. but if he were to declare in january with everybody else sort of coming out and declaring for president at the same time, would that launch be sucked under the radar? he would be competing for
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headlines along with everybody else. so you have to wonder, maybe he is strategically waiting for that moment and building this moment for that plan. >> you were questioning the one issue that i think is probably more prominent, and that is no major policy accomplishment. is that the bigger issue that he faces at this point? >> obama didn't have a sort of big policy gain under his belt in '07-'08, and obviously it didn't hurt him. that plays into this larger issue of a younger man looking for office. yes, i think putting this thing off and appearing a bit hamlet-like, and then finally getting in after so many questions were dragging him out, i think it does hand his critics ammunition about what you saw in that ad, which is the sort of entitled privileged life where you have your opportunity to kind of do that and drag this thing out. he has creative fight for his
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rivals in doing that. if he gets out there and people swoon for his message come april, all will be forgotten. >> looks like he's getting in, i think. thank you for watching "inside politics." brianna keilar starts right now. thanks, phil. i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters. underway right now, as america's debt skyrockets, the president reveals his border plan, setting up a budget for his border wall. a number of investigations into president trump says robert mueller has made a big mistake. plus, two fox news hosts under fire, one for mysogenistic remarks, the other saying a jihad may be


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