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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  March 28, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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welcome to "inside politics." i'm phil mattingly. john king is off today. today house democrats ramping up the pressure on the attorney general to release what we now know is a more than 300-page mueller report. plus, senator cory booker sells his message and his personal story at the cnn town hall. plus, nancy pelosi just moments ago defending the committee chair from house republicans and president trump. she says she's proud of all the democratic committee chairs who are part of the process. >> adam schiff, elijah cummings, jerry nadler, maxine waters,
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richie neal -- oh, and there's a piece of this elliott angle. >> to be fair, it's a lot of committee chairs. you can forget one or two. democrats want to see the full unredacted version, all 300-plus pages, of the mueller report. just in the last hour, nancy pelosi with this warning. democrats won't take no for an answer. >> i can say this more clearly? show us the report. we have to see the facts. we have to see what the report is. and we do not need an attorney general whose job interview was that the president is above the law, that doesn't think a president can be indicted, to be our interpreter of something that he should just show us. >> now, the president says he'll leave the release up to his new attorney general, but that hasn't stopped him from lashing out at the media and targeting
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democrat adam schiff on television last night, then on twitter this morning. saying, quote, congressman schiff who spent two years knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking should be forced to resign from congress. schiff, who took over as chair of the house intelligence committee in january, says, attacks from the president, quote, are nothing new. and he's still insisting evidence shows the trump campaign did collude with russia. wheth whether mueller could prove any crimes were committed or not. >> i always said that the question of whether this amounts to proof of conspiracy was another matter. whether the special counsel could prove beyond a reasonable doubt the proof of that crime would be up to the special counsel and i would accept his decision, and i do. but i do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is okay. and the day we do think that's okay is the day we will look back and say that is the day america lost its way. >> cnn's manu raju joins us now from capitol hill.
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manu, it was only a couple days ago republicans and democrats seemed to agree we want to see the report on the top line. now it seems things are headed in a different direction. whael what's the latest now? >> reporter: democrats plan to ratchet up the pressure and call for the full mueller report. nancy pelosi made that clear in a press conference moments ago. they're not willing to converse with anything about adam schiff ready to go forward with an investigation, saying that there was collusion between trump and russ russia, saying the mueller probe did not conspire russian interference. i said, are you willing to accept there is no collusion? she would not say she was willing to accept that. in fact, she called the barr
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letter condescending, arrogant and demanded the full report. you're hearing the president call for adam schiff to step aside, saying they have no faith in his leadership, and the rhetoric intensifying rather remarkably over the last hour. nancy pelosi called devin nunez' behavior in the last congress almost criminal. a republican said they have absolutely no faith in adam schiff and he should resign as chairman. once again, the house intelligence committee divulging into partisan skwaquabbling, bu the department asking for the full report to be released. the question is how much will we see. >> this is the same as it's been for three years. manu raju on capitol hill, thank you very much. here with me right now to share their reporting, their insights,
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their scoops. michael scherer with the "new york times," michael warren and associated press's alana shore. i want to start with adam schiff. house republicans made it very clear they were going after him right away. take a listen to this exchange between two lawmakers, including adam schiff, during that hearing this morning. >> there is a different word for that than collusion, and it's called compromise. and that is the subject of our hearing today. mr. ambassador, you will be recognized for your opening statement. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i will not yield. >> you said some things we want to respond to. you should allow us to say what we think. >> you can use your five minutes. you attacked me in your opening statement. >> i have not had an opportunity to respond at all, especially to what you think. because nobody thinks that at all. you cannot speak for us. >> mr. attorney, you are not
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recognized. >> got all that? guys? everybody clear on where things stand? adam schiff, i believe, yesterday, announced that he is the front level chief for front line democrats of the party. he's not going anywhere. you heard from the speaker, you heard from everyone else. where are the republicans going here? what is their baseline move as we see all this? >> adam schiff has been one of the most vocal democrats in regards to all the ups and downs of the russian probe over the last two years because he's been in that position as top democrat on the house intelligence committee to see the information and to go as far as he can to talk about what he knows about the russia probe. but now republicans feel that he's been misleading, that he has lied considering what the barr summary of the mueller report is coming out. the point democrats are making is still pretty important, that we haven't seen the report. we haven't seen the 300-plus
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pages that the report spans and what exact kind of evidence and what kind of actual information that the special counsel examin examined. that's why you're seeing kind of this next big fight shift to the release of this report. i think that republicans feel adam schiff was too far out on his skis for much of the last two years, but democrats are hoping that what you see in that report, if and when it does come to light, will kind of back up some of their arguments. >> this is a delicate balance for pelosi. she's trying to manage a caucus where you have people like adam schiff who has been so out front on the issue of collusion. you have a large number of progressives who are still convinced. i think there is more to the story. she's able right now to say we need to see the full report, sort of this transparency play. then there are also the more moderate members of her caucus who want to move on. they want to be talking about health care which we'll talk about later, and some more
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pragmatic solutions on climate change. she's trying to balance this all out. this is a really tough thing for any leader to do. i think hiding -- really not hiding, but sort of saying that the issue right now is transparency, release this, gives her a little bit of breathing room on this issue, but it's not going to go away, and i think there is some concern that progressives may push more for more information, more probing, and that's going to be difficult for her. >> another place honestly where this balancing act is really helpful is the 2020 presidential race. across the capital you have six senators running for the nomination who are taking a similar tone to pelosi, saying let's be measured, let's wait until we see the full report, but not leading to the conclusion that some of pelosi's liberals are doing. this is helpful for some of the senators. >> it seemed like a pressure release to some degree, where this was all building up -- it wasn't the big takedown shot that people thought it might be. so for people running for president, they can say, we just
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want to see the report. but there is kind of an evolution of a sharper tone of how the report should be released. the attorney general made clear there will be redactions regarding some material, but take a listen to what the president had to say about the attorney general last night. >> our new attorney jegeneral bl barr is a great gentleman and i've heard about him for years. he's a great -- he's a great man. had he been there initially, this all would not have happened because what's gone on there is a disgrace to our country. i personally didn't want to involve myself in this whole thing. i wanted to let other people do it. and i wish it didn't take so long. >> so i obviously don't work in the justice department, but i don't think that was necessarily helpful to the attorney general as he goes through this entire process, but kind of how does -- you cover the administration, mike? how does the administration kind of deal with this moment? >> i think in some ways the
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administration, in their exuberance of the first few days of the mueller report coming on, sarah sanders and all the top aides have said in over the top language that there is no evidence of collusion, no evidence of obstruction of justice. and at the same time the president and the aides have sort of generally said, we are happy, we're fine with the report to be released. and so, you know, they are in a position where at some point there will probably be some ut,- redactions, there will be things we won't see. if it's more than 300 pages long, there will be a lot we will see. and the question will be it's hard to imagine a report that has the kind of evidence we all know is in there. we've been reading about this for the last couple of years. it's hard to imagine how a lot of that evidence doesn't undercut the message that the administration has been putting forward over the last couple of days.
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so they're going to have to deal with that in the backlash that that could -- >> it was undeniably a strategic effort to get out in front and frame this the way they did, and the framing certainly took a couple days, but there are more issues to drop on this in terms of the report at some point. >> the short-term gain you get from good headlines they clearly got for the first few days. sometimes that doesn't last over the long term. >> we'll see. up next, the house minority leader kevin mccarthy really doesn't want to talk about his health care conversation with the president. ♪ "i'm okay." ♪ ♪
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the republican party will be the party with great health care, you watch. >> and preexisting conditions and choices? >> all included. we'll have preexisting conditions, absolutely. >> the president may have said it's going to be great but there's actually no plan out there yet. a senior white house official told cnn the white house has no fresh plan to replace the affordable care act despite striking down the full law last week. however, they plan to have some kind of replacement sometime this year. if you ask a democrat on the hill what they think of that strategy, they might quite literally start laughing. here's congressman joe kennedy. >> they have no plan. they haven't had a plan. republican colleagues will concede they don't have a plan. there is no concrete decision from any republican in congress that if this court case is successful, what would happen next? >> so, look, they've had plans. they tried plans.
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the house has passed plans when the house was controlled by republicans. the house is no longer controlled by republicans, it is controlled by democrats. the senate was never able to figure a way out. i'm going to steal a story from this morning which is good. the framework as i understand it, the officials who support it, it is promises made, promises kept, let's make clear we're going to repeal and replace things. from republicans on capitol hill, it's, oh, my goodness, what are you doing right now? is that fair? >> basically. i've talked to allies of the president about the health care issue in the last couple days, and he also kind of hinted at this in his free-wheeling lunch with senate republicans earlier this week, but he sees health care as the one kind of unfulfilled campaign promise. he went as far as he could on the wall. he's cut taxes, he's done other things. the judiciary has been transferred. so he's done a lot of that but health care has been his struggle. he's been fixated on that since the repeal failed in the senate
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in 2017, which is why he's so focused on it right now. but certainly correct, like republicans particularly on capitol hill are not eager with this. but i will say that because it is a live issue now, it is in the courts, it is in the fifth circuit currently, it will almost certainly make its way up to the supreme court, and at the end of the day, we don't know how the supreme court is going to rule, so i do think republicans have to have a plan at some point. should it be struck down by the courts? i think that's part of the argument that republicans say, we should do health care, that's kind of what they've been arguing, but there's no doubt politically this is a really tough situation for republicans. look at the senate map in 2020. you've got susan collins who has been very vocal on this issue. cory gardner and tom tillis who when we asked about the doj filing earlier this week just kind of backtracked and said, we need a plan with similar conditions. they don't have a plan. >> democrats are really giddy
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about this opportunity. they view what happened in 2018 wasn't about trump for them, and particularly the districts they won from republicans. it was about health care. it was about pushing this message in those districts. they're sort of licking their lips and saying, yes, let's get into this and really have a debate about this. the president, on the other hand, seems to be approaching this from a, this is important to fulfill my campaign promise and we'll figure out the details later. you're seeing this not just from members on capitol hill but so-called conservative health care experts are going, well, there has to be a plan. the problem in 2017 was there was no plan the republicans sort of unified around. what john mccain ended up going thumbs down on was not really the ideal for what republicans wanted. so this is a problem that republicans haven't figured out a solution yet, and here they go. >> it's also impossible to understate how great the timing is for republicans right now.
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when the bill barr summary came out, they took this nuanced approach of, wait, let's not have an opinion until we hear what mueller said in full, and all of a sudden they get a gift. they're like, wait, what voters really talk about when i'm out campaigning is health care, and they're not wrong. >> it's not crazy for republicans to want to deal with health care. they saw what happened in 2018. they got clobbered by it. the problem is the same problem for republicans since not even when the trump administration came in, but since obama went into place and they've been preaching about this idea of repeal and replace for how many years, they never had the replace. they never did the work to figure out what are they going to replace it with? it's a difficult process. it reminds me of a different issue. i talked to a lawmaker years ago on a completely different issue, and i said, what's your plan? he leaned in really close and
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said, there is no plan. that's the plan. it makes no sense. >> but it's also a really good point. this is a very complicated subject. if you poll people on this subject, this is in the top one or two of what they care about. what republicans want to do is roll back on medication expansion, roll back a new entitlement. if you go over the course of the last 80 years in the united states of america, it's
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. a senior white house adviser and the president's son-in-law jared kushner just spotted on capitol hill. manu raju is there because manu raju is everywhere. manu, tell us what you know at this point in time. >> reporter: this was an unexpected development. we were not expecting jared kushner to come back to the senate intelligence committee today, but we saw him leaving this committee room just moments ago after senators on the senate intelligence committee spent the morning interviewing him. we do know that for some time that the democrats and -- mostly the democrats but some republicans, too, wanted to reinterview kushner after he first met with committee staff back in 2017 as part of this committee's russia investigation. now, there's been a lot that has happened since then. there were a lot of developments and that members, and particularly mark warner, the top democrat on the committee, has wanted to reinterview jared kushner. he also wanted to reinterview
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other key players, such as donald jr., someone who just met with staff. it's not clear whether that would happen or not. richard burmester, the chairman of the committee, never said if it would happen. they are trying foinish up the russia investigation in the aftermath of bill barr's letter to congress saying it did not establish that the trump campaign coordinated or conspired with the russian government. burmester let out a statement saying he expected this investigation to end within a couple months. i asked him about that. he said he still has not seen any evidence to support the notion there is collusion. democrats are not willing to go there yet. mark warner would not say to me earlier whether or not the trump campaign colluded with russia. he said he wants to see the full mueller report. but kushner being here signed
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with the investigation. >> the senate intelligence committee, really the only bipartisan investigation on capitol hill into russian meddling still ongoing at this moment with jared kushner. up next, how cory booker is drawing the line between himself and other democrats. but first a quick look as to how he's trying to keep it light. >> i'm worried about where this is going. is this cnn or tmz? >> it's very clear you're involved with fitness. >> he's the only one here in a short-sleeved shirt. i believe that you should register your guns. it's the kind of big where you'll never have to ask, "should i scooch up?" it's big that looks at a sunroof and wonders why it can't just be most of the roof. it's big that's better because we built it that way.
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senator cory booker got his chance to grab the spotlight in the crowded 2020 stage last night in cnn's latest town hall. he talked at length about education, health care, immigration, and for his support for charter schools. some of his answers got very personal, like this one on how he would deal with gun violence. >> i think i'm the only person in this race that has had shootings on their block. this is very personal to so many of us, me, because i'm a black man and black males are 6% of the nation's population, but they make up the majority of homicide victims in this country. i am tired of going to funerals where parents are burying their children. so i am going to bring a fight, we are going to bring a fight like the nra has never seen.
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>> look, we see him a lot on capitol hill, and i know every candidate wants that type of forum, but certainly senator booker's team wants that type of forum. they want him out there answering questions. >> i guess the question i have is where does he slot in at this moment in this very large snefi? >> have been been on the trail with him, i think he's very comfortable with this role of sleeper for now. he's been to many events, although in iowa, they can include many events. much like warren, he considers himself a real grassroots candidate. it showed how heartfelt he is, right? when he's engaged in an issue, he's engaged, he brings his whole self. he amplified where he really connected. >> some of the reform plans that he outlined during the town hall
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last night, you can kind of tick through them and see where he is. criminal justice reform, wants to expunge things like marijuana. that's something the democrats support. lower health care to 35. green new deal, bold vision, that's what we need. public schoolteachers, forgive their debt, raise their salaries. that's what kamala harris has put out so far but something most democrats would agree with. and policywise, he seems to be in a slightly different place than maybe some of the further left contenders. what's your sense on that? >> i was listen to go that answer about gun violence and obviously focused on an urban setting and that's where cory booker lives, but it also seemed to be targeted toward suburban women. the focus on the nra, i thought, was very interesting. this is something democrats -- nra used to endorse a lot of
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democrats. that has shifted, that has changed as the parties have changed and the party's values on this question have subtly shifted away, and i think the big part of this is the point cory booker seems to be making, you talked about education, all these other issues that appealed to women, white suburban women, and i noticed in that town hall it was a white woman who was nodding her head as cory booker was talking about the deaths of young black men from gun violence. that seems to be the lane he's going for. not as liberal as the far left of the party but a shift in where the party's domestic policy is. >> he's been careful in the past, especially when there's been so much attention, for example, kamala harris saying she would support eliminating private insurance on the pathway to a medicare for all system. he's been careful to say he doesn't quite endorse all those because he is very aware of the perilous politics around health care. and again, like going back to one of our earlier points, to
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taking away something from voters that people like. i think he's been one of the folks who has been trying to carefully navigate that. >> he's got relationships with republicans on capitol hill, he's pragmatic about that. i also liked his answer about reparations which has been primary in the democratic party so far. take a listen. >> can i tell you why i'm disappointed by this reparation conversation? because it's been reduced to just a box to check on a presidential list. i want to make sure that we are dealing with the problem. that's why i support hr-40 which is a bill in the house that would bring together the best minds in america to deal with this issue. not only trying to right the scales from past harms but make sure we are a country that creates a more beloved community where all dignity and humanity is affirmed. >> it's interesting, i think we in the sort of washington bubble tend to focus a lot on the specifics and how people line up on specific policy options or
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specific house bills or senate bills. i think especially in this early stage of the game, and this is something that cory booker kind of understands, you can tell, sort of, at any level, it's about connecting. it's about connecting at a macro level somehow with the democratic party at large and who is going to spark, who is going to have that spark that makes the party sort of wake up and say, wow, that person. but also, as he goes to iowa and later, it's sort of person to person. it's in these small events. he's clearly already got that, but he's honing that ability to make that connection. i think that's much more important than the sort of specifics of -- you know, he's clearly in -- >> it's also about not getting boxed in. >> on the specifics, hr-40, elizabeth warren, that's also her position. it was a great answer, his best of the night, because he cut through the bubble talk and put himself exactly where the others are. >> it's interesting to talk
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about spark, a sleeper candidate. cory booker down 2%. obviously he's very much in play at this point in time but not huge numbers. look who is right next to him. >> pete but tirkstigieg, up to parse. keep an eye on pete. michael bennett talking about his 2020 plans. >> i'm very inclined to do it, and we're looking at it. look, the american pope need somebody who is going to run and tell them the truth in 2020. >> your decision, i understand, has absolutely nothing to do with whether joe biden gets in the race or not, is that true? >> it has absolutely nothing to do with the vice president's decision. k great in our new house. ahh, new house, eh? well, you should definitely see how geico could help you save on homeowners insurance. nice tip. i'll give you two bucks for the chair.
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credit to the presidential candidate amy klobuchar for her plan to tackle a long list of issues if she's elected. she said internet, infrastructure and high-speed rail would be her top priorities. i guess one of the biggest questions is how is she proposing right now to pay for a very ambitious plan? >> you're right, when we talk about this, we're talking about a.t. here. she said she's going to take on the third rail, essentially tax reform, if you lower it from 25% to 21%, every point that it's lowered is $100 billion. she talks about closing up some of the loopholes and changes that can be made to enforce the tax law. so that was the main point that she had. but phil, we know that previous
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presidents covering george w. bush talked about an infrastructure package. we heard it from president obama, now we hear it from trump. she calls it a mirage that has not paid for another trump administration, but this is where all candidate say they can make a difference, cross the partisan divide and get something done in this country. so i asked the senator what would make it any different if she were in the white house. >> it's been so long neglected and someone has to take the lead on infrastructure, and why not the person that lives a mile away from the bridge that fell down in the middle of the country. that's my first answer. the second is, of course, health care. i have come down strongly on bringing down pharmaceutical prices and introducing a bill. you need commitment from congress to be able to pay for this. and i want to lay this out as a marker.
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>> she prides herself, phil, as you know, as being somebody who is practical, who is pragmatic that this is part of it as well, but there are some people who might actually criticize this and say maybe she's playing it safe. this is not medicare for all, it is not blowing up the electrical college or some of these other ideas, the new green deal from other people who have signed on to that. so she counters that and she says she thinks this is something that can get done, but she's also depending on a new congress, a new senate to actually push those tax reforms we talked about earlier through, to actually get those dollars to make it happen. and phil, as you know, she's going to be traveling to iowa as well as nebraska over the weekend to push for this, and she says she's uniquely qualified because she knows from minnesota, from the state right next door, a lot of problems very similar to those in iowa among those voters when it comes to the potholes, the bridges. those type of things she believes she will connect with rural america, with the midwest voters in pushing this forth, and she believes this is the
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winning platform for her very first policy initiative. phil? >> it's fascinating to watch the policy proposals roll out, and particularly this one. something everyone generally agrees on but hasn't gotten over the finish line yet. why the trump campaign chose michigan for his rally tonight. . flonase allergy relief is different. flonase relieves sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose, plus nasal congestion, which pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances. most pills only block one. and 6 is greater than 1. start your day with flonase for more complete allergy relief. flonase. this changes everything.
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counsel probe, and he's pre viewing his message, where else, on twitter. he tweeted this this morning. quote, we'll be talking about many exciting things happening to our country, but also the car companies and others that are pouring back into michigan, ohio, pennsylvania, north and south carolina and all over. it was one of the stunners of the 2016 election, piercing the blue wall along with states like pennsylvania and wisconsin. where the president is going is actually pretty important. he's going tonight to grand rapids. take a look at the top line of what president trump did in michigan. a stunner, winning just shy of 11,000 votes. the president tonight will be going to grand rapids. western michigan is more or less considered republican country. this isn't a place where you flip votes, this is a place where you need to run up margins. if you take a look at what the president did in kit county back in 2016, he won just shy of about 10,000 votes.
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mitt romney in 2012 won by 23,000 votes. but that was enough when you talk about mccomb county, a county president trump won by 15,000 votes when president obama won it by 12 or 15,000 votes. but why the president is going to grand rapids is to try and keep those voters that are supposed to be traditionally republican with him. why is that important at this point in time? take a look at where the state is right now when you look at the polling. if the election were held today, an early march poll, 39% of those in michigan polled said they would vote to replace trump. 30% said they would vote to re-elect trump. you hear about the sun belt for democrats and potentially open states. michigan is a must-win for president trump if he wants to get to the 272 electoral votes. that's a problem. why that might be happening? direction of the country. 52% say the country is headed in the wrong track on the michigan
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poll, only 36% say it's headed in the right direction. what that means is obviously the president and his team have some work to do in the state of michigan. to be clear, polls in michigan weren't necessarily on track back in 2016. i think hillary clinton on average was about three or four points ahead by the time the election actually occurred, but president trump made clear he was in grand rapids before the election, efhe was there after e election. in kit county, let's go to the government's race. flipped democrat 2015. the first time a state democrat won this county in more than two decades. that might be the primary reason the president is headed there. as for the promises he made, take a look at what he said after the election in december. >> i'm here tonight for one main reason, to say thank you to the incredible people of michigan.
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we're going to bring back your jobs, we're going to bring back your jobs, and we will never, ever let you down, believe me. >> michigan was a stunner at the time. what he did in mccomb county was jaw-dropping. but i think there are clearly some signs to at least an early strategy here to going to a part of the state where republicans need to turn out if he wants a shot again. >> it's not just a problem with turning out these republican areas in the western part of the state. republicans also have a problem in some of those suburbs of detroit where republican members, long-time republican members of those sort of suburban areas in wayne county, oakland county, lost in 2018 to democrats. those districts have been in republican hands for a long time. he didn't win those counties in 2016, trump didn't, but he needs to sort of the maintain almost parody with where he was in 2016. so that's a different message to the suburbs where technology, health care, those are the big
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industries, not sort of manufacturing the way that he is sort of talking about in grand rapids. >> most presidencies, most white houses are pretty disciplined about not just campaigning towards the end, not just doing the rallies at the end but in crafting a message from day one. from the minute you get into the oval office, trying to craft a message that appeals to a broader base, right? yes, you need to tend to your base. barack obama went and spoke to places where liberals were, but that you try to craft policies that broaden that, that speak to those moderate republicans in the suburbs, for example. trump has done virtually none of that since he's been in office. the administration has just, you know, essentially had a base-building sort of discussion strategy from day one, and the question will be, you know, he's obviously got to do the base but can he, you know -- is it enough
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and can he pivot in both the actual campaigning, but in also governing. can he do things that will appeal to his base? >> you see what the president has done so far and you have florida, you have michigan. i'm sure pennsylvania will be coming soon, perhaps a visit to wisconsin. this is the path. i could be wrong. maybe there's some surprise state out there, but this seems to be the path if he has any shot in 2020. he surely does -- >> if you look at where democrats are, they're doing a lot of early state stuff for 2020. we haven't seen this sustained attention to the type of messaging that really breaks through to this area of the country. a lot of it is positioning on liberal royalties. >> there are 20 democratic candidates that have planned trips to michigan, but given where they are policywise right now and given where they are on early states. you see senator gillibrand,
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senator klobuchar, kamala harris, beto o'rourke, john delaney, andrew yang, do you try to put yourself there and x yourself out of the other states? >> i'm sure they will go after georgia and arizona before you lock up these midwestern states. >> it clearly gives the president a clear lane to attract these early voters. his tweet this morning when he referenced the car, the auto industry in michigan, reminded me of another potential looming problem, these potential tariffs on foreign automakers that the administration is definitely considering. however, really being warned off by that by congressional republicans who are worried about the broader ripple effects
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on the economy, and the economy has been a huge strength for the president, and they're worried he could undercut that. >> european autos with tariffs. pay attention to that. that's going to come up a lot. brianna keilar starts right now. >> i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters. underway right now, the man who is holding the mueller report won't commit to releasing more than just the cliff notes and democrats are growing more impatient. nine years and still no plan for a concrete replacement for obamacare. the president says kill it, anyway, and we'll come up with something in a matter of months. the prosecutors' arguments are not adding up and the feds say they will be examining the case of jussie smollett. and the may por on the rise.

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