tv Allen Salkin and Aaron Short The Method to the Madness CSPAN September 9, 2019 6:40am-8:01am EDT
and have the story to tell. because this causes profile to rise over the years. the party at that time i think was divided. in the sense that the previous canada was this bombastic i have the baseball bat i'm going around the state. a very conservative kind of like a trumpet before a trump. this is carl paladino. there is the wing of the republican party that wanted someone more fiery. they wanted someone to show up with the baseball bat. the safe act have passed.
a cause of the couple guys who were really not influential the way the process works is you have to get the support of the county chairs to get on the ballot. when the trump stuff started surfer is seen rob have a relationship with them. have met. they have a golf course in westchester. and we were getting a lot of feedback at the time that no one else viewed this run
seriously and it was sort of these conversations happening on parallel tracks. most try to get together and see if we can hash this thing out. and we went into trump tower to meet with him. and it was a very gracious meeting. the take away was that trump wanted to run for president. there are these guys that are pushing him to run for governor. our strategy kind of going and was to call the fluff a little bit. in terms of is he really serious.
i will run for president and then you become the governor and isn't that the greatest thing ever. that was a conversation that they have. the people recording this probably did not dealing with with the subway noise. >> dick morris was supposed to be here and he got stuck on a train that stopped outside of delaware for an hour and a half. what you were completely are completely opposed to this idea of trump running for governor and how did this come to you. >> we took the initial meeting as a courtesy for michael caputo who had worked for carlo paladino.
he was very evangelical very religious the type of election he was telling me in new york was absolutely ridiculous and i have to load the room up and i got some other people in there. i can run for mayor now. they did what was best to tell them that this was going to be an easy race. once he won this. it would be a cakewalk. an injury could be beat. at that all of it was untrue. after the initial meeting.
he thinks it is the best thing he's ever heard and he wanted to parlay that into running for mayor. which jessica can attest to. the guy who is now in jail. wanting to be mayor. he might have been may have been interested in lieutenant governor. the bottom line is that he went from 2011 when he was technically still number one in the gallup poll. from the white house correspondent center. he went from saying how do i get out of this thing. not realizing the backlash she was can get from the tea party
when he announced at the suites in 2011 people like me and roger were to say that he have no chance to beat barack obama. he felt used by the romney campaign a lot of people don't remember this in the primary. i don't dequeue what i got the nomination if trump have not helped him to be rick santorum of all people. what i'm getting to is that at that point he said i run for governor i win or i lose i get this out of my system. he thought it would be an easier race. the irony of it. it was can be more expensive for him than running for
president. the entire cycle. seventy if you count that. in the last week. than the general. what would have lost by 20 points. one of the reasons is that he was a master at pre- media. it's very cheap. it is amazing. it is cheaper than running state wide races. the debates don't cost anything except airfare for you in your staff.
aaron and i both. i looked in a lot of publications. i knew trump have interviewed them back back in the '90s. the confrontational items. blasting people one of the things i talked about in the book. that mastery of page six in the daily news and newsday were great news. you did a little bit of a piece of new york magazine ray tried out for the prentice something was supposed to be funny with the journalism. my editor called me in one day and said try out for the
apprentice and i got fired immediately. kind of some trivia based on what subsequently happened. you don't know this. my entire job was to just take a page six item and try to make it funny in some way. i think people live in new york and they know this. it's surprising to see national and political press about it. he's not particularly good at it that he's plain playing 3d tips. he understands how to get a reaction. gave an explanation that i think is crap.
his father was very abusive. they would say things to try to get the father off the back. anything that would work. he would just double down on it. and if you think about it in that way. it explains the inconsistency in what they said. he gets a reaction. he doubles down on it. i don't think it's that complicated. but that he is that media savvy. this was one other things that i couldn't do. my relationship to him i worked for him diligently for four years. i don't think he would have a run for president or have a
campaign. when fox news handed him the primary he was can be the nominee over chris. and then you see people like that seen something he did. this is a 3d chess you just don't understand. you are not smart enough. there are instances but they are rarer and rarer as time goes by. we keep talking about the tweets. i don't know when this is can a show where he told the four congresswomen to go back to where they came from my feeling of that is that he read the column. in the morning he saw the one
the week the full before. four before. and he just tweeted it out. now as it plays out later today. he may have fallen into something that could end up helping him politically. we are sitting here in new york city. there is that you do need luck but most people get lucky by the same people time and time again. by the same people time and time again. there is a method to the madness. and why do you say i hate to keep asking you. why do you say that he would not had run if it wasn't for you. >> i don't think he would've
had i was thought up in my industry as crazy one working for donald trump who nobody liked or respected. or thought that he was going to win the primary. in trying to recruit people. we don't do this anymore any cycles. it used to be that there used to be a big story. it's really irrelevant. the idea that he was going if it was just michael: and he was gonna sit there and do regular media it was hard to get him to hire people to bring staff in. to take time and seriously.
heading into 2015 and 2016. especially the republican primary. in the lot of other candidates at that time that he was trying to get their same votes. it was can be difficult to keep him wanting to run and spend money in to give him a budget where you said juergen have to spend around three to $5 million before you go down the escalator. it's hard to explain that. >> one thing. we give credit to someone that worked there. i think because trump paid him more money than he have ever paid me was willing to respect him.
push him to do a lot of events. once he saw the schedule and in the grind. i think he was still willing to try this out. he was dug in. in one of the things i remember. the scene when same way i tried to manipulate the process. make sure you don't accept his offer offer. what it one of the things we have to do with him was make sure if it had hurt his business. >> this thing started and you have the observer here. he thought if he was number one i was told he was gonna do
apprentice. he have lost apprentice the week after his announcement. the irony is that that helped him and made him a stronger candidate in the republican -- republican primary. he fell into something. there is a method to the madness. it was also the events himself think of your questions. have an idea get shut down. come back for minutes later.
aaron and i even out where this far part we are good friends and were very happy with how the book turned out. it's very interesting to hear you talk we really could not had done as well without you. for me i think this was the best for my story personally in this book. the interesting thing about this book you will have insights for a lot of different reasons. the determination he have after not running for governor that he was gonna do it no matter what.
the fact that he have never done it and everyone thought that that was a fake out over and over again it turns out he wasn't. he just tested the waters year after year and the waters didn't feel good. and he pulled out. he always said way back i will not run if i don't think i can win. his account of calling you and back tingling please discourage this is us accurate. that was the thing there was a lot of drama starting to build. an anchor anger building towards a state republican chairman. there were sides being taken. he said to us. point blank. roger told me not to do this. that was kind of our signal knowing that roger was as
closest advisor i think if rob thought he was serious about running he might have have a different posture towards challenging him and calling his bluff a little bit. but knowing that story and hearing that through back channels. that gave him the confidence to forge through and say i'm running. if we need to have a primary will do that. with that they did not declare. he was closer than paladino. he got shellacked in the city. he ended up losing his next race for westchester county.
after that governor's campaign hit a run for reelection than there was a presidential campaign and then 2017 he was supportive of trump throughout the campaign. and that was really used against him and his reelection. and when asked to mark two more quick questions that go across. people that trump is polarizing. we try to discuss the strategy of what he was doing but people bring up the horrible pictures and all of the other things that people are generally afraid of trump in what he is doing. do you feel some sense of responsibility i'm asking this
because i think people are thinking this. as somebody who supported him. how could any woman support him given the charges that have been put against him. i will take me out of the equation a little bit. looking back on it it was a very surreal i focus a lot on new york politics rather than national. it's surreal to have the series of events impacted if rob decided not to run he probably never would've run for president. it has has a historical impact every decision that you make. that was weird looking back on it to say while i was sitting in that meeting with the three of us.
i think the answer was definitely no. we did not see that coming. that's life. i'm not upset that rob ran for governor that decided to stand his ground. as part of the great story and telling of the apprentice that really brought trump as you discussed into the focus of most of america. do you feel guilty or something i know you don't support him now about being a part of a show that is the key thing that got him as it was happening that compelled me to
write the book. about a year before he won in november. he is so needy that he channels that hole in his heart or that need into getting buy-in from anyone he can. it's sort of works pretty well in a primary its extremes. he of the most extreme part of the electorate. i did feel some sense of responsibility about it. it certainly was a funny story. at cell longer as no longer as funny anymore.
there was so much evidence that we were hiring a clown and a very large percent of the population wanted to hire it. you know what. i want to hire the clown anyway. put her in jail. we got to vote for her. it i don't know that anyone should feel surprised at what we got that is somewhat of a bomb for the small role that i played it's the fact that there should not had been much surprise with his tweets on sunday or anything else that we got. when you were starting. it was not what it have become. you should not be held responsible. it was great when you're writing it.
should you had stayed at the observer longer and fought from the inside. >> when i was at the endure. still a democrat and i was doing fundraisers. i have never written anything positive about donald trump. i feel to see how i could've been more critical. putting fox news in the same category i think you'll had to hold individual outlets responsible. there is no broad media. if you think of media as anything that you consume. the apprentice is media.
so is 99 percent of facts in my opinion. and i don't think you can make that kind of generalization. sam, do you ever look at that and had battles of conscience. i'm not saying that you should i'm curious when you see him now how do you take it. >> i look at him as a referendum on washington. it would've been much easier for me in 2012 have a work permit romney again i saw him walking in 2011 and he gives a speech. i felt the way. he doesn't have any supporters in this room.
i think he was a referendum on them. in terms of him not being prepared for the presidency i would agree with that i think he thought it would be great to win but you can never get him to talk about what it would be like to be president. look, i'm a republican. i'm in a sort port his reelection. that's it they've come about. you're not really get to see the big type of change until 2024. >> let's do some questions.
as trump is trumpet in a win in 2020. >> objectively he should. subjectively who knows because he could screw anything up. every incumbent gets reelected. and the opposite. i think that has to do with hillary herself. in the amount of people that voted all democratic. >> i do think he likely win reelection. i think he's done a good job defining the democrats. and been for socialism. i think that will ultimately prevail. not much he can do to screw it up.
the trade deficits he looks at differently. i think american hegemony hegemony/nationalism something you frequently said to me was an part of it was his own selfishness. why are we looking and helping other people around the world when we have all of these people that don't work. i do think he was concerned about the direction of the country. as a patriotic 1950s 1960s view of america. i would just add also i think the stock market gains have been really validating for him as well. one of the things they did. going back to 2000.
i think he doesn't necessarily appreciate them as much. what he would call the forgotten man and woman. it is about the direction of the country for him once again. i think there you would see where you would get him. he would take those conversations seriously yes he cares about america as a whole. that's how i would answer that. i always got the sense from him that he genuinely does love people. he has a need to want to be liked and engaged with. if he is getting that. i think that's like a drug for him almost. i think he does genuinely care.
he values relationships and i think he values seeing problems and wanting to be the person to fix them i was got the sense that it was definitely. during the election cap campaign. you set three articles. with the primary. they were all more qualified than he was. because of his irrational lists. is there a fatigue factor of that. when we were pitching this book we have some resistance
and we are trying to sell the book. many people at that time assumed that he would not still be president in the year and half. he didn't really want to win. he just wanted a tv network. or he would resign or be impeached by that time. i knew from this. it's been going on since the late 1970s. he holds our attention. he is really good at media. look at us here. we are trying to figure out what happened how is he in was he in all of our head. his most famous person who ever lived. there was nowhere on the earth where his face is not. >> i would disagree with that. >> that doesn't surprise me. there are certain things about
the way that the words are set up that were not structurally equipped to deal with trump. i worked in journalism for a long time. you are devoting equal resources they tend to move towards the center and here there was a total asymmetry they had one scandal e-mail that's it. the ten trumpet reporters chasing 60 different threats. that structure and that conveying to readers that these e-mails are really important. this is not happened before. we have not have a presidential cycle where that
is the case. it's a structural problem. i don't think they set out to say in the interest of fairness. we have somebody like that. there is just a lot of dirt and stuff that happens it really sort of mutates the news cycle. >> i think one of the things that he did really successfully was he broke every rule. everything i would advise a candidate to do or not to do what he would do. he put himself out there. did press conferences and answered questions. she have reporters behind ropes as they were campaigning
the other republicans in the race were guilty of the same thing. he broke all of that and then people were responding to my reading to it. he will get up there and just feel the questions. it was refreshing and different. he was given direct access to people when they were retreating and getting everything in a very controlled way. i think that cause a lot more attention. the lack of control was the way that they were able to get media into the system. when they looked during the presidential race and they think they get a lot more money. they point to that and strategy.
i think it as a function of a campaign. they were allowed to do pretty much whatever they wanted. that is the model on the republican side and the other side. they just do whatever they want whenever they want. he is more provocative. i want to see more. it was a slippery slope in that way. we seem to forget. he lost the popular vote. he would not had one but for your mark the third and fourth party keep cake and a devoting then you have since 1986. and that's when we go back to whether he is in a win reelection. it's very tough for him to win
reelection. i agree with you on the blue wall. it will be tough. when i get back to a method to the madness. it's also about luck and some things he's not going to be able to do when you get to exasperation with him. a lot of it will be decided in the suburbs with women. i don't think he will get a hundred percent of what he got last time. he got really good numbers. by the way. that really was the first political one of i'm a
political aide. i wasn't really sure how to respond. going back to a few weeks. it was you and roger i don't even know if corey was there yet. did you guys anticipate that he would be able to generate the earned media. >> heated i didn't. i was 100% wrong. i didn't know what he really thought. when they were talking about the amount of media he would generate i thought what was
can happen come november to december when everybody starts putting their fire on you how are you can to survive. because of a lack of imagination by the republican intelligence. eva quote in this book. anybody that works for trump is always a scoundrel are not as smart or this or that. there is a lot of offense around trump. when i have seen from 2008 and 2012 and others can attest to this on this panel was that the people that were considered the smartest in your field was really a loser.
have they targeted him in november of 2015 have there been a concerted effort. and it just didn't go through the strategy. i think he could've lost the republican primary. people always ask me about you and that crazy date when day when you were on every television channel. he seemed very sober and smart. people must ask you about that day all the time. what was going on. >> i was given two subpoenas i was told by the people they called me the fbi wanted to come meet with me. the fbi was willing to come meet with me. they delay the meeting to go
into the first meeting is nine hours. i lick the whole thing out to the press. i don't do anything in the entire weekend. i look at it on monday morning what is this how am i supposed to produce 10,000 documents at that it was can be. i decided to get everything out of this. i think when i was sitting there i was sweating all outta me.
i have done when you work with other candidates and people. i didn't necessarily go into working for donald trump scene i wanted to come up with this. the reason i did was because they had fired me. i worked on that campaign for all of the six weeks. if you apologize to john mccain were out. you'll be out of the selection so fast. stick i don't need to be lectured. and everybody said this is my favorite. in conservative media. never apologize.
we finally don't apologize. i say it when i can apologize screw you. i'm sitting in the office. that's tough. i don't know if it's can work. i just thought the experience for me that it head for a lot of people. it ended up terribly. if i said survived the entire campaign you guys would know. i want to be part of his reelection anyway. it's water under the bridge. you get a curse out the president your national tv all day. i hope this is a special day for you as well. i really am enjoying this.
he actually went out of his way to learn my name in all of that. from my time. here at me a letter after i got fired. thanks for coming on the show. it's not that he was racist. he is just so needy. he recognizes that there is a large percentage of the audience that this is red meat for. they hear these comments. i've heard all my life not so much recently as a become older and more successful where you really from. go back to india. nothing for a lot of people almost triggered by hearing this language and is not just
the go back from sunday. it's the litany of stuff. there is a lot of justifications have you talked about 3,000 federal hires. there is all of these things. there's also a lot of stuff he's doing and that's really destructive to the social fabric. i talked to my aunt when they came over and 62. he ended up looking on the working on the space shuttle to the men. they go out at night except when two of their kids were born. they could not be seated at some restaurants. in the course of interviewing her last month she told me she hadn't thought about so many of those things except for when trump ran for office in it all started coming back when he started talking about racist all the way up to go back to where you're really from.
the stuff really resonates of people who have dealt with this stuff and it's really destructive. did i think he should know better and i think he knows this is red meat for races. absolutely. if you say racist things you are probably racist. i would maintain that his behavior far predates his campaign in his presidency. if you know anything about him in new york the way his company there is no way you could reach any other conclusion. unfortunate. this is another example of how the media is just unprepared for someone like trump. >> in the book we have an account from our up and his
this producer who says that when that decision was being made about who to hire in the first season of the apprentice and came down to the african-american and the white guy. he was asked by the producers before the camera have started with a buy and an word winning. and pretty much the people at mgm who work with mark burnett want to know where to listen to the tape. would it matter if such a tape came out. >> but were you trying to appeal to the sector. we were trying to appeal that. these are the questions we get when we are interviewed about
the book. i say this in the book. it's a little dirty secret. the fact of the matter is the moderates i think it would be self identified conservatives. they all have him number one and at around the same percentage. immigration is an issue that has a longer panel they did not know how to tackle this. case in point he has the first step act. i think it's good. it's a good start. i think the drug laws in this state. the same thing with immigration now you see it with the democratic candidates say and get a release x amount
of people from prison. we cannot out amnesty the democrats on immigration. and if it was an issue that was going under the layers that have been going on from around 2006 when we stopped the bushes the deal that he tried to do. i think immigration was issue also that we did strategically the same way that you can look at elizabeth warren. the number one issue of the democrats. those are the two issues. when she attacks big tech. it was not the number one issue. but guess what if it was their number one issue that 10% in the crowded field we were gonna to get them. they were to be ours.
come on guys. he was talking to the union guys. nobody builds a like trump. we have to get this moving. it was a walk with something. by the way this is sam's version. it was also picked up in the really good book devil's bargain. this is one of the things about world history. you can hear different voices. we are going to do one more question and then we can assign books. if this is the last one. we talked about him as a referendum. i'm curious to hear what the panel thinks about that.
where the republican party goes in the post trump era. sam, i heard a little bit of feedback that you didn't answer the question of trump is racist or not. he have african americans working for him he's never said anything like that. and i don't believe he used the n-word. do i think that he comes from mentality of an archie bunker. he calls it political correctness. you don't really want to talk a lot at the dinner table. i do not believe he is racist. i don't think he's politically correct either.
>> do you want to pick out that question but i understand why people think that. where does the republican party go after trump. >> that is the million-dollar question. i do think he has fundamentally remaking the republican party. we seen this over the years as they try to trumped it pretty masterfully. i think that's here to stay. i think the party always gets branded under the who the de facto leader is. you will see the party tried to carry that out i'm sure a lot of people in this room
view that as a negative thing. i think there was a new attention paid to a segment of voters that felt completely left behind by the political process. while there well always be the kind of insiders establishment elite of the party i do think that you will see more and more candidates really try to stay connected with those voters. we are all going to be having t-shirts that say presidents rack.