tv Washington Journal CSPAN April 26, 2016 4:07am-4:56am EDT
convention policies. michael steele was the guest. host: michael steele joins us for the next 45 minutes to talk and thee rnc convention. mr. steele, we want to ask you about the announcement on the ted cruz and john kasich campaign. theng to deny donald trump delegates needed for a win at the convention. how unusual is this? michael steele: desperate times cause desperate measures. donald trump has, and i think they are beginning to realize, and actually kind of troops the messaging that has been coming out over the weekend. will get close to the 1237. because of the winds he will rack up tomorrow. the fact that he is now leading
in indiana. the fact that he has amped up the campaign by bringing in professionals, so it makes sense for them to decide it is time for them to work together. while they are doing that, some are already behind ted cruz. they have pretty much dismissed john kasich but now they will probably bring him in. -- they pretty much dismissed kasich but now they'll bring him into that camp. what's the argument is donald trump going to make on for the electorates? they're ganging up on me. they can't let me beat the guys. host: is this fair? guest: well, it is. in politics, something like this is fair. it happens a lot. we've seen that it grassroots level, lower offices. candidates sometimes team up that way. what they're essentially doing is they're not going to compete head-to-head in the upcoming states. so cruz will take indiana. kasich will take maryland. cruz won't compete so much in maryland.
so they're dividing up what they think their strength is on the remaining states. so that way, the goal to espull -- is to pull a as many of those votes off of donald trump. host: a reminder of the map right now. the number, 1,237 is the number needed to win on that first ballot. those numbers are going to change tomorrow after the mid atlantic primaries that are taking place. i want to ask you. mid atlantic primaries that are taking place. i want to ask you. one of our callers in our first segment says that she thinks the r.n.c. is in on the effort to coordinate. what do you make of that? guest: well, they may have been part of the discussion. someone in the building may have been part of the discussion. i don't think it's anything that emanated with the chairman or the chairman's office. maybe out of the political department or something like that.
they may be a part of the conversation at some point of the meeting last week in florida. this has always been a difficult part for the party because they've got to show and demonstrate that all stage has clean hands. they cannot be seen as trying to manipulate the process. they arguably have no control over two candidates decide to get together to team up against the third. they have no control against that. but they were made aware of it in some way. you know, it's sort of falls back on them in a negative light and makes them -- makes the folks out there believe even more so that you guys are a part of the problem, which is why again, donald trump has done as well as he's done because that attitude has been out there festering for a long time. host: i've heard you describe the job as the guy with the biggest target on his back. if that job was available right now, would you want your old job back? guest: heck, no, no.
thank you. the best title that i have right now is former. thank you very much. host: your thoughts on r.n.c. chairman. here he is talking about the need of the party to unify right before this announcement was made on sunday where two candidates were unifying against donald trump. >> it is essential to victory in november that we all support our candidates. this goes for everyone, whether you're a county party chairman, an r.n.c. member, or a presidential candidate. politics is a team support. and -- sport. and we can't win unless we rally around whoever becomes our nominee. i want to prove the doubters wrong and show that republicans are going to stand side by side with each other, stronger than ever before. and our candidates have a special opportunity to show leadership on that front.
our candidates are running for the nomination of the republican party. they're trying out for our team. no one is forcing them to wear our jersey. we expect our candies to support our party and our eventual nominee. host: how do you think that rally around the flag message plays out? guest: well unfortunately for the chairman, that totally under mines everything he just said. so what makes you think that the supporters of the third candidate, donald trump is going to rally behind a ted cruz or a john kasich should they become a nominee when their perception, if not the reality, has been you've been fighting our guys tooth and nail every way. you've colluded against him. you have worked against him. and now you want us to support your guys now that you've stolen the nomination from him?
it's just didn't takes away the central argument, belies the argument that he's making and we're going to movement from this process together and that's just not going to happen. if these things continue town fold the way they have. host: michael steele is the guy who had the job from 2009 to 2011. former lieutenant governor of maryland. here to take your calls, take your questions, republicans, it's 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. independents, 202-748-8002. independents, christina is from oakland, michigan. caller: thank you for allowing us to call in. mr. steele, i admire listening to you so much. you're so reasonable and i'm sorry sometimes that you're a republican but aren't you glad that you put ron priebus in? the republican party has in
dividing people for ages now, and that they played to their extremist and now you've got a firing squad going on. to regards of mr. trump being a businessman, i'm from michigan. we elected a businessman here in 2010. his name is rick snyder. and he was a businessman. he never was a politician. and boy, he got us in a mess. he was cut, cut, cut. you know about the plant water situation was going on in detroit. but you know what, on top of it all, mr. snyder is a businessman. he's a millionaire. and we have to pay for his defense funds. , taxpayers, are paying $1.2 million for his defense fund. this is what a businessman does. he doesn't look at people. it's the bottom line, the bottom line. i work in the medical field.
i'm a retired r.n. i worked in an operating room. for a corporation that was always crying for money, but they're buying more and more and more things. and i didn't understand when they keep on saying they are losing money. i don't understand business. i always had arguments where i worked at the corporation that i don't understand is always a different budget. you don't have enough money but you're buying a bigger house. i don't understand that. guest: well, i will try to help a little bit with that. i mean, i'm a small business owner myself, have been for a long time. host: what's the business? guest: just a small consulting firm doing basically sort of crisis management, you know, for businesses and some candidates out there when they get in a little bit of hot water. but the thing to keep in mind, christina, there is a different mindset between a businessman who's never been in politics
versus the political animal who's also been in politics. so there's one that wants to keep the machine moving sort of status quo, the politician. and the one who wants to come in and totally disrupt its, the businessman. the problem often time comes and this will be a very interesting challenge for a trump administration which is why having someone around him who really understands how the federal government works, those mechanisms that pull, you know, the leavers -- levers inside the system operates because this outside view of government is one that is stained by, you know, this sort of characterized or sort of stereotype notion of how government fails to do certain things. one of the things i learned as lieutenant governor of maryland is that government can work if you help it, if you make it, if you push it. you cannot go in with this one size fits all. we're going to deconstruct it,
tear it down and rebuild it. that's just not going to happen. so in the michigan example, governor snyder's example, the reality is to just come in with this outside perspective without an understanding and appreciating how you get the machine to do what it's supposed to do can lead to some problems. host: if you endorsed in this republican primary? guest: no. host: do you plan to? guest: no. not at the moment. host: let's go to carlos in florida. carlos, good morning. caller: good morning, mr. steele. it's a pleasure talking to you. i've been a republican for about 22 years. hispanic. and i was just -- my concern that i'm sitting right -- seeing right now is the new guy lives in a box and joe and scarborough and they're supposed to be republicans and one of the things that i'm concerned about is that i see this situation where fox news should change its
name to "trump news." because all you see is trump news. it's ridiculous. it's not even fair. trump talking about being unfair, he gets 80% of the news cycles. let me make two points and then i will hang up that i will listen to you. i'm not anti-trump. i'm pro-ted cruz. like o'reilly and all of these , you know,ing that they are anti-and antiestablishment. and ihe establishment have been a republican for 20 years. i'm a conservative. i want conservatives values out there. trump has compromise on abortion, everything i have believed, he is going to compromise.
i will never vote for him because he does not believe what i believe. host: we got your point. guest: he makes a good and interesting point. the constitutional conservatives, cold -- social's conservatives, those who feel the process over the last 15 or 20 years, probably longer, they have been pushed out of the outside in the party has pushed them out of the situation. establishment types follow the money trail and not the people trail. about, we will take out the irs p retirement or when we shut down the department of education as conservatives. day.s a glorious people go, it never happened. that is the point. it never happened. this frustration.
the problem with ted cruz, he made a calculated risk early in the campaign. he decided to be nice to trump, -- night things to trump nice things to trump. it seems like so long ago. now he is going head-to-head with him. there is a credibility problem. all of a sudden, you have a problem with the guy when six months ago, you were like, donald trump is a fine character and a good man and i have no qualms. wait a minute question mark now you do? what changed? donald trump, this is for his voters that are important, the same guy today as he was when he announced. all the crazy that has happened in between, they are like, ok, we got it, we understand it. i like someone, now i hate them. he is just like, he said straight up if you attack me,
i'm coming after you and otherwise, you are good. those who tried to play cute with him have been bitten by the process. kasich did not have an approach because for three quarters of the contest, john kasich was relegated off-camera, an unfortunate result of the process. i had a real problem with the way the debate stage was set at the very beginning, which relegated very good and credible candidate to off-camera, basically. part of his problem is folks don't know who he is or much about his narrative. ohio, he could ultimately wind up beating hillary clinton, and i know democrats who said if he is the nominee, they will look at the campaign a lot differently. he is -- trying to play catch-up with that. any kind of alignment he has
with ted cruz is a way to keep him in a game for the remainder of the contest. mark is in cloverdale, california. good morning. caller: you kind of answer my question. i was wondering if this was more a john kasich lyrical moved to team up with ted cruz and stay in the race and become more relevant, or is he just giving up and is in cahoots with ted cruz and just wants to be trump? is theno, i think it former. a smart move for kasich or he is in the cycle. people are talking about him in connection with ted cruz today and trump. have their name in the headline. that is a good thing for john kasich as he looks to go in certain states in the next two
weeks to get a strong second-place finish. host: the indiana primary is taking place on may 3 where kasich said they would step away from the two states with ted away,aid they would step oregon in may 17 and new mexico in june 7. if there are dividends, paying off later down the road. think it trump gets a very good run, particularly with the you, you have got to watch. 17 delegates will be assigned straight off the box just straight off the that. you have delegates who will not be assigned, who are at large, they have pledged that they will go in their state. that could be a boon for someone like trump if he does well on tuesday. unpledged and pledged delegates are causing consternation for some as they are learning the process and
here is donald trump last week in new york, talking about the system being raked going into the convention. right.mp: the system is it is not meant for a cow like me who has not taken any money from these special interest. i am self funding the campaign. i paid to come up. system, just like so much else in government is right. but i have never seen anything have colorado or wyoming, in the case of colorado, they were supposed to vote. they said there were no changes made but there was. people saw i would do great in colorado, and all the sudden in august, they change this is some and took the vote away from the people of colorado. they did not give the vote to the people of wyoming.
done really well because i'm good at dealing with the bosses, but you have had it and you say, forget it. to hotels,e them out on planes, whatever you want to do. i said no way. we are going to get there can we don't need it. it is a raked and corrupt system. we will get there and i believe we will do it more easily than people think and we will do it in the first ballot, we will get to the big 1237. do you understand this concern among some with so many different, located rules heading into the convention that it might seem rate this system? absolutely. the system has a few kinks that need to be ironed out. you step back and realize a couple of things about this year. this is the first time, and i have said this for a while now,
and folks in the town to not get it still. the folks in capitol hill, they are not driving this. timeis really the first that people have decided to take control of it. the election of the nominating process, they are exposing a lot of things and along comes strong -- trump to put a big spotlight on it. we have seen how the process is worked. going back a number of years. normally you have the nominee. you do not think about which delegates are bound and which are not bound. you do not think about the primary of the caucus, where the state party has a convention and then allocates those delegates. we now have a light on the process and people see it for what it is. they say wait a minute. caucusto the polls or by and took all the time to participate in the process in a
have not voted in 30 years, first time i voted in 10 years, and you are tell me the guy i voted for does not get the most delegates because you have a secondary process in which you will allocate those delegates and my guy loses? that strikes them as patently unfair. that will lead to changes in the system by the time we get to 2020. people will not tolerate a system in which the person who actually wins does not. pennsylvania, charles is a republican. you are on with michael steele. caller: here is a good example of a rate system. awas just watching here about half hour, msnbc, they were interviewing delegates. they had a woman on their and ,he fellow asked her a question
who are you going to vote for as a delegate. she says ted cruz. said, even if the people vote another way? you still going to vote for ted cruz? she says yes. that is an example of a rate system. how can she even be a delegate? i have a comment. everybody needs to rally around trump, bottom line. kasich has been in washington and ted cruz has been in washington. they need to rally around trump because washington needs a good shaking up. guest: with respect to the she is probably committed to ted cruz and depending on the rules, i do not know if this was a pennsylvania or maryland delegate, but depending on the rules of her
state, she is not bound to a person who wins their state. pennsylvania, they are more likely to be bound after the first though, the first vote at the convention, and she is biting herself to ted cruz afterwards irrespective of whether or not ted cruz or trump wins the state. that is what the rules allow. part of what you have seen ted cruz do is go out and grab right,es and say, all trump is going to win pennsylvania, and you're going to have to vote for him on the first one but i need you to be bound for me -- to me for the third ballot. ted cruzhat you see doing right now which is what donald trump had failed to do at this point because they did not anticipate the backend of the process. we saw this in louisiana and
virginia and georgia. had to go out and actually locked down the delegates for third or fourth ballots. the latest poll, trumpet 45%. at 45%. that is happening tomorrow along with four other states here on the east coast. dave is in rochester, michigan, an independent. good morning. caller: good morning. your analysis.e you are one of the very few to.blicans i can listen but anyway, as far as a rate andem, i am an independent i have been voting democrat. i hold my nose and vote democrat. both parties have let the working-class down. rate with both parties, fordemocrat and the dnc
hillary, and bernie rocked the vote. point, if trump got income i used to think he had no chance. i think he has got a slight chance. sure, with cruise or anyone else, i think it will be worse you have got to work -- .ole with trump i'm still hoping for bernie. i think he is one of the few politicians who is really talking about the right issues. both parties have let us down. i could take you for miles and of manufacture and decay and not just around detroit. fort wayne and northern ohio, flint, where is the conversation? you strength on a very
important point, an interesting one for the cycle. as i travel, one of the most fascinating things to hear when you talk to a bernie sanders well, if who says, bernie loses, i'm voting for trump this fall, portland they have primaries, i do not know which i will vote for, bernie or trump, that argument works for those voters along the lines they just mentioned, and that is manufacturing, creating jobs in our industrial belt of the nation, which we offloaded a lot of those jobs and to the extent they still exist, wages have been severely suppressed. we have two individuals who are opposite sides of the same coin
talking about restoring the value of manufacturing, the worker, and how important it is that it is not centered around wall street but main street. that will be a question between trump and hillary because trump aces her on that. sanders have bernie going into the narrative with donald trump, which may rub a lot of republicans the wrong way because of trump passes views on trade issues and the like. it is where mainstream america is here that is the strength of the trump candidacy. he brings into play voters who otherwise would not necessarily be there for the republican party. into women and
hispanics not liking them and what the polls show, but in a general election, you always have a reset with voters and candidates. looking fresh, head to head, they themselves come at each other very definitely -- differently than in the primary. if got bernie and martin o'malley at one point on the other side. line for democrats were herbert is waiting in georgia. good morning. caller: good morning. good to see you. educated and you are aware of what is going on in america. as a black person, i am 65 years old. breathe so ted cruz has not talked to none of the black caucus or nothing else. person being in the
republican party, i do not see the party looking more like me. up -- i'mo caught caught up in the character. wondering, i want to be a member of the party, not a wing of the party. you do fight for the individual. i would love for you to keep on doing it. the thing is the republican party has got to come back and do more. for example, come into for the schools, they get people like steve harley and tavis smiley. you do not see people at a black republican party, janet jackson we do not see,
them in the black community. i do not see them in miami and i did not see them in georgia. you have opened up a big box there. there are a lot of reasons we see the current party structure operating the way does. the court of the argument is the key thing. i made it very important and very clear to the 168 members of the national committee, that they have to be in the community. they cannot build the party from top down. it is not a washington centric organization nor should it be. you should know who the black leadership is in your state and
york county, whether through the ncaa peak, the urban league, whether it is the black chamber or whatever is going on in the community, you should have the finger on the pulse if you are about the business of making the argument for your party relevant in the conversation that they are having in those town halls and community. and hearo sit outside the institutions and organizations and individuals articulate what we perceive to be a conservative message, that they are just like us and they agree with us on the life issues and the family issues and the economy. how do you know when you're not fully engaged in the conversation. as one thing to say black folks, we know you appreciate the do,life message, and they but then when you do not talk to them about voting rights, they go, that is great, that was your
issue so we are not driving pro-life in the black community, where driving voting rights. see her actions as being antithetical to the issues in voting rights and that creates the tension the party needs to address and the only way to address it is to be in the neighborhood and the community all the time. i remember the first week after i was elected, i hosted a town in harlem and three of people showed up spur of the moment. the blowback i got from the party officials was stunning. it ranged from, where you going to harvard -- that is where the future votes are. if you want to grow and expand the party, you better be in harlem, those boroughs in those parts of the city and the community that you are currently now walking past. host: have the efforts fallen by the wayside? guest: i think they have their they are mixed result in people like to point out you had this
meeting or that meeting. it is not just having the meeting. it is doing with the concerns of the community. when you have the voting rights andsitting was no action going into a presidential election cycle, where do you think or how you think you will engender trust from that community was something that is important to them that they will perceive to be as problematic if there are problems this fall. they will blame you because you had a chance to fix it and do something about it. it is that simple. put out an autopsy talking about hispanics and we have got to reach out to a candidate is out there talking to donald trump talking about, mexicans, we're building a wall, that message is counter productive to your image in the party. you have got to correct that and make sure the message, regardless of who the candidate
is, is the one who is driving the day. that is a struggle. the only way to do that is in the community. host: centreville, virginia, tonya is waiting period caller: -- waiting. caller: good morning. to share two messages, one for all the american people. either be born in this land or sit on the ground that. if you really love your country, if you really care for your security, if you really care for thesafety of your children, future and the honesty, vote for donald trump. that man is maybe not politically correct and maybe
not freezing his words to scholars and whoever in offices but heike to phrase it, is honest you get what you see. he is not faking it. he loves this country. he will make this country way greater than what it is at the moment. he will bring the glory of the past. to the best of his effort and his ability. host: michael steele. guest: you cannot walkway from the passion you hearing your voice. and the concern. that is consistent across the country with those who support donald trump. i do not hear the same passion for the other candidates. i just don't. you do not hear it for the other 16 on stage.
trumpis something donald withone that has connected the american people. a growing number of them, that is personal for them. it speaks to the frustrations but also their hope. he talks about america being great again, a lot of people see their stories on that. i want the businesses to be successful again and my family to be strong again. i want my country to be first and foremost again. observing politics and being a part of it, it is a game of emotion. you do not hear that emotion about the other candidates out there. if he asked you to be his vice presidential running mate, would you do it? guest: [laughter]
oh my gosh. i do not know. we would just say that for later. host: hartford, connecticut, kim, line for independents. because of calling the delicate process. there is such a light on it now. they pick who want to be delegates. causing anger in america. i want to know how the republican party will take care of the problem because it will cause such a problem in the next election that the systems going to go and there is going to be so much animosity for republicans that they may not worldo be -- how in the can they stop the problem? finger on one the of the conundrums of the establishment on the hill,
mcconnell who backtracked off of the comments he made about the process, got into the weeds and overstepped the line and looked like he was putting his fingers on the scale in the selection process, none of that is lost on voters out there. do is keepc has to clean hands. that is why you saw the chairman last week going to florida saying, we are not making rule changes and not touching the rules. they sit down and take it with the rules here and there, we celebrated in 2012 where they literally blocked ron paul from getting his name nominated on the floor, would not allow the man to speak at the convention when he brought all of the energy and new voices into the process. to have thatfford happen, certainly donald trump, who raise all kind of hell if they did. they cannot have that happen.
you will see them step back as much as possible, keep the fingers off the scale to the greatest extent possible, and let the process unfold naturally. trump, ifot donald the establishment backed candidate was winning in this point in the primary, with the rnc be pressuring the other candidates to get out of the race and unite question mark guest: -- unite? guest: probably would. rubio in there position donald trump is now in, there would be all kinds of pressure. the process would have been unfolding very differently. you would not have had millions of dollars used against him in the primary process. be a great cry from leadership on the hill rallying around the establishment candidate. annoyedhat would have
the heck out of the base and we saw that play itself out in 2012. almost 3 million republicans stay home and did not participate and mitt romney lost. what happens when you put your finger on the scale. there is enough baggage that the party will have to carry into the fall to heal the wounds that from the in place primary process. another thing people need to be clear about, you hear folks talking about if donald trump is the nominee, we will lose the senate and the white house in the house. house,ff, i built that we are not losing the house. the house will be good for a few more years. number two, the senate is in play not because of donald trump but because of the scotus nomination process. the supreme court process. took a hard edge position that is now beginning to put in peril .ix or seven u.s. senators
it is a democrat cycle. they have fewer seats up for reelection than republicans. seats and ihave 24 think that is a smaller number and a territory that places a map for democrats. host: let's go to georgia, a few minutes left. line for democrats. caller: good morning. i will push back on the donald trump thing. anybody who looks like you and myself, how do you explain the phenomenon in the new york central park, where he led a lynch mob against the kids who wind it up taking half -- apologize? the twol me about incidents with discrimination?
also, can you please explain to the american people what donald trump found out about our president in the first situation that he hired detectives to do? guest: right, a lot of that i think, with the color drills down on is our issues that will come back this fall. all of this, from the birther issue to some of the dealings in his business affairs, and some with newcial issues yorkers that donald trump may or may not have been a part of, he will have to address the issues. i think that will be one of the challenges and will certainly be fodder for the hillary clinton campaign and that is a concern for the party now, how much of that waste down the effort to win this november if the distraction is, we are now reliving birther is him --
four years later? my guess is that will not be an issue as much as people hope it will be. i think donald trump will back some of that. cycle,ther issue in this he has dismissed it himself, he has not taken the debate -- taken the bait. i think that'll be the challenge, whether he will take the rate on those questions. connecticut,e and indiana is up next and that is the state where the john kasich campaign has agreed to step away to allow the ted cruz campaign to be against donald trump. nate is in indiana, a republican. what you think question mark caller: -- think? hitch: if you're going to a ride to the white house, do not get in and start complaining about the temperature in a radio station in the wheels in the driver and how fast we are going. the system is set up to protect the party.
if you go to the convention and you do not have a majority of the public's, how do you expect to win in the general election? you have one of two problems. or both. you either do not represent the party, or your negatives are so bad that you cannot win the election. itselfty is protecting and does not want to lose the house and the senate and the notcial, so the system is rate to be unfair, but if you go in to the convention, and you do not have a majority, how do you expect to win? point in earlier caller made. the gop primary according to the never trump pack that is keeping ,abs on this, 8.8 million votes and almost 4 million report --
almost 4 million republicans have voted for someone else. guest: and that is the process. opponents have combined 52% of the vote. great. if you look at the 51% he has against him, why do we assume donald trump is not the second choice for some of those voters? if john kasich or ted cruz drops out, the 51% is not all the sudden go on to whoever is surviving. donald trump will get some of those voters. member two, i agree the process process. donald trump took advantage of the opportunity to expose something that people were not aware of. 56% of republicans themselves are saying whoever has the most delegates should get the nomination. even the party itself is not buying the idea that you have the 1237 coming in
the door. if you have got the most, if donald trump is 100 delegates or less, he still gets it. has to runel steele soon, but robin has been waiting in new york, an independent. caller: i have been watching you for a while now and i understand that people are upset that the system is right. but the system is rate. and trump is taking advantage of it. i would argue if you look at his behavior, he will serve his own interests rather than those who called up and were very upset about the system and how it affected her. why is no one in the republican party pointing out that what he behavior, to past suggest that he is fact would not even be supportive of that that behavior. he is acting out of his own
interests. i do not understand. host: we're running out of time. guest: stop trump move has been had. part of it is they waited too late to do it, they waited seven or eight months into the campaign to go after donald trump. took jeb bush seriously and known to advantage of the opportunity here for to the party in june and july and august when he opened up an attack on donald trump. the response from donald trump was you are low-energy. it took jeb bush out of the race, but there was no backup. everyone else stood silently by. did not want to offend donald trump and did not want to go after him. they sit there and they go, wait a minute, what has changed? donald trump has not he is saying the same thing as eight months ago. and yet you sat silently and said nothing. see that at least he is standing and fighting for
something that he believed in, right or wrong, that is the guy i trust and that is the problem a lot of folks have with the trump movement and a lot of the problems they're having joining us from indiana is sean sullivan, who is following the story. a flurry of e-mails overnight and statements from all three campaigns. what is behind the strategy? this is a strategy born out of desperation for ted cruz and for john kasich. they are looking at the remaining primary map, they are seeing at the chance to stop donald trump outright.
what kasich and to runz decided is not against each other where the other guy has a better chance of beating donald trump. here in indiana, ted cruz is now out on a one and has in exchange ted cruz ceded new mexico and oregon to john kasich. thinks those states are favorable to his centrist brand ,pon sex, and that -- politics and the goal was trying to keep donald trump under the magic is it too little too