tv Newsmakers CSPAN June 19, 2016 6:00pm-6:33pm EDT
prepared to back the republican version. , as people have said, a groundhog day. host: lastly, as we hear from a plant about senator collins, what are democrats plans if the measures fail? guest: so far, they have said that they are focused on passing these two measures. the spending bill on the floor. but they do have other things they could do after that if they want to push the issue. otherare also a number of amendments that have been filed into this bill related to gun control and so they might be able to push for one of those. host: the legal affairs correspondent, you can follow his reporting on twitter. thank you for the update. c-span, newsmakers is
next with a look at the anti-trump movement. then, the american profile series includes interviews with the housing secretary hooley and castro and the senator bob corker. mentioned asn running mates for hillary clinton and donald trump. at 8:00, our conversation with joann jenkins on cuba and day -- q and a. >> this week on newsmakers, two republican party activists and critics of donald trump discuss campaign 2016, steve lonegan, spokesperson for courageous conservatives, and bob vander plaats, a ted cruz supporter during the iowa caucuses. here in the studio, stephen dinan and steven shepard, campaign editor with politico.
stephen with the first question. >> news breaking as we tape this, an effort to organize some delegates for the republican convention for an anybody but trump movement, you are an advisor to this movement, according to the deuce reports. what can you tell us about the movement, how extensive is it, and is the long-term goal to deny donald trump the nomination? in cleveland, next month? >> the goal of this movement is to organize the people around this country who are unhappy with what donald trump has been doing. i wake up looking for a reason to support donald trump is our republican nominee, and i have yet to find one. donald trump has been reaching out to bernie sanders voters and supporters. then to conservatives like myself. not tohis is an effort deny donald trump, but to empower republican delegates to do their job. they have a moral obligation to nominate a candidate who is best suited to defeat hillary clinton
and support and advance the conservative party platform. right now, the republican party is heading toward a cataclysmic defeat in november. it is time we make donald trump accountable. if we open up the convention, what we are striving to do, and donald trump has to prove himself, he may will show he is the leader he says he is. and be able to galvanize that convention. him to do that. the guy who should be calling for this is donald trump. donald trump should be saying i am a leader, i have a vision for the republican party -- open it up, i will prove myself. that is what he should do. >> is that kind of convention good for the republican party? the party uses these four nights to advertise. it is almost an infomercial for the party to betray a positive image. if there is chaos on the convention floor, it is that really good for republicans at the presidential level and down
the ticket, including your home state of new jersey? >> what would be destructive for the republican party is the demoralized convention, in which delegates go there and they nominate a candidate they don't believe in. it could be a public relations debacle. on the other hand a dynamic convention where the candidates have to step up to the platform, explain what they're going to do to unify the republican party, it would be compelling and dynamic. it would energized the base. i believe we cannot afford to go through the anointment of donald trump. who i don't know what he represents or i don't know what his principles are. i think we need to drive this issue. >> let me follow up with what steve is saying. you need to know i have never been in the "never trump" mode.
donald trump and i have been friends for the last six years. i have been willing to stand up and hold him accountable. even hold him accountable to the point where in cleveland everything should be on the , table. a, it will make him a better candidate. if he is the nominee going against hillary clinton, i think will make him a better leader. that is what i think we need to do. in regards to what is good and not good for the republican party, this has been a very unusual campaign. take a look at the speaker of the house, paul ryan. really week in his support of donald trump. making statements that are not helpful to our party nominee, the same with mitch mcconnell. this is happening all over the republican party. maybe it is time that there is a conversation. i wake up and think there are ways i can support donald trump.
if we come out of cleveland and say he is our nominee and this is a better opportunity than hillary clinton, that may unify way quicker than just saying , ok. wipe everything under the rug. >> i guess this is a question for both of you. essentially what you are talking about at the convention is what is what primary season was. that was a chance to deal with voters directly and convince them. and win bound delegates through that process. i'm wondering, at this point, after five months of primary-ing, what does he do differently to convince you? then what he has already done to republican% of primary voters? which is the same level john mccain had in 2008 and he claimed the nomination.
>> this has been a very atypical primary. it has been very unusual at best , with a lot of nuances to it. the reason donald trump is called the presumptive nominee , in the way hillary clinton is nominee, ise because they have to wait to be confirmed by the delegates in cleveland. there are a lot of republicans who are showing cause for pause with mr. trump. maybe it is a case of the delegates having their voices heard. you are right, the rules of the game are set out before anyone of these people became a candidate. if you reach 1237, you get 1237. you are going to be the nominee or at least the presumptive nominee. mr. trump has a big meeting on june 21 in new york with faith
leaders. i will be attending that. you ask, what can he do? i would say can we trust him and who is he going to surround himself with? that starts out with the vice presidential choice. who is going to be his cabinet members, what type of supreme court justices will be a point? the list he put out, we readily applauded. when he said i'm going to go with the heritage foundation or the society for supreme court picks, we thought that was a good step. so if he starts showing us, i will put the right people around me, these are the supreme court justices i want to appoint and here is the vp that you can get excited about. >> a follow-up on the specific steps, is there something donald trump can do? short of becoming ted cruz. is there something he could do to get you to support him ahead of time? two call of the effort to unbind the delegates? what are the specifics there? >> he could articulate a message
consistent with the republican party platform and explain how he is going to reestablish the constitution of the united states. and economic policies that will create true economic growth. and not require punitive tax and discretion on companies that might leave the country. donald trump has been remarkably inconsistent on where his principles are. two weeks ago, on another station's show with the congressman from long island. i had to watch him agonizingly try to defend donald trump attack on the judge for being mexican. donald trump said he could not trust the system to give him a fair shake. now, the american judicial system, conservatives and liberals can agree, is every fabric of our society, it gives us the rule of law -- donald trump a couple of weeks ago did
not trust the government. the other day, he wanted to have the nra change their position on the terrorist watch list. a list brought up where no one knows how it is established. suddenly he trusts the government to lose their constitutional rights without due process. so which is it? does he trust the government, does he not trust the government? this coming from a guy who says if he commands the chief of staff to torture people, he will do it. which of course, he backtracked on. there are remarkable inconsistencies with donald trump illustrating to us what his conservative principles are. if any. that concerns me deeply. if donald trump becomes party leader it could set the movement back several generations. >> talking about some of his values, do you think donald trump shares your values? >> i think that is where the
question lies, with a lot of people. not just with steve or paul ryan or anybody else. when you are communicating in a twitter world with 140 characters or less, sometimes it's hard to pick. there is a level of trust. i think just sweep that trust under the rug and to act like it doesn't exist, it needs to be out in the open. let's discuss it. i think it will make donald trump a better candidate, a better president. if you gets to become a better president. the comments he has made on different issues or on different levels is what gives conservatives like myself a cause for pause. >> which gives you most pause? >> a lot of it is the inconsistency on issues. planned parenthood does good things. defund planned
parenthood. god's design of marriage in the family, between one man and one woman. in his tweet, our hearts go out to the victims in orlando. it was a gut punch to all of us, it was an attack not just on the lgbt community but anyone who embraces freedom. this is not how we respond. to respond by saying i will be a better champion for lgbt than hillary clinton, we want to know, what does that mean? standing with the nation of israel. steve mentioned the second amendment a little bit earlier. there are a lot of things i think he can do and it will be in his communication and in the way he handles himself. sincerely, i want the best for donald trump. that is why i am not in the "never trump" mode. i want the best for him. but that has to be donald trump taking that baton.
>> i was wondering if you could -- one of the things i hear from a lot of voters is the question how big the reticence to trump actually is. obviously, there are a lot of questions even among his own supporters. i'm wondering how big the trump reticence movement actually is. there is some sense that it is a pundit and journalists from washington are overplaying what that is. i'm wondering what signs you are seeing out there? is this anything different than -- conservatives reluctance the conservatives who sat on mccain --s for john is this different or the same? >> i think that was for me. right? >> the question is not so much the strategy but how broad is
the actual worry about trump among republican voters? >> it is literally getting bigger by the hour. i'm not exaggerating when i tell you i'm being contacted from people around the country. this has never happened before. so we are writing a textbook on how to save the republican party at the convention, never happened in the history of the republican party. every day, of course the internet and social media -- you are seeing more and more people pile on. yesterday it was the governor of tennessee. a few days ago it was the governor of maryland. it was scott walker. not just people on the grassroots, it is people with key leadership positions saying , i can't support donald trump. the guy that is causing that is donald trump. the problem you have is, one thing i know having been a grassroots organizer for many
years, is establishment republican leaders do not like the grassroots. that is who gives them a real hard time. what you are seeing is an organic grassroots organizing that everyday continues to get bigger. >> let me follow up on that. one of the big questions about this is we just went through a primary process with trump winning fairly handily. right? he won even before hillary clinton got the democratic nomination. and yet, we are talking about reopening this. is there a candidate out there that could coalesce? john kasich? paul ryan? who's the better alternative after we went through a process there 45% of voters would vote for john mccain, they are going to be told that doesn't work in this case? here is another alternative? >> the process is not finished yet. the process includes going through the system, going through the convention.
the most important parts. it is up to the candidate to unify the republican party and going to the convention. donald trump is not doing that, he is losing support every single day. the process continues. things may have to change now. it is the responsibility of the delegates to nominate a candidate who will beat clinton and carry the conservative principles. that will continue to have been through july 19. >> before you get to names of candidates who'll will replace donald trump at the convention, the question earlier was -- is this typical? the grassroots and the conservatives were not all that excited about bob dole, they were not all that excited about john mccain or mitt romney. now you have the former presidents of george h.w. bush and george bush sitting this
campaign out. the nominee from 2012 against trump in mitt romney. you have conservatives like eric erickson and many others saying -- if i am encouraging the trump campaign, i would take a look at the facts. you have a party that is segmented right now. this is a chance to change the narrative. part of changing the narrative will be, who is going to be your vp pick? if it was a strong constitutional conservative that people trust. and if you set the pic would help for my opinions on the selection of supreme court justices, i think you would start changing the narrative going into cleveland. i think that is what donald trump needs to do. whether it is the judge he has disqualified because he is hispanic or the other comments he is making. it just continues to drive more
cause for pause that is giving more and more fuel every day. in iowa, any republican who is running for president or even thinking about running for president usually comes through. you talk about wanting a strong conservative party to come together. someone who will be trusted by the grassroots. i'm not going to ask you for one name as your pick. but give me your shortlist. who would do that for you as far as donald trump choosing them between now even in the beginning or potentially during the republican convention? >> what you are doing is looking at characteristics. i'm not sure a guy like ted cruz would accept that position. donald trump is good about the art of the deal. and what's best for the country and stopping hillary clinton. could he bring a person like ted cruz on who basically balances
him out. where there are trust issues, whether there are intelligent issues, getting things done in washington. it would send a message. two rivals teamed up. if not ted cruz, what about scott walker? somebody like that who will give a real balance to the ticket. somebody who is actually going to be ready to lead on day >> my one. position -- >> he basically suggested ted cruz's father would have been involved in the assassination with john f. kennedy. is that something that from your perspective is what ted cruz would ever accept? >> no it isn't. i have a different opinion. i don't really care who donald trump throws out as the vice president. let him stand on his own two feet. expressed to the delegates would his vision is for the country.
what the government should be like and look like. i don't want him -- he has to explain to me what his conservative principles are. he hasn't done that. in the last month we have seen republican leader after republican leader abandon the trump campaign. republican party is headed towards a cataclysmic defeat in november. we need to stop it, that is why we are doing this. if he changes the narrative -- isn't he accused of being a flip flop by the democrats? >> i don't know what you mean by him changing the narrative. i don't know where he stands on so many issues, i don't know what narrative there is to change. you are talking about the primaries but the republican party is the party of a representative form of government. we are not a majority rule. and delegates need to be freed
up at the convention to nominate the very best candidates to defeat hillary clinton. if they decide it not donald trump then so be it. what i am saying about changing the narrative, is that instead of having a party that is fragmented and being divided, actually start coming together, before cleveland. a leader's job is to cast a vision so we know what it is our -- we know what it is they are following. the other thing we know in politics is that personnel is policy. who you put around you is key. the people that hillary clinton is going to put around her, we don't want to see executing the policies for the administrative rules. we want to know who donald trump is going to put around himself. that can give some assurance as to people who are being very queasy right now. again, it is a donald trump issue. i hope and pray and wish him the best and encourage him.
that is also why i said, in cleveland, the delegates have to be willing to put everything on the table to let mr. trump seal the deal. >> can i step back for a minute and ask you how essentially i got to your question. who is to blame? bob, you are not sold on him and steve you are actively looking , for him to make big changes. who would you blame for getting here? who is to blame for trump as the nominee? >> what mr. trump has done, he has been very good at tapping into the emotion of american people. the elected officials over the last 20 years are probably the reason why we have donald trump being our nominee. he has tapped into the emotions that washington is rogan. they want new leadership, bold leadership. and he definitely offers that.
the other part of it is that the media has been favorable to donald trump in this process. anytime he was to give a speech, they clobbered -- they covered donald trump. primarily the focus was on donald trump. >> who is responsible for where we are at this point? 2010, they said, give us control of congress and we will cut the size of government and restore republican values. that didn't happen. then they came back and said we can't do it without the senate. they said, give us control of the senate. they didn't do that either. the republican party has been totally demoralized. donald trump has tapped into that. i don't believe he would ever to -- he would ever do anything anyway but he has taken advantage of the settlement with
the republican leadership. i find it ironic that the same republican leadership is leading the charge with donald trump. quite interesting. this is all about the fair use of the republican party. unfortunately, the guy who is responsible for where we are today is donald trump. in terms of the discontent that you see and in terms of the explosion of this grassroots movement to free up the delegates. >> you get a phone call tonight from donald trump, he is going to give a speech on monday and he wants to know what he should say. what would you tell him? >> i would tell them to cast a vision. a vision we can trust and execute on. one that is going to be constitutional and conservative. and one that will be in the best interest of america. a short people, say these are people i'm going to start putting around myself.
you can rest assured that the supreme court justices i'm going to appoint will be scalia-like. they will be constitutional conservatives. junenk if he does that on 21 he may be able to ease some fierce. >> since you are advising to this "anybody but trump" movement, if you don't get to a point where you unbind the delegates, what is the strategy? >> i will take it one step at a time. we have 36 days to convince 38 people to sign up on the amendment of the rules committee. an amendment that allows the rules committee to vote on the delegates for the first ballot. i'm not thinking past the convention. if we go into the convention and donald trump says he is a leader here. open up the convention and i can win it without binding the
delegates, that would be a great ring. maybe donald trump will win that nomination. afterwards if we go through the , system as it is, i think we're looking to a cold four years with the republican party. >> me ask you the same sort of question. we come out of the convention, let's assume donald trump is the nominee. the question a lot of republicans will be faced with is, do we offer the clean hand of the law or the dirty hand of mitch mcconnell's logic? how will you approach that question come august-november? >> it is a question a lot of us are going to face. >> either you are going to vote for hillary clinton or you got -- you are going to vote for
donald trump or you are going to sit it out or write somebody in. my guess would be some people, like myself or others, say they want to support trump over hillary clinton. but it may be october before we say we would support trump over clinton. all of this is on donald trump. he can change the game if he does the things that we are lining out here. and if he starts assuring conservatives how he is going to break us together versus dividing us apart. if it is a choice between donald trump and hillary clinton, and people say, at least he is better than hillary clinton, that is not the bar we are looking for. >> exactly. -- i haveke to say heard for too many years as a conservative in the republican party that they have no choice. conservatives take the back seat. voteare you going to do,
for the democrat? i heard that from mitch mcconnell a couple of weeks ago but we do have a choice. we have a choice going into the convention. and i'm hearing a lot about how we want to donald trump to tell us ahead of the convention who was going where so that most people can control on trump. i don't want a republican president who needs to be controlled. i want a republican president to have the clear, articulate vision for the future and has a team who can put together this vision. >> all right, we have to leave it there. bob vander plaats and steve lonegan. thank you for being a part of this week's newsmaker. let me turn to the two of you. you both ask the question, how broad is the anti-truck movement. what are you hearing? probablyswer was pretty accurate and it was interesting. of thef all, the size
movement depends entirely on donald trump and it probably is growing. it has grown through the month of june. there was an opening after mid-may where he started to see polls with republicans coalescing around trump. and then you started to see the numbers slip slight few weeks since then. so he is right that there are certainly -- there is slippage for trump support. how broad it is -- i don't know. we see signs of it and we see anecdotal signs from his movement. 15-20 orhat gets to be a much larger percent of the republicans, i don't know. and come october, a lot of the slippage may come back to trump when they are steering at the clinton versus have decision. there is a movement out there, i can't tell you how big it is and i definitely can't tell you how big it is affect tell you how big it will become november. greta: when they go to the
convention and try this unbinding of the delegates, how difficult will that be? steven: this will not just be a vote on whether or not they want donald trump to be the republican nominee. they are voting for the unpredictable convention. they are voting for crossing donald trump, basically, and all we have seen from that during the primary season and where that gets you. they are voting for what could end up being chaos on the convention for in cleveland. or maybe what is worse for the republican party -- donald trump as the nominee by acclamation on a possibly chaotic competition for the nomination. greta: does the rnc let this happen? do they have a choice? stephen: they have a lot of control over it. they may not have complete control. but they have a lot of control over how it goes.
the party made these rules. donald trump won an incredibly divisive, but robust primary. what they're talking about is restaging the primaries among a few, select people, the equivalent of these superdelegates in the democratic primary we have so much complaining about. what they are talking about would be shocking. it would be unprecedented in modern political history. it would be very messy. it doesn't mean it does not happen but it is a huge high bar. greta: what is going on with the republican leadership, donald trump. when donald trump says they need to be quiet and get behind me or i will do this myself. steven: it is certainly not going to earn him many friends on capitol hill. he will need those allies to get on the same team. stephen mentioned after indiana when ted cruz and john kasich left the campaigns, donald trump
brought rank-and-file republican voters into the fold. you saw that in the polls. he closed right next to hillary clinton. those are a month-old. he has slipped. trailing hillary clinton, but he has lost votes and a lot of that is slippage among republicans. threeonly winning quarters of republican voters and it is a big signal to them when the leadership in washington cannot even really muster a defense or get behind donald trump. as you saw from paul ryan, and to a lesser extent, mitch mcconnell. greta: and the response from the donald trump campaign? stephen: a lot of this is donald trump -- he is a negotiator. you try to gain the upper hand with republican leaders who have their own agenda they are working on. literally, house republicans working on an agenda trump has been silent on. this is a play within the party. this is the same thing going on for months now. it is a play within the republican party for primacy and trump is playing that for all it is wth