tv Bill Kristol at Politics Eggs Breakfast CSPAN June 3, 2018 6:33pm-7:36pm EDT
where his father made him revise something that he wrote a bunch of times. that jeffersons resented this but he was a good boy. -- that wilson resented this but he was a good boy. wordever had an unkind about his father. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> now a political commentator and weekly commentator bill kr istol. this is an hour. will.ant to welcome you
we have posted a variety of media figures who have extensive experience commentating on presidential politics. toay we are delighted welcome bill kristol. political career working on the senate campaign. alan keyes in 1988. he went on to serve as chief of staff to secretary of education l bennett during the reagan administration. and later as chief of staff to vice president dan quayle, joining the first bush administration. before starting the weekly standard, mr. kristol led the project for the republican future. where he helped shape the
strategy of the congressional victory. he also served on the faculty at harvard university kennedy school of government and the department of political science at the university of pennsylvania. has published in areas ranging from foreign policy to constitutional law. he is a regular commentator on abc's this week and special events and election coverage and frequently appearing on other leading political shows. i am sure you are eager to hear his insights on the current administration and the outlook for this year's midterms as well as the 2020 presidential election. so please join me in offering a warm welcome to bill kristol. [applause] mr. kristol: thanks. it is great to be here. it is great to be back. i have only been at saint anselm
in january. every four years. i guess fox was headquarters here the last couple primaries. i really loved coming here during the day and great hospitality. -- it is a beautiful campus and great hospitality. i congratulate the saint anselm's women's softball team. they are in the elite eight. i should congratulate them. maybe i should run for office because i have already learned how to suck up to everyone in new hampshire. [laughter] no offense to women's softball. praise every resident has done anything important. it is funny. i said, it is lovely and beautiful.
my memory ms. -- my memories of driving in new hampshire, i loved it but mostly december and january memories. a lot of them were pre-gps. renting a car, driving on these back roads at 10:30 at nig after some political rally without gps. i guess you do not believe in signs. these are excellent signs. but they were this big. [laughter] life on the road. -- lights on the road. i have been lost many times in new hampshire and of course in december and january, there is no snow or ice. maybe you should move the primary to the summer. it is nice here in the summer. i should not even joke about that. i feel like i should profess my deep allegiance to the first of the nation primary. it's in the constitution. i had a wonderful summer here.
i was housesitting for someone on a lake. it was really beautiful. i taught at kennedy school a couple years after grad school 1985.ton from 1983 to i was the token conservative. they like to have one at all times. it is useful for the students to know what one looks like her -- for when they get out and have to get a job. [laughter] i always used to look for massachusetts to new hampshire. i liked conservative republicans, moderate republicans, moderate democrats. i remember thinking how different it was from cambridge, massachusetts, where i lived. tip o'neill was our congressmen.
speaker of the house in boston and the district, totally democratic district. it had been john kennedy's district. they were very proud of that of course. to give you a sense of politics in cambridge, i remember voting in 84 and i voted for reagan's reelection. that was the last democrat i worked for. we will see what happens for the next few years. [laughter] i will go full circle. if they were more like democrats, i would consider becoming a democrat again. i voted for the republican senate candidate running against john kerry. it was his first senate race. i will interrupt to say i vote
d against kerry. we were making conversation. he remembered the politician vaguely and i had massachusetts connection and he said what you -- he said weren't you there at some point when i was lieutenant governor? i said yes, i remember you coming. i said i remember your first senate race in 1984. i said of course i voted against you. [laughter] maybe you're not aware but john kerry does not have a great sense of humor. [laughter] he looked at me and i said it was nothing personal. i was just a republican. he looked at me and said bill, my opponent was not qualified for the position. i was like, lighten up, senator .
as a loyal republican, i voted -- i voted for tip o'neill at the congressional level even though it was hopeless. this was pre-internet obviously. kerry had one but i remember -- o'neill at the had won,ad one, asking my wife as we were having breakfast, what happened in that congressional race in the district? i am curious how many votes republican running against him got. susan looked at the globe tables , election tables and said i had to tell you this. there was no republican running against o'neill. i said i know i voted for someone against him. it turned out i had voted for the communist. [laughter] it is a true story actually. it caused me trouble with bill bennett and i went to work for the reagan administration.
i remember the interview i had. i remember being nervous in the white house. the executive office building across from the white house. i remember going into the interview and trying to break the ice and i debated for reagan and was not popular and voted against kerry and i said i tried to vote against o'neill and accidentally voted for the communist. [laughter] they held up my approval. bennett had to personally call the chief of staff to get me through. that is why the reagan administration was a great administration. it was not ok to vote for communists. let me give you my sense of where we are or where we could be which
is hard to know in these fluid times. my first point would be these are fluid, unpredictable times. i do not think i or anyone else standing here in may 2014, that one would have predicted donald trump would be the republican nominee for president let alone the next president. people might have protected -- might have predicted that hillary clinton would be the nominee that they would not have predicted bernie sanders would have gotten 43%, beat her in new hampshire after she had had a great rally against barack obama. this is a good reminder of how hard it is to predict politics. i was thinking about this with paul ryan in the news. this attempted coup against him. hayes succeeded me as senator. we were big fans of ryan. very pleased when romney picked
him. we were not sure it would help romney in the general election but we thought it was an appropriate generational transfer. ryan is a man of ideas. he courageously took on the title of spending. which you really need to do. he seemed to neutralize. just a general forward-looking, articulate, moderate on some issues like immigration, which i thought was a good thing. we were very pleased when romney took ryan, i thought he was an a leader of the party. if you had told me the summer of 2012, paul ryan 2018 would be retiring from the house with the difficult last year as speaker, on the one hand and donald trump in the summer of 2012 had come
off a six-month campaign to find barack obama's birth certificate which is astonishing. he wasn't a fringe player in that. as onef the key people pushing a nutty and somewhat distasteful conspiracy very about the president of the united states. he was controversial and 2012 -- in 2012 but then romney accepted his endorsement for 10 minutes, people like me said did he have to give that from degree of legitimacy? people said it doesn't matter. and now he is president. it is a good reminder -- i do not think it is a happy story -- but it is a good reminder of how fast and radically things can change. the one thing i will say for donald trump, but i am not a big
fan of his, is he was not fatalistic. he did not listen to people like may who said we always have these candidates like trump, these business types and they do ok and get 20% of the vote, but then they fade or the happy types who run on an america first that form but they fade. he ignored that. he ran as himself and did not depend on polls. he ran everywhere. i remember smart washington consultants who said he should not run so much in one or two states that he has to manage expectations and this is -- crews and other people listen to him. he did not fight hard in new hampshire. even i realized at the time it was ridiculous. he did not win every state but he won the nomination.
it is good reminder having the nerve to ignore conventional wisdom. having the nerve not to over think everything a. that, i do not personally think it is great he is president but you have to give him credit for that. what is going to happen? who knows? we would not have gotten this right in may 2014. i guess my bottom line is things are more fluid and up in the air than we realize. you look at a snapshot of, trump is strong with republicans. if you look at his approval, it has been steady. slight uptick but basically, he sells his base.
he sells the majority of voters. he has picked up from no one who did not vote for him and he lost votes did vote for him so it is a pretty static situation. he would be a bit of an underdog for 2020 but not hopeless. if one party controls both, the president's opponent tends to do badly. i imagine that will happen. that is the conventional view. trump is strong in the republican party. we might have a normal presidential election. but i am not sure that is the case. people our age, we have gone through the last 24 years, we have had three 8-year presidencies. open seat in the case of bush,
open seat in the case of obama, and they won, they got reelected, there was no primary challenge to any of them in 96 orin 0or obama in 2012. not having challenges helps you get reelected. and they did. we had for all the drama of the last 24 years, and a certain way it was a surprisingly stable time in american politics. once the republicans won the house in 94 and equalized the congressional playing field, you had a looking back from 1992 on other predictable oscillation between the parties. three 8-year terms. the only time that happened was the founding. it has never happened since.
you have another election that does not look different from the first. usually he gets reelected. but think back to a not ancient time in american pol whe you have a close presidential election. very conventional. then you probably have 20 years of total unpredictability and chaos in american politics. the character of both parties changes. goldwater destroys the republican party in 1964, people forget how much upset it -- how upsetting it was at that time. it gets clobbered by john sims, who is allegedly on top of the world. johnson who, -- by , is allegedly on top of the world. is the republican party going to
survive? he has up having a terrible off year and being driven from the field in 1968 by mccarthy who was not a well-known figure. he had always been the jr. senator from minnesota. he was an eloquent guy. he had hoped to stop john kennedy. it was not like mccarthy was a giant of the democratic party. or a leader of the antiwar forces. he ran, others did not. he got 42% of the vote. bobby kennedy got in three days later. johnson drops out a couple weeks after kennedy gets in. johnson goes to being forced out of the way. nixon of all people comes back, having allegedly been finished off by a loss in 1962.
nixon squeaks to a victory, then there is the revolution of the democratic party. the party goes much re dovish and to the left as the republican had gone more to the right under goldwater. nixon's second term does not go well. he is out of office in 18 months. gerald ford takes over. in 76 reagan almost beats ford in the republican primary. the democrats nominate an one -- an obscure governor. he was better known as a two-term governor as colorado. he was a one term democratic governor of a state that at the time was less central to american politics. he was the first evangelical
protestant to be nominated. he once a multicandidate race in 1976, barely hangs on to beat ford. carter becomes president. rocky presidency. kennedy challenges carter. inbably should have beat him 1980. but carter hangs on. the democratic side and reagan who was at this point too old, and having lost in 1976, wins in 80 in new hampshire. think of those 20 years. that is a different kind of america. not like your presidencies. primaries in 1988, 1976, incumbent presidents having huge reversals of fortune, forced to resign the presidency. being driven out of the race. that is a pattern of american politics. i have a feeling we are entering a period more like that. a turbulent era where the
character of the parties is up for grabs. where each party most of the time nominated the next in line so republicans do this to an insane degree. the last 30 years they kept nominating the second-place to finisher tod placed the best nomination. democrats fall in love. republicans fall in line. [laughter] they always have a little bit of a fling with someone interesting but then they always go with romney or whatever. democrats were much more exciting. they have had john kerry and al gore. i think in retrospect obama was the upset of hillary clinton on either side. he was the first genuine upset on either side. think back to carter. each of the other elections was predictable on who the nominee
would be. or semi-predictable. and who would be well-established are well-known senator where is obama upsetting hillary was astounding. and i think a little bit of a hint on what was to come on the republican side, not to compare them but in terms of voters being sufficiently willing to take a gamble to not reward experience, to not go for the next in line, on the republican side was john. so, i think we are in a new era. obama was a foretaste of it, the upset of clinton but we are in a more volatile area. and so, my main advice is do not assume the rules we have learned, people might eight going to her looking through the 90's and 2000 and predictable races in those holes
in politics or of the next few years. you can see a lot of evidence of that. i think it is unusual. voters are more on board for the two parties, much more open to different messages. and of course, the world is an unpredictable place. foreign policy, the economy, the investigation going on now whose result is unknown so the number of variables that are shock to the system is startling. about trump and the republicans, i think you'll find i know the republicans better than the democrats. i have an interest in the republican situation because i would like to see a republican party that is not a trumpy party. or is not led by trump or does not reflect trumpism. right now, trump is popular. he has held his approval and increased it a little as president.
but it is overstated. you have to ask yourself, if the economy going to get better than now? policy, we have not had any of the big crises we might have. we have had flareups but it has been kept under control. is that going to continue for the next year, year and a half, the investigation also seemed have more downside risk for trump than upside. i do not really see the environment getting better for donald trump unless you think we are going to accelerate economic growth and have unemployment come down more and have a wonderful deal where kim jong-un denuclearize is. -- denuclearizes. risk is greater for trump. it is a very fluid situation. there is a new poll out that confirms what other polls show. trump has got about 80% approval
from republicans. people somewhat approve of trump. i somewhat approve of trump. i think it is better than having hillary. i do not like his opponents and so i am semi-on board for now. that is a judgment for now and a lot of that is a retrospective judgment. i am sort of semi-on board for now. a lot of people were annoyed for me with not being master trump. do you prefer hillary? and what about gorsuch?
what about the tax bill? and all of those things happened already. for me, the big date is november 7, 2018, the day after the election this year where republicans and dependents have to face do you want four more years? it becomes a prospective question. not at retrospective question. it is a question voters have to ask themselves in 2019. voteu feel ok about your in 2016? 2019 is about who you want in 2020. farle can emerge from quite behind and suddenly be challengers to what seems like every formidable front runners. i think that could happen on the republican side. i think people are
underestimating how big a pivot we have. if you look at the morning consult poll that just came out, trumloses to a democrat in 2020 by eight points. 36.4. it may not be accurate. pointslosing by several to hillary clinton before the general election. 30% of republicans want a primary challenge to trump. it does not mean they would vote for that person, but they want to see a challenger to give them a choice. that includes 32% of those who 52%d for trump against among those who approve of trump. it's possible to say, yes, i approve of trump. maybe not strongly, but somewhat, but i would like to see a choice in 2020 that is different from trump. that's not been a impossible thing for a voter to have in his or her head.
you do not have to be a never trump are -- never trumper. to not be on board forht years of trump you can say he disrupted things in useful ways. he made some decent appointments. we got decent policies. but four more years of this kind of chaos and he is older? maybe we pocket our gains and find a younger, candidate who can bring the party together, bring the country together. one of the thing focus groups show is how unhappy most americans are, including trum supporters, with his -- the divisiveness and the sense of just bitterness and everything is always a hyper partisan fight, and a personal fight to demean your opponents and americans really do not like that. again, a primary challenger who could offer a way forward from that, a primary challenger -- he probably would not tell like me. -- some might me. he could not be attacking trump all the time.
we need to move beyond trump. and then we have to look at the world and how trump looks in terms of his performance on the economy and so forth. these numbers, incidentally, are for republicans. in a state like new hampshire where independents can vote, his numbers are not strong with independents, and some independents will vote in the republican primary and there's more openness to a non-trump candidate. i think the static look, which right now trump looks pretty strong, if trump wins, is a , who is everke heard of gin -- of carter, and lyndon johnson is unchallengeable in may of 1966. i think that there is more give in those numbers than people think. i do not know if a challenger would succeed. from my point of view, it would be important to have one. just to have force of debate.
if trump were to lose in 2020, it would allow for someone to step up and say, well, here is a different way forward them trying to redo trump for the next several years. a historian had a good piece in "the washington st" sunda -- primary challengers from reagan to kennedy, but mccarthy also in even if they did not 1968. win, they sort of showed a path forward for the party that was different from the candidates who than won, but then lost the general election. if the republicans -- if trump does get renominated, what happens? could there be an independent candidate? that is something i looked at quite a lot in 2016 after it was clear trump would be the nominee. who knows? if you had trump or sanders, or elizabeth warren, there is more of an opening for an independent candidate than there been for a long time and in america -- in american politics.
and i would say the conventional view that it is impossible, access is so difficult, voters are so used to voting for one of the two parties, that is less true than people think. money can buy you the ballot access. voters are increasingly on -- unmoored or not too loyal to the parties. younger voters think of themselves as much more than older voters who voted republican or democrat for 20 or 30 years. i think youndidate, can imagine a bipartisan or nonpartisan independent candidacy in a trump-sanders kind of world. i think the primary for someone like me, who would be interested in saving the republican party and the conservative movement, a party which i think i have -- which i think has contributed quite a bit to america, the key would be to see whether at least a serious challenge to trump is not possible. and i guess my view is it's more possible than people think.
and again, you can take trump's own example that he pulled off something in 2015-2016 that everyone thought he couldn't. if he could do it, why can someone else? it is difficult running as an incumbent. he can talk about the swamp all he wants a attacthe institutions of government in a way that i think is pretty irresponsible. he had a tweet this morning but -- about the deep criminal state. the criminal deep state in america. i think i read about that in no on chomsky or howard zinn. i think i spent a lot of time as a professor arguing again this extreme left-wing view of america, and now we have a , allegedlypresident conservative, talking about our institutions of government as a criminal deep state. that's pretty astonishing. so i think there's plenty of -- people can get pretty tired of that. even if for now they are willing
to overlook that because the tax cuts are working pretty well. that is the question of 2020. i think this is probably true of a lot of washington reporters as -- was the 2000 campaign of john mccain which was so incredibly exciting and fun and that was getting lost in the back roads, with of the free gps, the cheapo rental cars i got at the manchester airport and not have gps coming back from town halls and, no offense, god knows where. trying to get to my hotel room in god knows where. whatever that river is in manchester, people across the river a lot of times. pointlessly as you look for your motel. but i was thinking of mccain the other day given his current
medical challenges. that campaign is a good example of something that was not predicted and did not quite win the presidency. came pretty close, you know. if things had gone differently, might have won it. and also his wife is such an inspiring story of courage, but also the willingness to take risks and a reminder that these risks sometimes pay off, and sometimes they do not pay off. let me stop there and -- questions, comments? i did not talk much about 2018. >> one question. >> you mentioned the primaries -- are there any candidates you can see potentially doing this? bill: one thing the mccarthy example suggests -- sometimes you get a particular challenger. -- predictable challenger. kennedy obviously against carter.
but sometimes you do get a eugene mccarthy. i would caution that a, none of us gets to pick who runs per you -- who runs. you can have more than one. a lot of people i talked to in washington on the never trump side of thing, oh, my god, we might have more than one challenger. that's not that bad. it will sort itself out and it would not hurt to have two or three people take a shot and look at it. i think the most obvious candidate would be john kasich, i think, because he ran last time. he had finished up two pretty successful terms, i have to say as governor of ohio, a major state. he did pretty well here in 2016, and i think he would have -- i do not think the first call, that he would be a formidable figure and others would step back if he were going to do it. which is not to say i cannot imagine that flake may i also do that. there's no reason that both of them could not take a shot in a mccarthy-kennedy situation.
i did the radio interview with the boston herald. which is always a mistake to do these things casually. of course i'm not a politician, so i can do what i want. i was talking with "the boston herald," and it began on the radio show that they have with charlie baker, the governor of massachusetts. confirming he was in good shape with another reelection. very popular with both parties. thinking he would be a formidable -- formidable independent candidate. a bipartisan ticket. a trump-sanders context. i cannot believe sunday morning. do you have any news appeared? on the front page, crystal says
-- "kristol says baker beats trump in 2020." i guess the last thing he needs is some notorious never trumper touting the fact that, hey, massachusetts republicans, why don't you renominate baker? he can take on trump. i do not know baker that will. i wonder if he is annoyed i said it. most politicians, in my experience, are not really annoyed at you if you speculate on them as presidential candidates. i hope that outweighs that. that's a long way of saying i think it is hard to tell. he has a standing that no one else quite has. >> another question. >> i've a question about the vice president. what is his future? is he lining up to run for president? he seems to be very quiet. don't hear much about him making any major stents other than on occasion supporting the president.
bill: he is a big supporter of the president. he wants you to know that. he thinks the president is doing really a great job and has never been more honored in his life and to work for the present. -- president. i know mike pence. i knew him in congress. i liked mike and karen. they live near us. our kids about the same age. both of our kids went to the marine corps. i have been a little bit appalled, i have to say, by the degree of sycophancy. i worked with the vice president. you are supposed to praise the president. obviously we did. we believed it in that case, with george h.w. bush. the degree of planning is not -- is a little bit much for me. but that's why i am not a politician. he is going to go around the country. -- he is note that going to run against trump. trump could decide not to run in which case a lot of people will run. my feeling is, unlike with al
gore or someone like that, there would not be a big sense among trump voters necessarily that they need to be for mike pence. there will be other more trumpy candidates running from the right almost against pence. cotton, kasich, you have governors. you would have a wide-open presidential race if trump decided not to run. i do not think pence would be in a very dominant position. i guess pence's best play is the normal eight, trump gets reelected and your these sitting -- you are the sitting vice president for two terms and then you are in the al gore situation and probably win the nomination. a lot depends on how trump turns out. that he willvinced take a shot. he's entitled to. he has real supporters. but i am not convinced that trump will set pence up as ever being republican presidential nominee. election, it2016
seems like the news media had basically had to take responsibility for what the outcome was. they failed to report. and there was very little critical reporting. from your vantage point, are you seeing any change in me news media? do you foresee a different kind of election in a different quality of reporting? bill: i have my issues with the news media as well. obviously we do not have the reach of fox. i don't know. i don't quite agree. it seems to be voters knew an awful lot about trump by the time they voted for him. they chose to vote for him in the general election, for whatever reasons they did. a lot of it was anti-hillary and a lot of it was kind of republican loyalty. people voted with their eyes open. it's not like "the access hollywood" tape did not get a lot of attention. some of the business stuff could have gotten more attention.
trump university, i triedo t some press on that as an independent effort. people were not interested. people wanted change. i went to some trump rallies. and they would say, why are you so anti-trump? why are you for him? he's a great businessman. really? 4 bankruptcies. i had seen it on tv. the thing i missed on trump and the republican primary was the power of celebrity. he was a huge celebrity. that show was a huge network evening show that was very popular in which he played himself as a successful, decisive, but also engaging and fun loving businessman. it was excellent marketing from his point of view and people like me who watch the news might think is a big deal, but some -- but cnn gets $1.5 million, forgot what a network show gets
12 million viewers or 15 million. that was more importance that's e important to trump's succs. maybe they had him on too often on cnn. certainly fox became very pro- i think that is a problem going forward in terms of these siloing of news, the echo chamber and all that. i do not know how much we can blame the media for trump in 2016. people have to take responsibility for that vote. and he got lucky. we should not forget, 16 candidates. a lot of them directing their own resources against each other in a mood of change in a way -- you cannot -- if you write a novel, you could not make it up. people want change. people are unhappy. i think people are a little bit too unhappy, but people do not want to be told that. a want someone who will change that. i learned this in 1992 working for bush. george h.w. bush was not a
terrible president. we had a pretty good decade of economic growth. he had signed bipartisan legislation in a number of areas. people wanted change. i remember going out as quayle's chief of staff. giving speeches. accounting what we had done. it did not matter. people who were willing to take a risk on clinton. people who were not a fan of clinton took a chance on ross perot. ross perot was kind of crazy. no offense. no offense to any perot voters here, but they were sending a signal. that is one lesson i learned. people want change. that is why -- in the primaries, i think he was lucky. the public wants change. we are unhappy with the way things have gone for the last 25 or 30 years. great, werty say, have two great presidents for you. the sun and -- jeb bush. and hillary clinton.
the wife of bill clinton. you want change, we are giving you a bush and clinton. that was extremely lucky for him. he was very effective in taking advantage. that was a key dynamic. that is why when we got to the general election, i always said when i was on tv there was a one in four chance that trump would win. i thought clinton would win or chu was ahead in the polls. i always thought you cannot underestimate a change atmosphere how much of an advantage it is to be the outsider candidate. the clinton people thought they could disqualify trump. she got close. she beat him in the popular vote by quite a bit. it did not quite work. as the incumbent, this is one problem that trump will face. it is tricky to run as a change can it did and the income -- candidate and the incumbent.
maybe like reagan, it's morning in america, or obama, weav come back some -- those are decent reelection messages. or bush in 2004. the economy was getting tough, but we have a decent response to 9/11. will trump have an incumbent reelect message? that is one reason he is more vulnerable than people think. the media coming he has helped a lot by the siloization of the media, which is a deeper problem with social media and so forth. >> another question about what is going on in congress. it seems like many want the speaker to resign so they can bring in a new speaker. do you think that paul ryan is going to be leader november? and what is the post ryan speaker going to look like? bill: this petered out -- we found out about this, we had
mccarthy, kevin mccarthy, the number two republican in the house. he said, there is nothing to it, and we have eight people on the record saying, actually i discussed this with evan mccarthy. in this current climate, will that even hurt him? i don't know. i think ryan probably makes it through november. it's a little unusual to announce you are going to retire. you make yourself, in a way, a lame duck, managing a conference that is already difficult to manage, as we know, looking at a election that could very will be bad for them. they could lose the house. so they are inclined to panic and run off in different directions. the whole thing is a little bit of a mess. reason, we that could have unanticipated things happen in congress. month ago saying a somewhere, i was measure you cannot have immigration legislation move in the next month or two and there might be legislation to take care of the daca recipients. oh, no, that's it for this congress.
but now it does look like enough moderate republicans signed a discharge petition, it looks like ryan could bring something to the floor in the last week of june. some say that trump will veto it, but i am not surth tmp will veto it. so they have a little face saving money the wall. i'm not sure the senate would not pass it. i suspect things will be more -- we have gotten very used to the two parties lined up, french warfare, 51-49 votes in the senate, 237-1 hundred 90 -- whatever the math is. eight votes in the map -- in the house. that is the way congress has worked in recent years, for better or worse, but it needn't work that way. you can imagine some of the fissures breaking in an -- in interesting ways. what happens in congress if the
democrats win the house by 6, 8 seats or something? 10 seats is the single most like outcome. a heckuva lot of democratic candidates -- including incumbents -- a lot of challengers saying they will not vote for nancy pelosi as speaker. i was speaking to a democrat the other day. he pointed out to me -- we could -- i was saying, what would it look like if we had a trump versus pelosi in 2019, that would be pretty wild. that could lay the groundwork for an independent candidate. they are so sick of the unbelievable partisanship and the ideological polarization. i said that. and we were chatting. and he said, what makes you policy -- nancy pelosi is going to be speaker? i said, if they win the house, she would be the speaker. and he said, no. and i said, people say they won't vote for her, they will switch. they will find an excuse in november or december and say, well, i think it's the right thing to do. and he said -- he is closer to democrats than i am -- he said
no. if you are conor lamb and do you ran in pennsylvania saying i am not a nancy pelosi democrat, you can't turn around and vote for her for speaker. you could have a vote that is 195 for pelosi and 35 democrats vote for some young moderate or something and then we are sort of in deadlock and you could have negotiations about who becomes the next speaker. and then if you have congress narrowly divided, we should change some of the rules to come to the floor, the speaker and the majority leader, you could say the same about the 50/40 senate. is it impossible that susan collins and lisa murkowski, and another matter republican get together with the dow jones from alabama, and manchin and say we
do not have a more regular order in the senate? right now, the senate judiciary committee votes at 14-7 a bill that i like to, that would protect mueller. it would not fully protect mueller, but it would create a review process if the president tries to fire the special counsel. there are some genuine constitutional concerns about that. it comes at 14-7. 2-1. 4 republicans vote for it along with democrats. the majority leader says i'm not going to bring it to the floor. the majority -- it is a 2-1 vote in the committee. shouldn't he bring it to the floor and let people amend it and see if it can get 60 votes on the floor? it is astonishing to say, i am not bringing it to the floor. if the president doesn't li
it, he can veto it. it's not like we are taking away his power on legislation. i think there's a pretty big feeling among younger members especially, in the house and senate, that the system is really broken. and it is. and this predates trump. this is not trump particularly. and you could see a situation -- whatever happens in the next 45 -- four or five months, postelection, where you get much more turmoil and change in the house in the senate, both in terms of personnel because ryan will not be leader either, so you have a new democrat and republican leader from the house side, but a change in speaker. the image we have of how congress works, total polarization, trench warfare, may not hold for the next 2019, 2020. >> one last question. >> would you briefly speak on john mccain's recent statement he regrets having named sarah palin as a running mate?
bill: what he said was he wished he had nominated joe lieberman as a running mate. i was slightly involved in this. i was in the outside. i had met palin in alaska. there was a piece saying, hey, here is an interesting young governor who's actually quite popular with both democrats and republicans taking on the energy companies. and i talked her up a little bit as an intereg outsider possibility. i wrote a column myself in "the new york times," and i had forgotten i had done this until the story came out of couple weeks ago. i wrote a column in "the new york times" urging mccain to take lieberman as his vp, emphasizing country first -- mccain loves lieberman. they are best friends. it probably would not have worked, given the financial crisis. obama was probably going to win in 2000 eight, with the financial crisis and iraq and
everything else. -- buthink mccain wishes he knows lieberman much better than i do. i had not realized how seriously he wanted to, but he got talked out of it by his political aides. who said, it would be a messy convention, there would be a revolt, of course, on the right pro-choiceou have a vp, it would have been a mess. i still think it would've been good thing to do for the country and a good gamble. mccain saying that he wishes he had done that, i think in the book, which i looked at, he defends palin's performance as a vp candidate, which i would mostly defend, too. he is quiet and polite, i would say, about her subsequent trajectory, which, for me, who was impressed with her in 2007-2008, was very disappointing. i do not know she always had these limitations. she obviously did to some degree. , celebrity and everything
us, went to her head and she stopped being a serious politician and just became entranced with the money and fame and the tv contracts and so forth. she's a disappointment to me because there is a real talent there. the one thing i would say in defense of the palin pick, what mccain sought, and i saw a little, is there was a populist unhappiness as business as usual in washington. there was a desire for something new. that was manifested on the democratic side by obama in a way. that is not to say that mccain who had been around for a long time, and in his own maverick way, he was an establishment figure. it was not crazy to find someone like palin. turned out not to be the right person. i will say in defense of palin 2008 and that that was kind of trump, that was sort of the trump of the day, that's not fair. palin -- go look at the palin-biden debate.
palin defends moderate immigration policies commend my crane -- mccain's immigration policies, she defends american internationalism, she is proud of her son is going to iraq to engage in nation building, she is a free trader. she is not nativist, anti-immigrant, or racially -- there is nothing racially charged about the palin campaign or her own life actually. it's a little unfair. she ends up becoming, in a way trumpy republican years later, , a but i think it's a little unfair. as mccain's vp, she was, in my view, have the chance to be a healthy populist, injecting a healthy populist element into an otherwise establishment campaign, but my point of view, without undercutting core republican values or messages. i think i was wrong about her as a person. in a way i overestimated her. bumaybe this was the beginning of the tea party which led to one thing and another.
there's too much to get back. but to get back to my original point and the close of this thing, the tea party did not cause trump. rubio and crews were literally tea party candidates in 2010 d 2012. you could say the tea party wove pduced rubio and cruise. trump exploited it very crack -- cleverly. he is a good demagogue and i use that term in the most technical sense. he was willing to say things and do things the other candidates weren't willing to do. they were right not to be willing to do those -- the muslim band, mexican rapists. aty were right to stop things that turned up to be popular, more than i would have expected with part of the republican electorate which was more exasperated and were angrier than i expected.
and whether they are right or wrong, it was american 2016 such -- america in 2016. such a horrible nightmare of a place to live in. was it the worst governed to -- governed country in the history of the world? was it worse than 40, 50 years ago? i'm not so sure. but that was the attitude trump tapped into it in a way that really no one had from either party, no one had and succeeded. people like buchanan had. and that was a big deal. people say to me why do you talk about trump, let's get the on -- get beyond trump. i would be happy to get beyond trump. but it's a big deal he is president. he is changing or maybe changing our norms and procedures in the way we think of politics and civil discourse and the presidency in ways that i don't think are good and in ways that are at least worth debating rather than just letting him do it.
and sort of looking up four or eight years from now and saying now where are we? that's one reason i do think -- hope someone in the spirit of mccain stands up and takes on what would the a bit of a long shot effort to take him on in 2019 and 2020, plus it would be good for new hampshire. you will have not just 25 democratic candidates here, but two republican candidates so there's more spending on tv and more hotels will be filled up months ahead of time, it's good for the economy. i'm doing my best to help you guys out. thank you. [applause] >> the reason bill -- why there are very few signs in new hampshire, the people in new hampshire know where they are. [laughter]
announcer: tonight, on q&a, patricia o'toole discusses her book "the moralist, woodrow wilson in the world he made." >> there is a huge psychological literature about wilson and i read it, but i had a sense that it just reduced him to tangles and things like that, that i did not feel i could deal with very -- on the strength of my own knowledge of the theory. that hisle have said stubbornness in later life was a
reaction to his father's strictness. and if they can point to one story where his father made him revise a little thing he wrote a whole bunch of times. the substantive -- the subdivisions was wilson resented this. but he was a good boy. and he put up with us. mention,you read every every -- and wilson letters, of his father, they are worshipful. he never had an unkind word to say about his mother. -- father. >> presbyterian minister. announcer: tonight at 8:00 stern, on c-span's q&a. mark short, assistant to the president and white house legislative affairs director recently sat down with c-span for a profile interview. he talked about his early career with the young america's foundation, working on capitol hill for then congressman mike pence, and what it is like working for president trump. this is about 25 minutes.