tv Campaign 2018 Christian Science Monitor Breakfast with DNC Chair Tom Perez CSPAN November 9, 2018 1:57am-3:10am EST
when he made those mistakes, and then later testified under oath, for which he was later held in contempt by a judge for perjury, bill clinton made his impeachment almost inevitable. >> sunday in a, at 80 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> democratic national committee chair tom perez shared his thoughts on the midterm election results while speaking to reporters at an event hosted by the christian science monitor. he also talked about strategy the next presidential election in 2020. this is just over one hour.
linda: i think we are about to start. i am linda feldman, washington bureau chief of the christian science monitor. our guest today is national committee chairman tom perez. this is his second appearance at a monitor breakfast. thank you so much for coming. i think the timing is pretty good. chairman perez is the son of immigrants from the dominican republic and grew up in buffalo, new york. chairman perez is the son of immigrants and grew up in buffalo, new york. he attended brown university and i am told he worked as a trash collector to help the for college. after receiving a law degree from harvard and a masters in public policy from the kennedy school, he began his career as a civil rights attorney at the department of justice. he has been active in state and local government. in 2002 he became the first latino to serve on the montgomery county council of maryland. and two years later he was president of the council. he then worked as maryland's
labor secretary for a couple of years. and during the obama administration, chairman perez headed up the civil rights division at the justice department and served as secretary of labor. he was elected chairman of the dnc in february of last year, although it feels longer to me. tom: and to my wife. linda: now for the ground rules. we are on record here. please, no live blogging or tweaking, in short, no filing of any kind while the breakfast is underway. there is no embargo once the session ends at 10:00. -- wel emailed -- we well will email pictures and a rough transcript to all reporters shortly after the breakfast ends. -- rman perez if you would like to ask a question, please send me a
signal and i will call on as many of u.s. time permits. chairman perez, if you would like to make brief opening remarks. tom: it is great to be back. as a native of buffalo, i have to a knowledge my friend jerry -- i have to acknowledge my friend jerry from the buffalo news, which is still on my home computer when i go home at night and turn on my computer. it default to the buffalo news so i can follow the bills. false hope is better than no hope at all. linda: as a patriots fan -- tom: please don't talk to me about that. you are bringing back my nervous tick. i came here shortly into my tenure. we were just chatting about this. i talked to you about the fact i was walking into a democratic national committee that was in dramatic need of a major overhaul, because we had lost that only a presidential in 2016 , but we had lost roughly 1000 seats in state legislatures, we had lost seats in the senate and
the house. in short we needed to rebuild. we needed to organize, modernize, and we needed to win. i come to you roughly 21 months since that day, and the democratic party is back. our goal is to build a 50-state party, to compete everywhere. our goal was to expand the electorate. our goal was to reshape the electorate, and that is exactly what we have done. 2017 taught us through our investments in virginia and new jersey that we could win again. and alabama taught us we could win everywhere. i was proud to invest early in doug jones. we did so to put a down payment on. so in 2018, the issue became scale. can we scale the success of 2017 and become the 50-state party? and when you look at the results from this week, i am very proud of what we accomplished. it was a good week for democrats
, and i think it was a good week for democracy. in addition to taking over the house of representatives, while the modeling isn't quite complete, it appears democrats, when you go through the house races, people voted for democrats it was roughly 7.5% to , 8% margin. that is in play because not all tabulated, but that's a remarkable statement. we won seven statehouses and the last time, it has been roughly a quarter century since any party has won seven governorships in one evening. michigan, illinois, wisconsin, nevada, kansas, new mexico, maine. this is clearly the year of the woman. the majority of the newly-elected governors are women, women carried the day in the house of representatives. as i was reflecting this morning
on the tragic, once again, tragic shooting in california mind, ion everybody's simultaneously got a text message from a friend in georgia telling me that lucy mcbeth had won, and i cannot help it link those moments. once again a senseless tragedy involving gun violence, and at the same time, a mother in the movement who is now going to be a member of congress. i hope we will be able to work with lucy. so you have seven state house seats. you look at the legislative seats. we lost almost 1000. we regained roughly 350 seats this cycle, because the mission of the new democratic party is organizing and mobilizing and electing democrats from the school board to the oval office. and we paid a lot of attention i was very proud of
the fact that so many of those seats have flipped. colorado, maine, minnesota house new hampshire house, new , hampshire senate, the new york state senate, and last year the washington state senate. super majorities in oregon, both senate and house. we spent time in north carolina breaking the super majority the republicans had, and were successful in the senate and of the house there. those are really important things. in the attorney general's races, we have the majority of democratic attorneys general. and what i think folks have learned this year in the world of trump, is the importance of attorneys general as a bulwark and defender of democracy. i look at some of the ballot initiatives. those are really important moving forward. we had medicaid expansion in three red states, idaho, nebraska and utah. redistricting initiatives in colorado, missouri and michigan.
and florida, and this is something i worked on when i worked for senator kennedy in the mid-1990's, amendment 4, which addresses the voting rights of felons. when you think about it, florida has something like 21 million residents. something like 14 million eligible voters. i might be off by a bit. and you have about one in four african americans who are disenfranchised currently. roughly half of people disenfranchised permanently because of felony records live in one state, and that is florida. this ballot initiative addressed that. think about that the number of , people disenfranchised. andrew gillum is down by roughly 55,000 or 65,000 votes. you have one million disenfranchised voters in one state alone.
so this expanding and reshaping of our electorate is what we are up to, and fortifying the industrial midwest. you look at the states that donald trump won in 2016. we won reelection of pennsylvania, michigan, wisconsin, illinois. so i am very excited about that, and also the mountain west, mexicoou see nevada and -- nevada and new mexico and colorado moving forward. andave more work to do but i'm colorado moving forward. we have more work to do but i'm excited. what is the matter with kansas? nothing. they are electing democrats. not only laura kelly, but in congress. that was something that was very exciting, but it was a function of the fact that we invested early there and early everywhere. so i look forward to this conversation and will take any questions you have. linda: thank you very much. i will start with one and then move around the room.
anyone who wants a question, please wave at me. so what specific lessons can be applied to beating donald trump in 2020? is donald trump beatable? tom: absolutely. the lessons i have learned is we have to expand the electorate. we have to compete everywhere. let me give you two examples. nevada. the story of nevada, in 2016, this saturday night before the election, john ralston called that election for hillary at the end of early voting. fast-forward two years later, he did the same thing again for jacky rosen. he did not mention the governor's race. here is what nevada is about. and -- and here is what nevada is about. it is organizing early. it is about organizing everywhere. and 2017, there was a recall --
an attempted recall of republicans of three state senators. and what we did immediately was invest in organizing in those communities so we could tell the story. they were being recalled for no reason. and it was unsuccessful. what that focused us on was organizing there organizing , early, registering voters. we were registering voters. fast-forward to about a week out of the election. we got a call saying we have a $250,000 hole in our organizing push. can you invest? we invested a quarter million hours, andhin 24 democrats won up and down the ticket. that is the formula for success. in wisconsin, we looked at what we did wrong. mitt romney got more votes than donald trump. that is an important point to remember. we underperformed across the
state. we invested early in organizing. sowe invested early in organizing. not only in milwaukee, but across the state. in a state supreme court race in which a state supreme court justice who was not supposed to win won by , double-digit margins. that taught us we can beat scott walker. we had early and often interactions with tammy baldwin, who said, tom, you have got a come in earlier because our primary is not until august. we have double-digit candidates for governor. if we wait until august to build a coordinated campaign, it will be too late. we invested everywhere. and you saw the results there. so we can win everywhere. when you see kansas, you see the progress we have made elsewhere. if we are organizing everywhere, if we are leading with our values everywhere, that is the formula for success. we moved away from that 50-state party model. the work we are doing not only
to expand, i said reshape as well, what i mean is talking to people that we have not spoken to before. rural engagement dramatic , engagement of african-american, latino, a.p.i. in south dakota in north dakota. we are talking to everyone everywhere. we invested in it is a cycle in native american voters. and we are taking no one for granted. and frankly we have left votes , on the table before. linda: jerry from the buffalo news. >> i will ask you a hometown question. tom nick mcmurray, the democrat , down by one percentage point against chris collins is very for him,t you campaign very happy that joe biden campaigned for him, and very unhappy he did not get any national support. in retrospect, do you think that was a mistake and does he have a legitimate complaint he did not
get enough support from the national party? tom: i know that district pretty well. when kathy holcomb first won, she won barely. and when she lost, she lost barely. the dayer calling her after the election and saying, your biggest challenge was was when they drew the district. because the district was drawn to favor a republican. and now we have a state senate in new york that is controlled democrats, and a state house antrolled by democrats, and reelected democratic governor. as a result i think the next redistricting cycle there is going to draw a fairer map that will give democrats up there a shake. district know that exceedingly well, and erie county is a place for a democrat can compete.
but a lot of the outlying counties, you drive through and it is pretty red. jerry: the national party would not invest necessarily in a district that looks like that? tom: i personally invested my time. aunt i believe in nate. i thought he was a great candidate. and integrity was on the ballot. chris collins will not serve out his term. he was running for reelection to use his seat in congress as a bargaining chip for a plea bargain. you can take that to the bank. duncan hunter, same deal in california. and that is a reality. i was in contact with the party officials in buffalo regularly. and we did a number of things behind the scenes to help them out. and you know, we want to invest everywhere.
in 2018, ite we had was a good challenge to have, is that the playing field was so expensive that we did our best, and it is just remarkable how expanded the playing field is. that's a problem i want to have in 2020. linda: john from newsmax. john: good morning, mr. chairman. two questions. is the dnc investing in the recall or recount in florida in the senate race? and second, we saw some trouble in the justice department yesterday, in a new acting attorney general. speaker pelosi has a careful not endorsing the impeachment moves, but if acting attorney general whitaker were to fire the special prosecutor, would the dnc and congressional leaders
support the impeachment move in the senate? tom: let me take your questions one at a time because they are both good questions. if i can expand the aperture of your question slightly, you mentioned florida. i would like to expand that to georgia as well, because i had the privilege of being the assistant attorney general for civil rights. we should make it easier for eligible people to vote, not harder. and what we have seen repeatedly is that the playbook of the republican party, and it's a playbook that goes back 40 years, if you google a guy named weirich, andpaul you will hear a 41-second video from him. this dates back to 1980, he is the architect and godfather of the modern conservative movement. he says the following. i don't want people to vote. i want less people to vote.
elections are never won by a majority of people. they want to make it harder for people to vote. there is no subtlety. the voter id law has no subtlety about it. i sued brian kemp in georgia when i was assistant attorney general. we sued him successfully. brian kemp and kris kobach, they should be the cochairs of the voter suppression task force got the republican party. because what they try to do every day is make it harder for people to vote. i applaud stacey abrams for continuing to ensure every vote must be counted. before that election i called brianian kemp to stick -- kemp to step down as secretary of state. it is grossly unfair to any fox in america to compare them to brian kemp as the fox guarding the henhouse. much worse in georgia. every vote must be counted, and the integrity of the election is
at stake. when you have someone with a and long history and their 100% match requirements, that was a simple effort to disenfranchise voters of color. there is no subtlety about that. two judges have ruled in favor of people seeking expanded access. you have not seen the end of the georgia election. and the fact he stayed there has undermined the trust that people have in the election process. he could have stepped aside and should have stepped aside, because he had an inherent conflict. so i hope people continue to count the vote in georgia. we had people on the ground in georgia. we continue to have people on the ground in georgia. and we will continue to fight there to make sure every ballot is counted, and every precinct
is reviewed, to make sure that everybody was able to exercise their right to vote. in florida as well. you asked about the recount. there is an army of lawyers down there involved in the recount. i will note again, i was looking at the governor's race this morning. i think it was 50 some odd thousand votes separating andrew gillum and his opponent. i forgot the figure. -- i forgot the figure in bill nelson's, it is a roughly similar figure. and i don't begrudge at all when you have a close race like that, why you would want to make sure every vote is counted. moving to doj, i will answer that question from my perspective of a person who spent 13 years of my life in the employment of the department of justice. and i am proud of the work i did there.
and by the way, i started under the administration of george herbert walker bush. i served as a career prosecutor under republican and democratic administrations. the currency of the department of justice was always its independence. the protocols were set clearly. if an attorney general resigns or steps down, the articles are -- the protocols are pretty clear. you have a senate-confirmed person who comes in, in an acting position. it was clear the charge of people at the department of justice was not only to do justice but to ensure the appearance of justice. yesterday what we saw in the firing -- let's be honest. all the have to do is read the first sentence of the letter, it was not a resignation, it is a firing of the attorney general. what you saw was an effort to do an end run around decades of
sound practice to ensure that a senate-confirmed candidate, person, was at the helm of the justice department. now, there is a law that is implicated, and there is a test that is implicated. the law that is implicated is the vacancies act. given the fact he was fired, they will say he resigned, there will be some discussion about whether this is proper. i think it was not proper. but put the law aside. there is a test that needs to apply. it is called the smell test. and what happened yesterday does not pass the smell test. a person who is acknowledged as a partisan, a person who has written about this in the context of the mueller investigation and has criticized the mueller investigation, has now been put in charge. it is not hard to figure out what is going on.
and i hope republicans like lindsey graham, who once said hacked -- there pay if they try to do anything to mueller, this will be a test of whether they are going to live up to that. this is actually in some ways worse than the saturday night because net and all these senate-confirmed people when they refused to comply with his order, and they found a senate-confirmed person and put them in charge. i think it was bork. >> solicitor general bork. number three. tom: at least he was following a protocol, of having a senate-confirmed person is doing the wrong thing. and here, they are not even doing that. so in this respect it is worse , than the saturday night massacre. and that is why it is so
important to have a house of representatives where you have meaningful oversight. we need to give bob mueller the because independence and resources to do his job, period. end of story. and he needs to complete his job first because that is so important. the american people need to know the facts about what happened in connection with the 2016 election. >> you support impeachment? no, that is not what i said. needs tob mueller complete his investigation. and using the oversight process that he is given the opportunity , to complete his investigation. i hope that would be a bipartisan call because some republicans did express before, and now who knows what they will say? i hope they will be consistent with what they said before. but they indicated they agreed
with the proposition. this is about the rule of law. this is about allowing a very serious investigation to come to its conclusion. and it is critically important that we allow director mueller to complete his work. linda: jonathan from the philadelphia inquirer, to your left. jonathan: you talked about competing everywhere, but obviously you lost some senators in a rural states, incumbents. how do you go the on the suburbs and compete in those rural states to try to build the senate majority down the line? how do you compete in those states? tom: we do what we did in alabama last year. jonathan: that was a unique component, and alabama. tom: doug jones outperformed barack obama. when i talk about expanding and reshaping the electorate and the playing field, that is what i mean. it is about bringing out voters who have not participated. one of the heartening facts of
this cycle is the number of first-time voters, the number of drop-off voters, young voters who are participating. me, gives me a lot of optimism and hope. i think the playbook in alabama was to make sure we drew those voters out. and in an ordinary election cycle in alabama, up until last year, african americans constituted about 24.5% of the people who actually voted. doug raised that percentage to almost 30%, and he was still able to get a number of white moderate voters. in mississippi you will see the same thing. in about three weeks they will have an election. we have people on the ground now. and we are going to continue to
invest there. not only because we support mike esty, but next year there is jim hood, the attorney general running for governor. when you build a 12 month a year party, when you organize everywhere, and when you talk about the issues people care about, health care is the number -one issue in this country people in mississippi and , alabama and kansas had pre-existing conditions, they care about that they care about , educational reform. that is why we can be competitive everywhere. that is why we are organizing everywhere. now, you don't reverse trends overnight. i was disappointed that beto did not make it over the finish line, but i was inspired by the 254-county strategy he put in place. and that foundation that has been laid is a foundation that is going to enable us to expand the electorate. place. and that is exactly what i talk
about. when you are a 50-state party and competing everywhere, when you are talking to folks everywhere, that is how you win. it does not always happen overnight, but we have to take a long-term approach. progress, asndous the numbers i outlined indicate, but the numbers and the fact we still have work to do is abundantly clear to all of us. linda: maurine from usa today. maurine: [indiscernible] -- the party would have done differently to say the incumbent? tom: i have not looked at the numbers there in any sufficient detail right now. i am sort of a numbers guy. and i not only want to look there, but i want to look at
places like montana, where we were able to be successful, and contrast, andnd see what we need to do. what i know we have to do and we have moved to the 2020 senate cycle and we have places like colorado where you have a senate seat in play and we continue to build and strengthen the democratic party there. you saw the sixth congressional district of colorado, a target for a number of years. and again this is about , persistence. we tried, we tried, we tried. we did not succeed, we did not succeed, and then we not only , weeeded with jason crowe succeeded in a very solid manner with jason crowe. that is a senate seat in play now with cory gardner. in maine we invested heavily in janet mills. it was with an eye towards helping janet mills and the second congressional district, but it is also with an eye towards electing a democrat to the u.s. senate in 2020.
and so that is what a 50-state strategy is about i think one of the most important reasons to have a 50-state strategy is the united states senate. if you see 25 states, they went to the other side. it is hard to sustain a democratic majority in the senate. that is why i am heartened. and we showed we can win in kansas. houseok at some of these seat that were one in other won in -- that were other states, we can again compete there. we did not make it to the top in iowa at the governor's level, but we won two seats and gave steve king a run for his money. that is the foundation we have been able to lay to compete everywhere. becker froma reuters. amanda: my question is about rural areas.
have easy is it for candidates to speak to their district? are there any statewide candidates who won, a governor or a senator who you think that -- you think had a really effective rural strategy and not just rely on the urban areas? tom: when i look at wisconsin, for instance, if you go to the rebecca dallet race who ran for state supreme court, and the election was in march or april of this year, and we invested heavily in her race. we thought going into the election, i best-case sonority whens that she could maybe by two points. -- she could maybe win by two points. she won by 11, because we were
not only able to increase turnout, but we were able -- she won brown county, green bay. across areas of the state were donald trump won convincingly. that was the moment when i said to myself, we can beat scott walker. if you look at tony evers, he was able to run up the score in dane county and in milwaukee county, and he was able to hold his own elsewhere across the state. and he has done so because he is and we were leader, all organizing in rural wisconsin because people in rural wisconsin a pre-existing, -- pre-existing conditions. people in rural wisconsin are struggling with opioid addictions. people in rural wisconsin are
struggling with the scott holes, the potholes across the state of wisconsin. the transportation infrastructure deficit. we get the dnc, we established in addition to increasing our , investment in the state parties, we established a $10 million innovation grant programs focused on three areas. base voter engagement. millennial engagement. and rural voter engagement. so we made a six-figure investment in georgia. and by the way, those three are not mutually exclusive. we made a six-figure investment in georgia, in the rural organizing of african-american voters. why? by the way, we did this long before we knew who the nominee would be, but suspecting it would be stacey abrams. and a third of voters who are african-american and georgia
reside outside major metropolitan areas. we were not touching them in statewide elections, historically, and through this we learned a lot about how to engage. in texas, we spent a lot of time in the rural parts of the state. because if you look at why democrats are losing in texas, why democrats are losing in wisconsin, it is because we were not doing enough to engage those rural voters. so i am proud of the fact tony was able to win in milwaukee and in madison, and also compete in the rural parts of the state. and i am confident that moving forward, he will continue to do the same. linda: dan from cnn. dan: [indiscernible] had asly he, democrats good night, but in florida and ohio it seems like trump's message was resilient. how much does that worry you
going into 2020? it seems like he is still very resilient and viable in those two key states. tom: i will go one at a time. 50,000 votes or so separate the candidates in florida. and there was historic turnout , as you know, for a midterm cycle. rich cordray got half a million more votes than john kasich did when he won reelection four years ago, ago but there was a remarkable -- on both sides. both sides. turnout was through the roof on both sides. and that is a fact. and in florida, for me, the lesson i take away from that is, and i guess my civil rights lawyer hat comes back on, which
is, success is about persistence. we are about 50,000 votes away. and when i look at florida and what we need to do moving forward in florida, and we still have a recount to do, so putting that issue aside for the moment, i come back to what i said at the outset of my remarks. we have to expand the face of the electorate. and when you look at florida in particular, the republicans have controlled the governorship for a quarter century. and as i said before a big part , of the republican playbook has been making it harder for people vote, who they perceive are not going to vote for them. of when you have one half permanently-disenfranchised felons living in western -- we
have one half of permanently-disenfranchised people living in one state, there is a bunch of different approaches to making it hard for people to vote. that was the approach that has been in place in florida. and it is unconscionable to me that one in four african -americans, or one in five african-americans in florida can't vote. that has changed as of election day. i know exactly what the organizing challenge is moving forward. if you go to virginia, eight year ago one of the most poignant moments for me was who, as a a voter result of courageous action taken by terry mcauliffe, was able to vote for the first time. something like 60,000 voters went to the polls in virginia last year. i know with the organizing challenge is. more broadly what we have to do in a number of states is make sure we are doing our level best to ensure we eliminate these
barriers. in ohio i have not looked at the , numbers other than knowing it was remarkable turnout in the state. we will compete in ohio. >> do you consider it winnable for democrats, given trump's -- tom: what i did when i first got the job was i get a lot of was i did aid -- lot of listening. and went to northwest wisconsin early in a job. one voters that i am politically -- one voters said, i am politically homeless, because you have not shown up in years. those were his words. i took that to heart. that is why we invested early and everywhere in wisconsin. in partnership with the democratic party of wisconsin and other stakeholders. and it paid dividends. and what we have to do a better job of in ohio is talking to voters in the rural parts of the
state, because i haven't looked at the cross tabs yet, but the strength of donald trump in 2016 was rural ohio. they came out, they voted for him, that was a continuing strength i suspect in 2018. and so your questions are somewhat linked. everywhere,ompete and beto made tremendous progress in helping democrats compete in texas. i talked to rural voters in texas, who said it was literally hazardous to my health to put a yard sign for a democrat in my yard, living in rural texas. one woman got a call from her local mortgage banker who held the mortgage on her house saying sign for a have a democrat on your yard. it is pretty remarkable, the world of being a democrat in certain parts of the country. and we are changing that. beto make great progress and we
obviously have more work to do in ohio. tom: cameron from talking points memo, at the outer table. cameron: first, i want to go back to what john was asking. what should be the response from house democrats if matt whitaker endhoever is ag moves to the mueller investigation? the other question is the rnc , are raised in the dnc two to one this cycle of democrats across the board for raising a ton of money. i know that you guys inherited a lot of problems and trust issues given what happened in 2016, but what can you do to close that gap, and what is your biggest challenge? tom: i will take your questions in order. i hope it is not just democrats calling to make sure similar investigation proceeds. it is democrats and republicans. this is not about right versus left. it is about right versus wrong. the department of justice is supposed to be independent.
and what occurred yesterday is incredibly troubling, at a minimum. it is completely counter to the historic, bipartisan practice of the department of justice under republican and democratic administrations. back in the watergate era eventually there were people baker, who stood up and said, this is wrong, because i am first and foremost an american. so what i hope is going to happen in the weeks, days, months ahead is that democrats and republicans will come say, this investigation needs to continue to its conclusion. this investigation needs to continue to be independent. stay out of his way. and that is what needs to happen, and it needs to happen on a bipartisan basis. if it doesn't, democrats will
continue to call for that. and now that we have the majority in the house, and i think the american people elected a democratic house because they recognize we need guardrails in washington. we need oversight in washington. we need accountability, and we will offer that, but what we have to do first and foremost is allow the investigation to be completed. your second question, on the fundraising, if you look at fundraising going back to 2000, in 2006, the rnc outraised the one, and we two to won the house that year, we won the senate. in 2010, the democrats outraised the republicans considerably. rnc, and we versus the know what happened in 2010. in 2018, republicans outraised the democrats.
it is a dog bites man story because they have more wealthy , people. and we took over the house and we took over seven governorships and we won all the seats i spoke about. for me, the goal has never been to match them dollar for dollar. the goal is to raise enough money to implement our game plan. and our game plan is a 50-state strategy. our game plan is helping folks in wisconsin, nevada, kansas and elsewhere, to make sure we can build the necessary infrastructure so we can today's world is a little different. when you measure the capacity of each party to move forward, it is not just what is the dnc raising? it is what the dccc, the dscc, broader ecosystem. i think democrats are doing pretty well. when i look at what the rnc
spent his money on, they spent it on roy moore and donald trump's legal defense fund. i really think so many people they invest in are morally bankrupt. that is why we have been able to win a lot of seats. paul: the you expect to hear more calls for limits in the house? the shooter had an extended mag on his pistol which would've been outlawed under california law overturned by a few judges. you see action in the house? tom: i hope there will be some common sense gun safety actions. for me this is personal. i get so sick and tired when i hear people talk about how their thoughts and prayers are with folks. they are not enough.
i was in cincinnati last weekend in the run-up to the election. i spoke to a woman who was the grandmother of one of the parkland shooting victims. she had a double whammy. she not only lost her granddaughter, but she lost her son. in the aftermath of 9/11 he helped first responders and he died of pancreatic cancer because of the stuff he inhaled. i can't let her down. lucy mcbath is now a member of congress in a district that has trended republican. four years ago, price won by 20 points. that wasn't even four years ago, it was 2016. we need to do something about this.
i am glad we have a democratic majority in the house. i think the second amendment and common sense gun safety can coexist. i know the american people want it to coexist and hope that happens. we talked about background checks. we talked about assault weapons. berry goldwater once said anybody who needs to own an assault weapon probably has that aim and should not have a weapon to begin with. how many more incidents to me to -- do we need to have before we do something? how many more preventable deaths need to occur? linda: dave from the washington post. dave: what will the dnc invested over the next couple of months?
you kind of hinted at it. tom: we have boots on the ground in georgia right now. our southern regional director has worked before with stacey abrams and is close with stacy. stacy called me personally a few months ago and said, can jonay come down full-time? we said absolutely. when i was in georgia last weekend i was with jonay for a period of time. we have folks who are down there. we will continue to be in contact. every vote needs to be counted in georgia. the weekend before that, two weeks ago i was in mississippi. we had boots on the ground there. we will continue to do that
because not only do we have an election for senate in less than three weeks, the monday after thanksgiving or tuesday after thanksgiving, something like that, but we have elections next year. we have invested and our investment was months ago in building the infrastructure in mississippi. not only to help mike espe but help jim hood up and down the ticket in mississippi. and florida there is an army of lawyers now that are working on the recount. i am glad they are doing that. again, the lesson in florida is i think about the next phase. florida is a great example of the necessity to make sure we
are organized 12 months a year. i know and feel acutely the disappointment that many folks have. a lot of first-time voters came out and andrew especially and stacy have excited people in remarkable ways. what i have learned over the course of my career doing civil rights work is that i won some cases and did not quite win some cases but you always keep fighting. it is a marathon relay. the lesson across america is we have got to keep investing in this infrastructure. democrats, one of the reasons we got into trouble is we were not thinking long-term enough over the course of years. we allowed infrastructure to fray and we are not doing that anymore. florida, we got close to the mountaintop.
the remedy is not to walk down to the bottom of the mountain. it is to fortify and mobilize and keep climbing. >> do you consider -- florida democrats do not consider the race as lost right now. i am wondering what the dnc is doing in terms of ballot chasing? tom: one of the emails they came across my desk because i was asking this question -- we have folks on our protection team right now doing ballot chasing of provisional ballots. the problem is they claim there are 22,000 or 25,000 provisional ballots. i don't believe them. i think there are more. the problem is the fox is guarding the henhouse. i have no faith in anything the person who wants to be governor but is overseeing the integrity
of the election says. there is an old andy griffith episode where a guy walks in. i want to speak to the police officer. the guy puts on his police hat on. i want to talk to the judge. he opened the door and puts on his judge hat. that is what we have people on the voter protection team. whatever help anyone needs in florida and georgia, we are going to continue everything we need to do. voter suppression is a permanent staple in their playbook. that is a lesson we have to learn. it takes a different form in different places. shelby county, tennessee, it took the form of this match requirement which was
ridiculous. you see the voter id laws. you see long lines. in ohio, the republicans passed a law limiting early voting. it could only have one early voting site in every county. people in cincinnati on sunday -- the days are melding together -- people were excited because the lines were around the corner. you could've opened up multiple sites admitted easier for people to vote but they limited it to one site. someone will look at that line and say i don't have time for that. reed: you mentioned marathons for the presidential primary. some candidates seem to already be starting. how soon should we expect to see how many democratic states and
soon should -- how we expect to see them? when should we expect to see them to start? two, when we talked a few weeks ago you when i prepared to take a position on who should be the next house speaker. has that changed after the elections? are you ready to make an endorsement for speaker of the house? tom: let me do them in order. we have a meeting with a host of key stakeholders now over the course of many months. my colleague mary beth cahill has been taking the lead. when i ran for dnc chair and said to rebuild trust we will set out a primary today calendar -- debate calendar long in advance of who we know will be in the race. our job is to make sure everybody gets a fair shake. the process is fair. fair in fact and fair in perception.
before the end of the year we will outline what the primary debate calendar is, the number of debates we think will take place. when they will start. and, given the expectation that we will have multiple candidates, some initial guidance on how we will manage that potential contingency. we have not made any final decisions yet. reed: what is your ballpark idea for how many debates there should be? tom: we are still debating. we are debating how many states will have debates. certainly more than the last cycle is what we think. the goal is to make sure people can kick the tires on the candidates and make sure the candidates can have a fair shake and a fair opportunity to make their case to the american
people. i want to make sure that if we have a dozen candidates for president, 11 of those 12 are not going to make it to the mountaintop. i want to make sure everybody feels like their candidate got a fair shake because we have to ensure coming out of the convention is that we have a wind at our back, we have unity and excitement. i have great respect for nancy pelosi. i think the decision should be up to the democrats in the house. i think the one question people is what are the most important issues confronting america and who is best situated to do it?
workso grateful for the that she did in bringing the affordable care act to the american people. without nancy pelosi, we would not have an affordable care act. health care is the number one issue on the ballot. as members vote on who to have as our leader of the house, our speaker, i should say, i am sure that will be one factor that people will weigh. because we have to make sure we deliver on our promises of protecting access to health care for people with pre-existing conditions and bringing down the cost of prescription drugs. i'm sure that people will weigh the costs of that as we go forward. again, i think it should be up to the house members to do this. i have profound respect for nancy pelosi and what she has done. i think she has been one of the most impactful speakers and minority leaders in the history of the house. she has done -- again, we would not have an affordable care act
without her. that is the question that if i were a house member, i would want to know, in these turbulent times, you know, who has the requisite experience and savvy to navigate these turbulent waters? >> all right, so it is a little after 10:00. we started a little late. can you take one more? >> i'm fine. >> and back to texas, beto had a dramatic impact in energizing democratic voters, but there are still five congressional races that did not make it over the finish line. one we have upstanding, and i will ask you if you are involved in texas 23, which may or may not go to a recount. >> gina. >> and we had four races that surprised a lot of people that came within four.
texas 10, texas 21, 22, and 31. 31 was m.j. hagar, who might be known because of her colorful ads against john carter. what will it take for democrats to cross the finish line on this after a year that was so phenomenal because of beto? tom: persistence is what it is going to take, and continued commitment to organizing everywhere. again, getting back to your question about rural organizing. i am heartened by what happens not only in texas, but elsewhere. we invested a lot in fred hubbell, who did not make it across the finish line, but we now have two new members of congress from iowa, we almost had a third. the work that beto and others have done, the texas democratic party, what we have to do is understand that this is about persistence.
this is about having a long-term strategy. we did not make it in those races now, but we are far further along now than we were before. we now have an election in 2020 in texas. you have john cornyn on the ballot for the state senate. and what we have shown is that democrats, if you have the right democrat on the ballot, they can give that person the run for his money. so you are going to see a lot of prominent democrats come up and compete to run against john cornyn. when i hear someone tell me that tom, you don't need to worry about organizing because demographic is destiny? that his fingernails on a chalkboard for me. that is only destiny when you are building relationship with -- building relationships with people, when you're out there listening and fighting for things people care about. voters in rural and urban texas and across america have seen what we stood for. that is why we won the popular
vote by almost 8% across this country. inspired so many young voters and establish the baseline that is higher, and we build on it. success is about persistence. we build the runway, the infrastructure that enables candidates to take off and land the plane, you know? the voter file. technology investments. all of those things. we continue to build that voter file and continue to make those investments and build partnerships with the ecosystem. we have made tremendous progress this year, but we've got more work to do. when i get closer to the line, i get that much more excited. am i disappointed? of course. i always want to win. but i think we are on the right pathway, and we will nominate a candidate for president who
will, in turn, inspire that much more participation. if the question is, are we going to compete in the texas senate race in 2020, the answer is hell yeah. i do not think the votes have been counted quite yet, so we are not sure where the spread is, but we are in contact. gina spoke at a number of our events. she is a spectacular candidate, so we want to wait and run across the tape and continue to run as long as there is an opportunity. >> well, it is now 10:06. i will end the formal hour. thank you again for coming, please come again. >> thank you. >> thank you. any questions? [laughter] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
health care. he said the first thing he would do is repeal the affordable care act. the american people want to leaders who unite. -- want leaders who unite. that 8% to swaying or whatever orwill end up being -- swing whatever it will end up being is a huge statement about the people. major policy goal this coming year has been focused on the border wall. if you have any compromises planned to work with the president on that issue this year. >> we need to build bridges, rather than walls.
need to pass feedback that will actually help people. this is what we need to do. again. to see you you said it's up to the house to select a new speakers. who was it up to do select a new rules-- to select a new committee chairman? >> the house will select to their leadership is. i am going to leave it to them. i don't even know who else is running. even if i did, i would be weighing in on who want to do what. -- ought to do what. >we have to take every day one t a time. we have to allow the robert mueller investigation to continue.
ands a very savvy independent person. we need to make sure we get that done. i want to focus on making sure we allow him to do his job. that is what our oversight is going to be. it's not just democrats. it should be democrats and republicans. wrongs a right versus issue, not a right versus left issue. we need to put party over country. i hope lindsey graham says it again. >> [indiscernible]
[inaudible conversation] >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. navarro talks but economic
policy and national security today, live from the center for strategic and international studies at 11 a.m. eastern. the housing and urban development secretary speaks to conservative students at a conference in washington dc. the young americans foundation is hosting the annual gathering. as your primary source for campaign 2018, we brought you candidate debates in the most competitive races. c-span, over 160 races from across the country. the voters have now decided on a new congress. watch the process unfold on c-span. ues. host: we are joined by david kiefer. and francine