tv Washington Journal Eleanor Clift CSPAN December 31, 2019 12:41pm-1:31pm EST
go shopping and see what is available at the c-span online store including our new campaign 2020 t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats. browse all of our products. >> this is eleanor cliff. she is a columnist for the daily piece joining us on last day of the year. >> glad to be with you. >> we have been talking to folks for the last hour about a top story for 2019. if there's a thing that rises to the top? >> the president impeached. only the third president in u.s. history. i grew up in queens new york, and the queens daily eagle played impeachment a page 15 below the phone. it said queen band impeached.
donald trump impeached. only the third president in u.s. history and the first from queens. [laughter] that put into perspective on what people are interested in. pedro: with that in mind -- >> when i say close to home i am thinking the planet. this is the first to the planet has gotten the attention it deserves with the rise of the young climate activist, greta thunberg. new year's eve tonight in new york city the climate is the theme. i don't know how they mix-and-match that with the revelry. but i think we are finally beginning to get serious about the dangers facing the planet from climate change. pedro: demonstration take on foot climate agreement. as far as the future, do you
think the administration is done with climate? will it continue on criticizing -- >> this administration is requesting value time. there will be one after this one. president trump will not be president for life. i think whoever succeeds him will have more realistic views on that topic. pedro: the story about the queens newspaper, do you think americans care about the impeachment story as much as we who cover it or here in washington? >> not as much as people in washington who are interested in every little in and out the topic. i do think people around the country understand something historic is happening. -- there areual real issues at stake. that is what the senate is going to have to come to grips with the fact they are going to have to have a real trial. they cannot just conduct a show trial.
there is too much evidence coming out. republicanssure on senators as well to hear from witnesses. i don't know how that will resolve itself. i do think you look at the polls -- 70% of those say we should hear from witnesses. these kinds of numbers are going to impact how the senate conducts that trial. pedro: you are convinced senator o'connell -- mcconnell will go along with it? >> i am not convinced he will go along with anything. i have learned one thing about him over the years. he makes these year-end deals. he made a number with vice president biden. if there is something he wants, he figures out a way to get it. trumppublicans and donald need a trial sooner rather than later. they see it as exoneration. no matter how many witnesses are heard from, the likely result is
still there will not be a conviction. mcconnell wants something and if you want something, the other side gets to dictate sometimes. the dealmaking has yet to occur. pedro: our guest with us until 8:45. fors (202) 748-8001 republicans. (202) 748-8002 for independence. four democrats. you can also post on social media. to there history listens compare and contrast on what is planned out? like what we saw president clinton. >> one difference is that president clinton was impeached in his second term. he had already been reelected. this is new territory of a president being impeached in the first time. running for reelection as well. even if he is exonerated in his
view, if there are not 67 senators who vote for conviction, will that damage him going into reelection? will softer republicans or independents have second thoughts about giving him another four years? in blaze and his followers they will turn out in greater numbers and give him another four-year term? i don't know how that will play out. that is a significant difference. wither difference president clinton, his party condemned his behavior. there was not a single democrat defending him. they drew the line and said they did not think it rose to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors. this president does not want anybody to say what he did was anything less than perfect. you have republicans basically
defending -- when you hear the facts and look at what the constitution requires. the separation of powers, they are defending the indefensible. they worry about how history is going to view it. he has not given them any maneuvering room. with clinton, i don't remember what the numbers were in the senate, they did not get enough votes -- they do not get super majority. they could not get a majority. that was a republican senate. i did not think there was that much great interaction between the parties then. compared to now -- [laughter] it was reasonable. there were people on both sides willing to make judgment. pedro: who are the republican senators to watch for? as the process plays out. partner on theng
mcglocklin group would say, why don't you look at mitch? the usual suspects. mitt romney comes from utah. --is a fairly newly enacted newly elected and not up for reelection. utah does not like this president. you would think mitt romney would have nothing to lose to stand up and put country over party. a number of people are calling on him to do that. he has never been an especially courageous figure. some of the right things. he may stop there. then you look at the senators who are up for reelection in states where they need democratic votes. maine, true in arizona,
colorado. charlie cook who is a highly regarded political handicapper over the holidays said the senate is in play. i think he listed seven republican held seats that are now competitive. yearics going into this are going to be quite fascinating. pedro: with calls lined up for you. how often to publish at the? >> once a week or twice a week. website.u can find the our first call is from karen. she is in texas. republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. thes wanting to talk about prior topic but i will take this one. i don't think the impeachment process has been fair.
on the democratic side. was raised democratic. i have tried looking at both sides of the issue. i really don't think the president has been treated fairly. there has been a lot of good things he has done. hanukkahfirst day of he signed a presidential order against hate crimes. against everyone. against -- he is against people discriminating against the jews, lacks, hispanics. he signed an executive order this year -- i watched it on tv. nobody covered it. yesterday they had a guest speaker on and this guest
speaker was saying president trump was against the jewish people. don't think he is being treated fairly. pedro: we will leave it at that. this idea about be treated fairly. eleanor: impeachment is not about covering the things he does well. about applications of abuse of power and obstruction of congress. he has ordered everyone in his administration to not respond to legally issued subpoenas. works thepeachment house ask is the grand jury. the trial happens in the senate. the president was invited to present witnesses in the house. he chose not to. he is basically called a process unfair well fusing to participate. it has become a talking point on
his side. held deposition behind closed doors. the republican members of those committees were all welcome to the be there. most were. the republicans claimed they were shut out. it has become a political hot potato. claimingee democrats the senate trial as it is shaping up is unfair. now the shoe is on the other foot. as a matter of strategy, what are your thoughts on nancy pelosi holding the articles? eleanor: i think it is working beautifully for her in the country. more information is coming out. is made thenof it actually fact. right after the house voted for impeachment, the number two democrat for maryland said on
television there was housekeeping matters that had to be dealt with before the articles went to the senate. as soon as the articles go to the senate all other business must stop. house and democratic leaders -- and a lot of republicans -- passedike to get usmca first. mitch mcconnell said he would not take that up until after the trial. the democrats and republicans would like to show the voters they can do something other than impeachment. they would like to pay off that trade bill. it is a big victory for the president. so does nancy pelosi. earlier i said mcconnell makes deals when there is something he wants. that is a little piece of leverage nancy pelosi has in terms of understanding the rules for the senate.
trying to get legislation passed. it is hard for me to think he can hold them beyond february. it becomes thinkable that she could put a little pressure and spotlight on mcconnell. the democrats, with bipartisan support in the house, have passed something like 275 bills having to do with health care, reform, voter reform, gun violence. mcconnell, who calls himself the grim reaper, has not brought any of that to a vote. that has not broken through to the country. the president because the democrats the do-nothing democrats. they have done quite a lot. that has stalled in the senate. this gives her an opportunity to shine a light on that. maybe even get at least the trade deal past before they go into the senate. pedro: on our independent line
jimbo from california. eleanor, i am one of your fans. i want to thank you so much for continuing to carry on the tradition of just facts. i am a huge fan. you have a lifetime of staying true to the journalistic pursuit of just trying to find out objectively with the facts appeared i have a question for you. collins, charles koch says her race is a tossup. in 2016.ne by 3% i was curious what you think -- if mitch mcconnell tries to railroad this process without any new evidence or witnesses, what does someone like susan collins -- if she votes to
acquit, she will trot -- she will probably lose receipt. -- lose her seat. eleanor: thank you for the kind words. you have put it as the facts. i do like to go out and gather information, the quotes, get everyone's perspective. that is my style. susan collins has been walking a tight rope her entire political career. had significant problems when she voted for cavanaugh after the supreme court. not so much the vote she cast but that she held open her vote for quite a long time. then went to the senate floor and gave a half hour long speech of the agonizing. then she supported him. say, she goes
through all this but in the end she is not there for us. she has lost support among women. she cannot win if she does not have the trump base with her either. the president is courting her and others. he needs to keep his republican support together. they basically endorsed her. i think it a week or so ago. he will be going to maine and holding a rally. will susan collins appear? she is a republican and he is party leader. appeal to both sides. voted to convict, she would also lose a lot of points. with supporters. i don't how she resolves that. it is important if we could of ally have a semblance trial with witnesses, maybe some
minds might be changed one way or the other. susan collins is one of those. i imagine she would like to get this over with as quickly as possible. and campaign ahead to be reelected if she is part of a dish with the other side will characterize -- as a senate cabal. pedro: let us hear from rick in florida. caller: happy new year. anyway, why can't we wait for the next congress? it is not that many months away. two, why don't you keep it in her pockets of the supreme court justice in case we need to have another one, the leader in the senate cannot pass somebody
through? we could use impeachment as a roadblock. eleanor: right. that is playing hard politics. i don't quite see that happening. it is intriguing. i hope we get through the next year without any supreme court nominations. that is of great concern on the democratic side. there is a conservative majority in the court right now. justice roberts will be presiding over the senate trial. notconstitution really does spell out what the role of the presiding office will be. chief justice rehnquist during the clinton trial basically said he got a lot of reviews for doing nothing and playing solitaire. he did not make any big rulings. did not make any big, definitive rulings. i am sure that justice roberts
would like it if he could get away with that, too. but this may be a different period. but the congress comes back next week, and i think that pelosi, the speaker, will hold onto the articles as long as that tactic appears to be working. it could shift. so i think we are in a period of all options open on both sides, as they try to maneuver their way through this very strange land of impeachment. host: how much do you think the iowa caucuses at the end of january factor into a decision on when these trials will play out? guest: originally, all the pressure was on the democrats. they needed to get this over before the iowa caucuses began. now i think the feeling is the pressure is on the republicans, because the president really wants this to be behind him. so the republicans, i think, are feeling heat more than the democrats. if you hold the articles until
after the first four contests occur, maybe that is not such a bad thing. you do have, also, the speaker invited the president to deliver the state of the union on february 4. i was thinking that must be a deadline of some sort, but i have been told by the people i spoke to, no, do not count on that as a deadline. people are wondering if the president, when he delivers the state of the union remarks, will he be able to resist turning around to nancy pelosi and saying something he probably should not say. somebody reminded me yesterday, i am not sure the quote is entirely accurate, but president clinton delivered a state of the union in the midst of impeachment proceedings and basically said the state of the union is sound. so you do not personalize it. but this president tends to personalize everything.
so, again, another unknown that we will know how it comes out, which is the nice thing about this political season. host: this is eleanor clift of "the daily beast" joining us. next call from rob in new york. republican line. caller: hello. guest: happy new year to you. caller: you too. thanks. i just am bothered by the way the mainstream media talks about trump on every -- cnn, msnbc, abc, cbs, nbc. all the talking heads and all the commentators, they, the way they talk about impeachment and trump is to always bash trump and condemn him, no matter what. and they think that we do not notice.
that is ridiculous. they pretend to be neutral. and it is obvious they are not. it is so obvious it is funny. that is just, really -- that is -- that gets me. and that happens with all issues, not just impeachment. and for nancy pelosi to be holding back the articles, it is just playing a really evil game. impeachment should not be played with. she is playing with the articles, seeing what's leverage she can use and so forth, it is a big game. host: thanks, robin. guest: the counter question, does it matter that mitch mcconnell is not acting on any of the legislation that the house has passed that addresses the needs of real people? and yet he seems to think that
he could whiz through impeachment trial with no problem. i think that is the contrast the democrats would like to draw. i do not think that is evil. i think that is appropriate. host: from north carolina, independent line. bonnie is up next. caller: good morning. happy new year. guest: you, too. caller: i really want to say, like your last comment, you think that he is not -- mcconnell is not passing things in the house. well, impeachment, you act like it is a run-of-the-mill thing, and it is the biggest deal there is. like i texted nancy -- if trump is guilty, biden is guilty. they both did the very same thing. neverer got to see -- one got to see the light of day until biden said it himself, and
the other is all over everywhere. but y'all -- that is what my problem is. i am an independent. i like to pick the one who will do the best for our country. and what i see, in this administration, is good things for the country. everybody does not want to put that up. the man does not have the best character, and that is all known, but never in my life -- and i am 60 years old now -- have i seen civilized people, we call ourselves, treat our president so badly. you do not have to like him. there are a lot of people who do not like both sides. but our country is getting so divided because of this nitpicking and dishonest and just -- i do not know -- host: got your thoughts. guest: i do not want to get into who started it and who is making it worse in all of that, but i hardly think that this president
is getting picked on, when you look at the way he treats other people and politicians, groups of people. i think he has made the divide in the country worse. host: the current field, where do you think the strengths allies as far as a leading candidate. guest: it is early in the process and then suddenly, it is not early in iowa coming up. we are ending the year basically where he started with joe biden as a front runner, bernie sanders is a very strong, , and it co-front-runner looks a lot like it could be a anday of 2016 with divide the democratic party between the more centrist establishment view and the more progressive view.
--h bernie sanders being beating hillary clinton and trump being trump again. i am hesitant to predict that biden will be the nominee because i think there is still a long way to go about that, but he is in a strong position because of the support he gets mainly from the black community. bernie sanders has worked hard --attract minority were minority support, and he has come a long way and he made a remarkable recovery after a heart attack. he had gotten all of these letters from cardiologist saying his heart muscles are stronger than ever. these are two people, both in and theys, represent the ideological divide between the democratic party. ,ou can find pollsters
government scholars who will make the argument that the democrats can only win if they thosepeal to independenta, and then find an equal number of credible people who say the 2018 election showed that there was a turnout capability on the democratic side, that if repeated in 2020, could elect progressives. that is the battle going on in the party and then you do have other voices, mayor pete, it is hard for me to see him going the distance in this particular election, but he will be around in our politics for some time to come and andrew yang is an interesting figure. he stated in this race as long as he has because he is talking about jobs and he is talking about the nature of work, and what kind of work what we have in the future when we have driverless cars, and we have robots doing everything.
ofm not sure i like his idea $1000 a month to but he at least is looking at the future and people need to work for self-worth and the country needs productivity, so he is a big thinker. i do not see him getting the nomination, but i would like to or him heading an initiative an agency on the future, because i think he is very good. justice kagan: what holds -- host: what holds buttigieg back? guest: i think he won in south bend, indiana with 8000 votes, not to buy 8000 votes. with 8000 votes. i just think that he has now tried, he came into the race more on the progressive side, and now he is navigated to the more centrist side, and he is taking a lot of heat because of
fundraising tactics, which i think that is unfair, you work with the system that you have. thei think that people in and are going to think that he cannot defeat donald trump. in large part because he does not have any traction in the black community, either, and as his big issue. host: i will reach the headline, "why trump looks positioned to win reelection." what is the main theme? guest: the main theme is the economy. normally when an incumbent president has an economy roaring the way this is, they are a she went for reelection and all of the moody's analytics and all of the big business pollsters have said that he is a likely winner, but if you dig beneath the big numbers on the economy, you see the growth is basically on the two coasts and in certain cities. places the
lagging in 2016 that helped elect the president are still lagging. andstatistic between 2012 2016, there are more jobs created in queens then and wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania and ohio, combined. that is why trump. elected and he has not really addressed that issue. fact that istorical learned in reporting that column was that after every impeached president, the party that is out of the white house wins. that has been true with andrew johnson, richard nixon and bill clinton. al gore. the economy was doing very well under clinton and al gore lost because clinton's behavior opened the door for george w. bush to run on restoring dignity to the oval office.
times we are in different now, but if that analogy holds, at least the democrats have an even chance to get the white house. host: democrats line, sherman oaks, california. hello. caller: i am thrilled to be able talk with you, eleanor. i'm glad you are being treated more fairly than on the mclaughlin group. in 1967 and in 1968, i used to get newsweek. i was intrigued by something. there was a postelection article talking about the process of what newsweek went through. it mentioned they wrote what you might call victory articles for all three candidates, including wallace, which it would be hard to imagine. i wonder if those are still available somewhere? i put in google news alerts and nothing comes up. guest: yes, that was standard
procedure. you wrote the cover story for each contender. gosh, that should be available in the archives and newsweek does have an office in new york. print publications have taken such a nosedive because of the internet and the immediacy of being online that may not have been saved. gore-bush election, we covers -- two separate prepared, and we had a bush cover, and we had a gore cover and then win the election was unresolved, it was 36-37, what we ended up printing was a face and of gore's bush's face combined. it was one of the memorable covers that newsweek did.
that a tradition in journalism, you have to be ready for everything. write the normally ir concession speech. hillary clinton confessed in 2016 she was so confident she was going to win, that she did not have a concession speech. that was one of the reasons the vote tallying went on. she did not appear until the next day. that was in part because she had not written anything. jack in ohio, independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i wish you a happy news year. i just think the impeachment right now stands from an invalid standpoint. we don't operate on precedents.
it's unprecedented that the speaker did not send this over to the senate. since it has not been sent to the senate to be viewed by the senate, then i am looking at all of the information the democrats had gathered. and onee on one voice concerned that they had enough information for the articles of impeachment, yet, why not send all that over and let the center judge from that standpoint? like i said, i think is unprecedented. we should operate on precedents. onst: we actually operate what is constitutional and there is nothing in the constitution that says the articles have to go over right away. again, i think i quoted steny hoyer earlier in this hour, but there has been nobody home in the senate for the last couple of weeks anyway, so it is kind of pointless. it would be nice if the senate could do what it is supposed to passed legislation,
and address the problems facing the american people that democrats and republicans together -- again, these are 275 pieces of bipartisan legislation, including the violence against women act. i think it's perfectly appropriate within the bounds of behavior and norms between the branches and between the two houses of congress. host: we will hear next from ray and pleasant view, tennessee. republican line. caller: hello? host: you are on. caller: this whole impeachment thing, they gathered in the house and they got their way of doing everything. now it is supposed to go to the senate. they don't want to do that. my statement is this, i am 70 something years old. i've seen this country go from
taking care of their own responsibilities individually to these politicians now running for office, wanting to give everybody everything they can. most people's problems are things they bring on themselves and these politicians are feeding that. especially on the liberal side. we are going to do this for you. we are going to do that for you. you are making people dependent on you just like you did the indians. you put them on a reservation. you give them everything. they turned into alcoholics. it's not common sense. host: ok, thanks. guest: i wonder what the caller has in mind that he would take away. if he is 70 years old, he is probably on medicare which has been a very successful program which a lot of politicians were very much opposed to. even ronald reagan was the
spokesman, campaigning against medicare back in the day. he came around to appreciating it as well. i don't know. there is a sense that people they have the everything get is deserved, but everything everybody else gets is not deserved. i have always thought when i worked in an office and the secretary paid for every tunafish sandwich she ate, meanwhile, the executives were going out and getting their expense account lunches. society is set up to if you are successful, society makes you more successful. it is very hard when you are on the bottom rung to get a leg up. i am grateful we have a government that does care about that. host: this is from our line for democrats. hello.ton, new jersey, caller: good morning.
i want to set something straight about the constitution. article one section two, the house of representatives has the sole power for impeachment. article one section three, the senate shall have the sole power to try the impeachment. when donald trump tells his constituents that it is unconstitutional, he is not telling people the truth about that. my last thing is, they keep saying donald trump is being treated worse than any other president. has anybody remembered barack obama and how he was treated for his eight years? , thank all i have to say you, and happy new year to both of you. guest: thank you and thank you for pointing that out. impeachment is what the
constitution, it's the tool that the other branches of government have to hold a president accountable. you may disagree with the findings. that's ok as long as we go through the process. i agree with them. barack obama took a lot of it, and worendled it as a badge of honor. which is in the tradition of franklin roosevelt. he wore it with a lot of grace. there were calls to impeach barack obama, george w. bush. nancy pelosi was the speaker. she was in power for a time when president bush was in office. she resisted calls to impeach. overaw that as a dispute policy. it was a dispute over the iraq
war. granted, it was a huge mistake, but it was not an impeachable offense. host: we saw those called to testify that did not show up. what makes you think that won't happen on the senate side? guest: they would be defying a subpoena. i would like to see what justice roberts has to say. because you are not supposed to defy a subpoena. weyou and i were subpoenaed, would show up, and if we did not, we would face a fine or possible jail time. why do elected officials get treated any differently? host: republican line from new jersey. susan, good morning. caller: good morning, let me mute my tv. host: we thank you. caller: i just wanted to respond to a comment earlier regarding the impeachment of president clinton and how the congress appeared to be quote,
"reasonable." i just wanted to point out that the jig is up. everyone knows that it's an act. when president trump, and this is the reason he became president, is because he is exposing everyone for the thieves you are. you know you are disingenuous. the republic sees what's going on. i'm talking about politicians. i'm talking about politicians. he is exposing everyone. this is what we see. he will win again in 2020 because of that. people need to get a little honest. and be real with the american people. thank you. guest: i think the caller sees what she wants to see. i will leave it at that. host: david is in michigan. hello. caller: i wanted to follow-up. it's been interesting. i am 66. i like studying background history.
i think it is such a mess. i am wondering about one thing, there used to be that the vice president was from another party. the other thing i think is that the political system and the that what looks like for most people, a bribery system, whoever could bribe the most gets there -- their man in power. i find that really disturbing. i would like to see independents representing us so that they rather thane people a political party and a special interest group. thank you so much. have a wonderful year. guest: he is touching on the role of money in politics.
it's been a problem for some time. the late john mccain was a champion of trying to bring campaign-finance reform. the supreme court took the lid off. now money flows from every which direction. we are seeing in the democratic primaries michael bloomberg and tom steyer spending a lot of money on television advertising to see if they can buy the nomination. i don't think it's going to work. the caller does raise a problem we need to address. right now, most of the politicians of come to terms with the system we have that if we want to win, we better raise money where we can get it. the trump campaign is going to raise $1 billion. they have been spending enormous amounts on advertising as the democrats are still trying to come up with a nominee. it is the war of money. host: how might this play out in
the campaign 2020, and where did stand?ependents what are you thinking in terms of how much it will sway the process? guest: there are so few undecided voters. the battle lines have really hardened. those undecided voters who would label themselves who may have voted or not i voted for trump, they are probably going to decide the election. the few persuadable voters that -- this president was 46.1% of the vote. he cannot get 50%. that leaves an opening for democrats. it puts a big warning sign up that anybody runs third party, i don't care if it's a progressive or a conservative, it would lower the threshold of votes that the incumbent president
would need to win reelection. i wouldn't be surprised if republicans were encouraging a third party. host: is there a possibility that the independents might go to an andrew yang or pete buttigieg? guest: there could be an upset in new hampshire. i think new hampshire has had a flirtation with people who are a little out-of-the-box. not necessarily to win, to show. andrew yang i think will be that person. pete buttigieg has gotten so much publicity now, that you cannot say he will have a surprise showing. he is now top four. andrew yang i think is moving up to the point where he could be a surprise second or third in new hampshire. new hampshire, you have bernie sanders and elizabeth warren from neighboring states.
bernie sanders used to own new hampshire. he did that well in 2016. host: charlene is from columbus on the democrats line. caller: i would like to say how much i admire eleanor clift. i have watched her for years. , there is ais tremendous influence. his wife is involved in business in china. does that have anything to do with -- there has been so much going on in this republican administration the every rock we turn over, we find something. i would like to know what her connection is. he is so adamant about this president, and we all see who this president is, and he should see that as well. my other comment is my grandsons
are in their 20's. they are following andrew yang. i admire what he is doing. i would like to have your comment on mitch mcconnell. this association is just a little bit more than what we expected. host: thanks. mcconnell's wife is the secretary of transportation. she was in an earlier republican administration. i believe her parents were born in taiwan, i'm not sure about her origin. there has been a lot of investigative work about whether the department of transportation that she heads has done any special favors for certain shipping companies in china which she may have some family
connections to. that has been well documented. you can look that up and find out more about it. mitch mcconnell, he is a very adept legislator. i said earlier in this hour, you want to look to see what he wants in certain bills. the omnibus bill that the president just signed funding the government, there were a number of special goodies in there for kentucky, which he always manages to get. this is how our system works. it is not pretty and it gets out of hand. they used to call them earmarks, and they did away with earmarks. now they are back in another form. it is how you courts votes, it is how you put together legislation and a representative democracy where you have people with so many different interests. the old line, you should not to watch sausage being made, and
legislation is often like sausage. -- eleanorr you confining her work at the dailybeast.com. guest: happy new year to you and all of your listeners. stay safe and prosperous. host: a little bit about your network for those not familiar with it, tell us about it and doesn't take a point of view and what perspective does it bring. for one america news network and i host the show point."tipping for 21 hours of the day, we do straight news, almost old-fashioned news we call it, where we do quick headlines.