tv WSJ at Large With Gerry Baker FOX Business June 14, 2019 9:30pm-10:00pm EDT
with maria. all next week we'll be in cannes, france, live. that'll do it for us this weekend. have a great rest of the weekend, everybody. i'll see you again next time. ♪ ♪ gerry: hello and welcome to "wall street journal at large." the race for the democratic presidential nomination kicks into high gear this month when the candidates -- well, most of them at any rate -- take a part in the first televised debates. former vice president joe biden continues to be the bookies' and the pollsters' favorites, but it's early days, and there's plenty of reason to think this campaign is very much wide open. now, according to a recent polling average from real clear politics, biden leads the field with 33%, 16 points ahead of bernie sanders. none of the other 20 or so
candidates is even in double figures. well, actually polls at this stage are not very reliable, but biden also leads in the polls in the early voting states. in iowa where the first votes will be cast in february, the most recent des moines register/cnn poll put him eight points ahead of sanders. yet, there are warning signs. that iowa poll of likely caucus-goers showed his support has stalled since he entered the race while support for senator elizabeth warren and pete buttigieg, the mayor of south bend, indiana, has risen strongly. and biden's been treading through some political minefields on the campaign trail. his latest misten came a week ago when he said, first, he continued to support the hyde amendment. you'll remember that's a decades-long piece of legislation that forbids the use of federal funding to support abortions. but after an outcry, he quickly backtracked and within days said
he now thinks the federal government should, in fact, fund abortion. the incident pointed, i think, to his core problem. while he's trying to position himself as a centrist to appeal to a broad range of voters, the democratic party's base is much more left wing and eager to see candidates promoting a liberal, progressive agenda. other candidates -- sanders and warren especially -- may have a much better chance of appealing to those voters. how is this race going to unfold? i'm joined by someone who knows a great deal about democratic politics and elections, donna brazile, the former interim chair of the democratic national committee and a very well known political strategist. she's also a fox news contributor. donna, thank you for joining me. >> it's a great honor. thank you. gerry: so biden does seem to be the favorite for everybody. how secure, though, is that favored position? how secure is he? >> well, initially when he jumped into the race, it was a great deal of enthusiasm for his candidacy because many of the democratic voters would like to
see someone who could beat donald trump: and while mr. biden now occupies that position, there -- candidates are fickled, as you can imagine. mr. biden is now trying to figure out just how different this political landscape is from, say, his previous run for the presidency, 1988, for example, 2008. this is now 2019, 2020. it's a different field. yes, there's a lot of energy on the left, but there's also a great deal of new voters who are now in the democratic party who would like to see a candidate who's more progressive, forward looking is and someone who could possibly lead us into the future. so i think joe biden is the front-runner, but it's more like a front-runner not on firm ground but more like quicksand. because this race can change over the next six or seven months. gerry: what do you think, for example, of the slips that he made just a week or so ago on
the hyde amendment? did that point to his vulnerability there? you know, he's got a long record in policy, broadly sort of centrist, center-left democrat. the party maybe doesn't like that. what did you make of that? >> you know, i was shocked. you know why? not because he switched his position. i've seen candidates switch with their positions throughout my entire political career. but the way he did it. it was an amateur hour. i mean, this is -- gerry, i brought you a copy of the democratic platform, the 2016 platform adopt by both hillary clinton and bernie sanders. it says on page 37 that the democratic party would like to see a repeal of the hyde amendment. all mr. biden had to do was to read this platform and understand this is the party's direction, this is where the party's heading on these important issues like reproductive choice. so it was, he fumbled. but i do believe at the end of
the day candidates like joe biden will have an opportunity to rebound from those kind of initial mistakes. gerry: there's another criticism of biden which is that he really represents -- he's an establishment politician. and the politics of today demonstrated so much by donald trump, some say by bernie sanders and others and by elizabeth -- and by hillary clinton's failure in 2016, people don't want establishment politics. he's been around 30 years. he's been associated with the political establishment in washington. people want outsiders. is that going to be a problem for him in. >> you know, when you said he's an establishment politician, i, i almost said, whoa, wait. i've also been call an establishment politician, and there's room in the party for establishment politicians. but i also think there's room at the table for the newcomers, those who would like to see a change, those who believe that the party needs to move in a different direction.
for example, there are people that criticize the democratic party for failing to understand the importance of down ballot candidates. there are people who criticize the democratic party for accepting pac money. i mean, there are all sorts of reasons why people criticize the so-called establishment politicians. but the democratic party is not as liberal, left, socialist as many people on the right and conservatives are making us out to be. we're still a party of centrists, we still have moderates, we still have pro-life members of congress -- bob casey from pennsylvania -- gerry: very few. few and far between now. >> you know what? we represent the great big what i call diversity of our great nation. and i do believe that there's a seat at the table for old establishment politician, there's a seat for new establishment politicians, and this is a seat for outsiders -- and there's a seat for outsiders as well. gerry: i mean, who better represents the modern democratic party? somebody like joe biden or
somebody like alexandria ocasio-cortez, for example? >> we will find out. because i don't think this is going to be a clash of generations, but e also believe that -- i also believe people want new ideas, fresh faces and and perhaps a different approach to solving old problems. gerry: do you -- what was the message for you of the midterm elections? democrats did very well, won a lot of seats in the house, they won a lot of seats particularly in suburban districts, and they won, i think, with quite moderate sort of, moderate-centrist candidates. some people say that was the real lesson, not the lessons of the left saying, no, no, we've got to push a positive -- >> well, it was both. it was a but wave. the american people decided to give the democratic party a seat at the table. so now you have the democrats controlling the house, the republicans controlling the senate. they want the -- the american people, i still believe, would like to see two parties work together on some of the big problems facing our country, but there's no question that within the democratic party there's a lot of tension, there's a lot of
growing pains. we have a new generation. millennials and perhaps generation x, they want a seat at the table. they want to serve. you also saw in 2018 a number of veterans run and win their races across the country. so i think the verdict is that the american people would like to see the democratic party at the table. they don't want one party ruling all three branches of our government. but at the same time, they want the democrats to get things done on health care, education, environment -- gerry: brief question before we go to a break. there is a concern among some people in the democratic party that biden has a problem with women in particular. going back to things like the anita hill hearings and that they don't think he's been as positive a supporter of women's issues. do you think that is going to hurt him in the primary? >> no, because joe biden has a record, a proven record of leadership on women's issues. the violence against women act, supporting title ix, he has been lifting up women.
yes, i remember the anita hill debacle because i worked for the house of representatives, and one of my former bosses helped to lead that march across the tarmac to encourage the democratic members of the united states senate to reopen the hearing. so, yes, i think he will have to explain it, but he has a good answer. gerry: we're going to take a break there. coming up next, a look at what to expect from the first democratic presidential debates coming later this month. stay with us. ♪ ♪ ♪ i want it that way... i can't believe it. that karl brought his karaoke machine? ♪ ain't nothing but a heartache... ♪ no, i can't believe how easy it was to save hundreds of dollars on my car insurance with geico. ♪ i never wanna hear you say... ♪ no, kevin... no, kevin! believe it! geico could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
♪ ♪ gerry: i'm back with donna brazile. donna, first presidential debates for the democrats coming up in a couple of weeks. who's got the most at stake, do you think? >> of the candidates who are -- many of the candidates who are somewhat able to get their foot in -- there's no traction. i think some of the candidates who are stuck at 1 or 2%, they have to -- this is their breakout moment.
gerry: do you think they're going to have to get out if they don't perform? >> no, i don't think the first debate will be, you know, the curtain call but i believe it's an opportunity for them to showcase their talent, their abilities, their ideas, their vision. look, i think someone like cory booker will do well because he's good on his feet. elizabeth warren will do, you know, she will be phenomenal because she's smart, but she can connect. but this is an opportunity also for people, you know, who are at that 1% or 2%, for beto o'rourke to get his groove back, for mayor pete to once again show and demonstrate that he can be commander in chief. and this is also an opportunity for kamala harris. she's been stalled. gerry: let's look at -- we looked at joe biden. let's take bernie sanders, first of all, we haven't really talked about him. the runner-up last time, still a lot of support in the party. he is the standard bearer of the party's left even though he's not actually a member of the
party. with these debates, is this an opportunity for him to really come out as the leader of that -- >> you know what i think of bernie sanders, is and i have a lot of respect for bernie sanders. he was very helpful to me as the interim chair of the party, and he was supportive. i think of this platform. i mean, bernie pushed us. he pushed us in ways that we didn't want to go, and i think as a result of that bernie can stand up and say, look, before e came along, the democratic party didn't want to raise the wage to -- he started a revolution, and now you've got all these revolutionaries who are running. so i think bernie can talk about that. but the american people are not looking at what, you know, what you've done for me today, they want to know what are you going to do for me tomorrow. gerry: well, let's move to that. elizabeth juan has been campaigning -- warren has been campaigning in a detailed, polished way. have you been impressed with her campaign so far? >> absolutely.
i'm impressed with her vision, her ideas, but more importantly, i'm shocked that she knows how to actually hit the ground running. she has more people on the ground, you know, she's been taking selfies, and she's capturing names, she's capturing addresses, and she's capturing faces. that's important. gerry: tougher regulation, higher taxes, that's the message the democratic party base wants to hear, right? >> well, no, not in that order. i think they want the hear opportunity. they want to make sure we have an economy that works for every american regardless of your zip code. they want to hear about climate change because we believe that is one of the greatest threats to our planet. and, yes, we do believe that a tax code should be fair and equitable and not just reward those at the top, but those who are struggling to even get out of the hole. gerry: and very quickly, give me one answer to each, which candidate has most impressed or surprised you on the upside since the campaign got underway, and which has been most disappointing? >> mayor pete --
gerry: to upside. >> because he ran for chair of the party and lost. gerry: can a 30-something, married g a ay -- >> i mean, can a black man with a white mama and a black african daddy win raised by a white grandmother? of course he can win. we don't know. the american people -- gerry: who's underperforming? >> kamala harris. kamala harris. she's stalled. and i do believe that this is her moment to come back, to really show up in that debate. the woman that we see on the dais during the judiciary committee hearing, that's who we want to see at the debate. gerry: good. next i'll ask donna what it's going to take for whoever the democratic nominee may be to beat donald trump in the general election. don't go away. ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ gerry: former interim dnc chair donna brazile is my guest. so, donna, what's it going to take for the democratic nominee to beat donald trump? >> first of all, don't ignore those states -- as you well remember in 2016, the clinton campaign ignored those 18 states and the drinking of columbia. they thought they were in the bag. they thought the 242 electoral votes were safe, and they could go expand into utah, georgia, arizona, etc. gerry: key states like wisconsin with, in particular finish. >> michigan. to lose those three states by less than the 78,000 votes, it hurt. gerry: wisconsin, michigan and pennsylvania. >> focus on those voters, talk to those voters but also focus on expanding the -- gerry: what's on those voters' minds, do you think? what makes donald trump vulnerable for those voters in those key states? >> because they the felt forgotten -- gerry: but i mean in 2020,
donald trump absolutely went to speak to them, but what could make them switch in 2020? >> same thing that made them switch to republican in 2016. i they want to know you care about them, that you see them, that you will show up and go to union hall with them, that you will go and meet them in their living rooms and churches. gerry: the economy's in good shape, unemployment's at a 50-year low, growth is pretty good, median -- wages are rising. a lot of advantages there. again, what's the message that a democrat puts across to overcome what will presumably be his safest -- >> well, look, the economy is doing well, and it's doing even better for those who have money, resources. people are still struggling day-to-day to make ends meet, they're still worrying about paying for their college tuition for their kids and worried about their health care bills. so i would say that the economy is doing well, but it's not doing well enough for people to,
like, say, well, i'm not worried about it. but they also worry about america's places in the world, they're worried about their own futures. so i think the democratic party's message and the message the candidates will deliver to them will resonate enough with them to get more people out to vote in 2020. gerry: how important do you think the identity issues are? you know, minorities, women, maybe, you know, gays in the democratic party? is that -- let me put it this way, i mean, if the democratic party nominates another older white male, is that going to appeal to a lot of democratic voters? >> you know, i think what's in people's heart right now is they want somebody that can help heal these divisions, not make them worse. so they're going to look for a candidate that speaks of us as a country with values, not as individuals with problems. is so i think the democratic party will be able to answer that challenge. gerry: is talking about impeachment going to help or
hurt the democrats? >> it's always what people want, it's accountability. i'm with nancy pelosi on this. we can build a case for impeachment, but at the end of the day if this is just a partisan exercise and the republicans feel like, well, you know, we don't have to defend our democracy and our constitution the, fine. well, the democratic party's going to be in a pickle. at this point i think they're doing the right thing, they're doing oversight, and they've got to get to heart of the mueller report which is we had a foreign government attack our nation during an election cycle. if we don't protect our country and our democracy, then everybody's in jeopardy. gerry: do you think people sort of heard enough of that and say, you know what? the mueller thing's over, the president didn't break the law, let's just move on. you don't think that's -- if democrats dwell on that, that's going to hurt them? >> christopher wray said what the russians did in 2016 and what they attempted to do in 2018, it's only -- they're even planning something bigger for 2020. some of us are waking up every
night wondering what are they doing tomorrow. they wrote a new playbook for american politics, and if we don't get back to old old playbook that allowed us to have fair elections, then we're all going to be in trouble in 2020. gerry: again, going back to issue of electability, biden has staked his claim on that. is there any reason to think that guyeden is the -- biden is the most capable candidate in a general election against donald trump? >> we don't know. i mean, it's so early. and right now we're just looking at the name recognition. i think the debates will clear the air. but more importantly than the debate, we have to reminded people this is a race for delegates. you've got to accrue delegates. you've got to get on the ballot, and you've got to find joe and jane doe to stand up for you on a cold, winter try night in the hawkeye state and say i like joe because of x or i like kamala, elizabeth, the other candidates. no, it's too early. gerry: donna, thank you very much. we'll have many more of these
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tournament. instead, of course, i'd like to extend my best wishes to all of you for a very happy father's day. and if you'll permit me a small indulgence, i want with especially to wish my own father a happy day. he was born before father's day was officially recognized as a holiday. and just recently he celebrated his 99th birthday. a world war ii veteran, teller of some the worst dad jokes, but a loving father to his children whose only real regret is they know they can never repay the debt they owe him for all that he sacrificed. wherever you are, whether you're with your children or just in their thoughts and prayers, may you have a restful, peaceful and very happy father's day. that's it for us this week. be sure to follow me on twitter, facebook and instagram, and next week i'll be in the south of france, luck me, at this year's cannes international festival of creativity talking with some of the world's most innovative people. join me for that right here on "the wall street journal" at
large. thank you very much for watching. ♪ gregg: good evening, everyone. resistance at the southern border, radical dems trying to stop border wall funding in both california and new mexico. mexican lawmakers resisting the deal between the u.s. and mexico. president trump remains undeterred, putting together a security team with a core consisting of mark morgan, ken cucinelli and now tom homan. the president's america first agenda keeps paying off for american workers. in business, u.s. factory production and r