tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC January 6, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PST
>> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. new year, new world in washington. >> nancy pelosi, i extend to you this gavel. [ applause ] >> democrats take control of the house, take on the president. >> president trump has met his match. >> the people spoke. >> a new day has dawned. >> both sides dug in as the shutdown enters its third week. >> call it whatever you want. the schumer or the pelosi or the trump shutdown. doesn't make any difference to me. >> we're not doing a wall. does anybody have any doubt that we are not doing a wall? >> are these first days of divided government just a taste of things to come? which side will blink and after robert mueller's report, will the democrats' calls for impeachment grind everything else to a hall?
we talk to two brokers in the house. we talk to adam smith, and the gop leadership liz cheney. and -- >> it is time to dream big, fight hard -- >> elizabeth warren jumps into the 2020 race. could julian castro be next? he joins us next. plus, our powerhouse roundtable. we'll break down the politics, the facts that matter this week. good morning, and welcome to a new year on "this week." as we start this new year, president trump is facing a new reality in washington, dealing with divided government for the first time. consequences just starting to play out with new investigations coming in the house. robert mueller preparing his report, and right now, a stalemate. day 16 of the government shutdown. no deal in sight to get 800,000 federal workers back to work and paid. the border wall promise that
fueled donald trump's campaign has now stalled the government he leads. place holder talks at the white house on saturday made no progress, and another meeting set today. will president trump defy congress by ordering the military to build the wall he vowed mexico would pay for? let's go to the power brokers, the incoming chair of the house armed services committee, adam smith. thank you for joining us this morning. let's get right to it. does president trump have the ability, have the authority to declare a national emergency and have the military build his wall? >> unfortunately, the short answer is yes. there is a provision in law that says the president can declare an emergency. it's been done a number of times, but primarily it's been done to build facilities in afghanistan and iraq. in this case, i think the president would be wide open to a court challenge saying, where is the emergency? you have to establish that in order to do this, but beyond that, this would be a terrible use of department of defense
dollars. the president spends most of his time talking about how we're not spending enough on national security. now he wants to take $20 billion out of defense budget to build a wall. which by the way, is not going to improve our border security. the president seems unaware of this, but we have actually already built a wall across much of the border, and all border security experts that i talk to say, where a wall makes sense, it's already been built. we should have a conversation about national security -- sorry, about border security, but first, we should reopen the government and start paying our border patrol agents and the 800,000 federal employees who are furloughed. >> we have heard mick mulvaney say he is willing to give on a concrete wall. he wants it to be steel instead. are they giving you something you can work with there? >> no. he doesn't understand the issue. there was a great quote from mulvaney a couple of years ago where he said, you know, he was critical of president -- then-candidate trump's comment
about the wall. it's a childish response to the problem. if you understand what's happening in border security -- we have quintupled the border security budget in the last 15 years, and by the way, it's been fairly effective, but we have invested in border patrol agents and donees and airplanes and sensors and technology. a concrete barrier is not going to automatically stop people from coming. >> democrats have supported some
barriers and the president is out tweeting this morning. he said -- he is quoting senator barack obama in 2005. we simply cannot allow people to pour into the united states undetected, undocumented, unchecked and i voted when i was a senator to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in. any concern that this hard line is going to backfire? >> no because that's the point. the wall is not in itself a bad idea. it's just -- it's been done, and what the president has not done is he has not made the case that on the portions of the border
where a wall has not been built, how is a wall going to actually enhance border security? there is no evidence whatsoever that that's necessary, and yet he is willing to shut down the government and stop paying border patrol agents and in many cases, you know, stop all the efforts that we have made to enhance border security over a campaign promise, and a campaign promise as you pointed out that mexico was supposed to pay for. he is shutting down the government to break his signature campaign promise. the signature campaign promise was that the taxpayers wouldn't pay for it. >> let's talk about the broader agenda. you said you want to hold hearings in the armed services committee on the politicization of this. what does that mean? who will you call? >> what we have seen is -- when he has campaign rallies when he is talking to troops. i don't think you should use the military to advance your agenda. every other president before this when they worked with the military and talked to the troops, it's been about national security. it's been about their services.
their service, i'm sorry. when president trump talks, it's about his campaign, about how bad the democrats are. we need civilian control of the military and we need to separate those things, but the main thing i want to focus on in the hearings we have coming up once we get our committee set is transparency and oversight, you know, why did the president send 5,600 troops -- active duty troops to the border? what was the purpose of it? what is his policy in syria and afghanistan as he is now talking about pulling out? there has been a lack of transparency and an explanation for what his national security strategy is. we want to make sure that the officials at the pentagon and the white house let congress know, and that we work together to develop a coherent national security strategy. >> you mentioned syria. we all know that former defense secretary james mattis resigned in protest in part of the syrian decision and also made it clear he can no longer go along with the president's approach of treating our allies and dealing with our adversaries. will you call former secretary mattis?
>> i would like to. now i understand and i respect the president has a right to private counsel from his top advise advisers. i'm not going to call former secretary mattis to say, you know, what did the president say about this? what did he do about that? secretary mattis is one of the most knowledgeable, capable experts we have on defense policy and foreign policy. his views on what we should be doing around the world would be invaluable for members of our committee. so we would love to get his perspective on a wide variety of issues. >> and what should we be doing in syria right now? the president announcing he wanted to withdraw, but john bolton today said the united states is not going to withdraw our troops until turkey promises to protect the kurds until we're certain that isis is defeated. do you know what the policy is, and do you support it? >> i don't think anybody knows what the policy is. that's part of the problem and why secretary mattis did a decent job. our allies matter enormously, and the president treats them like dirt. he insults them regularly, does not consult them, makes radical decisions via twitter and
changes his mind the next day. the world is big and complicated. the u.s. is not able to do everything on our own. we need allies to support us. he has alienated them across the board, and in syria, the two points that john bolton made are obvious. those are the two big concerns we have. we don't want isis to rise again and be a transnational terrorist threat and we don't want our allies the kurds, to be slaughtered in turkey. that was obvious how many ever weeks ago it was when president trump apparently on a whim tweeted out, we're getting out of syria. so, you know, i'm pleased that john bolton has recognized the national security interest. that's what we want to have on the armed services committee, not a tweet, let's get out of syria. let's have a discussion about the pieces that are necessary to meet u.s. national security interests and make an informed decision. >> let's talk about impeachment. a couple of your democratic colleagues have already filed articles of impeachment in the
house. and there was a congresswoman that said this. >> i stand by impeaching the president of the united states. i ran on that. that's how my grandmother if she was alive would say it. >> that's the cleaned up version of what she said. what was your reaction to that, and are you concerned the democrats may be pushing this too far too fast? >> i don't think we're pushing it too far too fast. the congresswoman represents a constituency that has every right to be angry at president trump. vice president cheney used a similar word to patrick leahy. that was on the floor of the united states senate. people get passionate about their politics. i don't think it makes a difference how she said it. i wouldn't have said it that way, but the most important point here is impeachment is a serious undertaking. no president has been removed from office, and if you do this, you are -- you are substituting the judgment of the voters for the judgment of congress. now if the crimes are serious enough it needs to be done, but
we need to be very deliberate, very serious and very careful about how we do this. mindful that the president will not be removed from office unless 67 senators affirm or convict on the impeachment. we need to see mueller's report and we need to make a very, very strong case if there is one to be made. this is not something that should be rushed or done hastily. it's a serious obligation of congress. if the president has committed the crimes and we have seen considerable evidence he has committed them, we'll take it seriously. we'll wait for mueller's report and do it in a serious way. >> thank you for your time this morning. >> let's bring in the new chair of the house republican party, liz cheney. thank you for joining us. you heard your colleague invoke your father in his debate over vulgarity and impeachment. i know some of the rhetoric you have seen, you think the democrats are rad kical and outf
touch, but do you think this is something you all can push successfully given the president's own record? >> hey, george. well, thanks for having me on. the key thing we heard from the congresswoman this week is the fact that she is very focus on a politically motivated impeachment. what adam smith was saying in terms of impeachment and the seriousness is absolutely true. we have to all look at exactly what the democrats plan to do here. you had speaker pelosi in her remarks talking about the importance of working across the aisle to get things done and then a mere few hours later, you had video of congresswoman talib. i think at the end of the day, they need to understand and recognize that impeachment is not a political thing. it never should be, that it tears at the very fabric of our constitution if it is, and to be pronouncing on that issue, you know, of just having been sworn in, without having any evidence at all, can't be anything but political. so i think that's the key thing in terms of what we saw over the course of the last few days. >> let's talk about the shutdown.
you heard congressman smith say he believes the president has the legal authority to declare a national emergency and have the military build the wall. should he invoke it? >> you know, nobody wants him to invoke it and i don't believe the president wants to invoke it. we all hoped frankly that once speaker pelosi secured the votes to become speaker on the floor, her willingness to negotiate would, you know, be more evident, and she would be more willing to come to the table to do what's right for the american people. unfortunately what we have seen over the last few days is she is very much just completely captive to the far left of her party and so where i was interested to hear my colleagues on the armed services committee, congressman smith, talk about the fact there is a wall, that's a very different point than the one speaker pelosi makes which is that a wall is immoral. we believe what's immoral is not to secure our borders, not to protect the people of this nation. this president has no more important obligation. those of us who are elected officials in congress have no
more, and we have to secure the borders. at this point, the democrats continue to play games. we had -- there were meetings yesterday where secretary nielsen was able to lay out the security concerns at the border, the very real security concerns, drugs, crime, human trafficking and we're hopeful there is going to be another meeting again today, but we have got to see the games stop, and this is not an issue of, you know, who is doing what and who has the upper hand. the border has got to be secured. that's what people want to see and they want the partisanship to end. >> you saw the congressman say you believe the democrats have paid attention to border security. how do you answer his broader point that the president is asking the american taxpayers so pay for a campaign promise he broke, that mexico would pay for the wall? >> the president has talked about that, and the extent we'll see increased economic benefit of the renegotiated trade
agreements with mexico. we can't sit by and do nothing. i can't believe that's a position they plan to take to the voters. i think especially when you look at the fact that in the past, many of them including their current leadership have voted for a barrier, for a wall, for border security, have bragged about the fact they have done that, is no question that when you have got caravans, when you have got illegal immigrants, when you have got our border patrol agents being attacked, when you have got our border patrol agents asking for enhanced security at the border including a wall, including barriers, that's what we ought to be doing, and we ought to stop playing these political games and get it done. >> they would say, they need at least a billion dollars. it does seem there are some breaks in the republican ranks. three republican senators have said they want the government to open first and then continue negotiations. your own colleague in the house, congressman brian fitzpatrick says it's congress's basic job to fund the government. this should happen on a different track. what's your answer to that? >> it is our job to fund the
government, and it is also our job to make sure that we secure the border, to make sure that we provide for the security of the nation, and the democrats, you know, could any moment now, control the house. instead of playing games where they strip out one bill and strip out another bill and try to play, you know, partisanship on the floor of the house, they ought to do what they have agreed to do in the house and that's provide the appropriations to secure the border. we have national security issues we're facing. this is one of them. we're facing a huge challenge with china, from russia, from iran, from isis. we need to be in a position where we can turn our attention to those, or we can make sure we have the border secured and we're doing everything possible to provide the security the nation needs as a whole and stop with the political games. >> the president talked about national security this week as well. we heard congressman smith on syria, and i want to show what the president said in the cabinet meeting about afghanistan. >> russia used to be the soviet union.
afghanistan made it russia because they went bankrupt fighting in afghanistan. the reason russia was in afghanistan was because terrorists were going into russia. they are right to be there. >> russia right to be in afghanistan? >> no. obviously i disagree with the president's assessment of history there. the soviets went into afghanistan as part of the doctrine, and they were determined to spread communism around the globe, and what bankrupted them was ronald reagan and his determination to support those who were fighting on behalf of freedom around the globe, to fight back against the soviet communists and his determination to build the defense initiative to bankrupt the soviets by forcing them to have to put more and more resources into their military. at the end of the day, that's clearly what bankrupted the soviet union, and that's -- they
were in afghanistan because they were, you know, very much adherence to the doctrine, but i would say when i listened to my colleague, adam smith talk about what the armed services committee be focused on, i hope he will not direct the committee to be focused on political attacks on president trump. i think that we as a nation face too many huge challenges, and it is certainly the role of the house armed services committee to conduct oversight, but it's also as we do that, our role to make sure that the defense department is doing everything it needs to do to modernize. i'm certainly hopeful we will not see congressman smith cutting the defense budget. we have just began to rebuild after the devastation of the obama years, and we have to continue on that tranjectory an on that path. we face tremendous challenges from adversaries who have weapon systems we cannot defend against, and we will be falling down in our duty if we fail to do what's right for oversight and appropriations to keep the nation safe.
>> is the administration in the right place now on syria? >> i have said the administration -- that the united states should not pull out of syria. i have been very hopeful as i have seen reports that we are now going to slow that down. we have got about 2,200 special operations forces there, and they are conducting crucially important work in terms of air support, in terms of artillery support. it is their presence that has helped the kurds be effective in the battle against isis and it would be devastating if we were to pull out precipitously, and if we were to have a situation where the iranians were given free rein to really establish a land bridge there and control and dominate syria. that would be counter to our interests and it would allow isis to begin to again, form safe havens potentially and it would not serve the interest of our allies and those regions. i hope we'll slow that down and look at conditions on the ground and not make a precipitous withdrawal. >> thank you for your time this morning. >> thanks, george. roundtable is up next.
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want to talk about all the new developments on our round table. joined by our chief political analyst, matt stephanie brown james, co-founder of the collective pact. welcome to you. co-host of "the view," meghan mccain, rahm emanuel, and republican john james who ran in the upper peninsula. i see your tie. >> yes, sir. >> welcome to all of you. we start with you. what are we learning about this new world in washington as we watch the first week play out? >> i think what we're learning is donald trump has not changed or adjusted his behavior in a loss in the midterms which normally presidents do. president obama tried to adjust his behavior, president bush after 2006, president clinton. donald trump hasn't adjusted it. >> it has worked for him in the past, hasn't snit. -- it? >> for who? donald trump? yes. but he has never faced an opposition in one branch of government and now that the democrats are in charge of the house -- we have also learned that nancy pelosi who has stepped up and is ready for
primetime. she has obviously served as speaker before, but she is ready for this. she runs the caucus, and she has been very engaged and that's helpful to the caucus. i think donald trump is in a totally different world now, and he has his work cut out for him. >> should he have changed? >> i think what he will say is what he has been doing has been working and i think the democrats should be very careful -- should be very careful of taking 2018's success as an endorsement of 2016 policy. i think that what needs to happen is the american people are sick and tired of the partisanship and the bickering. the american people want to get real things done. the thing with this shutdown and the border wall, these are things that democrats and republicans have agreed on for decades. we're just haggling over price. there are 800,000 people on furlough right now who aren't getting paid and i believe that you have a congress that for years has failed at its duty to get comprehensive immigration
reform that has failed to get a substantive budget done. >> you have served in that congress. any danger the democrats will overplay their hand here? >> any time there is too many people with different views, yes. what i would do if i was speaker pelosi is not allow the negotiations to be the only arena. within passing the bill and if schumer files rule 14 putting forward, you have lost three republican senators and that says open up the business. i would make sure every day you're passing that same bill. chisel away at the will of the republicans. the second is there is a point of pressure that will happen, and once this becomes relevant to the american people, and it's no longer just 800,000 workers, something that they rely on starts to break down, that's when everybody will focus and say, okay. >> if they don't open this week, no paychecks for january 11th.
a lot of people don't realize, we're not just talking about washington, d.c. here. these are federal workers all across the country. >> yeah, and the one thing is that military and veterans are currently being paid, which is usually the hand that democrats play, and that's a problem that hits particularly close to home, and this is with any there will be a problem because democrats is going to look like caving from the progressive left and so i don't see -- we were talking about it in the green room. i don't see any anybody meet in the middle. both sides will scream bloody murder. you talk about the lack of bipartisanship. this is ground zero of what wair talking about. >> a lot of the members you helped elect in 2018. let me ask you the same question i asked mayor emanuel. are you concerned this energy becomes what liz cheney was saying, radical and out of touch? >> no. at the end of the day, what the democrats do is overcommunicate and get out of washington. i anticipate that president trump will get on the trail fairly soon which i think would be bananas, but i think that
it's important for the democrats to understand that they have to shore up their base, and they have to understand that, like, look. what's going to happen in the next few weeks if the shutdown continues is you're got going to get your tax returns, you know, you're not going to be able to see your lives get any better, and i can tell you what. president trump will need to build a wall around the white house if people do not get those tax returns on time. >> i actually think trump's made one major miscalculation. >> which is? >> he thinks if he gets a wall, he wins. i think he actually wants the issue. if i was donald trump and in the white house, i don't want to be there. if i was them, i would say, you know what? having the issue may be our win, not getting the wall, and i think they have made a calculation -- >> the risk there is that he looks weak, right? >> he won't -- his base will follow him right over a cliff. the problem is he is making every calculation on 34% rather than on 51%. >> to me, it's not a radical position to say don't build the wall. that's what the majority of the
country wants. if we took this from a point and i totally agree with john, the thing that's been lost on washington for the last few years or decades is bipartisanship and the ability to get past it and get to the common good, but if we do what the american public wants, they want border security, they want the government reopened and they don't want the wall the way the president expressed. maybe the only way out of this, which is going to be reopen, and as rahm said, it's going to get reopened. we're not even paying air traffic controllers. we're not paying tsa agents. that will at some point have a huge impact. he doesn't want the wall. he wants the ability to talk about the wall. if he can get the words to say and the passage where he can talk about it, he'll claim victory. >> the statistics are accurate that the average person doesn't want the wall, but when rush limbaugh and ann coulter start
on twitter screaming bloody murder, they have his ear and that's when he started hedging and shut down the government. it depends on what happens in conservative media, and we are ultimately emboldened to what they believe. >> the president's job is to enforce the laws. we cannot get away from the fact that congress can pass laws without the president. it's their job to stay there and get this job done. >> he has to sign it. >> if they can go back, veto or not sign within ten days, it can go back and they can pass it. it needs to be good enough to work for the american people and right now, the american people aren't seeing a government that's working for them. they are seeing a government working for themselves and the partisanship is trumping people and that's the problem. >> the house just passed the same bill -- the senate uniformly passed, right? that was the bill back in december. everybody agreed to it. that's what everybody wanted and then the president as meghan said, ann coulter and rush limbaugh said, you can't do this. they are the radical elements that are intervening in this process and that's the problem. >> finally, we have the democrats now -- what i think is in a good position because they
are showing that they have a backbone. they talked about the agenda, and the first bill they put out, house bill one talks about the democratic agenda and people are excited to see that the democrats finally have a position they want to stand on. now it's important that they have to win the war on words within the public to make sure people can continue to follow along with them. >> meghan talks about ann coulter and rush limbaugh. the question is when are corey gardner, susan collins, when are all the republicans in 2020 going to face the president? >> that's when it becomes basically it will be a liability. there is a price point, and the lines cross. i would just say in 1994 when there was a government shutdown, the biggest mistake newt gingrich made was sitting next to president clinton and making that their arena. do not allow the negotiations to be the only arena. pass the same bills in congress. pass it to the senate. schumer should file it and you lost within a half a day. three republican senators coming
out of there, and i would keep coming after them, and keep forcing it. and then the base that the president is relying on, and the senate republicans starts to weaken. then you have the outside forces like i do believe when it's not just 800,000 people getting a paycheck, when it starts to impact the rest of america -- >> tax refunds. >> we're just adjusting symptoms at this point. we have had more government shutdowns in the past couple of years than i can remember. it's becoming normalized. until legislators share in the pain -- they need to share in the pain. >> the news will be when governments open. that will be the event. the norm. >> we want government to work and not embarrass us. is that too much to ask? >> yes. >> in order to share -- we need to legislate -- >> they need to not embarrass us, and we have to admit that even the american people haven't quite felt the realities of a shutdown yet. most have been over in a week or a few days. when we get to the point where 1 in 8 americans do not get their
food stamps, many of whom are white and trump voters or children, when the effects of the shutdown really start to impact the american people, it's going to be a different conversation on capitol hill. >> no question about that. we have to take a break. when we come back, will julian castro be the next candidate to join the 2020 race? the former obama cabinet secretary san antonio mayor is up next. [knocking] ♪ ♪ memories. what we deliver by delivering. around here, nobody evreally? it
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"surprise!" delsym 12-hour. nothing lasts longer for powerful cough relief. i don't think that that's in the cards. i have never seen in my future that >> why not? >> well, i think different things. i don't have a passion for that, you know. that's not -- >> passion for? >> to try and become president. i'm not running for president. i guarantee you i'm not going to run for president. >> this year? >> probably ever. >> that was julian castro a few years back, and the former san antonio mayor and cabinet secretary is heading to iowa and nevada planning a big announcement on his presidential plans. he joins us live from san antonio. thank you for joining us this morning. everybody has a right to change their minds, to find their passion. what's changed for you? >> well, a lot of things have changed, george. you know, this country has
changed a lot in terms of its leadership since 2015 or 2016 or whenever that interview was. i think there are a whole bunch of people that feel a tremendous difference in terms of the leadership that we had under barack obama versus the lack of leadership and the total disaster that we have under donald trump, and for me, i believe that i have a strong vision for the country's future. i also for starters, have run a federal agency and have been mayor of one of the biggest, most diverse cities in the country, and so i feel like i have something to offer, and -- >> as you know, it's going to be a crowded field on the democratic side. it's going to be hard to stand out. you have seen elizabeth warren. she has big plans to break up monopolies, reform capitalism, governor of washington, and she wants to focus almost entirely on climate change. how will you distinguish yourself if you indeed do get
in, and what do you have that the others don't? >> yeah. well, number one i have experience actually running one of these federal agencies being in charge of folks and making things work. also being mayor of a city that is one of the most diverse cities as i said in the united states, and then really in a fundamental way, represents the diverse future of america, but i'm not going to be a single issue candidate if i run. i believe that what we need for america to prosper in the 21st century is a strong vision for the country's future. my vision for the country's future is we aim in the 21st century to be the smartest, the healthiest, the most fair and the most prosperous country that we need to invest in brain power because brain power truly is the new currency of success. like universal pre-k, and hire -- universal higher education so people can get employment in a
21st century where our economy is changing. we need to be the healthiest and support things like medicare for all and make universal health care happen in the richest nation on earth. i think that we need to be the most fair country. it is a shame today that we have not seen a minimum wage increase in almost a decade. it's also a shame that if you are a young, black man walking on the streets of many cities, that you are treated so differently than if the color of your skin is white, and i think that we need to be the most prosperous nation for everybody. it is clear. i like this about senator warren. i think she is talking about a lot of good issues. it's different than it used to be, right? you used to be able to work 40 hours even on minimum wage and be able to provide for your family. today that's not true, and we
need to get back to a place in this 21st century where that is true. the economy works for everybody. >> you laid a lot of programs and one of the questions is how will you pay for them? let me show you the youngest member of the coverage right now, alexandria ocasio-cortez, and this is what she said, how to pay for things. >> you look at our tax rates back in the '60s and when you have a progressive tax rate system, your tax rate, you know, let's say from zero to $75,000 may be 10% or 15%, et cetera, but once you get to your 10 millionth dollar, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60% or 70%. >> can you support a tax increase like that once you hit $10 million? >> oh, i can support folks at the top paying for fair share. as you know, george, there was a time in this country where the top marginal tax rate was over
90%, even during reagan's era in the 1980s it was around 50%. so do i support in order to have something like medicare for all, that we ask folks that are in the top .05% or .5% or top 1% to pay more? also, that we get more serious about making sure the corporations pay their fair share, and that we're smart about understanding how instead of folks having to pay sky high premiums to companies that are seeking a profit to deliver health care that we can have a better system where people can get good health care and have peace of mind even if that means that we rearrange where those dollars go, yeah. i support that. you know what? during this campaign if i run, i'm going to be very up front with the american people on how we would do that because i think
that they are owed that, but it is worth it. it is worth it in this country for us to do that. >> you laid out your experience and one thing you don't have is foreign policy experience. what do you see as the greatest threat to our national security today, and what qualifies you to take it on? >> i believe that today the greatest threat to our national security is the fact this this president as one of your previous guests has said is damaging the relationships that we have had in place since the post-world war ii era, whether it's nato or other alliances with individual countries that have kept us safer. the first thing that i would do if i were president with regard to our relationships around the world is to strengthen them because those alliances have helped keep us safe. it's also true that today being -- being the strongest country, being the safest country i think requires more diplomatic efforts than ever,
and it has been terrible to see the decimation of our diplomatic efforts through the state at the present time. we have a whole bunch of ambassadorships that are not even filled right now. we have vacancies throughout our diplomatic core. we have a harder time today recruiting folks to go through the diplomatic core. the number one thing that i would do is strengthen all of that so we could avoid conflict and be safer in the 21st century. >> that's what you would do, but what in your background qualifies you to be commander in chief? >> well, i -- as i said earlier, i think that being mayor of a large city and serving in the president's cabinet certainly qualifies one to be commander in chief, and i'm going to go up there and make the case. >> julian castro, thank you for your time this morning. good luck. >> thank you, george. more round table coming up. we'll get their take on 2020 next. next.
if you can afford an army of lobbyists, an army of lawyers, an army of fought and paid for experts, then washington works great for you. it's just not working for the people and that's why we're here today. that's why we're in this fight. >> elizabeth warren announced this week. look at those crowds in iowa yesterday. the 2020 race has begun. let's bring back the table. stephanie brown james, let me begin with you. one of the remarkable things about that trip to iowa, and it's happening with all the candidates that explored, massive, massive crowds on the democratic side. >> almost like the super bowl of politics is just starting up, and people are really hungry to see candidates who are authentic, and i think that there is three things that the democrats are going to realize as they get out into the field of whoever is running, you know. one is you have to show leadership. two is you have to be able to beat trump and three which is important is you have to be able to speak to the issues of what
most americans are going through right now, but also you have to be able to make sure that you are speaking in a way where different types of voters can understand, and especially diverse voters. i'm looking forward to this field starting to thin out because -- >> it will be awhile before it thins out. >> i think it will be sooner than we think because if donors or diverse voters don't get behind someone early, it will thin out a lot quicker. >> do you agree with that? >> yeah. i think if you have the former governor of massachusetts already bowed out. i think it's going to be -- >> patrick? >> yeah. you will have an hourglass basically. i think this is a unique time. the last time you had three successive presidents was jefferson, madison and monroe, and that was followed by a one-termer and i think democrats will be like 1992, very pragmatic. the ideology is can you win? campaigns are very revealing. all your warts, all your strengths and i'm for a candidate that's 100% authentic. if you can't do that, fake it
really well, and that's important because people want to see somebody that their personal story embodies their philosophy, and they are heads and tails of the same coin. >> stephanie wants to see somebody take on trump, and i was interested to see that elizabeth warren didn't come up until a couple of hours into her appearance. >> i think rahm brought up a great point about the mayor of massachusetts, duval patrick. i think what's more telling than who is getting in and who is not. at a time when we need the talent in washington where we need it the most, people are bowing out. they are saying to heck with this, and the american people are forced to pick between 70-year-old retreads in many cases who got us in this mess to begin with. >> what are you talking about there? >> i believe liz warren is 69. hillary clinton is 71.
bernie sanders, 77, joe biden, 76. >> president trump is 72. >> president trump, 72. let's just talk about this. in order to move forward, we need new, fresh ideas, and i think that the democratic party, that champions itself to millennials and minorities, diverse candidates. i think they need to show they can reach out and put millennials and minority into leadership, right? >> 30 candidates will be running and they will be reflecting what you just said. >> the young, fresh voice on the democratic side is a woman who wants to eradicate fossil fuels entirely in this country. she officially has more followers than nancy pelosi. >> are you talking about -- >> alexandria ocasio-cortez. huge up and coming voice and the fracture between the democratic party is do you want this progressive left socialist agenda or do you want a more mainstream democrat in iowa to reach over and win over the votes that were lost in the rust belt? >> that will be the question, and i asked julian castro, how do you distinguish yourself in a field like this? >> i think the one or more candidates is not a problem.
jimmy carter, and after watergate, there were 17. donald trump ran among a field of 18 candidates and he won the presidency. the more candidates isn't the problem. i think they have to figure out -- they have to pick a lane and there are three or four lanes that will be opened in this, and your goal is to finish in the top four or five in iowa or in new hampshire, and the field quickly goes down to that many candidates in the aftermath of iowa and new hampshire. i think they have to have a l lane, and one of the things elizabeth warren was smart about is getting out early and getting a lane and she has the ideological lane which is the left lane, and she has the lane that are two-thirds of the votes cast there in the caucus are women. that's a very important part of the constituency, but they have to find the lane, and as i agree with rahm and john, they have to be authentic in this process. i think it's much better if they are from a new generation. >> do you think she is authentic though? >> i think elizabeth warren is definitely authentic. >> i interpreted her instagram story announcement as being a sort of weird knockoff of alexandria ocasio-cortez's.
>> wasn't she there first? >> elizabeth york" magazine's front page saying the front runner, and she is behind people, behind beto o'rourke. we can only put so much into polling, but i would say her announcement right now on her -- her delivery so far, people are discussing whether or not it's dead on arrival. >> go ahead. >> to your point about, you know, how do you distinguish yourself and picking a lane, here's what i would love to see. i would love to see from the jump and say, we're already together. we're already a ticket. that will be phenomenal and it should be a man and a woman in no particular order. we're going to run for president and vice president. >> what's your ticket? >> it's a very diverse, young and old ticket that speaks to voters all across the country. i'm looking forward to kamala harris getting into the race,
and what joe biden is going to do. >> look. jimmy carter, president clinton, president obama all came from outside of washington, all men. >> obama was a senator by the time he ran. >> for an hour and a half. exactly. you have now for the first time in a long time, former present mayors. if you are outside of washington, you want donald trump to own washington. everything that comes with what people are disgusted. when we win, we come from outside to change something. if you are apart of that in washington, you will never, ever be able to escape the problems or the way you talk about it. >> let's talk a little bit about the republican side. mitt romney came into the senate with an op-ed attacking president trump, and then went on tv a few hours later and said he is not running for president, but would not endorse. >> i haven't decided who i'm going to endorse in 2020. i'm going to wait and see what the alternatives are. i'm not running again and we'll see if anybody else does in the republican primary or not, but time will tell. >> it seems like you have a lot of republicans out there, john
kasich, jeff flake, not wanting to run, and not wanting to be out of the conversation, in case things fall apart for president trump to pick up the pieces. >> i think you may have hit the nail right on the head. most people, republicans or democrat, the letter is the first act right out of the gate. it kind of rang self-serving. it kind of rang for most people whom i have talked to, both my democrat, republican and independent friends, is mitt romney again, caring more about mitt romney than the people he was sent to represent. now i can't get into mitt romney's head. that's not my business, and what i'm just saying is -- >> if you get into mitt romney's head, you probably won't stay there long. >> ouch. >> president trump by the numbers, president trump's approval rating in the republican party is 92%. that's going to be a tough road for any republican that wants to jump in.
>> no yes about -- no question about that. >> it's not mitt romney. that's not the answer, and no disrespect to him because i have always liked him up until he got frog legs. now i don't know where he stands politically, and republicans, if you are going to have someone primary trump, it has to be someone that i have more faith that won't be flip-flopping. >> he does -- donald trump has unbelievable support among republicans today. that could obviously change if the economy starts to sputter and tank. i think it's a smart move for people in the primary. first you will get a lot of coverage. you will get a few things and be able to speak in a way against donald trump and not have to worry about things, and you can be at every debate and every one he does in the course of the primary. i think it would be a smart move, and i think the democrats if you really look at it from their perspective, they would benefit by him moving more far to the right. >> there is going to be a pat buchanan to this president. it's not going to come from that wing of the party, but he isoing to have a primary because what happened in 2018 is a section of the republicans that used to be rock
rib republicans and left that voted for democrats. there will be an opening there. you have four things, the health of the economy, what the mueller report says, what our process is and who at the end of the day in that process emerges what they do in build a coalition. both clinton and obama built built coalitions that lasted to stand. >> those are four things to watch. we're out of time. that was a great discussion. now we're going to switch gears and honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifi sacrifice. in the month of december, two service members died supporting our operations in afghanistan. that is all for us today. thank you for sharing parts of your sunday with us. check out "world news tonight" and i'll see you tomorrow on "gma." with us. check out "world news tonight" and i'll see you tomorrow on "gma."