tv Face the Nation CBS March 31, 2019 8:30am-9:31am PDT
captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: it's sunday, march 31st. i'm margaret brennan, and this is "face the nation." >> the mueller investigation is a topic on the campaign trail this week. >> 2 collusion delusion is over. >> brennan: congressional craghts learned they will have to wait until mid-april to see attorney general william barr's redacted version of the report's findings. another stop on mr. trump's victory lap, capitol hill, where the president declared he was taking back an issue that helped democrats win control of the
house. >> the republican party will soon be known as the party of health care. you watch. >> brennan: that came as a shock to republicans who struggled for years to eliminate obamacare. we'll talk to florida's rick scott, one senator president trump has come up with a plan to replace it. and yet another surprise at week's end. >> there is a very good likelihood that i will be closing the border next week. >> brennan: a threat to close parts of the southern boarder to stop the flow of illegal immigration from mexico and plans to slash aid to central american countries for not doing more to reduce the flow of migrants to the u.s. 2020 democratic candidates pounced. beto o'rourke formally kicked off his campaign from his hometown of el paso. >> for more than 100 years, this community has welcomed generations of immigrants trying to escape brutality, violence, and crushing poverty to find a better life in this country for themselves and for their kids
that's for sure. >> brennan: we'll talk with senator bernie sanders about his campaign. plus allegations from a former nevada lawmaker that former vice president joe biden touched and kissed her without consent. analysis on that story and others are just ahead on face the nation. good morning and welcome to "face the nation." we begin this morning with vermont independent senator and candidate for the democratic presidential nomination bernie sanders. he joins us from burlington. good morning to you, senator. let's start off, because i do want to get to some of your platform issues, but let's start with these allegations from lucy flores, a nevada poll -- politician who you had endorsed and who in the past has been supportive of you. she hasn't endorsed a candidate in this particular race, but she's accused vice president joe biden of inappropriate touching. you know her.
do you believe her? what do you make of this? >> i have no reason not to believe lucy, and i think what this speaks to is the need to fundamentally change the culture of this country and to create environments where women feel comfortable and feel safe. that's something we have got to do. >> brennan: i want to read a statement from the vice president who said, this is a lengthy one, but in part of it he says, "in my many years on the campaign trail, i have offered countless hugs and handshakes and not once ever did i believe i acted inappropriately. if it is suggested i did, soily listen respectfully, but it was never my intention." that's a general denial, but ms. flores was on cnn this morning, senator, and she said that really this needs to be taken more seriously as a party, suggesting that democrats aren't taking it seriously enough. and she said she's coming forth now because she thinks it's
disqualifying for joe biden. do you think it's disqualifying? >> i think that's a decision for the vice president to make. i'm not sure that one incident alone disqualifies anybody, but her point is absolutely right. this is an issue not just for democrats or republicans, but the entire country has got to take seriously. it is not acceptable that when woman goes to work or is in any kind of environment that she feels anything less than comfortable and safe. and this is an issue the entire country has got to work on. >> brennan: i know your own campaign has had some reckoning with this in the past. >> margaret, we have established the strongest protocol to prevent this from happening of any campaign in history. >> brennan: i want to get to the issue of health care. the president this week said he wants the courts to strike down obamacare, the affordable care act, but to be fair, senator, you want to replace obamacare, too. you want to replace it with
medicare for all, government-run, government-financed program. if the courts strike down the a.c.a., does that ultimately help you? >> no. no, look, trump has an idea on health care, his idea is to throw 32 million millions off of the health insurance they have. doing away with insurance for kids who are 26 years of age or younger who are on their parents plans, doing away with the protections that the a.c.a. has for preexisting conditions, margaret. that means if your cancer, your heart disease, you have diabetes, if trump gets his way, the cost of health insurance for you will be so high that many people literally will not be able to afford it. thousands of people will literally die. that's trump's health insurance plan. my plan is just a little bit different. i think we should join the rest of the industrialized world, guarantee health care to all people as a right, and end 2 the
absurdity of the united states spending twice as much per capita on health care as any other nation, while our life expectancy is actually going down and our health care outcomes are worse than many other countries, and by the way, we pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. margaret, let me make a campaign promise to you, and you can repeat this, play this tape over if i'm elected president. and that is: if i am elected president, i'm going to cut prescription drug costs in this country by 50%. so we are not paying any more than other major countries are paying. >> brennan: how are you going g to do that? >> because we will look at the average cost of prescription drugs in canada, the u.k., germany, japan, and france. we will look at their average costs, which are 50% lower than they are in the united states, and we will do that, and if the pharmaceutical industry, which
the five major companies made $50 billion in profits last year, they pay their c.e.o.s outrageous compensation package, if they don't like that, they will take a look at their patents. but -- >> brennan: when will you introduce your medicare for all plan? you have five people supporting it? >> we will do that within the next couple weeks. yeah. and by the way, when we do that, what we understand is that it is just not acceptable that 30 million americans have no health insurance and even more are underinsured with high deductibles and high copayments some where we are right now -- i'm sorry. go ahead. >> brennan: i want to ask you, we have what the president is calling a crisis at the border. he's threatening to shut dunn portions of hit the week. he has given the order to cut off aid to central american countries. do you think this helps? do you think this hurts? and can congress stop this cut-off in aid? >> welk we're going to do
everything we can to stop it. it's totally absurd. >> brennan: how can you stop it? they're already trying to enact the cuts. >> you can stop it by overriding what he's doing and making sure we fund these programs. look, here is the story, you have a terrible humanitarian crisis. you have women and children traveling 1,000 miles or more often by foot in order to escape the violence and poverty in their countries. so what we need to do, of course, is, a, comprehensive immigration reform, but we need to make sure that our borders are secure, but also we need a humane policy at the border in which we are not yanking tiny children from the arms of their mother. >> brennan: should we keep the children in detention? >> pardon me. >> brennan: would you keep these children in detention longer or deport them faster? what would you do? >> you need a humane policy. when you lock up children, when you separate children from their
mothers, this is a traumatic situation, which these children, many of them, will never recover from. you need a humane humanitarian policy at the border. >> brennan: you today have hit this benchmark, end of first quarter funding, financing for the campaign. i believe you said you wanted one million donors by this time. did you meet -- >> one million contributions. >> brennan: did you meet the goal? >> i'm not quite sure, but i am enormously impressed by the many, many hundreds of thousands of americans who are making contributions. many of them are very small contributions. i am also impressed by the fact that we have over one million people from every stated in this country who have vool tiered to work on what will be an unpress debt grassroots campaign. look, margaret, the way we win the democratic nomination, the way we beat trump when my mind is the most dangerous president in modern american history is
through a massive grassroots effort, which demands that we have an economy and a government which works for all of us and not just the 1%, that we end this massive level of income and wealth inequality where three of the wealthiest people own more wealth than the bottom half of americans while at the same time over half the people in this country are working paycheck to paycheck. they cannot afford health care. >> brennan: will you be releasing your tax return? >> we will. we have it all done. it's a question of dotting the is and crossing the ts. we will, absolutely. and by the way, let me challenge president trump to do the same. trust me, we do not have investments in russia or saudi arabia or any place else. yes, we will be releasing them. >> brennan: senator, we'll be watching your campaign. look forward to talking to you again some time soon. >> thank you. >> brennan: we turn now to florida republican senator rick scott who joins us from naples this morning. senator, welcome to "face the nation." you got your work cut out for you. president trump said you are one of the senators in charge of
coming up with a republican alternative to obamacare. when are we going to see your proposal? >> well, first off, i'm glad the president cares about health care. i ran the largest hospital company. i care about the cost of health care. that's what i've focused on. i know it's going to be tough. i look forward to seeing what the president is going to put out with nancy pelosi in the house, it's going to be tough to get something done, but we do know that medicare for all, which senator sanders is all in on, is going to just ruin our health care system. >> brennan: are you -- i'm sorry to, clarify, did you say -- >> it's going to ruin medicare and private insurance. >> brennan: did you say you expect the white house to come forward with a proposal first? >> well, i know in the end the white house is going to have to have their plan. and i know it's going to be difficult with nancy pelosi, but what i'm going to focus on is how do you drive down costs? democrats constantly focus on access. the problem is the cost of health care is too high in this country. that's why i put a bill out this
week that requires transparency at the pharmacy, with the insurance companies, and says, we're not going to allow pharmaceutical companies to charge us more than what they charge in europe. i had the same issue when i ran a large hospital company. i did the exact same thing. i said, i had hospitals in europe. i said, i'm not paying more for drugs in europe than i'm paying in the united states. it's not fair to americans. >> brennan: it sounds like you and senator sanders agree on that. >> well, we don't agree on much, but i'm glad he cares about prescription drug prices. but the problem that democrats have is everything they keep doing is raising the cost of health care. let's look at obamacare. premiums went up, copayments went up. >> brennan: clearly the white house is going to have to weigh new york and the white house acting chief of staff, mick mulvaney was on other television programs this morning saying he can promise no one will be left without health care if obamacare is struck down. but as you have just said, there
is no plan yet. so how can you promise that like a state like yours where it has the most people reliant on obamacare of any state, how can you promise them they won't be left hanging? >> first off, margaret, my focus is on how you drive down the cost of health care. that's what's causing people health care issues. you talk... i have been talking to a lot of people in my state about this, like insulin costs. why in the world would they go up the way they have? >> brennan: but that's the cost of a plan that -- what if they won't have plan at all if obamacare is struck down? can you promise them that won't be the case? >> first off, i'm going to make... i think first off it's very important that we make sure that people who have preexisting conditions can get a health care plan that they can afford. i want to work on that with other senators to make sure that happens. we talked about the budget committee last week, and everybody was supportive of that. we want to make sure individuals can stay on their parents' plan.
but the idea of taking the government taking over health care and running all of health care never worked. it's not going to work. we're going to ruin the entire system. let's focus on the problem we have. the problem is not access. the problem is the cost of health care. and the unbelievable inflation we've seen, start with drug prices. why are drug prices going up the way they have. >> brennan: so you think this piece by piece approach is the best way to do it rather than a wholesale republican alternative? >> look, i want to listen to everybody's ideas. i have sat down with the pharmaceutical company, the p.b.m.s, the insurance companies, the hospital industry, the pharmacy, to ask them their ideas. i think the best way to do this is look at everybody's ideas and see what they can do. what the democrats keep doing is access -- i want to focus on driving down cost. >> brennan: i'm sure people would like things cheaper. they always do. in terms of what they will be
able to get, though, can you say the republican alternative will do things like guarantee access to maternity care or care for newborn children, mental health, some of the things that are guaranteed in obamacare? >> first off, it's very important to me that people get health care. i will only support something where people have access to health care, but it's got to be at a price they can afford. >> brennan: on those particular instances -- >> i watched my mom cry because she couldn't gets hurricane for my brother. >> brennan: on those particular things, would it provide maternity care? >> well, of course. i mean, margaret, this is -- the president just put out a marker on what he wants to accomplish, and i think all of us want to be helpful to try to get something done. we know it's going to be difficult with nancy pelosi and with the democrats proposing medicare for all. we know that. at the same time, what i'm going to do is what i believe we can get done. let's focus first on prescription drug prices. they're way too high. we shouldn't be paying more than what they pay in europe. it's unfair to americans.
and let's go piece by piece to try to fix it. >> brennan: and don't expect wholesale plan until after 2020? >> you know, look, i'm going to continue to work on... i'm a business guy. the way i got my stuff done in business is every day i said, what could i get done today. >> brennan: okay. >> i know a lot of people like the grand bargainses. i don't believe in grand bargains. i believe in piece by piece fixing things. >> brennan: got it. quickly, do you support the president's call to cut off aid to central american countries who are sending migrants into the united states? >> i'd have to learn more about it. what i... when i went down to the border, we have a crisis. we need more barriers for operational control, we need more people and more technology. i'm very disappointed that i walked into this job three months ago and the democrats don't want to give any more for border security. there's wrong. >> brennan: senator, thank you very much. we'll be back in one minute with
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♪ ♪ >> brennan: last month the top three elected fireworks in virginia, all democrats, weymouth entangled in a series of scandals. the governor, raffle northam, and the secretary of state, mark herring, faced accusations of racist behavior in their past, but the accusations facing lieutenant governor justin fairfax were of a different sort. two women, dr. vanessa tyson and meredith watson, accused fairfax of sexual assault. he has denied the allegations. "cbs this morning" co-host gayle king spoke with both women separately in their first television interviews since they came forward with their allegations. dr. tyson is a political science professor at scripps college. here is some of their conversation. >> reporter: what do you want the happen to justin fairfax?
why are you coming forward? >> in my ideal world i'd want him to resign. there are two main reasons why i came forward. there's a million reasons not to come forward. it's tough. i'm not going to lie. but, you know, i look at my beautiful students. i have the most wonderful kids. they're brilliant and thoughtful and kind and passionate, and they want to make the world a better place. i teach politics, and then they want to get involved, and all i could think of is, i don't want this to ever ever ever happen to them. the second thing i think is that the virginia people need to know who it is that they elected. they need to know. i think the virginia people, the voters of virginia have a right to know, you know, both my story and meredith's story.
i think there should be a public hearing. i think that --. >> reporter: not an investigation? >> there is a difference between hearings and investigations. investigations often allow people in power to sweep things under the rug, right? that's just kind of a pattern that as a political scientist that have witnessed and seen emerge, right? >> reporter: a hearing? you would be prepared to testify in front of the virginia general assembly. >> in front of the virginia general assembly under oath. i would want meredith, myself, and mr. fairfax to be able to speak, to be heard, and particularly for survivors i think this is incredibly important. they need to be heard. they need to be seen. we need to be treated as the
have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast, for fast pain relief. tylenol®. >> brennan: we want to take a closer look at how this week's news is impacting the 2020 campaign. jamal simmons -- jamelle bouie, caitlin huey-burns, is part of our political team, and jamal simmons is a strategist and hose at hill tv, and ed o'keefe is a correspondent here on cbs news. ed, let's start with you. bernie sanders making his case, going back to one of the hits, medicare for all, which has now become mainstream. at least five candidates have signed on the his plan that was kind of out there in 2016. should we assume that this is going to be sort of the dividing point for democrats? >> it is certainly one of them. and, you know, a lot of people commented as he was entering the
race that in some ways bernie sanders had won the 2016 cycle because all of his ideas have now become essentially party orthodox or open for more vigorous debate. when it comes to medicare for all, that's one of them. the fact the party is now comfortable having a more robust discussion about it, i think it's a signal that he and elizabeth warren certainly have dominated the first few months when it comes to the ideas debate. then there's also likely to dominate the money race when fund-raising totals come in starting tomorrow. >> brennan: he didn't give a lot of details. >> it's funny how he fact checked you but didn't answer the question as to whether or not he's met his goal. everybody presumes he will be on top of the money race and could be north of $30 million raised, which is a pretty good start. >> brennan: jamal, last time you were on, you talked about the limits.
>> yeah. >> brennan: do you see his appeal broadened toward black vote centers. >> he's certainly trying. his campaign leadership is much more diverse. he's going place where people are different. the question becomes how can he get middle-aged african american women to sign up for the bernie bus? so many of the people who supportedded him were people who were younger in the last election, and i think, you know, a middle-aged african american audience is more conservative than a northeastern socialist might think. >> brennan: jamelle, you have written about bernie sanders. you said he hasn't defined foreign policy in a way others do not. >> right. one interesting thing about sanders this time around is how he has in the interim really developed foreign policy ideas, really put himself out there as someone who is trying to lead the democratic field on foreign policy specifically. and an agenda that treats authoritarian regime, global kleptocracy, all of these things
as a singular challenge for the united states the face. >> brennan: and more pro-palestinian. >> pro-palestinian, more willing to question alliances the u.s. has with saudi arabia, with other authoritarian countries. that i think may -- if, in fact, the domestic policy debate among democrats is everyone is kind of on the same page, then that might be an issue that ends up shaping debates as the race goes on. >> brennan: we have to leave it here for now, but we'll pick it up with caitlin after this commercial break. stay with us. we'll have more 2020 insights. ♪ ♪ this simple banana peel represents a bold idea: a way to create energy from household trash. it not only saves about 80% in carbon emissions... it helps reduce landfill waste. that's why bp is partnering with a california company: fulcrum bioenergy. to turn garbage into jet fuel.
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the results will blow you away. and now for your body... new hydro boost gel cream from neutrogena® >> brennan: we'll be right back with a lot more "face the nation." we'll look at this question of whether the democratic front-runner should be disqualified from the race. some alleging that will talk about the problems joe biden may face. so stay with us.
>> brennan: welcome back to "face the nation." we continue our 2020 political panel. i want the start with you, caitlin. you've had bernie sanders, the senator, on the show saying a woman he knows, ms. flores, a nevada politician, he says he has no reason not believe her allegations of inappropriate touching that she says were made in 2014 by vice president joe biden. does this become disqualifying for him? he has not officially declared he's running. >> i think it shows the perils of waiting and lingering about making a decision about whether to get into this race. the longer that he waits out
there, the more scrutiny is applied to him and his record, especially as these voters are getting a look at all of the other options that they have available to them. it also shows this kind of contrast that biden will be faced with within his own party, a party that has been dramatically changed in the era of me too. ly say that i have been reporting in new hampshire and iowa and south carolina following all these candidates, and every time i ask a voter about what they think of joe biden, almost to a tee they say, i love him so much, i just don't want him to run. part of that is they feel personally invested in his legacy. they know what a presidential race could do to him. they want him to be a player, but not necessarily inside. now, he does have high name recognition. he was the vice president to a very popular president. that's why you're seeing him to lead the polls. i think the response to this shows he doesn't have a campaign
operation ready to go and operating to respond to these kinds of attacks. so that's what leaves open those questions. >> brennan: kellyanne conway called it the worst non-rollout of the 2020 campaign when she was on television today. i want to play one south bide from the vice president as he tried to gesture toward something in his legacy that may become a problem in 2020. >> a bunch of white guys hearing this testimony in the senate judiciary committee, so when anita hill came to testify, she faced a committee that didn't fully understand what the hell it was all about. to this day i regret i couldn't come up with a way to get her to the kind of hearing she deserved, given the courage she showed by reaching out to us. >> brennan: ed. he was chairman of the senate judiciary committee that ran these hearings. >> exactly. >> brennan: he's describing himself as kind of powerless.
>> which has been relit gaited ever since, and there are a lot of people in the party, certainly a lot of women who were involved in party politics who say it should have been handled differently. a lot of people are wondering, is he going to apologize away his entire senate legacy over the course of this campaign, because a lot of what he did and said back in the day doesn't sync with what the democratic party is. his behavior, his policies, his hours of senate floor speeches, his votes on different bills. he's going to have to spend the entire campaign, the entire primary at least, relit gaiting all of that. you wonder, does he want to stomach that. but this situation with flores, what's telling... she was asked this morning elsewhere about this and whether politics were involved. she was the supporter of bernie sanders. she was at beto o'rourke rally this weekend, and she said flat out, yes, it does, because we're in the midst of a reckoning in our party. there have been examples of this his entire career, and it's never been seriously discussed.
he haven't been held to account for it. we know all the instances of, you know, women at a restaurant, daughters, granddaughters, wives of senators he was swearing in on swearing-in day at the capitol, things he's done and said that were seen of, oh, that's uncle joe being uncle joe, well, up against the party that now exists and the activists who will fill those arenas and those coffee shops and be the most active on the street in these early primary straits, you wonder whether people will want to have to justify and explain that to voters. how much of an issue it high become. >> brennan: does experience become something that hurts him rather than helps him? >> i don't think experience per se, but i think biden's particular position in the democratic party in the '70s and '80s and '90s hurts him. he was a centrist democrats, and on crime and drugs and economics, he was in the center of the democratic party.
so kamala harris will face intense scrutiny, where hillary clinton basically had to apologize for the democratic primary in the 1990s, biden i think more so even than hillary clinton exemplifies the democratic party of the '90s in its bad and good, and that's going to be his burden going forward. >> brennan: mayor pete bootijuge had the most searches last week. >> i think mayor pete is going to be the factor on the debate stage that we will all be talking about afterward. i mean, he's somebody who is willing to say what he thinks. that's youngest person running, but he seems to be among the most mature. he's coming at this with values. he's putting policy on the table. he's been very strong campaigner. i think for vice president biden, the danger i think a lot
of people see in him is that this presidential experience may take away all ther he built up over the time that he was vice president to barack obama, which would then remove him from being kind of a statesman from the democratic party. he could run a campaign, he could win, that could all be fine, or it could be a big disaster. >> i think when you look at the the work biden and mayor pete shows there is no front-runner in this democratic field. it's pretty amazing you have a former vice president, a popular former vice president, who hasn't cleared the field. you're seeing other candidates, bernie sanders among them, beto o'rourke, raising vast sums of money on a grassroots level. it allows for some of these other candidates, lesser known to, make an impact that way, because there is no clear front-runner and voters trying to assess. we'll get a better idea of that with the fund-raising numbers that are coming out, especially as the party is very much focused on these small dollar donations. >> the fact that corporate nations are becoming a political problem for democrats, you can't
take them, i think will be a big limiting factor on the field going forward, because there is only so much grassroots available total for everyone to take in. >> the reason that it's become an issue is because there is now an incentive to get as many donors as you can. there's literally a need if you want to participates. you have to hit 65,000 don't centers 20 states or dwelt 1% in at least three polls. a lot of people see the 65,000 in 20 states as an easier hurdle and it incentivizing grassroots support. it gives you credit with support ers. you can say to voters, you have helped me get to this stage, versus several candidates spending this past week behind closed doors. >> brennan: and biden has not declared. stacy abrams this week, jamal, was asked about her being on the biden ticket. she said, you don't run for second place. she seemed to rebuff this idea. but is she going to get in? >> her --
>> brennan: how big does this field get? >> it could get very big. it's still very early in the process. there's probably space for someone like stacey abrams or other candidates. as there are more debates and fund-raising, as all the barriers and hurdles start coming up for progressing, i think this field will shrink considerably. the fact that beto, that senator sanders, that senator harris are the three candidates who have been able to really take in large hauls to me at least suggests that those three at least have a very durable base within the party that can expand. earn else i'm not entirely sure about. >> brennan: the president saw the mueller report as a victory for him on the campaign trail. are crass pretending it didn't happen? >> well, democrats have been saying since 2017 and the lead-up to the midterms that they wanted to focus on issues, mostly because the mueller report, the conclusions at that time were unknown. we saw health care as the top issue for democrats in the 2018
election. it helped them to win back, you know 40, seats and eventually win back the house. they saw the president's unlikely pivot to health care as a welcome move from the president. and they believe that this is a winning issue for them. and it also removed some of the pushback or criticism that they would have been getting from republicans who were kind of really eager not to talk about their own health care plans, but to harp on the democrat's plans. you talk to bernie sanders earlier about medicare for all, which has become a baseline for entry, some kind of acceptance of a national health care system, youtube very sal health care, the waysline forren try for democratic contenders. republicans wanted to point fingers at them not to go back to their own policies, which they have not been able to show the public that they can coalesce around a plan. >> brennan: we'll have to leave it there. caitlin, good to have you on. good to have all of you. jamelle, don't believe. stick around. we'll be right back with more analysis of the week that was and the one that's about to
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the sort of most, i don't know, go-to line for him on immigration. he brought up again that he's going to potentially shut down the border this week. how do you do that without damaging the u.s. economy? what does that look like? >> well, i mean, i know it's shocking that message discipline isn't the word of the day for the trump white house. i think that part of the problem... you can't shut down the border without hurting the economy, even though president trump tweeted or said yesterday because of our trade deficit with mexico we would make money by shutting the border, which doesn't scan. i think part of the problem is the white house has been trying to -- president trump has been wanting to message the crisis at the border as basically a scene from a chuck norris movie where people are coming in to rape and pillage the country, and that's how he's wanted to describe the crisis. democrats have not wanted to give him any credit for the fact there is -- and the media,
too -- credit for the fact there is a crisis at border. it's not the crisis of the drugs and the guns. it's a humanitarian crisis some you have this cross messaging going on, where the situation down there is very, very dire, added to the problem is that while i'm sympathetic to the idea of more border security, a wall isn't what is going to solve the actual crisis that's going on down there. that requires a change in policy, a change in law, and so none of the messaging is lining up with the reality on either side. >> brennan: and customs and border patrol, homeland security said this week 100,000 migrants in this month alone. >> yes. >> brennan: 60% of them children and their parents. how do you respond to this idea that credit is not being given to a real crisis at the border? >> i think the problem is that precisely because president trump's framing is of this dire sort of violent, you know, crisis at the border, and he's not talking about humanitarian aspect. they're sort of... there's no real space to give him credit.
it also does not help the president that he wants to withdraw funding to the relevant countries or aid to the relevant countries that he is not working as closely as he could with the mexican government to help manage the flow of migrants to the united states. there are all these levers of policy that president trump could take that he is not doing or actively pushing against, which just exacerbates the problem. and i think also he has been saying, we're going to close the border for so long, but he hasn't taken any step which encourages migrants. there is -- things are not as bad at the border as trump says, so maybe i can take chance. >> brennan: the state department is telling congress they are stopping some of this aid, which was meant to stabilize the country to, stop migrants from fleeing. kelsey, can congress stop the president? bernie sanders seemed to think they could. >> there are some democrats in particular who think there are options in front of them. but i have not heard anybody
articulate what exactly that is. as i talked to democrats and republicans, they're also worried that this could exacerbate problems with the u.s. m.c.a., the trade agreement they're trying to finalize that's already in serious trouble in congress right now. they are worried they're not going to be able to get the support they need if the president is starting another fight with mexico, and there are plenty of people on beth sides of the aisle who really would like to get some sort of trade stability happening with both mexico and canada. >> brennan: and it will be interesting to see if they even have a vote. some have been predicting april. >> it's very much in the air, and it's very, very difficult to see how that gets worked out. >> brennan: and the mueller report, we now have at least a four page summary of what's in it. this has become even a fund-raising mechanism for the trump campaign. they're raising money off of testimony shirts with adam schiff the house intelligence committee chairman on them, sort of mocking him and saying all of this is a conspiracy against the
president. what does this all add up to? does this continue as a story line until we get the 400 pages in mid-april. >> i anticipate this is going to be a story line for the next several months. there will be jockeying between d.o.j. and congress and democrats want more information. they want the full report. they are not backing down from that. and i also think you see the president using this clearly as a political ploy that he thinks works for him. he's been mentioning it on the campaign trail. i think that's going to continue. and this is a story line that he's very comfortable with because he feels like he has vindicated. >> what do you make of the democratic problems here within the party? the party -- problems within the democratic party? i had hard time getting that one out. with a.o.c.? she sent this tweet last night that some republicans might welcome but some democrats felt a little bit of discomfort with. she said the d.c.c.'s new rule to blacklist and boycott anyone with does business with primary
challengers is divisive and harmful to the primary. you had other progressives joining her on this. what should people understand about what's happening within the party? >> this is basically the internal fight the democrats have been having in the last cycle about challengers in primary races, and you have members like a.o.c. who want to take the party to the left and they want to have challengeers that the party establish are not okay. with this is a tool mitch mcconnell used on the senate side to take back control. it's a way for the establishment to say, no, no, no, if you're going to run for some of these more left-leaning candidates that are not in line with who we think can win these races ultimately, then you as a consultant are not going to get the work of the party. >> brennan: is all of this a gift to republicans, including the shift of the messaging back to health care? we had senator scott on the program. he kind of was throwing the ball back into the white house's court. >> yeah. i think the end of the mueller
probe or at least this chapter of the mueller probe is actually a benefit to a lot of democrats. it takes the issues of impeachment and turns down the temperature on that. it lets them talk about things like health care, which are actually benefits or advantages for democrats, and president trump's decision to give democrats the talking point that we're going to debate about health care seem to me like an incredible unforced error. so it's the mueller report is good news so far for the president, but i think it's also good news for a lot of the democratic candidates, and the decision to pivot to health care seems to me to benefit the democrats. >> health care is an issue where i think the president is especially vulnerable, not because the administration doesn't have any particular plans, but in 2016, there were more blue collar than any republican coalition had been were. it depends on maintaining certain margins with blue collar whites in certain states. if there is an issue that's going to alienate those people from your party, it's saying i'm going to take away your medicaid. i'm going to take away whatever
benefits you get from the affordable care act. and it really is astoundingly bad idea to make the centerpiece of your message, we're going to go at this again, when last time you went on it in august 2017, president trump's average approval rating dipped to about 36%. the last time he went after health care like this. >> it could be a good idea if there was any policy preparation, but there is no evidence that is going on. >> brennan: republicans do not want to talk about this. >> that's why they keep it back with mitch mcconnell saying, good luck working with nancy pelosi. >> brennan: which is what senator scott was also saying, even though the president says he and senator brasso and others will have to come up with a solution. we'll take a quick break. stay with us. we'll be back with more.
>> brennan: we're back now with our panel. can you pick us up here? we started off the program with bernie sanders, someone who embracing the term "democratic socialist," who is embracing government-run and government-financed health care. the president is trying to use a lot of those principles as a kind of rallying cry for his own supporters, saying reject socialism. it's socialism or me. does this actually resonate?
>> brennan: >> clearly the president thinks it does. he brought it up at a state of the union. he brought it up at several campaign rallies. i think democrats are concerned. you don't see nancy pelosi or others wanting to carry the brand of socialism at all. i brought it up earlier, but you have this push-pull in the democratic party where you have the bernie sanders and the a.o.c.s of the world and where the democratic establishment is and where they think they can win in more moderate districts and in some of these seats that are up in 2020, but running the bernie sanders playbook is not going to work. >> there is a flip side to that, as well, that could be dangerous for president trump, which is that it's not as if bernie sanders is calling for like, you know, democratic control of the nationalization of industries. he's calling for a very, very robust welfare state, for more medicare, for free college, these sorts of things, and things that are probably popular
with the public. if you start defining medicare for all or even just medicare expansion, if you start defining free college or any of these programs as socialism, then the other thing that could happen is that voters say, hey, if this is socialism, like sign me up. if this is what it means to be socialist, then i'll take that bet. if it's described as a nordic country and not venezuela. >> right, right, right. >> i was south in several of these districts where democrats beat prince in 2018. i talked to voters who say when they hear the word "democrats" they hear "socialist" and they don't hear the policies. they hear the word. i saw people showing up, abigail sandberger at her town hall, people showed up and specifically wanted to ask her, "are you a socialist?" you're a democrat, does that mean you're a socialist? that's not something moderates want to talk about. >> it's just a label problem. i think it was quinnipiac that had a poll recently that showed
support for democrats for single-payer health care is going down. support for medicare for all is going up. they think medicare for all is like not socialism, you know, it sounds like a more moderate kind of approach, and if you look at the gallup polling on socialism over the last ten years, you find that basically it is support for socialism is basically a referendum on the state of capitalism. it's whatever -- if capitalism is in bad odor at any given moment, then people say, socialism, because they think it's a bitheir. i don't think a lot of people want real socialism, but they don't necessarily love capitalism. >> but they want things like guaranteed preexisting conditions and maternity care and things like that guaranteed. >> where the danger comes in is president trump is setting up unrestrained capitalism, that's unpopular, as well. >> right, right. >> so if what you're doing is saying, i'm for unrestrained capitalism and the people who want that for socialism, then you might end up losing that
branding game if you insist that the recognizable policies are the bad thing. >> the fight will be over who gets to define the terms. if trump wins 51% of the argument, it's good for him. if he loses, it's very bad for him smoosm what happens when the attorney general goes capitol hill and gives testimony in the beginning of may answering questions about the mueller report? >> i think it will be equal parts political circus and a lot of information getting out there to the public that people want to understand. i think it will be up to democrats to find a way to walk the line between wanting to push the political side of things and get political wins on the board on a hearing that will be widely watched and televised, and needing to publish that their investigations going forward are not the witch hunt the president talks about. it will be a delicate balance. it should be very, very interesting to watch. >> brennan: all right. we will be watching it, and we'll have plenty of analysis then. thanks to all of you for joining us. we will be right back.
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