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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  October 26, 2018 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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captio sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, a suspect in custody: federal authorities arrest a south flora man in connection with at least 13 bomb packages addressed to critics of present trump. then, stories from the migrant caravan as it continues to move north towards the u.s./mexico border. >> there is a big humanitarian problem going on in central america.e olence, the criminality, the governments are so corrupted. all of these familars, they are out of their wits to stay over there. >> woodruff: and it's friday-- mark shields and david brooks analyze a full week s and what it says about this moment in american politics. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> woodruff: a break in the bomb scare case. the f.b.i. says a tell-tale fingerprint led today to the prime suspect, even as suspect packages kept showing up around the country. gena nawaz begins our cove >> nawaz: federal authorities confirmed today that cesar sayoc of aventura, florida has been arrested and charged in connection to a sembes of mail bos discovered this week, targeting prominent democrats. the arrest of the 56-year-old ends a five-day, nationwide manhunt. attorney general jeff sessions. >> let this be a lesson to anyone, regardless of their political beliefs, that we willn the full force of law against anyone who attto use threats, intimidation, and outright violence to further an agenda. we will find you, we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. >> nawaz: sayoc was identified using a fingerprt recovered from one of the bombs, and a d.n.a. sample from a previous
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arrest. he now faces up to 58 years in prison for multiple federal charges, outlined by u.s. attorney geoffrey berman. >> charged with fives that include illegally mailing and interstate transportation of plosive and threatening a former president of the united states. n az: his arrest comes after three more bombs were intercepted in maiewfacilities inork city, florida, and california today. the first, addressed to former director of national intelligence james clapper. the second, to democratic senator cory booker of new jersey. and the third, to democratic senator kamala harris of california. in all: 13 pipe bombs sent to senior democratic figures and vocal critics of president trump have been discovered this week. democratic leaders-- former president obama, and vice president biden, former secretary of state clinton, congresswoman maxineaters, and senators booker and harris. past senior officials-- clapper, and former c.i.a. chief john brennan, whose packages were both sent to cnn, and former attorney-general eric holder.
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and prominent supporters of liberal causes-- investor george soros, and actor robert deniro. biden and waters were sent two packages each. images from today show law enforcement examining a white van in the parking lot of an auto parts store where sayoc was taken into custody. the van ndows, papered with pro-trump and g.o.p. stickers, images of targets over pictures of president obama and hillary clinton, and one sticker reading "cnn sucks." authorities say it's too early to discuss say's motivation. t there is one common thread. all of sayoc's targets had been critical of president trump, and all have been the subjects of the president's ire. >> these terrorizingare despicable and have no place in our country. >> nawaz: at a white house event today, president trump hailed the rest and said the u.s. cannot allow political violence. >> bottom line is that americans must unify. and we will show the world that
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pe are united together in e and love and harmony as fellow american citizens. >> nawaz: but earlier, he dismissivelypoke of the attacks as "this bomb stuff" and complained that the story is slowing republican momentum in the mid-term electio. but the democratic governor of new york, andrew cuomo drew a straight line from the attacksde to the pre's rhetoric. >> it's not a coincidence. there are no coincidences here. so should the president act more responsibly? yes. should he act less politically? yes. should he be more concerned with safety as opposed to electoral affect on some convoluted strategy? yes. >> nawaz: democratic congresswon debbie wasserman- schultz agreed. her florida office was listed as a return address on the packages. >> this is a time when no matter what your political persuasion is, we need to turn the volume down. we need to have a civil discourse. we need to be talking with one another.
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>> nawaz: as he left he white house late today, the president was asked directly about his rhetoric. i >> i thie been toned down. i could really tone it up, i think the media's been veryo unfairme. >> nawaz: authorities wa the investigation is active and on- going, and that more packagesbe coulncovered. for the pbs newshour, i'm amna nawaz. >> woodruff: so what more is known about the suspected pipe bomber and thetate of the investigation? t for this we tumary mccord, who helped lead the department of justice's national security division during the obama administration; it focuses on anrrorism and other signif national security thres. and j.m. berger. he has written extensively about political violence. his latest book, "extremism" was recently published by mit press. he's also a research fellow at vox-pol, a european unionad ic initiative to study
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online extremism. we welcome both of you to the program. mary mccord, to you first, what's your reaction about what we know so far about this man, the susct >> well, it does seem like it was extremely good and fast work by the fib and other local and state law enforcement that assisted. ey got lucky by the fact that the suspect left a furykprint on one of the packages and is sobody known to law enforcement for whom his fingerprint was in the database. so congratulations, of cllrse, to the incredible law enforcement for solving tis so rapidly. but the investigation will go to make sure that there are no ombsrs involved, no other b out there already in the stream of mail or in delivery services, and, you know, at no one else that this suspect is working with. >> woodruff: j.m. berger, it is the case that this
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investigation continues. with we are looking at one person, so far. we don't know if he's the only one involved. but looking at his portrait, there's been some descripti of m as a loner, someone who did have some arrest record, most of it minor offenses. but what do you make of him h, w the perso's coming through here?e >> well,s definitely somebody we know from his criminal record had a past history of violence, you know, and when we see acts that are terrort in nature, athis attack is, we often see somebody who has that kind bckground. what we see from his social media post, we've seen three of his accounts so far, very right-wing oriented, very pro-president trump, and they're very threatening covelet he engaged wi a threatened a lot of people who were democrats or on the left in some way or in hollywood kind of celebrity figures. >> woodruff: in staying with
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you, j.m. berger, did that make it -- in your mind, does that make it easier to identify him, to find him, ultately, whether they decide whether he's guilty or ? >> well, i think, certainly, thi erprints and the dna are the con cliewfs evidence to find him quickly.f there is a lotthis kind of content online. likely, we have a major problem on social media platforms with harassing and potentially filing content. so to try to approach it from searching the social media site of things is a needle in a haystack kind of problem. >> woodruff: mary mccord, how do you connect the dotsn, here, agased on what we've seen of him and his strong interest, apparent strong interest in politics, much of it, of course, pro-president trump. how does that -- what does it add to at this point for you? >> well, what it adds up to, really, is this a case, i think, that has every indication of
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being a case of domestic terrorism, and we don't have, in the federal criminal code, a crime of domestic terrorism by that name. there are other crimes, and i would be interested to se as the investigation proceeds and as the prosecutors at e u.s. attorneys office and the department of justice take the tohe grand jury, whether tey might not add some other charges, charges such as use of apon of mass destruction weapon of mass -- weapon of mass destruction, which is a terrorism offense, not labeled as domestic terrorrm, but it's a terorism offense. so this is the kind of case where if we had a federal crime of domestic terrorism, this kind of a case would be fitting o consider for indictment under ufat time of a charge. >> woo j.m. berger, as we said, your specialty, you've done so much work looking at extremism. does the current hyperdividedca polienvironment of the united states, does it tend to, in a situation like this,
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exacerbate people's tendencves who may already had a tendency to be on the extremist end of the spectrum? >> i think it does. youo w, we have a lot of research on this subject of how rhetoric affects behavior, and some of it is incon cliewfs, as far as whether, you know, extremists -- just exposure to extremist rhetoric without exposure to a social nerk makes someone prone to be violent. but we know tremist rhtoric and ideologies shape violence. you can see clearlyhat this man's actions was shaped by what president trump said about his opponents, the selection of hisg s does not really lend itself to a lot of other explanations. he was -- we can see in sociale media he was invested in conspiracy theories and that may lp shape the action he took.
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but those conspiracy theories are very much in sync wih the president's rhetoric. so i think there is a legitimate issue that we should be talking about here in terms of how the current political environment is affecting people's behavior. >> wcoodruff: mary ord, what about that, the connection between the political environment, the broader political environment, which is very divided at this moment, as we approach the midterm elections, and the tepandency on th of some people to be prepared to take extreme action like this? >> well, i would agree with a lot of what jay has said. we've seen this, back in national security, we see thiste in iational terrorism as well. we see an extremist viewpoint and then radicalization toward violence that starts with somebody having certain types of ideologies and, then, as they progress toward extremism, metimes, not always, they will radicalize toward violence. and now weth're seeinat here with some of the extremism in the united states right now, i happen to be doing this
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interview from charlottesville where, you know, just a little over a year ago we had white supremacists and neo-nazishr marchinggh the streets and engaging in violence. so their activity has been not condemned maybe as forcefully as it should have been by some of our leaders, and i think what we're seeing potentially with this case is, agin, someone who has espoused certain views, political views, and has asc fort or is very unhappy with those who criticize the currt president and crticize his policies and this person ha tas extremism to the next level, and he has reallyd radicalized ems to, by his actions, want to intim intimidate or coarse people into not speaking out or exrcising their right to freedom of >> wf: j.m. berger, drspeech. what's your main question you
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have at this point about this case? >> what we will be loing for is to find out whether he followed a specific ideogy. the social media accounts we've seen so far are very unirected. there's not a clear indication he was involved in a particular brand of extremism and wether he was involved in an extremist community. i think it's likely we will find he has other social media accounts not underis name, not as easy to find and once we see those well see a better sense of what motivated him. >> woodruff: j.m. berger, mary mccord, we thank you both. >> thank you. in the day's other news, the nation has posted its best back- to-back quarterly, economic01 growth since the u.s. commerce department says between july and september, growth ran at an annual rate of 3.5%. that followed a second quarter when the ratwas better than . this was the last major look at the economy before the mid-term elections. the economy news was not enough to stop another sell-off on wall street.
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amon led the way down with weak earnings report. the dow jones industrial average lost nearly 0 points to close at 24,688. it had been down me than 500 points, earlier. the nasdaq fell 151 poin, and the s&p 500 slipped nearly 47. turkey moved today to try to extradite saudi suspects in the death of journalist jamal khashoggi. the saudis have admitted he was murdered at their consulate in istanbul, and they havnamed 18 suspects. meanwhile, turkish president recip tayyip erdogan toldpp ters that the saudis must produce the body. >> ( translated ): as a result of the meticulous work carried out by our police, judiciary and intelligence, the incident has been brought to light to a large degree. and we can say it's now evident that he is killed but where is he
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you need to show the body. >> woodruff: erdogan also said udi chief prosecutor wil arrive in turkey on sunday, as the investation progresses. meanwhile, khashoggi's fiancee,s hatice cengid she will not accept an invitation to visit e house until she thinks the u.s. is serious about solving the rdime. there's hat russian president vladimir putin has been iited to visit washington after the new year. national security advisor john bolton announced it today, in the former soviet georgia. there was no word on whether putin will accep president trump held a summit with putin in finlanlast july. he also talked of inviting putin during the summer, but shelved the idea after heavy criticism. india warned today that air quality in new delhi has plummeted to the worst possible category. officials said dangerous particulates in the air are more than six times what is considered safe.
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it is caused in part by seasonal burning by farmers. and, conditions are expected to worsen, as huge fireworks displays send more smoke into the air during a major hindu festival. and, back in this country, the ashes of matthew shepard have been interred in washington, 20 years after the gay college anddent was beaten, tied u left to die, in laramie, wyoming. his killing became a watershed event in the movement for gay rights.da 2,000 filled washington national cathedral for a servicn of remem. his father said his son now haso "a home safehaters." the two assailants are serving hefe in prison. still to come onewshour: we catch up with the migrant caravan moving north through mexico to the united states. a west virginia democrat running in the mold of president trump? mark shields and david brooks break down political divisions in america.
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and our fall films series showcases an intimate look at alzheimer's. >> woodruff: for more than a week, thousands of migrants, erfugees, and asylum seekers fleeing central a have been part of a now well-known "caravan", making its way through mexico toward thu.s. border. it's become a focus of president trump, as he seeks to stop the caravan's progress. many of these travelers are escaping rampant violence and economic privation in their homelands. >> schifrin: every night they come together, feeling safer in a large group, searching for some sleep. this is the central square of mapastepec, 70 miles north of the mexico/guatamela border, an thoes are worn from the walk-- many have already been or the road 500 miles.
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they've picked up friends along the way, and take a quiet moment to themselves. 23-year-old karla cruz might keep in touch with her boyfriend back home in honduras, but her hopes are northward,e u.s. she's brought onlyrrhat she can and fills a bag that was her blanket. she jokes about her d.i.y. bedding to beat the loneliness. and they set off at 3:00 a.m. to beat t heat. cruz knows these roads and towns well. this is her fifth attempt to get to the u.s. she's been arrested three mes, and had to turn back twice. but she says this time feels different. >> ( translated ): around the bend there could be criminals waiting for you. you have to go around them. u have to go around immigration. but now we're going in a legal way. they are opening the doors to us and no one is stopping us. we're going in unison, together. >> schifrin: during the day she rests in temporary shelts, where infants wear their american icons and dreams around
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their necks. cruz's dream is reunification. y rs ago, her mother moved to texas, leaving cruz behind when she was just eight years >> ( slated ): you don't have the words to say it because you're also so young. so it's terrible how parentsch abandon theidren for a better thh is, i'll be content with just seeing my mom. even if it means i'll get deported. well, after 15 years, don't you think i do deserve a smile? >> schif in honduras two weeks ago and quickly grew to 7,000. it shrunk to 4,000 after many chose to board buses that returned them home. and while most of the migrants talk about hopes, their critics talk about teats. >> that is an assault on ourun y. and in that caravan you have some very bad people. you have some very bad people and we can't let that happ to
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we need a wall built fast. >> schifrin: today in calexico, california, workers finish a new section of that wall, inaugurated by secretary of homeland security kristijen nieln. the administration announced it is sending 800 additional troops to the border and given them wide latitude. >> we do not have any intentioni t now to shoot at people. they will be apprehended, however. but i also take my officer and agent-- their own personal safety extraordinarily seriously. fey do have the ability o course to defend themselves. >> schifrin: for raul marques, what's most important fits in his backpack, and his hands. he carries his one-year-old son. marques says he lived in the u.s. until eight years ago, when he was deported after two d.u.i.'s s s he was trying to rebuild his life in guatemala, until gangs killed his wife. >> they told me that if i wasn't going to cooperate with them that my son was going to be next. they were going to cut his head
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off. so right when this was going on that's when i heard about this caravan. >> schifrin: guatemala and its neighbors are the most violent place on earth outside of war zones. they know the u.s. doesn't thcept economic asylum cases, and so they admiey might have to try and cross illegally in smaller groups. still, they have a message to president trump. >> ( translated ): i want to go see my mom, i want to get aheadi i want to maybsh university. i want to, maybe, learn his lauage. and that he also understand that t 're not criminals. we're people who w better ourselves. >> schifrin: they still face a long journey that is physically, and politically, treacherous. but they say they take strength from their numbers, and their hopes. for the pbs newshour, i'm nick schifrin.
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>> woodruff: now, a look at a surprisingly competitive congressional race unfolding in west virginia, where a democrat is making noise in a district presidentrump dominated. yamiche alcindor has this >> alcr: a democrat in trump country, and some voters fansidering a leap of faith. at bridge day, in yetteville, nia, tens of thousands of people came out to watchba jumpers, and talk about a surprisingly competitive race. democratic state senator richard ojeda d state delegate carol miller, a republican, are fighting to win a seat in congress once thought to bedl sored. in 2016, donald trump beat hillary clinton in this district by 42%. >> we're going nothing but the filthy rich and the dirt poor. >> alcindor: but ojeda, a 24- year army veteran, has managed to make this race a nail biter. >> i'm a umwa man, we need you. >> alcindor: miller, a businesswoman who owns several
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car dealerships and a bison farm, declined to be interviewed. but in ads like this, she stressed her connection with the >> a w that works very hard for you, carol miller. >> alcindor: at bridge day, that endorsement seemed to carry significant weight. >> it would be carol miller and that's a vote for mr. donald trump. that's my entire reason for voting for her. indor: others were unhap with the direction of the democratic party. >> they left me my morals. i think they're getting very weak on the second amendment. i'm pro life 1%.>> lcindor: that, in part, has led to the shifting political landscape in west virginia. west virginia was a democratic stronghold. but, republicans have made major inroads into this state. now democrats are wondering whether a candidate like ojeda any be a model for taking back control in this std across the country. >> we got to get back hat the democratic party really was about. we create opportunities for those who live in poverty. >> aindor: at rallies and in facebook videos, ojeda rails
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against corporate money and lobbyists. >> they'reootlickers, ladies and gentlemen. >> alcindor: he's won the backing of the state's l tgest coal andchers' unions. he also supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and legalizing recreational marijuana. deyet, ojeda voted for pre trump. >> am i happy with him now? i'm not. but the thing about it is i'm willing to stand in a corner will throw stones at me for supporting donald trump. but i'll tell you what.e whcome from, the coal mines are operational. >> alcindor:s there anything out him personally that's changed that made you not want to support him? >> when you're the president of the united states, you're the president over every single citizen in the country, not just the republicans. put your cell phone be the president. i want to make sure our water and air are taken care of. i want top those things that
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cause those issues, but i still think there is a way to mine our coal. if you want to come down here and pull the plug on coal, bring me something down here so that my coal miners can transition and i don't mean minimum wage jobs. >> repater: and he spred little criticism for many of his fellow demo >>lcindor: but ojeda has spared little criticism for many of his fellow democrats who he says have forgotten about west virginia. >> let's go ahead and start about why democrats lost power. beyou know why? use they sucked. they sucked. they got to the point where they were in office for so long. people finally got tired of it and they got kicked to the curb. >> he talks like them, he dresses like them and expresses e anger that they feel. >> alcindor: mike plante is a longtime democratic strategist based in charleston. >> for a democrat to reach across a get enough republicans to be successful. you have to be seen as somebody who's not part of the political establishment that people have lost confidence in. >> alcindor: brandon blankenshih
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understand appeal. he grew up in a staunchly conservative family and has been a republican all his life. but after running into ojeda at a restaurant and talking to him for an hour, blankenship decided to vote for him. >> even if i don't agree with everything that he says. it means more to me that you do. i need you to believe in what you're saying. let just say it because you think it's what peant to hear. he believes what he's saying. >> alcindor: blankenship, no relation to don blankenship, the coal mine owner turned political candidate, ws an e.m.t. but says he and his wife don't have health insurance. he's hoping ojeda's support fore a public insurption will lower health care prices. >> i get to see these t's hospital bills and their ambulance bills. for eight hours in a hospital. it would wreck my family for the next nine months. >> alcindor: other republicans have painted ojeda as a socialist ansay his policies will cost taxpayers too much. and the president himself has criticized his deanor.ou
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>> yan't have that person in congress. that person is stone cold criny. >> ador: despite their differences, some think ojeda echoes president tmp's brand of politics. carol pittman supports ojeda and presidentrump. >> they are not going to sit j around at talk really mild and calm and say oh everything is going to be ok. i'm going to do this i'll do that. no. give me some excitement. >> alcindor: republican david roby disagrees. >> there's no comparison between the two. do i likeverything trump does? no. but, you know, that's just who he is. itu take the good with the. what he's done pose for the country outweighs anything negative he's said or done. >> alcdor: the father of five works for the department of veterans affairs. in his spare time, he and his wife raise chickens and grow vegetables. inside the family's greenhouse, roby explained his supportca fol miller. >> carol miller is the epitome of a job creator.
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her and her husband several car dealerships. she has a bipln farm. she s people through there. >> alcindor: like ojeda, roby is a veteran. but they disagree on politics. >> he's making basically the usual politician promises. i'ogoing to this, i'm going do that, i'm going to do this. how? severance tax? i mean how are you going to pay for all these grand ideas? >> alcindor: polls show only single-digits separating ojeda and miller. democratic strategist mike plante says this race shou send a message ahead of 2020. >> democrats forgot how to tell a compelling narrative along with the data. you look at trump's message. you know make america great again very simple very compelling aspirational towardsi t like hell and let your constituents know that's what you're doing. >> that's what i believe in, ssat's why i'll die a democrat. >> alcindor: in lehan two weeks, west virginians will have an answer as to whether ucat strategy seds. for the pbs newshour, i'mci yamiche or in
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fayetteville, west virginia. >> woodruff: let's move beyond west virginia for a look at this momentn american politics with the analysis of shields and 's syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. and welcome to you both. so, clearly, a lot of relief asthat the suspecteen arrested in connection with these pipe bombs. it turns out, mark, that this is somebody who is a big supporter of president trump. we don't know much more tha that at this point. a he is a suspect. but what does this about this moment in american politics? >> well, what it says, juy, i think, more than anything, not foing the suspect, other than what i've read, is that donald trump is a diferent generous type of president. we are usento apt i time of tragedy putting aside any
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partisan hat. randall reagan at the time of challenge, speaking of the deaths of astronauts, saying they broke the surly bonds of earth and touched the face of i mean, it healed the nation, it reached out to the nation. it is missing from mr. trump. in fact, this morning, at 3:00 in the morning, at 3:00 a.m., do you know where your preside is, ouresident was tweeting and lamenting the fact that all this bomb talk had interfered with the republicans' early ting an had changed the political dialogue. so i think that's what we've learned, and it's confirming d, at the same time, upsetting. >> woodruff: david, what do you make of how the president's talked about this, handled all this? >> in the last 24 hours, he's been okay. he said it's a despicable act and calling for unity but that's following three years of distinctions of us-them thinking. it's not only repubcans. steve -- there was a republican
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shot from the left. for the country to move forward, it's saying you need to destroy the other side and that's notat olitics is. it's a competition between partial truths, competing value systems. the second thing is politics, for someaseople, becomeo their identity form. this guy's truck or van was just covered with these sti some of them with crosshairs on democric figures. d that's when, if you try to make politics your idol, you're asking politics to beorn it can bear, and you're headed for an eggly pace, and, so, we've entered a spot where we have thesthdistinctions andn people catastrophizeing if the other side wins, the countryis off to ruin, and neither of those things are true. >> woodruff: we continue don't want to make more of this than wh we know, but there does -- this seems to be a moment of
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particular vitriol out on the campaign trail, to some extent, that is the wathe president has talked about this caravan of people coming up through mexico, migrants from central america. and there have been other steps that the republicapoliticians and democratic politicians have taken to stir people up. i mean, are there any guardrails right now? >> well, judy, terrible part about our politics is that the dominant rule is if it works, emulate or try to simulate it, and i think, right now, i'm in ohio, and i think the senate race is perfect example of that, a congressm won a republican nomination by almosti behavinge a mini trump, but he will beeaten badly by sheridan brown because there isr only onemp. donald trump has been doing this 25 years, he's practiced at it, t make no mistake about it,
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there will be knock-o trumps, people trying to do it, there will be democrats trying to say tis is the way to do it, and itu does wotil it doesn't work, and i think it's not working, quite frankly, when the president refuses to accept the responsibility ronald reagan laid down,ntthat bill cli did after oklahoma city, that george bush did in the wrecke of 911 with the first responders, to heal the nation, reach out to the other side, to offer an arm around the shoulder rather than point ago finger of blame. >> woodruff: davidwhether a negative or positive, we have polling results that remind usch again how resident trump is a factor in these elections. we look back, and this was the "newshour" npr marist poll, we look back at how much people said president obama was aor fan 2014. 28% said he was a major factor compared to 44% for president trump today. we're in a different time. >> yeah, and those numrebers low. you know, people don't want to admit they're actually betting
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on the president when they are. 80% is really whon trump isd he represents a fundamental shift in how the country sees itself, how we see ou foreign policy, how we see our identity. he's a very talented, cultural poker, so a lot of identities issues, a lot of cltural issues are poked about the way he talks about the caravan, men, women, race, and, so, he's presented really a fundamental cha first taking on the republican party and the challenge to the way eith partyfined the country and themselves and morality basically. so he's started this revolutionary force and it's not surprising the elwoectionld revolve around him. i think it's a mistake personally that the democrats are countering him by running tn here and some of the pre-existing conditions and some ts.the obamacare bene i think the democrats make a mistake when they say we can win elections by offering people material benefits and then they don't understand why they lose the working class because they
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say, what's the matter with, kans offer the benefits and they didn't vote for us, it's because most vote on cultural identity and not on benefits. so when democrats go to materialism and donald trump goes to culture it playsor into his hand. >> woodruff: what do you make about the way democrats are responding to president? >> let me disrespectly disagree and tell david to kp his eye on kansas in 2018. he may have a new theory afer november 6. i think democrats have shown remarkab discipline by not chasing down every rabbit hole donald trump tries to suck them into. think what the esident proposed. he proposed, last time i checked, he was going to have a new taxil introduced before election day, even though congress is not in session, a 10% across the board cut fr working families, something that was forgotten in his major tax bill. then he was going to cut the price of prescription drugs across the board.
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then he's on thean car you name it, he's there. and i think the democrats have shown an uncharacteristic discipline by staying on healthcare. republicans land on repeal and replace. they tried very hard to repeal. they had no replace and, now, as americans are aware of pre-existing conditions and what it means to cover people who doe have a pxisting condition, and the insurance companies didn't do that voluntarily and aren't going to do it again unless they're forced to by law, all of a sudden republicans are coming up all over thard across the country with individual stories, how they had a child or aphew or a brother or a sister, and they would never repeal this. so i think quite to the contrary. i think the democrats have shown uncharacterist discipline, and trump has been all over. there's been no theme for this republican party. >> woodruff: so he disagrees with you. >> astonishing. (laughter) i'm not going to say it's going to be a republican year, but i do think people tend to vote on
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values, and i do think identitys isand, so, watt we've seen is in the areas where, frankly,c trump lturally repulsive, the democrats are doing very well. but to me thm deocrats had an historic opportunity to win over a lot of centrist places andin make inroado red places where a lot of the people just don't like the cut of the guy's jib and they probably won't do too well in the senate and a chance they may actually lose some senate seats. so this was a ptentially realigning election because you have a president who is phenomenally unpopular. and running on big spending versus tax cuts, we' back in a normal republican-democrat field and that's likely to be more 50/50. >> woodruff: speaking of tax cu a, i want to share wil of you, this is a look at the new jersey senate race. they had a debate this week, our lisa desjardins was one of the atderators. she helped modit. here's an example of the exchange between the incumbent senator mob menendez and his
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republican challenger. >> new jersey is so overtaxed. i go all around this state. i don't meet one person who says taxes are too low in new jersey. everyone says overtaxed. ud when you pay yor tax bill, remember, senator menendez has voted over 500 tax increases in his tenure, including increases taxes on your social security check. >> what we shouldn't have is a $2 trillion tax bill that my opponent supports aat he helped the person who drove the tax bill be in office, the president of the united states, donald trump, and, now tht they have $2 trillion unpaid for, what's the republican leader of the is that say? as soon as this election is over, we have to go entitlements, medicare, medicaid, social security. >> woodruff: as you see, mr. hughen, the republican candidate challenging bob menendez. mark, they did come back to taxes. it's one of thes thivid was just saying is not going to be
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terribly effective for democrats this year. >> no, i mean, i think the new jersey rates, i think, have to be understood that bob menendez, the democrat in the state, when democrats talk about winning back the house, the three keystone worner stone to that strategy are california, pennsylvania, new jersey, add to possibly, but those are the states where the democrats are going to pick up the majority of their seats. so te fact that ce is close is a reflection more than anything else on not simy the republican challenges campaign where he's been very dee pocketed and run a very strong campaign, but bob meendez, as you recall, had a hung jury on his ownn cospiracy and corruption charges, and i think that's what th race is about more than any national issues. i just say to david, pre-existing conditions is a value, david. you know, it isn't just,ou know, wether we're going to
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french kiss after the prom is a value, you knw. healthcare is for people who can't afford it is a value. it's a real value. >> woodruff: mark, this is a family show. >> i'm sorry. i'm sorry. i shodn't have done that. >> well, just on the new jersey debate, it strikes me what we just hearin that clip was a republican promising to cute taxes and emocrat saying this guy will take away your medicare entitlements. that d aebate we have been having since maybe 1956. to me, trump represents a shi in politics as it's more what do we think about immigration and government control, it's big verse small government, and tkes a while for other races to adapt to the new field, but i think donald trump and global populists around the world changed thterms of the debate and what we heard there could have been said anyt le theast
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30 or 40 years. >> woodruff: he's changing bacally the political poles. >> no question, judy, in 2010, when mitt romney was the republican nominee, there was a widespread consensus of immigration as an issue. the republicans were essentiallh republican position was they thre for more liberalized immigration perhap the democrats were who were concerned about immigrants represenng threats on hourly jobs. but, at the same time, only 4% of republican considered a job issue. this is now donald trump's 23% of republicans now consider this the top issue in 2018. that is donald trump's party. that isn't the republican party of ronald reagan or the republican par.w of george bush or the republican party of mitt romney. so david's riht, there is age ch and donald trump, when this race is about him, he -- i sewill say this, we haven probably i think the last press
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conference with sarah huckabee sanders as the press secretary, t that it reflects on her. donald trump is now the press vows voice of this administration. you may have noticed at the the white house now he's the one who holds the press conferences and holds hostage democratic senators who happen to bet standing theree same time. so this is written, produced and directed, this administration, this government, by donald trump. >> woodruff: we come ck to that same central point david. >> yeah and you see how he goes backe caravan again and again, an issue made to order for him. to me, it's an exaggeration. we've had refugees come to this country before, we haven't hadi the national cs for it or had to send down the national guard, we can handle it if it's 2,000 and if they really are refugees and need protection eke we can handle it. but it's being played out as an invasion from some barbarians. mo that's the issue for hi right now. >> woodruff: and on that note, we're going to thank you both.
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david brooks, mark shields, thank you. >> thank you. , judy. >> woodruff: next, our fall film series continues. tonight, "what they had." its the story of a family coming to terms with the mother's oncoming alzheimer's. jeffrey brown has our look.>> rown: set in chicago, "what we had" is the story of a family coping as their mother begins tr suff from alzheimer' first-time dr elizabeth chomko wrote the screenplay based on her own family experience. >> i was devastated grandmother's diagnosis just because she was someone i so looked up to and felt so close to andeally assumed that that would be the sort of end of her personality and the end of her spirit.
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>> brown: the film opens with the elderly ruth, played by blythe danner, wandering out into the night. daughter bridget, played by two- time oscar winner hilary swank returns home to help the family decide what to do next. >> i felt the most vulnerable that i ever have aan actor in the role because it was playing someone that i felt was so similar to me. just a woman finding her way and for so long. women are just by nature nurturers and we take care of people. it'sust what we do and it's yoat we're taught to do. so at what point dsay this isn't right for me and i need to take care of myself first andhe stop pleasing people in order to live my most authentic life. : so did you also bring some personal experience to all of this?
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>> my dad got a lung transplant and i was his sole caretaker. t i took time off and i was helping my dad fee years and i think it was-- definitely helps you understand what a crisis like this is. and it helps to remind you to be living in the moment and that >> brown: michael shannon plays ruth's son, nick. >> it's about the cycle of ging and taking care that happens in families. you know, you're born and you needo be taken care of and then as you grow up you learn how to take care of yourself. and you learn how tocare of other people and then eventually you find yourself in a position where you need to be taken care of again. >> elizabeth, she's such a smart writer. and with-- you have to have i think levity or yoricombust t? just like -- >> well yeah iyou just come it from like a straight up, ohth isn' sad, isn't this all poor you then you wind up with like a hallmark movie of the
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week. >> my grandmother didn't want to be coddled like, she wanted to be treated like she always was and you know, we were a family of teasers and laughers and like, and i think when you knows your heart is t to breaking is when you're laughing loudest, you know? at least that's how it is with the people that i love. >> brown: the movie explores changing circumstances and how ey impact family members differently. >> it deals with so many layers of life. but again with levity. there's parts of it that are laugh ou unexpected and that's what i love in movies-- the unexpected. >> yeah, there's a spontanei to it i think which 's odd because cripted but it feels like it's happening as it's happeni. >> brown: but when you're making a film that really just goes to this kind of n only family dynamic but the loss of identity right? it's kind of hard stf. >> it's a coming of age movie which we keep talking about what
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th means for everyone. we're all coming of age in our own way and our own whatever time that is. i feel like every year i'm trying to figure myself out. you know not just for a teenager or someone in their 20s. 's like we're continuall evolving and trying to figure out what's right and what's best her us. >> brown: best for characters and best for the actors playing in these roles. t re's two kinds of people that get in acting. they're people who are very focused on you know, there's aco certaiept of narcissism or vanity or like i want to be famous, i want to be in the spotlight and then i feel like there's people get into acting because they're just genuinely curious about other people and they just pay a lot of attention to like what's going on around them and they have a lot of empathy. >> i became actor because i love people and i love their stories and i love what makes them unique and i love what makes them similar. i mean we're all striving to either love or be loved in one way or another and all circumstances may be different but the feelings behind them are the same.
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>> brown: "what they had" includes footage shot by chomko's grandfather >> they just feel like family, like a scrapbook you know? and they, for me, also represent like these misng memory -- these flashes of memory that right before her lucid moments these little flash >> brown: moments that chomko wanted to ensure she preserved. >> the film is really inspired by memory. i think i realized when i saw my grandmother losing hers that memories are this gift and tha we really take them for granted or at least i had taken them for granted because they go away no >> brown: s"what they had" i select theaters now. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown at the tonto international film festival. >> woodruff: finally, the latest in our brief but spectacular
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series where we ask interesting people their passions. tonight, actor hasan minhaj of "the daily show" on tackling serious topi with the tools of comedy. we are the franchise player. ngen if it doesn't work out with us, they keep drafnd that's what second, third and fourth children are for them. i grew up in davis, california, which is sort of the forgotten p >> grew up in davis, california, which is sort of the forgotten part of california. i had a very unique relationship with what it meant to be, you know, a brown kid in america. my dad really has this through which he sees america where he sees it through eyes of o immigrant. he's so grateful here and so he's willing to go through whatever it takes to survive and be successful here.
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he's will to pay the american dream tax whereas for me as a c first generatild of immigrants, i actually have the audacity of equality. the american dream tax is sort of this concept that i came up with where i noticed that my dad, when he would see either acroaggressions or full on aggression happen rica, he sort of considers that to be the cost of entry. so, you're going to endure, you know, racism of bigotry or microagressions and if it doesn't killou, well you know, it's worth it. pay the tax. when i told my dad i wanted h pursue comedsaid ¡do you have a drug habit?'ar jon stto me was kind of like comedy dad. i don't think my parents thought he was a comedian. i legititely think that they held him to the same esteem as like a dan rather. i was like, ¡dad you know the show is a comedy show right? and he was like, ¡no, no, no, no it's much more than that.' usually you get to pick or soose one or the other.
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you either work ff that's meaningful but not funny or that's funny but not meaningfulh the dail's one of the rare cases in show business where you get to do both. people turn to political satire shows to actually get the news and i talk about specific issues in regards to bigotry, racism, islamophobia. so a lot of times, people are's like, ¡whour hot take on this?' and i'm like, ¡hey man, i've got to internalize this and like think about it before i can just like be the nelson mandela to this issue, you know?' jon gave me this really great piece of advice. you know, there is no joke or tv ow that will solve these problems. art, music, cuesure, all of things they're kind of lightning rods that strike people's hearts at the right moment. hopefully that song or that movie or that show, strikes at a moment and strikes a chord in t peopt makes them take action. but the necessary condition is the acti of people, not a tv show or a joke. so i appreciate everybody being
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like, ¡you're my voice!' but i'm just a very small piece of the larger puzzle of change. my name is hasan minhaj, and this is my brief but spectaculai take on pol comedy. >> woodruff: you can watch all our brief but spectacular riisodes at on the newshour online, what explains the solid growth in oos. g.d.p. and can it last? we take a closeron our web site, finally, a program note, with the election almost here we will be in florida where i wi anchor a special edition of the pbs newshour on >> campaigs almost done. stop sanctuary cities. can the democrats take the house? >> i am pro. union i was a member of a union. >> will republicans hold the senate? >> some of the policies that he s established have been very. go >> issues on a collision course i one state.
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o> but at the end of the day, real change is ught from voting. >> a special edition of the "pbs newshour," battleground florida, monday october 29th, only on pbs. >> woodruff: join us monday for this special newshour. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. have a great weekend. thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has beeprovided by: . >> kev >> kevin! >> kevin. >> advice for life. life well-planned. learn more at >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems--
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ew>> the william and floratt foundation. for more than 50 years, advancing ideas and supporting institutions to promote a better world. at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions nd and frof the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewersike you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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. tonig, senator dianne feinstein sits down to us to talk about the saudi crisis and kavanaugh and why she isi seekig fth term. mail pipe bombs rock the world as mid termsan approachd lat-minute scramble for votes. one journalist scathing critique who changed the world while pserving the status quo. hello. welcome. we begin with the u.s. senate race. senator dianne feinstein is thee longest fem senator and seeking another term. feinstein raent made headlines for hur role in the kavanaugh supremur


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