tv Washington Week PBS November 3, 2018 1:30am-2:01am PDT
robert: countdown tohe mid terms. i'm robert costa, welcome to "washington week." president trump: these illegal caravans will not be allowed to united states. they should turn back now because they're wasting their time. robert: on the eve of the midterm elections president trump hammers a hard linen immigration.cr demos looking to take back power are campaigning k onitchen table issues, with the party's biggest name on the trail. >> this tuesday might be the most important election of our lifetime. politicians will always say that. but this time it's actually true. robert: plus -- a mass shooting inside a putsburg synagogue leaves a counity and country shaken
with n qstions about political rhetoric in these divided times, next. ce anno this is "washington week." funding is provided by -- >>in kev. >> kevin. >> kin. >> advice for life. life well planned. learn more raymondjames.com. >> funding is provided by newman's own foundation, donating all profits to charity and nourishing the common good. ku and patricia ewing through the ewing foundation committed to bridgin cultural differences in our communities. the ethics in excellence in journalism foundation. the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station fromik viewers l you.
thank you. once again from washington, modetor, robert cossa. robert: good evening. the final week of the mterm campaign season has been visceral and raw, fm the grief over the massacre of a ruttsburgh synagogue to president and many republicans issuing dark warnings about migrants. presidentrump: these are not angels. these are not little angels. these are tough people. and we're not letting them into our country. they're not coming in illegally. robert: the president has said he wants to take action to end birthright y zenship and revamp the sigh william process. he's also asked the pentagon to send up to 15,000 troops in the southern border. and offer these rules of engagement. >> when they throw rocks like the way they did at the mexican
belief, i said consider it a rifle. robert: paul ryan says the president lacks the right to strike doan -- strike on birthright. what a week. s are on ecti tuesday. joining me tonight amy walter, national nal editor for "the cook political report." jake sherman for politico. yeahritch alcin for the pbs newshour. and carl hulse, chief washington correspondent for the "new york times." when you think of the closing days of this midterm election, hat does it mean for voter intensity on both sides? amy: the voter intensity has already bpen rup to a place we've never seen before. we're hearing talk about turno in the midterm elections that
could reach levels we haven't years. 100 e've already had a boiling caldron. and the question is now is it going to overflow? if you're a republican sitting in one of these competitive house districts, you wanted the president to be closing in on the economy and how good things are looking especially the new jobs report that was out today. but heants to talk about the issue that has animated his campaign and his presidency, which is immigration. and if you're in theoretically if you're a republican in a dees rete that might help you. but i don't -- i don't think we quite know yet if this push on thisssues going to do more to alienateots or whether it's going to be enough to keep maybe some of these competitive red states in hand. robert: you were on the ground in florida reporting there. thw is this issue playing?
you look a president putting out an ad tying democrat to people who kill police officers. what is it like en voters ar seeing it on their twitter feed and talking to theirrs neigh yeah mitch: it was -- yamiche: it was a man that entered during the bush administration and pardoned by joe ar potato. that's what the president was doing. i think this election ces down fear. my reporting in florida makes me feel on the democratic side tha the people who are calling themselvesli natios. people are talking about birthright citizens. and you have people saying haitian-americans should not be americans. and i'm haitian-american. and it hit me on a different level.
another congressman said tse people are going to ruin or country. people are worried that they are coming out of fear of what's happening illegal going to come in a large part invade the country. that's there message that the getting from the president. it's all about fear. robert: some voters that fear and may come out on tuesday. but what about suburban voter who is may be more moderate? >> i think this is the story about this election. it's bifurcated. what helps you in the senate, hurts you in the house. so you have -- the president is drumming up his base. and working really hard to do. th but at the same time, the things he's doing and the tactics he's employing are alienating some of these suburbans vot and coastal states california, and florida where their house seats are at risk. i got a feeling today, just social media, that people were not reacting great to the troops at the border. isen some people in the
military, thioing too far. i think the question we're going to be asking ourselves on hu wednesday andday as we healyze these results is did president's push go too far? did it drive away voters or energi voters in nevada and arizona, states with big hispanic populations. but i think that, you know,ttt's g both ways if the president. robert: jake, you're a lon time student reporter on house speaker paul ryan. and fou sat down an interview with pence. he c out on the president's position on birthright but most of the partys backing the party. why is that? >> the speaker did what he thought was just stating a fact that you can't alter theti consti with a pen. that's not how our government works.th and k what you saw this week is the party tried to get in sync with the president who was stating something that was well outside mainstream. once congress comes back into town, you will find a lotpef
le after the election who will think it's not wise to change the constitution or to raise the prospect of changing the constitution unilaterally. that has to be done as many members of congress have already said through the legislature. one thingke that hearing from republicans who are involved in elections anden ng money in the election is chaos is something t are -- that voters are not interested in. it's the number one issue in every poll. a lot of things you've seen putting a massive troop presence that rivals ourresence in afghanistan at the boarder with mexico, chaing the constitution again unilaterally, these are not necessarily things that voter are going to sa oh, this is the party i want to keep in power. that's a big-time imagine going into the mid terms this week. >> when h said all the bombs and the attack at the synagogue opped his momentum. he thinks it stopped his momentum because he thinks it stopped the media coverage
because of issues he cared about. people look at that and say this - too much. we need to- we need to make a change. we have to do something cere. 't go on like this. and that's where i think -- >> yh, i mean, that's a real irony of how the president's closing argument now versus 2016. i think part of the reason the -- for the president's success in w 2016 that he actually ratcheted down. he was very disciplined. he stayed off twitter. the focus was all about hillary clinton and the investigation and t e-mails. and so he looked as he would say -- i can be superpresidential. and that was theesge. i know you might be worried about -- i know all this other chaos but i can be disciplined. w, he spent the last two weeks doing what so many voters dislike the most about him. so if you think about where things were twoeeks ago, the spotlight was on the things that
trump can do well, i which is got a supreme court justice appointed and confirmed. i told you i was going to do it. ough. owed t success. now the spotlight is on things that people dislike the most about him which is the nd temperamenthe chaos. robert: why isn't the attention on friday? on friday there was a better than expected jobs report. employers grew 250,000 jobs. and grew 50%. the administration -- the president talked about it today, but it's beenn closing o raw politicians, immigration. >> we call president trump but he's also chief of staff trump. he's press secretary trump. he's the chief messenger. he doesn't feel like talking about the economy. he knows it's doing well. the thi thinks that's going to get republican over the finish line is thia i of us
versus them. look, america is browning. do you want the future of america to be these people? or do you want it to be great tagain? whatevt means. so while the president is happy core the economy, it's not -- the core thing that he thinks is going to energize people. >> you know, brandon buck the top advisor to paul ryan who tweeted rightfter the jobs report, this is what we're going to be talking about for the next threer four days. robert: he's a pretty rye guy. >> iel can't you why so many people are smacking their heads that theresident is not just talking about the economy which is a good story. the stock market is up. people have more money in their pocks. it's given boost to the economy. it's something that -- why a i think this lot of people who are in our business are still wondering, are the runs going to -- returns going to be what they think?nv because theonment has not
been as bad in past mid terms where the economy is tanking. so in some ways if the republicans take a big whackoi it's to be out of proportion to what they should have gotten given the usual economy message of a midterm. >> that' why we don't like to predict too much because there are other issues that come up during the hard of an election. a tough issue last saturday. the psident traveledo pittsburgh to pay respects to the victims of the mass shooting inside the tree of life. 11 worshippers were shot and kill. the anti-defation league says it's the deadliesttinti-se attack in u.s. history. ere were peaceful protests with people singing and praying in hebrew. a friend of "washington week" lives just blocks away from the synagogue. he wrote this week, for nowit has happened here. for millions across t wound
nation, we are the focus of anguish and anger and solace. the it can happen anywhere place of the moment. and we know given the tempo of tragedy in these times that the titl won't be ours for long. how does this all factor into voters as they think through this election, they think through their choices? >> think carl had it exactly where it was the sense of the spotlight moved from where we're talking about sort of the proces. wealking about kavanaugh, the supreme court, even a little bit about the economy to talking about civility,bout violence, about all the issues that, again, of the weaknesses of ump really were the big spotlight on that. e other thing about this election is that there's all this late breaking stuff and there are a w ole lot issues is how little has actually hanged in terms of vot perceptions of this president since 2016. i looked through the last poll
that "the wall street journal," nbc poll put throu and the president's approval rating among all those different groups talk about. we talk about white voters, women, white educated voters, they basically feel almost ut the the same a president today as they did in 2016. so a lot of these events are happening. it's creating this idea that there's so much activity and yet, i think people --eople have been baked in to how they're going to vote in this election for some time. >> why didn't the congressional leaders and many members of congress join the president in pittsburgh? >> i they thought he was toxic. and it was going to be -- they didnw it was going to half. i mean, that could have been a bad situation. ey don't want to be embracing the president because he makes these issues about. himse and he has made that about himself over the past few days and the media coverage making mmself the victim. theia portrayed them being protest. i was greeted warmly.
i think they thought it was way too risky and they didn't need to be there. >> i alsoue spentay in pittsburgh when the president was there. i was posing the questio to people outside those funerals ser those people who were massacred for t people that were murdered. and the majority of people did t want the president there. republicans, democrats. the people they talked to said, we just want to be able to grieve in peace. he's not a consoler in chief. he's not someone who showed empathy in the way president bush and president obama has. he tweeted they showed me a lot of respect. he's going theis to show respects. there were hundreds of protestors. there are people who told me, i don't want to president here. i'm trying to see it in the jewish faith in all the good things that a happening now. but people -- the environment was that nore one wanteddent trump there except the police union chief who said yeah, he's
here to pay respects if the officers. but it was a toxic environment. robert: when you think about the nrcc. they're not breaking with president trump amid whahas pening in pittsburgh. but they are raising some questions about mobes of their ownty like congressman steve itng. his associationnational lism and different far right groups. and nrcc distanced themselves. does that show unease atnthis mo >> it shows that the party does not want to be associated with espoused white supremist views. and if democrat in every district in america before this week could say the nrcc who supports steve king, who supports white supremacists anda that's n narrative republicans really want. i will say, the nrcc, the republican congressional committee is pretty risk a verse
when it comes to things like this. members of congress pay dues into the organization. this was a relatively the realm of bold moves aiv rely bold move in the election season. robert: there been much talk about the possible of a blue wave and the battle of control of then house i the senate. but let's remember, there are 33 gubernatorial race this is year. republicans currently hol 36 governor's mansions compared to 16 democrats plus bill walker. and one of the most hotly ntested race this is year is in georgia. that's when democrat stacy abrams hoes t become the nation's first femalen- afrierican governor. she's running neck and neck with bria kemp. carl, we were talking about -- all week about how governos races matter in georgia and the midwest. >> i think this is the most ec important a of this election. we're in washington. and, you know,, we tend to focus ongress.
these governor's races are huge for two beasons. one, it sets them up for reea portionmen and after the 2020 senses, they'll be in charge of cutting the house districts. two, you could have new democratic governors in the heart of trump basen the midwest, in wisconsin, ohio, illinois really wasn't but -- so they will be inor placehe 2020 election. now, we all know that governors have a lot toow do with elections are conducted and enthusiasm in the state. i think the governor's races are the story in this election. >> why are they running from health care in gubernatorial races and elsewhere? >> in se o these states their running on expanding medicaid and states th have had republican governors, the issue of medicaid was actually popular wi voters. but the republican governor and the republican legislature did not push forward onhat.
carl makes a good point on that we are spending a whole lot of attention o florida and georg because we could have the first african-american gover it is getting so much energy and intensity. and we're going to have a lot of discussions after the election about what it mea to have young, progressive candites of color on the top of the -- either at the top of theicket or in a governor's mansion. but the midwest has gotten veryn littleon, not just about how many governors democrats could elect, but rig, this was the blue wall that was supposed trump. president that's what democrats had thought. >> so that's wre the wall was. >> the wall was -- >> carl. >> but there are also senate races in all those places. who e democratic senator are up in those states are running do an easy victory. that was supposed to be where
we'll see if indeed this trump was,w,ou k his strength in that part of the country had real deep roots what democrats may come out of this election saying we got governorships and senate in those states. >> what about in florida you have andrew gillam. ron desantos and stacy abrams.ry they'reg to stoke the democratic election. are they going to b from what you've seen in your reporting? >> i've been talking to democratic pollsters who are cautiously optimistic. looking at early voting, they say that republicans are showing up more than democrats right now. but just in my reporting, i was interviewing newly arrived came rican voter who is after hurricane maria who are angry with the president a have not forgotten abouthe fact that he was throwing towels
to voters. it was to physically get people there. i think the dem crass are -- democrats are trying real hard to turn o. in my conversations with republicans, i've been surprised for the ability t look at republican voters and think of s rhetoric as strong as someone who is taking it to the ma sand looking at thee sort of brass rhetoric and calling democratic unhinged and crazy. i think that's something people have done because they say, you have to be strong. so even ihe's a little brash or horse face, that's what you have to do to get your message across. obert: republicans, are they running to protect preexisting conditions? they used to run against presidentre obama's health law. >> they're running -- they're running on the health care law but not on the health care law. they're running on what's in the health care law without running on the affordablechare act w the republicans have voted to
dismantle or straight up repeal some close to 70 times. and this is going to be -- this is probably the biggest failure if you look at this house republican majority, a house majority that was built in 2010 on the health care law, sustained on the prospect that if only we got back the white house we would repeal it and potentlly based on the information at hand going to bed dismantled b on their inability to do anything on the health care law. and it's really kin of stunning that big arc -- i want to get back to something amy said. if you're look at the midwest and the house seats that are up in the midwest, you're very quickly seeing they majorhat was built in 2010 really starting in 2010 kind of recede a little bit. you're seeing members of congress kind of the vanguards who held prop up this majority. the randy hulkburns you're starting to see them get in
trouble. it's fascinating watching the t arc o republican party. robert: when you think of beto o'rourke,gainst ted cruz, how is the immigration issue playing in texas? >> i don't know if beto o'rourke is you're going to bring a whole bunch of new people into the process that have never been part of the -- especially a midterm electorate. in some cases they might not have turneny out inlection if you can increase your baseat vote, what's going to put you over the top. interesting enough where beto o'rourke is doing best, at least when you look at the state and the congressional he's doing best in those inner ring suburban affluent districts which are less diverse. and not as stronn some of the rio grande area which is more heavily latino. but this is going to be aat fascg discussion among
democrats about do we pick the candidate who can mivate a turn out those new voters like georgia, florida, texas if they success? do we go with the m until the midwest which is more sort of centurist and kindoi of to that older base? robert: any lessons about the money that was spent? >> you know, this is an interesting election for democrats because they had two things they often get criticized for not having, an issue and money. th had a ton of money. and it really came in for them in small donations. they have been able to fund serious companies. now some republicans are just stting to advertise. we're seeing a couple of guys who were caught off guard. stephen king put up an ad. the democrats money this time. but they also did have an issue. people complained there's not issun these campaigns. to what jake was saying. think about this. they flip the house in 2010 on
health care being against it, obamacare. 2019 they'll may get it if the run on the other side. >> i think about this interview i had with an e.m.t. who doesn't have health care. he'sen in an ambulance. he saidf i spend eight hours in a hospital, it would wreck any mily forever. he's a republican voting for a democrat. robert: michael bloomberg the former new york city mayor spent over $100 million that come wensdz you may not -- wednesday you may not want to think about it, 20, -- 2020. thanks everybody for being here. watch the cerage of the midterm elections. yeah mitch and amy will be there. we want to pay tribu the 11 members of the tree of life synagogue wh lost their lives last week in pittsburgh.
good night. >> funding isroded by -- financial services fm raymond james. newman's own foundation, donating all profits from newman's own food products to charity and nourishing the common good, the ethics in excellence in journalism kufoundation. and patricia ewing through the you wish foundation, committed bridging cultural differences in our communities, theub corporations forc broadcasting, and by contributions to your pst ion from viewers like you. thank you.
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