tv Washington Week PBS June 29, 2019 1:30am-2:00am PDT
♪[music] >> the border crisis jolts congress. and the democrats debate. i'm robert costa. welcome to "washington week." fractures in t democratic asrty, at the opening debate. >> joe bidenight when he said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of ago.cans, 32 years he's still right today. >> i'm still holding on to that torch. >> many contenders movet. l >> health care is a human right, not something to make huge profit off of. >> and take on president trump amid a migrant crisis. >> i would sign an executive order that would get rid of trump's zero tolerance policy. >> the debate and the president at the g20 summit, next.
>> this is "washington week." fundin.. the provided b ♪[music] >> kevin >> kevin! >> advice for life. life well planned. learn more at raymondjames.com. >>aabble. language program that teaches real-life conversations in a new language such as spanish, french, german, italian and more. babble's 10 to 15 minute lessons are available as an app or online. more information at babble.com.c ♪[m >> additional funding is
provided by kaiser permanente. yuen foundation. committed to bridging cultural o differences communities. the corporation for pnglic broadcas and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you! >> once again, from washington, moderator robert costa. >> the migrant crisis on the u.s.-mexico border continues to confront political leaders, from the white hou to congress to the debate stage. the lates development, reports of horrific conditions for children at detention centers. in that photo of migrant father ooscar martinez ramirez and his young daughter, who drown in the rio grande. house speaker nancy pelosi w fough republicans and members of her own caucus to add language t an emergency aid bill that would further hold the
trump administration accountable. but on thursday, the speaker id house democrats would reluctantly pass the senate bill,d which inclu $1 billion for border facilities and close to $3or billion migrant children. it passed. 305 vot to 102 votes. joining me tonight, dan balz, chief correspondent for the washington post. susan page, washington bureau chief for usa today. carl hulse, chief washington correspondent forheew york times. and author of "confirmation and kimb atkins, senior lyas." washington news corresponde for wbur, boston's npr news station. susan, you're writing a biography of speakeros p she moved forward on a bill she didn't want to pass. >> because it was better than nothing. getting the $4.5 billion that would go a long way to helping this terrible situation with
migrant children who have been separated from their parents, it was worth the cost of taking a bill that had been negotiated on the senate side and was opposed by some members of her own caucus. this was a vote that she -- she has divided caucus on this issue. but i think that to portray this as a big loss for her is incorrect. she held control of her caucus. she got it through because she thought it was betr than the alternative of letting it go down. >> what's the price she pays, carl,ith liberals who are frustrated that they took up a bill passed by senate republicans? >> yeah, i think there a little cost to this. but i totally agree 100ith you. this is what happens in divided government. at some point, you have to make a deal. this was a deal negotiated between democrats and republicans. what it allow them to do -- i was surprised that could get to a finish here. what itm allowed t do was to be able to go home and say, listen, we've really addressed this cri and, you know, i always say too it's not a bad thing n fcy pelosi sometimes to get attacked
from the left. you know, it shows that she's being a pragmatic, moderate manager of the house. s it perfect? no, but it was an accomplishment. and they were able to get it together. those votes were pretty strong and she complied with the rule, which we all know. sh had more than half of her caucus voting for this bill. >> does the trump administration continue its hard lineie pol we've seen a shake-up at the department of homeland securityy secuborder patrol. >> yes. in short, they do. they see this as a winning sue. they see that border security and being tough on immigration hat's gonna get president trump re-elected, is what's going t keep republicans in control of the senate. they're not gonna give that up. if anything, they're gonna push evenarder. we've already seen them labeling democrats as wanting open acrders, really ang them for policies like wanting to give illegmmigrants health care. they see this as their biggest issue. that helps fuel them fward in 2020. >> and this issue isn't going
away. there was some bipartisanship this week. the supreme court will decide whether the trump acainistration shut down the dreamers program, daca, next term. that will start in october and then be decidn perhaps i the spring or summer of 2020, just months before the presidential election. >> it will be interesting to see how quickly the supreme court tries to dispose of that i mean, i'm not sure that the justices really wanted to take this on. but entually they had to. and there is a possibility now that it is there, at the supreme court, that that might spur some kind of a legislative or a deal between the democrats in congress. who knows? we've been up and down the hill this many times. but to have that issue in the middle of the presidential mpaign, in addition everything else that is going on with this issue, ands kim i exactly right. the trump administration sees this very much as a winning issue. democrats believe, and their bigges applause line out on the campaign trail or one of their biggest is, when they attackprhe ident for separating
children from their parents at the border. but nonetheless,emocrats are struggling to come up with a policy that is a real altern wive tot the republicans have. >> and they're having a real debate inside of the democratic party. we saw it at the two debes this week. they're talking about whether they should move to decriminalize crossings over the border. where do you see the party moving? is that going to become the standard, the policy for democrats? >> well, there's support for it. youtr saw julian c really using that, his support for the idea of making it a civil penalty, not a criminal one to be an undocumented person here. hesed it to really bludgeon beto o'rourke, his fellow on the debate stage. but it does open democrats to criticism, tt they a having what president trump called open borders, where you really reduce the penalties for coming into this countryithout having permission to do so. that is the risk that democrats face. >> yeaat when i wasing the debate, you know, all the democrats -- i think all of them raiseheir hand.
health care for undocumented immigrants. and i g their position. but this is -- the republicans are going to bludgeon them with this. as soon as i said that, i said, bo that's gonna be a big issue for the democrats. it works in some places, but in the parts of the country where we're gonna be really competitive in this presidential race, i think that's easy foran the republ to say, look, the democrats are looking out not for you but for people who aren't even supposed to be here. i think it's going to be tough for the democrats. i understand their policy but i .hink their opening themselves to attac >> i had a conversation a year ago with a democratic rategist. he was, even at that point, quite worried about the immigration issue, because he said theres a basic question that democrats have a great deal of difficu that is, if someone comes across the u.s. border illegally, what do you do? and he said, democrats are very tentative in how they want to respond to that. and, you know, former secretary castro moved it in a direction that makes it even more
difficult to try to, you kno give an answer that in a general election is going to beasy to do. >> and vice president biden didn't totally lurch to the left when he was asked about decriminalizing border crossings. he said you need to target peoplesho commit cri but he didn't embrace everybody on the left on that issue. >> he basically -- he said you prioritize how you deal with people who are i the country illegally and those who have committed crimes are those who get the priority. and, yeah, you saw him on a lot of issues sort of reluctantly inch a little to the left. a lot of times t whense raised hands questions, he would kind of look around and see where everyo else was. he thinks that the way that the obama administration -- plus the deportations. i think he struggled explaining that. thedm obamaistration. it was a lot of pressure on them at the time for deporting so many people. i do think he struggled explaining >> let's step back.
two nights. 20 candidates. new faces, well-known democrats. tensions over policy, the pt and the future at these debates. senator elizabeth warren massachusetts captured the populism in the ranks with her call for structural changes in the government and the economy. then on thursday, senator kamala harris of california had ako br moment when she criticized former vice presint joe biden's record on civil rights in the 19 0's -- 1970's, when he worked to restrict forcedon immigra- integration through busing. >> it was hurtful to hear you talk abouthe reputations of two united states senators who built theirat repns and career on the segregation of race in this country. >> it's a mischaracterization of my position across the board. i did not praise raciss. that i not true. >> dan, we were just talking about the democrats movineto eft on immigration. but when you step back and look at these two debates this week, is this a party moving to the left wholesale?
what did you lea >> well, i think that what we learned is that, on the one nd, there are ideological differences within the party. idenformer vice president is one place. and senator sanders and senator warren are in another place, and others arero scatteredd. that's reality. but the other reality is that almost all of them have moved farther to the left. i mean, this will be, i think without a doubt, the most liberal platform thera dem will write in the history of presidential politics. on one issue after another, people have moved to the left. the party ho moved the left. senator sanders has a series of positions that he put out in 2016 that we not in the mainstream of the party at that time. and many of them today are. people are quibbling, talking around the edges, but this party has movedt.o the l i think the debate -- i thought in some ways, the debate on wednesday night highlighted that as much or more as it did onth sday night. >> what about race and that
confrontation between senator harris and vice president ben? the vice president was in chicago today, meeting with jesse jackson,nd other leaders. he said he had a solid record on ci rlhts. how significant was that exchange? >> it was very significant. ti mean, ink we're seeing the democratic party not only plof to the left -- move to the left but sort of move to the woke. >> what do you mean? >> no longerou say, just forget about these really problematichings in my past. believe me what i say now. they are moving to a different direction. e was in chicago, he got a chilly reception from jesseso ja i think folks are really having a difficult time in this new democratic party tha emerging. it's making joe biden look more like a relic from the past and they want to i think kamala harris there did that. it was twofold. one, h still is holding on just from name recognition to a larger sre of black voters in polls, even though it's very early. she wants to cut into that.
but she also wants to point out, this is a guy who, in the past, wasealing with things in a very terrible way. if you are saddling up with segregationists, there's no room for you in the democratic party of today. j >> this biden's problem. he has a huge record, been arorever. joe biden talking about working with easeland and mitch mcconnell, this is something that getsimredibility. but in this current environment, it's a negative thing. michael benne actually came after him pretty effectively, i thought in the debate, where biden is praising the tax deal he cut with mcconnell and michael bennet said that was a horrible deal and wake got to the cleaners and we've been fighting it ever since ch it's interesting with vice president biden, because he's seen as a person who a canract the african-american vote. he has that through labor but it yn dissipate quickly goo think about the african-american vote. mosthillary clinton held of it and barack obama was challenging her.
she held that for quite some time until he won in the iowa caucuses. seemed like a credible candidate. thenmeou saw africancan voters in south carolina and elsewhere go to him. i think we don't want to overstate the impact of two nights of debates. joe biden has a long history, been very successful raising money.s we think hoing to have a big money raising figure coming out t soon. other hand, this first debate really reinforced the questions that a lot of democrats, including democrats who like joe biden, have about whether he' a credible candidate and whether he's a candidate that can lead a party thatlways wants to go with someone new and fresh and looking at the future. >> and race wasn't the only issue confronting biden. he also faced issues about whether he was far enough to the left. we also saw race as an issue for mayor pete buttigieg. a white police officer killed a black man in hisity. he apologized. did he steady his campaign with his debate turn? >> i talked to a number of
people and got quite mixed responses. a number of people thought he had done well, shown contrition and seemed to address it in a serious and kind of stand-up way. other people did not think he did that well, that this -- you know, after a number of months in which he's had,ou know, a pretty dramatic introduction to the american people and has used his intelligent very -- intellect very effectively, this has brought home a serious problem that he has. one is aof lac a relationship with the african-american community and nobody can win the democratic nomination without a relationship. and the second is age. he wants to make a generational argument. there's a generational argument to be made in this campaign. but a number of people have said, in this h situation,e has looked quite youthful. i mean, he i only 3 years old. and that that is not working in his favor.
>> medicare for all.e someone luttigieg says he wants medicare for all who want it. others say medicare for all. senator harris, as much as she had at break moment, she was also talking that she doesn't want to get rid of private insurance. is this a complicated issue for democrats moving forward? >> it's veryic comed. look, even obamacare was not fully implemented in way that people wanted. we saw what a fight it was, how many years and court challenges it took. so the idea on the one hand of this brand-new system that you're building from scratch, this really difficult, it reinforces this idea that the republicans are pushing that the democrats are socialists. on the othere hand, health c costs are rising. we still haven't dealt withrug companies. the voters do want something, and at least it's a plan, where the republicans have nothing at all. >> i think the interesting thi is the democrats crushed republicans in 2018 on health care. this is their best issue. when president trump came out recently and said i'm going to
have this new plan, and the republicans on capitol hill said quit talking about health care, but the democrats don't want to get into a fight over health care and neutralize themselves on their best issue. they have to figure w out a around this. people in the united states, there's a lot of people who like their private health insurance. if you start talking about eliminating that whole industry, people get nervous. >> there's some strategists that i talk to who say that the tenor of the health care debate has 2018.d since it clearly helped the democrats. >> just in a few months. >> primari because the conversation has moved within the democratic party, away from the preconditionsssue, which they were able to hang around the necks of the republicans, to the question of medicare forl, ingle payer, big government and what the trump administration calls socialism. >> why wasn't there much discussion, if any, about robert mueller, the russia investigation, impeachment? >> well, i one reason was because those questions were not
particularly raised by the moderators. the candidates didn't always respond to the questions that they were asked. [laughter] >> they didn't raise those issues either. >> and that is -- if you talk about issue where -- with medicare for all, there's a difference between what's going work in a democratic mierm and what's -- primary and what's likely to work. the idea of impeaching president trump is something that really animatoters who are most likely to participate in democratic priries and caucuses. it is not the issue likely to most animate americans who are going to determine the general election. >> well, the first was interesting, because mitch mcconnell was much more the boogeyman than donald trump. >> which candidate are you watching in the mths and weeks to come? i'll keep on eye on bill de blasio. showed some media savvy on wednesday night. pulled the party to the left. >> senator harris. she had a good night. we'll have to see if she continues that.ct
>> i'mlly watching for a weird thing. i'm watching, like, beto o'rourke and t former -- john hickenlooper. are they going to just drop out and run for the senate? which is what a lot of people want themo . >> hickenlooper? >> and would be a formidable candidate. >> kamala harris, for a first-time debater on a national stage, that ie ever seen, this is my 11th. eeve got my eye on her. >> i aith susan on that. i also think, of all the candidates who participated in those debates, that elizabeth warren was one who was able not to get down the weeds of her policy initiatives but to talk about theheory behind them and the idea of where we stand in america and who she's fighting for. >> meanwhile, president trump, he's in japan. for the g20 summit where he wsel addresral issues, including the ongoing trade dispute with c but he made headlines on friday during his meeting with russianl presidenimir putin. the two leaders shared a laugh
about election interference by the russian government. or under the friendly relationship the president has tried to maintain with putin, st months after the special counsel reported that russia conducted a sweeping operation sway the 2016 campaign. surprised by what happened on friday or is this a defiant president post-mueller report? >> it's very consistent with how he's behaved before. but every time he does this, it raises concerns about our electoral system. he was met today wh comment from former president jimmy carter. >> you were with him in virginia. >> where president carter said that he did not -- he said the russians elected president trump, responsible for his election, asked if that meant president trump was an illegitimate question, president carter indicated thatht he tho he was. this is extraordinary, a fmer president, who has devoted his
post-presidential years in part to looking at theredibility of elections abroad. i thought this was quite extraordinary. >> and it's just weeks before mueller testifies on capitol hill. >> and i think what itmpoes, donald ts the one person left in washington who does not take seriously the russian interference in the election, because to him, itndermined his claim on the presidency. i just think that was a i disturbige for him to be -- >> it wasn't just the grin. he also disssed their mutual dislike with putin of reporters and the media. and it's -- we must note thatav reporters been killed in russia. >> they are assassinated in russia. he made a joke about getting rid of them, which was very disturbing. on the impeachment front, especially with mueller coming to testify, one, it makes it looks like he incsraging russia to get involved in 2020. on the other hand, it'still about 80 members of congress but
it's a growing number todayen joedy a close ally of nancy pelosi, came out and said heants impeachment proceedings to go forward. that number is growing. i think mueller's testimony is only going to push more people in that direction. deis is a growing problem for the pre. >> the president, over in japan. there is a report just tonight to south going to head korea and go to the dmz perhaps. he said after some very important meetings with president xi, i may go try to meet chairman kim of north korea. hope he sees thi sees this tweee president wrote, and could meet him at the border just to shake s hand and say hello. what's the point about this g20? is it about a trade deal with china? is it about engagement with north korea? >> i think the keyword in that tweet is may. i "may" go meet him. the president likes to constantly keep things shaken up. we saw that as he was en route to japan, trying to shake up the relationship with japan where he had just been a few weeks ago,
where he was treated fabulously. yet on the way over, he caused a problem. so i think that for him, he's got all of these problems in the air. i don't think this is aimed at solving any of those in an the key one obviously is china. are they going to be able to move forward with any kind of an agreement on trade? but given everything thatse we'e so far, you have to be skeptical. >> this tweeteflect, i think, the president's growing confidence in doing what he wantto do on the foreign stage. early on in his presidency, you saw a lot more guardrails, people -- advisors and others -- >> there were more people then. dowilling to say you can't that, that's going to disturb our allies, no one behaves this way. you don't just invite the head of north korea to meet you at the dmz if you want to shake hands. but the president feels like he is now -- he has done this job for two analf years and he is increasingly willing to follow his own instincts despite what anybody else tells him.
>> well, you know, when he had done some of the things in the past, people would say the sky's gonna fall. and the sky hasn't necessarily fallen. so i think you're right. he's moreonfident about doing what he wants. >> i do think he's confident but i also think as part of this north korea-south korea thing, he's got iran bubbling over here. he needs to keep this other part of the world calm while he deals with that. i think he wants this picture at the demilitarized zone, listen, i have this under control. ll keep that under control. >> there's domestic implications ngo. this mee with chinese president xi jinping is o farmersy important t to manufacturers, to a lot of people who make up his base hert home. and they're sticking with him so far, but t iir patienc getting thin. if he doesn't come back with at least the beginnings of a solution to this trade war, it's going to be a big pblem for him. >> and farmers are having a hard time. it's a tough season for them out there this yea
that is an important voting constituency. >> two reporters from farm country in illinois. >> three. kansas. >> wonderful. >> michigan! >> i'm philldelphia. it'sight. [laughter] >> up next, in the "washington week" extra, we will dissuss the eme court and its latest decisions and carl's book. watch it on our website, facebook or youtube. c i'm roberta. have a great weekend! ♪[music] >> corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by...] ♪[music >> panel. aanguage program -- babble. a language program that teaches real life conversations in a new language, such as spanish, french, german, italian and more. babble's 10- to 15 minute lessons are available as an app or online. more information on babble.com.
[laughter] >> ah. [laughter] ♪[music] an >> kaiser pete. financial services firm raymond james. additional funding is provided by the yuen foundation.it cod to bridging cultural differences in our communities. the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributionsou to pbs station from viewers like you. thank you! >> you're watching pbs.
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