tv Washington Week PBS September 14, 2019 1:30am-2:01am PDT
bert: democrce off, but are they ready to face president trump? i'm robert costa. welcome to "washington week." democrats debate, with joe biden still at centerstage. and in a standoff over healthcare. >> medicare for all will save the average american substantial sums of money >> what this is about is making sure that we have the most effient way possible to pay for healthcare for everyonveth n country. >> i know that the senator says 'me's for bernie. well for barack. i think the obamacare worked.be : other contenders tried to break out. >> hell yes, we're going to take your ar-15, your ak-47. bert: and challenge president trump. >> president trump scoffed and h
sad like to see me making a deal with jinping xi. i'd like to see him make deal wi jinping xi. robert: john bolton exitsecs national sity advisor and the president takes charge. president trump: it's a great job. you know why it's easy, because i make all the decisions. robert: next. announcer: this is "washington week." funding is providinged by -- >> kevin -- >> kevin. >> kevin. >> advice for life. life well planned. learn more at jammed jam.com. >> additional funding is provided by -- koo and patricia yuen, through the yuen foundation. the corporaon for public forc oadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs
station from viewers le you. thank you. once again, from washingto moderator robert costa. robert: what a week. thursday's democratic debate kickedff the post-summer political season with former vice b president joeen staking out centrist ground with his plan to add a public oion to current healthcare law. butany of his challengers made overhauul case for an of the nation's healthcare system. >> my planor healthcare costs a lot of money. it costs $740 billion. it doesn't cost $30 trillio $3.4 trillion a year. how are we going to pay for it? >> how d we pay for it? we pay for it, those a the very top, the richest individuals and e biggest corporations are ing to pay more and middle class families are going to pay less. >> every study done shows that medicare for all is the most
cost-effective approach to providing healthcare for every man, woman and child in this country. robert: joining me tonight, jake shern, senior writer for politico and co-author of "play book." anneearan of "the washington post," jpona summers of the associated press, and carl hulse of "the new york times" juana, you've been on the campaign trail covering the 2020 you thinkbout that debate on thursday. you had medicare for all proponents versus those who want to tweak obamacare. what does that tells about the jauna: i think it tells us quite a lot. one of the things that i've notid on the campaign trail with these democratic candidates, particularly talking to democratic v is when you ask about the issue of healthcare. the first thing thatth often com up on people's minds but when you ask about the details of dicare for all. they say they support medicare about tlut i ask them
details and they might not necessarily be full be where senator bernie sanders and elizabet warren are but they might support incrental asures, too. it's clear that voters are not necessarily fleeing to either extreme. i think most people seem to be pollin and anecdotally somewhere in the middle. residentwe saw vice biden embrace the obama legacy of obamacare. is that enough?is anne: i think he went beyond that, directly at the big question which is how in the world this thing going to be funded and he went directly to bernie sanders on that and he made, i think, a -- that was one of his stronger points, stronger moments last night was in making that poi p. he did it succinctly and asked theuestion that immediately springs to mind, once you get past, gee, that sounds nice,
having t gernment payay for it sounds lovely. what does that mean. how much money are we actually talking about. and that combined with this is th thing,tu the sig thing that we did together in the white house hel remind democrats who he is and why he's up tre again. so i thoughthat was effective. robert: carl, you've been roaming the senate hallways. you know senator warren. despite the details and the arguments anne laid o, she sees energy on the left. carl: i think that is true. that's who they're appealing to right now and it creat the great proem, what do you do when you have to go back to the middle in the general election if she becomes the nominee. every top democratic strategist that iatalk to says the polling shows the medicare for all plan is really bad for them in certai places and certainly certain places whe they want to win senate seats like colorado, arizona, iowa.
they just don't see this working. let's remember how hard obamacare was. it could notet a public option through congress when they were in full control. robert: do you think some democratic senate candidates next year if senator warren is the nominee wouldak b carl: yes, i think they've already broken. they're not noing for medicare for all. i think this issue, they see it as a detriment. win. in the places they have top i think her explanation of how it would be paid for was very good. it's really hard toee, oh, the elites are going to pay for it bu people in the middle will pay less. that's just not how it works. and also, t idea to a lot of democrats that i talk to, so disrupting the privateealth insurance industry, they tust think it's bad. ey justt want a midterm onction basically running let's fix obamacare, let's tinker withhis and now we're going tohrow that out the window and run r on this big new program. robert: when you're talking to
house democrats, they're focused on pscription drug reform, not medicare for all. why is there a disconnect between the democratic presidential candidates and jakebecause in suburban districts across the country, in the suburbs of charlotte, a orstrict drawn middle-of-the-road republicans, the democrat got 13% higher than the republin in the suburbs of charngtte tal about fixing obamacare, talking about the things in the middle of thehe party, not these pie in ie sky ideas that will never get passei 80 votes in the senate. i think that's missing from these debates is someone sayingn ok, you. i know you want to confiscate guns. i know you want toheewrite thcare laws. how are you going to do that? whatf configuration washington do you see -- do you envision to rewrite thee healthc laws in such a drastic and meaningful robert: that's part of the
gument vice president biden has been making and the tensions at the abcews debate were personal as well as political.aa former o housing secretary, julianan castr wondered if the 76-year-old former veep was feathering his own remarks. >> you require them to opt in andid -- and i would not require them to opt in. they would automatically be enrolled. o not have to buy in. >> you said two minutes to go they would individual to b in. are you forgetting what youaid two minutes ago? robert: but a review of the transcript shows biden said, quote, anyone who can't afford it gets automatically enrolled in the micare type option we have. when you talk to the biden caaign and you think about the questions about his age that are alluded to in the debate, about his standings in the polls, are they walking away from theat houston d confide or do they feel bruised?
jauna: it feels clear they feel they came out o top. they point to the facts of the matter. when you look at the transcript, they believe it shows clear that he said what was correct. he did f notget what he said two minutes ago and castro was incorrect. then there's the stylistic point. you heard immediately when stro said this several of his rivals on the debate stage spoke up and admonished him. other top democrats saiit wasn't a good look stylistically. i've heard from other democratic questions, the question is if the biden campaign i complaining about julian castro, how will he handle the heat he'll get from donaldrump? anne: i think there's that old king, you best not miss.he biden is not a king b in this case if you shoot at the aventrunner, you better your facts straight. robert: what's the political costecortary castro?
anne: i: thinkin there's dely political cost for him. he looked factually incorrect and like he was making an ad hominem attack on biden's memory and fitness whess in fact, biden had not made a mistake. therere plenty of things you can point at when youe talking about joe biden -- he rambles, right.oe he occasionally say stuff that's just completely whacka doodle, as he did in the debate when he started talking about venezuela when the question was on reparations. but in this case he'd been spot-on and clear in his iginal answer and castro was carl: i heard from biden allies during the debate. they said this was f bad castro. you heard the word disqualifying. i want to make b ager point about this. maybe i'm wrong. that's pretty in the t weeds for this debate, whether opting in orpting out, in a program that
doesn't even really exist yet. the democrats aren't talking the big picture things that i think people were expecting. that was a very m detailebe i'm: rong. ja think in watching these debates and this might get me in ouble but i think i watching these debates, you watch how they're arguing over policy partic aars that no intricate and you think about how dold trump wou w respond which is, we're going too do something great, don't worry about this, i got this, don't you have more money than you did four years ago, we'll do great healthcare ands the end of the. sentence so that's not an argument donald trump will get into. we kw donald trump. robert:these arguments can be in the weeds with heaare and policy but you think of a younger generation taking on the older generation in the democratic party. younger lawmakers like senator klobuchar or mayors like south
nd's pete buttigieg, beto o'rourke, all frying to break -t tryi break out as vice president biden leads the polls. did see any break o? but i'm not sure it was for thed reasons he hoped. i think beto o'rourke had a breakout moment. he's picked an issue he's passionate about, on gun control. the pro em with his breakout moment i he may well be handing fodder to republicans at a moment whe on capitol hill they're looking for compromise on the issue of gun legislation something to find where republicans and democrats can agree. we heard ve president mike pence reference not speaking to republicans in baltimore. he did have a breakout moment. i think many democrats liked the passion and the com but i'm not sureow it helps the party. robert: he was talking about a mandatory buyback of assault weapons. jauna: and a lot of democrats think that'srr oching and giving republicans an easy opportunity to paint the party as eager to te away guns.
carl: they grabbed o tohat today. anne: absolutely. the republican takeaway from the democrats want to take your guns and take away your healthcare. robert: what about senator klobuchar?ug carl: i t she h one of her better performances but biden -- what you'rg, say he's taking up all that space and that's why michael bennett's not in this debate or governor bullock. amylobuchar had a good debate and made sense but she just can't g in that lane. he is there. jake: i think it's helpful that biden and the top candidates, warren, for the lower are s defensive, allowingdidas someone like amy klobuchar to get in and say, listen, guys, calm down, let's take this down a notch and let me explain wheom we down in the middle on this issue and maybe that's helpful. it's difficult to bre outrom single digits or from low double digits but you have to judgen a curve. robert: one issue that never
came up, impeachmee. wen capichl hill this week. we're talking to allhese wmakers debate impeachment,it tangling speaker pelosi about the strategy but not a mention in the presidential debate. why is that? anne: i don't know. it certainly seems like a topic that is kind of out there. robert: are they all on the same page? anne: no,ot they'ren the same page and we don't know exactly where they are and where they are may have changeds the termteof this discussionrm have changeanover the summer. way post mueller. now we're on into this whole new era of house invictigations is going toake many tangents that go beyond the mueller report. i'd likehat have heard question put to them last night. carl: i think it reflects the problem house democrats are having. it's not resonating in the public yet. they don't feel a need to respond to it. the houseou democrats, pelosi is
trying t kop a lid onn it and they're trying to move for it's an issue dear to my heart, ther wasn't a lot o talk about the judiciary and supremeourt. i think the impeachment absence shows this is not a huge publi issue y and democrats haven't made the case. robert: you've covered sen sor harris'' campaign, juana. hapning instead of her ranks? she had a big debate a few debates ago, took on vice president biden but has been struggling to gainraion in the polls. jauna: what they've told me is that they believe her -- they won't admit it's struggling. they think she's not having the summ many expected. support for her is more elastic. they say she's not a househo name as elizabeth warrene or biden or bernie sanders is so e's still introcing herself to people. wrote this week at the associated press that this campaign has structural
challenges including she has s consultants from baltimore whe her campaign is headquartered to california to washington, d.c. all with theirands in theix so you have a candidate who, while c ectrify a crowd and is warm and personable, but doesn't hav a clear rationale for her campaign. she talks about t 30 a.m. agenda and being for theeople and prosecuting the case but the bumper sticker slogan that some are looking fg she doesn't seem to have. she might be able to turn it around. i'm curious to see what she focuses on going into the fall and whether that changes. jake: that i think is a huge challenge. how do you distinguish d yoursef with these debate stages? it's diffi dlt in a three-hour event with a lot ofniping and a lot of defense and a lot of yelling. how do dutinguish yourself without tearing down another get fck for.ch for that anne: one way is what pete buttigieg dn, his closer, he did a very neat political trickl
that of candidates who have been doing it longer i than he has, have difficulty doing. he tied his biography to his candidacy neatly. this i why i am running. this is who i am. this is why i am in front of you making the argument i'm making. that, i thought, was -- he has a whaonable tone no matter he's talking about and the way he described coming o as gay in very matter-of-fact terms i thought was effective. robert: i was talking to democratic strategists this wee and they kep k saying buttigieg, senator klobuch, everyone is waiting to be the biden alternative, if the b campaign falls apart, someone wants to be positioned but he leads the pls and president trump is searching for h fourth national security advisor. after john bton resigned this week. bolton, a hard nosed hawk and
nationistic deal focused president disagreed on a number of foreign policy issues fromo afghanistan t iraq to north korea and iran. there were clashes with secretary of state mikeomo. the "wall street journal" notes quote,lton's exit, immediately empowered pomo who has sweeping influence in the administration. and the "new york times" observed thatr. pompeo has kept himse in the good graces of a notoriously fickle president. anne, is this n only story about bolton going but pompeo rising? ne: absolutely. u referenced the smile. looked like a cheshire cat. robert: why? anne: because he had just won. there has been a power between mike pompeo and john bolton going back almost from the beginning but definitely heated up over the last u m eig,
nineths or so. actually agree on a number of things but pompeo is much better than bolton could hopee to have been at getting the president's ear and kind of getting in there first and getting -- and having trump'rgument end up sounding more like pompeo. at the end, both pompeo and bolton wanted the president to be harder on north korea and harder on iran than it looked lie might be going to be but the breaking poi p appearso have come over afghanistan where pompeo and bolton had oppose viewbe : does this become a deal presidency on forecyn policy? is the president now ahead of 2020 looking for al with iran, looking for a deal with trade?korea, with cna on jake: it would seem so.
'vthe people talked to in the administraon directly involved sayoa small deal with china. some sort of take-home with iran korea.th the that i think will be interesting to me is what he gets on in because it's not going to be terribly different from what barack obama got if 's anything at all and knows, as well, there's not many ways to slice this.nt i to say one thing on pompeo who i covered in i house. he seems to view his role at secretary of state as helping the president achieve what he wants to achieve within a coext that makes sense for america and that might sound hokey but i don't think pompeo is there to instiis own foreign policy. robert: he's not an idea id.e.a. log? >> he talks aboute his mission se and he takeshat he thinks donald trump wants to do and helps him achieve that within
that context where what i think bolton w t tryingo redirect the president's instincts whi the president hates. jauna: it removes one of those final guard rails around this president's instincts on foreign i can't help but think, taking it back to the session about 2020, sets up a uniqu way for to show his foreign policybiden experiencehat no other candidates on that stage can. rort: what did you think of the foreign policy discussion at the democratic debate? how are they going to make that case? is it bind talking about allies? taing aboutationalism as a negative thing? jauna: i think we'll hear both of tse things happen. i think bind can expect to see -- biden can expect to see his campaign lean into that
direction. carl: i think that's right. that is joe biden's super strong suitn this ongoing primary. the thing about pompeo. we think h has politicals. aspirati we just don't know whi political aspirations come robert: is he going to run for senate or wait to run for presprent in 2024. >> or governor. carl: we don't knowut he nee to keep donald trump behind him so that's -- he needs to haveel thisionship so he's going to be working within the framework, which i think jake described accurately, but without alienating the president because he'll need the presidest. i will say on that thing in the briefing room, i've never seen a victory lap like that in a a while but the senate republicans will miss boltonecause this is one area where they break with the president and there was a lot ofet sympa statements about bolton on the hil john bolton was a strong guy, ht knew whe risks were, which are somehow a veiled cut at the president. anne: bolton would work the hill and he was a good point of
bolton, yes, he's an ideologue but he comes from a different era and political world. robert: i was texting withbo on this week. he said i'll have my say inue course. jake: in a book. anne: now he's back to his pacc and will be giving money tico repu candidates and he's got a perch. robert: doou think he breaks with pre pdent trump? anne: eventually, yes. they disagreed on too many things tone begin with. i don't have the sense at all at he's interested in having a scaramucci moment but any point out a number of prices policy grounds where they had disagreement and why. jake: i think the other thing with bolton, why senate republicans areo s worried is because a guy like bolton
understandsrocess. the national security advisor job is a process job. supposed to ie process job.s it's supposed to help the president make decisns within a traditional process oriented foreign policy world and something that bolto understood, being ambassador to the united nations under george w. bush and having a history in washington as a foreign policy operator. now it's kind of the guard rails, as juana said, the guard rails are off. and that's a scary thing for membersf congress who love nothing more than predictability when itct comes to their commander-in-chief. carl: and they differ withrump on russia in somef these other areas. anne: so did bolton. carl: that's one of the few years where they've been willins ak out and you heard mitch mcconnell and lindsey graham. bert: are they making any recommendations, capitol hill? carl: probably notre mmendations but maybe slightly -- slyly getting behind
some of the people they want. anne: pompeo largely driving ace discussion around who will rebolton. robert: there was talk of having pompeo do th job. anne: which the president has t taken off table. the kissinger model. i never thought that was real but what is real is that pompeo is pushing some names who are not hustled names for most pe ole outsidef washington foreign policy circles and that will mean that mike pompeo has more influence going forward, not less. robert: en democrats,ts speaker pelosi, issued a statement saying it was a shame that bolton was going. jake: i don't think nan pelosi agreed with john bolton on iraq or any other foreign policy decision he'd madt'siut a way to k tck the president and his pro pss. carlit is funny to watch the left embrace bolton a little bit. rort: quite a way to end the week. thanks for sharing your evening with us.
the "whington week extra" is coming up on facebook and youtube. we will discuss the special election in nortk carolinat t tested president trump's clout. i'm robert costa. have a great weekend. announcer: corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by -- financial svicesirm raymond james. additional funding is provided onal- koo and patricia yuen through the yuen foundation,ommitted to bridging cultural differences in ourommunities the corporation for public broadcasting, and by y contributions r pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible f its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.o.]
-we don't know what mary and paul have got in ,ore for the bake but it's bound to be blue-eyed and a little bit harsh. -last time... -love the dough. -bread week saw frances deliver on style yet again... -i think the box is fantastic. -...but lacked substance. -i could take a little bit more ginger. -rob's usual precision... -no, needs more. -...sank without trace. -it's paul the psychic octopus tribute loaf. -of course, it is. -howard... -paul would probably like a larger muffin. -...and becanly just scraped thro -i'm so not ready to go. uh. -but lucy's simple loaf was her st bake. -that's the way the breadstick snaps. [laughs] -and ruby shone as star baker. -can't believe i did it. -now, the bakers face desserts... -it's like school dinners gone wrong. argh. -...a signature challenge that has layer upon layer of pressure. -aost there, come on, ali.