tv Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX September 9, 2018 6:00am-7:01am PDT
>> chris: i'm chris wallace. president trump calls on the justice department to investigate who wrote that essay in "the new york times" describing resistance inside his administration. ♪ >> for the sake of our national security, "the new york times" should publish his name at once. >> chris: at this hour we will discuss the 1-2 punch of the anonymous column. >> should all top officials take a lie detector test and would you agree to take one? >> chris: and reports of white house disarray and bob woodward's new work. what does it mean for the future of the trump administration? we will ask the vice president of the united states, mike penc
mike pence. then, judge brett kavanaugh faces of grilling by democrats at his supreme court confirmation hearing. >> there are many concerns about the future of the democracy and you are asking for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. >> chris: we will ask democratic senator chris coons of his party can block cavanaugh. plus, barack obama steps back into the political arena and unloads on president trump. >> it did not start with donald trump. he is a symptom, not the cause. he's just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years. >> i watched it but i fell asleep. >> chris: we will ask our panel how the obama-trump face-off will shape the midterm election. all right now on "fox news sunday" ." and hello again from fox news in washington. any concerns president trump has had about leaks and disloyalty inside his administration were
confirmed this week by that anonymous column in "the new york times" and bob woodward's new book. top officials openly admit they work against presidential directives they consider dangerous. and after that barack obama back in the political spotlight hammering president trump in the run-up to the midterm elections. on saturday, vice president mike pence invited us to his residence on embassy row in washington to push back against stories of an administration in disarray. >> chris: mr. vice president, welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> vice president pence: thank you, chris. >> chris: let's start with barack obama's return to the campaign trail, accusing president trump of practicing the politics of fear and resentment. if your reaction? >> vice president pence: it was very disappointing to see president obama break with the tradition of former presidents and become so political and roll out same tired arguments that he
and liberals have made over the last eight years. the truth is the american people in 2016 rejected the policy and direction of barack obama when they elected president donald trump. we inherited an economy that has grown a little bit more than 1%. in the last quarter our economy is growing at 4.2%. 4 million new jobs. unemployment at a 50 year low and to have president obama come out and tout his policies that resulted in less than 2% growth, tax increases, obamacare regulation and doubling the national debt, i think it was very disappointing but frankly i think it just illuminates the choice the american people had in the midterm elections. >> chris: let's look at some of president obama specific charges. talk about: any attorney general
jeff sessions to investigate who wrote that anonymous article in "the new york times" ." >> this should not be a partisan issue to say that we do not pressure the attorney general or the fbi to use the criminal justice system as a cudgel to punish her political opponents. >> chris: one of the national security grounds to investigate that article? what law did the writer break? >> vice president pence: we will find out if there was criminal activity involved. >> chris: there was no classified information. >> vice president pence: we will see. i think the president's concern is that this individual may have responsibilities in the area of national security and if they have no published anonymous editorial that says they are misrepresenting themselves, that they are essentially living a lie within the administration and trying to frustrate and subvert the agenda of the president elected to advance, that's an important issue. >> chris: political disloyalty, it certainly troubling. it's not illegal.
>> vice president pence: but there's another part of it though. every senior official in any administration takes an oath to the constitution. the constitution of the united states. to have an individual who took that oath, literally say that they work every day to frustrate the president advancing the agenda was elected to advance is undemocratic. it's not just deceitful, but it's really an assault on our democracy and that person should do the honorable thing, step forward and resign. >> chris: i want to get into the question as to whether they are trying to thwart the will of the president in the moment. but i want to look at this. president obama mentioned this as well. if the president's tweet earlier this week a sickly chastising, rebuking attorney general sessions for bringing the prosecution on charges of corruption against g.o.p. house members. the president waited to a very
popular republican congressmen were brought to a well-publicized charge just ahead of the midterms by the jeff sessions justice department. to go easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. good job, jeff. the president is saying, play politics. protect members of congress even if they have committed acts of corruption before the election. >> vice president pence: i don't think that's what the president was saying at all, chris. the department of justice, as you know, has long-standing guidelines through the success of the administration that says whenever possible the justice department should avoid taking actions that may impact an election. the president was referring to that and the difficulty -- >> chris: at one committing insider trading and the other one was living high off campaign funds. are you saying that they should be protected because we are close -- >> vice president pence: they are all very serious allegations and they ought to be pursued but
i think the president was referring to the long-standing tradition in the justice department to avoid unnecessarily impacting election outcomes and perhaps preventing other men and women from stepping forward and filling those slots in the future. but i think one of the virtues of this president, one of the reasons why we've been so successful over the last 18 months is because he speaks directly to the american people. if you don't have to wonder what president trump is thinking almost on any given morning because he tells the american people was on his mind. >> chris: just forgive me, sir. two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time, good job, jeff. should the attorney general be worried about that? >> vice president pence: this is a president that was elected by speaking directly to the american people and expressing what he's enthusiastic about, what he's frustrated about and the american people understand
that. >> chris: this gets to the theme of both the anonymous article and also bob woodward's book that some officials within this administration, within this white house feel that they have to act in effect as guardrails to protect against some of the president's impulsive actions. case in point, first story in his book, september of 2017, chief economic advisor walks into the oval office and sees a letter on the president's desk that would blow up the south korean free-trade deal and jeopardize one of our most important alliances and he takes it away so the president won't sign it. to have any doubt that happened? >> vice president pence: i have every doubt that that happened. i really do. the president renegotiated the south korean -- put american jobs and american workers first.
>> chris: if i may just stay on this point for one minute because bob woodward didn't just quote somebody. he has the document here. this is the letter that he took off the president's desk mark september 2017 in which the president if he had signed it would have terminated the south korean trade deal. this isn't just talk, he's got the goods here. >> vice president pence: this is a president who puts people around the table, around the resolute desk in the oval office that bring him all of the options. they put on the table everything that he could be doing. he invites a vigorous debate around the desk and then he makes a decision. that's how it really does work. and i have to tell you, this entire narrative that i get from what i've read about the book that came out in the narrative in the rhetorical is totally foreign to me. i spend about four hours a day with the president and we are
both in washington, d.c., every day. in and what i see is a tough leader, a demanding leader, someone who gets all the options on the table, but he makes the decisions and that's why we've made the progress. >> chris: here's what anonymous ease. he writes an article in "the new york times," that is why many trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting mr. trump's more misguided impulses until he is out of office. woodward describes what he calls our nervous breakdown inside the trump administration. >> vice president pence: absolutely absurd. i have to be honest with you, chris. sometimes i watch a little bit of tv in the morning and then i go to the white house and i feel like i'm in a parallel universe. i walk into a white house where there is a president behind the desk, he is in command. he is constantly driving forward on delivering on the promises that we made to the american
people and then i go home at night and i see cable tv talking about all of this stuff about disarray in the white house and it's just not my experience. but i tell people, look at the results. you look at the passage of historic tax cuts for businesses and individuals. in the way that jobs are coming back and investment is coming back. the renegotiation of trade deal deals. our allies contributing more to our common defense. all of that is happening because we have a president of almost boundless energy who comes in every day, regardless of what's happening in the washington media culture and says what are we doing today to deliver for the american people and i think that's why i see such enthusiasm as i travel across the country and that's why i believe the american people are going to vote reelect republican majorities in the house and senate this fall. >> chris: do you think you know who anonymous is? >> vice president pence: i don't. i don't know but i do know that they should resign and leave
this administration. >> chris: should all top officials take a lie detector test and would you agree to take when? >> vice president pence: i would agree to take it in a heartbeat and submit to any review the administration wanted to do. explore the administration should do that? >> vice president pence: that would be a decision for the president. the honorable thing to do here is for this individual to recognize that they are literally violating an oath. if they are that senior administration official, they are violating an oath not to the president, but to the constitution. >> chris: treason? >> vice president pence: it's un-american and i think that's why using republicans and democrats condemn this. the american people vote for president. if they fully expect the president to be able to surround themselves with men and women who will work with them in advancing their agenda.
but to have someone who literally celebrates coming in every day to frustrate the agenda that the president and i were elected to advance, it really is an assault on our democracy and it should be universally condemned. >> chris: one of the more unusual words in the essay is lodestar, which it turns out, people have looked, is a word that you have used many times. >> vice president pence: sure. >> with vigilance and resolve as our lodestar. >> it really was the lodestar. >> chris: do you think someone purposely put that in the essay to try to set you up? >> vice president pence: i wouldn't know. i wouldn't know. and i really do believe whether it's the book, whether it's the anonymous editorial, whether it's president obama's speech this week, it's all an effort to distract attention from this booming economy and from the president's record of success.
i think it's all very predictable. we have important midterm elections coming up. i get all of that but the american people should know president trump and i are going to remain absolutely determined to reelect this republican congress so we can continue to build on the momentum that's putting americans back to work. >> chris: what did you think of the confirmation hearings for judge brett kavanaugh? what did you think of some democrats who decided to break the rules into release what were committee confidential documents, and how confident are you that he will be on the supreme court when it resumes in october? >> vice president pence: judge brett kavanaugh distinguish himself, many democrats on the senate judiciary committee embarrassed themselves. that's the truth of it. what the american people saw in judge brett kavanaugh is a jurist just like president trump promised to appoint. someone of profound intellect. a judicial philosophy to interpret the laws of this country as written, interpret
the constitution as written. but they also saw what was at times a circus. people shouting behind them and histrionics in judiciary committee among democrat member members. you saw a judge with the temperament to make it through this 12 hour hearing with such dignity. and we had every confidence that before the supreme court convenes in october 2 judge brett kavanaugh will be justice brett kavanaugh. >> chris: finally, syria. the u.s. has warned syria, russia and iran not to launch a final assault on the province home to more than 3 million people. if they indicate that they intend to go ahead. will the u.s. intervene militarily to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe there? >> vice president pence: we are watching it very closely and we have made it very clear to the regime in syria, to russia and iran that the united states and our allies will not tolerate
the use of chemical weapons against civilians in that province. >> chris: let's say it's conventional weapons, are we going to let hundreds of thousands of people die there, sir? >> vice president pence: we all know what happened in the ludlum. it what's different with president trump from president obama is this president drew a redline and enforced it on chemical weapons. president obama drew a redline and said you can't use chemical weapons and then allowed aside and syria to go forward and victimize countless civilians. >> chris: dead is dead. i take your point about the chemical weapons. >> vice president pence: i want to make it very, very clea clear. there's a wider world watching. the united states of america and our allies will take swift and decisive action against any use of chemical weapons in that province. beyond that i will tell you that we are watching very carefully
as resources are being marshaled along the border of that province. and i'm confident there will be a decision by the president of the united states but i'm confident that we will be monitoring that very, very carefully to ensure that we don't see another humanitarian catastrophe like we did before. >> chris: mr. vice president, thank you, sir. >> vice president pence: thank you, chris. >> chris: even as the vice president and i were speaking, syrian and russian warplanes bombed the southern edge of the province. when we come back, we will hear from democratic senator chris coons. one of the -- will barack obama help or hurt democrats in november? and do democrats do anything to slow down brett kavanaugh's confirmation to the supreme court? ♪ a source of inspiration.
ron! soh really? going on at schwab. thank you clients? well jd power did just rank them highest in investor satisfaction with full service brokerage firms...again. and online equity trades are only $4.95... i mean you can't have low cost and be full service. it's impossible. it's like having your cake and eating it too. ask your broker if they offer award-winning full service and low costs. how am i going to explain this? if you don't like their answer, ask again at schwab. schwab, a modern approach to wealth management.
♪ >> chris: this week, president trump's nominee to the supreme court, judge brett kavanaugh, faced two days of grilling by democrats on the senate judiciary committee, but the day do anything to slow down his confirmation to the court before it starts its new session in october? joining us now, senator chris coons, a leading member of that committee. i will get to that in a moment but i want to start, you just heard my interview with vice president pence. your reaction to his defense of president trump against critics, some of those critics inside his own administration? >> senator coons: what i heard vice president say was that he was deeply disappointed and that he bought the critic within the
administration who wrote the op-ed, the anonymous op-ed in "the new york times" should resign. i agree with that position. i think the honorable thing to do is to resign and go public with the author's concerns about the president's fitness to serv serve. >> chris: and what about just the fact that between the anonymous essay and the woodward book, you have so many top officials saying that they feel they have to act as a kind of guardrail against some of president trump's impulsive actions? >> senator coons: if that does raise a concern that i also made the focus of my questioning of judge kavanaugh. i focused on ways in which judge kavanaugh has written, has spoken, issued decisions that suggest he has a very broad view of presidential power. given our current context, that could lead to a shield for president trump from accountability by the special counsel's investigation and not something i try to make the real focus of my questioning of judge kavanaugh. i think that ought to be a
concern for everybody watching from a room above . and republicans. if i think all of us have an interest in the rule of law and in a president who is not above the law. >> chris: i want to double down on that because i want to ask you about some comments by the president this week and i'm asking you as a moment member of the senate judiciary committee on the rule of law. the president as i pointed out to the vice president, chastise attorney general sessions for the prosecution of two republican congressman so close to the midterm election and then there also was this comment from the president about investigating who wrote the anonymous article. >> i would think jeff should be investigating who the author of that piece was because i really believe it's national security. >> chris: question, senator, is there any legal basis on the question of national security
for a criminal investigation of who wrote that op-ed in "the new york times"? >> senator coons: not that i'm aware of. i think you asked the vice president exactly the right question. what's the basis in law for investigating who wrote this editorial? the real issue here across all of these concerns is that we have a president who, in his tweets, and in his statements and speeches suggests that he thinks the department of justice should act more like the in-house lawyer department or legal department to the trump organization rather than what they are, the independent agency charged with defending our constitution. the independent independence oe department of justice and its prosecutorial decisions from presidential or political interference is one of the bedrock of our democracy and the ways in which president trump continues to harass and to tweet against attorney general sessions, as you just cited, this last week criticizing him for the investigation and the indictment of two close allies of the president should be very
troubling to all of us in the comments from both the republican and democrat that this is an inappropriate break of norms by president trump. >> chris: let's look at the larger picture of this question that we saw this week from the book, from the essay, about resistance to the president inside his own administration. donald trump is the duly elected president of the united states. no one voted for gary cohen. no one voted for defense secretary mattis and there are stories in the woodward book and yet there are instances of both of them taking the lead of the president codified office desk. who are they to thwart the will of the duly elected president? >> senator coons: that's right. it does raise some serious concerns. every presidential administration has vigorous debates, disagreements on policy priorities, but this is a
different sort of thing. this is folks who are alleged to have taken direct action to prevent the president from carrying out some of his worst instincts or worse decisions. and that should raise some concerns, particularly given the anonymous editorial in "the new york times." i will remind you that the writer of that editorial makes it clear that he supports the president's policy agenda, that he supports tax cuts and deregulation and building of the military and he self describes is not part of the deep state, but the steady state, someone who's trying to keep this president on course and delivering on his policy agenda. it does, as you say, raise troubling concerns. if we have a president so mercurial, so unable to stick to a decision within one day that his own senior aides think they are called upon as folks who have sworn to uphold the constitution to prevent the president from carrying out some of his worse decisions, this really does concern me. >> chris: i want to move to another development this week,
that is former president obama returned to the campaign trail and took the opportunity to blister president trump. here's just one example. >> it did not start with donald trump. he is a symptom, not the cause. he is just capitalizing resentments that politicians have been fanning for years. >> chris: senator, is that smart politics for the november election? yes, there's no question that barack obama is popular with and will fire up the democratic base, but isn't there also a risk that he will fire up the republican base? >> senator coons: my hope is that this election is going to be about the real needs and concerns of average americans in districts and states across the country where there's going to be important elections to determine the future of our country. i do think that president obama inspected long-standing norms and how he handled the
transition of power. i think he conducted himself graciously in the inauguration of president trump and he has stayed completely on the sidelines for 18 months. from what i heard of president obama, former president obama's speech, his core message was that we need to do a better job of listening to each other, respecting each other and honoring our institutions and traditions and i think -- not to speak for him but i can former president obam president obama, because of the ways in which president trump over the last 18 months has challenged, has broken some of our long-standing traditions about respect for the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, the independent media, that he felt compelled to speak out at this point. >> chris: let's turn to your day job and to the cavanaugh hearings. some of your democratic colleagues on the judiciary committee released documents that the committee had deemed confidential, and no one was more dramatic about it then your democratic colleague senator cory booker, take a loo
look. >> i did willingly violate the chairs roll on the committee confidential process. i take full responsibility for violating that. this is about the closest i will ever have in my life too and i am spartacus moment. >> chris: senator, booker knew and you knew that when he made such a big fuss about releasing those documents, in fact the judiciary committee had already cleared those documents for release, so wasn't this just a pretty blatant stunt? >> senator coons: i have to be careful what i say here because i'm the vice chairman of the ethics committee and in that role i can't comment on anything that may or may not come before the ethics committee. let me just say this about the whole dispute. i do think this was an unprecedented process in which significant amount, the overwhelming majority of the documents relevant to judge kavanaugh's service in the bush administration as staff
secretary were blocked from review by the committee. and there was a strong disagreement between the majority and the minority. overall i agree with that concern. >> chris: that's not up to individual senators to just unilateral -- otherwise it's chaos. if the committee deemed something confidential rightly or wrongly, can individual senators say i'm not going to play by those rules? >> senator coons: i really can't comment to whether or not this was breaking the rules of the committee. >> chris: i just have to ask you because you brought this up, is this a matter that the ethics committee is now considering, cory booker's behavior? >> senator coons: i can't comment on that, chris. >> chris: or why not? >> senator coons: the roles of the ethics committee prohibit any member of the committee on commenting on whether a matter is before the committee or not. >> chris: so you cannot deny that this issue of what he did in releasing these documents is not before the committee? >> senator coons: i can't comment on that, chris. >> chris: final question, and
that is a general one about the cavanaugh nomination. does the president deserve deference from the senate when he appoints -- he is elected, he won and he appoints someone to the supreme court who is clearly within the traditional mainstream. here are the four current justices appointed by democratic presidents. ginsburg got 96 votes. breyer, 87. sonia sotomayor, 68. 68. kagan, 63. all were clearly liberal judges but all were clearly qualified. you went to law school with brett kavanaugh and you both law clerked in the same courthouse in delaware. i can understand that you don't like some of his opinions, but isn't he clearly qualified and isn't he clearly within the traditional mainstream? >> senator coons: as i said in a hearing i've known judge kavanaugh for 30 years and i know him to be an intelligent, decent, thoughtful person, good
father, husband, neighbor. we heard a lot about what a good high school basketball coach he is and how he volunteers at a homeless culture with his parish. all of those are admirable qualities. i am concerned, as i said before and as i made the focus of my questioning of judge kavanaugh that he is well outside the judicial mainstream. in addition he rendered just this year he refused to follow settled precedent and he made it clear that his views on executive power would lead to a dangerous rewriting of the core policies for the core constitutional traditions and decisions of the court around presidential power. i'm going to take advantage of the opportunity today to send some questions for the record to judge kavanaugh. i'm going to continue to look over his writings, his speeches, but in the time that i was able to spend over four days with judge kavanaugh and with other witnesses in front of the committee, i remain gravely concerned that he's not inside the judicial mainstream on several really important precedents that, chris, would have a real impact on individual
rights and liberties of americans and on presidential power and i think americans of all parties, particularly given our current context should be concerned about judge kavanaugh's decisions on presidential power. >> chris: senator coons, thank you. thanks for your time and we will follow your committee's vote on the cavanaugh nominations scheduled for 11 days from now, thank you, sir. >> senator coons: thank you. >> chris: up next we will bring in our sunday group to discuss those shocking stories of trump appointees working against the president's directives when they think he's acting impulsively. ♪ making my own beer. with what's available online, we were able to learn how to make the beer, craft a business plan, and do all the other things we needed to do to help people find us. it's a lot of hard work but being a part of the community here using our beer as a platform to give back, it makes it all worthwhile.
>> for the sake of our national security, "the new york times" should publish his name at once. i think the reporters should go and investigate what is. unelected deep state operatives who defied the voters to push their own secret agendas are truly a threat to democracy itself. >> chris: president trump at a campaign rally criticizing the anonymous senior official who wrote that "new york times" op-ed as a danger to the nation's security. and it's time now for our sunday group. katie pavlich from townhall.com. columnist for the the hill, juan williams. liz marlantes, politics editor of the christian science monitor. and josh holmes, mitch mcconnell's former chief of staff and now a g.o.p. strategist. katie, where'd you come down the revelations both from the anonymous essay and also from bob woodward's book that there
is a resistance inside the administration, people acting to thwart the president's directives and overall, how damaging do you think this week has been to the president? >> politically i don't think it was damaging at all. i think people have actually look at the story inside it's more palace intrigue. we don't know this person is. if they are not willing to put their name on it than we are not going to necessarily be concerned with what they have to say. inside the white house it is a huge distraction. when it comes to what this "new york times" op-ed says, they said they were trying to thwart the president's worst intentions or instincts. define what that is because based on my conversations with white house officials and off the record conversations with president trump himself, he actually likes to listen and invites debate from a number of advisors and then tends to his own decision. his worst instincts something with a dip advisors disagree with? to find with it actually means. when it comes to the damage that has been done, politically again i don't think it's going to have an impact but it has the
white house, everyone looking over their shoulder. a number of offices and agencies coming out with their own op-ed saying it wasn't me. but certainly creates a hostile working environment that is not contingent to moving the president's agenda forward. >> chris: is bob woodward right? is this presidency suffering a nervous breakdown? >> nervous breakdown. i'm a journalist like woodward, so here's what i see. i see it white house that cancels meetings in a flailing manner and inconvenience to try to find this anonymous source within the white house. i see a president that issues are totally inappropriate call for the department of justice to somehow go after finding this anonymous person and i guess prosecuting them on the basis, and this is even stranger, of the national security of violation simply for criticizing the president. that's totally inappropriate and wrong. i don't know what's going on in
the president said. >> chris: is larger point that katie was talking about, you have, according to woodward's book senior administration officials, gary cohen taking a document off the president's desk. the president tells defense secretary mattis lets assassinate assad after a chemical weapons attack and as soon as he gets off the call, mattis says we are not going to do any of that. is that insubordinate or is not responsible? >> i think it's responsible if the people inside, and here i would go along with what you heard from the vice president in her interview as well as senator kunz. this is that the person -- they mention the 25th amendment, foot woodward's book, this is what we heard from michael wolfe, from the anonymous columnist, what we heard from omarosa. a white house where there is an unstable president and you see a white house that is uncertain and at times easily pushed off target and so at that point you
start to wonder what is going on in their? >> chris: josh? >> i think a lot of this is overblown in terms of the amount of attention -- the american people are far ahead of where the pundit class in d.c. is in evaluating what is president and where this administration is. there's not a lot of people sitting around suffering under the delusion that some of the president is up all hours over his briefing books. that's not why they left him. while they love them is because he goes with his gut. you either love him or you hate him and the folks that he president trump see what bob woodward has written and see this "new york times" op-ed as more evidence of what they suspect is an administration run amok. for those who love them, this is kind of what you voted for. you voted for somebody who's going to operate outside of the box. we have our arguments about or not that's appropriate but taking a memo off the president's desk, some of that just call that staffing. >> chris: is the former chief of staff to mitch mcconnell,
going to wonder about this. you may get a call from him. i want to pick up on -- it wasn't just that. there were new controversies this week, liz. the president sent out a tweet i think on monday basically chastising the attorney general for the prosecution of two republican congressman saying these guys are running. it's the midterm. these are safe seats, don't mess around with that and then as juan points out at the end of the week, say one national security grounds, he thinks attorney general sessions should investigate who wrote this. but that help them or hurt him? >> to josh's point. i think most voters have an opinion to either be concerned with the opinion they already have on either side. in terms of having a department of justice investigate the anonymous op-ed, i went back and look at the polling of trump's comment that he was asked that.
he didn't introduce it. a reporter said do you think that session set investigate and he said yes. i am not one to defend the president in terms of his attacks on the media but i do think sometimes the media plays a little bit of a roll here. they actually kind of put that idea forward and he said yes. we will see what happens with that. there is, as far as i can tell no legal basis for it. there was no leak of classified information. >> chris: lost all of this is the fact that we had more great economic news this week. 200,000 new jobs created. wages up 2.9%. but because of all of this noise, all of the statements, all of the tweets, all of the controversies, that gets lost. >> it may get lost in conversation but when it comes to how people are feeling out in middle america, the rest of the country, you don't have to tell them when they see more money in their paychecks. you don't have to tell them what a new job becomes available in the town because regulation has been pulled off that was previously put in during the obama administration, for
example. while there is a lot of noise politically for the president i think -- as was seen in the past, his approval ratings have gone up in a lot of cases because people are seeing results. at the same time there is controversy here in washington, d.c. >> chris: with the president be wiser to focus on the good news? accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative? >> it would be great if he could only focus on the economy but that is something we've been saying since he started running for president in 2015. that is not going to happen. he's going to focus on all the issues of the day, including being involved in these controversies. >> his poll numbers actually have gone down a little bit. it's unclear if this is the start of a new trend or if this is just sort of the bad couple of weeks but there has actually been -- and these poll numbers have been remarkably stable. they have been great but they've been stable but there has been adept just in the last couple of weeks. >> chris: the manafort-cohen week was a bad week.
we have to take a break here. it when we come back, the return of barack obama to the political spotlight and what it means for the november midterms. ♪ who built the nation's largest gig-speed network, is already moving-beyond. beyond wifi that just connects. to wifi that thinks about what your customers want. helping you to compete. beyond the reliability you expect. to knowing that if the power goes out, business goes on. ♪ ♪ beyond chasing down network problems. ♪ ♪ to a network that shows you when and where there's an issue. beyond clumsy dial-ins and pins. to one-touch conference calls. ♪ ♪ beyond low-res surveillance video. to images so sharp, they can help protect your business. ♪ ♪ comcast business. the company that delivers unrelenting speed in more places. is also the company that's redefining
all presented in a way that makes decisions easy. out with the old in with the new from design, to done! call 925-364-4218 and save $1000 off your complete bathroom remodel he could possibly... he likes to collect things. oh! wow, you got all this stuff from ikea? what do you like not let your kids in here? oh, no, they moved in here. here. this is where i hide all the cords and the remotes, and those clack-clack-clack things. oh and we have an entire comic book store and i managed to wedge a candle in there. oh i see, so this is your new bed? let's just say it fits me perfectly. it also fits the entire neighborhood, when they show up, unannounced, in a good way... kind of... what's your dream? at ikea, we help you live it. make the dream yours.
at ikea, we help you live it. >> this is not normal. these are extraordinary times. and they are dangerous times. >> chris: barack obama blistering president trump in an attack by a former president against his successor that is also not normal. we are back now with the panel. what do you make a former president obama's return to the political spotlight? how effective do you think he was in going after his successor, president trump, and how do you think his involvement will play in terms of the november midterms?
>> you just knew that president obama wouldn't be able to resist the bright lights in the midterms. you watch president bush go through after his administratio administration, largely stay dark, start largely outside of the controversy, particularly when it came to campaigns. you just knew president obama couldn't do that. but i think democrats actually have a real problem here in that what we know about the selection based on the special elections is that democratic enthusiasm is at an all-time high. they don't need any more enthusiasm. they are right where they need to be. the problem is if republicans are right where they are, it negates any advantage they might have and there is nobody other than perhaps president trump who motivates the conservative electric quite like president obama. so i think there's some danger in here, particularly if he continues this and that kind of rhetoric out in the midwest, particularly states like north dakota, indiana, west virginia, missouri, montan
montana. all of those states have more republicans and democrats and if they show up democrats at a real problem. >> chris: i want to pick up on precisely the point because democrats have wanted this to be a referendum on donald trump. do you like donald trump or are you troubled by donald trump and do you want a check by democrats taking back the house and with the senate? could we agree that barack obama becomes the face of the democratic party and the opposition this fall. yes of course he mobilizes a lot of people, especially minorities, young people, but he also may mobilize a lot of conservative voters who don't want to return to the day of high taxes and regulation that barack obama represents. >> i think you have to understand that president obama is doing this quite strategically. josh is on target. there are places where you can anticipate he would energize a conservative base, they never got over the election of the first black president. but remember, obama is going to illinois.
he's going to california. he's doing a lot of fund-raising that is basically private. >> chris: he's also getting national exposure. >> he gets national attention because he's the former president but i would say this, in fact historically in midterms it's the democrats who have a problem with turnout. and i think there is the fear among democrats that you don't want to count your eggs before they are hatched. remember what happened with the polls in the 2016 presidential race. if they want to make sure they are energizing their base and critically reaching out to white suburbanites, mostly women in critical congressional districts. this is for the house. which is really the goal that the democrats have this time around, to capture the majority of the house. >> chris: katie, the fact is if you look at barack obama's record he is a great vote-getter for himself but when his name is not on the ballot and you look at 2010 and 2014 midterms, it doesn't transfer. >> and the 2016 presidential
election. campaigning at the last minute for hillary. >> chris: i think you got to blame that on hillary. >> he came at the very last minute hoping to get her over the finish line and couldn't get the job done. that is a reflection of her but it's also a reflection of his endorsement falling through. barack obama essentially burned the democratic party to the ground by leaving a thousand seats. he didn't do enough with the dn dnc. the democratic operatives to talk to are very disappointed with his operation to get reelected as president and let the other seats go by the wayside. the thing about what he said during his speech is more than just attacking president trump. attacking the republican party trying to talk about how voters are essentially bigoted and they have all these fears of people who looked different than them. barack obama got elected of them twice in america by a majority and for him to go out now, continue to lecture the country about those issues when we have come so far really rubs people the wrong way and when it comes to whether he's going to be able
to get back to his community organizing ways and be successful, i'm actually not so sure that barack obama is far left enough for this new democratic party. he talked about the founding fathers as being people who should have followed who did good things for the country. on the far left of the country they are talking about taking down the washington monument, taking down any kind of remembrance of those kinds of principles. so we will see how he fits into this new socialism while he is at the same time potentially backing joe biden for 2020. >> chris: lives, obama help or hurt or democrats? >> i think on the home is probably going to be a help. i think they are going to use them strategically. as juan said, that one speech was the most political. he went the next day and gave a speech that was way more toned down in terms of not attacking president trump by name, that sort of thing. i think it will be careful, they will use them. a lot of first-time candidates. one of the downsides essentially of a lot of enthusiasm is a a
ton of new faces. some of those candidates might benefit from having the gravitas of the former president standing next to them. >> chris: in a normal week the big news would have been the confirmation hearing for brett kavanaugh, and to swing the court to a solid conservative majority. here is cavanaugh this week. >> i'm not a pro plaintiff or pro-defendant judge. i'm not a pro prosecution or pro-defense judge. i am a pro law judge. >> chris: juan, how do you think cavanaugh did, and it democrats do anything to derail his nomination? >> no. if you want the bottom line, the final score, i think he looks like he's on his way to being confirmed as the next supreme court justice and giving conservatives a solid 5-4 majority on that court for as long as we can see. the man is in his early 50s. but in answer to your question
to whether or not damage was done. the critical issue for me is the impartiality of the court, trust in the court by the american people. we see that going down. this is not a popular candidate, by the way. not popular among democrats or republicans, i might add. and what you saw the democrats do is say this guy was a political operative, he worked for ken starr. he was involved in the florida recount in 2000. he was involved with torture members of the bush white house. this is a guy who's been on the corporate he's a political player and i think that hurts his credibility going forward and hurts the credibility of our supreme court. >> chris: josh? >> how senate democrats and of themselves. cory booker, incredibly odd behavior in the i am spartacus moment as if he's trying to convince democratic 2020 primary voters is some sort of a bad boy. that's kind of bad boy behavior. >> chris: he said if you want to try to kick me out of the senate, bring it. >> all contrived and completely
ridiculous. but at the end of the day i think vice president pence said it best. cavanaugh -- i think senate democrats at themselves back. the dangers of the -- >> chris: this gets to the point that katie was making, which is that the democrats have moved so far left, does that kind of behavior actually win some support and what's going to be a very crowded field, get him out of the chorus line? >> that's clearly the calculus that cory booker took. and i think harris. they were kind of climbing all over each other to get further to the left and more caustic in their approach to judge kavanaugh. in the end it's going to be just as cavanaugh. everything he needed to do in those hearings to get himself confirmed. >> chris: a little over 30 seconds. let's get to juan's bottom line. your work for mitch mcconnell, you are a vote counter. they did raise some issues about where he has on presidential
power. they did raise issues about where he is on abortion. do you sense from what your sources in the senate that they did anything to shake the support of republican moderates, particularly pro-choice moderates like susan collins and lisa murkowski? >> i think they set themselves back by mischaracterizing. in one sense, judge kavanaugh prevented the views of the plaintiffs while providing the answer to senate democrats. totally mischaracterize what happened so i think is actually in a better place now. >> chris: thank you, panel. see you next sunday, and we will be back with a final word. you need to buy a car
and you want to get an excellent price you'd think with all these options it would be easy. but with terms like msrp, invoice, list price, things get confusing pretty fast. you just want to get a real price and that's where true car comes in. only with true car can you see what other people paid for the car you want and you can connect with certified dealers who offer prices based on this same information. none of those other sites do that. from end to end, true car is your only one stop solution.
this is mornings on 2 weekend. >> good morning, to you. welcome to mornings on 2. it is sunday. we made it. september 9th. i'm claudine wong. >> it's football sunday. good morning, everyone. i'm frank mallicoat. more on your weather coming up. more on your headlines this sunday. we're keeping a watchful eye on a couple fires that are growing quickly. in the north bay evacuation orders expanded for the snell fire. >> and shasta fire is still burning strong. also we'll have the latest on the fire in the south bay. fortunately no one was hurt but neighbors say the timi