tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC March 27, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT
i'll show you tomorrow morning on "today." andrea mitchell is coming up, "andrea mitchell reports" starts right now. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," cruel cuts. lawmakers tear into secretary devos after she announces $18 million of cuts including from special olympics. an organization that lifts up millions of athletes like derek from texas. >> it's a blessing moment to be part of a great organization, special olympics. and i really enjoy being around athletes that love to compete and have fun and do their best. win or lose, we're all winners in our hearts. coming up here, tim schreiber, chairman of the special olympics, joins me with his reaction. the matriarch at the end of her life, former first lady barbara bush opening up about her decades-long dislike of
donald trump, even blaming him for her heart trouble over his attacks over her son jeb. >> poor, poor jeb who brings out his mother because he needed help. mommy, please come, walk in the snow, mom. i like his mother. but i don't like that stuff. and rising star. democratic leaders are pressing stacey abrams to run for the senate in georgia. but is she also being wooed as a running mate for potential joe biden presidential run? >> i do not know. i'm thinking about everything. i have a number of options i didn't know about before. the senate race, it's possibly running for president. >> coming up, our interview with stacey abrams right here on "andrea mitchell reports." and good day.
i'm andrea mitchell here in washington for betsy devos is under fire for eliminating all money from the federal budget for the special olympics, $18 milli million, a really infinitesimal part of the federal budget. a congressman from wisconsin went head to head with devos at tuesday's hearing. >> do you know how many kids are going to be affected by that cut, madam secretary? >> umm, mr. pocan, let me say again, we had to make some difficult decisions with this budget. >> again, this is a question of how many kids, not about the budget. >> i don't know the number of kids. >> it's 272,000 kids. i'll answer it for you, that's okay, no problem. it's 272,000 kids that are affected. >> special olympics is an awesome organization, one well-supported by the philanthropic sector as well. >> i have two nephews with autism. what is the problem we have with
children in special education, where are we cutting these programs over and over in this budget? >> the special olympics was founded in 1968 by eunice kennedy shriver, the world's largest organization for people with disabilities. her son tim is the chair of the organization and joins me now. welcome, tim shriver, good to see you. what's your reaction to this administration cutting all federal money from special olympics? >> the big picture here is they're missing a big story, there's a much bigger story going on in the country, in our schools. young people who are fighting intolerance, who want to have programs in their schools who want to meet their peers, who want to overcome the fear of difference and replace it with inclusion. that's what the special olympics movement is doing in schools. while the philanthropic traditions we have of volunteerism and private support are important, we're now in a new ball game of trying to
educate young people about the importance of an inclusive mindset to the future of the country. that's a big story. we're in over 6,500 schools. the congressman mentioned 270 thousand, it's closer actually to 2 million young people involved in our work in schools to try to make schools end this age-old fear of children who are different and replace it with a much more inclusive world view. >> in fact, tim, speak to the educational value for people without so-called disabilities to learn about the other, about being with other kinds of people. >> i mean, schools all over the country now are looking at the issue of what they call social and emotional learning. how do we teach kids age-old values like character, grit, perseverance, openness, trust, listening. all these kinds of qualities that we need to put into our schools. the irony here is that what we've discovered in the special olympics movement is that the teacher has become the athlete, the special olympics athlete who
everybody thinks we're there to help, has actually become almost the new professor in the school. and so what we're seeing in our unified champion schools model is young people with autism, with down syndrome, williams syndrome, they're actually acting as the leaders of a more inclusive culture. they're showing other kids how to overcome fear of difference. and for us, you know, it's an extraordinary moment. we live in a divided time. everybody knows it. we live in a time when there's enormous tension, everybody knows it. but our schools are hungry for a different message. our young people believe that everybody counts. they have not lost that hope and dream. the special olympics movement today is giving them a chance to live it out. >> the department of education did issue a statement today about the importance of philanthropy, the private money. they say the special olympics raises more than $100 million fill an tlopically every year and while the secretary is very personally supportive of their mission and work, the activities
of special olympics are better supported with local, state, and frooi private funds. >> we disagree completely. this is not my mom's special olympics. this is a new special olympics. the educational purposes in the ada, title ix, the recently passed act for major federal support. what are we working for? fighting bullying, fighting social exclusion, fighting all of the ways in which for decades, let's be honest, decades, children with special needs have been marginalized and brutally excluded from schools, from communities, from family life, and still unemployed, three times more likely to be bullied, more likely to be poor. we have shifted into an educational mission that has state and local implications. but the federal government, if it believes in full inclusion, and it does, our constitution,
our declaration, and our laws tell us we do, and if the federal government has a role to support that, it ought to be investing in kids with special needs. >> and speaking about kids with special needs, derek tankshattle who we showed in the opening of the show, he said, we're all humans, just like everybody else, we can do great things in this world whatever happens. we want to continue to bring love and joy to people around the world. he added, i pray we personally want to continue. this is one special olympian speaking, and he represents the movement. >> the voices are so beautiful, if i can just say. i mean, i get to go to these schools and look at what young people are doing and listen to their voices and watch them organize the pep rallies and have the letter ceremonies for the kids who maybe have down syndrome who are playing on their special olympics unified sports team at the school level just like we did with title ix, that's what we're trying to do
here, give these young people a chance to shine and tell their stories. the country is starving for this. republicans, democrats, rich, poor, black, white, urban, suburban, gay, straight, everybody, when they see it, almost everybody when they see this goes, my god, what a breath of fresh air, what a news story this is. this is a whole new version of the united states, not the old version that we hear every day about division and pain and angry and frustration. this is a new generation. and they're claiming their voice in programs like special olympics unified champion schools as people who want to lead the country in a different direction. that quote you just said, manual that coming from the mouth of a political leader or a business leader or a scholar. that's what they're asking are for us. what do you send your kids to school for? to read and write, of course. but to have them respect that everybody matters, big lesson. our athletes are teaching it.
>> teaching empathy and understanding. mark pocan of wisconsin was questioning the secretary and joins us now. congressman, thank you very much. you highlighted this in the way you highlighted the questions at the hearing, tim is still with me, of course. your take on this, can you turn it around? i know there's a lot of senate report. we're hearing roy blunt and others who have traditionally -- republicans who have backed special olympics time and time again against cuts. >> we'll do everything we can, andrea, to change this. it is just unconscionable that not just this cut, but there's also almost a billion dollars of cuts to grants to states for children with special education. there's cuts to programs for visually and hearing impaired students. i have two nephews who are autistic. there are millions of families that are touched by children with special needs. and to take money away from special olympics at the same
time betsy devos has a 15% increase in executive salary pays in her budget makes no sense whatsoever. i'm glad we were able to highlight this. we'll do everything we can to change this. this shouldn't be a partisan issue, i agree with mr. shriver completely. this is something that betsy devos is clearly out of touch on. >> and when you talk about the budget and about the cabinet coming to you with this budget, how do you persuade them that this is a really important federal responsibility, it's not just for private philanthropy? >> as mr. shriver said, there are millions of families who have children with special needs but it's for all children who go to school. if you're a child with special needs, you're two to three times more likely to be harassed or bullied while you're in school. we need to have inclusive schools at every level. this is a program that expands that into the school environment. you have to remember the trump budget has cuts to social security, to medicaid, to the national institutes of health where we find cures for diseases
and then programs like special olympics. it's really an indication of a much bigger problem that we have with the president's budget. but this is one where i just find it impossible to believe that the secretary was so clueless in not being able to answer any question around a program that she has oversight over. >> tim, if you don't turn this around, what is the loss of $18 million mean? >> well, it means closing down what we're doing in schools to end social isolation, s. congre as the congressman says. it means ending programs for children who want to participate in sports. it means ending our youth leadership work to promote the ideas of tolerance and what we call inclusion revolution. it means choking off, most painfully. i see into the eyes of a 12 or a 14-year-old who just wants, as all of our kids do, they want to fit in. they want to matter in their school. they want to achieve. it's hard for kids with special needs because they're not as
likely to be the best kid in the math class or the best kid in the english class. they're more likely to be on the margins. but their eyes are just as big as every other child's eyes and their hopes and dreams are just as big. and they just want to belong. what we're saying to them is, we got you and we're with you. and educators are with you. your teachers are with you. your principals are with you. republicans are with you. democrats are with you. if i had one message it would be to the athletes, don't worry, whatever story you've heard. i can't tell you how many calls i got today from athletes asking, what's going to happen, what's going to happen? and what i keep saying to them is, we have you, we got your back, this is a good country still, and we'll persist, we'll make this work. >> tim shriver, such an important message, thank you very much. and of course mark pocan, starting very much for starting the balance rolling on capitol hill. coming up next, the matriarch's message. a new biography detailing
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matriarch," "usa today"'s susan page reveals mrs. bush no longer considered herself a republican because of how mr. trump had taken over the gop and his patrolling of her son job during the 2016 primaries. the former first lady revealing to her biographer her strong dislike for donald trump. so fierce, mrs. bush, surgery from congestive heart disease, blamed trump for what she called a heart attack after comments like this. >> bush is 1% in nevada. why doesn't this guy just go home to mom? >> then-candidate trump mocking jeb bush and belittling him during the primaries. >> this guy bush is low energy. >> mrs. bush said she was initially hesitant for jeb to win the 2016 race, feelings she shared on "today" in 2013. >> there are other people out there who are very qualified.
there have been enough bushes. >> but she then agreed jeb should run and campaigned for him in new hampshire. >> he's decent and honest. he's everything we need in a president. >> according to the book, her dislike for trump went back decades. in her diaries from the 1990s which she made available for the book, bush describes trump as, quote, greedy, selfish, and ugly. by 2016, the book reveals, mrs. bush was, quote, dismayed by the nation's divisions and by the direction of the party that she had worked for and for so long, telling page in one interview, i don't understand why people are for him, and in another she expressed astonishment that women could support him. joining me now, nbc white house correspondent kristen welker, nbc national political reporter mike memoli, ron klain, former chief of staff to vice presidents joe biden and al gore, and ruth marcus, deputy
editorial page editor at "the washington post," and the former chief of staff to dan quayle in the bush white house. barbara bush speaking out so clearly against donald trump, it was obvious in 2016 that they didn't get along, but this is the most specific revelation that we've had thanks to susan page's extraordinary interviews. >> it's remarkable, andrea, to hear her level of disdain for the now-current president. we have reached out to the white house. so far they're not commenting. but certainly this is just one more data point that i think underscores the divisions between president trump and what was known then as the establishment republican party. i think that on the campaign trail was when we really started to understand the ways in which then-candidate trump was going to break with traditional establishment republicans. and i think we were reminded of that recently, andrea, when he took new aim at the late senator john mccain. and you did have some people speaking out defending their
late colleague. but you didn't have a groundswell of republicans disagreeing with the president. so again, i think we're sort of witnessing this remarkable shift not only in the republican party but the ways in which the president is altering the party. >> did you have any idea that donald trump was offering himself up, this real estate guy from new york, to george herbert walker bush, the sitting vice president? >> i didn't, but why should we be surprised that donald trump thought he was qualified then and thought he was qualified in 2016 and to his credit, i suppose, won the nomination. i'm not surprised mrs. bush thought this. they didn't vote for donald trump, i don't think bush 43 did either. jeb bush didn't. i think this is a time when people need to be serious, though, about their obligations. we have a renomination, those of us who still want to save the republican party have a question of whether we renominate donald trump in 2020.
this is the time for people not to keep quiet and not to be polite and not to sort of feel, as a former this or former cabinet secretary or former president i'll keep my counsel to myself. people have an obligation i think to the country. if they think donald trump shouldn't be president, they need to say so. i say this with all due respect to george w. bush and jeb bush and my friend jim mattis and for many other people who for good reasons, reasons of traditionally sort of modesty and propriety don't want to get in the middle of this. but this is a moment to speak up for the country. >> wouldn't it also be incumbent on the senators, the republican senators? where is mitch mcconnell, lindsey graham? what are they doing about the attempts to nullify obamacare? what are they saying in the senate even before we get to the nomination phase, bill? >> well, that's a fair question too. i've been critical of republicans on the hill for their behavior, it's a little better now but certainly not really stepping up. but i think it's time for everyone to step up, whether
currently elected, formerly elected, currently in the cabinet, formally in the cabinet. you can justify a vote for trump in 2016, it's not where i was, maybe he would do better than hillary clinton. you can approve of some of his policies or nominations. but this is a choice going forward, is he the right person to lead the party and the country in 2020. what we've seen from trump in the last couple of days and from the trumpists is the kind of behavior, the kind of victory laugh, the vengefulness. how will trump approach a 2020 victory? what would the second term be like? >> let me turn to the democrats as well. joe biden trying to fix something, preempt some questions, he would hope, about the way he treated anita hill back in 1991 when he was chairman the judiciary
committee. joe biden speaking and making a really full-throated apology to anita hill. >> she paid a terrible price. she was abused through the hearing. she was taken advantage of. her reputation was attacked. i wish i could have done something. and i opposed clarence thomas' nomination, i voted against him. to this day i regret i couldn't come up with a way to get her the kind of hearing she deserved. >> mike memoli, you've been covering joe biden nonstop as we await an announcement that he's running. is he trying to clear the decks? >> that's exactly the term that i would use, andrea. in the last few weeks and months, as we're heading towards a potential announcement, the vice president is trying to address some of these potential vulnerabilities in his record on his own terms. i was at that event last night, it was the biden courage awards. it's part of his foundation, an enterprise he launched to acknowledge and draw attention to the issue of sexual assault
on college campuses. he used that moment to proactively try to address this issue, saying anita hill showed great courage and saying she was frankly abused by the committee. the question is, is that sort of apology we heard last night enough. he said he wished he could have done more. there are a lot of people who think he should have done more. one of the things he tried to make clear is he himself has learned from that experience. he said immediately after that whole episode, he worked hard to campaign for women candidates to try to elect women candidates on the condition that they serve on the judiciary committee. but he noted as well that it's still a problem that obviously with the kavanaugh nomination process last fall, these issues are still very much of a problem today. >> and of course there were no women on the judiciary committee, dianne feinstein was the first when elected in 1994. ron klain, you were on the hill then. >> i was on the hill then, i worked for senator biden then. look, i think that it was a different time.
i think that the committee obviously failed its duty with respect to professor hill and her charges. as vice president biden said last night. he did vote against clarence thomas, he flled the floor figh against clarence thomas. look, i think some voters will never forgive him for that. but i think most democrats, if he chooses to run for president, will look at the totality of his record, his leadership on the violence against women act, his leadership on all sorts of issues affecting women, his work in the obama administration on title ix. i think most democrats will support vice president biden notwithstanding some who will never forgive him for what happened with anita hill. >> ruth marcus, you and i were there. >> all three of us. >> it wasn't a fair hearing, especially that there was polygraph evidence and other witnesses who were not able to be introduced to validate her claims.
>> in particular, the other witnesses. and i have to say, ron makes fair points about the work that senator and vice president biden did after that. it was a different time. but it wasn't so much of a different time. so my question really would be, when the vice president says i wish i could have found a way to give her a fair hearing, the question that arises is, well, you were the chairman of the committee, mr. vice president, why didn't you? why didn't you stick up for her when she was being ridiculed and pilloried and called a perjurer by republicans on the other side? why didn't you make sure the other witnesses were called rather than simply submitting their affidavits for the record? apologies are good but we need a little more explanation before we move on from this. >> the president today, kristen welker, speaking about health care but not really explaining or justifying the fact that against the advice, we now
learn, of his labor secretary -- or hhs secretary, i should say, and his attorney general, they joined that court case against what the attorney general said during his confirmation hearings he would do, trying to nullify obamacare. >> and andrea, the president saying that the republican party is going to be known as the party of health care, that they are going to find a replacement. but so far, we haven't heard any details about what that's going to look like. we haven't heard any details on capitol hill. and republicans, frankly, are jittery about this strategy. here you had a big win for the president in the beginning of the week in the wake of the summary of the mueller report by the attorney general. and it seemed as though this really stepped on that victory lap that the white house, the president's allies, were taking. this is a critical issue for voters. i was on the campaign trail in 2018. it's part of the reason the democrats won back the house. democrats will make this their
signature issue in 2020. you're seeing them pivot firmly to that, overnight that happening, leader pelosi making this a key issue. the question is if this were in fact to go through, what would republicans replace this with? it's not clear that they have a plan, andrea. that could be very politically problematic heading into an election season for this president. >> ron and ruth, ron, you're both lawyers, how do you, with this texas court case, invalidate something that congress has approved, that has been challenged so many times, how many times did they knock down the efforts to kill obama in the republican-led senate and house? >> yeah, it's a very extreme legal position. that's why two very, very conservative lawyers, bill barr and alex azar, these aren't like left wing lawyers, said, hey, you can't possibly justify this position in court. and yet in the end, an even more extreme white house led by a tea party chief of staff said, i don't care what the legal advice
is, we're going to take this position in court. i don't think it will ultimately prevail. but in the meantime americans are worried about losing their health care coverage. and president trump, who promised in 2016 and 2018 that he would protect coverage for preel existing conditions has sent his lawyers into court to take it away. >> in 30 seconds, ruth, we're crossing a line, where the attorney general of the united states is being overruled by the white house chief of staff. >> i really want the details of what went on behind the scenes there. this is a remarkable thing. he's not just saying we're going to take away coverage for preexisting conditions, because that's what the administration had already done. we're going to take away all the protections that you like in obamacare. the only thing that exceeds the bizarreness and stupidity of this as a legal matter is the political idiocy of it. >> especially after the 2018 results. >> indeed. >> ruth marcus, ron klain, mike memoli, kristen welker, thank you so much, bill kristol as well. coming up, the waiting game.
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so how long is congress going to have to wait for the mueller report or some version of it? today a justice department official says its version of the special counsel's findings will be available in weeks, not months, as house democrats are pushing for congress to get an unredacted copy by next tuesday. doesn't seem likely that's going to happen. senate judiciary chairman lindsey graham, who had dinner with the attorney general last night, said he expects mr. barr to appear before his committee next month and that the president does not need a preview. >> do you think the white house will have a chance to look at it before it's public? >> he decided that the white house is okay with releasing it without looking at it. >> the president? >> yeah, i talked to him just a few minutes ago, the president. and he said, let it out. >> let it all out. msnbc legal analyst maya wily joins me now, maya, thanks very much. on what basis can the attorney general not turn it over? is it now a political issue, where to sit on it would become unsustainable?
>> yeah, i don't think there's any scenario under which the attorney general could withhold parts of the report. i think the distinction here is how much of the report will congress and the american public see. that really is the issue. remember when barr was in his confirmation hearing, he made very clear he was going to try to be transparent, but that the issue was, according to the law and the rules, in this case grand jury material or other forms of information that for intelligence purposes may need to be withheld, would he redact if there was a report to be turned over. so that's really the question. and on the case the grand jury material itself, i think one thing that's really important for the public to know is, he has the power to ask the judge to unseal the grand jury material. obviously any grand jury
material that relates to an existing investigation, it would be completely legitimate to say we don't want to interfere with that investigation by giving information publicly too early. but otherwise that shouldn't be a barrier to seeing big chunks the report. >> maya, there was just an exchange in federal court involving the reporters committee for freedom of the press wanting access to unmask the name of that foreign corporation that lost its supreme court final appeal, and has to respond to the grand jury request. people had thought that once the mueller probe was wrapped up, that that's dead. and instead the prosecutor in court said to the judge, it's very robust, it's continuing. so do we assume that this has been handed off to another grand jury, that one of the grand juries that mueller was working with is still working? this is still a live subject. >> well, this was one of the reasons why some of us, myself included, couldn't quite believe that mueller was going to submit a report at this time, because
remember, mueller actually extended the time period of his grand jury. >> exactly. >> and what the company "a" issue, this mystery company, was one of the outstanding issues. i think what this tells us, the fact that he filed a report and that he kept a grand jury open and that there's still ongoing efforts to get whatever information they're trying to get from company "a" is, it may relate to some other form of crime, not related, in robert mueller's view, to the question about coordination or conspiracy with russia around the election. but definitely something related to one of the offshoots of that investigation. we just don't know what. >> stay tuned. maya wiley, thank you very much, great to see you today. make sure to tune in to "nbc nightly news" tonight. lester holt is sitting down today with former fbi director james comey. this will be comey's first interview since the conclusion
of the mueller report. so make sure you watch that. and coming up, class presentation. senator mike lee making a unique argument against the green new deal. you've got to see this to believe it. stay with us. and former georgia gubernatorial nominee stacey abrams coming up, joining me just ahead. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports." stay with us on msnbc. ports. stay with us on msnbc. with my annuity, i know there is a guarantee. it's for my family, its for my self, its for my future. annuities can provide protected income for life. learn more at retire your risk dot org. [laughter] ♪ ♪ "i'm okay." ♪ ♪
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of visual aids on the senate floor already goes to utah republican senator mike lee for his roughly 14-minute speech criticizing the green new deal which was put on the floor for a vote by republicans yesterday even though there is no green new deal legislation. it was an attempt to embarrass democrats. take a look. >> i rise today to consider the green new deal with the seriousness it deserves. this is of course a picture of former president ronald reagan, naturally firing a machine gun while riding on the back of a dinosaur. this image has as much to do with overcoming communism in the 20th century as -- >> it went on from there. the green new deal procedural motion failed in the senate 0-57 with 43 democrats just voting present in protest. coming up, her moment? former georgia gubernatorial candidate stacey abrams was
praised for her powerful rebuke to president trump's state of the union. could her name be on a democratic ticket? perhaps, some have suggested, as joe biden's running mate for 2020. >> i think you don't run for second place. >> stacey abrams joins me next, speaking for herself, right here on "andrea mitchell reports." do your asthma symptoms ever hold you back? about 50% of people with severe asthma have too many cells called eosinophils in their lungs. eosinophils are a key cause of severe asthma. fasenra is designed to target and remove these cells. fasenra is an add-on injection for people 12 and up with asthma driven by eosinophils. fasenra is not a rescue medicine or for other eosinophilic conditions. fasenra is proven to help prevent severe asthma attacks, improve breathing, and can lower oral steroid use. fasenra may cause allergic reactions. get help right away if you have swelling of your face, mouth, and tongue, or trouble breathing.
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even as i am very disappointed by the president's approach to our problems, i still don't want him to fail. but we need him to tell the truth and to respect his duties and respect the extraordinary diversity that defines america, because america wins by fighting for our shared values against all enemies, foreign and domestic. that is who we are. and when we do so, never wavering, the state of our union will always be strong. >> when stacey abrams, the former democratic nominee for georgia governor, delivered a powerful response to president trump's state of the union address, it sparked widespread praise from democrats who hoped she would play a more prominent role in the party after her historic campaign catapulting
her into the national spotlight. rumors, a lot of talk about her political future, have been swirling ever since. this week abrams announced a new initiative that ensures every vote will count, designed specifically to organize residents in her state ahead of the 2020 census, a response triggered by the georgia governor's race, tainted by allegations of voter suppression. she is the author of a new book, "lead from outside." stacey abrams, great to see you, thanks so much for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> given your long record in georgia, your national fame, there's a lot of talk about what's happening next. there are meetings, we know of at least one with chuck schumer, a lot of interest from the party's perspective in having you run against david perdue in the georgia senate race. are you considering that or is that something you've already ruled out? >> no, i'm absolutely considering it. i had an opportunity to meet
with leader schumer last week. and i'm continuing to have conversations but also to think through the best role that i can play in moving our country forward. >> with governor kemp now the governor, having been the georgia secretary of state and all the suppression issues, how could you be sure there would be a fair vote in your state? >> there are two things i'm working on. the first is fair fight action, which has filed federal litigation against the state of georgia to ensure that we have a fair elections process in 2022 and beyond. we are also fighting legislation that would weaken our electoral voting system. and we're pushing for advocacy. the second part is to think beyond the elections, to think through what happens in 2020 in terms of the census. georgia had a massive undercount, up to 30% more not counted, according to some reports, in the last census. and so we started fair count, which is going to work to make certain that hard-to-count
populations, immigrants, low income communities, communities of color, children, renters, that those communities that are least likely to speak up in the census, that their voices are heard and that they're counted in the process. >> now, you also have talked to joe biden and there is a lot of talk to joe biden was thinking about announcing you as his running mate when he announces his campaign for the presidency as we expect. you've been asked about that. what's your response at this point as to whether you would even consider that kind of a ticket, running with someone like biden? >> as i've said, i don't think up run in a primary for second place. if i joined the presidential primary, it will be because i intend to become the nominee for president of the united states and i haven't decided if that's what i intend to do. but i'm certainly open to the conversations because it signals people are interested in the role that i can play, and it's not flattery, but it is deeply moving to me that people are
excited about what i can offer. my responsibility is to make sure that whatever i run for, it's the right job, i'm the right person, and i'm doing it because that's the role i should play at this moment in our history. >> how do you feel about some of the white men who are running being asked about a running mate and saying that they would guarantee putting a woman on the ticket? there's been a lot of confusion as to what former governor hickenlooper meant when he asked the women why aren't you putting a man on the ticket. he meant as a running mate. what about the roles of gender and race and diversity as democrats struggle over who to nominate? >> i think democrats are having the kind of process we should have, which is that we're asking everyone to say what you would do to lead this country forward. and that means, do you see the diversity of our country? do you understand the challenges that different communities face? and do you respect that sometimes the best voice to speak up on issues is the voice that has the closest experience to those issues.
and so i think it is a credible question, a valid question to say, are you thinking about adding a person to the ticket who brings a different vantage point and different perspective. and i think that's a good thing for our country. >> you and an ddrew gillum came closer to winning your races than beto o'rourke did. how do you feel about all the publicity, the campaign that beto o'rourke has gained by the listening tour, cooking at home, going to the dentist, his online presence, his fund-raising? why beto o'rourke and not andrew gillum and not stacey abrams as the darling of the media? >> i don't think that success is zero sum, so i don't want to disparage or take away from the reaction and the legitimate response people had to his campaign. but i do want to call the question. there is no difference -- there is no distinction with a difference between what he accomplished and what andrew and i accomplished. i would challenge people to
consider why we were not lifted up in the same way. i think race plays a part. i think region plays a part. i also think phenotype plays a part. my responsibility is to investigate running for president because i want people to understand i may not look like the typical candidate but that does not diminish my responsibility to run for the job. that would be true for andrew if he was interested. >> what kind of time do you have? are you behind on the money front given what beto and bernie sanders and some of the others have been able to do, kamala harris? a lot of people have gotten a head start already. >> i think that we have accelerated the time line, but i don't believe that there is anything dispositive about announcing now versus in june or even in september. i think when a good candidate puts their name into the pot, you will get the support you need to be successful and so my responsibility is to not be forced by an artificial time line, but to really take the time to determine what makes the most sense for me. >> does it seem to you that
health care, as it was in 2018 but now more than ever with the attorney general perhaps reluctantly but now going along with his boss, the president, trying to nullify obamacare in the last 24 hours? >> i think they completely misread what happened in 2018. 2018 was about the conversation of how do we live as americans and take care of each other. and what this decision does is it says that we lied, that the republicans who said they would fight for health care and would defend preexisting conditions, that they were not telling the truth. and they will be reminded of that in 2020 if this proceeds. >> i want to ask you also about the georgia heartbeat bill, this abortion fight which is passed by the georgia senate last week. it is banning almost all abortions after a fetal heartbeat and it would be one of the toughest if not the toughest in the country. >> it's a terrible bill. it's a forced pregnancy bill. one of the issues is that it criminalizes women. it will cost us doctors who will
not practice in the state that could send them to prison for doing their jobs. georgia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among women, the highest among african women. which means it is putting women's lives in danger. and it is bad for business. we've already had the film industry step forward and say this is a terrible idea, in part because they understand women aren't going to move to a state to do work if they believe that their bodily autonomy is at risk. this is bad on every front. it's cynical. it is wrong headed and it's bad science. >> and there is also a new policy from the state department which is going to basically eradicate what other countries and other non-government organizations do to help women's health if they're in any way connected with reproductive health with abortions, it will affect malaria, tuberculosis, zika virus. how do you deal with that as a candidate or potential candidate? >> as a citizen, as a human, i will call it out as cruel. it is cruel. it is mean spirited.
it solves no problems. and it harms the very people we should be standing up and supporting, those who are already made vulnerable by their circumstances who need aid to take care of themselves and their families. >> stacey abrams, great to have you. i hope this is the first of many conversations. the book is called lead from the outside, how to build your future and make real change. it's in paper back and thank you very much. >> thank you. >> and we'll be right back. along with support, chantix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting so when the day arrives, you'll be more ready to kiss cigarettes goodbye. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix. you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. stop chantix and get help right away if you have changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions, seizures, new or worse heart or blood vessel problems, sleepwalking, or life- threatening allergic and skin reactions. decrease alcohol use.
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that's it for today. thanks for being with us. follow us at mitchell reports. here's ali velshi for "velshi & ruhle." >> great conversation with stacey abrams. have a great afternoon. hello, everyone. i'm ali velshi. let's get smarter. >> obamacare is a disaster. it's too expensive by far. people can't afford it. and the deductible is horrible. and if the supreme court rules that obamacare is out, we will have a plan that's far better than obamacare. the only difference between now and the other administration is that we're administering obamacare very well. so we've made it better, but it's still horrible, no good. it's something that we can't live with in this country. >> i'm very disappointed and vehemently opposed to the administration seeking to invalidate the entire