tv Inside Story ABC March 6, 2016 11:30am-12:01pm EST
>> pennsylvania's senior u.s. senator, on "inside story" right now. ♪ good morning, everyone. i'm matt o'donnell. it is sunday, march 6, 2016. thanks for joining us here on "inside story," and the senior u.s. senator from the state of pennsylvania is with us -- the democrat bob casey. welcome, senator. thanks for joining us. >> matt, good to be with you. thank you. >> how can we start with anything but national politics? right after donald trump swept seven states on super tuesday, the google search "how to move to canada" spiked. now, clearly, there are people that are afraid of a donald trump nomination and presidency, but there are some people that are clearly in favor of it, as well. what do you think about the chances of this individual becoming the nominee and maybe even the president? >> well, i think there's a high
degree of likelihood that he'll be the nominee of his party, but -- and you won't be surprised to hear me say this -- i think hillary clinton's gonna be elected president. i don't think it will be easy. i think it's gonna be a long, tough campaign, whether it's against mr. trump or someone else, but i think she'll be elected, principally because she's got the kind of experience i think people expect and his approach to some of the domestic challenges, like the lack of wage growth and having a strategy to raise wages, her foreign-policy and security credentials. so, i think it's a good matchup for our side and for hillary, but i think it will be a tough race. >> do you sympathize with the core supporters of trump who say, "listen, for a variety of reasons, whether it's taxes or anything else, i am fed up with government. it doesn't speak for me anymore." and you, of course, are, they would say, part of the problem, being in congress. >> there's no question that the kind of dysfunction we've seen in the last couple years,
especially in the congress, is part of that frustration. i think it also has its origin in a lack of wage growth over the last 40 years. we basically had wage growth at 90% between world war ii and the early '70s. since the early '70s, wage growth, on average, for those 40 years is about 9%. neither party, i think, has appropriately addressed that. i'm glad that's one of the major elements and major features of hillary's campaign -- to raise wages. but there's no question we've got to work together in washington to tackle problems. for example, the other day, we had a bipartisan agreement to address the opioid problem -- the number of overdoses and deaths from opioid abuse, or heroin -- but our side proposed investments in programs that we know will work, and republicans blocked it, so that kind of blocking when it comes to a major priority, i think, leads to some of that frustration. >> one more thing about
hillary clinton now. you endorsed her more than a -- almost a year ago. >> april, yeah. >> very early on in the process. do you feel that maybe joe biden is somehow waiting in the wings just in case this e-mail thing becomes such a problem that even her as the nominee wouldn't be able to go forward? >> i'm not a believer in waiting-in-the-wings strategies or scenarios. i think hillary's gonna be the nominee, for sure, and i think she's gonna be the president, for sure -- not without a challenge, not without a tough fight. pennsylvania will be central to what will happen in the general election. we also will have a primary debate here, as well, i believe, but i think she's gonna win. >> pennsylvania primary is later this month. big race here is the race for u.s. senate. we know pat toomey will be the republican nominee. three people are some of the big contenders to run against him. would you like to endorse one of them right now? >> we have three strong candidates. [ chuckles ] >> would you like to endorse kathleen mcginty, who governor wolf supports? >> i may weigh in on that during the primary, but, matt, i'm
afraid today i don't have any news for you. >> fair enough. fair enough. i have to try. >> but let me just say this. look, we have a primary, and that's always -- it seems like democrats always have primaries. but i think at the end of this primary, we're gonna have a nominee that will be strong, that will have been tested, and i think can make a strong case in the general election against pat toomey. >> you had a big trip to the middle east, and you're trying to find ways to cut off funding to isis, and you may introduce legislation in washington. do you think -- i know that we get bogged down with the presidential race. we don't talk a lot about isis nowadays. is it stronger? is it weaker? is is the same? >> certainly weaker in terms of territory. because of our air strikes and because of the coalition's efforts, they had territory months ago that they don't have now, probably on the order of between 30% and 40%. so, that's a good result. the challenge, though, is they are still recruiting.
they're still inspiring. we see events here. we saw an individual in philadelphia shooting at a police officer, claiming to be inspired by isis, a young man in harrisburg arrested at the end of last year, a 19-year-old claiming to be inspired, so whether these lone-wolf-type incidents are inspired by isis or not, we've got to make sure that we can keep taking the fight to isis with the coalition helping us, but cutting off their financing is a big part of it. i'm gonna have a bill to deal with that. >> one more thing i want to talk to you about -- the u.s. supreme court. will president obama nominate someone soon? will it be a republican, and will it be someone that the u.s. senate should consider? >> i think it's yes, no, and yes. >> how soon might we see a nominee? >> i think he will nominate in the next couple of weeks, maybe the next two weeks. number one, it's possible it'd be a republican, but i wouldn't bet on that. but the last question is probably the most important right now. the republican senate is saying
they won't consider a nominee. they have a constitutional duty to consider that nominee. they've got to do their job and consider that nominee. and they've even gone so far, matt, as to say they won't even meet with that person if they come in to their waiting room. i don't know how you deny a meeting to someone who's been nominated for the supreme court by the president of the united states. doesn't make sense to me, and it's contrary to the constitution. >> senator bob casey, thanks for joining us on "inside story." >> matt, thank you. >> we'll be right back. >> "inside story" is presented by temple university. temple fuels students with academics and opportunities to take charge. plugged into the city, powered by the world. temple.edu/takecharge.
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>> we made some wholesale changes to our table here. let's meet our insiders of the week. first up, george burrell, nonprofit executive and attorney. hi, george. >> morning, matt. >> renee amoore, gop state official. >> good morning. hey, matt. >> good morning. ajay raju, attorney. hey, ajay. >> morning. >> and val digiorgio, gop state official. >> morning. >> hey, val. all right. let's move in to governor christie. the question is, did he blow it with his decision to support donald trump? the new jersey republican, as you know, bowed out of the presidential race and endorsed trump for president. christie is really the first major republican to do so and certainly the first among the former presidential candidates.
this has caused all sorts of trouble for him. meg whitman, a former christie campaign operative, has disowned him. six newspapers in new jersey want him to resign. christie looked uncomfortable during that news conference with donald trump, standing behind him, which he went on to say, "well, you know, i really wasn't. i was just standing there, thinking." will this ruin christie, or -- and, val, let me ask you this -- will this turn out to be a good political move later on, looking back? >> i guess if donald trump becomes president, it will, if he becomes attorney general or whatever deal he cut. you know, as i'm watching that debate where he took rubio's knees from under him, legs from under him, i said, "what deal did he make with donald?" and it looks like it turned out to be true. he cut some deal. >> do you believe so? >> that's what it seems like to me. now, he's got a problem, though. how is he gonna govern? he's got two state senators and three, four, maybe up to five assemblymen of the republican party calling for his resignation. how does he govern there for the next 23 months? so, it's a problem.
i've heard a lot of backlash at republican headquarters in chester county about it. and he looked -- he looked like a supplicant, standing next to trump when trump was giving that speech the other day. it really made him look -- goes from this strong leader to this lap dog for donald trump. it's almost embarrassing. so... >> chime in. who's next here? >> if he can be a.g., he'll be quite happy. that's what he's looking at. he's positioning himself. he definitely cut a deal. that's the bottom line. look, most of the folks running, you guys, know that they can't be president, but they're positioning themselves for something for them. christie won't have a job in a couple years, so he wants to make sure he has one. >> matt, the sitcom that is america jumped the shark on super tuesday, and the republican establishment keeps serving on the same script without listening to the feedback from the audience. the fact is that donald trump's inevitable presidency and nomination is now pretty much clear, so the only thing you can do to catch this runaway train -- to get off your rear
end and chase it. the question is, can you now have a brokered convention? otherwise, you will see more people like christie and others fall in line to follow that inevitability. >> but i think, also, christie -- look, i don't think this kills christie. i mean, four years from now, the whole world will change. he has an opportunity to come back. but i think the interesting thing is that he said that he could consider running for president again, and i think christie has decided that the model for him is not internal to the party, but it's to be the kind of donald trump clone. donald trump stole christie's style. christie was appealing to the people. he was the rough guy making the hard statements, not beholding to anybody. and i think he's seen that model work, and i think christie thinks, "i'm a more substantive guy who, four years from now or eight years from now, could make that case." i think he's saying, "i'm never gonna be the party's darling anymore." >> but as a responsible leader within the republican party, i think we're watching right now an unfortunate thing. you're seeing the great party of lincoln and reagan burning in a
raging trash fire, and that's exactly what's happened. so, i think there was a responsibility on folks like chris christie who have credibility within the republican party -- romney and others -- who are making sure that the fissures and the breakup that is happening within the republican party can be brought back. and i think what we're watching right now is an unfolding of the great old party -- grand old party. >> we've got an element of the party who feels that -- and it's not just true in the republican party, it's in general -- that the values that they believe -- they've been told that those values make them bigots or racists or whatever, so donald trump gets up there, speaks his truths, speaks the mind, and they say, "i don't care that he's not a conservative. i don't care that he doesn't stand for the things i stand for. he's gonna fight against political correctness. he's gonna fight against the establishment, which includes the republican party. and that's what you're seeing here. he's giving voice to people who feel that they have not had an advocate for them. that's why he's doing so well. that's why he's gonna continue to do so well. and if we go to a convention -- and he's got the delegates, or enough of them -- we go to a convention and go another way,
we're gonna see a real problem in the republican party. we have to respect our voters. >> also, you don't see - >> had a couple of endorsements -- go ahead, george. >> i think the people in the country don't see this loyalty to party as much anymore. whether it's republican or democrat, what they see are people who are self-interested and who are promoting their own agenda and using the philosophy of their parties simply to promote their own agendas, and i think people are terribly frustrated by that, and that's why these independent voices who say crazy things that have no basis in them and no ability to do them sound good to people. >> and they're angry people. you're looking at folks that are angry. they've had it. they don't have a job. their family's suffering. they don't have food on their table. so, they're saying, "look, he's gonna give us an opportunity. he's gonna give us a big chance, so we're going for it." >> but this is what the establishment said a few months ago. the fact is that whenever you have economic uncertainty, threats from abroad or within, whether they're real or perceived -- doesn't matter -- you have the electorate and the this is an abc news special report.
good afternoon. i'm dan harris at headquarters in new york. we are interrupting regular programming to bring you breaking news. former first lady nancy reagan has died. she was 94 years old. mrs. reagan had been living in bel air california and had been in failing health in recent years. once said her life began when she met her husband and future president ronald reagan in 1951. their close relationship over the next five decades was seen as a modern love story, a model love story especially during their first years as the first family of california and then as president and first lady from 1981 until 1989. mrs. reagan returned to public life after her husband announced he had al sooimer's disease in 1994. she advocated for millions of others and families affected from that disease.
her few public appearances centered mainly on keeping her husband's legacy alive as well as meeting with the leaders of the republican party who continued to seek her out. many of you may remember moments like these, the former first lady paying a quiet visit to her husband's grave as she did every year on the anniversary of the president's death. abc's cecelia vega looks back at the extraordinary life of nancy reagan. >> reporter: at the 1996 republican national convention nancy reagan made a tribute to her husband. it moved the delegates and the nation. >> so let me close with ronny's words, not mine. >> it showed that part of her legacy would be how she carried on his. >> never forget your heroic origins, never fail to seek divine guidance, and never, never lose your natural god-given optimism. >> it was that optimism that
carried them to the end. ronald reagan died june 5th, 2004. ♪ >> nancy shared her grief with the nation. mrs. reagan's journey began as ann francis robins in 1921. after graduating from smith college she became an actress appearing on broadway and in hollywood films. in '52 she married ronald reagan. they would make one film together, her last. in 1956" hellcats of the navy." shifting roles from wife to mother, to patty and ron jr. and maureen from president reagan's first marriage. >> i ronald reagan. >> he was sworn in as the 40th president of the united states
in 1981. nancy right there by his side. she brought some hollywood glamour back to the white house but her style wasn't as always appreciated and was criticized for accepting a million dollars worth of designer dresses and expensive china. she was always fiercely protective of her husband. after he was shot in 1981, she became obsessed with his safety. one former chief of staff revealing mrs. reagan consulted an as trolgs to plan the president's schedule and she even coached him on what to say to reporters. >> doing everything we can. >> as first lady she also campaigned against teen drug and alcohol abuse with the now famous slogan "just say no". >> all of us thank you and president reagan for helping us just say no to drugs. >> she later turned it to a cause many republicans disagreed
with, stem cell research which could some day help others with alzheimer's. >> the republican party was not the center of her life, ronald reagan was and she saw an immediate potential application of stem cell research to the person she cared about most in all the world. >> her public perception has undergone a profound transformation over the years widely viewed in her final decade as a leading political light. she was endlessly courted by republican contenders constantly cited as a par gone of genuine conservative virtue. but what she will be most remembered for, the essential cause from which she never wavered from providing iron strength and absolute devotion to her husband. ♪ ♪ all my days our love is here to stay ♪ ♪ together we're going a long,
long way ♪ >> and they did go a long, long way. nancy reagan dead today at 94. let's bring in abc news chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. good morning to you. can you tell us more about the influence she had within the republican party especially in these later years and at this moment now where the republican party is in such turmoil. >> the timing is just incredible, dan. nancy reagan as you heard cecilia refer to in her story was often controversial as first lady and fought with some of reagan's top advisers and she was the guardian of ronald reagan, above all things, jealously protecting him from anybody who she saw that would in any way cause him any trouble at all.
in the years since he died she became the protector of the ronald reagan legacy and when you think of the towering figure that reagan is and has been in this party. this is really over the last several decades become the party of lincoln and the party of ronald reagan. and it was nancy reagan who carried that flame, kept that flame lit every presidential election cycle, the republican candidates for president would come out to the reagan library. there would be, you know, there would be a debate there invited personally by nancy reagan. in the years in between the presidential election years, being invited to come and give a speech at the reagan library at the invitation of nancy reagan was a sign of aformation.
she was the guardian of that legacy and the idea that she is dying on this day, just as the republican party is facing its greatest crisis since abraham lincoln accepted the nomination in 1960 is quite remarkable. >> for what do you think she will be most remembered? many people of our generation remember just saying no. but for what do you think she'll be most remembered by history? >> well, i think she'll be remembered as the one who carried the flame of ronald reagan that guarded his legacy, that kept his legacy alive. she was an active first lady, obviously the just say no campaign was the thing she became known for most as first lady. but she remained a major figure long after ronald reagan left the white house. as he left the white house, obviously struggling with
alzheimer's. she was the one who was the public face of the reagan legacy of ronald reagan himself and the way she handled his struggle with alzheimer's in the remaining years of his life when he fell almost completely out of public view and she was the one who spoke for reagan, she was the one who was the guardian of that legacy. >> jon have we heard from her at all or in recent months as the republican party became obsessed with sort of internal battles over the role of donald trump and is there anything that she said in the past that would allow us to extrapolate to what her opinion of this situation might be? >> we had not heard from her, you know, this last debate at the reagan library earlier on in this crazy primary cycle, it was once again the invitation from nancy reagan but in poor health
she was not present. she's been struggling in terms of her health. it's one of the questions that i know i have had and so many people have had, what would reagan think of what was going on here? what is nancy reagan thinking about what is happening to this party? ultimately to the legacy of ronald reagan and unfortunately 94 years old we did not hear from her in her final months. >> stand by. i want to bring in a special correspondent for vanity fair. he has written about ronald reagan and nancy reagan and their relationship. bob, are you with us? >> yes. >> thank you for joining us by the phone. bring us a little bit if you will into the emotional core of her relationship with ronald reagan. >> well, nancy loved ronald
reagan with her whole being. you know, this was a total meeting of the minds and it was a romantic relationship that worked on every level. that love gave him the confidence and support and optimism really after his mother, she was definitely the person who he was closest to by far. and they were very much a team. starting when they married in 1952 and were both out of work actors 14 years later, he was governor. she paved the way in so many ways. she sought out the wives of powerful republicans in california who made his run for governor possible. she was thought of as behind the scenes of the personnel director of every reagan operation
campaign. including in the white house. she made sure he had good people around him and when they weren't good she was the one who had to sort of organize their exit because ronald reagan didn't like to fire anybody. he was too nice a guy. one can not exaggerate how important her role was as first lady. >> it's hard to forget that moment where he's facing the press and she feeds him the line and he repeat it. i just want to read here a tweet from their son. he says i'm saddened by the passing of my step mother, she is once again with the man she loved. god bless. can you give us a sense of the impact that ronald reagan's health troubles, his struggles with alzheimer's disease had on his wife nancy reagan?
>> she was devastated by the news but she described to me when he was told by the doctor he definitely had alzheimer's how he went right to his desk and wrote that beautiful let tore the american people. she never left his side. she would come to new york when he was still not so bad for a day or two and she called him every night at 10:00 new york time. in the middle of a dinner party she would call him. once he really took a fall at age 90 and then deteriorated much more, she basically never left the house. she went to lunch up at bel air hotel around the corner and couldn't wait to get home to him. i think patty davis, their daughter confirmed that with nancy at home just before he died he had been in a coma and he opened his eyes and looked at
nancy and it was like he was saying goodbye. it's one of these love stories that's almost unbelievable. but it's really true. the whole thing is true. >> an incredible love story and it played out in public for so many years. we have just a moment left. i wonder if you might comment a bit on what jon karl was talking about a moment ago, about what nancy reagan might think about what's happening right now in the republican party and the internal warfare that's erupted over donald trump? >> i think she would be appalled. we spoke just last week but it was a brief talk and didn't get around to talking about this. she was very politically aware and always favored the more pragmatic and dignified kind of leaders, politicians like james baker. these were her allies in the white house. ronald reagan had the 11th command which is republicans do
not make ill of each other. i think what's going on, this kind of circus i can't see pleasing her. you know, she always took the high road and so did her husband. i regret that i wasn't able to actually get her opinion on what's going on, but i assume she wasn't too thrilled. >> yeah. i think you are not alone in that assumption. bob, i want to thank you for your insight and expertise on this day when we are marking the passing of the former first lady nancy reagan, she died at age 94. born on july 6th, 1921. she had been living in bel air, california and she had been in failing health in recent years. our thanks again to bob and jon karl. we will be tracking this story all day right here on abc news.