tv Inside Politics CNN October 5, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT
counts on heavy support from democrats because of her position on several issues with women's rights and health care as well. kate? >> the pressure is intense and mounting. thank you so much. appreciate it. thank you all so much for jo joining us on this day. dana bash and inside politics starts now. >> thank you so much for joining inside politics. john king is off today. the drama could not be any higher on capitol hill. senators voted to 49 to advance the nomination of brett kavanaugh. that is as slim of a majority and a margin as you can get in the united states senate. the final vote is expected to be held at some point tomorrow. it is not over yet. all eyes are on three senators who voted yes today on that
procedural measure. susan collins and jeff flake and democrat, joe manchin, any whom can vote the other way when it comes to the actual vote. another hold out on your screen is republican senator lisa murkowski who voted no and is expected to stay that way for the final vote. senator collins told reporters that she won't announce her final vote on the nomination until 3:00 eastern today. >> i will be voting yes on proceeding to the final confirmation vote and i will announce my exceptions on how to vote later today. >> have you made your mind up, senator, on your final vote? is it conceivable your votes
could be different? senator, have you made your final vote? is your mind made up? >> to give you a sense of the intensity surrounding the senators. protesters on the heels of senator collins. today's vote came after weeks of raw emotion and shocking allegations and confrontations and delays. i want to get it phil mattingly and jeff who covered it from the start. you have new reporting on senator murkowski's thinking. >> she was the big news of that procedural vote, deciding to vote no and standing up quietly saying no and sitting back down. she just told reporters she will be a no for the final vote as
well. she said brett kavanaugh is not the right man and this is one of the toughest decisions she ever had to make. a lot of people have been watching the votes for the senators and what are the politics and the polling and what is it going to mean for their reelection. these senators have been grappling with this in a very, very difficult way over the course of the last couple of weeks and have gone back and forth and read fbi investigations and heard from constituents and met with sexual assault survivors. this is a complex issue. this is why it is a complex vote. while we know that senator murkowski is a no and they did get the votes to move it forward, it's possible that senators collins, flake, and manchin could flip to no at the final vote. as of late yesterday, i was approaching this possibility with senior republican stabbers who scoffed on the idea.
how could you vote yes to advance and no to confirm. the politics of it are extremely nasty and it wouldn't play out well. set your decision and go forward. yet here we are 24 hours later is what people are weighing right now. the key thing that watch as i spoke to john cornyn is susan collins. what she said will go a long way to dictating the vote. the whip and the second ranking republican said senator collins has not shared the information of what she is going to say with anyone in leadership. >> she doesn't know. that is entire possible. thank you so much. underscoring what phil reported that lisa murkowski was a no and voted against her party and is now making clear that that is a full no. she is voting no on the confirmation of brett kavanaugh. on that note, let's go straight to jeff at the white house. the president was watching as the vote was taking place?
>> he was. he doesn't watch many procedural votes in the senate, but he was watching like all of washington and much of the country as well. watching that procedural vote. we have not heard from the president. that is interesting as well. for as loud and chaotic as things are in the halls of the senate and the halls of the senate office building, it is very quiet here today. he congratulated the senate for moving this forward, but his tone has changed from the week. earlier this week at the campaign rally in mississippi, he was mocking christine blasey ford throughout the rally in minnesota. he barely talked about judge kavanaugh. he said he hopes the senate confirms them, but he is not saying much. he wants the confirmation to happen and he plans to use this regardless of what happens.
if judge kavanaugh is confirmed or not, the republicans believe this is a weapon for them. democrats believe it is as well. the president doesn't have any publicity events and his silence is interesting. he is a bystander in this process. if the judge is confirmed and becomes justice kavanaugh, this will be a monumental development in the trump presidency. having two key appointments to the supreme court. as of now, dana, it's out of his control and he cannot call senators and sway them. he is watching like everyone else what is going to happen on capitol hill. >> major legacy moment that he has no control over. so well put. here with me to share their reporting and insights, karen is "the washington post" reporter and gloria borger and mary catherine with the federalist.
hello. let's start where phil left off. we have three republican yeses this morning. the question is -- two republican yeses and one democratic yes. the question about whether or not any of them will switch. >> well, i think we don't know definitively the answer to that. i would put money on flake not switching because we know he voted for the nomination in committee and he was trying to find a way to get to yes all along. he was one of the people who called for this so you could have an fbi report. it would surprise me if manchin switched. i don't think as a democrat, democrats would not want him to be the decisive vote, but it was a clear sign as a democrat that he voted yes today and i think collins, we really don't know. >> talk to me from the
perspective of conservatives and what the real implication is politically speaking, in particular, collins. jeff flake is retiring and susan collins right now, she is really getting it from all sides. she represents a blue state and has the key vote that conservatives are really hoping she will deliver. >> here state matters deeply and it is different than the conservative base. she has voted consistently in the past. voted republican nominees. that would have to be a high bar to say no. this past few weeks has been contentious and emotional and the moment of me too and the facts of the case. what jeff flake said and
possibly collins may be taking the same tack is i want to experience this moment with everyone and acknowledge pain and i also want to examine what is happening with this accusation. the remains know contemporaneous corroboration of the party or the act or the alleged assault and flake has noted this is not enough for me. personally it would not be enough for me. to prove a negative from 35 years ago that you were not at a party of a location, date, and uncertain guest list. none of us could meet it and not one that i think should be enshrined from either party, man or woman. that's tough. >> that's not really the standard that they have been using to judge this. lisa murkowski said she department make it about that. she made it about the court and what's going on with the court. kavanaugh will bring with him this scandal. it doesn't disappear if he gets
confirmed. the controversy will continue to follow him and after the hearing, there were questions about temperament and candor and things like that. it hasn't really been proving or disproving the allegation that seemed to be what is sticking in these people's decisions well ahead of time. >> with respect to most of the people who made up their mines before he testified, many democrats certainly. >> 95%. >> they are movinging on thi on. >> flake mentioned the issue after last week's testimony. he it you wilactually made it cs not going to decide the vote if he thought kavanaugh was too heated. the temperament issue is a real one and explains why brett kavanaugh is trying to cover his tracks, but i'm not convinced that that is enough for collins and murkowski to decide to vote
against him in spite of everything. >> stand by for one second. we have a senator from capitol hill who might be able to shed light on what's going on behind the scenes. chris coons of delaware. thank you so much for joining me. before i ask you what you are hearing, i want to tell you what jeff flake said on msnbc a few moments ago. he said the following. he was asked, are you planning to vote yes tomorrow and his answer was, unless something big changed, i don't see how or what would. anyway, i'm glad we had a better process. we needed a better process. since you are the flake whisperer these days, i will ask you. what are you hearing and what are you sensing about whether or not jeff flake will be consistent? he voted yes on the procedural vote. will he be a yes on final confirmation? >> it's very rare for senators who vote yes on cloture to flip
and vote no on final, but it has happened. there have been recent high profile significant votes where it has happened. i did have a conversation with senator flake this morning. we are friends and we respect each other. a week ago today, i went into the mark up of the senate judiciary committee and he announced he was a yes on kavanaugh. we had a very spirited and divicive and bitter mark up and i still made a respectful plea to him that he consider a week pause and we did have a week long pause for the fbi to investigate. i think that was a positive. i am not satisfied with the scope of that investigation. i agree with senator flake that it was a positive thing that we took this time to further look into the allegations against judge kavanaugh, but obviously there are sharply different views about how that should inform our final vote which is
now scheduled for tomorrow. you using the power of persuasion that you have proven that you have with senator flake one last time on the final vote? >> i have reached out to all three tolins and murkowski and senator flake and i know they are getting input from absolutely everywhere. one of the things you have to do as a senator if you respect someone and hope to continue to work with them is make your best case and help them see how you see it and what the concerns are for the court and the country and for our future. then let them make their final decision. i am pleasantly surprised with senator murkowski. a friend from alaska came down with her daughter and was one of the group that met with her and this has been a hard decision for her. i hoped to have a chance to
speak with senator flake again today, but all of these three are weighing carefully the impact on the future of our country that this vote will happen. >> i'm sure. with regard to senator flake because obviously the two of you have been in such constant communication. is it your sense that he felt that he gave the week and that was appropriate and he said publicly he is satisfied with the report and doesn't think there was corroborating information. that is the biggest factor in his decision or are there other things that he is weighing. temperament which judge kavanaugh tried to address in an op-ed. when you have these private conversations and i don't mean to pry completely, but if i can shed a little light on what the opening is that you potentially
see. >> i'm not going to share what senator flake shares in private conversations, but here are the things i raise when i get an opportunity to speak to a colleague and a friend. i think judge kavanaugh, although from his view defending his honor was justified in being forceful and even irate, i think he crossed a line in terms of the partisan edge he brought to his defense last thursday that a former supreme court justice, john paul stevens, a republican has with drawn his support based on the partisanship i think is significant and there are examples of a lack of candor where questioning in front of the committee and intention between that questioning and what's in the record, there is reason to be concerned about judge kavanaugh's candor and last, i think dr. ford brought forward allegations that were not corroborated because
corroboration was not looked for. you can't find what you don't look for. witnesses that were offered up by debbie ramirez and dr. ford were not questioned and are not part of the record in front of us. it is true, to be fair, that there are no new bombshell allegations in the report and that in a number of ways they confirmed things that were put in front of us by judge kavanaugh in his effort to clear his name, but there is a lot of lack of clarity in this record. i left reading this report yesterday with more questions than answers. >> that's interesting. you mentioned that a friend of yours went to see senator murkowski yesterday and met with some survivors and victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse. she was also asked earlier this week, i believe it was alaska public radio had a question about whether or not she has been a victim of me, too. she had a quick answer, but
effectively it was yes. are you sensing that this is becoming personal for senators like murkowski. >> look, when you try to represent a state when you enter public service, your own personal experiences come with you. i had a remarkable week in terms of the numbers of personal friends, family friends, classmates who have come and shared with me their experiences of sexual assault. it is much easier to understand how it's possible that dr. christine blasey ford didn't come forward for 36 years if you have personal experience and knowledge of what being a sexual assault survivor is like. so i will tell you, this has been a remarkable week for the country. senator murkowski stands out as someone who made that extra effort to listen to her constituents to respect their experience. as a senate we have a challenge going forward to figure out how
we demonstrate that to the country as a whole. for folks who watched this confirmation closely who are survivors, there will be a lot of bitterness if he is confirmed and it's important to find ways to sendai message of support and of acceptance for those who are looking to the senate for more advocacy. >> i'm glad you mentioned that. you answereded it without me even asking you, senator. i'm sure we will be talking a lot soon. thanks for joining us. >> we wait for susan collins to explain her final vote on whether judge kavanaugh should be justice kavanaugh. we will bring that to you live when it happens. we'll be right back. my name is elaine barber, and i'm a
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senators who voted yes who had been on the fence. senator flake, senator collins and one democrat, joe manchin if they continued to vote that way when it came to the vote of brett kavanaugh. jeff flake spoke to reporters and he gave a pretty strong hint that he is going to stick with yes. listen. >> any plan to vote yes tomorrow? >> unless something big changed, i don't see what would. anyway, i'm glad we had a better process. we needed a better process. >> glad we had a better process. he is referring to the fact that he single handed 3 changed the last week by saying there needed to be an fbi investigation he went and read the report. he yesterday said he didn't see anything to corroborate professor ford's accusations. i know your paper has more information about it.
>> senator flake talked to my colleague and said he will be a vote to confirm. that means we are down to two undecided senators. one republican, one democrat. that is lovely and fitting. just to get into a little math, if both of them vote no, this is done. if one votes no, it will stretch out through much of the weekend. he is going his daughter's wedding and they will hold the vote open if they have to. >> the right decision. we all agree on that. >> but the really interesting question, i know we have been saying this is an independent decision, but they are watching each other, too. what will collins do now that murkowski said no? i will eat this mug if joe
manchin says and he may end up being the deciding vote. that's a big deal. >> that's the key. we all love nerd math when we are talking about such a razor thin vote. the key is with flake a yes, murkowski, a firm no. kavanaugh needs one more senator. who is it going to be? >> who is going to be the person to seal the deal one way or the other. to kill the nomination or keep it alive. that's a big decision for joe manchin who according to our reporting does not want to be the person keeping kavanaugh alive single handedly, but he may be if susan collins feels like she has the political capital to do it or wants to do it. i think that's one of the reasons why there is so much uncertainty. i think it's not just about what the individual politics it of a yes or no vote is. it's also about being the
driver. >> they are well aware that the fact that susan collins was sitting next to lisa murkowski talking about this in plain sight after she voted no on the procedural measure. after senator collins voted yes and we have the window that goes when we hear from collins. you never know. >> they were together on voting against health care, if you recall. they are friends. the thing that's interesting about senator murkowski is she doesn't owe the leadership anything. she would not be in the senate if she left it to the leadership. she lost a primary and came back and ran. remember the bracelets she had for natives in alaska so they would know how to write in her name and spell it properly. she never gave up and she won. it wasn't because the leadership
in the senate was behind her. now she has spoken with mcconnell clearly. we know that. somebody at cnn reported that today. you know, i don't think he was ever counting on her. he didn't get her on health care and he knew this was an important issue for her personally. >> the native alaskan issue. >> absolutely. great support. >> when it comes to collins, an important thing to remember is that the process is part of what she is concerned about. it was wise of jeff flake to push for that, even if -- and this is the thing they are upset about. the goal posts were going to be moved and democrats were going to say i didn't expect them to say cover up a sham, but they would say insufficient. it was wise to push for that. it gives susan collins any many others who heart both testimonies something to hang their hats on.
there remains no corroborating evidence. there is more for the fact that devil's trianxiety is a drinking game. he was part of the charge. those things have been investigated. we are investigating high school year books. the process matters in examining whether the facts can change. >> we have a lot more to talk about including, remember we are less than five weeks away from election day. how all this plays into the mid-terms, especially for red state democrats come november. to look at me now, you don't see psoriasis. you see clear skin. you see me. but if you saw me before cosentyx... ♪ i was covered. it was awful. but i didn't give up. i kept fighting. i got clear skin with cosentyx. 3 years and counting.
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brett kavanaugh is one step closer to the u.s. supreme court. the senate plans its final vote on confirmation not until tomorrow at least. we don't expect democrats to go through the process quietly. before today's razor thin 51-49 procedural vote, this from senators feinstein and schumer talking about brett kavanaugh's nomination. >> he would be a deciding vote on the most important issues affecting our country. and every american for generations to come. mr. president, madam president,
based on all the factors we have before us, i do not believe judge kavanaugh has earned this seat. >> i asked my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. why judge kavanaugh? there is no dictate that you have to march blindly forward with a nominee when there are others available. there are many judges who i'm sure conservatives would be happy to have on the court. >> so back with the panel. let's talk raw politics because we are so close to election day and so many of these key decision makers are on the ballot in really red states where the president won by more than double-digits. three in particular. heidi heitkamp, north dakota who decided to vote no. joe donnelly voted no. joe manchin on the procedural
measure voted yes. we will see if he continues that way. all signs point to yes and that that will continue, but in terms of the politics of how this plays out in the senate. the house is a different story, but in the senate, it's very, very fascinating. i want to pull up something that another red state candidate who is a former governor of tennessee is running to make that red seat blue. he earlier in the week said he was not so sure and in this red state, he got booed, he said he would be a yes in the senate. i was prepapaired to say yes prior to dr. ford's coming forward. while the events make it a much closer call and i am missing key pieces of informs that a sitting senator has, i am still a yes. that's a state where there are pockets of urban democratic
votes, but overwhelmingly a very pro republican, pro trump state. the same goes for west virginia. the other states where there are more democrats, north dakota aside, and they are saying it's better for us not to suppress our base and vote no. >> mid-term elections are about turn out and getting your voters motivated. a red state democrat is a lot easier to support kavanaugh. it's a lot easier to say i will be with kavanaugh. and the balance of the senate really does hang in the balance there. so you saw manchin today although his race is not tight, i think it was not really a surprise that he would do this. i don't expect him to change his mind unless he is the deciding vote and the democrats bludgeon him into it. >> the bludgeoning would be epic. >> with a lot of blood, i would
think. >> it's different in the house than the senate. moderate republican women could make the difference in the house. you could end up with republicans losing the house and keeping control of the senate. this could be a big part of it. >> in terms of the politics of this, this is just the beginning. listen to what president trump said last night. >> democrats have been trying to destroy judge brett kavanaugh. all you have to do is look at polls over the last three or four days and it shows that their rage-fuelled resistance is starting to backfire at a level that nobody has ever seen before. >> not so much if you are a democrat trying to get fellow democrats to continue to be enthused. senator chris murphy came off
the senate floor voting no and tweeted this. just walked off the senate floor where i voted no on brett kavanaugh. every republican except one voted yes. i'm upset and i know you are, too, but the silver lining is there is an election in less than five weeks where we can change all this. >> it is very interesting to me always where we do see red state democrat who is don't veer towards trump. jon tester who the president is trying to unseat is voting in montana and so is clair mccaskill and he thought he could unseat her and she is voting no as well. the politics for this especially for democrats is about not upsetting the base so much that they have no chance at all. these are going to be tight races regardless. the base is critical for these people even in red states. >> whoever wins this fight over kavanaugh is potentially
vulnerable during the election. whoever loses the fight will be really, really angry. angry is a great motivator when you are trying to get people to the polls. if he is confirmed, that will be more of a ground saw behind democrats. it's interesting to see how this is before. this is not that personal of an issue, but it's a gut check. >> it could be a win-win for republicans. meaning get them on the court and win because this base ha has been asleep has been open. >> there is a good chance that we are under estimating the extent to which republicans are energized by the fight, win or lose. i think lindsey graham who is largely seen as a guy who works across the aisle and a moderate guy and not a big hero to many on the far right conservative activists, he is a symbol for many who are angry. many are quiet and moderate republicans. that exists and you are starting to see the numbers of donations.
175% up this month over last month in small dollar donations. that's important. it may continue to play out and the important thing to remember is they have diminishing returns for democrats. republicans have ground to make up. if they make that up in the post races, it matters. >> that's a fair point. up next, brett kavanaugh makes one final plea to the public and key senators, hoping to repair his image. of my parents and my grandparents. i was getting all these leaves and i was going back generation after generation. you start to see documents and you see signatures of people that you've never met. i mean, you don't know these people, but you feel like you do. you get connected to them. i wish that i could get into a time machine and go back 100 years, 200 years and just meet these people. being on ancestry just made me feel like i belonged somewhere. discover your story. start searching for free now at ancestry.com.
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still lingering concerns about brett kavanaugh's impartiality over his angry or sharply partisan testimony, but now in an 11th hour op-ed, he is trying to reassure senators that he does have the temperament to be on the supreme court. he wrote i might have been too emotional at times and my tone was sharp and i said a few things i should not have said. you can count on me to be the same judge in person as i had in my 28 year legal career. open minded and dedicated to the constitution and the public good. the source involved in the process said that the op-ed was particularly aimed at placating republican senators like jeff flake and susan collins. they have been worried about that openly so. for their part, democrats and they are saying they don't buy it. saying he could never be impartial on the supreme court.
>> beyond the issue of credibility, judge kavanaugh presented to the senate the bitterest partisan testimony i have ever heard coming from a candidate seeking the senate's approval. i do not see how it's possible for my colleagues to say with perfect confidence that judge kavanaugh has the temperament, independence, and credibility to serve on the united states supreme court. >> cnn joins us now as part of the conversation. what do you make of this op-ed this morning? >> there were a couple of audiences there. not just the senators, but this is the first step on what is likely his own version of a 12-step recovery tour from his reputation. when you think of the impression he left to the legal community to fellow judges, would be fellow supreme court justices, he wanted to come out and say
something right there at the top. i will be independent. i will be neutral. i will not be the man that you saw last week pounding the table and declaring himself part of a partisan fight. i think that's what you saw first off. i want to remind you of where we are at. it looks like the letter may have done the trick for the senators. we will know that tomorrow. beginning shortly after that, he will -- if it goes the way the white house wants it to go, he will be sworn in and join the eight other justices and they will close ranks around him and he will want to continue signalling he will not be the man who sat before the senate judiciary committee. i think he will still vote the way he was always going to vote, consistently conservative, more to the right than anthony kenne kennedy, which will change the law in america. he will stake steps to do almost
the same tone we saw in the op-ed last night. it's interesting that you played the clip of chuck assumer. he w she was accuse of being the go to guy. >> we talked about that and brett kavanaugh is on the federal bench, but it took him a really, really long time to get there for that reason. democrats called him the forest gump of republican politics. >> we think in the lead up to this, everything we heard about kavanaugh is that he was the guy that everybody first thought of for the supreme court when they think of the supreme court. people forget that back at that time it took him three years to get on the circuit court because democrats thought he was too partisan. he brought the demons back up when in his statement, he said two things. one, he accused them of seeking revenge on behalf of the clintons and secondly, he said
the democrats were so bitter about that and those were the two most damaging things he could have said. >> we will talk about other big news. there is big, big news. new jobs numbers and president trump likes what he sees. he should. just weeks before the election. we will talk about it when we get back. welcome to the place where people go to learn about
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and below expectations and the monthly average for the year due partly to hurricane florence. hourly wages rose 2.8%. the president was quick to tweet his approval, touting the lowest jobless numbers since 1969. another number he did mention, 32 days until the mid-term elections. assuming that kavanaugh gets through which is a big assumption now, the job numbers the best they have been in a half century and you don't get a better picture this close to an election for a president. >> this is going into the mid-terms. >> exactly. this is if he gets kavanaugh and he has great jobs numbers and done tax reform and there is no answers on russia investigation until after the election. donald trump can go out there and campaign and say i have two supreme court justices and the
economy is great again. he can go out and campaign. this will have been a terrific week for donald trump. >> the question is, though, what i heard on the campaign trail and some of these tough house races is the feeling of chaos. the frustration with the chaos in washington could overshadow the genuinely good data points. >> it's a real question and the question continues. he will keep tweeting and speaking in public. you can get a win in the trump administration, but you can get a clean win. he tends to muddy the waters. on this, the promises he made and the trump people made, he fights the court and the economy and he delivered on those this week. >> a lot more to discuss coming up on cnn. thank you so much for joining inside politics. wolf is picking up after a quick break.
>> it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. not the right man for the court. that's from the alaska republican senator lisa murkowski who broke with her party to vote against kavanaugh's nomination. she was in the minority today after three other undecided senators all voted yes to move the process forward. republicans jeff flake and susan collins and democrat joe manchin.