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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  October 16, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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past anything that stands in its way. ...well almost anything. leave no room behind with xfi pods. simple. easy. awesome. click or visit a retail store today. welcome to "inside politics". the secretary of state meets with the saudi king and the crowned prince as the turkey president says a place has been scrubbed and repainted. and a debate tonight. polling shows a democrat behind despite nonstop national
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attention and gang busters fund raising. the arizona race is critical also. >> we were in harm's way. she was protesting our troops in a pink tutu. >> martha has chose ton run a campaign based on snanasty smea. i expect you'll see more of that this evening. one adviser calls this the most consequential decision of donald trump's presidency. how to respond to the situation with jamal khashoggi. he was last seen alive two weeks ago entering the saudi embassy in turkey. the saudi regime now preparing a report that says he was killed while under, quote, an interrogation that went wrong. the secretary of state, mike pompeo, all smiles meeting today in riyadh with the saudi king, the crowned prince and the foreign minister. pompeo and the prince who was the defactor ruler reaffirming
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the strong and old alliance between the united states and saudi arabia. pompeo spoke with the president after those meetings. the white house says what happens next depends on what pompeo was told, and what the saudi regime does to explain what happened. but key members of the republican senate say they are already planning action. >> i can tell you that a separate branch of government that i belong to, the senate, congress, i believe will act in a bipartisan way. this will alter the relationship between the united states and saudi arabia for the foreseeable future. mitch mcconnell, on the other hand, taking a more cautious rout. >> i think it's good the president sent the secretary of state out to talk to the king. we need to find out what happened before deciding what kind of response is appropriate. >> you think there will be some type of response that the allegations are true? >> i can't imagine there won't be. i think we need to find out what
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happened. >> geoff zeleny joins us life from the white house. take us inside the thinking as the president heard from secretary pompeo. what's next? >> reporter: there's no question that despite what else the president is trying to focus on attention on today, this is a diplomatic crisis. and the president is agitated by the news coverage of this. he's agitated by the rush to judgment on this. he is having a phone call. he had one earlier this morning with his secretary of state who he dispatched to the region. he was scheduled to have lunch with him earlier today. that was the only thing that was on the week ahead schedule. there are no public events on the president's schedule. i'm told he's in the residence of the white house watching television, talking on the phone with his advisers on other matters. he is clearly agitated about the saudi arabian news coverage. in a tweet he sent out this morning saying i do not have any business interests in saudi arabia. i do not have any involvement in that. that is something that is not necessarily 100 % accurate.
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he has talked repeatedly about how saudi investors have invested in some of his apartments and other matters here. clearly the president unnerved by this. they're not sure where this is going from here. they're waiting for the saudi government to issue the report which is being -- eyes are rolling across washington and around the world. the president -- we're not scheduled to hear from him today. republicans on capitol hill and others are talking about this cloudil loudly. you mentioned the smiles. that's being criticized. the secretary of state smiling as he walked into that meeting. most people in washington certainly do not think this is a laughing or smiling matter. >> not in the least. appreciate the fresh reporting. in studio to share their incites, jula panel. the president is upset.
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what is he upset at? is it not a basic threshold minimalist expectation that one would expect the president of the united states to express more outrage and hold out the possibility of a stronger punishment given he knows more than we do, and what we know is pretty shocking? >> we've seen this before. this president does not make it a point to go out and make an affirmative statement about human rights or basic conduct that he expects united states allies and adversaries to carry out. he didn't do that in case. he went on the denial that he said was given to him by the king, the denial given to jared kushner by the crowned prince who is being held responsible for whatever it was that did happen here. and i suppose it's possible that having gone out affirmatively and basically given the benefit of the doubt to the saudis here, he feels now they're going to admit that, in fact, something did happen, and this man was
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killed, and whether it was premeditated or not, they were responsible for it. he feels he has sort of vouched for a regime that is going to come forward and say it did something wrong. normally a president would in a situation like this, withhold judgment. like you heard mitch mcconnell do. we need to know what happened, but this is of grave concern. people will pay consequences for what's happened here, and having not done that on the front end, i think he feels he's being unfairly criticized. this is a role we expect the president to play in this country, no matter the facts. that you affirmatively lay out the united states values, how we expect to be treated, whether citizens of the united states or not, and then you say show us the evidence of what happened. >> i don't think it's a bar that any president should not expect to think you should stand up for values, but the president also has been dismissive of he's not a citizen. it happened over there, not here. why should i care? we've seen this before. >> i think it's not just dealing
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with this on the front end. it's dealing with it in the pregame. this situation is unusual, but the dynamics at play here have been the dynamics can saudi arabia for decades. this is a country that's an ally, but it has -- presidents have always had to walk this fine line between the relationship, the productive relationship with saudi arabia and the human rights abuses. the country's support for radical islamic terrorism, things like that. so this is not a new situation. but clearly at the front end when they were building this new relationship with the new leader when they were going to saudi arabia for this splashy tour, they did not -- the president and his team did not lay out the conditions. like yes, we want to have a new relationship with you, but there are certain things you can do not. you cannot embarrass us. you cannot put us in these kinds of situations. that diplomatic work was not done at the front end. now he finds himself in not only a difficult situation but pretty embarrassing situation for him and his foreign policy team.
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>> and he's made it more embarrassing by floating up new theories about rogue killers. it almost sounds like he's learning about this information as the rest of the american public is even though he's the head of the executive branch. he has always intelligence assets at his disposal. it sounds like he knows nothing more than a week after this event happened. it sounds like he's learning about this through the newspapers and media like the rest of us. that does not make him seem like the commander in chief in charge of the situation. it sounds like he's sort of trying to figure out what's happening and he's been saying for the last week, you know, we're going to get to the bottom of this and find out what happened. nobody knows what's happened. and the american intelligence community is famed as the best in the world. the president has that at his dispos disposal. he could get access to all this information. it doesn't appear if he has or hasn't. instead, he's spreading out sort of out of left field ideas about rogue killers or a mistake that may have happened.
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>> which is angering key members of congress, not as much because what the saudis are accused of is beyond reprehensible. kidnapping, essentially, interrogating and killing and dismembering a journalist. he's a human being. whether good or bad, a human being. kidnapping, torturing, killing, dismembering and lying to the world is what they're accused of. the president has not taken a firm stand. listen to lindsey graham who on most issues of late is with the president and has defended the president. listen to what he says here. not just that the president has to do more. listen to how far he goes. >> nothing happens in saudi arabia. this guy is a wrecking ball. he had this guy murdered in a consulate in turkey. to expect me to ignore it, i feel used and abused. i was on the floor every time defending saudi arabia. there's a difference between a country and individual. the mbs is toxic.
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he can never be a world leader on the stage. >> what does the president do? >> what i would do, i know what i'm going to do. i'm going to sanction the hell out of saudi arabia. >> the key part, the mbs figure is toxic. he can never be a world leader on the world stage. his father is 82 and not in great health. the prince runs the show. northeast his early 30s. lindsey graham is saying for a new relationship in the new chapter, mbs has to go. >> senator graham is a hawk. he defended what the president has done in the middle east policy, of which saudi arabia is essentially a fulcrum to what they've been doing over there. you can tell he almost feels personally wronged. you can also tell -- this is an undercurrent on capitol hill for the last year or so. people are uncomfortable with the direction that mbs has gone on certain issues with what he did at the hotel with prominent business leaders and throughout the country and the concern that
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you can't just paper over this if it gets more aggressive. it's gotten more aggressive, and you see lindsey graham feels like he's been almost personally attacked by what has happened and what has taken place because of how often he's defended saudi arabia and how often he's visited the kingdom. i think there's a couple things here. one the rubber is going to meet the road in less than 120 days. when they're talking about sanctions, they sent a letter triggering a 120-day review in the magnitsky act. it allows them to deny travel to specific individuals going up to the highest levels. the president doesn't have to take that action, but he has to respond with the findings in the 120 days. that's the baseline for the sanctions you're looking at right now. there's also the overall relationship with members of congress. saudi arabia has close relations and extreme money ties to just about every corner of this town. and just about every member of congress regardless of party. and when you see those things
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start to fray and people no longer willing to look past things because they're a close ally, that's a significant problem for the country. >> that's a good way to put it. they bought the blinders for years. it's time to drop them, and it would help if it started at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. we'll keep an eye on that. three weeks until election day. what we're learning from new polling on a huge senate race in texas. this place isn't for me.
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that any medicare supplement plan provides. you may choose any doctor that accepts medicare patients. you can even visit a specialist. with this type of plan there are no networks or referrals needed. also, a medicare supplement plan... ...goes with you when you travel anywhere in the u.s. call today for a free guide. ted cruz and beto o'roarke debate tonight. brand new cnn poll numbers suggest the democrat o'roarke needs a breakthrough night to help his odds of engineering an upset. this texas seat is critical. right now we favor republicans to keep the seat in the senate. o'roarke headed into the debate, poll ted cruz at 52%. the incumbent is above 50.
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you always want to be above 50 if you're the incumbent. unlike other races they're running about even among women. that's a problem for the democrat. a democratic candidate needs a gender gap. beto o'roarke leads among latinos. will they return out. independent voters, ted cruz has the lead. the issues debate in this race is interesting. voters who say immigration is a top issue, overwhelmingly for cruz. voters who list economy at the top of their list, for cruz. voters who say health care is number one are going by a huge margin for o'roarke. headed into the debate, if democrats are going to regain control of the senate, they would really love that one. right now we lean it red. high stakes debate. you see the tension playing out in the campaign ads as well. you may have seen some of the negative attack ads seeking to scare you about what they're trying to do for the state.
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we see each other not has democrats or republicans but as texans, americans, human beings. there's no stopping us. that's why i'm running to represent you and everyone in the state of texas. >> 11 times, deported 20 times. but beto o'roarke said crossing the border illegally should not be a crime and said he's, quote, open to abolishing i.c.e. we need a leader to stop the chaos at the border. >> this one gets tons of attention because ted cruz ran for president. liberals don't like cruz -- republicans don't like ted cruz, but all the money, all the attention, you look at the polling numbers and it looks like three weeks out texas is texas. that's not a huge margin phenomenon cruz, but he's ahead. >> one of the interesting things was talking to people on both sides of this on the national level saying if we're spending money, if you're a republican and you're a national group spending money in texas, you have a lot bigger problems than whether you're going to win
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north dakota or hold tennessee. like you're in a world of hurt. that seems to line up. same on the democratic side. if the national party is spending in texas. texas doesn't align like that despite other groups that have tried to turn it blue. it's not there yet, and we don't know when it's going to be there. i continue to think -- i know everybody is focussed on this and the candidates, and they're two candidates to pay attention. whether it's o'roarke's money or the enthusiasm he's generating in pockets of the state, the real fallout of this, the repercussions are house races. i think that's what you need to pay attention to here. what this does for texas seven, in texas 32. if democrats in house races can ride those coat tails. >> more democratic turnout statewide helps in the suburbs of dallas. where you find more democratic suburban voters. democrats are happy to have a competitive race. they think it gets more people
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on the midterm playing field. there's so much money going into this race. some democrats are saying beto, if you can't move the numbers, you should share your money. he said no. he said folks contributed to this race because they want us to win this race. if they want to contribute to another campaign, they can do that. no. we will spare no expense. a lot of democrats are saying you're getting tens of millions of dollars. send some of this elsewhere. he says no. >> right. there are a lot of grumbling democrats and democratic voters. the democratic grass roots are excited about the race. it's texas, ted cruz. it's a dynamic candidate. he skateboards into rallies. what's not to love. right? but within the party there are these grumblings. he's getting a lot of money. part of that is rooted in the idea that it looks like he can't win, but there's a rumor or sense that he has higher ambitions. even if he doesn't win, what's he doing with all this money? is he going to make a play in
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2020? everybody else is running for president. why not this guy who captured this attention? that's what a lot of democrats in washington and democrats working on other races that are in more of a tossup position don't like. >> you see ted cruz in the ad playing up the immigration issue. will be saying i'll reach out to the middle. ted cruz says no. >> i think democratic turnout is going to be very, very high in november. now, the good news in texas is that there are a lot more conservatives than liberals. typically in texas a democrat in a general election pretends to run to the middle and be moderate. that's not happening in this race. beto o'roarke is running hard left. he's running like bernie sanders or elizabeth warren. >> not exactly gregg branson texas. i'll go on a limb there. >> the president is heading there next week for cruz. it's interesting he initially
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said he wanted the largest venue he could get. he's going to the energy arena. that holds 10,000 people. trump likes a big overflow to say look how crowded it is. the rallies are much more about donald trump than they are about any of the republican candidates who he has been campaigning for, but to cruz's point, just then, he needs to juice the republican enthusiasm and the energy in the conservative movement to really turn out for him. this race shouldn't by all rights be as tight as it is given that it's texas. beto o'roarke should not have had as much success as he's had. if republicans can't get their people out and energize ahead of the midterms, then ted cruz could have an unanticipated problem. it looks like there's not enough structurally for democrats to make the sale with o'roarke. but democrats are energized. and the fact that beto o'roarke has not tried to attach to the middle as built the momentum. cruz has to tack to his right
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and make sure he gets the people out as well. >> is there any greater irony on the president's schedule. >> you remember lying ted. he has new nicknames today. a couple years ago it was lying ted, and they were going at it. cruz hit at it and said trump was a pathological liar. there was an intense battle between trump and cruz back in 2016. >> so long ago. >> now they're trying to make up. >> it's worth noting with the rallies that there is a countereffect. it also gets democrats. probably not enough for o'roarke. might be enough in the districts you're talking about. >> again, to the money question, a lot of democrats grumbling outside the state. if he spends it smartly within the state and helps with the voter i.d. and turnout, maybe people will say thank you for the help. it's a fun one to watch. >> not just the debate tonight. watch cnn town hall this thursday at 7:00 p.m. with beto
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o'roarke. cruz declined to attend. he was invited. up next, the federal government running up the credit bill. that's the opposite of what the president promised to do. ad, and back pain made it hard to sleep and get up on time. then i found aleve pm. the only one to combine a safe sleep aid, plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. i'm back. aleve pm for a better am. ♪ when the moon hits your eye ♪ like a big pizza pie ♪ that's amore ♪when the world seems to shine ♪like you've had too much wine ♪ that's amore ♪ bells will ring ♪ ting a ling a ling ♪ ting a ling a ling more to love. applebee's new neighborhood pastas. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. heyi'm craving somethingkin! we're missing. the ceramides in cerave. they help restore my natural barrier,
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17% from 2017. watchdogs warned this would happen after the tax cuts. getting the number down is one of the many things the president promised to do if he won the election. >> you put forward a balanced budget, your first budget or will it take a couple years? >> it will take fairly quickly and it can be done. >> fairly quickly, and it has been done. that's what candidate trump said. fiscal conservative is out the window where the white house is controlled by fiscal conservatives. we have a closer look at all the new red ink. >> do deficits matter in washington anymore? the federal government is racking up the bills spending so much more than it takes it. it's running the largest budget deficit in six years. up 17% this year to $779 billion. the highest since 2012. that's when the country was spending big to stimulate a
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struggling economy. john, 2018 is different. the economy is strong and growing. unemployment very low. typically deficits shrink during boom times as the government collects more taxes from taxpayers. but thanks to tax reform, the u.s. is spending more than it takes in. spending rose 3% because of higher interest payments on debt and more defense spending. tax revenue failed to keep up thanks to tax cuts. government revenue was flat. corporate tax collection, taxes from companies fell 22%. or $76 billion. the white house defends the tax cuts. they say it's boosting economic growth which will eventually increase tax revenue. the treasury secretary steven mnuchin said the white house will eventually cut wasteful spending to make up the difference. that makes progressives nervous who fear it likely means social security and health care cuts. and finally deficits, of course, are not free. someone has to lend uncle sam the money to leave beyond its means, and who is the largest foreign holder of u.s. debt?
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china. the u.s. is currently embroiled in a trade war with its largest foreign creditor. john? >> christine romans with the numbers. i just posed the question she asked at the beginning. does it matter anymore? it used to be a big republican argument against democrats. it was a big donald trump argument when he was a businessman against barack obama. what is going on in washington? >> look, it's going to matter a lot when democrats control any of the branches of government again. that's when republicans are really going to focus on the issue. it's a winning political battle for them. >> blame democrats for big spending? >> this is why it's happening. this is exactly it. that's when it comes up. it becomes a big electoral talking point. christine laid out the details of it. when you major increases in defense spending plus you have increases on domestic programs for democrats and the tax cuts, this is what's going to happen. the big question now is what happens next? we're going to hear cut waste,
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fraud and abuse. that's a garbage line everybody repeats. mitch mcconnell said it today. we're going to go after entitlement or safety net programs. >> let's listen to that. there's a key problem with that. but mitch mcconnell is right. if you want to shrink deficits, bring democrats to the table and go where the big money is. >> it's disturbing, and it's driven by the three big entitlement programs that are popular, medicare, social security and medicaid. that's 70%. hopefully at some point we'll get serious about this. we haven't been yet. >> we haven't been yet. the problem for the republican leader, paul line wryan is leav. the problem for republicans is this guy. we don't have that -- >> every republican wants to do
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a big number on social security. they want to do it on medicare and medicaid. and we can't do that. >> save medicare, medicaid, and social security without cuts. have to do it. get rid of the fraud. get rid of the waste and abuse, but save it. >> so, i don't assume that now heading into his reelection campaign where he wants older voters, that guy is going to change and say let's go social security and medicare. >> he hadn't changed and he's saying the same thing on the campaign trail. a couple weeks ago he said republicans are not going to touch medicare. i was the only republican in the primaries who said i was not going to do anything about medicare. i'm going to save your medicare and social security. we've seen republicans follow trump on immigration and all kinds of different issues. some of the foreign policy things. they wanted to show how close they are to him. now that he's breaking on entitlements, no one is speaking up. we've seen mitch mcconnell in that interview basically go as
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far as any republican has in saying hopefully we'll get serious about this at some point but not saying the reason they're not serious about it or not talking about it anymore is because the president said this is not something he's serious about. he wants to show voters that he's going to spend money on things that they care about and cutting spending is not one of his priorities. it's not something he campaigned on. it's not something he's leading the republican party toward doing. >> the president shifted the priorities of the republican party in a lot of different areas. this is another example. i mean, when you poll republican voters, there's some evidence they still list fiscal responsibility as a top issue, but it's not the top issue. and this is trump's republican party. so there's no reason if you're a republican in the house or the senate you know that the president has a lock on the base of that party which is your base too. and it doesn't make sense politically to go up against him. >> they're not going to do painful difficult things if they can get away with it. if the voters don't hold them
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topping our political radar, president trump gloating and name calling after winning a court battle against stormy daniels who claims she had an affair with him years ago and was paid to keep it a secret. last year a judge threw out a defamation suit. the president took to twitter
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and went after daniels saying now i can go after horse face and her third rate lawyer. a reference to michael avenatti. the government says it is still holding 245 kids separated from their parents under the president's policy. the administration put it in place earlier this year. 175 are children whose parents have been deported. just 18 still in the process now of being reunited. the president adding $18.1 million last quarter just last quarter, to his already historic reelection haul. he's now raised more than 185 million. the president has two years to raise more before he takes on whomever the democrats decide to nominate in 2020.
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>> i hope she would be one of the people that would get through the process. it's going to be a long process for the democrats. >> i was going to talk about that, but maybe i'll come back to it. what is it about this president, if, if he decides he doesn't want us talking about saudi arabia or whatever, and decides he wants to gloat about winning against stormy daniels in court, why does he have to criticize her appearance? what is it about him? >> i think it's -- his ego is wounded by her. she talked about his anatomy in an unflattering way in her book. he feels like she lost. the president turns to these miss onm types of phrases. you have to remember he's the president of the united states and you have americans of all walks of life and ages seeing and listening to these attacks.
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he doesn't care. this is the sort of thing that comes naturally for him. >> it will be interesting three weeks from tonight to watch the key races in the suburbs and see if the president finally does pay a price. we'll see. suburban women will be the story of the election. we'll see if it plays up. next, virginia key house race. she's not on the ballot. why did pelosi's name keep coming up? >> i question if he knows what democrat he's running against. i am not the democrat who supported single payer. i am not pelosi, and i am not barack obama. supplemental insur. medicare is great, but it doesn't cover everything - only about 80% of your part b medicare costs, which means you may have to pay for the rest. that's where medicare supplement insurance comes in: to help pay for some of what medicare doesn't. learn how an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by united healthcare insurance company
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trail. for a glimpse at two fiery debates in races critical for control of the house and senate.
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david brat tried to label a democrat, abigail spanberger, he kept calling her a pelosi supporter. and in arizona, republican martha mcsally traded remarks. this 2003 cinema radio interview. the host asked if she would oppose him -- >> as an individual if i want to fight in the taliban army, guy over there. i'm fighting for the taliban. that's a personal decision. >> i don't care if you go do that. go ahead. i don't want to debate any kind of -- i don't know, fiscal opportunity for you. i'm interested in talking about the war, specifically i'm interested in talking about opposition to the war. >> mcsally, a veteran combat pilot, took that and accused sin sinema of freezen in. >> i'm going to ask if you're
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going to apologize to me to say it's okay to commit treason. she owes us an apology. >> martha has chosen to engage in ridiculous attacks and smear my campaign. he's choosing to cut and not share the full picture. >> it's a close race. it's competitive. the democrat in some polls is ahead. republicans think it's moving their way at the end. she didn't give a direct answer. she did say in the interview, i'm okay with that. >> look, two things. one, to your point, you talked to republicans. you asked them if they would be in the position they're in right now with the numbers they're seeing a year ago, they would be high fiving one another. it doesn't mean the race is over. it's in a position. the second, what was the
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self-scrub that sinema's team did? this stuff dropping is a problem. clearly the mcsally team believes, especiall especially background, they're going to try to force her to answer this for the next 20 days in the hopes to get them closer to where they are. >> impossible, really. i mean, somebody will dispute this out there on the internet, but almost impossible for the democrats to somehow take control of the senate without flipping that race. two female house members running against each other. the first time often have a hiccup. one of them is going to win here. >> democrats have to have a perfect record in order to take over the senate. they can't have all of these errors. they have to pick up arizona. they have to pick up nevada. they have to pick up all the areas where things are somewhat close, and they also have to pick up some of the states where right now they're running behind. and that's what makes these
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types of issues more difficult for democrats. the fact that some of these late stage october surprises are starting to drop, and republicans are seizing on it. they're not running on tax cuts. they're running on cultural issues. if they get a gift like this, old tape of a democrat saying something that's not politically sustainable, they're going to seize on it. you'll see a bunch of ads. they have plenty of money to do it. >> to that other race, dave brat versus abigail spanberger. if you don't like to stay up until 4 a.m. on election night, that's an early one. republicans are trying to keep their losses in virginia to one seat, the seat across the potomac river. if they lose that, it moves to rural areas where the president and the republican party is stronger. if dave brat loses, what does it tell us? >> i think it tells us we may be in for a democratic wave. this is one of those seats
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that's worth watching. it's a traditionally republican district. trump won it by a decent margin. i was down there a couple weeks ago. and the democratic energy, particularly in the richmond suburbs, particularly among the suburban women, like a broken record, is palpable. he's an attractive candidate. it will be interesting to see how that one plays out. that's the kind of thing that i think we'll be hearing a lot about as the night goes on when people are looking for early signs of whether democrats will take the house and if they do, how big the wave is. >> i still vote you should all stay with us for coffee, until 4 a.m. that will be an early one we'll watch. up next, mad dog mattis a democrat? and before we go to break, not sure johnny cash would approve, but here's a democrat who wants to strum his way to washington. ♪ running for congress, you know
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but how do i know if i'm i'm getting a good deal? i tell truecar my zip and which car i want and truecar shows the range of prices people in my area actually paid for the same car so i know if i'm getting a great price. this is how car buying was always meant to be. this is truecar. welcome back. the defense secretary, a pretty smart guy, says he's not going to try to read into the boss's answer. the president suggested james
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mattis might leave his post at the pentagon. when asked what he thinks, mattis says not too much. >> nothing at all. i am on a team. we have never talked about me leaving. as you can see right here, we're on our way. just continued doing our job. >> bill belichick, defense secretary. the career military man might be a democrat was also said. >> are you a democrat? >> you know, we're all built on our formative experiences. when i was 18 i joined the marine corps. in the u.s. military we are proudly apolitical. i've never registered for any political party. >> we're onto cincinnati. >> we've onto cincinnati. you have to give him credit.
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you're an accomplished member of the armed services for a long time. now you're the defense secretary. you have a distinguished career and your boss is dumping on you and you just be cool. >> he knew what he signed up for. right? everyone -- i'm sure he did not miss the 2016 campaign. it seemed pretty hard to miss. i think everyone in these positions made a certain calculation about what they want to get done, and knew what they would -- that they would have to take some incoming. >> this has been the dynamic between them from the beginning. when trump introduced him at the rally in north carolina, and he called him mad dog. he revelled in that nickname. you could tell even then the body language, the actual language of jim mattis was stand offish. he's a military guy. he spent his life in the military. he is apolitical. we've never heard him express an opinion about any issue that i'm aware of. so he's really more than other members of this cabinet, tried to hold that at an arm's length. we soo the cabinet meetings
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where everyone is raising trump. mattis sits there stoically and does his thing. >> it can be hard when the president says you're a democrat and might be leaving. or as the president says i know a lot more about this guy, about everything. >> is it true, general mattis said to you, the reason for nato and the reason for all these alliances is to prevent world war iii? >> no, it's not true. frankly, i like general mattis. i think i know more about it than he does, and i know more about it from the standpoint of fairness. that i can tell you. >> he knows more about it? >> i think if anything drives mattis out, it will be that. the idea the president is overruling him, thinks he knows better even though mattis as a long history and has been studying these things for decades. at the end he said i'm president, you're not. if he takes that attitude to
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secretary mattis, he may hit the exits. >> good to clear that up. remember, he's just doing his job. okay. thank you for joining us "inside politics today". subscribe to our podcast. we have a fun time there. thank you for joining us. wolf starts right now. hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. in washington. thank you for joining us. we begin with a very high stakes mystery of the missing journalist. starting to unravel. we're now learning of a stunning shift from saudi arabia. sources telling cnn, the country is now willing to admit that the washington post contributor jamal khashoggi was killed inside the saudi consulate in turkey, framing it as an interrogation gone wrong. the big question now, how will president trump respond? one senior adviser tells cnn how president trump handles the saudi crisis may be the most


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