tv Smerconish CNN November 19, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PST
>> based on recent developments, including the former president's announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election, and the sitting president's stated intention to be a candidate as well, i have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel. >> trump then responded during a keynote speech that the america first gala at mar-a-lago calling it an appalling announcement and a horrendous abuse of power. >> they want to do bad thing to the greatest movement in the history of our country, but in particular, bad things to me, but i've gotten used to it. lucky. it's lucky. a lot of people wouldn't get used to it so easily. this is a rigged deal, just as the 2020 election was rigged. and we can't let them get away with it. >> so what could all of this mean for the 2024 race and trump's potential leading rival ron desantis? trump has just made his
intention to run official tuesday night, just one week after an underwhelming performance by the republicans in the midterms. one bright spot for the gop, the 20-point landslide victory by governor ron desantis. that despite trump nicknaming him ron desanctimonious. soon, desantis is going to have to decide what he wants to do. he's only 44. the question is whether the next election is his best shot. you know, strike while the iron is hot. ask anybody, they'll cite two examples with crossroads with vastly different backgrounds. barack obama in 2008, chris christie in 2012. remember, many scoffed at the junior senator of illinois when he announced his campaign being elected to the u.s. senate but obama caught lightning in a bottle and the rest is history.
then there's chris christie, the tough talking former governor was elected governor of new jersey in an upcoming campaign against jon corzine in 2009, christie was trump before trump, relishing garden state detractors while christie contemplated running for president in 2012 against obama, his decision, of course, came before the reported hug between the two at the time of superstorm sandy. instead, christie opted to burnish his gubernatorial credentials running up the score in his re-election. christie was re-elected but his fortunes turned. anyone remember the george washington bridge scandal. by his last day in office, his approval rating stood at 14%. and when he did event really run for the presidency in 2016, he placed sixth in the new hampshire primary and dropped out of the race. no doubt, desantis is studying the obama and christie playbooks
in trying to figure out which model matches his current situation. and desantis' calculus is contemplated by trump. early polling showing desantis easily beats trump. desantis leads by 13 percentage point in iowa. 15 points new hampshire, 26 points in florida, 20 points in georgia but that's head to head with trump. and there's no guarantee that trump gets desantis alone one-on-one. trump was able to win because he had a relatively small but loyal group of supporters and very crowded debate stage. i remember being at the reagan library for the second gop debate of the 2016 cycle, there were 15 candidates. so many on that debate stage, that it had to be split in two. the more the merrier for donald trump but not for ron desantis. as he decides whether to run for
president in 2024, desantis has to be worried more than just the size of the field. the only venue for a fight with donald trump is a steel cage. desantis might win the battle and lose the war. there's no guarantee if you beat trump, he embraces you. trump is for trump. not for a party, not for ideology. it's hard to envision desantis vanquishing trump. remember, trump is the guy who crashed presidential protocol and refuses to attend joe biden inauguration. he relishes burning down the house. just k.d. david perdue and kelly loeffler. trump has to decide whether to enter the race and beat him, big ifs only to have trump trash minimum and tank the general election to democrats. maybe the better course is to sit it out and wait for another cycle or maybe he should call
chris christie. joining me now is gary final who writes the political playbook and also this piece, what is your thoughts on how the merrick garland announcement impacts the desantis time line? >> i'm not sure it will. there's a lot going on there and we'll see how that plays out. my understanding, that desantis, for the most part, the time line is when a decision is made, it will be made sometime in the late spring after the next legislative session in florida. i'm not sure this is going to immediately impact that time line. they've got a transition to deal with, an inauguration and sort of the upcoming session in which i would anticipate that the florida legislature will then again be called upon to do things to sort of, you know, help brandish his name. >> you have written that all signs make it appear likely that he does run.
what's the basis for that opinion? >> well, i think item number one, he's sitting on a lot of money. he raised probably what may be a record for a gubernatorial candidate in america. and he basically -- they didn't have to spend all of it. i think that last count, probably 70, to 80 million, and i know there's some questions as to legally how you do all of this and the hurdles and all of that. 70, or 80 million that can be transferred over to a super pac at some point in time. that's item number one. and you know, when we talk about the time line, you were talking about the whole christie/obama thing, understand that he just got re-elected, let's just do the math. we have term limits in florida. so basically, he would leave office in '26. so if he waited he would be out of office for two years. and, you know, the thing about it is having the governorship is a good place to get a lot of
attention. media attention, and other things like that. so, you just wonder how it will be, i mean, the thing about jeb bush who is one of the ones who was vanquished by trump, he'd been out of office for eight years. even though he raised a lot of money for that race, it was sort of like he'd been out of the picture. two years now is obviously different than eight, but it's something to consider. >> he hasn't taken the bait so far, desanctimonious there was no response in kind. does that surprise you? >> no, no. i think we had a story a few days ago in which we quoted somebody, a consultant who said there's sort of a thinking that maybe donald will punch himself out. you know, they're not going to respond. now, you did see that he's taken sort of these -- he's made comments without responding directly to the insults. he's basically said, you know, just the other day, when somebody asked him point blank
about trump, he said, well, you know, i'm going to focus on what i'm doing. but what we're doing for is working, look at the scoreboard. and he said people need to chill out about all of this. so, i think that he, you know, i think that they're sort of at a standpoint where, you know, they've just come off a very large win, to win super majorities in the legislature. there are going to be those who feel that the republican takeover of congress is in no small part to ron desantis because it was his administration that pushed forward a map that netted republicans four seats in congress. now, that map is being litigated and there's those who say it's unconstitutional, but we'll see. but for now, he's got all of these wins that he can point to as he moves into next year. >> you're closer to it, my hunch is he probably wants to keep his powder dry in hope that merrick garland or the special counsel will do some of this work for
him. gary, thank you as always, we appreciate your insights. >> thank you for having me on. >> what are your thoughts? tweet me at smerconish. go to my facebook, twitter. i'll read some throughout. wouldn't it just shut all the rinos and let the nutjobs off if trump picked desantis as his vp? my thought is this, you recall "w" selecting dick cheney. dick cheney was a texas resident, by law -- you can't have both members of the ticket cummings from the same state. hence, the move to wyoming. now, if i'm right, who leaves florida? desantis is a live-long floridian, right? he's from dunedin. and i cannot see trump saying i'm not about to vacate the state to play indicate desantis.
no that never happens. still to come, investigators still stymied in the stabbing deaths of four university of idaho students last weekend. no suspect, no motive. no weapon. i'm going to get the latest from the reporter on the ground. plus, with many americans being penalized for politics in the workplace, should the civil rights act be expanded to include protections for political beliefs? that's what my next guest proposes. and with crime running rampant here in the city of philadelphia, the state house, the pennsylvania state house, has impeached philadelphia district attorney larry krasner for his progressive, some would say soft policies but he did just win re-election. i've got my thoughts. spiking of which, crimes have been spiking across the country at the time that those who have traditionally run for office promising to lock up the bad guys, right, and throw away the key. this week at smerconish.com i'm asking the following, do progressive prosecutors deserve
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so what do we know about the killings at the university of idaho? last sunday afternoon, four students found stabbed to death in an off-campus house under circumstances that remain mysterious. authorities still trying to identify a suspect. they released a map and time line of the victim's movements. two of them, boyfriend and girlfriend, ethan chapin and xana kernodle both were at a party saturday night. the other two, madison mogen and kaylee goncalves, were last seen
at a food truck. at some point in the early morning hours all four stabbed to death likely while asleep say authorities. there was no 911 call until about noon, that was for an unconscious person, not a person with a stab wound. investigators say two surviving roommates have been very cooperative. but it's slow to trickle in. kaylee's sister told abc news about the house. >> there's an inside door and a back sliding door. and i will say there was a padlock on it. my sister was absolutely a door locker. this is a party house. and it's been generations i won't say they were very private with that code. >> joining now to the latest is sally krutsig, a reporter for the idaho statemen where the latest story is how do the things unfold after the idaho killings. there's so much i don't understand, sally, not the least
of which from your time line in the "idaho statemen" help me with this, sunday, the day of the discovery and murders, sunday afternoon word goes out that the community is not at risk. monday, that's repeated. but then on wednesday, there's a backtracking of that very fundamental question of whether, you know, there's somebody on the loose that we need to be fearful of. >> interestingly when they did backtrack it, they used very careful language, which they say we can't say there isn't a threat. so the community is confused about how they can possibly say there's no threat where clearly they have no suspects yet. >> who is jack? what do we know about jack? explain to my audience what i'm making reference to? >> are you referencing the mphoe call with -- i believe --
>> yep, yep. >> we don't know, but what we do know, kaylee made phone calls, late, early that morning, sunday, before she was killed. we don't know the nature of the calls yet. but that would be her boyfriend. that she was making those calls to. >> so, it's in the critical time sequence, right? 2:26 a.m., kaylee starts to call jack. kaylee calls jack six times between 2:26 to 2:42. maddie calls jack. you're saying that's one of their boyfriends that they were calling? >> right, right. and you know, we don't have exact time right now, but the closest we've heard is that the killing happened between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. but that wouldn't have been long before that happened. >> the roommates who were in the house, correct me if i'm wrong, two of them at the time, presumably, sleeping, isn't one of the roommates who made the
911 call the following afternoon? >> no, police have confirmed it was not the roommates, but they are saying we are not ready to say who it was. i spoke to ethan's mom, and she told me that a friend made the call. we're not sure if it was a friend who walked up to the house at noon and saw something and made that call. >> the rumor mill understandably runs rampant through your reporting. you're trying to tamp down some of is that which we now know from law enforcement not to be accurate. for example, nobody was bound, no one was tied up, right? >> right. you know, we're seeing -- it's so strange. we're seeing so many rumors from the very beginning, and the party being debunked, too. someone actually posted as a fake additional roommate said i found them bound and gagged. that shook the community saying, oh, my gosh, this is real.
the police has said, that is not correct. that person is not real. >> i imagine that the cops are sensitive to now the entire world from the outside looking in, saying hey, come on, you don't have a weapon, you don't have a motive, you don't have a suspect. you're not even sure if the community's at risk. how are they responding to this scrutiny? >> police are keeping very tight-lipped on what is happening. i think to sometimes their own detriment. you know, the community just wants a few answers. everyone understands that not everything can be divulged at this time. but for days, we didn't hear what kind of weapon it was. we didn't hear -- it took themselves 12 hours after their death to even notify the public that there may be a homicide. so, yeah. police are getting, you know, hearing a lot of frustration from the community right now. but they have not opened up too much. >> sally krutzig, thank you.
we'll continue to read "the idaho statesman." >> thank you. up ahead, discrimination based on race, religion, gender, given on what's going on in america, does it need to be expanded to include protections for political beliefs? and as it is in many cities crime is up here in philadelphia. the d.a. is larry krasner, he's just been impeached by the pennsylvania state house. is that the right outcome? i want to remind you to go to smerconish.com this hour, this poll question, do progressive prosecutors deserve blame for the crimes fight? go vote.
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well, we fell in love through gaming. but now the internet lags and it throws the whole thing off. when did you first discover this lag? i signed us up for t-mobile home internet. ugh! but, we found other interests. i guess we have. [both] finch! let's go! oh yeah! it's not the same. what could you do to solve the problem? we could get xfinity? that's actually super adult of you to suggest. i can't wait to squad up. i love it when you talk nerdy to me. guy, guys, guys, we're still in session. and i don't know what the heck you're talking about. the civil rights act protects against discrimination based on race, religion, gender. should it be expanded to include protections for one's political beliefs? there's a movement afoot to
protect employees from being punished for expressing political beliefs that are seen as unwoke. in a recent "wall street journal" opinion piece, the new woke discrimination demands a new law. the authors advocate for just an expansion of the civil rights act. they cite several recent examples where it would presumably apply, among them, disney fired actress gina occur ran know after she compared the treatment of conservatives on social media to senanazi persecution. and a virginia high school teacher fired for refusing to use a student's preferred pronouns. a "usa today" editor demoted for tweeting people who are pregnant are also women. southwest airlines fired a flight attendant who made
antian anti-semitic posts. joining me now, jeb lubinthaw. i don't want you to showing up with a black lives matter shirt, let's just stick to it and make widgets. >> the problem is when they tell employees black lives matter are prohibited and you can be fined for that. it's about even handness, what they didn't do is make people choose between expressing their political opinions and putting food on the table. that's un-american. and that's not fair. and that's not the freedom of speech. >> focus of the "wall street
journal" piece, indeed the headline of the "wall street journal" piece was all about wokeness. do these cases cut both ways. do they come from the left, do they come from the right in equal number? >> i don't think so? i mean, i don't have any hard statistics on this, i'm not sure anybody does, it sure looks at the present moment, what you see is folks being fired for what's called conservative views. that can change. this should not be a partisan issue. the good news is, it's a pretty easy fix. you just add to the civil rights act instead of just being protected for race nationally and religion. it should also be protected for your political beliefs. the truth is, even though the freedom of speech is only technically violated if the government does something to you. we don't have the freedom of speech in this country if people are afraid to speak their minds. if you put people the choice of speaking their minds and putting food on the table, they're going
to put the food on the table then you don't have the freedom of speech. >> how about this, kyrie irving still not back with the nets, although i think it's tomorrow. he tweeted with anti-semitic tropes. still not back with the team. and i'm reading the executive director of the adl saying look my kids, they wear his t-shirt. and we cannot have this mind-set that he's spreading. how would you handle that case? >> well, i think that's a great question and it's tough, when you see one ethnic group going after another ethnic group, it's just so sad. and part of me says, instead of the ritual denunciations, maybe we should be trying to figure out where the views are coming from and do something about it. but here's my view about this. you know, i haven't seen the movie, but if there's racist speech in it, if there's
insulting speech in it, again, an employer can have rules against that, as long as they do it even handily, as long as they do it across the board. what i don't think you can do is have one set of rules for kyrie irving, and another set of rules for everybody else. you have one set of rules with what he's expressing. but you have another set of rules because you do like the opinions they're expressing. that's just not fair. and, you know, people should be able to express their opinions and you can regulate racism, you can regulate insults, as long as you do it even-handily, and don't pick and choose, i think that's how you should handle it. >> is this a yale philosophical conversation? is there any practical likelihood that this would get past what it requires to get this done? i've got 30 seconds. tell me if it's realistic. >> it is realistic. there's cities in the country that have done this. second of all, if you work for
the government, your employer already can't fire you for your opi political opinion. we've got this, it hasn't caused problems in government workplaces, why can't we do this in public workplaces? to protect the first amendment. >> professor, stick around, i'm going to read this aloud. you can respond to it. put it up on the screen. this is patently ridiculous. a law like that would encourage people to proselytize their politics at work. but there are beliefs. i got to go to work not to hear what horrible ideas are rattling around in the skull of the guy next to me. what do you say to angry monkey? >> i think angry monkey is not realizing it's a matter of evenhandedness. if you want to keep that out of the political eye, fine.
you can't say blue lives matter that gets you fired but black lives matter and everything is okay. it's just not american. >> even steven. parity is what you're looking for. thank you, professor, appreciate it. about to talk about your institution in a moment. still to come, harvard, yale, berkeley and stanford law schools all regularly rank near the top of usa news and world report ratings and yet this week, all withdrew from the process. is the list power suddenly coming to an end? and this week, the pennsylvania state house impeached philadelphia district attorney larry krasner blaming his progressive policies for the surge in murder and violent crime. is that actually an impeachable offense? i want to remind you to go to smerconish.com and answer the poll questions, by the way, register for the newsletter, i'm asking do progressive prosecutors deserve blame for the crime spike?
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a college ranking on their way out just like the s.a.t.s? this week, yale and harvard law schools announced they're exiting "u.s. news and world report" influential list of best schools, berkeley and stanford schools followed suit even though all have ranked high for decades. since 1983, the media company has been compiling best lists of universes and colleges. the schools' deans criticize the methodology and how results criticize disparities. john manning said the ranking meths, quote, work against law school commitments against enhancing the socioeconomic diversity to allocating to student based on need and loan repafyment and fellowships in career serving the public interests. joining me a special adviser at
arizona state university. he spent a year embedded in the selection process at the university of washington, emory university, and davidson college so he could write this book "who gets in and why, a year inside college admissions." jeffrey, i am biased on this conversation. i was always a low performer on standardized tests think s.a.t.s and a.c.t tests. forced to be make it a numbers gain, right? because the criteria was what were the scores of those we accepted. that's my read of this. what's yours? >> it's a huge piece of it, right? the score they get on lsat that students get on the lsat play into the rankings. a lot of what a lot of schools do, they give out merit aid in order to get students to come to their schools especially schools with higher scores on top of that the ada announced that lsat
scores won't be required for law schools. law schools can require them if they want to but we're seeing a sea change in terms of what's happening with the law schools and law school rankings. >> i remember in your book, reading the chapter in which you discussed in detail the experience of northeastern university. they made a conscious decision that they wanted to move up that ladder. how were they able to get it done? >> so what northeastern did at the undergraduate side is they really focused on all of the metrics that are important to "usa news and world report." they would give out tons of money for students with high s.a.t. scores to persuade them to come, instead of boston college or maybe even harvard. they looked at classes under 20 students because that was important to the metrics of "usa news and world report." they basically engineered the ran
rankings, moving to 50 from 150 in the recent years. what happened to harvard and yale, they're still going to be ranked, probably fall because they're not going to share data with "u.s. instinews." the only way that the rankings diminish in the eyes of the public is if the lower ranked schools also join in on this with the higher ranked schools with the law schools. >> there's another reason why you're uniquely qualified to have this conversation, back in the day, it was in the early 1990s, you were actually an intern at "usa news & world report" for whom this is big business, right? >> it's a huge business. at that time, they still published a real print magazine. and they were known around the world for news gathering and so forth. now, rankings, particularly, the college rankings is what drives views to their website around the year. and it's not only the undergraduate and the law school
rankings, the business school rankings, they do rankings of all different types of school. so this is a huge business for them. and if too many schools pull out they can still get data from government resources. but they rely on law school deans surveys, what they think of other law schools, but they also rely on data from other law schools so it's going to be really problematic if many schools pull out. >> i get your point it matters what happens beyond that sort of upper tier. something i was thinking if yale and harvard and berkeley and stanford, on a graduate level say we're no longer cooperating, don't you think it follows that at the undergraduate level, they will do likewise? >> first of all, i think you're now going to see a number of other top law schools follow. it's interest diagnosing after and two and then four, you'll see at the undergraduate level also. the other thing, michael, going
on here, the supreme court is taking up a case right now on affirmative action in college admissions. and college admissions officers want flexibility in crafting a class. and test scores really rein them in terms of crafting a class. if you have a low test score, they're less likely to take you. if they want to have a diverse class, they want to put less emphasis on that test score. >> yeah. i think you need a sequel. because there is a sea change. lack of s.a.t., lack of lsat, now the rankings being questioned and the looming supreme court decision with race as a factor. jeffrey, we appreciate your expertise. >> no problem. still to come, the san francisco d.a. was recalled this year after voters linked his job performance to a spike in crime. now the philadelphia d.a. has been impeached by the state house. does he deserve to lose his job?
i want to ask you to answer the poll question at smerconish.com. do progressive prosecutors deserve blamame for the crime spike? all are ofof - ahhhh. listerine. feel the whoaoa! with gold bond... you can age on your own terms. new retinol overnight means the smoothing benets of retinol are now for your whole body. plus, fast-working crepe corrtor diminishes wrinkleskin in just two days. gold bond. champion your skin.
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has philadelphia district larry krasner misbehaved? that's the specific question that needs to be answered in the commonwealth and in the city of brotherly love. crime is raging in the city. and krasner is a progressive district attorney. he's one of a half dozen or so supported with the money of george soros over the span of the last several years he's part of a cadre which included jessa
boutin even who progressive. and the recall election because his opponents bungled their position gathering information. and on the violent drug offenders to treatment instead of jail, sparing juveniles from being tried as adults to scrutinizing old cases in search of wrongful prosecutions and imprisonment. this week, krasner was impeached by the republican-led state house based on a finding that he engaged in misbehavior, a sign as a ground for impeachment. >> impeachment is a very serious matter we look forward to bringing the evidence to the trial and senate. and having larry krasner answer to his misbehavior. >> the job of the district attorney is to enforce laws and he has failed and done so on
purpose. >> the impeachment says that krasner has failed the city on murders and homicides and mishandled cases. the chamber hasn't impeached an office older in nearly 30 years and has only done it a handful of times ever. about this, there can be no dispute. philadelphia like much of the nation has a big crime problem. homicides in philadelphia hit a record 562 last year, rising from 277 in 2016. over, this year, the city has recorded 459 homicides. that's 5% fewer than where we were this stage there is correlation between crass ners 'progressive policies and the crime rate or causation. i think he is at least a contributing factor. in october, the committee behind the impeachment movement
released a 63 page report taking issue with krasner's tenure highlighting issues which included a key declining correc race, firearms cases being withdrawn or dismissed and a high staff turnover and he sought to link those issues to the city's ongoing gun violence crisis. shootings and homicides were on the rise. criminals are emboldened by a lack of arrests and failing prosecutions. makes sense to me. i remember former philadelphia police commissioner john timdy documenting there is a revolving number of bad seeds who exit a disproportionate amount of crime and if you let them out they continue to commit crime. i suspect progressive prosecutors are but a piece of a complex puzzle. many pointinged out red states have more of a crime spike than
blue states. i get that. the more accurate question is whether krasner has misbehaved in office. that's the standard that needs to be met. and it's vague. missing is any evidence here of corruption. krasner was first elected district attorney in 2017 as "the philadelphia enquirer" put it a former civil rights attorney ran on a pledge reform the prosecutor's office seeking to divert low-level offenders away from the criminal justice system, release wrongly convicted people from jail and cash bail for people with nonviolent crimes. krasner won a primary challenge from the same office 67% to 33% and then he was re-elected in the predominantly democratic city by a wider margin 69 to 31%. look, i am not a krasner fan. i would never vote for him if i
were still a city resident. last year pbs earned a growing eight episode series called philly d.a. for which he embedded cameras in krasner's office during his first term. i watched and i thought he is too soft for this job. but i question whether impeachment is the right outcome. he said what he was going to do. he did it and he was re-elected by the people. in a statement krasner responded in the hundreds of years the commonwealth has existed this is the only time the house used the drastic remedy of impeachment of an elected official because they do not like their ideas. those ideas are precisely why philadelphia voters elected and re-elected me. they have impeached me without presenting evidence connecting our policies any uptick in crime. philadelphians' votes and philadelphia voters should not
be erased. history will judge in anti-democratic authoritarian effort to erase philly's votes by black, brown and broke people in philadelphia and voters will have the last word. think of it in national terms. what if republicans won control both of the house and senate. they don't like joe biden. they talked about impeaching him for a long time. if you don't like joe biden, vote him out. if you don't like larry krasner, do the same. impeachment should not be about preference. it ought to be reserved for gross misconduct. i want to know what you think. answer this week's poll question. do progressive prosecutors deserve blame for the crime spike in results after the break and more social media. ore analysis on that, chuck. mmm.m. pepper jack. tender steak. very insightful, guys. the new subway series. what's your pick?
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all right. there it is. the result of this week's poll question. 23,000 and change, 24 how to do progressive prosecutors deserve blame for the spike in crime? 63% say no. pretty much a 60-40 result. i was in the yes vote. i didn't say do they deserve some, do they deserve all. i am not giving them all the blame. it's complicated. social media reaction. what has come in this week? what do we have? unless free will has been taken off the table, i am not sure how the prosecutors is responsible for the person's decision to commit crimes. pagan chimed, if you buy into my
premise of the late great john timide commissioner in philadelphia, number two in new york, chief in miami as well, he documented it. i remember the report that he wrote. here are the 5,000 people that are committing disproportionate amounts of crime and if it becomes a revolving door because you have gotten soft then guess what? you will keep having crime. another one that came in during the course of the week. in other words, if someone's politics are anti-gay, anti-semitic, xenophobic, should that act protect them asks joe abrams in conversation with jed ruben feld that i had about whether the civil rights act gets expanded. that would have made a good survey question. he said you've got to be even, apply it evenly. there needs to be parity. otherwise, there is disparity and that needs to be eradicated. i agree with you. what about hate? see you next week. enjoy thanksgiving.