Senator Harry Reid on Donald Trumps Candidacy CSPAN March 18, 2016 12:35am-1:26am EDT
we tried to give them choices for how they can make a contribution and lead them in that direction that we need people to follow and it's an important part of my job to talk to the counterparts and say we need everybody in the game if we are going to have a peaceful world. you've got to get in the game. let me ask the chairman. >> i chair man. >> i would emphasize what the secretary said. the key part i went to the region and match with 30 of the chiefs of defense from the coalition partners and encouraged participation that one of the things we do hard is look at where they can make the contribution and that is an ongoing process where we are satisfied with where we are, never.
>> good morning, everyone. happy st. patrick's day. we are honored to have you here for an important event for what is happening in the politics today. just before president obama's second inauguration, and the berlitz published this fitting headline, quote, republicans accuse obama of using positioned to lead the country. and this sums up where we've been the last several years. we have had a year after his year in which republican politics has been a contest for who can see no the say no the fastest, the loudest and the longest with no regard to reason or the best interest of the country particularly over the past 24 hours in response to the supreme court. truthfully, we've seen that the
moment the american people elected barack obama they made it there reason for everything the president proposed for you to be misled the american people about the policies and over the last year we have seen incredibly heated rhetoric around the president and the country's future. today donald trump is the republican party frontrunner coming and people are surprised that the hateful divisive rhetoric has contributed to a candidacy that mirrors all of those. we are particularly honored to have the senator here. he's been a champion for the american people citing the american middle class working to help all americans on almost every issue that i've worked on over the last several decades but he's working to help
families achieve the american dream, citing his heart out and protecting the environment for future generations has been an incredible voice for all of us so i'm honored to have him here to talk about what's happening with the american electorate and what's happening in politics, where the republican party is going. please join me in welcoming senator harry reid. [applause] sorry i was a little late there was an accident that held us up. i want to take a minute to publicly acknowledge john podesta. when john podesta came to me
with this idea i was underwhelmed. i couldn't belief that he said what he was going to do. i was right -- he was right and i was wrong. you are stepping into those shoes and you've done an outstanding job. thank you for allowing me to be here today. >> many americans are scratching their heads about donald trump. i know that i have on more than one occasion. most of us cannot have them how he rose so far and so fast. his vile rhetoric as embarrassing, his proposals are dangerous. republican establishment acts bewildered that but they should not be bewildered as much as i try to distance from trump now
for eight years they dreamed of the policy debate by replacing engagement with resentment and hatred. we are seeing it right now. they already treat him or her like a piñata and that's the kind of mindless behavior that has hollowed out the political debate and created the conditions for donald trump to rise. they created the drought conditions donald trump's turn to be -- simply struck the match from eight years ago. the nations at the end of 2008. president bush was on his way out of office after a failed presidency teetering on the brink of disaster. president obama came to office
with a broad mandate promising the nation really needed. sadly the republican leaders chose the opposite path instead of cooperating on commonsense solutions for those still suffering in the great recession they chose obstruction and policies. president obama's first inauguration. they've decided on the mission first they will do everything in their power to keep president obama from being elected and second they would prevent him from achieving any of the legislative priority is. the rejection of president obama's manifested itself in one big lie. they repeated it in different ways over and over again.
the economic hardships could be addressed by smart policy solutions if the solutions were pulled by obama. we have seen this lie in the last 24 hours nominated to the supreme court and the circuit court overwhelmingly moved somewhere in the senate with a large vote appointed him into selected him as the court of appeals to the dc circuit for the highest court in the land. here's what the senators have
garland. she said very compliant ratings. they slam the door on a good man simply why? because president obama nominated him. that's how they treated him over his entire presidency for seven and a half years. it didn't matter where these ideas came from a. it was over and over in many different ways they said it cannot help you and it will hurt you. look at the affordable care act. 50 million were suffering without health insurance. the centerpiece performed by democrats as the individual
mandate. it came from the conservative heritage. essentially became socialism in their eyes but it's not just the affordable care act. it was one policy after another to address the economic hardships. many ideas originated with republicans and enjoyed bipartisan support yet one by one they repeated the big blind obama supports it, it won't help you. the list is very long. unemployment, reform, issue after issue republican leaders faced a choice and they put food on the table early. republicans chose to stick it to president obama instead of helping their own constituents. the examples continue the
payroll tax cuts with student loans, immigration reform, automobile bailouts. all the policies used to enjoy bipartisan support. president obama supports it at home help you. like any, maintaining this one that republicans are deeper and deeper into this honesty. republicans who found that propping up the line they had to question any independent authority that might contradict it so they started routinely questioning science or any other research that supported the democratic policies. in the face of scientific consensus i don't believe the science and preventing gun violence in the epidemic of mass
shooting they reject commonsense solutions and background checks. republicans claim that more guns are the answer. they've even put objective facts about the basic economy and the recent poll showed 53% of republicans think the unemployment rate is higher now than when president obama took office. this statistic is sad but it's not shocking. despite 72 consecutive months of job growth and the unemployment rate below 5% they are still telling millions of americans president obama has been a disaster for the economy. one after another commonsense facts are brought down by republican leaders have tossed aside as collateral damage for their one big lie is not wonder land's feel powerless republicans spent eight years to help them face the challenges.
instead of engaging on policy they simply told americans there's nothing to be done so what have the republicans created? presentiment, hatred that they were too coward to renounce. the groups like the tea party were first with money from the competitors. the ideologies and objectives of the group varied but they all had one thing in common who was considered an illegitimate president it's obvious even the most casual observer was driven forward by some of the darkest forces in the culture but republican leaders tried. this resentment and hatred took three forms first, it rendered president obama illegitimate and second, fear mongering, third, hatred among latinos.
the forces that are now synonymous in the candidacy or by republican leaders the past eight years. the most recognizable attempt to declare president obama was the movement. it all started on a website that asked where is the birth certificate. before long more and more outlets were discussing this absurd conspiracy theory. republicans in congress did nothing. republicans in the house and legislature were suggesting the president wasn't warning america and who was the most prominent to give the movement a platform? donald trump. i find it ironic mitt romney that romney is speaking out in his extremism. he knew how ridiculous the claims were and get what did he do xps for donald trump's endorsement. that romney helped fan the
flames of resentment. however more insidious to render him was waged by the counterpart mitch mcconnell as was reported in "the new york times" only six years ago and here's what it said. before the health care fight healthcare fight and the economics to me was package before president obama took office, senator mitch mcconnell had a strategy for the party pretty extensive knowledge to slow things down and take advantage democrats would have been governing entity night and he republican support, the legislation. no president in history taste the number of filibusters president obama has based. today some are waging more than 500 filibusters despite the fact many are against things they thought were a good idea.
during the first six years that lbj served as the majority leader by six years in the hundreds it got worse after my first six years it is blind opposition to the consent that this president and his ideas are illegitimate. indeed the blind rejection of any policy regardless of the merit. the no holds barred politics was in the republican caucus and no people have the debate over the supreme court. moments after the death of republican leader leaders decided to abandon the constitution and bipartisanship to appease the radical base. that night he followed in this
republicans must delay. they didn't know who the nominee would be yet republicans were undermined again. if senator mcconnell wonders where donald trump came he should take a look in the mirror. no one is working harder to support him mcconnell who sacrificed the majority and allowed him to pick the nominee. the republican party is another. the outlets like fox news began efforts that president obama is a secret muslim. they would stoke the flames of hate trade.
some were working the obama administration and others suggested sharia law was taking over america and once we again they did nothing to address the hate coming from the party. now because of the reaction they are leaving the candidacy of stops on the hate speech and wants to block all in the country. the republican party's anti-immigrant underbelly is the most salient example. they use repugnance language.
the deportation as jeb bush spoke and marco rubio called for deporting all the dreamers now they say nothing is donald trump says they want to wind up 11 million with a militaristic massive deportation force. they walk outside without their immigration papers. in this hatred the leaders adopted these positions as part of their platform. the hate with the policy and in the senate democrats were work with a handful of republicans to craft a good comprehensive immigration reform bill but then we watch as the speaker capitulated to keep ready radicals and refused the vote to
this day insert after overwhelmingly. they came within minutes of that. the donald trump was watching he saw the extremism comes owned by the leaders of too cowardly to do anything about it so when he goes than rapists and murders he's doing what he learned from generations of conservatives. the party has become without question the party of trump. the question now is this what do they say that the state of the public policy debate and how should america respond.
the answer is simple they have the support of donald trump and do it now. for for too long they will speak the language of trying to have it both ways. after years they are not splitting the most prominent in the nation's. he is insulted veterans, immigrants with disabilities. americans are being assaulted as racial slurs in the rallies. there is no great area here it is time for some to find the
background to say enough. if they think donald chump is racist, they shouldn't support him, period. if they refuse to support they should put should've put on make america great again has in stand by him at his next press conference. the nation cannot rely on conservatives. we should double down on our ideas to rectify the damage that the donald trump is doing we must challenge him boldly with the strength of the ideas that we should do it now and we should continue to be the agents of change. we should remember the lie is trust that and the truth is that
solutions help all of those hit hardest in the dislocation caused by the great recession requiring them to offer paid sick leave will help millions of families make the businesses stronger and making college more affordable. raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will put more in the pockets of workers and to stimulate the economy. fixing the nation's roads and bridges will create jobs. they were created in other jobs were spent off from that. ensuring that the women are being fairly compensated in the workplace and receiving equal pay for the work that men do. if they do the work they should get paid the same we should restore the faith in the democratic process. we can do that by fighting for the supreme supreme court to overturn citizens united and get that money out of the political
system you this is what the democrats did with the nuclear option and when we broke the mold jim of historic proportions and enabled the traditional nominees and the emergencies across the country they wanted to get rid of them because of changing the rule and the principle would be responding to the departing americans. we would inspire a new generation to get involved in public service. we can only affect them to show new ideas delivery new results to new people. most of all we should resist the urge to water down the waterway foreign-policy. we should resist the urge to move to the right.
a few months ago i met with the new governor of louisiana. i said yes. he added if you are a progressive and then people just think you are a liberal they think you are a liar. so let's be proud of who we are and let's not be shy about what they can accomplish. they are in the last seven years created 14 million jobs in the drop down to less than 5%.
donald trump says he wants to make america great again they obtain civil rights or before they have the right to vote were before the child labor laws may be at once to go back before the time of medicare or social security or the labour relations act or the clean air act. unlike donald trump we know what needs to be done to make it even greater and finally the anger with the ideas would move the power ideas for trump. thank you so much for those remarks on the whole range of
topics. thank you for being here at the action. i wanted to ask you one particular question about the supreme court nomination process. the majority leader said yesterday or this morning he wants to let the public decide about the confirmation of the justice. what is your response to this? >> here's what he said yesterday, this is a quote that it's all about. the reporter said if your goal is to allow to have input into this paper to nomination why not hold hearings to highlight these issues and here is what he said
the goal is to let the american people pick the next president to make the decisions of that is what that is what this is all about for them. it's obvious that we have done this we picked the supreme court justices in the lame-duck session in the presidency. it is unfair to the country and to the litigants to get the supreme court. now they will have to wait another few decades. >> we did a report this week that shows literally tens of millions with the effect that by the court being stuck for so long from immigration cases to
women's health cases and voting rights cases not just a handful of people that have an impact on everyone. just to follow-up follow up on that, where do you see the debate going on the supreme court? we heard some republican senators will actually meet with the nominees. is that the a breakthrough but nevertheless it is? hell do you see this playing out, and to follow up in your remarks, you said mcconnell was threatening his majority in order to take this intransigent position. why do you think that he is doing what he is doing? >> i think that they are doing this to satisfy the very loud and rich right-wing people. i think that's what they want to do. this is a big issue with them and i think that tim will only
tell that but i can't imagine how this is going to help the republicans running for the senate to have a straight face to say we were going to meet with this person, we are not going to hold hearings or have a vote. it's hard for me. who came up with this and they did it quickly. scalia had just died within hours. >> what impact do you see to have on the senate finance committee? >> while, my staff told me not to say this but i can't resist. [laughter] >> i've been there. [laughter] he may be right about this
because they will build one to keep us from going into mexico. they will be happy to do that. >> do you see him having a particular impact in the senate races? >> i don't know how some of these people are running while portman come i don't get how they could run and say why are we supporting him for president he can't president he can't run away from it, he's the nominee. i don't know if they get much better. >> i want to ask you about that. your remarks focused on donald trump but what are your thoughts on ted cruz?
>> as i have been in public service, i disagreed with him on everything politically but i always appreciated he told everybody how he felt. there was no surprise. he wrote a book and talked about what he wanted to be and i have to say this about him he at least has some principles. i don't like what he stands for the p. stands for something very little of which i agree with about a guy and not as turned off by him. donald trump stands for nothing and that's why it's so upset for marco rubio, he didn't stand for anything. >> i think that you really lay
out the level of distraction and the connection between the instruction and the rise of donald trump. do you expect or hear of any republicans evaluating the stance that they've taken and is there a chance that this past november democrats win the white house and take the senate we could see some reevaluation? >> i've seen people writing books about who had been members of the senate and leadership and things that could be done to correct the senate. i had a nice conversation with tom daschle this week. he has no idea what happened since he left. he has no idea. this is unbelievable i said and it's true a filibuster of most to proceed the things they wanted to get it done to stall
for time and each filibuster takes a long time. you have to file it for two days and then have a vote and then have a vote for three hours wasted then you are only on the legislation and to get get off of it you of that unity cloture again for two more days and devote. it's unbelievable the time that we have wasted so people do not understand the ends to which they've gone to stop obama speak to >> i appreciate that you can't say these things publicly but if you have a candidacy that is very ineffective, do you think we could have the hope we could return to a period even 15 years ago where were ten years ago, nine years at a there were
filibusters occasionally but not those that we are dealing with now. >> i would look back with nostalgia having worked with trent lott he was extremely conservative but pragmatic. he knew things had to happen for the country. bill frist was the only president i know that was chosen by the president rather than for the caucus but he was a super nice guy that wanted to do things for the country. i lament not having people to work with in that regard. i don't dislike mitch mcconnell. i'm just terribly aware as i tried to outline in these remarks what he has been a part of to allow people like donald trump to be around and because of what they've done, there's
tremendous concern by the american people. they think the system is broken. so, i have hope that the next congress can be better that it will only come about if there's a return to collegiality and as we see in the house so we can get things done. right now there's the path of getting nothing done and i can't continue that. it's going to change remarkably. >> do you think there is a place for the moderates in the republican party today? >> well, dave primary -- them. but the moderates we did plenty yesterday for the birthday and
he had been in the house for a long time and said i'm going to start a hispanic caucus and he said to you to be true to him are you going to meet in a phone booth and that's what i say that the moderates in the senate are they going to need a phone booth clicks it better be small because they don't have many right now. the reason we were able to get a few things done with all their obstruction in the first congress i would see a few things we got a lot done. >> in the first congress most of them it was the best ever. and we get people to have people to work with. we had susan collins, olympia snowe and arlen specter. those were the three suspects we used most often because the 57, 58, 59. but kennedy was sick as we learned later so that's how we would get things done.
right now you have susan collins. >> we have time for questions if you could please identify yourself and people give you the microphone. >> i've been here a few times and i know you will do whatever you want. [laughter] spinet in 2013 you broke the logjam for the appellate courts but you didn't trigger the filibuster for the nominee. do you regret not doing that and going forward seeing there is a new precedent being set it looks like there will be a high bar. do you think that the change of rule should be considered for the supreme court nominee? >> i did that on purpose. i look back on my experience.
for example, clarence thomas. if you look back, he had a lot of support for him. and i decided -- i will be as quick as i can, i called home to see how the kids were doing it talk to my wife at five or 6:00 in the evening and i had to go vote for somebody i didn't want to vote for she said then why are you going to vote for them and i thought to myself she's right by should i vote for clarence thomas, there's a counterpart from nevada and i said i'm not acquainted with for thomas. he said come on over and we will talk. so i didn't vote for him. thomas got 52 votes. there wasn't a suggestion or whisper in congress that he would vote against him. now remember, if you look at the
people who come to him as an example, didn't get a majority of the votes in the judiciary committee. he didn't get to vote in the committee so i saved the super majority supreme court on purpose to return to those days where we do what's the right thing. to be a better country to answer if we filibustered thomas but the decision was made not to and the time was right. >> you said repeatedly think senator mcconnell is going to cave on the second part. several senators yesterday including senator hatch said
that they would be open to considering the nomination after the election in the event a democrat would win. do you think that is the most likely option for this? >> you can describe it in any way that we feel appropriate. here's how i feel about it. it's already started and this may not sound like a great breakthrough but we have a significant number that they all meet with. maybe they will be browbeaten by the leadership of the senate and back off but you can imagine it is a breakthrough that they will sit down and talk but that is a breakthrough. now i don't think we should cut any slack to anybody's saying let's wait. i don't agree. i think we should do it now. it is unfair to have this the spam treated differently than
anybody else. let's have him come to the senate floor and have a debate the american people can watch on the committee and on the floor. >> [inaudible] >> of course it is possible. that's why it is a good precedent that we run for the supreme court nominee. >> everybody keeps talking about the -- everybody talks about the court seat being vacated for a year. >> actually more than that. the reality is that would mean
that the new president would be coming in who would have hundreds and hundreds of cabinet appointments and subcabinet appointments to make and every time the new president comes in there is a new backlog of these appointments. if you add a supreme have a supreme court nominee on top of all of that, it could go a year and a half or two years and block the nominations of other cabinet. >> your experience working in the federal beer walker c. is very important to this issue we have before us. we have had scores and scores of nominations that have been held up. it's really hard to comprehend. ambassadors even held up by
service officers, the most nonpolitical people in the world and all we had to do under the statute is pass an approved a pay raise. these are people that work in some of the most remote and difficult places in the world and they've held up past their pay raise. so he's he is absolutely right. we already have so many people that should be working in the federal government that aren't. a lot of them go back to their regular jobs, so your point is very well taken. >> my name is jeff and i'm with ib capital. >> i couldn't hear that. >> ib capital. last week there was a press conference with the pre-
ministers of canada and president obama at this point was talking about negotiations and said at times you only get about 60% of what you like and if you get 60% of what you like you sort of hold your nose but the other party holds theirs as well that you get a negotiation out of it so i am kind of curious rather than creating this adversarial approach if you could somehow take a step, be magnanimous, take that across the rubicon in some respects by having an issue that let's say about the leader that he specifically wants and negotiate with respect to that particular issues such as standing back from guantánamo bay for instant, given a particular issue to him
with respect to the agreement the supreme court's -- >> here's the problem we have. i don't mean this in a negative sense but in the past that's the way to do things. i've been fortunate to get a number of things in the wall but i law but i never got what i wanted. we always have to change things and compromise things. >> they the fella start things they wanted. >> i think something we worked on here a great deal on infrastructure we have republicans in the
infrastructure bill in 2007 and then 20 of eight and 2009. we couldn't get the bill passed again and all that would change is that he had a different president. >> the things we have done for example we lost a million teachers and police officers and firefighters during the first year of the meltdown so it was offered on the senate floor saying let's get all those people back. would be great for the economy and the safety of the country and here's how we're going to pay for it. they would pay excess of two tenths of 1% which people didn't care they would have been happy to do that.
i ran the floor for six years. i did the floor and he did the political stuff and that's where i got to know trent lott is a well. i was on the floor from the moment they came in and i took care of the republicans and i would make sure there was a unanimous consent request. but if they did nothing there is no one to work with anymore. they are afraid. what they will do is democrats and republicans will introduce a bill knowing that it is going nowhere so the issue a press release.com. >> one last question. >> senator, i wanted to see how concerned are you that democratic turnout in the
presidential primary has been been lower than the republican turnout? you talked about doubling down on ideas ideas but how does that translate into votes? >> it's something we can't ignore that most pundits and political scientists believe that the massive turnouts have been as a result of the rivalry within the republican party. with the democrats we've had this going with hillary and bernie for a long time and it was kind of a lovefest in the last month or so they had a little negative stuff back and forth so not as much interest in the democrats as republicans. i think donald trump brought people out