tv Mercedes Schlapp and John Weaver Discuss Future of Republican Party CSPAN April 14, 2017 7:13am-8:41am EDT
really cautious about taking any risks to get your mandate and agenda through. >> watch city tour of charlottesville, virginia, sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3, working with cable affiliates an visiting cities across the country. >> he was joined by conservative columnist mercedes schapp and john weaver. they took questions from students at brown university. this is about 90 minutes.
[inaudible conversations] >> welcome to brown, welcome to our conversation, i have been watching politics a long time. i don't think i've ever seen an election like this one, the college democrats and the college republicans both internally split. college republicans couldn't agree on which candidate to support, sharp emails were exchanged and now both democrats and republicans trying to figure out what direction for the party, where do we go, who are we? to help us sort this out i'm delighted to welcome back our graduate, i won't say what class, recent class of brown university david, david is the washington bureau chief for mother jones and if you read it, he's written in it. i guess that's probably all that
needs to be said. the inside story of spin scandal and the selling of the iraq war, familiar face around the watson institute and brown university. he will take it from here. he will help us sort out the future of the american party where to republicans and he will introduce our panelists. we are welcoming c-span to our campus, if you feel move today shot-out to denounce someone, feel free, but please do it into the microphone. you can't be heard if you're just talking in general and, of course, it goes without saying as with all of the classes, cell phone offs, welcome to the panel, david, please take it from here. >> thank you, jim. we will get to questions at the end so you will save your shouting for then and i will have a bias when it comes to
questions, taking questions from students. so fair warning, i want students to rush to mics to ask good questions. i'm happy to be here as part of a series we've been doing through this academic year before and after the election, an election that was quite surprising to both winners and losers and now we are looking ahead towards the future so i'm going to start with two panelists and bruise them and we are going to try not get too bogged down in the details of the last four, five news cycles which are in the last three hours. [laughter] >> look towards ahead. we will start with that. we will get to some of that. to my right, we have mercedes schlapp who is a fox news comment at a timer --
commentator and i have wrestled with her on msnbc. >> and with my husband. >> i was going to get to your husband. >> columnist for the washington times and radio host and siriusxm patriot cpac3625 is the name of the show. he has also done real work in life. [laughter] >> she was a director of specialty media for george w. bush in the white house. cofounder of costrategy. first generation cuban american who was raised in miami, florida, as she noted she's married to matt schlapp, best known for running the annual cpac convention, annual gathering of conservative activists which a week or two back held its 2017 gather, which turned into a tremendous trump
fest. >> david corn was the keynote speaker but he didn't tell you that. >> , no i didn't quite make it. the most important thing to know about matt and mercedes is that they have five daughters. five daughters. john weaver only has two children. [laughter] >> but he has had a longer career in republican politics. he's now best known as the chief strategists for john kasich, the republican governor of ohio. but for many years he was associated and is still associated with john mccain, being the chief strategists for mccain when he ran for president in 2000 and again in 2008 he worked for them. he also has been involved for campaigns for campaign-finance reform and how you treat prisoners under the geneva convention and worked on
comprehensive immigration reform. interestingly after the 9/11 attacks in new york city john oversaw the new new york city's communication efforts working with rudy giuliani back then. these are two republican that is could not disagree more at this moment in time an issue that is maybe far most -- set a stage for the future of the republican party which is what to do, how to think about how to regard now-president donald trump. so i want to start off with what's happened in the last couple of days, the last few weeks. it's only be six weeks into the presidency but there's already a lot to talk about. if i were to pick up some of the things that at least made news, we could be here all day. but we started off with the president insisting there were 1.5 million people at inauguration where clearly there weren't up to 1.5 million and 3
to 5 million people who voted illegally in the last campaign which is why he did not win majority the electorate when no voting expert says anything like that happened, we have the tweets this past weekend accusing obama of wiretapping him very specifically in trump tower, again, no factual basis for that and i won't get into the details of fisa surveillance but really probably not even possible to happen. we've had chaos for the first executive order or the muslim travel ban, the most recent signed yesterday hasn't create that had chaos to be fair. his attorney has had to recuse himself from what perhaps is the most important controversy at the moment, the russian-trump scandal and his first national security adviser was fired because he lied regarding that and today we see the house, the
day or two, we see the house republicans release the much valued legislative effort to repeal and replace obamacare, something that president trump has made a center piece of his presidency and when in 20 second, it has turn intoed a republican food fight with conservative republicans and moderate republicans both attacking the ryan bill, some people calling it ryancare now or, i think, soon to be called rhino care. it's doa and it's unclear what the president's approach is going to be because he was contacting republicans asking them to support this legislation, so -- >> so all in all not a bad start. >> i'm just wondering --
>> so first question, you wanted donald trump to be president, you were a supporter, is this a good start, not a good start, how do you think about the last six weeks? >> well, i think you have to almost divide it into two parts. i think that president trump ran on a particular vision and he had his campaign promises which was that of bringing jobs back to america so what were the first executive orders he did, deregulation, environmental deregulation, obamacare regulation, keystone pipeline in bringing jobs back, he met with corporate -- heads of corporations with union leaders, brought in moderate democrats in to talk about, you know, different issues important to them, so i think what you're finding with trump is that he's basically sticking to his agenda of bringing jobs back. with that being said, then you have a lot of the other chaotic factors surrounding the
transition of a businessman, someone who has never been a politician becoming the president of the united states which -- i worked in the bush administration, obviously, john, you very similar in that world as well. you know, the way the transition has gone from transition to governing is you have to have your staff in place, you to ensure that it's a fine-oiled machine and i think that when you have -- first of all, they're not staffed up and you saw that with the first executive order, what happened with the second executive order on the temporary ban, you saw obviously general kelly in place, sessions in place, tillerson in place and there was this impact of the fact that they did have a process that made more sense the second time around. so i think it's a lot of growing pains for the trump administration right now. there's a lot of people in there in his administration, in his white house who has never worked in the white house before and i think that you've seen both the growing pain side of it but at the same time you see the
positive side of it which they're focused on his agenda. we saw this with the joint session addressed that the president gave which shocked conservative and liberal pundits who basically said it was his moment of being presidential and providing a positive vision for america. >> but he says it's a finely-tuned machine. >> i'm not he. i am saying what i'm looking from the outside. [laughter] >> do you have any concerns not about whether it's staffed up enough but about the way he's been reacting and comporting himself and what seems to be, i think, objectively put a tree of erratic behavior? >> i think he is transforming the presidency because -- >> how good is that? >> it's in what world you live in. in the trump supporter world, the trump supporters are thrill that had the president is going after the mainstream media. they want him to step it up and
go after democrats and republicans. i mean, there's two words, david. there's where there's the disconnect in america, the thinkers, elites that are appalled by his actions and then there's the, you know, the guy who is working in pennsylvania or in a coal mine that's saying, goodness, this guy is fighting for me. it's a lot about the division in america where we can sit here and answer the philosophical questions and the trump supporter out there saying go, get them, go after the media, be yourself and don't change trump. >> his approval ratings are at historic low. the trump supporters are not yet a majority. how would you look at the last six weeks, john, as someone who is very critical of trump before he was elected and actually, you know, pointed to what you considered to be instability and a lack of familiarity to be
polite with policy and facts in the last six weeks, as you envision, worst, better? >> well, i think it's what we saw in the campaign and people who say there's going to be a reset or that he's going to grow into office or he's going to be different in the way he's conducted himself over his lifetime, are either fooling themselves or trying to fool the american people because he's not going to change. something mercedes said is accurate but it concerns me, yeah the country -- we have two camps, we only have one country. he's the president of the country. it's his responsibility to rise up and try to heal these divisions and bring people together and not play to them and that's been my major concern about him and his conduct, is that he is unwilling to accept that role that he is the father of the country, so to speak,
right now or at least until he's in the office. he has not risen into that place. as far as the staffing, they don't have the proper staff, they don't have enough staff and the staff they do have is hubris and inexperience mixed in with that. but all organizations whether it's brown university, fox news, mother jones, they take on the leadership and the characteristics of the person at the top. same can be said for this white house. it's erratic, it lives in a false state of reality. it's not truthful. it is helping corrode the civic discussion in our country and i'm very concerned about it. it's the worst start of a white house in my lifetime. now having said that, he's not been involved in government before, there's no interest
about being curious about policy and about growing in the office and i've got grave concerns about what's going to happen when we face a real crisis be it national security or domestic. >> you've been around politicians a long time as you have too. there's always a kern degree of spin of trying to create a narrative to your benefit putting your best foot forward and, you know, there's a certain sort of accept nlt for that in politics and even within the government. we had kellyanne conway talk about alternative facts and you have sean spicer having to come out to the podium several times to defend a president's remark that experts, i'm not sure what voters had to say about, but experts and others said which is completely untrue.
do you think this administration is setting new land speed records in terms of of not being honest or having different approach to responsible discourse? >> of course. i mean, look, if one of my clients asked me to go out and lie to the prets and public, i would resign. i think mercedes would do that as well. i know some of the people that work in the white house and they continue to go town this road. the president owes to all americans specially to the people who voted for him what the truth is. that's only how we are going to come together as a country to solve the problems that are facing us. and to continue to try to divide us based on false narrative that
appeared on a website or worse, is morally wrong. >> well, and i think the defense on the republican side that during the election the feeling was that the democrats were trying to divide us by identity and by gender and by sex and it was a narrative and a messaging that they pushed through specially in the rust belt states that didn't work and didn't sell in the american people, those particular battleground states they were looking at how are you going to solve my economic problem, how am i going to get better money and better waunls and better jobs because our communities are dying and so i think trump spoke to that where, i think, when you -- the sense with the democrats is during the election in hillary clinton's campaign with the fact that it was the same message that it pushed nationally on this divisive identity politics which, i think, hurt them at the end and
where trump was able to sell a very simple economic message to the american people. >> well, i think we have to stipulate that this was a very close election. he won the couple rust belt states by a small election but most people did not accept his vision. so in terms of what the american people want or don't want, i don't think we can make bold generalizations based on these results. yes, he won with that message in those states and that worked there to a limited degree, but to enough of a degree. but i just wonder after listening to john if you think that trump, president trump in the white house has any credibility problem or any problem with truth or truthiness. >> they can get away from those little -- he gets -- i think that president trump and for his team that is having to defend
him, it gets complicated because he might see things in a certain way that doesn't make -- might not make sense to the rest of us or it might be like we were saying, not accurate. the question becomes when you look at the bigger picture in what he's trying to sell. much better than what president obama has done n terms -- in terms of working on repealing obamacare, school choice, he could be such an effective president but is when he gets boggled down in details. it's like who is going to the twitter away from president trump. john, if you're looking for that job. >> i'm not. >> you're being very generous, i think, but i will leave it at that. so -- >> one point on this. he didn't have a mandate. now presidents who have come in
before have lost popular vote or narrow election, have gone out of their way to start building public support, your boss did that. he lost the popular vote and famously contested election. richard nixon in 1968 tried to move to the middle and unit people. president kennedy try today broaden his appeal. that's what concerns me about this president. >> you didn't mention president obama, he failed to have the relationship with like a speaker boehner and senator mitch mcconnell, they barely reached out to republicans -- >> no, no, i agree with all of that. i'm talking about people who have very close election. president obama won two landslides. >> i think -- i'm not going to generalize so david doesn't get
mad at me again, those voters out there who felt that they -- their voices weren't heard during the obama administration where they felt that they were being dictated from washington, how they have to think, how they have to believe, what they need to believe and it was a rejection of washington and how the politics -- the rejection to have gridlock and so i think you're having someone come completely from the outside who is not loyal necessarily to either party, trumpism at his best and he's not going to play the politics the way that it's normally played. >> nobody is asking him to play politics the way it's been played because it hasn't been played for a long time. >> factually. >> his conduct, i don't call it a new form of being president where he's transforming to president. he's degrading the white house. let's just call it what it is. he's not telling the truth. i can spend hours up here talking about issues where he
blatantly not told the truth, okay. that's not conduct that anybody around here would use. you don't academy -- accept it with your five girls, i don't accept it with my two kids. sure, obama didn't reach out with republicans and the big problem with obamacare is it was pushed through without republican support and now the big problems is republicans are going to try to push through reform without democratic support. neither side is the right approach but we should hold the president to a higher standard, not a lower standard because he's odd. >> as the nonrepublican on the panel, when it came to the stimulus bill, the major legislative initiatives from barack obama, he did reach out to republicans, tax cut when democrats wanted to be more in terms of infrastructure
spending, he tried to work with the gang of four, eight, whatever it was on the health care bill and they ran away from him. >> you're talking about immigration bill? >> no, that was immigration later on. on the health care bill with susan collins, they may not been successful but as of now he's were greater initiatives than what we see trump doing on repeal, replace, executive order and everything else. so i think you can go back and look at that but i would like to see if we can move ahead here and sort of ask this question now. donald trump when he ran in the primary was derided by many conservatives. rick perry called him a cancer on conservatism. he now works for the man. marco rubio called him a con man
and again and again you have intellectuals and pundits on the right from bill cristal and others saying he's not conservative. whether he talk about the issues, perhaps, but my question now is as we look ahead and the future of the republican party and the future of the conservative movement hasn't always been the same but it's often been intertwined. but now, is it fair to say, that the conservative movement is the trump movement and the republican party is the trump party? >> you know, to a certain extent. i think that the conservative movement right now i think is a bit divided. everything seems to be divided. the conservatives which would be like the joana goldberg. >> who is a leading
conservative. >> that's right. >> they were pretty much part of the never trump world, he's not acceptable alternative. we would make the argument that those who deal in the grassroots world make the argument compared to hillary clinton, who are you going to have more an influence on in terms of policy, a donald trump or a hillary clinton, obviously when donald trump chose mike pence as vice presidential candidate, it was clear indication that was sent to conservative movement that he wanted to have this serious outreach to conservatives and i think you had when he gave up the list of conservatives for the supreme court nomination, another outreach to conservatives as well that he was serious in terms of saying, i'm willing to listen, i want you all to be part of my campaign.
so i think, you know, you still will have the purist in terms of the conservatives and the conservative movement in general who are keeping tabs on what the president is doing. so far when it comes to the supreme court nomination, so far when it comes to tax reform, on obama repeal and replacement there's a lot of issues that conservatives don't like. you know, on pro-life issues, they like the direction that he's taking this. but again, when you talk about infrastructure spending, very popular with democrats, conservatives get nervous when there's all the government spending. i think you're going to see the conservatives still hold president accountable. it's not just you're all in but i think where he did make the right step was definitely supreme court nomination, on gorsuch. >> but on foreign policy issues particularly going easy on putin, on trade issues, these are -- even on issues of the
deficit spending, you mentioned infrastructure. we see, you know, the initial reviews of the house -- obamacare substitute would actually create more deficit and other things too. he has shown no loyalty and if you look at campaign promises between the tax plan and spending, you know, he does nothing for the national debt except expand it. >> this is where you have to understand the break-up of the conservative movement or how to conservative movement -- ronald reagan explained it perfectly. >> national security. >> national security, strong, hawkish, like a senator marco rubio or lindsey graham. it doesn't mean -- you can be a conservative but for evangelical christians, conservative
catholics, they are going to be focused on pro-life issues, on the family issues and then you have the neocons going like a senator marco rubio, for example, more hawkish. they will not be necessarily happy with the direction where president trump is going but they don't want us negotiating negotiating with iran and they don't like the iran deal. those will not be happy with the trade restrictions, there will be parts that they would like of his agenda and there would be parts that they won't like of his agenda. >> you do republicans and i do conservatives. >> i like mercedes, i wouldn't wish that upon her. >> she has more focus. [laughter] >> yes, they're intertwined obviously. there wouldn't be the conservative movement without the republican party or vice versa and totally intertwined
completely. just on the conservative side, though a little bit, we don't know where we are going to be on tax reform. i have a sense that's being gobbled up by special interest which is the way washington works and, yes, he did -- the supreme court pick was a good pick and the reach out to mike pence, i guess, made sense but he was also in the middle of putting together a minimum winning coalition and batoning down republican opposition on his right so it made sense to do those things. i'm not sure that he's actually commit today them on the long-term. on the republican side, his polling numbers run about 38 to 40% and why do i bring up polling numbers because in washington among republican office holders there's no interest like self-interest and as long as his numbers hold somewhat stable in the 40 to 45% mark which is not a good place
for the new president but it is what it is, he'll be fine, but there's nervousness. if this russian investigation picks up steam, if there's a special prosecutor and those are two big f's, if his numbers fall below 38% where you start losing people who didn't really want to support him but couldn't vote for secretary clinton, then you're going to start seeing republicans both in washington and around the country spatter separating themselves from him. but again, we are only six weeks, five weeks into the administration so it's hard to say that. he is the leader of our party. it pains me to say that but he is the leader of our party. we are handcuffed to his success and failure at the moment. the future of the party ultimately we will talk about that, hopefully, we are going to have to take the canned cuffs off because there's no future to our party growing in the demographic groups that we have the grow in and in the states where we have to grow if we are linked to donald trump
permanently. >> let talk about that a little bit because very famous after the 2012 election a fellow named reince priebus, very bad choice of words the autopsy about why the republican party had lost last two elections and had not, you know, faired that well in the electoral vote. >> right. >> fife, six, whatever cycles. it came down to what -- a lot of people concluded the autopsy, the party did not seem to be welcoming to american voters of latino heritage and also because of, you know, social conservative issues but also the way that republicans spoke about these issues of putting off
women voters and talked about how the party had addressed these and otherwise it was dead in the long run. come 2016, donald trump threw those rules out and really narrowed in on white-working class men, many who are older and who were having trouble -- been having trouble economically, not under obama per se, but for the last 20, 30 years and talked about going back to america great. >> ronald reagan. sorry. [laughter] ..
and he threaded the needle. i love to think of this, when you watch football, the kickoff, the ball bounces and bounces in different directions. but every once in a while the ball bounces straight. keeps going the same direction over and over again and goes into the incident. a lot of things came together like that. there was a trap that seemed to be waiting. do you think -- >> as a woman latino, great. >> do you think these
demographics will not pose a problem wax that this maybe was sort of a last hurrah to bring out this voting group? i would argue that was racist language and bald and rides -- rises to prominence as a conservative leader was based on races conspiracy theory. putting that aside, that's why i didn't vote for him. he didn't make efforts to reach out elsewhere. can the republican party win without strategy? >> -- with that strategy. these are such a deep questions and everything is a complicated because i feel when you look at florida, for example, i remember in the election they had about 500,000 new hispanic voters who it signed up. so there was a big concert in florida that there was no way president trump could win
florida. it was clear it was definitely an energized effort on the part of the democrats to sign up hispanics down in florida. what happened was in my community in miami, cuban-american, over 58% of cubans voting for donald trump. they were completely opposed to president obama and his cuba policy. they felt betrayed by president obama, and you also had that generation of even like my sister who is in her 30s. they were just not political but just attracted to trump because he was a successful businessman. he was going to bring change to washington and there was excitement around trump. i think those individuals, a lot of cubans who voted for president obama back in 2008-2012, think about it. ready to use to get% of the cuban-american vote. went down to 50% for donald
trump. it worries me because i come from the bush world we used to be thrilled to get 45% of the suspended votes and donald trump got one yet and they were cheering it on. wait a second, this is not good enough. we need to do better. for the party it's trying to figure out if it's becoming the worker class party where they have brought in these, a lot of those were in the working-class who voted for obama, 2008, 20 took him to decide i'm going to give this guy at try. is that long-lasting, is this a long-lasting relationship? no, because i think there's a mostly independent voters who could switch easily. do the republicans have to do, this is life in the case. talk about this every single election cycle reaching out to the hispanic community. absolutely. donald trump spent zero dollars on spanish-language radios and
television. how are we not going to spend money in this area? i think the rnc spent maybe $250,000. that's nothing compared to millions spent by hillary clinton. yet she failed to provide the enthusiasm. so you had not enough hispanic voters going out to vote for her. and not enough african-americans voting for her in key states. the enthusiasm simply was not there. it's very much driven by who's going, john's point, the leader of the party. could trump replicate this four years ago? it will be very difficult and less disabled to bring people, less we have a booming economy, he's able to hone in on his agenda where 3% growth in the economy. people are feeling it in their wallets and comes missing my life is better today than it was four or five years ago. >> we have headlines about the trump administration, parents who seven-year-olds and around them up at the border and this
-- >> look, just so you know, my background is in hispanic media. this is my area. we are very much part, under the bush world, trying to push toward comprehensive immigration to one of the shocking things which was interesting, the date of the joint session of congress that he said he wanted talk bipartisanship on immigration reform. it's going to be interesting to see how it plays out. >> it's a rouge. >> that was called a misdirection. people in the white house, that's their phrase. that seemed to be -- >> i think it came from him. >> welcome he said it was misdirection. >> he said in his speech. >> he didn't say it in a speech. >> it was very much i think on immigration reform. look, when it comes to hispanics, immigration is a very
important issue. it's not the most important one. you look at the pew research, it will show you economics, jobs, education division. on immigration do we have to solve the problem? absolutely. do we have to enforce the law? yes. do the majority of hispanics support this? absolutely do. >> is no one who doesn't support border security. >> there you go pick for enforcing the law on immigration. >> the issue is how you do it and whether you are rushing into schools and taking parents away from kids or the whole way you go about doing it, since a message. this has been going on for six weeks. i imagine, i can only imagine this becomes the norm over the course of speedy the problem is because of lack of immigration reform that we've not had for decades that we ended up in the situation we're in. >> right. >> there needs to be a resolution.
>> trump ran against the gang of eight immigration reform. he chided marco rubio for being part of it. so right now, i don't think is read the autopsy. i don't think he cares about the autopsy. he seems to be sticking to a very small part of the base that is not in agreement. >> it's not possible to replicate this, nor should we. nor should we want to replicate this. if the election had been for wednesday on monday or saturday probably would've lost. it was one of those one in 100,000 that threads that toxic souvenir that he's able to win this election. hillary clinton ran a non-inspiring campaign. there was nothing that she said that inspired each and people or people that i met around the country. then she had the distractions of james comey and whatever happened with the russians.
we can't qualitatively say one thing or the other. 77,000 votes in three major states cost election. he lost the popular vote. let's not kid ourselves about that, okay come at all. we can replicate this. two years from now the coach will be 2% less white just demographically. while the cuban vote, cuban-american voters gone from 84, 86% for president reagan down to the high 50s for president donald trump, the mexican-american vote, the central american vote that's in the trying it now, the votes from the caribbean basin, et cetera, those are trading much more against us. millennial trending against us. first-run voters are trending against district women are trending against us. i can go on and on and on. asian americans who voted in big numbers for president reagan are training against us in big numbers. it's not sustainable.
at the end of the day policy is politics. we have to, we can't ignore the average concerns of average americans like we have done. i could go through a litany of policy issues, no reason to get into debate about all of them tonight. but we have turned our back and we've been cynical about solving them. with bumper sticker slogans and not being responsible as a party. not so much as a conservative but as a party. that's going to catch up with us. we had to start going to the marketplace about the demographic groups in offering our hand and saying what are your concerns? here are our solutions your concerns, and that we care. but right now all the here is the leader of the party calling whole groups of people names, or a judge of hispanic origin, or a
gold star father who happens to be muslim being denigrated by the leader of our party. that is not sustainable. >> my question is, obvious one, john, as long as he is the leader of your party, i think we can all agree a focal point that when it comes to the bully pulpit, he trump's them all. the megaphone, where you want to call it. as long as he's in that position, and your view, it will not be much change in how he behaves, will it ever be any chance for other republicans to present to potential republican voters that you? -- view. >> it's hard for others. you have to have some standards.
senator mccain has anderson to do that. he breaks through. >> , on. >> he breaks through particularly on foreign-policy issues and immigration issues and tone. but ben sasse, jeff flake, a lot of good young, and we have a deep bench. at present like this who dominates the landscape so be difficult. >> why do you laugh? >> let me just, i think it's important understand a bit of the dynamics of the republican party. john, i would love to get your insight on this as well. i think because there's a sense of what i call a country club republican, where -- [inaudible] >> no. nice dinners. >> at the trump hotel.
>> are you hanging out at the trump hotel? >> there you go. what i'm saying is it's a sense of disconnect. it was the sort of the riots, the mcconnells. it's where you had the rebellious republicans almost say i can't be part of that. and decide to go over to trial. i think actually john kasich was a perfect example of someone who was able to understand the grassroots, understand that people are what is happening at the local level. i think you has been a disconnect between the republican leaders and what's happening in the grassroots level. i feel that it's important i think to make that distinction. so i think that's why there was a rejection of a marco rubio and rejection of these washington types because of the fact that,
you know -- >> the whole tea party came about because we cynically, we collectively as republicans, said put us in power, we are going to balance the budget, restrain government. and what do we do? we have the present, the congress of what we do? we put two wars o on the credit card do when you inhabit that. the tea party came because of a sickly because of our inaction. what do we tell the tea party? we are going to repeal obamacare even though president obama -- >> we didn't have enough votes. [talking over each other] >> wait a second. you didn't fight against obama. you said you're going to repeal obamacare. you can't. technically you really can't. we need 60 senators to do so. so i think there was deathly a sense that they didn't get anything done in congress and we are done with you. >> and then today we have a
health care bill that the data on arrival. we are going to end up with a bill that we've had for another year probably at least. >> so do you think that republicans, as we move to the 2010 elections in the house and senate side, and likely for republicans much more democrats up on the senate in 2018 than republicans. but they should fully identify with trump and the approach he had towards winning in 2016? >> i think each will be different. i think you look at these battles. it favors republicans. it's going to depend how much they can get done and how they can be successful in the legislative agenda. so that means will the transition of going from obamacare to a ryan-trumpcare, will that be a good transition?
are you going to have the same plant and his congressional districts, these protest is coming out in the town halls and make it known their views. what i find is the american, the average americans, they don't like change. will be changing from this obamacare to this next whatever is going to be. the thing is trump right net of the republicans have little capital. their political capital royal right out by end of year, the end of this year. so it really is going to depend on impact. if they get there and obamacare that is almost impossible to do duplicate the tax reform and if you see the economy and jobs going back to america and the economy moving, there's a possibility but history shows midterm elections always goes against the party in power. >> would you be happy if trump
is a find a way to work with congressional republicans to pass a replacement bill and to enact some sort of tax reform? >> as governor kasich said two weeks ago, he's the pilot of the plane. you want the plane to land safely. that doesn't mean about the next leg of the trip. of course we want them to be successful. we need meaningful tax reform for all sorts of reasons, one for fairness and one for economic growth. and, of course, but i don't is great that happening. i see more likely him cutting deals with chuck schumer, et cetera on infrastructure deal more quickly than i see tax reform. >> and what would you be telling, if you were working for a republican, one of the few who are up for reelection in 2018, about how they should be positioning themselves?
>> mercedes is said this. every race is different. unfortunately our most vulnerable republicans in the house, i'll just talk about the house first, will be the ones that will be most distant from the president. but they will pay the biggest price for his positions and his conduct. they are in danger because of the districts in nature are more equivocal. the senate race will be different. the headwinds, i'm not anticipating, a big economic upturn between now and 2018. i think the headwinds historical will be what they are against us and the presidents approval ratings are what they are now, even lower. it's going to be difficult. we could have a net gain and still have a bad outcome because we didn't take as much of the suit in the house. we could lose nominal control of the house if we are not careful.
and so paul and others need to really score some victories that could be seen as, not victories for the party but victories for the country. i think that's vital. there's too much talk about this is good for republican party. if it's good for the country that will automatically be good for your party. >> let me ask you if someone believes that trump is not a stable leader and could do things that might be dangerous, would you not want to see one of the two houses of congress have the ability to keep him in check? >> i don't have a lot of faith in nancy pelosi. [inaudible] >> just in terms of having a threat. >> he's talking people in his own party. >> these investigations, we see the financial conference -- conflict of interest. devin nunes on the house intelligence committee, he keeps
complaining about the investigation that he supposed to be in charge of it. so i mean -- i know you care about these issues. >> i do. public pressure will cause them to do the right thing. i personally support a special prosecutor. i personally support a select committee and congress to look at this because the attack on our political party. the attack is an attack on our political party and there's nothing more divine than the defense of our democracy. i don't care who you are. i take great offense that we seem to be dragging our feet on that. having said that i'm not ready to turn the keys back over to speaker pelosi because i don't have faith that will be run any better or anything else. >> let me ask sort of a big picture question and demo go to the audience for questions. the republican party and the conservative movement, used to like to identify themselves
above all with ronald reagan and with reaganism. they used to say that there was an optimism, i shining city on the hill and a loyalty that went all the way back to goldwater days, the bedrock conservative principles, on all three legs of the stool. all three legs, even though there was a buffett for ronald reagan's or when he sat on the stool there was no tipping. it was his stool and -- my question, as we move to a trump republican party, a conservative party, is it darker, is it meaner, is it less ideologically coherent, internally coherent cracks i mean, you talk about, he's hawkish in some ways, not hawkish in other ways and he
goes back and forth on the same issue. ask them about syria three times and you get five different answers. reagan, it was hard to figure where he and the people supported him woodland. and now i watched cpac and to talk about ronald reagan and the talk donald trump. has trump pushed, pulled, nudged the conservative party into a much different place than where reagan had? >> we have two separate what donald trump stancil and how he conducts himself from the rest of the party. he's the president of the united states right now, but his conduct, as far as foreign-policy has been erratic and dangerous. ronald reagan was able and then president bush who succeeded him, they were firm. not only did our allies know what we were doing, our opponents did.
so the world was a more stable place which led to the downfall of the soviet empire. and on domestic policy, the same thing. here we have a president who comes in the business world, a blank slate and he kind of -- or he's a radical pace as swings away saw on fox and friends in the morning or read on the website. that's not how we can conduct national secret policy. because real life art state. it's not a laughing matter. there are going to be people who will no longer be alive or no longer be free idea for now because of the actions of this president. in other countries. that is not something that we should take lightly. that's that something ronald reagan or the people who knew ronald reagan appreciate when people try to co-joine code joiy with the president reagan. >> i think that is the tillerson and the national security --
what? >> go on. i'm curious. exxon mobil is coming. >> national security will provide foreign security advice. i think he has decided going to position -- [talking over each other] >> of the vice president and secretary defense. he said -- [talking over each other] >> that's not what happened. when he actually said what, you know, what john mccain was saying, and you undercut them, the president of united states. [talking over each other] spirit explain, not everyone to follow this. explain what you saw what happened there. >> there was a a nash is pretty conference in munich was originally nato allies and now it is grown, russians come and get rains come in the chinese, and it's kind of ridiculous, but you've all the security leaders of different countries that come
and speak. it's a chance for us to meet with our allies. it's a chance for us to interface with people who are neutral and a chance interface with our potential and real adversaries. john mccain has been going for 30 years and has led that conference and led the american delegation to that conference this year. governor kasich went as delicate and send it to mccains requested so obvious that we saw a lot of first-hand knowledge and we talked to a lot of europeans there who would like distressed with what they're getting out of this administration. it's not what the hearing out of general mattis. they're not getting anything out of mr. tillerson who, and there distressed about what they're hearing from the present. he said you can send mike pence they're all you want and you can send general mattis there, but our allies need to hear from you and enjoy needs to speak with
the same voice. that's not a criticism. that's a fact. and he needs to start getting back up being presidential. you need to step up and understand that words matter. unfortunately, tweets matter now, you know. and just accept responsibility for this. he speaks for, not mike pence, not rex tillerson, he, he has to set the tone. >> i do believe when john mccain went over to munich and made the comment, being critical of the president, that is not what we need. i don't think it's helpful in -- >> i think you need to read what he said. do not lose faith in the american people, that we will stand with you if you are in the ukraine will stand with you if you're in the baltics. we will stand with you against vladimir putin. you may take that as criticism. >> no. >> when the issue though is when john mccain says that, whether
it's accurate, undressing true or not, he's speaking from his perspective and we've seen from the president statement speedy representing the american delegation. >> we've seen from the president back and forth on nato, back and forth on ukraine. of course it's quite well-known that he's yet to say one critical thing about putin who is, you know, oppressive saga on a good day. he hasn't attacked nordstrom and arnold schwarzenegger and rosie o'donnell and the list goes on and on. you could address that point but one thing that really puzzles me, really puzzles me is when it comes to the foreign-policy national security leg of the triad, how conservatives who
support trump, what they think about his approach to russia. because to me this is where i join john and i picked i'm not a hot and i always, throughout the cold war we should try to find ways to lessen tensions and to find areas where we can work together, as we did on nonproliferation and on the iran sanctions. but at the same time i like it is has basically declared war on liberal democracies throughout europe and america, and back at home people like us who disagree with them would have to flee or fear for our lives. and yet donald trump again and again and again, it's just uncanny, cannot say a negative word about him, cannot talk about the repression in russia, the deaths of the journalists and critics of putin and cannot
say anything about russian meddling not in the united states, in western europe and elsewhere. two me it's mind-boggling. >> i mean, nikki haley at united nations made comments that were critical. >> but he can't. my question -- my question is what you think about why he can't? >> why can a former bush security official -- spirit and anonymous source. >> i ask because i did, i was like what should we do with russia court he said here's the deal. senators want a certain approach in calling for an later, making all these comments, understandable. with the president he's in a position right now where it would be to the benefit of the united states and russia to try, i won't even use the word recess because hillary use the word
recess, but how give a better relationship with russia. it can't start on the footing of the above, and the other comments. to it has to start with building a relationship. >> you guys are calling it feckless. he fights hard and -- >> a schoolyard bully. what i'm saying is that -- >> what would ronald reagan say? >> one think that he is he understand reset is an opportunity for industry more appropriate. he understands strength and foreign-policy. this new cold war that some consider a sink we just need to kind of work with putin, trump is a businessman. he can cut a good deal with him. >> i think he can't get a good deal with him. >> no, you can't. these strategies in the white house have been meeting with albright and white supremacists
leaders in europe who are against our allies, some of our funded by putin, is also sent aa signal that is totally inappropriate. look, we needed from the president that he's going to stand with our nato allies, stand with the eu in stand with -- we need a foreign policy based on values not based on -- >> it's just you all decide to parse it the way you want to parse it. he has made this comment in sticking with the nato allies. look at his speech. >> okay. let's go to some questions. there's a microphone there. microphone there. i did say i had a preference for students. get to some students and the other people can join. i don't know, tell us your name and maybe where you're from a much requested we will over
here. >> -- we will start over here. is the mic on? spirit i'm from baltimore, and my question is twofold. you talked about how divide our country is and how there are sort of two sections of it. trump is talking to made one section what he says. which are something else. i'm wondering on our side what we should be doing to bridge that gap, and on your side for some of the things you support how we can bridge that gap when the president constantly walks into non-policy related controversial matters like attacking the president this past weekend? and objectively lies, and in terms of like fox news, i check it every morning and i rarely see any speed is just like the president. >> i really see any overlap
between them and the times as well. there's almost no overlap between the headlines. aren't those things help integrate the ultimate reality? >> that's a great question. i think, obviously i should start from the top. i think there is this complete sense of calm and i'm glad you are watching fox once in a while, that you are able to get as much a news as you can from different outlets and see what people are thinking on the right, on the left. i think it's a helpful thing to do in general. i think to the divide, i think part of it is, we've been on politicians debating on live television, it could be tough but when you're off tv the rally is actually try to have the discussions on how could we find common ground? select after the president -- the first per cycle after any
sort of election is my mentor who is actually retired but worked at the university that i went through, and he's a democrat, and i was a conservative. we always talked about where can we find common ground in terms of policy. i think you're finding that one thing with president donald trump is that since he's not an ideologue, he's not appear conservative, he's not a true liberal. he wants to work with different sides of the albert would it help if he could control his tweeting and not go with his gut reaction and realize that, as john said, words matter? i think it would be incredibly beneficial for him. i don't control the president and he is who he is. how he wants to communicate and not necessarily use immediate which in a lot of ways really represented us, like an evil guy. anyone who has personal contact with him will tell you he's not.
like he is not there, whole idea that he wants to be a dictator or he's authoritarian. it's like when you meet him he says it all the time took his focus on what i need to do to grow the economy? >> why does he up at six and a morning attacking arnold schwarzenegger? this since you get is that he's not going to focus on the policy stuff. >> he is all the time, david. >> ninety minutes for rating the press and is on the big press our in as president. he didn't talk about policy. how could we not being fair? how to me since messages to sean spicer while these during the briefing saying hit them harder. i mean, it seems that he is not always focus. >> you know this he has no interest in being friends with the press. [talking over each other] >> no.
for him, with past press secretaries, daniel paul reno is a friend of mine. i know ari fleischer. these people had very helpful relations with the press. for the press to be analyzing itself for like days on and when they were called, when donald trump called him an enemy of the american people, they kept psychoanalyzing themselves. why are we in any? they were talking day after day. >> when the president of united states calls anyone or anything in any of the american people, i mean -- [talking over each other] >> it should be independent. >> breitbart. >> it is independent. they can report what they see and what they want. he may not like what the report
but he can't tell them -- but to call them the enemy. not that they are wrong or their misguided which he is there to do, but he calls them the enemy of the american people. do you believe that quite do you believe they are an enemy of the american people? >> nono, i don't. that's my opinion. >> what could be more divisive that stating it like that? i mean, you can't, you know, you can't call for coming together, we all want to see the count to be less divisive and then give a pass to someone in authority who creates that decision when his tweet says worse, without any consequences. that's enough for my speech. >> you said it very well. let's go to another question.
>> i'm curious about the sense in which you think the strategy is being by both parties are -- [inaudible] check one, too. i want to know what you think about the strategy by the puppetrepublicans and democratse become regional in that a lot of de facto leaders of each party, like say the republicans, chairwoman mcdaniel and speaker and the vice president of the chief of staff are all from the midwest, at the de facto leaders of the democratic party like chuck schumer and warren, booker and senate are all from the northeast and how that's going to play out geopolitically moving forward when some of the areas that are sort of ripe for the taking are not really being responded to in terms of people from those places being elevated to the forefront, the discussion, how that's going to
work out. >> k-6 also from the midwest. >> the democratic side, they won't have a lead of the party into revenue standardbearer running resident in 2020. so they were 18, 20 people running for the position so who knows what that will be. but both parties are in search of an identity quite frankly. we stumbled upon mr. trump and he was able to win. hillary clinton was as essentially was elected -- she moved around to try to beat back senator sanders. you had a 72-year-old socialist and wasn't even wasn't even a member of the democrat party who almost won the nomination. and that most of the energy to their primary battle. then you at our situation. i think both parties are currently still searching for what they're going to be in the next ten, 20, 30 years. but we won't see who the
democrats are, what he will be until they have their primary battle for president. that's how that kind of works. and on our side we will see what happens if this president serves out his term or if he runs for reelection or as president for eight years, or what, we don't know, but we can't really do much about our situation until it's the post trump world. that's my view of it. >> do you see a post trump world watches the trump world? that's the identity of the party has found that will stick around for? >> i think yes, for now will. doesn't mean it's going to be the party for the next you know, 14, 20 years, you know. leaders to shape the party. so if this is bring in more white working working-class individuals into the party, maybe so. but you want to make sure you are also, bringing in women, bringing in hispanics, african-americans. one of the things president
trump's is focused on in terms of helping build inner cities and it's something that i think republicans have done a terrible job of even talking about. he doesn't have a problem going to talk to african-american leaders in their communities, something that republicans again shied away from for a long time. >> he didn't do that much during the long time. during the campaign. >> republicans are the most part, i don't think you do enough. they just give up the african-american vote to democrats. so what i think is the case study, the state of texas, which is growing hispanic population, and john lived there, and what does it mean in terms of when you saw on the map there was a point it wasn't trump, it wasn't hillary. so are those change in demographics going to be telling a the republican party needs to
go which as we know right now it's the governor, republican governor, john cornyn who say a very high visibility in that committee. so that's the trend you want to be seen. [inaudible] >> olean castro but running against him. >> thank you for coming. i'm a sophomore here. i had a question about the comparisons that of trump and the reagan administration. i don't see, i would love to get your opinion on this, how you can make that comparison given the reagan approach of the '80s, reagan and margaret thatcher approach and what we see administration as chief sergey steve bannon. i heard president donald trump talk about how you want to build pipes. that was just for american companies that want to quit all
our products are that's a drastically different world review. that's a different approach from reagan in the '80s. i just would like to how you can see and focus on both of these different worldviews of both conservatives. [inaudible] in terms of jobs. they would go about in different ways. less regulation, something both reagan and trump would see. pass reform. the last big tax reform was back in 1986. so you would find commonality in terms of tax reform as well. i think that reagan spoke to the working-class, the reagan democrats and to think trump effectively did the same thing in the rust belt states. i think are some campaigners and in that paper i think his foreign-policy, this is where have a bit of the kind of forget where trump is going to go from
a foreign-policy standpoint. it seems like he's more of an isolationist but then at the same time which is not like reagan but at the same time he wants to provide this peace through strength. they talk about all the time in the trump world, very much taken from a page out of reagan's foreign-policy position. so i think that while there's a lot of commonality, there's still not, there's some differences because i do think trump is not going to be one too come want to be filling in like iraq, or in the case of george w. bush, just not his style. but i think peace through strength what america is strong wary of military buildup, that's very much similar to what reagan pushed. >> it's complicated. >> definitely. >> i don't think there's a very fair comparison. reagan on his foreign-policy was kind of pre-neocon.
he was not for intervening in world affairs necessarily but he was for firm response did it with the soviets at the time and he continued what president nixon did with his rapprochement with china. because you look on trade -- >> was a very focused on ongoig battle with the evil empire. which led to all sorts of thin things. it was a mixed bag. ..
and it would've countries in the chinese shadow away from china and more toward the american orbit, canceling that was a big mistake not just for job creation here but for many strategic national security point of view because trade and national security have to go together. i think there are major differences. there's not zone behind trumpet because he's a blank slate or there's a mismatch of policy views. i don't think there's any one core this is the last question, right? >> quick questions, quick answers. >> my questions is i want to thank you guys for being here and i want to give you feedback about ourselves. i'm from dallas texas and i go to bradley, one of the most liberal campuses so i have no both perspectives very well. my dad raised me to understand perspective so my question is, after looking at , after evaluating the facts, not the alternative facts but the facts, in getting trump
out of the picture just what he's done and said, a lot of the little things bother me. like, not showing up for the national security briefing, taking away the spanish part of the white house website. it's vetting the russian communicators campaign and the league of national security threats and i look at all these facts and without trying to put my own opinion in their, i'm not questioning values at all but i want to understand, i want to learn why i should continue to support someone like that as the president of the united states and what i can say to myself or other people to convince them to continue supporting him. because before the election, i understood, if you are a trump supporter, i respect that value but right now i'm confused as to why i should think he's capable. >> i think this is to you. [laughter] >> i think trump is a
relationship builder and i think you will see he has wrought in some democrats. he's a relationships guide. it's what he does well. it's where he's able to negotiate deals. he's very much focused on pushing forward his agenda and if you believe in his campaign promises, that's where he's going. unfortunately, there's a lot of other noise around it which makes it very difficult and i think it would be wise if you could really stay focused on what his agenda is because one thing about donald trump is he could do work and he really is about how can i focus on helping the coal miners or, it's where his heart is and that's where he wants to do but i think he does, he gets distracted would be the word on things that i really don't necessarily matter. >> the guy who's in charge of nuclear weapons is so easily
distracted. >> can we get one more year quickly? >> i want to say be involved. speak out. participate. watch fox. read the new york times. don't select your ecosystem to all you know. or all that you believe in. be open-minded and make your own decisions but if you are opposed to him, participate. if you're for him, participate. it's vital for our democracy that people get involved and stay involved no matter what your views are. >> this is our last question. >> my name is naomi from los angeles nevada/ tijuana mexico and on the fear first year so myquestion , i guess i will add more to it first. a few days ago the president
met with a lot of leaders from historically black colleges and a few days later the same leaders who had met with him came out with official statements on their college websites how they felt essentially played and that nothing really came out of it. except for an instagram photo op. you can go on their websites and it's not an alternative fact but as a minority, i may first generation mexican american. i don't want an administration who looks at us to fill a quota. you said those numbers are good enough but we are not numbers, where human beings so how do you think this administration will , if they do, reach out to us and care about us if that's going to be putting people in the administration that represent us, not just white men. what steps are they going to take beyond a photo off. >> i'm seeing people who are now the secretary of labor nominee. i think that for one of his key advisors in the white house, he takes this special
assistant and public liaison, someone who i worked closely with during the campaign who really had done an outstanding job reaching out to hispanics in key battleground states and in particular, i know that it's important. it's an important part of what they want to do in terms of reaching out to the hispanic community. i think it's going to start with the jobs, where the key is for them in terms of helping small business owners, helping hispanics in terms of school choice which for example, benefit minorities more so than in their case as well. so i think it's going to be based on his policy agenda. and it's unfortunate because i know for him he's drying, that's an area that he wants to be focusing on and i know he's got good people in place that this is what they've done, the rnc, moved it over
to the white house, she's director of media affairs at the white house. these are people who i know and trust and work with and they get it. and i know they're going to be very vocal voices as well as rants previous who supported them in their efforts to get out the nomination for the hispanic community. >> what are you looking for? what would convince you that this president and the people around him cared about you, your community and your concerns? >> first, the little things. not calling out entire groups of people . and having hateful rhetoric, that's definitely a big issue but also policy. like she said, representation. just having a token hispanic or a token african-american really isn't enough. going out, reaching into the
local communities, asking us what we want. >> i haven't been seeing a lot of that but hopefully it's something they will start considering. >> we as a party need to do more of that anyway and must have been longtime advocates of that. so we as a party need to do it and obviously this president or any president needs to do that as well. >> thanks to our panel. [applause] thank you all. >> this afternoon former hhs secretary kathleen sibelius will talk about ways to improve and of life care. that will be live from the aspen institute at noon eastern on c-span. later the discussion on sexism in the workplace with the american association of university women.
live at one in the afternoon here on c-span2. here are some of the programs this holiday weekend on c-span. saturday at 8 pm on the discovery of seven earthlike planets orbiting a nearby star. >> we are using that space to study in the trappist one system to determine if they have higher helium dominated. >> a discussion on the pros and cons of genetically modified food. posted by rick blair in los angeles. >> those of us who do this thing that our plans are gm owes because there's nothing that you buy in any of your grocery stores whether it's conventional, whatever that hasn't been genetically modified. >> easter sunday , white house speaker eggroll event from the last four presidents. >> then a visit to the african-american history museum in washington. >> i knew that the nation was thirsting for this museum but
i have to confess i didn't know that the reaction would be this positive and this strong. >> at 1:35, a panel of federal judges discussing the history of the bill of rights. >> what the bill of rights is as part of the constitution. >> it's hugely important. a designation of fences, a division of power. >> followed by a conversation with the smithsonian institution david horton, that library of congress carla hayden and david theriault. >> our collection is 156 million objects including 2 million books and 154 million other things. >> at 6:30 p.m., presidential historian and the green medford, douglas brinkley and richard norton smith. they discussed presidential leadership. >> it is interesting that the greatest american president,
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