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tv   Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin This Will Not Pass - Trump Biden...  CSPAN  May 31, 2022 3:54pm-5:08pm EDT

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on-demand. keep up with today's biggest events withlive streams of floor proceedings and hearings from the u.s. congress, white house events, the court , campaigns and more from the world of politics all at your fingertips. you can also stay current with the latest episodes of washington journal and scheduling information for c-span's tv networks and c-span radio plus compelling podcasts . c-span now is available at the apple store and google play. your front row seat to washington anytime, anywhere. >> welcome to the latest event trump, biden and the i battle for america's future. i'm a fourth year student from new jersey and managing editor of the iowa undergraduate. we're thrilled to be joined by two national political correspondence for the times, jonathan martin and alex for us with his new book this s will not pass. from biting battles for america's future on the stability wracked by two years of peperpetual crisis. before joining the times mister martin was a writer
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politico and co-authored a book on the 2012 election. mister burns was governing the 2016 election was a repair andeditor at politico where he covered the 2012 election and previously was the editor of harvard political review . the conversation will be moderated by david axelrod and director of the institute of politics in chicago andnow i'll turn it over to our speakers . [applause] >> harvard, that's in theeast . >> good to see you guys. i want to as i read this book i read a lot about the book before we saw the book because you guys were very skillful at disseminating some nuggets there that would be enticing to people. but let me ask you about that
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first. my fundamental point is this book is so much bigger than the things that we read that were kind of exclusive sort of scoops. the narrative of what's going on in our country and what went on in 2020 and i guess into this year was really, really deep and wonderfully written. how emuch pressure are you under when you write a book like this to produce things that nobody else has? scoops. i see you rolling your eyes. >> i'm not. >> icds rolling his eyes at you . >> first of all let me say thank you to university of chicago. >> and to david for hosting
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us. it's a thrill to be back. there's certainly pressure from the publisher of your book and authors paying you to produce a work they want tosee people purchase themselves . >> by the way it's available out there. >> and on the way out i'd love for you to grab a copy. but i think what alex means is we've been colleagues now for nearly 15 years. the pressure that we felt was just from ourselves. we are competitors. we wanted to produce the best possible book and that means like two things. a well-written and the other part of it means a lot of reporting. we were committed to getting those scoops david and driving news and getting inside the roots of american
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politics. getting those conversations. not necessarily because we felt pressure from external forces but isbecause we wanted to and we felt this is an extremely important period of american history and we want to offer what we hope would be the building blocks for future historians to look back on these years and try to capture what was going on in american politics and why didit happen ? that's why we were so committed to capturing not just secondhand accounts but first-hand account. getting right-of-way source material whether it's audio recordingswhere you've heard or whether it was memos or documents . back brought people to this period . >> and not just in washington but what's so interesting about your book is you asked players across the country who interacted with the
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politics of the moment including our own mayor here who is represented in this book. but alex, i don't want to be parochial about the book writing business. there are a ton of books out already and some coming about the 2020 election. you guys had a book contract. you knew that. you knew hawoodward and dacosta were out there and maggie and all the other books that are being written. how did you decide what the contours of this book would be and what did you hope the story would be? >> first of all let me say my own thanks to you. to jennifer and caitlin and all of you for being here. that's a huge challenge at
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wthe start of any major recording project whether it's a book or a long-range story that you're working on in is to figure out how do you put together something that will benefit from long-range, intensive reporting and also still feel new and current and competitive when it comes out and yes there's commercial pressure to attract readers who will spend money to consume but it's also just look, we have a demanding day job. >> .. d
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is this idea to try to take a risk on a narrative that would stand the run up to the 2020 election, aftermath and 'consequences of the election ad we started talking about doing that, we did know january 6 was -- >> tell that to the authorities. [laughter] >> what we did know is the country was going through an extra night crisis of 2020 the form of covid impresses upon crisis after that and it would be a real testament system, could we have a free and faire election, added transfer of power and a o new administration that got some stuff done? that was a broad shape even before you started to fill in the most alarming detail of the picture. >> or to get to the story of the
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parties, two presidents but i mentioned the narrative, the story of january 6 have been retold and retold in a million different ways but somehow it seems fresher in this book because of the first-hand accounts you have and i was mentioning before we came out here, i found words so clear in this book is how much people in both parties felt their lives were in danger that day. you talk about anthony gonzalez who ended up voting for impeachment, a republican and probably caused his political career to do it but on that day, talk about what he did and the other side jason crow and the conversation he had with his wife, republican, democrat,
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young former military, speak to that. >> one of the things we pride ourselves on was talking to so many members of congress or not a household name and really trying to animate the forces driving them to make excruciating decisions like ending your own political career by voting to impeach donald trump as a republican or just what's going through your head and those crucial moments we knew if we generated a narrative by january 6 that told you all donald trump gave the speech on the national mall and evacuate mike pence from the senate floor and they took congress to a secure location, etc., that's familiar. i we knew we had to get to that and he had been enormous advantage of opportunity being in the capitol complex -- >> remember seeing you wandering
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around on the capitol that night but anthony gonzalez pulled us -- members told us, told their colleagues, friends and family about these wrenching things they did in real time. basin grow as a democrat elected colorado, forming army ranger, is in the gallery but when the capitol is locked down he calls his wife and she no he's a soldier and the kind of trainint he has and the way he might want to behave and she says don't be a hero. she's scared her husband is going to try to do -- >> and they have children. >> he sent her home early, this is the one of the most chilling things we discovered in the run-up to january 6 is how many members felt like something terrible was about to happen.
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>> jason crow, andy came from new jersey and did the same things. their families would come to washington or washington january 6 and they felt like something feels really wrong. i want my spouse, daughter or son to be in this city anymore. >> gonzalez left a note in his desk. >> a republican from ohio, folks in this room might member hean played pro football, peyton manning indianapolis colts and a pretty young guy, in his 30s, a fascinating story of human american, widely seen as this rising star in gop politics in congress and he's shaken by the events of that day. we talked to him about his experience that day, one of the most compelling parts of the book i think.
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he was in his office in the capitol complex and he decided to write a note for his wife and put in desk just in case he lost his life. just hearing that gives you chills because you realize what was going through the minds of lawmakers in those hours and how close we were to an even greater catastrophe january 6 and to finish the story on gonzalez, he decided he wants after january 6, he would not run for reelection. thirty-seven years old i think and he voted to impeach president trump a week after january 6 and obviously caught hell from president trump from
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that and he talks about death threats that have come in aboutt his family at the airport he and his from a uniformed police officers escorted him off the gat' and he says i don't want this life anymore, it's not worth it. a wife and young kids, who needs that? he's pretty honest, was it to come back here for a party in the throes of tropism anyway so he's a fascinating one, for everything that flows out of that for his disillusionment with his party and politics in general. >> you have scenes from inside the republican caucus and i want to talk about, we are going to talk about both parties but i want to talk about things that have been beyond the storyline of this book and into the
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future, we had a great republican in this state, abraham lincoln -- >> in illinois? of the key was born here. >> his first inaugural address he said we are not enemies but friends before the civil war, we must not be enemies though passion may have strained, must not break our bonds of affection so you have a republican from arizona now named andy biggs and he had a slightly different message in the republican caucus in the aftermath of january 6 and he was named -- at democrats such as cheney were taking on trump and he accused her of aid and comfort to democrats and he said they are not just an opponent, they are an adversary trying to wipe this country out and change it forever and it
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strikes me that quote is heavy with meaning because it is what is driving so much of republican politics now and we talk about tropism, we were talking before we came out here about this senate race in pennsylvania right now, donald trump endorsed doctor ollis. there's another candidate who spent $40 million or something and a woman who's likely going to win the primary or certainlyo could spent virtually nothing but is ultra mega to the right of trump and all of them. what does this say about theat state of republican politics? >> the notion that --
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>> is not a leading question? [laughter] >> i think it is but i'm willing to be led on this. at this think the sentiment is so pervasive even among people who are comparatively ideologically mainstream relative to andy biggs, people who don't necessarily have way out the right wing policy ideas but just feel the democrats are out to take this country apart at the building blocks and whenw you see the other party that way it makes the basic operations of famerica government virtually impossible. the story in pennsylvania is extraordinary, i think it speaks to a couple of things but one is we have written so many times about trump control of the republic and party. this is not a study on the trump, decisive front runner doctor oz but trumps brand of
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politics is in control of the republican party in pennsylvania, this candidate kathy burnett, she is in many m ways more trump than trump and she's out there saying a paraphrase, trump doesn't control the mega movement, you're more than that and it's a hell of a signal about the overall republican topic, i think you could make the case it's a little ominous for donalp trump personally. this next generation of revolutionaries starts to sayhe the guy who led them on the march is not actually in control of the revolution anymore that makes is pretty unpredictable for everybody involved. >> in the governor's race, governor's primary you have a candidate likely to win who's running in tandem with the senate candidate or loosely whose also far to the right of the other candidates --
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>> we use terms like far to the right and i get why but ten years ago if we use that language about the tea party, that wasn't shorthand for like down the line ideological conservatives among issues ask why, they are limited spend and culture issues, i think it's so much more now based on affect and mutualism more than it is other issues. it's not just what policies, it is the packaging, her story, her profile, republicans parties organize around opposition to and contempt for the democrats.
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a finger in the eye platform iss basically what the platform is, we are against those guys and we want to take it to them and what better way to take it to them than putting forth a conservative movement saying a lot of the things you believe like pretty emphatically offering fascinating life story that's terms as a rebuke to what you believe are the pieties of the left but that's pretty powerful stuff and wrapped up in profile and image and appearance as it is any set of issues and facts different than ten years ago. >> it speaks to why governor to santos -- >> trump first, then to santos and now this. >> to santos, he comes across
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like the quarterback of the high school football team slamming the geeky kid against the lockers to get laughs from the cheerleaders except in this kid the geeky kids are the democrats and democratic sugarless so you're looking at me like i don't like my analogy. >> is the slamming against the lockers that is the appeal. >> yeah, the muscularityit of i. >> yeah. >> how much do you think we are sitting here, obviously you know this in the district that spawned barack obama's political career, how much of this nativism when you hear andy biggs quote about the want to change america you hear this discussion about they want to replace us, push us out, how
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much was a reaction to the election of the first black president? >> i think there's no question it accelerated that and brought it to the mainstream of conservative politics here in a way that haven't been before, part of it is the actual reaction to the election of the first black president. i think part of it also is the political success of democrats in the 2006 and 2008 election, wiped out election of mainstream comparatively mainstream conservative politicians and opened the door to whoever would put their namen on the ballot when the election came, it broke the oldhm guard establishment te old-fashioned way by beating them at the ballot box and consecutive election. i think it is a bigger story than reaction to barack obama, the proof is when you look other
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western countries were style of politics has been on the rise some cases before us and in some cases accelerating substantially after, the right wing populism broadly defined has been on the march across central and a westn and eastern europe and the uk for some time and like a lagging indicator of the direction of western democratic politics culturally but jonathan alluded to the tea party, it's one thing the media has been up front looking back on coverage of the tea party, there were a lot of candidates who put their names on the ballot in 2010 "afterwards" who sincerely believe in theal written spendia and hated aca and other obamaer era policies but whether voters really motivated by a profound ideological opposition to expanded government spending? some, some were motivated by other darker stuff.
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>> i guess was different is it okay to remove it. >> that is something trump did. >> he removed both sides, the pretense that it's not about race and identity and that they care about spending like a trump era republican party doesn't care about that.ra >> i want to spend very little time on this because it's so picked over in the coverage of your book but it speaks to the power of the movement we've been discussing. both republican leaders in the senate and the house, their initial reaction trumps, the january 6 was republicans, at least they were's respect that, mitch mcconnell seemed to be visceral in mccarthy's case, who
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knows but they both expressed themselves to their caucus and their leadership on this. quickly in mccarthy's case later and more subtly in mcconnell's case dissipated and i thought one of the most telling quote in the book was when mcconnell was explaining why he didn't go along with the impeachment, i think impeachment movement he said i didn't get to be leader by voting with five members of the caucus so what does that say about their future in command of caucus as we move forward? >> is is that they are going to be led by their caucus. politically, it's a lot for
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mccarthy to back what he perceives as the center of gravity and his conference in push his conference to be more advantageous long-term but obviously short-term it will create political challenges they want to go through a path of least resistance and in his case speedy path before the end of january. >> you said he was just in the neighborhood. >> just in the neighborhood, just happened toto stop in at te compound of the former president's house. >> what it does have is implication for the future because it is very likely when you think about gonzales and others leaving and he look at the results in west virginia and primary last week to encompass went up against each other and one last for the january 6 commission and infrastructure,
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the caucus is going to be more polarized and ferocious than it is right now. what you are saying is so will mccarthy. >> i think the parties are being purified and the election cycles role by the house and senate are more doug in ideological or partisan and you can look at the senate turn over who's replacing republican senators or for that matter to place in senators and is speaks to this and in both parties, it is possible the next few weeks you have to of the most conservative house democrats lose their primary can be replaced by much more
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progressive house lawmakers. >> one of the interesting things in your book nancy pelosi's private observations of her own caucus, i think she said you can give me a billion dollars to be speaker again which raises the question about how long she'll remain in congress. >> we don't know whether she met she couldn't get the billing dollars because she would do it for free but this is something she says i forget november or december or november of 2020, after clear democrats held the house by this margin and she's staking and scraping provoked across the democratic caucus to get to 218 and become speaker of the house again and she finds it, humiliating experience, the she's the most formidable figure in the house in my lifetime by a lot and here she has to go hat
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in hand to these dutchmen for long serving but in her you irrelevant people and ask them please -- >> and arguably after being the thin blue line during trump -- there are plenty of people in the democrat party a who will sy that her doing it again and then there's a block of people who want to make her beg for it and she says this is basically the last time, nothing could have me do what i'm doing right now. what she also said, almost a year later when the left wing of the house caucus gives her headache after headache trying to get the infrastructure built through the house, they are killing her because they are so that at biden and joe manchin for not getting build back better done and she says two ofe the most prominent progressives in the house and the head of the house progressive caucus and aoc, what they are c doing is competing to be queen bee of the house minority where she feels like her own members on the lefo
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are sabotaging the party as a whole trying to keep our. >> is speaks to the larger question and there are so many different anecdotes onha the si, the atomization of the democraticic party and how difficult it is not just for nancy pelosi but for joe biden and the decisions he had to make our political decisions he had to make to try and signify thisi identity party base heat as a 77-year-old white guy was okay. >> this is a lot of material in the book, you have somebody and joe biden trying to forget consensus with a party that has
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grown, the blessing of the trump for democrats is in large the party, and that creates challenges, what you're trying to put together a majority of votes for party that spans w actual socialist like aoc with conservative democrats like joe manchin who collectively have like one thing in common, they post donald trump and that was w very significant and why the biden is president but once your have that one thing than what's next? that gets to the heart of biden trying to forge consensus in the party and you see that immediately after his election, the chapter you are alluding to, he's putting together his government and biden is trying to satisfy divergent party, extremely or ever more interested in an organized by
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identity so he's getting together cabinet potentially gop held senate to confirm these nominees and with that in mind trying to please various democratic roofs and it's difficult, a real puzzle. you see it when he's trying to figure out who should be secretary of health and human services. somebody i have in mind could do it but they hispanic caucus rgiving my staff grief over the back of hispanic individuals in the cabinet so how do we fix this? is for this against, you can see the challenges the other cabinet but it doesn't end there. >> i will if that's the right expression but let me come down
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on that because secretary of health and human services is a significant position but probably more in the t middle of 100 year pandemic and yet they chose someone who had no discernible background in hold in order to check that box because the forces they were contending with were so strong they felt they needed to. that is policy implication. >> it does and i think the way you put is the right way, the forces they were dealing with a were that strong, it is a choice on the part of joe biden and his advisors to say we don't even know xavier becerra, biden botches his name when he announces, he says obvious block area as the nominee. the rationale having a health
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background is, there are other finalists for the job, the governor of rhode island, the governor of new mexico, the hispanic caucus who has more extensive executive experience and health management experience but the chc is breathing down our necks so we are going to do becerra so i'm not saying that specific choice is the original part of the biden administration but it's an important choice is not singularly important but it's pretty important in the context of the pandemic. if you signal to your own partyn in the early weeks after the election you can preach me around in the incoming president of the united states who asked a 76-year-old white guy won the nomination of the party and then the election, i am so scared of what folks are saying about me and the identity based congress and even on twitter but i am
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going to be rushed into choosing this guy i barely know i think from the start it sends the signal across the democrat coalition is open season. >> and we should say joe biden got elected and you have this new book as well underscoring this in your book as well, as a kind of moderate, he was the guy who stood on the platform and said do i look like a socialist to you? >> perhaps the most effectiver speech was that speech after the kenosha rise and he went to pittsburgh, labor day of 2020 said just that line and they put that line on tv and heavy circulation around the midwest, to kind of defang the attacks biden was -- this was the irony
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of the biden administration was he was the least most popular candidate on college campuses like this certainly on twitter, somebody seen as not just yesterday's news because of his age but his politics, eagerness for consensus, affection for figures like mcconnell and he said something about mike pence, this is a nice guy, the backlash fthen candidate biden got for saying mike pence is a nice guy was enormous. for him to defeat those forces of the modern left and then once he becomes president, this constituency as the governed is striking because he didn't have to do that. those were never his voters in the firste place and twitter is
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not reality, it's not real, not' even the democratic party but they haven't practiced what they preach court. >> there's one big decision about the biggest personal decision hee made which he made during the campaign is one you read extensively about and there is an aspect of local interest because one of the people was a prime contender for vice president was tammy duckworth who according to your reporting a pretty far in the process and intrigued the biden campaign so what happened to her and how did this and the following to kamala harris and what was biden's mindset and all of that? you gotur great reporting on th. >> the main picture from the
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vice presidential process is its driven by biden people closest to him overwhelmingly by short-term political considerations. what we need to do to get early august to early november without blowing this thing seems like wy are going to win? they have this rubric traits they want them to have, but they want them makes not to have and nowhere in our reporting did we discern inside that rubric an important place was like a genuinely close relationship with joe biden and his complete total confidence they could take over the presidency carry the torch forward for the democratic party in 2024 or anytime' >> maybe they couldn't fit that in a rubric. >> it's pretty big rubric we saw the pulling they were considering, they bombarded people about these potential candidates. one thing that inspired the search committee about senator
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duckworth obviously her heroic life story, the diversity in the ticket not just in terms of her backgroundpo as a politician bua figure from the middle of the country, a war hero and somebody who grew up the time in her life in poverty in our reporting is biden connected really well with her but the lawyers had a bit of a problem and she was born in thailand, one parent is an american citizen and one who wasn't. they felt like on the merit they ought to be able to win a lawsuit against her, challenging her eligibility but they didn't want to fight the lawsuit in the middle of the campaign. >> and of course trump would make it an issue if they were running against bush, maybe they would have gone ahead anyway but there rationale was is going to cope take one judge in one state
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to knock us off the ballot, maybe not just knock off but the whole democratic ticket off the ballot in a state we can't afford to lose. >> what made them think trump would make citizenship an issue? [laughter] >> to me that's one of the most revealing aspects, joe biden knows as well as almost anyone how pernicious it is, what a force it was and in this moment he decides it's not that we are saying he would have chosen tammy duckworth if it weren't for this, he felt strongly by the time coming up on his decision to choose a black woman for the ticket and there weredy reasons it makes sense to choose somebody in national politics the way kamala harris had been and few others on the short list had but the choice to say we will take to make that work tammy duckworth out of the attack and profoundly offensive we are going to practice those
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short-term politics, i think it is another case study letting your adversary when preemptively because you don't want to lose later on and i would add, a lot of people in biden's orbit believe kamala harris was always going to be the pick, she just made the most sense on a lot of levels and yes biden didn't have a close relationship with her, yes, she attacked biden -- >> and apparently jill biden was not a fan of her attacks, is there nobody else? but it makes the fact that they never deeply grappled with what her role would look like if biden one, if you know from the get-go that would be the vp and
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you make her the vp pick,id wouldn't you consider one of the implications for governingio afr biden becomes president if he does when in one of the implications for soon to be 80-year-old incumbent president who may not be able to run for reelection and what does thatat mean?na we never got the sense biden folks consider that, so much more narrowly focused on whose the short-term pick. they did never wrestle at all with a day after the election and here we are through asking the cameras were not on about joe biden's capacity to run for president in 2024 if you can't, what do we do?
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if this plan for scenario b if he does run. >> you did some reporting and everyone has seen it, it's not as if they have made the vice president an integral part of the administration. biden was the obama administration, he ran the recovery act was sent tone negotiate the government there, sent to the hill to negotiate, we don't see that with this vice president. >> and the tasks she has taken she's not really embraced fully or has struggled with. >> they say you want a drive, we have a couple cars, we have carburetors in the back and youi can have those.g >> even try to drive the car, you think for the voting issue we report in the book something astonishing to both of us to
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report that she never want talk to joe manchin or lisa murkowski, the two most pivotable senators on the voting issue about the voting issue. how are you on the issue if you don't even have a conversation with the two most important centers on the issue? he speaks to what youin said a minute ago about her part of thn administration. why is it not happening? >> let me ask you a couple of other things. you guys talked about a decision that i think looms larger now than people realize atas the ti, the decision to jump on the movement to increase the stipend in the rescue act from $600 congress passed in december 20202 the additional 1,400,000,
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or 2000 and it turns out it was not exactly the work of economists around the table trying to get the right numberio so much as trump mad about being left out of the negotiations on the 600 is toofo small, i would have done 2000. democrats jump on it and say the georgia republic is in a special election chain shortchanged people and 2000 itt became. >> after the runoffs, after generous six, there's a meeting of senate democrats, chuck schumer who was not campaigning for $2000 checks prior to donald trump endorsing himself, he brings in the new senators from georgia, rafael warnock and john and prompts them to tell the others we made promises and we need to keep the promises. it goes from this idea president
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trump throws out there in a video on twitter one afternoon to campaign issue it's very unusual special election to the carved in stone economic agenda of the biden administration and underlying, it's not that this is a weird sequence of events on this policy, it's representing this larger wage of the biden administration makes early on, direct cash benefits or direct government benefits, they will recognize you've done something and they will reward you for it but even before you get to the issue of inflation and spending the money out there helped overheat the economy, doesn't pan out. we talked with the biden administration they would talk to people in their district, they got the money, they thought it was part of it, they don't see it showingng up in the bank
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account, thank you president biden and the democratic party so it was a policy that came about through a sequence of events that didn't do anything for joe biden politically, that is a real disappointment for them. >> now the real political problem he's facing is not that he didn't get enough credit for that but he's getting a lot of credit for runaway inflation. not all of which can be blamed on that one decision but when you look at other countries and ournt country, every country is experiencing inflation, hours maybe a little bit more. why? in part because they are fighting the last war. we've heard this so many times in the spring of 2021 you're noy going to make the mistake that you know who, the guy from this neighborhood made, barack obama, it should have been a bigger stimulus package, we are not
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going to do that again, we are going to get the biggest possible stimulus package and get this economy moving again so in effect, they overcorrect. in part i think because of economic and political impulses but also if we are being honest, i think also because of reasons of civil rivalry, barack obama and joe biden have rivalry and they are not the closest of friends and i think joe biden felt his time as vice president he was not always well respected in the obama whitehi house and h still has a grudge was not tapped to run for the presidency in 2016, people rallied to hillary clinton and we have thiv scene in 2021 in which biden's riding high and he says in an unguarded moment to an advisor, i don't think barack will would like one bit if our president,
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you can't take the personal out of the politica' equation here when we talk about biden's economic policies in that first yearar as president and why he s so intent getting the biggest possible stimulus package. >> there's a microphone there and those who have questions,in come up behind the microphone, e want to ask one more but if you don't queue up, i threatened right now i will ask more. [laughter] i want to askyo you, and i think this conversation reflects it, this book is called will not pass, it operates on different levels but the implication is the are in the throes of large forces that will not be easily undone so talk about that and see if either of you can squeeze
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out positive message so our audience doesn't go home deeply trust. >> spoiler alert, there's not a happy ending as the title may portray. >> they are already working on this past. [laughter] just l kidding. >> the political fever this country is in a things showing no sign, i think it's the opposite. all signs show more division, more disdain for this political opposition and sadly i think the risk of more political violence we saw generate six. i don't see a a scenario where that becomes less likely at least in the short term. i think incentives now are geared toward partisanship, partisanship based on contempt for the opposition.
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on a positive note, the history of the countryhe offers the best of be no, enormous challenges in the past and we have had crises and eventually overcome them grown stronger as a country, a couple of steps back and then take steps forward and i'm hardened by the long-term, the american story tends to obama borrowed. >> i'll add quickly, we mentioned beforef in a lot of ways the u.s. has been legging in the rise of the far right across the west the think it's possible we will be the line straight of the fall of t the fr right across the west, there was this moment after trump selection when it looked like you have these border line parties on the rise in germany
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and italy and france and right wing strongman in brazil and god knows -- >> we could have a conversation about that one but whatever, germany had another election, italy's prime minister is basically italy's larry summers, except some college campuses, not because of the extreme right, it looks like he's likely to lose in brazil, i think we have a rigid slow-moving political system that doesn't process results, turn them into policy and let voters repudiate them or embrace them quickly as it happens elsewhere so i don't know if that's a real upbeat message but give it more time. if we did joe biden would face tough competition right now.
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>> in the problem of the united states, he would survive that the. >> keep gives us an upbeat button and you have to jump in and stamped all over it. let's take the question. >> thank you very much for themy nice overview. i'm a crisis engineering, i have a question about the center left side. you mentioned the biden administration and the example of kamala harris looked at the short-term results. my question is?, you see a political figure in the center left on the very progressive side that could sort of embrace more long-term view of
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development for progressive policies and push them forward? i believe at the end of the day that is one of the most vivid distinctions between what progressiveness is compared to trumpism and short-term. >> it's an active conversation democratic circles, they most often held when the cameras are not on, who can pick it up? joe biden said himself he was a transitional figure, his staff was to say he was only one time he said that but joe biden was an emergency candidate effectively first to stop bernie sanders and then eject them from office. that was the entirety for a lot of voters, the rationale for joe
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biden's candidacy. i come back to this what's next? it is not totally clear who it is, i think if kamala harris or joe biden doesn't run for reelection obviously kamala harris would be a candidate. sitting vice president first black woman in history to be a national elected official. he with think she would be opposed? >> no, i was going to say, i think robust primary, democrats are not going to see the nomination. >> not exactly progressive. >> it biden doesn't run, intense primary both within progressive wing of the democratic party and more moderate fashion of democrats. ' think we'll see a number of governors give it a look, senators, cabinet members, perhaps mayors.
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i can see the governor of this date, in colorado, gavin newsom in california, roy cooper in north carolina, stacey abrams with the governorship this year absolutely, phil murphy and new jersey and the cabinet rolando, more moderate wing with the democratic party, perhaps andrew and then you have to consider bernie sanders and elizabeth warren, they run for president before, a good indicator would consider doing it again, it could be said for other senators like amy klobuchar. you'd have a pretty robust primary. >> this is the first administration, first democratic administration in my lifetime, i think arguably first administration. where neither the president nor the vice president seen as a person of deeply anchored
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ideological perspective. the trump administration also in a different way not deeply -- >> pence wasn't a big vision back but fixed principles but when you think about what bill clinton did to set the direction of the democratic party and what barack obama did set the direction of the democrat partyt i don't think you look at joe biden or kamala harris and say either of them have even attempted when you look back at the last primary campaign whether elizabeth warren on one thing for pete t buttigieg on a different wing, you until the hunger in the democrat party for somebody who's going to say what on earth they are about, it's a huge opportunity for somebody. >> let me ask about this, it's a political question but one i think about a lot, doesn't it matter when biden announces his
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decision? all of the people you're talking about are not household political names in this country. >> and celebrities are a huge driving force in today's politics. >> if biden says in summer of 2023 and his habit is not to make decisions early, if he says in the summer of 2023 you know, i'm going to devote myself to the work of the country for the rest of my term or late-summer, what is it do to those people? >> late-summer could beah fast. >> i think the second the midterms are over, like midnight election night this year, the clock starts ticking, every day that goes by after the midterms this year the democratic anxiety levels will spike as trump is in the wings attempting his
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comeback democrats of uncertainty on who's going to be our standard. but you're getting something when joe biden does not want tor say no, he doesn't say no very quickly and i think this is the ultimate final know joe biden would have to offer because it was his own political career, i don't think it's going to i be a huge hurry to do that if that is the decision, i think it's more likely joe biden would offer quick decision about running for reelection then a quick one about not running. >> this is why they are important figures to watch. if biden decides not to run labor day of 2023, he will have to get known really well for the past it allows a celebrity going in or a lot of money. >> if biden hasn't said what he's going to do, the democrat party would be on fire across this country. >> i can imagineye that.
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[laughter] >> we got more questions here. >> two-part question. >> i know this fellow, full disclosure, that's my cousin. [laughter] >> when you put together the -- >> you write a book so great. [laughter] >> when you put together a book, how youo side what to release into the news as you get it and what you hold onto to publish a larger narrative? you have additional reporting not yet reported from theha insurrection at the capitol january 6 committee work? >> first of all, happy birthday and, he just turned 30. great guy. just went to school up the road here, a different school we will not name in the area but your second question first, i think the best reporting we got we put
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in the book for obvious reasons but we have a lot of primary source material, a note leaders the beginning of the book like i would think is important to only use quote marks like when we know those were the precise words of the protagonist in the book at the moment so obviously we have quite a bit of material which you heard audiotapes of and it's not the last of it but i think best material in terms of what is in the documents and tapes you see in the book. i think the larger question -- >> have you been asked for the tapes? >> we have not had any formal -- >> i think on the larger
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question pretty easy, we don'tor speak to sourcing and the book for obvious reasons, it's not something we do but generally speaking if you have a scoop of this in her lap for a newspaper, you will put in the paper but n that's not really how reporting typically works, thus the hollywood version where you walk out of your house one day in front of the front door there ie a big bow on a gift with the story of a lifetime, it is much greedier, it takes months and months of work trying to crackdown material and verify material, get access to material and put it together so it is not the kind of thing like you are sitting on necessarily generally speakingey. >> there will be cake for been in the back of the room.
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[laughter] >> my name is morgan, i am the evening interest program. my question is, you're both realist and highly credible newsroom and i was wondering your lead up to generate six and the follow-up, the impact you think social media had in terms of fake news getting out and if your sources talked to that at all and a slightly related note, do you find major news conglomerates such as fox news, are they leading the stories ors reacting to social media? >> you mean are they driving this narrative? those are both good and tough questions. on the second, i'll take the second one first, i think it's very clear fox news does an
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enormous amount of proactive driving warped or otherwise inaccurate information and one of the things i disliked about the discourse on disinformation on social media as iig think in some respects it let's off the hook really big well-known andfu powerful institutional players very much implicated in all of this, the impact -- we have all seen going b back to brothers h, in 2008 and well before that the information spreads of its own momentum but a lot faster when you have the number one cable network pushing some of it. the stuff on social media goes beyond what fox will put on the air in some cases way beyond what they will put on the air. neither of us is an expert on
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social media and mapping the way information spreads but we know people who are and we both know it's a major focus on elements of the january 6 investigation, how did this stuff get out there and get organized, how do people get motivated to go to washington with these ideas about the election in, their heads? the one course you didn't mention that i want to mention is president trump, he was usint every platform available for garbage about a stolen election, very specific conspiracy theories about specific counties specific states, i don't think there's any level of control on the part of social media n companies or restraint on the part of television networks to offset the impacts of the sitting president of the united states so a big test will be what if it happens again next time? not a sitting president saying this but what of a bunch of
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candidates in their primary saying iowa was rate which iowa has given plenty of reason to question the integrity of the process but that's a meandering answer, i think the answer is all of the above and then some. >> can i ask a quick question? i noticed in one of theab storis in the follow-up, mccarthy denied saying the things you reported having baited the trap, released audio of him saying he said what he didn't say. in your reporting you refer to mccarthy's dishonesty and i'm wondering if you had a discussion about using the word dishonesty or any component. >> it's a good question given how much the times does have those questions. in this case there wasn't much of a discussion because it was
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so black and white that he was dishonest with his denial and he was lying. >> with that have been the case five years ago? >> i think probably not the expectations haveha changed. i will say one of the things so revealing about mccarthy's initial w denial was we presentd of the comments we were going to attribute to him and he denied specifically having ever said would call trump to resign. ... the band of specific lawmakers, right? so to me, that's a really important tell as to his intent and awareness of exactly this wasn't just some broad brush off the cup. no, i didn't say any of that right? he was picking and choosing what he was going to deny and how strongly all the more reason why i was so shocking the following
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day when our story was actually up that mccarthy himself and his own words would put out a blistering statement. that was much more of a wholesale denial of the sword. alex was talking about he didn't do the previ polls show of what we are talking about that he didn't do the previous ss night. >> johnson from greektown long-time listener, first-time caller. >> in past house is there were figures and personalities that emerged in the house texter and more personality. miller and trump david axelrod karl rove. it amplified the president's personality. and i'm wondering why that hasn't happened with the biden house and has that harmed the
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house in some sense? and who do you think is the david axelrod of the biden house? >> this is ugly and candy. we are having a conversation in the car threads ago. what happened to the celebrity strategy in who came out of the 2020 election that is just gone? >> who came out of 2020 like the architect like bush's brain character of the biden campaign? >> i think it was not as visible in the ups and downs of the campaign. >> speaking to a close-knit and then being euphemistic about it a long tenured inner circle around joe biden. >> i would say one thing about this. there really was someone who could have claimed a lot of data
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net was might donnellan who is basically a recluse. >> i mean these are characters from a different kind of campaign. if they were more hungry for the camera itself. >> what are you saying? >> i said a different kind of campaign or, i didn't say as. this o is a huge cultural sais - joe biden is so well-known and becauseth of social media the personalities around the courts are somewhat less compelling particularly when they are relatively reclusive. >> donald trump doesn't leave much space for anything or anybody else in the political conversation.
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he's not president anymore but the coverage of him continues. it's so intense still and i get why. he might runhe again. it's the wrath of the party he led as president. still there's not much space or much in the way of reporting generally about the biden administration because the curiosity is so deep about trump and trumpism.. so animated in newsrooms and the political culture more broadly. >> personally t the culture of e biden thing welcomes people stepping out and taking credit even if they are claiming credit for things that are not serve endemic to that organization. anyway we are amended and 57 seconds over so we had better stop because the thing explodes
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when we are five minutes over. thank you guys. thank you so much. [applause] >> yes one mustang with love for you. i started reading the book out of obligation and i finished it with enthusiasm. because it i is really so, the narrative is so well-written and so there are great tidbits interesting to read but the larger implications of thingsng areal clear and they really do t you in the scene so these guys are really among the best there is in political journalism and you can see why this book. if you guys don't buy it now --
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