tv Future of GOP at Politicon CSPAN November 3, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
pelosi about sending some vitamins to her making sure she stays healthy into the election cycle. i am confident without that, we would have figured out a different path. we considered, what if she did not run again? she did. it was not something we have to deal with. trump doesdonald something, there is an equal and opposite reaction in the electorate. have a battlefield that runs through florida, upstate new york, kentucky, ohio, california, tucson. battlefield as large as the current battlefield is, our battle to get to the numbers we are going to get to, there are multiple paths to do it. it was important from day one to establish a strategic arc of the cycle, regardless of what donald trump did. i call it snake -- shaking the snow globe.
the ability tove fight to get to majority regardless of what he did. to increase able turnout, there is an equal reaction in california. it was important early on for us to understand come as we look at the electorate, a large battlefield is necessary to combat his tactics good >> see the entire interview sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on c-span. you can also hear it on c-span radio and watch online at c-span.org. which party will control the house and senate? watch c-span's live election night coverage starting tuesday at 8:00 p.m. eastern as the results come in from house, senate, and governor races across the country. here victory and concession
speeches from the candidates. wednesday morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern, we will get your reaction, taking phone calls live during "washington journal." c-span, your primary source for campaign 2018. >> former rnc chair michael steele, turning point usa founder charlie kirk, journalist allies a krauss, and governor chris christie, and trumpet presidential campaign advisor david urban talk about the future of the republican party. it took place at the gathering known as politicon. >> hi, everyone. we are going to talk for 45 minutes, you are going to solve the future of your party. got to be honest, so glad it is not mine. you all can ask questions. be thinking about your questions. fyi, they have to actually be
questions, not statements with an upward inflection. [laughter] >> actual questions. >> i can tell you are a mom. >> and i will shut you down because i am a liberal. [laughter] i want to start by getting everyone's take, we will talk about the future of the republican party, where you think the republican party is right now and i will start with you. i feel like you have really seen it -- i feel like the republican party has changed a lot in the years, and you have been a part of or tossed up and down by some of those changes and i want to know if you think that is right. has the party changed? >> sure. it has changed because we have a new leader. whenever the party gets a new leader, it changes. i came in to national republican bush,cs when george w.
the u.s. attorney in new jersey in 2001. the whole world was different than. much different presidency than we have now. no matter what a party thinks it is, it is who its leader is. the democratic party was different under bill clinton than it was under barack obama. even though many of the same players existed in major positions. the president writes the hymnal and the party sayings -- party sings. that is the way it works in our system. i think that is why the party is different now. we have a different leader. some people sing loudly in the choir. some people don't like the hymnal as much so they pretend they are singing. [laughter] some have their melts moving
and nothing is coming out. nobody is listening, it is ok. >> what about you? where are you with the choir? >> i look at politics as a binary function. to me, people ask me all the time, you were the first major person to endorse donald trump, why did you do that? because i didn't want hillary clinton to be president of the united states. [applause] >> and so to me, i looked at it, i have been in the race and the -- and i knew that none of rest of the guys on stage, they were not going to beat donald trump. just because i figured out at the end of february, we all came to the same spot. won southd trump carolina by double digits, new hampshire, if it was any other candidate in my lifetime the press would have said it is over, he is the nominee.
because it was trump, people, no, this cannot possibly be. it is going to be marco, ted, john kasich. it was never going to be any of them. it was going to be him. my view was you can either do one of two things, stand on the sidelines and do nothing or if you are going to get in, get in for the candidate you prefer based on what your choices are going to be. it was clear the choices will be donald trump or hillary clinton. given that choice i am with trump. >> i'm reminded of the eric erickson comment, put a gun to my head and says i have to vote for donald trump or hillary clinton, i will take the bullet. >> easy stakes if nobody does. >> i get the hymnal analogy but i feel like i am the parishioner the volunteers, don't care what the hymnal says because i will look at the bible and i feel like yes, trump is in the white house, there's lots of talk about he is the leader of the party, but from conservatives,
we also need to go back to the basics of constitutional conservatism and understand he can be the leader of a party and doing lots of great things but there are checks and balances of the other people and we don't all have to be yes men. sayinge clear, i'm not everybody has to be yes-men. the party reflects the leader. there are people who will disagree on certain things, some people like brett kavanaugh, some people like the tax plan and some people don't. the fact is all different kinds of folks will agree or disagree , but there is no question that the party is trump's party and if you want to change that, run against him in 2020. >> is the party under trump a strong party? it begs the question, approval ratings -- >> i have the chairman of the party sitting next to me, i will let him answer that question. i will tell you this. echoing what the governor said,
i think it is not trump's party, the president reflected a mood in america. people who attend all the rallies, those folks, the republican party, the president is the head of the party but the party is the basket of deplorables, that is the republican party. i will tell you, what the governor said, i was in washington working on a bunch of campaigns, rick santorum's 2012 campaign, he drops out, a free agent. i said, i think trump will be the president and people said you are out of your mind. i threw in with the campaign during the primary, my friends were calling and saying you are going to ruin your reputation. what are you doing? you have a good reputation. what are you doing? i said, i see something. i drive around pennsylvania, done a lot of campaigns and it is something i have never seen
before. people showing up in the primary in pennsylvania, i would go to polling places and people saying this is the first time i ever voted. they were excited. to go from supporting santorum it is hard to think of two more different candidates. >> not true at all. economic populism. look at rick's books, they just didn't say it artfully. the president got it out there. there is, democrats abandoned the working class in america and donald trump found that vain. .- that vein if you travel across the midwest towns, ambridge, pennsylvania, no president had come there before. all these steelworkers showed up and they are like you haven't forgotten us, you got our back and that is the message that resonates. [applause] let me ask -- and know your
audience, i will say as a dyed in the wool non-trump fan. >> you are not a trump fan? >> i know, shocking. maybe you haven't seen this thing called the internet. but i have said from the beginning he does something i , like i will support it. on the economic populism front, i thought his nafta correction was not as far as i would have gone, but it was good politics, better than nafta under bill clinton. i said it publicly and i will say it again, and to me, it is not republican in the sense of the party you ran. i'm very intrigued. like i said, glad it is not my party. fun to watch with popcorn. how do you move forward, because this is different especially economically, different agenda than the party when you were in it. >> it is very different. one of those dynamics, for those like myself who have been in the
grassroots, and i think you put your finger on the core of where trump's energy comes from, it is around this sense of a community of people who felt economically alienated for generations. you look at the industries, whether it is manufacturing or coal or whatever it happens to coasts isween the america. and that is a real sense of what trump was able to tap into. because the governor put his finger on a point that can't be missed in the sense of the role individuals play. donald trump is the titular head of the party. if we are honest with ourselves be, in think we need to that donald trump is not a tried and true convicted conservative. >> not convicted yet. that is not what you meant, sorry.
>> he is not a tried and true republican. >> a joke, guys. >> that is fine, that is fine. what donald trump was able to do was to step into what was raging beneath the surface for the last 35 years. i have been a republican, this november will be 43 years. i walked that walk in many a community, and you haven't lived it until you tried it as a black roman catholic conservative from washington, d.c. speak, having i led the party, county chairman, state chairman, national chairman and elected official, the only one at this level who has ever done that. so my sense of where the party was going post-reagan was into a space where they were looking for the next ronald reagan. that individual never really emerged. there were competing factions and interests that begin to form within the party at the grassroots level, and it was
magnified and exemplified by the tea party, magnified and exemplified by certain candidates who would emerge and fall back. but no one had galvanized the middle of the country, that sense of connecting economic concerns, fears about the value system they saw beginning to espouse, no one connected those dots until trump appeared they were the forgotten voters in many respects. >> i want to bring charlie in. what is your take? how much is cognitive dissonance? >> the party is stronger than ever thanks to donald trump. [applause] >> look, you see in the brett kavanaugh fight, we are not afraid to fight metaphorically, not literally like the democrats. >> you mean like your got the
other day praising -- >> eric holder -- stuff like that, that is the democrat party. bs, we are jobs. >> we are going to -- >> any other republican president of the modern era would have withdrawn the nomination of brett kavanaugh with the amount of media uproar that happened, donald trump stood by his nominee courageously, now we have justice brett kavanaugh. [applause] >> i will get to you in a second. charlie -- let me get to a question for you, it does seem what has changed in politics and the republican party and a change for both parties, no longer caring about these mythical unicorns swing voters and i'm going to play to the base.
if you look at numbers, i'm not being partisan here, but if you look at popularity numbers, you're not doing great but it is working because the base loves you. is that the new strategy? the new normal? >> the political plot donald trump brought forward is what i think is healthier for a party , which is strengthen your base and find 2 or 3 issues the other side has ignored that does not compromise your core values such as the disaffected working class in the middle of the country , essentially anywhere between manhattan and malibu, and you talk about strong judges, strong justices, and win over the next 8% to 10% of reagan democrats. it worked for ronald reagan in a successful way, worked for donald trump where mitt romney and hw bush failed because they thought they just had to win suburban swing voters. then you lose 3% to 5% of your base, and w bush admitted in his reelection campaign in 2004,
turn out your base and you win the election. i am of the opinion base politics works, there's nothing wrong with that. i would say in terms of senate seats, heidi heitkamp should be looking for the next lobbying gig because she's so out of touch with the voters of north dakota and the same could be said -- we are talking about -- north dakota. >> we are talking about your party. >> what does the republican party look like? there used to be this notion the party of wall street, white educated men. this president, what has happened is the party has been completely transformed into something it has never been before. the president is extremely conservative on judges. he has done something the media doesn't pay attention to but reshaped the judiciary for years to come. 84 members of the court in the past two years, the most successful president in history, cut a deal with the democrats before they went out of town to
put 15 more judges on. there are 11 more judges that will get done in lame-duck and 22 more vacancies coming up in the next two years. the judiciary will be overwhelmingly very conservative. fiscally, this president, we have big deficits, which is not traditional republican mantra. cut spending, strong defense, cut spending, cut spending, lower taxes. we have a huge deficit right now. old-school republicans are wringing their hands about. larry kudlow, going to grow our way out of it in terms of what the party is, this is the party of donald trump, this is the party of donald trump and to put one quick point on it. i will never forget this. barack obama, when he is out here to fund raise talking about
pennsylvanians clinging to guns, god, and religion. and voters in pennsylvania, they did not forget that. they wear shirts, people are proud of that and democrats have forgotten that. >> the judiciary is the biggest win of donald trump's time so far. we cannot forget the amazing cocaine mitch and how he was able to help the president on the hill to maintain that support. i think part of the reason -- >> can i ask you a question? it seems part of what you are doing is invoking what conventional conservatives feel , which is i don't like trump's style, don't like -- i sure like what he is doing. it has been interesting to see so many republicans especially in congress who started out so opposed now saying. lindsey graham. do you feel the same way too?
i will complain about trump but i'm happy with -- >> i'm happy with a lot of the decisions he is making. i'm not happy with the trade things. i'm happy with the judge decisions he has been making and the brett kavanaugh thing, i wanted amy coney barrett. give me amy. i want amy. brett kavanaugh is a squish. >> keep your hands off ginsburg. somebody knock some wood fast. >> the whole entire brett kavanaugh fiasco, incredible attack on that man and his entire family. as a mother and a wife, i cannot comprehend what his wife went through. it solidified my i voting for trump in 2020. if this is the way that the last -- the left is going to react and this is the way they are
going to treat a man, who, by the way, made judicial decisions 98% of the time similar to merrick garland, what else are they going to do when someone like amy barrett gets up there? >> when we talk about this shift in the policy of the republican party, in a lot of ways you represent the conventional core. you would be the guy outraged. free trade. how do you reconcile that? >> because i know the president and i know he is for free-trade. he is for free-trade. he changed positions over the course of his career except for that. if you go back to the 1980's, donald trump on phil donahue, many of you don't know who phil donahue is. talking about the japanese taking advantage of us, unfair trade agreements.
i think the proof is and what he has accomplished. better deal with mexico, canada, better deal with south korea and that is just the fact. these trade deals are fair for the united states and trump's idea of free trade is purely free trade. give the american people the opportunity to compete on a level playing field, they will beat anybody in the world. we have still been winning when it is not level. imagine how much we will win if it is level. he is a free trader and that is how i justify that part. thing, the president has so much bombast they miss the subtlety. he is a total dealmaker. that is what he is. that's why his positions have changed over time. to an ideology.
being perceived as a winner. steve bannon, who is not that, principled or a winner, he is out there beating mitch mcconnell and killing mitch mcconnell when he was sitting in the white house. what trump finally understood when they got bannon out of there was mitch mcconnell can help me. if i am nice to mitch mcconnell three days a week, he is going to help me be a historical figure. as soon as trump figures out there was a deal to be made with mitch mcconnell and lindsey graham, he made them and so the way i rationalize all of this, the president ultimately at his core is someone who believes fair trade is free trade, and on the issue of him as an establishment figure, he will
make a deal with anybody , including chuck schumer, if he feels it will make him a winner and make the country a winner , and that is not a bad president to have, everybody. >> let me ask a question and then i will go to you, charlie. one could argue there is a trend in politics that began in era but hasnixon been speeding up in the modern era. do you think we are getting to the point that style matters more than substance and we are reaching the end of ideology moment where, if you can win and you are conservative enough, the trumps?ity >> if style didn't always matter more than substance, analyze stephenson would have one. style always matters more.
it is a different world because the media is different, the speed of communication is different, and we are overwhelmed by it. the fact that donald trump is a television star who becomes president of the united states, you are saying his style is more than jack kennedy's style who was a just barely second term united states senator from massachusetts, basically his father bought his way in. let's be fair about it. that is the way it is. i think style always has been very important because it is a huge national election. it is tough to make a decision on substance. substance is decided when you get into office. then they can tell, do you surround yourself with people who bring out the substance in you and supplement your substance to make you a better leader? that is when we see it. in campaigns, style always wins out. people want that electricity between them and the candidate
they vote for. >> i think why that worked so well for president trump is because he had done something no one up to that point had done effectively. he had the means to do it. he had been in the people's living rooms for 10, 15 years prior to getting into the race. even though he had in that period ran for president in 1988 and the 1990's and made that attempt. what he realized and figured out was how to convert his viewers into voters, that was the uncounted, unsung voter that no one paid attention to since reagan left office. those folks who felt further disengaged and removed from the process. he got off their couch to move toward the television, got them beyond the television to go to a rally, got them to go to take a
yard sign, got them to put the yard sign in their yard and go work the polls. and ultimately vote. he understood how to use the style and substance, the bravado of being the showman, of being the donald and translating that for voters so they latched on to him in a way you didn't see them latch onto, with all due respect to my friend here, the other 15 on the stage. was a dynamic even they could not counter in that moment. we saw it time and again in those debates where there was no come back, no response because he so to find that space and a stage in that moment that it was his. have beeners/voters with them ever since. >> does it matter anymore? >> about the u.s. senate and
mitch mcconnell that is correct , but mitch mcconnell is majority leader because of donald trump because of two states. pat toomey and ron johnson were in tightly contested reelection bid in states that donald trump carried. he brought out democrats to pull republican ballots the first time in their lifetime. otherwise chuck schumer would leader ifmajority donald trump had not brought out another 100,000 working-class middle-class voters. >> also them across state home in pennsylvania because hillary if you did not -- combine what hillary clinton and donald trump got in pennsylvania, it did not equal what barack obama got in his reelection in 2012. >> no doubt. i am of the opinion that donald trump one, not that hillary clinton lost. he talked to a part of america that has been ignored for 30 years. >> you can't say they all turned
out for him. >> democrats nominated the worst person they could have run. >> they didn't turn out for him either. that was her point. >> the only one who was on the campaign, ran the state of pennsylvania. the president won pennsylvania, hillary clinton's numbers in pennsylvania would have won any other year. they were extremely high in southeast pennsylvania. to charlie's point, the president one. >> the long-term policy objectives of the republican conservative community are being accomplished by this president, the largest tax cut in generations, the judges, energy independence, alaska. if democrats had accomplished 1/10 of what he had done in north korea, they would give him the nobel prize, they gave the nobel prize for doing nothing but would give them a lot more than that. they would enshrine him in some sort of -- >> i feel like a martyr but it is fine, go on. >> the end of the korean war.
>> we witnessed the end of the korean war? >> they had a joint bid for the olympics, hugging, talking about how they can no longer go to war, denuclearization. you have to admit progress on the korean peninsula is historic. >> can't wait for history books to be written. we will go to questions soon. finish your thought. >> i take a little objection that this president is not a conservative resident. from tax cuts to deregulation to the judges, foreign-policy objectives. he has been very conservative. >> look, i don't want to get into this, but we have got to be honest. >> i think it is perfect i am in the middle. >> here is the truth of this. he is not philosophically conservative. >> the governor admitted that earlier. >> let me finish my point. what you are talking about is a
reflection of preexisting republican agenda the leadership brought to the table and donald trump accepted and adopted. it is not his orientation. it is not his philosophy, and you cannot, i am telling you you cannot screw the pooch on this and think this will be the argument he will make going forward. without that kind of support. as you rightly noted and we have seen, donald trump will deal with whoever is sitting in front of him, and he doesn't give a damn if republicans keep the house this november or lose it. >> he really cares. >> no, he doesn't. let me finish. >> it is their panel, not yours. line-up and ask a question. >> i am being honest and going there. i'm not saying that is a bad thing but a recognition of the truth of the man. i know the man, i've been in the room with the man in these situations. he will deal with whoever is in front of him and if you put your blinders on and keep them on but do not be shocked if chuck
schumer becomes majority leader or nancy pelosi is sitting across from him and he cuts the deals he thinks are important to him to cut. you have got to be honest about that. i get the moment. >> look what he's willing to do on immigration, i will be the next supreme court justice. we are about to move. >> the man is not a conservative. >> don't tell your party is not messy and then have this messy panel. i am going to say for the record , as a dyed in the wool democrat, i still think the country will be in better shape had this man one and been your presidential candidate. just saying i would go to sleep better at night. show of hands, my panel, not yours -- who thinks shoo-in trump is reelected in 2020? >> if it is today. >> if the election is held today without any more tapes coming
out? who thinks the democrats are flipping the house? their ego. we will take you to some questions. ever the optimist. remember, questions, not statements with an upward inflection. go ahead. >> i happen to be republican and in -- and also gay. the community and those in the media tend to speak on our behalf, but they don't. how do i counter that as a republican that this is my party, trump speaks for me, the left does not? how do i counter that? [applause] >> i think you did. he won. all the rest of the stuff is theater, background noise. what matters to the american political system is who wins, and who loses. those who win get to govern and make decisions, and those who
lose get to talk. don't be frustrated. you won. if they stay stuff on tv you don't like, turn it off. >> pretty sure he is not just dealing with what they say on tv. if you live in l.a. you are , dealing with your friends, your family, your job. >> i will get you connected with some folks in the lgbtq community who are huge trump supporters and working with the president. >> this is an interesting thing. i thought the 2016 election signaled the possible end of certain aspects of the culture war. finally both parties, we are here on gay rights. it hasn't proven the same on islam or issues of immigration or whatever, but it does feel there was a moment of reckoning , and it was taken off the table.
oh, hillary for prison. >> i grew up in peru, south america, did a gap in paris, france and the latin american church, and i'm now at law school at the university of san diego. but my question, 41 million spanish speakers in the united states, 15 million in california, and i see an absence of mainstream media in spanish that is conservative. there is almost nothing. inried it -- tried writing breitbart, fox, i worked in translator, ial am a conservative. can i contribute in translating articles or podcasts? i'm always told there are not enough spanish speaking conservatives to be worthwhile , but i'm always of the mind that if you build it they will come. what do you think needs to be done to make the push that there could be mainstream
conservatives in spanish? it is hard to bring them otherwise to the table. >> can you speak, seems the republican party in general is going in a more encouraging direction vis-a-vis the latino vote and in general. >> spanish speakers tend to be more conservative socially. that's why i am surprised there is not more media. >> you are right. historically tend to be roman catholic, and despite the issues i have with some of the pope's views, at least the catholic church last i checked is upholding biblical principles of the sanctity of life so kudos to the catholic church for that. i am with you. i have the same conversation with people all the time of we need to represent conservative women better on all platforms. it is, there isn't a conservative female market, 70% of the conservative audience is male. i also believe if we build it they will come too. keep doing what you are doing,
keep fighting, keep tweeting, keep writing, good. i do not have the golden answer. my friend is a republican pollster does a lot of coverage, wrote about the millennial vote and how millennial women are wary of trump, even post brett kavanaugh, and i think it is a concern for the republican party that there is low hanging fruit they just seem to be avoiding. if you are not going after it , why are you hiding from it? and it is something that needs to be dealt with for sure. >> question? , has trumpf of that helped millennial women would you say? >> anybody? >> give me a couple. i have not seen one. femalelowest unemployment rate in 60 years. >> is that singular to women?
>> how about the average mother can deduct an additional $2500 from child tax credit under the gop tax plan. [applause] >> there are some answers. we will try to get as many questions as we can. don't argue with him. [laughter] >> charlie answered for me. i would also add charlie just kept -- >> just go for it. >> strides we has made with the horrificing iran deal, strides we are making though much more needs to be done with the abomination that is north korea and the regime there, the evil regime there but national security is something i pay attention to and crime, something as a mother that sends three goes to school that i pay attention to. i would add that in addition to everything charlie brought up. >> this gentleman over here. >> thank you for coming.
my question is to you, in your opinion. i'm a big fan of the wall. when do you think it might go up? i have seen prototypes on youtube. when do you think it will go up? >> this is a guy hanging out in the oval office. >> charlie kirk, where do we stand on the wall? >> this caravan might be the greatest commercial for the wall. [applause] >> mitch mcconnell said we will get funding by december. two governor christie's point, after you start working with the senate you might guess what you are asking for. $4.4 trillion budget. can't understand why they can't find $10 billion for the wall, national security and the mystic -- and domestic security issue, and one about sovereignty, block, stop the flow of sex traffickers, guns and drugs into the country. [applause] >> this might be the hardest thing i have ever done. i want you to know that. >> i am a freshman in high
school. i want to say i am a big fan of yours, mister charlie kirk. >> thank you. >> got a question? >> yes, you stated trump is a fundamental conservative but how can you backup that statement when trump supports things such as universal health care, government run health care, or same-sex marriage and things like that? tariffs, etc.? >> if i misspoke, i will correct it. he is governing as a conservative. the objectives of the conservative community are being achieved. i would agree he is not -- i will say this. he is the first president in american history that was indifferent or at least pro gay marriage. i don't think that's a conservative or liberal issue, it is settled law. i have taking -- i have taken heat in the conservative community because of that.
you might like to hear that, who knows? >> is your head spinning? >> making a for all the times i'm throwing up in my mouth. [laughter] >> his instinct because of the previous administration, governed so out of whack of what is considered traditional, even capitalist free market policy, his instinct to deregulate the , tends toower taxes be conservative because he's presented with any businessman when put forth with these problems would govern in a more conservative capacity. but i don't think he's a doctrinaire conservative and that is ok. because george w. bush was a doctrinaire conservative who governed like a liberal. i would rather have someone who is pragmatic, then someone like george w. bush, wonderfully conservative and we got medicare part d, horrific war in the middle east, borrowed $1 trillion, there was supposed to be a great bipartisan deal that ended up screwing a public
education as we know it, every bureaucracy grown under george w. bush, a doctrinaire conservative that ruled like a democrat. >> i think the trump russia collusion is complete nonsense fabricated from the beginning. my question is, how come there is no outcry for hillary clinton in the dnc campaign hiring fusion gps, hiring former mi 6 agent christopher steele and christopher steele -- >> she lost, you won. go ahead. collusion, ie is don't see a lot. >> i think what you are talking about is a symptom of the fact that we have had a justice department, under this president, that in many ways has
been dysfunctional. and the fact is it is hard to be attorney general of the united states. it is hard to be a prosecutor because there will be times you have to do things people are not going to think are popular, but in the long term are in the constitutional interests of the country. we've not had that at the justice department under this president. it is a good question to ask. why are we investigating russian collusion on the republican side but not the democrat side? i sense it is because you had people making decisions who felt compromised themselves and didn't know if they could be bold and as a result just checked out. >> i think he's referring to the attorney general. >> i think the president's frustration over this is legitimate. that he believes, let's end the myth on this that jeff sessions recused because he was involved in the campaign. eric holder was involved in president obama's campaign, jeff
sessions recused. >> that's because he's a dishonest guy. holderuldn't hold eric -- >> exactly right. the reason he did, he knew 20, hely 20th -- january was involved in the campaign and that was the basis for honest recusal, he would recuse the day he took the oath. he did not recuse until march. not just that he spoke of the 27th but got caught having spoken on the 27th and then people camped outside his house, and putting cameras in front of went,d he won, -- and he i would rather not. i will recuse. don't lie to me that the basis of his recusal was an honest recusal, that is baloney. if it was, jeff sessions new -- knew from the day he was asked to be attorney general that he had been involved and if he thought, the russian investigation and allegations
were already going on. this came up out of nowhere, i had no idea, of course he knew. he didn't tell the truth. in front of congress. about his interaction with the russians. once he got caught on that -- >> why didn't trump ask him to resign? >> let me say this. i think the president got talked out of it by the staff at the time, who said to him you can't do that. but the last thing i will say is this. i told the president this when he was making these selections. there are certain positions in the government you have to have people with spines of steel. others you don't. secretary of commerce, right? attorney general, secretary of defense, white house chief of staff. those three jobs you better have someone with spines of steel, their jobs are to bring news to the president he doesn't want to hear and to take stuff off the president's desk and handle for him that the president shouldn't have to deal with.
he did real well on the defense side. he missed on attorney general, and his chief of staff, he paid first for that. he paid a huge price for that. here is what you have to look at haveyou look at people who been in political life, if you never felt real heat in your life before and all of a sudden you feel the heat and think you're getting third-degree burns and are you are getting is a tan but you don't know the difference. what charlie pointed out is jeff sessions felt the heat in march, he thought he was getting third-degree burns. all he was getting was a tan. he backed off and it cost the president a good part of his first term with enormous distraction that i don't think factually will never become justified, and it diminished the authority of the justice department to do what you are talking about, because now if they do it, it looks like they are doing in a retaliatory way.
if they did it in the beginning from a position of principal and looked at both. >> i want to get another question. i have a question. you look pretty tan right now. >> i am. [laughter] >> you have the qualifications so fast forward to the point where for whatever reason jeff sessions is no longer attorney general, you would be top of the list. if you were to be attorney general under donald trump would you bring a criminal investigation against hillary clinton? >> if i were attorney general, i would make every judgment based on what is in the best interests of the country and the best interests of justice, and is the only way you make those decisions. you know what i know? i don't know all the facts i would need to know. you don't prejudge those things. the strength, if the facts
presented to you, even if it makes you uncomfortable, puts you in a bad spot politically, you are not the president, you are the attorney general, you make a judgment because your job , as i told everyone i hired the i was a u.s. attorney, last thing was i said read that to me on the wall? read what it says, department of justice. that's right. your job every day is to do justice, and the day you forget that, pack your boxes and walk out the door. unfortunately, some people in the department of justice forgot that was what the seal says and it cost us a lot. >> we only have a few more minutes. go ahead. >> a lot of strategy regarding republicans attracting more onth voters has been focused millennials but millennials are pretty small in their support of conservatives. what strategy do you think republicans and conservatives
z,uld take in capturing gen what is coming into the fray? >> i am a grandma millennial. the is on pace to be significantly more conservative than the millennial generation and that is very encouraging. a lot of different reasons for it and there is some disagreement but the pendulum theory is the -- most people agree that is the consensus, millennial's account significantly to the left. for the next generation tends to correct that to some degree just like the use generation for millennials was more center-right. we have to recognize both political parties screwed our generation over. despite my being a trump supporter and a conservative, i think the republican party loses when we think we have been perfect for the last 20 or 30 years while washington, d.c. get significantly richer, stronger, more out of touch with middle america. i think our generation was attracted to bernie sanders because he was so authentic in
his approach, and quite honestly, blame on both sides of the aisle, his solutions were completely and totally wrong and horrific. but there was truth to what he was saying there was a growing political class growing out of touch with mainstream america. the number one issue our generation has to tackle is a ruling class that has 0 accountability for our generation. they think they can spend money that is ours, decrease freedom that is ours, 0 recourse and 0 responsibility whatsoever. so that is the sort of message that is more libertarian and conservative. the final thing i will say is this, the civil libertarian center-right conservative win our message can generation over completely and totally more so than cultural marxist leftist, silence. [applause] in 2015, people when they are asked about bernie sanders on both sides of the aisle say he
is authentic, and people when asked about donald trump also say he is authentic, and they are both kind of interesting characters in that way because they are representing different sides of the aisle. i'm entertained by watching sally's party and i'm entertained at watching ours because there is this dialogue and sometimes division and debate in both parties about what is the future? i think the republican party specifically needs to be honest with itself, and sometimes our problem is thinking election to election, and i think we need to be thinking generation to generation. >> great point. one more question and quick comments. i am sorry, go ahead. you in the maga hat, hard to distinguish, there are so many. >> i'm a conservative millennial , born and raised in the state
of california. you were saying how the republican party is getting stronger and on a nationwide level i can agree with that, however, in california, the republican party is not doing very well, it is falling apart. >> can't get much worse. >> the republican party did not even nominate a senator for the senate, now we have two democrats running for senate. >> we have the top two. >> i know why. to answer my question, what i would like to know is what can we do in california to strengthen the republican party? >> move. because of timing, i will take the question which is a great question, final remarks for everyone. what is your point thinking generationally, not just the next two months or two years,
what is the one thing, given all your support, the one thing you would like to see the party do better? over the next 10-20 years? charlie. >> next 10 to 20 years, not be afraid to go places where we are yelled at and screamed at and hear ideas we disagree with. both sides could do that. conservatives tend to do that when we go to college campuses and get screamed at a lot, but when we stop talking, then things start happening. that is where tribalism happens and division. i will say the number one thing over the next 10 to 20 years i would like to see the republican party on a fiscal and government spending side be the smarty of -- be the party of small government. that is something chris christie tried to campaign on it boomers in indiana don't want to hear about entitlement reform, despite the generation that will have to be bankrupt because of it.
but tough choices have to be made even if consequences have to be incurred. i would love to see the party have the courage and conviction to get that done in the next 10 to 20 years. >> messaging, messaging, messaging. just do it better. we do not do it well and that is part of the appeal to donald trump, even if there are things he says and his delivery i the delivery or substance of what he is saying. as a whole, in order to impact the next generation we need to -- look, i love being part of this tiny conservative contingency in los angeles and i think it is important to have conservatives here. i don't want them moving. i want them to come here, get married, be fruitful and multiply, seriously. [applause] affect --you to >> so many jokes i can't make onstage. >> and they are good. >> i want people not just in politics to be working on our messaging, but in media, entertainment, music, fiction, everything.
go there, do those things and not just have it be a whole bunch of old white guys. >> to that point, i think we need to have a message that resonates amongst a different demographic. hispanic,about the latino population. republicans have a terrible job of messaging. lots of folks are really conservative, go to church, pro-life, and yet we ignore at our own peril -- the african-american community is very religious. i would like to see over the next decade, a real effort to have outreach in those communities. a quick one. >> really quick, don't move. you need to understand, i think the core of politics is understanding where you are.
not where you want to be. and i think the parties to to -- parties tend to project where they want to be instead of appreciating where they are. in california, you have elected republicans statewide. you've elected republicans locally, so why the hell would you move? get your shit together. get it right here. moving doesn't change anything, all right? if that were the case, i would not have been the lieutenant -- republican lieutenant governor of a blue state. i did not compromise my position on life. i did not compromise position second amendment. i did not compromise my position on the family and the effort because i understood where i lived. i understood how the to communicate to the people where i lived, to touch on the values that they hold consistent with mine, where i had five democrats sitting in office support before -- support me for the united states senate in 2006, to their
great peril. i didn't compromise didn't compromise any of my values or principles. i spoke to the community from which i came because i understood that community. to your point about the outreach question, just drop that crap, right? outreach is not a photo up. -- photo op. it requires you to actually put yourself in the line and communicate with people and communication starts with listening to what they are saying. because they will tell you what they want. >> governor? >> i get the benefit of going last, i will build on what everyone else has said. i think substantively, charlie is right, that it we don't get -- i ran a campaign based on something a loss but doesn't mean i was wrong, right? if we don't get a hold of what we are spending, this country will be finished. it would be the one thing that will kill us. because with the greatest
economy the world has ever seen, we are still outstripping the economic growth every day with what we're spending on entitlement and expanding entitlements and it will kill our country. it will be the thing that we look back on if our country declines and say how did we not do anything about that? the reason is because we were not strong enough to say it. the second thing is to build off of what michael said. when i left the u.s. attorney john and went to work as governor. in a statement -- you think you here that i do, we have not elected a republican senator -- went i went down to the rnc and he was the chairman and said i wanted to run for governor, he said i will help you but not if you run the same damn campaign that every republican runs all the time. instead we went into cities and , we campaign to places like they talked about what i i got yelled at and picketed on a regular basis, but for the 50
picketers who were there, there were 10 people who were standing there quiet. they were the who were there to ones listen. they went back and told their families, we need to vote for this guy. that's how you win. if you want to win in california, then start getting louder. my impression of republicans in california is you are scared. this is a scared group. nobody -- my grandmother told me a long time ago, fear is your greatest enemy. we can't be afraid to speak for our values. speak for our values -- we will not win every time, especially not here. but when we do win, we cause huge. what i did in new jersey to a -- new jersey, a lot of havoc. when you get that opportunity it will be a lot of fun. a lot of fun. >> and please join me in thanking my panelists for the great discussion. thank you all for being here. have a good politicon. [applause]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> >>more now from the politicon conference in los angeles. activists and political commentators discussed democratic socialism and how it relates to u.s. politics. this is one hour. [cheering] >>i didn't say anything yet. sam: i'm going to have everybody introduce themselves. let's start with markos. tell us who you are, why you are here, and where you are from.
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