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tv   Washington Journal Clarence Page  CSPAN  December 29, 2020 2:55pm-3:46pm EST

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the hospital that increases covid-19 relief payments from 600 to $2000. now bernie sanders and others are blocking a quicker about on the veto override, unless the senate holds a vote the covid-19 relief checks, pushing the override vote toward the end of the week watch -- week. watch live coverage of the center on c-span2. host: we are joined by a familiar face, clarence page, here with us on this christmas morning. also a panelist on the moloch one group -- , welcome in merry christmas. guest: merry christmas to you, bill. host: we started asking our viewers and listeners about this christmas day 2020 at how things have changed over the past year. politicsandemic and
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affected the gatherings and celebrations on christmas 2020. what are your thoughts? guest: we did not have any idea a year ago what kind of impact the pandemic was going to have. it would be a pandemic. it wasn't until mid-march they shut down borders. we realized this would grind our society to a halt. nachos here but across the western world. -- not just here but across the western world. it changed the election prospects a lot. president trump was doing well. he had not reached 50% as far as approval, which is kind of a distinction of has among modern presidents. he was scoring well on the economy as an issue. on his way to possibly a victorious contest, but look what happened. the way he handled the pandemic,
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whether you approve or not, had a big impact on how people perceived his presidency. i think that was the biggest issue, the handling of the pandemic. thebiden was a return to old. even those who were aggressively pushing for the new nonetheless are willing to compromise and put him in the office. it did change a lot of perceptions. host: what are your concerns about the final 25 days of the trump administration? this weekend for the uncertainty over the passage of additional covid relief and the uncertainty over the outcome of the vote in congress on the electoral college on january 6? day fort's a great complicated questions. i will try to simplify it.
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me anda big surprise to other folks when president trump turned around and decided the compromise bill hammered out with such great effort was not good enough for him. he wanted more money and direct payments for folks put out of work by the -- to working america. he wanted $2000. he democrats were delighted because that is what they wanted all along. trump decidedent to do that? president trump never really was a republican. i was saying this all along. record was closer to democratic politicians then republicans. -- than republicans. he put his own party and
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something of a box because either the bill -- he already vetoed it. will he get his veto overridden? something the democrats are in best position to decide. overridehe republicans his veto? to -- that's a big question. if they don't, or if the democrats do pass it with $2000, that will make trump look good in people from his own party look like they were weak as far as supporting working-class americans. he put his own party into a box here. we will see what happens. host: have you seen a president
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and members of his own party -- he put them in a box. has there ever been the sort of president andn a members of his own party on the hill? no,. not out in the well, no, not in the open. a lot of republicans were displeased by president trump's policies and his moves. his solid support, almost rocksolid, 80% or more among republicans. that has been the story. mitch mcconnell, the republican leader and other republicans don't want to get between trump and his supporters. democracy in action,
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hardball democracy. that is what makes him a popular politician. working-classd to and middle-class americans, struggling middle-class. you use the term "middle-class," you are talking about 90% of americans. most will say they are struggling is well with the economy these days. hero ofpears to be the that group. and as a leader in that struggle. it has not been consistent as far as his actions in favor of the tax breaks. they mostly benefited the upper, upper income. image ofess, his shaking things up on behalf of working-class americans has been very successful. especially among white americans. host: we are talking politics with clarence page. we welcome your calls and
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comments that (202) 748-8001. that's the republican line. democrats use (202) 748-8000. her independents and others -- for independents and others, (202) 748-8002. a couple of pieces he wrote after the election. in "theion piece chicago tribune." time to lose the labels. more embarrassing for democrats in the year of racial reckoning, the share of black, hispanic, and women voters won by joe biden and kamala harris went down compared to four years ago. the message from voters to democrats seems to be no, we might not like trump but we are not crazy about you guys either. --t message do you think what failed with democrats in terms of losses you were talking about in the u.s. house? failed goes back
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to the reagan days. ronald reagan successfully persuaded a lot of middle-class swing voters, especially white and some black folks that he was the advocate for them in their struggle. , you held him here conservatives talk about it. workingme gap between class americans and upper-class has widened and widened. i use the example of growing up in southern ohio i was able to work at a steel mill to pay my tuition to ohio university. when i started school it was only $750. drop now but the last time i checked tuition was about $14,000 to $15,000. that's a good state university.
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same thing across the country. that was my avenue into the middle class. that i was from a blue-collar family. after college i was able to have entry into the middle class. the group that had the only despited real income inflation has been those who have at least two years of schooling past high school. that is different than it used to be. we saw this coming intellectually but it is here and it has been here for years. a failure to address that is a big reason why democrats are beginning to lose working-class americans and they are attracted to the republicans. -- successfully reached out to both groups and was able to put
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together a coalition and reelected him later on. barack obama followed a similar pattern. obamas where you have the -trump voters who voted for --ma twice and ist: do you think joe biden in a position to reach those middle-class americans? -- whatcifically helices do they have to propose and get passed? the highest ranking democrat in the house who endorsed biden during the primaries. his victory in south carolina after losing iowa and new hampshire, nevada. that turned around the campaign n in the end.e wo
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why were they attracted? they said we know joe and joe knows us. love joe biden or hate him, he was the guy who has been identified with working-class americans in the union vote throughout his career. that really helped him a great deal in terms of the public's impressions of him. joe was coming into a world of media, where media and politics wee been married to a degree have our first former reality tv show president. he has been very effective at using the media. trump has been effective at using media to build his image and put pressure on certain politicians and praise for others. biden, because so many people know joe biden when he walks
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into a room or peers on the scene, he was able to pull together folks he wanted away from trump and those who were ideologically driven. what difference will he make? issues like infrastructure, infrastructure repair, which the nation is long overdue for. that has been boxed in gridlock for years. republicans and democrats had difficulty moving legislation. if anybody can do it, joe can. that's an issue where he can have a positive impact as far as bringing both sides together. mitch mcconnell expressed -- joel of joe biden's biden being his bargaining partner. they have known each other for so long as well. we will see what the result of that will be. host: back to the presidential race. the washington post with analysis.
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democrats large gains surpassed their losses. the area the democrats gained in votes was the syrups beyond the suburbs, military posts, college towns, urban ngburbs, middle suburbs, grayi america and rural america. they lost lds enclaves, hispanic centers, big cities, aging farmlands, native american lands, evangelical hubs, working-class country and the african-american south. are you surprised democrats lost votes in big cities? guest: two things here. votes.tioned evangelical it's interesting that donald trump, who violated seven or eight of the 10 commandments, has been so popular with evangelicals. he's been very effective at pushing the issues they care about. they care about the supreme court much more than liberals.
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the supreme court mean something. that is what i was able to go to a desegregated school after brown versus the board. as a ring court has always meant a lot to black folks. -- the supreme court has always meant a lot to black folks. boat, joe biden -- urban vote, joe biden was not as effective to reaching out to black voters as he might have been. he was not another barack obama. he was barack obama's vice president so that was a big help for him. the turnout could have been a lot lower if it wasn't for the fact he was barack obama's vice president and he played that tremendously well. i think it worked for him. divide and the inner suburbs, outer suburbs and rural areas, that divide has
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been very important. . biden turned around a lot of swing vote areas in his favor simply because people trusted him as being a more traditional kind of democrat who was not pushing unpopular issues. column how the defund the police was a good example of how liberals can lead a slogan get out of control. it was something mentioned by the french left but embraced by left but -- fringe embraced by the right. that was the biggest burden joe biden and democrats had in the swing vote areas, the obama-trump areas. that is where biden was able to overcome that. if bernie sanders won the nomination, i don't think he would have gotten that kind of result. sanders said too much over trump
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with the s word, socialism. you saw how that worked in miami with refugee hispanic families fascism.n american that would've been an uphill climb. the democratic party has moved in a more progressive direction. that's another thing we will seek reemerge in the future. host: let's get to your calls. ron in west chesterfield, new hampshire. caller: good morning, washington journal and mr. page. i am honored to speak with you, sir. guest: thank you. caller: merry christmas. you mentioned the evangelical christians which came out in droves to elect donald trump. i have got to say they have got to be some of the biggest hypocrites out there. seriously. how anybody could claim to have announced of religion in them
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and for donald trump is beyond me -- an ounce of religion in them and for donald trump is beyond me. he's a gambler. they are a bunch of hypocrites. they must have sold their souls to try to get some of their legislation through to look for donald trump. donald trump is a disgrace. where is he? we have a rating pandemic killing people by the hundreds of thousands. we have russians hacking and everything. these data mar-a-lago golfing? seriously? this is a president? he's not a president. he is a clown. that is all he has ever been. i would never vote republican. you could not pay me enough to vote republican ever. host: clarence page? you.: thank
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it is true. i shared that confusion and surprise that trump got as much evangelical support as he did. talking to evangelical friends and newsmakers, this is across the country. especially since the early reagan years. that was when the christian vigorously on the republican side. especially around the issue of abortion. we start dealing with life versus choice in this country, there is nothing that strikes more deeply in the heart of americans, whichever side they are on. that is one issue that can help a one-issue candidate like trump. inwanted to appoint justices the antonin scalia a model. that resonated -- antonin scalia
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model. they were willing to put up with soiled resume, the controversial resume of donald trump to give her they wanted out of the court. you see what has happened now. three justices he has been able to put on the court and his model image of the scalia justices. where he got the surprise was chief justice roberts and the other conservative appointees he made did not back him up in his bid to overturn the election. all.pressed betrayal and the rest of us, a lot of us expressed rate delight our institutions held together. the fact you appoint somebody to be a justice does not mean they are going to always give
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decisions in your favor. chicago-style hardball politics. i grew up in this profession with that. it has not happened in washington. that is the one thing that keeps us from becoming a dictatorship. caller: good morning. i have family that graduated from athens, ohio. i had this conversation with you on c-span several years ago. donald trump was nothing. he was just a guy he would make these boring speeches until he went on the view and made his comment about barack obama's birth certificate. he shot to the top of the polls precisely because of that. when you talk to trump man, they sayo a they hated barack obama so much that they were willing to attack him because of a lie.
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republicans were willing to support donald trump because he won the republican nomination based on that lie. republicans 90% of think donald trump is not a racist, but 85% of democrats do. we as a country do not care about facts, so long as partisan identity politics are part of the discussion. they cannot accept he is a racist. that is why you have people like paul ryan saying, yes, the man is a racist but at least he is not hillary clinton. at least he is not a democrat. host: all right, terrence. guest: that is something i have observed as well. i like paul ryan. i have written columns about some of his ideas. he's a thinking conservative. and not against compromise in order to push the ideas forward. fromis quite different
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tribal conservatives. our politics have become more tribal lysed on the right and left. -- tribalized on the right and the left. the first question is republican or democrat? they will base on the answer to that question their vote. that is voting with the tribe. there is nothing new about that but it does mean a lot of other good ideas can fall by the wayside because nobody is pushing the idea. maybe we have been doing this wrong. maybe we should try a new approach. as a columnist who i'm looking for reform ideas for housing, education. other say you can't trust the fill-in in the blank party and that's the way they decide to vote.
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there are some evangelicals who use biblical examples. cyrus who wasng not jewish but when out of his way to protect the jews. that was symbolic of what donald trump, how he is viewed many evangelicals. he is not one of us but he goes with us -- votes with us. i feel like among the upper midwest they try to be more pragmatic, less tribal. ohio was a great swing state for most of my lifetime. now it is recently getting redder. result of these
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issues i've been talking about. they have caused politics to be more polarized. host: pete on the republican line from new hampshire. caller: hello, guys. good to see you on c-span, clarence. guest: thank you. caller: joe has not done a d amn thing for 47 years. he's the consummate d.c. politician. there will be a lot of people sadly let down when they find out -- they will end up with buyer's remorse. guest: that happens in politics, doesn't it? caller: excuse me? guest: that happens in politics. caller: the set part is the problem with washington is politicians. call.thanks for your clarence page? guest: i have heard that all my life.
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those darn politicians. not you necessarily but most people when they start , thatning politicians means a politician did not me what they wanted them to do. that's ok. that's the way the democratic republic was set up so people could try to get satisfaction out of the political folks running for office. verydent trump is a political person in his own head even though he had not been politically involved publicly for that long. the fact is politics is the way r make things o stay the same or support the existing system. those who are making speeches and then don't deliver, they
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invite the public's wrath. joe biden has made a lot of speeches and has a record of action for the last 50 years. what one of president trump's favorite statements. book abouta president trump, it would be called "let's see what happens." host: clarence page, long time panelist on the old mclaughlin group. now with the new mclaughlin group. you are joined by pat buchanan and by eleanor clift. you have been in production for a year or so on some pbs stations, correct? guest: yes, and on youtube as we speak. our end of the year awards show is online now. host: find that online on youtube. it's also at loughlin. --
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michael from newman, georgia. democrats line. merry christmas, michael. go ahead with your comment. caller: i am calling about the relief package. early in the negotiations when steven mnuchin was negotiating about the relief package, mitch mcconnell was still in kentucky. when the people said he should've taken the deal, it ain't gonna be no deal without mcconnell. , he they did get a deal knew mcconnell was not going to agree to $2000 for individuals. a deal he put into that negotiation. you think mcconnell will go along with it or oppose it? caller: he's not going to go
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along with no $2000. that is something donald trump put into that legislation. host: we touched on that a little earlier, clarence page. the house will take this measure up on monday. if they pass it, it puts mitch mcconnell on the spot. guest: it does. he has been there before but he survived because he persuaded people he was in donald trump's corner. thisnald trump supported -- supported by 80% of republican voters. that's a big percentage. the difference this time is that said no.ump $2000.favor of the that's the democratic amount.
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my son asked how nancy pelosi would respond to that. she would love it. and she has. jeb bush called trump the chaos candidate. ine he is fermenting chaos order to betray himself as a working class hero, a populist hero above party. this 11th hour attempt to do that. host: reflecting some the situation on capitol hill, reporting this morning. congress scrambles to avert shutdown after trump's stimulus demands. our guest is clarence page until 10:00 eastern. (202) 748-8001 for republicans. democrats, (202) 748-8000. all others, (202) 748-8002. troy in pensacola, florida. republican line. caller: yes, good morning, gentlemen. merry christmas to all.
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host: thank you. iller: i would like to say was born in the 1960's and grew up in the 1970's and whatnot. -- i wouldn't necessarily classify myself as a republican, democrat or independent. more so i would say a realist. i have seen how politics has played out. my father was a world war ii veteran. he was a staunch democrat most of his life. until the end when he passed away back in 2012. i guess he saw the way the party was going. everything is basically driven by race and social inequality and all that stuff. as far as black lives matter, i agree they do matter. all lives matter. we shouldn't hang it on a skin color. as far as the country being
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racist, come on people. we voted for an african-american president for two terms. that is eight years. i believe we have moved beyond that but then again the political side keeps revisiting race. the democrats are known for keeping the black african population beat down and used. it was the republicans. people refer back to the old in whendaysolde lincoln voice that everyone was equal and needed rights. guest: you have given me a lot to chew on. a lot of what you say is true. i grew up in the midst of that kind of partisan change. the party of lincoln was very
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90%lar among black folks, popular until the 1930's went fdr and the new deal begin to reach out towards black voters. prior to that, woodrow wilson was a democrat who re-segregated the government. we cannot call him a hero of african americans. fdr was. but so was eisenhower in the 1950's. he got around 40%. he was a very popular crossover candidate. was aitcheroo came when i high school when barry goldwater was elected. i liked goldwater at first. a libertarian. he favored abolishing the draft and legalizing marijuana. what more could a teenage boy asked for?
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when he voted against the civil to ban white and black signs on restrooms and reinforce black employment rights, etc., that was a real big break between republicans and the black voters. even nixon scored better than goldwater among african-americans. the fact is there is a real divide now because a lot of republican politicians pushed -- i'm reminded of the definition of a liberal as a lookingan who is always evils as opposed
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to the conservative who is content with the existing evils. nowadays we see more votes along racial lines. trump did a little better this election his first four years ago but that is not saying much. he was the first republican this time to score in double digits, able to get above 10% at least in part of the country among black voters. bush did about as well as trump did among black voters. there is a real racial divide. i think a lot of that is because while democrats have definitely pushed for diversity and for the rights of people of color and for women's rights, they have
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not been as forceful in portraying themselves as heroes .f the status quo this is the kind of tribal politics now. -- now with which republicans have benefited. joe biden, when he had his confrontation with kamala harris at an early debate that we all remember, that really helped him among white working-class voters . bill clinton was just a soldier criticism. that helped him. neither biden or clinton was in the hip pocket of jesse jack son and the other icons of the black left. another issue that got polarized when it shouldn't have. i said from the beginning black lives matter.
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he can be so easily recast by opponents and we see that is what has happened. towas recast by the right say only black lives matter and that was never the idea. most people know better but it's an effective political slogan. host: mustang, oklahoma. kathy on the independent line. caller: what is wrong with our political situation is mostly the media. people have these ideas. if you did not like obama, you voted for trump. i voted for obama twice and voted for trump. the reason is because the democratic party no longer exists as far as what the democratic party was. they are all on the take, including biden. what has he done? they have bankruptcy bill that left poor people out they cannot declare bankruptcy anymore. a crime bill that made our
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minorities a revolving door for prisons. he protected the financial companies in delaware but nothing for the people. during obama's term i was terribly disappointed. it was the biggest transfer of wealth in history. the democrats are globalists. they stir trouble. we don't hate each other in america. history.century of you can say it is there but it is not. we like each other. host: clarence page, she voted for barack obama twice and then voted for donald trump. guest: this is the kind of swing voter i was talking about before. that is the type of voter that by the defundled the police slogan.
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just like the willie horton campaign was effective for republicans back in 1988. this is the kind of environment we are operating in these days politically. i have a lot of folks who write to me and say, how can black people support the democrats? they were doing this and that. these folks don't know how to recognize their own interests. i think black voters know how to recognize their interest just as ll as whitewe evangelicals who voted for trump. look at the trump tax schedule that has benefited the upper voters muchntage more than the lower income voters. but he is still our guy. that is the way his supporters feel.
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it pays to look closely at these important political questions. the most important question thatics is, who controls is this guy or woman on my side? a lot of different decisions go into that. if they are the same ethnic or racial group or the same if their labor or management, these factors go into the decision-making of each rotor. a lot of candidates -- of each voter. an obvious majority of voters supported joe biden over donald trump. like it or hate it, i don't think all those voters are dumb on either side. host: clarence page mentioned this particular point of view and his column from november.
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how defund the police sabotaged democrats on election day. give us details of that column. what do you think specifically -- you used the word sabotage. the headline does. guest: the term political correctness, it was a liberal academic term. that was a middle east nest up and embraced by the right to use it against the left. the same thing happened with defund the police and black lives matter. afund the police came out of very well-meaning attempt to digest a different approach to policing. in other words, reevaluate policing and how it is done. was writing aach couple of columns where i said we ask too much of the police. that is something chicago's
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current superintendent said. -- annd of mine from ohio uncle of a classmate of mine retired as the police chief. we were talking about this. how people expect police officers to be an expert at everything. most police calls are not for criminal conduct going on right a call involving a burglary overshooting. -- corky shooting. most -- or a shooting. most are domestic calls. the husband hitting his wife or something of that nature. rodney, the former chief was telling me about when he was a a young rookie. one of his first calls was a woman who went in marriage counseling. -- wanted marriage
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counseling. it happened two or three times. he was around 19 years old. i'm supposed to help this person with their marriage? i did the best i could for five or 10 minutes and then moved on. this kind of thing happens all the time. what is tragic is we have seen cases where someone who was mentally deranged and hurting themselves and a police officer or the police tried to subdue them. the person winds of dead. -- up dead. i look into the details of a case like that. these cops did not know what they were doing. they meant to peacefully bring the guy to help but they did not know what to do in windup strangling the fellow. happens too thing
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often. the officers want to be relieved of that kind of call in order to --k in more serious crimes. work on more serious crimes. on the presidential campaign level it is too easily turn into a slogan used against democrats. host: darlene in oregon on the democrats line. caller: i'm calling in to say merry christmas and goodbye to donald trump. donald trump is the perfect example of bringing somebody in from the outside that has no idea what is going on on the inside. he was a good president of a corporation and maybe ran a small company well, but the united states government is different than hiring people to do a job you can just fire them if they're not even the job. the u.s. government is a world within a world.
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it takes a lot to make it move and turn. pour president trump -- i don't say that lightly because they can't stand the guy. back in the 80's he was a slumlord. he was used by the republican congress. they used him as a figurehead and let him run all of his country doing his little parties and all that kind of stuff. in the meantime they passed whatever they wanted in the senate with the judges impact the courts, etc. host: dennis similar vein on leadership, clarence page, this is from paul in michigan. president trump is a con man masquerading as a maverick politician. the three card monte game is coming to an end. guest: i said myself that donald trump is a con man. con man economy a -- is short for confidence man to
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get what they want. they can be scrupulously or on scrupulously. -- unscrupulously. the fact is donald trump, love him or hate him, ceased as ezed hisity -- si opportunity. he showed discontent among white voters anduggling middle-class voters who felt -- let's talk about the array of republican candidates gathered up on stage and 2016 in the republican debates. people far more seasoned than donald trump. he literally knocked the ball
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m all down to the shock of many of us. column this week and the about how shocked i was by his success in ohio. friends of mine were telling me that she would trump voters, read "hillbilly elegy." the book was rising on the bestseller chart. i was surprised to discover it was about middletown, ohio, my hometown. portrait ofpoignant a young man like i was growing up in that steel town and trying to make a future for himself. p windup at yell law school. i wound up at university. for those who did not get more education, they were in the kind
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of bracket that was not being remembered. it felt taken for granted by democrats and republicans had not been responding with relevant action either. that sounds familiar to me as an african-american. we black voters are always thinking about being taken for granted by democrats and ignored by republicans. i got a hold of jd vance. we've had several conversations. i feel like there is something here going on that is not being addressed by our current parties. joe biden knows about it. i am waiting to see how he will address it as president after having worked with the same demographic groups for decades. host: next on the republican line, janice. caller: good morning. i have several points i would like to make. merry christmas.
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one is addressed to your first went on there about evangelist being hypocrites and how could they possibly vote for a racist. term as farof that as donald trump is concerned. he only became a racist when he ran for office. we voted for trump versus voting for murder in and out of the womb. trump versus gay marriage. he stood for everything the church and the bible stand for. when i asked democrats why they , the only think they can say is he is not trump. where are the policies? as far as anybody being a racist, biden has a 47-year long history of racism. starting with segregation all
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the way up to the crime bill. s talking about democracy. nothing will destroy our democracy more than socialism. i don't understand the stupidity of the left when they talk about their hatred of trumpet basing it on nothing more than identity politics. host: we will get thoughts from clarence page. guest: a lot of issues there. i'm always intrigued when people democrats for being socialists. i wonder what they are talking about. do they like social security? they say yes. don't touch my social security. that is socialism. it was attacked when fdr first brought it up. i don't need to tell you have it's a third real issue among politicians on the right and
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left. touch it and he died. same thing with -- touch it and you die. same thing with medicare. see ronald reagan's album he recorded back in the days in the mid-1960's before everybody has their own recorder in the pockets. he put out these albums about comparing socialized medicine to communism, for the first step towards marxism. that was the argument made against medicare. now medicare is probably either the most popular government program or close to it. we, whenever the government takes selective action, you get that kind of reaction. today president trump was opposed to obamacare. railed against it. after he won and


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