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tv   Washington Journal Josh Kraushaar  CSPAN  October 12, 2021 3:33pm-4:01pm EDT

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house today, the bill will be delivered to president biden to be signed into law. watch c-span, online at, or on our new app c-span now. >> download c-span's new mobile app and stay up to date with live video coverage of the day's political events, from live streams of the house and senate floors and key congressional hearings to white house events and supreme court oral arguments. even our live interactive morning program "washington journal" where we hear your voices every day. c-span now has you covered. download the app for free today. >> tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern, watch today's u.s. supreme court oral argument on the kentucky abortion law on c-span2. and tomorrow the supreme court hears oral argument in united states v.tsarnaev, a supreme
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court case to reinstate the boston marathon bomber's death sentence. c-span, online at or our new video app c-span now. co. host: josh kraushaar is back with us, political columnist at the national journal where he put pens his against the grain column. it was last weekend against the grain where you dug into president biden's falling polling numbers. how worried should democrats be about those numbers? guest: they should be very worried. his average job approval according to the 538 polling average is 44%. that is lower than every president at this point in their administration in the last 50 years other than donald trump. it is a double whammy. the president is losing support amongst independents.
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his average support among independents is in the 30's and most of these polls. you also have an intensity of opposition among republicans and even independents, a deep disapproval from a sizable plurality of voters. you have on top of it a lot of evidence that democrats are disillusioned as well. covid is not going away, or it is taking a while to go away, the economy is facing a lot of headwinds. this white house a couple of months ago thought that they would be running and politicking on a roaring back economy and covid going away. you are seeing the opposite. inflation is a real issue. not only inflation, but some of the after effects of covid will stock shortages in supplies. stores cutting hours. stores cutting customer surveys. i've talked with some democrats who are starting to use the term malaise in describing the public
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mood. that is not a good sign. it was attached to jimmy carter's presidency and not one the biden white house wants to repeat. host: the chart of president biden's job approval numbers from january and february through the latest numbers. you can see the trend line going down and underwater starting the end of august, early september. historically, this is not the usual end of the honeymoon phase of a new president. this is something different? guest: polls go up and down and there are certainly -- midterms are over a year away there's plenty of time for the presidency to rebound. one of the more concerning elements of the polling is that unlike president trump and president obama, who could rely on a rock solid base, 80% or 90% of democrats and republicans during the obama and trump residencies saying that they would support them no matter
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what. you're not seeing the same degree of support with president biden. he is taking off the left because he is not permissive enough on immigration policies, he hasn't given into the left on everything, he has ticked off the middle because he is trying to pursue trillions of dollars in a spending package and the covid and economy. this is a double whammy. at least with trump and obama they could say we have a base that will show up to the polls no matter what for our parties even though we have a lot of headwinds. biden does not command the same degree of support from his own party, which makes it extra challenging for him. host: midterms are year away, but the off-year elections, specifically the now close race in virginia is weeks away. how does this play out if terry mcauliffe, the democratic former governor of virginia, if he
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loses in virginia, a state that president biden won less than a year ago by 10 percentage points over donald trump? guest: that virginia governor's race, which takes place next month, will be a strong bellwether about what the public mood is looking like. democrats thought that this was going to be a walk in the park. that you had a state that voted for president biden by 10 points. it has been trending blue, democrats have won every governors race going back to 2013 and presidential elections to 2008. i think they underestimated the fundamentals, that usually virginia the year after a presidential election, there is a desire to check the party in power. the virginia governor, biden in the white house, you have a democratic state legislator the last few years, so there is a strong desire to check the party in power. you add on top of that the
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degree of support biden has in the state. he won well over 50% of the vote last year. his job approval in virginia is in the 40's, underwater. i assume the president will come in for terry mcauliffe.that usually happens in the closing days of a governors race, but i'm not sure if you will give terry mcauliffe that much help. terry mcauliffe himself said that biden may actually give him negative in the state. you need to get democratic votes to the polls. that is a warning sign. you're looking to get enthusiasm up at a time when in past elections that was not a challenge. democrats were flocking to the polls in virginia during the trump era. it is harder to have democrats showing up for terry mcauliffe in an off-year election. host: if you are to do that, it would be a busy time for him as congress continues to debate in the democratic party in
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particular continues to debate the build back better agenda, what the final number should be. what is your gut telling you about how longer this will take? does biden get the budget reconciliation bill through the house and senate? guest: usually the notion in washington is something that important is too big to fail. i'm afraid the trillions of dollars in proposed spending that the white house and democratic party are trying to pass may be too big to pass. you have a 50-50 senate. you cannot afford to lose a single democrat. you have two democrats in joe manchin and kyrsten sinema who are functionally independent. these are not partyline voters. their constituencies are to the middle and to the right. these will not be easy votes to get even with the typical horsetrading that goes on. you look at the house, and pelosi and biden can only afford
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to lose three house democrats, and you already have a couple on the record who are very wary about the spending levels that democrats are proposing. there are dozens more democrats who say they want to pass something but they know that they are in competitive districts where the political tide is turning against them and are very wary about inflation, government spending, and when they hear that democrats want to pass $3.5 trillion in additional spending on top of covid relief, on top of the bipartisan proposal for infrastructure that costs over $1 trillion. i don't think this will be an easy lift. i don't think there's anything better than a 50-50 chance that democrats get this through even though the incentives suggest they need to get something done to help president biden because his job approval is thinking to the degree that it is. it's hard to get everyone in line for a consensus proposal. host: chatting politics with one of the smartest minds in politics in washington, longtime
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political reporter josh kraushaar of the national journal. he writes the against the grain column and has a podcast of the same take your questions. as usual, by political party. kraushaar, as usual, plenty of calls for you. republican, you are up first. caller: biden, he is just not making decisions for running this country. he is just a puppet and everybody knows it. look at the extreme policies he is having. we are going to defund the money to build the wall down there, we are going to put environmental stuff -- environmental stuff is not going to stop these illegals from coming around. i the institute for immigration studies, it costs american
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taxpayers last year a half $1 trillion on illegal immigration. as far as the news media goes, the news media needs to cover -- all they are talking about is the january 6 commission. you don't hear anything about biden's son's laptop and art deals. it is not a 50-50 thing, it is more like a 90-10 against conservatives, republicans, and especially donald trump. that is my opinion. host: josh kraushaar. guest: the caller brings up the trump factor in the midterms and in the elections win trump himself is not on the ballot. one of the worrying signals out of virginia is that mcauliffe has much of his campaign in connecting glenn juncker and president trump. the numbers don't suggest it will be similar to the 2020
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election. there is no critical mass of voters who may have voted for joe biden but are now looking for a check, a different approach. juncker in -- connecting glenn juncker into president trump has not worked out the way the democrats hoped. that is worrying for the midterms because the playbook by the democrats, connecting every republican on the ballot to trump and anyone who defends trump's politics, supports trump, voted for trump is tainted by that red flag, it doesn't work in virginia and it will not be a winning issue in wisconsin and pennsylvania, more competitive battleground states. this is one of the many reasons that virginia is a bellwether, a test on whether the trump card can still work for democrats in attacking republicans, even when trump is not on the ballot. josh kraushaar let's look at -- host: let's look at the republican playbook. one of the headlines in your recent columns, to win back
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congress republicans must look past trump's turf. guest: the flipside of the democratic pandering to progressives, on the left is the republican party been essentially taken over by trumpists in every state in every part of the country. what we are seeing in the senate and house races that the redder the state the more powerful the trump organizations are within those states. georgia, herschel walker, the star running back for the university of georgia, he is the favorite to be the republican nominee. he has a lot of political baggage, issues of domestic abuse, a lot of republicans are concerned about his candidacy in the red state but trump endorsed him and that is why he is the heavy favorite. not just georgia, but arizona where an election to nihilist has taken over the republican
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party and made it harder for republicans to compete against mark kelly. the party is dipping so far to the right it may hamper their chances to win in a favorable state. we are seeing some of the bluer states, virginia is a good example, republicans nominated glenn youngkin, who is a mitt romney-type businessman, in capital equity, markets, the ceo of carlisle cooperative, about as establishment as you get. he won the nomination in a blue state like virginia and is doing well in the general election. chris sununu has not announced his plans. new hampshire is a biden state but republicans have avoided the trumpist test in that state compared to some of the redder states. you look at the map, the big picture, it may be a good year for republicans, a wave election
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where it may be easier to win some of the blue-leaning states. it is a good path to the senate for republicans if they go through new hampshire, nevada, virginia could flip and the governor's race. the chances in redder states like a georgia and arizona could be lower because of the candidates they are promoting. host: when is the last time we did not have a wave election? guest: that is a good question. 2004 was the first elections that i covered, the midterms in 2006. almost every election since the bush years has been away. people are dissatisfied with the direction of the country. go all the way back to 2004, the iraq war, hurricane katrina, the distrust in government being able to do its job. you hear the same complaints, the same discontent almost 20 years later. the public is dissatisfied with
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both parties, dissatisfied with leadership on both sides. they basically say we will throw you out if you don't do the job well, and that has been the case for the last 15 years. host: the electoral seas, rarely calm. in new jersey, independent, good morning. caller: i wonder if we are getting an accurate picture of the youth demographic and what they will be voting for.i cannot see that the gop can pivot themselves away from their anti-science, anti-environment -- that they will get up talking these 1800s anti-immigration -- i can't see that that will swing. when push comes to serve i think that may motivate people to vote. that is my comment. thanks. guest: yeah. i wrote a column about this last week. both parties, mainly the leadership of both parties are caught in their own information
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bubble.republicans , we know that it is about trump and they cannot deny the cult of personality on the republican side for voters. on the democratic side i think that there is a belief that trump is the defining issue for democratic or swing voters. they believe climate change is an important issue but not a voting issue for many voters outside the youngest and most progressive parts of the party. i think there is a bubble that thinks a lot of the progressive messaging, a lot of the progressive priorities that the biden administration is really popular with people in the middle, the people who are the classic swing voters. they kind of blame the opposition as a retrograde trump cult. some of that may be true, the challenge is that a lot of democratic voters want to hear more about the economy, more about how biden will really deal with some of these supply shortages facing the country, how he will deal with inflation. biden got wage hikes in terms of
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direct payments as far as child tax credits but inflation has wiped out those gains according to a lot of studies. there is a lot of concern among democrats struggling with their own economic situation, anxious about the state of the country. by talking about issues that political junkies focus on, or political scientists focused on trump, they are missing the issues that are of most concern to their own voters. i think that that is a risk that the party runs heading into the midterms. host: lakeland, florida, peter, independent. caller: i hope that you give me a minute because i think that your host is missing something very big -- i mean, your guest. let's start with virginia. terry mcauliffe is in trouble. they controlled the house and senate in virginia and he refused to take up right to work legislation. why the hell would any working man in virginia vote for him?
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let's look at the federal level. the corruption on the democratic side is mind-boggling. they refused to have a vote on medicare in the house. if you refuse to have a vote where the majority of your members say they are for it, you know it's a fraud party. they are just taking the money from the health insurance industry. it will reflect in the midterms. take a look at the public option that biden said that he would do. backed off of that. look at the minimum wage at $15 an hour. those white senators from the northern states made sure that we didn't have a $15 per hour minimum wage, and you want to be rewarded in the midterms? josh, can you address some of these? guest: i think the caller brings up an interesting point, that democrats are getting it from the left and from the middle and from the right in opposite directions.i think the caller was talking about medicare for all, that the
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democrats have not pushed what bernie sanders campaigned on. there is good reason for that. they don't think that that is politically popular even though there are some voters, local voters -- vocal voters on the left to want that. you're picking on the left because some democrats over promised on the agenda and what could get past going to the senate, but you are ticking off the middle and right by embracing a lot of the bernie agenda to solve a lot of social problems. biden, i think part of the president's problem and terry mcauliffe's problem in virginia is that you're trying to win everyone over. i think that democrats will have to choose. do you want to pander to the progressives and get the base excited but may lose a lot of middle-of-the-road voters that decide elections, or do you want to spend your political capital
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on being more moderate and a sacrifice may be some of the enthusiasm from the base but win over some of the biden voters who may have voted for republicans in the past, maybe moderate in her outlook? that is the question facing democrats across the board. they seem to be not wanting to make a decision, not wanting to make hard choices about their governing agenda and do what it takes to get a majority in congress. host: john podesta former chief of staff under bill clinton now with the center for american progress in d.c., here's his column in usa today. democrats have to unite and find common ground or they risk an electorate that is angry and despondent in november and thereafter, and rightly so. democrats rain on the promises of addressing challenges that democrats fail to acknowledge. an economy that is worker-centered and supports the middle class. they ran on expanding health care coverage and tackling the
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climate crisis by shifting to a greener economy. if they don't deliver their majority will be a thing of the past. democrats need to understand if they plan to win the next election, or any election in the near future, they need to show that they can govern. guest: i think john podesta is pretty much on the money. his political guidance has been, mainly for the progressives, to compromise on the scope of the social spending bill from $3.5 trillion closer to the $1.5 trillion that joe manchin and to some extent kyrsten sinema have advocated for. the desta is a number counter. -- john podesta is a number counter. he knows that there are limitations to what democrats can get through congress, and given the makeup of congress -- the former obama advisor made a comment to the same point. you spend $1.9 trillion on the
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stimulus, you have a bipartisan one plus trillion dollars, and then the money that trump spent on an emergency basis to deal with covid, the progressives won in a large sense that they are getting public support to this degree of spending that would not have been possible a decade ago. but they seem to want to keep pushing further and further. putting $6 trillion as their opening bid in the social spending package. now 3.5 trillion dollars on top of everything else. i think that they have lost the plot. they won the larger ideological war, but they keep on demanding more and more. it is not blood first, but the compromise has to be in the direction of the moderates because of the makeup in congress because of joe manchin, kyrsten sinema, and swing state democrats don't have the stomach to vote for that degree of initial spending. host: the wolverine state, good
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morning. caller: i would like to start by thanking you and your guest for coming on this show, and all of the men and women that it takes to bring us this great program. my question is a long-term one. it is the assault on the voting system. right now i know that it is all in the noise, everyone is shouting at each other, but what do you see in the long term? to me, everything else is important, but if you mess with the base of a pyramid and take that out the whole pyramid falls. to me, voting is our base to this nation. we are always going to disagree on things, but what is your view on the long-term -- i'm sorry, sir, i'm not going to try to pronounce your name because i will slaughter it and i don't mean any disrespect.
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thank you for taking my call, john, and i appreciate your show. host: one of the most respectful colors when he calls in each month when he is allowed to do so. one call a month for all of our callers for those who don't know. guest: that is a significant question in our long-term future of our politics. i think that most parties -- both parties have missed the plot. democrats have been trying to champion this voting rights bill , but it doesn't address the fundamental worries that i think are most significant when it comes to protecting democracy. there are a lot of things in the original election bill, extended early voting, taxing gerrymandering and states, you know, dealing with a lot of voting rules and federal lysing the election system across the board -- federalizing the
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election system across the board. it didn't have a lot to do with the jurisdiction, who is in charge. i don't think that you should be alarmed yet, but it is something to watch. republicans trying to elect trumpists in key positions, like in georgia. roethlisberger who rejected trump's threats in the aftermath of the 2020 election, he has a primary on his hands against a trump-ist in jodey heights, and i think the trump-endorsed candidate is the heavy favorite to win. you are seeing is trump's power continues to grow even out of office within the party structure, more voters looking to punish republicans that upheld the voting rules. we still have checks and balances. i think some of the worries have been overstated and what can happen in two years four years, the concern is not so much early
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voting or how much gerrymandering is affecting good governance, it is really who has jurisdiction and if the state legislature will try to get outside power in republican states or swing states to try to have some issue and try to challenge election results in four years. that is a serious concern worth watching, but one ultimately in the hands of the voters. republicans throw out good republican officials in primaries and elect trump-ist candidates. that is something to watch but it is also a demand-side problem not a supply-side problem. it is republican voters who have gone off of the deep end, so to speak. host: staying on former president trump and republican candidates, what gop politicians are best navigating the conundrum of not doing what the media wants and condemning trump, which is political
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poison, well not endorsing the man? guest: i think you can look at virginia, glenn youngkin could be a good example of threading that tough needle. glenn youngkin needs to get republicans, trump voters to show up to vote in an off-year election for governor. that is a necessity. he needs to win over a lot more moderate voters who have totally defected from the republican party over the last five to 10 years. if you look at the polls, this is a very close race. clearly he is having some success in doing so. he is pandering -- he used the word voter integrity on the campaign. when you look under the >> we're going to leave this program to fulfill our 40-plus year of live gavel-to-gavel coverage of congress. you can watch the rest at the house will work on the debt ceiling to keep the federal government solvent by december 3


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