tv WSJ at Large With Gerry Baker FOX Business May 18, 2019 3:30am-4:00am EDT
this began my special guests are republican councilman collins house minority leader kevin mccarthy and senate homeland security chairman republican ron johnson. cash or show it to name eastern live sunday morning on fox news. right here on fox business ever 6 to 9 name eastern for mornings with maria right here on fox business. that will do it for us for this weekend, thank you for joining me. i will see you next time. have a great weekend.♪ ♪ [music] ♪ gerry: hello, welcome to the "wall street journal at large". have you got election fever yet?this weekend we are a mere 37 weeks away from the casting of the first votes in the 2020 presidential election. the iowa caucus traditional kickoff to the party primaries. the general election itself is less than 18 months away. next month a couple of dozen almost democratic hopefuls will square off in the first debate of the election season. before you know it summer will be over in primary campaign will be in full swing.
forgive me, please but it is time to start asking the invaluable question. who will win? president donald trump starts with two enormous advantages but he's the incumbent. no incumbent president has lost reelection in almost 30 years. in fact, only two over the last dozen elected incumbents have failed to be reelected to another term. he's also presiding over an economy that is in better shape than it's been in for a very long while. the president trump, economic growth has accelerated over one half percent than the president obama's last term in office. on a plane is down from just under five percent at the end of 2016. 3.6 percent now. average hourly earnings, growth of which have accelerated from 2.6 percent year to 3.2 percent. in less 50 is no present has failed to win reelection against the backdrop of declining unemployment.
accelerated growth and rising wages. bill clinton's campaign manager famously said all those years ago it was all about the economy, stupid. given all that, is there any real prospect that the president would handle it? it's not guaranteed to the fall of 2020. you can almost hear democrats quietly hoping for sudden downturn in business conditions. democratic hopefuls can also take from the presence approval ratings. even with a robust economy his numbers are week by historic standards. the latest poll gives him an approval rating of 46 percent. up a little from the previous month. by 51 percent of voters disapprove of his performance. and incumbent going into election with ratings below 50 percent is going to face a tough fight. his opponents say and certainly hope, that political doubts about the president and his personality make him confident in his economic performance. this week will take our first detailed look at the 2020 landscape. i know, everything could and
indeed probably will change in a week. but let alone 18 months. i can guarantee no one here will be making any predictions. but it will not stop us looking at or spectating about factors that may determine the out come. i'm joined by some brilliant minds. kristin -- also a columnist with washington examiner. jessica tarlov a democratic strategist and had research for online media company bussell digital group also a fox news contributor. thank you for joining us. jessica, i will start with you. is there any history at all the president presiding over such a strong economy being defeated and seeking reelection?>> as he said in introduction we haven't seen it in the last 30 years. he had george h. w. bush falling to bill clinton. but i cannot think of another example actually. gerry: is any reason to think that the president will be --
quick there plenty of reasons! gerry: is not just the economy, stupid. it is just healthcare, stupid. a recent post of healthcare was in a born issue by about eight points higher than immigration and the economy and jobs which surprisingly was number three. saying that is what matters most them. i've been looking at 2016 data. if foretells how and there with donald trump and what may be accompanied hillary clinton won on the issue of the economy by over a 10 point margin and donald trump was to elect a piece of his plenty of wiggle room to sit economy might be doing well. i'm still not into this person. >> clearly voters give donald trump credit for the economy when you look at his job approval numbers overall compared to his job approval on the economy. you see a pretty dramatic jump. there people that don't love
him as president but given credit for the economy. however, you can kinda be a victim of your own success. as you mentioned, economy is no longer the number one issue. during most of the 2000 it was foreign policy, iraq, terrorism, it became replaced by the economy after the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008. since then, that has really dominated the political conversation up until we lead up to the midterms for healthcare. gerry: i wonder about the point that healthcare reflects a broader concern that maybe can help democrats which is concerned about -- it is true the economy is doing well. stock market is doing well. and wages are rising too. so most are benefiting but there is great concern, isn't there about the fairness of whether or not the benefits and economy are evenly distributed and whether it is healthcare, the future of jobs, or some other issues, education. that is something democrats do seem to be taking advantage of. >> they could take advantage of it. if you ask voters are you
better off than you were four years ago, i think the vast majority of voters in the upcoming election will say yes to the question. but do they believe that the system is fair, do they think they can afford things like healthcare, a college education? those are still some gaps where there is a sense that neither party is necessarily proposing ways to fix it. even after the passage of the affordable care act, there was a political benefit to republicans for quite some time as people found there was destruction in their care they couldn't go to the doctor, republicans have now owned some of the healthcare mass with actions that they've taken over the last two and half years. that remains a really big political liability. gerry: me ask you, love democrats are embracing what some call socialism. there certainly a fundamental view that there is something quite wrong with capitalism. it is fundamental reform.will that be the message for democrats next year? >> it actually is. pete buttigieg calls it democratic capitalism.
and elizabeth warren calls it just capitalism. maybe seen gains may be have a tax cut but many people don't think they get a tax cut. when a vast majority did. the idea is that the system is again stupid even if they gave you $10, they give that guy $1 million. and with corporate tax rates, even john delaney, democratic contender is not pulling very well. he talked about lowering the corporate tax rate down to four or five points. we can live with that.that is an argument that does resonate with people. hillary clinton did something very smart a few weeks ago. she is speaking about economy and said the economy is doing well. but healthcare is an economic issue. and you cannot sustain a medical emergency, you are in an economic trouble. people might favor trump on the economy but san healthcare -- student at the present and his team were able to frame the election as a contest between capitalism and socialism, can the democrats win? >> i think becomes more complicated. it's interesting to watch the rise of joe biden. and to see bernie sanders on
what to say taking but losing the support.in fact more supporters of bernie sanders actually happy with joe biden, they focused on who can take down donald trump what is the number one issue for democratic voters. bernie sanders is out there with his democratic socialism which he has not been able to adequately explain to people. and with what's going on in venezuela it's a persuasive argument to say capitalism versus socialism. gerry: other republicans going to be able to frame what they are standing for, socialism? >> there's a big generational divide on this question. on one hand what democrats are calling for is expansion of government, policies that would lead to redistribution of wealth, things that sort of head in that direction but they're not calling for government to seize production across economy. sometimes republican will make the case that democrats are proposing the path to venezuela.
democrats say no, we are proposing the path to denmark. i think somewhere in between is really what we are hashing this out. what arewe defining socialism as in an american context? we ask voters, would you accept , would ever find acceptable to have a certain type of president, female, young, etc. they say you have only 1/4 of americans say they would be fine with having a socialist president. the number goes up among younger people who don't think of socialism as something that we have in the cold war. they think about as is that we mean by public schools? gerry: quickly, we have to take a break but is a european-style economic system such as that what they are arguing for? >> absolutely. that is why they want to draw the line in the sand between was going on in venezuela and the soviet union and you should be able to get health care and have good schools and all that. so yes.
gerry: i am back with kristin and jessica. kristen, let's talk about the presidents poll ratings. they're not good by historic standards.the division between what people think about him personally and what they think about his performance on economy, and the personal his likability he doesn't do very well. people say he gets very low ratings by historic standards. will that be a drag on him in the election? >> i think so. there are two ways of looking at this. on one hand you can argue it may be near impossible for anyone to get a job approval rating much higher than 50 percent in this era of deep partisan division, the social media era where you see all sorts of major institutions struggling. everyone is -- on the other hand, if so many people that like the policies that they are seeing. they like the results. but if only he would stop the tweeting. if only he would act more
conventionally presidential. you wonder if there's an alternate universe where the approval could reach 60 percent. other hand if the economy is worse in the 2020 election, how low can it go? i don't know that we know where the floor is for that support either. gerry: he seems to be joe biden's strategy. a couple of weeks ago with video going right after the presidents character. is that the way do you think for democrats to overcome the advantages that president trump has? >> certainly is the smartest way for joe biden. not about moderate republicans not by independent voters, none is deplorable talk about a wasted vote just to say this can be a four-year aberration in time.and i am the guy to restore dignity to the white house.that is the argument hillary clinton tried to make. remember her role models add which i think was one of her most effective the head of footage of donald trump mocking a disabled person.
but there are two groups and focused on. women and seniors. if the approval rating is 62 percent right now which is catastrophic, but the most surprising thing was to see the 53 percent of seniors said they did not want to vote for him. and donald trump, a republican frankly cannot win with the older voters. it's just mathematically impossible. gerry: how much does a whole robert mueller and russia alleged collusion, is that something that will be in there or dropped? >> it will not be dropped but i think will become more and more of a sideshow.if you follow nancy pelosi she's giving the keys. she was only the number 12 most important issue to democratic voters in the 2018 midterm. something nancy pelosi is cognizant of. i think the idea of congressional oversight, let it play out. certainly no impeachment hearings and say we have to
focus on healthcare. an immigration will be a bit that number to issue you here democrats say the word crisis for the first time. we have a crisis at the southern border acknowledging it is how americans feelabout . gerry: the democratic base would like to see him impeached. how does the democratic candidate win the nomination with back in the passion of the democratic party and then actually pivot to adjust cassettes, -- >> personally divide over something like impeachment we have about seven in 10 democrats and yes, we want to see him be impeached. and significantly fewer when it comes to independents. desk is mentioned the idea that donald trump is an aberration and we need a return to normalcy. there a lot of folks and democratic parties particularly supporters of senator sanders that don't do donald trump, that i view him as an aberration but a symptom of a long deep-seated brokenness in
the system, and the id can just wave a magic wand and elected a president and it goes back to 2015 it is fantasyland. gerry: i know you have expressed some concern but they have the capacity to speak the language of and to people who feel somehow they can disenfranchise from the system. it's a very powerful skill. >> yes it is on both sides of the aisle. you're the same lamers out of bernie sanders and donald trump. -- bernie sanders saying we have got to stick it to the man and donald trump saying yes, stick it to me. so, i think it will be difficult for him to go down that line again looking at what has happened. but it will be complicated for senator sanders to rile people up again at that level and they do have this revolutionary character. gerry: thank you. another break. coming up, a closer look at the
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let's look at the democratic field. joe biden is in the race, a pretty large lead in the polls. is he beatable? >> definitely beatable. it is so early in this. i think the primary debates will do a lot to tell us about where we are in the race.his margins in iowa and new hampshire are slimmer than one might expect. but superstrong in south carolina. gerry: what they like about him? >> they think that he can beat trump and they like the obama
administration. it is never one thing people were looking for is that if there's served with obama in one way or another. obama is golden to democrats right now. we look at how joe biden is pulling with african-american voters compared to kamala harris, actually her group, you see him while out ahead which is causing her a lot of heartache in south carolina at the moment. gerry: what do you think strike spheres into republicans hearts right now? >> i think joe biden presents an interesting threat because he still does seem to be able to speak the language of that obama trump voters own though so crucial especially in the blue wall states. i think this raises summary prominent republicans in the last couple of weeks to begin to fire on him and the tweets. i think joe biden is formidable. if you look at the last two presidential cycles we had a party that had a very large number of candidates, and 2016, you had front runners and folks like jeb bush but i use the term front runner loosely. it sort of fell off by the time
the first debate happened and it was kind of trump in the lead from there on. i think the 2012 republican primary provides an interesting comparison. we admit romney and the in the joe biden seat but he hung in there even is a crowded field there was lots of turns, rick santorum, newt gingrich, other people picking up individual states. but mitt romney holding onto his court and slowly but surely growing it as they approach the convention and wound up hanging on. gerry: they say joe biden has been running for president since william mckinley has been present. he's been around a long time. half a century and politics. is it possible that some of the people -- democrats looking for a fresh face, who of the fresh faces is the most plausible? >> are certainly a lot of footage of joe biden making mistakes. he's lost running for president twice before as part of the democratic ticket. gerry: the first time he
plagiarized a british politician. >> and ec bernie sanders already going after him things. which is absurd to me. there is more footage and we look at democratic polling shows people to want someone over 75 years old. they're looking for a fresh face but the number one issue is electability. you have nearly 60 percent of democratic voters saying -- >> do think pete buttigieg is electable? >> i don't want to say right now but you've seen kind of he had that -- after a cnn town hall, great fundraising. now he is leveled out, he's with kamala harris and elizabeth warren and see bernie and joe biden at the top. this can all shift but i'm not sure mark is ready to elect -- gerry: let's wrap. quickly, if not joe biden which of the other candidates do you think is the most electable or one could possibly beat trump? >> i think kamala harris is interesting. in that second tier of major leaders who are right behind bernie and joe biden.
she's maintained, she had a good roll out. i will keep my eye on her if the joe biden train doesn't go. gerry: we could've gone on for longer blue covered some of the big issues. next and final thoughts on what we can expect when voters go to we can expect when voters go to a birthday without her mom.
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speculate on the 2020 election, history has a way of making fools of us all. we should remember that a team is before the last election virtually no one was talk about the possibility of a billionaire new york city real estate developer getting the republican nomination. in fact when donald trump did announced in june 2015 riding down the escalator famously of trump tower, many in traditional circles dismiss it as a stunt from a reality t.v. star.we know what happened there! we should be wise i think to remember perhaps, with the great movie mogul sam goldman said. never make predictions. especially about future. that's it for us this week should -- follow me on facebook, instagram and twitter. next week we'll talk about the issues facing asia and the united states. please do not miss it. right here on the wall street journal at large. thank you for joining us.
lou: good evening everybody. president trump up against a resistance but it is not the radical dems who are the problem. it's the rino republicans standing in the president's path. senator lindsay graham informing the president he must be willing to work with the dems to pass his immigration agenda. mitch mcconnell offering the president only if you can call it support tepid support. the president needs to forget about fighting with the radical dems for a time and take on the obstruction within his own party. and the department of homeland security seems to be out of control. the department searching for companies to help with the re