tv Meet the Press NBC August 25, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
this sunday, trade war and the economy. another escalation has china imposes retaliatory tariffs on the u.s. the president orders u.s. companies out of china, and the dow falls more than 600 points. >> we're having a little spat with china. >> a world economy slowed by the trade war is the backdrop for the g7 summit of leaders in france. plus, pronouncements and reversals on a tax cut -- >> payroll taxes, i've been thinking about payroll taxes for
a long time. i'm not looking at a tax cut now. >> background checks. >> but we have to have meaningful background checks. we already have very serious background checks. >> even on buying greenland. >> it's not number one on the burner. this has been discussed for many years. >> my guests this morning, bill weld, who is challenging president trump, and club for growth president david mcintosh. also, democratic dilemma. is it enough to run against the president's character and competence, or do voters want a nominee who will radically transform washington? >> i think the biggest risk we could take is to try to play it safe. >> i'll talk to democratic candidate pete buttigieg of indiana. and team of rivals. an unlikely group of former trump allies. joining me for insight and analysis are you gene robinson,
betsy woodruff, brett stefbs, and kristen soltis anderson of the washington examiner. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. for much of this week, we wondered whether we should take what president trump says seriously anymore. by the end of the week, we were reminded that the words and actions of the most powerful man in the world do have real-world consequences. in just the past few days, the president was not interested in buying greenland. before, he was so interested that he "washington popostponed denmark when they wouldn't sell. stay with me on expanded background checks on guns. the president, who is traditionally against them, then was for them after el paso and dayton, against them reportedly after talking to the head of the nra, then apparently for them
again but now maybe not. this is not a left or right issue. it's a fact or fiction issue. but there was no denying the implications of what the president was saying and doing on friday. both china and mr. trump escalated the trade war that mr. trump initiated. the president flirting a big with authoritarianism with this tweet directed at america's business community. our great american companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to china. the result of the president's tweets, the dow plunged more than 600 points as the president headed off to france for his g7 meeting with world leaders, already nervously eyeing a slowsi slowing world economy. donald trump came into office promising to discard traditional alliances and practices. for better or worse, he's delivered on that promise. now real questions are being raised about whether the united states can be counted on to provide the leadership the world has come to expect from it since
the end of the second world war. >> getting a lot of money in tariffs. >> reporter: as president trump meets with u.s. allies anxious about a slowing global economy, his own volatility is raising questions about his ability to manage the world's largest one. the president is ratcheting up his trade war with china, threatening to raise taxes on chinese goods. >> presidents and administrations allowed them to get away with taking hundreds of billions of dollars out every year. >> reporter: claiming sweeping emergency powers to, quote, hereby order u.s. companies to cut ties with china. >> in 1977 we had an act passed, a national emergency act. i have the absolute right to do that. >> reporter: and attacking the federal reserve chair he appointed again, tweeting, my only question is, who is our big e enemy, jay powell or chairman xi? >> do i want him to resign? let me put it this way. if he did, i wouldn't stop him. >> reporter: some of mr. trump's own allies say the president is increasingly worried about a recession and are concerned his
own focus on the darkening picture could be self-fulfilling. the president himself just can't seem to stop talking about it. >> the word recession is a word that's inappropriate. we're very far from a recession. the fake news, of which many of you are members, is trying to convince the public to have a recession. let's have a recession. you people want a reseg because you think maybe that's the way to get trump out. >> reporter: and the president's erratic style has been on full display. on tuesday, he floated a tax cut. >> payroll tax is something we think about. >> reporter: by wednesday, he said it was not on the table. >> i'm not looking at a tax cut now. we don't need it. we have a strong economy. >> reporter: he is using messonic language to describe himself. >> somebody had to do it. i am the chosen one. somebody had to do it. so i'm taking on china. >> reporter: tweeting conspiracy theories. and zigzagging on basic policy, this week reversing himself on guns. >> i think we can do meaningful, very meaningful background
checks. we have a lot of background checks right now. >> reporter: and even on buying greenland after claiming -- >> we may be going to denmark, not for this reason at all. >> reporter: on tuesday, he canceled the trip, saying based on the danish prime minister's comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of greenland. the business community is weary. >> just like another one-way ticket on the titanic. >> reporter: and 2020 drrtemocr are already taking advantage, running on a return to stability. >> we're witnessing a president of the united states who's become more and more unhinged. we know the words of a president matter. they can move markets. >> i don't know what the president is thinking when he says he can just hereby order companies to do this or that. we need an economy that actually works for all of us. >> and joining me now from the g7 in france is nbc news chief white house correspondent hallie jackson. i know this white house at times and republicans here in washington at times don't know
exactly how to defend the president and some of what he says at any moment in time. i know the white house has had a hard time finding somebody to provide us for this show today. and it may be because of misinterprationsf what the president may mean at any given point in time. the president this morning asked about having second thoughts about china. i want to play what he said, then i want you to explain what he really meant. here it is. >> any second thoughts on escalating the trade war with china? >> yeah, sure, why not? might as well. >> do you have second thoughts about escalating the war with china? >> i have second thoughts about everything. >> all right. that certainly sounded like a president who at least was hearing the criticism he's been receiving from his fellow world leaders about this trade war. but apparently he didn't mean what he said. >> that's according, chuck, to the white house press secretary. that was big news, that sound bite you just played.
for about six hours here on the coast of france, the president who rarely concedes regret on any topic seemed to be signaling some kind of recigaretgret here. the white house said that is being misinterpreted. the press secretary saying the president's regret was that he was not tougher on china and that the tariffs weren't more stringent. so inverting the way many people read that moment in the room. you asked me to explain what the president meant there, chuck. i can't tell you. i can only look at what the president is saying and doing. the issue here at the g7 is he's saying and doing things that are contradictory. in this instance, for example, of these china tariffs and whether or not the president is having second thoughts, the white house seems to want it both ways in front of two different audiences. this is a president, chuck, who knows how to read the room. he's in a room now, right, and he was in that instance, with other leaders who are gently pushing back on the issue of trade. he gets that. this is a president who at least for this trip does not want to be, it seems, the wrecking ball.
that's different from other summits. in this instance, the president wants to portray that everyone is going along to get along. the french president hope redd a no-drama summit. but at home, the white house seems to be sending a message that, no, no, this is stuff a still commander in chief, still a guy who's going to put those tough tariffs on china. base, we're still fighting for you. so you have these two different messages on just this one topic. we've seen these meetings unfold throughout the day. the pushback the president is getting, it's not tough. boris johnson and the president met this morning. very gentle. he even said, i'm going to make a sheep-like noise here and tell you about my pushback. you also saw the same with prime minister shinzo abe of japan when president trump down played those recent missile tests by north korea. shinzo abe very quickly in the next breath said, wait a second, no, those missile tests do
violate u.n. agreements, and we have a problem with it. >> all right. halle jackson at the g7. thanks very much. by the way, in the same boris johnson back and forth, the president was asked about the discussion of bringing russia into the g8. apparently the president said they had a bit of adisagreement on that and let it go. joining me now, former governor bill weld and david mcintosh, the president of the conservative club for growth, which spent money opposing candidate donald trump in 2016 but now plans to support him for re-election. i want to welcome both of you. congressman, i want to start with you because this is what you said about not supporting candidate trump back in 2016. you said, this year is different. this is when you were supporting ted cruz. because there's a vast gulf between the two leading republican candidates on matters of economic liberty.
their records make clear that ted cruz is a consistent conservative who will fight to shrink the federal footprint, while donald trump will seem to remake government in his desired image. some will read that and say, you were pretty prescient. that's exactly what donald trump has done. >> and chuck, we were supporting ted cruz then, and in the middle of the campaign, you mix it up. but what we base our current position on is the results. president trump has governed as a free-market conservative, cutting taxes, trying to get rid of obamacare, deregulating oil and energy industry, deregulating the internet. and it's working. the economy is still at 2.5%, 3% growth. that's a reversal from his predecessor. unemployment, the lowest rate ever. and you see more and more people entering the workplace and getting higher paying jobs. >> i want to follow up with something you said. you said he's governed as a free market conservative. i'm lifting this directly from your website. the costs of protectionism are largely borne not by some foreign country, but by american
businesses, taxpayers, and consumers. club for growth's analysis of what, for instance, tariffs on the steel industry would do. how can you say he's governed as free-market conservative when he's been issuing tariffs left and right? >> and the trade is a difficult issue. you're right. >> your board is struggling with this? >> the tariffs are a tax on the american people. they're a problem. i think you've got to step back and, in fact, what's going on at the g7, this is explained. same thing. it's the art of the deal. what we like about president trump's vision on trade is his goal of zero-zero tariffs. we support that strongly. i kind of have come to recognize these tariffs are his way of forcing the chinese to come to the table. they're costly, and we want them to go away, but he's using them to get to that ultimate goal of zero-zero tariffs. >> governor weld, you've been thought of as a very moderate republican, but where you align with the republican party over the last couple decades always was on fiscal issues.
you just heard congressman mcintosh make a case that the president is governing like a free-market conservative. is he governing like a free-market conservative in your mind? >> no, he's not a small government guy at all. we're smendipending more on int on the deficit now than we are on national defense. interest on the debt is the fourth largest item in the federal budget. they're spending money in washington like drunken sailors. a trillion dollars a year. mr. trump's last budget, admittedly a multiyear budget, but it added $9 trillion to the deficit. three days ago, it went up another $800 billion. that's almost another trillion dollars. you can't keep doing that indefinitely. every household in the united states, every governor in the united states, as mr. mcintosh knows, has to balance the budget by constitution or by necessity. my motto when i was in office is there's no such thing as government money. there's only taxpayer money. they've forgotten that in washington, led by the president. they think it's their money and
it's not. >> governor, let me play devil's advocate about the debt. there have been folks like yourself and others who have been talking about that if this debt keeps increasing, it's going to be a drag on the economy. it hasn't been a drag on the economy yet. why? >> well, it's going to be a drag not just on the economy but on our national security because we're effectively relying on other countries to buy our treasury bills to, you know, get us out of this terrible deficit position we're in or to forestall the united states going into bankruptcy. that's economics 101. so it's just very much against the economic interests of the american people to keep going in this direction. everybody who thinks about it knows it. furthermore, in my view, it no longer matters what the president says. that may be his first thought of
the moment or his first ramble or first raving. you can be sure there will be a second thought, a third thought, and a fourth thought, all of which are going to be different from the first thought. >> congressman mcintosh, i remember during the obama years a lot of conservatives criticized the obama administration because all these big ideas you guys are talking about, it's creating instability in the business community. how is what the president's doing not -- i mean, it's clear the reason for the slowdown is the business community is suddenly nervous because they don't know how this trade war is going to turn out. isn't this creating instability? >> as i mentioned earlier, the key to understanding this is reading donald trump's book "the art of the deal." yes, things are going to change. you get the, i want to be your friend, i want to work with you donald trump when he's trying to push towards a deal. when the deal breaks apart, you get the donald trump i'm going to impose tariffs. >> what deal has he gotten though? this art of the deal thing gets thrown out a lot. where has this actually worked? he doesn't have an infrastructure deal. he didn't get no health care.
he doesn't have a deal with china. >> it worked on replacing nafta. that was successful. the only thing blocking that is nancy pelosi and the democrats in the house. >> it's literally nafta 2.0. it didn't change that much. >> it's a better deal for the u.s. in the president's eyes, and it's an example of how the art of the deal worked. i think the key thing for donald trump is to show that he's got a vision for the second term and to continue with another round of tax cuts. he's deciding which way he wants to go on that. we're going to urge one that is for small businesses, to give them the same tax break the corporate guys got. >> governor weld, you're obviously challenging the president in a primary. you don't think he deserves renomination. if you don't get the nomination, does he dererve rserve re-elect? >> absolutely not. let me just say, i think the president does have a vision for the second term. it's what steve bannon says. if president trump is
re-elected, you're going to see four years of unadulterated, unrequited payback. mr. trump is going to pay back all his enemies. payback for what? it's another example of his extreme malignant narcissism. he's only happy when other people are losing. it's not enough for him to win. he makes sure his vendors get paid five and ten cents on the dollar while he and his rich banker friends walk off with millions of dollars. that's his reputation in new york and new jersey. >> governor, you're the first republican to jump in. other republicans are thinking about it. any of these other republicans would convince you to get out and support them? >> not me to get out, but i'm thrilled about joe walsh and mark sanford getting in. that's terrific. it's going to be a more robust conversation. who knows, the networks might even cover republican primary debates. they can ill afford to say they only cover democrats. i'm looking forward to both those fellows getting in.
i hope more as well. it can only contribute to more robust dialogue. that'll be good for the country. we need to assemble rational people. sure, a crazed president makes the stock market go down, but that doesn't mean we have to like it. >> all right. well, governor weld, congressman mcintosh, i think we showed we can have disagreements without sounding disagreeable with each other. i thank you both for sharing your views this morning. >> thank you, chuck. >> thank you, chuck. good to be with you. later this hour, mayor pete buttigieg joins me live. buttigieg joins me live. ♪ i planned each charted course ♪ ♪ each careful step ♪ along the byway ♪ much more ♪ much more than this ♪ i did it my way (announcer) verizon is america's most awarded network and the only one with the galaxy note10 5g. right now, when you buy one, you get a galaxy note10 free. that's verizon.
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read for you andrew sullivan's take and eric ericson's take. they both agree on one thing, the president had erratic behavior. here's andrew sullivan. if you can begin even to engage this bizarre, dangerous, deranged, and ignorant stream of consciousness and try to discern some kind of logic or pattern, your brain will break. here's eric. i'd rather a president whose behavior makes other people feel comfortable being braying jackasses than a democrat who wants to take away my health care while giving health care to illegal aliens. the president may be nuts in his behavior, but i'll take his crazy over what the democrats would unleash on the united states. i feel like the it's rationale. >> let's see who the democrats wind up nominating. the real issue for republicans is simply to call out the fact that the president does not
stand in any way for the traditional conservative economic principles that have defined the party for the better part of last 70 years. they don't even stand -- never mind the economic principles, broader principles of character. what we saw over the last few days is a president who's either mentally unwell or morally unfit. maybe both. i don't know. but it's important to simply call these things as we see them. you have behavior that is unprecedented in any kind of presidential history in the united states or, frankly, elsewhere. so when i hear guys like erick say, wow, at the end of the day, this is a choice, you know, i'd rather have a candidate on the democratic swho at least doesn't scare me every single morning. >> i feel like this is the entire debate of the 2020 campaign, just light there. >> that's right. part of what's going on in the background as the president's comments about particularly china trade unfolded over the last week is that the way the
united states government thinks about our relationship with china has changed dramatically. right now i can tell you that white house officials think it's less and less likely the u.s. will actually reach a trade deal with china and rather is going to lurch from a truce to truce, postponing tariffs, postponing punitive action. that's because -- >> but it'll always hang over there. >> it'll always hang over their head. that's because in the background in the white house and the intelligence community, they see china first and foremost as a national security concern rather than as an economic concern. >> that's where voters come down on this question as well. pugh research center has been studying american views on china for the last decade and a half. we're at record high levels of americans saying they have an unfavorable view of china. most of that's actually driven not by economic concerns. in the poll, most people say they're okay with china being economically strong. it's those national security concerns that are chief. this is why the president is able, even in the midst of what feels like complete chaos, to have a little latitude there. his economic job approval remains about eight to ten
points higher than his overall job approval. >> but it's going down, and it should be. look at real world results of donald trump's erratic behavior, whether through mental deficiency or moral deficiency or some combination thereof. look at your 401(k) today. go online right now and look at it and see what happened to it on friday. >> i chose not to. >> yeah, i'm not going there either. but it's extraordinary. and when i hear people like the congressman talk about, you know, the art of the deal, donald trump didn't write a word of that book, including the title. it was written by tony schwarz, with whom i went to school. he wrote the whole thing. but what has it gotten the united states? it has made no agreements. it has gotten us nowhere. and so this idea that there's this master player of
four-dimensional chess, it's not true. >> the only thing i'll say to people, if there's one thing you got to understand about donald trump, it's that he doesn't believe anything is on the level. whether it's the press, whether it's the government, he's always believed -- he doesn't believe anything is on the level, including a conversation he will have with somebody who's an ally. >> i was going to say, this is a big piece of his economic messaging at the moment. he's got to juggle both touting what he believes is a strong economy, trying to keep those economic job approval numbers high, while sort of laying the groundwork for if this begins to fall apart, to be able to say, it's the fed's fault, it's china's fault, it's congress' fault for not passing my new nafta. >> this is a classic autocratic strategy. when the economy goes south, you blame speculators, the media, blame someone else. one of the problems i have with a lot of the sort of conservative apologetics for trump is they always say, you have to separate the signal from the noise. and the reality of the trump presidency is the noise is the
signal, and it's dangerous. we are blundering our way into a contest with the chinese that's not about national security. it's a contest of face between two leaders who see themselves as essentially, you know, supreme leaders, from which neither of them is easily going to back down. we ended up in a war in world war ii in part because we were trying to impose an economic embargo on japan. these things are worrisome. we should be worried about china, but trying to wage a trade war with it, with no outcome in sight, is going to have consequences. >> these questions of signal and noise and art of the deal are going to be front of mind at g7. this is something white house officials are desperate for. keep an eye out for some sort of announcement or conversation about a bilateral trade deal with the uk. the white house would love to say that they're going to be sort of throwing some sort of assistance to boris johnson as he's negotiating to leave the european union toward the end of october. as far as this question of
national security and how that affects the united states' trade relationship with china, it's an existential issue for the u.s./china relationship, arguably the most important relationship in the world. for white house officials right now, they see this as incredibly urgent. they believe that china is in danger of overreaching in hong kong. they're worried about concerns of overreach in taiwan. the navy spends a huge percentage of its budget on activity in the south china sea. and for trump and his aides to navigate that is increasingly complex. >> for what it's worth, this is a week that we saw, and while it's sort of a motley crew of trump a components on the right, they're starting to percolate. we had one in bill weld. here's a few others that may challenge him in a primary. >> a friend called, said god just cleared your calendar for a reason. you need to primary the president. >> here's the deal. this guy isn't fit for office. every time he opens his mouth, he tells a lie. >> we're watching a full-blown meltdown of the president of the united states. he has been melting down like a
nuclear reactor. >> now, joe walsh was one of the three people in there. he's actually officially announced. this is a guy who at one time tweeted if trump didn't win, grab a musket. when you see the people that have turned on this president, you wonder if it's going to have an impact. >> actually, of the three, the more significant in terms of public opinion might be scaramucci, actually, because people know him. he's come out in sort of new yorker fashion, gone all in on the sort of trump is crazy line. it's very interesting at this g7 how the pushback from other leaders is coming. it's very gentle, very sort of measured, but it's definitely there. >> but it is weak, is it not? >> it's weak, but let's just get through this. it is the g6 plus one at this point. and that bilateral deal with the uk, if they announce something, that is going nowhere in the
house of representatives, according to nancy pelosi, unless the ireland issue is settled. and it won't be settled with a no-deal brexit. >> any announcement that might come on the uk would be almost entirely symbolic. for the white house, even a symbolic win is a favor. >> they think they're doing jauns johnson a favor. when we come back, democrats are debating how to take on president trump. will running against the president on character and competence be enough? or will democratic voters expect to be inspired by some big as a small business owner, the one thing you learn pretty quickly, is that there's a lot to learn. grow with google is here to help you with turning ideas into action. putting your business on the map, connecting with customers, and getting the skills to use new tools. so, in case you're looking, we've put all the ways we can help in one place. free training, tools, and small business resources are now available at google.com/grow
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welcome back. democratic presidential candidates face their own dilemma. do they argue that whatever differences voters have with them, president trump needs to go because he's unfit for office? essentially, the biden message. or is restoration and preservation of the obama legacy simply not enough? should the right response be to campaign on new and bolder ideas? mayor pete buttigieg joins me from freedom, new hampshire. mayor buttigieg, good to see you again. let me dive right into that
question but ask it this way. this was a week where the president certainly had some erratic moments. as you know, many voters have that safe harbor mentality, especially during weeks like this. this strikes me as particularly challenging for any candidate not named joe biden, any candidate that wasn't a former vice president. how do you talk to those voters? >> well, i guess what i would say is this. the president is certainly a problem, a big one. but he's not the only problem. ask yourself how a guy like this ever got within cheating distance of the oval office in the first place. i would argue that doesn't happen unless the country is already in a kind of crisis. we see it in the fact that for pretty much as long as i've been alive, even when the economy has been growing and quickly, most americans haven't been getting ahead. one of many reasons why in places like the industrial midwest where i live, back to normal is not going to be a good enough message because normal was not good enough.
of course there are huge problems with this president, especially now. we're not even debating whether the president is telling the truth or making sense. we're just debating whether it matters when he doesn't. and it does matter. as you can see, by the way, he's created turmoil in global markets with his words. even so, getting rid of the president is not enough. we need to replace this presidency with something better that actually works for americans or somebody even more unstable could gain power and emerge in our politics in the future. >> as you know, the counterargument is going to be whoa, whoa, whoa, trump was a big risk. trump was somebody we'd never tried before. you're asking voters to take a big risk. in that sense, it is -- i understand exactly the message you're trying to send there, but that is the other side of that message, which is, wait a minute, he was new and different. you're new and different. >> yeah, there's some very different versions of what new and different means. >> fair enough.
>> my presidency will be about making sure americans can actually get ahead, that when we have a rising tide, it actually lifts all boats, in addition to restoring american credibility around the world. we need to explain what we're going to do to make your life better. the less we're talking about him, the more we're talking about you. good news is, this is winning turf for democrats. remember, the american people, broadly speaking, agree with us on wage, agree with us on health care, agree with us for sure on gun safety. when it comes to the things that are going to decide whether your kid is safe at school, whether your income is going up, whether your future is secure, that's a winning message for us. we need to explain what we're going to do on that. out with the old, compelling though it is, is not a complete message. >> i want to talk about some national security issues. i think as politico pointed out earlier this week, democrats aren't going to be able to just unwind the trump foreign policy. if you're in favor of a
two-state solution with the israelis and palestinians, that feels like that's taken 10 or 15 steps back, no matter who the next president is. ditto with china or other countries not sure, okay, they can cut a deal with this president, but given what happened with the last president, how can i trust this deal? how much harder is it going to be for the next president to do any sort of trade pact or multicouple mult multicountry pact, and how do you reassure these countries that if you're president? >> my focus as president will be restoring u.s. credibility by pulling together in the name of values that are american values, that our country at its best has upheld in advance but a are also universal shared values. that means standing with the people of hong kong when they're insisting on democracy. it means leading on climate diplomacy. remember, part of the u.s. isolation on display this week is that at the g7, you have world leaders coming together, among other things, talking
about what they're going to do on climate. you got an american president who doesn't even believe it's a problem. the u.s. could be restoring our credibility by leading the world in facing son-in-law of tme of challenges we have from issues like climate to stability in the global economy to advancing human rights and democracy to thinks like dealing with terrorist threats, be they from islamist extremism or the rising tide of white nationalist violence, a problem here in the united states and around the world. >> let's dive into china. you're president. you're going to inherit a bunch of tariffs that have been slapped on china. is your initial instinct to just remove all the tariffs and then try to start anew with china? and would you use the issue of hong kong as part of the negotiations in any trade pact? >> well, certainly the people of hong kong need to know that we stand with them. and china needs to know that if they're going to perpetrate
tiananmen. that being said, we can find areas of cooperation from climate to security to trade. it just has to be something that actually works for americans. now, obviously the current strategy -- i'm not even sure you can call it a strategy. let's say the current pattern of poking china in the eye with tariffs and seeing what'll happen isn't working. it's crushing american soybean farmers, other farmers, and american consumers. we're already estimated to be paying $500 to $1,000 more, americans, this year because of this trade war. i don't know where we're supposed to get that kind of money. the president says he's going to delay some of it until christmas. what are we supposed to do after christmas? my focus in terms of a china strategy will be identifying areas of mutual advantage and holding them accountable for the problems that we've seen created by things like currency manipulation. just realize that they're not going to change their fundamental economic model because we poked them with a few tariffs. that's why the ultimate way to stay ahead of china is to invest
in our domestic competitiveness. unfortunately, we're doing the reverse, underinvesting in everything from education to infrastructure here at home. >> president obama thought one of the ways to confront china is create an asia-pacific trade pact. i know tpp became this red herring, if you will, or litmus test among democratic primary voters. let me ask you a question of it this way. i know where you stand on tpp, but putting together a non-china asian-pacific alliance, is that the best way to confront china? >> it's certainly part of how we can set global economic cooperation on terms that make sense for us instead of allowing them to be dictated by china. the problem with tpp had to do with the fact that basic standards that we have on corporate governance and environmental and labor expectations weren't being met. yes, we can do it, but the fundamental way to stay ahead of china is to invest in our own competitiveness. if they're investing billions more in artificial intelligence
according to a national strategy than we're, there's a strong likelihood they'll be running circles around us by the time i have kids old enough to vote. i don't want to see artificial intelligence in the world being led by china, knowing that their vision is about using technology for the perfection of dictatorship. very different from how these things will work in american hands. we've got to invest in the future and do it in a way that's as systematic or more as the chinese. i don't think anyone believes this administration's approach on anything right now is systematic. >> let me make the final question about the sfat tate ofr campaign. you took off like a rocketship. obviously these things ebb and flow. i know that. but what do you say to your supporters who are saying, okay, when are you going to take off like a rocketship again? how much patience should they have? a lot of people are starting to ask, okay, is this a campaign to prepare to run for president another time? >> it is not.
i'm in it to win. you don't do something like run for president, at least i don't, unless you are aiming to go all the way. we have exceeded every expectation from the beginning of this campaign when we started with literally four people in a room in south bend in january and a mailing list smaller than most congressional campaigns. where we are now is we have arrived in the top tier of candidates, but this is where you really see how much this is a distance run. and knowing that so much is decided in literally the last few days of the caucus and primary campaign, we've got to make sure this stretches from now until then, that key six months or so where the unglamorous work is happening of organizers on the ground, building the relationships that are going to build up this campaign. that's our focus, even as there are these day-to-day ups and downs. >> there's been a lot of hand wringing over the dnc's handling of the debate process and what it takes to meet, not meet it. how do you feel about how the dnc has handled this?
>> it's mission impossible to set up a debate structure that everybody can agree on and be happy with. what i know is that each debate represents an opportunity for our campaign to present our vision and for me to explain why my presidency would be different, why my approach on health care makes more sense, why whatly do wi i will do in t with the world is different, and we're going to focus on our plan, work the plan, and accept the rules as they come to us. >> mayor pete buttigieg coming to us from freedom, new hampshire. i thought i had known every single town in new hampshire. i think this is the first time we've had a dateline from freedom, new hampshire. mayor pete buttigieg, stay safe on the trail and thanks for coming on. >> thank you. >> thank you. when we come ♪ i have heart disease, watch what i eat, take statins, but still struggle to lower my ldl bad cholesterol. which means a heart attack or stroke. could strike without warning, pulling me away from everything that matters most. (siren)
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more importantly, it may not be as strong as it ever had been touted. this week we learned that job creation numbers reported by the labor department were off, like way off, by about 20%. 2 million jobs were created between april 2018 and march 2019. that's 500,000 fewer jobs than the estimates originally showed. in fact, those estimates were also off when it comes to our gross domestic product, gdp. figures originally showed that the economy grew at 3% in 2018. but it turns out it was much more tepid, 2.5%. that's still decent, but it's not the 3% cheerleading that president trump had promised. the estimate for 2019, 2.3. the forecast for 2020 is only 2.1%. and despite the cheerleading from the president, americans aren't feeling all that optimistic. consumer sentiment, which is about how people feel about the economy, dropped six percentage points from july to august, the lowest it's been since january.
and it mirrors a trend we've been seeing in other important indicators in the last six months. one number that might be particularly concerning for this white house, manufacturing declined in august. why is this important? it's the first time that production has shown a contraction in almost a decade. plus, thousands of jobs have been lost in wisconsin, michigan, and pennsylvania since february. three pretty important states. so when it comes to the economy, perception is almost as important as the reality. if consumers think the economy is headed for trouble, they're less likely to spend money, which could lead to actual trouble for the economy. and economic trouble would be bad news for all americans and trump's re-election argument in 2020 as well. when we come back, three more democrats dropped out of the presidential race this week, the presidential race this week, d it's still the lan all money managers might seem the same, but some give their clients cookie cutter portfolios. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell.
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better on, i don't know, health care than joe is. but you've got to look at who's going to win this election. maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, okay, i personally like so-and-so better, but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat trump. >> well, it's a tough message to combat, but here's how his fellow primary opponents are trying. >> they don't need someone to say, let's just turn back the clock. they don't need someone to say, it's all just too hard. they need a leader who is not afraid. >> the next leader of our party can't be someone that is a safe bet. >> i think the biggest risk we could take is to try to play it safe. >> eugene? >> so you listen to all those candidates, and they would all tell you, it's early, it's still early. by the standards of our elections, it's not actually that early, but this time it is
because joe biden is the clear front runner, and people have questions about him. he hasn't really made the sale with enough of the party, i think. everybody's comfortable with joe biden. but they have questions about his, you know, his ability going forward. he still sort of leads on the electability question. very important to democrats. but i think there's a sense that he could falter. then someone else would have to rise. we don't know who that is at this point. >> jill biden can be right and still wrong about her husband. the central question for democrats is nominating someone who is electable, who isn't going to scare off those voters who a democrat desperately needs. >> is that you essentially? basically republicans who don't like trump? >> no, look, i think it's a lot of voters who have voted for bill clinton, voted for george w. bush, voted for barack obama. i think it's actually a fairly wide swath of people.
look, i think people like mayor pete and elizabeth warren and so on are saying, you know, we have to be change agents because this is a primary fight against joe biden, sort of the incumbent front runner. but the democrat who's going to win is going to have to communicate to the american people a sense of sanity, balance that they're not there to change the system but to reform the system. that's going to be the winning ticket. it just won't necessarily be vice president biden. >> but the democrats are also going to have to excite the democratic base and bring the democratic base out. >> and there are two schools of thought within the democratic party about this, right? one is, trump is an emergency and we can't take any risks and we need to go safe. that's the jill biden argument. the other, that democrats will make privately, although perhaps not publicly s that the democratic party could nominate an edible arrangement and it would beat donald trump. that's the kind of thing you hear when you talk to democratic strategists. >> there are a lot more people on the democratic side that do believe this. it really turned this week.
>> this is part of the difference between the elizabeth warren/bernie sanders message and the joe biden message. biden is arguing that trump is the problem. sanders, warren, some of the other progressive candidates are arguing that trump is a symptom of a larger problem. >> you know, in your party four years ago, there was this debate about, oh, you got to find somebody that can beat hillary clinton. there were quietly a bunch of republican strategists that said it doesn't matter. anybody is going to be able to beat her. it turned out anybody did. >> i think the real question here is for democrats trying to choose someone to contrast trump, do you pick someone who fights trump on the same type of terms trump likes to fight on, someone who's going to be bold, be a fighter? or do you try to nominate someone who answers the question, what do americans want who want to stop thinking about the president every day? so do you, as the democratic party -- you know, we've talked about can they nominate, as you put t an edible rararrangement beat donald trump? i wonder, can democrats nominate someone who in any other year would not excite the progressive base, but because they're running against donald trump,
that progressive base turns out anyway. >> if donald trump is not vulnerable, then why are 20-plus democrats and three republicans running against him? >> but i have to say, i got to play this joe biden ad. he's using polling. i've never seen a front runner do this before. he's using polling to make his case, watch. >> we know in our bones this election is different. the stakes are higher. the threat more serious. we have to beat donald trump. and all the polls agree joe biden is the strongest democrat to do the job. >> brett, i keep bringing this up. you normally don't talk about polls. you don't talk about -- the only poll that matters is the one on election day. >> it's a weird argument because the moment biden goes south in any poll -- >> which is inevitable. sometimes it just happens. even if it's an outlier poll. >> it's a poor strategy by him. he shouldn't be talking about his polling. he should be talking about his e peer -- experience, his reliability, his decency, the fact he's met every world leader, that he's
known on the world stage. >> the other thing to keep in mind, you've seen these ballot test matchups. the trump versus bernie sanders and trump versus elizabeth warren matchups don't look that much different in the numbers. we have a long way to go, but it's way too soon for anyone to really claim, i'm truly the only one. >> i think the edible arrangement trump only gets 38 or 39 against as well. his number is the same against whatever democrat you put up there. it's the democratic number that changes. >> and democrats are going to be able to argue, look, there's going to be an influx of fund raiding support. as kristen said, the democratic base, they believe, will be energized no matter what just by the fact that trump is in the white house. that number of random democrat versus trump, they're going to say it's strong enough for them, that the biden case may not be. >> gene, does a week like this make it that much harder for pete buttigieg?
trump >> you mean because buttigieg is the mayor of a small town. >> too new, yeah. >> maybe, i don't know. he certainly comes across as very different from donald trump. and i actually think he's been on the scene as a candidate long enough now that people have gotten used to him. it's interesting. >> he's not that much longer than emmanuel macron was when he became president of the france. >> excellent point. i think he's our first millennial world leader. anyway, thank you, guys. what a great round table for this week. that's all we have for today. thank you for watching. i do appreciate that. we'll be back next week because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." we are here to discuss jessie's online time.
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xfinity xfi gives you the speed, coverage and control you need. manage your wifi network from anywhere when you download the xfi app today. this woke we take you inside san francisco's grand rounds and it's unusual cto who got his start at the white house. plus, on the steps entrepreneurs should take ahead of what might be a coming recession. our reporters and business inviters, this week on "press:here." good morning. i'm scott mcgrew. i have worked this television for 30 years. i am going to tell you a little secret. while our
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