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tv   Washington Week  PBS  August 2, 2019 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT

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robert: democrats debate policy, and the o peter: record. i'm robert costa. welcome t"washington week." democrats spar over ideology and identity and direct their tharpest jabs at joe biden. >> you do g to hold the insurance companies to task for what they have been doing to american families. >> you'reiting into the cool aide and you don't even know the flavor. robert: but the former vice president fought back and decaded the obama administration. >> i was surprised about how much incoming there was aboutck bara. robert: and responses to a trade cut and the china talks hit a
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roadblock. president trump: ify don't want to trade with anymore that would be fine with me. >> this is "washington week." funding is provided by -- kevin. >> kevin? >> kevin. >> advice for life, life well planned. >> babbel, a language program that teaches real-life conversations in a new language such as spanish, french, german, italian and more. the 10 to 15 minute lessons are available as an app or online. announcer: additional funded is provid by -- koo and patricia yuen through the yuen foundation committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbsn
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statio from viewers like you. thank you.e announcer: o again, from washington, moderator robert costa. robert: democratic presidential contenders certainly u revvedp their attacks on each other at the debates in the motor city this week and had exchanges on policy and race. the debates revealed a party reunited againstdent trump but at odds over parts of the president's record. that president obama and whether an overhall of the nation's health care system necessary. >> it covers all health care needs for senior citizens. it will finally include tent -- dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses. >> you don't know that >> i do know, i wrote the damn bill. >> the notion that you're going to take private insurance awayo -- >> we were the democrats, we're not about trying to take away
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health care from main. robert: joe biden fended off rivals, including a former member of the obama cabinet. >> if you cross the border illegally -- illegally, you should bee abl be sent back. tfrls a crime. >> it looks like one of us has learned the lessons of the past and one hasn't. robert: the "washington post"'s dan balz says the caidates made as much a case against each other as theyhe did against president and they didn't do much to connectit directly the voters. joining me tonight is dan balz, chief correspondent for the ashington post," hallie jackson, chief white house correspondent for nbc news. tarini parti, national politics reporter for the "wall street journal" and our friend joshua green, national correspondent for bloomberg business week. a frank assessment,an. what did we learn about this
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democrats this week? dan: we learned t thing and i think two different things. the first night of debating i think weaw in bolder colors, the ideological divisiohat is now exist in the party. you had the two most liberal democrats on stage, senators warren and sders. and they went against each other and the liberals more than their own and i think dominated the detective. i think it wasof symboli the ascend ens of the progressive part of the party. it was a substantive and tough debate but quite different from what we saw the following night. the following night we saw t so same issues discussed but s into the it wields on policy and kind of a circular firing squad and it left the party and a lot of people who are active democrats looking for potential nominee, concern that would they're not seeing what they homed to see.
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>> it and seemed to whement the an time for the next debe because there are some key match-ups we haven't seen on that stavenlg. notably, for example, blept warren and joe biden. theres a lot of anticipation in democratic circles for thoseo twe on a stage together face to face. ithink what you saw solidify would tom-tier candidates and the os who won't be in that next debate stage come september. i think voters are eager to see a lbit of the smaller field here. robert: why was there are oning on the obama record? >> i think that's an interesting the issues that came up, immigration, the deportations that happened under the obama administration, t.p.p., trade issues were things he was criesed for by the progressive wing even while he was i office. we're now seeing the progressive wing take hold a bger portion, it seems of the party.
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with elizabeth warren and berni sanders as top contenders, there are a lot of progressives lookin to them to espouse those views and they were crical of the president even then. and now those issues still matter very much to those progressive voters. robert: vice president biden seems to like the position of being the defender of that legacy. >> that's right. that's his mn message. he's been saying this is a chaotic time, i want to return to the normal, to the obama presidency, bringing up cozy comfortable feelings for voters and one of the way democrats are trying to draw a contrast with him is by going after his record se seems to def be president obama selected me to be his vice president, therefor voters like me, what i did was good. the perspective remains popular and yo shouldn't attack president obama's legacy. >> i think a lot of it is also strategic empicture acte e becae biden is still
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leading the polls. you need himoove down and the only way to get there is by criticizing his record, which is by extension critieszing the ent's record. we saw on both nights, but certainly on the second night be , a flash point that can among the democrats, who are caught between to we really want do restore the obama white house, move bey trump or, as warren and sanders have argued, do democrats need a enoughbi er, bolder policy to draw voters to the polls and turn out and dispatchn trump i 2020. robert: you're talking to voters, dan. what do democratic voters juan? dan: they want somebody who can beat prosecute trump. and inning -- president trump. and i think detroit didn't come close to answer that questio for them. there wasn't anybody who really emerged in detroit who has i think what a lot of people a looking for.
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we've been focused on the plans. elizabeth warren has risen because she has plans for everything and this notion of i have a plan -- everybody else has adopted it and i think the i have a plan has come at the suspense of i have aision and what we did not see in detroit were candidateho could come up from the details of their plans and talk about a bigger, broader and for --or fritsch vision. there were -- afritsch vision. there was very little humor and lightness and hope on that stage tsand i think democ noll you have to have some of that to be a successful candidate for president, period. robert: hallie, you've set down with many moderate candidates in recent hickenlooper. when they think about thaton vio they see an opening for themselves a centrists in
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this race? >> they certainly do. you have aoue of heavier hitters trying to stake that out, particularly joe biden. let's be frank here, gentlemen. are you rung in the same lane as somebody who has aor lot name recognition and a lot more money d a lot more standing in t polls and is going to end up on that next detective stage. what you hear from people like tim ryan are things like, hey, we have got to focus on the middle class. they're looking at states that trump did well in in 2016 and saying you can't run a -- elizabeth warren here. when you talk about who er democratic v want and how there's no front-runner. president tmp clearly sees some danger zones on that stage based on what he's beenab talki t since. it's elizabeth warren, joe biden, bernie sandersnd kamala harris. robert: tarini, you wrote in e
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"wall street journal" about one key moment. senator harris being challenged by senat gabbard of hawaii about her record as a why did that matter? >> in is something that a lot of progressives, especially young black voters have been concerned about, harris' record as a prosecutor. something she hadn't really been questioned about. we saw that. and congresswoman gabbard, who needed a breakout moment to stay in this race brought it up and we didn't really siakam la harris push back that much. she saidhe was proudf her work and said later she considers herselfnt a f runner and does not see gabbard as at- frnner so she didn't want to engage that much. robert: they're having debates overoly. who's for medicare for all and who's not, how fart l should
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the exearment go but the party is being confronted by other issues, complicated and tough issues. while the democrats were debating in detroit, president trump was engaged in a racially charged fueled over cummings' district in baltimore. he said baltimore was a place where "no human would want to live."in cu chairs the house oversight committee investigating the trump administration and he confirmed on friday that someone tried to break into hisome last weekend. the perspective seemed to you know play the attempted burglary in a tweet writing "too bad." you wrote about how president ump at one point wanted to stoke race to -- for his reality show. is he doing the same nowor 2020? >> yes, there were two
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components. the religious side and then the economic policy which h campaigned on but really hasn't gone through with. he seems to want the to elevate othose kincultural grievances i think in part because he really hasn't delivered on the economic populism and if you talk to peopleround him and strategists in the republican party, it's clear this is what he's going to focus on. these tweets, not just against elijah cummings but the so called squad of motor -- minority democrats in the house. all shaped to think -- for things frump is gog to benefit him. robert: a report conservative -- suburban women turned off by president trump. dan: that's nothing new. we've seen that literally from the day after his inauguration
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when women streamed into the stre os ar the united states in protest of his presidency a this kind of rhetoric only deepens their hostility to him as president and it is a danger to the republicans and to his re-election. >> and there are people inside the perspective's circle who do have concerns about the way tid prt is fanning the flames of racialivion. president trump today only the white house south lawn said he o wasn't tryin be a wise guy with that tweet that you read abou elijah cummings. but to some i imagi that would ring hollow given the president has spent the better part of the last seven days going against one of the most prominent african-american lawmakers. for the first time thees ent explicitly linked cummings' comments to his hearing earlier this month as the reason why he
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targeted him. there are other potential reasons like the facts that cummings is issuing subpoenas to people like his children and top aides in the white house but for the president this is a way to talk about a couple of things that he finds helpful to hca poli aspirationings. rails and immigration. >> these are fights he's choosing intentionally that then shape the news and this rolls along and -- along and that's what the race becomes about. this also p ts pressure democrats. we've seen some of t tension between nancy pelosi and her mention so i think this has a double benefit of exciting his base and driving democrats to distraction. robert: the white house and some close to thent presi may think this has a benefit to him politically but you look at the news today. will heard, 41 years old, t lone black house republican decides he's not going to seek n
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re-election 2020 and he said on the record part ofis decision is because the president's incendiary rhetoric. >> i think it raises questions out the future and direction of the len -- republican party. right, he was the lone black republican member in congress. they have very few women. there's esstially no diversity in the republican caucus right now and i think that is a big otncern for af mention. the other big concern is that without him and members like him, it's harder to get people like him in congress so it kind of has a domino effect. we could also see otherem mrs announce they want to rire. will herd, swing district andea inof going through a tough re-election he decided to retire. we could sees other do that. he was also o of the four members who voted with democrats to condemn the president
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tweets. congressman upton also is on the retirement watch right now. >> let's be clear, though. i do think that at least through 2020, this is the republican party of donald trump and i think what you saw in these retirements was less a reshaping of republican partynd more a message that hey, non-trumpers, you can g and that's ok and i think that's what is driving some of this. dan: in 2018 -- after 2018 the number of women in the republican conference was cut in half and now two of the 13 remaining have announced they're leaving. robert: when you step back, dann from a historical perspective. the president's framing this as a reaction to what's happening on capitol hill, not a racist endeavor. others, democrats who are critical of president trump say this is about white-identity politics. what's happening here? dan: the public has made ant judgn this and sight into
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-- slight little more than half the public thinks that the president of the united states is racist and he's done thing that field that bleach and he's clearly done iteliberately. these are not accidental. as joshua said, he picks tse fights and is it a coincidence that a lot of the fights he haens to pick are with people of color and particularly african-americans? he is stoking that. there's a connection between the kind of the immigration cultural piece that you talke about and the economic anxiety tnd there's been some work done on t by political scientists who say that was critical to his election because it was people who followed hiss views on immigration but who also felt as though their situation was being hurt by immigration or people o color, that there is a marriage of those two issues and i thi that forms the basis of the raw anger that he generates
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robert: well race, immigration, a democratic party reckoning over all this and a republican party doing the same and trade is a centr part of this discussion. race, immigration trade and the trade wars intensified this week. president trump announced new tariffs on $300 billion on chinese goods followingtalked talks with chinese officials and the freshman reserve took arks this week. chairman poum announced a father of a percent cut in its from indicate -- rate, t first reduction since 2008. u.s. job growth was solid for a second straight month. 104,000 jobs added in july with the unemployment rate unchanged at 3.7%. how does this trade war affect the economy? joshua: it has a huge effect.
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powell was concerned the trade issues were affecting economic growth. for president trumpan tunce a tru new round of tariffs only makes the problem worse. the first three rounds were materials that business used. they didn't directly hit consumers this newnd r hits mainly consumers. it will raise prices on everything from iphones and televisions to clothing and ys. the line i've been telling people is do your back to sool shopping now before these tariffs kick in on september 1 but the more serious concern is 2/3 of the u.s. economy is built on consumer spending so if you effectively ler -- layer a tax over, that as trump has done, you put the market in real economic peril and that's why you saw the market whisaw and eventually touchbling?
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if week -- this week. robert: what's driving this? why increase the o battthe trade front? >> he and his advisors are nfident that whatever happens in the short term orin rimmediate term will end up paying off in the long ruffin. this was a promise tet he m at rally after rallywa while he s running for president, that gh he'd be t on china. there are people who are pushing the president to do just that. who truly believe that you have to be tougher against china. that is not an unpopular position, by theeay. there democrats who like seeing somebody be tougher on what is risky for the president is what josh is talking about. when i do thistory for, for example, "nightly news," we've been talng to farmers. now we can talk to literally anybody who warlse clothes or has an i fonle.e resident is giving himself
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a little bit of wiggle room. talking aut september 1 but there's some time with the ships coming overim and the already -- it will take. if he doesn't get it worked out, people will feel the pain. robert: what's the democratic response? we heard vice president biden after the debate say he would renegotiate the transpacific partnership, a deal heeld produce with president obama. what's happening with the decrats on trade? >> i think this speaks to the ideological division within th party. they're clearly at different points on the spectru and at some point, i guess voters have to decidee which s they like better and what they believe in because the progressives have really been pushing this issue and with are more in line with president trump than they were with presidentbama on this sup. >> they were and in stood out on
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the debate stage robert senator warren, you've profiled her for bloomberg business week. when should she take this country on trade? >> she rolled out a new trade policy and essentially looking for tough penalties against china, as trump hasone t wants to fold in things like environment a.m. and worker protections in future trade plans so along the lines ofhat progressives have wanted from trade policy. remember, she wasne of the original critics of obama'san t.p.p. hich biden too walked back during the debates. i tht's a sign that it's becoming more projectionist, mored focu workers. bert: one of the big feast pieces in news today, the president signed a budgets deal that extends the ceiling to 21.
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any other year a blockbusteris deal like would be a huge headline. kind of goes into the background. are we seeing an eraf deficit reduction? dan: yes, you could see it in two places, the tax bill becau that blew up the deficit and you can see in it allowing this t go through and the president who runs the party now being a champion ofk it. i th politicians in both parties have come to the conclusions that deficits ultimately don't matter politically to voters. people talk about the sky will this. we do the hundreds of billions of dollars that are paid constantly in debt service and the impact that that will ultimately have but that's alwaysomewhere out in the future and it's always easier to give people more money, whether through tax cuts or spendinghan to take real action on the deficit.
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robert: it's a bipartisan deal. does that foreshadow a possible agreement this fall on the new version of nafta? >> i think it's going to be very difficult. i think there's a strong desire for some in the white house for whom it is essential. nancy pelosi and the house speaker is going to have to make serious incentives for bringing that to a vote and how much she's growing to be behind fo budget deal, the president, i'm told, made some calls,ried to get some republicans on board. that's about it. it was a little bitf aepid push to make sure it passed and of course it did. robert: 22 trillion, the federal dealt has surged. 320 building is the spending limits that's been increased in congress. ra paul said in congress, the kentucky republican, the tea parties is dead is he right? >> he's absolutely right. that push foric d reduction
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has since fallen away entirelya g republicans as far as i can item and given the fact that there is no inflation, i don't think pigs mrs. feel pressure from votnys to doing about this, at least not in the long term. robert: was the t presidenting to do something that would rat it will markets? >> it would seem so and democrats are noting that voters don't care so much about this because the proposals they come up with are very endensive when they get drilled on it, the pushback is the president pushed billions of dollars in tax cuts. robert: appreciates you and your time for joining us. next up, why president frump withdrew his latest pick to lead u.s. intelligence just hours ago. watch on facebook or youtube every friday starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern i'm robert costa. have a great weekend.
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