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tv   MSNBC Live With Katy Tur  MSNBC  August 7, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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issue of expanded background checks? >> i have repeatedly and decided to come to dayton right away and went on a national show and called on mcconnell to do that. i talked to senator schumer since then. he's on board. a number of democrats have now called on senator mcconnell to come back. i have seen no action yet. mcconnell's got to break his addiction to drug company money and he -- not drug company. well, drug company money, too, actually. to break his addiction to gun lobby money and he hasn't seemed to even take a step in that direction. >> that's it, guys. >> do you think this helps the healing in having the president come here? >> i think the victims and the first responders were grateful that the president of the united states came to dayton. i really want to thank senator brown for coming, too. he got up early from cleveland and came straight down to
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dayton. >> thank you for what you all do. i know that we just had a president of the united states in this town that tries to turn the public against you and as you may know, i'm married to a journalist, and she wouldn't have married me if i didn't feel this way, but what you do to make our country free from attacks on institutions is all important. thank you so much for all do you in the media. >> you've been watching ohio senator sherrod brown and dayton mayor react to the president's visit to dayton. the president and first lady are expected to touch down in el paso now. it will be the second leg of trump's trip to the two u.s. cities devastated by these mass shootings. the president was met in dayton by protesters chanting do something and carrying signs reading no assault weapons and stand up to the nra. before leaving the white house, the president took on his critics and their suggestions
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that his words have created a climate for violence. >> my critics are political people. they're trying to make points. in many cases they're running for president and they're very low in the polls. if you look at dayton, that was a person that supported i guess you would say bernie sanders i understood, elizabeth warren i understood, had nothing to do with president trump. so these are people that are looking for political gain. i don't think they're getting it. and as much as possible, i've tried to stay out of that. i think we have toned it down. we've been getting hit left and right from everybody. >> he hasn't toned it down or stayed out of it. case in point, his overnight twitter attack on bet to o'rourke telling him to be quiet. spoke with o'rourke saying he
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nor the people of el paso will back down. >> he's trying to intimidate this community, make us afraid of one another, of our differences at the border, of immigrants and we will not stand down. every single one of us is standing up to be counted at this defining moment of truth. >> there in el paso the loss is very, very raw. the unspeakable violence that happened was due at least in part to the president's anti-immigrant rhetoric and they do not want the president there. >> honestly, we don't want the president to be here. we don't want him to come and give us his condolences. we've seen him throw paper towels at people that just went through their worst natural disaster they had ever experienced. >> president trump is planning on visiting. what are your thoughts on this? >> what for? >> make no mistakes, the people who were killed in our community were killed because of the color of their skin and they were killed because of the rhetoric from the president and our
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community knows that. he has put our community at risk since he was elected and it escalated on saturday. >> we still have this gaping wound in this community and this would be just throwing salt in that wound. >> so the big question we're asking today, can the president do what he's been unable to do so far, which is unite a community under its profound grief? joining me is kristen welker, the president of vote latino and maria theresa kumar. to be fair, you heard the mayor of dayton who said that there were people he met with who are grateful that a president of the united states came to see them, but there were also very many residents in ohio that didn't exactly welcome the president is open arms. in el paso arguably the reception might be even tougher, but listening to him as he was getting ready to leave on marine one, his critics are all politically motivated, right?
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>> that is what he is saying today, chris, but i can tell you and this underscores your point, emotions are running incredibly high here in el paso. i just had a chance to speak to a number of residents here who gathered outside this memorial which is just behind me in front of the walmart where this horrific shooting occurred. i can tell you that i spoke to a few people who said that they don't want the president here. they feel as though his rhetoric has been too hurtful, has been too much a part of the problem. i spoke to another woman who does want the president to come. she thinks it's important the leader of the country is here to help this community heal. then i spoke to a woman who said she has mixed emotions. she wants the president to be here, but she also wants to hear an apology. then something really remarkable happened. a woman approached the memorial. she was wearing a maga hat. a number of people who were surrounding her started chanting
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to take off the hat. she refused to do it, talked about why she supports the president, why she wants to see him here today. really a range of different emotions. i can tell you there was one commonality. everyone said they want the president to come with solutions. solutions for not only mental health but gun safety law, background checks were among the things that people here are talking about. president trump for his part, chris, talked about the fact that yes, he is open to expanding background checks before he left the white house. that is notable because it's been so difficult to get bipartisan legislation passed when it comes to expanding background checks. it's also notable because the president expressed a willingness to support that in the past, in the wake of past shootings and nothing has ever happened as it relates to background checks. i think what the people here in community want to hear is real solutions from this president and some people want an apology. others say they don't want him here at all. >> we heard him say as much as possible i've tried to stay out
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of this, i have tried -- i have toned it down, and yet he started the day off with that attack on the presidential candidate beto o'rourke. tell us about their back and fourth. i know you had a chance to talk to the candidate today. >> yeah. chris, the president seemingly cannot help himself but to engage in this type of back and forth. the same type of back and forth, the same type of disparagement and derogatory language he has used towards not just immigrants but the community in el paso, one of the safest cities in all of the united states of america for quite some time. months, if not years. and beto o'rourke, i saw him earlier this morning at a vigil for the 22 who were lost from the attack by this white supremacist attacker. beto o'rourke will also be here today, but he will not be crossing paths with the president. in fact, look at this real quick. i don't know if you can see it here, but the sign says not welcome. that sign is also echoed bof
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he -- above here in spanish. let me swing around and give you a look of everybody to be here for this event as the president comes to town. are getting set. and let me tell you something, it is hot out here. people want to be here because they want the president to know he isn't welcome. i asked beto o'rourke earlier today when i was with him what did he make of his successor essential boycott of the president. here's his response. >> the president is part of is the problem. his trafficking in lies. he's called el paso one of the most dangerous cities repeatedly though it is one of if not the safest, describing immigrants as rapists and criminals, talking about envisions and infestations, all that fear, that anger, that hatred, that willingness to dehumanize our fellow human beings found the
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home in a killer and found an expression in the violence that we saw saturday. he is in large part to blame. >> so that's beto o'rourke. i just met these two folks who are here awaiting the start of the proceedings here. what are your names? >> jennifer gonzalez. >> anthony. >> it is hot today. you came out here. you don't have to stand here in the heat. the president will be in the other part of town but there will be counter programming. why did you want to come out today. >> we all want to come together as a community. it's a tragic event that happened. el paso is a big family. we're here so support each other. >> do you blame the president in any way, shape, or form for what happened? >> i do. it's his rhetoric. he's said things before that have painted us as a target for people. he's called us rapists and murderers and said it's an invasion of hispanics. that's even what the shooter said. i do blame him for it. i wish that he would take
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responsibility, apologize for it. we are a very welcoming community here in el paso and i just -- it hurts me to see that he'd rather ignore it and rather not take blame for it. >> and i thank you very much, guys. nice to me you. that is the key point. the president ignores what life is like here, what the reality is leak on the ground. the communities of juarez and el paso are so connected. thousands of people come across the border, american citizens that live on the other side of the border to come here and work and go to school, to be part of an international community. that is the message you'll hear doubled down on here in a little bit when beto o'rourke arrives, when veronica escobar arrives. it is no coincidence this is happening at the exact same time the president is coming to town. >> i want to bring in el paso native and author of lone star nation richard parker. richard, to pick up on that point when i was there for a couple of days after that
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horrific shooting at the walmart, one of the things that i heard repeatedly was this total lack of understanding by the people who live there how someone could look at their community the way the president looks at it, how he could say things like rapists and murderers. they, in fact, conversely see their city as representative of the best of what immigration is for america. they're so proud of their city. speak to that, will you, as someone who knows that city so well. >> right. the fact is that the president's discussion of the city and also most importantly his larger discussion of latinos in this country, whether immigrants or citizens, whatever their status, has really hurt people here. they've been conscious of it for a long time. when the president came here in february for his campaign kickoff, it was the same thing. people are not dummies. they understood the sort of
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cynical nature and manipulation of the use of el paso as a backdrop for his anti-immigrant and anti-latino policies. thai they've been aware. what i have found in my reporting so far is frankly there is a lot of fear. i talked to people who were saying things to me i've never heard in this city. there is anxiety. beneath all of that there is a certain amount of seething anger. people are angry at the president. they can see how his language and his policies, internment camps, family separation all right here in el paso. it's a pretty straight line from there to what happened here saturday. >> if i can, i want to play exactly to what you said about the fear. i felt a lot of that when i was there. people expressed it to me. particularly three teenage girls who throughout much of the interfaith service were crying. i went over to them and asked them why. here's a little bit of what they
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told me. >> i never had to come to terms with my own mortality for being hi hispanic. >> how would are you? >> i'm 17. >> it opened your eyes that people really think of us like that. they think of us as monsters that shouldn't even be alive. >> 90% of us, 99% of us are hispanic. a lot of us came from mexico. a lot of us weren't born here. the first time this happened, it's from white supremacists. we're not the danger here. these people that are hateful that have these ideas, they're the ones that are dangerous. they're the ones that people need to be taking care of, not the innocent that are trying to have a better life. >> victoria, one of our -- i'm sorry, maria, one of our guests earlier, victoria, told me that she often speaks to her children in spanish and she doesn't want
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to do that now in public because she is afraid. can you speak to the fear that has resulted both from the rhetoric and then obviously in the harshest possible way with what happened in el paso? >> i think that the danger is that the moment that the president is going down those escalators and declared his candidacy on the backs of mexican immigrants talking about them as criminals and rapist, there is not one latino that didn't stick their heads up and say we know the dog whistle, we know that you're talking about us. the symbol of this man driving ken hours from houston -- excuse me, from dallas to el paso to maximize harm on one of the safest cities in america but is 85% latino sent a clear message to every single latino in america that none of us are safe. i have family in el paso. i just came back on wednesday from el paso. what i loved being in el paso was the sense of security and safety. you didn't have to worry about
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whether or not there was going to be friction. it was a tranquil society. and what this has done for every latino across the country is real anger, because this was kind of a dripping coming out of the administration. sadly, i don't think many were surprised, but the impact now is really being felt and until we come to grips of what this president is perpetuating and what he wants to own and doesn't, that's where we're going to have to have frank conversations, because i know people who are american citizens, third, fourth, fifth generation who walk around with their passports in fear of being racially profiled. we have heard cases of u.s. citizens being held? i.c.e. custody even though they've been able to demonstrate they are u.s. citizens. the fact we sent them by and said children in cages are dying, but they're not my children. yes, they are. they're brown children but they're the potential of our future. we recognize the grievance they're feeling now because a
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city that was so innocent all of a sudden shocked and awakened in the most horrific ways. we keep avoiding the point, but this is the second largest white supremacy attack against americans on american soil, second only to the oklahoma city bombing. this is shocking, chilling, and sadly it's on awakening for the latino community that none of us are safe. >> jacob, one of the things that one of those young girls said to me was it was a hard reality to face that someone would shoot me because of the color of my skin is a shade darker than theirs. >> and i think, chris, that is why people who are coming out here today are coming out here. that's the reality on the ground. i actually want to bring in geno ortiz jones who ran against will herndon and lost by 926 votes. was extraordinarily close. she had already declared to run against him. you decided to come out here today to this what is essentially counter programming
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against the president's visit. how come? >> this is our community. this is an attack on all of us as texans, as americans. we need to address white nationalism and the effect it's having in our community when it results in a domestic terrorist attack lieg it d-- like it did l paso. >> the district that you are now running to represent unopposed for the time being has more of the southern border than any other district. a third of the border is in the district. what doesn't the president understand about life down here? >> the ties, cultural economic -- you don't talk about -- these are social economic cultural ties that are sources of strength and this is a distraction from what we should be talking about which is addressing again white nationalism, but this is a community. these are the communities on the front lines of his failed trade and immigration policies and the same he doesn't want to count on
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the census. >> obviously the census battle which ultimately the trump administration abandoned was targeting latinos that live in places like here along the border and in south texas. geno ortiz jones is echoing the message which is it is time to bridge the disconnect between the perception donald trump has about the people and the place of the southern border with the reality of what actually goes on down here. >> can you ask gina for me we talked about the fear and the anger. we've seen anger before. we've seen anger after so many of these shootings that has not necessarily turned into new legislation, has not turned into political power. does she think this time will be different and how does that happen? >> chris who is behind the anchor desk wanted me to ask you the anger that we're seeing, these people coming out in over 100 degree heat to protest the president's visit, it doesn't often turn from anger to legislation, tangible results.
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how do you bridge that gap from the folks that have shown up here today to actually changing who can own a gun, what type of guns they can own, what actually happens that contributes to events like we saw with this white supremacist who came out here and killed 22 people? >> i think threats the case. we've got to remind folks about what is possible. we don't have to be living with this. we don't have to live with a president, a commander in chief that spews white nationalist rhetoric. we don't have to live in a world where people live in fear getting gunned down in churches and schools and hospitals. we know the solutions. we have leaders with the moral courage. that happens at the ballot box. >> moral courage is the exact phrase that elijah cummings used to me and katy tur. it is time to look at the moral reasons for making these arguments, not just the political ones, chris. >> thank you do both of you. richard, you wrote a powerful essay to that point.
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i want to read a little bit of it. they said they will not just disappear into history but prove to be a forceful turning point. if white hate is the unstoppable force, el paso symbolizes the immovable object. latino america, 60 million strong and counting. what does that translate to? >> i think having covered a few mass shootings myself, there's always a predictable cycle and that is it's a great tragedy, it's a horror and then our politicians in washington can't do anything about it as if it was some kind of act of god. this is different. sure, the circumstances, the tactics, the bullets were all the same, but el paso is to 60 million latinos most of whom are of mexican descent what miami is to cuban americans. it is our home. i grew up here. i'm a person of mexican descent myself. the president and his unfortunate role in this has not
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just made people here hurt and wounded literally and angry, but he has hurt and angered latinos across this country. and i think because of the fact that this was an explicitly political and ethnic mass murder, for lack of a better word, the el paso massacre is putting great deals -- a great deal of pressure on our political leadership, whether it's in washington or in austin or lots of other places from california to miami. reports are coming in from coast-to-coast about latinos being fearful and upset and it's not just in el paso and it's not just in texas. i think that's what will make this episode different. >> richard parker, maria, jacob, thank you so much all of you. still ahead, the nra, of course, has belonged to one of the most powerful lobbies in america full stop. but is that changing? first after the break, when it happens to you, what happened
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what he didn't say was that he's going to tell mitch mcconnell to call the september back to washington to vote on legislation that's already passed the house. republicans have largely struck to a script that these shootings are about mental health, not a gun problem. now after disclosing his daughter had been across the street from the dayton shooting when it began, ohio's congressman mike turner says he will report red flag legislation making it easier to take guns away from people who might pose a threat. he also says he now favors restrictions on magazine capacity and the sales of some rifles. in a statement, turner, who was recently as this february voted against gwun control legislatio wrote i strongly support the second amendment but we must prevent unstable people from terrorizing our communities with military style weapons. he joins those who call for background checks banning high supply -- joining me vice
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president and founder of americans for gun safety matt bennett and republican strategist and former nrcc communications director matt gorman. matt gorman, let me start with you. i don't mean to be flip on this, but is this what it's going to take for republicans to support more than something to do with mental health? their own families have to be close to a mass shooting? >> well, i think it may be, again, you mentioned mike turner. mitch mcconnell does have a working group and as you mentioned adam and others -- >> there's a lot of people, i don't mean to be disrespectful, but we've been talking about this for years and years and years and years. contemplating it is something you should have done before you ran for office, not two or eight or 20 years afterwards and after a state of mass shootings. >> what i would say is this. i think when i was at the nrcc in 2018, the thing that changed this in a lot of eyes in terms of the issue and the politics of it was parkland, because for the
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first time we had kids coming out of that school, immediately going on camera and saying this needs to end. things happened very quickly, within 40 days there was a nationwide march on washington. so we started to see from there where su buburban districts in states like houston and atlanta, but also some concerning districts in blue states, like those in new york and new jersey. this issue really bubbled up. it wasn't the number one issue, but it became the top three. i think what you're seeing here in this last year and a half or two years is republicans have become much more urgent on this issue because they know that this is resonating in a way that it didn't five years among the voters. >> we had an example on sunday when mike dewine tried to talk to some ohioans he was shouting down do something, do something. within 48 hours he acted. i want to show those two moments back-to-back on sunday and then yesterday. >> we are here tonight --
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>> some of the crowd were angry. in fact, i'm sure everybody was angry. some chanted "do something". they were absolutely right. we must do something. that is exactly what we are going to do. >> matt bennett, he laid out a series of proposals and people can debate whether they go far enough, but is this a clear sign that public pressure can move politicians even on such a long entrenched issue as gun control? >> there's no question that it can and we saw this in florida after parkland, then governor rick scott signed some fairly modest gun safety regulations. >> but pretty quickly. >> quickly, exactly. so it can shift quickly. but i think what you have to understand, what we're looking at is a problem in my view at least that goes back 25 years or to about 1994 when the house flipped from blue to red for the first time in 30 years. the republicans take over the house in 1994 which was led in
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part by the nra and a response to the assault weapons and brady act scarred democrats and it taught a lesson to republicans that it took them 25 years to unlearn. now this is starting to shift. the power of the nra is slipping. they're having a lot of internal problems of their own. we are seeing in case after case these massacres are starting to galvanize the public in ways matt was saying parkland did and sandy hook did before it and i do think we're maybe on the brink of some real change. >> that may start with the background check legislation. a lot of people think that may be the place they start thp ps wh -- this is what the president had to say about that. >> there's a great appetite and i mean a very strong appetite for background checks and i think we can bring up background checks like we've never had before. i think both republican and democrat are getting close to a bill on doing something on background checks. >> matt gorman, most americans
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the poll show it support universal background checks. are looming elections, because this is what you were referencing before, the political reality, are the looming elections going to move some of these folks? and if the president gets behind it, does that provide them some political cover? >> absolutely. again, president trump needs to lead the way on this. that's the only way i see republicans getting in line. he needs to be the first mover on this. we mentioned mike turner and the politics and the elections of it. mike turner is in a tossup district. he has a pretty good hold on it. it could be a tossup district under the right circumstances. you look at even rob portman who opposed the background check bill mentioned to me back in 2013, he's come out in favor of looking at all options, including background checks. i think we can maybe see some momentum on that. and i think one of the things you talk about, again, these are broadly popular background checks and as matt was saying, the difference between i think, you know, five years ago when they were still very popular,
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the enthusiasm behind the position has increased dramatically. people were five years ago saying i'm in favor of it. now as you saw people were chanting it. people are much more enthusiastic behind that position than they were five years ago. >> it's unfortunate that it took so many lives to be lost between then and now. matt bennett, matt gorman thank you so much. you don't have to live in dayton or el paso to feel the fear. look at "new york times" square last night. panicked people running for their lives. they thought it was gunfire. it was actually the backfire of a motorcycle. but it is that combination of horror at the loss of life and fear that no place is safe anymore that is fueling this renewed conversation about the increasing frequency of mass shootings and the conditions that they cause. it is dominating the conversation now among the 2020 presidential candidates, some of whom are taking president trump to task for what they're calling dangerous and divisive rhetoric. any minute now we're set to hear
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from former vice president joe biden who is expected to address the president directly and in stark terms. his campaign is set to launch a new four figure digital ad campaign highlighting his record on gun control legislation. biden's event follows this morning's speech by senator corey book where addressed a crowd at south carolina's emmanuel ama church where a white supremacist murdered nine worshippers back in 2015. >> the act of anti-latino, anti-immigrant hatred we witnessed this past weekend did not start with the hand that pulled the trigger. it was sowed by those who spoke the same words. the el paso murderer did warning of an invasion. it was sowed by those who spoke of infestation of disgusting cities, rats and rodents talking about majority/minority
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communities. it was sowed by those who have drawn an equivalent between kneekne neonazis and those who protest. it was so wwed from the highest office in our land where we see in tweets and rhetoric hateful words that ultimately endanger the lives of people in our country. >> joining me now, nbc news correspondent mike nemly, michelle bruce ter and program msnbc political analyst. joe biden not new to this debate, whether it was the '94 assault weapons ban or the obama administration's efforts, but of course the assault weapons ban was allowed to expire. little got done when he was vice president. it was one of the big regrets president obama said of his tenure. what are we going to hear today that may show democrats who are looking for someone to lead on
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this issue that he's the one to do it? >> well, since the program is just beginning behind me here in burlington, we're seeing how the events of the last week have changed the political universe. what was supposed to be the start of a campaign heavy on retail connecting with voters including at the eiowa state fa is now being adjusted. the biden campaign announcing they're canceling some of their events on saturday so that he can attend a forum in des moines, the every town gun sense forum and moms demand actions. i think we can hear the vice president talk about what has been a liability for him in this campaign so far which is that crime bill. the biden campaign framing that as an example of how biden is one of the only candidate whose has taken on the nra and won getting that assault weapons ban passed as part of the '94 crime bill. what today is about for the vice president to continue the bed rock of his campaign which is focusing on donald trump and what he calls the battle for the
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soul of america. we expect to see him in stark terms. how in moments that have tested the nation pat presidents have risen to the occasion and tried to unite america. i'll read some of what we expect biden to say according to the prepared remarks drawing a link between the rhetoric of the shooter in el paso with the president. how far is it from trump saying this is an invasion to the shooter saying declaring his attack is a response to the hispanic invasion of texas. not far at all. in both clear language and in code this president has fanned the flames of white supremacy. that's a flavor of what we expect to hear. >> in a community that will never be the same after the violence there, tell us a little bit more about senator booker's message and how it was received. >> senator booker's message was received warmly inside that small group inside that historic church. his main message was that the
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gun violence that we're seeing is directly connected to what he calls a rising tide of what supremacy. he said both need to be taken seriously. senator booker actually backed off a little of the criticism that he's been making of president trump. he never mentioned president trump by name but it allude to him at several occasions, including in that sound you just played, but for saerenator book he wanted to frame it as a choice. you're either an agent of justice or you are contributing to the problem. for him, his solution is combatting both issues. combatting gun control for example and gun violence and proposing gun control. he want to have a ban of assault weapons. he wants to have a ban of high capacity magazines. then he also wants to take white supremacist violence seriously. >> imagine that, going into a church and deciding that is not the place to call out necessarily the president by name. there are other forums to do that. having said that, you heard what
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the president said today. these are all people who are just trying to capitalize on murder. they're using it to score political points. what is the obligation of democrats right now in this moment to address what the american people are feeling, if the president isn't going to do it? >> i think that we need a leader in this moment. not just one. people who are going to stand up and speak for those people who are being targeted by the rhetoric. i think one of the conversations that has been lost in recent weeks before these shootings was the fact that people of color are terrified in this moment. i'm taking an extra look about -- around myself everywhere i go to make sure that the people around me are not a direct threat to my own physical safety. i think that a lot of people of color have been having that second thought process. >> and i don't want to -- woe talked about this and i don't want to go beyond what you're willing to say, but somebody who actually is on the inside of knowing what is going on with white nationalism, with these
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hate groups actually warned you. >> yes. because as a visible person of color in the media space, i can be a potential target, just like we saw just yesterday, the person who sent bombs to other prominent people of color and visible people in media and in politics was charged for sending bombs to those people. this is a real threat. this is not something that we should put in an intellectual box and have sort of a debate between pundits. this is a real issue. this is life and death. i think that to saerenator books point, you reap what you sow. i'm a preacher's kid so i have to throw that in and make sure people understand that if you put out hate rkts you', you're receive only negative things back. in this case it was violence. people of color are the direct targets. this is not a game. this is not just a political conversation or normal debate. this is very serious.
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>> we want to listen now to joe biden. he has just stepped to the podium. again, he is at a community event in burlington, eiowa, the tone that has changed very much over the last couple day. >> we talk about agricultural policy, unions, but to much has happened in the recent past and i have prepared for me what is a speech that i hope will set a marker for what we should be doing. you all know the words of a president matters. they can move markets. they can send our brave women and men to war. they can bring peace. they can calm a nation in turmoil. they can console and confront and comfort those who have faced tragedy. they can inspire us to reach for
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the moon. they can encourage us to appeal to our better angels, to our better nature, but they can also unleash the deepest, darkest forces in this nation. and that's what i believe donald trump has chosen to do. when he said after charlottesville there were, and i quote, very fine people on both sides, i said then it gave license and safe harbor to white supremacists and neonazis is the ku klux klan. these words not only stunned america, but they stunned the world. and in doing so, he assigned a moral equivalence, a moral equivalence between those spewing hate and those with the courage to stand against it. i said at the time we're going to battle for the soul of this
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nation. i said it again when i announced my candidacy. and i say here today we are in a battle for the soul of this nation. that's why primarily i'm running for president. [ applause ] charlottesville was no isolated incident. when trump announced he was running for president, he called mexicans rapists. days before the midterm, he formed fears of a caravan heading for the united states when he said look what's marching up, this is an invasion. an invasion. the assertion that immigrants
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would, quote, carve you up with a knife. more recently, he called american -- a major american senate city a disgusting rat-infected rodent mess. no human being he said would choose to live as though the vibrant diverse community around baltimore somehow was less than human. at a rally in florida when he asked the crowd how do we stop these people, meaning immigrants, someone yelled back shoot them. and he smiled. in north carolina he bashed in the chants of "send her back" echoing across the stadium. how far is it from trump saying this is an invasion to the shooter in el paso declaring, quote, this attack is a response to hispanic invasion of texas?
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how far apart are those comments? how far is it from white supremacist and neo-nazis in charlottesville, trump's very fine people chanting "you will replace us" to the shooter at the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh saying we're committing genocide, jews are committing genocide on his people? i don't think it's that far at all. it's both clear language and in code this president has fanned the flames of white supremacy. his mouthing of the words written for him, condemning white supremacists this week i don't believe fooled anyone at home or abroad. his inner jenergetic embrace of
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president by the darkest hearts and most hate-filled minds in this country say it all. when the nigwhite nationalist celebrated trump's election by declaring hail trump at an alt-right conference where the nazi salute was being used. in charlottesville, david duke, the former leader of the kkk, said this is why we voted for donald trump, because he said he's going to take back the country. after donald trump tweeted his go back screed on a leading k-- say this is what we elected him for. he knows it. he saw it.
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for radicalism on the internet where a declaration of hate where the el paso shooter was posted, one commentator wrote that trump is helping normalize the most extreme sentiments because his perceived authority carries so much weight. we have a problem with this rising tide of white supremacy in america and we have a president who encourages and emboldens it. the statistics are clear, extremism is on the rise in america. the southern poverty center finds that of the 1,020 hate groups operating in the united states in 2018. that's how many there are. they pointed out that white nationalist groups have surged by over 50%. in 2017 an active shooter with ties to white extremist claimed
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135 victims and 70 killed. according to the anti-defamation league, all but one of the 50 extremists linked murders counted in 2018 had direct links to white supremacists. his own fbi director recently testified to congress that extreme white right wing groups, white nationalists, pose the greatest threat to racially motivated domestic terrorism. and what has trump done? he's poured fuel on the fire. he's retweeted postings from extremists and white nationalists. he's cutting funding in some cases completely eliminated funding initiated by barack, by the president and i and our
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administration to counter violent extremism at home. trump readily, eagerly attacks islamic terrorism but can barely bring himself to use the words white supremacy. and even when he says it, he doesn't appear to believe it. he seems more concerned about losing their votes than beating back this hateful ideology. he says guns are not the problem in mass shootings. the issue is mental health. it's a dodge. hatred isn't a mental health issue. i can tell you as the guy along with senator dianne feinstein got the assault weapons banned in a high capacity magazines banned in this country for ten years, as the elected president, we will do it again. [ applause ] >> we will do it again.
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[ applause ] >> 100 rounds in dayton. 30 round clips in el paso. they'll be banned. and when we do it, we'll put in place the buyback program to get as many of these military style weapons of war as possible off the street. and we need a domestic terrorism law. we can do without infringing on anyone's free speech. without tampering with anybody's liberties. quite simply, we have to make the same commitment as a nation to root out domestic terrorism as we have in stopping international terrorism. i wish i could say that this all began with donald trump and will end with him, but it didn't and
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i won't. american history is not a fairy tale. the battle for this soul of the nation has been a constant a co and pull for 243 years. between the american ideal that says we're all created equal, and the harsh reality that racism has long torn us apart. the same document that promised to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity also allowed for slavery and the so-called three fifths compromise that discounted the humanity of black people in america at the time. the honest truth is, both elements are part of the
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american character. at best, the american ideal wins out but it's not a route. it's always a fight. and it's a battle that is never fully finished. go back to the beginning. thomas jefferson wrote, what many believed to be the most important document, civil document in human history. he was a slave holder. we've never lived up to our american ideals. jefferson himself didn't. but what he wrote has pulled us towards justice for more than two centuries and it still does. it remains, this nation's north star. take a look at the klan, ku klux klan. after the civil war we saw a rise in the klan. it was beaten down only to rise up again in the '20s.
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in fact, in august of 1925, 30,000 fully clad klansman watched down pennsylvania avenue, the streets of washington. imagine, imagine that today. and then the klan was once again beaten back as it was after the civil war. how? the courts, the press, and, yes, presidents stood against them. and that is the point. our institutions often imperfectly stood against hate at moments when we were most tested. american presidents have stepped up in the past. george h.w. bush renouncing his membership in the nra. president clinton after oklahoma
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city, george w. bush going to a mosque after 9/11, president obama after charleston. presidents who led, who opposed chose to fight for what the best of american character is about. there's deafening silence now. sadly, we don't have that today. our president has aligned himself with the darkest forces in this nation. and it makes winning this battle for the soul of our nation that much tougher, harder. trump doesn't understand what frankly d. roosevelt did. he said the presidency is, quote, preeminently a place of moral leadership. he doesn't see what jfk did when he said only the president representing the national
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interest. he's blind to what linden johnson said of the office when he said, quote, nothing makes a man come to grips more directly with his conscious than the presidency. trump offers no moral leadership. seems to have no interest in unifying this nation. no evidence that the presidency has awakened his conscious in the least. indeed, we have a president with a toxic tongue who has publicly and unapologically embraced the political strategy of hate, racism and division. so it's up to us as it was in the '20s. it's up to us. we're living through a rare moment in this nation's history where our president isn't up to the moment, where our president lacks the moral authority to lead, where our president has
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more in common with george wallace than he does with george washington. you know, -- [ applause ] >> we are almost 330 million americans who have to do what our president can't, stand together, stand against hate, stand up for what is best -- our nation's best. in this nation, we believe when we're at our best. we believe in honesty, decency, treating everyone with respect, giving everyone a fair shot. leaving nobody behind. giving hate no safe harbor. demonizing no one, not the poor, the powerless, the immigrant or the other. leading by the power of our
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example, not by the example of our power. that's allowed us to stand as a beacon to the world. being part of something bigger than ourselves. it's a code. it's a uniquely american code. it's who we are. but donald trump doesn't get it. what this president doesn't understand is that like every other nation on earth, we're unable to define what constitutes american by religion, by ethnicity or by trial. you can't do it. america's an idea. an idea stronger than any army. bigger than any ocean. more powerful than any dictator or tyrant. it gives hope to the most desperate people on earth. and it's not only our values
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that are under assault, our democracies as well. a free press, an independent judiciary, a legislature that is a coequal branch of government. these are the guardrails -- [ applause ] >> these are the guardrails of our democracy. they're written into our constitution. if you've noticed for the last two-plus years, they've been under attack. phrases like fake news, enemy of the people, they're no joke. they're insidious. they're corosive. trump is trying to weaken our
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institutions precisely because they are the only checks on his power. that's what this is all about. the abuse of power. if there's one thing i can't stand and i know you can't is the abuse of power. whether it's a boss taking advantage of his or her workers, or a man who raises his hand to a woman or a child, or a president who's running rough shod over everything this country believes and stands for. [ applause ] no matter how old or young you are, you've never seen anything like this in your lifetime. we're being reminded every day that there's nothing guaranteed about democracy. not even here in america. we have to constantly earn it. we have to protect it.
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we have to fight for it. i believe america is the last best hope on earth. we have to remember why. it's not because we have the biggest economy, the strongest military in the history of the world. it's not because we have the most innovate entrepreneurs. that's all true. but it's not why we're america. the reason is, is what we believe. the most powerful idea in the history of the world i think beats in the heart of the people in this country. it beats in all of us, no matter your race, your ethnicity, no matter your gender identity, your sexual orientation, no matter your faith, it beats in the hearts of the rich and poor alike. it unites america, whether
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ancestors were natives to these shores or immigrants from generations back like my family from ireland, or those coming looking to build a better life for their families. the american creed that we're all created equal was written long ago, but the genius of every generation americans has opened it wider and wider and wider to include those who have been excluded in the previous generation. that's why it's never gathered any dust in our history books. it's still alive today more than 200 years after its inception. but i honest to god don't believe donald trump ceasees it that way. on january 20th, 2017, in his inaugural address, donald trump painted a dark, bleak picture of our country in crisis when he de


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