tv Deadline White House MSNBC August 20, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
know. but i think, to blame it on the fed is just not right. >> bob, the bell's going to ring. that means i'm out of time. thank you as always. robert brown, a co-founder of case-schiller index. that wraps it up for me. "deadline white house" starts now. >> reporter: hi, everyone. aloha. it is 4:00 in new york city, i'm john heilemann, in here again for the rest of the week, regrettably for you, and nicolle wallace. we are not in kansas anymore. the leading candidates will be inspiring to lift to sketch out a leader for hearts and minds. but 2020 is hardly a normal race for president. in this election what voters seem to care about is not all that normal stuff.
this year, they're coalescing around one goal and one goal only, to defeat donald j. trump. what we have now is a front-runner embracing that in spades. joe biden's campaign ad in iowa underscoring this bottom line. >> we know in our bones this election is different. the stakes are higher, the threat more serious. we have to beat donald trump. all the polls agree joe biden is the strongest democratic to do the job. >> candidate b, his buy, jill biden, what might seem spontaneous with the same moment. >> your candidate might be on healthcare than joe is. you have to look at who's going to win this election. maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, i personally like so-and-so better, but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat trump.
>> then, today, comes the evidence that the biden campaign's unconventional strategy appears to be striving in this unconventional race. a new poll out this morning shows the vice president up 7 points since june, pulling way ahead of the rest of the democratic field by double digits. here to talk about the rest of this from the "washington post," esteemed robert costa and also esteemed board member and executive editor for bloomberg opinion, tim o'brien. thank you for being here. bob costa, i start with you, master of the campaign trail. are you surprised joe biden campaigning openly, nakedly, with his wife, both saying, hey, i'm may not be perfect but the
guy to take on president trump. but he's still up on top looking stronger than ever? >> there's an abiding belief with the biden campaign that the younger voters that dominate the discussion on social media platforms don't always indicate what many of the older voters in the democratic party are seeking as a nominee. in a core argument places like south carolina, it is beating president trump in 2020, not necessarily having a candidate a champion for medicare for all. that core issue of electability may not be generating tons of interest and enthusiasm for vice president biden. as we have seen in democratic races sometimes being the seasoned hand is leading. >> sometimes we saw republicade
fall in love and republicans fall in line but you see the democrats falling in line. he has trouble on historical grounds and he's not, you think about the rising coalition of the democratic party, he's not a great representative of that. we also see him citing polls and electability early and those are not normal this early in the race. >> there is a certain fear among some of vice president biden's allies that once fall begins and they start to pay attention to past votes, the 1984 crime bill and intervention in iraq, do those issues start to haunt him in a new way once voters start paying attention. for now, he's been able to escape a lot of scrutiny in the debate and hit a lot of issues but they haven't knocked him down. it will only get more intense as candidates clamor to stay in
this race and be part of the top tier. >> i ask you whether this intense focus of beating donald trump is the feature of the democratic electorate. it seems it has risen over the last few weeks given the way donald trump is behaving. >> sure. a couple things going on. one thing to watch, whether elizabeth warren and other candidates can ewrote joe biden's support among black voters. i tend to believe from covering politics for years, black voters in particular of a democratic party tend to be skeptical of the process. it takes time for them to get to know a candidate. in part, joe biden's support is based on support among black democrats, who just know him. they've seen him with barack obama, the nation's first black
president for eight years. the other question, bernie sanders and warren, both at 14%, you really actually have a divided democratic party. it's just that the folks who aren't with joe biden haven't settled on a single candidate. d.c. are truly divided who is the best to beat donald trump. i think older democrats tend to believe that answer is joe biden but younger democrats are not sold. not just that they think i want a candidate more liberal on this issue, i think there are a lot of younger democrats i talk to who truly don't believe joe biden is any more electable than elizabeth warren or bernie sanders or kamala harris or nib else. they have to sort it out. >> an interesting question. you think act the fact biden has run on electability. a lot of polls the last few months, it's true bernie sanders does beat donald trump in
head-to-head polls and elizabeth warren beats donald trump in head-to-head polls. you get down to the fifth or sixth position in the democratic race to find who is even up with and which is more electable of 5 or 6 candidates all seem electable. >> it worries me they're putting this as his chief selling point. remember, he pulled this out of his pocket in the second debate in which he wand kamala harris both fumbled health questions. he said, remember, i'm really electable. they're focusing on this really early. it's worth remembering elizabeth warren's ascent is on the fact she's done her home work and can talk in details on issues in a way biden can't. it's really early wrapping him
in this mantle of, he's electable. among older black voters biden is stripping out the entire field. in 2016, they stayed at home and didn't want to vote for hillary. will we have a politic approach for this if he's electable. >> i look at joe biden and say, is this mitt romney and ask if you see similarities to that. mitt romney seemed out of concerns for glass roots and other challengers flash in the pans and got hot for six months. they said he was too liberal for the party and just running on electability also and was boring and made a lot of mistakes. in the end he staggered through the process and ended up being the nominee in a relatively
early race. do you think there are parallels? >> i think there are parallels. this is like 2016, donald trump was ahead in the race and they kept waiting for it to change and other candidates to coalesce him and never did from day one. joe biden has come up with a formula very very appealing to the moment, this is not a normal campaign. what he's saying is, this is not the time for the revolution, a time for a return to normalcy, for those outraged and those exhausted by donald trump. we can have this debate about the details and policies but delay it until job one is done, getting rid of donald trump. frankly, notice that ad he released today did not mention iowa. that was a general election ad. he is immediately casting himself not in contrast with other democrats, this is what i would look like and the message
i would take to the country with donald trump. i think the poll numbers suggest it's effective. >> i want to pull up the graphics. talking about the movement over the course of these months since june. biden at 29%, up 7 points. sanders, up 1. warren down 1, pete, up 1, and kamala harris down 12. let me throw up the next set of polls. moderate versus liberal. ideology split. warren and sanders and biden at the same place. 22, 22, 23. and joe biden crushing the second best two democrats in bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. i ask you, you think about the breadth of this appeal here. one thing if joe biden was the candidate of moderates and
bernie sanders and deliberate warren of the left. you have joe biden dominating the moderate wing, that is a pretty strong formula for victory, i would say. >> the challenge for senator warren moving forward is erode vice president biden's numbers among liberals. as long as a quarter of liberals in the democratic party are saying they're comfortable with senator warren, you will see challenges for senator sanders and warren as they try to consolidate that left wing of the democratic party. senator warren is gaining traction with many liberals. you see her drawing big crowds in the early voting states. until joe biden is not seen not liberal enough by democrats he will hold in these polls. >> you think about, there's an ideological question. there's an age thing, older
voters dominate the democratic primary and have historically and holding his own with younger voters. not the top candidate. what can happen with the generational schizoim and idealogical schizosiim. >> we have a long way to go between now and the early primary states. that gives a lot of opportunity for candidates like sanders and warren and a lot of opportunity for big flubs for a candidate a front-runner like joe biden. if you're a front-runner you're taking the most flak from donald trump. it can be difficult, as we saw with hillary clinton. i think for younger voters, there's a little bit of trauma in 2016, certainly in general,
around this notion hillary clinton was seen as the safe candidate. at the end of the day, she didn't turn out the base. i think that's really on a lot of voters' minds and a lot of people concerned joe biden might not be able to pull that off and be a repeat. >> if donald trump is on the ballot, i don't think they need anything else to motivate voters to go out and vote. two ways joe biden loses this nomination. number one, the flub you mentioned, an epic meltdown. number two, consolidation on the progressive wing, if in fact bernie sanders are added to elizabeth warren voters. that's why the poll numbers you just showed is so interesting. there is not necessarily a monolithic opposition to joe biden. the biggest threat, add up progressive voters, one drops out, a consolidation. >> puts elizabeth warren on his
ticket? >> right. >> the biggest threat is democrats get so distracted for health care for all and they forget to do go tv and forget their base and organize union democrats and democrats firmly convicted felons in florida allowed to vote now and don't do the hard work of organizing barack obama did in 2008. >> rural voters. >> rural voters. >> here's the thing biden has done a lot in different ways running, say nice things about republicans. charlie you must feel good about this. we got headlines from the hill, joe biden saying, there's an awful lot of really good republicans out there. he said this in the massachusetts. this headline, biden thinks trump is the problem, not all other republicans. and fox news, biden might as well go home if they can't work
to find compromise. >> it expresses a view of the world, the heart of the mistakes. the praise of the segregationists? >> i would work with the worst of them. there will be a republican party if you get rid of donald trump, that is open to compromise. there are a lot of democrats, dude, were you awake during the obama administration? you will never work with republicans. this is nuts to think you can hold hands and sing cokumbuyai before he entered the office. if donald trump leaves the white house and helps push joint legislation through the white house is lying to themselves. we have a deeply deeply divided
congress. that's the reason the republicans in the senate and for the house for the most part, continue to support trump. that may end, particularly if the economy deteriorates anymore from this point on, you will see republicans who feel beholdened to trump emboldened to depart from him. i am mystified by joe biden thinking it is a great talking point and strength of his candidacy he can work with republicans. >> i agree it's a myth to say you can work with mitch mcconnell. those republicans not represented by donald trump leaves the door open a crack. >> does he need to do that now? >> maybe later. one of the big selling points with joe biden, i can actually get things done and get legislation passed. at some point you have to work with republicans, no matter who
controls the senate. you have to work across the party lines if you want to get the legislation through. i understand this not moment we're in but i don't think it's necessarily a gaffe. >> i will ask bob costa. my perception, this is not a mistake joe biden is making. he's doing it intentionally. the reason is because they have polling that suggests a lot of other campaigns looked at, too, although there is a part of this democratic party fired up for total war with republicans ad infinitum, ad nauseam forever, they have a lsu for blood and teeth on the floor, forever after, there are a lot of democrats, who make up a big churning of the democratic nominating electorate, still believe in the barack obama part of the case we can still disagree without being disagreeable. somehow there is a way towards progress. that's what the biden people are
seeing in their wheel anthropology to continuing to see people a mistake on the left reaches of the party. >> in the case biden people make as a strategy, not that he's running as a moderate, running to the left, wants to add an option to the healthcare law. public healthcare is still a move to the haven't. not left enough in the eyes of many democrats. they think by taking those kinds of positions they can bring enough liberals along and not scare off moderate democrats and make the case he's not running as a centrist, obama-biden style democrat. >> thank you for being here. you're always a huge contradictory. i will say one thing about joe biden's mental acuity. this one from "politico" when he had an aneurysm, i will vote for the candidate i'm absolutely
certain has a brain that's functioning and that narrows it down to exactly one, presumably referring to donald j. trmump. and the kind of crowd that can get on donald trump's nerves. two weeks after the massacres of el paso and dayton, the president is already backpedaling from his own call for background checks. contradicting himself this afternoon. mself this afternoon. an event. help people find their way. fastsigns designed new directional signage. ...and got them back on track. get started at fastsigns.com. the first survivor of alzis out there.ase and the alzheimer's association is going to make it happen. but we won't get there without you. join the fight with the alzheimer's association.
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relief and remission to the wait did frowe just win-ners. prouders everyone uses their phone differently. that's why xfinity mobile let's you design your own data. now you can share it between lines. mix with unlimited, and switch it up at anytime so you only pay for what you need. it's a different kind of wireless network designed to save you money. save up to $400 a year on your wireless bill. plus get $250 back when you pre-order a new samsung note. click, call or visit a store today. i've been to 26 states and puerto rico. i've been to blue states, red
states, purple states, parts of blue states all because i'm reaching out to run for president of america. the core message that we've got a washington that works great for the wealthy and well-connected. but it's not working for anyone else is something people get whether they're democrats, republicans or independents. i think a lot of folks are ready for change and 2020 is our big chance. >> that was elizabeth warren in st. paul, minnesota last night, right after her town hall in front of 12,000 people. her largest crowd to date, so large in fact the event had to be moved outdoors to accommodate the teaming masses and warren wasn't able to take questions from the audience because there were too many people there. latest polls shows warren in third behind biden and sanders, at least on the national level and looking strong in a lot of state polls, in some places, very close to biden. we have seen a lot of numbers that put her gaining ground
steadily over the course of the summer. there is a sense of political professionals i talk to on rifle campaigns and observers of the scene, elizabeth warren, even more than joe biden, has a clear shot to dominate the left wing of this fight and in the end, the real question is it's going to be elizabeth warren versus someone and that could be joe biden or someone else. she is right now running the best campaign the most energy and best focused. everyone is lining up the right way according to those who watch it for a living. >> she's been doing a lot of work on the campaign trail and gotten better and better. if that is the case and she emerges as the left option, this is a case decided not on policy even though she's a great policy candidate, actually on emotion and trust and authenticity. for someone that they feel they can actually
trust who's speaking to them honestly. for the left, they hear that in bernie sanders and hear that in elizabeth warren. i think joe biden sometimes tries to triangulate and that message gets muddled. for a lot of people on the left, they're excited for somebody willing to talk about the country and a vision for the country not so dark and terrifying. it's going to make them feel good about voting and participating in the process. it's felt pretty icky for a lot of people. >> i want to bring in elena schneider to the table. great to see you. i want to ask you if it's your experience, the experience i've had, not from a partisan standpoint, not in favor of warren or against her, there's a chorus of people watching this race unfold who say despite the early stumbles early in her campaign, she's on a hot streak right now.
you look at the quality of her campaign in iowa and new hampshire and south carolina and the sense of clarity from her message she's emerged from this pack almost no one else has. >> i think you're right and i'm hearing similar things from consultants and voters watching this closely. take a look at the grassroots fund-raising campaigns have seen come in the door. joe biden, when he jumped in, raised a lot of money online and that dipped the last six months and dried up for him with small donor voters. it's a good barometer to not only feel people are electable, who they're excited about, go and donate $5, $10, $20. elizabeth warren has been able to raise more since she started her campaign and raise six
figures online but not by going to big campaign events but standing hours in line taking selfies with voters. that is a way to see where the base really is and who is building a coalition to stick with them opposed to those interested who will be the best nominee against the president. >> tim, there's a thing that happens every cycle you follow these races, there's one candidate a lightning in a bottle candidate. you can mesh it a little bit with polls and crowd sizes, those are factors. there's seeing these guys in the world and enthusiasm and the way they light up a space and passion. in 2016, that candidate was donald trump. he had lightning in a bottle. in 2008, that was barack obama. do you have a sense elizabeth warren is that candidate and do you think donald trump watching this has a sense he sees from
elizabeth warren and recognizes from his own run in 2016? >> i think donald trump and donald trump jr. with the pocohantas smear a week ago, that was a recognition both of them and the father in particular is worried about elizabeth warren. i think you will see donald trump targeting joe biden and elizabeth warren going forward. they represent threats to him in a different way. he sees joe biden he thinks wisconsin and michigan and swing states. he sees elizabeth warren, he sees someone smarter than him and more disciplined in him, on a debate stage could slice him up a bit. he was afraid of that with hillary clinton. the difference between hillary clinton and elizabeth warren, she's a much more effective messenger and brings real passion to this voters are starting to pick up on. >> we talked about biden in the last block and elizabeth warren. you have bernie sanders sitting there at 15, kind of tied with warren on the national level.
seen a lot of other polls, seen his support dwindling. a bunch of candidates in single digits but lower spheres of single digits. i want to ask you, you look among the rest of that group, think of beto o'rourke, had a lot of expectations getting into the race, never gotten any traction. last week after el paso, he was on television more than almost anyone, more outspoken, more scathing about donald trump than almost anyone. he basically said i'm rebooting my campaign and go to the heart of places donald trump is having the most negative impact. that's where my campaign will be from now on. i don't care about the primary states and go where trump's impact is worse. so far, there's no evidence it's helping him at all. >> that makes the numbers interesting. you look near the bottom and a lot of candidates you thought were lightning in the bottle
candidates. what people thought about cory booker, beto o'rourke and kamala harris, and they are not getting the traction, at least at the moment. it tells you how sober and serious the electorate has been, not that they're not senator candidates. i'm struck by the kamala harris numbers. i think she's a strong candidate. why would she have dropped so precipitously. maybe there was a backlash to how hard she hit joe biden. maybe there is not an appetite beating up on the front-runner. a price to be paid for somebody that looks like they're creating or enhancing the circular firing squad. >> i will ask you the question. she got the lift people thought she would get after the first debate. you saw her polls go up. she had not a great second debate and looked uncertain and got hit pretty hard by tulsi gabbard. i know the people in her campaign thought that was a bad
night and freaked out and will be freaking more after they see these poll numbers. what do you think is going on in harris world? >> this is totally antidotal. my mother is white and my father is black. on both sides, mostly democrats. in talking to the older women on both sides of my family, they really really disliked that moment with kamala harris. didn't bother them she disagreed with him on busing and segregation, bothered them it seemed to be mean-spirited. they do associate joe biden with barack obama they still love and have a lot of affinity for. they want to see something more positive. also a question of kamala harris, who is your constituency? joe biden has claimed a lot of the more establishment grounds. you're not going to be able to compete with the same voters
bernie sanders and elizabeth warren are vying for. pete buttigieg has his own unique following. she has in some way so far been out of options. there aren't that many voters left with so many candidates. >> i want to ask you about where we stand in less than a month with debates or single debates, we found castro has qualified with 10 on the debate stage. tom stire just needs to get to 2%. and a bunch of others with no qualifying polls but made it on the donor side. kirsten gillibrand has one qualifying poll and not quite there with the donor number. looks to me like you're at 10 and might get to 11 and a far shot, desire and gabbard to get to 12. how do you think that will
affect the race going forward and the likelihood of a couple of people making it? >> i know the voters want to see the stage narrow and want to see them debating each other. does that help somebody like joe biden who has been able to maintain his topology position since he launched his campaign. it narrows down to one stage he's put on stage with all of his topology rivals, kamala harris, pete buttigieg, bernie, they all need him to fall in order for him to rise. it will be really fascinating to see the dynamics around polling both start to heiden around the top four or five candidates and what effect that has on joe biden and will he remain in the number one position and those in the third debate, tom stire is at the very edge of being able to make it. it's not clear whether or not we
will see any more polls, maybe one or two in the final week before the deadline hits. it seems unlikely but still possible we might expand to 11 people and take it to a two-night debate stage. >> all right. thank you for spending time with us. great to see you. elizabeth warren coming out saying she's in favor of repealing the crime bill and if she gets on stage, that will be an issue among others. donald trump in full retreat from a statement about gun control. the difference two weeks makes in the mind of donald trump and call from ne nra. makes a lot of difference. call from the nra.
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there's nobody more pro second amendment than donald trump. but i don't want guns in the hands of a lunatic or maniac. >> but people have to remember, however, that there is a mental illness problem that has to be dealt with. it's not the gun that pulls the trigger, it's the person holding the gun. i'm also very very concerned with the second amendment more so than most presidents would be. people don't realize we have very strong background checks right now. >> there's death and taxes and capitulation on gun control, things you can count on. it took donald trump two weeks go from we need intelligent background checks to we already have strong background checks right now and took it a step further directly contradicting a point he made over this. >> look, the nra over the years
has taken a tough stance for everything. i understand it. it's a slippery slope. they think you prove one thing and leads to bad things. i don't agree with it. i think we can have many meaningful background checks. >> a lot of people that put me where i am are strong believers in the second amendment. i am also. we have to be very careful. we call it the slippery slope and then everything gets taken away. we won't let that happen. >> it's a slippery slope all right. a lot less sweaty in that second clip, thank god. he has lost his enthusiasm in the background checks and the "new york times" said mr. trump sounded less aggressive in private and then coinciding with the nra mounting a full-court press and if that's coincidence, i'm not sure that's accurate. white house officials insisted mr. trump would shift back again
towards supporting more aggressive legislation in the fall when the congress returns from their august recess. definition of kicking the can to never-neverland. michael crowley, i ask you given this display of backsliding, self-contradictions and mealy-mouthed talk coming out of president trump over the course of the last week in this topic, are we exactly where the most cynical people assumed we would be when el paso and dayton happened, nothing going to help, trump not going to change? >> it looks like it. this is a familiar pattern and people were predicting it and looks like they're being born out. what strikes me here is the way in which mr. trump, in the last few days, has almost verbatim, repeated some of the key nra
talking points. the one in particular struck me, he repeated it sunday and yesterday almost word-for-word is the idea, i think the line is the gun doesn't pull the trigger, the person pulls the trigger. that's not something i had ever heard him say before, at least not in the last many months, wasn't something he was saying a week or two ago right after the shootings and we heard it a couple days in rapid succession. it had the feel somebody had planted this in his head. this a president generally not scripted and says whatever is at the top of his mind. we have several examples recently in the past few days, hear him stick to talking points on this subject. i think, yes, he's shifted course. it sure feels like he talked to somebody who i guess you could say clarified his thinking on the subject. >> a person whose last name
rhymes with lapierre. actually is lapierre. i want to go over this timing here. maybe when he comes back in the fall it will happen again. here's what axios says about the timing on this. september or bust on gun legislation. if new gun legislation doesn't pass in september it won't get down before the november election. we either have something ready when congress returns, drop it on the floor, vote on it and move on or we blow it. i go back to crowley, i ask you, or we blow it seems like the most likely outcome, given we know republican lawmakers went do anything without blanket cover from trump and august isn't that far away, it seems totally implausible to me we come back after labor day and seem as heated rush given where the president is now and where republicans are and a heated rush towards getting something
done. >> it is hard to see. there are some republicans who need cover and some would fight this. i don't think the president has shown much of an appetite fighting with republicans particularly on this issue. there have been several issues on which trump had an opportunity to go in a more bipartisan direction on various fronts over the past couple of years. he doesn't ever end up seaming to want to do it. his natural safe place is to double down and stick with his base and basically tell democrats to take a hike. it does look like that's where we're headed. i think that would be the safe bet based on the prologue so far. >> charlie sykes, i ask you this question, people say what michael crowley just said, stick with his base. the president sticks with his base. he often does. a lot of politics stick with their base. the poll from the most recent
chose the polling on expanded background checks or gun purchasers. look at the number here. 89%. the president's base is about 38, 41, some number like that. 89% of americans support background, expanded background checks. the president's base, 89% is pretty much everybody in the country which includes a lot of the president's base. it does not take courage to stands up to the base in favor of this. >> there's a sweet spot, background checks, red flag laws, massive magazines on guns. here's the moment donald trump and the republican party are prisoners, trapped by this base politics. they see those numbers. he's obsessed with those numbers and understands they pose an existential threat to the democratic party and clearly shifted rather dramatically. this one of those moments donald trump's gut instinct is to go with gun control. he's a former new york guy,
indicated it before. on issues of guns and abortion, these are not visceral issues for him, a transactional position he took. but because he is trapped, a prisoner of his own base politics, he cannot allow even an inch of daylight between his base and himself on an issue like this. one thing the polls don't necessarily reflect is the intensity of the pro gun movement. they are bought in completely on that. don't give an inch, otherwise it's a slippery slope. even though this is one of those moments i think donald trump would love to move personally, the polls indicate almost a moderate thing to do, can't do it because of base politics. >> i ask you this, tim, i get base politics. when you're up to 90%, a large churning of your base agrees with expanding brund checks. some portion is in that 11% against or whatever is left or
doesn't have a point of view on it. this is not one that would require any political courage to do this, you're apt 90 in favor of it. you understand donald trump's mind to some extend, to the extent it's possible to understanding of such a strange and elaborate lapper rithian thing. >> what about this as he backs down in the face of lapierre. >> it was true when he was 3 years old and will be true for his remaining time in the planet. he is not somebody that will change his stripes. er with witnessing groundhog day. feb of 2018, he had the gop leadership in the oval office, right after the parkland shootings. on camera? are you all afraid of the nra? i'm not afraid of the nra. we need background checks. two days later, kris cox from the nra makes a white house
visit. he flip-flops. this time it didn't take two days, it took two weeks. perhaps if trump is president for 100 years we will see him get to place he has principles he holds onto and will do the right thing. he will not be president for 100 years and don't expect him to evolve. >> do me a favor and don't say trump president for 100 years if you want to be invited back. a "washington post" story talks about overwhelming support for stricter gun control among suburban women. 3 in 4 suburban women favoring stricter gun laws. what happened in this 2018 mid-terms. suburban women normally republican voters upset by the way donald trump conducts himself and in key states where he pulled away from hillary clinton with the slimmest of margins, they're starting to lock at this issue as a
motivating issue, security issue for their family. is this not one more element of potential risk the president is bringing on himself by not going where 90% of the public is? >> absolutely. second only to healthcare. guns and gun control is a massive issue in the 2018 mid-terms. you saw in the congressional seats and especially new jersey, i think it's a terrible issue for the republicans unless they can get out ahead of it and say to the american people they've actually done something. they have to answer for that. this is an issue that has seen a lot of movement on the state level. you have states held by republican legislatures that have passed gun control in the past decade. when that's the case it's not a winning issue for the president. his instincts are leading him in the wrong direction. >> that's enough of this talk. too depressing to contemplate even further. after the break, donald trump's
very public slow motion meltdown right after this. righ t after this ♪ ♪ applebee's handcrafted burgers now with endless fries starting at $7.99. and get more bites for your buck with late night half-priced apps. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. spending time together, sometimes means doing nothing at all. holiday inn. we're there. so you can be too. i'm a faster laptopd could help. plus, tech support to stay worry free. worry free. boom! ha.ha. boom! now save $249 on this lenovo ideapad,
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only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ a presidential meltdown at a really bad time for a presidential meltdown. as if there was ever a good time for one. it is what eugene robinson describes as, quote, the nation is still reeling from two mass shootings. the financial markets are yo-yoing by hundreds of points. north korea is testing missiles and hong kong has been convulsed for months by protests and trump obsesses about buying greenland. we don't have a presidency but a reality show whose ratings have gung to slide and fading star
sees cancellation on the way. michael crowley and the table is back. tim, i ask you. >> i thought we were moving off of this topic. i got to come back. you know, it's been basically every day of the trump campaign and every day he's melting down. it feels like the groundhog day of stories but in some way given what's different now is not the quality of the meltle down but the quality of the chaos on the global stage so the stakes have risen in a way that makes it more alarming in some sense not that it's thought always been alarming but acutely sense against the backdrop eugene lays out. do you think he's getting worse? >> i think he's getting more panicked. i think he's always been worse. i think he's been worse than worse from day one. i think -- i suspect that trump when the mueller investigation ended thought that sort of existential threats to his presidency had been put to rest and in very short order i think trump the racist became a very
appropriate and damning moniker that got attached to him after elijah cummings, trump the racist will be part of his historical legacy. and now you have the economy starting to deteriorate a bit around the edges, whether or not that's going to be a recession or not, i don't know blue there's enough alarm bells on there for a president who is routinely attached his reputation to a strong economy that's a job creating economy and markets are going bananas. when you start to see fraying around that, i think he's worried and i think he sees that gaining traction in a way he can't control and he can't control the fact that he's being labelled as a racist and these two things are squeezing him like a vice and what do-- >> i ask you because you cover that building and that president, at the moment, you know, the economy seems like a big change and to hear him,
you've seen him say after everybody at the white house, well, we're not paying for a payroll tax and says, i've been looking at one for weeks. you know, he says the economy is doing great but we still need 100-point rate cut -- basis point cut from the fed care and contradicting himself in what appears to be a certain amount of panic over the economic situation. what are you hearing about the president's state of mind relative to all of these var use destabilizing and threatening circumstances around the world? >> i don't know that he's any worse than he has been before. but it does feel like there are, you know, quite a lot of different high pressure problems piling up around him so, you know, there were times when it looked like, you know, russia had him caught like a vise and -- but that was kind of multiple fronts in the mueller investigation. now i think as gene robinson sort of astutely observed have
you this wide diversity of huge problems, really big international issue, the trade fight with china, at the same time you have this hong kong issue, the economy now starting to darken. you really could see the possibility of his approval numbers just bottoming out if he loses those economic tailwinds and, you know, even an issue like afghanistan, i've been struck by his remarks, i think the consensus, he wants to get the troops out for his re-election. he seems to be wrestling with it and understands after we saw that bombing in kabul a couple of days ago it's still a dangerous place. no president wants to be accused of having left a country and allowed a terrorist attack to hit america so he's juggling in a way that i'm not sure he has before and that's what may be new here. >> mike, thank you. i got to say at the white house trump asked what keeps you up at night. he says nothing keeps him up at night. i say he is what keeps the rest of us up at night and we'll be back to talk about that more.
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our thanks to michael, charlie, mara and tim. s that does it for this hour. "mtp daily" with steve kornacki in for chuck todd starts right now. ♪ if it's tuesday, taking on trump. biden betting big on the electability argument. what's the likelihood it will pay off? plus, president trump seems to backtrack even further on gun control and it sounds like