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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  July 26, 2020 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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"politics nation." tonight's lead, 100 days of rage. tonight, the body of the great john lewis lies in state in alabama, having made its final symbolic trip across the edmund pettus bridge in selma, alabama, earlier today. john lewis' life was based on principle. his political life, an extension of such principle in his life. contrast that with donald trump.
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whose political life is based on the principle of whatever keeps him in office. and now, facing increasingly gloomy re-election prospects in his contest with joe biden, he has just over three months, 100 days, to do even a symbolic about face. or far more likely, the president will just continue to burn the house down. biden campaign senior adviser karine jean-pierre joins me later to talk about how her candidate's surge in the polls plays into the president's strategy. and psychology. because there is no reason to believe that this surreal top-down violence by the state will abate. if anything, it will aim for more conspicuous and darker skinned targets. if only for the president's re-election ads. for the last two months, it's
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been portland, and last night, violence erupted as police and black lives matter protesters in several cities clashed over the presidential dragnet, and of course, the lingering anger over various police shootings. but the president's white well of racism has always been chicago, where this week he deployed, as threatened since taking office, dozens of federal agents, invoking or rather hiding behind the city's gun violence to add it to his crackdown. joining me now is the senator from illinois, senator dick durbin. senator durbin, thank you for being with us tonight. the president sent in federal law enforcement into chicago, saying he's sending it there for the violence. the mayor there saying he should not interfere with people's
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rights. how do you view this? and what do you think is really the strategy behind this? >> well, reverend sharpton, first, i'm glad you started your program with a tribute to john lewis. he was my friend in the house and the senate, and he deserves the accolades and the respect of all of america for his life. today, we face a president who changes by executive order the rules on housing in a way that invites discrimination. he has just been one step after another a disappointment when it comes to living up to the ideals and values of our friend john lewis. now, the situation in chicago is one that concerns me greatly. there are too many gun deaths in chicago, period. no excuses. i have said to the white house directly to the highest levels of the white house, you want to start with the problem, that city is awash in guns. for goodness sakes, there's no background checks at the gun shows in northern indiana.
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they're bringing in the guns every day across the skyway and through the highways. start with legislation. and you know this president won't touch it. and what he does instead is say, well, we're going to send in federal law enforcement. we saw what happened in portland. the situation spun deeper out of control. so this week, i joined with mayor lori lightfoot and governor jd pritzker and said to the president, do not do to chicago what you have done to portland. if you're going to send us federal agents, we want them to come with our understanding, our knowledge, and cooperate with us. cooperate with local law enforcement, to make this a safer city. >> so what does he think the feds could do? clearly, all of us are concerned, outraged about the gun violence. i spent time there, i even had an apartment there, working with reverend marshall hatch and others on the west side about the vileanolence about three ye ago. on the ground, there is a problem. some of it i think comes from
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the socioeconomic conditions. some of it we need to address in our community. but what could the federal government do? i mean, people there have rallied and have also asked for the government to provide more of the services that have been taken back. 50 schools were closed in chicago in the last several years. what could this president think he's doing or is he just using chicago as some political chip that he can play on to the american public? >> senator tammy duckworth and i sent this president a letter three years ago. we spelled out in very specific ways how this administration could help us in chicago fight gun violence. we never received reply. why does this president fixate on the city of chicago? because it's barack obama's hometown. let's be honest about it. that's where he started. and he didn't care much for rahm emanuel while he was on the subject, so he's been blasting away at chicago every chance he
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gets. if you only receive a helping hand from him to get some things done. right now, we have so many social agencies that perform valuable things from providing food to families to counseling, you name it, and they're hurting because covid-19 epidemic. mane of them are shut down. there are ways for the federal government to help us in that regard if they want to, to try to strengthen and reestablish the stability in neighborhoods. that would be a step in the right direction, but this president is looking for a headline. he got his headline in portland. now he's going to try seattle. we don't want him to use the city of chicago as his next political experiment for his campaign. >> now, senator, what about those americans that are concerned that in a few days, unemployment insurance is going to run out, stimulus money. we have seen the house pass the heroes act. we are hearing that senator mcconnell say it may be weeks before the senate can come up
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with something. people can't hold on for weeks. what can be done by the u.s. senate? >> well, receive rnd sharptever sharpton, i want to tell you something. nancy pelosi nine weeks ago, maybe ten now, passed the heroes act in the united states house of representatives. passed it and sent it over to the senate for mitch mcconnell to do something. we knew ten weeks ago we needed another bill. we knew ten weeks ago that unemployment benefits at the federal level were going to expire at the end of july. it was no surprise. we knew that the help for people who face eviction is going to end. and it has to be renewed if it's going to be used. we knew all that. instead, mitch mcconnell came to the floor almost every day and ridiculed if not mocked nancy pelosi for what she did. oh, this bill is not good, he said. oh, this bill is unfortunate, does too much of this and too much of that, and came up with his own alternative not at all. not a single word. so senator mcconnell, i hope you've gone home to the
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commonwealth of kentucky over the last weekend, and i hope you just happen to run into an unemployed family and i hope you sit down with them and had a conversation about what's going to be when the $600 a week check comes to an end. i listen to ted cruz and others on the morning shows and they about this fabulous amount of money that is making lazy people out of those who are unemployed. it's not an enormous amount of money. people live paycheck to paycheck even when they're working. to be without a job, think about the mortgage payment, the rent payment, paying the utility bills, paying for health insurance if you have to. i mean, $600 a week disappears in that circumstance. we ought to extend the unemployment benefits the way nancy pelosi did when she passed the heroes act ten weeks ago, and we ought to do it before we go home. >> senator dick durbin, thank you for your kind words about congressman john lewis. we hope also the senate looks at the john lewis voting rights bill and gets to -- >> amen.
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>> really deal with that. >> there's the right tribute. >> august 28th, push that bill. >> that's the best tribute. >> that's the tribute we need. >> best tribute to john lewis, the best tribute to john lewis. >> thank you, senator durbin. >> let's go join -- we're joined now by the mayor of new york, bill de blasio. mr. mayor, let me start with your thoughts when the president talks about sending the feds in to cities where there's been some uptick in violence. in new york, we have had several violent incidents, and you and your administration have been dealing with them. do you need the feds? and if he offered them, what would be your response? >> no, rev. i'll tell you, if we see federal officers, federal troops on the streets of new york city, then we're going to see donald trump in court. because we are not asking for them. we don't want them here. it's actually -- it would create more danger in this city to have
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officers who are not prepared for our circumstance come in. and obviously, also, what scares me, rev, is this is very dangerous for our democracy to think about the federal government basically trying to create a national police force, something this country has never had. taking federal troops, sending them into cities and states that don't want them. that's just a profound threat to our constitution and our freedoms. so i think it's patently unconstitutional. and it would be counterproductive. you look at what's happened in portland. it's created more violence and more chaos to have those federal officers there. so no, we would push back very hard. and you know what, rev, you know a lot about what it takes to stop violence in a community, and you are one of the people that early on did things like occupying the corners, bringing community leadership out, bringing the cure violence movement out, working with the police. that is the way forward. it is not about bringing in federal troops.
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>> now, we have seen several incidents where you have been on the scene and others, and as you have seen, i have seen other groups, they started this a while back, occupying corners, which i think is good, working with police on a precinct level, trying to deal with it, and one of the things that is really stunning is the killing of duvall gardner, a one-year-old boy in his stroller that was shot by a stray bullet. i'm doing the funeral services in the morning. his family was at national action network with me yesterday. his grandmother, his mother, and the father. they talked about how you visited them the day after this young baby, 1 year old, was killed by gunfire. >> rev, it was so painful. you know, i have seen a lot of really troubling things in seven years now as mayor. but a 1-year-old killed on a
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playground, and when i talked to his mom the next day, i mean, the shock and the pain in her face, and the tears streaming down her face. i mean, it just -- it was like just the clearest, sharpest message to me, to everyone that we have to stop the violence. but it's also a reminder that we have to stop the violence in communities with the people of the communities, empowering the people of communities. you know what, we cannot make the mistake of the past, send in more and more officers without an attempt to actually work with the people whose community it is. we have to create that sense of ownership and respect for communities, and you know, rev, the vast majority of people in communities all over the city, all over the country, they don't want violence and they're willing to do something to stop it, particularly if they can have a respectful relationship with the police. so when i felt the pain of that family, it just said to me, we have to get it right. and we have to solve it at the
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grassroots. >> must be done at the grassroots and we must deal with the social conditions at the same time. we can walk and chew gum at the same time. let me ask you about school reopening. we're seeing in parts of the country people are demanding the schools reopen. others are saying it is not safe. many of us being cautious on many things, we're doing in various parts of the city, and of the country. when do you think it is safe or do you think it is safe to reopen schools in new york city? >> right now, i do think it's safe, rev. we're about six weeks away. and we have had extraordinary success in new york city over the last month or two, pushing back this disease, really limiting it. people of new york city have been heroic with the amount of just strength and discipline and helping each other and wearing the mask and social distancing. it's been absolutely outstanding. so our health indicators tell us, yes, we're dealing with the
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same exact reality today as we are on the first day of school, we would be able to open schools. but with lots of precautions. social distancing in schools, everyone wearing face coverings. kids, adults, hand washing stations. hand sanitizer everywhere. a host of precautions. and unfortunately, without the ability to have kids in school five days a week, because we just don't have the space, and rev, any parent who wants to keep their kid remote, they can do that. we would give them that right, 100%, but what we found, amazing fact, rev. we surveyed the parents of new york city public schools. 400,000 of them answered. that tells you how passionate they are, and 75% of those that answered wanted to see school come back. we owe it to them to do everything we can to make it happen, but the file decision as we get close to opening in september, will be based on the health conditions. are we doing as well as we are now? are we maybe doing better? if we're dealing with new challenges, we have to make
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decisions based on the actual facts, the thing you never see in washington and unfortunately in some other states in the country, decisions based on facts and data, that's what we're going do when it comes to making decisions about the new york city public schools. >> i'm out of time, but i must ask you one of the things i was talking to senator durbin about is the money that people need to get by. and what i did not get to with you have dealt with in the city of new york is the hunger. we have seen millions of people having to be fed and people have rose to the occasion of feeding millions of people. and i'm certainly glad that we have been part of that at nan, but i think it's been an enormous outpouring in the city of new york to help those that really are in dire need of just basic food. >> that's right. and nan has been a fantastic partner, rev. i thank you. but 100 million meals for free, the city of new york has provided our people since the beginning of this crisis.
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100 million meals. and that's also an indicator of just how bad it has become for people with no paycheck, and just how absent the federal government still is in helping people that this one city had to create an effort that large just to keep people going. but we're going to do it no matter what it takes. >> all right. well, i want to thank reverend steven larson and katrina jefferson for doing the part in nan, our part. thank you, new york mayor bill de blasio. >> joining me now is david jolly, a former republican congressman of florida, and democratic strategist zerlina maxwell. let me jump right in. the 100 days we're out. let me ask you two. let me start with you, zerlina. 100 days this president is way down in the polls. are we going to see this race
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card, this try to stoke white fears, the suburbs are going to be invaded, he's saying, and all kinds of things. is this the campaign strategy he seems locked into, or do you think at some point he pivots as he did on face masks and other needs that we should have had in january to deal with this pandemic? will he pivot or his race rhetoric or is he going to try and do the george wallace campaign all the way to november? >> i think he's going to run the george wallace campaign, rev, all the way through to november. because you saw how successful that white identity politics campaign was for him in 2016. it did allow him a narrow electorate college victory, and up until this very moment, what he's trying to do as well is stoke division, not just among racial lines, and also class lines, but he's also trying to
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get us all very anxious about whether or not this upcoming election is going to be fair. now, everyone at home should think about how they're going to vote. whether or not they're going to vote in person or whether or not they're going to vote by mail or absentee, and from that question, you can figure out how you are going to do it in your own state. and what donald trump just tweeted is that the election is going to be rigged because mail-in voting is not secure. well, he did that in 2016. he talked about the election being rigged. what he failed to mention is that he was busy trying to rig it in his favor with russia. and so now, an impeached president who tried to rig the upcoming election with the help of ukraine, is trying to make voters very concerned that this process will be fair, and i think we should focus on voting anyway. trying to make sure we can do it in the way that is the safest for ourselves and for our families. and understand that if we all participate, it doesn't matter what he says about it being rigged.
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there is going to be an overwhelming turnout against what donald trump is running on, which to your point, is this race based campaign. >> david jolly, even in your home state, he is challenged in the polls. and the concern is a fair election. and will they try to systematically suppress voters and deny voters. what do you feel in florida, and what do you fear if this president does lose, will he try to say it was rigged and we'll be in the courts for weeks if not longer fighting over the victory unless there is such an overwhelming turnout that is allowed to vote that he could not argue with the results? >> yeah, rev, that's a clear strategy of the president, to try to undermine the validity of an election that he is likely to lose. and i do think he will deploy his lieutenants that hold governor mansions across the united states for voter
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suppression decisions, like we saw in georgia in the '18 election. the interesting gamble he's taking, though, on trying to undermine the security of mail-in voting is in states like florida, where mail-in voting is highly popular among republicans, we're seeing polls that the ground is shifting, and republican voters, republican voters, because they believe donald trump, are losing confident in their own mail-in voting. there's a chance he will lose florida because of his attacks on mail-in voting, and the true hypocrisy of all this is while the president is saying all this, the republican party of florida, of georgia, all these states, the party is trying to mobilize a mail-in vote campaign. they want those mail-in votes to come in even while the president is saying they cant be trusted. >> let me ask you this, david. i just asked senator durbin this. why are the republicans not coming with some kind of stimulus package? the house has passed the heroes
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act. forget the fact that most of them in my judgment have not shown any moral backbone. but do they have any political sensitivity to the fact that if they have these workers out there that are unpaid, if they have people that need relief funds that don't get them, this is going to backfire on them politically? why are they playing with this and mcconnell talking about it would take weeks to come up with a package? >> i don't think there's a strategy. i'll sum it up for you like this, rev. it's because today's republican party is out of touch with the american people. that's true on guns, true on education, that's true on immigration, it's true on taxes and true on covid and coronavirus relief and the unemployment benefit extension. they're simply out of touch. the reason why is they have so insulated themselves, they have so participated in rigging the system to protect what is now a minority party, that they don't have a majority coalition of the voters. and they are simply out of
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touch. demographics are getting away from them, politics are getting away from them, and the polls reflect it going into november. >> zerlina, is this a losing issue for them on top of the other things? certainly the pandemic and others, but also people's pocketbook going to be affected because they're stalling and playing games in the senate around something as simple as unemployment extension? >> well, look, i think that republicans are on the wrong side of this issue. because they are always trying to pander to their corporate donors and their corporate backers. i think that we saw that with the first round of stimulus. right now, what they are doing is they're not focused on the people who are out of work and making the decisions between sending their kids back to school and going back to work. and i think that a lot of parents are going to be put in a horrible position because if school is not five days a week or all day long, what kind of
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job can you possibly work? >> all right. i'm going to have to leave it there. david jolly and zerlina maxwell, thank you both for being with us tonight. coming up, florida senator rick scott and education secretary betsy devos have joined president trump in calling for children to return to schools in the fall. despite coronavirus cases surging across the country. but would they send their own children to school? that's next. but first, my colleague richard lui with today's top news stories. >> thanks, rev. i'm richard lui with a news update. it has been 188 days since the first confirmed case of kroechbs in the united states. you talked about the surge, rev. we're now at over 4.2 million in america. updated about five minutes ago. the number of fatalities, over 147,000 people. florida set a new record with more than 9,000 new cases in one
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day. that takes it to number two in the country. california remains at number one. new york, once the epicenter, moves to the third highest in the country. >> and monumental tribute for john lewis. for the last time, the casket of the civil rights icon was carried across the edmund pettus bridge. the same place he and other voting rights advocates marched across on bloody sunday 55 years ago in 1965. tributes for lewis continue this week in alabama, washington, d.c., and georgia. the state he proudly represented in congress for 30 years. final funeral services take place thursday. i'm richard lui, "politics nation" with reverend al sharpton continues after the break. continues after the break.
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for tonight's gotcha, i want to talk about one of the core values of today's republican party. rank hypocrisy, and it starts at the very top, with the president of the united states. >> to have a big convention, it's not the right time. i would like to see the schools open. open 100%. and we'll do it safely. we'll do it carefully. >> the president was finally convinced that he had to cancel the in-person jacksonville republican national convention. though personally, i think he was more worried about optics if nobody showed up than about
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anybody's health. yet, he is still insisting that americans send their children back to school, regardless of the science. including in the very county his own party deemed too high risk for their convention. and his administration takes their cues from him. >> parents and their children can't be held captive to others' fears or agendas. >> but of course, parents are being held captive to other fears and agendas. the trump administration fears that schools remaining safely online would undercut his lies about the pandemic being under control. and so he and his minions are pursuing an agenda of reopening at any cost, using threats when necessary and preparing to sacrifice the lives of america's school children, teachers, and support staff to bolster republican re-election chances. and the most galling things,
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republicans want us to risk our children's health but they're not willing to do the same. here's republican florida senator rick scott. >> every parent is going to make different choices and that's exactly what the states ought to be doing. to give parents as many choices as possible. you know, my daughters are going to be more focused on distanced learning right now to make sure their children are safe. >> and senator scott is hardly alone. the president's own son attends a school that will not fully reopen for in-person class. because of safety concerns about the coronavirus. despite releasing guidelines that were edited by the white house and all but ignore health risks, the cdc even admits that schools in covid hot spots should be granted exceptions. and if you're keeping score at home, those hot spots include parts of 33 states. the cynic in me thinks republicans are ready to make
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this gamble because they think school reopening is like the course of the pandemic generally, will mostly hurt black people, who are unlikely to vote for them anyway, and don't get me wrong. this callous demand to cram students into classrooms at any cost will absolutely hurt black and brown communities the worst, but the damage will not be neatly contained in democratic strongholds. a school in alcoa, tennessee, is already facing a coronavirus outbreak. this is a county that trump carried by 50 points in 2016. and sure, some of those trump voters are probably childless or their kids are too old for school, but many of them are parents with a margin like that and some are undoubtedly teachers, custodians, cafeteria workers, or bus drivers, and they can see that the republican party is gambling with their
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lives. and since the republican dedication to education is so recent, let me remind them all of a little history that they may have forgotten. the gop standard bearer, donald trump, is perhaps the only man in history to bankrupt two casinos. they say the house always wins. but if you allow trump to gamble with the lives of american children, teachers, and staff, well, republicans, better get ready to lose the white house. and the senate. i gotcha. cause our way works grt for us! but not for your clients. that's why we're a fiduciary, obligated to put clients first. so, what do you provide? cookie cutter portfolios? nope. we tailor portfolios to our client's needs. but you do sell investments that earn you high commissions, right? we don't have those. so, what's in it for you? our fees are structured so we do better when our clients do better. at fisher investments we're clearly different.
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you and i had experience dealing with health crises. public health crises. and in each instance, what you and i understood and why i have so much confidence that you're going to be able to deal with
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covid in the way that other countries with our kinds of resources are dealing with it right now, which is smartly, i have confidence that you're going to actually listen to the experts. >> president obama jumped head first into the presidential campaign this week, joining his former vice president and presumptive democratic nominee joe biden for what they called "socially distanced conversation." still wildly popular, president obama can vouch for biden's governing style and ability. not to menth express confidence in his former vp's grasp of specific policies like health care, things that voters care deeply about, and donald trump has never been very interested in. and with 100 days until the election, biden is leading by a large margin nationally and ahead in most swing state polls.
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joining me now is karine jean-pierre, senior adviser to the biden campaign. karine, it's 100 days before the election. now, contrary to a lot of people's thoughts, 100 days out in 2016, you could see the poll. hillary clinton was trailing by one point. in 2012, obama was leading mitt romney by one point. and in 2008, it was a dead heat at this point. so if those are any gauges, this is joe biden's race to lose because the gap that we have seen in the polls now, if you look at the polls, arizona, florida, pennsylvania, all of the numbers, he is way ahead of mr. trump. and this is not comparable to the last several elections that
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i quoted where they were one point apart 100 days out. he's double digits apart around the country, nationwide polls, and in specific states that were won by donald trump in 2016. is that reason for you and the campaign to relax? are y'all taking your foot off the gas and taking this for granted after seeing these numbers compared to the fact that we haven't seen numbers like this 100 days out in decades? >> yeah, that's a really great question, rev. let me first say to you and also my condolences to you for the loss of john lewis. he was a hero to us. he was an icon to all of us, but i know he was a personal friend to you, and there are not enough words in the english language to really express the loss and describe the loss that we, this
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country is going to face, and also the gaping hole that we now have in the movement, in the movement for justice because of his passing. and i think one of the ways, you know, he was a great american hero, and one of the ways we can continue his legacy and honor him is in the next 100 days. as you just laid out, and he said it himself, you know, you have to vote like you have never voted before. those are his words. and i think you heard from him directly saying that, rev. and so this is where we are. we are 100 days out. and this election, rev, is going to be about a choice. it's going to be about a choice between a president who has mismanaged two crises. he has mismanaged covid-19 and the call to uproot racial systemic racism in this country. then you have joe biden who has a leadership, a record of leadership. he has a plan on how to move this country forward. and when you show that clip of
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president obama and joe biden, like you said, sitting together, socially distancing, having a conversation about the challenges that this country has coming up, and how joe biden is going to lead us in the right direction, how is he going to build back the economy? we have to remember, as you were saying actually, as well, rev, is that president obama trusted joe biden for eight years. and he had him by his side for eight years because he understood joe biden actually cared about people. the duty of caring, which is so important, you do not see this from this current president. you do not see the emotional care for the people, the american people of this country. so to your question about the polls, yes, you know, they look great right now. we are in a good position. we have multiple ways of getting to 270, but like you said, we cannot take our foot off the gas. we have to keep going. we have to make sure we ask for every vote.
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and this is going to be a tough election. we cannot look at this as if it's over 100 days before it ends. >> on that point, the president trump tweeted this afternoon that there's, quote, no way pennsylvania goes for joe biden, but with unemployment rates in that state even higher than the national rate, why would pennsylvanians vote to re-elect this president? >> and that's the thing, rev. when he ran in 2016, he was, you know, quote/unquote, a nuewbie, and he did not have a political record. he was this outsider, and that seemed to have played well for him, but he also ran a very divisive campaign, and we see that in the administration, his divisive campaign. and he has been a failed leader. we see that. if you haven't seen it in the last three and a half years, you certainly see it in the last six months. we are worse off than we were six months ago with covid-19.
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tens of millions of people have lost their jobs. and he has no plan. he has no plan on how to slow down covid-19. he has no plan on how to reopen the economy. he has no plan on how to reopen school, national plans. he's laying all of that at the feet of governors and local elected officials. and this is where we are. and that's what you're seeing, rev, in the polls. is that people are reacting to that. but once again, we have to stay focused. and what joe biden has been doing is he has been laying out his plan on how to reopen the government, how to reopen, if you're even considering making decisions to open schools, he's laid out plans to do that. he's laid out how to build back better, which is the plan that he released a couple weeks ago with four planks that list out how can we build back this economy. >> now, let me ask this.
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2016, two factors, and others have said that was, i think, hurting hillary clinton, who i thought was a good candidate. one, i don't think there was a lot of -- enough where they went to their base to organize, when you look at michigan losing by narrow votes, the same in wisconsin. and second, voting suppression. will the biden campaign not make the same mistake by going to their base, staying there, addressing the issues on the ground, and having a plan on voter suppression? >> we're doing all of that, rev. one of the things that we have been doing, we have been playing offense. one of the things we did weeks ago, first time a campaign has gone up so early in six of those states that donald trump won. and michigan was one of them. pennsylvania, wisconsin, north carolina, arizona. you know, you name it, florida. and so we have been really kind of focused on making sure that we are out there and we went up
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with spanish language ads in arizona and florida. we had african-american push as well, with radio and print. so we have been really, really clear on what we need to be doing. and it's building that coalition, that obama/biden coalition we saw in '08 and again in 2012. we have to build that to win. >> let me ask you, you and i have known each other a while, karine, and you have been very active. also, you and i have had a personal working experience. so just between you and i, no one else listening, who's going to be the vice presidential select? >> oh, gosh. >> thank you for being with me. i had to try. karine jean-pierre, thank you for being with us this evening. >> thank you, rev. >> now to our next topic. as a rallying cry of injustices against black people from americans all across the country kicked off 62 days ago after the
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death of george floyd, his death reminded us all of the great racial divide in this country. my next guest wrote a memoir titled "the chiffon trenches." where he highlights aspects of racism in the fashion industry. andre leon tally joins me now. he's an icon in the fashion world. he is unprecedented in his reputation there, but he came out in this book and told it all, that even those that set the trends and the fashions, they, when you get behind the mannequins, practice a great racial divide. andre, thank you for being with me. tell us what's in the book and what you experienced in your life and your life's work where you became a household name, but people didn't know what was going on in the fashion house. >> well, first of all, thank you, reverend al, for having me. it's a great honor to be on your
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show. and this book is about my journey from the segregated south. i grew up in the jim crow south, durham, north carolina, tobacco city. went to a segregated school. got to college, a segregated state university. won a scholarship to an elite ivy league school, brown university, where i studied french studies. moved to new york. in this journey, this book shows that it's systemic racism in every walk of life in america. this book is about racism, how when i was at the top of my -- the peak of my career in paris, i was received by the great giant eyves saint laurent, peope were calling me queen conk. one of my bosses came to paris, they were so jealous of me, the people were so, you know, blackness is always a threat. and i was not a threat to anyone. blackness seems to be a threat. so i was occupying this white
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space, and one of my bosses came to me one season in paris and said in front of everybody in the office, everybody in the paris fashion world, men and women. i resigned. i went to the church where joaquin baker was funeralized. i resigned. i sent in my letter of recommendation because i didn't want them to say andre stole from the petty cash, andre stole original examples and gave them to another designer. i have experienced racism all my life, as any black men does. i am the black man that can walk in, but you know that any black man, based on the terrible, horrible televised lynching of george floyd, it changed the whole world. so did your beautiful, eloquent words in both of your funeral oratories of george floyd, when
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you so eloquently said, you have been saying -- black people have been saying for 401 years, get your knee off our necks. let us be what we can be. we have given so much to this world. when you think of the great black people, james baldwin, nina symone, thuloanious monk, david chapelle. he did an extraordinary thing. this book celebrates, in my estimation, i feel that i wrote this book, and i wrote this book before. it was finished before this whole movement around the march of george floyd, and i'm proud of the book because it shows even in the glamorous world of fashion, there's racism. anna wintour has gone on record and made a statement saying because of my hurtful behavior and intolerance of diversity, i need to change. she made that statement, and i
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think it's an appropriate statement because i was there at the top -- i was right beside her for almost 30 years. and you know she never included me in the conversations. you know, recently, i found out she had 20-some conversations with oprah winfrey about being on the cover about being on the cover when oprah was on the cover of a great book, she was a star of the film. it doesn't take 20 conversations to say oprah's going to be on the "vogue" cover then she asked oprah to lose the weight. oprah lost the weight. 30 pounds. i think steven maizell was instructed to photoshop it to make her look thinner. there i was a black man given this beautiful position and i was not included in the conversations that were making sense. i never knew oprah winfrey was going to be on the cover until i saw the cover. >> you. >> she could have asked me, what do you think of oprah winfrey? oprah had 20 conversations, a black woman of great power, before she could make the cover. it's ridiculous.
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>> that's why this book is important. i'm out of time. i wanted to talk about it, an icon like you, yourself in this period when we're dealing with race. >> yes. >> had it even in the fashion industry. the book -- >> thank you, sir. >> -- of course, by andre leon talley tells it all. thanks for being with us, andre. >> thank you. >> next, my final thoughts. stay with us. when you shop with wayfair, you spend less and get way more. so you can bring your vision to life and save in more ways than one. for small prices, you can build big dreams. spend less, get way more. shop everything home at wayfair today.
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today as the world watched the body of john lewis brought across the edmund pettus bridge, a bridge that he, reverend jose, and others, were beat on in 1965. they were not beaten because of who they were. it was because of what they were. and what they were there for. and that was to get the right to vote. i was on that bridge in march of this year when he surprised us and showed up on that bridge, though he was suffering with cancer and his last words on that bridge alive to us, as many of us as you can see, hoisting him up, was vote, use the vote. that's what i was beaten for. that is why we are putting all the pressure we can on the u.s. senate to vote and pass the john lewis voting rights bill 2020. that is why on august 28th, the
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anniversary of the march on washington, john lewis was the last remaining speaker. we're going to washington. we'll be there from around the country and a covid-19 distancing march. we will not have hotspots, bring buses in. we're going to be very conscious and give face masks, but we're going to stand up for what john lewis stood up for. the right to vote and the george floyd policing justice act. we're going to be responsible but we're also going to be determined. don't memorialize the man and forget the plan behind the man. that is the way we really remember john lewis and the others that sacrificed with him and shed blood that day in 1965. that does it for me. thanks for watching. i'll see you back here next weekend at 5:00 p.m. eastern. up next, my colleague, alicia mendez, picks up our news coverage.
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hello, everyone, i'm alicia melendez. we're 100 days from what could be the most consequential presidential election of our lifetimes. the coronavirus continues its slow burn across the united states. with more than 42 states experiencing a percentage increase in cases over the past 14 days. florida today surpassed new york to become the state with the second most cases.