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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  July 30, 2020 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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tonight on "all in," nancy pelosi orders mandatory masks in the u.s. house of representatives as an infamous anti-masking congressman announces he is covid positive. why staffers are speaking out and why the attorney general got tested, too. then, why bill barr is suddenly sending federal forces into swing states. now evidence that trump is slowing the postal service. during the year of the mail in ballot. and the new campaign to deneat susan collins that the maine senator may find concerning when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. since good news is hard to find lately, let me start tonight with a little bit of it. a significant majority of americans are wearing masks. 74% says they always are very often are wearing masks.
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when outside their home. we need to get that up even higher, but that's a good level of compliance. the bad news, and you knew the bad news was coming, is there are people in this country fighting against the use of masks, and a lot of those antimask forces are powerful people who created a movement inside the government to make america's public health worse, and that movement will result in more people getting really sick. it probably already has. it's part of the reason that we have in this country arguably the worst response of the coronavirus in the entire world. from birth certificate to -- it is of course republican congressman louie gohmert of congress. do you remember back in, i guess, late february after the covid scare at cpac early march when other republican members quarantined themselves after coming in contact with a covid-positive person. louie gohmert headed back to the
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capital and gave a big group of kids a tour of the capital. he has been attending events without masks like this round table in dallas. where the president spoke. here he is in tyler, texas last month hanging out with veterans and with boy scouts who participated in a flag day event all inside and in close quarters. unmasked. here he is yesterday walking through the halls of the capital behind attorney general bill barr, both of them maskless. he has also been attending hearings, flagrantly violating the rule that members must wear masks. here he is at yesterday's judiciary committee hearing with attorney general barr his mask down getting into the face of his fellow congress members in spite of warning from the chairman. >> guidance from the office of attending physician states that face coverings are required for all meetings in an enclosed space such as this committee
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hearing. i expect all members on both sides of the aisle to wear a mask except when you are speaking. >> ohio, louisiana, and louie gohmert were the three republicans flouting the rules. he continued fiddling with it. taking it on and off. taking it off and on when he wasn't speaking despite a pointed warning from the chairman. now let's take a second to remember the reason for wearing a mask, not the medical grade ones, but the ones like mr. gohmert had. the key thing is it protects other people because if you are sick and you may be sick and you not know it, as you breathe out, if you sneeze or cough or if you speak loudly, for instance, if you raise your voice at a hearing, you expel droplets into the air that carry the virus that is responsible for, as of today, 150,000 deaths in this country. if you wear a mask, the mask prevents those droplets from
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reaching out to other people and infecting them. and if everyone does that, well, then we all protect each other and we reduce the sum total amount of infection. and that is why you wear a mask. so it was probably pretty upsetting to everyone who has been around louie gohmert, especially the people in that hearing yesterday, to find out today he tested positive for the cover. coronavirus. the 66-year-old congressman says he is asymptomatic. he was well enough to do a local news interview in which he blamed masks for getting sick. the congressman also found out he was positive only because he was scheduled to fly to texas this morning with the president. and when you are going to do that, you get screened at the white house. after "politico"'s jake sherman broke that story, congressman gohmert told his staff in person in a room in the office building at the capital that he had just tested positive for the virus. yes, in person inside.
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he got his staff together to tell them he presently had coronavirus. jake sherman then got an e-mail from a member of gohmert's staff revealing that he, quote, requires full staff to be in the office, including three interns, so that we could be an example to america on how to open up safety, also suggesting that sherman ask how often people were berated for wearings macks. sherman started receiving a flood of e-mails from republican staffers who say they too are being forced to come to the hill without a mask. now the fall-out begins when a member of congress announced he is going to self-quarantine, 77-year-old who was seated next to him on a flight yesterday. from texas. everybody at that hearing yesterday will need to get tested. attorney general bill barr was tested today but was reportedly negative. let's remember that the testing
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five months into the pandemic is so screwed up and backlogged can take seven days or more to get results. and all this came to light on the day the president went to texas to meet with texas republicans in the heart of one of the worst outbreaks in the world on a day when the state of texas posted a record number of fatalities. more than 300 texans dying, pushing the totals at the start of the pandemic to more than 6,100. states reported the most deaths today, 1,400 since may 15th. since may 15th. and yet still, texan republicans are intent on getting people out there. texas attorney general ken paxton ordering this week that local health authorities cannot close schools to prevent the spread of coronavirus. here with me now another member
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of congress, sheila jackson lee, a democrat and co-chair of the cover task force. -- coronavirus task force. congresswoman, it is good to have you on the program. obviously i know you are wishing the best health to your colleague. what's your reaction? >> chris, you see that i'm wearing a mask but i am six feet away from everyone that is surrounding me, so i will take it off in the appropriate way and hopefully we'll be able to get it off, let it hang down a little bit. it is a very sad day. it's a sad day for the people who have to be around those who refuse to wear masks. it is a sad day for texas. it continues to be a sad day for america. i, since this horrible virus was discovered and we organized a bipartisan task force, focussed on what we could do to get in front of and to stop covid-19.
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the one thing we know is clear is that masks are an effective weapon of covid, along with testing and social distancing. of course, what i think is extremely important for texas, which we are being held hostage in not getting that authority is for local officials to issue stay at home orders. we can't take this for granted. it is well known that masks protect you from getting the covid-19 virus, and it protects others from getting it from you. the longer we do this, the longer we have a president that partners with the republicans, partners with individual members of congress that are republican and shies away from science and reality and talks about demons and wears a mask half and half, off and on, and allows people to attack governors like governor dewine for issues a mask order
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or the governor of michigan for various procedures to stop covid-19, we're going to continue this fight and we are going to have a tough battle in winning it. >> i want to ask you a personal question. obviously there is political and public health stakes here. personally, this is your workplace. there are tons of staffers that work on capitol hill, janitors, security guards. "washington post" made this point, pga tour caddies face a stricter testing regime than members of congress after gohmert told reporters he's willing to reconsider testing. this is a moment where we ought to discuss it again. does the capital feel safe to you? you guys are flying in and out back to your districts. is the capital taking this as seriously as it should? >> well, this is a government of the most powerful nation in the world. this is the branch of government
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that has the pursestrings that are desperately needed for towns that are suffering in my own state that don't have oxygen and ventilators and don't have enough medical professionals. they need the dollars. it is an old place. its circulation is not the best. i think we will have to turn inward in a sense of how we address the question. not out of privilege, but out of the reality that we have to govern. i do think leadership will look seriously at a testing regimen because members do move back and forth. airlines are not necessarily keeping to the middle seat being empty or uncrowded planes. and, yes, i am concerned because covid-19 is unpredictable. it is unpredictable because some people are asymptomatic as the congressman suggested he is, and other people wind up on ventilators and sadly 150,000 of my fellow americans of which i have taken a moment of silence when we have opened testing
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sites in houston, now some 23 that have opened, we realize that this is not a joke. it's not something that is about politics and several liberties and right and left. it is about saving americans' lives. and it is about governing for them to be able to be here to help save their lives. i think we will have to do something enormously serious in that regimen and be able to be assured that our fellow colleagues are safe, like we'd like ourselves to be safe. it is not privilege. it is simply focussing on governing this nation. >> all right, congresswoman sheila jackson lee from the state of texas, which is in the midst of a very, very tough stretch right now with this virus. thank you so much for taking some time for us tonight. >> my deepest sympathy to all of those families who lost loved ones in this horrific time in our history. thank you, chris. >> thank you. i want to bring in now margaret, who served as the commissioner of the food and drug administration under president
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barack obama and as new york city's health commissioner as well, a long career in public health. obviously the issue here with the congresswoman hits home for the people that work with him. but there is a broader issue here that the u.s. has found itself in a situation with a certain small contingent of the political spectrum has attempted to essentially mobilize a political issue around this very simple sort of low cost and low zero side effect public health intervention. do you think it's had tangible effects on what we're seeing the fact that we cannot get it under control the way that some other countries have? >> i think sadly it has. and of course it isn't an isolated symptom. it is part of a bigger problem. it is a problem that from the very beginning we as a nation in terms of the national leadership and response have not taken this as seriously as we need to.
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we didn't respond as quickly as we should have. we never had a national plan. we have had unfortunate but preventable delays and continuing problems in key areas like testing. and we have not had consistent communication and guidance from our scientific and public health experts. it is a toxic mix now where partisan politics seems to be overriding sensible public health steps that we know can make a difference. you just have to look at where we are today as a nation compared to other countries that have been grappling with this same novel coronavirus but have been able to get it so much more under control and are not seeing the continuing health devastation and economic implications and damage that we are witnessing today.
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>> you know, one of the things that we have seen here, of course, is that the death toll is now starting to rise again. and i just mentioned that texas had started -- had set a record today with 300 deaths. you know, there are different sources for the statistics. the number was at over 1,400 today, the most since may 15th. and there is period of lag where many public health experts said this is probably not going to go in the right direction. what is your sense of what we're in for for the next few weeks? because i have a plummeting feeling? >> it is an extremely worrisome time. and we do know that the virus has now spread to many, many epicenters around the country, and it probably is lurking in other areas where it hasn't
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fully declared itself yet either. cases emerge first and the disease has a period of incubation and progression. then you start to see the serious disease and the deaths emerge, and we are certainly on a bad trajectory right now. it doesn't mean we can't start to turn it around. and every action we take makes a difference. and there is truly time urgency to what we do. we have squandered time that we had in terms of mobilizing a fuller response, but we need to apply what we already know. and the places that are experiencing the increase in cases need to look very seriously at what they are doing in terms of their testing capacity, their ability to apply
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important public health measures of isolation, of infected individuals and contact tracing. is there a clear and continuing message to the public about what they can and should be doing in terms of social distancing, hand washing and routine sanitation and hygiene, mask wearing absolutely, avoiding large gatherings and, you know, really taking this seriously because we will not get out in front of this virus unless we respect its power. and it is a formidable foe. and unfortunately when you see politics intervening in these important public health measures, you recognize that this is -- you can't spin the virus.
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you can't, you know, sort of sway the polls to believe that we're going to beat the virus. the virus is going to do what it does best, and we have to be smart enough to be able to do what we can do to tamp it down. >> all right. fda commissioner, former head of new york city health department. thank you so much. >> thank you. next, the justice department announces three more cities will be getting the portland treatment, deploying federal forces. three major cities in three key swing states. the play behind the propaganda photo op after this. hike!
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there are places when donald trump can make a good show of force against the lawlessness in the inner cities to impress white voters in those swing states. it is a campaign using the actual resources of the federal government. he's completely out in the open about it. quote, i am happy to inform all the people living their suburban lifestyle dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood. that's not a dog whistle. that's a dog horn shouting. his appeal to american racism. this is a republican party message saying we are all the stands away from you, which is how you get an ad like this from republican senator in montana that begins with the image of protesters nearly 2,000 miles away from pittsburgh. >> these attacks on law enforcement are a real threat to public safety.
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but steve bullock refuses to stand for law and order. his campaign is being bank rolled by the liberal mob as they try to defund our police erase history, and turn america into a socialist company. he is with the liberal mob. i'm steve daines, and i approve this message. >> joining me now, jelani cobs. no one gets points for subtlety in politics. the ad struck me because there is 150,000 who died from the virus. tens and millions of people out of work. and increasingly the republican strategy from trump on down is to not talk about it and show pictures of young black men jumping on police cars. >> yeah.
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i mean, it's difficult, honestly, to look at this and suppress the urge to roll your eyes or, you know, worse because, for one, we see this again and again and again. they're not running against the electorate. they're running against these actual candidates. and having failed to come up with anything that really makes a case for themselves. they decided to try to tap into the contempt that people have, people that view politics differently from them or have different policy priorities than they have and, you know, that's about all they have to go with. the other thing i think that's so striking about this is the selectivity of it. you know, we did not see any of this outrage. where was this outrage when charlottesville happened? where was it when the michigan state house couldn't even come into session because there was so many threats against the life
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of the governor? and those are people on the right. and, so, those are the questions that i have. you're talking about mobs. what about that? >> one of the things that i am really worried about or i find particularly pernicious here, there is one thing about the ads and the tweets, but using federal forces. those federal forces in portland, they have shot people. people have had their skulls fractured. there is people that have been hospitalized. this is actual deployment of actual federal force against actual citizens. and this was the give-away that said one of the officials in the white house long wanted to amplify strife in cities, urging ice to disclose more details of raids. it was about getting viral online content one of the officials said. this is now the goal of deploying gunmen, armed officers
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against american citizens. >> sure. but the other side of this is that you run the risk of something going seriously, seriously wrong, even worse than what's happened in portland with people being abducted off the street. if you have fatalities here or egregious situations that bring to mind, that refresh people's memories of george floyd, then this becomes even worse. and this is speaking strictly from the political standpoint, not from the standpoint of constitutionality or democracy or any of those things. those things have already gone out the window. so it is a strange play. the other thing about it is the messaging of it to people who are living their suburban dream lifestyle or whatever, that is about one shade more personal than dear people of earth. you know? like no one who lives in a suburb is going to live them as,
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yes, i'm living my suburban lifestyle dream. but it is like the throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks thing. >> it seems so sort of clumsy and claudish and so unsubtle. but the fact of the matter is, look, this is the origin of the modern republican party's power, right? goldwater turning against the civil rights act and '68 and law and order and the white backlash against antidiscrimination and mlk goes from the south to marching through chicago where he says the people of chicago could teach the people of mississippi how to hate. this is powerful stuff. he's just going to go to the core of it down the stretch of this election. >> sure. and it can work in particular context. we should not forget lee atwater
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here because he said what he said about racism for a reason. that is that even people who will abide by racist politics, who will abide by racist public policy, who will abide by all sorts of things that enforce and further the disparities, the racial disparities in this country don't particularly like to be thought of as racist. so what donald trump was able to get away with in 2016 and really what he's been able to get away with throughout his political career has been atypical. you know, there is a reason that people turned away from those kinds of overt racial appeals. >> right. >> so in the context of george floyd and the public seeing that, there is a real question about whether or not that style of racism, not saying racism period, but that particular brand of racism becomes a political liability with suburban voters, with the voters in these particular communities. >> so far it has been. if you look at the polling and
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you look at both the national polling, polling among these sort of areas, this has not been helping him. as always, great to talk to you. thank you for making time tonight. >> thank you. ahead, president trump's admission that he doesn't think the reports of russia putting bounties on the lives of american soldiers was worth bringing up to president vladimir putin. senator murphy is here to react. . (birds chirping)
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for spending a perfectly reasonable amount of time on the couch with tacos from grubhub? rewarded! get a free delivery perk when you order. - [group] grubhub. one story that has shockingly faded out of the news cycle is a report that american intelligence officials reported that russia offered bounties on american troops. in afghanistan.
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president trump, commander in chief of the u.s. armed forces, has refused to do anything as far as he could tell. he claimed the report was fake news as his own security advisers prepared response options and after speaking with vladimir putin next week, trump has refused to condemn putin, just as he refused to condemn russia's attack on the 2016 election, actually siding with putin and just like he defended putin siding with journalists saying, i think our country does plenty of killing all. still, it is remarkable to see him do it in this interview. >> it's been widely reported that u.s. has intelligence indicating that russia paid bounties or offered to pay bounties to taliban fighters to kill american soldiers. you had a phone call with vladimir putin on july 23rd. did you brick bring up the issue?
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>> it was a phone call to discuss other things. frankly, that's an issue that many people said was fake news. >> who said it was fake news? >> a lot of people. >> you know it's well known in the intelligence community. they are arming the taliban. >> i don't know. when you say arming, is the taliban paying? >> russia is supplying weapons and money to the taliban. >> i have heard that. but, again, it's never reached my desk. >> joining me now for more on the president's continued refusal to stand up to russia, member of the senate foreign relations committee. you are shaking your head because it is truly a bizarre exchange to watch the u.s. president. >> yeah. i mean, it is no more bizarre than any other exchange with the president over the last three years. but this claim that the intelligence never reached his desk is just impossible to believe. i have seen the intelligence. it's serious. it's concerning. and any president that read that intelligence wouldn't go six conversations with vladimir putin. that's the number that donald trump has had, the number of talks he's had with them since
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march without bringing this up because if we don't respond to the heads of american soldiers, then it sends a dangerous signal all around the world that there is very little cost to be paid for coming after u.s. troops. donald trump has deployed more u.s. troops into very dangerous battle spaces all across this country than existed when president obama left office. >> right. and that, to me, is -- there is two issues here. one is that it is just bizarre to watch a commander in chief not seem to care about this. i mean, even just purely political purposes like this is your job to say i'm going to defend american service members i deploy abroad. you should probably feel it, too. but also a basic international relations menu, the relationship trump has to putin increases the danger because the lines are so
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opaque that there has been no clear communication about what can and can't be down because he refuses to confront him that it ratchets up the danger of something truly catastrophic happening. >> i think the relationship between trump and putin is very simplistic. he cares about one thing. reelection. i'm sure he is counting on russia to deliver the same kind of interference that they did in 2016. and putin cares about a lot of things. but at the top of list is breaking news and the transatlantic alliance. nobody has worked harder to break up nato than donald trump. trump has elevated putin's stature. putin has taken steps to get trump elected and we know is taking steps to get him re-elected. as far as the two of them are concerned, those are perhaps the only two things that matter. >> on that note, of course, the
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president announcing they are going to remove 12,000 i believe troops from germany. and you had a response to it because i think it's somewhat complicated in the sense that you don't want to default to the idea that, like, well, if russia wants you to do it then it is automatically a bad idea. but the way this was done seems really, really crazy in the normal run of things. >> yeah. i mean, listen, our troop levels in europe should always be under review. and there has been a long-term decrease in the number of american soldiers that we have there. so it is not in and of itself a ridiculous thing to contemplate. but we have never done it before without deep prior contemplations with germany and with nato because where our troops are and german troops and nato troops really matters. from what we can tell, this really was more about an attempt to embarrass and piss off angela merkel who was not told about this ahead of time than it was a
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part of any broader u.s. national security strategy. again, it's another signal to putin that if donald trump is re-elected and if the russians work really hard to re-elect him that donald trump will spend the next four years continuing to try to undermine nato, which is the thing that putin wants more than anything else which will of course inspire him to do more over the next four months to try to re-elect the president. >> there is further negotiations today on trying to get some kind of relief package after the senate, the body you are part of under the leadership of mitch mcconnell has dithered. they're basically saying we're going to blow through friday. i find this insane and engaging, and i don't blame you. it is clearly the republican majority here. what does it mean for the president you represent in connecticut who will have $600 a week disappear starting this week because, i don't know, the senate republicans don't care.
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>> you know, it doesn't just matter to the people who are hanging on by a thread and need that extra $600. the entire reason that the economy of the united states has not collapsed is because consumer spending has remained fairly stable and that's because there is $600 more per week in the pockets of people that don't work. the consequences of just falling off this clip is absolutely cataclysmic. at some point, mitch mcconnell is just going to have to recognize that the only way this bill is going to pass the united states senate is with the majority -- basically all the democrats and a handful of republicans because they are just such a mess. there is so many of them that don't want to allocate a single additional dime to stimulus that there is no way that he can actually lead us to the finish line. it is tragic that we're arguing about this with two days to go before unemployment benefits run out because we often having these discussions as soon as the house passed their version of this bill back in march. >> yeah, two months ago.
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senator chris murphy, as always, great to talk to you. thank you. >> thanks. ahead, senator susan collins is in a lot of trouble, behind the polls, behind in fund-raising. the mostator in congress. i'll talk about the gamble she made with aligning with trump and how it's paying off ahead.
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this november's election will depend to an almost certainly unprecedented degree on the postal service and mail-in voting. due to the pandemic, states will almost certainly be processing record breaking numbers of mail-in ballots. thanks to president trump and his donor buddy recently installed as the postmaster general, an intentional slow down in mailing centers across the country. after we reported on that, we had a bunch of people telling us they had noticed the slowdown firsthand.
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one employee told us how impossible it is to catch up. last monday my carrier was off. her route sat there until she returned on tuesday. she had to take out monday else mail, tuesday's mail and maybe stuff left over from saturday. instead of catching up, the problem grows. maybe exponentially. it compounds upon itself. another viewer who uses the postal service a lot for their business tells us they have seen large delays recently. the delay is almost always within distribution centers within the network. items stuck in atlanta for 14 days. it kept happening more and more often. vice news just reported that post offices around the country are now slashing hours and the postal service had planned to close some offices entirely with only a few weeks notice, a likely federation of federal law. though, they appear to be backing away from that move.
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here is thing about the postal service. people like it. they love it, actually. they really, really do. 91% of people have a favorable view of it. and everyone in america uses the post office. it is in the constitution. liberal or conservative, red or blue, new york to west virginia. which is why he wrote to the postmaster general to oppose a reduction in service. and that means the only way this administration can get away with breaking the post office is if they try to do it sneakily behind the scenes. and we're not going to let them. what if i sleep hot? ... or cold? introducing the new sleep number 360 smart bed... now temperature balancing, so you can sleep better together.
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just say "summer camp" into your xfinity voice remote to join. republican senator susan collins of maine is up for re-election, and she is in trouble. back in october 2018 after collins provided a crucial vote for trump supreme court nominee bret kavanaugh progressives and for proponents of the new justice vowed to make her pay and it looks like it may be work.
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back in 2017 she was one of the most popular senators in the country, by the end of last year her net approval sat at negative 10%. enormous shift. she's now the most unpopular senator in it country with a disapproval rating of even mitch mcconnell and she's being outraised by her main challenger. she raised almost $9 million this quarter alone, almost triple the amount collins raised in the same period of time. and a recent poll shows collins 5 points behind and now collins is facing harsh political ads on the lincoln project. >> great independent leaders rise from maine's heart soul, always have and always will. take margaret chase smith when the men in the senate were terrified of josive mccarthy she called him out, just like susan collins stands up to donald trump.
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oh, wait, she doesn't stand up for donald trump. she makes excuses for criminality, for cruelty or while pretending she's worried, concerned hoping trump learns a lesson this time. he never does. and maine deserves a leader not a trump stooge. >> joining me now rebecca tracer. she spent a good part of her year last year writing about collins. joins me from her home county of maine. you have a collinsologist for the last year and has been looking at this race ever since the kavanaugh vote. what's your assessment of where things stand right now? >> well, the polling shows her down, which is surprising. she's had a history of popularity in this state. maine has a big history of political independence and collins like many of herfore bearers including olympia snow and margaret chase smith for years advertised her bipartisan
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credentials, her willingness to listen to both sides, and it kept her very popular in maine for a long time, and you could see that even in the lead up. in august 2016 she wrote an op-ed saying she wouldn't vote for president trump. but then once he became president she voted with him by certain measures earlier this year as, you know, as high as 94% of the time. and has repeatedly taken votes on the side of donald trump committing to him and his very hard right republican politics in a way that has become absolutely apparent to mainers, and she's still trying to run right now. an ad she put out today said bipartisan and effective. she's still trying to run as a moderate but i think there's much less willingness to understand her as bipartisan or independent at this point.
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>> there's also the macro factors of our politics. it's harder and harder to represent statewide a state that is voting for the other party as much as maine is now. >> yeah, that's absolutely true. and i mean this is one of the dynamics -- one of the things i find very interesting right now in the county which is her home base, a very right leaning rural northern county in maine, and i've been here since early june this summer is i see trump signs everywhere. you can't learn too much about signage except a bit where enthusiasm lies. i've heard no energy around susan collins race which also tells me even the hard conservatives here aren't seeing this as a crucial senate race when of course we know it very much is a crucial senate race. and the balance of the senate
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could wind up hanging on maine as well as several other states where they're an important senate race. >> what's fascinating about this that is this is the hard lesson so many republicans have learned. which whatever trump has been able to pull off in spite the odds it's communicable. trump people are trump people. it's not just because he on the ballot there's going to be that same feeling about her. >> and in fact some of the push back she's gotten and she's very eager a to advertise this comes from those trump supporters because he does make those noises about being concerned and worried and sometimes centurs him even while voting with him consistently what she gets from her most dependent voters and followers his base she gets called a rhino, a republican in name only and she's not sufficiently loyal. so she's created a situation
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where there's no path for her and yet she's trying to run for this fifth term. >> so she's got an opponent who won the primary. she's the speaker of the main house. i want to play this ad that's a negative i guess, an ad collins cut against gideon because it seemed kind of an ad for gideon. take a listen to what they just put up on the air. basically the ad is like she's got a bunch of positions and she calls them all her priority which is basically what every politician i've ever interviewed does. it's a strange ad. it seems to me like they're grasping a bit at straws. >> it also outlines all her
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stated commitments to do all these urgent things so inadvertently they're doing all the ads for her and other things sara gideon said she wants to fix in maine. and they're using zoom, and that's a campaign dynamic playing heavily all around the country. she's doing a lot of campaigning via zoom, text, she's much more fluent with the technology that is creating the need to do an entirely different campaign. susan collins already faced criticism long before the pandemic for not spending as much time as some voters felt she should in her state. her fellow senator angus king tends to be back here a lot more. he's an independent. he tends to be back here a lot more. she's faced a lot of criticism for not having town halls, for not talking in free situations with voters where she might be criticized.
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and what she has in this opponent is this technological challenge. she can't even necessarily come back and easily do the kinds of campaigns or public events or handshaking that she might have otherwise. and gideon has promised to try to make up for the absence of in-person door knocking and handshaking by doing texts and zoom and holding town halls and going back and forth. and so far she's been pretty etive, and that's part of what you're seeing in that ad where she made these promises in conversations with voters that she's having, you know, via computer. >> final thought one thing that came across in the professional you wrote months back about this is she's a formidable -- collins is a formidable presence in that state and no campaign to defeat her is going to be easy sailing. >> no. and when i wrote that profile several months ago many people i spoke to including her supporters and critics were dubious that in fact anybody could beat susan collins. she's served four terms.
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in the past enjoyed tremendous popularity, and because she's a key swing vote she enjoys a degree of power within the senate and within her caucus that she can advertise to the state. so she is still going to be hard to beat. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. >> good evening once again. day 1,287 of this trump administration, leesk exactly 97 days go until the presidential election. the president was in texas campaigning before a largely unmasked crowd in the midst of a terrible spike in illness trying