tv Decision 2020 Republican National Convention MSNBC August 24, 2020 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
secret. ♪ special coverage of the republican national convention continues right now. it's 1:00 a.m. on the east coast, 10:00 p.m. out west. and the president formally accepting the nomination, and arguing that chaos will be worse if he loses. >> if our opponents prevail, no one will be safe in our country. and no one will be spared. no one will be spared. i'm the only thing standing between the american dream and
total anarchy. >> trump spoand the somber chal echoed by donald trump jr. >> we need to embrace the man who represents a bright and beautiful future for us all. >> tonight's rnc is the first time we're seeing how republicans are representing themselves, leaning heavily on some of their diverse members. the rnc gave a major speaking slot to tim scott, the party's only black member of congress in either house. and kimberly guilfoyle, identifying herself as a latin
america. and good evening to both of you. >> thanks, ari. >> good evening, ari. >> good evening. thank you. erin, we saw the diversity which political experts and frequent news viewers will know is not necessarily matched by the rank and file of the party itself. i'm curious on what you thought of the opening emphasis tonight. >> yeah, i think the optics were certainly there in the president trying to show that he has a range of support, although it to your point does not necessarily translate to the rank and file in your party, certainly not in his administration, and in the electorate that put him into office in 2016. but you did have, like you said,
senator tim scott from south carolina, nikki haley, and then the mccloskeys, brandishing their weapons before peaceful protesters who they charact characterized as an angry and violent mob. this was a somewhat dissonant message, and you had that happening throughout the evening. i don't know that that was the message that was necessarily about expanding an electorate so much as shoring up, you know, his supporters and his base. i think that most of the messaging that you heard tonight, despite a difference in optics, was not unlike what his supporters have been seeing on fox news, and hearing on conservative talk radio for the past four years. >> and here's former ambassador
haley tonight. >> this president has a record of strength and success. the former vice president has a record of weakness and failure. last time joe's boss was obama. this time, it would be pelosi, sanders, and the squad. their vision for america is socialism. we seek a nation that rises together, not falls apart in anarchy in anger. the only way to overcome america's challenges is to embrace america's strengths. >> franchesca? >> you're going to hear a lot more accusations of joe biden and kamala harris being part of the radical left. that was just the opening salvo from the trump campaign. she was also one of the first 24 tryouts of the republican national convention. we're going to hear from mike pompeo and mike pence as well.
but she was the first one, essenti essentially, to get a speaking slot like that tonight. >> there was also something i want to play, which was this very sort of harsh argument that basically donald trump somehow is holding back, is the last line of defense against -- i'll let them put it how they want to but against western civilization itself. this was charlie kirk. >> trump is the bodyguard of western civilization. >> erin? >> i think that what is interesting is that both sides are really framing this election in existential terms. but what that threat is varies
depending on which message you believe, from which party. yeah, i think tonight, even though you saw the republican officials kind of previewing that this was going to be an election, a convention about optimism, hope, and patriotism, a lot of what you did hear was kind of, you know, if you do not vote for president trump and re-elect him, this is the america you could be living in. casting the specter of radical violent urban unrest and instability. the abolishing of the suburbs. those kinds of messages are not hopeful, or one that would motivate people for an optimistic america. but in fact, you know, really
depicted kind of the american carnage that the president talked about four years ago. he's really returning to a lot of those things, along with the thing that he alone can fix it. >> yeah, that he alone can fix it. and it's a certain brand of patriotism. we discussed briefly this somewhat unusual choice to have the st. louis couple that is still legally facing weapons charges. this is mark and patricia mccloskey. >> it seems like the democrats no longer feel like their job is protecting honest citizens from criminals, but protecting criminals from honest citizens. >> they're not satisfied with spreading chaos and violence into our suburbs. no matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical democrats' america. >> our panel stays, and we're
adding mark thompson, thanks for staying up with us. what did you think of that moment there? >> well, it is pretty horrible on the day when most people are learning about what just happened in wisconsin and people are demonstrating in the streets once again for black lives matter, these ongoing police killings, you have a couple that was brandishing weapons against black lives matter protesters. and even, you know, talking about zoning and redlining and whatnot. i mean, what are we to conclude from that other than the republican party, this administration, and trump have no regard for the issues that people are out in the streets
demonstrating about. do they condone that type of behavior, for this couple to be rewarded that way, it says a lot about the party. for this to happen, especially on the first night, it just confirms what i fear too many of us know and expect from the republican party. >> if i can just add to -- >> let me bring in franchesca. i'm just curious, if you can walk us through, and then erin can join right after. what does trump feel they're saying? they're claiming to respond to some notion of the calls for police reform and diversity. donald trump jr. brought it up in his speech. it's not something he was doing as much last time around. yet mark just made the case about why in his view that comes up short. >> so each person who spoke tonight, the trump campaign has told me, is meant to appeal to a
different voting bloc. so they were meant to appeal to suburban voters. this is largely the messaging that donald trump has been putting forward for weeks now, saying they're going to destroy suburbia, the democrats will destroy the suburban dream. it's not different, we just heard it from his supporters tonight. and they were trying to reach african-american voters. donald trump has to at least maintain the same level of support with african-american voters as he did in 2016 in places like pennsylvania and wisconsin, where democrats are expecting to have a larger turnout of that same voting bloc, in addition to suburban voters. which is why tonight it may have seemed like you were hearing different messaging, it's because they were for very different groups of people.
>> go ahead, erin. >> yeah, i think, i was going to say, i think, too, you know, the mccloskeys hit on another theme the president has been talking about, especially as he's been out campaigning at his rallies. i think about the rally he did with young republicans out west earlier this summer, where cancel culture was introduced into the campaign trail messaging. and, you know, the mccloskeys, pushing back against cancel culture. and i think this is a theme we'll probably continue to hear through november, because that does kind of appeal to the grievance of some of his voters. you think about the pushback that some of his supporters have gotten, who don't want to wear masks during this pandemic. feeling like they're being
targeted or, you know, labeled by folks unfairly. so, you know, that is a message that, you know, a whole genre of voter that potentially could resonate with these kinds of messages, with a couple like them. and a lot of what they were saying tonight. so that, you know, their appeal, while there may be some who were appalled by their behavior, there could be folks in his base that certainly see those folks and identify with them, and are glad that the president included them in this week's convention lineup. >> mark, the cancel culture point, which was heavily beaten tonight, does echo as sort of the new version of politically correct. which some people thought, why is donald trump focusing on that in 2016? but it did prove to prove
effectieffec effective for him. when you go through the list of jobs, covid, health care, whether there's a focus on cancelling speech seems to come in lower. but you underestimate his rhetorical approach at your own peril. >> i would agree with what both of you have said. he doesn't have a choice, because of covid and jobs and everything else that is going on. so there is nothing really to celebrate about this administration. nothing good has happened. so they have to lean on something else. and you're right, we don't know how effective it will be. i think we can wager, though, for those who do like to wager, that much of the same base that was with him in 2016 may remain
to the extent that the base has not been impacted by the two things you just mentioned, jobs and covid. and of course, the key swing demographic here is white women. and white suburban women. they kind of hinted at what they would do during the midterms. he's still pushing that line, it's the threat to the suburbs. didn't he bring up ms-13, they're coming to get you. he tried that in 2018, and it didn't work. so all of these are just acts of desperation for sure. and we'll just have to see what happens. hopefully people will get it right this time. >> mark, erin, you're with us again this hour. franchesca, thank you for being with us.
still ahead, more than two dozen former republicans coming out to endorse joe biden. and no platform for the party, what's up with that? and police shooting a black man several times in the back with his young children watching in wisconsin. we have the latest on that. stay with us.that stay with us.that stay with us you don't trust me here is vegas, do you? well... i thought we had a breakthrough with the volkswagen. we did. yes. we broke through. that's the volkswagen! that's the cross sport. wow. seatbelts. ♪ please, just tell me where we're going. ♪ and get way more.ith wso you can bring yours vision to life and save in more ways than one.
convention. tonight, the republicans tried to show a new type of political movement. >> four years ago, trump started a movement unlike any other. and over the next four days, we're going to show you just a few of the millions who have been helped. earlier today, president trump and vice president pence came to north carolina to thank our delegates. >> the delegates do back trump. but some of the party's lifelong leaders are bailing. jeff flake and others echo many of the republicans the democrats were touting last week. is this signs of a wider fissure on the right? republicans say good riddance. they argue that the party is
narr narrower, but perhaps stronger than ever. thanks for staying up with us. >> hey, ari. any time. >> here we are, late night, an echo of last week. your view of who has the better side of that argument i mentioned? >> well, i think that having ronna mcdaniel lead the unity argument leaves a little bit to be desired, because she had to change her name. her point is taken, that, yes, donald trump has a strong hold on probably about 75% of the party, really. i think 40% are passionate red hat trump supporters, another 30% are tacit supporters. but here's the deal. hillary clinton won about 4% of
supporters last time. if joe biden moves it to 6% or 8%, this is a landslide election in his favor. so i think the stronger side is republican voters against trump, and you'll see that online, realvet.org, the people who are disgusted with donald trump. >> and hang with me. i want to bring back erin haynes, and turn to another moment that people are still talking about tonight. the spirited address by kimberly guilfoyle. today, claiming republicans are lighting things up. >> in president trump's america, we light things up. we don't dim them down. we build things up. we don't burn them down.
we kneel in prayer, and we stand for our flag. >> and for our panelists, i want to play one other part of this address. people are already buzzing about it. she argues the opposition party is out to destroy your family and lives through brainwashing. >> don't let the democrats take you for granted, don't let them destroy your families, lives, and future. don't let them kill future generations because they fed you lies that you weren't good enough. >> tim? >> well, she has a lot of passion. and i applaud her passion, i guess. look, here's the deal. what you saw tonight was two different kinds of speakers. her and her boyfriend, the president's son, were speaking
to the red meat maga crowd. and they like this culture war stuff, they like the doomsday left argument. and you heard from the scott and haley wing who pretend this doesn't exist, and the president is this disembodied hand that signs the bills that congress passes and we ignore what comes out of his mouth. those are the two groups they're talking to, as mentioned in the last segment. i'm not sure how compelling that is to a swing voter, but it gets the red meat going, i guess. >> and we look at substance, policy, and fact checks. stylistically, whatever that was, whatever you want to call it, it was certainly more intense than virtually anything over four nights at the dnc. i don't know what the far left
democratic version of that would be. but there was hand-wringing about aoc's 60 seconds, and she is a sitting member of congress who doesn't talk about that, destroy your family, brainwash you. what did you think of this that we've seen echoed in other years? sometimes it seems like no matter who the nominee is, the republican convention riles people up, the democratic convention trying to be the better student in class, stylistically. >> several people noted, latinas, on night one of the republican national convention got more air time than aoc did addressing the democratic national convention last week. that cea that's something that people did mention, regardless of what the message was from the latinas we
heard from tonight from the republican party. but guilfoyle has been effective on facebook live, as well as other women surrogates for trump. we saw a range of women speaking on behalf of the president, and she had her own style that, to tim's point, was kind of a red meat message meant for his base. a lot of the talking points that you hear the president making were kind of channeled through her. >> i feel like everyone is being really diplomatic. >> we'll get some really good memes out of it. so that's fun out of it. that's nice. >> i mean, it was what it was. we all know what we saw. she was forceful, energetic, she was passionate. and i think that it was the kind of delivery that you would have
expected at a rally as opposed to an empty auditorium. but she's clearly on fire for this president, and was trying to excite the voters who may have been tuned in. >> you make two important points. one is, there is this larger conversation online. the president did well on facebook last time, he's doing that again. and the cadence and style may feel different, but there is a market for it. and two, something both conventions have struggled with, people coming and trying to give a traditional speech, but in the virtual setting. and i did think, just objectively, it seemed as the democrats got better as nights went on. and speakers tomorrow and the next night may learn from this. it's not easy to give a big speech like that with no in-person audience. as for the republicans for biden and jeff flake, take a listen to jeff flake here on the biden endorsement.
>> indifference to the truth or the careful stewardship of the constitution is not conservative. governing by tweet is not conservative. it's not even governing. >> that's what the biden folks say is great news for them this week. as a final lightning round, final thoughts from tim, and then erin? >> jeff flake was not a moderate republican. he's speaking to a percentage of the electorate that biden can get. right now, he's getting 8% of the trump vote from last time. even if he cuts that in half, i think he's still a winner. >> the message was night and
day. you saw president trump raising the specter of a rigged election, and saying the uncertainty around the election should give voters pause to even cast a ballot at all. if they do, cast it for him. tonight, the kinder, gentler trump, embracing postal workers, health care workers, hostages that he had freed, and really kind of touting his record and what he sees as his accomplishments in the last four years. >> erin, tim, thanks to both of you. after the break, what does the republican party literally stand for? more than ever, this convention is showing why it's the party of trump. scrapping the platform entirely. stay with us. y. stay with us hink about where you're headed this summer. think about how you'll get there. ♪
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i'm joined by mark thompson, good to see you again. i want to get right to it. let's get your analysis of what we heard from donald trump jr. we all watch this stuff. anyone watching us right now has probably seen some of it on tv or online. in 2020, the president's son felt the need to speak about the police killing of george floyd. take a look. >> what happened to george floyd is a disgrace. if you know a police officer, you know they agree with that, too. but we can't lose sight of the fact that our police are american heroes. they deserve our deepest appreciation. no matter what the democrats say, you and i both know, when you dial 911, we don't want it going to voice mail. defunding the police is not an option. >> mark, your reaction to both a political world where this
individual, trump junior, was pushed to say something about the floyd killing. and then whatever else he said. >> i think everyone knows how horrible that killing was. but when they speak that way, when donald trump jr. says those types of things, who i believe earlier in the day, i think if i'm not mistaken, he had retweeted some negativity about what happened, and his alleged criminal record. they try to criminalize a victim in a police killing. joe biden actually has not endorsed defunding the police. whatever people's position is on defunding the police, and i think we all now know what is meant by defunding the police, it's really risky business. as we were saying earlier, who
are they trying to appeal to, ari? because more than ever before, the killing of george floyd brought about a reckoning in this country we had not seen when trayvon martin was killed, or tamir rice, michael brown, sandra bland. people were home, quarantining in covid because of his father's failure to deal with the pandemic. they were a captive audience, so to speak, at home. and saw the death of george floyd on a loop. i'm not sure how many people are interested in hearing, especially among those voters who are still the ones who may be swinging, are interested in hearing a defense of the police in the way that donald trump said it. the two big things have nothing to with each other, anyway. you can say that what happened
to george floyd was wrong, but you can't say at the same time that all the police are good and perfect. there are clearly problems. and i think more and more americans are willing to hear about and contemplate those problems and address them. so donald trump jr., again, is just another robot like most of the other people who spoke tonight. >> i also want to get you on something that is actually bizarre. but it may be the logical end point of trumpism. conventions are always about the nominee, but they're also about what the party supports. and both parties usually write out the principles and platforms at every convention. and you have battles over there, from civil rights to guns to abortions. and i want to remind viewers,
it's unusual that republicans are not debating those platform issues, because they've scrapped a platform at all. reading from the republican party's new statement, it will adjourn without adopting the new platform. we'll put that back up on the screen. it will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 rnc. this is an absolute admission that there is no interest in writing down what they stand for until the trump era is over, one way or another. >> that's kind of crazy. normally conventions are about platforms and debates. and this is not a typical convention, neither one, because we're in this moment of covid. but let me just say this. there is targeting of african-americans and other
people of color to not vote. and one of the arguments that is made, ari, is that the democrats don't support certain issues, whatever those issues might be. here you have a party that doesn't even have a platform. it's all built around a personality and a cult of personality at that. that's not only very, very dangerous, but it's absurd. and it borders on a one party state, or a dictatorship, even the "f"-word, fascism. so what does it stand for? it also speaks to what happens in the senate with this party, the same as what happens in the white house. these people do not work. they don't want to do anything. they really don't want government to function. and it hasn't been. i had the mayor on my show, you
know what happened in charlotte today for the 300-some-odd delegates in charlotte? they did better contact tracing than in most places in america today. they had key fobs, they brought in a homeland security epidemiologist. and the mayor asked, how can you do this for 300 people in charlotte, that was the demand of the people in charlotte. how can you then do this in charlotte, and not do the same thing for people around the country? because it's dysfunctional, the white house is dysfunctional. it has no leadership. there is nothing going on other than the retweeting and support of memes on social media. so you might as well forget about a platform or anything
comprehensive like that. and that ought to say something to anybody who wants to raise the question about who is and isn't working for the american people. >> it's striking. because we don't have a modern example of a party saying re-elect us, but we don't tell you what we stand for. coming up, a fact check on the speeches. since my dvt blood clot... i wasn't sure... was another around the corner? or could things go a different way? i wanted to help protect myself. my doctor recommended eliquis. eliquis is proven to treat and help prevent another dvt or pe blood clot.
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no matter your politics, conventions are a time to hear directly from everyone. last week, we heard from the democrats, and now we're joined by a trump campaign surrogate. good evening, thanks for joining me. >> thanks for having me, ari. >> first of all, as a trump supporter, what do you think republicans got across tonight? >> well, you know, i really enjoyed the juxtaposition to what we saw from the democrats last week. which was doom and gloom, the sky is falling. on the first night of the democratic national convention, they never even mentioned joe biden. the republican convention starts off very upbeat. you see a lot of stars and stripes, with the flag, they say under god when they say the pledge of allegiance.
and people get up and talk about president trump, people that know him and have relationships with him, talk about the man, not the tv show character or the businessman from the '80s. >> and it's hard for the president to run for office when he has been unable to keep some of the pledges he made. take a look. >> our steelworkers and miners are going back to work again. we will build the roads. highways, bridges, tunnels, airports. and the railways of tomorrow. we are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration. we will repeal and replace disastrous obama care.
>> starting with the miners and coal workers, do you know, has the trump administration overseen the addition of any coal jobs? >> well, not just coal, but m manufacturing and labor jobs in general -- >> how about coal. did they have a net gain or loss of coal jobs? >> yes, so, the obama administration ended on 100,000 net loss of manufacturing jobs. and the trump administration has added over 9 million jobs, including a net of manufacturing and labor jobs like coal. >> but since we're doing the fact check, i want to be clear. coal jobs are down about 900. since you mentioned the past
administration, we can look at, say, three years as well. to do this fairly, we can look at the time when they were trying to add jobs even before covid, which obviously complicates things. the trump administration adding about 6.7 jobs. is that more or less than obama's last three years? >> the 8.1 million jobs you show is not accurate from the obama administration. it's a downward slope the whole way. the trump administration was able to arrest the decline, and the surge went like gangbusters all the way until covid started. >> the question, to be clear, is given that they didn't add coal jobs, it's fewer jobs in the same number of years as the last administration. what do you say as a trump 2020
backer to voters who look at the fact. what do you say, as the argument given that record? >> well, there was no jobs recession before covid. and even with covid, this biological attack from china, we're seeing unemployment start to drop again. but the boarder wall is being built. obama care, the republicans, of course the democrats are going to try to drop that. but paul ryan and others did not have the spine to stop that. and it's going to fail under its own weight anyway, obama care. and infrastructure, that's something that both republicans and democrats have obstructed in congress. that will be a highlight signature of his second term,
putting america back to work. >> i appreciate you're acknowledging that factually certain things have not been done. and you're saying that's not your guy or gal's fault, it's the congress and others. and folks can hear your arguments and assess them for themselves. but the other big pledge that donald trump failed on, he said we'll have 4% gdp growth. he promised it, he had the business experience. the first three years, 2%, 2.5%. what do you say to voters about this? >> first of all, the economy or the gdp was on pace to hit that 4%. but as you know, in the midterms, the democrats took over the house, shut down all business, and went straight to impeachment. and with regards to the way that the democrats have operated since then, there really has
been no business that has been able to be done. the senate has tried to get things going and make deals. but nancy pelosi and chuck schumer just want to attack president trump. they came up with the impeachment -- >> i can hear you on impeachm t impeachment. everyone lived through that, people can debate whether that was a good use of time or not. but we have informed viewers. on covid relief, the house passed something, the republican senate didn't. and that's the lay of the land. people know that part of what you're saying is not true, on the biggest issue today, whether people will have covid job relief and eviction protection. >> it was the opposite. the house refused to pass covid relief unless the president agreed to put $25 billion into
the postal worker pension fund, and claimed it would help with an influx of mail-in ballots. we know that was a pay for play. >> since you brought it up, i got to keep up with you. do you know where the $25 billion figure came from? >> from nancy pelosi and the house. >> that number, that budgetary number for having a functional postal infusion came from the trump administration itself. >> no. actually, it didn't. it was something proposed by the postal union, brought to the democrats, and put in as a line item. they said we're going to go bankrupt unless we get this trump. >> brian, i hope you come back, sir. >> i will. thanks for having me. >> good luck to you on the rest
of the convention. i want to tell you, when we come back, we have another important story. it's been a theme throughout some of our discussions tonight. a black man shot seven times in the back by wisconsin police. his young children were in his car screaming. protesters in the streets, he's fighting for his life in the hospital. we'll have an update when we come back.
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an update on the police shooting in wisconsin, this was caught on tape. police officers shooting a black man in the back several times. this occurred yesterday around 5:00 p.m. an eyewitness captured part of the incident. you'll be able to see he was walking, he was shot while trying to get into his car. nbc has not confirmed what occurred what happened before this shooting. and we want to warn you, it's graphic.
[ gunshots ] >> you can hear the reaction according to our standards, we freeze the video before all the shots are fired. he's a 29-year-old father of three, the children were in the car at the time of the shooting. protests have been breaking out, a curfew has been issued at 8:00 p.m. the wisconsin national guard has been called in. the officers are on administrative leave, and an investigation of the incident is under way. and there was reaction earlier today from the lieutenant governor of wisconsin. >> this was not an accident. this wasn't bad police work. this felt like some sort of
vendetta being taken out on a member of our community. >> as part of our reporting, i spoke to a state senator from wisconsin, who has been working on these issues and trying to have better accountability for state police. here's what she said. >> what we see with the evidence that is available, this has happened too many times. both here in wisconsin and across the country. i can't imagine the trauma that it's caused his kids, as well as the trauma it's caused our community. this calls for uniform practices around the state to make sure we don't keep finding ourselves in this situation. >> we will stay on this story. that does it for our late night coverage tonight. keep it here for more reporting on the republican national convention. you can find me at 6:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow, and we'll be back up with you late tomorrow
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