tv Meet the Press MSNBC July 25, 2022 1:00am-2:00am PDT
there, she still here with us. . this sunday, the heat is on. >> terribly hot. i mean, i can't handle it sometimes. >> record high triple digit temperatures across the country. >> it's sweltering. and what's the worst is there is no air moving. >> and across the globe. this, as president biden's ambitious climate agenda faces an uphill battle in congress. >> i will combat climate progress. this morning, my interview with former vice president on al gore on "the inconvenient truth" about global warming and what needs to be done now. >> plus, 187 minutes.
>> i don't know i don't want to say the election is over. >> the january 6th committee on how president trump did not quell violence at the capitol. >> president trump did not fail to act in the 187 minutes in telling the mob to go home. he chose not to act. >> even as secret service agents scramble to get vice president pence out of danger. >> if we're moving, we need to move now. >> and testimony that mr. trump took care to stay on the side of the mob. >> the president did not want to include any sort of mention of peace in that tweet. >> i'll talk to committee member luria about where the investigation goes next. also the economy. >> we're taking our own steps that we believe will be supportive in the short-term to get inflation down. >> i'll interview janet yellen on inflation, economic pessimism and whether we should expect a recession. joining me are yamiche alcindor, moderator of washington week.
jake herman, maria kumar and stephen hayes. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. and if you are waking up to another hot, sweaty day, you are not alone. over the past 7 days, there have been 359 daily high temperature records set across this country. and across the atlantic, europe is burning up as well. more than 1,700 people died in portugal and spain alone in this current heat wave that they're experiencing. in his 2006 documentary, former vice president al gore warned that we were going to experience rising temperatures, melting glaciers, drying lakes, more wild fires and stronger storms
over the next 20 or 30 years. guess what? in the 16 years since that film debuted, we have seen rising temperatures, melting glaciers, drying lakes, more wild fires and, yes, stronger storms. we have experienced a lot of that in the last ten days alone. despite all the evidence staring us in the face like the hot sun, the united states remains a reluctant soldier in the fight against global warming. this month senator joe manchin again on the climate bill. it is already opposed by all 50 senate republicans. in his documentary way back in 2006, mr. gore said this. >> are we, as americans, capable of doing great things even though they are difficult. are we capable of rising above ourselves and above history? well, the record indicates that
we do have that capacity. >> and joining me now is al gore. mr. vice president, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you very much, chuck. thank you for inviting me. >> this week felt like your powerpoint from "inconvenient truth" come to life, some of the headlines, the colorado river having to do water rations, the monarch butterfly declared an endangered species, the ice melt in greenland, wildfires in france and greece, the rio grande is running dry in new mexico. it's here. how much do you look back at what you warned and suddenly you see it come to life? >> well, i wish the scientists had been wrong in their predictions going back decades now, chuck. all i have done is convey the scientific facts as the scientists have patiently explained them to me. it is due to get much, much worse and quickly. but we have the ability to stop
temperatures from going up. if we got to true net zero, the temperatures on earth would stop going up with a lag time as little as 3 to 5 years, almost as if we flipped a switch. if we stayed at true yet zero, half of the human cause, the co2 emissions would fall out of the atmosphere in as little as 25 to 30 years. we have the solutions available. we need to deploy them quickly. >> let's talk about the issue that is probably the biggest challenge and that is the political will. it is not just in this country. china and india are emerging powers relying on fossil fuels. europe is backsliding with a decision on methane. if the united states can't be a global leader here, who will? >> well, the united states must step up and provide leadership. and, of course, president biden has been trying to do that, and
he has a 50/50 senate, really a 49/51 senate on everything related to the climate and a razor thin majority in the house. you know, abraham lincoln once said that with public sentiment everything is possible, without it, nothing can succeed. the rest of us need to step up. the one thing that senator manchin said that i really agree with is that if we want more pro-climate policies, we need to elect more pro-climate senators and representatives in both parties. and we've got an election coming up. and this is time for all of us to step up. you know, the climate deniers are really in some ways similar to all of those, almost 400 law enforcement officers in uvalde, texas who were waiting outside an unlocked door while the children were being massacred. they heard the screams.
they heard the gunshots and nobody has stepped forward. and god bless those families who suffered so much. and law enforcement officials tell us that's not typical of what law enforcement usually does. and confronted with this global emergency, what we're doing with our inaction in failing to walk through the door and stop the killing is not typical of what we are capable of as human beings. we do have the solutions. and these extreme events getting steadily worse and more severe are beginning to change lines. we have to have unity as a nation to come together and stop making this a political football. it shouldn't be a partisan issue. >> you know, it is interesting. public sentiment on climate is certainly growing more urgent. and you have made notice that rank and file republicans are growing more concerned about the climate.
but, you know, public opinion is on one side on abortion. it is on one side on guns. it is on one side on climate. you see it hasn't mattered to some of the decisions that are made on politics. how do you break through this? >> well, you are exactly right. and public sentiment is changing, but our democracy is broken and in order to solve the climate crisis, we're going to have to pay attention to the democracy crisis. the same reason it is seemingly impossible for the congress to pass legislation banning these weapons of war, these assault rifles that are being used to murder children in classrooms and create hundreds of mass casualty events already this year and that's getting worse, the same reason we can't pass legislation, to, for example, reinstate the ban on assault
weapons is the same reason that we can't pass climate legislation. we have a minority government. we have the filibuster still that should be eliminated with big money playing much too large a role in our politics. lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry, and they're still running all of these advertisements trying to convince people that it's not that bad or they've got this. don't worry about it. we have got to rise to this challenge, chuck. you know, what you see behind me is a picture from the space station showing how thin the atmosphere is and you could drive to the top of that blue line, drive straight up in the air at interstate highway speeds, you'd get to the top of that line in about five minutes, and below, you would be all of the greenhouse gas pollution. we're using that as an open sewer.
dropping 162 million tons into it every day. and the accumulated amount now traps as much heat as what's being released by 600,000 hiroshima atomic bombs every day. we have the solutions. renewable energy is now cheaper in almost the entire world than electricity from fossil fuels. those utilities here in the u.s. that have doubled down on gas are seeing their rates go up while those who were picking solar and wind, their rates are going down. >> look, solar appears to have kept texas from having brown-outs because they expanded their solar on the grid. but let me ask you this. what should president biden do now? besides advocates for more pro-climate solutions, is there anything you can do on the executive aspect around things around congress right now? >> well, i welcome his announcement this week to jump start the offshore wind industry
in the u.s., and he's taken quite a number of other important actions and he's reversed some of the terrible policies of his predecessor. but he needs congressional action in order to take the bold steps that are really needed. there are many other things that he can do. he can stop approving any more fossil fuel development on federal lands and permits and more development. the international energy agency says that we should not have any new oil and gas fields developed if we want to see the survival of human civilization in anything resembling its current form. >> and, yet, inflation and the price of gas. you were an elected official. you know that -- you know the burden of that, that hangs on these politicians, you know. short-term, long-term, you see the pressure president biden is under.
>> yeah. and as the secretary general of the united nations said as long as we feed our addiction to fossil fuels, we will place leaders in these untenable positions where all of the choices are bad. we can't confuse the short-term with the long-term chuck. getting through this crisis with russia's invasion is one thing. getting past the election with gasoline prices, you know, they're already coming down, that's one thing. but investing in more fossil fuel infrastructure that will guarantee emissions increasing for decades into the future, that's a horrible mistake that, at this point, we simply cannot afford to make that mistake. >> you talked about the broken democracy in your -- your concession speech from 2000 was invoked at the hearing. i want to play a clip of that
and what mr. pottinger who testified said about it. >> let there be no doubt, while i strongly disagree with the court's decision, i accept it. and tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, i offer my concession. >> his speech is actually a pretty good model, i think, for any candidate for any office up to and including the president and from any party. >> vice president pence has been called a hero by some for what he did on january 6th. what say you? >> well, in the current environment, just doing what the law and the constitution requires seems heroic to some. i'm glad he made that decision. you know, he was a freshman congressman sitting in the chamber when i counted the electoral votes in early january of 2001. i think that those who have
tried to continue promoting doubt and suspicion about the efficacy of our democracy are really performing in an anti--american way. and that committee, by the way, i want to congratulation benny thompson and liz cheney and every member of that committee. they are performing an historic service to our nation. >> i'm not going to let you go without asking you this. australia election was a climate change election. and you talked about in order to get that political will. jay inslee tried to run a climate-focused campaign and it didn't get off the ground. why not you, al gore? >> why not me? >> leading a presidential campaign in the future. >> oh, well, thank you for making the suggestion. i'm a recovering politician and the longer i go without a relapse, the less likely one becomes.
>> but the idea of climate change and making it the issue, would you like to see more presidential candidates do that? >> absolutely. public sentiment is changing very dramatically, but we need more grass roots action on the part of americans, not only in the upcoming congressional races and the presidential race in 2024, but in the local races and in the state elections as well. we, the people, have to solve this, and we have to instruct those who are in positions of leadership to start doing the right thing. our survival as a species may depend upon it. >> al gore, thanks for coming out and sharing your perspective and your leadership on this issue. >> thank you, chuck. when we come back, the january 6th hearings, will they lead to a criminal prosecution of former president donald trump?
welcome back. as more people provide information to the january 6th committee, the co-chair liz cheney says the dam has begun to break against former president trump. as more witnesses are coming forward. the last hearing details how mr. trump refused to do anything to stop the planned attack on the capitol. trump refused to do anything. so what is next? will the committee make a criminal move? will they decide to prosecute mr. trump and what is the cost to the former president? as a committee member who led congresswoman luria of virginia, congresswoman welcome back to "meet the press." so the dam has begun to break. that means more evidence, more witnesses. let me ask about a specific witness that we have not heard from that is probably the biggest one besides the president. are we going to hear from him or is the extent of his cooperation
all we've got? >> i have no indication right now that he is, you know, changed his position or willing to come forward in any way that he wasn't before. as you recall, he gave us a trove of text messages which led us to a lot of other information relative to the investigation, but ever since we subpoenaed him, he denied that subpoena, the justice department threw that case out. there is not, to my knowledge, been any change of mind on his behalf. >> you know, it is interesting. you talk about that you guys made a criminal referral to the justice department and they threw it out. but they just got a conviction on bannon. do you want them to revisit that? >> i don't know the process. i don't think they could revisit something that they have ever dismissed. but he's certainly someone that has probably more information than anyone other than the folks we heard from that were in the white house that day. that information will be incredibly helpful. but we have been able to piece together so much. cassidy hutchinson, other people present in the white house.
and so if he's listening, we'd love to hear from him. >> this has been an orderly way you showcased the evidence as you have gotten it. and it feels somewhat conclusionary. yet, now you say there will be hearings in september. what part of the time line should we expect? is this more about january 6th and after? is that what we should expect in september, his actions on january 7th, 8th and 9th? you said liz cheney mentioned the dam is open, the flood gates have opened. when we initially planned the ark of the story, the information, the way we would present that through these hearings, we thought this would be the final hearing. but so many more witnesses have come forward. we have new information we're requesting and receiving as well from the secret service. just a lot of questions still to be answered on that front. so i think that's something we're still working through, taking in this through information, taking it on top, laying it on top of what we have already presented. i think there will be some
information to cover the whole span. but probably more in depth and more conclusive about things we didn't know as much about. there is still so much out there that we don't fully understand yet. >> in my library at home, we have paper backs of the watergate hearings, the starr report. is there going to be a january 6th committee, you know, basically report that the american people, tangible they will have in their hands and if so when? >> that will be the final product of the committee. i think that the time line for putting that report out, it's still to be determined as we continue the investigation. >> it has to be before january 3rd of next year, given this -- >> yes. but many folks have said before the election, after. you know, we're not looking at it through a political lens. we're looking at it through getting to the truth about the events of january 6th. and we're actively continuing the investigation and on a parallel path working on putting
together information for the report. now recommendations. that's the most important part of this. as a congressional committee, we're trying to prevent events like this in the future. >> i want to ask about the decision, at the end of the hearing on thursday, vice chair liz cheney praised the courage of the witnesses. publicly coming forward. we saw it in realtime, with sarah matthews, and former colleagues, backing her on social media in realtime. on one hand you have these folks coming out and putting their name and face and reputations on the line. and then you grant anonymity over here. i bet a lot of witnesses wish they could have been granted immunity. explain why. >> we did that in the case of national security. i think it's important for the continuation of the roles in which they serve. and also, you know, this is one of those things that's most disturbing about this.
i served in uniform for 20 years and understanding there is a lot of people who are professionals, who have information, but they have seen what happened in the trump white house, for people who came forward and how they had retribution, retaliation. i think those people fear if donald trump ever came toward the white house again, they would have a target on their back. >> i understand, that anonymous sources. look, in my business, anonymous sources are certainly helpful and useful, but to the public, it gives them skepticism. i mean, an anonymous source, it does lessen the credibility of that information in the eyes of some people. >> yeah. i would say i totally disagree. we have to respect the privacy in this case anonymity and safety of these people, both from a physical safety standpoint but also for them to be able to continue their roles in government unimpeded. it was a decision we made in the committee easily because we understood the importance of
maintaining their anonymity. but the takeaway is the fact that if the trump administration were to come back again, these people they fear retaliation. >> right. the justice department, are you seeing any signs? you have been among those frustrated about what appears to be a lack of criminal investigation. do you see any signs? >> i sure as hell hope they have a criminal investigation at this point into donald trump. i have no direct knowledge of the status of their investigations. but i could tell the department of justice is watching our cases closely. they have charged and found guilty from january 6th and they have actually quoted testimony from the january 6th witnesses in the hearings. so merrick garland has already told us he's listening. if he's watching today, i would tell him he doesn't need to wait on us because i think he has plenty to move forward. >> the georgia investigation, which is happening simultaneously, has there been any overlap there at all, or is that something that essentially
you guys are observers of? >> i would say the latter. >> liz cheney gave an impassioned speech. praised how many women have had the guts to come out. and haven't hid behind executive privilege, considering the number of men who have hidden behind executive privilege. >> it was very clever. >> it was an interesting take. i know you have grown professionally pretty close to her. look, her primary in wyoming may go a way she doesn't want it to go. but would you like to see her run for president in 2024? >> i admire liz cheney. i have been friendly with her ever since i came to congress. i think if she doesn't come through the primary and come back to congress, there are so many things she can do in the future for our country. >> i'm not asking if you would support her for president but is her voice needed? >> her voice is absolutely needed. and she's one of a small number of people that need to be the face of the republican party in the future, and i would love to get back to where we had two
political parties that debate on issues and facts and not lies. and i really hope that liz cheney will continue. i don't want to speculate. she's said herself she doesn't know what her future plans would be. >> elaine luria, congresswoman from virginia, thanks very much. all right. we will continue our conversation here about january 6th and what the investigation may do to donald trump both politically and legally here. yamiche alcindor who works here, nbc news, and the host of the show on pbs. jay sherman, punch bowl news, stephen hayes, and maria teresa kumar. i want to start. i ended with liz cheney there and i want to start with her. i want to start with her diagnosis of how donald trump weaponized parts of the republican party. take a listen.
>> donald trump knows that millions of americans who supported him would stand up and defend our nation were it threatened. he is preying on their patriotism. he is preying on their sense of justice, and on january 6th, donald trump turned their love of country into a weapon against our capitol and our constitution. >> steve hayes, i thought that was an interesting, you know, when we go to this idea, don't attack trump supporters, and your column from the "new york times" this week, i thought this was a fascinating way for her to try to show how trump manipulated these people. >> yeah. and i think she's absolutely right. if you look at what's happened over the course of these hearings, they have provided the details. this is what donald trump has done. he's telling people, you know, there is a huge group of republicans who don't pay attention to every twist and turn of what's happening in washington the way that we do. they're living their lives.
they're raising their families. they're going to work. and they're not aware of all the things donald trump has done. one of the things the hearings made clear is if you thought on january 6th or january 7th there was this rally and donald trump had the right to raise objections and you weren't really paying attention, but that, you know, ultimately this wasn't donald trump's fault. the hearings have made clear that this was a plan, a multi-faceted plan, detailed, laid out in advance, with the help of top trump advisers and crazy people who are not trump advisers. just showing that and providing the facts from people who worked for trump, that, i think, is what made these hearings so effective, is they came from republicans. not just republicans, but republicans who chose to dedicate their career to working for donald trump. these are the people making the case against trump. >> so it's sticking as a narrative. is it going to have anything political?
>> i mean, that is the key question. it is the question that i think is sort of unanswered. when i talk to republicans, both those who are horrified by what former president trump did as well as those who are still supportive of him, they think the opinions were hardened long before these hearings. these hearings from brought out new information. but in terms of sort of whether or not you think donald trump was wrong to do january 6th, wrong to pour gasoline on the fire at 2:24 when this mob was already on the capitol and former vice president mike pence is running through the halls and being evacuated, they say this isn't going to make a political difference. of course, the midterms are a long time away. 2024 is even farther away. and liz cheney's words could be a model for the kind of republican argument for someone who wants to win the nomination if trump gets in the race. when you think of what former president trump is doing, even this week, he is trying to get the election overturned. he's calling up wisconsin officials this week trying to get them to change their
results. this is someone who has stuck to this plan, who is believing their plan, who is believing this is the way forward. he has a large base of people still continuing to support him. i watched this video onset with you, watched the hearing onset with you and lester holt and so many others, and i'm still sort of baffled by the fact that this happened. it is still surreal that people broke into our capitol and that donald trump hasn't been completely excommunicated, not just from the republican party but from the entire political atmosphere. >> what liz is referring to is the fact that pence went into arizona to go ahead and rally for another candidate es that's huge. the fact trump's candidates dr. oz and j.d. vance are not doing well speaks to perhaps some fever breaking. the fact that on friday "the wall street journal" and the new york post went against donald trump and basically said he was unfit for office regardless of whether there is a criminal
indictment by the d.o.j., that is big. >> made it clear -- >> what we may be seeing right now is trump going at it alone. we are close to what teddy roosevelt did in 1912 with the bull moose party. he said, you know what, i'm going to break off from the republican party and form my own. >> we tend to overstate what people are going to vote for. i think that these hearings have laid a foundation in people's minds that donald trump obviously was, i was in the capitol on january 6th, he was obviously responsible in a major way. and the people who have, kevin mccarthy and the republican leadership who have decided not to be a part of this investigation, i think that is probably the biggest act of political malpractice i have ever seen. and i think all of that will lay a foundation. maybe it is not this election. maybe it is an election in the future.
>> that's where i lean is that it's less '22, probably more '24. here is one truism and then i got to go. candidates that are focussed on the past usually don't do well. coming up, we will turn to the economy and the growing fears that the country is headed to a recession. we will talk to janet yellen when we return. talk to janet yen when we return that's our thing. ♪ ♪
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>> what's your barometer for these hearings? welcome back. if there is one overriding explanation for president biden's sinking approval ratings, well, it's the economy. james carville once said it's the economy stupid. wage gaps being gobbled up by inflation. highest rate in more than 40 years, which is a phrase we have said after every inflationary report over the last six months. just last week mr. biden's approval rate was 28%. 66% disapproving. inflation the most significant issue cited. so let's dig into it. joining me now treasury secretary janet yellen. secretary yellen, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you. it's a pleasure to be with you.
>> let me just start with this. many businesses seem to be preparing for a recession. should all americans at home be preparing for a recession that many people think now is likely? >> well, look, the economy is slowing down. last year, it grew very rapidly at about 5.5%. and that succeeded in putting people back to work who had lost their jobs during the pandemic. the labor market is now extremely strong. even just during the last three months, job gains averaged 375,000. this is not an economy that's in recession. but we're in a period of transition in which growth is slowing and that's necessary and
appropriate and we need to be growing at a steady and sustainable pace. so there is a slowdown and businesses can see that. and that's appropriate, given that people now have jobs and we have a strong labor market. but you don't see any of the signs now, a -- a recession is a broad-based contraction that affects many sectors of the economy. we just don't have that. consumer spending remains solid. it's continuing to grow. output, industrial output has grown in five of the six most recent months. credit quality remains very strong. household balance sheets are generally in good shape. but inflation is way too high. and, you know, the fed is charged with putting in place
policies that will bring inflation down and i expect them to be successful. the administration, for its part, is supplementing those fed policies with things we can do. we've cut the deficit by a record one-and-a-half trillion dollars this year, releases of gas from the strategic petroleum reserve are putting some downward pressure on gas prices. we have seen gas prices just in recent weeks come down by about 50 cents, and there should be more in the pipeline. and hopefully we will pass a bill that will lower prescription drug costs and maintain current levels of health care costs. >> you seem pretty optimistic, it sounds like, from that answer that we're going to avoid a recession. but i want to throw in two data points that you didn't bring up. one was these reports on friday
about both in the euro space and in the united states that we have seen some contraction of business activity, throw in the uptick of unemployment, the weekly unemployment number there, is that not the first sign of a coming recession, even if it's a mild one? >> well, you know, i would say that we're seeing a slowdown. we're likely to see some slowing of job creation. but i do -- i don't think that that's a recession. a recession is broad-based weakness in the economy. we're not seeing that now and i absolutely don't think that's necessary. but, look, there are also risks we have to appreciate. inflation is high not just in the united states but also in many of our neighbors in the u.k. and canada, in the euro
area, central banks are addressing that. we have a war in ukraine that threatens potentially even higher oil prices than we've seeing right now. one of the things that i have been doing in recent weeks is working with our allies to try to cap the price that russia receives for its oil, both to diminish the revenues that russia gets but also to keep russian oils selling in global markets so that when the next round of sanctions is put in place in december by the european union, we're concerned that oil could be -- significant amounts of oil could be shut-in, in russia, leading to an oil price tag. so there are threats on the
horizon. growth is slowing globally. i'm not saying that we will definitely avoid a recession, but i think there is a path that keeps the labor market strong and brings inflation down. >> help us play armchair economist this week. there is a ton of data coming up probably going to have a fun week for economists because we will have consumer confidence survey, inflation numbers for june. which is the indicator? what's the number you're most focussed on that will give you a better indication of where this economy is headed? >> well, i look at all the data, and gdp will be closely watched. a common definition of recession is two negative quarters of gdp growth or at least that's something that's been true in past recessions. when we have seen that, there has usually been a recession.
and many economists expect second quarter gdp to be negative. first quarter gdp was negative. so we could see that happen, and that will be closely watched. but i do want to emphasize what a recession really means is a broad based contraction in the economy. and even if that number is negative, we are not in a recession now, and i -- i would, you know, warn that we should be not characterizing that as a recession. >> i understand that. but you are splitting hairs. if the technical definition is two quarters of contraction, you're saying that's not a recession? >> that's not the technical definition. there is an organization called the national bureau of economic research that looks at a broad range of data in deciding whether or not there is a recession. and most of the data that they look at right now continues to
be strong. i would be amazed if they would declare this period to be a recession, even if it happens to have two quarters of negative growth. we have a very strong labor market. when you are creating almost 400,000 jobs a month, that is not a recession. >> janet yellen, the secretary of treasury and obviously the former chair of the federal reserve, always appreciate getting you on and getting your perspective. thank you. >> thanks, chuck. when we come back, would someone political party affiliation keep you from being friends with them? guess what? a lot of americans now say yes. a lot of americans now say yes
welcome back. data download time and a look at our tue mullous politics over the past few years. increasingly suspicious of their fellow citizens. we politicize everything now. making friends. a list of what's most important when it comes to making new friends, and the political view of that person came out on top at 52% over even taste in music or entertainment and religion. another way of looking at our suspicion of each other, is the other party untruthful? 70% of republicans believe democrats are untruthful. ready for this? 69% of democrats believe
republicans are untruthful. so i guess you could say we agree on that. this pessimism over all in this poll showed up everywhere. 56% believe the government is corrupt and rigged. another 49% say, half of americans, say they feel like a stranger in their own country. this is a scary one. 1 in 4 americans believe we may need to take up arms against the government. this is a pessimistic electorate going into these midterms. what will this mean in november? when we come back, we'll take a look. guess what. it may not surprise you that americans do not like their leadership in washington. no matter the political structure. icans do not like the leadership in washington no matter the political structure.
president biden with 31% job approval. 30% with democrats in congress, and republicans 23%. you know, this is the cross current that is, i think, making the midterms. like it is not a done deal. >> the mid-terms i could tell you right now is not going to be a blow-out. in 2014, we saw the opposing party at least 30 points ahead of the democrats at the time. it was clear they were going to change. now it is a dead heat. look at the senate. it does look like you are going to have perhaps two senators, one from ohio, one from pennsylvania on the democratic side. and among the democrats inside washington, it is like we may lose the house, but let's look at the houses. while it looks like you poll republican against democrat, it looks like it is in a dead heat, the moment they put a maga republican against a democrat, that stirs a completely different reaction. >> every other midterm, they
fashion themselves as something new. >> right. >> that is the missing piece here for the gop. they're not offering anything new. >> no. they're hoping to trade on volatility and the unpopularity of joe biden. if you go back and look at races since 2006, every single election since 2006, with the exception of 2012 when barack obama was re-elected has been a change election. that is extraordinary volatility in our politics and i think we're likely to see more of it now. republicans could well succeed. i do expect it will be a good day for republicans, certainly in the house, maybe in the senate because they're not joe biden, because people are looking at these inflation numbers, because we could be on the verge of a recession. their view is we don't have to put forth much of an agenda. to the extent we do, it will be negative for us. >> by the way, speaking of recess, janet yellen seemed to preview that gdp may be negative and a lot of people will say that will meet the definition of recession. hey, but don't call it
recession. what do you make of that spin? >> well, it is really interesting because obviously the treasury secretary and the white house don't want to be leaning in too much on negative language when it comes to the economy, especially because we're in this strange blase in the economy where there are all of these jobs where americans are seeing low wages. people are tired of doing the sort of economy that we had pre-pandemic. people want to have more flexibility. people are leaving their jobs. then when i also look at these numbers and we think of the approval rating in washington, i went back and looked at the approval rating of scientists, of journalists. americans don't like anyone right now, and that probably benefits the republicans, but there is also abortion politics and the way that democrats want to mobilize on that issue. but i think overall, americans are in a weird place because we're still traumatized by the pandemic. we're still dealing with all the challenges that are coming up. you also have americans trying to balance real apathy for all
different sectors of government and science and the media. >> part of me wants to say, and this is based on conversations i've had on the hill the last couple of weeks is don't overthink it. minority, sorry, in a long time. republicans have the largest majority in the house of representatives that they have had -- minority, sorry, that they have had in a long time. it doesn't take a lot for them to have a historically large republican majority. will that happen? i have no idea. but it doesn't -- if they win the mean, the average of what they would win in the first midterm election of the president's cycle, they're already in one of the largest majorities in a long time. and add on negative gdp numbers, add on a stagnant economy, and i think we will have a really good night for republicans on capitol hill. >> the issue with the senate races, though, is something that seems to be -- i mean, it is the story of 2010 for the republicans. it was the story of why it took
him an extra four years. >> it is really interesting to watch because you have had a bunch of republican candidates, herschel walker in georgia, dr. oz in pennsylvania, j.d. vance in ohio who have struggled a little bit, putting it mildly. ranging from a little bit to a lot. and mitch mcconnell's super pac has not really gotten in and pushed their preferred candidates in a lot of races this cycle. >> they had threatened to. >> and they still might in missouri. but it is very interesting to see them take this hands on approach. raphael warnock is eyes on the prize and charging ahead against herschel walker where a video came out last week where he was imagining to be an fbi agent. saying he was an fbi agent. and republicans on capitol hill are sitting back and saying what is going on? >> what is going on? >> that doesn't explain the weak candidates. >> all the three that you mentioned, j.d. vance, dr. oz
and herschel walker, that could be one of the reasons why mitch mcconnell isn't. maybe he's like, let's go back to normal where we are talking about policy as a republican and democratic party. and the only way to do so is by sacrificing some of these senate seats. >> if it's j.d. vance that gets in there, he will take it. >> i think the great irony is that clearly donald trump is pulling these candidates, making fringe candidates more mainstream by supporting them and providing them with outside funding in a way that i think is ironic. when you look at the so-called establishment republicans, you would expect they might create more distance, might have a bigger fight. but instead the national senate committee is sending out mail as late as this week saying protect donald trump's legacy. endorse trump. >> this gets me back. a midterm election is supposed to be a referendum on the current party. but the republicans are allowing another president to basically
be on the ballot, too. so we are having a -- if the midterms are up, no longer a referendum but a proxy fight. well, we know what this is. we're a polarized electorate. it's goingt going to be a coin flip. >> when we think about all the people that you mentioned, herschel walker and j.d. vance, part of what they're trying to do is recreate what former president donald trump did, which is not have a lot of policies but have people feel that you hear them. move people in a way that -- >> you are describing the arizona primary right now between a want to be celebrity trumper versus somebody that worked their way through the system. >> with an electorate that is sort of angry at everybody, do they look up and say, you know, what, i like this celebrity. he's interesting to me. or do they say i will go with the guy that's preaching at martin luther king's church and i'm going to go there. >> whether or not young voters and people of color come out. >> all right.
that's it for today. we could have gone to overtime, but i am out of time. thank you for watching. be back next week because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." press. . certainly, saying that donald trump is unfit for office, it's rupert murdoch, it's the wall street, saying the same thing after our hearing on thursday night, and i will continue to be guided by making sure i do my duty and making sure the american people understand the truth. >> republican liz cheney had a lot to say this weekend about former president trump and her work with the january 6th committee. we will have much more on that straight ahead. meanwhile, more from mike pence that he is trying to break away from his former