tv Inside Story ABC October 22, 2017 11:30am-12:01pm EDT
>> remarks made by senator john mccain here in philadelphia to accept the liberty medal kick off a week of political punch and counterpunch. is it more of the same, or is something different going on? let's get the inside story. ♪ good morning. i'm tamala edwards. welcome to "inside story." and i don't know about the rest of you, but politically i'm exhausted. [ laughter ] we haven't even started talking. let's introduce you to the panel. attorney jim eisenhower. good morning. >> good morning, tam. >> radio talk-how host dom giordano. see? i can't even get my mouth to work. sharmain matlock-turner. >> hi, tamala. >> and sam katz. welcome to all of you. so, john mccain is here to get this award. we thought it was going to be a lovefest with him and joe biden. he shows up, and he makes some remarks, and then the president responds. we'll let you hear some of what they said, and then there was more to come in the week. let's get started with this.
>> to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain the last, best hope of earth for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems... >> and, indeed, speaking of "not pretty," shortly thereafter there was a back-and-forth between the president and a democratic congresswoman from florida over his condolence call to the widow of one of the soldiers killed in niger. and, also, we heard from two former presidents, former president bush saying this later this week, that it was "time to reclaim our identity," talking about casual cruelty. "nationalism distorted into nativism." president obama, campaigning for democrats in virginia and in new jersey saying, "some
politics we see now we thought we put to bed. it's the 21st century, not the 19th. come on." startling on so many levels to hear from a senator, from former presidents, to see the chief of staff, john kelly, have to talk about his son's death. you almost don't know what to make of it. is it just more of where we've been, with more to come, or was this week transformative in some way? >> tamala, you know, on the historical aspect of it, it's very interesting. the republican party has always had this -- modern republican party -- this split between isolationism and internationalism. dwight eisenhower ran as a republican because he wanted to make sure the party had an international focus and that the united states had a role in the world. and there's always been that push and pull in the party. it did seem in recent years that that had been put to rest, but it's come roaring back, with steve bannon and, to some extent, president trump. and i think mccain is representing that internationalist trend that goes all the way back to dwight eisenhower.
>> dom, you talk to a lot of republican voters. are they listening to mccain and bush, longtime republicans, or are they listening to the president? how is this playing out? >> i wouldn't say they're listening directly to the president, because it meanders and all that, but they're outraged over george w. bush. i am, too, because he didn't step up, and he didn't call it out that he's talking about trump and trump voters here. and i resent the bushes because of this argument in his speech. he talked about immigration. we're not talking about immigration. we're talking about illegal immigration. he's seen by a lot of trump people as the elite, the elite talking down to us. and the longer they do that, the more potent trump will be. trump can be taken on but not by this sort of salvo that we've seen. >> but is it taking him on to say, "we can talk about these issues, but some of the ugliness -- we got to cut this out"? >> well, i think bush then name-calls. he calls people nativists, and he goes into all these sorts of things. trump is crasser at this, or
more direct. i would prefer the direct. i'm fine with the direct approach. i think that sometimes trump punches below his weight with some of the tabloid type of stuff he's gotten into. but people want the direct back-and-forth here on things, leaving aside some of the crass stuff. >> this week brought in the politicization of a soldier's death, and i think that really is what got me thinking, "is this something different"? you heard people on both sides of the aisle cringe that that's where we are now. >> it is a cringing moment, and the fact that the conversation was about a telephone call and not the service of the four officers who were killed in niger is i think a real disgrace for the country. we should be honoring those families and those men. and this whole thing is another distraction. everything donald trump does always distracts him and us from what it is we should be talking about. but with mccain, there were two things going on here. there was a policy distinction
between nationalism and globalism. and then there was the personal thing. and when donald trump says, "i'm going to hit back," he hit first. he was the one who called john mccain out, not as a hero but as a failure for getting captured, for getting shot down by a missile, a ground-to-air missile. so, we're talking about payback, and i think for the balance of john mccain's senate career, there will be payback. when you're a great negotiator and a great dealmaker -- hence, you're donald trump -- you find a way to solve the differences that existed so you can bring a john mccain into the fold to vote for amending the affordable healthcare act. instead, he made a permanent enemy. and that's where we are right now. >> you know, sharmain, politicians often learn through what doesn't go well, what goes wrong. it's an on-the-job curve. and they learn, "don't go there. come over here." does the president learn something this week about "there's a way to stand up for what i believe in and
counterpunch but not get in these weeds"? >> i wish that were true, tamala, but i didn't see any evidence at all this week that that is true. the idea that when he called the family of the officer who was killed in niger, and whatever his words were, they were interpreted as being insensitive and not really being sincere. if he was sincere and didn't mean to hurt the family, the easiest thing for him to do would have been to say, "you know what? i said those words, but i didn't mean it in that way or the way that it was ultimately interpreted." >> isn't that what john kelly essentially tried to say for him? >> he would have just called the wife back or called the family back and say, "you know what? i just want to let you know i really appreciate his sacrifice, and we're here for you for whatever you need." so, i didn't see any evidence at all in how he handled it. >> i don't think the president
really is capable of change. >> he called people a liar. he went absolutely on the attack. and, as you said, even his chief of staff john kelly said, "i told him not to make the phone call." >> he had the same type of inflammatory language with the khans during the presidential race. he's attacked president h.w. bush, president w. bush, governor bush, jeb bush. so, you've got a vendetta there and with mccain. he's belittled mitch mcconnell. he's belittled paul ryan. these are all members of his own party. >> bob corker. >> bob corker. these are the leaders of his own party, and he's been very consistent. i'll give him that. >> it doesn't seem to affect him, though. i mean, dom, you would agree for many in his base. >> well, i think, again, it's two reasons. one, they're sick of the elites. i'm sick of a guy like mitch mcconnell. i'm sick of the fact that nothing is happening in the senate. we had a groundbreaking election. there's an agenda there. and i love john mccain as an american hero, but, to sam's
point, if he's going to use something that's a personal grudge, as offensive as what trump said, to not to vote to repeal the affordable care act, when 50, 60, 70 times he said he exactly wanted to do it, i don't think that's the proper response. >> he said he would have done it. he didn't like that bill. he said that bill wasn't put together properly and that his conscience couldn't let him vote for it. >> well, i don't believe him on that. i really don't. >> the fallacy here, though, dom, is that the president needs to be engaged in the affordable care act. he actually needs to know what's in it, not the affordable care act, but the repeal of the affordable care act. he didn't. he couldn't engage the senate in a debate. he couldn't use the prestige and power of his office or the power of his leadership because he didn't engage. he doesn't know how to make a deal. at the end of the day, the base is not important until the next election. what's important is the record, is getting things passed in a congress in which you have 52 republicans, and you can't pass anything. >> but i would ask again, how
bad are democrats at this point, where they're flummoxed by -- >> let's blame the democrats for being in the minority. >> no, that they're flummoxed by this guy. again, i think there are legitimate ways -- you just did it -- to take him on. instead, i see this congresswoman overreacting, calling him all kinds of names. it plays back to him again. >> but, dom, we had a bipartisan agreement this week on healthcare that was supposed to move forward in which the president said, "i want to do this." and within 24 hours, he was someplace else. >> let's talk about something else that's getting a lot of attention, speaking of elections. tom marino, who was supposed to be up to be drug czar, out of the running. and, in fact, people are questioning whether or not he's going to hold onto his seat in pennsylvania. if you saw the "60 minutes" piece, it was damning. it was unbelievable in terms of how the dea, rather than defending a public that's going through an opioid crisis, seemed to be in cahoots almost with the drug industry. what happens with the bill? does this get undone? there's a movement for that.
and what happens to tom marino? >> the drug-distribution industry, not the pharma industry. the distributors, like cardinal and amerisourcebergen, are shipping enormous quantities of opioids into communities in which the ratio of pills to people is completely out of kilter. >> well, i think marino probably survives as a congressman, but he's out as drug czar. >> you think he survives? >> i think potentially. i think he has a long-term type of deal going on there. i don't know. >> well, he represents a safe republican district. >> that's exactly right. >> but williamsport has a very serious drug problem. >> they're a huge rehab center. >> and to the extent that he's seen as carrying the water for the drug-distribution industry and not so much for the people who are addicted to these drugs, i think someone could take him on and beat him. >> it's not just marino. how did people in congress allow this to go through? >> there's the other side of that -- unanimous vote in the house and senate, quietly signed by the white house. >> this is a major deal, too. >> major.
>> cbs says people keep calling in. they are furious about this piece. does it go away the way we react to shootings these days? >> no, the opioid crisis is not going away, but the thing i took away from this, too, that they talked about -- why are we not more undercover in the online pharmacies, the bad pharmacies, and, also, the pill-mill doctors, in addition to sam's point, the distributors. >> listen. with this particular issue, this is a critical problem. where was the due diligence on the trump administration's decision to appoint tom marino as head of the dea? >> i think it was just, "he's my guy. he stood up for me. here we go. oh, my god." >> the opioid crisis is a major american crisis. >> in which he's getting ready to make a major announcement about. you've got the entire investigative team of the entire country at your disposal, and you can't figure any of this out? >> i will say kudos to the u.s. attorney's office here in this district, the eastern district of pennsylvania. they've had a long effort, especially against doctors in these pill mills, and they've achieved a number of really important convictions, and
that's not the case in every federal district. >> and i would say to your point, josh shapiro is moving forward aggressively on this. i'm not saying he's correct or incorrect, as winning the lawsuit. he gets it. this is the issue. >> yes, it is. >> really quickly, let's try to get through a couple of other topics. darrell clarke and blondell reynolds brown want to put forth a city bill that would pretty much say if you're on city property, you can't have something offensive on your property. but it says, "anything that would anger, alarm, cause resentment on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, or sexuality." i just read that as "you can't have anything on your car" because any -- can you actually pass this? is it enforceable? >> that's called the first amendment, and i think that the government is not... the first amendment -- i defer to you as the attorney -- doesn't preclude me from wanting you not to say something. it precludes the government from imposing limitations on speech. that bill if it -- it probably passes 17-0, but it has no constitutional basis.
>> it used a slippery-slope argument. now, on the other hand, there are laws against hate speech. how would you feel if someone put a swastika, a nazi flag on their front law next door to you? >> it's their front lawn. >> is that stepping over the line? >> this is on city property. >> but i think the argument is, what are you doing on city property? i've actually worked on a project, on a construction project where people put a noose in the building to try to use that as a way of making african-american workers very much afraid in that particular space. these things are real. this week we had schoolchildren in middle school putting up pumpkins with kkk. "the kkk is coming after you." >> but let's keep it confined to city property. can the city say, "you can't have a confederate flag on your car"? >> well, that's what it comes down to -- coming in with a sticker on your car. how in the world -- is that seen as a hate symbol clearly? i don't think so. >> it depends on who's looking.
>> right. exactly. >> i saw it more as they were referring to city employees and they were referring to city buildings, that if you are an employee or you're a part of the city government, you do not have a right to do something that is gonna create hate or be a part of hate. >> does this go back to the police officer who had the tattoo? >> is it too broad? >> well, i think they're giving it to the city's department of public property. >> ito goes back to a cop who had this sticker on his bumper, and the narcotics department, whatever it is, is seen as biased, as racist, and this is evidence of it. that's what started it. >> well, i think that if they can get ahead of this -- when i see the kinds of things that are going on and coming up online, i think they're trying to get ahead of something that could be very ugly in the city of philadelphia. >> all right, we'll take a short break, and we'll come back to more "inside story." >> 6abc's "inside story" is presented by temple university.
when you're a double-dipping pension-padder like steve sweeney, it's important to maintain a certain... lifestyle. that's why sweeney spent over a hundred grand of his campaign funds on high-priced meals and other gifts. we're talking fine cigars, fancy watches, pricey restaurants, and expensive wines - all to charm the type of folks who helped him raise your taxes 145 times. too many in south jersey are struggling. but steve sweeney's looking out for himself, not for us.
♪ >> welcome back to "inside story." i'm tamala edwards. let's talk about a big change in philadelphia education. there are 31 trade schools and craft schools, and the word had been you have to have pretty good attendance, good grades in middle school in order to get into one of these high schools. now they're saying, "we're not going to do that. we're going to do it by lottery. who you were in middle school may not be a full view on who
you're going to be. let's give everybody a shot." some people say right move. other people say you only need a couple of disruptive kids. that was keeping these schools for the kids who wanted to work hard. who's right on this one? >> well, the school district's wrong. i have personal experience. my son -- surprise -- wanted to go into the media. so, we went to a philadelphia public school, and i sat in three different classes. one of them was a complete lottery, completely out of control. the other was by grades, behavior, teacher recommendation. it was a great class. that will happen in this, and all that you needed, tam, were no d's to get into these programs. and these are kids that want to be chefs, want to do all this type of stuff. i know as a teacher you have one or two disruptive kids, and you're back to the same thing, where you're taking away a golden opportunity, or you're diminishing it. >> but aren't you throwing away the good apples with the bad? i mean, to bar kids who couldn't get above a "d," that doesn't mean that they wouldn't be a good chef or a good mechanic or
anything like that. so, you've got disruptive kids. you deal with them on an individual basis rather than barring a whole group of kids from something that could perhaps give them a career and a job. >> you could show over the last year or so that you've improved. i think if a kid's gonna go into these programs, he should be able to get a "d." >> i don't see anything wrong with having support for a child coming into a program and giving them the opportunity. middle school is tough. i do remember it. and to sort of say, "okay, your whole life is now defined by exactly what happened in fifth through eighth grade" i don't think is fair. when the pew study was done, as it looked at some of these special schools, guess who were the people who were more than likely not getting in? poor boys of color from low-income communities like north philadelphia, west philadelphia. >> but that was a choice to apply. for some reason, they weren't applying, even when they had the credentials.
does the lottery change it in some ways? >> i think the lottery does change it because i think it says, "everyone gets an opportunity to apply." you never know what the word is on the street. "yeah, you can fill out the paperwork, man, but you're not really gonna get a chance to get in," or "counselors aren't really encouraging you because we sort of know what the rules are, and i'm not gonna recommend you." so, i think the idea that you can get in, and the school district should be responsible for making sure that the supports are there so that all students are succeeding. this is an unusual situation. other school districts do it and other cities. i can't figure out why we can't figure out how to do it here. >> but if you have a lottery, what about the kids who are excellent? they're left out by a roll of chance. i don't like lotteries. i want to see criteria here to determine who gets in to what is a special program. >> well, i lead a charter school, and that's the only way we're allowed to let people in is through lotteries. that's become the process for opportunity for many kids in our
city. >> all right, let's talk about something interesting. the philadelphia inquirer announced its endorsement for philly d.a. i think people assumed -- this is a democratic town. they were gonna go for krasner. they went with beth grossman. was that surprising to you guys, and does it make a difference to the average voter out and about on the street that she got the "inky"? >> i was not surprised because of the reason that the inquirer gave, and i thought it was a really thoughtful endorsement when it said that she understood who her constituency was -- the victims and the citizens of philadelphia. and i think a professional district attorney understands the client is to protect the citizens of the city. krasner, with his intellect, which is quite significant, and his skills as a lawyer, has represented perpetrators of crime, has attacked the criminal-justice system and the government, which, on occasion, deserves to be criticized. but has come across as a guy who's against the district attorney's office. and i think that came through in
the campaign, and i think it came through obviously in the editorial board. and the last thing i want to say is that you remember middle school. [ laughter ] just how young you still are. >> thank you very much, sam. >> i don't. >> to answer your first question, i don't think it's surprising. we have had a history of republican district attorneys in philadelphia, even with a democratic majority -- ron castille, arlen specter. and then getting to sam's points about larry krasner, who i happen to know. i've had cases with him and against him over the years. i don't think it's right to brand an attorney by his or her clients. we as lawyers are bound to represent our clients to the best of our ability. everyone has a right to be represented. having said that, there is something to be said for being qualified for the job that you're running for. and for someone to run for and become the district attorney, having never spent a day as a prosecutor, ever been in a
courtroom as a prosecutor, ever ask a jury for a conviction is a little bit out of the ordinary, and i think causes people to be concerned as to whether he really is up to the job. >> what about the people who say, "what about josh shapiro?" who didn't have a certain background and yet is attorney general? >> i think that's a valid argument. however, it's a very different job. the attorney general does not have original jurisdiction over violent crime throughout the state. there are a lot of administrative activities that the attorney general has to handle. and a lot of the job is civil, which josh shapiro did have a fair amount of experience as a civil lawyer. >> i simply can't speak from -- since i'm not a lawyer, and i did pass middle school. but i do think that the community is looking for someone who can go in and really take a look at everything that's going on there and try to figure out whether or not there are some opportunities for there to be more equity in the criminal-justice system. and someone who says that they're gonna do that i think is gonna gain a lot of support in philadelphia. >> how much is the civil-forfeiture thing an issue for her?
i hear about it in certain circles. but i can't tell how much it's being talked about among the electorate. >> i don't think they know. krasner's tried to make the point. i can tell you that libertarians, conservatives -- i oppose her on that. i think that's one of the bad things in her record. and, for the record, sam was endorsed by the inquirer, too. i remember when that endorsement came -- >> and a very successful outcome, too. >> no, but i remember saying, "oh, my god." >> civil forfeiture was the city policy of taking cash, car, and homes from people who hadn't even been charged in crimes yet. >> for people in low-income communities, absolutely, because a lot of times, people are living together -- okay, all right. >> commercial. we'll be back. ♪ after 8 years of chris christie, is kim guadagno the change new jersey really needs? guadagno is christie's hand-picked successor. says she's "proud to be part of the christie administration." guadagno was chris christie's right hand as our schools came under attack, critical services were underfunded, and our credit rating was downgraded...11 times. from the bridge to the beach,
kim guadagno isn't he's a husband, father, veteran... but most of all, he's a fighter. chris brown has never been afraid to take on the big fights. that's why he stood up to republicans and democrats alike to fight the north jersey casinos and the takeover of atlantic city. chris brown is fighting to protect jobs in our region... a true champion for the working men and women of atlantic county. on november 7th, let's keep him fighting for us. chris brown for state senate, he's on our side. >> 6abc's "inside story" is presented by temple university. >> welcome back. let's get our inside stories of the week. we'll start with you, jim. >> tamala, we talked about josh shapiro earlier in our conversation. this week he announced a case against navient, the student-loan lender, administrator, if you will -- a courageous case. he's joined a lot of cases with
other states, but this is a case that he's leading and a case in which the defendant has significant offices in pennsylvania. showed a lot of guts to bring that case. >> dom. >> my inside story is the opioid crisis. we touched upon that today. is just unbelievable. and i happened upon something this week -- sober leagues, where people join. they're not gonna go drinking afterward. or, if it's a softball game, there can be no keg on second base -- none of that type of stuff. these are people in sobriety, a lot of them around opiates, and it's taken on that these leagues are starting to happen. sadly, some people don't want to referee them. referee the leagues. >> hopefully somebody that gives them an idea. sharmain? >> tamala, this week ken chenault, the ceo of american express, says he's gonna step down. but guess what? philly has one of the top ceos of fortune 500s right here, ken frazier, who's the ceo of merck, and i'm excited to say that we're gonna be honoring him on november 17th -- really good guy. >> all right. you get the last word. >> philadelphians will be surprised to learn how impactful
we were in the evolution of motion pictures, and on friday night, a certain documentary-film company that i'm familiar with... [ laughter ] ...will be premiering at the philadelphia film festival at the ritz east, "before hollywood: philadelphia and the birth of the movies." and it'll be on 6abc oscar weekend. >> oh, very proud of you. a round of applause for sam. that's "inside story." we'll see you back here next sunday. ♪ . at rare join appearance all five living former u.s. presidents took politics aside. and important cause. you have been known to look at these little girls here, the