tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN May 18, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PDT
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rally for the 2020 campaign. polls show him as the front-runner in the democratic field. he's hoping to be the one to beat trump in 2020. let's check in to the rally right now. democrat, tom carper became delaware's senior senator when biden stepped down to become vice president in 2009. senator, good to see you. you are with me now. this is really unique, you know, to other presidential contender rollouts. i spoke to your colleague, senator chris coons why biden is his choice. what do you think sets joe biden apart from the other 22 candidates? >> i'm a democrat. i want to see our party unite. i want to be behind someone that will unite behind joe. we don't just need a united democratic party, a united country.
nobody in the senate, outside the senate is better connected than joe biden. they know him and trust him. that's another thing we need. at the core, he is a decent, good, human being as well. >> do you believe that you and senator coons represent the establishment of the democratic wing? when there are so many progressive dems saying it's their turn, what do you say to them? >> it's big. if you look at the polling data, among the people who identify as democrats, a number of folks are progressive. a lot of people think of themselves as moderates. there's a surprising number of folks that say i'm conservative. joe is somebody who can appeal to all those elements. we need somebody, i mentioned earlier, that will unite the party. really, we have a president who sees the job as a divider, somebody who builds walls. joe biden is a bridge builder.
he can work across the party and with republicans. we need a president who can do that. >> right now, a head-to-head poll among pennsylvania voters show biden edging out over trump, the front-runner in the democratic polls. 500 days away from election day. do you worry about whether biden can maintain this lead so early out? >> this is a marathon, as you know. people put fortunes in campaigns. he is a long distance runner. jill is a long distance runner. he told me months ago, she wants me to do this maybe more than he wants to do it. i think he is doing it for the right reasons. our country needs him. he has a great woman behind him. >> right now, among the 22-23
contenders. what is your view on how the former vice president, biden, responds to concerns from so many voters who still see it's white men who are at the top of the most recent polling, including biden? >> i didn't understand your question. say it one more time, there's a lot of noise here. >> yeah, it's a very democratically diverse field there, when you look at these 22/23 candidates. but, leading the pack two white men. what do you say to voters who say, you know, they want to see some diversity? >> well, whoever is the presidential candidate is only half the ticket. there's opportunity for diversity on the other half of the ticket. my guess is, we'll see that. joe runs not just among white men, he runs well among people of color.
he runs real well with people who speak other languages. he can appeal to a lot of folks. now and then people say maybe he's too old. when people say that, i say two words, nancy pelosi. maybe two more words, bernie sanders. joe biden may have the body of a 75-year-old man. he stays in shape. i try to take care of myself. he has the body, stamina of somebody half his age. he is amazing. >> all the names you mentioned, in their 70s. your role as homeland security, we are learning 1700 additional cases of possible family separation have been found according to new numbers. hopefully you can hear me. what is your reaction to that? >> this president has focused on walls, spending a lot of money on border.
i'm off border security. i think it's important and joe biden thinks it's important. you lack that kind of opportunity. too much corruption. they -- we need to focus on the root cause. joe biden understands that. he's the author of lines of prosperity. he knows we have to do more than provide border security. unfortunately, our current president doesn't get that at all, doesn't get that at all. >> will your committee be pursuing whose fault it is or who pays a price for the fact that so many children have been separated from their families and they may never see their families again? >> for us, there's a diverse scripture in the bible that says when i was hungry, you fed me, when i was a stranger in your
land, you are welcoming. it's important for us, when people are genuine, safety back in countries which they lived and fled. it's important when they are genuine that we give them a break. show them some kindness. not everybody who comes to this country has a -- one of the things we ought to do is file for asylum, not just at the border. all countries at the consulates and embassy. that is a better idea. >> senator tom carper, thank you so much for being with us. i appreciate it. >> wish you could be with us today. it's a gorgeous day. >> looks like a gorgeous day. enjoy the sunshine. the rally to get under way moments away. still ahead, u.s. treasury secretary, steve mnuchin is defying a house subpoena for the president's tax returns and says the law is on his side. how will democrats respond? i'll ask the congressman probing trump's taxes, next.
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legitima legitimate legislative purpose and he is not authorized to release them. the law says congress can demand the documents. the leader of the committee, in fact, and it leaves the room, leaves some room for little negotiation. the issue now is likely headed for a court battle. with me now is democratic congressman don buyer of virginia. he is on the house ways and means committee. congressman, thanks so much for being with us. >> thank you, fredricka. >> that request coming from the chairman of that committee, that they shall be supplied. that information shall be supplied. now, what is the recourse we have? what do you do now? >> fredricka, it is very distressing. the language of this 1924 law is abundantly clear. it says shall, it doesn't demand a legislative purpose or
anything. the supreme court, again and again, reiterated congress has the right to look at tax returns. but, we -- we waited about four months before putting the request in because we wanted to make sure we had a clear legislative purpose, which is outlined in the documents to make sure the irs is performing the same kind of audit as it's done. >> the white house is maintaining, as many republicans, saying this request for the president's taxes is really just politically motivated and would cause tax returns to be weaponizeed for political reasons in the future. so, how can you assure the american public that that is not what is at issue? >> i think if you look back, fredricka, a majority of americans have been born since the last time we didn't see a president's tax returns from richard nixon all the way through, they have come forward. this is not about weaponizing. we are mystified about what the
president has to hide, why he is fighting it so hard. "the new york times" has enough returns to see he lost $2 billion over an 11-year period of time. we have to look at mitt romney who fought it as a candidate in 2012. when he finally let them go, it was a one-day story. >> it is an elective for a candidate to reveal in taxes. that is what the white house is trying to remind people of. he doesn't have to reveal those taxes. >> he doesn't have to, unless the chairman of the ways and means committee asks for them. the law is clear that is there. we also, there's so many questions the trump administration and his behaviors raised over the last two years, specifically, why he has been so gentle with putin and russia in the face of opposition from democrats and republicans. perhaps the tax returns help us understand why that is. >> that's at the root of why you
think, why your committee believes it is necessary, important, impairtive to see the president's tax returns. you are talking six years prior to his presidency. >> that's correct. many of the businesses, also. there's so much suspicious activity around there. enough that even during the campaign, the fbi thought there might be reason to look into what was going on between the campaign and russia. >> there's other subpoenas and requests from congress that are also being ignored or dismissed, including, you know, the unredacted version of the mueller report. what does it say to you that this white house or this administration is so o-- formal requests from members of congress? >> it's sad. it's frustrating. it clearly is part of this complete disregard of the rule of law. it's too bad we have to go to
court and i just hope and pray that president trump and his administration won't ignore court orders. that contempt for the rule of law is a bad thing for democracy. >> where do you stand on impeachment and whether that is a viable option. >> i agree with speaker pelosi that we have to go down this road one step at a time. already we are trying to dive as deep as we can into the mueller report. it eegs not easy because most americans think, if you impeach him, he's out of office. if you impeach him, it's like an indictment and goes to the senate. we have yesterday to have a republican in either body to say they would join us. this has to be bipartisan at the end of the day. >> what do you feel is missing to allow you to conclude more forcefully that impeachment is necessary, that there is, indeed, a constitutional crisis underway and the only solution, by way of the authority that
congress has of oversight would be impeachment? >> i'm not on the judiciary committee, so i can't talk about what is missing. i know the chairman of the judiciary committee and the house of democratic leadership is trying to build the strongest poszable case they can before initiating impeachment. if we go down that road, we want to ensure it is the correct road and is successful. >> thank you for your time. >> joe bidesen's kick off rally beginning any moment now. he is already celebrating a big lead over his democratic rivals. can he keep that momentum going? we'll discuss, next. i've got an idea. ooh, what is it? what if we give the people iphone 10r when they join t-mobile? for a limited time join t-mobile and get the awesome iphone 10r on us.
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at any moment now, joe biden will be taking that stage. right now, there's music underway and a rally about to kick off for joe biden's campaign in the city of brotherly love, philadelphia. we'll take you there live as it happens. while we wait, let's discuss with political reporter for the washingt washington examiner, celine zito, former executive to george w. bush, scott jennings, and joe
lockheart with us and executive director, alexandra rojas. good to see all of you. joe, let me begin with you. the former vice president already said while on the campaign trail the last three weeks or so, his will be a campaign of unity. how specific does he need to get? is this a moment in which to roll out policy ideas? what is this rally to be about for joe biden? >> he is looking at this as the end of his announcement tour. i don't expect a lot of policy proposals. it will be theme attic and law out in front of a crowd the kind of campaign he wants to run. they have signaled clearly, they want to run a campaign to contrast the character of joe biden and democrats with the character of donald trump and the republicans. it wants to be a campaign that contrasts the division of donald
trump with the unity of joe biden. so, i think that's what you will hear today, rather than a laundry list of policy pros proposals. that will come. we are in the campaign. i don't think you will hear a lot of that today. >> donald trump won pennsylvania in 2016. but, you know, if you look at the polling, you know, joe biden's popularity, how far ahead he is from the pack, the joe biden camp feels confident it might be able to clinch pennsylvania. president trump will be heading to pennsylvania next week. how worried, how concerned might he be? >> well, i think the republicans know the democrats are coming for the upper midwest. that michigan, wisconsin, pennsylvania corridor, donald trump swept it. the democrats could win two of those states and lose to donald trump. he has elasticity in the electoral count.
those three states are among the three most important and part of biden's is he is the candidate to win. i see similarities to what biden is doing to what mitt romney did in the 2012 primary. the argument is i'm the most electable and give us a chance to win in the states against an incumbent president where the other folks are too inexperienced and too extreme. it's really, really similar. in that case, it didn't work out. that's what you are going to see trump doing. joe biden needs this campaign to be about anything but the economy because the economy is red hot and donald trump is getting credit for it. >> fox polling shows biden at 35%, sanders, 17%. no other candidate has double digit support. at the same time, we are talking a diverse field of 22-23
candidates. why is it it's biden and bernie sanders at the top of the field? >> it's incredibly early. we are ten months out from the first election and haven't had the first presidential debate. a lot of what, up until this point joe biden has is he is making a lot of, to my colleague's point, similar steps romney and hillary clinton did in 2008. he has close ties to wall street. a bad past with trade deals. he was the architect of the 1994 crime bill. i think that voters have to have a lot to learn about his very public record beyond just joe biden being vice president to barack obama. i think there's only so much time he's going to have to ride on sort of those coat tails. the senator of energy in the democratic party right now is around big ideas and issues like expanding an improved medicare for all.
a green new deal. accepting no corporate law money. joe biden's record is in opposition to this. he's got to make the case that unity for the sake of unity is it. people are angry, not for any reason. 60% of americans can't afford an $800 emergency room bill. to say the economy is okay, is not going to cut it for the millions suffering and hurting by the effects of this administration. >> joe biden has name recognition. at the same time, a record. 36 years, you know, in the senate. vice president in the obama white house. so, there is a lot there for, you know, fellow contenders to really critique. senator kamala harris, you know, she said this about, you know, that crime bill, that just joe biden can't seem to escape. >> that 1994 crime bill, it did
contribute to mass incarceration in our country. it encouraged and was the first time we had a federal three strikes law. it funded the building of more prisons in the states. so, i disagree, sadly. >> joe, is this going to be an achilles heel for joe biden? >> i think the advantage to new people coming into the campaign is, they don't have a record. the advantage to people who have been in politics, they have experience. the campaign will decide what the voters think is more important. it's open to debate where the energy in the democratic party is. there's energy around big ideas and the progressive wing. if you look at 2018, the reason the democrats took back the house is moderate democrats won in republican areas. that's why we have had this
swing and this power. so, i think there is tension. neither side is wrong. we are not sure, yet, where it's going. there's been tension between making sure we nominate somebody who we know can beat donald trump and making sure we nominate someone who we think has the best big ideas and bold agenda. that's playing out in the campaign. i think, obviously, biden benefits from the former, you know, bernie sanders, elizabeth warren, can they start? the one thing i say about what scott said, i agree with him that running on the economy would be donald trump's best weapon and, you know, a hard thing to run against. i just haven't seen evidence that he can stick to that. what i hear is talking about witch hunts and immigration and social wedge issues. you know, if he gets back to the economy, he is a tougher candidate to beat. i agree with that. i just don't see any evidence
that he's able to do that. >> just as there are concerns, you know, scott, among democrats that joe biden, you know, has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth, the same concerns can be said about republicans as it pertains to donald trump. if he can be disciplined enough. >> yeah, look, donald trump, as joe said, if he can stay on reminding people of the economy, that's the best path to recovering from voters that stuck with him in 2016. the suburban white collar voters. if he can talk to them about their lives are better, their 401(k)'s have better, their college funds have gone up, that's the path back. it requires discipline and a very, very focused campaign in those areas. i think a challenge, frankly, for biden, if you want to go on the other side of the coin is something that our fellow
panelists talk about. he can't motivate or inspire the younger voters in the party that are truly, in my opinion, the energy of the party. he's going to run the risk hillary had in '16 with swaths of voters that didn't turn out. that would help donald trump get re-elected. >> we'll be right back after this. 's either the assurance ofa 165-point certification proces. or it isn't. it's either testing an array of advanced safety systems. or it isn't. it's either the peace of mind of a standard 5-year unlimited mileage warranty. or it isn't. for those who never settle, it's either mercedes-benz certified pre-owned. or it isn't. the mercedes-benz certified pre-owned sales event. now through may 31st. only at your authorized mercedes-benz dealer. [music playing] jerry has a membership to this gym, but he's not using it. and he has subscriptions to a music service he doesn't listen to and five streaming video services he doesn't watch.
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will take the stage for a kick-off rally after a three-week rollout of his 2020 campaign. polls show him as the front-runner of the democratic field. as soon as that kicks off, we will bring it live. the triumphant choir is just leaving the stage. shocking and painful to comprehend. ohio state university commenting on a damming report about sexual abuse involving at least 177 former students at the hands of a now deceased doctor. it happened at the hands of dr. richard strauss as early as 1979. he killed himself in 2005. here is what we are learning from the report, that more than 100 students report excessive groping, fondling and inappropriate exams. there were impromptu xamps in
locker rooms and his home, inappropriate conversations about sex and he is accused, the doctor, is accused of performing unwanted oral sex at least twice. the accusers say at least 50 school officials knew about the abuse, including congressman jim jordan. jordan was once a wrestler and assistant coach at the school. jordan's office released a statement saying the investigators concluded what we have said from the beginning, congressman jordan never knew of abuse and if he had, he would have dealt with it. important to note, the school, ohio state university says, i'm quoting now, we could not make conclusive determinations about each and every allegation about every coach's knowledge. let's discuss it with avery and richard. good to see you both. >> good to see you.
>> this is a very details, you know, report and very disturbing. avery, some victims are calling on the university to take responsibility for its inaction and we should note that most of the claims are part of two related lawsuits against ohio state that are headed to mediation. so, does this report open the school up to legal scrutiny? >> oh, i think the report is critical, fredricka. ohio state university, 20 years of this kind of abuse, they are going to rename it ostrich state university. it's very serious. mediation is one way of getting one resolve. it's many federal lawsuits. interestingly enough, what is being used is a civil rights law passed in 1972, making universities responsible for gender base. it is title ix that they are
looking at right now. with 150 athletes among the 177, fredricka, this is an enormous and serious matter. >> it is very serious. the university issued a statement, you know, saying in part, the report concludes university personnel had knowledge of complaints and concerns about strauss' conduct as early at 1979, but failed to investigate or act meaningfully. how in the world could ohio state defend itself on that? >> they can't. that's the problem. you get up there and you want to make your apology from the bottom of your heart and you come clean like the president just did this week. he's just handed over, basically a summary judgment to plaintiffs who bring lawsuits on this. he admitted what everyone was talking about here, that the school knew about it. there were complaints made. they did no investigation. they sought to cover up and the report sayses that -- >> you are talking a 20-year
span. >> 20 year. if you were at ohio state during that period, you would have to have your ears plugged, eyes shut and mouth closed. this jordan, with a smug look on his face, his locker was right next to strauss'. how could he not have heard, known or done something about the sexual predator running loose at ohio state university? an apology is not enough. the university is going to have to really suffer for this, because 177 students over 20 years, how many students did not come forward? how many suppressed it? give me a break. this school paid a price for this. >> again, for the congressman, the release of the statement released by the office saying the investigators concluded what we have said from the beginning, congressman jordan never knew of abuse. if he had, he would have dealt with it. there are, according to reporting, there are some tunts
who were saying he was one of the staff members who knew of the abuse. when you have, you know, when you have that, avery, what is likely the road for the congressman whose had a statement, said he didn't know about it and students who say he did. he was among those who turned the other way? >> very simple, they are going to listen to his, they are going to listen to the congressman's, the court will decide. >> richard? >> in litigation, they will subpoena him to testify. >> that's it. >> they will catch him purging himself. fred, one complaint to the medical board, nothing happened. not one single complaint to law enforcement during those 20 years. michigan state, penn state, now ohio state. it's outrageous, this conduct.
if you were one of the victims, you carry this for the rest of your life. i'm profoundly sorry. that doesn't do it, fred. it really doesn't do it. the university can't throw it under the carpet. they have to pay for this. >> we'll leave it there for now. thank you very much. see you guys. >> take care. we expect joe biden to take to the stage there in philadelphia. when we does, he'll take you there, live. - hi, doug.
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welcome back. at any moment in philadelphia, joe biden, the former vice president, now leading the pack in the democratic field of 23 candidates will be holding his first rally since announcing the candidacy some three weeks ago. so far polls show him that he is handling leading that pack and in the front, ahead of bernie sanders who was leading the pack. as we await joe biden's appearance, let's talk about the field of candidacy in this race for 2020, the white house. back with me now, former special assistant to george w. bush, scott jennings, and press
secretary, joe lockhart and director firefighter democrats, rojas. what is the importance of a rally of this caliber, three weeks after joe biden announced his candidacy, formally. >> he's trying to show broad appeal. most of the politics in iowa and new hampshire and south carolina is retail poll sicks. you are in people's homes, doing small groups. what the biden campaign is attempting to do is show they have very broad appeal in an important state. you will see a diverse crowd there, a big crowd there, at least it looks like from the pictures we are looking at. really, as i said earlier, you know, trying to roll out a vision of the campaign. i think, as i have said all along, since the announcement, i think the first three or four months are critical for biden. a lot of people commit as the
front-runner, then under perform, don't meet expectations and it's hard to recover from that. what he needs to do from here is have a solid first three months to prove he is a strong front-runner and the rest of the field will try to sort through who is the alternative to him. he is off to a good start. it's three weeks, but only three weeks. i think today is a big day proving that, you know, he can get a crowd rallied around him, you know, show some excitement and show, you know, the rest of the country, you know, the kind of support joe biden has. >> you are nodding your head. what do you think joe biden has to reveal or convey in the first three or four months in order to maintain this lead? >> well, right before i hopped on, i saw some of the excerpts they released from what he is going to talk about today. he pointed to, you know, being
confused by people are angry right now. i think that is sort of off to a rocky start. we'll see what the rest of the speech entails, but i think being president of the united states isn't about reminiscing about the time before donald trump or what's in our past. it's charging a path forward for the future. we can see the overwhelming energy of the first voters in the first state are around big ideas like a green new deal, taxing the rich. you know, health care at the top of the agenda in guaranteeing health care as a right for every man, woman and child. if he is unwilling to talk about the issues and how they are too expensive or we have to be a democratic party that says no we can't, that's not exciting to voters. to point out, back in 2016, yes, we got more votes on the democratic side, but a lot of the same voters that came out for obama stayed home.
that's young people that's working people of all backgrounds and women of color. if he is going -- it's not just about moderation, it's about motivation. if we want a repeat of what happened in 2016, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and other again and hoping it changes. i hope that joe biden, over the next three months, embraces a bold vision for what the future of america could look like. it's not just going after donald trump, not just talking about unity for the sake of unity, but defining what a vision could look like if we tackle threats like climate change. he's from a generation of leadership that failed. they failed to stop donald trump. they failed to tackle the most fundmental issues facing the country. people are angry for a reason. we have systemic problems in this country and it's going to take more than reminiscing about the past. we have to charge a vision for the future. if he wants my generation to support him, he's going to have
to come out strong on climate, income equality and taking on powerful, special interests that are halting progress. >> less than a minute before someone takes to the stage there. how does, you know, president trump, you know, listen to this via tune to the fact he has to appeal to a growing audience himself? i mean, he may have won the last presidency and his committed support may have stuck with with him, but have you seen that he has shown signs of growing support so that he could get back into the white house? >> well, i think he's done a good job of holding what he's got, which is enough to win. as i said before the break, he can lose ground over what he did in 2016 and hold on to the white house. i think the critical issue is,
there were voting populations that went away from the republicans in the 2018 midterm and he's got to be disciplined enough to stay on a path to get those folks back. i think he has to pay close attention to whether biden is cutting if somehow biden sweeps michigan, wisconsin, pennsylvania, then, obviously, donald trump has a problem. if donald trump is beating biden in one or two of the states, trump is okay. i think that we're a long way from knowing how this is all going to shake out, whether biden can actually go the distance here. i have my doubts, but that's what donald trump is looking at right now. it is really just a handful of voters in a handful of states that i need to find a path back to them from where they went from '16 to '18. that's how trump wins. >> it looks like, as we watch the crowd here, we're looking at this jumbotron, perhaps it is jill biden introducing joe biden via video here before joe biden takes to the stage here. you know, joe, joe biden does
well among women and non-whites. why is it, in your view, that he seems to appeal more to women and non-white voters, more so right now, early on, again, than, say, candidates, you know, cory booker and camikamala harr? >> listen, i think there is a myth that somehow there isn't excitement among joe bivoters a joe biden, whether college educated or non college educated voters. numbers have improved because of that. the confusion that biden has talked about in the excerpts is not being confused about why people are angry. what he's talking about is, let's not confuse anger and fight anger with only anger. why play donald trump's game? again, i think there are a lot
of candidates that are -- that deserve attention here. i haven't picked a candidate. the idea that somehow that all of the energy in the party is at the far left is just not supported by the facts. the campaign -- do the campaign for the sake of finding out the answers to the questions, but i think it is wrong to say that, somehow, he doesn't have that support. the second thing is, donald trump hasn't held on to the votes that he had in 2016. he's actually -- you know, when you're at 38%, 39%, 40%, he's under water in many of the states that he won. he does have an uphill climb. we see dr. biden. i'll stop talking. >> okay. that was pretty good timing, joe. let's listen to dr. jill biden, who will now, live and in person, introduce her husband, joe biden.
[ cheers and applause ] >> wow. philadelphia! it's so great to be home. as many of you may know, i grew up right down broad street on wilick road. every single weekend, my four sisters and i would pile into our family's station wagon and cross the bridge to go see my grandparents in southern jersey. my summers were spent watching the phillies with my dad and waitressing at the shore.
i love you, too. i watch the mummers parade and took class trips to the planetariu planetarium, the betsy ross house, and the liberty bell. i am an upper moraling golden bear and villanova wildcat. i ran the broad street 10 miler, and forever, fly, eagles, fly! so, as you can see, this city is part of who i am. no matter where i go, or where i am, i will always and forever be a philly girl. over the last two years, so many
of you have come up to me at events, in airports, in the grocery store, even on the streets, and said the same thing. please tell joe he has to run. people have said that they miss his statesmanship, his ability to find common ground. they miss his diplomacy and his deep experience working with our allies around the world. they miss his courage, to confront issues that matter when no one else seems to care. like his life-saving work on the violence against women act.
but it's not just that they miss his leadership, they miss his kindness. the way he inspires us to keep believing that our best days are yet ahead of us. his ability to face tragedy and not give in or give up. his character, his love for our nati nation. again and again, people have told me, joe is the one who can move us forward. joe is the one who can bring us together. we need him. you know what? i agree. i miss that feeling of hope and optimism, too. you know what, philly?
today, we begin to restore that feeling. this moment defines who we are. it's a moment that we need to hear your voices. it's a moment when we need leaders with vision and character. it's a moment for someone who can bring us together. it's a moment for joe biden! we are starting an enormous journey today. the biden family is ready. we will do this as we always have, as a family. we know that all of you are with us, too.
we know that every person who told me they wanted joe to run is going to do their part. we know you're going to talk to your neighbors, text your friends, knock on doors, get them to the polls. we need you. all of those little things add up. together, we will build this movement and, together, we will win. for as long as i've known him, joe has never given up, never failed to see the possibilities, and never had any doubt about who he's fighting for. as long as he has the impresspr of serving this nation, i know, from the bottom of my heart,