tv Smerconish CNN July 18, 2020 6:00am-7:00am PDT
civil rights icon john lewis has passed away after his last battle with pancreatic cancer. i'm michael smerconish in philadelphia. the longtime u.s. congressman from georgia calls the conscience of the congress. was one of the 13 freedom riders to challenge segregated interstate travel and was the last surviving speaker of the 1963 march on washington. on march 7th, 1965, he led one of the most famous marches across history across the edmund pettus bridge in selma, becoala. was brutally beaten by a billy
club. congressman lewis was 80. we'll have more on his passing later in the program. coming up, the presidential race, landslide coming or truman. joe biden as he claims would beat donald trump like a drum, that is what the data suggests. no matter what the trump campaign might argue, the demotion of manager brad parscale seems confirmation enough. you don't yank a healthy quarterback with a hot hand. more than anything else the president is upside down because of his handling of coronavirus, where he wore a mask only once, and under duress, downplays the dental toll and is now is publicly feuding with his scientific right-hand man. it's no wonder that 64 managers of americans told an nbc news "washington post" that they distrust what the president says about the congress. call nor racial justice, underwhelming attendance at that
tulsa rally. and the continued laser focus on his base can no longer contend he can shoot someone on fifth avenue and get away with it. this week, there was a plethora of information. former vice president joe biden holds an 11-point lead in an nbc/"wall street journal" poll. and a whopping 52% lead in a quinnipiac poll and in an ipsos poll by 10%. media med headlines reflect the mismatch. and "the washington post," trump's drop in polls hass confident democrats sensing a tu miami. does this all sound familiar? it should. here's a june 16 head line, from the same newspaper, a new poll
support giving clinton a double-digit lead. an nbc/"wall street journal" poll showed hillary clinton inching out donald trump by 5. in an abc poll, up 7 in a cnn/orc poll. the final national polling from 2016 actually wasn't so far off the mark. in the end, they had clinton up by about 3%. she won the popular vote by 2.1%. but, of course, we don't elect president business national polling or the popular vote for that matter, if we did president hillary clinton would now be running for re-election. while they nailed the outcome in most states, the pollsters were wrong where it mattered the most. in the gather ground states, largely in the upper midwest. let's compare what polls are saying now versus what they predicted four years ago where it matters most. today, polls show that trump is losing in michigan, pennsylvania
and wisconsin. biden is sitting with a comfortable 8% lead in wisconsin according to a marquette law school poll from june. that same exact marquette poll showed hillary with a 9% lead in the summer of 2016. in the end, trump won the state by 0.8%. a monmouth university survey of pennsylvania voters released this week has biden up 13%. four years ago, a poll at this time, by nbc and "the wall street journal" showed hillary clinton winning pennsylvania by 8%. in the end, it was trump by 0.7%. and in michigan, a recent survey showed biden leading by 11%. four years ago, it was clinton who was already ahead by 9%. in the end, trump won the state by a razor thin margin of just 0.2%. as "usa today" pointed out this week, of the 104 published polls that surveyed voters in those three states from august through the election, 101 of them had
clinton winning, two were tied, one in pennsylvania showed trump with a slight lead. many fell within the margin of error, but 15 had clinton up by double digits at some point. so what does it all mean? no doubt that you'll rather be joe biden than donald trump right now. but it also means there's time on the clock for anything to happen. and no matter what the polling shows for the next 108 days until the election, the upset of 2016 will give the trump campaign fodder to hold out hope, no matter what the data says. in that monmouth survey of pennsylvania that was released on wednesday the one where biden is up by 13%, many respondentents say they think they live amidst secret trump voters who ultimately could sway the election. 57% say they're communities are populated by people who support trump and haven't told anyone. the president better hope that's
the case. i want to know what you think, go to my website @smerconish.com this hour. answer the question, very simple, is the election over? jason miller joins me now. he's a senior adviser in president trump's re-election campaign. jason, i have worked in the past in campaigns where there was a hidden vote for my candidate. i get it. i wouldn't be surprised if there's a 2%, 3% bump for president trump. but 8%, 10%, i don't see it. what i most want to ask you is this, i understand in how in a head-to-head there could be perceived pressure brought by respondents. but you've got be troubled by the internals, for example, where two-thirds roughly say, hey, we don't just anything that he says about the virus. that's one of the surveys i was voting. your thoughts or what? >> michael, good to be with you back on cnn. first my condolences to the family of john lewis, a real civil rights hero and icon.
>> amen. >> to politics here, some real off-the-top things we have to point out, the surveys coming out this week, whether it be quinnipiac which only surveyed 24% republicans or the abc/"washington post" 24%. or the nbc/"wall street journal" that had 26%, these are nine or seven points off what the exits showed in both 2018 and 2016. as we talk about the exits, even cnn's exit polling in 2018 -- look, 2018 was a bad year for republicans. so you're talking about a 27% underrepresentation of republican voters. the fact of the matter is, when you look at polls that are being done that have actually likely voters, not registered voters. the rasmussen poll is a good indicator. we do our polling in virtually the same method. this race is a tie or toss job, no matter how you look at it. president trump is well positioned to win this race, he's either leading or tied for
every state we need to win to get to 270. michael, there are a couple of trends we're noticing in the polling, first and foremost, joe biden has real problems with african-american voters. that's why he's running tv'ds in urban markets. get getting 40 brs to zogby, and 30% to rasmussen. there's a massive enthusiasm. recent programming shows that president trump, 70% of supporters are supports him because they like him. only 37% of biden supporters are backing him because they actually like him. nobody wanted joe biden to run. >> jason, you haven't said this, but i'll just state for the audience, there's been no cherry-picking here. we worked awfully hard in the last 48 hours to make sure we could present a nice cross-section of all of the data. there's nothing out there that says that the president son the right track. if it were, brad parscale wouldn't have been demoted, right? >> no, i'll push back on that.
i think this is putting the key players on our team in position to win. for example, putting brad in the position where he's running digital data. and bill stepien who is a world class campaign manager into that spot i think puts them both in the spot that can help the president in the fall. it's like point guard to center and center to point guard. we streamlined the team. and brad is still an important part of the team. our polling, we think we're in good shape here's especially going through the battlegrounds there's a reason why joe biden is hiring up staff in minnesota and maine. there's a reason that joe biden is having to run advertisements. it's unprecedented, michael, for a democratic candidate in the general election to have to run ads. because jobe biden is anemic at best. in addition, michael, in addition to the numbers we're seeings published polls that gee by registered voters not likelies. but a 2% or 3% variance what
we're seeing is joe biden moving farther to the left. i think this isn't making headlines, when you see the 72-point from the. william and saying trump behind him and that nonsense, the fact of the matter is biden is moving farther left. i never seen this in the general election -- >> yeah, i know that's the way you're trying to portray him. we've all seen the chris wallace clip where the president can't substantiate the charge that joe biden is for defunding the police. i have to ask you about another subject. the economy has been the president's saving grace. the other thing that i found significant, as i burrowed into all of these numbers this week is that seems to have flipped. now, on the question of who's best protecting your pocketbook, we can put it up on the screen, it's joe biden by 10. if you ask people about the middle class, who is best equipped to help the middle class, that has to trouble you most. you can respond.
>> the specific numbers you're putting up i'm not able to see but all of the internal numbers that i've seen says that the voters still tread president trump on the economy. he's built the greatest economy and continues. i make one point here, michael, that's a fact that even we've seen the right track/wrong track numbers nationally be upside down this is not a change in election that's because americans want the economy that we had before covid. president trump is best prepared to bring that back. he has the plan. that's why joe biden is running on corny slogans like build back better. he's not running as a change candidate because americans want the economy we had before covid. >> here's what we can agree on. there's a lot of time on the clock if it were a ball it bounces like a football and you just don't know which direction it's heading next. jason, thank you for being here. what are your thoughts, tweet me @smerconish. from facebook, this comes,
cancel culture has silenced trump supporters. the only place they can truly express how they feel is the ballot box. they're accused of being racist, et cetera, when in reality they value hard work, faith and family. i get it, and all of this polling information must be mistaken. what i was try to say to jason, who are you for, biden or trump? i'll give you the argument there's a hidden trump vote there, not eight or ten points. but it's further internals in the poll that ought to be the most problematic for the trump campaign. people on the economy have shifted. on going back to school, they've shifted. it's the data that is not at the top line i think that really tells the complete story. that's what i'm trying to say. remember to go to my website @smerconish.com. answer the survey question. love the simplicity of it -- is it the election over? up ahead in a year full of earth-shattering events that
have changed the political landscape, i have to wonder what would happen if the supreme court has another vacancy between now and the election? i will ask an expert about that. and the long-debated american idea, republic reparat slavery. i'll dog to d.l. hughley about that. and plus, what john lewis meant to the 1960s and beyond.
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successor? notwithstanding what occurred just four years ago, the answer seems to be a certain yes. now, remember that chronology. justice scalia passed in february 2016. the election was then nine months away. in march, president obama nominated merrick garland, the chief judge of the d.c. circuit court of appeals. that's a prestigious bench that has often served as a supreme court farm team. garland had previously been confirmed to then position in a 76-23 vote of the u.s. senate and had earned the praise the republicans including senator orrin hatch of utah. immediately after scalia's passing, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell served no action taken on any pick by president obama. his rationale, that with the election upcoming the american people, quote, should have a say in the court's direction. and mcconnell wasn't alone, the 11 republican members of the senate judiciary committee signed a letter saying they have no intention of contenting to
any nominee from president obama. garland never had a hearing. again, scalia passed nine months before election day. we're now less than four months from the election. supreme court picks are often contentious during the confirmation process. but this was different. mcconnell was ignoring a nominee treating the situation as if no vacancy existed. beyond citing the upcumminkucoi election, democrats had no election since the republican since 1965. and mcconnell argued that democrats hinted at the same approach. in 1982, then senator joe biden raised the possibility of holding any vacancy since george hush esche walker bush noting that it didn't happen. still republicans tagged biden as setting the standard. in 2016, president trump instead
of hillary clinton appointing justice scalia's successor. that was a mhuge motivator. where just deciding the election you could make a case that the supreme court issue won the race for trump. when he won, he named neil gore su goresuch to the court. what would happen if a vacancy were to happen now? the republican controlled senate would confirm a nominee this year despite the events of 2016. >> let me remind you what i said in 2016. i said you'd have to go back to the 1880s to find the last time a vacancy on the supreme court occur during a presidential election year was confirmed by a senate of a different party than the president. that was the decision in 2016. that would not be the situation in 2020. >> this week cnn's man mou raju
tweeted when asked about this same, mark meadows said he would expect a quick nomination. joining me, nina, let me say i've been planning this discussion for weeks. i wish them all to live long and healthy lives. you know that both sides seek to distinguish what happened four years ago. from your perspective, how unique was the treatment of merrick garland? >> it was completely -- it was a one of a kind. it was unique. it had never happened before. and there were moments, during that episode, where some of mcconnell's own troupes were so, i think, embarrassed by it, that they started to flake off
occasionally. and would say something about well, he deserves a hearing. and mcconnell, in one case that i know of, told the senator, you keep this up, and i will run a primary opponent against you. so there was no opposition within the ranks. >> do you think that it's -- this is all hypothetical. do you think that it's a certainty that republicans would remain lockstep this time around? and if not, who might be the likely defectors in the scenario, we're discussing? >> well, it depends whether it happens before the election or after the election. if it's before the election, there are a lot of senators who are have going to have tough races. and they may not want to look like hypocrites because they, last time, blocked somebody from consideration. and this time, would be voting to confirm. somebody like susan collins, for
example, or cory gardner in colorado. it could really be a big election issue that works not in their favor. whereas, i think in the national election, what we've seen, fairly consistently, increasingly over the years, is that the supreme court is an issue favors conservatives. because they vote on that issue. and it's often their primary motivation, and that is not true for liberals. they always think going to work okay for them, until it doesn't. >> one wonders where is the line, if justice scalia passed nine months before an election. and senator mcconnell at the time said, well, the american people need to have a say through the election. now we're less than four months away from the election. i guess it's situational. and it depends who has the power. >> it depends who has the power. but you know, the senators who face tough senate elections, and
there are now probably a half dozen of them, and the democrats have a real possibility of controlling the senate for the first time in a long, but the republicans are going to be between a rock and a hard place because they need mcconnell's help financially, et cetera, to win re-election. but this kind of a vote could doom their re-election. so it's really -- i think he would absolutely try to push somebody through. as soon as he was sure he had the votes. and that would be the question, did he have the votes? but i think they've made very clear their intention. they intend to try to do that. and i think they've made clear their intention they would try to do it potentially, even after eat election, if trump lost. >> let's hope everybody lives to be 100 and serves until their last breath. nina totenberg, thank you so much. >> you're welcome. checking in on your tweets and your facebook comments.
this is from facebook, i think. mcconnell would be wise to be consistent and get people to the polls to decide the new york stock exchange scotus member. doug ebbersol, i say as an attorney, i say it this way, every four years i find myself on primarily radio saying it's the court, the court, the court. the single greatest power beyond the president. to be on the bench. frankly, nobody seems to hear me. but in the last cycle when you had a vacancy and the choice became one of would you like hillary clinton to fill it or would you like donald trump to fill it, i think it was an enormous rallying cry for conservatives. i want to remind to you answer the survey questi question @smerconish.com this hour. it's a real simple question, but complicated, isn't it -- is the election over? still to come, colleges
around the country are rescinding admissions to incoming freshmen after the exposure of racist or otherwise offensive social media posts. is this the right message about speech? and krajohn laewis, the son sharecroppers, has passed at the age of 90. andinco north carolina passes e operations. just vacuum, spray mop, and toss. the shark vacmop, a complete clean all in one pad. moves like these need ♪born to be wild pampers cruisers 360° fit with an ultra-stretchy waistband and 360° fit that adapts to every wild move plus up to 12 hours of pampers protection
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he was just 23 years old when he spoke on the 1963 march on washington alongside martin luther king. two years later he marched across the edmund pettus bring in selma, alabama, brutally beaten by a billy club. he lived to see this summer's massive black lives matter marches in the wake of the killing of george floyd by police. in a statement, president barack obama said this, not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. john lewis did. and thanks to him we now have all of our marching orders to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country that we love until it lives up to its full promise. joining me now to discuss is comedian d.l. hughley whose new and timely book is titled "surrender white people: our unconditional terms for peace." d.l., i thought the book was great. i didn't know whether to laugh
or cry. but i'm thinking about, you know, how 50-plus years ago, he was beaten with a baton, trying to get voting rights for folks of color. and, you know, 50 years thereafter, you're going to sell your house in l.a., and the appraiser has some interesting advice. what's that story. >> right. >> he asked me -- it was such a nice house, he asked me to take down by personal family pictures because he believed it would in some way devalue the house or the appraisal. of course, i'm like, i'm not taking my pictures down, sure enough, the appraisal came in so low, they thought the house had to be some in form of disrepair. we called the bank. the bank send out another praiser out and gave us fair market value, and he was terminated. he asked why he did. he said because i could. and i think when you look at the passing of john lewis, he helped us navigate some of the most
turbulent times in our history. and he was there in a beacon time, during that time. and he got to see the next turbulent time in our history. but i also think it tells you how far we've come and so polarized. there used to be a time when a national figure, regardless of what party it was from, every, particularly the leader of a country came out immediately and said something about it. you know, just kind of a noteworthy has passed. and that's a time to put all of the criticism aside and all of the past war aside and just give somebody condolences, and we can't even do that now. so, i think john lewis typifies where we are and where we are going. and i think it is -- the more this thing gets us to the promised land, and i didn't think he did either, but i think he was pivotal leading us there. >> and your book "surrender white people" partly tongue in
check lets us know there's work to be done. nobody is winning, everybody is losing, we're all angry, we've been at it so long, it feels like we'll always have racial conflict and like we'll never figure out how to live together in peace and harmony. whatever happened to ebony and ivory living side by side on my keyboa keyboard?" explain. >> i think ultimately, a lot of people refuse to accept the fact that there's white supremacy. there's racial divide. when you look at what happened with tucker carlson he said he never met a white supremacist. he never met one and he has to fire his white writer who in turn is say white supremacist. for those people with voices who have this notion it doesn't exist. listen, all of us have felt
entitled to privilege. all of us, for whatever reason. but we have a nation that's built on a particular group, their right to privilege. and if we're all going to share this american experience, this great american experience, it has to be admitted and rectified some in way, i feel that's how we move forward. >> in asheville, north carolina there was a move in support of reparations, is that where you're headed? >> if you look at what's happening, several colleges, several schools up there, you know, who have decided that reparations were -- obviously, and it's a misnomer to believe no reparations were paid. slave owners were paid reparations. and italian immigrants were paid reparations. that was 100 years ago. the japanese have been paid reparations so this notion that we've never done it is a
misnomer. now to look at it, if we had this conversation six months ago it would have been dismissed out of hand. now, people are actually starting to have conversations about what it would look like. and what it would entail and what would happen. and that's how it starts but when you look at what happened with the lgbtq movement, that wasn't fighting, that was glee and ellen and watching us. the marijuana movement, watching it, they were us. for the first time, whether america wants to admit it or not, they've really started to through -- i don't know, maybe it's because we were in lockdown, the world was in lockdown, certainly, the george floyd video played a part but they're starting to see, this is us, and we have to do something about us. i think these conversations are going to be turbulent and fraught with all kind of agreements. moving forward with the notion that things that are wrong need to be right. now, if we were build statues to
our divisions, we can do something that builds our divisions, that starts to erase them. and i think reparations is one of those things. >> and you propose a statute of limitations for statues. by the way, the book is just loaded with classic d.l. humor. and yet, makes a lot of serious points. thanks for being here to discuss it. >> thanks, thank you, man. you take care. >> that's d.l. hughley. i want to remind you to answer this week's survey question 80 smerconish.com. simple yet complicated, is the election over? still to come, should an offensive social media post from teenage years haunt the rest of your life? how colleges are revoking admissions to students online suppressing racist and/or homophobic views. is that the right outcome? stressballs gummies
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over race, after the killing of george floyd, several colleges have been rescinding admission of opportunities perceived on social media for past perceived racial posts. a 17-year-old female lacrosse player accepted at marquette university for posting this on her snapchat. quote, some people think it's okay to f'ing kneel during the national anthem so it's okay to kneel on someone's head. just a day later, marquette tweet they had had rescinded her admission and athletic scholarship, saying, quote, we are called to build a nurturing inclusive community where all peel se feel celebrated. just then, actress and youtuber sky jackson tweeted a request for people to identify racist posts and which school students
were attending. somebody flagged this old post in which the valedictorian wrote, she tries hard not to be racist but definitely is calling two of the students in her classes retarded and, quote, crack whores. and no longer attending the university of florida. then there's this snapchat of a male student headed to cornell to play football. the video was supposed to be documenting their friend's first time smoking cigarette but it included multiple uses of the n-word. >> [ bleep ] you george employed looki looki looking [ bleep ].
although the student was not only kicked off the football team but uninvited from the college all together, the first who shot the video also had his admission rescinded by the university of richmond. i get the impulse but i question is this the best way to fix the problem? join me is director of marion b. brettner first project in the university of florida's jecolle of journalism. we toss around first amendment, are these cases literally first amendment cases? >> the initial issue is, is it a private university or private unit? the first amendment only protects us from first amendment. and only comes into a play, you mentioned marquette and university of richmond, those are private institutions. there really would be no first amendment issue there. but when it comes to a public university, there is an issue.
>> okay. in those instances where the first amendment does apply, there are exceptions to the first amendment. defamation. fighting words. obscenity. where would this fall? how would this be protected or not protected by the first amendment? >> sure. well, generally, the first amendment does protect a lot of offensive speee ivive speech. what one would consider hate speech. or doesn't protect fighting words or incitement to violence. i think what we have to think about here, a public university is going to have a much more difficult time, i would say, expelling or suspending a student currently enrolled in places than rescinding an offer to admission to engage in classes. that's a dichotomy, are they actually taking classes or simply offered admission.
>> in other words, there's more latitude for the schools in these scenarios for he or she who has not yet matriculated as compared to somebody on campus or part of student body? >> yeah, that's because of a concept we call institutional academic freedom. institutional academic freedom would be the institution of free speech. one of the core pillars we would ask is the ability of students to choose the student this wish to teach. in a holistic process, by that i mean not just s.a.t. scores or gpa, but extracurricular activities. but things outside of the school, you know, is someone heavily wolfed in student service. that's where the university would have the ability to consider the person as a whole. i think that's important to take into account here. >> i know you're paying close attention to these cases. the ones that we referenced and
many more. what is happening to these students if they're punted by one institution, one university, are there usually schools out there giving them a second chance? >> i think there will be schools giving them a second chance but clearly the gauge here is someone would flag their attention if they realize they're applying to another institution so there definitely is a permanent stigma attached to this. this is clearly a lesson for anybody here on social media, what you say can have ramifications down the road. one thing that universities might consider is how old was the person when they made these comments. >> right. >> you know, should they be forgiven after a while, if you were 11 years ago old and you said something and now you're 17 or 18. you know, you wrote a sincere essay and actually did a skype or zoom interview today with somebody in admissions and it was clear that you apologized for that, maybe that should be
factored into the equation. >> that making sense, clay calvert, that was interesting. >> thank you for having me. >> checking in on tweets and facebook comments. i think this is from facebook. what do we have -- teens are brainless to start with. it is college's job to finish forming them. joe, i agree with a large part of what you just said. many, many times i regret not having grown up in a digital age. i wish i had more photos and videos and remembrances. on the other hand, it's kind of a blessing, not with regard with the race issues but just the foolishness. you yearn for dates that the biggest cub you got into was the zee roux machine. still to come, more of your best and worst tweets and facebook comments. and this is interesting, the final results of today's survey question. i gave you a ton of data at the outset of the program and compared where we are to 2016.
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all, where were you? secondly, you're wondering what precipitated that question? there was a ton of data that came out this week, a whole variety of polling sources. the numbers have a consistent theme and conclusion, which is that right now at this moment in time joe biden is winning handily in the national surveys and in those battleground states as well. and then i placed on the screen all the data from 2016 at exactly this time when the same thing could have been said about hillary. she was up with a commanding lead and we know how that turned out. that's why i wanted to ask whether the election is over. and what i said is that's what's different this time is we're in the midst of the pandemic. is there a hidden trump vote out there? i believe there probably is but not enough for of margin of which he's trailing joe biden. and the pandemic, there's not enough of how people lie to the
pollster of being associated with the d instead of the hour. in the course of this hour there is this -- the election is not over. get back to me in october with poll numbers after there has been a debate or two, after 2016 the public will not trust the polls again. anthony, i did make that observation as well, that the trump campaign has a built-in argument to say, as jason miller did here today, come on, 2016, they said the same thing about hillary. but i think that the proof in the pudding lies in the fact that brad parscale, who was the trump campaign manager has been demoted and put back in the role for being responsible for all of the technical and social media sides of the campaign. my point is this, they wouldn't have changed courses if they thought they were really doing well. thanks for watching. i'll see you next week. i've been taking prevagen on a regular basis
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good saturday morning to you. it is july 18th. i'm victor blackwell. >> and i'm abby phillip in for christi paul. you're in the cnn newsroom. >> let's take a look at the mural, the mural of a man who marched alongside to dr. king, who rose to congress, who spent even his last days fighting for the same rights he was beaten and
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