tv John King USA CNN September 14, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
issues a challenge to me, and you will be interested to know what ta challenge is. tomorrow, michael moore is back in "the situation room" with me. remember, you can always follow what is going on behind the scenes. i'm on twitter, and you can get my tweets at twitter.com/cnn@wolfblitzercnn. and you can go to the facebook.com/cnnsituationroom to join me on facebook. and "john king usa" begins right now. >> thank you, wolf. it is a huge night in american politics and the last night of the 2010 midterm campaign, and with seven races right here in the district of columbia. we will find out if a tea party candidate knocks off another candidate. and if a man who has won in delaware 11 times will make it 12. and the tea party candidate in
delaware called it cannibalism and cost to gop any real chance of taking back the senate this november. and whether school chiefs and mayors fighting for dramatic reforms will get a shot across the bow from right here in washington, d.c. where the teacher's union spent heavily in the effort to defeat a incumbent mayor who fired hundreds of teachers for failing to meet his grade. and house democrats are back from summer vacation, and they are nervous, big time. tonight, the first big meeting together and among the challenges of speaker nancy pelosi, trying to get big debates on tax cuts. you can see a packed hour ahead and a smart team to break down the big races and the lessons as the primary season winds down and we shift to the final weeks of campaign 2010. let's begin with the stunning updates in delaware. mike castle, nine times relekted
to the house of representatives and when he decided to run for the seat held by joe biden, they were ecstatic thinking they could take a seat held for four decades by democrats, but now a tea party challenger has mike castle on the roeps. he says that christy o'donnell from the tea party cannot win in november. listen to this interview. >> i am convinced that she does not have the ability to carry a general election in the state of delaware, so, yes, it would have the effect of clearly taking a seat that could go republican and making it democratic. >> candidates under attack say wild things, but have you ever heard the word cannibalism? christine o'donnell is not only under fire from mike castle, but the republican party, and she takes offense. >> it is a shame that the republican party has resorted to
cannibalism. we have principles and i hope we can kiss and makeup tomorrow and get to the business of winning this seat. >> and what message is delaware sending and how does this fit into national competition? jessica yellin is here, and jim dooik, and democratic pollster jim bolster, and gloria borger. we have also james carville from new orleans, and jes s, to you n the ground, reports of returns moderately high. any word on the reports? >> well, i'm here on the christine o'donnell headquarters and they are jazzed because they are hearing that the turnout is high in the counties where she is and possibly lower in wilmington where she is probably going to get fewer votes than mike castle, but the castle campaign is also feeling confident, so it is too early to
tell, but the bottom line is that establishment republicans believe that if christine o'donnell wins today, not only do they lose the senate seat, but that cold determine democratic control of to senate, and there is a lot riding on that in the republican world of delaware tonight, john. >> and just to the group, jess makes a great point, because i sat down mitch mcdonnell, the senator republican who was rattling off the seats they need and delaware was one of them. now, you have been backing the tea party campaigns and said that mike castle is too moderate for your taste, and i want you to listen to him here, because he says he is part of the national movement of the tea party to purge republicans who will do business god forbid with the democrats. >> this particular campaign has become a bit of a test of can, you know, the very conservative elements of the republican party take out an incumbent with whom they do not always agree.
so that is part of what we are dealing with here, and it is beyond delaware. >> fair point, erick erickson that there are some on the right who want to adopt a purity test in the party? >> no, it is nonsense, and that is what people like mike castle say. he is not a moderate, but a liberal. he sat on the sidelines in february instead of opposing. conservatives don't want mike castle, and this is a race about moving the senate to the right and not into the republican hands. >> james carville, as you watch the races play out and you were involved when you helped bill clinton back in 1992 and he was a different democrat running against a democratic party he thought was too liberal, and we have seen these debates, but anything like that? >> well, it is rough there. they all kind of sexual undertones and overtones in this thing. it is tough, i mean, they are fighting for their party, i guess. a lot of people out there everyone saying that the
republicans win when they put in the right candidates out there, but you know, to their credit, i guess, that that is what they want. so you end up with sharron angle, and you will end up with this woman in delaware, and a guy out in alaska. they will get the prototype talk radio candidate, and in november, and they may do well with that, but we have to wait and see. >> jim dike, ronald reagan had a 11th commandment thou shall not attack another republican. well, this is a nasty race, and they are so worried that the momentum is on christine o'donnell's side, and they put out a robocall saying that the woman who managed one of the prior campaigns -- this is not pretty. >> as o'donnell manager i found she was living on campaign donations and using them for rent, and expenses while leaving workers unpaid and piling up thousands in debt.
she was not concerned about the conservative -- and -- >> so it is nasty stuff from your own party. she could win the race and how does the party figure that out? >> well, it wouldn't be the first one as marco rubio and sharron angle and ken buck up in kentucky, so this hand wringing about the outcome of primaries is a little hyperventilation to the specific, of the primary, and you know, politics is more brass knuckles than badminton, so it will happen. >> i talked to a senior republican strategist today who is involved in this particular senate race and he says if she wins the national committee is not going to give her money. so if she wants to g on the beat the democrat, she is going to have to do it on her own, because there are other races to
invest in, so this is a big fight within the republican party. >> well, not a battle for the soul of the republican party or whether there is a big tent, because this is unusually ugly race and not whether a conservative candidate with win in utah, but it about delaware where the only republican who has a shot is mike castle. he is the only republican with credibility. if it is about conservativism or liberalism, and christine mcdonnell's campaign is so ugly that erick erickson said, i can't be a part of that, because it is a guy who cut taxes three times and voted against the stimulus and vote against stimulus, so what is this about? >> well, it is about people left of center to define mike castle centrist of moderate and he is not against any measure that a conservative would use. >> and here is the problem,er
problem,errick, the northeast is is the a holdout for moderate republicans. if they drive moderate republicans out of the northeast, there is long-term implications, there is. >> and he is a liberal, and frankly, in my position, i would be happy if mike castle lost. >> well, erick, as somebody who wants to advance the conservative cause, if it comes down to mike castle in the senate and the result is mitch mcconnell as majority leader and eventually empowered jim demint as committee chairman and jim coburn as committee chairman and you would have a conservative senate, and that is not better than christine o'donnell winning the -- >> well, pigs will fly before jim demint gets a committee chairmanship and i would rather see a democrat than mike castle in that seat. >> you don't care about the majority? >> well, it is the principle. when you look at 2012, the democrats have a bad calendar against them. this is about moving them to the right and not the senate to thep
ares. >> this is the attitude that has led to directly not a single republican congressman from all of new england, and you know, that is a big deal. this is either a big ten or you aren't and you need to bring the people to the center right, and the republicans are in a great shape, but they need the centrist republicans and they can't kick them out of the party. >> moderate is not a bad thing for most of the country. >> this is a spirited debate here in washington, jessica, but what about delaware, because it is a small state, and joe biden has had the seat for 30 years, and tom carper, another former governor, and they are used to the same familiar faces, but the people on the ground, do they want the change. >> again, john, they are talking to a small segment of the electorate and there are 30% of the registered republicans here will be voting. the message of the campaign has been to attack the establishment, and christine
o'donnell consistently says that the boys are out to take her down, that she is fighting the power, that she is out for change, there are a lot of gender valences here, and sarah palin came in and suggestions that the boys are attacking the new insurgent women, so she is talking to a very invigorated base of conservative republicans here who are, yes, embracing her, but the question is would the rest of delaware, middle center and heavily democratic follow? she says yes, and that is an open question, john. >> well, the polls close there in 49 minutes, so within a few hours we will see if it is put to the test or not. jessica yellin is on the ground there in delaware. everybody stay tuned, because a big, big meeting on capitol hill for nancy pelosi, and the polls of new hampshire close at the top of the hour, and district of columbia, 8:00, and maryland 8:00 and massachusetts 8:00, and so a lot more to come. stay right there. to everyone who wants to go to college
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of columbia voting with the exception of hawaii to the big primary season. what lessons are we learning tonight or in total of the primary season? we will continue our conversation and ladies and gentlemen, let's look at the state of new hampshire. kelly ayotte was the established favorite, and judd la montagne is the challenger. this is another one of those seats that people out there in the middle of america wonder why do i care about new hampshire? well, it is a republican seat, and the big conversation is that if mr. lamontagne wins, is he so far right that the democrat could pick up the seat, and get in the way of the math of the republicans taking over the senate. >> and i would say that in that state we won with obama, and a lot of states with the independent vote is big, there and they liked john mccain before sarah palin got on that ticket, but i don't vote against
jim demint on the candidate, so you have a live seat in play there. >> this is the classic -- you are smiling. my enemy of my enemy is my friend, and for the democrats the enemy of republicans, the tea party candidates, and you believe will end up being your friends, because it will give you more of a shot. >> huge mistake. >> why? >> because the tea party movement is a leading indicator and a leading indicator for enthusiasm of the republican party and leading indicator of policy when it comes to independents. independents are aligned with the republican party when it comes to spending, taxes, deficit and when it comes to big government versus restrained government. >> and you are convinced that kerry is over, and when we close the chapter of the primary, it carries over? >> yes. when you go to new hampshire a guy who has raised taxes and for spending a and the conservative candidate who is opposed to it wins. >> and you are right. this is my frustration with the tea party movement, and conservatives compared to
delaware. they have a real shot with lamontagne and kelly ayotte, and whether or not he could actually win. we pretty much know that christine o'donnell probably is not going to win delaware and conservatives didn't go into new hampshire where they have a chance for a gain, and they decided to stay in delaware and make a stand for the statement, and that is my frustration with the delaware race compared to this one. >> it is a great point of erick's. dems outnumber republicans. there is a lot of possibility across party. and he is right, because of the spending and the deficits and the debt, and they are turned off by conservatives. >> will they vote? >> well, when you watch this from a democratic perspective, what is the biggest lesson you are learning in the sense of watching the primary season and saying this is where we need to shift going into the general election, jim?
>> well, it is obvious to me that jim demint is going to run for president and get a heck of a lot of votes over there, and that is what i have learned from this conversation, the most popular guy over there on the right. by the way, he puts a lot of skin in these things, and i think that he will do pretty well. the next thing is that, look, that party is way, way, more right than any republican party we have ever seen, and that is by design. you know in the democracy corps of research, the tea party is more influential in the republican party than organized labor and african-americans are in the democratic party. so this is outgrowth of democracy. the republicans, themselves, are choosing to do this. this is what happens, and i think that it is fascinating and i also think that the 2012 thing is going to be fascinatingings because i think that deminlt is going to run. you can't bucket that, he does not want mitch o'connell's job, but barack obama's job.
>> that may be news to him. >> if it is, then this race is interesting, because jim demint is with mr. lamontagne, and so this may rumble over into 2012. we will lose mr. carville in a moment, and james, president clinton was out speaking at an event, and he had an interesting thing to say about one of his critic on another network. >> even today, i am being excoriated by some of the people, and one of the lead television commentators on one of the liberal cable channels said they 'm t-- that i'm a bes liberal president, and which may come to surprise of many. >> i was not aware, james, that you helped to elect a republican president? >> well, that is true, because 95% of the people in congress tried to impeach him, and that
would be news to a lot of people. but you know, if history has a arc of history on some cable tv networks is short, about 15 minutes. >> we like to think that we are longer than that. one more number before we work in a break. this is jim dikes making a case that momentum will turn over. cnn opinion research corporation poll out today, do you trust the government always or most of the time. look at the numbers. 25% of americans say they trust the government always or most of the time. in 2000, it was 42%. now it is 25%. why are people giving up on their government? >> because they don't think that it works. >> because in 2000 -- >> well, we have seen anger on both. >> and the unemployment rate was 4% in 2000 and it is 9.5% now. >> that is a good one. >> and it is the economy. >> well, it starts around
katrina, and you see the lack and faith of governmental institutions and it has crested. >> and it was higher post 9/11 when people saw the first responders going into the buildings and said, oh, that is your government. but if you look further into that particular poll, you will see that it shows that the democrats are happier with government than republicans are. they are still not happy -- >> well, overwhelmingly. >> 6 of 10. >> we are told that a trillion dollar stimulus would create jobs, and it didn't. >> i don't care whether it is democrats or republicans, you should never trust government. >> okay. erick will end on that. we will come back and have lots more of the continuing coverage of the primaries tonight, and including a close race in the d.c. mayor's race and you may wonder why that matters to you, and it is because it is a huge part of the national education debate. [ male announcer ] this is steven, a busy man.
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welcome back. let's check in with deb feyerick and she is in new york with the latest news you need to know. >> well, freed american sarah shourd is on her way home. she reunited with her mom after spending 14 months in iranian captive ti. and there is a final decision of running for president in the coming months, but says he has no intention of seeking the 2012 republican nomination. and former president bill
clinton endorsed jerry brown in the governor's race today. meg whitman is showing commercials of bill clinton attacking brown when both men were running for the democratic campaign. both senators don't like it, but harry reid is adding a immigration reform measure to the defense bill which also afts the "don't ask, don't tell" bill, and also the dream act. >> and in philadelphia today, president obama told students a personal story about when his mom confronted him because he was getting lazy in school. >> you can't just sit around waiting for luck to see you through. she said, you can get into any school you want in the country, if you put in a little bit of effort. she gave me a hard look and she said, do you remember what that is like, effort? well, the president left off his response to the mom, but it
appears he picked up the game significantly, john. >> he seemed to do okay. >> yeah, doing okay, and cleaned the akts up. >> and you never had an effort issue in school, did you, deb? >> not from my perspective, but don't ask my mother. >> we will leave your mom out of this one, and thank you, deborah feyerick. talking about the shish us in -- issues in the d.c. mayoral race are what the president was talking about. you will also hear from the school's chancellor, about education and it is a big issue there and big issue to you. and out there voting is the strong tea, and we will pull it together for you. it is a nightmare for good thing for the republican party? and off to the races, among the big challenges tonight, charlie rangel who was the chairman of the house ways and means committee, and he had to step aside because of an ethics investigation, and how will that
aft that race? and eliot spitzer, the former new york governor, we will get his take and much more. the hassle. i'm not too sure about this. look at this. [ security agent ] right. you never kick off with sales figures. kicking off with sales figures! i'm yawning. i'm yawning some more. aaaaaaaand... [ snores ] i see your point. yeah. [ snores ] [ male announcer ] we understand.® you need a partner who delivers convenience. next time use fedex office.
district of columbia how it is going, 64% of the residents in the district of columbia say that positive things have happened under mayor fenty, so you would think that he is in good shape for an incumbent, and he is not. this is why, because when people are asked about the wards, richer people up here and poorer people down here and there is a huge economic divide right here in the city. vince gray says that fenty has stopped caring about the base, and cares more about the white voters in this part of the state. and the teacher's union is spending a lot of money, because michelle ree swho is his education chancellor, and she says she does not care if she is controversial.
i am not here to be well liked. mayor fenty brought me here to fix the school system, and when you do that, you have to make hard decisions that rankle people, and for me that is okay if i am serffing the children well. >> i live here in the district of columbia and talked about this race with my friends and neighbors and to people outside of the polling places, and this is striking because several people say they find him arrogant and detached from the people of the city, and several of the same people said they were voting for him, because they are afraid if he loses, michelle rhee will leave washington, d.c. so, i put that question to the mayor today, and i asked, does it matter that people are voting for you tscho? >> it doesn't. >> it doesn't bother you? >> no, michelle rhee is the best example of what we are doing here in d.c., hiring great people and allowing them to run the agencies in a private sector environment where results matter.
the schools are the most important thing. anybody who says that the number one reason they voted for me is because of the schools or my school's chancellor, boy, that is about as much praise as you can give an elected official and means they were making the right decisions on the right issues. d.c. is headed in the right direction. we believe we will support all of the advances we have made and even the most critical poll, and we think that we have made a lot of progress since the latest polls have come out and even the most critical one that says that 65% of the people believe that the city is headed in the right direction and we are responsible for it. >> well, here is the dynamic, because vince gray, because the teacher's union advertising against mayor fenty, but when i talked to vince gray, he said that school reform is not tied to one person, but he said that if he wins the primary and this election, he will meet asap with michelle rhee to see if they can make an accommodation? >> if you win, can you keep her?
>> i said that education reform has to be about more than one person. i have been a strong proponent of education reform and i have said i will continue, and i have helped to shepherd the legislation through the council in the first place, and i will continue with a strong chancellor. we will have a birth through 24 approach and involve all of the stakeholders in how we make the decisions and restore fiscal responsibility to the schools. i have said on many occasions that after this election is over, i'd like to sit down with michelle rhee and talk through how we might work together. >> reporter: so, is there a national message here? let's talk to john avalon. as you paid close attention to the race, if you are a mayor elsewhere out in america and you have been thinking or started to adopt the reforms if the test scores are not improved, the teacher is fired, and if the city defends mayor fenty, what is the message? >> it is a chilling message for
the mayors across the country embracing education reform or thinking a bt it. in the mayor who has 64% of the city saying he is doing a good job and if he can be taken out in a closed primary because of educational muscle, that is concerning. we are finally making real progress in education, but it requires the mayors taking on the teacher's union and that is a dangerous thing with the democratic party and not just local election, but huge implications nationally. >> and arne duncan have backed up mayor fenty and michelle rhee and refused to get involved in the race. >> yes, and you have to ask why? because she is one of the strong leaders of reform. this is a sign of what is to come. this is happening in real time. and we are seeing gains but only by con fronting issues of merit pay, and firing teachers who
don't perform, and backing up michelle rhee is important, so i don't know why they won't back the mayor. >> and when we come back, how strong is the tea party and good or bad for republicans? and a huge meeting on capitol hill, the speaker nancy pelosi trying to calm a case of jitters, because the party is worried about losing their majority, and a big debate about tax cuts. stay right there. sovereign of the security line. you never take an upgrade for granted. and you rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i deserve this. [ male announcer ] you do, business pro. you do. go national. go like a pro.
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the state of new hampshire have polls closed. it is a lesson ahead and what are we learning? tonight for first time we have a new member of the best political team, and eliot spitzer, and his new program will be coming up right after this program soon and governor, i want to get to you in a moment, but my first chance to say hello. as we see this primary playing out, and including the tea party challenge up in the state of delaware, what is your takeaway? >> the republican party is torn asunder by the tea party, and it is creating excitement and energy for them to win in november, but also knocking off some of the candidates they need to be on the ballot to succeed in november. the fringe is powerful when the power is out of power. you have fringe of the party in the form of the tea party challenging the establishment and perhaps allowing the democrats to hold on by not forcing the republicans to nominate candidates who cannot
win. >> and also, our cnn correspondent dana bash is there, and the democrats are back for the first time since being home since the august recess, and they are nervous, and dana, just a few moments ago put a very important question to speaker of the house nancy pelosi. >> reporter: are you concerned are you that your reign as the first female speaker will come to a close -- >> well, first of all, this is nothing to do with me. it is about the plight for the american people, and that the contrast to be drawn. republicans are there for the special interests, and the special interests are pouring tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of dollars into campaign to go back into the status quo they had before the elek 14u election of president obama when we took the country in a new direction. >> great talking points from the speaker there in the answers, and straight forward question, and she shift toind the democratic talking points of the republicans and the special interests, but forget that for a
minute, dana, inside of the meeting tonight, what is the speaker trying to do to calm her party of losing the majority and the tax cuts? >> well, to calm the people in the room is the best she can do right there the talking points that she did there. she and the talking points that the president have been much better of delivering in the past couple of days which is that there should be a contrast between the republicans and democrats in key issues like social security and tax cuts and things like that. but what is interesting is are you going to keep the majority, and she immediately said it is not me, because she knows that we saw that this the republicans are trying to make it to tying the democrats to her. i finally did get the follow-up question, and are you going to keep the ma jjority and you predicted it in the past. she said, i predict it again and i am not yielding one grain of sand. we will have a strong majority, and the tax cuts are hotly debated. they want to keep it a vote on the extending the tax cuts for
middle-class, but a lot of democrats in the caucus think it is the wrong thing to do, and they want to extend tax cuts for all americans, otherwise many believe they will be punished more at the polls in november. >> and i want to listen to some of the democrats glenn nye who is a blue-dog democrat, and he is vulnerable, and giving voice to the moderate democrats are saying, please, madam speaker, if we have a debate about tax cuts, do it after the election, and please, extend 2 buthe bush cuts. >> i believe it is to extend them until the end of the recession. i can't debate it in congress, but i am nominated to represent my people in west virginia, and that is what am doing. >> eliot, you were having fun, and as a democrat, it is your party that has the reputation as a circular firing squad, but
what is happening in the democratic party right now in this debate of taxes and the broader possibility of the jitters of losing the majority? >> well, there is panic the democratic party and not because of the primary season where the republicans have taken the worst of it, but as we approach november, and the earlier session, why does public not trust government, it is impossible to think of something that government has done well this the past significant number of years, and given that the democrat party has both houses of the congress, clearly, they will be blamed. that is what people are worried about doing what nancy pelosi did, and get people to look back to the bush er, and say, wait, we are better than then rings hollow, so that the party is in a state of emotional disrepair. >> and on the road last week, gloria, you remember that, they have the sense that all of the guys, all of them, republicans and democrats, they worry about protecting their own job and not doing anything, and might we
pass some legislation that helps an american get a job out there, and a lot of people think it is crazy. one of the voices speaking up is george voinovich who bolted from the republican party and said he will vote for the senate small business bill. this is what he told the "washington post" the other day. he said most of the messaging didn't amount to anything. we don't have time anymore more messaging, because this country is hurting. >> but he is not running for re-election, so you are more brave when you are not on the ballot and he was clearly critiquing his own party. >> and give him a shout out to critique his own party and tell the truth, because so many of the debates are fundamentally dishonest and not about policy or substance and get it filtered through bipartisanship, and that is frustrating so many folks, republicans and independents. >> with the polls closing in many states voting in primaries tonight, as we go to break, look
at the results from new hampshire so far, kelly ayotte over ovide lamontagne, i want to caution you he had the momentum coming in, but that is 3% of the voting in new hampshire. a lot of the counting to do. six other states and the district of columbia voting to nite. stay right here. hey what's going on? doing the shipping. man, it would be a lot easier if we didn't have to weigh 'em all. if those boxes are under 70 lbs. you don't have to weigh 'em.
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. >> we are counting the votes as they come in zen states, and the district of columbia, and we will go to rick sanchez for a preview. >> you are right, john. as you go through the polls, and new york will close at 9:00, but delaware is closing at 8:00. that is, you know, as you have been saying tonight, that is the big one. also, we have new hampshire closing at 8:00. d.c. is closing at 8:00 and wisconsin to 9:00, but as you break it down, we will get a lot
of the results as we get into this. so you will be sticking around, because i need your help, john. >> i will be here. >> okay. i have you and gloria. >> all right. until then though we will be back with rick in a minute, but president obama yesterday used the words i feel your pain, and in a way it reminded some of 19 a guy, of course, who was 8 years ago old in 1992. our offbeat reporter pete domenic who wanted to explore this promise. >> hey, john king, i graduated in high school, '93. john, every night on the show, you talk about jobs, jobs, jobs. i went out to ask people, do you think the president does feel your pain? and i've got to warn your viewers, there was some physical violence in tonight's segment. ♪ >> reporter: any troubles in your life whatsoever that you think the president can relate? >> oh, no. >> i have back pain.
>> i feel my pain. >> he just needs to be out here and hear common people. common people's problems. >> that is the most stupid question i've ever heard. >> he's trying his best. he's left with bush problems. >> reporter: sir, do you think president obama feels your pain? >> no. >> reporter: do you think he can operate a segway? >> probably, yeah. >> reporter: are those sunglasses prescription? >> jut for the readers underneath. >> reporter: do you think he can relate to that? >> when his eyesight goes bad, he will. >> he has no clue. >> reporter: what is your pain? >> i'm working hard and people can't pay me. >> reporter: do you think they relate, really? >> basically, i don't think they care that much. >> reporter: really? >> i think they're concerned about jobs, weighing the political points. i don't trust any of them. >> reporter: remember when the clintons said-i feel your pain? oh, we're getting calls. excuse me, sir, do you think
president obama feels your pain? >> no but do you feel this? >> reporter: well, that sometimes happens out there. the violence in the street. john king, my question to you is, how long do you have to be in the white house before you actually disconnect from the average american? >> they call it the bubble, pete. they call it the bubble. every president says they will not get trapped in the bubble. this president is already very frustrated. president bush got frustrated. president clinton got frustrated. that's one of the reasons they get out. over when they get out, it's hard to talk to people because they've got the secret service everywhere. trying to touch base with folks at town halls. >> reporter: doesn't he read like ten letters a day? >> i believe he does. i think i'm going to try to get him to do your radio show. >> reporter: that would be huge. john king, you're my man. when we come back, charlie rangel is among those waiting out the term tonight. 21 terms. will ethics violations get in the way and help his primary challenger? a quick race.
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lamontagne. and an early count, we will keep on top of that race and so many others as the night continues here in cnn. another big race is in the state of new york, specifically in new york city. charlie rangel once was one of the most powerful democrats. the chairman of the house ways and means committee, that committee sets tax rates. tax policy. now sidelined a bit by ethics allegations, facing a stiff primary challenge, the best political team on television still with us, including our joe johns standing outside of rangel headquarters. joe what's the mood up there tonight? >> reporter: hi, john. sort of got the national local disconnect going none a nutshell right here. you go around the country and you talk to people who know what they know about the charlie rangel situation on capitol hill which isn't resolved yet, by the way. and those people say how can had
they elect a guy like charlie rangel. but you come out to harlem to see people on the streets and they say, how could we vote for anybody else? it's a different situation on the street here in new york. we talked to political insider even those who believe charlie rangel's going to end up the winner tonight. they say, there is a question about a protest vote. there are five different candidates in the race. and there are people around the city who don't like all the publicity. don't like what's happening to charlie rangel and want to send him a message. the question is, what are they going to do? they have five different choices to choose from, it's anybody's guess what the margins are going to be tonight. a lot of people, though, suspect that charlie rangel can pull this out. >> john is tracking that important race. i want to bring in eliot spitzer for his perspective, eliot. you know charlie very well. has he become a liability for the democratic party? >> no, i don't think so. i think his name will fade in the midst of the serious debate towards november. keep in mind, i think joe got it
right, there's a disconnect between the national press and the local politics. mike bloomberg, the independent governor of new york, he switched party of course frequently, mike bloomberg endorsed charlie rangel. the folks in hard lem and the city think that charlie rangel has produced for the city. that's why he's going to get re-elected. that's the story line. one of the more interesting race, a state senate race that mirrors the race going on about charter schools and reform. that's a conversation for another day. >> thanks. john, is that the right perspective? >> look. charlie rangel is going to be a national issue. i respectfully disagree with eliot here. locally, charlie rangel is going to get re-elected. in a safe seat in a primary with a fractured field. it's more easy to get indicted than elected in those offices but charlie rangel is beloved in
his district. he's a national lightning rod. >> first to dana bash on capitol hill. dana, would the house democrats come back more optimistic about keeping their majority after summer break or nor pessimistic? >> despite what the house speaker said in public on the record, definitely more pessimistic. look, they will tell you, being home for five weeks, it's not just that they had a hard time making the case, it's that the world stayed really in a bad place. that simply does not help the majority party. it does not help them. i've got to tell you, frankly, the democrats, especially, they are not for the most part thrilled about being back here. this is washington. this is what many of the voters are very, very angry about. they want to get back as fast as possible. get out with the voters. >> god forbid they have to dhour jobs. eric, you have been part of the grassroots movement that has made its mark in the primary season. tell me, as we count