tv Newsmakers CSPAN April 15, 2012 10:00am-10:30am EDT
with russia and, you know, and the upcoming issue of whether or not the u.s. congress should pass the accountability act which is -- we don't need to go into the details of that policy issue but whether or not we're going to stay on record as saying human rights matter. they matter in russia. they matter in china. >> more with katrina lantos swett tonight at 8:00 on c-span's "q & a". >> welcome to c-span "newsmakers. "both parties have their eye on control in the united states senate after this year's election and our two guests this week have the responsibility for helping to make that happen for their respective parties and on my immediate right, guy cecil is executive director of the democratic senatorial committee. rob who is executive director of the national republican committee. two reporters asking questions this week, politico's national politics editor and reed wilson,
the national journal's hotline editor in chief. let's start with you. >> maybe you both can address this question. with so many open seat races this year and so many races that handicapers see as toss-up seats, how is the presidential race going to affect all of these races in november? how do you see that playing out? >> look, i think the president is only going to be a factor in the agenda of the president's agenda is going to be a factor mainly because all these senate democrats are running against have voted for the things that are the most unpopular agenda items of the president. health care which is more unpopular today than it was when it passed. despite the president's promises and other promises it would get more popular. the stimulus, throwing away $900 billion and putting on the tab. these kinds of things that the senate democrats voted are largely unpopular and we're going to be using those items to bring a case against many of the people we're running against. >> a couple of differences.
first of all, i think the impact it has on individual races will vary quite a bit. obviously, his perspective of how it affects red state democrats in particular. it has a similar effect in places like hawaii where they are expected to win by 40 points or massachusetts where we expect the president to win by double digits and so the individual impact it has on individual races changes quite a bit. but i also suspect in senate races unlike house races, the money will be there to make this election a choice between the two people that are actually on the ballot. and we'll be able to draw a strong contrast between the republican vision for the country, which involves voting against the buffet rule and involves making sure we do everything possible for women to have more difficulty accessing contraception and health care coverage vs. the democratic vision for the country to address the debt and deficit in a responsible way without tearing apart the safety net for our country. while it has some impact on
individual races, i'm confident we can do what's necessary to draw the contrast between the two folks on the ballot. history of the country. florida is a great example. the state party has opened over a dozen offices around the state while the mitt romney campaign has closed offices in the state. we expect we will work closely on them in turning out a road in november.
>> on both these estates, -- states, we will be working with plenty of people on both sides. the president and the democrats had the same problem in 2006. senator tester said he would not mortgage the future of montana families. it is almost $16 trillion on the deficit. these guys spend more money and 3.5 years than the bush administration in eight years. this project these will be issues throughout the campaign and every individual characteristics of both campaigns. there are two distinct difference in the direction of the country. we have seen what happens on
unchecked power. >> let's start with a broad national senate landscapers and 23 democrats are facing reelection and 10 republicans. senator olympia snowe announced retirement and people change their idea and they think that democrats will maintain a majority. what do you expect? are republicans going to take back the majority? >> we phfeel like we have a great shot. we have 10 or 12 seats we're going after and the couple we are defending we are defending senator brown who was in a close race but most polls have senator jheller in a comfortable lead maine is running two democrats, one of which is getting all the attention. you have the other democrat,
cynthia who is not getting much attention but is clearly running. i think we have a good shot are runningthey two democrats. this is not easy but we feel great about the chances we have now >> will democrats keep the senate? >> yes, coming out of the 2010 election cycle where the party was disappointed in the results of looking at was a lopsided match, compared to where we are today, as senator cornyn who said that the republicans had experienced some turbulence in their quest to take back the senate. this starts in montana on the issue of debt and deficit. there's only one person in the race who has been washington,
d.c. and has voted to increase the debt ceiling more than john tester and that is his republican opponents. we're on the offense and there are five states, actually, where we are going after republican seats certainly in massachusetts or have gone from a 19-point deficit to 2-point deficit in two months. the m r s c has already reserved over $3.5 million of television time in montana. after a seat in arizona and indiana and in maine, two months ago, the republicans had 100% chance of winning the maine senate seat until the far right wing of their party continued to push out the last handful of moderates that actually served in the united states, and chris. congress. i think they have less than 25%
now. this is a great opportunity for us. >> who is the single most vulnerable republican? who is not coming back in january, 2013? >> scott brown. >> why? >> he is out of touch with the voters of massachusetts. i understand he will use every photo of possible to go to the white house to talk about the fact that he co-sponsored a bill that got 93 votes in the united states senate, not exactly a profile in courage. at every opportunity wary had a chance to stand up against his own party, to stand up on the votes that mattered, he has failed to take that opportunity whether it is tax breaks for the biggest oil companies, whether it is his obstinate on the buffett rule, he is out of touch. it also has to do with our candidate is. elizabeth warren, if there is one fighter for the middle-class
in this country to make sure they get a fair shake in a fair share, it is elizabeth warren and that is why we've gone from a race where we were down double digits just five months ago to erase that is essentially a margin of error rates. the other reason is because of the makeup of massachusetts. there are 800,000 more people that will turnout in this election then turned out in a special election against martha: click last cycle. -- martha coakley in the last cycle. there are some voters that turnout in presidential election so we are optimistic it will pick up that seat carried it will take hard work and money which she has been able to race in massachusetts and around the country. i am confident the people of massachusetts will elect somebody closer to their vision of where the country should be. >> what democratic incumbent is toast? no hedging, one name. >> nobody believes that scott
brown will tank for the republican party. the very job that elizabeth warren sought, scott brown is one of two republicans that voted for that bill. the republican leadership fought the bill should not be passed and he stood up and said that was the right thing to do for massachusetts. mostsay he's the second independent center out of 100. nobody believes what elizabeth warren is selling on him. scott brown has been underestimated by the national democrats. that does not match with local democrats are saying. scott brown is running a great campaign and we feel good about
our chance. i think clear miscast -- a thing clear mccaskill has a good chance. she could be more out of touch with the state of missouri. the state has gone away from her. there is no one who has been more supportive of the president's agenda. we have three strong candidates running and i don't know who will be the nominee but either one of them will beat centre mccaskill. >> do you want to defend? >> he did not talk about who is running on the republican side. this is an example where we have simply co-op debate nrc in this cycle. a month and a half ago, they were out beating the drums to get the state auditor to run.
they might not want to be a cemetersenator. they know event claire mccaskill is a fighter and a bill that had the closest chance of tapping discretionary spending in the last cycle was a bill that was sponsored by claire mccaskill and jeff sessions against the wishes of her own party. when she agrees with the president says separate when she disagrees, she says so. when you contrast her vision with where the republicans are, republicans on a radio show could not tell you what the minimum wage was and were in favor of an amendment that failed in mississippi. these are far right wing extra republicans, one who yesterday said we should focus on whether we should impeach the president. that is not the type of leadership that missouri wants and i am confident that claire will win.
>> everyone we have running guy will say they are a lunatic. this is what they say about all these people. claire mccaskill has been running for 60 months and we have not shown one poll beating anybody. you would think senator mccaskill would come through. she cannot. >> there are close aides to the senate leadership [inaudible] >> you mentioned the notion that these candidates across the country will have enough money to establish their own brand and talk about their own image. is that the case anymore at a time when we are becoming so polarized as a nation? what about the super pacs that
will be kicking in so much money? are these candidates really able to create an independent image? if so, how do you do it? >> i think so, there's no question that the super pac money has an outsized influence. in the 2010 cycle, where the money was the closest between the two parties, the aggregate amount of money. there was michael bennett, harry reid, and patty murray and one of those was a swing state and two of those perhaps a swing state in all of them in very tough races and won because the margin in terms of money was split because -- but they also won because they were able to prevent republicans from turning them into a one-dimensional character. if you look at this cycle, the super pacs has spent over $6 million in ohio, $4.5 million in missouri. they have spent a couple million dollars against john tester and
despite that, every public poll shows that sharon brown leads by at least 10 points. every public poll shows that donte * is within the margin of error and the polls that test all the people on the ballot and not just two of them, showed on tester is leading. that means there is a diminishing return on the impact of running the 2010 election and 2012. i think our candidates that have strong brand in state like john tester or cliare mccaskill have an opportunity to define themselves and defend themselves against republican attack and make sure we have the capacity to tell the truth about the republicans. >> there is a lot of money being spent on these things. at some point, there's a point of diminishing returns. i don't think any of our campaigns will have a lack of money.
what will matter is people's records, what they said in 2006 when they ran and the rationale for their candidacy and they do go to washington and do what they say they will do. claire mccaskill dips into our multi million dollars fortune to pay a fine for the schools. but john tester said he would do away with lobbyists money. out of 535 members of congress, he is number one in lobbyists in the nation. it seems like a simple thing for us. this is what they said they will do and they failed to do it and that will be a compelling argument in most of these places. >> the sec is set to approve mobile app technologies which will allow campaign contributions in a mobile way. is the beginning of a building
block? >> it is a way for us in particular to raise money among small contributors. it is something that will be used for the aggressively in this cycle. >> i agree, we are largely subsidized by small donations and it is important to us and it will be helpful. >> return to the scott brown race. it is a cross pollination between the brown campaign and the mitt romney campaign. the presidential race has an effect in every state but it will have a unique effect in massachusetts. is mitt romney an asset or a detriment to scott brown being as connected as he is to scott brown and being a former governor from that state to? >> he is undoubtedly a detriment. if you look at what the mitt romney polling numbers are in massachusetts, it is hard to identify mass. -- mitt romney as a favorite son of the state. most people don't look back at his time as governor in a
positive way. what bothers the voters is they actually share the same point of view in a number of issues. they are in favor of running- care of being opposed to obama care, being opposed to buffett rule. before we decide to have asserted the student loan program, perhaps, just maybe, we should ask millionaires and billionaires who have made the most money, and who have benefited the most in this economy to pay their fair share. that is all the buffett rule says. scott brown cannot support that. there is a commonality they share in terms of their views of where the country is headed. >> the consumer protection bureau is what scott brown advocated for.
going after millionaires of fax more taxpayers. this election is not about the gimmicks. this is all the democratic party will talk about all these things are gimmicks. this country has serious problems. we are $16 trillion in desperate we have a $2 trillion budget deficit and these guys want to operate with very little revenue and this will not stop progress. one party and one person have voted against, got $500 billion of medicare. not to save the program, but to create new government program which nobody likes.
where more than happy to talk and we have a couple of big issues, the direction of the country and want to talk about that makes but we feel great about where we are. >> i think it is important to note the fact thaof what happened during that vote. the reason scott brown botha for the consumer protection bureau is because he pushed a part of that bill which required that taxpayers pay the $17 billion price tag, not the hedge fund managers, the bankers or the people responsible for putting us into this mess. it is important that of we're going to depart the facts, we need to look at all the facts in that case. scott brown charged taxpayers $17 billion to pay for wall street reform. the other thing is the different standards for was identified as a gimmick.
when the republicans want to de- fund npr, that is not considered a given though it would do nothing for the national debt our deficit, when republicans last year tried de- fund a planned power that, that was not identified as a gimmick but when you have a bill that would create $70 billion of revenue, that is considered a gimmick. if we're going to apply one standard, let's apply it across the border as far as looking at reducing the deficit. there's a question of how we're going to end that is where the two parties differ. >> the majority of democrats also voted for the bailout of wall street. >> let me ask about the state of the party at the moment. your sides have different approaches in picking nominees.
the dfc is involved in many primaries, picking a candidate you like to win and being very public. the nrsc was criticized last summer and and this year is not anywhere near competitive primaries possibly because they are worried that the base might get angry at her chosen candidates. what does this say about the state of your relations with your respective bases? >> the nrsc has decided to support a candidate in a primary an average may $40,000 check to senator lugar. that is at least one primary we have decided to take a position on. we talk to folks on the ground and we talk to individual candidates and we talk predict we poll in those states and the voters in those states make the decision about who the democratic nominee will be. there's no question that we have
a large and complicated mess with the invasion of super pacs into these races. we believe we will have the resources necessary, but it continues to be a problem in individual races. it is important for us to make sure we are doing everything in our power. our goal is to preserve the democratic majority guarded by talking to folks on the ground and being engaged in these races early, is what the ways we can make sure we accomplished that. i would note the nature of our primaries are different. there are a 11 advertisements on the air in various states with republicans attacking one another for not being right-wing enough. , for being willing to work with president obama, to putting their name on a belt with a democrat and we see the impacts of that in these races. compare that to our race where there are no ads with one democrat attacking another, it is a far different type of primary when you are just
fighting ideological battles. with so impact that had in 2010 in races like delaware. >> what does it say the nrsc cannot do this publicly? >> it is no surprise that democrats are top down. whether in policy or politics. the nrsc has endorsed incumbents since its inception and we will continue to do that. in other primaries, we have let the people in the states figure it out and we have great candidates running. we're running against a bunch of vulnerable democrats so that will make our candidates strong urge us like it did in 2006 or 2008. it will not have any difference
at the end of the day. in some of these places like new mexico, they picked a new candidate over the setting auditor who won his convention over the wishes of the democratic party. in hawaii, the idea that the candidates have been fighting each other is not true. they are going after each other and they will have some scrapes. we will have great nominees throughout the country who will be able to win in most of these places against the democrats. >> in nebraska, you were able to dodge a contested primary where you had a talented state politician who came back to the state that there is already a candidate in the race.
does the dnc play a role in that sin brokering a deal? >> the senator had decided not to run. his family had a change of heart and he decided to run and we're happy that he had decided to run it puts a face that was not on the map back onto the map. >> you both have mentioned two longer shots that each of your parties are taking. make the case that republicans can legitimately when hawaii and i'd like to hear how democrats can legitimately win arizona. >> in the state of hawaii, the only person who will win is linda lingo. she won twice. and she was able to win reelection. by any measure, she has had an independent streak which i think
people in hawaii know. we feel we have a great shot at it will not be easy but we feel we have a good shot. she is using crossover votes. we are competitive in the polls now and we expect to be competitive this fall. >> what about arizona? >> this is a case where the right person running makes all the difference. on republican side, you haven't contested primary, one guy who has spent $2.5 million on the air against jeff blake. on our sideuich carmona is nothing short of a hero. he ended up joining the military and serving this country and when a purple heart and a bronze star and continues to serve his country, going on to become a copper, a nurse, a swat team leader and was named the nation's top cop and was selected by president george bush to be his surgeon general and was the only unanimously confirmed as surgeon general in
the history of united states and has decided to return to arizona to serve his country again reported one you're looking at the type of contrast necessary to make this a choice election, there is no bigger contrast. i think it will show at every possible john scher. george bush, jon kyl, and john mccain all unanimously praised rich carmona before, during, and after his service 3 we think it's a great opportunity in a state the democrats have not talked about in a while. >> final question? >> you talked before about the dfcc's goal. what metric you used to define success or failure? isn't success if you are in control of the senate? >>