tv Newsmakers with Representative Steve Stivers CSPAN June 10, 2017 2:09am-2:46am EDT
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>> our guest on c-span's newsmakers this week's steve from ohio.blic and he is heading the national is togn committee, which keep republicans in control of the house. as we get started, i want to tell you about our guest. had aa buckeye, and career in financial services, and the ohio legislator. he is also a brigadier general in the ohio national guard, which he has been in since 1985, in he served in active duty 2004 and 2005 as a battalion commander. thank you for being our guest. mr. stivers: it is great to be on. introduce our me commentators. scott is the campaign editor for politico and hosts politico's nerd cast.
boulder making a return visit to newsmakers. mr. wong: thank you for being here, mr. stivers. call me, who is testifying on capitol hill as we speak, has said that donald trump told him in the oval office that the russian investigations have been a cloud over his administration. cloud was the word that he used. do you believe that the russian investigation, these multipronged investigations, what the fbi is doing and the ones on capitol hill, are distracting from the gop agenda? and how do you see these russian investigations impacting house races around the country? mr. stivers: i was glad to see former director mueller named as a special investigator to look into this. i have supported the house and senate investigations to do their job. i will support them through the process of collecting information, analyzing that
information, and bringing a conclusion forward to the house and senate. i support the same thing with a special investigator to go through the entire process, follow the facts where they lead, and let the process work. i do not believe that they are on health forward care, we are in the process of reform.orward on tax our infrastructure bill is in discussions, and we are working on it. we have passed more bills -- the story that is not written very often is that we have passed more bills in congress since the truman administration. and the president has signed more bills than any time since the truman administration. i do not think it is getting in the way of things. it may not be reported. sadly, it is fun to talk about director comey and all of these other things, but what is not getting coverage is what we are getting done. getwe are continuing to
things done, but i support the investigations, and i think they need to work through to their conclusion and we will see where it goes from there. mr. wong: you guys past the health care bill over to senate. they would like to see health care tackle before the recess. do you think that is possible? mr. stivers: i think artificial timelines or problem. i don't think we should set artificial timelines. i think we should work on issues until we get a consensus, or in this case, a majority because we need 50 votes plus the vice president to break a tie. it is under a reconciliation vehicle. i hope that they will work to get the bill passed. i do not like artificial notlines, but i will micromanage the senate. let them do their job.
we are focused on tax reform, we are focused on moving things forward and will continue to do that. ofm saddened for the people my state. it was announced by and them, anthem,he last big -- companies, that they are pulling out of ohio. in my counties, there will be hcare.govces at healt in the marketplace. a company that supported the american health care act because they believed it would bring stability to the market, and it has not been enacted yet, so they announced they are pulling out of ohio. they have pulled out of other states, too. that is one of the things the american health care act does. i have never said it is perfect. i care about people with pre-existing conditions. i dot or has a pre-existing
condition. i want to make sure we continue to look out for people who happen to be sick, but we need to make sure we make insurance affordable for people who are healthy. mr. bland: most of the elections you are focused on are happening a year and a half from now. we have a big one on the horizon -- two big ones, but one particularly. we have the special election in georgia and karen handel and john ossef. what are your expectations about the race? mr. stivers: it will be a tight race all the way to the end. karen handel is a great candidate. if you look at what happened in april, europe 13 republican candidates that combined to get a majority of the vote. democrats, bute really, the democrats of.solidated around john oss
comfortable and confident that we are working as a team with the rnc, who is doing a great job on the ground game. i feel comfortable that a lot of our natural allies have come in to help on this. the congressional leadership fund, the chamber of commerce is in, other folks have been in helping in this race, and while it is uncoordinated -- it is a bad word in politics -- it is an effort where everyone that needs to has joined the fight. i feel like we did what it takes to win in kansas. we did what it took to win in montana. we did what it took to make sure judge -- georgia went to a runoff. georgiaard to keep coming to a runoff because democrats had already consolidated around one
candidate, and republicans had 13 candidates. john ossof spent over $10 million in april with others joining in to help him. that is amazing spending in a congressional race. together, boths sides it will be a $50 million race. it is a record number for a congressional race, and while special elections are special, you can't build too much into what happens in this race. i feel pretty good. i think we will win this race. mr. bland: isn't it about time? it is never talked about in the house landscape. it is a special election, and that is part of what allowed john ossof to raise so much money, but democrats are also energized and pouring money into campaigns around the country. you will face this for ye ars. mr. stivers: republicans are energized, too. look at what happened in the
special election, we took it to a runoff. i feel good. our voters are energized enough to win. the democrats can claim their moral victories, but we are accumulating real victories. i think on june 20, we will have another one. student ofou are a history, and we have talked about it before. the party that controls the white house typically does not have a great midterm for that president's first midterm. with president barack obama, he int something like 63 seats his midterm. are you seeing any signs now that a democratic wave is forming? are you concerned about some of the energy you are seeing on the other side, and what are you doing to combat that? mr. stivers: i do not believe there is a democrat wave forming for two reason.
iny gave up so many seats 2012, there are less seats than there were. when i want, the republicans 177 when i won, the republicans won 77 seats. there will be something like maybe 70 seats in play. democrats claim they can get it to 100. some of the seats on their target list are laughable. bob gibson in ohio, they are running a guy named harbor -- harbaugh. there will be no harbaugh's winning in columbus in november, whether it is the ohio state michigan game, or the election in 2018. that will not happen. fair enough. do you think it is possible, though, that democrats could take back the house in 2018? is way too early
to guess those things, but i do not see a wave coming. we have outraised the democrats every month. we have more resources. that allows us to expand the playing field on them, which forces them to go on defense and getting into that second wave they need to take the majority. we will have about 30 patriots when we are done, and they will need to win 24 of those races. these are battle tested, hardened, smart candidates that know how to win, and have won 24 of them in districts that hillary carried just months ago. it is not like these folks are new to competitive races. they know how to win in competitive races, and they will know how to win in 2018 in competitive races. to assume that they will be more in,e then when -- than w
they need 80% of our guys to lose. that is not going to happen. it is folks like martha mick sally, like bill heard. -- will hurd. those happen to be the most productive legislators in the congress. mcsally has passed six building to the house. she was the most productive legislator in congress last year. she got the most bills signed into law. and those bills make a difference. not only did she preserve a bill that is important if you live in recognizedt she women that served in world war ii and allow them to be buried in arlington national cemetery. she did ring's that mattered in her district, and that is how she wins. they pay attention to their
district, and work hard. we have good support networks to help them. they understand how to run a campaign. they spent it in effective ways. i do not see a democratic wave coming. know, usually there are canaries in the coal mine that show up before that indicate these -- scott brown before the 2010 wave was the canary in the coal mine that showed a wave coming. if the democrats are going to win a moral victories, there will be no canaries. it will be announcing the program -- the problem in the coal mine. this is why they have spent so and money in georgia 6th, while it has not been a race that was historically tough on the house side since the 1970's and 1980's, president trump only one that district i one point. it is not new to being competitive.
it was competitive six months ago. for us.t news we knew this race would be a tough race when dr. price was announced as hss secretary. we were lucky to find an incredible candidate and karen handel. we feel comfortable that she will win, but democrats need to win something if they want to say there is a wave coming, because you can't go over five 5 and claim a victory. mr. wong: let's keep talking about a few different places. what is taking up most of your time as you strategize? looking back at those 2016 results, there were a lot of republicans in california who thatsent districts president trump lost. especially centered around southern california and orange county, san diego, los angeles.
you talk about canaries in the coal mines, have terrell -- first issa losing the battleground racier than pulled into, and they are looking at andr members of congress thinking about challenging them a strongly for the first time. how are you dealing with that? how are incumbents dealing with it? mr. stivers: we have states where there are clusters of races where we are paying attention. california is one of them. you talk about the orange county we have some opportunities in santa barbara, sacramento, and in san diego. threeare three sheet -- seats we have a shot at. we have good lines on recruits in those places. i feel there is a good chance that we will be very competitive in those areas. we are working hard to ensure that in california there is
actually -- we are partnering with the california republican party. one of the problems in 2016, the senate race was between two democrats. the presidential race was not going to be competitive in california, if there wasn't some fight for the senate race. there was not going to be as much to bring republicans out. so in the gubernatorial race we , want to make sure there is a republican representative it in primary system in california. that will make a difference. i know that we have smart, hard-working members who will do well in orange county. i feel really confident about them. had one of the closest races that we won in the country with just over half a percentage we hadthe only race
between zero and two points. everyone else won by more than two points. so we did not have a lot of close races darrell issa was it, , and he has certainly upped his game for this cycle. he will face the same person, and usually usually on a rematch, it is harder for the challenger to win the second time if they did not win the first time, because people's images start to get baked in. mr. applegate, the challenger to darrell issa may find that the concerns people had about him are the reasons he did not win in 2016, will also show through in 2018. i feel really comfortable in california. we have other states that we are minnesota, for example. three of the best republicans needs now held by a republican are up. we have a great candidate who raised $250,000 in the first
quarter, from january to march. his dad was in congress. you can't deny that raising that kind of money in the first months makes him a good candidate, and that he will continue on. they finally found a democrat to the race this week. a former state legislator, but i feel very good about our chances to pick up that. that raises the number the democrats need to win. when you talk about our big strategy, it is raise more money, expand the playing field on them. nolan's seat is an example in minnesota. we will expand the playing field on them, and force them to play defense, which means they cannot afford to play offense. if we can keep up the isdraising pace, which
all-time records in january, february, march and april, then we will be able to do that. i feel good about how our simple plan is being executed very well and we are getting great candidates. we are expanding the playing field on them. i feel great about our opportunities. you guys mentioned you had record hauls for the first quarter of in large part 2017, because of speaker ryan. because of his contributions in the political apparatus to the rnc. why do you think, donors -- what is driving them to continue opening up their wallets to republicans and how do you ensure that that keeps up through the rest of this campaign season? mr. stivers: i think it is the republican agenda. we put up an agenda of american
renewal, and it is driving people to support us. i see huge excitement among us, when they come out to vote, or when they send us a check, or when they decide to run for office. while democrats make a lot of hay about their enthusiasm, but we have a lot of enthusiasm on our side. our enthusiasm has been higher than theirs, and you cannot deny it because we have won the special elections and raised more money. mr. bland: in terms of some of these incumbents who are facing tough races for the first time, or have an in these situations before going in every two years and knowing for the election cycle they will face a tough race, how do you feel they are dealing with the intense pressure of the crowded town halls in their districts? the phone calls to the offices?
we have seen a few highly publicized incidents of candidates perhaps not reacting as you might hope. there was a congressman in new jersey who sent a letter to an employee, protesting against him. there was a montana incident where congressman gianforte was charged with assault against a journalist. what advice are you giving to candidates to handle the intense interest in the agenda in politics right now? mr. stivers: there is an intense interest and a lot of emotion around what is going on in this country right now. that emotion is active on both sides. but it is our job as policy makers and elected representatives to keep our cool no matter what happens. my advice to all of our members is keep your head, keep your
cool, work hard and represent your constituents. if we do not keep our cool, we make mistakes. those will cost us at the ballot box, and lose us the trust of our constituents. it is important to keep our cool. i was proud that greg gianforte made a direct apology to the reporter that he assaulted, and made a contribution to the reporter's fund, or whatever the group that supports generalists -- journalists out there. i thought that was a good gesture. i know that he still has them legal consequences that have come as a result of what he did, which was wrong. so, i feel like he is trying to do the right thing, and trying to apologize.
he is apologizing and trying to make it as right as he can, and i hope he has learned his lesson. and i hope he has taught a lot of other people that we cannot lose our cool. people may lose their cool with us. many of our members have been subject to death threats, subject to violence. i had on twitter people threaten violence against me and my family. that is also inappropriate, and we need to bring back civility back to politics. constituents to feel safe, i also think it is important that people not threaten their public servants. too is happening frequently. i have heard from too many members who have had threats of violence against them, their staff, their families. and so, i hope everybody will take a deep rest -- a deep understand that
while we may disagree about politics, that does not mean we should move to violence. ms. swain: let me follow up on the gianforte situation specifically. president trump continues his criticism on the mainstream ito -- media. i am wondering about tone-setting. how do you advise your candidates to deal with the press specifically? mr. stivers: my advice the -- to the candidates on dealing with the press is to treat people professionally, keep your cool, and we do not have to answer any question if we do not have an answer to it. folks can do what they want, and the freedom of the press is there. people can ask questions, people can say whatever they want. answers,t always have and that is ok, but there is no need to raise the tone or change the interaction in a negative way. i think almost all of our candidates have done a really good job.
obviously, greg gianforte did something that was wrong and that has been well documented. i think he is trying to make right for it. ms. swain: we have two minutes left for closing questions. mr. wong: when will he be sworn into office? dealing with legal issues. he has not been sworn in yet. support rnc continue to him financially, meaning sending his campaign money for helping out in the ground in the general election? mr. stivers: i do not expect montana to be as competitive in 2018. we will see what could happen, there are a lot of things that could happen between now and then. but i do not expect montana to be a target district for us in 2018. it was a special election, which made it special, but it is not on our patriot list. i do not expect it to be on our
patriot list. i think that greg gianforte will get up here, and be able to take care of his own district and do well. but that is not to say that anybody is abandoning him, it is just not a district that has been on our target list, nor do i expect it to be on the target list. he won the district by about seven points, if you look at the numbers. it was a pretty good win. the democratic bench is not particularly strong, unless one of the other elected officials which used to leave their job. we will see how montana plays out. there is a lot of time between now and then. i actually do not know the answer of when greg gianforte will be sworn in. i think it is within the next couple weeks, but since i don't of answer, i will not pretend to make it up. i can get back with you on an exact date. it is not that the nrcc doesn't get involved when people are
sworn in. it is the speaker. you need to certify the election results. i assume they are certified by now, i know there are official, but i don't know if they are certified. ms. swain: we are already over time. a very quick question. what is one district in the country that people should be looking at as a bellwether, an indication of where the country is and what could happen in the election. ? there is a democrat held seat that everyone to look at, which is florida in the orlando area. the florida seventh, i think. that is currently held by democrats. we have got really good recruits in the pipeline.
seems to be one who holding the rest of the field up, has decided to wait because they have some things going on right now in their day job. they are holding the field up. but that is a good thing, that they can clear the field. we will know something from them shortly. that is a district i would pay close attention to that is held by a democrat. for our seats, if you want to look at a bellwether, i would look at brian costello in suburban pennsylvania. i think it is the sixth district, i could be wrong. he has been there for sometime now, and he is a great young member, a rising star, but he has a strong challenger. i would pay strong attention to that race. in order to take a majority
back, they have to move beyond it which is why i put that as a election to watch -- put that on the list to watch. if they win in pennsylvania, against ryan costello then they have a shot to take the majority. ms. swain: that is our time. 2018 will be an interesting year. please come back again. mr. stivers: thank you. after a conversation with congressman steve stivers of ohio, the chairman of the national rubble public and -- national republican campaign committee, with reporters scott bland and scott wong, he said redistricting has made fewer and fewer races not competitive. what should people understand about this?
mr. bland: i think the number of competitive districts have been shrinking for a long time, and it is partly because of polarization and self sorting, and the way people have moved around the country. but it is also about how lines have been drawn around them, 2011,ularly in 2010, 2012. republicans controlled the process in the most recent redrawing of districts. they got to draw districts that are just safe enough for more republicans than, say, the average boat across the state. in north carolina for example, it is a pre-dimly -- it is a evenly divided state. you see that across the country. there are some places like
illinois, but for the most part, republicans control more of the process. that has given them an advantage in terms of the house landscape. ms. swain: the question was asked about the historical way. -- historical wave that has not worked in most presidents'favor. mr. wong: the one line that stood out to me from mr. stivers was that we are energized enough. i think he is saying that based on fundraising, they have had strong fundraising months. they think they have strong and tested candidates like darrell issa who did survive, after a election -- a difficult election in the past and he survived, by 00 votes. it will be interesting to see
how some of these folks, who may -- who have not faced tough races in recent years people , like the appropriations chairman from new jersey, who has coasted election after election. these will be people who are likely going to face a strong challenger for the first time in many, many cycles. thinks where democrats they have real pickup opportunities and a shot to take back the house. i think along those lines, it is interesting to hear is focusedan stivers on right now. there is relatively little a person in his position can do to affect the political environment. he is focused on fundraising, trying to find candidates to run in some of those democratic held districts. he also talked about donald trump winning some districts in 2016. basically not trying to worry too much about the overall feeling of the environment,
is not much of an individual member of congress can do about that. he sounds very focused on the blocking and tackling of the technical aspects of the job. ms. swain: and it is a year and a half away. one of the things that struck me was the conversation about death candidates,s toward violence breaking out from time to time at town hall meetings. are they having trouble recruiting candidates because of this? mr. wong: i do not think so. in some democratic districts people are lining up to run. there was a big push from the grassroots trying to find as many candidates as possible to encourage not only male -- not only candidates, but female candidates to step up. we haven't seen that many female candidates for female members of
congress in the past. we are seeing in the donald trump era a number of female candidates saying, i want to run for office, for the first time. in terms of the death threats and other threats to safety, unfortunately we have seen incidents. there was a death threat for -- to martha mcsally in arizona, as you remember. that was the same seat that was s whoby gabby gifford almost lost her life in a mass shooting in tucson a few years ago. these are very serious issues, and all of them are being investigated by capitol police and other agencies. ms. swain: june has been a busy month for special elections. there is one can to purely -- particularly competitive one in georgia.
thanks to both of your questions. i appreciate your time. >> c-span's "washington journal ," live everyday with policy issues that impact you. morning, sunday republican efforts to overhaul the dodd frank financial regulation laws. and brent skora on the supreme court decision to rehear a major cell phone privacy case. talksdaarel burnett about how the every student succeeds act is impacting the ability of states to identify ineffective teachers. we sure to watch c-span's live atton journal" 7:00 a.m. on sunday morning. join the discussion. " is in hydeay, "q&a park, new york at the franklin d
museum,t library and where we go inside for a look at his personal office and artifacts with the museum's director. museum opened in june of 1940 one. he was still the president, and this became the northern oval office. he had an inquisitive mind. book in here was selected by fdr to be in this room. this room is almost identical to the way it was on the day fdr died. nothing has changed. " atq&a watch --watch "q&a 8:00 eastern on c-span. now, members of the house freedom caucus discuss their tax policy proposals and economic growth initiatives. caucus members include chair mark meadows of north carolina,