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tv   Newsmakers J.B. Poersch Senate Majority PAC  CSPAN  May 27, 2018 10:01am-10:35am EDT

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with jb newsmakers -- jb poersch. >> president of the senate majority pack. we have national political reporter for the washington post forpolitical reporter are you prepared to put up the money necessary to keep the bill nelson in the senate?
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how much money are we talking about? >> it is the most expensive. governor scott will be writing a lot of checks. i expect we will win. longon'ssenator service for florida makes him the favorite in this race. it will take money to topple him in this environment. but we've got the better candidate. >> he has considerably outspent you. spent $5.5 million in a week. spentnotorious for having $14 million in the last seven days the last time he ran. but it's about more than money.
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>> are you worried their resources are taken away from other states to win for the democrats? having raised more money then senate republican challengers, morearty committees has money. re-think we will have the resources necessary. it is a big map. you have to make decisions on this map. but collectively, i think we will have the resources we will need. >> looking at wisconsin and as a baldwin's race, conservative groups have spent a lot of money on attack ads. >> the republicans have talked about wanting to beat tammy
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baldwin. i don't think they expected to see her in the senate 10 years ago. she has -- has been one of the highlights for us. they have been going after her pretty rigorously for four or five months. things have quieted down. like, by virtue of another early primary on their seem to be going to the republican primary and race.bout that race >> -- the reaction among to the money coming in on
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the other side? is one of the reasons you are seeing in this cycle a backlash in congress. people think this is the regular way of doing business. particularly on the house side, the numbers that they are raising through paul ryan, $70 million for a super pac, $114 million, those are astounding numbers. that is astounding fundraising. donors beenany woken up by that? why vague i have seen with a lot theymocratic donors, prefer to fund. have any donors come to you with a $30 million check, with a different attitude? for us, we have in outraising
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in an apples to apples comparison our counterparts. senator mcconnell zone super pac , by a decent margin the whole time. yes, we are not just big donors. we have to get collectively from national donors all over the country. is the also true environment has a lot to do with our fundraising efforts right now. we will have the resources we need. >> there is this mentioned tom stier, a democratic activist , primariesrnia coming up june 5, a contentious race happening between dianne feinstein and kevin deleo. do you in the senate majority pack plan on getting involved in --t dem-on-dev primary fight
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dem-on-dem primary fight? >> i don't expect to play our role. i think you will see dianne feinstein get another term in the senate. >> let me ask you about hillary clinton come after losing the 2016 auction and this me to movement, will they be able to campaign publicly for democrats this fall? >> the clintons have always -- on a role on camp is campaigns. that is a decision that often happens with campaigns a state efforts. i would not be suppressed to see the clintons out there. >> to do you think it will be helpful? >> starting with president clinton and there being a record, there certainly continues to be a strong level of support for hillary clinton.
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there.t to see them out i think the clintons will always be helpful. the question is asked is because republicans have already been running ads digitally and on tv against hillary clinton, who is not running for anything. is -- there is an effort by republicans come every time the clinton say something off script. a common and probably tired campaign tool. but things change. republicans have been challenged by unpopular leaders in their own party in these primaries. it will surprise me to some extent in general that some popular republicans that are getting more talked about, whether it is paul ryan or mitch mcconnell. >> how much do you expect to run against mitch mcconnell?
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in alabama last are, we saw some unique factors in that case. republican voters were not fond of mitch mcconnell. himself tohas shown be so unpopular nationally because he is unpopular among both democrats and republicans. that's unusual. as a result, his leadership has been weekend and his ability to impact republican primaries have been undercut. as far as initial issue, it isn't so much mitch mcconnell as the leadership in washington and in congress. i think people are more and more telling us this is a change election. i think they think that congress is broken and mitch mcconnell is a part of that.
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>> how do you get from supporters to vote for democrats? map shows itself incumbent 24 senators, 10 of them in states that trump ran. thatnk it is a misnomer our challenge is to win over trump supporters. quite's a sickly come our challenge in this cycle is to keep the trump supporters that incumbents have. most of our democrat incumbents are leading races. huge tranchesave of support that voted for trump. a party in the senate, are performing better with trump supporters than we did in 2016. we still have several months to go, but it is a good indicator
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this early. >> would you like to see former president obama take more of a role for democrats? we are talking about people who can raise money. has he done anything to you -- anything for you? have you reached out for him -- to him? >> i think he played a role, even when he was president. his fund-raising imprint came rather -- came later rather than sooner. i expect the president will be hopeful. >> what state keeps you up at night? what worries you the most? >> i have to give this map it to do. du -- we have to give this map its due. trump won by more than 27 points, i'm pleased and maybe a little surprised at how
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well we are performing this early. part of it is because republicans have struggled, not only to get their base going, qualityecruiting candidates. those five states will be challenging. i would not be surprised to sweep all five of them. but the president's numbers are inching upward? >> inching is probably the right word. given how long -- how low his number has been, we have seen significant improvement on the president's job approval. more to the point, this question ,f measuring the generic ballot a pretty consistent line in our data, where democrats have a comfortable lead. aat is important going into
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challenging map. >> but polls in the last week show that the majority of americans believe that the countries moving economically in the right direction. still a strong number of working families around the country that are trying their best to get ahead and looking for things to shake up. there is no level of holding happiness innd general. people want to see a change in congress. some republicans are talking about some may be some wishful thinking on their part. it would 16, that was a motivating factor for republican voters. is it anyway that will hurt immigrants? >> i think that is hard to
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measure to the extent the court matters with voters if there is a vacancy, it will be part of the conversation. it is completely unpredictable. president trump at times has suggested he would fill as many as five supreme court seats. that hasn't happened. but we will take it day by day. candidates are using trump as the best messaging strategy. what is the best or who is the best messaging strategy for democrats this cycle? >> even in the states that i talked about earlier with trump, where he is popular and he won by large margins, there is a good says that this is a check and balance year and people are looking for strong leaders that,
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yes, are willing to work with the president to show willingness to work with his agenda worth makes sense. the same time, act as a voice for their individual state, what senators like tester do quite well. see i expect is, you will republican, democrats, and democratic voters across the board, looking for someone who will stand up to the president when it means we are putting the voters interests first rather than party. >> when the president gets involved in races like these, telling him to resign and not to -- and voters not to vote for fire of does that donors?
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how does that change your job? i think they're president has a very specific challenge. set of special elections across the country, -- that senate race in alabama, the virginia governor's race, several tests across the country. the republicans have struggled over and over again to be able to show that their base will turn out in a significant way. there remains a challenge going into the election. there are two things that are true. you are seeing a democratic base that is more motivated. that gets a lot of attention. it gets less attention that despite all those strategic rallies three days before an election, that the president has been able to show much impact. he is clearly not on the ballot and hasn't proven himself able to improve turnout. steve: let me ask you about
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tennessee, it's an open seat, senate bob corker was asked about his support for marsha blackburn saying he would vote for the republican nominee but not campaign against the former democratic governor. how do you read that? mr. poersch: the primary has demonstrated that situation where there is clearly some unrest and conflict between corker and their candidate marsha blackburn. we are lucky to have the former governor running. he is an established name in tennessee and a longtime successful governor. our own internal polling shows a lead to start, which is remarkable in a state that traditionally voted top to bottom -- >> how much of a lead? mr. poersch: a small lead in public polling's even more encouraging than that. david: when you talk about the small lead in polling, how would you -- how possible is it the
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democrats could take the senate this year and has that inched up or down in six months? mr. poersch: for me, what i want out of this election is for the environment and our opportunity to improve month-to-month. i think that has happened. we started the top of the cycle looking in the teeth of those -- for those 10 income but races races those 10 incumbent where we were in states where trump ran. by virtue of what you hear from senator mcconnell himself, several of those races seem to be treated by the republicans as hereto. whether that is wisconsin, ohio, michigan, pennsylvania, and minnesota. four of those fives have not seen any significant -- any resources on television yet from republicans and it is not early anymore in these races. for the fact that the republicans are at knowledge and
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that we are going to fight for the majority of places like nevada and tennessee, that is a encouraging sign of where the environment is and i hope it keeps heading that direction. alexi: did you have a follow-up? david: going back to the president, he has said he would like to show down on spending in september over funding for the border wall. how would that play out if there is -- even a government shutdown that would be over the issue of immigration on this map? mr. poersch: the border wall remains unpopular nationally. in many of the senate places, the wall is in particularly unpopular and even in red states. when you cut to the chase, most voters don't necessarily view the wall as coherent immigration policy. they are looking for something that is more comprehensive.
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this struggle that is happening with the republicans in congress right now and the senate, and particularly in the house gets to the point, are we going to have a deep-seated comprehensive approach or are we going to continue to just rest on -- to tackle the challenges of immigration? alexi: what have been effective strategies in past cycles that democrats need to break to be successful this year? mr. poersch: while last cycle we picked up two seats, we wanted to me more successful in the senate. we wanted to be more successful a super majority pac and we have seen already in this cycle that we need to be a comprehensive approach to impact it. i think both at the presidential and senate level, our resources were behind communicating where the republicans are. in this cycle, we have made --
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put our foot forward in terms of showing a real field effort. in alabama, a state that is not normally a democratic stronghold , we had a chance to be a part of an effort that knocked on many doors and went to 1600 african-american businesses. having that kind of a field effort in red states is important. we are going to show up. alexi: of the 10 red state democratic senators, who is most vulnerable? mr. poersch: it is early enough to say this is still a math equation and those five states where the margins for the president were the biggest are where the focuses. -- the focus is. i don't think it is about one or the other. it may break that way as we go and like i said earlier, i still wouldn't be surprised if all of the incumbents in those states won. steve: one of those is west virginia, are you encouraging
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don blankenship to run third-party? mr. poersch: we have had a fair level of success from west virginia not paying too much attention to blankenship and i felt a little sorry for mitch mcconnell and senate republicans because while all of their energy went into trying to push back in the primary and not allow on blankenship to win, they had another problem on their hands and that was the candidate that got nominated in attorney general moore's seat, a former lobbyist who represented pharmaceuticals companies and opioid wholesalers in a state that is trying to get their hands around a growing problem. this is in the right candidate to put forward and it is likely
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manchin will remain senator. steve: i can re: hear the ads based on that. mr. poersch: i think you'll see the advertising will match the message, yes. david: would you consider intervening in any of the primaries coming up? i think of arizona, someone who was a moderate seeming candidate who has been running to the right where there are two conservative challengers. there has been some success in the past of pacs trying to boost or somebody. -- boost or lower somebody. mr. poersch: i don't know and i don't think we will intervene in republican primaries. that said, we won't necessarily sit around for a coronation, either. in states where republicans are telling us who they are likely to nominate, we won't necessarily wait. in the case of wisconsin and arizona, we are looking at primaries in the end of august, right before labor day. if the way these break there is one candidate who shows it self, we may not wait to find who the candidates really are. alexi: what are some it -- senate republicans and
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candidates doing well this cycle? mr. poersch: they are personalizing it and after the last election, it is alarming to many democrats around the country not to be seen as they have been traditionally as a champion for working americans. i think our senate incumbents -- candidates as a whole have been working very distinctly to tell their stories. whether it is tammy baldwin, who told a brave story of her mother's longtime fight with drug abuse, of several of our other candidates being able to go back and say look, this is why this fight is important. this is why i am going to work for you. steve: thursday in the oval office, there is a picture of senator heidi heitkamp with the president.
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part of her strategy was to say i support donald trump? mr. poersch: i think senate incumbents and candidates as a whole are willing to say they are voters who recognize the expectation there are at times -- there are times they need to work with the president and want to work at the president. at the same time, they will stand up for their interest. that may look like having fights with the president health care abouth the president costs that are rising quickly and are out of control, it is about stagnant wages that haven't gotten better despite the president's promises. those kind of arguments, we will have those. alexi: in that same line, how much of a headache is this for you and what you are doing this cycle when impeachment comes up, as the opposite of showing willingness to work with the
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president? tom stier is getting involved in primaries, endorsing kevin daly owning california what does that do to the work you are doing? mr. poersch: when you see where the voters heads are at, there is much more of a higher level of concern about protecting this federal investigation that is happening and prosecutor moeller -- prosecutors moeller -- prosecutor mueller's ability to see this through. this is about standing up for the rule of law. this is about allowing for a legal process that our constitution ensures and some on the republican side are trying to undermine. alexi: should democrats even talk about impeachment? mr. poersch: the focus has to be in seeing through this process. steve: final question on this memorial day weekend, what will the numbers look like after the election in november for senate democrats and senate
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republicans? mr. poersch: i think we very much have the opportunity for improvement. certainly think our chances have improved in the last five months. i believe that democratic enthusiasm you have seen and read about so much is real and we are optimistic. no numbers yet. steve: the president of the senate majority pac, thanks for joining us on newsmakers. we continue our conversation with two political reporters, dave wigle and alexi mchammond. you asked the question about democratic bad habits. why? alexi: i am curious about lessons they've learned from past cycles to adjust their strategy. it was interesting he mentioned digital and that is what i hear from democrats across the board when i asked, what are
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republicans better than democrats at doing? in addition to raising money, they say digital strategy and digital targeting. now we have seen a whole host of democratic groups popping up trying to help campaigns focus on digital advertising in a unique way, especially in 2016, but what is different from past senate cycles. i thought that was curious. the answer about the field game seemed a little basic, if i am being honest. he said we have been getting better at our field strategy and engaging more with african-american small business owners, that is a step in the right direction but it is surprising that was considered a bad habit they needed to break still. steve: we talked about money and politics, florida in particular -- a race that could be upwards of $200 million. david: it was interesting he didn't rule out obama getting involved in raising more money, but i kept pushing for examples
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of democratic donors getting scared straight and putting them with headlines like the rick scott spending or maybe he doesn't want to give all his game away, but i didn't hear a lot about the aspect in these races. he didn't rule out intervening in these primaries and that has been a cheaper way historically of ensuring you get a week weak candidate. if you can bring these guys at the last minute, early money matters a lot. i was struck that he didn't have a lot to say about new money coming in. steve: you have been focus on california, diane stein -- dianne feinstein will be 85. what is she facing out there? david: she is facing a challenge that has not come together in a fearsome way yet, but the plan of that state has always been to get into a runoff and has five
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months to spend money. the problem there, if this map was flipped, there -- i think there might be morec international money coming in for a primary challenge. one thing he didn't talk about is a democratic backlash to incumbents who have alienated some of their liberal base. dianne feinstein has responded by moving to the left. that's a state where democrats are confident they are holding the governor's race. away, theyr passes will not throw away the seat with an appointment. alexi: that race is also really interesting. it's a little surprising, but not too surprising, people saying it's the year of the woman. people are not going to get rid of dianne feinstein or nancy losey this year -- nancy pelosi
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this year. kevin daly own challenging -- deleon challenging dianne feinstein. it will be interesting to see how women are faring. steve: what one state is really going to be a bellwether for the democrats this year? i know there are a few. what one are you paying close attention to. -- to? alexi: he kept mentioning five of the 10 red states. i'm still watching west virginia, even though don blankenship was not successful. i've heard from some democrats thatthey consider candidate to be the biggest threat to senator manchin. and claire mccaskill in missouri is someone who is pretty loanable -- phone rubble -- vulnerable. i don't think that's what we should forget now. steve: dave? dave: i heard someone say opposite about west virginia.
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the congressman from southwest virginia who they beat in the primary. i would continue watching that race though. the question of the trumpcare is whether people can still run on their own brands or whether the reality tv president can make every race about supporting me or not supporting me. west virginia is a perfect test. .e is a talented politician he has voters who have -- about 1/3 voted for romney and him on the same day in 2012. it's a relatively mediocre republican candidate. if they are winning that race, that says a lot about the hardening of the party cost brands. -- party's brands. steve: thank you for your insights on "newsmakers." we appreciate it. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] this week, former new
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jersey governor chris christie was interviewed by david axelrod at the university of chicago. you can see that conversation today at 6:35 p.m. eastern on c-span. great skill as a grand strategist was that he knew the advantages of shock and awe, and this is how he unified germany in the 1860's. he instigated wars with denmark, austria, hungary, and eventually france itself. but then, having done that, having achieved his objective, which was the unification of germany, he stopped and he became a consolidator rather than an instigator. his next 20 years in power as german chancellor were devoted to trying to build reassuring alliances, to build kind of a web of alliances with all of
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germany's neighbors, so that they would get used to the idea of a unified germany. it was that distinction between shock and awe and then knowing when to stop and do something else, reassurance. >> yale university professor john lewis gaddis and his book on strategic linking and leadership for -- strategic thinking and leadership for global challenges. tonight on c-span's "q&a." >> on thursday, secretary of state mike pompeo testified on the department's 2019 budget request. at the top of the hearing, letterry pompeo read a from president trump to north korean leader kim jong-un, announcing that a planned summit between the two leaders would be called off. this portion of the hearing is two hours.


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