tv Campaign 2018 Christian Science Monitor Breakfast with DNC Chair Tom Perez CSPAN November 10, 2018 1:35pm-2:48pm EST
democratic national committee chair tom perez talked about the 2018 midterm election results and the dnc's national strategy for the 2020 presidential election. held by the christian science monitor, this is an hour and 10 minutes. linda: i think we are about to start. our guest today is national committee chairman tom perez. this is his second appearance at a monitor breakfast. thank you so much are coming. the timing is pretty good. chairman perez is the sun of immigrants and grew up in buffalo, new york. he attended brown university and i am told he worked as a trash collector to help the for college. after receiving a law degree
from harvard, he began his career as a civil rights attorney at the department of justice. he has been active in state and local government. since 2002 he became the first latino to serve on the montgomery county council of maryland. two years later he was president of the council. event worked as maryland's labor secretary for a couple of years. during the obama administration, chairman perez headed up the civil rights division at the justice department and served as secretary of labor. he was elected chairman of the dnc last year, although it feels longer to me. tom: and to my wife. linda: now for the ground rules. we are on record here. please, no live blogging or tweeting while the breakfast is tweeting while the breakfast is underway.
there is no embargo once the session ends at 10:00. we want emailed pictures and a rough transcript to all reporters shortly after the breakfast ends. if you would like to ask a question, please send me a signal and i will call on as many of u.s. time permits. chairman perez, if you would like to make brief opening remarks. tom: it is great to be back. has a native of buffalo i have to a knowledge my friend jerry from the buffalo news, which is still on my home computer when i go home at night and turn on my computer. it default to the buffalo news so i can follow the bills. false hope is better than no hope at all. linda: as a patriots fan -- tom: please don't talk to me about that. you are bringing back my nervous tick. i came here shortly into my tenure. we were just chatting about this. i talked to you about the fact i was walking into a democratic
national committee that was in dramatic need of a major overhaul because we had lost that only a presidential in 2016 but roughly 1000 seats in state legislatures, the senate and the house. in short we needed to rebuild. we needed to organize, modernize. we needed to win. i come to you roughly 21 months since that day and the democratic party is back. our goal is to build a 50-state party, to compete everywhere. our goal was to expand the electorate. our goal was to reshape the electorate. that is exactly what we have done. 2017 taught us through our investments in virginia and new jersey that we could win again. and alabama taught us we could win everywhere. i was proud to invest early and doug jones.
we did so to put a down payment on. 2018, the issue became scale. can we scale the success of 2017 and become the 50-state party? when you look at the results from this week, i am very proud of what we accomplished. it was a good week for democrats and a good week for democracy. in addition to taking over the house of representatives, while the modeling isn't quite complete, it appears democrats, when you go through the house races, the people voted for democrats. it was roughly 7.5% to 8% margin. that is in play because not all the votes of intent related but that's a remarkable statement. we won seven statehouses and the last time -- it has been roughly a quarter century since any party has won seven
governorships in one evening. michigan, illinois, wisconsin, nevada, kansas, new mexico, maine. this is clearly the year of the woman. women carried the day in the house of representatives. as i was reflecting this morning on the tragic shooting in california that is on everybody's mind i simultaneously got a text message from a friend in georgia telling me mcbath had won, and i cannot help it link those moments. once again a senseless tragedy involving gun violence. at the same time a mother in the movement who is now going to be
a member of congress. i hope we will be able to work with lucy. you have seven statehouses. you look at the legislative seats. we lost almost 1000. we regained roughly 350 seats this cycle because the mission of the new democratic party is organizing and mobilizing and electing democrats from the school board to the oval office. we paid a lot of attention to that. i was very proud of the facts of many of those seats have flipped. we have flipped seven chambers. colorado, maine,, minnesota house new hampshire house, new hampshire senate, the new york state senate, and last year the washington state senate. super majorities in oregon, both senate and house. we spent time in north carolina breaking the super majority the republicans had and were successful there. those are really important things. in the attorney general's races, we have the majority of democratic attorneys general. what i think folks have learned
this year in the world of trump is the importance of attorneys general as a bulwark of democracy. i look at some of the ballot initiatives. those are really important moving forward. we had medicaid expansion in three states. redistricting initiatives in colorado, missouri and michigan. and florida, and this is something i worked on when i worked for senator kennedy in the mid-1990's, amendment 4, which addresses the rights of felons. when you think about it, florida has something like 21 million residents. something like 14 million eligible voters. you have about one in four african americans who are disenfranchised currently. roughly half of people disenfranchised permanently because of felony records live in one state, and that is florida. this ballot initiative addressed
that. the number of people disenfranchised. andrew gillum is done by roughly 55,000 or 65,000 votes. you have one million disenfranchised voters in one state alone. this expanding and reshaping of our electorate is what we are up to. and fortifying the industrial midwest. you look at the states that donald trump won in 2016. we won reelection of pennsylvania, michigan, wisconsin, illinois. i felt very excited about that, and the mountain west we see nevada and colorado moving forward. we have more work to do but i'm excited. what is the matter with kansas? nothing. they are electing democrats. not only laura kelly, but in congress. i look forward to this
conversation and will take any questions you have. linda: thank you very much. i will start with one and then move around the room. please wave at me. with specific lessons can be applied to beating donald trump in 2020? is he beatable? tom: absolutely. the lessons i have learned is we have to expand the electorate. we have to compete everywhere. let me give you two examples. nevada. we -- the story of nevada, in 2016, this saturday night before the election, john ralston called the election for hillary at the end of early voting. fast-forward two years later, he did the same thing again for jacky rosen.
he did not mention the governor's race. here is what nevada is about. organizing early. it is about organizing everywhere. and 2017, there was a recall -- an attempted recall of republicans of three state senators. what we did was invest in organizing in those communities so we could tell the story. they were being recalled for no reason. it was unsuccessful. what that focused us on was organizing. organizing early. leader registering voters. we had a -- we were registering voters. fast-forward to about a week out of the election. we got a call saying we have a $250,000 hold in our organizing push. we invested within 24 hours.
democrats one up and down the ticket. that is the formula for success. in wisconsin, we looked at what we did wrong. mitt romney got more votes than donald trump. that is an important point to remember. we underperformed across the state. we invested early in organizing. not only in milwaukee, but across the state. we invested in the state's supreme court race in which a state supreme court justice who was not supposed to win won by double-digit margins. that taught us we can beat scott walker. we had early and often interactions with tammy baldwin, who said you got a come in earlier because our primary is not until august. we have double-digit candidates for governor. if we wait until august to build a coordinated campaign, it will be too late. we invested everywhere.
we saw the results. we can win everywhere. when you see kansas, you see the progress we have made elsewhere. we are organizing everywhere. we are meeting with our values everywhere. that is the formula for success. we moved away from that 50-state party model. the work we are doing not only to expand, reshape as well. what i mean is talking to people that we have not spoken to before. rural engagement. dramatic engagement of african-american, latino, a.p.i. in south dakota in north dakota. we are talking to everyone everywhere. we are taking no one for granted. we have left votes on the table before. linda: jerry from the buffalo news. >> i will ask you a hometown question. nick mcmurray, the democrat down
by one percentage point against chris collins is very happy you campaign for him. he is unhappy he cannot get national support. in retrospect, do you think that was a mistake and does he have a legitimate complaint he did not get enough support from the national party? tom: i know that district pretty well. when kathy holcomb first won, she won barely. when she lost, she lost barely. her biggest challenge was was when they drew the district. the district was drawn to favor a republican. now we have a state senate in new york that is controlled by democrats and a state house controlled by democrats. they reelected democratic governor. as a result i think the next redistricting cycle there is going to draw a fairer map. i know the district exceedingly
chris collins will not serve out his term. he was running for reelection for his seat in congress as a bargaining chip. you can take that to the bank. duncan hunter, same deal in california. that is a reality. i was in contact with the party officials in buffalo regularly. we did a number of things behind the scenes to help them out. we want to invest everywhere. the challenge we had in 2018 -- it was a good challenge is that the playing field was so expansive. we did our best. it is just remarkable how expanded the playing field is. linda: john from newsmax. john: good morning, mr. chairman. two questions. is the dnc investing in the recall or recount in florida in the senate race? second, we saw some trouble in
the justice department yesterday in the new acting attorney general. speaker pelosi has a careful not endorsing the impeachment moves, but if acting attorney general whitaker were to fire the special prosecutor, with the dnc and congressional leaders support the impeachment move from the senate? tom: let me take your questions one at a time because they are both good questions. if i can expand the aperture of your question slightly, you mentioned florida. i would like to expand that to george as well because i had the privilege of being the assistant attorney general for civil rights. we should make it easier for eligible people to vote, not harder. what we have seen repeatedly is that the playbook of the republican party, and it's a playbook that goes back 40 years.
if you google a guy and you will hear a 41-second video from him. this date back to 1980. he is the architect and godfather of the modern conservative movement. he says the following. i don't want people to vote. i want less people to vote. elections are never won by a majority of people. they want to make it harder for people to vote. the voter id law has no subtlety about it. i suited brian kemp in georgia when i was assistant attorney general successfully. brian kemp and kris kobach, they should be the cochairs of the voter suppression task force got the republican party. what they tried to do was make it harder for people to vote. i applaud stacey abrams for continuing to ensure every vote must be counted. before that election i called on brian kemp to step down.
it is grossly unfair to any fox in america to compare them to brian kemp guarding the henhouse. the integrity of the election is at stake. when you have someone with a long history and their 100% match requirements, that was a simple effort to disenfranchise voters of color. there is no subtlety about that. two judges have ruled in favor of people seeking expanded access. you have not seen the end of the georgia election. the fact he stayed there has undermined the trust that people have in the election process. he could have stepped aside and should have stepped aside because he had an inherent conflict.
i hope people continue to count the vote in georgia. we had people on the ground in georgia. we continue to have people on the ground in georgia. we will continue to fight there to make sure every ballot is counted and every precinct is reviewed to make sure that everybody was able to exercise their right to vote. in florida as well. you asked about the recount. there is an army of lawyers down there involved in the recount. i will note again -- i was looking at the governor's race this morning. i think it was 50 some odd thousand votes separating andrew gillum and his opponent. i forgot the figure. it is roughly similar.
the -- by the way, i started under the administration of george herbert walker bush. i served as a career prosecutor under republican and democratic administrations. the currency of the department was always independence. the protocols were set clearly. if an attorney general resigns or steps down, the articles are pretty clear. you have a senate-confirmed person who comes in in and acting position. it was clear the charge of people at the department of justice was not only to do justice but to ensure the appearance of justice. yesterday what we saw in the firing -- let's be honest. all the have to do is read the first sentence of the resignation. it is a firing of the attorney general. what you saw was an effort to do an end run around decades of practice so a person was at the helm of the justice department. there is a law implicated in there and a test of located. the law implicated is the vacancies act. given the fact he was fired, they will say he resigned, there will be some discussion about whether this is proper. i think it was not proper. for the law aside. there is a test that needs to apply, the smell test. what happened yesterday does not pass the smell test.
a person who is a knowledge as a partisan, a person who has written about this in the context of the mueller investigation and has criticized the mueller investigation has now been put in charge. it is not hard to figure out what is going on. i hope republicans like lindsey graham, who once said there will be heck dictator they try to do anything to mueller, this will be a test of whether they are going to live up to that. this is actually in some ways worse in the saturday night massacre because nixon fired all these senate confirmed people when they refused to comply with his order, and they found a senate-confirmed person and put them in charge. i think it was bork. >> solicitor general bork.
tom: at least he was following a protocol that a senate-confirmed person is doing the wrong thing. here they are not even doing that. in this respect it is worse than the saturday night massacre. that is why it is so important to have a house of representatives where you have meaningful oversight. we need to give bob mueller the independence and resources to do his job, period. and of story. he needs to complete his job first because that is so important. the american people need to know the facts about what happened in connection with the 2016 election. >> you support impeachment? tom: i said bob mueller nice to complete his investigation. when he to ensure using the oversight process that he is
given the opportunity to given the opportunity to complete his investigation. i hope that would be a bipartisan call because some republicans did express before, and now who knows what they will say? i hope they will be consistent with what they said before. they indicated they agreed with the proposition. the proposition. this is about the rule of law. this is about allowing a very serious investigation to come to its conclusion. it is critically important that we allow director mueller to complete his work. linda: jonathan from the philadelphia inquirer, to your left. jonathan: you talked about competing everywhere but obviously you lost some senators in rural states. how do you go the on the suburbs and compete in those rural
states to try to build the senate majority down the line? tom: we do what we did in alabama last year. jonathan: that was a unique opponent. tom: doug jones outperformed barack obama. when i talk about expanding and reshaping the electorate and the playing field, that is what i mean. bringing out voters who have not participated. one of the heartening facts of this cycle is the number of first-time voters, the number of drop-off voters, young voters who are participating. that to me gives me a lot of optimism and hope. the playbook in alabama was to make sure we drew those voters out. in an ordinary election cycle in
alabama, up until last year, african americans constituted about 24.5% of the people who actually voted. doug raised that almost 30% and was still able to get a number of white moderate voters. in mississippi you will see the same thing. in about three weeks they will have an election. we have people on the ground now. we will continue to invest there. not only because we support mike, but next year there is jim hood, the attorney general running for governor. when you build a 12 month a year party, you organize everywhere. when you talk about the issues people care about, health care is the number one issue in this country. people in mississippi and
alabama and kansas had pre-existing conditions. they care about that. they care about educational reform. that is why we can be competitive everywhere. that is why we are organizing everywhere. you don't reverse trends overnight. i was disappointed that beto did not make it over the finish line, but i was inspired by the 254-county strategy he put in place. that foundation that has been laid is a foundation that will enable us to expand the electorate. that is exactly what i talk about. when you are a 50-state party and competing everywhere, when you are talking to folks everywhere, that is how you win. it does not always happen overnight but we have to take a long-term approach. we may tremendous progress. the numbers and the fact we still have work to do is abundantly clear to all of us. linda: maurine from usa today. maurine: [indiscernible]
-- the party would have done differently to say the incumbent? tom: i have not looked at the numbers in any sufficient detail right now. i am sort of a numbers guy. i not only want to look there but it would to look at places like montana where we were able to be successful, and they compare and contrast and see what we need to do. what i know we have to do and we have moved to the 2020 senate cycle and we have places like colorado where you have a senate seat in play and we continue to build and strengthen the democratic party there. you saw the sixth congressional
district of colorado, a target for a number of years. this is about persistence. we tried, we tried, we tried. we did not succeed, we did not succeed, but then we succeeded in a very solid manner with jason crowe. that is a senate seat in play now. in maine we invested heavily in janet mills. it was with an eye towards helping janet mills and the second congressional district, but an eye towards electing a democrat to the u.s. senate in 2020. i think the most important reason to have a strategy is the united states senate. if you see 25 states, they went to the other side. it is hard to sustain a democratic majority in the senate. we showed we can win in kansas. you look at the house seats won and other states. we can again compete there. we did not make it to the top in iowa at the governor's level, but we won two seats and gave steve king a run for his money. that is the foundation we have been able to lay to compete everywhere. linda: a medevac or from
reuters. amanda: my question is about rural areas. have easy is it for candidates to speak to their district? are there any statewide candidates who won, a governor or a senator who you think that a really effective rural strategy and not just rely on the urban areas? tom: when i look at wisconsin, if you go to the rebecca dallet race who ran for state supreme court, we invested heavily in her race. we thought going into the election if this case an area if she could win buy maybe two points. she won by 11, because we were not only able to increase turnout, but we were able -- she
won brown county, green bay. she held her own in and across areas of the state were donald trump won convincingly. that was the moment when i said to myself, we can beat scott walker. if you look at tony evers, he was able to run up the score in daine county in milwaukee county. he was able to hold his own elsewhere across the state. he has done so because he is an authentic leader. we were all organizing in rural wisconsin because people in rural wisconsin a pre-existing, conditions struggling with opioid addictions, are struggling with the scott holes, the potholes across the state of wisconsin.
the transportation infrastructure deficit. we get the dnc, we established in addition to increasing our investment and state parties, we established a $10 million innovation grant programs focused on three areas. base voter engagement. so in georgia -- i will get to that. millennial engagement and rural voter engagement. we made a six-figure investment in georgia. those three are not mutually exclusive. we made a six-figure investment
in georgia in the rural organizing of african-american voters. why? we did this long before we knew who the nominee would be but a setting it to be stacey abrams. a third of voters who are african-american and georgia reside outside major metropolitan areas. we were not touching them. through this we learned a lot about how to engage. in texas, spent a lot of time in the rural parts of the state. if you look at why democrats are losing in texas, why democrats are losing in wisconsin, it is because we were not doing enough to engage those rural voters. i am proud of the fact tony was able to win in milwaukee in madison, and also compete in the rural parts of the state.
i am confident moving forward he will continue to do the same. linda: dan from cnn. dan: [indiscernible] obviously he had a good night. it seems like trump's message was resilient. how much does that worry you going into 2020? it seems like he is still very resilient and viable in those key states. tom: i will go one at a time. 50,000 votes or so separates the candidates in florida. and there was historic turnout for a midterm cycle. rich cordray got half a million more votes than john kasich did when he won the election four years ago but there was a remarkable -- on both sides. both sides.
turnout was through the roof on both sides. that is a fact. in florida, for me, the lesson i take away from that is, and i guess my civil rights lawyer hat comes back on which is success is about persistence. when i look at florida and what we need to do moving forward in florida, and we still have a recount to do so putting that issue aside for the moment, i come back to what i said at the outset of my remarks. we have to expand the face of the electorate. when you look at florida in particular, the republicans have control of the governorship for a quarter century.
a big part of the republican playbook has been making it harder for people to vote. when you have one half of permanently disenfranchise felons living -- bless you -- when you have one half of permanently disenfranchise people living in a state, there is a bunch of different approaches to making it hard for people to about. that was the approach the senate placed in florida. it is unconscionable to me that one in four african americans or one in five african-americans in florida can't vote. that has changed as of election day. i know exactly what the organizing challenge is moving forward. if you go to virginia a year ago, one of the most poignant
moments for me was talking to a voter who as a result of courageous action by terry mcauliffe was able to vote for the first time. something like 60,000 voters went to the polls in virginia last year. i know with the organizing challenge is. more broadly what we have to do in a number of states is make sure we are doing our level best to ensure we illuminate these barriers. in ohio -- i have not looked at the numbers other than knowing it was remarkable turnout in the state. we will compete in ohio. >> isn't winnable for democrats given trump's -- tom: what i did when i first got the job was i get a lot of listening. and went to northwest wisconsin early in a job. one voters that i am politically homeless because you had not shown up in years. those were his words. i took that to heart. that is why we invested early and everywhere in wisconsin. in partnership with the
democratic party of wisconsin and other stakeholders. it paid dividends. what we have to do a better job of in ohio is talking to voters in the rural parts of the state. the strength of donald trump in 2016 was rural ohio. that was a continuing strength i suspect in 2018. your questions are somewhat linked. and beto made tremendous progress in helping democrats compete in texas. i spoke to rural voters who said it was hazardous to my health to put a yard sign for a democrat
and my yard living in rural texas. one woman got a call from her local mortgage banker who held the mortgage on her house saying i see you have assigned for a democrat on your yard. it is pretty remarkable, the world of being a democrat in certain parts of the country. and we are changing that. beto make great progress and we have more work to do in ohio. tom: cameron from talking points. cameron: first, i want to go back to what john was asking. what should be the response from house democrats if matt whitaker moves on the mueller investigation? the rnc are raised in the dnc two to one this cycle of democrats across the board for
raising a ton of money. you guys inherited a lot of problems and trust issues given what happened in 2016. what can you do to close that gap and what is your biggest challenge? tom: i will take your questions in order. i hope it is not just democrats calling to make sure similar investigation proceeds. it is democrats and republicans. this is not about right versus left. it is about right versus wrong. the department of justice is supposed to be independent. and what occurred yesterday is incredibly troubling at a minimum. it is completely counter to the historic bipartisan practice of the department of justice under republican and democratic administrations.
back in the watergate era eventually there were people like howard baker who said this is wrong. i am first and foremost an american. what i hope is going to happen in the weeks, days, months ahead is that democrats and republicans will come forward and say this investigation needs to continue to its conclusion. is investigation needs to continue to be independent. stay out of his way. that is what needs to happen, and it needs to happen on a bipartisan basis. if it doesn't, democrats will continue to call for that. now that we have the majority in the house, and i think the american people elected a democratic house because they recognize we need guardrails in washington. we need oversight in washington. we need accountability and we will offer that. what we have to do now is allow the investigation to be completed. the second question on the fundraising, if you look at fundraising going back to 2000, in 2006, the rnc outraised the dnc two to one.
in 2010, the democrats outraised the republicans considerably. way to what happened in 2010. in 2018, republicans outraised the democrats. it is a dog bites man story because they have more wealthy people. we took over the house and we took over seven governorships and we won all the seats i spoke about. the goal has never been to match them dollar for dollar. the goal is to raise enough money to implement our game plan. is a 50-state strategy. our plan is helping folks in wisconsin, nevada, kansas and elsewhere to make sure we can build the necessary infrastructure so we can succeed. today's world is a little different.
when you measure the capacity of each party to move forward, it is not just what is the dnc raising? it is what the dccc, the dscc, broader ecosystem. i think democrats are doing pretty well. when i look at what the rnc spent his money on, they spent it on roy moore and donald trump's legal defense fund. i would rather get the us. i really think so many people they invest in are morally bankrupt. that is why we have been able to win a lot of seats. call from the washington examiner. paul: the you expect to hear more calls for limits in the house?
the shooter had an extended mag on his pistol which would've been outlawed under california law overturned by a few judges. tom: i hope there will be some common sense gun safety actions. for me this is personal. i get so sick and tired when i hear people talk about how their thoughts and prayers are with folks. they are not enough. i was in cincinnati last weekend in the run-up to the election. i spoke to a woman who was the grandmother of one of the parkland shooting victims. she had a double whammy. she not only lost her granddaughter, but she lost her son. in the aftermath of 9/11 he helped first responders and he contracted -- he died of pancreatic cancer because of the stuff he inhaled. i can't let her down.
lucy mcbath is now a member of congress in a district that has trended republican. four years ago, price won by 20 points. that was in four years ago, it was 2016. we need to do something about this. i am glad we have a democratic majority in the house. i think the second amendment and common sense gun safety can coexist. i know the american people wanted to coexist and hope that happens. we talked about background checks. we talked about assault weapons. berry goldwater once said anybody who needs to own an assault weapon probably has that aim and should not have a weapon to begin with. how many more incidents to me to have before we do something? how many more preventable deaths
need to occur? linda: dave from the washington post. dave: will of the dnc investment over the next month? i guess he made it with 44% of the vote. you are hinting at it. tom: we have boots on the ground in georgia right now. our southern regional director has worked before with stacey abrams and is close with stacy. called me personally a few months ago and said, can jonay come down full-time? we said absolutely. when i was in georgia last weekend i was with jonay for a
period of time. we have folks who are down there. we will continue to be in contact. every vote needs to be counted in georgia. the weekend before that, two weeks ago i was in mississippi. we had boots on the ground there. we will continue to do that because not only do we have an election for senate in less than three weeks, the monday after thanksgiving or tuesday after thanksgiving, something like that, but we have elections next year. we have invested and our investment was months ago in building the infrastructure in mississippi. not only to help mike espe but help jim hood up and down the ticket in mississippi. and florida there is an army of lawyers now that are working on the recount.
i am glad they are doing that. again, the lesson in florida is i think about the next phase. florida is a great example of the necessity to make sure we are organized 12 months a year. i know and feel acutely the disappointment that many folks have. a lot of first-time voters came out and andrew especially and stacy have excited people in remarkable ways. what i have learned over the course of my career doing civil rights work is that i won some cases and did not quite win some cases but you always keep
fighting. it is a marathon relay. the lesson across america is we have got to keep investing in this infrastructure. democrats, one of the reasons we got into trouble is we were not thinking long-term enough over the course of years. we allowed infrastructure to fray and we are not doing that anymore. florida, we got close to the mountaintop. the remedy is not to walk down to the bottom of the mountain. it is to fortify and mobilize and keep climbing. >> do you consider -- florida democrats do not consider the race as lost right now. i am wondering what the dnc is doing in terms of ballot chasing? tom: one of the emails they came across my desk because i was asking this question -- we have folks on our protection team right now doing ballot chasing of provisional ballots. the problem is they claim there
are 22,000 or 25,000 provisional ballots. i don't believe them. i think there are more. the problem is the fox is guarding the henhouse. i have no faith in anything the person who wants to be governor but is overseeing the integrity of the election says. there is an old andy griffith episode where a guy walks in. i want to speak to the police officer. the guy puts on his police hat on. i want to talk to the judge. he opens the jordan puts on his judge hat. that is what we have people on the voter protection team. whatever help anyone needs in florida and georgia, we are
going to continue everything we need to do. voter suppression is a permanent staple in their playbook. that is a lesson we have to learn. it takes a different form in different places. shelby county, tennessee, it took the form of this match requirement which was ridiculous. you see the voter id laws. you see long lines. in ohio, the republicans passed a law limiting early voting. it could only have one early voting site in every county. people in cincinnati on sunday -- the days are melding together -- people were excited because the lines were around the corner. you could've opened up multiple sites admitted easier for people to vote, for the limited it to one side. someone will look at that line and say i don't have time for
that. tom: reed from the washington journal. reed: you mentioned marathons for the presidential primary. some candidates seem to already be starting. how soon should we expect to see how many democratic states and how soon should respect to see them? when should we expect to see them to start? two, when we talked a few weeks ago you when i prepared to take a position on who should be the next house speaker. has that changed after the elections? are you ready to make an endorsement for speaker of the house? tom: let me do them in order. we have a meeting with a host of key stakeholders now over the course of many months. my colleague mary beth cahill
has been taking the lead. i ran for dnc chair and said to rebuild trust we will set out a primary today calendar far in advance of who we know who will be in the race. our job is to make sure everybody gets a fair shake. the process is fair. fair in fact and fair in perception. before the end of the year we will outline what the primary debate calendar is, the number of the dates we think will take place. when they will start. and, given the expectation that we will have multiple candidates, some initial guidance on how we will manage that potential contingency. we have not made any final decisions yet. before christmas --
reed: what is your ballpark idea for how many debates there should be? tom: we are still debating. we are debating how many states will have debates. certainly more than the last cycle is what we think. the goal is to make sure people can kick the tires on the candidates and make sure the candidates can have a fair shake and a fair opportunity to make their case to the american people. i want to make sure that if we have a dozen candidates for president, 11 of those 12 are not going to make it to the mountaintop. i want to make sure everybody feels like their candidate got a fair shake because only have to ensure coming out of the convention is that we have a wind at our back, we have unity and excitement. you ask the second question and then i will address as well the speaker issue. obviously the democrats will
resolve that now. at the pointre where we are able to do that. think this decision should be up to the democrats and the house. i'm sure one question people will raise and way is what are the most important issues concerning america and who is best situated to do it? i'm so grateful for the work she did in previous for the care act. health care is the number one issue on the ballot. on who to have as our leader of the house, our speaker, i'm sure that will be one factor people will way. deliverto make sure we on promises to cover pre-existing conditions and
bringing down the cost of prescription drugs. i'm confident people will way that as they move forward. >> i think it should be up to the house members to do it. she has been one of the most impactful minority leaders in the history of the house. we wouldn't have an affordable care act without it. that's a question i wouldn't want to know in these turbulent times. experience requisite and savvy to navigate these turbulent waters? we started a little late. >> back to texas. impact in dramatic
energizing dramatic -- energizing democratic voters. ,ne thing i want to ask you which may or may not go to a recount. then we had four races that surprised a lot of people. texas 10, texas tweet 1, 22, and 31. what i really want to know is for is it going to take democrats to cross the finish line on this after a year that was so phenomenal because of beto? tom: persistence is what it is going to take, and continued commitment to organizing everywhere. again, getting back to your question about rural organizing. i am heartened by what happens not only in texas, but elsewhere.
we invested a lot in fred hubbell, who did not make it across the finish line, but we now have two new members of congress from iowa, we almost had a third. the work that beto and others have done, the texas democratic party, what we have to do is understand that this is about persistence. this is about having a long-term strategy. we did not make it in those races now, but we are far further along now than we were before. we now have an election in 2020 in texas. you have john cornyn on the ballot for the state senate. and what we have shown is that democrats, if you have the right democrat on the ballot, they can give that person the run for his money. so you are going to see a lot of prominent democrats come up and compete to run against john cornyn. when i hear someone tell me that tom, you don't need to worry
about organizing because demographic is destiny? that his fingernails on a chalkboard for me. that is only destiny when you are building relationship with -- building relationships with people, when you're out there listening and fighting for things people care about. voters in rural and urban texas and across america have seen what we stood for. that is why we won the popular vote by almost 8% across this country. beto inspired so many young voters and establish the baseline that is higher, and we build on it. success is about persistence. we build the runway, the infrastructure that enables candidates to take off and land the plane, you know? the voter file. technology investments. all of those things. we continue to build that voter file and continue to make those
investments and build partnerships with the ecosystem. we have made tremendous progress this year, but we've got more work to do. when i get closer to the line, i get that much more excited. am i disappointed? of course. i always want to win. but i think we are on the right pathway, and we will nominate a candidate for president who will, in turn, inspire that much more participation. if the question is, are we going to compete in the texas senate race in 2020, the answer is hell yeah. i do not think the votes have been counted quite yet, so we are not sure where the spread is, but we are in contact. gina spoke at a number of our events. she is a spectacular candidate, so we want to wait and run across the tape and continue to run as long as there is an opportunity.
you want leaders who are going to fight for the issues you care about. that's why we won the house of representatives. he is going to help people get access to health care. he said the first thing i will do is repeal the afford will care act. circle. a hard i think we continue -- the american people want leaders who . and 8% swing. a statement about what people think. >> the president's major policy
focused on the border wall. if you hadus as to any concessions or any compromises planned. to work with the president on that issue? >> i think we need to build bridges of opportunity. we need to pass the dream act that will help people. i think he said at one point that he supported the dream act until he did not support the dream act. >> tell me, you are supportive, he said it is up to the house to
select a new speaker. who is it up to to select the new rules committee chairman? >> the house members will select to their leadership is. i will leave it to them to make those judgments. even if i did, weighing in on who should do what, i will leave that to them. >> do you see any possibility of supporting impeachment of mueller is fired? >> what we have to do is to make sure we allow robert mueller's investigation to continue. he is a very savvy and independent person. we need to make sure we get that done. i want to focus on making sure we allow him to do his job. make sure -- it is not just democrats. is democrats and republicans. this is not a right versus left issue. we need howard baker's in the republican party to stand up and
put party over country. i thought i heard lindsey graham say that. i hope he says it again. >> ruth bader ginsburg had an accident, why is the supreme court more of a message for democrats? could it be that the president >> more opportunities you go we talk about it all the time. elections have consequences. [inaudible conversation] >> the miami herald and other allies reporting that florida secretary of state is ordering
recounts in the u.s. senate and governors races, an unprecedented review of two major races in a state that took the weeks to decide presidential election. he issued the order a short time ago after the unofficial results in both races fell within a margin that by law prompts a recount. show --ficial results led democratic mayor by less than a half of percentage point, which will require a machine recount of ballots. republican governor rick scott's lead over bill nelson is less than a quarter of a percentage point, which will require a hand recount of ballots from tabulation machines that couldn't determine which candidate got the vote. is reporting those recounts are due by 3 p.m. thursday.
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