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tv   Newsmakers JB Poersch Senate Majority PAC  CSPAN  September 8, 2019 6:00pm-6:33pm EDT

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live coverage of the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. listen live on the free radio app. host: joining us is j.b. poker poker the president of the senate skwrortmajority p.a.c. p.a.c. joining us is josh and crystal. let me begin with the senate republican leader up for election we have not seen him because he fractured his shoulder as a result of a fall in august at his home. what can we expect when he comes back and size up that race. guest: when he comes back to the senate the first focus will be this is the legislative session it follow months of gun violence
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in several cities and i expect serious conversation inside the senate. i think where we are with americans is that there's more of an expectation that something is going to get done and i think both caucuses will feel pressure for not just overall cosmetic results but something that goes toward gun safety. host: is she a strong candidate? guest: i think she ran well and fell short in a tough district and she has a terrific story about her time in the military. right now it seems like that she is the likely candidate it take on mitch mcconnell and there's a lot of enthusiasm for her. she's been raising strong money for it. she's going to be a handful.
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host: are there lessons from 5 1/2 years ago and the campaign against senator mcconnell? guest: i think amy mcgrath will demonstrate discipline as a candidate and i expect but this is a race very much about mitch mcconnell in a state that donald trump won by 30.5. senator mcconnell is very unpopular and uniquely unpopular with his job unless in the low 20's and teens. this is not something we have seen for some time. he's uniquely formidable and it shapes up to be an interesting race. host: what is his biggest weakness? guest: it will be hard for him to make a claim that kentuckians
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believe that he's still rooted in his own state and his own state is his main focus. it won't surprise me if the campaign shifts to one where he makes his focus about delivering for donald trump hoping that trump is more popular than he is. but his hard argument is whether he has gone to washington beyond the point where he can't be saved. i will turn to my colleagues. host: i want to turn >> i want to turn to the gun control. the senate map is concentrated in battle grounds like arizona, georgia. north carolina where talking about gun control is a fraught issue for democrats. are you encouraging democrats to aggressively tackle it in statses where it has been challenging?
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guest: i think voters see the conversation that is happening especially the idea of coming from most democrats as reason the conversation particularly around background collectionhecks normally has believe support nationally 75% to 80% of the population. certainly voters want us to make sure the conversation goes comprehensively and not just to gun safety and violence. not only are americans ready for it i think you will see they expect action. >> would you encourage democratic candidates -- guest: i would encourage both democrats and republicans to find answers to this that includes background checks. >> guns are going to be a big focus going into 2020. what are some other issues you
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plan to focus on that we can see in ads or themes? guest: the economy is never going to go far in any federal election and particularly this one. it will be on people's minds where donald trump and republicans are argue it is a great economy, but for a lot of americans they are wondering why they have not benefited from it more. health care was a prime point it 2018 2018. you have no reason to believe it won't be as equally a hot issue in 2020 fplt. the republicans are not likely to go on record with anything and most are for plans that risk access. >> on gun control you heard murmurs the senate can pass something, it may not be
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sweeping brown checks but would that take the pressure off them? guest: i would want senators on both sides. i don't think you can put lip stick on this pig and get away. some of the red flags and trying to detour the conversation won't be enough. >> talk about the senate map. how realistic is democrats to win the seats necessary to take back the majority and how much are you involved in it? guest: it looks like a map promise player by first and second presidential ballot round different from the one the senate fought on two years ago where democrats were defending 26 democrats nine in trump states and alabama was the 10th. this time we are only defending nine, two incumbent are in trump states. i think that puts likely the
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majority of the focus and opportunity for democrats to pick up the majority. that is three or four depending on who the president is and it is very much within our grasp. >> how much concern is if democrats nominate somebody more progressive running on issues not necessarily popular in some battle ground states how many worry do you have? guest: i don't think it is a conversation about progressive or moderate. i think it is is the democratic candidate going to be able to connect with americans and their challenges. this isn't one of politics but can we put meat and potatoes on the table. >> you are not concerned this is the candidate would be on the presidential ticket? guest: so far this has been a competitive field.
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it seems that it will go on for a while. i don't think there's a clear candidate either way. the point is that it feels as if voters are looking for an turn to donald trump and i think they will find it. host: to that point two senate races in georgia with doug jones in alabama. how do you approach those? guest: josh has written about georgia and i think he is right georgia is a good opportunity for democrats. our internal data suggests a competitive situation. i obviously have more data about senator purdue the republican and the one newly created. i think it is early and i think both seats, the candidates -- i think it will take shape. there's a primary in the purdue
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seat and i think you will see good candidates in both. >> can you outline some man states you will focus on your best chances and those where you don't think there might be? guest: when it comes to picking up seats colorado is an attractive opportunity. i think that cory gardner has worked himself into a situation where he comes off very much that he is inside washington within his own party that has shown his allegiance to the president. i think he ran as an independent but in a state lakeike colorado that has grown more democratic and progressive he's become more distant in a short time and i think that is an opportunity for democrats. certainly arizona is competitive. we have confidence because we beat march that mcsally once and
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i think they have a trick candidate. you will see races in places like north carolina, maine, iowa and i hope texas and georgia. >> we were talking about candidates. can you talk about recruitment and the candidates in those states that you just identified there's not strong candidates in every race. can you talk about recruitment? guest: i think candidates will grow but i think there are several good candidates across the country that i have been excited to see treasure faces with -- fresh faces with women and veterans. i think some new energy that is so key in the house where democrats picked up 40 seats is demonstrative in some of the recruiting. as i suggested earlier i don't think every field is set. that is the case for both seats in georgia. in general candidates like
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teresa greenfield in iowa, mark kelly who we talked about, and even the former governor, they are good candidates. host: you mentioned joe mansion said he would not hesitate to campaign for senator susan collins. guest: in past races she's won by comfortable margins. this will be her looking for that 30th year in the senate. it has been a long run. i think you will find manners asking him about whether they are getting out of the deal. i think they are more likely to see her as at least making an effort to work with the other side. but it sis answer on the ballot
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with donald trump it was certainly hard for a senator and it will be a challenge for her and turn out to be a competitive race. host: with you advise senator mansion not to campaign for her? guest: i wouldn't advise him. he is hd strong and from a -- head strong and from a tough state. i'm glad he's decided to remain in the senate and not run for governor. he indicated last weekend he was doing it because he knows that he matters in the senate. we will see. >> why have some compelling senate rerecruits like one in georgia and montana and texas decided not to run for the senate or presidential campaign? abrams has two opportunities and pass on both of them.
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what is making them avoid the opportunities? guest: i have been around this for a while so it does not feel drastically different from any other cycle. not every candidate says yes. and the presidential ring has always been attractive and people seem eager to try it on. what is different is the organic feedback that a lot of the presidential candidates get around the country and even in their own states where they say why aren't you thinking about the senate. we are happy with the field of candidates we have. if system of them want to consider -- if some of them want to continue it consider it that is ok. >> one changed his mind in colorado. do you think others will do the same? guest: i don't know what anyone
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has taken them at their word. both seem to be focused on the presidential races. beno will be on the stage for that. and the senate because of what it means around judges and the cabinet positions and certainly this concept that nancy pelosi has been aggressive in moving legislation and it gets to mitch mcconnell and everything dies those are compelling reasons. >> would you talk about texas? do you think it is a long shot or could be the year that it turns blue? could you outline the differences between 2018 and 2020? host: a number of texas house republicans stepping down, how that affects the dynamic. guest: i do, even though you
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hear it said the state is changing quickly but the most powerful evidence of that was in beno's race last time. you saw in the results is that hispanic turnout was probably what you would expect for an off offyear offyear election yet you saw san antonio and houston and dallas bigger numbers than i think voters are changing. i think they are systemic and it is a transient vote. it is high educated and women are a big part of it but it is growing quickly and the idea that we can motivate his panic voters to be a big part of the presidential gives me hope the change in texas could be next year. >> we look at issues of gun
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violence and two mass shootings in the past several weeks. will that help or trump being on the ballot many segregation with other states negate it? guest: when you look back people are surprised that trump's 8 1/2 point margin in texas wasn't bigger and his numbers there haven't been particularly compel compelling -- compelling and i would expect that is not a particularly strong entry point for the president. i don't know the extent it will be competitive at the presidential but i expect it will be tighter than it was at that level. that creates an opportunity for the house races you mentioned, steve, and for the senate. i also think people in washington, the city that gets nearly everything wrong misunderstand the race from
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before. cruz for all his faults, was reasonably popular the entire time. his job performance was between 49% and 50% and that brings us to john cornyn who is not despite his years around is not particularly well-defined and seems to be go along, get along, special interest guy. not particularly popular and is vulnerable. host: do you have appearn estimate of how much you will raise and spend? guest: i don't have a dollar figure. we will -- we were lucky to be successful raising funds last cycle with the super pak that i manage raised $167 million. would like to get there, early to say that but we are lady -- ahead of our figures and that is a excited base.
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>> in 2018 so many candidates running for congress didn't talk about trump at all. he will be on the ballot 2020. do you expect him to be up more? guest: it is hard not to talk about the elephant in the room. i think he certainly will be talked about more in senate races because i really do believe for this set of in incumbent most vulnerable because they have been there one term and they are not well-defined. the subtle conversation underneath is are these republican senators any kind of answer back to the president. the most con language you hear -- common language you hear voters about the lot of republicans is they are followers, go along, get along. i think they expect more and i think republicans will have a difficult time showing any level of independence. trump is part of that
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conversation. >> how would you describe those that are winnable and gone both ways? guest: probably not as small a pool as we keep saying. it can't be possible that in 2016 that people were changing their minds up to the last minute and report after report makes you believe there were only three undecided people in the whole country. i think people are open to debate, somewhat wary about this. yes, you know, when i listen -- we i had the opportunity to listen to voters around the country there are partisans but a lot of people are concerned about where we are going. host: you just returned from the focus group thursday in grand rapids michigan. tell us what you learned. guest: focus groups are one way they will listen to voters and that was part of the conversation.
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i think in michigan they realize they are about to be center of the world and it is likely to be competitive state in the presidential and i think they take that seriously and that the economy has improved but there's concern concern. it doesn't look like we have had significant moving forward with the auto economy. it seems to be getting worse. so that level of economic anxiety exists. that is part of the reason the presidential will be competitive. we have an incumbent senator gary peters who is well liked and veteran and former teacher, and there seems to be an interest that they keep him. there's not an easy argument of why would you want to repacelace
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him. >> when you look at the tax from republicans and president on labeling all democrats as socials do you have a strategy or are you preparing in a way to defend against that? and do you hear any of that from voters? guest: no. that is funny. very little feedback on it. the republicans themselves were more wound up in dropping that, but i think that somewhere along the line there are beginning to realize people don't know what they are talking about. i think that the idea that they have to push back and argue that democrats offer this all per sraeufr government as the -- per sraeufr government is the answer for everything i'm not sure you will hear that from most candidates let alone any of the candidates. i think that you will see some out of the box solutions from
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this senate democratic candidates both presidential and senate. >> is there a strategy to focus and help? we saw that in 2018 focusing on pelosi. can you outline whether you think it is a strategy and whether it will work? guest: most things that srhave power don't come as strategies from those in washington. they come from around the country. mitch mcconnell is a very powerful metaphor for a broken washington and he's carrying that more now. even with republicans there is a certain border line anger at
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their own part that they keep saying more of the same. they are not completely shielded from whatever quote unquote love donald trump takes. i think mcconnell is a face of a lot of chaos and disarray but more of the broken washington. host: mcconnell said he would not hesitate to fill a vacancy on the supreme court next year if there is one. how big an issue is that for voters? guest: even if you are a republican or conservative you are aware of the hypocrisy and that brings it back to the business as usual mentality of washington. i think you will be surprised at the number of candidates that will find themselves trying to distance themselves from mitch mcconnell. >> will your group get involved in democratic primaries thinking
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of colorado and also republican primaries in alabama whereould you help moore's candidacy? guest: i think the data is that our super-p.a.c. that has existed since 2011 we have not been in a democratic primary. i'm not one to take any options off the table. we will see what happens here in the future. but it is not our want. i wake up every morning thinking are we going to beat republicans. >> do you think it is more democrats to pick favored. what do you think is the logic? guest: there are endorsements that are still for primaries. i think that the s.e.c and democrat party want ss opinions that are high risk. we talked about the stakes at
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play and i don't begrudge the dscc for wanting to make sure we get the best candidates. give them an opportunity to raise money and win. >> i was going to ask about candidates you are talking about being recruited. do you see any shift in the types of candidates like you were talking with? are there more progressives coming out? guest: among the candidates that are running it runs the will the. i know democrats are afraid of the progressive nature. you have seen several candidates that are not necessarily longtime experienced candidates. then you get somebody like governor hickenlooper even though he's been give of colorado people see him as somebody a little outside the box box.
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i guess they typify a lot of candidates running that way as well. more than anything there is a certain energy that we are eager for change. democrats want to see the stphats empowered and democratic majority. host: 14 months away but define a great night for the p.a.c. next november? guest: winning the majority. that doesn't mean i can guarantee this far out until we get there, but i think historically for seats pickup for either party is more than possible. the average is higher than that. host: chances of defeating mitch mc mcconnell what are the hard? guest: i think that is hard. nate silver said giving 15% to 20% to start i expect it is getting better. what is interesting simultaneously it may already be
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single digits. host: j.d. poersch the president of the senate majority p.a.c. p.a.c. crystal haze crystal hayes, what did you learn? >> looking at texas in this race and knowing that democrats feel like this is a seismic shift in texas and moving forward and it could become more of a blue state. looking forward to this race we don't have a main highlighted candidate for democrats. that will be interesting to see how much money pours into those races in texas. in the senate and howls.use. host: how big was it that abrams decided not to get in the ras with two on ballot in georgia? >> it was a big when. that was her greatest
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opportunity with an open seat. she has the fund-raising and organization and looking to run for governor instead in 2022. but that is a space that you have talented candidates that can win and choosing not to run. host: what about alabama? >> it is going to be a difficult race because it is so conservative. it will be interesting to see if senate majority p.a.c. tries to amplify roy moore's contain and he could lose in atlanta and you might see some funny business from the democratic party. host: one is how big a factor the senate republican leader will be across the country. >> mitch mcconnell is almost a more potent name for democrats than donald trump in the more moderate and i expect his race to be one where a lot of money
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is poured in. he is the favorite and mcgrath has stumbled a bit but mcconnell re retkpwrebgts everything that the -- reflects everything that the problems democrats have and i think he will be a national symbol. >> you have seen that. candidates mentioning him and we will hear about it more and more. host: he seems to embrace the moniker grim reaperment >> he realizes you will suffer politically and same in the house so he's always had tough races and had competitive races back home. i think democrats have to figure out how much to run on policy and how much on issues like health care, the economy and how much to make it about personality. host: they are back next week. this week after a five-week
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recess. what can we expect? >> you will hear a lot about guns and i don't think that is a surprise. there will be press conferences for speeches and even the house judiciary will be expected to mark up a few bills. of course they won't take them up in the senate. the senate is talking about the -- we've seen reporting from "new york times" and politico about some ideas in the white house and may be possibilities but talking to people on capitol hill it seems unknown and will come from the white house. when we get clearer views, as to where republicans are in the senate it should be interesting. host: is this gun approach any different? >> i think it was interesting they won't run on gun control. it can be the winning issue. but i'm thinking arizona big and
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that is so much part of his biography but there is reticence even among liberal minded democratic strategists whether aggressive gun control with play in throws states and i think that is what is on trump's mind. is wary of some of these measures. host: agree or disagree? >> i think it will be interesting if the senate takes action how they will go in the 2020 cycle. whether it is sweeping background collection and what that -- background checks and whether it can happen or hurt. >> the senate is in play. i think there's going to be a lot of attention paid to the senate especially if trump stumbles in the presidential election. i think that they are going to b be in reach of getting a senate majority even though it is a challenge. host: we will follow your work
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to both of you. thank you for joining us on news makers. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] >> the homeland security testified in new york city. the hearing takes place at the national 911 memorial museum just ahead of the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. watch live monday at 10:00 a.m. on span. or or on the free c-span radio app. supreme court justice ruth bader ginsberg speaks at the clinton skl of believe service. she is introduced by bill clinton who nominated her to the court in 1993. this is about 90 min


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