tv Meet the Press NBC December 12, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PST
this sunday, tornado catastrophe. >> this will be, i believe, the deadliest tornado system to ever run through kentucky. >> 100 or more feared dead. mostly in kentucky. >> if you had to describe what's happened to your town, what would you say? >> it's gone. >> rare december tornadoes crash through six states. >> they're working on trying to save some people that are trapped in the rubble. >> an amazon warehouse destroyed in illinois. >> i have no idea the building looked that bad, and i'm just worried sick. i just want to know if he's okay. >> we'll get the latest from the
kentucky governor. covid mandates. >> a lot of patients on this floor won't make it out of this floor. >> with cases and deaths spiking again, are democrats and the biden administration doing enough to push for vaccine mandates? >> know this. everywhere in north america is either going to get vaccinated or get covid. >> joining me is republican senator roger marshall of kansas who opposes mandates. plus biden and putin, russia and ukraine. >> good to see you again. >> president biden says he's warned vladimir putin against any invasion of ukraine. >> there's a severe consequence. consequences like he's never seen or has been seen. >> how much is the u.s. willing to do to stop another russian invasion? i'll asked the secretary of state. joining me, john heilemann, kimberly atkins stohr, brendan
buck, and marianna sotomayor. welcome to sunday's "meet the press". a good tund morning. we're going to get to the spike on covid case, the battle over mandates, my interview with the secretary state, but we're going to begin with the damage in kentucky and neighboring states. a series of tornadoes more typical in the spring, rare in december, erupted overnight on friday, causing horrific damage and loss of life. all told, these tornadoes touched down in six states in the nation's midsection. one tornado alone was said to be on the ground for an estimated record 200 plus miles, cutting a shocking path of destruction through several states. most of that journey was in hardest-hit kentucky. the worst of the damage occurred in the kentucky town of mayfield
where a twister hit and destroyed a candle factory that was being used as shelter by scores of people. dozens are feared dead there alone. >> we did, i think, the lights went out, and then we did a rock, rock, rock, and then everything fell down on us. >> i'm looking at the trees and everything is just completely sawed off. there's very little in the way of bark remaining. buildings flattened. cars have been picked up and thrown. you know right away you're dealing with a violent tornado. >> at least six people were killed in edwardsville, illinois. that's just outside of st. louis, missouri when an amazon warehouse took a direct hit. the overall death toll is unclear. the governor says as many as 100 are feared dead in his state alone. i'm going to talk to the governor in a moment. first we're joined by kate snow, reporting on the ground from the hardest-hit area of mayfield. kate, the pictures are
devastating. i imagine being there in person is even more impressionable. >> reporter: yeah. chuck, it's almost indescribable. i can't even put in words how devastated this city is. i have to tell you i've covered probably more than a dozen tornadoes over my career, and i have never seen a town, a city flattened like this. just block after block. we talked about the candle factory. i want to tell you about that. 110 people were working there over on the late shift on friday night. it's a 24 -hour operation, and this time of year there are a lot of orders for candles, so they were all inside that warehouse. right now there are still dozens of people missing. i just talked to a state trooper who said they're out there again today trying to recover people and reunite families hopefully, but they are fairly sure the death toll there at the candle factory will rise. at the same time, we're starting to hear signs even this morning already of cleanup happening.
i'm hearing the beeps of heavy equipment being brought in to start clearing things. the mayor told me it's only a matter of time. months, maybe years they will be able to rebuild. this is a resilient community. it's a tight knit town of a city of about 10,000 people. they all know each other. their helping each other on this sunday morning. and this is mayfield, but this theme is repeated across the state of kentucky in smaller ways, perhaps, but equally devastated. we're talking about spaces over bowling green. overnight we learned there are even more deaths there. and it is a sunday. a lot of church services happening even though churches here were destroyed, they're going to get together here even if they just have an alter standing. we've heard of one church where it's no walls but just an alter and they're having services and asking for prayers this morning. >> well, kate, kate snow on the ground for us in mayfield. i know you'll have more on the
news this evening. thank you, kate. joining me is the governor from kentucky. welcome back to meet the press. i know as an extraordinarily difficult time for you and your state. let me start with look, we know this is going to be the worst tornado event ever recorded in the state's history. where do things stand right now? how many missing are there still? >> well, this has been absolutely devastating. we have entire towns flattened. my count, i know we've lost over 80 lives. i think it's going to be over 100. it may be well over 100. it is so hard to describe. there's not a camera big enough to show the path of absolute destruction. people have lost everything. we're talking in rescue effort of going door to door, there aren't doors. it's whether or not people are in the rubble. but we have so much help coming. and we are so thankful for other
communities in kentucky and in other states. rallying with us, and we greatly appreciate everybody's prayers and that's what we need. at the moment, we're hoping for miracles, whether it's in the candle factory or other places. but just in my dad's hometown, about 2700 people, the unaccounted for was just eight pages single spaced. it's really rough region by region, but especially down in the mayfield hopkins county belten springs area. >> a lot of times when there's a bad tornado hit like this, you can count on some neighboring states to chip in, but this is such a wide swath. i'm curious, how many more resources do you need? do you immediate more folks to come in whether it's to turn the power on, clear debris, and again, the surrounding, your
neighboring states are also dealing with this. do you need the national guard? do you need other states' national guard? >> this is what we believe will be the longest tornado in the u.s. history on the ground consecutively at least 227 miles. but 200 of those were in kentucky. i talked to the governors of neighboring states. we're all working to recover through this. we have a lot of people on the ground right now. especially in mayfield. actually, what we need from the sounding communities is if you're safe and you have power, stay home. we need to make sure that our roads are open for first responders, for heavy equipment, and not having people just coming to see the misery and great difficulty and devastation. there are ways to help, though. whether that is giving blood or a new fund that we have set up that's going to be state managed. a one fund that we can use to directly help the families of western kentucky and it's going to start by grieving together,
helping them with funeral expenses. that is the team western kentucky relief fund. it's teamwkyrelieffund.ky.ov. >> this is on the cusp of winter. i can only imagine if the area suddenly experienced an ice storm in the next couple weeks, you know, are you going to be able to clear this debris in time to essentially prepare for what could be tough weather, maybe drains on the power? i mean, it feels like the timing couldn't be worse. >> well, we have at least 56,000 homes without power. almost all in western kentucky. it has gotten pretty cold. now, we have opened our state parks, and we are bringing in families. but the other thing we do in kentucky is we look out for one another. we open warming centers. we have 13 open. only six are still open, because those of us blessed enough to
not be hit directly with this tornado take other people in whether we know them or not. chuck, we're good people. that look out for one another just have gone through something incredibly difficult. we are resilient, and we will rebuild. >> i believe that, and i know that. let me ask you this. just before this happened, you had to declare a state of emergency when it came to health care workers. the western kentucky medical facilities have all been near capacity, thanks to covid. do you have the medical resources to take care of the injured? >> right now we believe we do, though, power is one of the challenges. but we're working with that. our hospitals outside of the area have all called. and even though we're all stretched a little bit thin right now, we still have capacity in many areas and they are sending aid and help and then we are transporting
patients. one of our challenges is we're losing so many people in this, most of our morgues aren't big enough. our corners from all over the state are coming in to help. but we're going to make sure that everybody who needs medical assistance gets it, and i want to thank all those that are out there doing the work, whether it's doing the rescue or the debris removal. we have national guard on the scene. we have our transportation cabinet with our heavy equipment. we have our division of forestry, and we have a whole lot of volunteers bringing their personal equipment to help us make it through, because i will tell you, it doesn't matter how big a piece of equipment was, if it was in the area, this storm picked it up, destroyed it, threw it hundreds of feet and just we've never seen anything like it. i've never seen a war zone that looks like this. >> you know, tornado warning systems, look, meteorologists every year are trying to get
better seeing if they can give people more time. could you have a warning system in december? was the timing of it harder or is this so devastating no warning system would have helped? >> no, there were lots of warnings. and, in fact, even at that factory there was a warning for people to get to the right area. but this storm -- it's like nothing any of us have ever seen before. even in the movie or on tv. it is that devastating. homes totally, totally gone, and people inside them totally gone, too. this is -- this is something so devastating. the warnings were there. i don't fault anybody for that. >> no, of course not. governor, i can hear it in your voice. i know this has been so difficult, and i imagine being on the ground, it only makes it even harder to comprehend. thanks for coming and sharing some of the stories for our
viewers. >> thank you, and thank you for everybody's prayers. we'll take as many as we can get. >> you got it. if you would like to help the victims of the tornadoes, you heard the governor had organizations. here are some other organizations you can contribute to. you can also find them on our website. meetthepress.com. the covid crisis, grim new numbers. the u.s. is approaching the 50 million mark in covid cases and we're just shy of 800,000 deaths. republicans are working against vaccine and testing mandates which appears to be catering to a growing group of vaccine voters. and the mandates have proven to be highly effective. joining me is roger marshall of kansas, a medical doctor, but he's opposed to the mandate. senator, thank you for coming on and welcome to "meet the press". >> thanks, chuck. glad to be here. >> let me start with this. if you have no mandate, what is
your plan to get more people vaccinated? because it appears vaccines are still our only way out of this pandemic. >> yeah. chuck, you know, boosters, boosters, boosters. that's what's going to save lives right now. but just bear with me. i need to stop and pause and honor my boyhood hero bob dole who passed away this week. one of the great american heros from the greatest generation. we want to honor him. our plan is to be honest with americans. about 30% of americans right now have chosen not to get the vaccine. but what the biggest impact right now is boosters in the seniors. that's going to stop hospitalizations and stop deaths. if you're a seen your citizen and haven't gotten your booster yet, shame on you. please go do that. if you have underlying health care conditions, if you're diabetic or overweight, get the booster. you're going to get the virus, be exposed to it.
if you don't have that booster, we know vaccines kind of run out after about five to six months. natural immunity would help. and even those with natural immunity may want to consider getting the booster. i think being honest with america is the plan. you know that mandates don't work. from a practical standpoint, mandates are going to cause an economic shutdown. it's going to exacerbate inflation. it's going to cause brownouts and supply chain disruptions. and national security issues. think about this. half of the national guard is not vaccinated yet. what would be happening in kentucky right now if we shut down half of the national guard? i support the vaccines, but not the mandate. >> you said something interesting. you said if senior citizens haven't gotten their booster, shame on you. is that your attitude for any unvaccinated person in the hospital right now? because 80 % of hospitalizations at a minimum right now in the northern tier where we're hitting close to max are the unvaccinated with covid. shame on them?
>> look, i think i've been one of the leaders from the start, encouraging people to get the vaccine. i was leading the charge back in july of 2020 saying we're going to have a vaccine. let's get it out the door. in the summer of this year, i was encouraging people to get boosters. if the cdc could have pivoted sooner, we would have saved thousands of lives. i think being honest with people, the cdc needs to acknowledge natural immunity. as a physician, i was never able to talk to anybody into stopping smoking by a mandate or by trying to argue with them. it was by being honest and communicating with them. i would encourage all those folks who have not got the vaccine yet to talk to their doctor about it and by the way, let's talk about eating healthy and exercising every day. and getting seven hours of sleep, avoiding stress. those are the things we can all be doing to help minimize the impact of this virus. >> you brought up smoking. i know at our company here, if you're a smoker, you have to pay more. if you don't get vaccinated, should you have to pay more your
own health care? should taxpayers and more importantly, is it a bizarre incentive to the unvaccinated to give them unemployment benefits? >> you know, wow, i just don't know what to say except there's not a one size fits all solution. i think that problem will be best solved locally. if a local employer wants to make those type of decisions, i get it. i'm against any type of federal mandates of any type. especially in an constitutional federal vaccine mandate. think from a practical standpoint of what that does to the economy, inflation. i rattled off the -- >> i understand, but senator -- >> look at the big picture. >> i understand that. look at the big picture of this pandemic. everything you rattled off that you said would be impacted by a mandate is what we're living through now. the only way to get past the supply chain problems, past covid, get people vaccinated. the only way to get more workers to show up is to make it safer
to get more people vaccinated. everything you describe here, all our problems are because we're still in a pandemic and because people haven't gotten vaccinated. how does trying to delay the end of this pandemic better for the economy? >> yeah. you know, chuck, let's look at the background information. 92% of americans have some level of immunity to the virus based upon the cdc website. so let's start there. and really, the messaging coming out of the white house has to acknowledge natural immunity and be honest with america. look, based upon -- >> better to get the virus than the vaccine? >> mandates don't work. >> you talk about natural immunity a lot. would you advise somebody to get the virus rather than the vaccine? >> of course not. but if you've had the virus, that needs to be acknowledged, and then a decision made with the patient and the doctor deciding if they should get the
booster or not. maybe check their level of antibodies. take into account what their health care situation is. a diabetic type ii diabetic that's had the virus, i would check the level of antibodies and probably encourage them to get the booster, but a 19-year-old navy s.e.a.l. with a higher passion of getting heart inflammation than going to the hospital from the virus, i probably would have a different answer. so you cannot have a one size fits all recommendation from the federal government. >> you brought up bob dole at the beginning. we're going to have our own tribute to him later in the show. but i'm curious of this, senator. bob dole conceded the election in 1996. the last president has not. what could the former president learn from bob dole? >> well, listen, i think this is an issue of election integrity. and i think it's really important to americans across
the nation. we value the ballot and the ballot booth. we want election integrity. there's a lot of controversy out there, and i'm focussed right now on making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. i think that's the focus right now. >> bob dole, one of the last interviews he gave was in july to usa today. he was asked about the former president. he said this. he lost the election, and i regret that he did, but they did. he had giuliani running all over the country claiming fraud. there was no fraud in all the lawsuits he filed and statements he made. i'm a trumper, i'm sort of trumped out, though. do you know -- you voted -- you stood with those that didn't want to certify the election. do you regret that now considering all the crazy things that mark meadows and others were doing? >> look, i'm always going to stand up for election integrity. i want to make sure that every state obeys their own laws and constitution. especially in a time of crisis. so that's what's at risk for me
right now is maintaining the integrity of that election, and i want to do everything i can going forward to make sure that those elections have even more safety valves in it and there's higher levels of integrity. americans value the sanktty of that ballot booth. >> do you believe you were elected fair and square in 2020? >> you know, absolutely i do. i think kansas has some of the tightest election laws in the land. we went back and looked at that to make sure that it was a safe and fair election. so proud of our secretary of state. so proud of our county clerks and the people that volunteer, checking the i.d.s to make sure that every person got one vote. just really proud of kansas. other states can look and see how kansas does it. >> and do you believe that joe biden was elected fair and square? >> joe biden was sworn into office. i called him mr. president since the day he was sworn in. i still remain concerned about
election integrity. i think that we need to go back and look at what the states obey their own laws and constitution. >> "the new york times" says a bunch of senators were briefed on this supposed power point and other ideas that the former white house chief of staff was circulating. were you briefed by some of these things before january 6th, some of these arguments about the chinese controlling 28 states and things like that? >> you know, not at all. i never heard that story. don't know if there's any truth to that at all. no, i haven't. >> all right. senator, republican from kansas. appreciate you coming on and sharing your perspective with us, sir. >> thank you, chuck. when we come back, with tens of thousands of russian troops masked on ukraine's border, is there any the u.s. can co-do to stopladimir putin fro vm ♪ say it's all right ♪
welcome back. it is no exaggeration to say it was a busy week of diplomacy for biden. on tuesday he met by video with vladimir putin and made clear there would be devastating economic consequences if they invaded ukraine. how much leverage does the u.s. really have if putin is determined to invade? joining me is secretary of state antony blinken. welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> thanks, chuck. good to be with you. >> i want to start with what president biden said he told vladimir putin. he said there would be economic consequences like none he's ever seen or ever have been seen. i want to put up this graphic of all the different ways we have tried to confront russian aggression and putin aggression since 2014.g8, multiple
sanctions, import restrictions, expulsion of diplomats, asset seizures, cybercrime indictments, more military aid to ukraine. none of it, mr. secretary, has curtailed putin's behavior. why do you think these threats will do it? >> well, first of all, chuck, we don't know that it hasn't curtailed his behavior because we might well have gone further. back in 2014 he seized crimea, he invaded eastern ukraine. might have gone even further than that had there not been a resolute response. what the president made clear to president putin and i made clear to foreign minister lavrov, my counterpart, we're prepared to take the kind of steps we've refrained from taking in the pass that would have massive consequences to russia. i'm here in liverpool with the g7 countries. they're equally resolute to
stand against russian aggression to prevent it. we've been clear there would be massive consequences if russia commits renewed actions of aggression against ukraine. >> russia has escalated his rhetoric. we have reports that he's been sending even more military reenforcements to the border. is he not listening? >> we'll see in the days and weeks ahead. look, the president, chuck, made clear to president putin on two occasions, in geneva, and just this week in the video conference. our preference would be for a more stable, predictable relationship with russia. if russia continues to take reckless actions, we will respond. not only us, partners and allies around the world. that's why i was in nato just a week ago. that's why i'm here at the g7 meeting. i think what people need to
understand is that ukraine is important. we are resolute in our commitment to its sovereignty and territory integrity. there's something at stake, basic rules that say one country can't change the borders of another by force, one country can't dictate its choices, decisions and foreign policy with whom it will associate. one country can't exert a sphere of influence over others. that's what russia is purporting to assert. if we let that go with impunity, then the entire system that provides for stability, prevents war from breaking out, is in danger. that's why this is so important. that's why the president has been very clear with president putin. >> why hasn't the action of russia amassing troops and terrorizing ukraine right now been a trigger for any punishment? >> it's been a trigger for action. a trigger for us bringing together allies and partners around the world, starting in europe with our closest partners
nato, where i was a couple weeks ago, bringing people together to make clear not only the deep shared concern, but the fact that we're prepared together in a coordinated way to take very strong action if mr. putin continues his aggression against ukraine. so we now need to see whether he's not only received the message but responds to it. and there is another way forward. that's something else the president suggested to president putin and i've done the same with my russian counterpart and others, and that's diplomacy. russia and ukraine agreed many years ago to something called the minsk agreements, giving ukraine its border back. what we'd like to see now is actually russia implementing commitments under that agreement. we'll test that proposition together with our allies and partners and see how russia responds. >> the fact that he's able to amass troops at the border, get a video conference, and, by the way, vladimir putin wants a
face-to-face meeting. i'm curious, is that at all on the table? >> look, the video conference was important because, as much as i can do with my kountd part, as much as other colleagues in the government can do with theirs, when it comes to russia, president putin is the one person that really counts. it's very important for president biden to speak directly, clearly to him so he understands from the leader of the united states exactly what he risks if he pursuing aggression with ukraine. >> okay. what would it take for you to agree -- for president biden to agree to an in person, face-to-face with vladimir putin? does he have to pull his troops back from the border before that happens? >> what we're looking to see from russia -- again, not just us, but allies and partners in europe, we're looking to see deescalation, looking to see russia pull back forces from the border, and we're looking to see russia engage in good faith in
diplomacy and diplomatic dialogue with the europeans, with ukraine to resolve the conflict in eastern ukraine and to give ukraine its borders back. that's what we're looking to see. >> i don't mean to sound cynical here, but we've heard that rhetoric through seven years through three administrations, and putin's behavior just hasn't changed. >> what we've seen in recent weeks and recent months is concerning signs of an accumulation of forces on the border, plans to commit renewed aggression against ukraine, which is exactly why we brought countries around the world, but starting in europe, together to make it very clear that they'll be very severe consequences for that. president putin has to make his calculations and decide ultimately what's in russia's interest. he eel make those calculations. we've been very clear about what will follow if he renews aggression against ukraine. >> if germany were more open to essentially shutting down the
nord stream 2 pipeline, do you think vladimir putin would pay more attention?opu.s. from doin? >> well, that pipeline, chuck, as you know, doesn't have any gas flowing through it right now. in fact, it's a source of leverage on russia, because to the extent president putin wants to see gas flowing through that pipeline if and when it becomes operational, it's very unlikely or hard to see that happening if russia has renewed its aggression on ukraine, if it takes renewed action. so i think president putin has to factor that in, too, as he's thinking about what he's going to do next. >> i want to go back now. our european allies stronger actions against russia than what you and president biden would like to do? >> what i can tell you is this, i'm here at the g7, meeting of the world's large of the economies. we just put out a statement in the name of all of our countries that warnings of massive consequences if russia commits
acts of aggression against ukraine. i was at nato, as i said. i found all of our allies very resolute both in their deep concern about what russia may be doing and may be planning as well as their determination to take strong, coordinated steps if russia does act aggressively. that's the best way to deter russia. there are other steps that we've been taking as well. we've been continuing to shore up ukraine's defenses so they can better defend itself if russia commits acts of aggression. we're also looking at what nato can do, if necessary, to better defend itself. at the end of the day, chuck, what is far preferable to all of this is diplomacy and dialogue and deescalation. if russia moves in that direction, then we can avoid having another crisis. we can avoid the potential for conflict, and we can move things to a better path. that's strongly -- i think in our interest and in russia's interest. >> secretary antony blinken, appreciate you coming on and
sharing the administration's perspective. >> thanks for having me on. good to be with you. >> moments after we finished speaking, i followed up about the putin ask. secretary blinken suggested with russian troops on the border, an in-person face-to-face with biden and putin seems pretty unlikely. president biden led an international summit for democracy this past wee (vo) welcome to hope, usa. ♪ it's a feeling that exists inside us all. and real places, where wells fargo and small businesses are working together to help bring hope. to the streets of our communities and beyond. nurse mariyam sabo knows a moment this pure...
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welcome back. panel is here. marianna sotomayor, congressional reporter for "the washington post," john heilemann, executive editor -- and brendan buck and kimberly atkins stohr, senior opinion writer for "the boston globe". it was "the atlantic" this week that sort of put the democracy issue, january 6th front and center. it's clear they're doing a year-ender. then we had the summit for democracy. it's been a head-scratcher, the summit for democracy. what other democracy has their last leader not conceding the election?
>> right. it's been very difficult, even for biden, who ran on making sure democracy can be saved, not just in the u.s. but also abroad. it's difficult to make that argument for him because we've had january 6th. we're coming up on the one-year anniversary. it is so hard to believe it's right around the corner. you still on capitol hill have many republicans denying that that was an insurrection. they don't like calling these people insurrectionists. you have democrats who have sworn off working with republicans who voted against certifying the election. it is very tense still on capitol hill. >> i want to read what bart said, the headline is trump's next coup has already begun. trump and his party convinced a dauntingly large numb bore of americans, that made up claims of fraud are true, that only cheating can thwart the victory at their polls and that violence is a legitimate response.
hyper poll lick or fact? >> fact. the strength of the gelman piece is it lays out, first of all, this extraordinary reality that there's something that 8% and maybe as many as 12% that say joe biden was illegitimate and violence is an appropriate tool to removing him and restoring donald trump. that's between 20 and 30 million people. that's a mass movement in america in favor of political violence. we've been political violence before, but this is 30 million people right now who are ready to take up arms. you put that together with what the president, the former president and his allies are doing in the political realm, statehouses, state legislatures and the party apparatus to be able to engineer a situation where they are in a stronger position to pull off a coup in 2024 than 2020, that's not
hyperbolic at all. that's facts. >> i have a scroll here of everybody the former president, brendan, that has endorsed that has a role in certifying elections, not including members of congress here. there's just one litmus test here, just one. this feels as if we're entering a place that is going to get darker and darker if the election is less than 1% on any level. >> i don't actually -- i'm not too concerned about the voting laws in texas. i know some people may disagree with me. joed die highs, running for secretary of state in georgia. the only reason he is running for secretary of state in georgia is he wants to take out brad raffensperger who is the georgia secretary of state who pushed back on trump's claims and said the election is not stolen. if we have people all across the country put in a position where they will not confirm or certify an election result, that's the nightmare scenario i'm worried
about. it's very clear that's what they're trying to do all across the country. you take it a step further, the real nightmare scenario, gop congress and the house that won't certify a democratic election down the road. i think some of those things are -- the things that people talk about the most right now, the voting laws are not the big concerns. >> kimberly, it was in the 18 r50s, 60s and 70s, you had instances where you had multiple people claiming the governorship. yes, we had alternative slates -- this is not something that we're making up. this has happened before. it feels like they're copying the playbook. >> it has happened before. point to other violence that happened before, a civil war happened before. there is precedent for a lot of this. that's exactly why people should be so concerned. what you have, and one thing -- i do disagree that the voting measures passed in these states are not problematic. what you have is even worse, you have an entire party -- it's not
only just about donald trump, it's about a party adopting his tactic which s deny the results of the last election or else, you move forward with efforts to try to subvert democracy or else. there's no place -- knowing there niece place in the republican party for a char lee baker. these are the people being driven out. this is to the idea of being anti democracy. you have to put winning before that. >> peter meyer, mariana, is a member of congress, he voted for impeachment. his own sister believes all of trump's lies. here is what he told tim alberta. he has to work alongside the very people pushing those lies. they make folks like my sister think they're on her team, meyer says, that's what pisses me off. paul gosar wasn't shot on
january 6th, ashby babbitt was. >> are people like the congressman, like-minded people, very few of them, going to start to push leadership to denounce marjorie taylor greene. there is frustration boiling up because leadership hasn't really dealt with them. behind the scenes mccarthy has talked with them, but also talked, for example, with nancy mace when she and marjorie taylor greene were getting at it on twitter. people like the congressman, are you also punishing her instead of greene. >> peter meyer stands out because he's willing to say the truth. he's new. i think what he's going to learn is the reason so many elected gop officials don't push back, it's not because of some master plan, not because donald trump told them not to. it's because of their constituents. their constituents believe this. they don't want to get gelled at by their constituents. until that changes, you're not going to see anything change.
roger marshall provided an answer that he knows the constituents won't yell at him about about who won the last election. >> except for the fact that their constituents are driven by the combination of donald trump who still has this massive influence and the echo chamber of fox news and news max and and n. i'll say, kwhuk, i did an interview with bannon in october of 2020. he said there are going to be knife fights in the counting rooms. they lost those knife fights in 2020. all of this is about being able to control those counting rooms and win those knife fights in 2024. >> steve bannon does not believe in democracy. that is pretty clear to me. >> no. >> as we go to break, we felt we could not let this week go past without acknowledging the passing with bob dole. he death was announced just moments after we went off the
air. the vice presidential and presidential candidate died at the age of 98. bob dole once had the record for most "meet the press" appearances, second only to late senator john mccain. we thought we'd put together of dole's "meet the press" appearances. we begin with 1972 when dole headed the republican national committee. >> the president starts off, of course, in a very strong position. we occupy the white house. he has a positive record. he has a positive question. >> in every question you're asked about ada, you don't close the door at all. in fact, it's about 10, 20 feet wide. >> i don't know how large the door is, but the door certainly is ajar. >> you want to be president? >> thought about it a lot. >> why? >> i believe i have the experience. i think i've provided leadership. >> on this program, have you ever told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? >> probably not. >> what's your answer when
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welcome back. "data download" time. a look at how this winter season is shaping up toing loo and feel more like the prepandemic holiday season of 2019 than last year. let's look first at spending on holiday shopping. as you can see here, up just under $1,000 in 2019. just over $1,000 in 2021. obviously we had the pandemic era 2020 dip there. a look at who americans are buying gifts here. interesting. family number one, friends a slight dip. this may not be surprising if you think about it, fewer co-workers, slight dip. why? we work from home. maybe we're not amazing close to our co-workers as we once were. here is another way things look like the prepandemic era, in-person dining, down just 8% compared to the prepandemic levels here. look where we were a year ago,
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kimberly, it seems as if there's nothing the white house can do to improve their political standing these days. it does feel like every week there's another poll, a new bottom, a new this. some of it is out of their control. mark and i were having a discussion, his two big discussions were to get covid behind us and get rid of donald trump. is that why we're in this no man's land for him? >> it's the convergence of a lot of things. you have this pandemic that we can't get behind, people still struggling economically. joe biden campaigned on a big, broad agenda of civil rights and helping people get back on their feet. even after these packages have passed, there's this constant threat to democracy that we keep talking about. the democrats have failed to pass any measure to protect and
bolster up our election system. that has people uneasy. is it all joe biden's fault? of course not. most of it isn't. you have republicans who are lock solid against him and won't vote for anything no matter how many times joe manchin says he wants bipartisanship. it's about where do you assign that blame? who is against every measure including vaccine mandates that could get us past this pandemic? is that joe biden? where does the blame actually lie? >> i talked to republicans on the hill. they're excited about the status of build back better. they think they win either way. either democrats fail and they have nothing to roll on. but they also see that people associate it with run away spending. what democrats are working on right now does not answer the question that most people are concerned about. obviously they're concerned about inflation and gas prices. you look at polling that the top issues people are concerned about, all the issues on build back better rank nowhere near the top of that.
they went either way. that's why they're sitting back and waiting to see what happens. >> vulnerable house democrats, representing swing districts, they know that. they know the number one thing on people's minds is the economy and inflation. so they're already starting to push leadership on what is the floor going to look like next year? if we have to pass messaging bills, they better be on the economy, they better be addressing the explain and addressing jobs. that will give us maybe even more than build back better to say we're trying to deliver for you guys. they need that ammunition. >> we know there are things they get more credit for than they serve when they're good. the economy is way better than it was a year ago. there's no met atlantic, other than inflation, by which the economy isn't stronger than a year ago. yet inflation crowded that out. 6.8% last week. the biden administration talks about it all day long.
i drive through times square and the thing coming out on friday says highest inflation since 1982. people in the country are worried about it and are right to be worried about it. covid. the unending pandemic. is omicron joe biden's fault? it is not. do people feel like we're never going to get out of this hole. there will be new variants. it puts them in that difficult position. they can try to do things on the supply chain, talk up the jobless claims going way down. those two facts are weighing so heavily on so many people, it is like they're a little stuck because the macro is weighing on them so heavily. kimberly, you brought up some of the other issues, voting rights. it struck me. i think he's the first president since h.w. bush to not have a devoted political base. that is hurting him right now which is why his numbers don't have a higher floor than, say, barack obama did or donald trump did. >> yes, and those who make up the different segments that make up his base all are looking for things beyond the pandemic. one of them is voting rights. i have been saying for a long
time that that should have been the first order of business and everything else can come later. you can pass build back better, pass infrastructure, that's like pointing a shiny coat of paint on the house while republicans are hurling bombs at it. you know who came out in record numbers to vote during the pandemic? black folks in the south. they are watching this and saying absolutely nothing has changed. all the promises you made have not been fulfilled. that's a big problem for democrats. >> i do think too many people had too many asks of him and he can't find the unifying thing. that's all we have for today. thank you for watching. please keep these folks in the tornado zone in your thoughts today. check our website, "meet the press".com for places to contribute. we'll be back next week. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
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