tv Face the Nation CBS May 22, 2022 8:30am-9:00am PDT
>> welcome do "face the nation". i am margaret brennan, good morning. we have learned that the number of americans who say things are going badly in this country, particularly with the economy is at the highest rate it has been during the biden presidency. six out of 10 americans surveyed feel uneasy or worried about the state of the country. today we will hear from key players in both parties, the head of senate republicans campaign florida senator rick scott and top house democrats new york congressman hakeem jeffries, plus take in-depth
look at the state of the economy and the talk with former defense secretary robert gates who offers a little opt mismg for us. we open mitchell. we begin with the news poll, to help us the break it down is news director of the elections and surveys, anthony salvanto. >> the good morning, great to have you here at the table. >> thank you for having me, great to be here. >> you have some fairly pessimistic news for us, i know, but is inflation still the number one electoral issue for americans? >> so much of ts about inflation that the view of the nation you described at the top is driven by concerns about inflation. so much of those in the economy are driven by the concern about inflation, those who say the economy is bad is now the highest it has been during the biden administration and recently we see people reacting to the drop in the stock market, where now they are pessimistic of how both the market and maybe their retirement, so all of that is piling on and the longer that it goes, you see people becoming
more pessimistic that it can be reversed. having said all of that, margaret, i do need to couple. point out a couple of optimistic things. >> the jobs market, people are optimistic they can find a job, and after two years of a pandemic and all of the losses people are starting to feeling optimistic about that effort as we head into the summer. >> brennan: so how are memories assessing the president's performance. >> well on inflation it is not good, his hands on inflation and ratings on that are low but there is another component of this and that is is a majority of the public, two-thirds feel like the administration has been slow to react, slow to react to events as they come up, of course that has been a critique on inflation and on other matters, it is also starting to stick a little among his party, among democrats who are also now more likely to say that and that the economy is bad. so that is tough politically and, you know, i think coming into this we saw a number of people were expecting him to be
effective and now those ratings are low, so it is that setup of expectations here because people reason backward from results if they don't see results from inflation he faces political pressure. >> what about the parties themselves? do you think they are talking about the issues that particularly matter to them? >> in a word, no, you are seeing the party primaries play out state after state around the country now, and, yes, the candidates are forced to speak to their bases in those places but something that both democrats and republicans share is they want those potential nominees to talk about a a inflation and maybe by virtual of the fact they are not talking about it enough the parties are even on this, the republicans don't have a large advantage on inflation. >> brennan: interesting. >> even though the democrats are the power in party, after that the base really diverge, you have to point out the democrats are really concerned about potential over throw of roe v. wade and want their candidate to talk about that and abortion rights and then the republicans are having this split which is really important as people watch
this go forward over former president trump, you have got half of republicans who say they want their candidates to talk about being loyal to the former president, you have got nearly half who say that they want to basically relitigate 2020, and talk about what they feel was a rigged election, that has been disproven. so you have the other half of the republicans that don't want that, and that's an interparty fight that you are seeing play out in race after race, state after state right now. >> brennan: so what we are also seeing here is voters feel the parties are dividing them, not just their own partisan lines but demographic lines, explain that. >> yes, it starts with the views of the partisans, when you look at democrats and you look at things like what is happening in, and america is going through cultural change and demographic change, that's a good thing, they think increasing diversity i a good thing, immigrants contribute to the country, republicans disagree and by and large think that diversity is not a good thing.
that is then reflected in what you hear from the candidates and whatout hear from the debate in these primaries, there is something else too, and that is we ask people to just label the parties, a majority said they thought the republicans were extreme but far less than the majority said they describe the democrats as effective and they are the party this power. so i think when you go forward in these midterms you are looking at that, as the republican label of extreme doesn't come down they may not do as well in the mid terms as they could and for the democrats as the party in power, they need get that effective number up to stay in. >> brennan: fascinating snapshot of the country. anthony salvanto, thank you. >> thank you. >> brennan: and we turn now to florida senator rick scott, he's the republican tasked with winning the senate majority for the gop in this year's midterm elections, and he joins us from naples, florida, good morning to you, senator. >> good morning, margaret, i think those numbers are consistent with what we have
seen that inflation is still the number one issue in the country, and the president is slow to react, whether it is the border, whether it is inflation, whether it is gas prices, even ukraine, i think the expectation is that whoever the president is gets ahead of the problems rather than behind the problems. >> brennan: right. >> so i think the election this fall is going to be about inflation, it is going to be about the effectiveness of the biden administration, and i think it bodes well for republicans. >> brennan: well, why do you think that? because you just heard our poll which shows republicans don't really have much of an advantage on that specific issue, 51 percent of those polled trust the gop on inflation, 49 percent trust democrats. how do you advise republicans to change that? >> i think it is important that, you know, we talk about what we are going to do and, you know, we explain the problem that biden administration has, that they don't react, record gas prices and open border, things like this, but also we tell
people what we are going to do to bring down inflation, we are going to balance the budget, we are going to start watching the dollars very closely. we are going to watch our spending, we are going to, you know, expect the federal reserve to reduce their balance, so i think we have to talk about the things we are going to do to make it better for people, but if you go and look at the races around the country, biden's numbers are really, really bad and he is the face of the democratic party right now. >> brennan: so then, if you want your candidates to be republican candidates be talking about inflation, is it a waste of time for so many of them to talk about relitigating the 2020 election? you know, what i have seen, margaret, is people want to know that the election is going to be fair and their vote ask not going to be diluted so as i go around the country and talk to people with, what they are hoping is that republicans will make sure that, you know, there is voter id and no ballot harvesting, signatures have to. match and when i talk to people
that's what they hear about. >> brennan: so you don't want them to talk about 2020? -- >> >> brennan: sorry, go ahead. i am sorry. >> well, no, margaret, there is clearly people that are still concerned about what happened in 2020, and they would like the facts to come out. and they want -- >> brennan: what do you mean by that? >> how it happened, why it happened? >> they want to know that exactly what happened, you know, were there problems, exactly what happened? they would like to know that, but also, you know, they also want to make sure we win in a '22, they want to make sure, you know, we are going to make sure their vote is not diluted so you have to talk about making sure people understand what happened in 2020, but also ma know, they know you are going to focus on making sure 2022 is, you know, a fair election. >> brennan: okay. just to be abundantly clears you have recognized brake is the duly elected president of the united states, correct?>> autel. brenn: okaybsy. rennansle
from the iner things ou ink republs etalkinaboutn inflau put forward this 11-point plan, one of the things you are suggesting is to end all imports from china, is that going to add to price inflation? >> well, i think what we have to do is we have got to figure out how to decouple from china, it is going to take a whine while to do that, but if you look at what they want to, do they are sending fentanyl to this country, and over thousands die from drug overdoses and never complied with any trade agreements and never comply with trade, world trade association, so what we have got to do is we have to start building american jobs, we have to get american manufacturing back and when we do that, one our wages will go up, we have more jobs in this country and people want to buy american products and there are other countries to do business with. >> brennan: sure, so it is a long-term goal that is not actually banning imports now. let me ask you about something else you talk about.
the institute on taxation, economic policy says your plan you put forward would increase taxes by more than $1,000 on average for the poorest 40 percent of americans. senate republican leader mitch mcconnell said this. >> we will not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the american people and social security and medicare within five years. >> brennan: so if your fellow republicans don't support this alternative you are putting forward, who does? >> well, first off, it is rick scott's plan, i believe we ought to have a plan for how we go forward. i am a business guy. i created plans when, my business plan, i created plans when i was governor, but here is the way i look at it. my mom told me i had to have skin in the game and what she meant by that is i had to get to work and participate in the american dream. when you get a job, you pay payroll taxes, you pay income
taxes, you buy things and pay sales tax and you buy a house you pay property taxes we have very low labor participation right now, i want people back to work and with regard to medicare and social security, think about this, we have got to be honest with the american people and come up with solutions, medicare goes bankrupt in four years, social security goes bankrupt in 12 years, we are not talking about that, i want to fix those practices, i believe in those programs and people rely on those programs. >> brennan: you want congress to review them every single, every five years? >> well, think about it, we do the military every year, we ought to -- we ought to be looking at -- i mean, people expect us, it is our job, if you get elected it is your job to go through and figure out and figure out how to fix things, we do the military every year and we fight over what we should do to make sure we have the most lethal military and should be honest with the military people, here are the things we need to do to make sure you get your medicare and make sure you get your social security. so i will never raise a tax, i
cut taxings more than 100 times, but i am going to make sure we fix and make sure these, the med, medicare program and social security work. >> brennan: as you know there is concern that in different, given an opportunity to review it you could put some of those programs at risk. but something else in our polling i think is important for you to comment on, do you personally think it is important for political leaders, particularly in your party, to condemn white nationalism because according to our poll, 75 percent of democrats say it is very important, only 23 participant of republicans say it is very important, why do you think there is such a gap? >> well, clearly we ought to all condemn any hatred, we ought to condemn any white supremacy, we have got to figure out how to come together. i believe we have got to stop all of this racial politics and the plan i put out rescue america.com we have to ask stop
people people on government forms on skin color and judge people by their character, not their skin color, so we have to figure out how to bring people together. >> brennan: so you would tell all senate republicans running for election they need to, each and every one of them condemn white nationalism? >> well, i tell people what i believe and, you know, every senate candidate on both sides is going to decide what is important to them. >> brennan: but you would advise them? >> in their state, i can tell you i am clear. >> brennan: so the answer is yes. >> if you ask me yes, i say be clear, be clear. i mean we do not mean, none of us, i don't believe any american should believe in white supremacy or racism of any kind, it is wrong. >> brennan: senator scott, thank you thank you for joining u. and we will be right back with state senator hakeem jeffries. stay with us.
we are join by new york congressman hakeem jeffries, chairman of the democratic caucus and in san diego kilogram this morning, good morning to you, congressman. >> good morning. >> brennan: on some of this poll data that you also heard here, specifically young people, hispanics and half of black americans say the president has been too slow to react a. his ratings on effectiveness are low, perceptions of competence are low. a majority of democrats now say the economy is bad. how does your party hold on to majority? >> with i am very confident we will be able to hold on to the majority, president biden has done a very good job under incredibly difficult circumstances, i understand that the electorate of course is going to be unsettled, experiencing covid fatigue, inflationary pressures, high, gas prices, the war in ukraine, a radical extreme republican party that doesn't appear to believe in democracy, any longer and so this is a tough moment
for our country, but president biden has been very decisive in his leadership, beginning with the american rescue plan, we rescued the economy, put shots in arm, kids back in school and laid the foundation for robust economic recovery that had led to more than 8 million good paying jobs being created and unemployment at 3.6 percent, that's a tremendous start, of course there is more than needs to be done. > brennan: right. and you know inflation as you heard is the chief concern, but specifically on looking like the president is reacting too slow and not taking action, talk to bewoars this weekend since y the killing of george floyd and the national protests that followed. the president has been looking at an executive order on police reform for months now, continues to say it is coming. does he need to act on something specific like that before
november? >> well, it is my hope and expectation that we will see some further decisive action from the administration, and it is unfortunate we, we find ourselves in this position because senate tim scott decided to walk away from negotiations that were bipartisan in nature, in terms of striking the right balance. >> brennan: well, democrats walked away in the senate on that one but the question of the president, is the urgency on police reform fading? >> i think the president has said it correctly that we are going to lean into public safety, make sure we strengthen the relationship between the police and the community that we confront the rise in gun violence and that we also invest in young people and violence ins summer enrichment progra jhingtt allow for them to live a productive life and not be butt in the position where they are influenced by destructive behavior around them. >> brennan: so for fellow
democrats who are up for election, this bit from our poll may stand out, more than one-third of democrats called their own party weak and that is particularly acute among young people, 41 percent. that could hurt your turnout. how do you intopped to that? is there time for change here in terms of congressional leadership? >> no, i think led by speaker pelosi and leader schumer we have been acting decisively just this week we responded bypassing legislation to address the price gouging that we believe particularly as it relates to the oil and gas industry is taking place and hurting the american consumer. we of course passed legislation to deal with the rise in domestic terrorism and white supremacy. >> brennan: isn't that, said that law wasn't needed. >> unfortunately every single republican except for about one or two voted against this and
the immediate aftermath of the tragic massacre in buffalo, so we are acting decisively but i think we do have to crystallize the differences between what we are about and what republicans are all about, it is clear that washington republicans want to raise taxes on every day americans, on police officers, on firefighters, on nurses, on factory workers, on grocery store clerks, and we are trying to provide them with relief. the republicans, including your prior guest, actually want to end social security and medicare as we know it in five years, forcing it to sunset, those are a serious differences between the two parties and i think once the voters understand that dynamic, the choice will be as clear as a sunny day in san diego. >> brennan: i want to ask you a bit about what is happening in your home state of new york. we have talked on this program previously about the redistricting that has been happening around the country, new york, to democrats advantage largely, but you have had this
fight internally over the congressional map. bottom line, did democrats put their own communities at risk in your state by gerrymandering it to the degree they did? >> well, the court of appeals was wrong in a decision they made, both on the substance and in terms of turning over redistricting to an out-of-town unelected special master and judicial overseer in steuben county who was a republican leader. >> brennan: democrats control your state legislature, this was a democrat led process. even though i know you are talking about the court right now. >> right. well the process, unfortunately was highjacked by the court of appeals, a bad process has now led to a bad result. we are talking about five different congressional districts with a black and latino population was degraded. the only, most significant jewish district in the country has been detonated for no good reason. >> brennan: do you think you have, you have a case to file in
0 court? >> i think that the lawyers are taking a close look at that. >> brennan: okay. >> but here is what is most important. we will remain united because we believe in a very simple vision for for america, play hard, play by the rules and you should be able to provide a comfortable living for yourself and your children, educate your children, buy a home and retire in peace and dinity. >> brennan: thank you, we will be right back. >> this portion of "face the nation" is brought to you by charles schwab. own your tomorrow. this broker is your man. let's open your binders to page 188... uh carl, are there different planning options in here? options? plans we c, or with help from a financial consultant? like schwab does. uhhh... could we adjust our plan... ...yeah, like if we buy a new house? mmmm... and our son just started working. oh! do you offer a complimentary retirement plan for him?
face pgh >> brennan: friday we traveled to williamsburg, virginia to talk with former defense secretary robert gates. mere is what he said about the gop and former president trump. >> you have said that you have been disappointed in republican leaders for not standing up for traditional republican values, we just had this awful shooting
in buffalo, new york, liz cheney, congresswoman said house gop leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy and anti-semitism, history has taught us that what begins with words endinse, republican leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them. do you think republican leaders are enable aing those things she said? >> i don't know that i would go that far. i do know that there aren't enough of them denousing those things, denousing white supremacy, denouncing. >> brennan: why? >> we have too many people who are in politics to further their own agendas and to further their own personal prospects rather than what is good for the country, and i would say that's true in both parties.
>> brennan: do you think it is important for the american public to have a full accounting of the events of january 6th with these public hearings that are planned in the weeks ahead? >> i think so. what happened on january 6th was a huge blight on our democracy. >> brennan: you think there is value in having this aired publicly? >> i think so, yes. i think people need to understand -- my worry is that people will -- that everybody will retreat to their ideological corner and so nobody will listen. i think maybe the best thing to do is just to rerun the videos. >> brennan: former trump secretary of defense mark esper was with us on "face the nation" recently and he revealed some pretty shocking things that he witnessed when he was part of the administration, unconstitutional, illegal, immoral actions, firing missiles into mexico, shooting american protesters in the legs. did you know that these types of ideas were being considered at that time? >> a few of them, not those
specific ones, but some others that he talks about, and people would call me from the except gone and tell me, you know, we are wrestling with how to respond to this. so i had some flavor of it, but none of the kind of detail that mark esper has in his book. >> brennan: do you believe president trump running for office again would present that threat to national security? >> it would concern me. >> brennan: that's a very diplomatic phrase. >> yes. that's where i am.
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