tv Washington Week PBS September 13, 2019 7:30pm-8:00pm PDT
bert: democrats face off, but are they ready to face president trump? i'm robert costa. welcome to ashington week." democrats debate, with joe biden still at centerstage. and in a standoff over mhealthcare. icare for all will save the average american substantial sums of money. >> what this is about is makinge hat we have the most efficient way possible tosi pay for healthcare for i everyonven this country. >> i know that the senator says she's for bernie. well i'm for barack. worked.the obamacare robert: other contenders tried to break out. b >> hell yes, we're going to take your ar-15, your ak-47. robert: and challenge president trump. >>redent trump scoffed and
said hd like to see me making a deal with jinping xi. i'd like to see him make a deal wi jinping xi. robert: john bolton exits as national security advisor and the president takes charge. president trump: it's a great job. you know why it's easy, because i make all the decisions. robert: next. announcer: this is "washington week." funding is providinged by -- >> kevin -- >> kevin. >> kevin. >> adv>>e for life. life well planned. learn more at jammed james.com. >> additional funding is provided by -- koo and patricia en, through the yuen foundation. the corporaon for publicc broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs
station from viers like you. thank you. once again, from washington, moderator robert costa. robert: what a week. thursday's democratied debate kiff the post-summer political season with former vicede pre joe biden staking out centrist ground with his plan to add a pubc oion to current healthcare law. butany of his challengers made al forcease for an overhaul of the nation's healthcare system. >> my planor healthcare costs a lot of money. it doesn't cost $30 trillion. $3.4 trillion a year. how are we going to pay for it? >> how d we pay for it? we pay for it, those at the very top, the richest individuals and the biggest corporations are ing to pay more and middle class families are going to pay less. >> every study done shows thatca
me for all is the most cost-effective approach to providing healthcare for every man, woman and child in this country. robert: joining me tonight, jakr sherman, sen writer for politico and co-author of "play book." anne gearan of "the washington post," jpona summers of the associated press,nd carl hulse of "the new york times". juana, you've been on the race.ign trail covering the 2020 hink about that debate on thursday. you had medicare for all proponents versus those who want to tweak obamacare. what does that tells about the democratic party? jauna: i think it tells us quite a lot. one of the things that i've noticed on the campaign trail with these democtic candidates, particularly talking to democratic voters, is when you ask about the issue of healthcare. the first thing that often comes up on people's minds but when you ask about the dails of medicare for all. they say they support medicare
for allllut i ask them about the details and they might not necessarily be full be where senator bernie sanders and elizabeth warren are but they might support incremental measures, too. it's clears that vot are not necessarily fleeing to either extreme. i think most people seem to be pollin and anecdotally mewhere in the middle. rort: we saw vice preside biden embrace the oma legacy of obamacare. is that enough? is that his position? anne: i think he went beyond that, directly at the big question which is how in the rld this thing going to be funded and he went directly to bernie sanders on that and he made, i think, a -- that was one of his stronger points, stronger moment last night was in making that poi p. he did it succinctly and asked the que that immediately springs to mind, once you get past, gee, that soundsng nice,
ha the gernment payay for it sounds lovely. what does that mean.h how m money are we actually talking about. and that combined with this is th thing, the signature thing that we did together in the white house hel remind democrats who he is and why he's upin there a so i thoughthat was effective. robert: carl, you've been roaming the senate hallways. you s knowator warren. despite the details and the arguments ann laid, she sees energy on the left. rerl: i think that is true. that's who the appealing to right now and it creates the great proem, what do you do when you have to g back to the middle in the general election if she becomes the nominee.in every top democratic strategist that i talk to says the polling shows the aedicare for plan is really bad for them in certai places and certainly certain places where they want to win senate seats like colorado, arizona, iowa.
they just don't see this working. let's remember how hard obamacare was. it could not get a public option through congress when they were in full control. robert: do you thinke s democratic senate candidates next year if senator warren is the nominee would break? carl: yes, i think they've already broken. they're not noing m foricare for all. i think this issue, they see it as a driment. it's in the places they have to win. i didn't think her explanation of h p it would bed for was very good. it's really hard to see, oh, the elites are going to pay for itin but peoplhe middle will pay less. that's just not how it works. andlso, the idea to a lot of democrats that i talk to, so disruptingte the pri health insurance industry, they tust think it's bad. ey justt want a midterm election basically running onng let's fix obamacare, leter tiith this and now we're going to throw that out the window and run r on this big new program. robert: when you're talking to
nouse democrats, they're focused on prescriptrug reform, not medicare for all. why is there a disconnec between the democratic presidential candidates ande ho democrats? jakebecause in suburn districts across the country,n the suburbs of charlotte, a district drawn for middle-of-the-road republicans, the democrat got 13% higher than the republin in the suburbs of charlotte talking about fixing obamacare, talking about the things in hee middle of the party, not these p in ie sky ideas that will never get passed with 80 votes in the senate. i mhink that'ssing fromng these debates is someone saying, ok, thank you. i know you want tfio cate guns. i know you want to rewrite healthcare laws. how are you going to do that? whatonfiguration of washington do you see -- do you envision to reite the healthcare laws in such a drastic and meaningful wa robert: that's part of the
gument vice president biden has been making and the tensions at the abc news debate werell personal as political.al former oerma housing secretary, julianan castro, wondered if the 76-year-old former veep was feathering his own remarks. andid -- and i would not require they would automatically be enrolled. they do not have to buy in. >> y said two minutes to go they would individual to buy in. are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago? robert: but a review of the transcript sho biden said, quote, anyone who can't afford it gets automatically enrolled in the medicare type option we tve. when yk to the biden caaign and you think about the questions about his age that are alluded to in the debate, about his standings in the polls, are they walking away from the houston debroe confide or do
theyeel bruised? jauna: it feels clear they feel they came out. on t they point tthe facts of the tter. when you look at the transcript, they believe it shows clearly that he said what was correct. he didot forget what he said two minutes ago and castro was incorrect. then there's t stylistic point. you heard immediately when castro said this several of hise rivals on debate stage spoke up and admonished him. other top democrats said it wasn't a good look stylistically. i've heard fromoc other dtic questions, the question is if the biden campaign is complaining about julian castro, how will he handle the heat 'll get from donald trump? anne: i think there's that old about if you shoot at the king, you best notiss. biden is not a king b in this case if you shoot at the frontrunner, youetter have your facts straight. robert: what's the political cost for secretary castro?
anne: i: thinkre t definitely political cost for him. he looked factually incorrect and like he wasin m an ad hominem attack on biden's memory and fitness when, in fact, biden had not made a mistake. therere plenty of things you can point at when you're talking about joe biden -- he rambles, right. he does occasionally say stufftu that's just completely whacka doodle, as he did in the debate when he stakied t about venezuela when the question was on reparations. but in this case he'd been spot-on and clear in his original answer andigin castro s mistaken. carl: i heard from biden allies during the debate. they saidhis was b for castro. you heard the word disqualifying. i wan to make bigger point about this. ouybe i'm wrong. that's pretty in the t weedsthor debate, whether opting in or opting out, in a program that
doesn' even really exist yet. big picture things that i thinke peop wer expecting. that was a very detailed, maybe i'm wrong. jake: i think in watching these debates and this might get me in trouble but i think in watching these debates, you watch how they'rerguing over policyt particulars t are no intricate and you think about how dold tndmp wou w res which is, we're going too do something great,on't worry about this, i got this, don't you have more money than you did ur years ago, we'll do great end ocare and that's t the sentence. so that's not an argument donald trump will g into. we kw donald trump. robert:these arguments can be in the weeds with a healtare policy but you think of a older generation theking on the democratic party. younger lawmakers likers senator klobuchar or mayorsike south
bend's pete buttigieg, betoke o'ro all frying to break -- tryitr to break out as vice president biden leads the polls. did we see any break o? jauna: julian castro was notice m not sure it was for the reasons he hoped. i think beto o'rourke had aut breaoment. he's picked an issue he's passionate about, on g control. the problem with his breakout fodder to republicans at a moment where on capitol hill they're looking for compromise the issue of gun legislation and trying to find something where republicans and democrats can agree. we heard vice president mike pee reference not speaking to republicans in baltimore. he did have a breakout moment. i think many democrats liked tio paand the commitmen but i'm not sureow it helps the party. robert: he was talking about ang mandatory buyback of assault weapons. jauna: and a lot of democrats think that's overreaching and giving republicans an easy opportunity to paint the party as eager to te away guns.:
caey grabbed on tohat today. anne: absolutely. the republican takeaway from the debate is lk at this, democrats want to take your guns and take away youreahcare. robert: what about senator klobuchar? carl: i thought she had one of r better performances but biden -- what you're saying, and that's why michael bennett's not in this debate or governor bullock. amy klobuchar had a good debate tnd made sense but she just can't get in t lane. he is there. biden and the top candidates, t warren, fo lower candidates, the top candidates someone like amy klobuchar to get in and say, listen, guys, calm down,set's take t down a notch and let me explain where we come down in the middle on this issue and maybe that's helpful. it'sutifficult to break from single digits or from low doublm digits but you have to judge on a curve. robert: one issue that never
came up, impeachment. we're on capichl hill this week. we're talking to allheseeb wmakerse impeachment, tangling with speakerta pelosi about the strateg a but not mention in the presidential debate. why is that? anne: i don't know. it certainly seems like a topic that is kind of out there. robert: are they all on the same page? an: no, they' not on the same page and we don't know exactly where they are and where they are may have changed as the changeanover the summer.y post mueller. now we're on into this whole new era ofs house investigati which is going to take manye tangents that go beyond the eueller report. i'd like it h heard that question put to them last night. carl: i think it reflects the having. house democratsre it's not resonating in the public yet. they don't feel a need to respond to i the houseou democrats,e h peloss
trying to kop a lid onney it and e trying to move forward. it's an issue dear to my heart, ther wasn't a lot of talk about the judiciary and supremeourt. ink the impeachment absence shows this is not a huge issue yet and democrats haven't made the case. robert: you've covered sen sor' harris' campaign, juana. what is happening instead of her ranks? she had big debate a few on viceago, took president biden but has been struggling to gain traction in the polls. jauna: what they've told me is that they believe her -- they won't admit it's struggling. summ many expected.t having the support for her is more elastic. they say she's not a household name as elizabeth warren or joe biden or bernie sanders is so e's still introcing herself to people. we wrote this week at the associated press that this campaign h structural
challenges including she has consultants fro baltimore where her campaign is headquarter to california to washington, d.c. all wit their hands ihe mix so you have a candidate who, while can electrify a crowd and is warm and personae, but doesn't have a clear rationale for her campaign. she talks about the 3:00 a.m. and prosecuting the case but the bumper sticker slogan that some are looking fg she doesn't seem to have. she might be able to turn it around. urious to seehe what focuses on going into the fall and whether that changes. jake: that i think is a huge challenge. how do you distinguish yourself with these debate stages? it's diffi dlt in an three-hour event with a lot of sniping and a lot of a defense aot of yelling. how do you distinguish yourself without tearing dn another democrat which for that you'll get fck for. anne: one way is what pete buttigieg d, in his closer, he that a lot of candidates whoick
have been doing it longer than he has, have difficulty doing. he tied his biograp to his candidacy neatly. this is who i am.running. this is why i am in front of you making the argument i'm makin that, i thought, was -- he has a reasonableone no matter what he's talking about and the way he described coming a os gay in very matter-of-facterms i thought was effective.s robert: i alking to democratic strategists this week and they kep kaying buttigieg, senator klobuchar, everyone is waiting to be the bidenat altee, if the bidenid campaign falls apart, someone wants to be positioned but he lelss the pnd president trump is searching for h fourth national security advisor. after jo bton resigned this week. bolton, a hard nosed hawk andnd
nationalistic deal focused presidentumisagreed on ar of foreign policy issues from afghanistan to iraq to north i korea an. there were clashes with secretary of state mike pompeo. the "wall street journal" notes that bolton's exit, quote immediately empowered pompeo who has sweeping influence in the administration. and the "new york times" observed that mr. pompeo has kept himse in the good graces of a notoriously fickle president. anne, is this not only a story about bolto going but pompeo rising? anne: absolutely. you referenced the smile. looked like a cheshire cat robert: why? anne: because he had just won. powertrgleeen a between mike pompeo and john bolton going back almost from the begning but definitely heated up over the last eight,
nine months or so. they disree on many -- they anactually agree on a number of things but pompeo is much better than bolton could hopee to have ngbeen at gethe president's ear and kind of getting in there trump's argument end up sounding more like pompeo. at the end, both pompeo andpe bolton wanted the president to be harder on north korea and harder on iran than it looked like he might be going to be but rs toreaking poi p app have come over afghanistan where pompeo and bolton had oppose views. robert: does this become a deal presidency on foreign policy? is the president now ahead of 2020 looking for a dl with iran, looking for ait deal north korea,h with cna on trade? jake: it would seem so. p
theple i've talked to in the administraon directly involved say small board deal with china. some sort of take-home with irah kand northea. the that i think will be interesting to me is what he gets on in because it's not going to be terribly different from what barack obama got if it's anything at all and knows, asell, there's not many ways to slice this. i want to say one thing on pompeo who iovered in ie house. he seems to view his role at secretary of state as helping the president achieve what he wants to achievewaithin a coexthat makes sense for america and that might sound hokey but i don't think pompeo is there to instill his own foreign policy. robert: he's not an idea id.e.a. log? >> he talks abouton his mis set and he takeshat he thinks donald trump wants to do and helps him achieve that within
ghat context where what i think bolton was try to redirect the president's instincts whi w the president hates. jauna: it removes one of those final guard rails around this president's instincts on foreign policy. i can't help but t think,ing 2020, sets up a unique way for former vice president joeer ben experience that ntherolicy candidates on that stage can. rort: what did you tnk of the foreign policy discussion at the democratic debat t how arey going to make that case? llies?bind talking about taing about nationalism as a negative thing? jauna: i think we'll hear both of those things happen. i think bin can expect to see -- biden can expect to see his campaign lean into that
direction. carl: i think that's right. that is joe biden's super strong suitn this ongoing primary. e thing about pompeo. we think h has political aspirations. we just don't know which political aspirations come first. robert: is he going to run for senate or wait to run for presprt in 24. >> or governor. ca: we don't know but h nee to keep donald trump behind him haveat's -- he needs to this relationship so he's going framework, which i jakee described accurately, but without alienating the president because he'll need the presidest. i will say on that tng in the briefing room, i've never seen a victory lap like that in a a while but the senate republicans will missoln because this is one area where they break with the president and there was a lot of sympathetic statements about bolton on the hill. john bolton was a strong guy, h knew where the risks were, which are somehow a veiled cut a the president. anne: bolton would work the hill and he was ain good of
contact. bolton, yes, he's an ideologue but he cog from a different era and political world. robert: i was texting with bolton this week. he said i'll have my say in due course. jake: in a book. anne: now he's back to p hisc and will be giving money to republican candidates and he's got a perch. robert: doou think he breaks with pre pdent trump? anne: eventually, yes. they disagreed on too many things tone begin with. don't have the sense at all at he's interested in having a scaramucci moment but any stretch but i'm surl he w point out a number of prices policy grounds where they h disagreements and why. jake: i think the otherwi thing bolton, why senate republicans are so worried is because a guy like bolton
understands process. the national security advisor jo is a process job. it helps the president -- it's supposed to be process job. it's supposed to help the present make decisions within a traditional process oriented foreign policy world and somethin that bolton understood, being ambassador to the united nations under george w bush and having a history in washington as a foreign policy operator. now it's kind of the guard rails, as juana said, the guard rails are off. and that's a scary tt'ng for members of congress who love nothing more than predictability when it comes to their commander-in-chief. carl: and they difr with trump on russia in somef these other areas. anne: so did bolton. carl: that's one of theew years where they've been willing heard mitch and you mcconnell and lindsey graham. robert: are they making anyti ill?mmens, capitol carl: probably not recommendations but maybe slightly -- slyly getting behind
some of the people they want. anne: pompeo is largely driving the discussion around who will replace bolton. robert: there was talk of having pompeo do th job anne: which the president has taken off the table. the kissinger model. i never thought that was real but what is real is that pomhao is pushing some names who are not hustled names for mostde people out of washington foreign policy circles and that will mean that mike pompeo h more influence going forward, not less. robert: en democrats,ts speaker pelosi, issued statement saying it was a shame that bolton was going. jake: i don't think nancy pelosi agreedith john bolton on iraq or any other foreign policy cision he'd made but it's a way to k tck the president and his pro pss. carl: it isunny to watch the left embrace bolton a little bit.e robert: qu way to e the week. thanks for sharing your evening with us.
the "washington week extra" is coming up on facebook and yoube. will discuss the special election in nortk carolina that tested president trump's clout. i'm robert costa. have a great weekend. announcer: corporate funding for "washington we" is provided by financial services fir s raymond james. additional funding is provided by -- koo tricia yuen through the yuen foundation, committed to bridging cultural differences in ourommunities the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning inst rute, which isesponsible f its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.o.]
-we don't know what mary and paul have got in store for the bakers, but it's bound to be blue-eyed and a little bit harsh. -last time... -love the dough. -bread week saw frances deliver on style yet again... -i think the box is fantastic. -...but lacked substance. -i could take a little bit more ginger. -rob's usual precision... -no, needs more. -...sank without trace. -it's paul the psychic octopus -itribute loaf. -of course, it is. -howard... -paul would probably like a larger muffin. -...and beca only jusc. -i'm so not ready to go. uh. -but lucy's mple loa was her last bak -that's the way the breadstick snaps. [laughs] -and ruby shone as star baker. -can't believe i did it. -now, the bakers face desserts... -it's like school dinners gone wrong argh. -...a signature challenge that has layer upon layer of pressure.