tv With All Due Respect MSNBC September 19, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
>> governor -- >> and once someone does do something wrong, we grab them. >> it hate to interrupt you, governor andrew cuomo, with thanks for your time. thanks to our panel, as well, nick, bob, and susan. that's all for us tonight. chuck back tomorrow with more "mtp daily." "with all due respect" starts right the now. on "with all due respect" tonight, we are covering all the political angles of the terrorism-related incidents that spanned three states over this past weekend. today, the man believed to be responsible for saturday's explosions in manhattan and new jersey, 28-year-old ahmad khan rahami, was taken into custody after exchanging fire with garden state police. authorities say rahami is a naturalized u.s. citizen, who was born in afghanistan and reportedly traveled there several years ago, although there is no direct evidence that links him to the islamic state, al qaeda, or other international terrorist groups.
meanwhile, islamic state is claiming responsibility for a knife attack inside a mall here in minnesota on saturday night, where nine people were stabbed by a 22-year-old man who was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer at the scene. fortunately, no lives were lost in any of these attacks. the political world has been quick to react this morning, after donald trump responded to the latest attacks by defending racial profiling on fox news, hillary clinton made the following remarks from an airplane hangar in white plains, new york. >> we also know from the former head of our counterterrorism center, matt olson, that the kinds of rhetoric and language that mr. trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversa adversaries. that's why i've been very clear. we're going after the bad guys and we're going to get them. but we're not going to go after an entire religion. we choose resolve, not fear. we will not turn on each other or undermine our values. we'll stand together, because we
are stronger together in the face of this threat and every other challenge. >> that aid and comfort comment has gotten the most notice today. those words echo verbatim the legal definition of treason. trump shot back with this in his rally in ft. myers, florida, this afternoon. >> hillary clinton talks tougher about my supporters than she does about islamic terrorists, right? she calls the patriotic americans, who support our campaign, many of them cops and soldiers, deplorable and irredeemable, and she means it. millions and millions of people. has she ever talked that way about radical islam? no. >> the prospect in the final weeks of this election might be
dominated by a terrorist attack or more than one has been talked about for a long time now and today was a test case for how both candidates would deal with this kind of event. mark, my question to you is, how do you think they did? >> i think each has two things going for them. for hillary clinton, she's got a more traditional resume, national security, voters on some measures look at her as stronger there. and trump does things that are untraditional that the collin folks and hillary clinton can jump on. on trump's side, he has been a strength candidate. he talks about immigration, he talks about fighting terror in a way that base voters, republican base voters, at least, find appealing. and the other thing trump has going for him is the traditionally, republicans have done better when national security is at the forefront. not always, but traditionally and usually. and right now, i'm not prepared to say who did better today, or who's going to win if this dominates, but they both showed their cards that they think are strong. >> it's always uncomfortable for us when we try to talk about the political implications of this, because there's serious things
and there's jeopardy instead of talk about who's politically capitalizing the best, it's a little awkward, right? you know, she is -- because, as you say, her traditional resume, there's also this thing, the temperament contrast which she's the trying to do, which is to say, i'm not only more experienced in a traditional way, but also more sober and i'm going to be calming. and trump is doing things that do play to his strengths, but they're also -- he says things that are ridiculous. an idea if trump became president, terrorism would end. we would never have events like this in the future. i don't think anybody believes that anybody in the oval office can end terrorism. but the republican party right now, generically speaking, are held in higher regards than democrats are on this issue of keeping the country safe. >> and there are many democrats who say, if terror is front and center, it will help trump. so she worked very hard. her team worked very hard. it's clear neither side will give any quarter, change the subject. they both recognized, when this
dominates the news, this is what they have to talk about. and this is the drain they have to fight on. president obama just happens to be in new york city today, because he's attending the opening of the u.n. general assembly. he did take some time out to speak to the country about the attacks just as reports that the bombing suspect in new york and n new jersey was starting to emerge. he stuck to his now patented and very notable calm and measured approach, which he usually exhibits in the aftermath of terror attacks. >> you know, at moments like this, i think it's important to remember what terrorists and violent extremists are trying to do. they are trying to hurt innocent people, but they also want to inspire fear in all of us. and disrupt the way we live. to undermine our values. and so even as we have to be vigilant and aggressive, both in preventing senseless acts of violence, but also making sure
that we find those who carry out such acts and bring them to justice, we all have a role to play as citizens in making sure we don't succumb to that fear. >> we are going to have white house press secretary josh earnest on the show in a few minutes. but how do you think barack obama has handled the past few hours? >> this is the president's style and he's never going to change, just as donald trump's never going to change. and i think he did everything appropriately, but it is the case, again, as you said, we're talking about the politics here. no one has been killed and thank goodness for that, but it's a reality that we're in the midst of 50 days out. the reality of the presidential campaign. i think donald trump likes barack obama's tone on this, because it plays into this notion that he can lump hillary clinton and barack obama together, that they're insufficiently viscerally outraged by what's happened. the president is outraged, but this is his style and this is how he shows it. and he does care about balancing talking tough with trying to
have a, again, an obama view of the right way to fight terror, short and long-term. >> here's the thing that, you know, one -- we have no idea what's going to happen in the next 50 days. but -- and i think we all pray that there's not another single terrorist incident for the next 50 days, for the next 500 days. but the possibility that there will be a ramping of of these kind of attempts, because a lot of foreign provocateurs want to stabilize our election, i think it's possible. and the kind of -- the potentially dangerous eventuality of that for democrats is, if things do ramp up and it seems to be happening more frequently, this calm and measured tone that barack obama has, which i think is the right way to govern, could be really politically problematic for democrats and could really play into trump's hands, even though, again, i say it's the right thing for him to do, is to try to keep people calm, rather than exacerbating people's fears. >> it could hurt the presidential candidates on his party, but also down ballot. the other thing i say, the
coordination between federal, state, and local, seem to be exceptionally good. and that's to the president's credit. >> we're moving on. the trial over bridgegate started today, as two former associates of new jersey governor chris christie face charges related to closing of lanes on the george washington bridge, that traffic scandal, bridgegate. they're involved of doing that to try to punish a local official. chris christie knows nothing about the incident and has said that over and over and over again. but in the opening argument os. trial, federal prosecutors say that david wildstein, who pleaded guilty and is expected to testify in the trial, had bragged, and i put quotes around that word, "bragged," to christie's about the closures while they were underway. christie is leaving trump's transition team and he could be in line for a big job in the trump administration. chief of staff, u.s. attorney general boebl a big future for chris christie. my question to you, mark, is, there was some very vivid language in what happened. and christie saying that he knew
all about it in realtime, basically. how bad could this be for christie? >> it could be horrendous, but it's baffling to me that there's no talk of his being indicted, if the prosecution believes he knew in realtime, he clearly told them, not under oath, we're told, but nonetheless, he told federal investigators that he didn't know about it. they're saying he did. i guess maybe they're saying, they're giving the benefit of the doubt that he forgot, somehow. but the reality is that christie still denies it. and there seem -- as far as we know, they're basing it on the testimony just of wildstein. and they're going to say he's a questionable witness. but the prosecutors, obviously, don't think he's a questionable witness, because their case is built around him to some extent. >> if all the following things are true, i think it's correct to say you can't be charged with perjury unless you've given testimony under oath. you can be charged with a violations of a false statements law, pretty much at any time, if you lied to a government official. there is the question of wildstein and his voracity or his credibility. i just think that the reality is, we go back to when we
first -- when this whole scandal first unfolded, and we, knowing a fair amount about how chris christie's office ran at the time and still runs even now it, just always seem ee eed implaus that no one let him know what was going on and he might have had some role in it. i think every reporter was skeptical about that. and hearing these lawyers now asserting it in very vivid terms, it makes you kind of think, you know, i think there's something there. >> let the trial play out, but, man, seems weird. >> could be very bad for christie. >> the prosecutors say he did a bad thing. >> no attorney general, if true. >> we're going to take a break. when we come back, hillary clinton is struggling to reunite the obama coalition. we're going to talk about that and more, right after this. energy is a complex challenge. peop want power. and power plants account for more than a third of energy-related carbon emissions. the challenge is to capture the emissions before they're released into the atmosphere. exxonmobil is a leader in carbon capture. our team is working to make this technology better,
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support from the masses of young voters and minority voters that turned out in record numbers over the past two presidential cycles. but honest democrats will tell you that hillary clinton has gotten some enthusiasm ground to make up with those groups. today at temple university, in philadelphia, hillary clinton made a very direct appeal to one of the groups that have been lukewarm about her campaign, the millennials. >> i know that with washington paralyzed by big money and partisanship, the gap between the change we want and the progress that politics should deliver can look like a chasm. i also know that even if you are totally opposed to donald trump, you may still have some questions about me. i get that. register your friends. register everyone you know. this is going to be close. we need everyone off the sidelines. not voting is not an option. that just plays into trump's
hands. it really does. >> another directed and impassioned appeal over the weekend from president obama. he was speaking to hesitant african-american voters at a congressional black caucus dinner saturday night in d.c. >> there's no such thing as a vote that doesn't matter. it all matters. >> and after we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the african-american community, i will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election. you want to give me a good sendoff? go vote! >> so that's hillary clinton's millennial problem. her african-american problem, and then there's her hispanic problem. recent polls show that clinton is underperforming president obama's 2012 numbers amongst latino numbers in important states such as florida, despite donald trump having his own problems with hispanic voters.
jo john, why does hillary clinton still have a problem with these so-called coalition of the ascendant? >> you know, the place to start, obviously, why she's having a problem with the obama coalition is she's not barack obama. that is true in a lot of different ways. she's not cool, the way that obama was. >> a lot of them weren't interested in politics, they were interested in barack obama. >> for a millennial, she actually isn't cool. you can hear it in hillary clinton's voice there, when she's talking to millennials. she's not talking to them in a way that -- i'm psyched about voting for that candidate. she's got -- >> you're cool enough, hillary. >> she's got different problems with hispanics and different problems with african-americans. but an interesting question will be, when this is all said and done, they decided not to do a lot of hispanic language advertising, the interesting question that they spent a lot of time this summer focusing on, trying to target moderate republicans who are uncomfortable with donald trump, rather than focused on their base and on the obama coalition, on election day, that is now looking to be maybe a dubious strategic choice. >> they do a lot of work behind
the scenes with earned media, with all these groups. and they have more people working on it than ever, and super surrogates like bernie sanders and elizabeth warren and barack obama and others reaching out for them. with so much of this race, now that it's tightened up, she's got to earn it, do it. will she be as cool as barack obama, will she have as direct appeal to african-americans as barack obama? no, but she's going to have to figure out a way to talk it to them about issues they care about. i'll give you one example, climate change. i don't hear her talking about it very much. there are issues millennials care about. for instance, that i think she's got to prove to them that she earns their vote. >> but this is -- it is, i think, really importantly, this is partly a generational problem, where you see it most strongly is millennials, then millennial african-americans, and millennial hispanics. and this is a generational problem for her. she's not -- you know, she's a full generation older than barack obama, and finding a way to talk to all those groups, in a way that they find relatable, it's not obviously or easy for
her. she could do it, but it's not obviously and easy. >> a democratic president for eight years skpaand a lot of th don't feel like -- >> they don't know much about the clinton legacy. >> up next, white house press secretary josh earnest stops by our new york studio after these words from our sponsors. (engine revs) the things it does to your parade. we've got a saying about rain, too: when it rains... it roars. the all-wheel-drive charger. domestic. not domesticated. get between you and life's dobeautiful moments.llergens by choosing flonase, you're choosing more complete allergy relief and all the enjoyment that comes along with it. when we breathe in allergens, our bodies react by overproducing 6 key inflammatory substances. most allergy pills only control 1.
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campaign, representative ben ray lou hahn. let me ask you one question to start things off. what odds do you give right now on the possibility of the democrats retaking control of the house? >> it's not my job to make predictions, it's my job to win races. i'll i leave the predictions to others. i'll make sure we maximize our wins. >> congressman, i appreciate that. i wasn't asking you to make a prediction. i was asking you to give us a sense of how likely you think it is. even in general terms if you don't want to put specific odds on it. how good a chance do you think you have of retaking the house? >> we're in a volatile environment we're working in and trying to maximize the battlefield we've established. i don't know that i can even describe it as a likely or unlikely environment. i know that we're on offense and we're going to be picking up seats, but donald trump is definitely giving us the environment that shows that there is a path forward. given, especially, over the last couple of years, that people have discounted it completely. so given the environment that we're in, racing up to the last
50 days to election day, plus, donald trump, it's a very positive environment for democrats across country. >> congressman, i know every race and every set of candidates is different, but make the argument that your party in general is stronger based on its record and policy positions on fighting the war against terrorism than the republican party is. >> well, right now, as we travel around the country, and especially given everything that happened over the last 48 hours, not only up in minnesota, but here in new york as well, first off, you know, everything that we can say to go out to the families that were impacted by this horrific event, really leads to where people are feeling that they are in america today. that things are unsafe. and i can say the difference between democrats and republicans is, the contrast that we're seeing even with donald trump is that republicans are more about talk, rather than tough and smart policies, the recklessness that we're seeing from donald trump.
and here's what it comes down to, between house democrats and house republicans, is house republicans, time and again, have voted for budgets that reduce funding for more support to the fbi, to the law enforcement agencies and to the intelligence community that democrats have been asking for and republicans feel to overturn sequestration, which is further impairing our ability to be able to invest in this safe nature of keeping people in a better place in america. that couples with more talk from republicans about tough and safe policies is why democrats are in a stronger place given the environment we're in today, and especially when it comes to national security, both foreign and domestic. >> congressman, in looking at president obama's record on fighting terrorism, both homeland security and groups abroad, do you consider his record to be perfect or are there areas where you would have
liked him to do better? >> under barack obama with secretary of state hillary clinton, osama bin laden is no longer. the president is working diligently with air strikes, going after isis infrastructure, isis fighters, and cutting off isis money. the president -- >> congressman, with all due -- congressman, with all due respect, i'm asking if you think there are any areas where you think he hasn't done a job. i know there are lots of areas where you think he has. but are there areas where you think the president has fallen short in fighting terror? >> the president has made it very clear that his number one goal is to go after isis. and i think it's important that we continue to work with the president when it comes to working with silicon valley and providing the president to support that he is asking for when it comes to the fbi and his intelligence agencies to work with him. so on that -- with that being said, i'll continue to work with the president, with the directives that he's given to us keep the american people safe. >> just ask you one more time,
are there any areas where he's fallen short, or has he been, in your view, perfect in fighting the war on terror? >> look, there are always places we can strengthen what we're doing in america, wbut when the president is not getting the tools he's needing for counterterrorism activity, we have to work with the teams that we have. and with that being said, the president is working diligently through the intelligence communities and the fbi to make sure that we're keeping people safe in america. but there's more that must be done when it comes to monitoring what's happening online, to be able to combat isis, wherever they may be. and especially as online tools are being used more and more, to reach out to bad people around the world. namely in america. and that's more we can do, as well. >> congressman, we were just talking about hillary clinton's effort to try to activate the obama coalition. i want to ask you about hispanic votes. there's some concern right now among a lot of democrats that although hillary clinton's doing well in terms of the percentage
of his papanic votes that she h the support of, she's not generating a lot of enthusiasm. that's a pretty important voting bloc. give me a sense of how well you think she's doing with hispanic voters and what you think she could do better? >> i would say all across america, every voting bloc in the united states, we have to be working more and more diligently to earn and maintain the trust of voters. this includes the latino community. you know, as the first hispanic chairman of the democratic congressional campaign committee, it's something that is very important to me, personally. and we're make sugar that we're communicating to latinos in a more direct fashion. i think what we're seeing from the clinton campaign, in addition to what we're doing as house democrats is a very active program and communicating early, developing a strong ground game, that's comprised predominantly of latino field staff in those latino communities, but it's not just in communities where it's a 30% or 40% latino community. it's also in districts where the latino community makes up 3 or 4%. we're going after every voter
across america, and especially in the hispanic community. >> congressman, do you think there's a -- do you perceive what a lot of democrats perceive right now, there's a worrying lack of criticism. or duke everything's just fine. >> we can always do better in every demographic, but in this case where the numbers are showing, but it's only after labor day. right after labor day is when the general elections kick off and more and more communications are taking place in the community. and i expect that we will do better, and especially the latino community as well. >> congressman, in the last few 50 days of this campaign, which two issues do you think will determine which way voters vote? above all the others? the two most important? >> i would say this is a security election, whether we're talking about the national security of the american people or economic security. and even though there's a strong foundation that we can build from, from an economic perspective, there's a lot of real anxieties that are out there, to make sure that we're able to help people get ahead
and stay ahead. and also to make sure we're keeping people safe. that's our number one priority, and keeping people safe is both with national security issues as well as with economic security issues. those will be the two drivers come november and forward. >> all right. congressman ben ray lujan. thank you very much for coming on this show. we'll have you back when we get closer to election day. and how donald trump and hillary clinton are reacting to the acts of violence that took place this weekend. we'll be right back. i served in iraq in tikrit in 2009. when i took the ancestry dna test, i mean a few results came up
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democrats over the last few days as the battleground state polls have tightened? >> some have been, but some expected this. you cannot maintain those kind of leads. having said that, i think it will call for some strategic adjustments as we get along here. we've got a week to go before on the big pivots in the campaign when the first debate takes place. there's a lot of strategizing and rehearsing for that. this is one of those moments where secretary clinton will have to distinguish herself as the big thinker and mature thinker. i think she will emerge as the winner. i think that's the approach that's being taken now. >> and to the extent trump doing well has caused the gap to narrow, what has he been doing well. >> well, actually, he's been doing less. and maybe that can translate
into him doing well or better. his number sits there between 44 and 40. and hillary kind of comes up and down and so he really hasn't picked up so much support, as i think her numbers are moving around. that said, i don't think there's one person over at the clinton camp that didn't think she wouldn't have a double-digit lead against donald trump, six months ago. so, they got something that's not working. and maybe trump is going to segue into something that does work. i mean, this is a change election, and he is the change candidate. maybe too much. this is a change election, she is not a change candidate. if it's close and they go into these debates and she makes a mistake, the race could pivot to him. it could happen. >> harold, i want to ask you a question that mark and i just discussed earlier in the show. we've now seen pretty compelling evidence that all of the important components of the obama coalition are not there with enough enthusiasm for
hillary clinton as they were for barack obama in 2012 and 2008. millennials, african-american voters, hispanic voters. why is that, do you think? what's the core problem she has, and what can she do to fix it? >> well, i think part of -- first of all, it's a great question. and i'm a strong believer that reassembling the coalition that the president built in '08 and '12 is a big effort. whatever the reasons are, if you're in a party and you've won a few times and things are going, moving along the right way, you sometimes can get a little complacent. i think, two, the clinton campaign has got to reach out in a more effective, and a more sustained way. i know they believe that they are and they have been, but they've got to be even more creative and reach out to the youth community, the black community, the hispanic community across the country, because those communities are a waiting to come around her. and finally, you know, every four years, things are
different. and iscaaign, to ed's point, i think, i hope that everyone is listening, particularly on my side. there may need to be some changes, just small things as you get into the game here. the patriots have won a lot of super bowls over the last few years, but they need to make adjustments. secretary clinton is the dominant player in this game. and we may need to make a few adjustments as we go along. >> hillary clinton is uninspiring, that's a big problem. and even on a day like today, she took the -- she used the occasion, said a lot of the appropriate things, about the two terrorist attacks here in new york and in minneapolis, but she wants to talk about the insider meeting she's been in, in washington. she wants to show her exposure and poise in contrast to trump, when really what she needs to do is not so much worry about trump, but she has to sound the alarm. she has to make people understand that she has some visceral reaction to either the economy or a terrorist attack.
she is uninspiring, she's flat. the dogs don't like the dog food. if she doesn't do something about it, trump can sneak up on her and we can have president trump. courtesy of hillary's sort of non -- >> ed, ed -- >> yeah? >> ed, let me follow up with you just on that. you just mentioned how hillary clinton reacted to the terrorist incidents today. how do you look at it as a trump skeptic, as someone who's not behind druonald trump by any means, how do you think he performed today? >> sloppy, rabid, calling into a morning news show and sort of craving some sort of acknowledgement that he was first. there was nothing poised about it. but trump has a visceral reaction. i think people want to know that the next president understands the terrorists are now here. the fight is here. san bernardino, orlando, now this. minnesota. the fight is here. people want there to be a
visceral reaction. trump could have done a lot better. like i said, i think it was ragged and way off the bull's-eye. i think hillary was flat and steal, looked like business as usual. what's going to win that fight? i don't know. >> guys, may may nnot get a chao have you back before monday's debate, start talking about that with both of you. if hillary clinton said to you, harold, what's the biggest mistake, the biggest pitfall, the biggest danger for me in this debate. what would you tell her? >> don't fall into the pit with donald trump and the back and forth and the slinging of the mud. i think at each moment, she's going to disagree with him on a lot of things. let him make her point, come back to her are, and make the point, lester, i disagree with my opponent and here's what i would do. i think she's got to stay in the substantiative lane. you've got to smother him with ideas and answer and vision. and to ed's point about being inspiring, i think all of that will just continue the
inspiration that she's brought to this campaign. >> ed, what's the biggest danger for clinton and what's the biggest danger for trump in the debate? >> both candidates have got to try to steer clear of playing to their negative stereotype. trump has got to be poised, have a modicum of dignity, and be informed. he's sort of got to be that character that briefly appeared at the press conference with the president of new mexico a couple of weeks ago. hillary can't tell a lie. hillary, if she tells a lie, they'll be ads, the rnc will be running them before the debate's over with. if she plays to her negative stereotype, by saying something that is demonstrably false, it could be a real dagger for her. >> all right. ed rogers, harold ford jr., thank you both, guys, appreciate it. we'll look down the road next with some talk about down ballot races and the presidential campaign. a few top reporters.
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back to our program. with us now, two of the nation's finest political reporters to talk about the battle, for the battleground states. joining us, eliana johnson, the washington editor of the national review, and phil rocker, national reporter for "the washington post." phil, you and dan balz wrote a story over the weekend. one fact caught my eye. you said, the clinton campaign looks at ohio and iowa and sees real trouble. talk about that. >> that's right. so these are, two of the swing states where she is the most vulnerable, there's a large white population there, that seems to be pretty galvanizing and energized around donald trump's candidacy. the public numbers show trump with a growing lead, both in iowa and ohio, but the clinton campaign, they're worried about those two states. now, good thing for clinton, is she has an easy path to get to those 270 electoral votes without those two states. they're looking really good in north carolina, which is a very close race, but a state that the
clinton people feel like could be a real, a real roadblock for trump and can block off his path there, with as well as in pennsylvania. a big state, a lot of electoral votes in p.a.. >> eliana, obviously, we all play with electoral college calculators all day. if you take ohio and iowa and give them to trump, how much easier does that make it for him, or is that not a huge step towards 270, the prospect of 270? >> you know, it's really interesting, it looks like we're on a path where donald trump could be the first republican in, i don't even know how many years, but to win in ohio and lose the presidential race, which would be fascinating. but the white whale for republicans, for many, many years now has been pennsylvania. and i just don't see a path for trump to get to 270 votes, even if he wins ohio and iowa, without taking pennsylvania. there are some far-fetched scenarios, i think, where he
could the get there, but i find it tremendously difficult for him without taking pennsylvania. he continues to trail hillary clinton by between six and eight points there. >> so, eliana, you say you think that pennsylvania is a must-win state for donald trump, no matter what the other combinations are, but is there some way, there's some path for trump to get to 270 without pennsylvania? >> there's a path for him with north carolina, florida, maine's second congressional district, ohio, iowa, that he does have a path. it's not impossible, but i think it's a difficult path and a rather unlikely one for him. >> phil, i ran into you up in new hampshire just the other day. tell me about -- thinking about not some of the biggest battleground states. you mentioned iowa and new hampshire's another one. talk about the state of play in places like new hampshire. they're minor battleground states, where things to be
tightening up all of a sudden. >> it's interesting. new hampshire is a sliver of a state. it's tiny. there are only four electoral votes. we were both there for tim kaine's election. new hampshire is one of these states that could really tip the scales one way or the other, if this electoral map looks really tight. another state like that is nevada. four electoral votes out there, too. these are close states, they're very competitive. new hampshire in particular has a tendency to make big swings, sort of late in the game year. it certainly seems to be an environment that favors hillary clinton. it's a place she has been leading by a lot. but it's tightened up a lot. the senate race in new hampshire also has tightened up a lot. kelly ayotte very much in the game there for her re-election. it's a place where trump was last week, as well, and it's a place that could be tight all the way to the end. >> okay. eliana johnson, phil rucker, thanks to you both. great to have you, as always. be right back with the press secretary of the white house, josh earnest, after this.
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we have a lot to unpack with our next guest, white house press secretary josh earnest joins us from our set in new york. josh, we're sorry we're not there with you. it's good to have you on the show. >> a rare trip to me from new york. i'm going to rearrange all the books on the shelves while you guys are gone. >> yeah, i have a feeling that was the no good you'd be up to. josh, just give us an update about -- just give us an update about where the president -- about what the president thinks about about what happened in the wake of this weekend? he gave a statement today. bring us up to date on where things are. >> first thing, we have to give credit where it's due to our men and women in law enforcement. we saw seamless coordination between state and local law enforcement officers and federal officials. you got, you know, law enforcement guys on the street walking the beat, doing the good police work to track this individual down. but you also have, you know, fbi experts, using their forensic skill and technology to trace this person. and in the space of a little over 24 hours, you go from a
device going off, somewhere in manhattan, to a name being released by the fbi as a potential suspect and then that person just a few hours later, being brought into custody. so this is really a testament to the heroism of our men and women in law enforcement. and the investigation is continuing and we obviously want to learn as much as we possibly can about this individual, about what may have motivated him. about what ties he had to other people who may have been involved. and obviously, that work just beginning. >> josh, do you agree with the clinton campaign that donald trump, through the words he uses in the course of the campaign, can actually hurt america's security? >> well, i think there's no denying that the rhetoric that we've heard from a lot of republicans, including the nominee, is contrary to our values and does undermine the argument that we are making against isil. the fact of the matter is, the president has organized an international coalition to go after isil. and we've taken 14,000 air strikes in iraq and syria combined. we've had some success in taking isil officials off the
battlefield, including leading external police reports just in the last call of weeks, but we also know isil is trying to propagate a radical ideology, a bankrupt, false mythology, that they're establishing a caliphate, and trying to inspire vulnerable individuals into carrying out acts of violence. that's why we need to make sure we're not just taking the fight to isil on the ground, we're going to destroy this terrorist organization. but we also need to make sure we're doing this consistent with our values and consistent with a strategy that doesn't allow isil to successfully make the case that somehow they represent true islam in a war against the west. >> josh, you made a comment earlier today about how the battle between the west and isil is a battle of narrative. the trump campaign jumped all over that and said you're basically out to lunch and out of touch by framing the battle in those terms. what's your reaction to that charge? >> there's no disagreement that we have different viewe views o
to take on this fight. but the rhetoric does undermine the case we're making against isil. first of all, our first and foremost priority is protecting the american people, and that includes using our military power, our intelligence, our law enforcement, to keep the american people safe. and the president has demonstrated a willingness and a success in making those orders, designing that strategy, and implementing it. but what we also need to be aware of is the fact that there is a battle that isil wants to wage of narratives. they want to drive the narrative, that they represent islam, and that they are representing islam in a war against the west. that is false! it is not true. the fact is, there are millions of patriotic muslims in the united states right now that are serving in our military, that are serving in our law enforcement, that are, you know, that are also our teachers and lawyers and doctors and nurses. these are individuals who are making an important contribution to our great country. and to deny that fact or obscure that fact to win political points is shameless, it's inconsistent with our values, and it undermines our
effectiveness to degrade and ultimately destroy isil. >> and the rare exception to that are those people who have come here, become naturalized citizens, and have committed acts of terror in the united states. donald trump and others say that the system needs to be changed dramatically to keep that from happening. is that a fair charge? are there things that need to change for vetting of people who come in this country to try to keep those instances, rare as they are, from happening? >> the thing we first should acknowledge, and this is something our critics do not acknowledge, is the fact that refugees that come to the united states are subjected to more vetting than any other individual who enters the country. more vetting than somebody who enters on a tourist visa. they have to undergo a background check, biometric information is collected about them, and that's run by our military agencies, by international law enforcement
agencies. they are thoroughly vetted. and what i will say, if there is more we can do to strengthen that even further, we're certainly open to that. but we shouldn't enter into a situation where we are doing something that sop republicans have suggested, which is essentially imposing a religious test on people who seek to enter the united states, a muslim ban. >> but josh, short of a religious test, are you saying the fact that this happens on occasion is just sort of the cost of doing business, or we shouldn't accept the fact that some people are welcomed into this country and then commit acts of terror and we should change the system to stop it. >> what i'm suggesting is that the most effective way for us to deal with this is not to shut down the refugee process and try to erect walls and keep people out of our process. what we should do is seek to ensure that we've got strict vetting of refugees for entering the united states. that's exactly what we've done. we also need to implement an effective homeland security strategy, both in terms of law enforcement, but also in terms of making clear of people who are at risk of potentially being
radicalized by isil that they have a home in the united states. the president spoke movingly about this last year. he went to a mosque outside of baltimore and delivered a direct message to young muslims all across the country. and made clear they do belong in the united states. that they are welcome as part of this american community, and making sure we're delivering that message, that's the most effective way for us to prevent isil from radicalizing vulnerable populations here in the united states. that, obviously, is paired with an effective military strategy that is going after isil, that is taking back territory and taking out their leaders, but we also can't lose sight of that important element of our strategy, as well, and the president's determined to make sure we don't lose sight of that. not only because it's an important part of our national security society, it's also consistent with our values as americans. >> josh, i want to take you back to a couple of events of a couple days ago and point out what seems to me to be two events in somewhat in contradiction to each other. the first is president obama on
friday, when donald trump, in that kind of terse and tepid way that he did, withdrew himself from the posture of asserting that president obama may not have been born in the united states, the birther day. president obama came out and basically say, i don't want to talk about this, it's not important, we've got more important things focus on. literally the next night, you had him in front of the congressional black caucus, as fired up as i've ever seen him, saying that if don't vote for him -- or if they don't vote for hillary clinton, that he'd consider it a personal insult. it seems to me he's pretty riled up about donald trump, yet on the birther thing, he tried to slough it off. what's the emotional state right now of the president? >> i think he's quite energized about this campaign and he understands the stakes in this campaign. and the stakes in this campaign are not about repudiatining dond trump. the stakes in this campaign are that we continue to build on the progress we made in the last
eight years. let's build on the offeredable care act. let's make sure we build on the economic process that we've made, by continuing to raise wablgs for low and middle income families. and making sure that we're also continuing to reduce the deficit. let's make sure that we're building on our progress in fighting the causes of climate change. let's make sure that we are more effectively -- >> josh -- >> -- in the same way that strengthens our economy. that's what's at stake in this election, and that's why the president's fired up and ready to go. >> i get all of that, josh, but i have to say, when the president starts using the phrase "personal insult," if people don't vote for hillary clinton, it seems like there's sympathetic going on there that's more than a squattered opportunity if hillary clinton lost. he seems to be very personally invested in this? >> there's no denying that he's very personally invested in what we've done over the last eight years. he's poured his heart and soul into the progress our country has made and is so proud of the progress we've made. he spoke to a room full of supporters and saying, that my
name is not on the ballot, but all the work we've done over the last eight years is, so you need to get engaged and get just as fired up for hillary clinton as you are for me. >> josh earnest, we'll see you next time and we'll be right back. don't let dust and allergens get between you and life's beautiful moments. flonase gives you more complete allergy relief. most allergy pills only control one inflammatory substance. flonase controls 6. and six is greater than one. flonase changes everything. ♪
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go to bloombergpolitics.com right now for coverage of the u.n. general assembly. until tomorrow, say nonara. coming up, "hardball" with chris matthews. >> the candidates debate terrorism. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. tonight, once again, the epicenter of the war on terrorism is new york city, the country's point of entry, its historic melting pot. and once again, we have another name added frighteningly to the vocabulary of violence. another episode to stir fear,