tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC July 30, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PDT
and ruhle" president trump's racist attacks, today going after african-american leaders again in what he calls democratic cities like baltimore. we'll break down his rhetoric and what his real strategy could be. right now we are just seven hours away from tonight's democratic debate in detroit, michigan. we'll be speaking live with contender john delaney about his strategy for the big stage. plus, mitch mcconnell defends blocking a bill to stop foreign attacks on america's elections. we'll look at what the bill would do and break down how russians use social media to influence our votes. first, living in hell . living in hell is how president trump described an american city today. the president is keeping up his attacks on baltimore and democratic congressman elijah cummings. again, calling the lawmaker a racist. president trump is not backing down, actually saying his rants are, quote, good for him. joining me now "the washington post" political reporter eugene
scott, christine pelosi democratic strategist and daughter of house speaker nancy pelosi. anna palmer senior correspondent for politico and my friend john harwood cnbc editor at large. let's go first to president trump speaking earlier. >> baltimore's been very badly mishandled for many years. as you know, congressman cummings has been there for a long time. he's had a very iron hand on it. it's a corrupt city. there is no question about it. i think i'm helping myself because i'm pointing out the tremendous corruption that's taken place in baltimore and other democratic run cities. i've received more phone calls than i think on any other subject of people from baltimore and other cities corruptly run by democrats thanking me for getting involved. those people are living in hell in baltimore. they're largely african-american, a large african-american population, and they really appreciate what i'm doing. all that money that's been
spent, over 20 years, has been stolen and wasted by people like elijah cummings. i am the least racist person there is anywhere in the world when con men, who i've known almost all my business life, i had to deal with them, unfortunately, in new york. but i got along with them. al sharpton. now he's a racist. he's a racist. african-american people have been calling the white house. they have never been so happy as what a president has done not only the lowest unemployment in history for african-americans, not only opportunity zones for the biggest beneficiary the inner cities, and not only criminal justice reform, but they're so happy that i pointed out the corrupt politics of baltimore. it's filthy dirty. it's so horrible. and they are happy as hell . >> eugene, we heard the president say there and other things that these attacks are
good for him. because he's bringing these problems to light. the president has been in office for two years. and baltimore is part of maryland, one of the 50 states. do you know of any federal programs, any marshall plan of sorts the president has put forward to elijah cummings or the mayor of baltimore to solve some of these problems? >> i am not aware of any of those programs, stephanie, and if they existed the president or his surrogates would have made that public by now to make the case these spaces have improved since he entered the oval office. but he hasn't. and they haven't. because he did not. what he did do is campaign in 2016 promising to fix the problems that existed in inner cities, telling black voters what do they have to lose? well, the reality is, he hasn't shown any type of proposal, any type of policy, any type of accomplishment that has left these cities better off than they were when he got in the
white house. it's fascinating now that the president seems to think that the full responsibility of improving these spaces relies on the congressman that represents them, because when president barack obama was in office, he blamed president barack obama for the state of the inner cities. following that logic it would now be president trump's responsibility to respond to these challenges and he has yet to do so. this is something that black voters will remember as he runs for re-election. >> christine, we are going into this debate tonight with the president not talking infrastructure, not talking health care, not talking -- well, he has mentioned the low unemployment number for african americans but not getting into those kitchen table issues. instead, he is going big on race, attacking five members of congress. how will this be responded to this evening? >> well, stephanie, it's pretty clear there's a couple of things going on here. elijah cummings spoke with moral
courage and conviction twice last week. once when he talked after the robert mueller hearings, about the fact that we have to fight what's going on in this country and we will be asked, where were you? what did you do? and, second, he took on the head of the border and talked about the squalid conditions in trump border camps. he also subpoenaed members of trump's own family, his government advisers, including mr. kushner who is a slum lord in baltimore. if they want to model what living in a place that is clean could look like they could start with the kushner owned apartments in baltimore. but larger than that, larger than his racism, and let's stipulate, he's racist and, no, black people can't be racist. oppressed people seeking equality may be a threat to donald trump but they're not -- that is not racism. that's something else. so tonight what you're going to see and the democratic candidates have to do, they have to be real. they have to go big.
they have to act like they can be commander-in-chief of our military and entire country and also give us a vision of life post 45. give me a vision two years from now when i turn on my television and i don't have these racist rants. instead, what are you doing to solve my problems and bring americans together? that is the challenge for democrats tonight. >> anna, has the president successfully changed the narrative? being called a racist isn't new for the president. to christine's point, last week elijah cummings was speaking after the mueller testimony. he spoke about the border. i haven't included, there's jeffrey epstein in the news and then of course there's jared and ivanka's e-mails. those are not at top of mind. it's responding to the president's attacks. is that president trump yet again setting the narrative? >> this president probably more than any other spoils for a fight. i think that he was looking for
an attack line to go after elijah cummings after he started probing into his family. this is not surprising. this is something that i expect he is going to return to time and time again. it's a play that he believes is strong for his base. i think one of the big questions i have, you have a lot of members of congress who are going to be going back home for several weeks. they're going to be talking to their constituents. if this comes up, how do republicans respond particularly when it comes to some suburban voters, women suburban voters right now have been very turned off according to recent reports by some of the rhetoric the president has employed. so where did they fall down in this? is this something where they push back against the president, or is it yet again another time where republicans kind of just try to look down and move past what the president is doing on racial issues? >> john harwood, one of the things that helped president trump win in 2016 was his promise and pledge of economic populism. the system is rigged.
all of your manufacturing jobs have gone overseas. immigrants have stolen our jobs here. economic populism is something bernie sanders also likes to discuss. is the president trying to distract from the fact that he hasn't delivered that agenda? in fact, he's delivered a much more classic gop agenda with a massive corporate tax cut and leaving loopholes like carried interest still in the system. >> it's always hard to tell, stephanie, how much of what the president does is deliberate strategy as opposed to reacting on impulses, visceral impulses in the moment. i tend to think it's more the latter. on the other hand, he does know and all of the studies have shown, that the appeal to racial resentment he offered in 2016 is what launched him as a candidate. that's the consistent theme throughout his public life and in business before he was president. when he was helping run the trump organization and the justice department sued them for
racial discrimination he believes these things. he feels these things. it's also the case as you just suggested that the economic promises that he made in 2016 have not, in fact, been fulfilled. we did get a goose to growth that followed the tax cuts. that is now fading. we're now back at a 2% trend, the same trend that existed before he was president. yes, african-american unemployment has gone down but it has been going down ever since the post financial crisis period. a lot of that time under prm. >> we have the graph on our screen. >> that is not about particular policies president trump has advanced. he's in deep trouble because this behavior has alienated college educated white voters and some of the economic record is alienating the noncollege voters. we saw 47% in the quinnipiac poll yesterday. 47% of noncollege white voters
said -- white women voters said they were definitely not voting for trump in 2020. he's got big problems across the board. >> eugene, you write in your latest piece that the president's race baiting strategy is about targeting people who feel left behind. the president has had the last two years to take that portion of the population and lift them up. those who he hasn't lifted up, what could he be saying to them? and the rest of his base, they're sticking with him no matter what he says. >> well, i think that's because we know that feeling left behind is not the same thing as actually being left behind. and the reality is despite many of the president's supporters saying it was the economic anxiety that they were experiencing that led them to get on to trump train, it was the anxiety. though some of these people may feel like they're having a hard time and life is not going as well for them we do know there is data from the 2016
presidential election showing the average trump voter did come from a household with a higher income than the national average as a whole. that doesn't mean there weren't trump supporters who had challenges. they absolutely did. the president has not done a sufficient job to many of those to respond to those. it really means it was the cultural anxiety that led them to back this president more than anything else. they know that. he knows that. that is why he continues to respond to them with this issue because it speaks to that. >> anna, the president says he plans to visit baltimore when the time is right but in the last day the white house has received thousands of accolades from the african-american community for the comments the president has made about baltimore. he continues to say that billions of dollars have been stolen. is there any evidence to support this? >> not so far. the white house has not put forward any list of groups. i mean, really the only public statements that we have seen have been the outcry and the opposite actually of democrats
and other national leaders condemning what the president has said. it's not surprising he opted kind of -- he often puts kind of things like this out there. we try to track them down in the press that simply don't seem to be based in truth. >> christine, filmmaker michael moore recently told seth meyers how michigan turned from red to blue in 2018 with a strategy first used by republicans. moore said democrats should use it to get more voters to the polls. watch this. >> i want to talk about strategy because you called this last time. talk about what happened to michigan in 2018. >> last november michigan sadly went red for trump in 2016. but this past november we brought it back to blue. and we kicked out all of the republicans in the state capitol and we got the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and we kicked out two republicans, congressmen, in suburban
detroit, and replaced them with two democratic women. let me tell you how we did it. we got to do this in states especially the swing states next year. ballot proposals brought out the people to vote last november who may not have voted. so we came up with this idea, let's get two ballot proposals. this is actually karl rove and bush's idea. in 2004 they got 14 states to put an amendment on the ballot proposal to ban gay marriage and it passed in all 14 states and it brought out enough people to get bush elected. we can do this this time. if we put ballot measures on the ballots, we did it in michigan with marijuana legalization, we doubled the youth vote. >> yes. >> from the previous off-year election. and the african-american vote, which thousands had sat it out in 2016, unhappy with the choices. came back to vote last november because we had a ballot proposal to make gerrymandering and voter
suppression illegal. and it passed. the marijuana passed. we had a huge african-american turnout and that gave us -- we got democrats elected. so instead of putting all our hopes in one politician, to carry the thing, we have to get these ballot proposals on in the swing states. that will bring out people to vote. >> what do you think about that, christine, putting things other than the presidential race on the ballot? >> well, we've been doing that in california for decades so we know the strategy works because we do it in our home state. we've been doing that since nancy pelosi was chair of the democratic party when i was a teenager. so let's not forget we won the house in 2018 because the day after the election, then leader nancy pelosi was on the phone with the grass roots fighting to protect our care. we knew that if trump won the two things we'd have to worry about would be the supreme court and the affordable care act
because we knew he would immediately try to repeal the patient protection and affordable care act, which he has tried to do. so we had 10,000 grass roots events to protect our care. today, on the birthday of medicare and medicaid, you've got people all over the country who are commemorating that anniversary and groups like our little lobbyists, children with disabilities who are helping lead the fight. what won was the women coming out to vote. what won were women and people of color running for office and coming out to vote for each other in unprecedented numbers to say, this may be who america is now but it's not who we want to be. yes, ballot measures are important. but candidates are important. grass roots messages are important. again, tonight the presidential candidates are going to have to convince people they can lead a broad coalition, bring together the different wings of the party, and make a direct case to voters in the midwest and across
america that we are going to protect your care. we are going to expand and protect medicare, medicaid, social security, and we are going to lift your wages. we are going to make sure there's room in this society for everyone. that's how we won the house in 2018 and that's how we'll win in 2020. >> all right. thank you all very much. great conversation as we look ahead to the big debate tonight. eugene scott, christine pelosi, anna palmer, john harwood. next, we'll be hearing from one of the ten contenders set for the debate stage this evening. former maryland congressman john delaney will be joining us live. his strategy for the stage plus his take on president trump's latest attacks on maryland, specifically the city of baltimore. ♪ corey is living with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. she's also taking ibrance
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welcome back to "velshi and ruhle" about six hours out from the presidential debate and one 2020 candidate on that stage is former congressman from maryland, john delaney. he joins me now live from detroit. congressman, you are in the final few hours. let's talk strategy. you are currently polling in single digits across the board. in the last debate you got a lot of points in there. they even criticized you for interrupting. you didn't break through in the polling numbers. what are you going to do tonight? >> well, listen, stephanie, it's a long race and tonight i plan on making it clear to the voters there is a real contrast. there's a bunch of people
running on impossible promises and that is going to get donald trump re-elected. then there are folks like myself running on real solutions and that's how we win the election. that is the big theme of tonight's debate which is in a great place, detroit by the way. you can in many ways tell the whole story of this country through the lens of detroit and what's happened in the last few years about how the government and private sector have worked well together to actually turn this great city around. i think we'll talk about those kinds of issues, too. i think it is going to be a great night. >> are you going to focus on economics? president trump won the state of michigan with an economic promise to bring jobs back, get people paid more, and have those forgotten americans remembered. >> right. he's failed at doing that. because the way you actually create jobs in this country is you create the kind of environment where businesses invest and that's where we have to be as a democratic party. we have to have pro business, pro growth, pro job policies. and that's what's going to win us 2020.
that's why detroit is such a good example. i spent all morning with a group of entrepreneurs, a group called entrepreneurs of color. they were investing in detroit and turning the city around. that's where we have to focus. how are we going to create jobs, increase pay, build infrastructure, fix health care, make public education better. thaes are the kind of kitchen table issues that matter to american families. that's got to be our focus as a party. if we run on all this extreme stuff we're not going to win. >> like the meeting you had this morning, you have got this roll out, a commitment to black america where your plan is to pledge to help the african-american community just as you said. again, the issue is you're polling in the negative. how are you going to convince them to buy your idea? . well, listen, stephanie, i think it's still pretty darned early. i think most americans are just starting to dial in. we've got 12 debates. this is the second one. the only thing that really matters is when people caucus in iowa and primary in new
hampshire which is not for half a year or more. i just think there is a long way to go and we're prepared for the long race. i think the message i'm running on is really important and it's what we win on. so i'm not paying too much attention to the polls right now. i'm paying attention to what the message is i'm giving to people and how we actually beat trump in 2020. most importantly, how do we improve the lives of our citizens? so many americans continue to struggle. so many americans have so much economic anxiety and that's what i'm running on, those kind of solutions. i'm pretty confident that's what matters to most americans and it is going to cut through. >> are you prepared to go head to head on health care with bernie sanders tonight? the last time you and i spoke you said this. medicare for ally dethat involves getting rid of private insurance. if the democratic candidate supports that idea, they will lose in the general by nine points. do you plan to have this debate this evening with bernie sanders? >> yes, i hope to.
health care is the number one issue facing the american people, the issue they care the most about. medicare for all is a really bad plan. it's bad policy and terrible politics. i think this is an important thing to be debating with senator sanders who came up with this idea and with the rest of them like senator warren and probably half the field is basically out sourced their plan to him. this is something we need to debate because we won the 2018 midterms on health care. if we run on medicare for all, which is senator sanders' plan, i think we'll lose in 2020. not just the white house, by the way. the senate and the house i think will be in play for republicans if we run on medicare for all. >> let's talk baltimore for a second. maryland, obviously your home state. the president attacking baltimore, saying that politicians have been stealing billions of dollars for years. what can you tell us if in any way there is any truth to that and if you were the president what you would do for not just baltimore but for lots of
struggling cities? >> well, listen. his comments are shameful. he doesn't know what he's talking about. he divides the american people. you know, as president i'm going to represent every american. whether they're in an inner city or a rural community. and i'm going to do things to try to help them and invest in their communities. put in place policies to encourage people to invest and create jobs. that's what he should be doing. he should go up to baltimore and sit down with the leaders there and say, how do we do infrastructure to help your city? how do we do that in a smart way? he should do what i did this morning which is sit around with entrepreneurs. he says he is a business leader although i haven't seen any of that since he's been in the white house. why doesn't he try to help, encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in these cities? as president i'm going to be a unifier, represent every american, not engage in what he is doing. he knows these cities aren't going to vote for him so he doesn't care about them. that at its core is what is wrong with him as our president. he doesn't think about his job as the president, which is to represent every american and try
to bring us together every day. he thinks it's about him and he engages in divisive politics. he should be doing this entirely different. what i'll do as president is i've got plans to invest in both inner cities and rural communities. they're both suffering from a lack of investment both public and private. there aren't a lot of good jobs being created. health care is under pressure in many of these places. the infrastructure is crumbling in many of these places. he promised to fix some of this. he didn't. i will as president. >> well, good luck to you. you will be on the big stage tonight, john delaney. we'll see you then. and for you at home, tonight be sure to watch msnbc for expert live analysis of the second democratic debate. it starts immediately after the debate concludes, sometime around 10:30 p.m. eastern hosted by our own brian williams. next, mitch mcconnell defending himself after blocking a new bill to protect america's elections from foreign attacks. we'll break down the many ways
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over the last several days i was called unpatriotic, unamerican, and essentially treasonous by a couple left wing pundits on the basis of boldfaced lies. these pundits are lying. when they dismiss the work that has been done. they're lying when they insist i have personally blocked actions which i have in fact championed and the senate has passed. >> that was senate majority leader mitch mcconnell defending himself and his record against criticism that he and republicans blocked at least five bills focused on election security. it might be worth reminding senator mcconnell about the scope of russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. two studies commissioned by the republican led senate
intelligence committee found that russian influence efforts reached up to 126 million americans through facebook. their propaganda posts received nearly 77 million engagements. that includes reactions, shares, or comments. the report points out that a significant push was also taken on instagram which is owned by facebook where disinformation and propaganda reached at least 20 million people and gained 187 million engagements. on twitter nearly 1.5 million people were reached. more than 10 million individual tweets. more than a thousand videos were uploaded to youtube, which is a google platform. one report found that these videos were primarily geared toward after can americans, a significant number of targets by the russian disinformation group internet research agency. the goal according to these studies was to discourage black americans from voting in the
2016 general election denying a key constituency from the democratic candidate. it is worth noting a report from the senate intelligence committee released last week points out that while there is no evidence votes were changed in 2016 russia may have been probing vulnerabilities in voting systems to then exploit later. scary, isn't it? joining me now a fellow at alliance for security -- securing democracy, specializing in media and digital information and former fbi special agent with the joint terrorism task force and author of messing with the enemy clint watts. you actually testified before the senate intelligence committee about russian influence as granular as how they went after you, personally, and the u.s. elections system. help us understand this. >> yeah. so they know exactly what they want to achieve long run which is they want americans not to have confidence in voting, election integrity, and u.s.
government institutions. they will push two themes when it gets close to election day -- voter fraud and election rig. we've heard that even out of some of the candidates here in the states. how do they do that? they do pinpoint hacks on voter records, voter registrations. they hit into systems without even changing a vote and this allows them to manipulate people's minds to make them believe that their votes may not have been counted. what is remarkable in that senate intel report that came out last week is they were even trying to send observers to polling places. why? because if you can do that, you can film on social media and say, hey. i think there is something wrong with the voting going on here. maybe not everybody's vote counts. >> why has nothing been done? or not nothing. why has nothing significant changed? >> what's remarkable is senator mcconnell is about the only person i've heard say that we shouldn't be doing these bills to try and protect the integrity of the elections. republicans, as you noted, republican led senate intel committee.
i've spoken to many republicans at the federal level that are totally onboard with this and shocked we're not already doing it. i've spoken to state and local election officials. they can't understand why because they actually want the help. what we have is a system right now where, sure. they sign one bill, which distributes money very evenly based on populations, but we have huge goals or huge gaps and huge holes throughout our election integrity system because if you look at the senate intel report it lists the states that are targeted and shows there are different gaps in terms of voter registration and in terms of the technology. when i look back at it, when i hear him speak yesterday about, oh, he's being smeared and maligned, who wants to not make sure that our election is protected next round? >> he is also not offering a different bill. >> no. he is not offering another bill and not explaining how to help those states in dire situations. new jersey is one. huge issues there. alabama down in the south has problems. alabama also a state if you remember during the roy moore election was claiming election rig, voter fraud. this all plays into it, right? the systems are incapable of
actually being able to do paper ballot backups and audit trails. if we can't do those two things how do we counter whether it is a domestic politician or foreign influence effort like russia from undermining the integrity of our elections? >> bret, you wrote an article about the internet research agency, russians saying they are using race to interfere with elections. race isn't the only issue. we know they push conspiracy theories, they focus on regional divisions. but why focus on race? >> look, the russians and the soviets before them have used race and racism to weaken and divide us for 70 years. this is not something new. by talking about issues like race, issues that americans care about, they're able to work themselves into these organic american conversations and once inside can manipulate those conversations. in 2016 by talking about nfl protests, by talking about police brutality, they were able to gain an audience. once they had an audience they could then advance the narrative
that blacks should not vote or they should support third party candidates. so obviously their objective was to make sure hillary clinton was not elektd president. >> wow. clint, the russians were successful according to special counsel robert mueller. he said last week this is the new status quo. do you think in any way we're better off, making our way out of the woods, or is this the predominant issue? those candidates up on the stage tonight, does it matter what policies they're putting forth if our election system isn't safe? >> the policies do matter. and fortifying your election system does matter. really it comes down to leadership. when i look at 2020 i'm worried about the russians but what could they do that we're not already doing to ourselves at this point in terms of influence? there are many hackers who have seen this playbook play out. if we don't actually patch the holes we saw in the senate intel report last week, that is actually a blueprint for how to mess with us in 2020. we have domestic actors and
social media doing all sorts of disinformation and m misinformation in terms of influence. we have hackers all around the world. why wouldn't we want to take these simple measures? the first measure is election integrity and we should be making sure every poll is verifiable, has some sort of backup so every american knows when they vote that their vote is accurate and true. >> the president just tweeted, i want to share it, we should immediately pass voter i.d. to ensure the safety and sanctity of our voting system. also, paper ballots as backup, old fashioned but true. what do you think about that? >> well, i would agree with the paper ballot backup for sure. as clint mentioned you need to have a way of gang americans' confidence their vote was counted and counted correctly. if there is any sort of disinformation out there that the vote has been hacked. as clint mentioned the russians are unlikely to actually go in and change votes but they can spread online that they have the ability to change votes. we need to have the ability to have something that says, yes.
your vote was counted. it was counted correctly. on the paper ballot backup point that he made, i would agree. in terms of the i.d. issue, that's a whole other subject. >> a whole other subject. >> i mean, let's look at this. senator mcconnell. why would he not want to do this? i don't think it's about russia. it's about how do you maintain voter suppression and keep people from turning up to the polls? how do you keep state and local races, gerrymandering, all of these functionings. that is why there is fear of federal oversight on those systems. >> thank you both so much for making us better and smarter today. next, president trump tweeting about his trade war with china, saying china is doing very badly. for facts' sake we'll look at how china's economy is actually doing despite the trade fight. i've always been excited for what's next. i'm still going for my best... even though i live with a higher risk of stroke due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin,
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prevagen. healthier brain. better life. welcome back to "velshi and ruhle." let's talk trade. president trump took to twitter this morning with a fresh batch of lies about china. looking at these tweets it seems like china is ready to cave. but for facts' sake how is china's economy actually holding up during this time of a trade war? president trump says this. china is doing very badly. worst year in 27. was supposed to start buying our agricultural products now. no signs that they are doing so. that is the problem with china. they just don't come through.
let's start with china's economy slowing down. china's economy grew by 6.2% in the second quarter. it is true that is the slowest growth measured since 1992. it is still well within the target range of 6% to 6.5%. not to mention the latest slowdown reflects a normal maturing economy. now to his point about china not what he says coming through. trump is referring to agricultural purchases promised by the chinese as an act of good faith while they negotiate. for their part china insists it has bought u.s. agricultural products. state run media there has reported millions of tons of u.s. soybeans have been shipped to china since july 19th. those shipments came after the june meeting between the presidents trump and xi jinping when the good faith agreement was made. joining me now, politico's chief correspondent ben white. in the span of a minute, the president said, china wants to wait to do a deal until they have a democratic president in
office. and then again within a minute he said, china is dying to get a deal done. can you help us understand? >> well, i wish i could, stephanie. it is difficult to reconcile those two things because obviously they can't be reconciled. it can't be both. it can't be dying to make a deal and waiting out the president. i think he was right in the first instance. i think they do want to wait out president trump. they believe if they get a democratic president in 2021 particularly someone like joe biden they'd be able to make more reasonable deal with that person. perhaps if you are a trump supporter you would think that the next democratic president will let china continue to get away with murder and there is some truth to the argument they have gotten away with murder over the years. there is no way to reconcile those two statements nor is there any way to sort of justify his claim that china is absolutely cratering in this trade war. as you pointed out in that very good fact check, they've slowed their growth rate a little bit but 6.2% i think we'd take that in the united states pretty quickly. the fact of the matter is the
united states is suffering in this trade war as well as all of the gdp figures out last week showed us. we can talk about those if you'd like for the impact on the u.s., which is significant. >> the aid to farmers we're continuing to put out. help us understand, the president is saying china won't come through. you can't trust china. listen, there's a lot of validity to that. you just pointed it out. but secretary mnuchin is in china right now trying to negotiate. how much more difficult does it make it for them to get a deal done with the president saying, don't trust the chinese? >> it doesn't help. i'm sure if you are mnuchin and picking up your phone in shanghai today and seeing these tweets you just kind of drop your head like oh, my god i can't believe he is doing this to me because he is sand bagging his own negotiators in shanghai as they are trying to come to an agreement. what this shows us is there is not going to be any big deal with china between now and the election but i think you see a little bit of a dialing down in the rhetoric. interestingly, in those tweets, stephanie, he did not say i am going to slap 25% tariffs on the
rest of the 300 billion in chinese goods. he has backed away from that rhetoric. i've been reporting for a while they are likely to do this because they know it would be terrible for markets and the economy. i think status quo with china from here through the election is fine for him. if he could cut some great deal where the chinese, you know, agree not to steal our intellectual property, do all these sweeping things he wants, great. celebrate. awesome. they're not going to get that. the last thing he wants is full on trade war with china between now and the election. can't have it. >> speaking of sand bagging how about our own economy or at least the fed? the president just this morning saying, greatest economy ever, touting low unemployment, talking about the booming stock market. right now, central bank officials are meeting and speaking about cutting rates. is the president responsible for this? >> i mean, the fact that he says it's the greatest economy we've ever had, 2.1% growth is not the greatest economy we've ever had. we've had many periods of 4% plus growth talk about world war
ii, the 80s, the 90s, stock market in the dot com days. but yes. in part trump is directly responsible for the fed having to cut interest rates because as jay powell has said multiple times on capitol hill and elsewhere, it is the trade war that is slowing things down. business investment down 0.6% in the second quarter. exports down. >> the corporate tax cut, the entire argument was with that big tax cut we're going to see a boom, a boost in business investment and it's down. >> it is down. it was good in the first quarter and dropped off in the second. it was pretty good in 2017. but i think everybody, we on this show talked about it multiple times, this would give us a short sugar high from this tax cut. we would get a little bit of business investment, a lot of stock buybacks, a lot of dividends. not a lot of buying new equipment, not a huge amount of investment. that is exactly what we're seeing. >> ben white, thank you so much. this week one of america's oldest automobile factories will close. the gm plant is closing in a county that went for trump in 2016. actually not far from tonight's
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welcome back to "velshy & ruhle." general motors is halting production at a plant in warren, michigan. that's just a few miles from tonight's debate stage. last year gm pledged to close five plants across three states and cut 15% of its salaried workers. joining me from warren, michigan, anne thompson who is covering a union worker press conference. you're in mccomb county. this is a county donald trump won in 2016. what are those workers who may have supported the president back then, what do they say now that that plant is closing, and what it could mean for their state. >> mccomb county not only supported donald trump but back in 1980, it was the home to reagan democrats. so it is notorious for ticket flipping. but today, the focus here at the
uaw local 909 is on the human toll of that transmission plant closing here in warren, michigan. and with me to talk about it is ghana goodwin die, the president of the local. you're a 34-year veteran of general motors and an electrician at the gm transmission plant here in warren. what have the last couple of workweeks been like? >> it's been very stressful. anxiety is really high. the uncertainty of where you're going to go. i have members asking me all the time, any news, any news? and the only thing i can tell them is that we're going to be closing. and you're going to be picked up somewhere. >> so the choices before your membership, we've got 60 who have chosen to transfer within gm. 25 have retired. that leaves 177 who -- what are their choices? >> their choices are to go wherever there's an opening. >> if they don't go where that opening is? >> they'll lose all of their
benefits, unemployment. >> given we hear all the time the economy is doing well, how hard is it going to be for them to find a job? >> it's going to be very difficult for them to find a good-paying job. making the kind of money that they make now and affording, you know, their homes and their children, any extracurricular that they do, cars, insurances, all of those things. and with the economy being good, you know, low unemployment, doesn't mean that there are good-paying jobs out there. it doesn't mean that they're going to be able to have the insurances that they have. a lot of jobs don't afford you insurances. >> thank you very much. in fact, the wages here, or the wages at the gm transmission plant, stephanie, range from $18 to $28 an hour. and overall wages and benefits for the average gm worker, the center for automotive research puts that at $63.
so that gives you an idea of how difficult it is going to be for those workers to find jobs that offer them that same kind of standard of living. >> anne, thank you so much. for more on anne's reporting, watch tonight's "nightly news" with lester holt. next, we're just a few hours from tonight's democratic debate. when stars of the party's far left will face candidates from the center right. the big question, which version of the democratic party will prevail this evening? you're watching "velshi & ruhle" right here on msnbc. ♪ ♪ in big ways and in small, bank of america is here to help you get things done. what would you like the power to do?® ♪ done
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thank you for watching this hour of "velshi & ruhle." i'll see you tomorrow back here at 9:00 a.m. eastern. right now i hand you off to kasie hunt in d.c. >> steph, great to see you. i'm kasie hunt in for katy tur. it's 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in detroit where the fight for the future of the democratic party is about to be relitigated. tonight's democratic primary features the stars of the party's left wing. bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. sanders trailing warren in the polls but both campaigns say they're planning on keeping things cordial. they'll face off against, among others, representatives from the party's center. the center right, including former colorado governor john hickenlooper and millionaire, former congressman john delaney. both men have made criticism of the party's, quote, democratic socialist