tv Meet the Press NBC August 6, 2017 10:30am-11:30am EDT
this sunday, another tumultuous week in washington. >> anthony wants general kelly to be able to operate fully with a clean slate. >> a white house staff shake-up. congress leaves town after getting nothing done. the russia investigation expands again. this time to include grand juries. and president trump conties to call it, all of it, a hoax. >> the russia story is a total fabrication. it's just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of american politics. that's all it is. >> it all sounds so familiar. so why do we keep having weeks like this? this morning our broken politics, two parties searching for their identities. the republicans -- >> i think to be conservative
can't be to embrace conspiracy theories or to talk about alternative facts. >> i'll talk to senator jeff flake of arizona who took on his own republican party for not sticking to its principles. and the democrats. >> you have to say leadership has not been clever enough or strong enough or perhaps visionary enough. >> my interview with california governor jerry brown and how the democrats have managed to become a minority party in washington, in statehouses, and secret v voted out of the white house. we agree washington is not working. what can we do to fix it? joining me for insight and analysis are nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell. heather mcgee, president of demos and david french, senior writer for the national review. welcome to sunday and a special edition of "meet the press." >> from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, celebrating
its 70th year, this is a special edition of "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> good sunday morning. what was extraordinary about this week was how ordinary it was. the russia investigation heated up again. there was a shake-up in the white house -- again. congress couldn't get anything done -- again. there was talk of reviving the republican health care rewrite -- again. still two things stood out to us. one was that president trump's approval rating hit 33% in the latest quinnipiac poll, his lowest number yet in that poll. and the rapturous welcome he received in west virginia when he attacked the investigation and the news media. >> the russia story is a total fabrication this. it's just an excuse for greatest loss in the history of american politics. it just makes them feel better when they have nothing else to talk about. >> this is where we are. our politics is broken.
there are a lot of suspects, too much money, gerrymandering, growing cultural divide. but if there's one thing our parties can agree on, they don't agree on much. today we'll focus on our broken political parties specifically. consider this -- republicans have never seen more sentiment. they have more dpgovernors in multiple generations yet can't get anything done. e demographics are moving rel t relentlessly in the democrats' way but they can't win elections. both sides are focused more on the issue of winning the next election, firing up the base, talking to people who already agree with them, than they are about persuading people to eventually agree with them. senator jeff flake of arizona took after his own republican party perhaps to his own peril when he wrote this in politico magazine this week. "it was we conservatives who upon obama's electioned state stated our number one priority was not advancing a conservative poll i v si agenda but making
him a one-term president." could senator flake's words describe democrats in the age of trump? we'll goat that and to the democrats later in the broadcast. joining me now to talk about the republican party is the author of that politico magazine column, senator jeff flake of arizona. welcome back to "meet the pre " press." >> thanks for having me on. >> your book felt like two-pronged attack, if you will, on the state of the republican party today. first on the character of the president and then more on the issue of what's happened to conservativism. i want to focus on the issue of trump and conservativism here. you wrote the following -- "too often when it comes to trump we observe the unfolding drama with the rest of the country passively, all but saying someone should do something without seeming to realize that someone is us." in defense of the republican field and conservatives in 2016, a lot of conservatives warned the country that donald trump
wasn't one. take a listen. >> donald trump's candidacy is a cancer on conservativism and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised, and discarded. >> donald trump and lil's policy views on issue after issue are virtually indistinguishable. >> i'm not afraid of losing an election. i'm afraid of losing our soul. >> it bothers me that someone comes to hijack that cause. donald trump's not a conservative. >> i will go anywhere to speak to anyone before i let a con artist get a hold of the republican party and the conservative movement. >> senator, why didn't conservatives listen to ted cruz, jeb bush, marco rubio, rick perry, all who laid it out starkly on the issue of donald trump and conservativism? >> well, what i do in the book, borrowed from barry goldwater's tome in 1960, he thought that the party had kind of given in
to the new deal and felt that he ought to put a blueprint forward for conservativism. i think today conservativism has kind of been compromised by populism, and people might say, well, we have the house, we have the senate, we have the white house, republicans do, but not long ago we had that in 2006, and we lost it because i don't think we acted very conservative are with all the spending and everything else that went on. so i think that just because we have the house and senate and the white house we can't rest easy and we can't say that populism is a governing philosophy because i don't believe that it is. >> what -- i am curious, what motivated you to write this book? donald trump's character or this issue with conservativism that you're just making the argument and others have made to me before that actuallies go back 20 years? >> well, i started writing this book before donald trump became president. but i am concerned at the direction that the party's
going. protectionism in particular, kind of the anti-immigrant fervor. those kind of things i don't think are going to propel republicans into the future. i think demographics are against us in that regard and i think that we've got to do something different. >> i guess i go back, if donald trump, you thought he was a man of good ccharacter, but was stil touting the same populism, protectionism, as you just described it, when it comes to trade issues, some things that have been -- stuff that conservatives have argued against for years, would you have written this book with the same tone? >> well, i do think that it's not -- to be a conservative isn't just to follow conservative principles in terms of limited government, the economic freedom, free trade, but it is conservative in terps of comportment and behavior. and i don't think that we've soon that out of the white house. it's not conservative on foreign policy, for example, to keep your allies guessing as to where
you are and what you support. a conservative is steady and measured and sober in terms of implementation of diplomacy and use of force. and i think that that is lacking and i think that we of got to change course in that regard. >> well, let me ask you this -- what would you -- going in hindsight now, what should the conservative movement have done in 2016 that they didn't do? you know, mitt romney spoke out, national review did a famous never trump endorsement, if you will, endorsing anybody but. none of it seemed to work. in hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently as a conservative leader? >> well, i'm not denying that populism isn't popular. that's why it's called populism. the problem is i think it's a first and foremost a duty of conservatives to tell the truth to the constituency. and it's easy to point to a
shuttered factory and say, hey, if we just negotiated better trade deals, then those jobs would be there when really it's automation and productivity gains. it's much more complex. my concern is that if populism is a sugar high and once you come off it, it's particularly troublesome for the party. and so i wish that we would have been more truthful with the e lkt r electorate in terps of what we can and cannot do in washington. >> but you were pretty rough on some conservatives. look, the movement was split, right? you had some that stuck to their guns on this, and others that you called willing accomplices. in fact, you write this on page 110, "we to forgot to affirm in a voice loud and clear, yes, we are proud republicans but we believe in country before party. we forgot to do that. we were afraid to do that." you're clearly not afraid to d that. is your party?
is the conservative movement still afraid? >> well, i do think that we of soon more people ready to stand up, and i wish that we as a party would have stood up, for example, when the birtherism thing was going on. a lot-people did stand up but not enough. >> did you do enough? >> that was particularly ugly. >> just curious, did you? >> on that i any i did. but on other things as well, i mean, when -- our party, you know, during rallies when the chants "lock her up," you know, we should .the party for jailing your political opponents. and anybody at that rally, anybody at those rallies ought to stand up and say that's inappropriate. we shouldn't be doing that. i wish we as a party and e lkted officials would do more of that or when particularly ugly conspiracy theories come out or simply fake news, stuff that is demonstrably false, we ought to stand up and say that's just not right. >> what if nor leaders in your
party don't? i mean, is there a point you say to yourself -- because i read this book, and again, i go back, it's as much of an indictment on the republican leadership of the last 15 years as it is on donald trump. in fact, it's more of an indictment on the republican leadership. and i am just curious, did you think about leaving the party? >> no. no. not at all. i'm a proud republican, lifelong republican. and i'm from arizona. arizona tends to elect independent-minded people and people who stand on principle. so i'm doing what i think my voters expect of me. but i think, for example, in 2006 when the party in particular had given way to inappropriate spending, earmark spending, couple of our colleagues ended up in jail, if you remember, the mantra "drain the swamp" was employed very effectively by the democrats in tribing the republican party at that time. i think had we stood up at that time when he wouldn't have lost those majorities in the house and the senate and i fear that
we might do the same again. >> you had strong words in this book, and yet we looked at your voting record an at this point you vote more with the president than even some others in the senate who have taken the president on. according to our account, here 93.5% of the time you have voted with the president. is there a point where you're now -- you will vote potentially against your own ideological interests in order to send a message to republican leadership, in order to send a message to president trump? i guess the question is, when does character trump ideology for you? >> well, what we've don in the senate so far in the first six months of any presidency, we're in the personnel business and all we're doing really is approving the president's cabinet picks, justices. the president named the great supreme court justice. i was glad to support him in that. regulatory policy. i think he's on the right track. i think tax reform, he has good instincts there. i'll probably be with him.
but on many things like trade i expect to vote against the president and i'll stand up just like i did when president bush was there, i voted against no child left behind and the prescription drug benefit, but i was with him on most things. i think i'll do the same here. i'll vote with the president when i believe he's right and vote against him when i think he's wrong. >> okay. the tone you're taking here doesn't sound like the man who wrote this book. the man who wrote this book sounds like you feel as if there's a sense of urgency here. things are so broke en in the conservative movement we can't stand pat anymore. but you sound like you're figuring out how to tiptoe around this still. is there a point where you're not tiptoeing? >> let me just say that during the voting, we haven't voted on much where you could distinguish yourself from the direction the president is going. having said that, some of the executive orders that he's taken, for example, on the muslim ban, well, it was a muslim ban during the campaign, what became the travel ban, i very much spoke up against that.
i don't think that's what's going on around the country's in our national security interest. i don't think that's the direction to go. the immigration proposal that was put forward last week, i think it's fine to move to a point system. we did that in the bipartisan bill that we did in the senate. but you can't cut immigration, legal immigration, in half and so i'll stand up against that. and the behavior in the white house as well. i mean, referring to our colleagues across the aisle as losers or clowns is just not the direction to go if we are going to solve the problems in a conservative way that we nood to. so i'll stand up every time to the president when he's doing things that i don't think he should be doing, but in terms of votes, we haven't had that many other than personnel to distinguish ourselves either way. >> how do you fix the senate, though? it's a very leadership-driven operation. both parties have accepted this premise that the rank and file are not to decide where legislation goes, only the leadership. part of your book indicts that
leadership. how should mitch mcconnell respond to your book? >> well, i think that we realize the limits of what we can do, you know, with one party, with just republican votes. and i'm not faulting mitch mcconnell at all. he is a tough job. but i do think that we're going the sit down across the aisle with our colleagues and fix these things. if we're going the fix the big things that we nood eed to fix particular our debt and deficit, that has to be done with republicans and democrats. there's no way one party will take the risk. that's what is so broken about our politics is we just can't get together on the big things and as conservatives we simply can't enact conservative policy if we continue these tactics. i'm going to have to leave it there. we'll discuss the lost middle in american politics up next when we dptget a chance. senator jeff flake, thanks for coming on. appreciate it. >> thank you. up next, we're going the
look at how the divisions within the gop are handcuffing and frustrating the president right now, especially when it comes to his favorite topic, russia. and later, we'll look at the troubles the democrats are face with california governor jerry brown. and as we go to break throughout the show, you'll see some trends and statistics about how our politics has changed in the last generation. first up, simply how the red-blue map has evolved in the last 40 years from '76 to '16. ♪ (music plays throughout) ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> did that actually get -- >> i know, sometimes you're like -- um, i am struck by senator flake's, it's a two-pronged attack on the party, trump's character, conservatism, what should -- what are you gleaning from this? >> well, what i'm gleaning from this. let's keep this very real. okay. we focus an awful lot on politicians and what are politicians doings, but, there's the people. and i live in the middle of trump country. my precinct went for trump by about 72%, what i can tell you, there is a market for what trump is selling. >> uh-huh. >> and we cannot ignore and can't focus complete oi on washington. what we are overrun is negative polarization. this is what the pew foundation has measured. people are supporting republicans not because of what they stand for, but because there's so much hostility to democrats. and that's, that's what it's about. it's about fighting, fighting we can fighting.
>> it's funny you say that. listen to mitch mcconnell, we have audio, fancy farm pick mic, here's his explanation for the upside of not getting health care done, take a listen. >> even on the night we came up one vote short of our grand reveal to replace obamacare. feel better, hillary clinton could be president. >> talk about just underscoring david's point right there, dan. >> and it's, you saw that with president trump this weekend in west virginia. the same kind of message. it's an antianti message. there's little that either side frankly has put up positively since trump was elected president and before that. i don't think that we know this didn't start with donald trump, this condition that we're in, but that, that is what's driving. if you look at the statistics on how people feel about their own party over the last 25 years, it's basically the same. they feel as good about their
party as they did 20 or 25 years ago. when you look at how they feel about the opposition party, that line has gone straight down. >> wait until you see a marriage stat i'm going to show people when it comes to marrying of the opposite political party. i guess the question is when the republican's party trump or the fact that they, they don't know what the definition of conservative is right now? >> i think it's a combination. it's partly because they have this republican president who is not really a republican and not really a conservative. and, what jeff flake was talking about is that he voted against prescription drugs, he voted against the george w. bush proposals that busted the budget in his view. he views himself as a real conservative. he's making a distinction between conservatism and populism, and i think that's a good conversation to have for republicans as well as democrats. what you're seeing, david, in your precinct and elsewhere and certainly in west virginia which is ground zero of trump country, is, anger against elites. people feeling that they've been passed over, anger, you know,
you see the state, the stats on anger against league colleges, even among those college-educated. extraordinary. so it's anger against all of us, the media, as well, and trump has just tapped into that. and i really appreciated that jeff flake said the locker up, those cries at the republican convention by michael flynn no less, the call and response was really a nayier of -- what i view as the republican party. >> she referenced a stat here i want to put it up here on this issue, anti-intellectual streak, 58% of republicans believe colleges and universities have a negative effect on the way things are going in this country. that is a -- i mean, it was a startling, wait a minute, i thought we all agreed college is good. we can have a debate about openness in ideologies at universities, but when did we go all the way there?
>> well, i think you really have to sort of follow the threat of this narrative. you know, republican strategist began to really recognize how much more highly educated folks were trending towards being more liberal. and we can talk about why that might be, republicans would say it's a nefarious liberal bias on liberal campuses, it's the more than you study the history and the world, you understand how we've fallen short and you want to tend to work more veraciously towards those goals, but if you look at right-wing media. a narrative has taken root, it's like the liberal outrage campus of the day. and that's why that's coming from. there's been a spotlight, a distortion of the news of what is coming out of college campuses, it's very clear, you start to see it pop breitbart and fox news and then it moves into the republican voter. >> you were just telling me a story of somebody accusing you of being in your ivory tower and
it was a republican with a pen initiation. >> i was talking about character and politics and ivy league lawsuit conservative student told me a i was an ivory tower -- >> that's the right wing talking point now. >> and you're an iraq war veteran. >> but i will say this about the college and university piece, and i'm sure we'll get to this later. nobody made up the berkeley riots, nobody made up the attacks on, you know, on charles murray at middle berry, the craziness at evergreen state college. these things are actually happening. and they do really cast -- >> actually happening, but also young people who are first generation college students are going to college and having more opportunities than they ever would have had, but the right wing media is focussing on making a national story out of a speaker coming to campus. >> and free speech -- >> it's a distortion. >> throughout the ivory league and elsewhere, and the elite
schools, there are free speech mandates really to permit these speakers. it is as heather points out, just the sort of outliers who get focus -- >> i want to go back to the issue, if this were simply a debate about conservatism versus populism, it would be one thing, but it's trump's character, dan, that frankly complicates the debate for the right. >> well, it does, although, i think there's two problems with the pregame party has, and two different debates that they're having. there's the debate that was o during pre-donald trump which was, in a sense kind of a ted cruz view of the world versus the marco rubio view of the world. do we need a hard line conservative to carry our banner or do we need to have something that someone who reaches out and expands the coalition? that debate got smothered in 2016 my donald trump who brought in populism. now you have this multiple clash within the party. and trump's behavior, trump's style, trump's operating style,
changes the way a lot of people think about all of those aspects. >> i think that senator flake has done a great service, actually, to the debate. i think that what he's doing right now is extremely important, you know, he says, we, the republican party, created donald trump. i think that his diagnoses are spot on. i think his prescription about what to do about it is cosmetic. i mean, he says, you know, basically that donald trump is now a threat to republican, only the congress can save him. stop him, and then he just falls a little bit short. >> david, what should we do? what is it? that was -- you're still voting with him. is he a threat or not -- if your -- -- >> well, everyone sees a conservative, i view you praise him when he's wrong, critique him with he's wrong, but you make the overall larger critique that something is very broken in the political culture and he's a big part of that. and so you can vote for lower tax rates, but don't lose sight of the bigger picture which
says, donald trump is doing something to american politic that is very, very negative. >> i'm going to have to make that the last thing. we're going to get into this. we have more time for all of you, i promise. coming up, the man who embodies many of the changes the democratic party has gone through over the last four decades. california governor jerry brown. (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything so we know how to cover almost anything. even a swing set standoff. and we covered it, july first, twenty-fifteen.
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welcome back. we've been diving into the fractures inside the republican party and we're going to look at those fractures that the democrats have next. but what about the folks in the middle? the disappearing center in american politics is as big of a crisis as we're seeing in the parties themselves. so how did we get here? we're going to start by looking at the red blue map of congressional districts after the 1998 midterms, the last congressional election of the 20th century. and as you'll see here, it looks like a fairly split map, if you will, fairly competitive, particularly on the east of the mississippi. and you see there in the border states, both lower midwest,
upper south, fairly competitive. now look at the changes in less than 20 years. when you move over to the 2016 congressional map, as you could see, the border states, lower, midwest, now solid republican, the northeast more democrat than it was before, so you have a couple of large districts throughout that make it seem otherwise, but you could see the democrats have become coastal and the republicans dominating the middle there from literally all the way across the country. so, let's look at two districts that tell you this story. swing districts started disappears with them. certain kind of congressman or congresswoman has sort of left the congress these days. let me explain. look in texas, second congressional district, long held by conservative democrats, blue dogs as they are described, in 1998 a democratic blue dog won the seat by 17 points. now, it's solidly in the red column. republican won last november by 25 points.
the reverse is true in connecticut's 4 north 1998, the more liberal new england republicans weren't the rare breeds that they are today. they won that seat by a whooping 39 points in 2016 though, a democrat won that same district, that same high, income suburban area in connecticut by 20 points a 60-point swing in less than two decades. so what does this mean? we no longer have any ideological middle ground in our politics. the diversity is gone out of both parties, again, look at the house of representatives. . 2002, 137 members fell in what was described as an ideological center according to national journal rankings meaning those members of congress had voting records in between the most conservative democrat and the most liberal republican. in 2013, that number was down to four, four members of congress falling in the so-called middle. this trend over the last 20 years has eliminated that within the parties and left sen trysts
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anymore of being a democrat governor. >> west virginia governor jim justice's high profile party switch this week raised questions about whether democrats can survive in trump country. and if they're against trump, it's not so clear what the democrats are for. they are buoyed by anger and activism with liberals and the cultural left fighting the economic left. over more than four decades. governor jerry brown reinvented himself as a populist. california liberal who sometimes is a fiscal conservative. joining me now is the democratic governor of california, jerry brown, governor brown, welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> thank, i've been doing this a long time. >> i know you have. we like having you as a guest. this week the ranks of democratic governors shrunk by one, jim justice publicly switched parties. did so at a big event with the president.
the numbers are stark, down to 15 governors for the democrats, 34 for the republicans, how do the democrats get into that mess? >> number of factors. certainly the republicans had something to do with it. the barrage, the relentless drum beat of opposition, it's been well-financed by the koch brothers, that's been relentless. the affordable care act was suddenly very new, that became a big problem. and i think also just the historic turn when lyndon johnson won over goldwater. people were writing, and i read it at the time, that the republican party was gone. and then it comes back, and the democratic party comes back. so the nature of our business is that swing of the pendulum, and it's definitely already swinging
back toward a non-republican kind of future. >> you just outlined some of this can be cyclical in nature. there was an interest surg va though conducted on behalf of house democrats, in this survey, it noted that there's a lot of work to do. there's a lot of distrust, if you will, from these white working class voters who were democrats 20 years ago, 30 years ago, and do not trust the democrats even on the economy now. how did that happen? >> it happened because the global economy is changing, america is losing manufacturing jobs, both to foreign countries, but also to technology, automation, innovation, and all of that. so we're going through a real transition, if we're looking at democratic countries around the world, south korea or brazil or in europe, there's a lot of discontent. in america, college education is going from essentially free to now we have a trillion dollars
of debt. home prices are out of the reach of many people, and jobs downward mobility, insecurity, and all the rest of it. this is a global phenomenon, and democrats have been the champion of working people, and they haven't been able to deliver in face of these global trends, and yes, you'd have to say the leadership has not been clever enough. or strong enough or perhaps visionary enough. >> and you mentioned about how you thought maybe the national democratic leadership hasn't been clever enough, perhaps either on the economic issue or -- >> or vision -- or visionary enough. i don't to want make the point, because it isn't true, clever, it takes values, believing in right and wrong, in a sense of what america's all about, and it takes a certain vision, how the hell do we get out of this and some political skill at the same time. >> one of the reasons why i wanted you on the show to talk about this specifically is
because you've seen so many of these moments inside the democratic party, some would argue, you've symbolized them, i'm going to play clips from two different announcement speeches of yours, one is for president in 1992 and one is for governor in 2010. take a listen. and i want to talk about it on the other side. >> our democracy has been the object of a hostile takeover, engineered bacon fed ra si of corruption, careerism, and campaign consultants. the leaders of washington's incumbent party, both democrats and republicans have failed their duty. republicans and democrats, oil companies and environmentalists, unions and businesses, we need to work together as californians first. >> you could look at that and say, boy, first jerry brown sounded like bernie sanders, second jerry brown sounded master's degree like hillary clinton to put it in 2016 context. what's your take of the two differents between the jerry brown announcement speeches there? >> by the way, you're wrong,
they fit perfectly together. the first one is calling attention to the bankruptcy of washington which we're now talking about. the second one is saying okay, the solution to that bankruptcy is leadership can work together across party lines, across the various interest groups. so, one is the problem, and the other is the solution. >> there you have the rub. and i say this because what do you do -- how do you tell the democratic base that says, look, sometimes you've got to compromise. so for instance, the issue of abortion. we talked about culture. you've got some inside the democratic party, some major democratic leaders from a senator in new york to others who think, the democratic party should not support democrats who are not pro-choice on abortion. but you have people like nancy pelosi and chuck schumer who say you know what, the democrats need to be a big ten, how do you tell the democratic base to compromise? >> well first of all, i don't know who the democratic base is. it's shifted.
the democratic -- the segments of our party are highly differentiated. their environmentalists, they are gun owners, there are pro choice people, there are religious, fundamentalists, not many, but they're there. even on the abortion issue, it wasn't very long ago that a number of catholic democrats were opposed to abortion. so the fact that somebody believes today what most people believed 50 years ago should not be the basis for their exclusion. and in america, we're not id logical. we're not like a marksist party in 1910. we are big ten by the very definition. we're not id logical in the european sense of what political parties used to be. even in europe now, they don't have that same id logical purity. america is not one place, you can't let hot button issues that work great in particular congressional districts one way or the other to be the guiding,
the guiding light for a national party that covers a very wide spectrum of belief. >> so you don't believe there should be a lit mist test on abortion -- is there an issue there should be one on for the democrats? >> well the lit mist test should be intelligence, caring about as harry truman the common man. we're not going to get everybody on board. and i'm sorry, but running in san francisco is not like running in modock california, much less moe beel, alabama, if we want to be gavining party of a very diverse, and i say diverse id logically as well as et anically country, then you have to have a broader, a party that rises above the more particular issues to the generic. the general issue of making america great if i might take that word. >> going into the 2018 midterms,
somebody whose been close to you far long time, nancy pelosi, i believe was your maryland state chair back in the day. >> she was. >> when you ran for president for the first time. >> that was -- i by the way, that was the high mark, it's been downhill ever since. >> fair enough. her image, her unpopularity was among the reason why is democrats, some democrats believe they lost that georgia special election that was very high profile at the time, she is very high number. there are some house democrats that say, you know what, she is too much -- she's too much weight to carry for -- in order to win back the house of republicans will be able to successfully use her against democrats. what's your advice to nancy pelosi and how to deal with this? >> well, i'd say, you have to recruit better candidates. i always hold the candidate responsible. so if some candidate doesn't win, don't blame it all on somebody else. like nancy pelosi, she's -- i know her very well. she's really dedicated.
she works very hard for this party. and the answer is, you've got to get good candidates. and as a candidate when you're running in a republican district, if you're a democrat, you better be extraordinary. and you have to relate to a very different kind of constituency that we have here in san francisco or in new york city. so, i don't put -- i think nancy pelosi has a lot of assets. is she perfect? no, am i perfect? no, and you aren't. we all have our imperfections, if you add up pluses and minuses, i think nancy pelosi is a major pillar of the democratic party and the answer is, not to try to replace her with somebody, but to make sure the candidates represent and can empathize and be a part of the district they're running in. >> your term runs out at the end of the next year, you don't sound like somebody who's done in politics. >> i have a lot to say, a lot of to learn, and a lot to collaborate with. and i'll keep doing that. i'm going back to the ranch, like ancient rome, saved the republican and then went back to
the plow. i'll be on my plow, you can find me there. >> never say never on running for office again? >> never say never. that is a true statement. >> fair enough. jerry brown, thanks for coming on. always a pleasure. >> okay. thank you. we'll be back after the break with end game. we know our politics are broken, so, are there some realistic solutions? when you have allergies,
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all right. heather, you get to the start on this one. this is your side of the umbrella here. it was interesting to watch jerry brown, he has straddled. this fight, and i think you always articulate this well. basically the social justice wing of the party versus the economic wing and while i know you'll make an argument that you can do two together, there is a split here, isn't there? >> i think there has been a split, and it's really driven by consultants. it's really driven by this desire to sort of microtarget an audience rather than give a unified message. and i think the key thing to watch here is the millennial generation and younger who are going to be 90 million strong in the 2020 election, who more than anyone are looking -- are feeling like they inherited we,
like a millennial grandmother here, inherited an economy that is completely broken of politics, which is broken -- people are looking for a populism, but a multiracial populism. candidates who say, i'm willing to take on the wealthy and powerful and also, i'm not willing to let the wealthy and powerful divide us from each other, so that they can have the spoils of our great nation. and that is actually, i think, the message that unites identity and class because we've seen frankly the right wing in one breath talk about what's wrong with the economy and scapegoat people of color and immigrants, and i think progressives really need to similarly understand how to weave those messages together. >> the or versus the and. >> uh-huh. >> democrats have struggled with figuring out an and message. >> i think what you have articulated is the ideal, i think a the real at this point is that the democrats are still a long way from there. i think democrats are still trying to figure out exactly who they want to appeal to, do they
appeal to the rising generation? do they appeal to white working class? they haven't figured out an overall message. i mean, as governor brown said, you havele to rise above certain individual issues to have a larger vision. and i think that's what's been missing in the democrats. >> sorry, andrea, democrats unveiled sometngs like a lifetie ten days ago, that was saying you know what, we are from, you know, they actually schumer was able to get every democrat in the senate on an agenda, that's a relatively populist economic agenda. this better deal saying we're willing to take on corporations and create a better deal for workers with higher wages, better trade policies, more benefits, that was a huge step forward. i mean, i remember being in washington and trying to convince the democratic party to support big reforms on the affordability of college and it was -- the answer was we to want tweak interest rates. >> well it is though, they've responded to trump. jerry their response to trump.
brown, governor brown is on to something when he says the democrats have to be visionary, even in better deal, i don't think see anything that's visionary, it's a throwback to fdr and it goes so far back. we're not looking forward as a nation, republican or democratic parties to be more visionary, to more inclusive in a really profound way. he's talking about it as the leader of a very diverse state who has evolved so much since i first covered him in the '80s and '90s when he was first running for president and had a much narrower view. he said you're wrong, chuck, there is no difference. there really is dangerous. >> he's evolved from -- >> successful politicians do. >> and if i could jump in here, look, as a conservative, i live in tennessee now. i've lived in minnesota, cam bridge, massachusetts, and center city, philly. here's something that progressives have to work on. and it's one word, intolerance, at the grassroots of the progressive movement, there is
an enormous a. intolerance for id logical difference. it's not just my 80% friend is my 80% friend, it's my 80% friend is my 1,000% enemy and monstrous human being. you see that an awful lot on college campuses to go back to what we talked about. you see this on the ground in progressive urban centers. there's a huge amount of intolerance, and people around the country see this, and reject it. they're repulsed by it. >> but one of the things that really strikes me when we talk about college campuses and millennials is the the sort of tuning out of politics, elected politics, and it gets back to what i think we really need to see in both parties, is focussing on legislatures and governors and thinking, and not being afraid of being purged from the rolls, and that is a very effective strategy by, you know, the extreme of the right wing right now is trying to claim that there was election fraud and taking this fake commission and making it into a
real fear factor for people who won't tip their toes into elected politics. >> i want to pivot to we've been talking about the problems. let's try to get some solutions. there are some structural issues here. as we said at the top of the broadcast, many reasons for the broken current politics, you could stay started with gerrymandering to to help the party, then it became more precise as technology made it easier to draw the perfect political map, then legislation designed for representation actually you could say accelerated political segregation. why they help the gop take the house in '94 for the first anytime 40 years. and yet, all of those white voters meant they haven't learned how to talk to minority voters. then mccain fine gold was toezed to take money out of politics and it shifted the money to interest groups and political parties lost control of the party and the interest groups have more personal knowledging power. the point is dan balz, there isn't one answer people will
say, it's better districts, it's this, it's that. we are in technology has messed us up. there's an entire structure of our politics that no longer persuades. all of it led to we do not try to persuade and win, we try to find people to agree with us in order to win an election. >> this is not a solution, but in one way or another, if you eliminated many of the committees like. democratic and republican campaign committees from the face of the map, you might begin to get a different dialogue in terms of campaign. so, the industry of politics over the time aye been in washington, which is a long time now, has grown and grown and grown, there was a full-time industry -- >> it's an industry. the fact that it's an industry. >> it's an industry designed to demonize and destroy the opposition as opposed to talking about what we were talking about which is providing a more visionary or more -- >> money is the root of that. mccain-finegold was part of it.
>> it's not all money. >> industries are based on finance. >> here's what we're spiraling toward. i'm going to end with this, 2040, this self-segregation that was started with gerrymandering, 70% of the country is going to be represented by 30 senators. >> astounding. >> if we continue to have a geographic split in this country that goes along party lines, that is a disaster in the making, is it not? >> yeah, i mean, i've categorized it this way. we're heading for a national divorce. not any time soon, but the trends are we're separating from each other and we don't like each other, and we don't watch what each other watches on television, increase dpli, we don't even watch the same sports except for the super bowl. i mean -- we're beginning to self-segregate, and then also, we're losing that sense of individual responsibility that says i'm in primary control of my life -- >> no, blame somebody else. >> yeah. well, it's the politicians, they're going toheather, your r?
>> what is a big solution that could change and fix our broken politics. i think we have to realize that democracy is a pretty radical idea that each generation has to recommit to. and that fundamentally the system of our democracy is not working, that is, you know, we need deep money in politics reforms and we need universal automatic voter registration. we need everybody in. and then that point of are we a demos? the people of a nation. are we a people who feel like we are united by a shared fate. and that has to do with the discourse. >> i will end it there, what a great discussion. you guys did your job on this. thank you. that's all we have for today. we'll be back next week, as you know, if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
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