Harry Reid & John Boehner in Las Vegas, Plus Steve Kornacki runs through Biden by the numbers, and the real cost of impeachment

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

It's Wednesday April twenty fourth good afternoon from New York City. I'm Chuck Todd. And this is the Chuck Todd cast today, we've got a very special show for you special force. But this one a little extra show. My interview with former Senate majority leader, Harry Reid and former speaker of the house John bainer together all three of his appeared on stage in an event for the MGM public policy institute at the university of Nevada Las Vegas UNLV. And I'm going to share a little bit of that conversation with you. But that was open to the public and press before the public event, the three of sat down for a private podcast recording share with you that conversation a little later in the show as well before we had out west today show, the Joe Biden candidacy is a foot and impeachment is the talk of the town. I'm here with Steve Kornacki, you know, him as the man at the big board or expert on voting patterns, historical, trends precinct level that on election night. Steve also regularly fills in for me, especially this week on meet the press daily, Steve. Thanks for taking care of the ship. This week, brother. I hope I'm not scaring away too much of the audience. But thank you for let me do it probably going great. That that Chuck Todd's not there. I'm teasing. I'm gonna start. It's funny. You and I are both known to be numbers people to the outside world. Somebody throw a few numbers at you. When we talk about Joe, Biden thirty two years, it's been thirty two. It was thirty two years ago. I time he ran for president. And I'm a throw another number at you. And that's forty seven years. It was forty seven years ago that he got elected United States Senate. I'm obsessed with those two numbers for reason. Steve number one. I was born in the year. He was elected Senate, and I don't feel like I'm young anymore. They'll feel old but as forty seven, and I started professionally covering politics in the ninety two campaign that eight a lot about eighty eight as you. I can't think of another successful president that has had. I was trying to think of think about it. If we just started with the thirty. Thirty two years between runs for president. Now y-, you know, between a first and last Harold Stassen is all I could come up with Henry clay. Yeah. Okay. And a good one. I mean. Yeah. And we were really directly electing presidents than I mean, that's I don't know the Joe Biden wants to be compared to go, and you you can use thirty two years you could use. He thought about getting in nineteen eighty you know, he signed the paperwork in eighty four for New Hampshire primary. He thought about it. I mean at forty years when your ears nited States Senate about a month before you're eligible, actually, hold the office. Yeah, you're probably want to you got along in the United States. Yeah. So there's no. And I found this week the I love going through the archives. The best thing about working here for me is they give me access to the NBC news archives. And I found the the Cambodia report from Joe Biden's, nineteen eighty-seven declaration, first of all. If we go down to Cambodia tangent will hate us a love the man anyway go, and he in this this is June eighty seven Biden getting in the eight race, and he talks about we're not going to move forward as a country unless we return to lessons from my youth. And he's talking about the John F Kennedy era, and he was running in eighty eight on this. The idea was to rekindle the Kennedy spirit, and this could be this could be a twenty. I, you know, my entire formative years I feel like as I paid attention to politics as a kid. My dad was an obsessed political junkie. If I like, the the Democratic Party has been obsessed with finding the air to JFK or RFK it to this day. I think about it. We still does a democratic cycle happen has not happened in my lifetime. Where somebody hasn't said. Now, at least we've shifted from JFK RFK, I've noticed the last two cycles few more RFK references than JFK. It is amazing to me that that that the DNA the Democratic Party has still has this like. Obsession of the Kennedy theories. Although I think there's some of it is chain some of shifting to a Bama. You know, in a different way. But I think that's the you know, when I when I heard Biden come out and talk, you know, a couple of weeks ago. I guess it is now that used to that term. I'm bide Obama, Biden democrat it didn't go off the tongue I acted up to. And I thought great line. I think well, it's it was a survey. I think it was Harvard Harris did a survey a couple months ago, and they gave democratic voters said put yourself in a category, and we're gonna throw like twelve different categories at you in pick. I think they said pick like two that fit and democratic socialist got like four percent socialist. I think to progressive, you know, now, you're getting into double digits. The top choice, though, was Obama democrat. Did they ask Clinton democrat? Yeah. Clint democrat was like five percent. Remember when that was a supposedly net. Oh, yeah. Right. As well. You know, what what's been fascinated me about what Biden does is sort of? How does? Every candidacy needs a foil. Obviously Trump's the easiest foil, but he can't just be running against Trump. Now, though, I would though the Trump made make that decision for him. How would you come out if you were biding to set yourself apart and make sure your candidacy doesn't immediately get past assize bit the way you and I are just doing it right now thirty two years from this forty-seven year that like that is something what does he should do come out of the gate that tries to at least mitigate that focus on the past. I I'm wondering that's why the Obama line just just jumped out at me. It's the past. But it's the it's the recent past and its its positive memories for Democrats. It's we can win elections. You know, it's we win a national majority in Brock Obama twice. Breaking fifty percent of the vote. Yeah. I I wonder if that if even if it's not I think it's he doesn't have to say a word about it. But it's just always there, Joe Biden, the 2016 map, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. And here's the guy from Scranton. And do you really think he's gonna knock get those seventy seven thousand votes back? You know, one of my obsessions this. As a assesses primaries. Trying to figure out is anybody going to try to take on Sanders or are they going to try to let him or you know, what in and what's interesting to me is that I as I've gotten to that the operatives that are putting together these campaign plans, the real split inside the inside the operative community in the Democratic Party of whether Bernie is I is his twenty percent strong. Or is this twenty percent week? You know, everybody agrees he has somewhere around twenty. Yeah. And and there are those that think will twenties the ceiling, and there are those that worry that thirties the sailing. Right. So there's that debate where do you fall on this? Yeah. I mean, I think that I tend to suspect that I put it this way. My in beautiful thing about these campaigns. We put him out and we find out if we're right or wrong. My theory on Sanders is that he is probably more Democrats second choice or potential second choice acceptable. Second choice than we've than we've been thinking. I'm with you. I think people don't realize how acceptable he's began to democrat. Yeah. I mean, there's a bit of I'm surprised people hate the analogy. And I'm not at the Trump Sanders. I say it from this standpoint from two standpoints one right there. You put it out there like is this healing twenty. Or is it thirty maybe becomes thirty. Or is it and we had we went, right? I remember to guest ticket the thirty actually he'll get to fifty when he's beaten everybody. And that's I remember I remember being assured that the ceiling on Trump was ten, you know, and it was and then you found out when it when it as the field winnowed, and it and you start to look where is he actually vulnerable? And you know, you could point to you could always point to character. You could always point. But what issues was he really vulnerable on their ended up there weren't that many? And if you look at where the Democratic Party is right now, and we're Sanders has been. Yeah. There isn't as much daylight there. I say it that way because I have heard and. Camp and many of the campaign operatives that I've talked to have have come to the same similar conclusion. Which is the only democrat that has the standing and could probably withstand the negative reaction to take taking Sanders on that would gum is by. And that Biden's the best thing that Biden, the smartest thing for Biden to do is try to make this a two person race. Yeah. And actually elevate Bernie immediately make Bernie of the foil. That's why was this is my long. Yeah. Getting to this. And the theory is this. If Biden, you know, there's a lot of, you know, the comma Harris campaign Beto Buddha to they're all accounting on Biden, just doing nothing, but a slow sink. Right. Well, the way you prevent the sink is if you suck up all the oxygen Biden versus Sanders on the direction of the Democratic Party. If he lays it out immediately the choice. I don't know what that is. But I'm no socialist. I'm nobody Biden Obama Biden see what I mean. Yeah. It's hard to say about about. It's an Obama democrat. I think that's what we're gonna handle by. Hey there. That's. That's. Yeah. That that actually could be a way to freshen by up, and then go ahead and take punches from Sanders. It would be healthy. It's interesting, although I did see this morning Buddha. Judge took a shot at Sanders and say, he's electable. So there was or too hard time seeing that coalition. I'm glad you. It is interesting finish your thought there when I triggered something. I'm curious. I think the the quick version of it is just what you're saying is interesting, and I I think that could be a smart strategy. I wonder though, if there's a limit to its effectiveness just in that if you've got the seventy seven year old guy in the seventy eight year old guy, if just political gravity or whatever you wanna call. It is going to create room for Buddha. Judge four comma Harris and for others. Okay. Let me counterpoint you. If age is an issue, then making your other foil, Bernie, right? Then you you knew neutralizes the issue. Yeah. So that is an asset of cre-. You're you're able to emphasize your best asset, and you're able to de-emphasized your worst asset which is your, and it's the interesting thing too is just given their age. There's actually a huge divide in the polling on h fifty plus Biden under fifty Sanders, and it's. Massive, you know, difference you brought up something with Bhutto. And I thought it was interesting. The the reminder that Sanders has this interesting Teflon that is again, and you're right. When you compare to Trump Bernie, people go bonkers, but he has Teflon like Trump what other democratic candidate could have gone out there and said that the Boston marathon bombers should be able to vote and not get blowback. He's not getting the blow who's getting the blowback common getting the blowback. I mean, are you kidding me? And what an interesting moment, I told you a couple of things the way immediately said no got such snivel instincts. And he's thinking the long game. And it to me expose a little something comma here, I think he did I suppose a couple of things it's not the first time she's had one of these kind of cleanup moments. Secondly, I think there it seemed to me there's a response to Sanders there. There's a sense that this may be on her part. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. But a sense that maybe this guy's got his finger on the pulse of sort of. Where the heart of the Democratic Party is right now or or something where she wants to go. Yeah. Feeling that he's there in an answer. Like that is there, and so it's not safe to immediately say no to it and then wash the reaction Buddha, judge and say, maybe I should be sort of that. I it it to me. It's funny. It did say to me a lot about comma, Harris. And I and I think come ahead Beto Rourke r-. They're both in this good launches. And they're looking for the next good story. And they haven't found it yet. Yeah. And look this is going to be a long campaign, but it's been fascinating to watch them both sort of grasp for a quicker second actor, and I'm wondering I mean, the the big question about I think the story with them relates to Buddha judge in the question with judges is this a democratic version of one of those bubbles you saw on the Republican. I remember twenty twelve when for a few months, it was Herman Cain. And it was Rick Perry. And it was Gingrich. I is a version of that right where he's gonna fade out because he's he's attracting when you look at Buddha. Edges base right now. It's so demographically specific so demographically, concentrated oh. Yeah. Bill, Bradley policy. But it was also Barack Obama who was able to add on African Americans with with those with these upper-crust boy. Yeah. But Buddha judge has the outside of Blaine to right? And that's what's going to be interesting. That's how he could turn it into something if he could grab that too. Yeah. I think ultimately, look I could see a state like I awoke and especially Buddha. Judges state like New Hampshire seems tailor-made for him. I mean what he's Gary Hart poll song? But then go down to South Carolina. Tell me how he does there. Tell me how he doesn't Super Tuesday. And I just I he may need a scenario where you've got you know, it almost almost media scenario like nineteen eighty four there's heart Mondale Jesse Jackson, you if a candidate gets the black vote if a candidate like Biden comes along against that kind of old school liberal. And then there's a, you know. Yeah. I'm of the look if we don't have a contested convention this time, we're never having. Yeah. Yeah. It's never been better more candidates and the in the primaries being so early. I don't think there's time to to to there's some people say the the fast calendar means someone can roll off a whole bunch of wins. But the fast calendar might actually give everybody something if it's not winnowed enough by the time you hit that. All right. I wanna pivot here a little bit too impeachment. I was out in Vegas. Harry reid. This Harry Reid in John bainer are doing their. Hey, we got John bainer to be his cO chair for. It's fascinating to guys that I never thought really got along. Yeah. When they were in congress. They swear to me they did better than you realize that they politics. The public politics kept things away. What was interesting was sort of a whole bunch of people from Harry Reid's past were there. Whether it was a to Obama chiefs of staff were there. Denis McDonough and Rahm Emanuel. There was a Frank Farren coffin Grogan sort of old time Republicans you'd bainer in. So there was a lot of talk and a lot of chatter about impeachment and a lot of chatter about the politics of impeachment. And I reminded I told people that after Sunday after the show I got an Email from Tom Davis. Tom Davis Republic, former Republican congressman who you you. And I both like the guy because he's such a junkie. The way he likes counties, the guy can tell you county results of presidential elections that go back to the fifties. And he sent me a note to remind me says, yes, the politics of impeachment were not good for the Republican party in nineteen ninety eight. He says, but I promise you, George W Bush's is elected president without it. And I mentioned this to a bunch of these. And I I don't I don't wanna say who said what to me throughout the names. And I mentioned this and one of the people jumped on and said, you know, there's a lot of truth to that the long-term messaging that the Republicans gained on the Clinton brand in general and on character paid dividends throughout the first decade of the twentieth century, and it's something Democrats think about what do you make of that? So my take on it is let's let's plug your book, man. I mean, you're oh, you this is your wheelhouse. I'm not just asking you. You're Steve Kornak, sir. Ninety the book because of the night spent the last I spent the last two years living in the ninety plug here. Get my. Make at the name. Right. I gotta get because everybody's gotta have it the red and the blue in the nineteen nineties and the birth of political. You know? What say you? Yeah. Listen, obviously, the the nineties being the decade, we became red and blue impeachment is a big part of that the it's it's a nuanced thing. And I think people people forget some of the the dates and the timetable on how it all played out. But it was early nineteen ninety nine right after the ninety eight midterm the impeachment took place in December ninety eight the trial took place in the Senate and was over by February nineteen ninety nine elections took place in November, right? The message had been sent we don't lie right country like this and Republicans ploughed on and they were forced by their base. It was the base that forced them into it. And and it was there was a recognition a general recognition among sort of the professional Republican political class that this was a politically bad thing to be doing. But they had to do it in the idea was get it over with and then move the two thousand and that was part of the impetus for George W Bush becoming the early consensus candidate was get the heck away from the Washington party. They didn't want any Russian and right all the governor's lined up with Bush all the donors. Forty million dollar second quarter in nineteen ninety nine all that stuff. The idea that okay by pushing impeachment. You really a made this a major topic? You really drove it home to people in a year and a half later what they took from it was Clinton bad. Let's move on. The reason I don't buy that impeachment was essential to it was I think the scandal. I think the scandal itself was probably essential to George W Bush winning in two thousand and I think that if Republicans had remember what the George W Bush tagline was I'm gonna restore honor Taggart into the white out. Yep. He was not running against Al Gore. That's right. He was. Yes. And it was the huge disconnect. You can find poll polls. Multiple polls probably our own from the days before the two thousand election. Ask people what's your personal opinion of Bill Clinton thirty percent, favorable sixty five percent, unfavorable what's your opinion of Bill Clinton's job performance, sixty five approve thirty percent disapprove. So that was that was the big question too in Bush was going after that personal disapprove, my point is I personal disapprove was going to be thirty sixty five weather. There was an impeachment move or not. I think for publicans had taken the hit. They took in the November midterms in ninety eight and said, okay, we're not doing impeachment. We are going to do a sensor that Bush still is able to do the same. I think people. Still think Clinton is a lousy person. I mean, you pose we found this summer about Donald Trump. I remember I forgot which poll this was, but it is Donald Trump a role model for children. It was like twenty one percent said, yes or something. I remember because this came up in the research for the book before impeachment ever happened Clinton had the same number. This is in the summer of nineteen ninety eight. So I think that was there. I think the line was there for Bush to run against that. And I I don't think they needed impeachment. But obviously will never know. Well, it's going to be a fascinating debate. And I think that there is. There is there's tricky politics here on both ends the long term consequence of the party saying we're gonna hold people accountable f- unless it's too politically difficult that is going to bite them someday. Right. If they if that is that is the perception of what happens, but the short term negative are there too. And and Trump is done a good job of brain in the same way the Clintons created a narrative post ninety eight of saying the country's rejecting this. Yeah. They helped feed this narrative the same Trump's trying to say, oh, this is over we're done. It's actually very similar very much out of the same playbook. I I guess the debate is do Democrats have to continue to remind the public of his fitness the way Republicans chose to do that with Clinton. I I guess this is one two were this. Maybe there's a bit of a similarity here with with Clinton in that the conduct that got Bill Clinton in trouble was shocking. Not shocking people Bill Clinton came to the presidency. The first modern candidates survive a campaign scandal about an extra marital affair, Jennifer flowers in ninety two. There were also it was a running joke before anybody heard of Monica Lewinsky, the Bill Clinton was a dog. I mean, you watch late night television in the nineties. This was every Letterman top ten list, then the Lewinsky scandal hits in it's shocking allow Oval Office intern. But it's also Bill Clinton. There was a bit of that. And I look at Trump right now, I remember our exit polls from twenty sixteen is Donald Trump fit to be president. You had probably one in five Trump voters Trump voters thing. No is he honest one five from vote. Are saying no overwhelming majority of the public saying though, so I measure the the revelations from the mullahs report can measured against a past president and say, holy potatoes. You can measure it against those election day, ask expectations Trump and say does this actually shock people. You know, and that and that may be why it a lot of this will depend on the type of candidate the Democrats end up nominating. Yeah. Whether they can pursue a values character election, or do they view is it a populist pocketbook election, and that will depend on which before I go I make everybody do this at the so far right now. I who's the fi I believe I never answer the question of who's the front runner the democratic nomination. I say I say I have I want to just say a final four. So give me a final four right now. Who would be in your final final four? I just could be very uninventive, Biden Sanders, Buddha, judge Harris. Yeah. I it. It seems. That that's the right. Four of those four. Do you think that both Biden Sanders stay in the top three for this entire calendar year? It just feels stay there. I feel Sanders. I feel I we were talking about twenty percent. I feel that twenty percent to start with is pretty solid through this year. Let me ask it this way of the four. Yeah. Who you most confident will be there a year from now in that same final four, I would say Sanders number one bide in number two. I'm going to say Harris number. I think the thing with Harris is there's going to be a lot of it's going to be a little bit like Obama in aid in that. Can she viable heading into South Carolina? And what happens then, you know, the interesting debate among those working for comma Harris is the issue of Iowa. Yeah. How good does she need to do? Right. I've had one person argue she can finish fifth. And I don't even think she can finish fourth. I think if it's fourth better be closer to being a tie for third show me the candidate that didn't look I it's people can say McCain. Oh, wait. But like McCain didn't compete Niwa. Right. Any came in at the end. And he's at the very end he exceeded the meagre expectations that were there enough to get a little bit of a slingshot the New Hampshire, and then got I by the comic and underperforming. New hampshire. Yeah. I don't think she could underperforming. I I think you gotta do something real and one of those first two states. Otherwise, you're gory date or we could get out for a long time. What a perfect week menu book more relevant than ever. I hope the the the buying. Get it. Right. The red and the blue the nineties and the birth of political tribalism, by the way, if you go back in nineteen forty seven archives. We did an awesome breakdown of the entire book. But this is so relevant to this moment that it is worth your time. Now, thank you. You're listening to the Chuck Todd cast from meet the press, we're gonna take a quick break. And we'll be back with my interview of Harry Reid and John bainer. Joining me or former Senate majority leader, Harry Reid and former speaker of the house, John bainer. So welcome to the podcast. This is a pairing. I don't know if I would have gotten you to shop together meet the press back in the day or you never know when I didn't do those shows. We're well aware. Under duress quick note for the list of recording this on a Monday. So if you're wondering how we ended up in Nevada with these two unlikely gentlemen, all three of us are on a panel tomorrow as part of the MGM public policy institute at the university of Las Vegas here in Nevada. And before we go up on stage and talk in front of our esteemed invited. Guests I figured the three of us would have intimate conversation because it's not like there's nothing happened in your old job. Let me ask this Harry Reid. I'll start with you. You you wish you were Nancy Pelosi today or not and the Old Testament talks about this time for planning kind for harvesting. That was my time in the Senate every minute of it. But no, I I watch everything I can try to understand it. But good luck to them. New magin what somebody said something to her recently. You got your own freedom caucus now. More power to them. I'm not have one moment of remorse regret about when I left or how I left and I try to keep up to date. What's going on? I read I tried never to turn on the TV. I just it's just too bizarre. John you'll remember though, the first call you got after you step now, I called you because people didn't realize John bainer, and Harry Reid had a great relationship Johnson boast about it his cockatoos for obvious reasons. But we were able to get things done. We did some good stuff the two of us. But we had a staff each of us that work hand in glove with each other. They really did good work. Well, it seems as if the one of the things that the two of you have is. I don't think you took things personally, but a bunch of people you've dealt with did and that would complicate things. But it seems as if you both figured out how not to take things personal. Well, no, it's a matter of respect. Harry had a tough job in a tough car because he knew I had a tough job top caucus. And so there was respect for each other and the roles that we played, but I think both of us understood that takes to Tango, nothing was gonna happen. Unless the two of us could figure it out love these sit back and look at a congress, I tell audiences this. It's a committee of five hundred thirty five people. Ever seen a committee of five hundred thirty five people in college anything. No. And so it's really important for the leaders to lead. Having watched the leaders before me really important for the leaders be able to work with each other and trust each other to grieve with each other. Well, it's funny. The trust have gotten to a point where you said they're five hundred thirty five people you have to get together. But my concern is that there are four people that lead and five hundred thirty one elected pundits. And secretaries of state. That's too. Yeah. But how do is there? Too much top down leadership. In congress. Well, I think that Jon would acknowledge this while the times we looked for help from our caucus, and it was sometimes hard to find because. We had to make decisions. And then after the decision was made we had to go talk to our caucus to what we'd done you. Don't get a round of approval before you have to make these tough decisions you have to make the decisions and try to bring you folks in with you. So people would rather criticize the lead because it's a lot easier. That's a lot easier. You'd be surprised at number times. In a we'd be leaders be leaning on a committee or committee, chairman to produce x Bill or why Bill? I just wouldn't do it. Most of hard. And so we move a Bill, and then we would get criticized removing outside of regular order was all nonsense. But it just comes with the territory. Is it just that? My look I one of my favorite ways to describe sort of how this has gone off the rails in the way. Congress works is in eighty when eighty six tax reform happened Bob Packwood, and Dan Rostenkowski just did it. They wouldn't you know? Sorry, Bob Dole Sar tip O'Neill, whether you like it or not they were going to do a deal. It seems like you can't get bipartisan by camel deals like that anymore because the the politics of the leadership fair, I don't I don't accept that. Okay. Maybe a lot of things aren't getting done. But that doesn't mean they couldn't get done when you look back at. John bainer. Now, John bainer work and got one of the most significant things done in the history of the country with education leave no child behind who. Do you do that within the Senate? Ted kennedy? Do they grew on much of anything most people thought not, but they were willing to take Bill that wasn't everything that they wanted by compromise. But they came up with something important for the country. I still think there's room to get that. All right in two thousand one though let me tell you this. I'm going to play devil's advocate here two thousand one two thousand two that was good politics for you and good politics for Ted Kennedy in two thousand nineteen. I fear. That's not good politics anymore. Even though it's the right thing to do. That's correct. I think. The leaders of both parties are being held hostage by the loudest voices in each party. It's been in your caucus cable television. This left holding the democrat leader far right holding the Republican leader sausage. And my goodness. If they were to try to work something out a kid. Imagine the Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi trying to work something out on immigration on immigration. I mean, I'm just trying to pick just get their heads taken off by their respective parties. And quickness, I'm wrong guys. I bet you McConnell and Pelosi are about an I'm holding my fingers, very close it. They're probably not that far apart immigration if they were if they could do it in a vacuum. Absolutely. I am not going and total agreement with you. Okay. With my friend, John. The reason I say that is that it is very very hard for. Congress to get things done because of the president came. That's the way it is. This president are all presentation because I disagreed with President Bush number two how I was the leader. And he was there's still some hard feelings among some sometimes well, but not but not between him. And I know because he was always a patriot. And you always knew where you stood with him. And I think Democrats and Republicans have a lot of difficulty with the present administration. I think that you've you've you didn't have to deal with this president. No, no. But I knew this president before he was president. It was one of my donors. We play a lot of golf together. I think he he claims he paid he paid by salary with different. So there we've all received money from them. But I never quite saw him as president. But obviously did and, you know, his styles clearly different than my style, or Harry style. And and so I would argue the the politics of this era produced this president see now, that's where I wanna come to you guys on this. And this is a question, and I know. What are some if you knew now what we're facing? And you could go back in time. The last twenty years twenty twenty five years are there some things you would have done differently in your party, John bainer in your party. Harry Reid on how you would push certain things because we obviously created a moment where enough people thought Donald Trump was the answer and obvious that to me that means the establishment failed the country in some way reception ones. No, all of the environment that we have today. It was produced by twenty five years of talk radio that didn't exist twenty five years ago. Twenty five years of cable TV news that didn't exist twenty five years ago in nineteen ninety four twenty five years ago. There was an internet but only a couple of geeks in Palo Alto. We're on it libertarians that were. And so we didn't have Twitter Facebook YouTube linked in all the rest of them. What's happened over the last twenty five years as the American people have been Dell used with information about their government and politics, and they get one hundred times more than east to get five hundred times more. But all this information is tended to push or pull people into one two camps, leaving fewer and fewer people in the middle. And what's making it worse? Now is because there's so much news. You get to choose where you get your news. You know, I wanna Harry, and I grew up you have three TV networks, and you had your local paper and radio station that was it. That was your news. You're like a TV set. But. Today where you get your news. What are they do people go to places they agree with reinforcing the divide? And so it's not what Herod it or what I did during our years and talk radio culture. I mean, I'm so pleased. You brought up talk radio. I feel like that's that's the that's the that's the virus. In. Now. Everybody hasn't again there. And now everybody has it whatever this means, whatever this is can't leave the subject. Without my saying this. One of the things we had in this last election that people don't talk about enough is that I really believe and it's all public information now, but it wasn't at the time. I got a call from the head of the CIA saying, you should know that the Russians we think our middling election election. So I wrote a letter to Comi head of the FBI and August, I laid out. The issue. He didn't respond to me. Comes Tober up for election. He's still respond to him. Another litter turned out though, he had already opened an investigation, but he didn't do anything big deal. Big deal should have said something to me or somebody else because he thought because so I've heard he believed that Clinton was going to win. He was Republican figured he made it may not get involved, politically the point is this elections different than any other. Because I do believe the Russians had something do with the election will Muller's reports clearly shows that does that they meddled, and I will say this. Why is it that we haven't been able to? Someone brought up. The fact we haven't had our nine eleven commission on this. And we and Muller if we could if we could all get our heads out of the partisan baskets Muller, actually serves as a this is how they did it guys we should in our laws need updating if we're going to stop it. I was hopeful that there will be more in the mullahs report three questions. What were the Russians attempting to do? Did it have any impact? And Secondly what we're both campaigns doing talking to the Russians. I don't talk to the Russians because I'm on the no fly list. Russia Putin like me, I don't like him. But you got. You got X now. Thank you both. We're both of them. No fly list. But those questions I think are really important for the American people to understand the answers to this. I mean, this these kind of outside interference threatens the very foundation of our democracy, and and people need to know what happened in did. It have an impact. What would you be doing right now? I kind of look at what the Democrats are thinking about doing on the model report. And I'd be where's your legislation to tighten up campaign finance laws to tighten up cybersecurity figure out do presidential campaign. Should they be treated the way? Our political conventions are treated as sort of national security entities that deserve. Should there be more legislative response to to to this sort of focus people on the on the problem? One of the issues that we've had for a long time is campaign, finance and a Senate we've been able to get anything done because of a leader McConnell. He doesn't hide his feelings on this. He he does it publicly awfully nothing behind the scenes. He does not believe that there should be any limits on campaign spending. And that is made are getting something done in the Senate impossible, not implausible, very hard. We we had fifty eight or nine senators, and we did close and we couldn't get enough. What's to pass that? Well. Version of campaign finance reform, this any dollars spent trying to influence a voter in any kind of election needs to be disclosed. I think some light is the best disinfectant. There's no way to put it enough. Artificial curbs in place that are meaningful money to politics is like water seeking his own level. It's just gotta happen. But the more disclosure, you have of it, frankly will understand who's who's for who's against it. Look, I I kinda think you guys ought to. I've always said the Democrats had introduced McConnell's Bill from from two thousand if I remember he was for instant disclosure. No limit. Well. Okay. No limits. And then you can write bills that say something like, okay and anybody over one hundred thousand dollars you got to put their name on TV at sure be a lot better than what we have. Now. I mean, that's weird way. If you did get you around the supreme court money's hanging at any money want. But guess what all every? I have to and I have to say your name on my TV ads. If you give me more than one hundred grand or something. I mean does that a fair way to at least create a market free market limits. Sure. Good way to start a big. Twenty twenty. Joe Biden's announcing this week. For what for something? So I hear you. You've always been a bit pressure on the democratic side, you were willing. You went with you were you weren't officially with Obama. But you went you were willing to go in that direction. Push people in that direction. When the party wasn't a hundred percent ready where you this year. Well, we I were card another years ago, the Democratic National Committee allow Nevada be one of the early states. We are now one of their states have been great for Nevada. We have Nevada wave Iowa we have South Carolina and then New Hampshire direct vote. There's a cocker stays. And that's what we have now next March. We're gonna have our Kaka sat here, we've modernized it. We've got virtual ability to vote as con Aniko. It's really modernized. So it's been good for Nevada. And it's been good. It will be good for the country better. All the time that now is a picture of what the country is a state of Addis little over thirty percent. Hispanic nine percent African American nine percent Asian American, and we're the first state that's west Mississippi that has something that people have take a look at. So I think that my position on twenty twenty is going to be just this. I want this primary system be as vigorous it should be and can be and it's going to be better than has been the past from the democratic standpoint because we've moved up right after we finished the early states. We have California almost immediately, Texas almost mealy Massachusetts. So we're gonna have a nominee a lot faster early. No question that the the jamming at all in that fast. Nobody gets quite that momentum and the way that proportionality, and we'll have suddenly for people with anywhere from nobody has more than thirty percent of the delegates. No. Because remember you got California has almost thirty percent of the national delegates for Democrats. I don't know. How many Texas has not as many, of course. But a lot. No, I think it can be decided, much sooner. And that's the reason for doing this. You enjoy watching the Democrats looks a lot looks pretty familiar race four years ago with all the Republic. Sixteen or seventeen Republicans. A nineteen and that doesn't count Joe Biden it all right? Differences to Republicans got in the race. One of all the Democrats are getting in the race. All these Democrats are getting into race. Remember how they had the debates. Ye whiz. Oh, so mess. What? What would you tell your buddy? John casick don't bother. I wouldn't bother if I were him talked to Bill weld couple of weeks ago. So Bill why are you doing this always wanted to be president? Are they going to a better job? I have out. But I don't you know, there's this thirty eight percent of America. That's on the. On the very big supporters of President Trump. And and you know, they're gonna show him for got Sunday say about John casick saw he and I were elected congress. Same time nineteen eighty two. And here's what he doesn't. Talk about much. He should we had a baseball team who was fastest person on the baseball team truncation. So we should run that surreal. Plus, I wouldn't make Graham because he could run faster than anyone else. Well, all these Republicans that I've talked to privately so you can become the president of New Hampshire. But then what do you do? And they've all admitted view of them that have titles like governor. And all that stuff. They admit that after becoming president of New Hampshire. They don't know. There is another state that has a Republican party that wants to debate Donald Trump. Right. So if Trump runs so big of why do you say that I hear this all the time? And I'm like, you don't know Trump. I don't what does he quit. We'll I know. But in always seventy four years old he's been there. I don't know happy as wife is living in the White House. But I just number soom someone's gonna run. So if Iran's I suspect he'll be Republican. Is it worth? When does your party have a debate about what is a conservative? Well, as I said, I don't know about a year or so ago, the Republican read now have the Trump party Republicans kind of taking nap deficit party's gone, right, right? I mean, I'm sorry. The deficit hawk is no longer in danger to be I think, it's I think it's extent five years. I was figure my my number one focus was dealing with a budget deficit and the debt, and and no sooner than I left. The everybody seemed to forget about now it's going to be interesting is that we're we're not too far away from a trillion dollar annual deficit and I'll just predict right here. Now is going to become a very big issue in the coming years. Why do you say will be I it's a public cares much? I I'm I'm not as convinced the public cares about this. Get their public may not cure it a lot. But when you try to produce a budget, if we get anything that looked like normal interest rates is going to eat up the entire budget. And I don't know how you're gonna fund all these programs and fun defense. In this bed is we we're I think we're we're dicta to these to these phony interest rates, aren't we these very low sort of don't move them interest rate. We may be the Europeans or even more addictive than we are. But my point is is that once you get over a trillion dollar annual deficit, you're gonna wake a lot of people up because you can't you can't run your household budget this way, you can't run your company this way, and your government can't run this way. What breaks governor weld? What breaks one second governor wells number one issue is the deficit now, maybe old fashioned maybe from an old school. But I think he's going to get the attention of a lot of people. What why is it that? Democrats get into deficits win. It's a Republican. It's in the white outs. But not, but it's a democrat in the White House in general. I'm not saying I mean that that that is the pattern. I've had some democratic centers have been on was on my case for long all the time when wasn't majority of the Democrats find it good issue. But there are some who really thought it was an important issue. But getting people to move on it just never gonna happen. Well, never is a long time. So I think theory that says we should just print more money. But I as low as we're the reserve currency. We keep earning. I agree with John though, that we're going to ride at a point where you cannot ignore the deficit because remember when we're have the deficit is part of our budget, which will always had, and it's a smaller mount a trillion bucks, and you're paying interest on that. That's really going to take it blackout of everything. So you can't ignore it. We're having to point we can't just can't print more money. You know, what I'm surprised not hear from you. As alarmist the way, I hear some alarmist YouTube or not in DC right now. I'm there all the time. Which means there is I would say Washington, and you guys probably know it when you hear from your friends Washington is convinced that if Trump gets another term the democracy. Is off the rails. Why is Washington so much more, hyper sensitive, and I say that because we'll all things it's in charge of the country and the center of the universe. And the fact is it is not now that's somewhere in Silicon Valley. America is a lot more resilient than our political structure of the moment. The American economy is more resilient than whatever the political process, and whatever the feds doing it's really, what's what makes merica different than the rest of the world is the resiliency of the American people in the resilience of our economy. That's all we're going to we're going to survive this which worse, we're gonna need a lot of resiliency and there's man's presence again, which I don't think will happen. I think it's been the more report certainly was an invitation for congress the American people take a look at what's going on because he wrote number of invitations for a lot of different things. You would you like have our alternative opinion? Harry course. I I've been thinking about this. You know, my democrat colleagues legislatively there. There are time moving anything through much less for the Senate. So not much is going to happen to slow, and so all these German. They're gonna have investigation after investigation after investigation, and they're going to push a lot of Americans who do not want vote for Donald Trump right into Trump's arms. And then Secondly, I would argue look at the democrat field, the likelihood of the Democrats nominating and ultra left progressive or whatever they wanna call themselves between the two between these two points. Reelect Donald Trump rebut. I think and I've said this or months now nemo Kratz should not minimize the strength of Donald Trump, and my friends of come to talk to me, I tell them all don't be overconfident because they shouldn't be because I believe that American people are looking for an alternative to Trump. They're looking for people out there who just tell it remind everybody how bad he's been. What's your theory of what the country's gonna look for if they decide they want something different from Donald Trump somebody who can eight him in certain ways. But they keep the keep they cut the chaos down or they looking for somebody the Kapoor opposite. These you could make a case that we've sort of whiplashed among sort of the characteristics of presidents Brock Obama was different from Bush who was different from Clinton. Who was you know, you make that case? But what do you think the country's looking for? I believe the country's looking for someone. They can trust. Someone who they feel is in tune with American people, and I say that Democrats and Republicans what should Trump fear not a person, but what type of what type of message and candidate? Should he fear? I don't think it's the best or even the politics. I think he should fear of the candidate who who. Provide respect to the American people respect the to the process respect to the presidency that. That'd be a pretty healthy. Image coin into election, John you said the same thing probably in a better way than I did. I agree with you. How would you define electability because that's going to be a big that to me is so subjective. What's electable? I right. First of all during this conversation. We talked about Democrats and Republicans. But what everyone in America understand especially people running for public office is that large segment of the American people are independence. Last election. They voted democratic independence. What they'll vote next time. We don't know. But they're always the. Benchmark what's going to happen in election independence? So-called independence. But how many real independence we have these days? I think there are a lot of not registered that way. But they're not most of them are Democrats pretend to be Democrats or tend to be Republicans. And I would argue that the number of true independence, smaller and smaller. But I would I see John I partner I disagree. I think independents larger number all the time because people are dissatisfied with the tribalism of the two parties are looking for some way to be more neutral. It is interesting the the new younger voter, right. Where gen Z? They're less. They're less wanting to be a member of your party. You are seeing some of that. And if you actually look at the pets ten years could blame him. But I mean, it's been it's been a battle of extremes herring. I work with members who I would call radical centrist. They just wanted to be the middle every every single day at clearly some of the but they had philosophy about it did. They just wanted to be in the middle. But it was balanced by extreme. Sometimes wasn't it. Yeah. Well, they were trying to find the Valance. And some of those folks are the ones that really comes your problems because they're not willing to take how you gonna vote on this. I made up my mind yet. Nothing. You can do to get to make a commitment. Last thing. I wanna ask you because Terry Reid and its judges, and it always comes up back and forth. Is it time? For is the best way to solve this problem is time for digital tournaments. What's the what's the term? I am a total advocate of not having term limits for members of congress because we have Marie two years. I think that here's what I always say about who did not limit lobbyists and bureaucrats. That's a lobbyist term limits on judges the federal court and spring court just federal judges. Of course, they have time limits. You know, you take senior status, and I think that there are some they do jittery itself should take care of. I don't think it should take congress because it is become if because if they don't do something about themselves. Congress is going to step in sometime it feels like lifetime of the idea of a lifetime appointment with pretty good when aid fifty. Yeah. I mean lifetime appointment now. I think you know, I'm glad that we're all stay healthier. Don't get me wrong. But I think a lot supreme court justices at one hundred twenty right? It's a lot of different these days. Thankfully, I've never been burdened with a legal degree. So what do I know? But you know, I'll states of age limits on on judges and all except the federal government. So by think, Harry's right? I don't there's a way to legislate this. But I think the bar association and these judges need look in the mirror and the German. What makes sense? All right. Finally last what why you to get what's this about? What's the goal? What's the goal out of this conference per se? But what what do you hope is the larger goal of this as I look back at my congressional service. I would say this anytime anyplace now matter the audience one of the most beneficial productive times in my career was working with John bainer. We got a lot of things done and the country was better for our having worked together. And listen, I'm Harriet, I have a very close relationship that most people don't know anything about and Harry pointed out we've got a lot of stuff done together. Our staff were really close we were really close and. And so we're involved in this effort here at UNLV to to look at the workforce of the future. And we like working with each other. We like seeing each other. And so I want you guys to know. I was here. Ten minutes somebody who works at this hotel came up to me and said talking about wanted to talk politics, and and it fit right into what we're talking about. And she said to me, do you know what's coming? What's coming out here? Do you know me jobs for about the lose? And you know, what she was talking to me about automated check in. And this and I said, well, are you know, and she was saying the automated check in. They're gonna lose all these jobs, and it was like, wow, you should come to symposium. But it was just right in this fear question. Oh, it is. And. I'm a I'm a student of creative. You know? I feel like we go through these cycles, and we'll create new jobs. I know we will. But it's hard to promise somebody. There's going to be jobs. I just don't know what they look like we've talked about Boardman in, you know, this anxiety in America over your future and your job, and even more importantly, how my kids don't do what kind of jobs are they gonna have and what kind of future they going to have a lot of people don't think they're going to do better than them. Right nets. That's huge change in America. Jimmer on the head of MGM said today at earlier meeting we had. The culinary union is big here seventy thousand members very powerful. And he went to the leader of the. It's the only affective union I've come across politically in the country for. Detailer who's head of this big union? Internationally Marin told him we're going to do some changes round here. First of all, we're going have a robots mixed drinks. Okay. And he's brought this up. This woman brought that up to me to sit. They're going to they're going to automate the drink. And the reason is so good for everybody. They workout time differential woman gets drinks from get as many drinks as possible in one of the lounger one of the bars. And she goes back to the bartender, and he has to fill all these things takes twenty minutes. Guys mad because he's takes his drink back is drink this little emanate that you should go over there and be cut the time in half. Everybody's happier. Jobs are better. And remember, everyone should understand. Also these machines are making somebody's making them cost money to make them somebody's manufacturing them, but the fears real. You see you've seen it a lot in Ohio people that we talked about all day today. John. Right guys. John bainer. Thank you. Well, I'll get on TV too. That again. I don't know you guys you guys seem to enjoy not having cameras in your face. That's right. Told you on earlier today, I have the greatest radio face in the country. You're you're really kicked this you really kicked cancers. You know, what you look good? Well. My best you're doing. Well. See you guys on the stage. Right. Before we go. I wanted to also share a couple of pieces of sound for my public panel with banner and read this was on stage in front of a crowd in Las Vegas gathered to talk about the future of work and education. Harian I grew up in not the best of circumstances. I've got both first generation college. That's what I thought. Right. Both of in college. First generation inside toilet. All right. That's your mic drop, right? I didn't have that. But you know. Eleven brothers sisters. My dad owned the bar, ripping a little house one bathroom, and you had a bathroom. He's just got a Lord that over. Kid, you have fourteen people in the same house one bathroom, you really didn't have a bathroom. Sometimes how many sisters did you three sisters? So you didn't have visit writing a book, I tell you the story of talking about this author that's helping me right booking. And I realized oh my goodness. I don't ever remember growing up at home where I drive off with the dry towel. Not only was how damp was it. Who was the last one? John we solve Ephron. We just take baths. Gyp hose, at least or something we had a party loan. All right. I'm gonna ask you one question about the mess in Washington. But I want to ask because you both had to navigate decisions like this. It's less about whether you think it should happen or not you had to do Benghazi hearings that maybe you didn't want to do. But your base wanted you to him politically in happened in that how does that that experience at you dealt with with the pressure. You got and you held them off for a long time until you finally said, I can't it feels like that's what Nancy Pelosi is going through is that that looked like a familiar picture. Somewhat. You know, what happened with big is is up and Jill the committees of jurisdiction were doing their job right until they weren't. And frankly, when the committees just really wouldn't do they were supposed to really forced in Caribbean Gaza. Comedian and try to set it up away with responsible members to really just get to the Bob of the factual. Speaker Pelosi is going to have be dealing with the same issue. But the first line of she's going to go down so him when I went to let the committee's jurisdiction do their job pushing them to do their job. Some will. Which will dictate where what you have to do in the future. You were in the leadership when we went to the last impeachment. If you're. You were leader right now. Whether it's in the Senator in Pelosi shoes right now, you've got to make a political decision because you also want to get stuff done. If an impeachment proceeding opens up that just does that stop the clock on legislation completely. I did. Set front row seat on them and peach of President Clinton. And if you look at what happened following the impeachment, President Clinton, his popularity rose dramatically not didn't hurt him helping. So we didn't win the White House into into and some Republicans this week of quietly said to me, they think impeachment actually is the reason that well, I wish that simple. I don't think it is. But I believe that the. Leaders in the house led by the tremendously good leader center. Closing. I think that impeachment is a difficult decision. Some say more report was an invitation for impeachment, but we have used to short time until the next election and if impeachment proceedings go forward, and they might go forward. I think this country would be spending an inordinate amount of time on impeachment and nothing else. And I think we can afford without impeachment. Should we expect much out of congress? Is there by the way, if government you don't get stuff done into by the government members reflect the views of their constituents America's divided like this. It's getting worse rather than better. And and frankly members listened to the loud voices in their district. So Democrats the left of the left Republicans here the right of the right and. And. They don't their holy members of congress hostage to their loud views. Preventing people from work in the other. So we're not gonna not much going to happen. Let's wait until voters. Punish? Elected officials acting that way. Right. I mean, that's basically until the voters punishing baby. I don't think so I think voters watch what people do, and I think that people should run on their records not hide from who they are. And that's one reason I Alex also always so close because. I just wanted to get one more than fifty percent and not try to please everybody. Well, we had an interesting conversation with somebody last night who said there was something about that. That you know, you learn a lot about somebody when they're in leadership. Do they know how to use power and one thing both of you guys? Did you understood how to use power? And power in a in a way that in your own views, you were hoping advancing the American story. So in that sense. Thank you, both for your service, and a round of applause for these guys. They didn't. They have not they have not told each other on what six years, oh, we have one little spat. We got over it real quickly. Well, anyway, this was Senator Reid. Thank you for having me here. And thanks for thanks for this. This is a tremendous. This is already been a tremendous morning. If you enjoyed this podcast. And clearly if you've made it to here you have you can download it for free on apple podcast bought a fire wherever you get your podcast. Subscribe now and why they're drops note. And let us know what you think the Chuck Todd cast is produced by meet the press. Today's episode was produced by Natalie Cuccia ARA, Melissa holes. Berg rivera. John REEs is our executive producer Steven ties the head of podcast for NBC news. And our theme music is composed by spoke media. I'm Chuck Todd. You can catch me the present daily MSNBC everyday five. And of course, it's the big show is every Sunday morning. Hi, it's Mika Brzezinski here want to keep up with morning, Joe subscribe to our newsletter. You'll get the best of what you might have missed during this unprecedented era of news text morning, Joe to six eight six six to subscribe.

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