tv Campaign 2020 Politico Discussion on 2020 Election Democratic Priorities CSPAN October 6, 2020 9:01am-9:25am EDT
believe you've got to provide continued relief and rescue efforts to prevent permanent liquidation and permanent damage from what is supposed to be a temporary health. and i would emphasize those two points. in the longer run, these issues of racial inquality and income inequality, there are a lot more moving pieces, as you know, so i probably shouldn't weigh in on that in this spot. >> so, that's to continue on the same line of thinking. before the pandemic, people re-entering society from incarceration-- >> we take you live to a discussion about the 2020 election. political will be asking the third ranking democrat in the house, james clyburn about
this. >> and hear your questions by tweeting at politico, live. >> what a next month it will be. the contest between the president trump and joe biden seems to be up-ended every day, as we sit here less than 30 days, and practice his inner circle with covid-19. and biden has been on the stump and going gettysburg, pennsylvania, and there are increasing concerns about absentee voting. and the news of the day, let's get started. >> all right, congressman clyburn we've got a lot to talk about with the election and voting. the news of the day, coronavirus continues to rage and infiltrated the u.s. capitol, three senators have been diagnosed with covid-19. and the democratic leadership,
to implement mandatory testing. where do you stand on this? do you think that there should be mandatory testing for members and staff? >> and thank you for having me, congratulations to the two of you that you all may be looking towards greener pastures, but congratulations on the good run here. but let me say this, nancy pelosi is a great speaker, i meet with her often. we spent some time on the telephone yesterday, as she consults with the attendant physician very often. i do, too, both of our offices are directly above the attending physician's office so we come in contact with him every day. i was on the phone with him, on yesterday. she is following his guidelines. there are other scientists at
that tell us what to do and when to do it and even when i get ready to have hearings, i consult with them and i carry out those hearings the way they ask me to do. so, i am going to listen to them and be guided by what they tell us to do. >> i mean, there's been some grumbling and we want to get to the voting issue quickly here, but there's been some grumbling about the attending physician whether he's making the right decision. you're following the guidelines. i work in the capitol every day, i feel it's frankly a stupid decision the attending physician is making. am i wrong? >> well, i don't know whether you're wrong or right, but i know this, i'm very comfortable with doing what the attending physician tells me to do. i do the same thing with all of my doctors. i tell people all the time, when you're paying these big bills that the doctors charge, listen to them. so whatever they tell me to do,
that is what i'm going to do, irrespective of how i may feel about it. i'm going to the dentist in the morning, i don't want to hear what he's going to tell me, but i'm doing exactly. >> fair enough. attorney general holder, one of the things we wanted to talk briefly about, there's been a lot of crit of la-- criticism about the current attorney general bill barr. can you give your take. >> i think he's gone beyond politicizing the department, to weaponizing the department. to do things in a favorable way who are allies of the preside president, that's unprecedented. the way in which he has talked about everything from, you know, from voting to social issues. he has clearly put the justice department on the side of this
president. he is an integral part of the president's reelection effort and people have got to understand this is inconsistent with the way the attorney generals and just departments have acted in the past, republican as well as democrat, republican as well as democratic attorneys general. >> you guys are deeply involved in this. we hear not only concerns with this year with a voting, but concerns systematically and endemically in our society with voting. let's start with the big picture there. the president is trying to sow confusion and fear about mail-in balloting and all sorts of voting. what are democrats doing, and you guys doing to assure nationally attorney general
holder and senator clyburn about the secure of the ballot box. >> all right, well. >> well, what we're trying to do nationally is, at the national democratic redistricting committee, we're working with a variety of groups to ensure, you know, election security in a bunch of ways, first of all to make sure that people have the ability to cast votes using the mail if that's what they want to do, go to the polls if that's what they want to do. and so we're working with our partners in a variety of states. i'm also working with, you know, the biden campaign to make sure that we're doing all we can for coordinating efforts with the groups and make sure that people have a good experience when they roy to vote. but you know, what we're up against is almost unprecedented. we don't have a justice department as allies in this effort in a way that you might expect and the trump
administration has made a determination and the republican party, i think more generally has made the determination that they are going to do all they can to make it as result as is possible for people to cast a ballot. whether it is in person or by the use of the mail. seems to me that they're afraid of the very people they say they want to lead. >> well, let me say about the efforts. just after labor day, i went very public with a program, which i hope will become a national program. we started this several years ago, something i called adopt a precinct. here is what we decided to do here in south carolina. we decided that those november 3rd is election day, that we were going to make october election month. we started yesterday, what we call absentee voting early, here in south carolina.
and this year, rather than the 17 reasons you had to give in order to vote early, the legislature decided, because of coronavirus everybody can vote absentee starting october 5th, irrespective of your reasons. so, we are organized what we call precinct by precinct searches, synagogues, temples, mosques, asking fraternities, sorority, groups, orders, to stop now adopting precincts. many of them started 30 days ago and we're going precinct by precinct, trying to get people to vote absentee in person because we know that the mail cannot be trusted, especially in rural communities where they're now running very short because of what this administration has done. they are trying to suppress the
vote and i think they've been very successful in the past. we are going to make sure that we do what is necessary to circumvent that suppression this time. and i feel good about what happened here in south carolina yesterday and it's going to be like this every day throughout the month of october. we plan to vote 60 to 65% of these, of our eligible supporters in person before november 3rd. >> i want to ask, you know, the democrats have focused so much on this absentee voting. one of the issues for voting in person is people having to wait in line or able to get to the polls because they close because they have to work. how big of a problem is this in the pandemic and can you speak to how big a problem it might be, attorney general, for black voters in urban areas? >> yeah.
>> this is clearly a problem. after shelby county 2013 that essentially gutted the voting act. they were at different polling places making it more difficult to cast a ballot in person. we talk about flattening the curve when it comes to the virus, what i've been telling people flatten the curve when it comes to voting procedures. people need to voting if at all possible, use all of the days that we've had as congressman clyburn has said, do it early if you're going to vote in person, do it early and we've brought lawsuits, the redistricting committee in north carolina, texas and minnesota, decided to do away with some of the unnets requirements that people have to go through in order to cast a ballot by mail and also to ensure that the experience in casting an early ballot is one free of the kind of suppressive techniques that the republican party has become so expert at.
>> i wonder, if holder if you could use-- and one of the things, and this is asking you to draw on your expertise a little bit here, but one of the things that we get asked all the time. how do these election changes unfold? what does it look like if the trump campaign says, no, i know it's a state by state issue, i wonder if you help people understand what the world looks likes and what is on your mind about november 4th, basically the question i want to ask because you guys, you and mr. clyburn know so much more than we do. >> there are a couple of things you want to anticipate that which the republicans are doing around the country, get into court if there's a mechanism there to try to undo which they are doing that will be unfair. you know, and then also, try to make sure that you are tactically doing things, as congressman clyburn said.
getting people to vote early. that 65% number. reality is, this is going to be difficult. the republicans have made this difficult. it doesn't have to be this way forever and if we are successful at the state and local levels, which is one of the things i'm working on. >> this could be the last time we have such a difficult election, but this is going to be hard, but it's not one that we can't overcome. so, i'm urging people, as i've said to vote early, as soon as you possibly-- as soon as you possibly can. in the meantime to the extent have the ability to get in court and undo the things that republicans put in place legislatively or tactics, we're going to be doing that as well. >> congressman clyburn, how concerned are you that we wake up the day after the election and we don't know who the president is? that seems more and more like a likely scenario given the number of absentee voting in mail and the different rules by
states, opening ballots until election day. is there anything that you think that democratic leaders need to do to calm people's nerves about the future of this country and if we don't to who necessarily is going to be the leader of it? >> well, you know, i spent all of my life trying to do the things that i think are necessary in order to achieve my goals. i don't spend a whole lot of time trying to figure out the what-ifs. what i try to do is work as hard as i possibly can in order to achieve the goals. and achieving the goals of everybody to vote and have their vote counted, i am spending all of my time getting people to vote early and personally, and i believe, if we were to do this, if we were successful, then i think that we're going to know who the next president will be by 2
a.m. the morning of november 4th. i don't think anybody's going to have to spend a whole lot of time on during the day of november the 4th, doing anything else, but celebrating or mourning. i don't think we're going to be waiting to find out who the winner is. i sincerely believe we're going to be successful in this national effort of voting early in person. >> mr. clyburn, i'm curious if democrats win the senate which is certainly possible and win the white house which is certainly possible, bordering on likely at this point, what will house democrats do in this realm to ensure to mix what you're describing as pretty serious problems with voting across the country? what are some of those action items that you should be doing legislatively in all of democratic washington? >> related to voting, the first thing we're going to do is
revisit what we now call the john r lewis voting rights act and i have my staff looking at what we've done already. as you know, we've passed as hr-4, sent it over to the senate and then we went back after john's and renamed it and now we're looking at what we need to do to address some of the issues that are showing up now, like the issue of whether or not we can vote by mail. i believe very strongly that we have got to go to massive registrations. we do everything on-line, we go to the groceries on-line. we order our groceries, if you can purchase groceries, you can cast your vote, you can register people to vote
on-line. i think we need a national strategy of getting people registered to vote, getting them engaged in the process and getting them to vote, and there's nothing wrong, in my opinion, with voting on-line. four states, at least four states, i think, do all of their voting by mail and they've been doing it for years, and i've been telling everybody, that i am a big fan of the colorado model. and i have been pushing that as a national model and that's what i would like to see us do in legislation immediately, come january 5th or 6th, whatever the date is. >> attorney general, kind of keeping on that forward-looking lens, you focused a lot of your time on redistricting, and the fight for congressional districts that republicans successfully gerrymandered after 2010. how confident are you that
democrats will be making inroads to changes to these congressional districts after the 2020 census? >> i'm very optimistic-- >> you know-- we'll go with attorney general first, thanks. >> very optimistic given the work we've done since january of 2017 when we announced the formation of the national democratic redistricting committee and focusing on this problem of gerrymandering. we have brought lawsuits, supported candidates who will stand for a fair redistricting process in 2021. we've actually supported the formation of these nonpartisan commissions and put them in place in michigan, missouri, utah, in colorado, already have them in arizona and in california. so, that the process in 2021, fundamentally different than the process was in 2011. we're going to be more conver converseant with the use of technology in 2021 than we were
in 2011. democrats are fighting for a fair process in 2021. if the process is just fair, i don't have to gerrymander for democrats, if the process is fair, they will do just fine. it's the republicans have to try to gerrymander to maintain the power they illegitimately got, in wisconsin, you see the kinds of numbers. we need a fair process and as i said the democrats will do just fine. i'm pretty optimistic that the process will be okay in 2021. >> mr. clyburn, you have a very competitive senate race in your senate. your former aide, jamie harrison a running against lindsey graham, someone you served with for 20-something years, can you give us your back of the napkin. has everybody, as the watchers know today, you know that state
better than everybody. what is going on and is lindsey graham going to be knocked off? . welcome, you know, i'm so proud of jamie. as many people know, jamie came into my life as a 11th grader, there at high school. and i have not been able to get rid of him since. he's just a remarkable young man. he's run just a class act in this campaign and jamie, during that debate last saturday night, i think the rest of the country got to see what i have seen in jamie since he was a teenager. he is running a campaign that i think is going to be successful. not a single soul alive when he announced for the senate that he would be sitting here 30 days out, 48-48 and i've seen a
poll that has him two points in the lead although i've seen in-- polls that have him one point behind. jamie is running a great race. i think things are breaking in his favor. if we get the kind of turnout that we are working on here in south carolina, and we get these precincts adopted, and everybody will do what they are promising to do, jamie is going to win that race and i think it has a lot to do with how good he's run the campaign, but it also has a lot to do with the hypocrisy of the lindsey graham and too many people are sick and tired of this kind of stuff. and we need to look into the camera and hold my words against me. we are going to really address him as he invited. >> all right, we're quickly running out of time, unfortunately. we could talk about a lot of
issues for a long time. before we let you go. you were looking at running for president in 2020, do you still have a desire to run for office? >> once d.c. becomes a state, i'll consider running as senator. >> will you consider joining a biden administration? >> you never say never, i was quite happy as attorney general in the obama years and right now i'm happy being the chair of the redistricting committee. we have to have that fair process come 2021. >> unfortunately we're out of time, and thank you for joining us virtually. we look forward to the interview election countdowns soon. stay safe and have a great rest of the week.
>> our live coverage continues this afternoon when the brennan center for justice holds a hearing on readjusting the rule of law. we'd here from governor christine todd whitman 1 p.m. you can watch on c-span.org or our free radio app. tonight in prime time. pharmaceutical discussions on krug r drug pricing. we'll hear from u.s. novartis, why people in the united states pay more than other countries tonight on c-span2. >> i honestly will tell you, i don't think when the dust settles in this election it's going to be whether american becomes more republican or more democrat, whether we're more liberal or more conservative, more red or more blue. i think the choice in this
election is whether america remains america. >> as joe biden has said since the moment he entered this race, it's about the soul of our nation, who we are, what we stand for, and maybe, most importantly, who we want to be. >> watch the vice-presidential debate between vice-president mike pence and senator camera harris, wednesday at 9 p.m. eastern from the university of utah in salt lake city. watch the debates live on c-span, listen live on the c-span radio app and go to c-span.org, for live or on demand streaming of debate coverage. there's also a link to each debate question and answer, see social media feeds on debate happens and reaction and watch our presidential debate video from the video library.