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tv   The Sunday Show With Jonathan Capehart  MSNBC  January 23, 2022 7:00am-9:00am PST

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>> do you commit that she will be your running mate in 2024 provided that you run again? >> yes, and yes. >> we'll take a closer look at the vice president's first year. and are we on the verge of war? u.s. military aid arrives in ukraine as we learn new details on what russia may be plotting. i'm jonathan capehart. this is "the sunday show." i'm jonathan capehart. this is "the sunday show." this sunday, the biden/harris administration is hitting the reset button as it begins year two in the white house. new polling released this morning from nbc news paints a bleak picture for biden at the one-year mark, with 72% of americans saying that the country is heading in the wrong direction, and those polled using words like downhill, divisive and negative to describe the state of affairs.
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the polling also shows big erosions in president biden's approval within key parts of the democratic base. and a major nearly double digit enthusiasm gap between democrats and republicans about the midterm elections. democrats are looking for ways to jump start biden's stalled domestic agenda on capitol hill, and gin up some excitement around the midterms, like divvying up the build back better social spending bill into smaller arguably more passable pieces of legislation. >> i'm confident we can get pieces, big chunks of the build back better law signed into law. >> and once again, joe manchin will be calling the shots, telling reporters on thursday that when it comes to negotiating build back better, the democrats will, quote, be starting from scratch. joining me now to help understand the road ahead for democrats, congressman james clyburn, house majority whip and chairman of the house select
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committee on the coronavirus crisis. whip clyburn, as always, thank you very much for coming to "the sunday show." >> thank you for having me, jonathan. >> let's talk about these poll numbers. the president's poll numbers. and the wrong track. the president's approval rating, 43%. the can country, 72% of the country believes that it is on the wrong track. one, your reaction to those poll numbers. and, two, what can the president do to turn them around? >> well, thank you for having me. you know, those numbers are very concerning. disconcerting, i would say. i'm concerned about the country as much as anybody else. i think when you have one party trying to keep this democracy going, that's a problem for us. we have two parties in this country. the republican party and the democratic party, we got many other parties, but these are two
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basic parties. and usually we will have disagreements over what the politics would be, but never a disagreement over whether or not the country is -- that's what it is going to be about. these two parties have already -- always worked together to ensure this democracy keeps moving toward a more perfect union. that's not what it is today. the democrats are carrying us along. the republicans have vacated any pursuit of perfection and have now turned themselves over to a cult leader and their party is no more -- of any cult and that is a fact. that's the problem you've got. >> and i hear you on that, whip clyburn. yet in the poll it shows, asking the respondents about who they think should have control of congress. 47% say democrats should have control. 46% say that republicans have
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control. but what i found concerning in that poll is that since april 2021, the number -- the percentage of people who believe that republicans should have control of congress has been inching up. so despite what you're saying about not having a governing partner, the american people seem to be slowly but surely thinking, hey, maybe the republicans should be given a shot, given the gavel back in the house. >> well, that's largely because that's what they're hearing from people. i've been saying to my party quite a bit, let's stop mimicking what the republican talking points are. we keep talking about what the democrats are not doing. no. the glass is not full. it is only half full. so let's see what we can do by focusing on that part of the glass that is half full, rather than keep concentrating on that half empty part.
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he needs to be judged on 100% of what our goal is. we have a second year now, a third year, to try to keep this thing moving and i would hope that we will look at the fact that we have taken half of the -- out of poverty. look at what we have done with the rescue act. look at what we have done with the infrastructure bill. and stop talking about the fact we have not done build back better. no, we haven't. but we will. we already rescued these families. let's talk about that. >> so on build back better, is passing build back better the way to turn things around for the president? and if so, what -- what must be in it, in order for it to pass the house? >> well, to me, the number one thing and i've got two, three,
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four, and five, number one, healthcare coverage. my dad said, son, the first order of business is making sure people's health -- get their health. if people are not healthy, they don't care about anything else. we have done that with the child tax credit, we have done that with the rescue act, and we need to keep doing that and the rest of that is in the build back better. the medicaid coverage gap, that's in build back better. we need to keep that going. child tax credit, that's in build back better. these are the things we got to have. get people help and we'll be able to talk to them about other things. >> there is -- back to the poll numbers, there is a double digit gap between republican enthusiasm, which is way high, and democratic enthusiasm, which isn't as high, by double digits, about the midterm elections.
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part of that has to do with the fact that the president's approval rating among african americans has taken a huge nose-dive. our colleague kristen will can welker asked the president about his support for black americans given what was happening with voting rights. have a listen and we'll talk about it on the other side. >> what do you say to these black voters who say that you do not have their backs as you promised on the campaign trail? >> i've had their back. i've had their back my entire career. i've never not had their back. i started on voting rights issues long, long ago. >> whip clyburn, kristen welker was talking about residents of south carolina who she interviewed about their black residents, about their view of president biden. what do you say to black americans who look at president biden, they voted for him, but
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feel that when it comes to voting rights, especially, he hasn't fulfilled his promise. >> the big issue with african american voters is, you know, the voting thing. voting is really -- they salk talk about how sacred the vote is. when we see these threats, that we have in georgia, texas, florida, south carolina has not done this yet, i hope they won't, we are concerned about that. black people are concerned about that. i'm concerned about that. and then the movement on that subject and what will get the movement going real soon, so that's where the -- but look at this. i saw a report yesterday, on this president -- the most i heard in the history of the country. eight african american women
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have been appointed to courts in this one year. and that equals everything of all the other president has put together. not to mention the lower courts, more than half are people of color. so if you are talking about keeping -- having our backs, there is no better way to have our back than voting. that's why black people are looking to the department of justice and they want to see -- when it comes to these things because we know bennie thompson's committee can investigate, but they can't prosecute. we got to have some prosecutions here, some indictments. you see why with all this stuff
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coming out now. >> president biden appointed 42 -- or confirmed 42 judicial nominees, the fastest pace since ronald reagan, just to guild the lilly of your statement. congressman jim clyburn, thank you for coming back to "the sunday show". >> thank you very much for having me. joining me now, michael steele, former chair of the republican national committee and howard dean, former governor of vermont and also the former chairman of the democratic national committee. chairman, welcome to "the sunday show". >> good morning, jonathan. >> all right. steele is here all the time. chairman dean, i'm going to start with you. the president's poll numbers really bad. are they so bad that he can't turn it around and are they so bad that the democrats are doomed in the midterm elections. >> no of course not. here is the problem.
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the democrats are being wimps. the truth is we're not going to get everything we want and clyburn was exactly right. we need to focus on the half full glass and go get some more. i've been in politics most of my life. you don't get everything you want the first time. you get what you can get and go back and get the rest. you keep going and keep going and keep going. that's point one. point two is, i am impatient with democratic discouraged. this is your country. if you don't want to fight for it, that's your business. if you don't want to vote and keep the democratic majority, that's on you. this is really parallels what happens in germany in between the wars when hitler took hour. i don't want to compare trump to hitler, but the truth is, voters have to not be apathetic. it was apathy as much as anti-semitism that led to the
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holocaust. people just turned a blind eye. get out there and fight. if you think this country is important, you getter get out there and vote and then blame the democrats after the fact if you haven't gone out to vote and you get some -- >> you know, chairman steele, i wish i had my church organ just now for chairman dean, because he is saying exactly what i'm thinking. get out there. forget about the enthusiasm. our democracy is on the line. but, anyway, chairman steele, your view of these poll numbers that have come out and do you think that president biden can turn them around and do they spell doom for democrats in november in terms of the congressional majoritys? >> i'll pick up where my good friend howard left off. they will spell doom. if you allow them to spell doom. they can turn around. people freaking out on a poll that is projecting who is going
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to win the '24 election in 2022, seriously. this level of -- and part of this is driven by the media, because if it bleeds, it leads. they see democrats battered and bloodied from the bruising fight with sinema and manchin along with aoc and others inside the party and they play that up. but the reality of it is, this say twofold story. one, how it is reported, but then also what is being reported. that what is being reported part, i have to put squarely on the administration. tell your story. you just listened to the whip lay out the things that the administration has done, why are you waiting until you get to turn the page into the next year to start telling us the good things you got done, whether it was the infrastructure bill, whether it was on covid, whether it was on the economy. yeah, you had hiccups. with afghanistan. you got potentially, it will get
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colored by the ukraine episode, you'll have that. you got these issues that are going to dictate the terms of engagement, but you never stop telling your story. the one thing we did as national chairman was to tell the story of our respective parties. it was important that our base understood what we were about, what we were going to fight for to keep them focused. and it is difficult when you have a president sitting in the white house, for sure, because that holds up the narrative. you never stop telling the story of the good things you're trying to do. irrespective of anything else, president trump did that a lot when he was in office which kept that election closer than a lot of people have come to realize. >> and he was incessant about it. we have to take a break. the two of you are going to come back and we'll continue this conversation after the break. stay with us. we'll continue ths conversation after the break conversation after the break stay with us
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welcome back to "the sunday show." michael steele and howard dean are back with me. michael steele -- where i'm pointing is the former chair of the democratic party, former chair of the republican party. all right. i want to -- because you both were talking about how riffing off of what whip clyburn had to say, talk about the half full, talk about the stuff you got done.
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6.4 million jobs added, american rescue plan right at the start of the administration, 200 million americans fully vaccinated, the bipartisan infrastructure law is now the law of the land. and a whole bunch of other stuff that the administration needs to be talking about more and more. but i got to go to something that the president said during his press conferences, marathon press conference. let's play it and i'll get you to talk about it on the other side. >> i did not anticipate there would be such a stalwart effort to make sure that the most important thing was that president biden didn't get anything done. think about this. what are republicans for? what are they for? name me one thing they're for. what is mitch for? what is he for on immigration? what is he for? >> so, chairman dean, how hard is it going to be?
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because i think the president is right to ask that question. what is mitch mcconnell for? what are the republicans for? in this two-party system, you need two parties in order to govern, but we have seen over the last year if republicans don't want to do anything, they don't have to do anything and they won't. and democrats have to do all the heavy lifting themselves which is no guarantee of anything happening. >> this is the failure of the mainstream media. they failed and they're intellectually lazy. that's the first time i've seen that clip. that's appalling. president biden is saying the right thing. biden has a story to tell. jim clyburn was right about that. but he isn't doing what has to be done. can you imagine bill clinton not going after the republicans for blocking -- for saying their only objective is to stop
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anything constructive from happening is outrageous. biden said it the media didn't cover it. >> chairman steele, can mitch mcconnell and the republicans get away with not articulating what they're for? so far, yes. but can they do that for the next four years? >> yes, they can. they can. it is the advantage you have of being out of power is that you get to sit there and poke fun and make fun and go after the guy or gal who is in power. the expectation is not so much i got to put something on the table, the expectation of the american people is what are you doing as the person in charge? so, you know, republicans can wax all day long about ukraine, it is ultimately going to be about what the president does. the republicans can wax all day about healthcare, but it is going to be about what the president does. having said that, it doesn't
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mean joe biden doesn't have the ability to compare and contrast. because republicans do want to set themselves up to take over and mitch mcconnell exposed himself when asked after the president's press conference what does he want to do? i don't know, you have to wait and see. that clip is -- that's a commercial. pull that clip. so strategically how you reposition against your opponents, if you're joe biden, is going to be the critical thing in this year leading up to the november election. the last point you can't be surprised if the republicans are doing what they were doing. because they have been doing it since barack obama entered the white house. >> right. >> so surprise is over, right? you got to know how to deal with it. >> chairman dean, the last word and the last 30 seconds that we have, how do you set up a contrast with a party, particularly a party on capitol hill, that is -- they're awol in
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terms of saying what they're for. >> well, biden made the same mistake that every inside the beltway democrat makes. you think you can deal with these people. you can can't deal with the republicans. they're not interested in dealing with you. they don't give a damn about the country. their essential agenda is to get into power by any means necessary, by any means necessary and then hold it. what biden needs to do is get out there and have a press conference every other week if necessary and do what he just did and can't take two hours. but the ds of when he was in the senate and everybody got along are gone. we have to fight and be willing to fight and the president of the united states has to lead us. >> well -- that's all i can say to that. howard dean, former chair of the democratic national committee, michael steele, former chair of the republican national committee, you guys were great.
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we're going to have to make this a thing. thank you, both, very much, for coming to "the sunday show." coming up, fake electors, shocking draft executive orders, and trump's role in the january 6th insurrection. the select committee plows through more evidence in the ongoing investigation. the latest on all that when we come back. the latest on all that when we co bmeack. alice loves the scent of gain so much, she wished there was a way to make it last longer. say hello to your fairy godmother alice and long-lasting gain scent beads. try spring daydream, now part of our irresistible scent collection.
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it has been a week and the january 6th select committee has been hard at work.
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politico is reporting that amid the hundreds of documents donald trump failed to keep from the committee was an unsigned executive order that would have directed the department of defense to seize voting machines, and would have appointed a special council to probe the 2020 election. and the washington post is reporting that rudy giuliani led the effort to replace legitimate electors with fakes, in seven key battleground states that trump lost. giving then vice president pence a pretense to throw out biden's win. alarming signs of how close we came to the collapse of our democracy. joining me now is melissa murray, professor at nyu's school of law and msnbc legal analyst. all right, melissa, it is great you're here. what are your thoughts on that draft executive order reported by politico? >> there is a lot in this draft executive order. one thing that stood out immediately is that it happens by citing a number of authorities for the president to take these extraordinary
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actions. including the constitution, but also it references two classified documents which suggest that whoever drafted this was someone very high up, someone who had that kind of security classification. it also cites a number of laws that gives the president emergency powers, but it doesn't cite any of the ordinary imminent threats or controversies that may come up that would require and justify that use of emergency power. so it suggests that the president was ready and able and equipped to take -- make use of whatever was at his disposal, in order to push this narrative of the big lie and indeed to suspend the peaceful transition of power in january. >> you know, melissa, i want to have you listen to this trump aide in a call she made to michigan state representative. we'll talk about it on the other side. >> tomorrow as you might be aware, mayor giuliani will be presenting experts and witnesses from michigan who will be able
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to show that the vote totals are fatally flawed and do not accurately represent the will of the voters as well as your constituents. you do have the power to reclaim your authority and send a slate of electors that will support president trump and vice president pence. there are state legislators across the country who are standing with the president to stop this voter fraud from happening under their watch. we want to know when there's a resolution in the house to appoint electors for trump if the president can count on you to join in support. >> all right, melissa, how is that not illegal? >> first, let's just reflect on the fact it sounds like she's reading a script. this is like a robocall one might get to change the rate on your car insurance. she's clearly going to be saying this to a lot of different people throughout many different jurisdictions. how is this not illegal?
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i don't know how it is not illegal. i imagine it is something being considered by the department of justice because this is the kind of electoral fraud that we have laws in place to prevent. >> one of the things that the january 6th select committee did was that they sent one of their letters asking people to voluntarily cooperate. inletters, they're always chalk full of information, the latest to ivanka trump, asking her to voluntarily comply. am i wrong in thinking that the january 6th committee is slowly but surely closing the circle around donald trump to the point where we will be talking about, we'll have you back to talk about the letter from the committee and inviting donald trump himself to voluntarily cooperate. >> well, it does seem like the committee is slowly working its way through the trump inner circle.
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i believe there is reporting earlier that liz cheney cited information that ivanka trump had earlier stated, unclear if this was given through voluntary testimony or surfaced in some other capacity. it seems like this is a pincer-like move to work its way through people, like mark meadows, those close to the president who are members of congress, and now the very, very inner circle. the president's family and those closest to him. >> last question for you, real quick, from where you sit, do you think that -- leave aside the january 6th select committee, do you think the department of justice is already under way with its own investigation into all of these things? >> well, i can't imagine this administration is going to allow this to be swept under the rug. dana remus, the president's chief legal adviser, in her responses to the trump administration's request to the supreme court to block the disclosure of these documents to the select committee noted that there has never been this kind
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of action to stand in the way of the peaceful transition of power. this is not the ordinary course and shouldn't warrant the invocation and granting of executive privilege. it seems like they very much aware of unprecedented, how unorthodox it is, and it is a serious threat, not just to the 2020 election, but to any election going forward. >> were you surprised by the 8-1 decision from the supreme court calling on trump -- calling the archives to release the documents? >> i was surprised that justice thomas saw fit to publicly dissent, but to provide no justification for his dissent. i also thought it was interesting that justice kavanaugh chose to issue an concurrence, he said the ultimate question of whether a former president could invoke executive privilege over the objections of a sitting president was still an undecided question, despite what the d.c. circuit decided earlier.
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>> interesting. melissa murray, thank you for coming to "the sunday show." coming up, with federal voting rights bills essentially dead, many republican-led states aren't making the road much easier for voters. we'll talk about it after the break. sier for voters. we'll talk about it after the we'll talk about it after the break. got♪ ♪ ♪taking a break from all your worries ♪ ♪sure would help a lot ♪ ♪wouldn't you like to get away? ♪ ♪ ♪ sometimes you want to go ♪ ♪where everybody knows your name ♪ ♪ ♪and they're always glad you came ♪
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significant. 19 states have passed 34 voter restriction laws in 2021 alone, more than any other year in the last decade. in arizona, and florida, republican politicians want to establish election security police forces. a candidate for governor in georgia is campaigning on the same idea. and it is a hot mess in texas, where hundreds of mail-in ballot applications are being rejected under a new restrictive voting law. joining me now, ari berman, at mother jones and author of "give us the vote." thank you for coming back to "the sunday show." harris county, texas, their judge linda idalgo says confusion has led to one in three vote by mail applications being flagged for rejection. what is it about this voter i.d. situation that is making that possible? >> good morning, jonathan. thank you for having me back. well, the texas law makes it
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harder to vote in about 20 different ways. and just one part of this law is leading to huge confusion, which is a new voter i.d. requirement for mailed ballots. it is written in a very dystopian manner. you have to match your i.d. on your mail ballot application with your i.d. when you registered to vote. so if your mail ballot application has your driver's license, you registered to vote with your social security must be, your mail ballot application will be thrown out. which is leading to a 700% increase in harris county, texas. and the amazing thing here, jonathan, is that this texas law, like all of the other voter suppression laws passed by republicans, passed by a party line simple majority. but in the senate, kyrsten sinema and joe manchin refused to protect voting rights on a party line simple majority. you're seeing all the republican states do everything they can to undermine voting rights and the democrats, because of manchin
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and sinema, aren't using all of their power to protect voting rights. >> harris county, correct me -- i can't remember which gigantic city is in harris county, but it is largely people of color. >> it is houston, absolutely. and what is happening is these rejections are highest in the largest urban counties that are trending democrat. this is a theme here. we are now seeing in the impact of voter suppression laws. it is not theoretical anymore. these laws that were passed in 2021 are going into effect in 2022. and in harris county alone, the county judge said, 27,500 voters as a conservative estimate could be disenfranchised by this voter i.d. law alone, enough to swing a close election. so there was zero evidence of voter fraud put forth by republicans, who are already seeing the potential for tens of thousands of voters to be
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potentially disenfranchised in 2022. >> let's talk about arizona, element three, arizona state senator has introduced legislation to establish a bureau of elections. 5 million bucks. and they will investigate allegations of fraud in any state, county or local government election. you can see the rest of the things there, including impounding and retaining records or hardware related to fraudulent practice. the 2020 election was the safest and most secure election in u.s. history and elections overall, there is very little fraud. so what is the purpose of that arizona law? >> well, it is all about weaponizing the big lie. further weaponizing the big lie. they already weaponized the big lie in arizona. arizona has been ground zero for the attack on voting rights. they did the bogus audit, they gave power to the republican attorney general again, they made it harder to vote by mail
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in a state where 80% of people vote by mail. kyrsten sinema didn't see this has as a huge threat to democracy. you would think in her own backyard, kyrsten sinema would have been the one to be on the front lines of protecting voting rights, not one of the key democratic senators to block voting rights action. if you want to see evidence of voter suppression, look to further than kyrsten sinema's home state. >> that is a very good point and in the minute we have left, let's talk about florida and governor desantis' election cops. what on earth is this about? >> again, it is further weaponizing the big lie and it is about intimidating minority voters. and this could have a chilling effect on voter participation. the irony here, jonathan, the only cases of voter fraud that i know of in florida in 2020 were four republican voters in the villages, largest retirement community in america, casting fraudulent ballots for donald trump. if he wants to look for the very
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small amount of voter fraud in florida, he should look at his own voters. but, again, they're just trying to weaponize voting in every single way possible so they can prestrict voting access in 2022 and 2024. this is what the big lie is all about. it is not just lying to spread the lie, it is lying to put in place the ground work to steal future elections. >> and the laws are always one way. they're always one way. ari berman, thank you very much for coming to "the sunday show." >> thanks so much, jonathan. next, former congresswoman donna edwards is launching a bid to reclaim her congressional seat. she'll join me after the break. l seat she'll join me after the break chase first banking. a debit card for kids, and a set of tools to help them learn good money habits.
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inequities we already face, because our voices have not been heard, our stories have not been told, our children have not been a priority. and our families and workers have been left behind. and that's why i'm running for congress. >> she's been a familiar face on this show as an msnbc contributor, but this week former congresswoman donna edwards announced her campaign to win back the congressional seat she held for five terms in maryland's fourth district. back in 2017, she traveled to the country in an rv she named lucille to better understand what was happening after the election of donald trump. now she's hoping to use what she learned to once again work for her constituents. joining me now is former msnbc contributor and current candidate for congress in maryland's 4th district, donna edwards. donna, what, you don't want to come on tv with me anymore? why are you running for congress again? >> you know, i love being on with you, jonathan.
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this is one of my favorite shows. but i think this is a really important moment for the country and for my congressional district, which sits right outside of washington, d.c., just a stone's throw away from the capitol. we're facing tremendous challenges, and, you know, as i said, the democrat really exposed the inequities we knew were already there in terms of healthcare, and the economy and jobs and opportunity and i'm running for congress to make sure that we can deliver for the 4th congressional district of maryland, but also because i've been concerned about the republic and about the state of our democracy. and things like you talked about on the show earlier today, around voting rights and making sure that every voice can count in the congress. and it is for those reasons that i decided that because of my experience that i bring back, the seniority i will bring back into congress, that i can deliver both for the
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congressional district and for the country. >> well, clearly you've been thinking about this for a while. and i can only imagine how many people you talked to and listened to. i'm wondering what have you been hearing as you were mulling this decision about what is important to the people of the >> we know that the congressional district is an open seat. the current member of congress who succeeded me has decided to run for a higher office, and so i don't know that i would have considered this because he was representing the district just fine. but it is open, and i think this is a really important moment in the country. i mean, we saw from january 6 and forward through the trump years, politics, a grievance on the part of the republican party to the lowest common denominator. we need voices like mine in the
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congress whether we're the minority or majority. i served in both. i served in leadership. i understand what the challenges are and i'm ready to hit the ground running. >> so, you've got to run -- there is a primary, right? >> this is a primary. i mean, this is a majority democratic district. it is a majority african american district. it spans three counties, the largest of which i live in, in prince george's county in maryland. it will be, it will be a challenge. i don't think that anyone is entitled to a seat in congress. we don't have dynasties here in the united states. i have to run on my record and on what i plan to do for the future in terms of bringing jobs and opportunities and focusing on issues that are of concern like health care and living wages and making sure that we have fair workplaces. these are all things that drive my passion to serve the people of the fourth congressional district, and i'm looking forward to doing it.
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>> and i brought that up, the primary, because as you point out, it is an overwhelmingly democratic district. anthony brown won it with 79% of the vote, and you've got -- i see here on my sheet, five other people who are vying for it. why, why you and not any one of these five people? >> well, i think, first of all, i bring experience of having served five terms in the congress. i think that we are in a moment where it really requires that kind of experience and leadership. and understanding what the challenges are for the congressional district. for example, i served on the transportation and infrastructure committee. i understand what it means to make sure that all of that bipartisan infrastructure bill, that those become deliverables for our congressional district. we live our lives around
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transportation and infrastructure from having the most number of metro stations, subway stations in our congressional district, in the entire region, washington metropolitan region. bringing the fbi headquarters -- we were so close to bringing the headquarters of the fbi to prince george's county, and i am like, you know, a dog with a bone, making sure that we're going to get all of the things that our district is entitled to because we've earned it and i think it requires a leader like me with the experience and the clout to be able to deliver for maryland, and also to deliver for the country, to stand up for our democracy, to protect our republic against, you know, the insurrectionists and these people in the congress now who really are driving an agenda that is not forward thinking and is not about democratic representation. >> i was chuckling at your reference to moving the fbi
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headquarters because here in washington, that is a big story. real quickly, donna, it's a crime to come on here in this particular segment and not say what your website is. what is it? >> oh, thank you so much. donnaedwards4congress.com. >> congresswoman and maybe future congresswoman. thank you for coming to "the sunday show." >> thanks for having me. coming up, deputy national security adviser john finer joins me to discuss the late of the on the russia/ukraine situation. plus, florida is starting to look a lot like texas as it advances a bill to shield white people from feeling guilty about racism. you heard that right. and we'll talk about it in the next hour of "the sunday show." .
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good morning and welcome back to "the sunday show." i'm jonathan capehart. as the biden harris administration steps into the new term, a new poll indicates the majority of americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. both president biden and vice-president harris are facing dwindling popularity numbers, but harris has the biggest popularity deficit of any politician in the survey doesn't
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help that the vice-president has been dogged by unflattering headline and speculation on the growing loss of trust on the part of president biden. that is an inaccurate and incomplete portrayal of her first year in office. the vice-president has had a successful year on behalf of the administration tackling everything from immigration to the supply chain crisis and embarking on international trips to shore up relations with our allies. besides, there is only one man whose opinion really matters right now, and he has already made up his mind. >> do you commit that she will be your running mate in 2024 provided you run again? >> yes and yes. >> joining me now, eugene danielles, white house correspondent for politico and yamiche alcindor moderator of washington week on pbs, both are msnbc political contributors. thank you both very much for coming back to "the sunday show." all right. let's just talk about the way
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the vice-president is viewed. i want us to go there. what's the deal? is it misogyny, is it racism, is it both? what is it? yamiche, i'll start with you. >> well, if you talk to people, i think that there is a camp that wants to say two things. the first is she is a black woman who has faced unfair criticism, who has faced people who are really seeing her as a vice-president who has sort of the traditional problems of a vice-president which is you don't have the power, you are handed a lot of the issues that are hard to tackle, including immigration, including the voting rights. these are things that are very, very tough for her to handle. there is also the reality her office had some real issues. you saw people leave. you saw sort of this group of people that she assembled not workout very well. there were all these stories, of course, of in fighting, of her also being seen as not really taking some of the advice from her advisers. so i think it's a bit of both
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when you talk to people. there is the people -- there are the people who feel like she is being unfairly targeted. but there is some there-there. when i talk to my resources, they say she did need to have a reset, she did need to refocus. the president still has her back and she has been out defending president biden whether it was russia and trying to clear up his statements or whether it was charlamagne tha god said who is president, joe manchin or joe biden. she gave a fierce answer to that question. >> she sure did. eugene, part of your beat is covering specifically vice-president harris. i want to put up on the screen what is in the vice-president's portfolio. immigration, voting rights, filibuster reform, climate change, increased union memberships, supply chain crisis, increased internet actions, france relations, she did a foreign trip to paris and also to singapore in this first year. you know, eugene, one of the
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things we hear, particularly from people who care about the vice-president, is why is joe biden handing her all these horrible assignments? why is he dumping all this stuff on her, as opposed to thinking, did anybody ever think that she wants to do these things? particularly voting rights, that she has some agency in what she wants to work on? >> really easy issues that you just lined out there, right? the thing that i think you are 100% correct on is that vice-president harris has not wanted to -- and i talked to a lot of people in the administration and her office. she didn't come in wanting to not do really tough stuff, right. the way it's been put to me over and over is if something even rises to the level of needing to be presented to the president or the vice-president of the united states, it's a huge hard issue, right. so she definitely has wanted to get in there and get some of those difficult things, voting rights being something that she asked for, despite knowing obviously as a former member of
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the senate before she was vice-president, she knows what the reality is in the senate and all of that. she wanted that because she wants to be seen, and this white house wants to be seen as fighting for huge things, right. they want to take big swings at the fences particularly in the first couple of years though it's a small majority, having majorities in the house and the senate. i think one of the things that's really important is that her, the white house, members of her staff, they weren't really ready for the amount of scrutiny that she came -- that came with vice-president harris. i think they were surprised by it often. some of the things that, you know, even some of the small things, like the pops that she bought, which was a ridiculous conversation that happened, talking about different -- the way she laughs, those things that they say, you know, let's be real, there has been sexism and racism as yamiche pointed out in some of the coverage. but then there have been some stumbles on her own. they know that, right.
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they know that the reset was needed. it's the first year. when i talk to former staffers of her, people that worked with her in california, that worked with her in the senate, they say her first year, she really tries to put her head down and focus on the work. what that means in washington, d.c. is that people -- what you doing, where you at, what's going on, you know what i mean? and so that is where some of the coverage has come and i think you've already seen a higher clip of different interviews and her being out there a little bit more and all my sources say that is going to continue. so i think they feel like they're turning a corner, especially when it comes to her press coverage. >> you know, one thing you pointed out in terms of the scrutiny that i don't think people fully appreciate, she's the first vice-president who has her own dedicated press corps. people are following her and scrutinizing her with the same intensity they've been doing with presidents for, you know, generations now. so that's one thing. i want to put up the nbc news poll because i think there is something larger here.
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her positive rating is 32%. negative rating is 49%. that's a 17-point gap. she's more unpopular than donald trump, according to this poll. and, yamiche, i wonder how much of that is the bad press, how much of that is the relentless effort, it seems, by her critics, to my mind, to hobble her so that she can't run to succeed joe biden when he decides either on his own or after a second term that he doesn't want to be president? >> based on my reporting, it's a bit of both. you have both the gop who are really in some ways trying to tryout birtherism 2.0 on her, questioning whether she was born in america. of course, she's eligible to be vice-president, eligible to be president. she's an american citizen, born here with all the same rights as everyone else.
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but there is this sort of relentless coverage of her both from conservatives who are looking to really try to hobble her because she is, of course, the person who would be running after joe biden. her office had some stumbles. there were some questionable answers, i remember when lester holt was pressing her about the border and said she was in guatemala telling people not to come to the united states. there were in some ways some legitimate issues there. i think the other thing to note she is facing the same issue she faced when she ran for president. there are some people including african american voters who are wondering to themselves, what are your key issues, who do you care about, who are you? that doesn't mean she stumbled on that, but i can tell you just in talking to voters they want to know a little more what her focus is. she obviously has these hard assignments from the president as well as ones she asked for herself, like voting rights. when voters are wondering where is the progress on those issues, it then turns into the progress,
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where is the progress for you, what's your support like? i also want to add one thing. it is important to remind people the vice-president got less support among african american voters than the president himself. there was a primary, african americans were not supporting her in the same way. that still means there are a lot of african american women looking at her and saying she better be treated right. she better be treated with respect and we have her back. you have to look at sort of her favorability and numbers among african americans which are down. it is more than an attack and conspiracy on her. she has some work to convince voters she can handle the job, handle the job of vice-president and ultimately president. >> you know, eugene, more on this point. you know, on the support among african americans, i wrote during the campaign, nobody black in the primary is going to get black support as long as joe biden was in the race. that was just plain and simple.
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so the fact that kamala harris didn't get much black support when she was running for president tells me nothing. however, to yamiche's point, the fact that she is now vice-president, it is a matter of respect now the way she is treated, which is why i think kristen welker asked the question during the press conference, but also why i asked the question of white house senior adviser cedric richmond on a "washington post" live because i do think for a lot of african americans, they're wondering what's going on? does she have the support of the president and does she have the support of the west wing? from my own reporting i know she has the support of both. but, eugene, why do you think that that image is still out there, that she is viewed, she being the vice-president, is being viewed sort of warily by the west wing? >> i mean, you haven't seen the west wing come out in full-throated support of her
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when those stories happen, right. i think that's something that, you know, you talk to sources behind the scenes and they say they don't want to go out and have to defend every single story for president biden or vice-president kamala harris. and so i was talking to someone who had worked with her in the past, is close with vice-president harris and they say why hasn't there been a sit-down between the two of them talking about what the issues they have covered and dealt with this year when it comes to covid, when it comes to the infrastructure bill, kind of a wrap up of the full year so that people understand and can see, hey, she does -- he has her back and she has his. and i think, you know, they are trying not to delve into that because once you start having to knock down certain stories, the people are going to expect you to knock down others. but it does leave open -- it leaves these questions open and out there in a way that we have to ask, and more importantly,
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people in the communities are asking. black people are asking. i think that's frustrating sometimes as a reporter. people think we just all of a sudden want to hone in on something. like me and yamiche get on the phone and this is the story for the month. that's not the case, right. we're all constantly talking to, especially black voters who are like, where is kamala, what's she doing? what's happening? and they don't want her to overshadow the president, so that's one. covid has happened so she hasn't been able to go out and kind of explain the kinds of things she's doing. there is also a 50/50 senate, she's the president of the senate having to be here if they're in session. so there are things they're going to try this year where she's doing more interviews, basically re-introducing herself, though they hate that word every time i use it, but re-introducing herself to the american people because it is something they feel like they don't know her yet. she hasn't been in d.c. politics that long. so this is a chance for that, they think to turn that around.
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>> well, the thing is with rona cron being more manageable, it is my hope the vice-president gets out there because she is her own best advocate. also, let's not forget every time the president does a major speech, january 6, atlanta, the verdict in the derek chauvin trial, she comes out and she speaks first, she speaks her mind. we're going to have three more years to talk about vice-president harris, president biden. so, yamiche alcindor, eugene daniels, thank you for coming to "the sunday show." up next, deputy adviser for the biden administration joins me to discuss the latest on the russia and ukraine. e latest on russia and ukraine
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overnight russia denied accusations from the british foreign office that they are planning to plant a pro-russian leader in ukraine as part of a sham government. it's the latest escalation and tensions between ukraine, the west and russia. as russian fighter jets flew to take part in joint military drills in belarus, which also borders ukraine, all while russian president vladimir putin decides whether to send in the more than 100,000 troops he's amassed at the border. meanwhile, president biden met with his national security team at camp david on saturday as the first shipment of u.s. military aid landed in the ukraine capital. joining me now, john finer,
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deputy national security adviser to president biden. john, thank you very much for coming back to "the sunday show." you know, the russian foreign ministry says, and i quote, the disinformation spread by the british foreign office is another evidence that it is the nato country's led by the anglo-saxons who are engaged in escalating tensions around ukraine. we call on the british foreign office to stop provocative activities. first, john, the u.s.'s reaction to that statement, but how concerned should we be of russia installing a puppet government in kiev? >> thanks, jonathan, for having me on. first, i'd say the russian government's track record in providing honest and accurate information about their activities in ukraine is suspect, at best. but more to the point on the substance of that report, it follows a sort of standard playbook that the russians have used in these situations where they create a degree of political instability and
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uncertainty, they foment unrest, they provide disinformation, and then sometimes they follow it up with military action intervention. what we are saying in advance in total unity and syncronicity, it is par for the course for how russia has handled situations in the past. >> is that why, when you talk about disinformation, is that also why white house press secretary jen psaki said from the podium, i believe it was a week ago, highlighting something that the russians were planning in terms of provocative actions that they were going to use as a precursor to blame the ukrainians and, therefore, give them a pretext to rollover the border? >> that's right, another sort of standard aspect of this playbook is for the russians themselves to generate some sort of pretext, take some sort of action that they can then point
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to and say, oh, we need to take action because there is instability or insecurity, when they're the ones that caused this themselves. taking a step back, all of this underscores something people need to be reminded of, which is the reason that we are here talking about this. the reason that we're in this situation in the first place is because russia has taken the destabilizing action of amassing tens of thousands of forces, more than 100,000, on ukraine's border to menace its neighbor and in a very threatening way. and that is the reason why countries around the world and with a particular focus on europe and the united states, are coming together in unity to say that if russia goes ahead with this action, there will be severe cost. it is russia that caused the situation we are in today and already started to take actions uk and others are calling out. >> jon, should ukraine be concerned at all that the united states, that the west will not come to its aid if russia does attack? >> so, the united states and our
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western allies have already demonstrated a significant degree of support for the government of ukraine. the united states over the course of the past year has provided more than $650 million in security assistance to ukraine as you mentioned at the top of this segment. that assistance is flowing even up to and including just this week. other partners now are stepping up to do the same. and the united states has been very clear also to the russians, and president biden to president putin, the more russia does to menace ukraine, the more the united states and others will do to provide assistance to ukraine so it can defend itself. that is not going to include u.s. troops going into ukraine to fight against the russians. the president has been very clear about that. but it will include providing significant security assistance so if russia goes down this path, it will be costly. >> on friday secretary of state blinken and the russian foreign minister lavrov met on friday in geneva. is there any likelihood that
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president biden and russian president vladimir putin will meet in the coming weeks? >> so, you know, jonathan, even as we prepare to impose costs on russia if they take further military action in ukraine, even as we prepare force posture adjustments in front line nato states and security assistance nor ukraine and these massive sanctions packages we've been talking about now for weeks, our strong preference is if this situation be de-escalated diplomatically, that's why we have engaged with our allies and russians. it is up to the russians whether they are willing to de-escalate the situation through diplomacy. we are going to be prepared either way. should russia go down the path of military escalation, we have a response prepared in full unity with our allies. should russia be open to a diplomatic outcome, we have prepared that path, too. so the ball will really be in their court and we hope they choose the right path. >> jon, final question.
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but does putin even want to de-escalate? has he gone too far, does the united states think? >> i think that's a wide open question at this point. if russia is using diplomacy essentially as a pretext for the military action it wants to take or if russia is open to a diplomatic path to de-escalate the situation, we have put real serious ideas on the table, concerns that we have about russian behavior and steps that we could take we think would improve the broader security environment in europe in full coordination with our partners and allies. if russia is open to that sorts of an outcome diplomatically, it is available to them. but i think it is too soon to tell whether they are, and all signs on the ground, everything that russia is saying and actually doing in the world and on the ukraine border suggests they are actually preparing a military path. >> deputy national security adviser to president biden, jon finer, thank you very, very much for coming back to "the sunday show." >> thanks for having me. next, the florida
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legislature advances a bill that would ban curriculum making white people feel discomfort about racism. it's all so exhausting, but we have to talk about it, and we will right after the break. it, will right after the break who are all younger than you. i had to get help somewhere along the line to stay competitive. i discovered prevagen. i started taking it and after a period of time, my memory improved. it was a game-changer for me. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. i've got moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. now, there's skyrizi. 3 out of 4 people achieved 90% clearer skin at 4 months, after just 2 doses. skyrizi may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. before treatment, your doctor should check you for infections and tuberculosis. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms such as fever,
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[bacon sizzles] ♪ [electronic music plays] ♪ [bacon sizzles] ♪ [electronic music plays] ♪ woo! florida to take anything to the next level. florida senate education committee just passed a bill called individual freedom that would prohibit schools and private businesses from making white people feel uncomfortable when teaching or training about historic racism. because, according to florida's snowflake in chief governor ron desantis, who has been pushing for the bill, it's white people who needy motional and psychological protection in america. joining me now is tim wise, antiracist educator and author of "dispatches from the race
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war." tim, thank you very, very much for coming to "the sunday show." i mean, this is white fragility -- this bill and the purpose is white fragility personified, is it not? >> right. i mean, these are the people who say white fragility is a made-up concept, and yet they democrat -- demonstrate it, every time they open their mouths. this isn't a debate about history. how we remember the past and how we teach it and talk about it affects how we understand the present and how we shape the future. so when they want to get rid of certain textbooks that talk about systemic racism in history, when they want to purge that very term from the curriculum of schools, the reason they're doing that is that if you get rid of a systemic analysis that says our current in equities stem from the inertia of hundreds of years of unequal access and opportunity, what are you left with? you're left with an analysis that says, well, the problem really is black people.
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black folks don't work hard enough. their values aren't good enough. their culture is broken. they are essentially saying, let's remove any type of analysis that looks at the society and the structures so we can just blame the victims of inequality. and the irony is, as they say they want to protect parents and children from feeling shame, they only care about white parents and children because if the only explanation you have for inequality is black people are broken, that's going to create pain and shame for black folks and they don't care. that's what this is. >> right. these bills, although they're written to be very broad, they're not -- these are not two-way bills. this is a one-way street kind of bill. and, tim, what are they so afraid of? seriously, what are they truly afraid of? >> well, i think what they're really afraid of is that young white kids, many of whom got involved in thinking about and being active around racial justice after the murder of
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george floyd, where the largest racial justice movement in history, their fear is if you talk about systemic racism and the truth of our history, the young people who have an innate sense of justice are going to want to get involved side by side with black and brown folks to fight for justice. they don't want that, right. if you're really concerned, for instance, about white folks feeling bad about white folks in history, it's because you're teaching the wrong white people. if we were to talk about white abolitionists, if we were to talk about whites in the movement, as allies, they don't want to talk those white people either because they produce different role models living a different way in this skin. ron desantis doesn't want to think about how to act in solidarity with black and brown people. that's the point. >> tim, on social media, there have been lots of memes out there. one was about, you know, the people, the young people who
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yelled at ruby bridges trying to go to school are now -- now don't want their grand kids to learn about how they yelled at ruby bridges trying to go to school. >> right. >> how much of this is the fact that some white people don't want to be asked the question, where were you -- >> that's it. >> what did you do? where was grandma, where was grandpa during this time? >> that's it. and the reason they don't want kids to ask that question is we know the answer. the polls from the early '60s, in 1962 and '63, show that the vast majority of white americans between two-thirds and 85% said that we already had equal opportunity in this country, and we didn't need civil rights legislation. we didn't need protests. we didn't need marches. most white folks have been sleeping on in justice forever. that's not all white folks, but that's the majority.
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and if young people realized that, they're going to start asking questions of where their parents and grandparents were. and as you said about ruby bridges, all of these folks trying to ban books about birmingham in '63, ruby bridges, rosa parks, what they're saying, in effect, is that black children were apparently old enough to face those water canons in birmingham. ruby bridges was old enough to face those tomato-throwing bigots in new orleans, but susie suburb in white america is not old enough to learn about it. this is the ultimate peak white fragility and they confirm the very thing they deny every time they open their mouths. >> ooh, i mean, this is a sunday show. there's a lot of preaching going on in this show, and it's all very good. tim wise, thank you so much for coming to "the sunday show." >> thank you for having me. next, my panel joins me to discuss the other sunday shows, so keep it right here. r sunday so keep it right here.
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i just don't come from a school where you're constantly airing dirty laundry. like, there are really big divisions in washington right now, period. democrat, republican, within each party. but i just don't believe that the way that you get back at other people is by putting that on air, airing that publicly. so i don't love that. i also don't think that, you know, if we disagree with someone, that's a normal part of governing. >> okay. moderate michigan congresswoman alyssa slotkin had choice words for her fellow democrats this morning revealing she doesn't support the recent public condemnation of senator kyrsten sinema for her obstruction on voting rights. sinema was censured by her own state party yesterday after she joined 50 republicans and joe manchin earlier this week in a vote to kill one of the last shots her party had at saving our democracy. joining me now, my sound off
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panel, cleave woodson, jr., writer for the "washington post" and tara suttmeier to the lincoln project and former republican communications director. thank you all very, very much for being here. so, i'm going to go down the line. rene, your reaction to congresswoman slotkin. >> i think it's time for someone introduce the expression to tell the truth and shame the devil. i do not think the problem is naming senator manchin or naming senator sinema for what they're doing and how they're obstructing biden's agenda. we know it's happening. i don't think there is any problem with that. i think she's sort of hung up on the ideas of ancient arcane ideas, let's be civil and that will work. it's not working. democracy is in the balance. i'm not really worried about hurting their feelings. i'm concerned about saving this democracy.
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>> um-hmm. cleve? >> i would argue that just because, you know, there is not public knowledge that something isn't working or whatever doesn't mean that voters don't know it. voters that i've talked to over the past year, you know, know the problems in the democratic party. they know the problems in washington. and they know the problems joe biden is facing getting his policies through. i don't think that just not talking about it changes that fact. they know that this stuff isn't working because the biden administration hasn't been able to pass any of these big signature legislations that they promised a year ago. >> um-hmm. tara, your view from the other side? >> you know, the time for passive platitudes and, you know, promising this and that are over. like, democrats are just getting distracted by this enter nessing fighting. they can't keep airing their
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dirty laundry. they have to stop it. one thing i can tell you about republicans after spending decades in the party, republicans stay lockstep. they do not break formation. it doesn't matter what goes on. the majority of republicans will stay on message. you could -- you saw what happened during four years of donald trump and all of the insanity that took place then. but the republican party coalesced. you didn't see this type of in fighting in public. you didn't see this going on. so the democrats need to figure out a way to stop eating their own. republicans know how to unify. it doesn't matter what you ask them. it could be what did you have for breakfast today? and they'll stay on message about how delaware has tougher voting laws than georgia, florida or arizona. you know what i mean? >> right. oh, yeah. >> it doesn't matter. so, i look at this from the other side as someone who has been in political communications for a long time, and i go, please, for the love of god, stop this, because if they don't, you're convincing the american people -- you're sending a message that the
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binary choice between protecting our way of life in our democracy, a free and fair democracy we have, versus a republican party that is marching toward authoritarianism. we have sunday church going on on the capehart show today. the power of life and death is in the tongue. if they keep the self-fulfilling prophecy of how horrible things are and how bad joe biden is, guess what, it's going to be worse when republicans take over in 2024. >> i'm going to be the fourth panelist here and just say, you know what? fine to call them out. call them out. again, when they do what you didn't want them to do, and then after that, get in lockstep and get something done. and one of the things they need to get done is build back better. something. i don't know what it's going to be -- it's not going to be what they've been talking about for the last six months. it's going to be something. it's going to be called build back better. but listen to senator bernie sanders and what he said about,
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you know, a potential compromise from joe manchin. >> perhaps the leading progressive voice in the democratic coalition. can president biden count on your vote in the senate with almost any compromise he comes up with with manchin? >> no, you have to look -- no, absolutely not. you're going to have to look at what that compromise is. if it's strong, if it protects the needs of working people, if it deals with climate, i'm there. but we have to look at the details of any proposal. >> rene? it sort of breaks tara's rule here it seems. go ahead, rene. >> i see tara's point and i understand what the senator is saying. you have to make a decision between getting the best bill you can before the american people one which, by the way, the american people support, and
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just getting something done. you know, there is the something done i think people find distasteful. i think that's what senator sanders is speaking about. you want to make sure you're doing everything you can to get the best parts of that bill passed. if the option between that is getting something and nothing, i suppose you opt for something. you could end up with something that comes close to nothing. i think that's what the senator is talking about. >> let's listen to what congresswoman slotkin had to say on "meet the press," also on this issue. go on. >> it just doesn't make any sense that medicare can't negotiate drug prices. >> president trump wanted it, i think. >> so let's do that. i think universal prekindergarten for 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds, right now you're worried about the economy, we don't have enough people working. you unleash a huge amount of people into the economy if we can get reliable child care. do discrete things well.
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don't try and promise the moon. i just come from the school, you know, a c.i.a. officer and pentagon official, under promise and over deliver and we haven't been doing that. >> i mean, cleve, she's not wrong, i don't think, i don't think. do discrete things well. the question is from your reporting, is there appetite within congressional democrats to actually follow through on that? >> yeah, well, two things. i understand under promise and over deliver, but i think one of the problems that democrats and joe biden specifically have had is not delivering on the promises that they've made, especially with things regarding black folders, voting rights. criminal justice reform. so, you know, i understand wanting to take smaller, you know, steps, but i've talked to a considerable number of people who just feel that, you know, the time for those steps is sort of over and there needs to be more of an effort to deliver on the reasons that people put, put
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joe biden in office. the second thing is there is just a sense among a lot of the people that i talk to, you know, in the beltway, but also outside of the beltway that there's, there's just not -- there's nobody that really agrees on the democratic side enough to take a step farther in any direction. so it contributes to this greater miasma, this feeling there is nothing going to be done because in the end they're not going to get together. we saw that in senator sanders' statement. you sort of see, you know, slotkin trying to get at that, but just this feeling of where do we go from here? i don't know that people see a strong direction. >> yeah, i think the phrase here -- we have to take a break, but i love that, cleve, grim miasma. don't go anywhere. we're going to continue this conversation after the break. e s conversation after the break
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welcome back to "the sunday show." rene, cleve and tara are back with me. there are a lot of things to discuss on the sunday shows. i want to go back in time, and back in time to something that senate minority leader mitch mcconnell had to say. >> what's your message for voters of color who are concerned that without the john l. lewis voting rights act they're not going to be able to vote in the midterm? >> well, the concern is misplaced. if you look at statistics, african american voters are voting in just as high percent as americans. recent survey, 94% of americans thought it was easy to vote. this is not a problem. this outrageous mischaracterization of my record as a result of leaving one word out inadvertently the other day is deeply offensive. >> poor boo-boo. he also said in the statement it
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was, quote, hurtful. tara, i'm coming to you first on this because you, of call people know, that senate minority leader mitch mcconnell is very judicious and careful about the words that come out of his mouth and the words that do not come out of his mouth. do you buy that explanation that, i inadvertently left out a word? child, please. >> listen, it doesn't matter. the point is he said what he said, and we all heard him, right? so let's not be -- let's not kid ourselves here. do you guys want that guy in charge? that should be the message from every democrat, to all of the people who are upset that democrats aren't getting everything they wanted done. i understand there are policies that are really important to folks, and that they really want to get them passed. but they need to be realistic about the current legislative environment. joe biden doesn't have a magic wand where he can by decree saying we're going to have new voting rights.
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we're going to have climate change legislation. you can't do that. you complained about what republicans were doing under trump with all of the different regulations and executive orders, and then you now are complaining that, you know, joe biden is supposed to do it now? no, you can't have have it both. so the message needs to be, that guy, mitch mcconnell, and all of his ilk and all of the things that republicans want to do, are way worse than anything that democrats are trying to do or can't agree on or are trying to work out or may have to compromise on. stop letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. that's the message. you don't want that guy or any of his friends in charge because look at what you'll get. if they don't tell that story, i don't know what to tell democrats. they have to start telling that story. either you're serious about the threats these people pose to democracy or you're not.
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they have to stop acting and stop this. >> that is a great thing and a great warning to everyone. but renee, my issue with mitch mcconnell is, you know, there are african americans and then there are americans. and whether there was a slip of the tongue or not, and i don't think it was, i don't care what he says, this idea, in 2022, still, that there's some -- that we're not a part of america. we are apart from america. >> you know, jonathan, it is the oldest narrative in this nation's history, that somehow african americans are still not americans or fully americans. i think when you push that narrative, it makes it easier and easier to deny people of their rights. well, they're not really americans so the constitution doesn't really apply to them. we don't have to pay any attention to what they need.
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the issue with mitch mcconnell, let's be extremely clear, this was not a gaffe. he said what he said and he meant what he said. now he's going to sit back and get the vapors, oh, my god, i'm so offended, somehow they took me out of context and it's offensive. no. what's offensive is the fact that mitch mcconnell believes that millions of people in this nation are not americans. so let me just say this, and this is not a gaffe. i am an american. mitch mcconnell is a racist, same as it ever was. >> talk about vapors, you just knocked me out with some smelling salts with that one. before i come to you, cleve, let me go back to tara on if you had any thoughts on this notion of mitch mcconnell basically doing an us and them argument when it comes to the vote. >> listen, they know that it works. all you have to do is watch right wing media. all you have to do is listen to talk radio.
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this is the other-ism that republicans have zeroed in on. it works. the us versus them goes down to the ethnic nationalism, this ethnofascism they're engaging in. listen to five minutes of tucker carlson's opening monologue every night. >> ughh. >> it always comes back down to race and this whole idea of replacement theory. it's really, really despicable. for the historians who follow this kind of stuff, and particularly what leads to civil wars in other places, this idea of the factionalism, particularly on ethnicity and culture, is prime embers for this fire to spark. and i worry about that. so no, they've got to be called out on it. you can't mince words on what this is, other-ism and fear of the other works for republicans. >> cleve, at the press conference, the president's press conference, he said flat out, what are republicans for,
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what is mitch mcconnell for. are we going to see the president and the white house hammer away at that question from now through the presidency, but certainly through the midterm elections? because i think it's a powerful question to ask, and make them answer. >> it is a powerful question. and we are going to see the biden administration, joe biden himself said he would get out on the road more, hammer that message home, that republicans don't have anything to offer most americans and that democrats and biden will continue to try to offer that. the people i've been talking to over the last week, even over the last month or year, is that, look, the rhetorical devices, the rhetorical slips, the particularly eloquent speeches by joe biden, you know, all of that stuff, a lot of people say,
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is noise. what they want to see is results. so it's not enough for biden to say what do republicans have to cover. it's not enough for biden to talk about the importance of voting rights and all of that stuff. the question that people are asking is, what do you have beyond the pretty words? nobody, none of the black voters i've talked to over the last week believe that mitch mcconnell is for voting rights and all of that stuff. but the question is, okay, if we're going to go with biden, if we're going to go with the democrats, are they going to actually be able to deliver in all of this. words aside, rhetoric aside, you know, pretty or otherwise, like what are the results going to be? >> i hear you on that. but they got to start with the words, to tara's point, you've got to start telling the story, telling the story, and then maybe it will wash over the people. cleve -- >> what's the alternative? what's the alternative? they have to paint the contrast.
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it was excellent work by biden with the asking republicans what do they stand for. and they need to hammer that home, make them answer. >> tara, are you trying to sneak in extra time? i'm actually trying to sign you guys off. thank you all very much for coming back to "the sunday show." and we'll be right back after this. and we'll be right back after and we'll be right back after this it's not for everyone. descovy for prep has not been studied in people assigned female at birth. talk to your doctor to find out if it's right for you. descovy is another way to prep. descovy does not prevent other sexually transmitted infections, so it's important to use safer sex practices and get tested regularly. you must be hiv-negative to take descovy for prep. so, you need to get tested for hiv immediately before and at least every 3 months while taking it. if you think you were exposed to hiv or have flu-like symptoms, tell your doctor right away. they may check to confirm you are still hiv-negative. serious side effects can occur, including kidney problems and kidney failure. rare, life-threatening side effects include a build-up of lactic acid and liver problems. the most common side effect was diarrhea.
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thank you at home for watching "the sunday show." i'll be back next sunday at 10:00 a.m. eastern.
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but stay tuned because my friend alex witt has the latest. hi, alex. >> hey to you. i hope you're going to bundle up before you go outside. is it cold there like it is here? because here it's freezing. >> alex, i need to bundle up in this studio, i've been freezing for two hours. >> and there's that too. have a good one, my friend, stay warm. >> okay, alex, you too. a very good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. welcome, everyone, to "alex witt reports." downhill and divisive. that's how americans from both political parties are describing the state of the country today. new polling from nbc news shows overwhelming majorities believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, and that there's a real threat to democracy in majority rule. now less than ten months until the midterm elections, senator bernie sanders responding to the low marks democrats are receiving, saying the party needs to start taking a different, more aggressive

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