DiscoverVox's The WeedsSecond Presidential Debate Special

Second Presidential Debate Special

Update: 2016-10-10
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The morning after Clinton and Trump's debate in St. Louis, Ezra, Sarah, and Matt head to the studio to talk about internal Republican divisions, Trump's threat to throw Clinton in jail, and the surprising amount of policy the two candidates covered.

Following script is auto-generated by Speech to Text Technology:

the following podcast contains explicit language and in you know I don't want to crumple like sniffle hello welcome to another episode of the weeds boxes policy podcast Network Matthew Grace yes I joined a special Monday recording session by at my colleague Sara Clifton Ezra Klein and out we're here early bright and early because Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton debated last night and we felt that the world would want to hear all about it was time to I'm so happy to be here with you both here at the end of all things I so we're going to do this in in three parts and I think we have a great show because this what happened here what is happening in American politics is big there are moments when your living for something unusual and historic and I think it can be hard sometimes to hold our heads up and see that but American politics one of our major political parties he's breaking down or re shuffling in in in a way that I have never seen happen before and I want to try to use this this hour we have really good it's on to talk about three things here today the first is the civil war II is now brewing the Republican Party for a long time I've been very skeptical of Republican Party crack up the seas and now I think it is clearly true that affections on chopper completely changing the dynamics of the selection that the second thing I want to talk about or that we want to talk about is Donald Trump's promise to jail the leading candidate of the political opposition as soon as his maid president and around that some other democratic norm breaking he gauged in at the debate that stuff I think it is very important to and is one of these things that could be we hope not but could be a very dangerous turning point in American politics and finally we do want to go here there was a lot on Obamacare on taxes on policy in last night's debate a fair amount of it was total nonsense not a word salad as a nation not totally miss out but let's begin with the defections what happened over last week is that the tape this two thousand and five tape of Donald Trump is saying some incredibly but to the SEC when he say he said when you are a start they will let you do anything you want you can grab them by the pussy he bragged about sexual assault to Billy Bush of all people this good of a lot of discussion about this being locker room talk I want to note was not in the locker room he was wearing a microphone on the television set talking to a TV host I've done a fair amount of TV and when you're a microphone before you go on you know it's sort of on but not broadcasting and you're nervous when you pee like it's a very weird time to know people can hear you I do not understand how he went from that to bragging about kind of sex with a married sexual assault but he did because he is a broken man in some very fundamental ways anyway this tape came out and what it did was that it fundamentally changed dynamic of the election in this way it be polarized to the election a Proton the permission structure around Donald Trump there were a lot of Republicans publicly elected Republicans who had endorsed or backed Trump with a very high level of discomfort they didn't want to be on his side but they had to be because every other Republican was that there were even D I think these sort of epitome of this was Ted Cruz who in the worst timing of all time finally just two weeks ago and one phone banking for him and the reason he did that was he had come to the conclusion that one Republicans had to win this election if only to keep the Senate and House and to fit on some level being a Republican at this point men endorsing Donald Trump what happened here though is it that dynamic began to play out in reverse the audio was sort of a last straw moment it didn't come on it's own is after months of Donald Trump acting offensively acting on predictably a radically dangerously and a lot of Republicans began to plot the third of the Senate is now not endorsing trouble lot of people this endorsed him and the reason that's really important is that the permission structure the Republican Party's embrace of chump had created a floor under him he was pretty salty going to be around forty four forty six percent of the two party vote now that all these Republicans began doing the opposite instead of saying that if you're Republican you have to endorse Trump now that again saying You're good person you probably have to not have to dis endorse Trump now bracing for fallout a new NBC Wall Street Journal poll shows Trump behind fourteen points in a two party race and I think this is a real potential turning point in the election because it gives both voted Republican officials Republican or Republican leaning independent voters and the media a chance to not treat Trump as a Republican right which is a normalization but as and as a sort of dangerous labyrinth figure which is the normalization after long comfort of his being normalized by the Republican Party I think we're now seeing a force which is being de normalize we don't know how far will go but I think it is this obsession has fundamentally changed well one question I have is like a busy about that how far does the de normalization coke they think you're right that there was over the weekend this feeling of you're going to be a good Republican UD and restaurant you got this bandwagon despite the fact this wasn't like a huge surprise and it was hard to say like that I can leave damage them said that it was fitting it with a lot of other things he said the thing that I have trouble giving out in my head is what happens to all these people who have been pretty strong supporters of Trump who you have stuck with him most of this I don't think you see the same sort of quick quick movements away there was the day after the tram ticket two days after the term tapes came out of political morning consul to DePaul where they found ninety percent of Trump supporters said they were still Trump supporters maybe that's shifting like we have new polling now suggests saying that Trump is falling behind in the polls but I am actually a little bit leery of trusting playing at this moment of anger someone calls you up an ass like who you support there's a level of judgment to it's hard for me to understand how accurately the polls are going to capture what's going on one of the things that's going to surprise me throughout the election that it's my sons will keep happening going forward but who knows what will happen the next month is that there's this there's Donald Trump base there's a piece of his party we've called Republican that Billy likes of Donald Trump talks about who says you know he is just saying it is a tizzy he is to be a very blunt person I think of contrasts himself with these WikiLeaks things with them Clinton about the private versus public personality I think you that you can ever say about Donald Trump he didn't hide that this was how he talks to hide that this is how he feels about women like this has been a consistent characteristic and I don't I guess I don't have an expectation at this point that among that base of people but this changes that just in some conversations of Trump supporters this weekend this is anecdotal but there is no sense of change it I know the one from supporter I know Andy and of the Sens will this doesn't matter that they are big issues there's ISIS like this does not matter it's an eleven year old tape that's kind of a defense that Trump offered at the debate and the Republican Party in a really weird situation to situation I how it goes forward if you have those big Trump loss did you have this base say we are wrong you know we're going to we're going to go with what the league wants and I going to go back to the more traditional candidates are busy know you bailed our candidate that you who sunk am and the cui wants someone like Trump and I don't know how cool is very confusing time for sure many of our listeners and for me like thinking through what happened said his group of people who voted for term in the primaries you seem to still support Trump and will likely you know going vote for him like how did they how how is what is their role in the Republican Party after this election I think it's important to not exaggerate how much should break it with Trump has happened even for the people who did break with from that I think if you if you look back to the of regional way of sort of Republican defections from Trump it was extraordinary the George H W Bush George W Bush Mitt Romney Colin Powell Condoleezza Rice the most prominent people in Republican Party politics over the past ten fifteen years were not endorsing Donald Trump that sent to you know to the people sitting around this table all to I think a lot of the sort of politics writers set at establishment publications nor very clear signal that leading figures in conservatism were not comfortable with Donald Trump but two things happen or after that what is that CNN which plays a I think is somewhat unique role in the media ecosystem followed two to a large extent by by some of the other you know television has decided to stage an alternate reality where CNN is committed as a TV show conceived to sort of two sided debates why they originated cross fire they want to have panels that make for good television in which some people argue for one side and some people argue for the other side so they got a different stable of conservative commentators than the ones they had been using for years so that they could get people who would make the case for Donald Trump this guy Jeffrey Lord was and no body became hugely elevated comes former campaign manager quite low and as he came on there's this woman whose name I can't recall but whose i think like the most sociopathic of them and their MTV because she she was All SAA anyway iPod as I wish I could do footnotes to an audio podcast and that show right CNN's Trump versus Hillary show is still on like at the debate last night you didn't have any part that there's a push and there's a poll to it right so like Kelly I descend or strum because she didn't want the Donald Trump Millstone around her neck oh yeah did not want to go on CNN and debate Donald Trump with Corey Lowe and as I write but the way that you would send a signal to voters the way he would send the Donald Trump is not normal signal to voters is you have to go up and do that you have to join the argument right you could go on Fox News and argue with Sean Hannity you could go on CNN and argue with Cortland our ski you could do what conservative Democrat stated in the nineteen seventy two election which is John Connelly the governor of Texas many of the more conservative Southern Democrats that many of the building trades unions and the AFL CIO they endorsed Richard Nixon because they were not trying to save their skins from an unpopular Democratic nominee they were actually trying to get him to do is because they didn't like and I am not really seen that even Mitt Romney was like beef with Trump is obviously UN has not like endorsed Hillary Clinton has not put himself out there in conservative media aggressively and in particular are anti Trump conservatives have tended to go very quiet whenever the polls get more narrow which is the opposite of what you do read if you're sitting around in white knuckle terror The Donald Trump down present the United States you get more visible the closer the election becomes a living doing the opposite side so like Condoleezza Rice is a at an African American woman she is at a moderate on many domestic issues she is throughout her career as a a specialist on Russia and the former Soviet Union it is inconceivable to me that she thinks Donald Trump would be a good president Hardy said enough is enough well she said it but just as we can right the tape came out right which I'm sure she found that tape repugnant but like Siti was the opposite of an effective political intervention right which she didn't do was like when Trump was riding high with a Facebook statement saying I disagree with Hillary Clinton met a lot of things but I think his email hit and Hillary is kind of BS and Donald Trump is like a Patsy for Vladimir Putin right she that whole time she had it turned out an email exchange with Colin Powell in which they both seem to agree that Trump was bad but like they weren't going public then machine said comer like Trump when he was down in which to me is a different it's like it's easy to distance herself from a candidate is clearly going to lose so they're a lot of profiles in cowardice here but I actually want to focus on the last thing he said because that is the way in which I think this pandemic is changing I agree with everything you said except to de emphasize the actual importance of the kicking when he's down dynamic because I think what just happened and what is happening right now is of it a lot of Republicans who were afraid to speak out against him when he was sufficiently high are using this is an opportunity to publicly commit to opposing not saying opposing day in and out on CNN that but to coming out like Condi Rice doing a face the prosecution to be president creating the signals that will be out there in the media that will be echoed down I do think this is tangible effects of Paul Ryan came out today and he said he's not this endorsing Trump but he's not going to defend him either and every member of the House should do what is best in their district so is that going to matter because power in his concert on Fox News' Sean Hannity know it won't but that is one of the number of signals it is now being sent to resource allocating players in the Republican Party to not allocate resources to making the dollar charm campaign victorious rate there is not running a very good campaign the RNC among others has to make decisions about putting a lot of money into this one House district versus putting more into broader battle ground to TV for Trump and these decisions I think are starting to test there's already some evidence of the artsy pulling money from different from battlegrounds why they're going to I think certainly trying to hold the House and that's actually a pretty important thing it's one more thing to pull some behind the other thing is that I think these things have of suffering for some quality when Trump was up a lot of these actors weren't coming out because the other ones were coming out now that he's down your strengths in combat because the other ones are coming out if Rob Portman and Kelly Ayotte and Lisa Murkowski and Jason chow fats and Connie Rice and all these folks have come out and said Because I'm a decent person I have to step off the train I think there are other Republican elected officials who want to be seen in history as a decent person and are going to want to step off the train and what that creates which I do think is important is it the media has struggled about how to deal with chump and CNN is a great example of it is struggle between treating Trump as one thing he is which is Republican nominee as a nother thing his which is a dangerous aberration in American politics and it comes off so it's between the two things the more the Republican Party abandons Trump the more it sends the contrary signal that he is not a representative of the Republican Party but he has something new and look you're seeing this new dynamic of a public that this endorsing him that creates a very different kind of media coverage to de legitimize and kind of coverage which is actually pretty sharp contrast to legitimize and kind of coverage the media has given Trump at many points in the selection so I do think it matters that I don't think it matters in the sense of that the every institution after the party will not abandon but oppose him but I think that one of my foundational premise is that Trump basically had a floor set by the Republican Party and I think that floor is crumbling and as for crumbles the range of outcomes becomes much wider and it goes to this poll today NBC Wall Street Journal poll that shows Trump behind by eleven points in a four way race in fourteen points in a two hour race on the one hand that could just be differential responses could be that people were Trump supporters to Sarah's point are no longer are embarrassed right now to say it to a pollster also could mean that Trump might end up with a butcher and thirty s which I think is now possible because remember he also doesn't have geo TV there's a lot going on here that they could depress a share I think it's pretty discouraged and end this feels to me like it it's going to go some are pretty rough for the Republicans but that creates another problem is what I meant when I said early on that I'm sorry because I believe in the Republican civil war the original story of Donald Trump is a collision between the preferences of the Republican Party's elected class which did not want Trump and both other kinds of Republican elites like need media elites who are more open to him and very much Republican base which Trump now you can have a situation where Trump potentially loses by a very big margin for Republicans lose the Senate this house and what has happened at the end is it the Republicans in elected establishment in the eyes of many conservative voters stopped Trump in the back of this endorsed they went out and went for themselves and it's not like they're aligned I think Sarah mentioned Politico poll that pretty quickly found that most Republicans won a trip to stand maybe that will change in the coming days but I bet this good eighty seventy percent of them will stick with one inch up to be the nominee and forty percent of them will stick with loving trust and feeling that he has been crucified by a corrupt Republican establishment by a corrupt media and Trump I think is only going to encourage that he's already been tweeting about you know the hypocrites who you know the band and we will see their poll numbers drop he might search from TV to try to get his super intense audience there so if we see of a fight in their public by a genuine civil war I think is what it's going to look like I think a lot of actors I can feel betrayed by the Republicans who abandoned Trump Sean Hannity tweeter wrote a couple months ago that if Trump loses he was going to blame all these media figures like the Wall Street Journal that were not sufficiently pro Trump and there's going to be a coterie of folks are putting parties an abandoned shop and mass part of it is splitting and part of it is not just staying but furious at the sweaters and will blame them for whatever negative for conservatism outcomes emerge like for instance Heller cunt in a mean swing Supreme Court justice I guess it makes me more skeptical of this idea that that tape leads to leads to an implosion on election day that you end up with this like really low vote share because Republicans have been given permission to walk away and it sounds like he is a hard thing for me to think through this when that sounds like a possible scenario off the idea that a lot of people who are getting very energized by this I don't know of them are I don't think we knew people who really support trying to get a good sense of how how many of them there were until election came and it happened and Trump was there's a candidate but they give you if you read right part which is varied in the world that allow these people are living an great news for Trump Trump is doing great and are using B the defections are using all this change as kind of a rallying cry the thing I have trouble thinking through is like other people there are to be rallied like want rally already late if you look at people vote in the primaries that the really intense voters is that the universe of a support or like are there other people were looking at this saying like get his guys get like a tree that this guy's getting stabbed in the back by his party I don't I don't know how all these defections play out but I am less I could see it going either way of you leaving Trump with a similar vote shared what he had before or or ending of the queues and the historically low I think this is really bad for them I mean I think this year Point Break part is not a big website like they loom in people's heads but they are not a big stack up I read the stats are not because we are so and I mean we're huge in a juggernaut but we don't represent all of America either that's a it's a winning campaign strategy to get good coverage only are they real or not evil of Fox News like it's it's similar house that's already starting to waver like Meghan Kelly and Sean Hannity are in a fight about Donald Trump I mean this that this is the primary strategy over again like what how to alter when the primaries he recognized a fairly small but highly activated base of super fans can actually triumph in a multi candidate field and win but it's a pretty small number of people what has been happening is that Trump has had to add on not just like the people I can which is pretty big rate of thirty three percent of the country like stuff that's a ton of fucking people but he also needs people kind I don't like him and if you look in polls we know that the majority of people like sixty some percent of people have a negative view of Donald Trump but we also know that is out polling is favorable traits like sixty some percent of the population is is negative but his approval numbers are but he's a higher than his approval is higher than the number of people who think he's qualified to serve in office like that Delta there are people who don't like Donald Trump but are going along with us because Republicans don't like Hillary Clinton if that group drops like that's a disaster at the Stone of like the senators coming out league lead God I don't know where we haven't seen this I can think of is that happening before is like as a group of permission are they still sailing better than the alternative ideas like these to be downside risk sat there for Republicans one is that the news cycle becomes filled with infighting right either because Trump lashes Out at some of the people who've abandoned him because one of the abandoned says something really pointed get some headlines because Sean Hannity stirs up some shit you don't know exactly why but it just if the dominant story becomes Republicans are arguing with each other about whose fault the Sens I think that's just bad form or as he tends to depress the turnout of Republicans who like Trump and of Republicans who don't like Trump is just like it's a it's a bad buy his story and it distracts attention from their common ground which is that they don't like Hillary Clinton right when Paul Ryan clearly would like to do some have there be no more stories and to just talk about the fact that baseline Republican Party voters don't think that Hillary Clinton has good ideas about America right because he didn't Democrats can even go up two or three points in the generic ballot and he can hold his mouth jar yes they can do is go up eight or nine points and the way they get up that high is for Republicans just be like sat but they could easily get sad getting embroiled in infighting I mean his position that he is not going to comment on like the most important most interesting political story is good for him he's very disciplined but the it's hard to make that really stick right as it as a strategy the thing is that this is a podcast and not print I'm going to toss out the bold prediction that I think there's more trumped up Oh out they got supple protection huh Yuri s If the nineteen ninety five tax return weaker only had access to one year's worth of Donald Trump's tax returns I don't know who that would be right who only had the one year I think this idea that a threat of a lawsuit for five million is keeping every single person who worked on any season of The Apprentice sitting on this videotape is like a little not credible right all it takes is one and I who had access to that footage who is a Democrat who would like to be famous to put that out or would like to be famous and is give it or not yes yes exactly and I think that something people have not fully understood in this campaign but that I firmly believe based on years of reporting that the Clinton campaign believes to be true is that he's still too soon to put out your best anti drug campaign of facts are very real and they are very short list of my stuff fades out normally camp scene releases some good dirt on optimal e early because they fall behind at some point they want to change the story they need to get the donors and volunteers and staff at the insides Clinton has never been behind she's never had a reason if there's like a good bag of tricks there to throw the best stuff so I think there is something probably that they have that will come out after the third debate when there's nothing no time left it to hold it for and Republicans are dealing with elected officials are trying to position themselves to dealing with a lot of uncertainty right I mean we know for a fact that there is something very embarrassing in Donald Trump's tax returns I mean like that is clearly true and we know that there is who is leaking some of Donald Trump's tax returns and you really have to ask yourself if you're running somewhere does that person have the embarrassing information and it just isn't out has Hillary Clinton had this for months like is that why that's been more of a point of emphasis than Donald Trump sat like housing discrimination lawsuit I mean you don't know but it's a it's a big big big hazy cloud hanging over this whole thing that I think is one of the reasons the tape precipitated so much bolting was it a little bit of a like an oh shit moment that like OK that's the tape we just saw it's not the only tape a dump truck that exists to your point because I think your timing point is really important here that tape came out two days before a debate that it didn't come out randomly came out at a time maximal e calculated to rattle Donald Trump and interrupt any debate prep he was doing so he get back on his feet with a trial like this was the ultimate provocation so yeah I think it's very likely there's other stuff out there and they are not releasing it randomly there were leasing at times a day of planned heard the most I want to go back to the forcing sex I think it's a good save with our second topic here you talked about how the connective tissue in the Republican Party the lowest common denominator right now is hatred for Hillary Clinton that is ultimately what could hold the coalition is what Donald Trump thinks will hold the coalition together and Trump in his often kind of ham handed making too much subtext text way decided to take a stab at this at the debate he decided to create a debate because he lives inside the bright part universe would be the one that he thought Republicans who hated Hillary Clinton wanted to see and hear so right before the debate Donald Trump sent out a tweet and said Please join me for my debate prep live on Facebook and he was holding a press conference with Juanita Broderick Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones who are three women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct of some sort or another at the debate very early on he said I hate to say this I didn't want to say this but if I'm elected I will point a special prosecutor looking Heller Clinton and she said
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Second Presidential Debate Special