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tv   Washington Week With Gwen Ifill  PBS  February 26, 2016 7:30pm-8:01pm PST

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gwen: goodness gracious. between donald trump, the supreme court vacancy and the guantanamo dispute, it's showdown city here and on the campaign trail. we'll try to make sense of it tonight on washington week endorsement bombshell. mr. christie: the best person to beat hillary clinton in november on that stage last night is donald trump. when bit -- gwen: one day after trump emerged as the punching bag in the latest republican debate. he recruits a former rival to snatch back his momentum. mr. trump this was an : endorsement that really meant a lot. rubio: so, that's the only part of the plan? just the lines? trunk you'll have many different
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: plans. you'll have competition; you'll have so many different plans. mr. rubio: now he's repeating himself. mr. trump: no, no, no. gwen: and candidates race to the bottom. >> he wanted a full length mirror. maybe he wanted to make sure his pants weren't wet. gwen: in washington, another kind of standoff. >> everything is on the line. congress, the supreme court, the presidency. >> the election is well underway. this vacancy should not be filled by this lame-duck president. >> the easier thing to do is to give in to the most extreme voices within their party and stand pat and do nothing. gwen: are politics as we know it frozen? or is about to change forever? covering the raucous week -- susan davis, congressional reporter for npr. michael duffy, executive editor of time magazine. john harwood, chief washington
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correspondent for cnbc. and alexis simendinger, white house correspondent for real clear politics. >> award-winning reporting and analysis covering history as it happens. live from our nation's capitol. this is washington week with gwen ifill. corporate funding for washington week is provided by -- today, people are coming out to the nation's capital to support an important cause. how can you help? by giving a little more. to yourself. >> people sometimes forget to help themselves. >> thousands of people came to to donateand pledged an additional 1% of their income. >> additional corporate funding
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is also provided by boeing. additional funding is provided by newman's own foundation, donating profits to charity. good.urishing the common the foreign foundation. the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. once again, live from washington, moderator gwen ifill. gwen: good evening. anyone who tells you they saw this week coming is likely making it up. this was chris christie just last month. mr. christie: showtime is over, everybody. we are not electing an entertainer in chief. showmanship is fun, but it's not the kind of leadership that will truly change america. gwen: well, apparently that was then. today, christie and donald trump were in full embrace, as the new
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jersey governor helped the gop frontrunner rebound from a shaky debate performance by delivering a surprise endorsement in texas. mr. christie: he is rewriting the playbook of american politics because he is providing strong leadership not dependent upon the status quo. gwen: trump was his usual, low key self, taking aim mostly at the man who came after him during last night's debate - marco rubio. mr. trump: he's desperate. look, i watched a part of his little act and he's a desperate guy. i've been watching him over the last number -- he is not presidential material. that i can tell you. doesn't have the demeanor. he's a nervous nellie. i watch him backstage. he's a mess. the guy's a total mess. gwen: rubio, campaigning in oklahoma city, lashed back. mr. rubio: we are not going to lose the conservative movement to a con man. gwen: both rubio and crews were
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all in last night. mr. cruz: what donald has told us is he will go to washington, cut a deal. so that means on supreme court, he's going to look to cut a deal rather than fight for someone who won't cut a deal on the constitution but will defend it faithfully. gwen: but did trump get the last laugh today? john: i have to say i saw it all coming. gwen: you admitted you were wrong. john: wrong is not a strong enough word for it. i think donald trump had an extraordinary coup with the christie endorsement. it changed the story away from the debate. it was a mainstream figure who gave reassurance. the party had still been regarding him as a little bit offkilter. politician.
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maybe a little bit of a freak show. the people endorsing him like sarah palin were held in that regard. you don't get more mainstream than the governor of new jersey, the keynote speaker at the last convention. a potential front runner for the nomination. it tells a lot of people in the party, where he very you think tothis guy, he is on track be the nominee. gwen: endorsements don't do that much unless it is timing or signals. michael: or the parametric pressure changes. when we look back on this week, this might be the week where we saw donald trump turned the corner on his press and begin looking little bit toward the general election. you saw that when it did get substantive where he talked about hearts of obama care he would keep. parenthoodat planned
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does. the thing about people not dying in the streets. and saying again how stupid and foolish the iraq war was. this is a sign he is not just to get about republican party messaging. he said, i'm bringing different people in. he is looking ahead to tuesday were many republicans who i think are good watchers of this, say he could win 10-11 states. be waking up might with a different sense of his role in the year. christie and donald trump agree about anything? when we get past some of the name-calling to the policy we have been able to discern, they don't come out on the same side. >> here is one thing i thought
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that was interesting. governor christie was reiterating their shared animus towards hillary clinton. propelling governor christie to do this, it is not were friendsy' and had a high regard for each other, but the shared idea that hillary clinton should not be the president. governor christie would say this is the republican figure that can get the white house back for republicans. >> i would say the biggest shared idea is they both like the spotlight. donald trump is a ticket for chris christie back onto the national stage. >> it has not been a substantial stylistically, they are most
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compatible. >> the idea was everybody was going to gang up on donald trump. we did see this in the three shot. onws on one side and -- cruz one side and rubio on the other. >> the question was, was it too little, too late. can you stop him when he has had early stage victories? i talked to the establishment. the one thing i heard is this what should have been happening through the anti-trump for security he does have support on capitol hill. but this is what should've been happening five months ago to slow him down. there is an increasingly, realization and acceptance donald trump that -- that donald trump is the front runner. he got his first two
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congressional endorsements. if he does well tuesday, we are going to see more members of congress stepping out for him. uz and rubio came in with well-prepared attacks. they had their lines down. in a different year or situation, those would have had some impact. trump brushes them off and he called them losers or whatever. >> liars. stuffhis universe, that doesn't matter. the larger question of leadership. the larger point which he made over and over, the american public is sick of elites trying to get this right. he said, i am not a career politician. he said you can't trust anyone in politics. animating a lotne
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of this. >> if rubio's strategy is how can i make this a two-person race, he had to be all in. today, he was out saying i'm going to win florida, i don't care what the polls say. >> he is trying to encourage the establishment not to go wobbly. there is this effort. donald trump's negatives are so suggesting 65%re of republicans are not behind donald trump in this splintered his, how can they take image and pull it down? that was a strategy that might have been better earlier. >> the good news for rubio is ted cruz has to face donald trump in texas before rubio has
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to him in florida. he willruz loses texas, be effectively crippled. i think there is a 50-50 chance. crews had a slightly in some polling but that is volatile. behind inuch for the florida but if he gets crews out s cruz race, -- if he get out of the race, that at least creates the possibility. what is the prospect of a trump nomination for people like paul ryan? a crunchy granola policy guy who i don't think agrees with trump on anything we know about. >> almost anything. free trade, taxes, medicare. substantive issue.
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>> he was asked, chris christie disagrees, -- youaul ryan was asked, have started to look at delegate math. he said we are not even there yet. i hear it a little bit from rubio supporters. if he continues in this strong number two position, perhaps the only path you have is to deprive trump of the 1200 delegates he needs to win. that seems unlikely at this point. all the rules have been thrown out. >> regardless of the party or party leaders, if that even whats and it does not, really matters are the voters. 30,hey continue to get him 40, 50% pluralities, it doesn't matter.
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we have a republican nominee reaching out. people into the party. >> when you switch the calendar to winter stake -- winner take all states, there is not a path unless he starts winning to deny trump the majority. >> he was asked about whether he could win a state. he said, donald trump is a con man. there are experts who look at the map, arguing math does matter. saying there is a path. he might not have to win everything to pick up delegates. all these other magical things would have to happen. casey would have to get out earlier. he would have to win ohio. start winning
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some place. all the evidence suggests he is not likely to win everywhere. >> he said he does not expect trump to lose any state next week. the democrats are watching carefully. if you are a democrat opposition researcher, don't you have a nice big fat file that the republicans hesitated to use? or are we in this weird, upside down world because -- where it doesn't work? >> when you get out of the republican primary electorate and the group of people trump is appealing to, it is a different ball game in terms of how information is processed. donald trump talked about winning the hispanic vote in the nevada caucuses. we are talking about hispanic republicans. population hispanic
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is nothing like nevada republican hispanics. all the calculations get flipped. the imperviousness of trump to needs a second look once we get out of the primary season. >> it is important to remember trump has barely been attacked on the air. to give credit to the washington post, only 4% of the money was spent attacking trump. if he becomes the nominee, it will be $1 billion of attack ads. think about that. he has not to sustained an attack campaign the democrats are capable of giving. yelling louder does not necessarily overwhelm. here are the consequences of our presidential politics. the actual governing. the white house and the senate were in a staredown this week, over the future of the guantanamo bay detention center .
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the president wants to close it and the supreme court vacancy the president wants to fill. for the first time in history, senate leaders say they won't hold hearings on a court nominee, or even meet with anyone the president nominates. >> so the question is, who should make the decision? and my view, and i can now confidently say the view shared by virtually everybody in my conference, is that the nomination should be made by the president the people elect in the election that's underway right now. gwen: so now it seems we have turned a political corner affecting all three branches of government. fight issupreme court interesting yes, it is about republicansger for toward the white house. it is also about the battle for the senate. which mcconnell has made the
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calculation for the seven republicans defending state won, it is better to illuminate the supreme court, the vote from this equation. part of the equation is if this is going to be a base turnout election which is what it is looking like, getting your base voters excited is what is going to get you there, letting obama have a final nominee is not going to make the base happy. it is better to feed into the base politics. risk you't there a might end up with a democratic president? sue: that is why what mcconnell is doing is a huge bet. harry reid says he thinks mitch mcconnell will back down. mcconnell is not knowing for back down. he is not showing any signs of backing down. is not clear to me that the argumentc counter
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that it is going to her the republicans makes sense. by saying, we are not going to them, that is the final piece in your strategy. we are not even going to give this airtime or let it he discussed. give it inc. or press. press.or it had become incendiary. dewey ever expect them to give it attention? no. appearings a risk in to want to shut down the process and being unreasonable. the republicans have been laboring over the last several years under the negative image of being less reasonable, less willing to work with the other side. less willing to make government work. all the polling shows that. how significant will that be brought to bear in an election campaign? i don't know. gwen: think about this calendar
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year. members of the house budget committee say we are not going to look at the budget. have hearings. the president says, i want to close down guantanamo. is a nonstarter. and then this, the supreme court. unprecedented. i wonder what the white house does. polling a trump, yelling because they have nothing to lose? was takente house aback by the rapid response. it was so fast. you areparticular case, talking about old business and a piece of very new business. they have come together in this storyline that we have an instruction asked congress, a majority leader who says he
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wants to get congress working. this will open up into the supreme court, into a new narrative when the president puts forward a nominee. , someould be as early before mid-march. it is possible. the white house is gearing up with 18 to go full out. -- a team to go full out. the brian put out sandoval trial which was so sawsy even brian sandoval through it. >> i want someone with a flavor or taste or feel for real life. >> a willingness to be completely sacrificed. [laughter] in every nomination we have
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seen in recent times, they are all brutal. couldr this is potentially come if there is a thisratic president -- person would have to be ready to go through this process. lawyer, whod a would put themselves out for this? they said, you would be surprised. become oftanamo to the budget issue, also dovetails with the presidential campaign to read the ministries and, look at the picture of the two hardee's. a president trying to do his job. on thet debate democratic side but nothing like the kind of schoolyard juvenile stuff on the republican race. mike murphy, who had been jeb bush's advisor, said this is
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what it looks like when republicans give away the presidency. all of that can be put together as unreasonable, not mature, not grown up. --n: >> look at the image of the two parties. the republican image is underwater. butdemocrats break even, the republican image is significantly worse. >> the beneficiary of that is not the establishment of the republican party. much less hillary clinton. it seems that who benefits from that angst and anxiety is a candidate like donald trump. the so comes down to, at the end of this week, trump seems to have won on all of these fronts. it is moving more in his direction than anyone else's. gwen: its x-ray not that hard to
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see. i think we are going to see more than less next week. thank you, everybody. stay with pbs tonight for something really cool that might take your mind off politics. ♪ gwen: "in performance at the white house" features an entertaining salute to the great ray charles. that's later tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern. and as this next big political week unfolds, be sure to join judy woodruff and me for special super tuesday election coverage, march 1 at 11:00 p.m. eastern. we're going to keep talking online, on our washington week webcast extra. that's at and we'll see you again here, next week, on washington week. good night.
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hollow and welcome to kqed "newsroom." troubling findings about santa clara's jails. dog owners feeling bitten by new national park rules. first an update on homelessness in san francisco. today is the deadline for homeless people to clear out of an encamp the on division street in san francisco. officials posted a notice to vacate on tuesday, giving 72 hours to leave the area. the tents have become a target of complaint for neighbors and businesses and a public relations dilemma for mayor ed lee. we talked to linda who lives in a tent on division street about potentially moving to a


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