Full McCaskill, Davis: Senate, Congress Was 'Broken Before Impeachment Came Along' | Meet The Press

Channel: NBC News
Published: 12/22/2019 04:45 PM

Former Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Former Republican Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) joins Meet The Press to discuss the politics of impeachment. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC » Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNews NBC News Digital is a collect...

Welcome back, it is no secret that our politics are increasingly polarized and, frankly, broken with the wings of both parties, applying growing pressure on what is a disappearing middle politicians who achieve success in part because of their ability to appeal to the other side. They now find themselves struggling to win elections or even to be nominated by their own party. Joining me now are two ...
former office holders. Who'Ve experienced this changing political landscape, former democratic senator claire mccaskill, who lost her senate seat. Last year's missouri became more conservative, former republican congressman tom davis of virginia, who gave up his seat before the 2008 elections, as his district has become a lot more liberal, welcome toboth of you, and i want to talk about that so-called disappearing middle because, let's be frank Here impeachment is, is breaking congress, as we know it. For now the center is who puts humpty dumpty back together again, and yet it feels like this is going to be a lot harder. This time, senator mccaskill i'll. Let you take the first swing at this. How does the center, and is it have to be an reassert itself to sort of fix the senate? Well, first of all, i think the senate was broken. Congress was broken before impeachment came along there. My first year in the senate. I voted on 306 legislative amendments.

This year, there's fewer than 30mitch mcconnell has presided over absolutely destroying senate norms from merrick garland to killing legislative debate. The senate is no longer what it was, and the people of this country are gon na have to be the ones politically to put pressure on this dysfunction and say we want unity. We want stuff to get done. We want you to quit the partisan food fight tom davis. There isn't a political constituency that rewards that right now, not at all. In fact, we've devolved into basically parliamentary behavior and a balance of power structure, and it doesn't work remember that, for about 80 % of the house and a majority of the senate, the only race that counts is the primary electionto. These members november's just a constitutional formality. The voters have sorted themselves into basically making most of these seats safe. The number of marginal seats is really decreased in each party, but they're the ones that that decide who's the majority. What'S interesting in our new poll is how how certain some people are of their vote already? We asked this question about 2020. Certain to vote against trump is already up to 48 %. That'S it's up two points from when we last asked last month, certain to vote for trump is 34 % depends on the nominee is 18 %, and this is what i'd like to focus on for the rest of our conversation, because it this is theswing voter.

For this election - and it looks like no swing voter - that any of us have talked about in 30 years, this swing voter is a male younger white. I want to show they. They approve somewhat of the president's job rating. They prefer a republican congress over a democratic congress, but they believe the president did something wrong, even if they're not ready to impeach him senator mccaskill. This is a different type of swing voter than we're used to normally it's the suburbs. Well, the suburbs are moved in one direction. You tried to appeal to these swing voters and you had a hard time doing it. Is it culturally impossible for democrats to reach out tothese folks? I don't think it is especially if the candidates get back to focusing on. What'S pragmatic, practical unifying the country and the big one health care now, the republicans are in a bad position on health care. They have tried to take away the protections that people have really grown to be really guarding. They don't want that pre-existing condition, protection gone, and i think if, in fact, the democrats nominate someone who can talk about unity, talk about going after drug companies talk about stabilizing healthcare costs, then i think donald trump will no longer be president. In january of 2021, tom davis there's another fascinating aspect about this group of 18 %, and it is they're moreuncomfortable with joe biden than they are bernie sanders.

In fact, bernie sanders scores fairly well with this group of voters and because another dynamic in them is they're not fully happy with the system as it was. I is it possible that sanders might be the best person to take trump voters away from trump. Well, i think it depends where you're talking about. I look. I think this race is going to be a race to the body at any extent where people are holding their nose, a lot of swing, voters and picking the lesser of two evils. You know what the president has going for him right now is the lowest unemployment rate in 50 yearsin a stock market, that's going through the roof, so he's getting good results on the ground. He just passed a new trade agreement. That'S going good for him at this point in spite of everything else, and if the democrats run against him on the economy, i think that's a tough sell at this point. You want to get to the middle to appeal to these swing voters and give them a reason, but the nomination process drives the democrats left and the republicans right and that's the dilemma that both parties face senator. What did you make of the debate? The other night? I look you could come to the conclusion over the last four or five debatesthat, the party looks like they're, arguing now more they're moving toward the middle. Maybe that's because buda jude's is the guy that that's getting traction in iowa, more so than warren or sanders. Do you see that, as how do you view that development? Well, i saw a very recent survey among democratic voters and it really is really interesting.

They really don't like the idea of the government paying for college for rich people mm-hmm. They really do the majority of them want to hold on to the option of private insurance. If people want that, but they certainly want a government option also. So i think that where most democratic voters are are frankly closer to mayorpete or joe biden or amy klobuchar than they really are, the universality of the proposals that both elizabeth warren and bernie sanders are pushing tom davis. Would you advise democrats to spend time willing republicans like yourself - and i say this - i'm not presuming meaning more centrist, republicans, more right-of-center, republicans and not presuming where you are and on president trump personally, but a republican like yourself absolutely because in these swing states it's really In the suburbs, your higher income suburbs, the republicans, have been losing it - they lost in the midterms, but remember the midterm election was more about putting a check on the president, rather than giving him a blank check, and that's traditionally what wesee in midterm elections. I think these voters went comes into the presidential race, are really up for grabs and are gon na make the difference over who carries these swing states senator claire mccaskill, congressman tom davis. I guess formers on both of them, though, but people who bring a reasonable conversation to a sunday morning. Thank you. Both hope you enjoy your holiday break thanks for doing mike a check. Thank you. Senator hello from washington, i'm chuck todd and thanks for checking out the meet the press channel on youtube click on the button down here to subscribe and click over here to watch. The latest interviews highlights and other digital exclusives.

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