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tv   Campaign 2020 Politico Playbook Discussion with DNC Chair Tom Perez  CSPAN  April 19, 2020 1:46pm-2:17pm EDT

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on her personal response to the pandemic and dr. andrew morning. talks about the spread of the virus and the latest data on how well it is being controlled. join the conversation monday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. their credit national committee chair tom perez talks about presidential politics and the coronavirus pandemic with political playbook co-authors and a palmer and jake sherman. this is about half an hour. i am author of the political playbook. i am right -- i'm joined by jake sherman. thank you so much for joining us. we are going to be talking about the response to coronavirus. and how democrats are facing the
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challenges related to voting in the primaries. mr. sherman: these briefings are among events politico is hosting. we are going to get right to our conversation with the chairman, but we would love to answer your questions. pleased with your questions and we will try to get to them. ms. palmer: let's get started. thank you so much for joining us. right now oncused the coronavirus pandemic. we are coming from our own respective homes. there is a lot of focus on washington's response. how do you grade the federal response so far? has been: the response one of gross incompetence. it is an utter failure of leadership. this president knew around the first of the year that this was a pandemic in the making. because he is always so concerned about himself, and he wants to be the center of
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attention, he ignored the advice of professionals like dr. fauci. those eight weeks that were lost during this. of time were eight presses -- precious weeks the cost lives. the absence of preparedness on getting tests. the absence of preparedness on getting ppe, this is personal for me. i have four siblings, they are all doctors. one is a pulmonologist working on a covert board right now. -- covid ward right now. i worked with team obama. i remember being in the room during the discussions on the ebola crisis. we had osha at the department of labor and we were concerned about safety. barack obama and joe biden led the global response. the failure of leadership is causing chaos around this country.
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it is so preventable, on so many levels. there is been a lot of stories recently delving into the administration's response. the life that have been lost. we are still going to be counting those in the coming months. this is life and as you said. how do you capitalize on it at the same time, you don't want to be crass. this is people's livelihoods, it is their health. about making is sure americans are safe. it is about making sure we do our best to mitigate the challenges that we have right now. and we need leadership that is honest with the american people. crisis management is about speaking clearly. it is about speaking accurately. it is about speaking compassionately. this president is 0-3. you see members of congress doing this.
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the vice president has outlined -- vice president biden has outlined a plan where we would lead the world, lead the global response. it should not be up to mayors and governors to be competing against each other and bidding up the prices. it should not be up to the mayor done,roit to, as he has to figure out a way to test his first responders. mayor duggan had to do that because there was no leadership at a federal level. democrats are stepping up and away it is compassionate. we are being honest with the american people. we are going to level with you. it is going to be a while. we are going to work together on this. that is how vice president biden handled the bullet -- the ebola crisis. that is how they handled the great recession and all of the things they inherited. they leveled with the american
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people, they summoned our better angels, and they were not working -- looking out for themselves. they were looking out for the well-being of the american people. mr. sherman: you were at the helm of a large campaign organization that is trying to win back the white house. when back the senate. governorships across the country, local races. mean,re a 32nd pitch, i goodness, we thought we understood the outline of this campaign a month ago and now we are less than seven months out. i am wondering if you have a sense of if there is one kind pitch, what it is? mr. perez: the american people need leadership that is competent. they need leadership that is fighting to improve their lives. they need leadership that doesn't say, we are going to go to court to do away with access to health care.
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this president and his administration want to undo the affordable care act. demand andn people need leadership that will understand their challenges, that will have their back. we need leadership that is competent. this president has been chronically ineffective time and time again. the american people are tired of the chaos that surrounds this administration. vice president biden is a steady hand at the tiller. he has the character and the respect to restore american honor, to move us to a level where everybody has access to opportunity, and to lead not only here but around the world. we usually look for temples throughout a campaign. all sorts of milestones to break through to have some sort of bounce. do you have a sense in your head
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about when those moments are and how does a candidate like joe biden breakthrough when the president has two hours of airtime every day? i think the president's two hours of airtime every day, he has succeeded in violating what i call the doctrine of whole. hole, stope in a digging. he continues to mislead the american people. look what he says about testing. he still gets out there and brags about testing. it is not the quantity of time you are in front of the american people that matters, it is the quality of what you are doing. this administration is chronically incompetent. president obama and vice president biden, they understood the magnitude of the challenges. biden oversaw the implementation
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of the stimulus bill, the recovery act. he did so with great success. hisas fought throughout life to make sure average americans have access to opportunity. that is what we are talking about. what democrats are fighting for. we had to change our tactics, because we are not knocking on doors but we are using our digital engagement. we are talking about the issues that are most important to people. right now, safety is one of the most important issues they confronting people. we saw the abject disregard for safety in wisconsin last week when republicans demanded people vote in person even though they were putting themselves in harm's way. another example of the difference between democrats and republicans in this moment of crisis. just a practical
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question in terms of the d&c. does your role change at all? obviously, people are working at home. are you pivoting at all in terms of being more digital, raising money in a different way? can you talk about the behind-the-scenes machinations? your role or the job leading up to the election? mr. perez: our tactics have changed but our goals haven't. going to the statehouses, taking the senate back, expanding our margins in the u.s. house, winning governors races. we've always had a robust shuttle presence but we've got even more muscular. we have trained -- three or four weeks, we have trained 7000 digital organizers. some of it was digital organizing 101, some of it was digital organizing 201. there is a remarkable demand.
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there is a lot of people who have time on their hands because they are at home and they want to volunteer. hold the sessions because they are very, very critical moving forward. we had started our battleground build long ago. the people who have been knocking on doors were simply transforming that into digital organizers. last year working with the chronic -- the democratic party of wisconsin, we knocked on over 290,000 doors in 2019. we are not knocking on doors now, what build those relationships. -- but we built those elation chips. bought up 130 million cell phone numbers, when i first got to the d&c, we buy up social media handles. we have a robust capacity to
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communicate with people where they can -- where they consume their news. we are ready for this and our battleground will look continues. we are hiring as we speak in all of the battleground states. ms. palmer: you talked about safety, but clearly coronavirus is the dominant issue. impeachment seems like a distant memory, right? is there anything else you think is going to breakthrough, in terms of subplots from the coronavirus or other things that are on the voters' minds? in terms of where you might be able to pinpoint other issues? mr. perez: i think this election is going to be about character and competence. who has theability, leadership capacity to improve my life in meaningful ways? this president now has a record. what we have seen is he has been
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chronically ineffective at every turn. he has been the chaos president. too much tweeting, and enough problem-solving. how many people have left his administration? those chickens have come home to roost now, because you have too few people with confidence handling critical problems. what we are talking about to voters, now we are doing it more is, who hasviously, your back on the issues that matter most? who can you trust to move the ball forward? who can you trust to bring us through this pandemic? can you trust to build relationships around the world, because this is a global pandemic that requires global leadership. this president has been chronically ineffective on all of these fronts. we have a vice president in joe biden who has spent his entire career bringing people together.
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fighting for issues that everyday americans want to learn about and want to make sure that their government is fighting for. health care is going to be, again, one of the top issues. andsherman: i'm curious, playbook this morning morgan stanley had an analysis that indicated they don't believe there is going to be a vaccine widely available until march 2021. with waves of people going back to work this summer and schools opening in september, i'm wondering, everybody we speak to seems to think can -- the convention is not going to happen in person. at this point you must agree that it is unlikely to happen in an in-person fashion, correct? mr. perez: we moved our convention back five weeks because we wanted to maximize
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our opportunities to have an in person convention, to have as .uscular a convention i am completely committed to milwaukee and wisconsin. we continue to be consulting regularly with public health professionals. we are planning for the best, hoping for the best, that we are planning for every contingency and we will continue as we get closer to the convention to listen very carefully to what our public health professionals have to say. mr. sherman: you must be prepared for it to look significantly different if it is in person. mr. perez: we are going to prepare for every contingency. how many people can we have in an auditorium? all of those contingencies are things we will discuss. we are going to make sure it is safe. we are also going to make sure
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war,we are -- the civil 1864, we had an election. in 1918s an election during the spanish flu pandemic. we will be having an election. you're going to have an election on the first tuesday of november this year and we are continuing, again, different tactics, we are continuing to move forward to make sure the american people understand what we are fighting for. a convention is a big part of that. healthnot without public , but with the advice and assistance of everybody involved, including our public health professionals. ms. palmer: want to remind folks to tweet their questions with the hashtag. we going to shift gears to talk about joe biden. the presumptive nominee.
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there is a lot of talk about who he should pick. what qualities do you think are most important for him to consider? mr. perez: i think the most important quality is going to be, can this person assume the office of the presidency? when barack obama picked joe biden, that was the most important quality for him. i think that should be the most important quality every time around. i think there are bumper crops of candidates and his commitment to put a woman on the ticket is exactly what we need at this moment. and there are so many qualified senators,ernors, house members. so many people. i am really excited about this, because i have known joe biden for a quarter-century. i worked for senator kennedy in the mid-90's. then senator biden was the ranking member. i have seen his character at
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work from a front row seat and what he is fighting for. i had the privilege of working on team obama. something,we needed whether it was fighting for overtime wages, fighting for tire mint security, fighting to make sure work places were safe, fighting for women, joe biden was there for me and he has always been there for the american people. he's going to want someone is a running mate who shares those values. i am excited about making with thehis november first woman vice president in american history. ms. palmer: are you talking to his team? are you putting forward names? mr. perez: i am leaving that to him and his team. he's got enough folks who are qualified giving him that advice. i'm going to continue to leave it to him. i have a good relationship with
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the vice president and dr. biden as well. i am thrilled for the american people because the american people need competent leadership , leadership with values and character. that is what they are going to see in joe biden. we are going to restore honor and dignity to the white house and we are going to restore our place as a global leader on pandemic response, on health care, on income inequality, on all of the critical issues that keep people up at night. one thing -- mr. sherman: one thing that is the subplot of your party this toction is joe biden needs bring together the bernie supporters and his supporters. a new interview just dropped shortly before we came on of alexandria ocasio-cortez who said she has not heard from the biden campaign. i want you to react to that and talk about what it is going to
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take to bring together two wings of the party. she said she would not even be in the same party as joe biden in another country, and i'm curious how you see those challenges? mr. perez: i think we are well poised to come together as a party. you look at where we are, a quick sicko you all were writing stories about brokered conventions. we had eight people in the race. here we are in april, down to a presumptive nominee. every single candidate for president when they got in said, if i am not the winner, i will support our winner with enthusiasm and energy. i have such respect for senator sanders. senator sanders and the vice president have a really good relationship. i have seen it up close and personal. they have a general -- a genuine respect for one another. the vice president understands
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that he has to earn the support of every voter. i think he is well-positioned, with the help of senator sanders and the other candidates, to bring people together. transparenthe most and inclusive process that i think we have ever had during the primary process. senator sanders and his team had a seat at the table when we made the rules and they were so constructive in that process. because of that i am confident that we can come together, and we must come together. the vice president will be in auch with congresswoman cossey or cortez because she is in important part of our coalition. is an existential threat to our democracy and everybody understands that. the middle of a pandemic right now, what we thed be talking about is
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lights out, turn out. no doubt that everyone, and i am confident that congresswoman garcia cortez will be among them, that everyone will be fighting for joe biden and his running mate, ever she is -- and i love saying that -- this november. the american people crave competent leadership. our economy has tanked because of this presidents incompetence. -- president's incompetence. the difference between joe biden and this president are night and day. that is why i am confident we can win. i am proud of the work we have done to bring us together as a party. unity is a for timeless journey. we have worked tirelessly. i think we are well-positioned moving forward and we are going to continue to work on that together. ms. palmer: you mentioned a
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lights out, turn out. a lot of folks would have predicted this would have been the largest turnout in decades. safety among voting, what happened in wisconsin. do you think people are physically going to be able to cast votes in person in november? be fauci said there may another resurgence in november that could impact that. mr. perez: there is a couple of dimensions to your question. thingsremind, sometimes that happen in february seem like they were years ago. in new hampshire, we outperformed in democratic turnout. outperformed 2000 and eight. -- 2008. the vice president and others outperformed president obama 2008. the turnout in the democratic primary has been remarkable.
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that wehe momentum continue to have. i do worry about making sure that this november we have options for voters to vote. what happened last week in wisconsin is unconscionable. i ran the civil rights division of the justice department. i have sued a number of states for voter suppression tactics that they have put into place. ist happened, whether it voter idea whatever, what happened in wisconsin was putting people's lives at risk and doing so deliberately. that is why it is so critically important -- and republican and mechanic governors have said, vote by mail is not something that is going to lead to fraud. look at what governor dewine in ohio said, the governor of new
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hampshire, the governor of iowa. we must ensure that, come this november, voters have options. if you want to vote by mail or absentee you should be able to do that. expanding, as governor northam did in virginia, early voting options for people. we should make sure that if you want to vote that day we make it as safe as possible. inn you have choice, that is the best interest of voters and the best interest of our democracy. issue. not a partisan the right to vote should not be -- that is a not -- that is not a right versus left issue. vote in person or you have to put your safety at risk. that is unconscionable. that is what happened in wisconsin last week, and that should never happen again. republicans should be ashamed of themselves.
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mr. sherman: how do you see the down ballot races? congress is going to be gone, presumably for much of the rest of the year. odd dynamic in a lot of states where you would be campaigning against the actions of somebody like a cory gardner or whoever the down ballot candidate is. how does that change now that these people are going to be out talktion or able to just about emergency response for such a -- for months and months at a time? mr. perez: i am bullish about all of the races. we have a great chance of taking over the united states senate. you mentioned senator mcsally. we are proud to be working in concert with them. democratsn is to let
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-- to elect democrats. i got to the d&c, we had 15 democratic governors. now we have 24. changers --ip chambers from red to blue. win thewe can statehouse in arizona. we have 28 seats out of 60 in the statehouse. -- we can take the state senate there as well. eightwin 41 seats in state legislative chambers we take over those chambers. that is critically important because we are getting to redistricting cycles again. evennk we are well poised, in this pandemic situation to tell the story of the stark difference between democrats and republicans. republicans have become the lapdogs of donald trump and his
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failed policy, his chronic incompetence. this economy he was bragging about that has fallen off the cliff. that is what we are going to focus on, how democrats are going to improve your life, make sure if you are diabetic you have access to care, you don't get denied your health care. i am confident we can win up and down the ballot across this country. i want to get to one audience question that i think zooms out a little bit. how do we drain in the polarization of american politics? how do we move back to a society of civility? dnc doing? mr. perez: i think it starts out by electing joe biden. joe biden has spent his entire
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life building bridges, bringing people together. i worked for ted kennedy in the u.s. senate. thatennedy understood idealism and pragmatism are not mutually exclusive. joe biden and ted kennedy are cut out of the same cloth. that, as barack we are not red or blue america, we are the united states of america. that is what we need. we unfortunately have a president right now who puts fear on the ballot every day. he has an advocate of zero-sum politics. that's not who we are as a nation. what we need to do is come together again and some in our common values. we have always been a nation of immigrants.
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the last speech ronald reagan gave before he left office, the last speech in the white house he gave, was about immigrants and how immigrants have transformed this nation for the better and how our immigrant heritage has made america great. i think we can someone those common values again. we've got hard work ahead of us. ist i love about joe biden he understands that i'm not just a president of lou america or the states that i will when in november. i am the president of the united states of america. thisis why i think you see energy around this country around the vice president's candidacy. people are tired of this chaos presidency. below are tired of incompetence in the white house. they want someone who is going to bring us together, not drive us apart. that is what joe biden will do.
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he will make everyone's lives better in the process and he will restore that honor and dignity and our repeat tatian as a nation. -- our reputation as a nation. ms. palmer: thank you so much for joining us. for all of you on the livestream , it has been spending time with you all. mr. sherman: if you have enjoyed this briefing but you don't get playbook, please subscribe. have a great week. >> president trump needs the coronavirus task force briefing this afternoon. you can watch it live here on c-span. journaln's washington live every day with news and policy issues that impact you.


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