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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  November 22, 2020 8:00am-9:00am PST

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>> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. defying democracy. >> he'll go down in history as being one of the most irresponsible presidents in american history. >> trump falsely cries voter fraud. >> no legal or factual basis to question that choice. >> it's an attempt to subvert our democracy. >> fires those who questions his claims. >> it's dangerous. >> anyone that has the audacity to speak truth to power gets fired. as covid rages out of control -- >> there's nohere's nohere's no >> will the president put the country first? >> it's in the country's best
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interest if he starts coordinating on the virus with the biden team. >> like it or not, the president didn't win. >> the fall out this morning with ron klain, plus insight and analysis from our power house round table. >> announcer: from abc news, it's "this week." here now chief anchor george stephanopoulos. good morning and welcome to "this week." we may not be surprised, but we should still be shocked. the election results have been clear for more than two weeks. joe biden defeated donald trump. by recent standards it wasn't that close. more than 6 million votes nationwide. more than triple donald trump's 2016 margin in the key mid western battle grounds. plus wins in georgia and arizona. 306 electoral votes. the same total trump called a landslide in 2016. faced with those facts, the
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president and their allies have taken their baseless claims of voter fraud to court. they've lost 32 times. last night in pennsylvania a judge dismissed their case with this words, the court has been presented with strained legal arguments. in the united states of america it cannot justify the choice of a single voter. defeated in court, the trump team is telling out right lies in television interviews and press conferences. forums where you don't face sanctions. the president is pressuring state officials to overturn the will of the voters. here is how the last republican nominee for president mitt romney summed it up. it's difficult to imagine a more un-democratic action by a sitting american president. this assault on our election will not change the outcome.
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joe biden will take the oath of office at 12 noon on january 20th. donald trump will leave the white house sometime before then. how much damage will he do to our democracy on the way out? can he cripple the biden presidency before its begun. what does it mean right now for the millions of americans confronting the covid pandemic and the economic turmoil. we'll address all those questions this morning. we begin with the man president-elect biden has chosen to be his chief of staff, ron klain. thank you for joining us this morning. >> thank you. >> your colleague bob bower called the president's action dangerous. how much damage has the president done? how much damage can he do? >> he's definitely setback the democratic norm in the united states. he's been doing that for four years. he couldn't run on his record.
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the voters rejected his leadership. a record number of americans rejected the trump presidency. since then donald trump has been rejecting democracy. as you said at the outset he's been launching baseless claims of voter frauders baseless litigation. he's been rejected by 34 courts. it's corrosive, harmful. as mitt romney said, it's not going to change the outcome of what happens here. at 12 noon on january 20th, joe biden will become the next president of the united states. everything donald trump is doing now is bad for democracy. it's bad for our position, our image in the world. it's not going to change what happens here when we get a new president next year. >> 75% of republicans believe that biden won because of voter fraud. are you worried that the president is trying to lock in a perception by his base than
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biden is an illegitimate president. can this work? >> an overwhelming number of americans as a whole thought the election was fair and proper and joe biden was the rightful winner. we have to reach out to republicans and bring the country together. that's the essence of joe biden's campaign, try to heal this nation, repair its soul, unite the country. uniting the country d doing. he met with military leaders who served in democrat and republican administrations to talk about our national security future. he met with golf novernorgoverns and republicans, to talk about the urgent needs of fighting covid. he's bringing the country together. donald trump is never going to change. he spent four years tearing the country apart. it seems he's determined to spend his final months doing the
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same thing. >> after that pennsylvania court decision last night, senator pat toomey said president trump should accept the outcome of the election and facilitate the process. is it time for mitch mcconnell and other gop lead rers to do t same? >> i hope they would. i was encouraged this week to see in addition to senator romney's statement was that many senate republicans are talking about confirming joe biden's nominees and trying to get competent experienced people in the government in confirmed positions. i think we're seeing encouraging signs. washington will always be the last place to change. what i saw this week with the president-elect's interactions is outside washington, democrats and republicans are looking forward to january 20th. they want to work together to get things down. now we have to get the job done
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here in d.c. >> as a practical matter your transition is challenged until the gsa declares a winner. the president-elect says delay could cost american lives. what options do you have if the gsa continues to block the transition? >> there's parts of the transition in our control. we're picking people to work in the white house and to work in the cabinet. we're building our policy plans. we're having high level meetings with leaders from around the country. there's parts of the transition that are proceeding on pace and at record-setting pace. there are other parts not in our control. the president-elect and vice-president elect are not getting the intelligence briefings they're entitled to. we're not getting access to agency officials to develop our plans. there's a lot of focus on the vaccine roll out plan that will be critical. we have no access to that.
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we're not getting background checks on cabinet nominees. there are definite impacts. those impacts escalate every day. i hope the gsa will do her job. the law requires her to find who is the apparent victor of the election. i can't imagine there's any dispute that joe biden is the apparent winner of the presidential election. >> you talked about vaccine distribution. i talked to the general in charge of distribution of friday. he said the lack of cooperation isn't delaying distribution at all. do you deny that? >> on january 20th joe biden will be in charge. if there isn't a seamless flow of information now so we know what we're getting ourselves into, so we know what plans they made, so we know the gaps in the plans, i think there's risk that
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distribution as gaps starting january 20th. although i respect many people involved in this effort, the fact of the matter is the trump administration has a history of failure in dealing with the covid crisis. including a drastic failure on the testing challenge. so the trump administration's position is we're supposed to trust them this is going to work out. i think it's a hard sell to the american people. >> we've seen good news on the vaccine. pfizer and moderna emergency distribution. should operation warp speed get credit for that? >> everyone should get credit for that. it starts with the scientists who have done the work. vaccines don't save lives. vaccinations save lives. the scientific work that's been done to get the vaccine approved
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by the fda is just the first step. the much bigger step is getting those vaccinations to the american people. that's hard. the trump administration has been at this for eight or nine months. in the course of that, fewer than one in three americans has gotten a covid test. the question is how can we get 100% of americans a vaccine in short order. that's a challenge the american people are right to be skeptical about in the way the trump administration would handle it. that's a challenge that will fall on the biden administration. the sooner we get briefed on those plans, the sooner we get our experts in with their experts and the more confidence everyone can have. >> given the continued surge in covid, should we expect anything like a normal inauguration? >> no, george. it's going to definitely have to be changed. we started some consultations with house and senate leadership on that. obviously this is not going to be the same kind of inauguration
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we had in the past. george, joe biden and kamala harris conducted this campaign with the safety of the american people in mind. they got a lot of grief for that. they got attacked relentlessly by president trump for the way they campaigned safely to try to stop the spread of the disease. they'll have an inauguration that honors the meaning of the moment, but also does not result in spread of the disease. that's our goal. >> what does that mean? no parades, no big crowd on the mall, no big lunch in the rotunda? >> i'll let those plans unfold in consultation with folks in the capitol who organize that. we ran a very effective and, i think, engaging democratic convention in august in a way that was safe for the people to participate and watch and communicate with the american people. i think we'll have some mix of those techniques. some mix of scaled down versions of the existing conditions.
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people have a lot to celebrate january 20th. we saw the day joe biden and kamala harris were announced as president and vice president of the united states. people all over the world, particularly in america, dancing in the streets. we know people want to celebrate. there's something here to celebrate. we want to find a way to do it as safely as possible. >> the clock is ticking on the economic relief package. a lot of programs expire on december 21st. is the president willing to endorse a smaller package? what's your reaction to secretary mnuchin allowing the other packages to expire? >> the president-elect and vice-president elect met on friday with leader schumer and speaker pelosi to talk about the best way to get that relief done. they're on point for negotiating this package and the president-elect said he will support the best outcome they
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can achieve in these negotiations. i'm very concerned. i think the president-elect is very concerned that we're at a real crisis in many households right now. unemployment insurance runs out for many people at the end of the year, before joe biden takes office. the eviction moratorium runs out at the end of the year before joe biden takes office. if that and other problems will be fixed they have to be fixed right now under the trump presidency with the congressional lineup we have right now. i think the president-elect will do whatever he can to be supportive of that outcome. i think it's a shame secretary mnuchin did what he did with the funds that were made available by the congress and worked through the federal reserve. i think that obviously it raises the challenges we're going to face when we take over on january 20th. >> senate control is still up for grabs. here's what the president-elect told me about the importance of
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senate control in february. >> i think i'm more ready to be able to defeat donald trump and equally importantly, george, elect a democratic senate. it's not going to be enough just to beat him. we have to change the senate in order to get things done. >> wasn't he right then? one former obama official it's the difference between a transformational presidency versus having to negotiate everything with the republican senate. >> winning those two seats in georgia is important. we'll do everything we can to help those two great candidates in georgia. we've already moved people who were working on the biden campaign over to be supportive in the field work for our two candidates down there. i expect you'll see the president-elect travel down there before election day. it's very important to win those seats. the reality of course is even if we win them both -- and i think we will -- we'll have a closely
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divided senate under any scenario. one challenge the president-elect has taken on is trying to work with members of both parties to build consensus for actions on things like economic relief, like climate change, like dealing with our other crises, the racism crisis, the challenge of fixing the immigration laws and obviously fighting covid-19. we'll have a closely divided senate whatever happens in georgia. obviously we want to win those seats. i want chuck schumer to be the next majority leader in the senate. i know he and the president-elect have a great relake shr relationsh relationship. however that turns out, we'll deliver for the american people. voters sent a clear sign in 2020. they want things to get done. they want action on covid, climate, health care costs. we'll deal with whatever lineup we're faced with in washington
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to get that done. it would be better if that was a democratic senate. if we lose those seats in georgia, we'll move forward with whatever senate gets elected. >> there's going to be tension between getting unity, getting things done, working with republicans and investigating any wrong doing that occurred during the trump administration. the president-elect said he doesn't want his presidency consumed by trump investigations. that's raised some concern among democrats including this senator who had this to say, a repeat of those failures criminality and sends america down the path of lawlessness. there must be accountability. how do you balance moving forward with getting accountability? >> let's be clear, jergeorge, t president-elect spoke about this many times. joe biden is not going to tell
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the justice department who to investigator or who not to investigate. he's going to pick an excellent attorney general, an independent justice department and that department will make decisions independently, free of politics, free of political favor in either direction as to how to enforce the laws. that's the way it should be. that's the way it's always been. that's the way it needs to be if we're going to have the kind of rule of law that's so important in our country. >> are we going to see an attorney general, state department or treasury picked this week? >> you're going to see the first of the president-elect's cabinet appointments tuesday this week, meeting the pace -- beating the pace set by the obama biden transition and the trump transition. you'll see the first cabinet picks this tuesday. if you want to know what they
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are or who they are, you have to wait for the president-elect to say that tuesday. >> i was hoping me which ones. thank you. >> we want people to tune in, george. up next the top scientist on the operation warp speed vaccine program and our powerhouse round table. d" vacci for a covid vaccine, and our powerhouse round table. stay with us. a blast of immune support that's more than just vitamin c. it's a unique crafted blend of vitamins, zinc, other minerals, and herbs.
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you have said that if this transition doesn't get going, especially coordination on vaccine distribution, that lives will be lost. >> there is no excuse not to share the data and let us begin to plan because on day one, it's going to take us time if we don't have access to all this data. it's going to put us behind the eight ball by a matter of a month or more, and that's lives. how many would be lost as a consequence to that, i can't tell you. >> president-elect biden earlier this week. let's talk now to the "operation warp speed" science adviser, moncef slaoui. dr. slaoui, thank you for joining us. you heard the president-elect right there, and you heard -- thank you. you heard ron klain as well saying the failure to communicate with a transition won't affect vaccine distribution now, but it could affect it once joe biden is president of the united states. how much are you concerned about the lack of communication with
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the biden transition team? >> well, we are focused, frankly on making sure that the vaccines are made available as quickly as possible and distributed as efficiently as possible regardless of the political contexts that surround us. of course, we would hope that transition happen quietly and smoothly, and we're here to serve the american people and the american population, and we'll do our best. so we are concerned with anything that could derail the process. as it is -- as it stands now, i can't see that happening, but hopefully it doesn't happen. >> have you had any contact with members of the biden transition? >> no. no contact. >> but wouldn't that ensure -- help ensure a seamless transition from one administration to another? >> frankly as i said, we're here
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to serve. if people want to contact us, of course. we'll be available. i understand. as you know, i'm not a federal employee, but i understand the rules are such that confidential information needs to be kept with the federal employees. i'll make sure i, you know, look at that, but otherwise of course, i would be happy to -- to be contacted and explain what we're doing as i'm doing it now to all the public. >> walk us through what we can expect going forward with both the pfizer and the moderna vaccines. >> yes. so the two companies are working 24/7, preparing their files. as you know, pfizer already filed yesterday. moderna is planning to file by the end of this month. the fda will review the files and do that process.
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the cdc and its advisory committee will also review the data so that when the fda on december 10th or pfizer and on december 17th for moderna reviews and gets the advice from its advisory committee of independent experts, and hopefully approves the vaccine. the cdc will almost immediately ask the acip for what recommendation and what guidance they would give to the population in terms of immunization priorities. we are ready to start shipping vaccines within 24 hours from approval, ship them to the sites that each state -- that are allocated, the quantity or number of vaccines to their population. it tells us where to deliver the vaccines and we'll have the vaccines there the next day after approval, and hopefully people will start to be immunized. i would say within 48 hours from
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the approval. >> presumably health care workers are at the front of the line, but we're seeing hesitancy from health care workers, doctors and nurses about taking the vaccine. if health care workers on the front lines are hesitant, what does that mean for the broader population where we know there has been some skepticism about taking the vaccine? >> well, i'm very, very concerned about the hesitancy as it exists, and i think it's very unfortunate because this has been exacerbated by the political context under which we have worked very hard with the companies and, you know, the thousands of people that have been involved to make these vaccines available. the vaccines have been developed as thoroughly and as scientifically as ever. i have been doing this for more than 30 years. this vaccine development is not different than any other except that we have gone at an incredible fast speed with incredible resources, and, you know, incredible commitment by all the parties. we know that these vaccines are highly effective.
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they are as safe in the short-term as any other vaccine that's already approved. we will be looking for the long-term and their safety through pharmaceutical vision, and the cdc and fda are working together to set that up and they are close to a clinical trial. i feel very comfortable that this vaccine -- these vaccines are safe. i would be happy to take the vaccine or have my children or parents have the vaccine. we will be totally transparent with every single bit of data and information that we know about the vaccine. for everybody to listen, but the key frankly is, please, don't make up your mind before you listen to all the information that the fda and that the cdc and that all the independent experts in the country will be able to look into and advise you. >> as you know, the president is -- >> make up your mind. >> thank you, sir. as you know, the president has complained that pfizer delayed
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the reporting of the clinical trial's success until after the election. do you have any evidence of that? >> well, listen, our partnership with pfizer is slightly different than our partnership with moderna. with moderna we had been working every day on every aspect of the vaccine together. with pfizer, it was an arm's length relationship where we had supported them in terms of creating a secure marketplace for them. we pre-purchased vaccine as a commitment, and helped them with manufacturing, raw materials and things like that. but we haven't been with them on a daily basis. i don't know the specifics, however, i do think that asking for 60 days' follow-up after immunization to make sure we understand the short-term and predictable long-term safety of the vaccine, is an appropriate decision, and i understand that that's what drove the timelines of pfizer. so as far as i know, i don't
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think any specific action has taken place to delay the vaccine. >> dr. slaoui, thank you very much for your time this morning. >> my pleasure. thank you for having me. we'll be right back with nate silver and our powerhouse round table. >> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos sponsored by pacific life. life insurance and retirement solutions backed by 150 years of strength and stability. trust in your tomorrow with pacific life. ability. trust yo your tomorrow with pacific life. retirement is an opportunity to fill each tomorrow with moments that matter. and a steady stream of protected income can help you secure the life you've planned. for more than 150 years, generations have trusted the strength and stability of pacific life with their tomorrows. because life isn't about what tomorrow brings. it's what you do with it. ask a financial professional about pacific life
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a blast of immune support that's more than just vitamin c. it's a unique crafted blend of vitamins, zinc, other minerals, and herbs. take on your day with airborne. your daily dose of confidence. so we have trump with a 10% shot, and biden with a 90% shot. 10% things happen fairly often, and at the same time, you could have a polling error like 2016, and instead, biden would win pennsylvania by a point or two, arizona by a point. there are, like, lots of upside cases for biden, and there are also cases where he wins in a squeaker. >> there you see nate silver just before election day, and that polling error possibility
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he raised did pop up again this year. the margin of battleground states is farther than we have seen in polls, underestimating president trump's support again. here's what nate says that means. >> with all that went on in this election, including president trump's refusal to concede so far, i'm not sure the performance of the polling is the most important story, and polls did predict the right winner in all but two states in the presidential race. still, the margins were pretty far off in a lot of places and as the founder of fivethirtyeight, i certainly do have some thoughts. again, it wasn't a total disaster. polls did call every state but florida and north carolina correctly in the presidential race, and everywhere but north carolina and maine correctly in the senate. still, overall, the polls were mediocre at best with numbers off by three or four points in the presidential race and more like five for races in congress. the problems were often biggest in the midwest. that includes states like iowa
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or especially wisconsin where joe biden ended up winning by less than 1%, and a far cry from eight points in the final days of the campaign. one of these might be the living pattern, from the pandemic. that might affect how people respond to polls too. democrats have more likely than republican voters social distancing. in fact, research has shown poll response rates for democratic voters shot up once the pandemic hit in march increasing from 12% to 16% or 17%. that's enough to potentially skew the numbers. remember that only about 37% of jobs can be performed at home. a lot of those are white collar, knowledge sector jobs held by college-educated professionals, a group that mostly votes for democrats these days. i buy that covid was a factor in polls underestimating republicans. the only factor probably not. i think there were other issues too, but still knock on wood, there will not be another global pandemic in 2024, so that's one thing that pollsters don't have
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to worry about. >> let's hope you're right about that. the round table is up next. back in 60 seconds. ht about that. the round table is up next. back in 60 seconds.
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incredibly damaging messages being sent to the rest of the world by democracy functions. it's hard to fathom how this man thinks. it's hard to fathom. i'm confident he knows he hasn't won. he's not going to win, and we're going to be sworn in on january 20th, and i just -- it's hard for me to question his motive. it's outrageous what he's doing. >> president-elect biden earlier this week. let's talk about this on our round table, joined again by chris christie, rahm emanuel, karen finney, cnn political commentator and sara isgur. she's a varp of the trump administration and now works for cnn. i remember your speech on wednesday morning, the day after the election. you said it's incumbent on him
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to come forward with the evidence. there have been now been 34 court cases the president has lost. we saw pennsylvania last night. we saw pat toomey, the senator for pennsylvania say it's time for the president to enable this transition. it's time for the president to concede. the president's response was to attack pat toomey on twitter. is it finally time for this to end? >> yes, and here's the reason why. the president has had an opportunity to access the courts, and i said to you, you know, starting at 2:30 a.m. on wednesday morning, if you have got the evidence of fraud, present it. and what's here is quite frankly the president's legal team has been a national embarrassment. cindy powell accusing brian kemp of a crime on television, yet being unwilling to go on tv and defend and lay out the evidence that she supposedly has. this is outrageous by any lawyer and notice, george, they won't do it inside the courtroom.
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they allege fraud outside the courtroom, but when they go inside the courtroom, they don't plead fraud and they don't argue fraud. this is what i was concerned about at 2:30 in the morning on wednesday night. listen. i have been a supporter of the president's. i voted for him twice, but elections have consequences, and we cannot continue to act as if something happened here that didn't happen. you have an obligation to present the evidence. the evidence has not been presented, and you must conclude as tucker carlson even concluded the other night, that if you are unwilling to come forward and present the evidence, it must mean the evidence doesn't exist. that's what i was concerned about on election night, and i remain concerned today. i think it's wrong. i think what you have heard a lot of republicans start to say this, i said it on election night, and i hope more say it going forward because the country is what has to matter the most, as much as i'm a strong republican and i love my party, it's the country that has to come first. >> rahm emanuel, we still haven't heard from mitch mcconnell.
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>> no, and i'm not sure you're going to hear from him. look. president trump is endangering our security. he is damaging our public health. he's crippling the economy, and he's undermining our democratic process. outside that, it's a run of the mill transition. bush's transition process went out, and there were a number of things that caused a great transition, ease of information to we could hit the ground running. what's happening here is not what president trump is doing, and i think on chris' point, country comes before party. donald trump is with the idea that trump comes before country. i don't think we're going to see anything out of washington, and i think it's a note that the republicans in the country like governors and others have said, okay. we're going to work with president biden to help the economy moving. that is going to be a guide post moving forward for how to govern, meaning you're going to
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have republicans in the state and local government who want to get with the public health and their economy and budgets balanced, and the economy moving. they can start with the pressure on washington. washington and republicans right now are in lock step with trump. it's different than recently. he is not leaving and therefore it's not fair for our country, and we have a new administration, and there are major, major challenges here and abroad. >> we're starting to see republicans come forward including we saw chris christie just say it's time for this to end, but the silence particularly from republican senators up until this last 24, 36 hours has been kind of deafening. >> we've seen this through the last four years. the republican senators think in particular that they're making a norms argument, a process argument, and then donald trump undermines them. so what -- i don't know they
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ever had an end game in this plan here. i think when they thought the vote certifications happened, he would just concede. it was a total misunderstanding of who president trump is, and now they're stuck in a position where they have to come up with, what is the thing that will allow them to say, well, now is different? for pat toomey, obviously it was that pennsylvania case where the case was thrown out with prejudice by the judge where the judge said, you didn't make any -- any claims of fraud that could possibly back up your remedy of throwing out millions of ballots, and so that worked for pat toomey, but why we're not seeing these other senators is because they never had a plan. they never did have a plan for what the trigger would be for them to come out and say, this is the end. the problem is they're getting a lot of pressure from folks who say, no. this is actually just the political vengeance of being able, you know, to get them back for russia or for impeachment, but this is totally a different situation and they're in a rock
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and a hard place. i don't think they have a plan, and so they're just going to be this trickle, one by one where they're going to have to figure out why today is different than yesterday. >> karen finney, i'm not sure the president has a plan either, but there may be the inklings of an end game going forward. we have heard rumblings he's planning to never concede, to announce for president in 2024 and have a significant portion of his base always believe that joe biden is an illegitimate president. >> well, that's right, george. i mean, let's -- let's talk about the facts. the facts are these. joe biden won the election. he has 306 electoral votes. he has won by more than 6 million votes. he's leading in the popular vote. you know, donald trump is refusing to accept these facts, and he is going to try to continue it seems to live in this fantasy land without facts, without merit, with the legal cases that we've discussed that have been thrown out, but he's trying to do something even more nefarious that i think we have to call out. he's literally trying to throw out votes, to subvert the will
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of the people. our country is based on a constitution, and the belief that power comes from the people, the people that voted for donald trump. or joe biden. donald trump operates with the belief that power comes from him, and the republicans are going to have to decide. the republican party and our colleague chris christie is going to have to decide, are you going to follow this person continuously who believes that his power is the power that rules, or are you going to say, we've got to get down to the business of taking care of the american people? 12 million people have covid, and this president wants to golf and tweet falsities and lies. we need to move forward, and i just think it's important that we acknowledge how serious this situation is, how dangerous this is. >> chris christie, you just did acknowledge how serious it is, but speak to how the elected officials now negotiate this
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rock and hard place that sara isgur was talking about. he's not going any place any time soon, and he wants to stay relevant to some degree keeping his twitter base riled up. what does it mean for elected officials going forward? >> let me start with this. i don't need to be lectured by karen finney about doing the right thing. on election night -- on election night after the president spoke, i said, you either present the facts or you can't make the charge. you either present the facts of fraud or you can't stand behind the seal of the president of the united states and make that charge. so, you know, karen, maybe you should get caught up on things before you start throwing around -- >> sir, i am not trying to lecture you. >> by the way, and that makes -- and by the way, and that is what makes this atmosphere so poisonous is stuff like that. let me say this about republican senators --
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>> do you disagree that it is dangerous to this country what this president is doing? >> what they should do -- what they should do -- i don't need to be lectured by you, karen. >> this isn't about being lectured by me. this is about doing the right thing. >> every united states senator -- i have been doing that since election night. every united -- >> if you want to take it out on me, that's fine. >> every united states senator -- every united states senator should stand up and ask themselves, what's the right thing to do here? we've given the president the opportunity, a right that he has like every other american has to access the legal system, and to make proof forward to the judges who will make these decisions, and the reason the judges are making these decisions is because that's the president's choice. he has chosen to take this to court because he disagrees with the results in the very same way that al gore chose to take it to court. once you do that, you can't complain about the result that the judges give you if you hand it to them, and so every senator should stand up, george, and decide for themselves what they believe in their heart is the
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right thing and not make political calculations but make personal ones that are in the best interest of the country. >> and rahm, it seems like president-elect biden has simply made the calculation that he's going to basically as much as he can ignore what the president says and just go on doing what highway needs to do to the extent he can in the transition. >> i think two things, george. one is i do think he has made a decision a little more which is, you know, for republicans as you saw with the governors meeting, and you can see more support out of the governors. he's going to come around washington and that's a smart strategy and one i would adopt as a governing strategy because governors like dewine and kemp and others are going to have to realize, will we get the resources we need? a triangulation between the senate and governors, that's one view of how to do it. second thing is what ron klain said, i think is very, very smart. he's going to say to the senate republicans, you have a prerogative in the senate called
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to confirm our nominees. you can align the senate prerogative up with his self-interests which is to get the background checks and his nominations to go forward, and to me that's a smart strategy to say, wait. this game is now over. nothing gets them more excited than the word prerogative. you can sake the defense secretary, treasury secretary have what they need. that is going to make sure they start to move and realize that they too need this transition, and we get back to this about washington. the country needs this. he's crippling our economy. he's endangering our public health. he's obviously endangering our national security and he's undermining our democracy. at some point the old, old dna will kick in and say, you know what? we have a country and a responsibility, and as our self-interest happens, and they remember they're responsible to this great project called the united states, and i want to bring up one story.
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president bush when i asked him, when we had president obama on request, he brought up in the middle of this great crisis, he brought everybody together to have lunch with president obama as a gesture of support as he dealt with the biggest national financial crisis. it was a picture to america of unity. you look at this guy who's not practicing the job and he's golfing and he's doing nothing required of the job. it tells you how far -- i'm sorry, but under the republican party, we have fallen. it's showing through in the polling that showed this week. >> it's hard to overestimate how important to both parties those runoff elections are in early january. >> what's interesting is that this will be largely just a turnout operation, a special election is about finding those
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supporters and getting more of them out. when i've talked to voters in georgia who didn't vote for donald trump in 2016, but did this time, all of this noise and atmospherics is not with this special election. even though you would imagine, discussions about, you know, your vote didn't count, and enormous amounts of voter fraud on the right might discourage people from turning out, that's not what i'm hearing from conversations with conservatives and republicans down there. on the flip side, the question is on whether what donald trump is doing and doing the democrats' job for them and encouraging them to get those votes in the senate in order to have chuck schumer as the senate majority leader. >> that may be the paradox, karen finney. if president trump is front and center straight through until january 5th, that could help boost democratic turnout. >> well, it could, and let me just say, george, i think it's sad that governor christie would attack me when i was actually trying to praise the fact that
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he's come forward and been someone who has said that this president is someone who needs to accept the facts. my point is the president needs to accept the facts and other republicans need to step forward and put country ahead of party, and in georgia in particular, sara's right. it's going to be largely a turnout operation. as you know, i've worked in georgia, and i have every confidence we're going to win those senate races, but the more this president and his party is seen as obstructing and particularly trying to throw out the votes of black americans, when the black vote in georgia is so critical, don't think we're not watching and that we don't know what's going on. that will be a strong motivator to voters in georgia to say, not on our watch. you're not going to do that us to. you're not going to suppress our voices and our will. again, the larger point in this country, we cannot just throw
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out votes. we are a country that respects the rule of law and our constitution, and they find themselves at a crossroads, but it affects the party long-term if they decide they're going to follow donald trump and succumb to his power and see his as the ultimate power instead of the constitution and the american people in the middle of a pan democratic deserve better. >> chris christie, what's the most effective -- let me get chris, and then, rahm, you follow up. what's the most effective message for those runoffs? >> the most effective republican message is you have two great republican candidates who will make sure there's balance brought to washington, d.c. and you say, you don't want chuck schumer and his folks running the united states senate because then the most radical parts of the democratic party will be running the entire government, and so you don't want that. i think the most important thing for us to focus on as a party is to win both of those senate seats and if the president wants to be helpful, he can be helpful by focusing on that rather than
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looking in the rear-view mirror. remember what we said. elections are about tomorrow, not about yesterday. the elections on january 5th are what america is going to look like on january 6th and beyond that. that's what kelly loeffler and david perdue should be focusing on. that's what republicans should be focusing on. theerer vi the rear-view mirror should be ripped off, and we should be looking straight ahead, and having a republican senate in my view will ensure we have the right type of approach over the next four years. >> rahm? >> george, i think why this is very, very important. joe biden made history as one of only four people who have beaten an incumbent president in the last 40 years. the other piece of history is you would have to go back to 1884 to find a democratic president that didn't have a democratic senate on day one. so the consequences going forward, i would make the message about change. if you want washington to start dealing with the pandemic, dealing with the economy, et cetera, you need a majority that will actually work with the president rather than obstruct, and i would deal with the obstruction, and i want to
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underscore this. what president trump is doing to this election in georgia right now is what he did about the mail-in ballot process and that effort, and as newton would say, action is a counteraction of force. >> and that is the last word. thank you all very much. that is all for us today. thank you for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news tonight," and i'll see you tomorrow on "gma." your sunday with us. check out "world news tonight," and i'll see you tomorrow on "gma."
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up next, california's new curfew now in effect for nearly everyone in the state. why some are calling it a useless measure. a live look outside. a pretty start to your sunday. but yes, it's on the nippy side. 36 to 53 this morning. we'll see another mild afternoon with some high clouds. what about thanksgiving, the weekend, the last week of november? stay tuned. "abc 7 mornings" at 9:00 is ne
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