Republican presidential candidates arrive on stage Aug. 6 for the Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Republican presidential candidates arrive on stage Aug. 6 for the Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Republican candidates staked their positions Thursday in the party’s first presidential debates. The U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in July, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 5.3 percent. New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer says he won’t support President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Hillary Clinton releases new television ads as her favorability ratings shrink. A federal appeals court says a Texas voter ID law violates the Voting Rights Act. And Jon Stewart ends his run on “The Daily Show.” A panel of journalists joins guest host Laura Knoy to discuss the week’s top national news stories.


  • Chris Frates Investigative correspondent, CNN
  • Olivier Knox Chief Washington correspondent, Yahoo! News
  • Susan Glasser Editor, Politico

Video: GOP Debate: Good Television, Bad Debate?

Fox News was the winner of the first Republican presidential debate, Politico Editor Susan Glasser says, because moderators asked pointed questions about each candidate’s weaknesses. But while it made for good reality television, candidates didn’t get to substance on most of the issues, she says.


Video: How Will July Job Numbers Impact Interest Rates?

The U.S. added 215,000 jobs in July. How will that impact interest rates?

Video: Will Chuck Schumer Pay A Political Price For His Criticism Of The Iran Deal?

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said this week he would oppose President Barack Obama’s Iran Deal. Will he lose influence?



Full Video


  • 10:06:54

    MS. LAURA KNOYThanks for joining us. I'm Laura Knoy of New Hampshire Public Radio sitting in for Diane Rehm. Republican candidates spar in their first presidential debates. The Senate puts off unfinished business as it leaves for August recess and a federal appeals court blocks a Texas voter ID law. Joining me for the domestic hour of the Friday News Roundup, Chris Frates of CNN, Susan Glass of Politico and Olivier Knox of Yahoo News and welcome to all of you. Thank you for being here.

  • 10:07:22

    MR. CHRIS FRATESHey, it's great to be here.

  • 10:07:23

    MS. SUSAN GLASSERThank you.

  • 10:07:23


  • 10:07:24

    KNOYYou can join us, too, throughout the hour. Call us at 1-800-433-8850. Send us your email, Join us on Facebook or Twitter. And because it's Friday, we're doing a live video stream of this hour. You can watch at So all of you, let's kick it off with the debates yesterday and debates with a plural, right, Olivier? Just remind us. There were two. That's unusual.

  • 10:07:50

    KNOXThere were two. There was an undercard at 5:00 p.m., the people who did not make the cut based on criteria linked to national polls. And then, there was the main event later in the day with the candidates who are really considered to be the more likely candidates for the nomination.

  • 10:08:05

    KNOYAnd lots of buzz this morning, Olivier, about that main event at 9 o'clock, a lot of people this was perhaps one of the most heavily watched, most enjoyable to watch debates in a long time. What did you think?

  • 10:08:18

    KNOXWell, how could you look away? I mean, it was great TV. There was something for everyone. If you wanted to see a Yahoo News comment thread achieve (word?) you could watch Donald Trump. If you wanted to see the person that people tend to consider the front-runner come across much more weakly, Jeb Bush, you had that. You had fights between different wings of the party on national security, Rand Paul and Chris Christie going at it over civil liberties.

  • 10:08:43

    KNOXIt was great TV. I think -- I've long been a critic of the kind of debate that packs 10 people on a stage. I think it's generally worthless. I was proven wrong last night.

  • 10:08:54

    KNOYYeah, what do you think, Susan, about how Fox organized this whole thing. It was unwieldy and yet a lot of people are saying, like Olivier said, that they did a pretty good job.

  • 10:09:02

    GLASSERWell, that's right. I mean, in many ways, actually, you could argue that Fox was the winner of the debate last night. They came out of the gate with very strong questions. They had a very clear-cut strategy with a triple moderators, which, again, I normally would say 10 candidates on the stage, three moderators, this is not a recipe for exciting television, but I was struck by the fact that they had a clear strategy, which was to go directly after each candidate's weakness and they asked pointed, but civil, questions to each of the candidates to get the debate going in a way that really set the tone for we're not just going to be tossing softballs here.

  • 10:09:38

    GLASSERSo I thought that was pretty striking, but, of course, the evening's most, you know, really sort of astonishing back and forth came relatively early on when Megyn Kelly went directly after Donald Trump on the question of his, you know, very long and, you know, sort of hugely documented history of misogyny. And, you know, that exchange was so revealing you really have to ask yourself -- it underscored, you know, not only the theater of this, but the theater of the absurd.

  • 10:10:07

    GLASSERAnd there were times, at the beginning, where I have to say I thought we were watching the "Saturday Night Live" version of a debate. You know, it did become more substantive later on, but, you know, come on. Didn't you ask yourself, like, when Donald Trump walked on the stage, even the moderators, they looked like people playing characters in an American presidential election at times rather than a presidential election. And so, you know, while it's getting good reviews for being good TV, you know, if you actually look at the substance of the debate, I think you could argue that another part of the Trump effect that's playing out here is that it was not a super wonky substantive debate in the way that -- go back to 2008, the much maligned 2008 clown show.

  • 10:10:48

    GLASSEROr, sorry, 2012 clown show. And what you'll see is a lot of pretty substantive policy discussions and disputes, which we did not hear last night.

  • 10:10:57

    KNOYWell, we'll get into some of the substance that came up, including immigration, of course, and national security. But to Susan's point, Chris, you know, Fox did come right out of the bat asking very sharp, pointed questions to each of the 10. How did that strike you?

  • 10:11:13

    FRATESWell, I thought, as you say, when they come right out of the gate, the first question was, will you all here support the Republican candidate for president, and Donald Trump rose his hand...

  • 10:11:22

    KNOYIf you are not the nominee.

  • 10:11:23

    FRATES...and then said, you know, I won't do that. And that put him on the spot in front of a bunch of primary voters and he basically said, yeah, no, I understand that if I run as a third-party candidate and Hillary Clinton or another Democrat will probably win the presidency, that's not exactly the message that you want to give to Republican primary voters, that you're not a member of the team.

  • 10:11:43

    FRATESSo they made news kind of right off the bat with that. And it kind of struck me that we got, as culture, you know, what we have seen from entertainment, is reality TV. And this was like the reality TV debate. I mean, we got, finally in our news as Susan was saying, it looked like TV and it looked like something that might have been a spoof of our democratic process because they really, you know, the whole setup was such that it really gave that effect.

  • 10:12:16

    FRATESBut you had candidates who came across a little bit more seriously. You had John Kasich, nobody had really heard of John Kasich. He squeaked in under the wire and people thought he got fairly good reviews. He's an Ohio governor. He was playing on his home turf there. And he is a guy who got in right before the debates and made the debate and then was kind of able to show that moderate line of I am a Republican, but I'm compassionate about where I come from. So he was able to carve out a lane for himself on a question of gay marriage.

  • 10:12:46

    FRATESThey asked, you know, well, what would you say to your daughter if she were gay. And he said, I would love my daughter if she were gay. In fact, I went to a friend's gay wedding recently. I don't agree with it, but, you know, I feel like you have to love the people in your life no matter how they think and you have to respect that. So that was a different strain than we saw from some of the other candidates. I mean, it was a debate that kind of pitted that, you know, the kind of very conservative, you know, with the, you know, fears of immigration, fears of America losing, pitted fears versus hopes.

  • 10:13:19

    FRATESSo you had kind of, you know, in the fears category, you had Donald Trump. We're losing. You had Ted Cruz. You had, you know, Rand Paul, to some extent. And then, in the aspirationals, you had Marco Rubio, America in the 21st century. Jeb Bush, you had him talk about, you know, we need to make everyone rise. So you're seeing that very starkly, this kind of are we playing to fear and afraid of losing our place in the world as the Republican party or are we playing to rising up.

  • 10:13:49

    KNOYAgain, you can join us with your questions and comments. It's the Friday News Roundup on "The Diane Rehm Show." The number is 1-800-433-8850. Send email to Find us on Facebook or Twitter. And, again, video of this hour of the Friday News Roundup is streaming live on the web at So let's talk about the issues a little bit. You know, there's been a lot of focus this morning on the performance aspects of it, on the clashes, but what are some of the issues, Olivier, that came up for you?

  • 10:14:21

    KNOXWell, I was fascinate by the really tense exchange between New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on the issue of civil liberties, mass surveillance and the rest of it. And you had a chasm there that existed in the Republican party between the libertarian wing represented by Rand Paul and the sort of post-9/11 deep national security state, you know, spy on it, bomb it, et cetera, wing of the party represented by Chris Christie.

  • 10:14:48

    KNOXEmotional appeals on both sides, really strong positions on both sides. And the next president's going to have to make an awful lot of big national security decisions, including on mass surveillance. So I thought that was a fascinating, fascinating moment of the debate.

  • 10:15:00

    KNOYImmigration, Susan.

  • 10:15:02

    GLASSERWell, I mean, to me, this is where you really saw that with 10 people on the stage and Donald Trump as well the policy conversation gets stuck on talking points and really doesn't dig deep. And I think immigration is a good example of that. You know, the argument on the stage was Donald Trump claiming that we wouldn't be talking about immigration if not for him, which is clearly a pretty laughable contention. And, you know, you do have a divide on the policy positions of these candidates, but they've worked hard to try to obscure that fact.

  • 10:15:32

    GLASSERJeb Bush, remember, you know, had been a proponent of a pathway to citizenship. Marco Rubio, sponsor of a bill. Both of them are not talking about that anymore and have significantly tried to modulate their positions in the effort to appeal to a harder line Republican electorate. So, you know, that's a striking thing, especially because it's basically an applause line to a very conservative audience and a conservative Republican electorate to sort of say, hey, we're holding the line.

  • 10:15:58

    GLASSERYou know, I believe that some of the loudest moments in the hall came when Donald Trump turned to Jeb Bush and said, you know, I want to build a wall and, you know, fine, I'll have a big fancy door in it, you know, for people to come through legally. But, you know, it's that kind of rhetoric that’s, frankly, not really a policy discussion as much as it is, you know, a speech.

  • 10:16:16

    KNOYOkay. So last question on the debate for all of you. I watched the late one. I was not able to watch the 5 o'clock. So, to you, I think, Chris, did anyone at the 5:00 p.m. influence what was discussed at the 9:00 p.m.?

  • 10:16:30

    FRATESWell, I think so. I think we saw Carly Fiorina do it. In fact, they showed a clip of her to set up one of the questions when she was, you know, knocking President Obama. So I think she really stood out and she needed a strong wind. She's somebody who doesn't have a lot of name ID. She doesn't have a lot of money. She's only raised, like, $1.4 million for her campaign. So that was a real boost for her and we'll see if she gets some more support from that. She maybe can convince donors that --- to take her more seriously and then maybe she'll get an invitation to the adult table in the next round.

  • 10:17:05

    FRATESAnd I think, you know, somebody who might have to go from that based on the debate performance was Ben Carson. I mean, he didn't come across as particularly electric. He didn't come across as, you know, he had some very good answers, but he didn't shine in the same way that, I think, Carly Fiorina did.

  • 10:17:22

    KNOYYeah, I'd love your thoughts, too, on the 5:00 versus 9:00.

  • 10:17:24

    GLASSERWell, you know, it really does strike me we're talking about a reality show at this point, right? It's, like, okay, do we get to vote Ben Carson off the island? You know, and that, unfortunately, you know, it's just that's not -- there's little resemblance to American presidential campaigns of years past. I do agree that Fiorina had a much stronger performance than the others if you watch that debate.

  • 10:17:45

    GLASSERBut what was striking to me is, you know, really, does it matter at all? You know, that was a stage in which, roughly speaking, whether you use the public polls or not, to me, it seemed that there was -- it was more or less roughly the correct division between those candidates whose background resumes and performance last night stood out and the people on the stage with Fiorina, you know, it wasn't that hard for her, it seemed to me, to take advantage of a very week field.

  • 10:18:12

    GLASSERFox, by the way seemed to go out of its way to make it clear that this was the (unintelligible) debate with the empty arena and a really second tier set of questions.

  • 10:18:21

    KNOYComing up, more of the Friday News Roundup. We'll be right back.

  • 10:20:02

    KNOYWelcome back. I'm Laura Knoy sitting in for Diane Rehm. If you're just joining us, you can watch live video of our show at It is the domestic hour of the "Friday News Roundup." Our guests this week are Chris Frates, investigative correspondent at CNN, Susan Glasser, editor at Politico, and Olivier Knox, chief Washington correspondent for Yahoo! News. You can join us with your questions, comments, thoughts: 1-800-433-8850, is the email. Find us on Facebook or Twitter. And all of you, let's go right to our listeners. And Eric is joining us from Cedar Falls, Iowa. Hi, Eric. Go ahead.

  • 10:20:44

    ERICHi, there. I was watching the debate and one comment that really stuck out was Mike Huckabee's comment on the military and how its goal is to kill people and break things. Do we really want someone in control of the military who thinks the main goal of the military is just to kill people and break things?

  • 10:21:00

    KNOYWell, thanks for calling, Eric. And, Olivier, do you want to talk about that?

  • 10:21:04

    KNOXWell, I mean, the straight-up answer to that question is, you know, that's what the voters are going to decide, right? We're deciding on a president, a commander-in-chief of the country's armed forces. You're getting a sense of their temperament. You're getting a sense of what kind of leadership style they would bring to the table. And so, in some ways, you know, the -- again, the debates, I've, again, have long been a skeptic of this kind of debate. But I think these kinds of exchanges have a clarifying effect for voters.

  • 10:21:26

    KNOYHere's an email from Barbara, who says, "My objection to these debates is that they amount to a competition to get out talking points and to solicit knee-jerk reactions from the audience. The issues facing our country," Barbara says, "do not have black-and-white answers, Republican or Democratic solutions, but instead call for thoughtful deliberation and compromise." Barbara, thank you very much for the email. Susan, it's hard to do thoughtful deliberation when you have 10 candidates.

  • 10:21:51

    GLASSERYou know, democracy is the best -- the worst system except for all the rest, right? You know, I was struck by that. I mean, every four years, of course, this the element that you hear, you know, widely spoken. It's the kind of thing what, you know, if you ask people what they say they want to read versus what they actually do read, there's a pretty big contrast. And, you know, the bottom line is whether it's what they want to watch on TV, which is Donald Trump, whether it's the articles that they click on, it's Donald Trump.

  • 10:22:18

    GLASSERYou know, we have a sense that it would be inaccurate to say that this phenomenon is an outlier in American politics. It reflects what voters might not want to admit to, but something that they are feeling and connecting with deeply.

  • 10:22:33

    KNOYWell, and perhaps as the field winnows some, you will have more time for that deliberation that Barbara wants. Thank you for the email, Barbara. And let's go to St. Augustine, Fla. Jeff, you're on "The Diane Rehm Show, Friday News Roundup." Welcome.

  • 10:22:46

    JEFFYeah. Good morning. Hey, two quick things. They said I didn't have a lot of time. You know, Jeb Bush's growth number for Florida were entirely based on the unsustainable housing boom and mostly blue-state retirees bringing their pensions down and, you know, buying very expensive second homes. I think wages, on average, went down when he was governor. And, you know, I lived here when he was governor. The second thing is, as someone who voted for John Kerry for the first time when I voted for president, and then Barack Obama twice, I think John Kasich is a killer candidate. The Republicans would be fools not to nominate him.

  • 10:23:23

    KNOYOkay, Jeff. Good to hear from you. And so he's not buying Jeb Bush's economic miracle, Chris.

  • 10:23:29

    FRATESWell, that's right. And I think we'll see more of that as we get into this race: What did Bush really do as governor? But to his other point about Kasich, I mean, that was really the first time we have seen him on a national stage. And I think Democrats -- I think the caller's right -- I think he did kind of toe a very moderate line and was somebody who, based on one performance now -- I mean this is very early -- based on one performance, may be able to kind of move to the center in a general election that might give Democrats problems.

  • 10:23:57


  • 10:23:58

    GLASSERIt's pretty striking, though, that this is a three-time, self-declared, Democratic voter who says he likes Kasich the best. That's not generally the recipe for winning Republican primary votes. And I think that is actually the problem that's going to dog Kasich throughout this. I already saw last night on Twitter, a lot of commentary saying, "Yeah, Kasich is getting good notices in the -- from the pundits, and that's because they lean liberal in every election. And every Republican primary election, there's usually a Republican that Democrats and commentators like to like. And so...

  • 10:24:28

    KNOXThe hunt's been effective.

  • 10:24:29

    GLASSERYeah, exactly. And I think that is definitely a problem for John Kasich.

  • 10:24:33

    KNOYWell, questions to ask Kasich when he comes up to New Hampshire. So thank you for that, Susan. And thank you for that call. You can join us, too. 1-800-433-8850. Send an email to Olivier Knox, I wanted to ask you about some television ads released by Hillary Clinton this week. As her poll numbers decline, what do these ads say, Olivier? And what's the bigger context around them?

  • 10:24:59

    KNOXThey are extremely personal ads that emphasize the candidate's relationship with her late mother and tout her own, you know, credentials as a grandmother. It's -- actually, it's a really smart set of ads. And she might have been served well to release these earlier and keep them on the air forever. Because it feels like she's really learned from 2007, 2008, for starters. So she's emphasizing the history-making nature of her candidacy. She's reaching directly out to women who have -- that she needs in order to win. And she's addressing the sort of personal likeability, trustworthy, and the this-candidate-cares-about-my-concerns issues, which are all weaknesses of hers in recent public opinion polls.

  • 10:25:42

    GLASSERSo I think these are directly addressing the failures from four years ago -- or, sorry, eight years ago and the current polling environment for her.

  • 10:25:50

    KNOYSo this sort of biographical, here's who I am, here's why I'm a nice, warm, fuzzy person type of ads.

  • 10:25:54


  • 10:25:54

    KNOYYeah. Go ahead.

  • 10:25:55

    FRATESNo, I think Olivier is actually very right. And I think she probably could have released them a little bit earlier. But the timing is interesting because we are starting to see, you know, her favorable and unfavorable ratings drop off. I mean, she's upside-down now. Our latest poll at CNN -- her favorable rating was 44 percent, her unfavorables were 49 percent. And so I think she's trying to buffet against that, particularly at a time when Bernie Sanders is coming on, and she realizes that she might need to start to tell that story of Hillary Clinton, why she is a real person. Because she's been somebody who's been in public life for so long that her campaign realizes that they need to go back to the beginning. They need to go back to the start.

  • 10:26:33

    FRATESAnd so that's why they went back with her mother. In the other ad, she talks about coming out of law school. As a young law student, she could have gone to a big firm but, instead, she took on the Children's Defense Fund. She's been in public life and fighting for children and families for a long time. So you're seeing that at a time when people are questioning her trustworthiness. They're questioning, is she just another politician? That is part of why we're seeing them now. It's a five-week ad in New Hampshire, your home state, and in Iowa. And it's about a million dollars. So it's a significant buy in each state.

  • 10:27:05


  • 10:27:06

    GLASSERWell, and, you know, one of the missions of the ads is clearly already accomplished, which is to say that we're talking about those ads instead of talking about the news around investigations connected with her private email server, instead of talking about the fundraising of the Clinton Foundation, instead of talking about a lot of the controversies that have come up with, you know, this Iran deal that we haven't talked about yet, but President Obama's Iran deal and how unpopular is that going to be with Democratic primary voters. So there's a lot of issues that the Clinton campaign would prefer that we're not talking about right now and that we are talking about her very impressive biography.

  • 10:27:41

    KNOYWell, as we look at the Democratic field, just one more question. I'll turn to you, I think, Susan, first. Lots of chatter that Vice President Joe Biden might be considering a run. What do you think? Is this just talk or is there anything real here?

  • 10:27:53

    GLASSERYeah, that's the other thing they wanted to change the attention from. You know, look, there has been persistent talk around this. You know, really, it's been clear for the last year and a half or so that Vice President Joe Biden, although an extremely unlikely candidate, personally was not ready to let go of the notion that he had one more or possibly two more campaigns in him. Obviously, the tragic death of his son Beau Biden has reopened that conversation in an interesting way. Beau Biden was reported to have told his father that he thought he should run, before he died.

  • 10:28:26

    GLASSERAnd in the phone calls that Biden and his advisers have been receiving to offer sympathies since that tragic event, really, it's -- that's actually what's reopened this in a way that's very interesting. They've now said -- people close to Biden have now said that sometime in September is when he would make a call. I still think it's very unlikely. He has run and lost campaigns for president before. Remember that he actually ran against Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton back in 2008. He has never been successful in the early states of New Hampshire and Iowa at collecting any significant percentage of votes. Obviously, he's much better known now as a result of his two terms as vice president.

  • 10:29:10

    GLASSERBut there would be -- it would be such a divisive fight in the Democratic Party, it's unlikely that he would want that to be his legacy.

  • 10:29:17

    KNOYLet's turn briefly to the economy and new numbers out on unemployment and jobs. A strong jobs report for July, Olivier. Right in line with expectations or not?

  • 10:29:26

    KNOXYeah, pretty much right in line with expectations, 215,000 jobs created. This is basically a confirmation of the sort of sustained growth that we've seen over the last few years. It's also, if you look at the wage numbers, you're seeing no measurable increase in wages. And that's another facet of this new economy. So we have job growth but you're still going to find a lot of people who are just not feeling this recovery.

  • 10:29:50

    KNOYYeah, that's a number a lot of people are looking at, you're right. So average hourly earnings rose 0.2 percent, not that thrilling. Chris.

  • 10:29:58

    FRATESNot that thrilling at all. And I think that's part of what Republicans were running on. And you saw that last night in the debate with Jeb Bush being asked, you know: How could you possibly say that we could get the 4 percent growth, when it's been at 2 percent? And he made the argument that, we need to aim high. And we need to, you know, do certain things: cut taxes, you know, get rid of regulation. And so that will be a sustaining story. Democrats, on the other hand, are going to try to say: Look, we pulled the nation out of a ditch and now it's growing. And it's growing every quarter and that's a win. So expect to see these job numbers continue to play some role in the political discussion.

  • 10:30:34

    KNOYSusan, the Federal Reserve, people have been watching. Are they going to raise rates or not? How do these jobless numbers play in?

  • 10:30:40

    GLASSERWell, I think that'll be interesting to see. Because really we're looking at, you know, just barely meeting expectations. Is that sufficient stabilization of the economy, basically, to make this move. We know it's coming, for a long time. The timing of it, by the way, really matters in a political sense, because the closer and closer you get into 2016, the more possibility that that could have a negative impact of some sort on the economy. The markets have been bracing for this for a long time. So we'll have to see what happens, I think, in September, when it comes to that.

  • 10:31:10

    KNOYAll right. Let's take another call. And this is Michael in Birmingham, Ala. Hi, Michael. You're on "The Diane Rehm Show." Go ahead.

  • 10:31:17

    MICHAELI thank you for taking my call. I called because I feel like, as a young person in America -- pretty average, went to college, so I feel like I accurately represent at least 50 percent of the voting population to this age group -- and I feel like Bernie Sanders is the only candidate who's actually been addressing issues such as civil rights, equal pay, fair rights for women and everything of that sort. And I want to know why he's not getting as much attention as somebody like Donald Trump or, say, Jeb Bush.

  • 10:31:56

    KNOYAll right. Michael, thank you very much for calling in. Millennials for Bernie Sanders -- feeling the Bern, as they say, in New Hampshire.

  • 10:32:02

    KNOXFeeling the Bern, feeling the Bern. Sure, I mean, this is the hunger in the Democratic Party for someone from, what we'll call, the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Party to run, to offset the much more establishment Hillary Clinton, who after all, has deep and long ties to places like Wall Street and who is, you know, a multi-millionaire many times over. The people I've talked to on the road see Bernie as one of two things: either authentic and really ready to fight for them or kooky and off-kilter. And these are Democrats that I'm talking to. He's my former home state senator, one of them. I've talked to him and known him for a fairly long time.

  • 10:32:41

    KNOXI think it's going to be completely fascinating to have an actual, on-stage debate with some of these Democratic candidates. But, yeah, there's no doubt that he's appealing to a pretty solid segment of Democrats, including in your home state, where he is essentially within the margin of error behind Hillary Clinton.

  • 10:32:56

    KNOYHe is playing well in New Hampshire. How about Iowa, Chris?

  • 10:32:59

    FRATESWell, I think in Iowa he has what many candidates who are new to the national stage have, which is an organizational problem. I mean, he needs to get on the ground there. The caucuses are complex. They're more of a negotiation than a ballot cast. So I think, you know, he is -- but he -- there is, in Iowa, just as in New Hampshire, there is the Elizabeth Warren wing. They were organized in Iowa. There was a, you know, Warren for Iowa. I wouldn't doubt if he can turn that, you know, to his advantage, because he is taking that role. And so there is a hunger, I think, in a Democratic left, for that kind of voice. And he's filling that void.

  • 10:33:35

    KNOYI'm Laura Knoy of New Hampshire Public Radio, and you're listening to "The Diane Rehm Show." If you'd like to join us, call 1-800-433-8850. Send an email to Find us on Facebook. Send us a Tweet. And don't forget, you can see all of our guests on our live video stream at Susan, I did want to start off with you, talking about the news last night that New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer is going to oppose the Iran nuclear deal being promoted heavily by President Obama. Was this a surprise?

  • 10:34:09

    GLASSERWell, there have been indications over the last few days that he was leaning this way. Schumer is the most prominent, the most powerful Jewish Democrat in Congress. And so he has an outside voice, not only because that is a significant constituency for Democrats for President Obama, but also because he is expected to be the incoming Democratic leader of the Senate. And it certainly is a blow for the president, in that sense, to have the lead Democrat among his Senate colleagues, somebody who presumably is really looked toward on such a significant policy decision. So, again, you know, what you're hearing out of the White House today is: Well, we knew this was going to happen. It's not necessarily a big deal.

  • 10:34:49

    GLASSERI found it very significant that Schumer chose not only to say publicly that he was coming out against the deal, but to release a very detailed, point-by-point attack on the deal. And I think you're going to be hearing an awful lot of quotes of Chuck Schumer used by Republicans and other opponents of President Obama's Iran deal in the coming days. I think that was much more damaging to the White House than they could have expected, even just from a potential "no" vote on his part.

  • 10:35:17

    KNOYYeah. So he didn't just say, Chris, I don't like this deal. He laid out, point-by-point, why.

  • 10:35:22

    FRATESHe laid out -- and he also said, "I would vote to override the veto." So he's also saying, I'm going to vote against it and I'll vote against my president's veto, which is significant as well.

  • 10:35:30

    KNOYIt's a pretty strong message, isn't it?

  • 10:35:31

    FRATESIt's a pretty strong message. But you have to remember that Schumer waited on making this announcement. In fact, most people in the Capitol that I've talked to, you know, believe he was waiting to make sure that that deal would pass before he came out against it. Christian Joel Brand, his colleague from New York -- the junior senator from New York, yesterday said that she would vote in favor of the Iran deal. Many people believed that was the 33rd vote that they need to sustain Barack Obama's veto. If, in fact, this resolution of disapproval passes, the president will veto it, and they believe that neither the House nor the Senate will be able to override it. But Schumer was playing both sides against the middle here, by and large.

  • 10:36:12

    FRATESAnd he came out -- if he really wanted to whip against this, he would have done it much earlier. And so it's a personal position for him. But I don't see him leading a kind of opposition against this and getting Democrats to overturn this deal.

  • 10:36:28

    KNOYWell, Olivier, President Obama gave a speech at American University promoting this deal. Who was his intended audience in that speech?

  • 10:36:36

    KNOXIt was any wavering Democrats in...

  • 10:36:39

    KNOYIncluding Chuck Schumer.

  • 10:36:40

    KNOX...including, potentially, Chuck Schumer. I think they'd -- I think this didn't really surprise the White House all that much, to be honest. It was a notable speech for a few reasons. One is just how absolutely unapologetically pugnacious and partisan it was. He really took it to the critics of the deal.

  • 10:36:56

    KNOYGive us a little more there. Yeah.

  • 10:36:57

    KNOXWell, he accused Republican members of Congress of making common cause with the hardliners who chant "Death to America" on the streets of Teheran. That was a fairly pungent moment in the speech. And it's really upset -- deeply upset the -- or I shouldn't say that. Republicans are professing to be deeply upset by this rhetoric. Senator Mitch McConnell has asked the president to retract it. My understanding is that, in an interview on CNN this weekend, the president comes back and says, "No. What I said was strictly accurate." He accused the people who opposed the deal of basically being Iraq War supporters. He really had a really -- a lot of tough rhetoric.

  • 10:37:37

    KNOYAll right. Well, coming up, more of your calls and questions for our panel on the domestic hour of the "Friday News Roundup." Stay with us.

  • 10:40:02

    KNOYWelcome back. I'm Lauran Knoy, of New Hampshire Public Radio, sitting in for Diane Rehm. Our guest for this hour of the Friday News Roundup are Chris Frates, investigative correspondent at CNN, Susan Glasser, editor at Politico, and Olivier Knox, chief Washington correspondent for Yahoo! News. You can join us, too. 1-800-433-8850, 1-800-433-8850. Send email to Find us on Facebook or Twitter. And don't forget, you can see all our guests on our live video stream at

  • 10:40:36

    KNOYAnd, all of you, let's go right back to our listeners and go to Laz, in Miami, Fla. Hi, Laz. Go ahead. You're on "The Diane Rehm Show." Welcome.

  • 10:40:45

    LAZYes. I want to make the comment regarding Senator Chuck Schumer. I live in New York for 15 years. I supported Schumer, you know, financially. And I looked at him as a leader. And I just wanted to say that I have lost total respect for him. I -- and I'm going to blame him responsible for the fact that Iran is now going to return to enriching uranium and perhaps even more vigorously so. And I just look at him as another pandering politician. I'm disappointed.

  • 10:41:20

    KNOYOkay. Well, Laz, thank you. And what do you think, Susan? Will there be a political price to pay for Senator Schumer?

  • 10:41:26

    GLASSERWell, first of all, the outcome is not clear. And if Obama prevails, as Chris was sort of making the case for why it's quite possible that the White House still has the votes to sustain its Iran deal, even in the face of opposition from Schumer and some other key Democrats, then it's unlikely and we're not going to know anything really. It's very unlikely that we'll know about Iran's nuclear program for a long time.

  • 10:41:50

    GLASSERRemember, this sets a tenure time horizon, more or less, sort of stops the clock, in fact. That would be one of the main results, presumed results of the Iran deal. So it's not clear that this sort of doomsday scenario that the caller is sketching out would actually come into effect and certainly there is not going to be a straight line between Chuck Schumer and Iran's nuclear program in any case. So it's highly unlikely, I would imagine, that this causes him any political trouble in New York.

  • 10:42:20


  • 10:42:21

    KNOXI think there's a small risk, though, with the -- what I'll call the Obama coalition voters. When Chuck Schumer came out against this, Dan Fifer, the former senior counselor to the President, went out and said on Twitter publically -- he didn't email a couple reporters, he went on Twitter to say this is going to affect his ability to be an effective leader in the Senate. The rank and file of the party is going to mistrust him more. It's going to affect his ability to have a national, you know, sway, national influence on the rest of it.

  • 10:42:46

    KNOXNow, the Senate, they're all a bunch of cold, calculating political animals. I don't think it's going to have a huge impact. But the price of defying Chuck Schumer now just suddenly went down for a lot of liberal Democrats. And I -- so I think there actually is a potential price to pay here.

  • 10:43:00

    KNOYAll right. Well, thank you for that call, Laz. Again the number, 1-800-433-8850, You can send an email there. So let's talk about the Senate. And Chris, heading into August recess with some unfinished business. What did they leave on the table?

  • 10:43:18

    FRATESThey left a bunch on the table. They left the Iran deal, which you've been talking about. But they also left the Planned Parenthood debate. Remember that there have been some undercover videos that have come out that have showed Planned Parenthood talking -- Planned Parenthood officials talking about, you know, the selling of different fetal tissues and organs to, you know, for different kinds of research. That has enflamed the Right and really brought the abortion issue back to the fore in the Republican campaigns.

  • 10:43:50

    FRATESWe saw it last night in the debate. And on the Senate floor this week, we saw the -- a vote to defund Planned Parenthood. They get about $500 million in largely Medicaid funding from the federal government. And that vote failed in the Senate. They didn't have enough votes to run a straight bill to defund it. So now there is talk about the last train leaving the station. And that will be a bill to continue funding the government. That comes up in September. That's another piece that they left undone going into the August recess.

  • 10:44:20

    FRATESAnd now it looks like there will be a fight about whether or not they put an amendment on that funding bill to defund Planned Parenthood. Now, of course, Democrats are staunchly opposed to that. And if you hold up that bill then you cut government funding. And this becomes a fight over defunding Planned Parenthood versus threatening to defund the government. Now, this happened in 2011, this same fight. Eventually the Republicans caved on that point and they passed a continuing resolution without defunding the government, without shutting down the government.

  • 10:44:53

    FRATESExcuse me, I shouldn't say defunding the government. Without shutting down the government. And Republicans in leadership, they know it's a political loser to shut down the government, particularly over a social issue like this. So it will become that classic fight of the conservatives and some of the Tea Party versus the more establishment leadership. Leadership doesn't want to shut down the government, particularly over an issue as divisive as this.

  • 10:45:16

    FRATESSo we'll see if they can find a middle road this time, which they did it in 2011. But it looks like at this point there's not a lot of appetite among Republican leaders to shut down the government until they get a defunding of Planned Parenthood.

  • 10:45:27

    KNOYWell, and, Susan, in the midst of a presidential campaign, though, you know, there'll be people who want to make a statement on this and don't, you know, care less about shutting down the government than making a statement.

  • 10:45:38

    GLASSERYeah, people like Ted Cruz, for example, who shut down the government last time. And, you know, remember that in the summer before that happened we all said, well, that's very unlikely and Republicans know the bad history of shutting down the government, it's going to redound against them. And the Senate is wired in such a way that an individual or a small number of individuals certainly have the possibility to wreak some mayhem. Remember, there's still some budget back and forth that could lead to this problem, never mind the highway cliff.

  • 10:46:08

    GLASSEROnce again, what Congress did was it kicked the can down the road only as far as October on the very crucial matter of replenishing the highway trust fund to keep highway spending going. So there's a whole number of issues that Congress did what it's very good at it, which is to say playing kick the can and deferring to the fall. So we're going to have a pretty contentious and partisan fall.

  • 10:46:29

    GLASSERI do think the Planned Parenthood issue, as of right now, seems unlikely to be the thing that triggers a massive crisis. But I would never say never. You have not one, in Ted Cruz, but there different senators running for president and using that body as a platform and a stage on which to change the subject from Donald Trump.

  • 10:46:49

    KNOYWow. That's going to be really interesting. And that highway bill is very important. Bipartisan support for it in the States, anyway.

  • 10:46:55

    KNOXWell, sure. But this is -- this goes back to a problem that Barack Obama's had for years and years, which is that infrastructure spending used to be one of the least controversial bits of business done in Washington, D.C. But it's become ensnared in the government spends too much money, shut it down, kind of debate. So it's not clear how that's going to play out.

  • 10:47:16

    KNOXOne -- I want to make one quick point at the Planned Parenthood conversation, which is, you know, it is to me transparently a political play, in the sense that if they wanted to, they could tackle this with legislation about fetal research. If they are truly offended by fetal research, they could go ahead and tackle that. But they aren't. What they're doing is they're going after a conservative -- and organization that conservatives dislike, Planned Parenthood. So it's very interesting to watch that play out. And it's also clearly part of an effort to get the base energized.

  • 10:47:48

    KNOXBut I'm taking a very -- maybe it's just Friday and I'm tired. But I'm taking a somewhat jaundiced view of the way they're approaching this. Because there are ways for them to address the core issue. And they're not using them.

  • 10:47:59

    KNOYIt's the Friday News Roundup on "The Diane Rehm Show," the domestic hour. You can join us, 1-800-433-8850, is the email address. Again, 1-800-433-8850. Chris, I wanted to ask you about a story out of Texas. A federal appeals court this week said a strict Texas voter ID law violated the Voting Rights Act. Give us a little more there, please.

  • 10:48:24

    FRATESRight. So we -- this was -- this has been an issue. Because, remember, in 2003 the Supreme Court ruled that federal oversight of election laws in many states, including Texas, was unconstitutional. And so the federal appeals court essentially said that this strict voter law, which required people to bring government IDs to the polls, and this has been an issue because many in the minority community don't have those government IDs. So there's a question of disenfranchisement. And if you are forcing people to bring ID to the polls and they don't have it, then they don't get their vote and, and that's not okay.

  • 10:49:00

    FRATESSo this is essentially, you know, continuing the fight over how -- now that the Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government doesn't have as much of a role in overseeing these laws, the federal appeals court has said, well, you know what? This law is unconstitutional. So this is clearly unsettled. Congress has been loath to kind of take this up or make any fixes to it. Republicans tend to support these voter ID laws. Democrats tend to support, you know, the -- tend to oppose them.

  • 10:49:30

    FRATESAnd that largely breaks down upon -- among their voting base. Of course, Democrats have more minorities who vote for them than Republicans. But don't be surprised if this comes before the Supreme Court. This is going to move up the ladder.

  • 10:49:42

    KNOYWow, really?

  • 10:49:43

    FRATESAnd I think by, you know, 2017 we will see this particular issue in front of the Supreme Court because when they opened it up, it essentially sends it back to the court now.

  • 10:49:53

    KNOYWell, and Susan, lots of states have been debating these voter ID voting rights laws for at least the past decade. What does this Texas decision mean for that bigger picture?

  • 10:50:03

    GLASSERWell, you know, first of all, it's striking to note that we're having this conversation on the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act, as President Obama spotlighted yesterday. And I think that that context and the broader national conversation we've been having about race and, you know, really, this wave of laws not only has a partisan tinge to it, right, you see a wave of Republican controlled state legislators and executives around the country moving to put into place very restrictive voter ID laws for the political reasons, largely that Chris pointed out.

  • 10:50:38

    GLASSERBut it also taps into this notion that we felt, on some level, that this was meant to be us moving to a new, more post-racial society. In fact, there have been various Supreme Court decisions that have eluded to the idea that, in fact, you know, that earlier categories of affirmative action, you know, had perhaps outlived their time. I think it's really striking we're exactly one year after Ferguson and there's been this sort of national head snap. Right.

  • 10:51:05

    GLASSERThis moment, this recognition that no matter what we wish it to be, that the actual state of race relations in the United States, the actual situation and the realities confronted on the ground by many African Americans are just simply not in the place that our sort of national conversation had moved on toward. And there was a sort of, hey, stop, wait a minute, what's really happening here? I think quality to the really fascinating and soul-searching conversation that occurred in the wake of Ferguson around the country.

  • 10:51:37

    GLASSERSo I think it's really become on the national agenda in a way that we would not have anticipated, but, by the way, where was that conversation in the debate last night? There wasn't a single question -- unless I missed it -- that was about this. Not a single candidate eluded to this in any way. It really shows that we do have two Americas, I think.

  • 10:51:55

    KNOYWell, here's an email from Michael in Connecticut. He says, "There was startling little discussion at last night's 9:00 PM GOP debate on the national conversation that's come up right now about race, civil rights, justice and the worth of black lives. Instead, GOP candidates again and again returned to themes of unity and optimism." Michael, in Connecticut, says, "I'd be curious how your panel thinks this strategy will play out in the campaign to come." Do you want to tackle that, Olivier? It's a big question.

  • 10:52:21

    KNOXAnd there's no way it doesn't get asked in either of the Democratic debates or in the general election debate. So whoever the Republican candidate is, they're going to need to have an answer on this. The truth, though, is that they -- these candidates are being asked these questions on the road. So, you know, Jeb Bush has been asked this on the road. I'm trying to remember the exact -- his exact response because I don't want to mischaracterize. But they are being asked these questions on the road.

  • 10:52:42

    KNOXWe are doing some reporting on this on the road. You know, Rand Paul has made a big to-do about paying attention to these problems. And so I think maybe in the kind of cattle-call debate that we had yesterday, maybe it's understandable that they didn't go with this. And they should come around it the next time. But there's no way this goes away. So, again, if you're the Republican nominee or if you're a serious contender during the last rounds of -- you've got to have an answer for this. You know, Americans are focused on this, they're talking about it, and you need to have an answer.

  • 10:53:12

    KNOYAnd some Democrats have been chided, too, Chris, for not paying enough attention to some of the issues that Susan raises.

  • 10:53:16

    FRATESWell, absolutely. I mean, Hillary Clinton took heat for saying that all lives matter and then she backtracked and said, well, of course, I believe black lives matter and I wasn't suggesting that by saying all lives matter that I was, you know, that I didn't believe that. But going back to the debate last night, there was one question. And it was about the state of police relations with minority communities.

  • 10:53:36

    FRATESAnd I can't remember if it was Scott Walker or who it was who answered it, but the answer from the stage was essentially that, you know, we need to support law enforcement and we need to make sure that they're doing their job and that they get training and that we get the bad ones out. But it didn't really touch on a lot of those underlying cultural and racial discussions that we've had. It was very much a law and order answer, which is not surprising from a Republican debate stage.

  • 10:54:00

    KNOYI'm Laura Knoy and you're listening to "The Diane Rehm Show." I want to go back to our listeners. And here's a tweet from Ilene. She says -- this is relating to the debate again. Big topic for people. Ilene says, "I'm less disturbed by Trump's misogyny because it's unsurprising. More disturbed by audience finding it so funny." Ilene, thank you for the tweet. You mentioned this earlier, Susan. Now, for the people who didn't watch the debate, just remind us. A very interesting interaction between the female moderator and Donald Trump.

  • 10:54:31

    GLASSERWell, that's right. By the way, I'm glad that the, this person brought this up because I was struck by that, too. Who are these people who are clapping as Megyn Kelly lists Donald Trump's, you know, very outrageous statements of, you know, just pure hatred of women. He tried to dismiss her. He cut Megyn Kelly off, remember and interrupted her. He said no, no, it's just about Rosie O'Donnell. And she said, no, no, no, Mr. Trump, it's actually, you know, there's a lot of examples of where you've done this and, you know, what do you have to say about that.

  • 10:54:59

    GLASSERAnd he gave this answer about political correctness, which, by the way, I'm sure would have been his answer had you critiqued him on his lack of interest in the question of racial equality in the United States, for example. He would basically dismiss the question out of hand. That's a favorite technique. What I'm struck by is that even though it's true that Republicans are a more white male dominated party certainly than Democrats are today. Donald Trump, if he's actually for president, is going to need more than, say, zero votes from women.

  • 10:55:29

    GLASSERAnd I can't imagine that it's really a partisan issue, the way that he has framed his comments toward women. So, yeah, I was totally struck. Who are those people in the arena? Who did they invite to this debate who are clapping for Donald Trump in the…

  • 10:55:40

    KNOXWell, it's the conservatives who remember the public feuds between Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell. Rosie O'Donnell bugbear for the Right. You know, someone that they -- who took them to task and they hate her. And they remember this public feud between Trump and O'Donnell. The thing that really creeped me out about Trump's answer was in the follow-up when Megyn Kelly said, well, there's also that one "Apprentice" contestant where you said it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees.

  • 10:56:05

    KNOXAnd Trump, of course, didn't back down. That's where he had the politically correct answer. But at one point he said something along the lines of, I've been very nice to you and I could not be. And I thought to myself…

  • 10:56:14


  • 10:56:15

    KNOX…so you're default setting then with everybody who criticizes you is to threaten you. And we've seen this time and time again. He tangled with a minority reporter at The Daily Beast. He tangled with Megyn Kelly on this. Time and time again the response is, you know, I will bury you.

  • 10:56:31

    FRATESAnd I just thought that was so interesting that he's being asked about his attacks on women and in his answer he attacks Megyn Kelly with veiled threat and this bullying that we saw. That was just fascinating to me that he doubled-down, not just in his answer in trying to dodge it with political correctness, but then he did the same thing that she was asking about in his answer. That was fascinating to me.

  • 10:56:56

    KNOYWell, very quickly, last question, I think I'll throw this to you, Chris. Jon Stewart, last show.

  • 10:57:02

    FRATESJon Stewart.

  • 10:57:03

    KNOYAfter that big Republican debate there was Jon Stewart giving his last show. Real quickly, his impact on pop culture and our ideas around what's news.

  • 10:57:11

    FRATESWell, I think it's going to be fascinating to have -- I have to imagine that Jon Stewart wishes he went one more night so that he could, you know, lampoon that debate.

  • 10:57:20

    KNOYI was wondering about that myself.

  • 10:57:21

    FRATESYou know, he doesn't usually do Friday shows. And so he missed out on that. And I think that hole will only be felt more strongly, I mean, there has been poll after poll about how, you know, a majority of millennials get their news from "The Daily Show." Jon Stewart has been a critiquer of not just politics, but us in the media as well. So I think it leaves a big hole and we'll see what happens with the new host.

  • 10:57:43

    KNOYI'm Laura Knoy sitting in for Diane Rehm. Thanks for listening.

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