Legal analyst Kimberly Wehle on the 14th Amendment and whether it can be used to keep Donald Trump off the ballot.
Voters went to the polls in six states yesterday in the last major primaries for both parties. Only the District of Columbia remains. With decisive victories in four states, including delegate-rich California, Democrat Hillary Clinton claimed her party’s nomination. But Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) won Montana and North Dakota and refused to step aside, vowing to fight all the way to the convention in July. On the Republican side, presumptive nominee Donald Trump swept all five contests, including California. But Trump continues to face criticism from fellow Republicans over racially-charged remarks he made about a federal judge. Diane and guests discuss final primary results and what they mean as the race heads to the general election.
- Susan Page Washington bureau chief, USA Today
- Norman Ornstein Resident scholar, American Enterprise Institute; co-author of "It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism"
- Domenico Montanaro Lead political editor, NPR
MS. DIANE REHMThanks for joining us. I'm Diane Rehm. Following primary wins in four states last night, Democrat Hillary Clinton claimed her party's nomination. She called it an historic victory, but Senator Bernie Sanders vowed to fight on to the convention in July. Republican presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, swept all five contests, but faces mounting criticism from fellow Republicans over remarks he made about a federal judge.
MS. DIANE REHMHere to discuss final primary results and implications for the remainder of the presidential race, Susan Page of USA Today and Domenico Montanaro of NPR. And joining us by phone from Washington D.C., Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute. I'm sure many of you will want to join the conversation. Give us a call at 800-433-8850. Send you email to email@example.com. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
MS. DIANE REHMWell, it was quite a night, wasn't it? And it was quite a night. Susan Page, I must say it seemed like a huge night for Hillary Clinton. Is it now over?
MS. SUSAN PAGEShe is the presumptive nominee. She will be nominated at the Democratic convention in July, barring some kind of earthquake we don’t foresee. And, you know, there hasn't been a lot of attention in this campaign to the historic nature of her candidacy, but there was last night, about the fact that after 44 male presidents, for the first time, a woman candidate has won the nomination of a major party.
MS. SUSAN PAGEThat is definitely a breakthrough that she took a moment to savor. You could see her on stage kind of drinking in that moment before she started to speak.
REHMAnd Domenico, Bernie Sanders won two state. He lost California, but he vowed to fight on. What's your thinking?
MR. DOMENICO MONTANAROWell, look, Bernie Sanders, at this point, is going to have a decision to make. The real issue here, for him, is not whether or not he's going to be the nominee, it's when he decides that he's going to exit the race. I mean, the fact of the matter is, this race, you know, was close-ish, but it wasn't that close. You know, Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton by 59 pledged delegates in 2008.
MR. DOMENICO MONTANAROHillary Clinton won the pledge majority with more than 300 pledged delegates. So all the talk about super delegates, that can go out the window. Bernie Sanders is going to have a decision to make on whether or not and how he's going to unify the Democratic party or try.
REHMSo Norm Ornstein, is the nominating race over now?
MR. NORMAN ORNSTEINIt's certainly over. Hillary Clinton will be the nominee. One thing to remember, Diane, is that eight years ago, Hillary Clinton struck a pretty defiant tone, even after the California primary. It took four days to come down and turn around and begin to support, which she did very enthusiastically, Barack Obama. We know that Bernie Sanders, at this point, is going to be called by everyone of his Senate Democratic colleagues.
MR. NORMAN ORNSTEINAnd he's got to go back to the Senate. He's meeting with President Obama and there's going to be an enormous amount of pressure on him. You know, having said that, there was an article in Politico that really suggested that the obdurate stance, the intransigence that we've seen from the Sanders campaign wasn't simply coming from his manager, his campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, or his wife. It was Sanders himself.
MR. NORMAN ORNSTEINSo it may take a little while, maybe even longer than it did eight years ago.
REHMSo what about this meeting with the president, Susan?
PAGEThis is important. President Obama called Bernie Sanders on Sunday. They had a conversation. We don't know a lot of details about what they talked about. But Barack Obama has indicated in public statements that he's ready to endorse Hillary Clinton. He wants the Democratic party to unite behind her as the nominee. And, you know, I think it's harder than it was eight years ago for Hillary Clinton, to bringing Hillary Clinton in the fold when Barack Obama defeated her for the nomination because, for one thing, Bernie is not a Democrat, right?
PAGEHe's been an independent voice who caucused with the Democrats, not likely to run for president again. That was not the case with Hillary Clinton eight years ago so less reasons to curry favor with Democrats. Doesn't need help retiring his debt. That's another that the losing candidate often is kind of brought in with a promise to help to retire your campaign debt. So the question is, what is it that would entice Bernie Sanders not just to endorse Hillary Clinton because I'm sure he'll do that, but to endorse her with some enthusiasm and really get the voters who have lined up behind him, especially millennials to support her.
MONTANAROHe's really fomented this idea that the system is rigged. That not only is the system rigged for income inequality, which is a huge issue that he's obviously run on, but that the Democratic process, Big D, has been rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton. Unless he's able to say he lost fair and square, I think that there are going to be a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters who are going to continue to believe that there were some rigging that went on, some malpractice in the campaign.
MONTANAROIt's going to be hard for them to come over to support Hillary Clinton. And polling has showed that without Sanders supporters, you know, heavily in her corner, that she winds up tied or neck and neck with Donald Trump.
REHMDoes that rigging or some malevolence really apply here, Norm?
ORNSTEINNot in the slightest, Diane. And as Domenico said, Hillary Clinton won by a very substantial margin. She won by what now is going to be way over 3 million popular votes. She would have won if there had been no super delegates. She would have won significantly earlier if the contest had all been winner take all instead of proportionally represented. And I think Sanders has created a box for himself. And, of course, one of the ironies here is that early on, Sanders began to say that in states that he won, these super delegates, the elected officials and party officials who are automatic delegates, then in states that he won, they had a moral obligation to support him.
ORNSTEINThen, he turned around to say that in states that Clinton won, they should support him as well. So he's kind of in a box here in terms of what he said and he has no moral standing. But a lot of his supporters aren't listening to any of the reality here. They've got their own alternative reality.
REHMThat'd be pretty tough.
PAGELet me just disagree just to a degree with Norm Ornstein who, of course, knows more than I do about everything, so I'm reluctant to do this.
PAGEBut, you know, I don't think the system was rigged and it robbed Bernie Sanders of the nomination, but there's no question that the Democratic establishment was for her, not for him, that he wasn't taken seriously, as seriously as he should have at the beginning of this process.
REHMAt the beginning.
PAGEAnd that the debates, in particular, I think, a fair grievance on the part of the Bernie Sanders folks...
PAGE...that they would -- because there were not enough debates. In fact, they expanded the number of debates from the original set that the DNC authorized and the debate schedule was designed to minimize the exposure of the candidates. And so I think in those way, there were -- there have been ways in which the Democratic establishment has had their thumb on the scale for Hillary Clinton. I would agree that it's not what delivered her the nomination, but it's given people who support Bernie Sanders some things to feel aggrieved about.
MONTANAROI think there would've been a whole lot of chaos if it were that Bernie Sanders won a pledged majority and the super delegates wound up putting Hillary Clinton over the top. That would've been chaotic because, you know, she's got a huge lead with them right now. And that's what the Sanders people said to watch. Watch that pledged majority 'cause it's unfair that she starts with such a huge advantage with those super delegates. So for the first time, frankly, since 1984 when super delegates came on board, all of us at news organizations started to split out pledged delegates versus super delegates instead of counting super delegates as we have in the past, looked at the pledge number and looked at the super delegates.
MONTANAROAnd the Clinton campaign put aside the super delegates, too, and said that they wanted to win the pledge majority and that became the race. And then, suddenly, that has now shifted. Once it became clear, after April 26, that Sanders could not win, most likely, with pledge delegate because of how proportional allocation works. So the goal posts have moved. They've shifted.
MONTANAROIt's going to depend on how much Bernie Sanders decides that he's going to come around to this reality that he's not going to be the nominee.
REHMYou want to push back, Norm?
ORNSTEINNo. I mean, I certainly agree with Susan that the Democratic National Committee tried to tilt the dialogue towards Hillary Clinton and there's no question that the establishment supported Clinton. But I think the fundamental reality here is that the accusations that the system is rigged have been that there was voter fraud, that there was voter suppression, that he actually won more votes. We had one Sanders supporter write a bizarre piece trying to make that case.
ORNSTEINAnd all of that is simply false. Now, I think the grievances against the Democratic National Committee, which are going to play out in a way that will put Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the committee, in an uncomfortable position in the firing line, are going to be interesting to watch. But in terms of who was the preference of all of the voters, the Democratic voters who were out there, there is simply no question at every level Hillary Clinton won handily.
PAGEYou know who argued last night the system was rigged against Bernie Sanders? Donald Trump.
PAGEHe made interestingly a very open appeal to Bernie Sanders voters in his victory speech.
REHMSaid, come over to me.
PAGEAnd said, come over here, that's right.
REHMYeah. Hillary Clinton was very sharply critical, however, of Donald Trump.
PAGEAmazing. Really, we've seen the start of the general election in her speech last Thursday in San Diego. She is taking a much more caustic tone toward Donald Trump and that is certainly something that some of her supporters have been urging her to do.
MONTANAROYeah, but that speech in San Diego was a real turning for her. You know, it was coming at the exact same time as Donald Trump was embroiled in this all-out feud with Republican leadership over his comments over the judge who is presiding over the case of fraud against Trump University calling him -- saying that he's -- because of his Mexican ancestry, he couldn't be fair to him.
REHMDomenico Montanaro of NPR. We'll take a short break and when we come back, we'll talk more, take your calls, stay with us.
REHMAnd welcome back as we talk about results from the major primary elections last evening that certainly declared California in Hillary Clinton's corner. She won four of those primaries. However, Bernie Clinton -- Bernie Clinton, I keep saying that.
ORNSTEINThere you go.
REHMBernie Sanders has said that he will go on until Philadelphia and the Democratic convention. We will see whether, in fact, changes after his conversation with President Obama on when, Susan?
PAGEHis conversation on Thursday, tomorrow, with the president.
REHMIt is going to be Thursday?
PAGEWith President Obama. He's scheduled a rally in the District of Columbia. That's the final primary to take place here in D.C. next Tuesday. Bernie Sanders has been perfectly consistent in saying he's going to stay in it through the voting, so through the D.C. primary. But I thought he -- I thought he -- I think he's beginning to take a somewhat different tone about battling on to Philadelphia, including last night.
PAGEHe said last night I'm going to continue our fight for justice to Philadelphia. Now you can fight for justice by changing the rules of the Democratic Party, by fighting for a more progressive platform. That does not necessarily mean that he's continuing his candidacy to Philadelphia. And I think it's hard when you've run for president, and you've put your whole heart in it, and you've come pretty close, to acknowledge that it's over. We saw that eight years ago, when Hillary Clinton had to do the same thing when Barack Obama defeated her.
REHMWhat do you think, Norm?
ORNSTEINNo, I think that's exactly right, and the most important point here now for Sanders is he wants as much leverage as he can possibly get not just heading into the convention but beyond. And so what do you want? You want that primetime speaking spot. You want to be sure, as Susan said, that you have platform input, and of course now we're seeing the meetings of the platform committee that are going to be quite contentious and a critical point.
ORNSTEINYou also are going to want to talk to Hillary Clinton about her running mate.
ORNSTEINAnd about what she'll do if she becomes president, not just in her first 100 days but in terms of her priorities, and that includes appointments to important positions like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
REHMNow there are a number of people asking whether you believe Hillary Clinton would consider Bernie Sanders as a running mate, Domenico.
MONTANARONo, I don't. And I think that this is part of the issue of what Bernie wants, not that he wants to be vice president, but he wants respect. And he feels like he's been disrespected during this campaign. He was, you know, 60 points behind, and nobody gave him any credit, really, or potential to come back and win, including members of the media, and I think that even as the math has been clear since frankly March that he was going to have a very difficult time being the nominee, he's felt disrespected at every turn.
MONTANAROAnd, you know, whatever it is, whether it's this primetime speaking slot or if it's being in line for a committee chairmanship in the Senate, or if it's, you know, any number of things, being considered for VP or having some input on who the VP would be, I think Sanders and his campaign feel a big chip on their shoulder and feel that he hasn't been respected through this process.
REHMSo what does that mean for the millennials who voted in great numbers for Bernie?
PAGEYes, by a huge margin supported Bernie Sanders. But, you know, the reality is we know from the polling of voters under 35, voters under 30, that they're not attracted to Donald Trump. The issue is will they support Hillary Clinton, or will they stay home. And that goes to the power that Bernie Sanders will have in the general election to try to energize that group of voters that have really supported him.
PAGEYou know, I think it is very unlikely that Hillary Clinton would seriously consider Bernie Sanders for vice president, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have some influence on who she does choose. Would she consider Elizabeth Warren, for instance? I've been a real skeptic of that, but maybe I'm wrong. Or Sherrod Brown? And it was interesting, the Ohio senator, you know, is somebody who has a long progressive tradition and is popular with that wing of the party.
PAGEWe had an interview this week with Connie Schultz, his wife, who has been thought to be a real -- somebody who's really against him being on the ticket. And in the interview, she said I'm not going to stand in his way and did not say this was impossible.
REHMInteresting, and Joe in Baltimore poses the question on the Republican side. He says people are still voting for Cruz and Kasich. Who will they support in November, Domenico?
MONTANAROThey, you know, say they will be on board for the nominee. But, you know, Ted Cruz has talked about a potential platform fight at the convention, as well, bringing some of those issues to the table. But Donald Trump's real key here over the next month, before that convention, is to see -- is to show what kind of candidate he will actually be. You know, he's talked about he can be very presidential, quote-unquote, but that speech last night, he was somewhat stilted, he was reading off a teleprompter. It seemed like he was -- didn't have his voice.
MONTANAROAnd we talk about Hillary Clinton needing to find her voice, the people have talked about that through the campaign. Donald Trump needs to find his voice. He's been the guy who hasn't cared what anybody's thought, and suddenly he seems to be someone who needs to.
REHMHe did step away from the teleprompter when he started talking about the TPP, if you recall.
MONTANAROWell, there's that.
REHMAnd Norm, to you.
ORNSTEINWell, of course, he called it the PPP.
ORNSTEINWhich tells you something about his grasp of public policy. Just a couple of words on the vice presidential slot. The political piece on Sanders made a striking point, which is that Sherrod Brown, who has been a longtime ally of Sanders, was an early enthusiastic supporter of Clinton, and that piece suggested that Sanders was so furious with him that he would try to block him as a nominee.
ORNSTEINAnd I think it would probably be unlikely simply because the Senate could end up being decided by one vote, and in Ohio with a Republican governor, you would lose a seat. So we're looking at people mostly where that would not happen. And one of the most striking things to me was, in an interview a couple of weeks ago, when Sanders talked about a running mate and said it has to be somebody who is firmly progressive, or I'm off the train, the name Tim Kaine was mentioned, the senator from Virginia, former governor.
ORNSTEINAnd Sanders said he's a friend, and I like him a lot. And that would suggest that a Kaine nomination might not result in Sanders' wrath, and that gives him a little bit more traction. And he's been, you know, near the top of everybody's list regardless.
PAGEYeah, I think Tim Kaine has been the person we've thought is the most likely vice presidential pick. And I guess, I think the only -- and it's interesting what Sanders said. If you're looking for somebody who's going to be a little more charismatic, maybe you wouldn't go to Tim Kaine because he is a very -- really solid guy, a former governor, highly respected, been very principled on issues like the War Powers Act, but you know that the Clinton people will be looking at a whole mix of factors when they make that very important decision on a running mate.
MONTANAROThis is totally boring, but I'd put my money on Tom Perez, who is the labor secretary. And the only reason I say that is because I think the Clinton folks believe in doubling down. They believe that, you know, you can put somebody on the ticket who's like her as a wonk, somebody who she gets along with very well and will also appeal to progressive because of his past with labor groups.
ORNSTEINHe'd be -- definitely be on the short, short list.
REHMAll right, let's open the phones. Let's go to Maggie in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. You're on the air.
MAGGIEHi Diane, I love your show as always.
MAGGIEI wanted to say, regarding voter suppression, it definitely took place, and there's ample evidence of it online. Unfortunately CNN and company is unable to report on it because they are controlled by corporations, and they don't want Sanders to win.
REHMNow that is truly conspiracy theory.
PAGEYou know, I would just -- Maggie, I don't doubt that you've seen stories or evidence of voter suppression, a big controversy over some of the new voter laws in place in Texas and elsewhere, but I would disagree about your point on CNN. CNN does report on voter suppression and other concerns related to that.
MONTANAROBut I just don't think it's as widespread as people are talking about. There's evidence online, I mean, because there are Sanders supporters who are talking about it in Reddit, you know, forums or something. That's not -- that's not what this is. I mean, there are election monitors, there have been issues, but in places like Arizona, in Brooklyn, New York, in Kentucky, in Nevada, which are the key places that a lot of Sanders supporters look at, you know, even if the vote were to change slightly in those places, it wouldn't be enough to overturn the election and not to mention Hillary Clinton won Arizona.
MONTANAROSo if more people could've voted at the polls because of how the polls were reduced there, she probably would've had a bigger margin. You look in Brooklyn, she won in Brooklyn. So it's -- it's hard to see -- this is what I'm talking about when I say that Bernie Sanders needs to be able to say that the system is not rigged and that he lost fair and square.
ORNSTEINAnd there is a point to make here, though, and I think Maggie is right in one sense. In Florida where they've cut the number of polling places, and they've cut early voting, they're aiming not at blocking Bernie Sanders, they're aiming at blocking Democrats from voting in the fall.
MONTANAROIn a general, that's absolutely right.
ORNSTEINIn that sense, many of these primaries, which fell under the new rules in states that used to be covered by the Voting Rights Act and are no more, had an impact on the turnout, but it wasn't an impact that was a conspiracy against Bernie Sanders. And we're going to see this play out even further as we move towards the fall.
REHMNow one thing a number of people had a problem with was the Associated Press calling the nomination for Hillary early yesterday.
MONTANAROLook, here's the thing. She was 23 delegates short of the nomination, of the 2,383, counting super-delegates. She was going to get that as soon as polls closed in New Jersey because they would have allocated 30 each, and she would have been over the top. So it didn't change anything. What...
REHMYeah, but I just have a problem with organizations calling elections before people have had a chance to vote.
MONTANAROBut the voting -- yeah, but the voting didn't have anything to do with whether or not she would've gotten over the line. The fact is that this count that AP has been keeping has included super-delegates the entire time, and they went and re-canvassed, they do a thorough job, and, you know, without that job that they do, we wouldn't really know, as well, who all the super-delegates do support publicly.
REHMYeah, but have them hold that information until later. Norm?
ORNSTEINWait, say that again, Diane? I didn't hear you.
REHMI said have them hold that information until later.
ORNSTEINYou know, it was interesting. Margaret Sullivan, who was the longtime public editor of the New York Times and now writes the media column in the Washington Post, wrote today and said that she was okay with them releasing this information. I wasn't. I was uncomfortable for the reasons that you are, and it's in particular you don't want to have voters, whether they're Sanders voters who say I'm not going to show up in California because it's over, or Clinton voters who say, hey, what's the difference here, possibly tilting the outcome of an election.
ORNSTEINSo I wish that it hadn't happened that way.
PAGEReporters do reporting, and then they tell people what they learned, and that is what the AP did, and that is a perfectly appropriate role and in fact the responsibility of the press to do.
MONTANAROAnd what do you do, what do you do if -- if somebody goes over two weeks earlier, and there are still contests to come? Then you say, well, maybe we should not talk about it because we don't want to suppress vote later on. You know, Donald Trump on the Republican side went over the top with some...
REHMSo they called him the presumptive nominee.
MONTANARORight because of unbound delegates in North Dakota, who the AP was able to find. And so last night Donald Trump won a bigger majority. This is what happens in these races. They wind up wrapping up. It was unfortunate timing in the sense that it was on the eve of the last voting...
ORNSTEINAnd that's the issue, to me. It's only the issue of doing it the day before California and New Jersey.
MONTANAROYeah, and they found exactly 23. So that's, yeah, controversial.
REHMAll right, that's my stand, Norm's stand. I'm glad we stand together, Norm. And you're listening to the Diane Rehm Show. All right, let's go to the phones, to Rhett in McVeytown, Pennsylvania. You're on the air.
RHETTHello, Diane, glad to be on with you.
RHETTI have been a very enthusiastic Bernie Sanders supporter. I really agree with his platform. I think that it's just been a breath of fresh air to hear that -- his issues brought into such clear light for America. However, I do think that it's time for Bernie Sanders to concede that we have been defeated fair and square and to -- and to continue to do all he can, as all of his supporters should do, to hold Hillary Clinton to the left -- leftward position that Bernie Sanders has forced here.
MONTANAROI wrote back in March that Bernie Sanders had already won, even though it looked like he was -- wasn't going to be able to pull of a pledge majority or, you know, even with -- of course with super-delegates not be able to get there. And the reason I wrote that is because of what he's done with the issues in this campaign. He has run principally on issues that he's been very clear on and that have reached through a lot of -- I mean, Hillary Clinton is the New York Yankees of Democratic politics, and she wasn't able to put away Bernie Sanders.
MONTANAROThere's a reason for that, and that's because his message was much clearer, much simpler, subject, verb, object and something that really appealed to the Democratic left in a way that she then had to start talking about those issues in a tougher, stronger way.
REHMAnd on that point we have a tweet from Captain Salty, who says why is it Bernie's job to unite his followers behind Hillary? She should be convincing us that she has not been bought.
REHMWell, Captain Salty makes a great point. She has to do that. There's only so much Sanders can do to bring his supporters along, although I think he's got an important role. She has to address his supporters in a way that convinces them that she warrants their support.
MONTANAROAnd she tried to do that last night. It doesn't sound like it was that convincing. And Captain Salty shouldn't be confused with Captain Sully, who landed the plane in the Hudson.
ORNSTEINYou know, I think we should not underestimate the impact of President Obama here in bringing people together but also creating more enthusiasm out on the stump from a substantial number of Sanders supporters.
REHMHis ratings are so high now.
ORNSTEINAnd Democrats love him. Now there's some tension here because one of Sanders' core supporters, somebody he's put on the platform committee, somebody he had at his side for many of his speeches, is Cornell West, and Cornell West has been more corrosive and shockingly so in criticizing President Obama, Calling him a war criminal and worse over a significant period of time.
ORNSTEINSo there's a little tension there, but I think Obama is going to be the one who provides the glue here that brings Sanders and Clinton closer together and that gets most of those Sanders supporters on board. For some of the millennials, many of them won't turn out, but that's historically been the case.
PAGEYou know, two other people who can be important, one is Vice President Biden. He knows -- he knows Sanders well, of course from the years in the Senate and in politics. The other person that may do a lot to energize Bernie Sanders supporters is Donald Trump because I think that when you look at millennials and progressives, they're going to hear Donald Trump's message, and it's going to galvanize a lot of them on Hillary Clinton's side whatever they think her weaknesses might be.
MONTANAROI want to make one point about President Obama. Norm might know better than me on this, but I tried to look back and find the last time a sitting president campaigned strongly for his successor, and it's -- you look back in the last century.
REHMBecause of unpopularity of those presidents.
MONTANARORight, but it's pretty significant.
REHMAll right, short break here, and when we come back, more of your calls, your tweets, your email. I look forward to speaking with you.
REHMWelcome back. Time to go back to the phones to Lolli in Hollywood, Florida. You're on the air.
LOLLIGood morning. I was just wondering what your panel thought about maybe the possibility of Mr. Sanders sticking around in case Hillary's email situation worsens.
ORNSTEINWell, I do think that Bernie is going to want to keep his candidacy at least somewhat active. Apparently, he's laying off about half of his staff. And you don't have to completely drop out. He's going to end up with over 40 percent of the delegates. Some of his people think that that's a possibility. I think the odds of that happening are, as George W. Bush would say, slim to none and slim just left the building.
REHM(laugh) What do you think?
MONTANAROYeah, NPR's Carrie Johnson, who covers the Justice Department, has reported on air that it's highly unlikely that she would be indicted. Politico did report, in their story, that some of the thinking within the campaign, and for Bernie Sanders himself is even though he said, you know, nobody wants to hear about your damn emails. Quote unquote. That he's, you know, in the back of his mind, thinking, well, maybe, if something were to happen, that he could be there.
REHMAn email from David. Will Hillary likely get a bounce in the polls now that her victory is secure?
PAGEI think that she is likely to get a bounce in the polls as Democrats consolidate behind her. And I think one of the reasons she's had, you know, relative, been pretty close with Donald Trump is because there are some Sanders supporters who say they won't support her.
PAGEPerhaps a third of them in some exit polls, it's been 40 percent of them. That's not going to hold. You know, there will be some hold outs. But in the end, I think some of those Sanders supporters are going to come on board. And when they do, she's likely to get a bounce.
PAGEAs did Trump when he consolidated Republican support.
REHMAnd let's turn to Mr. Trump. Sarah in Saginaw, Michigan has a question. You're on the air.
SARAHSo nice to talk to you again. Yeah, I, yeah, my parents were dyed in the wool Democrats, probably even far left of that. And back in the 80s, and I don't want to equate this election with Ronald Reagan, but he ran four times until he exhausted himself into winning. My parents were really happy when he won the nomination, because they felt that this country would certainly never elect Ronald Reagan as President. And of course, we did. So, what do you think, and I haven't heard anyone even tease around this. Donald Trump could be our next President. How do you feel about that?
MONTANAROWell, you know, it's a narrow path for Donald Trump to be able to pull off what he wants to do. Demographically, and historically with voter trends, it's hard for him to do what he wants to do. The path for him is through the Midwest. And interestingly, she's calling from Michigan, and you know, you have some of those Reagan Democrats, the people that he won over, former, you know, even Southern Democrats, but blue collar white Democrats are who Donald Trump is going to try to appeal to. White men in particular.
MONTANAROThe real question is, can he flip a state like Pennsylvania, Ohio? You could see Ohio going. Ohio was a close state last time around. Don Gonyea, who works with us at NPR, was out in Ohio, in Northeast Ohio, big union section, and you had people deciding between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Because they like his message on trade. Michigan is tough, Wisconsin is difficult for Republicans, so can he get the kind of increase in white male turnout in those places, if he's going to have, you know, a huge dearth with Latino voters in other parts of the country?
REHMHe has had some real problems with his own Republicans, Norm, in the last couple of days.
ORNSTEINThere was a near panic after his doubling down on his comments on the judge a day or so ago. And I think his speech, not a great speech, but one crafted to give on a teleprompter yesterday, was aimed at trying to allay some of those concerns. Most Republicans, in elected office, have endorsed him and now they're stuck with him. And I think he -- he's trying to tamp that down. There's still going to be panic in those ranks, but I don't think that we can say that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive President, even if she's the presumptive nominee.
ORNSTEINThere, you know, when you have two candidates, anything can happen, and events in the fall can make a difference. And the fact is, politics are so tribal now. We are driven more by distaste for the other party than we are by attractiveness to our own, that Trump's going to start with 45 or 46 percent. Most of those Republicans will vote for him. Even if some decide not to turn out, I think you're going to see a major effort by the Koch brothers and others to get a massive turnout so that they can protect the House and Senate.
ORNSTEINAnd, you know, what if we have Brexit economic turmoil? Terrorist attacks. Things can happen that may get people to decide they're willing to take a bigger risk than they would otherwise. So, this is not a sure thing, even if she has a clear path and he doesn't.
PAGEAs you certainly think the landscape is set, in some ways, for Hillary Clinton, but the landscape is also set, in some ways, for a Republican victory, including the desire for change that we've mentioned already. Including also history that says it's hard for a Party to hold the White House for a third term. That's only happened once since World War II, when George H.W. Bush was elected with the help of Ronald Reagan. But back to Sarah's comparison with Ronald Reagan in 1980, that's one that the Trump people make.
PAGEThat Reagan was seen as someone broadly unacceptable and managed, through the course of a campaign, and because of events that damaged Jimmy Carter, one, not one term, but two terms in the White House, and changed the course of American politics.
MONTANAROYeah, I think the difference is that Ronald Reagan was appealing to what he called the Silent Majority. And while Donald Trump uses that language, it's actually the vocal minority now.
PAGEBut it is true that we're at the start of a campaign, not the end of a campaign.
PAGEWe're going to have conventions, those are important. We're going to have debates. Man, those fall debates are going to be worth listening to.
MONTANAROAnd to Norm's point about Trump starting at 45, 46 percent, I think it really does tell you about polarization in this country and just how far the (unintelligible), you know, to put on that jersey and say that they're going to vote D or R for whoever it is to a certain extent. And Susan's absolutely right about the desire for change and the difficulty for a -- for any person of the same party to follow a President who's served two terms.
ORNSTEINYou know, there's a simple way to frame this election. When you have an open contest like this, there are two intersecting vectors. How much change do you want? How much risk are you willing to take? And right now, Trump is losing badly on the risk front and will do reasonably well on the change front. Although, there's a contentment with Obama that works to Clinton's advantage. But both of those can change, and my guess is, though, that on the risk front, he's not going to get much better.
REHMAll right. But here's an email from Garland, wondering about the next few months. The email says if Trump is the Republican leader now, will we have to put up with six to seven months of Trump shooting insults at Clinton? He does not talk about issues, direction, or with any political savvy. And the media does not ask him about issues, which I personally, Diane Rehm, disagree with. It's like you all just want to hear dumb stuff from Trump. I must say, John Dickerson, on Sunday, repeatedly asked Trump questions and could not get direct answers, Susan.
PAGESo, I, in answer to Garland's question, yes, I think it's going to be five or six months of insults on both sides. I think that the path to victory for each of these candidates is to make the other guy even less acceptable than they are. But that doesn't mean you don't have some discussion of issues. Hillary Clinton has a lot of issues, a lot of position papers. And I agree with you, Diane, that there are many things that we don't do well enough. But I think there is a concerted effort, and a growing effort, now that we have two nominees, to press Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton on precisely what they would do in the White House.
MONTANAROI think it's definitely going to be six to seven months of these kinds of -- or five, six months of these kinds of insults, especially coming from Donald Trump. He promised to do so in a big speech, perhaps Monday, he said. He left himself a little wiggle room on all things Clinton.
REHMAll things Clinton. What does that mean, Norm?
ORNSTEINYou know, I think we're going to see the insults. And one of the challenges, especially for cable news is where you're trying to be symmetric in the way you cover things. Trump, who has less knowledge of public policy than any presidential candidate in our lifetimes, and as I said before, that includes Pat Paulson, who ran as a comedian, doesn't want to talk about issues, except in the broadest sense and saying it will be great. I will cut the best deals. And that means that when Clinton talks about issues, it doesn't get covered very much.
ORNSTEINThere was a visual just a week or so ago that was quite striking. Three television cable networks with pictures of an empty podium waiting for Trump to come on to do an issueless campaign while Clinton was giving a speech on what to do about working families that was not covered at all. And that, I think, is a challenge. It's not so much for reporters like Susan, or for people who do cover things like you, but it's a challenge, I think, for cable news, which is looking for eyeballs and doesn't get them so much when they talk about issues.
PAGEBoy, talk about a contrast in your focus on the issues. For the analysis I wrote for USA Today last night, I went on their websites to look at what they say about issues. Donald Trump's website has seven positions in a list that includes second amendment rights and paying for the wall, doesn't include things like jobs or national security or dealing with entitlement programs. Hillary Clinton's website has them listed alphabetically from A for Alzheimer's to W for workplace issues.
REHMInteresting. And Norm, I know you have to leave us. I want to thank you for joining us this morning.
ORNSTEINAlways a pleasure, Diane.
REHMThank you so much. And let's go now to Marshall in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. You're on the air.
MARSHALLHey, good morning and thanks for taking my call.
MARSHALLI've enjoyed the discussion so far.
MARSHALLAs, as somebody who is a Bernie supporter, and who's disillusioned right now, I would just offer this. And there was an interesting comment that was made that they felt that these Bernie supporters could be galvanized behind Hillary. I have to respectfully say I'm on the other side of that. It's not that I'm a card carrying member of the Donald Trump campaign, but simply put, I want Washington D.C. to be blown up and start over again, because, regardless of the jersey you wear, they don't work. They're not working with each other.
MARSHALLAnd my own representative, David Price, here in North Carolina, he's part of the problem as well, because people cannot -- they've proven year over year that they can't communicate and they can't work together like they used to in the past.
MONTANAROLook, this is a huge issue. I mean, this is something that's going to have to sort itself out. And you wonder, you know, third parties don't do very well in this country, because politics are all about building alliances of people who can make compromises to get onboard with each other. But, you wonder if Gary Johnson will be able to get something like 10, 11 percent like he's polling currently. And, you know, it's not clear who he takes from. I mean, there could be disaffected Republicans who wind up getting onboard.
MONTANAROYou have two former Republican Governors on that ticket with Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, who was the Governor of Massachusetts. And Gary Johnson was the Governor of New Mexico. But Gary Johnson's positions are pretty socially liberal, pro-pot, for example. Does that appeal to some of the Sanders supporters? As a protest vote, even. So, you know, it's going to be interesting to see, I think, many of the Sanders folks, when they look at Trump's positions, will wind up going to Hillary Clinton, because they don't want Donald Trump to be President of the United States. But some of them may just not go to her at all.
REHMAnd you're listening to The Diane Rehm Show. All right, let's -- here's a tweet saying, you and I presume she -- whoever it is, Ted, means me, says you and Norm may call them insults, but some of us are looking forward to airing of Clinton scandals that the media have ignored for 25 years. Susan.
PAGETed, I think hard to argue we've ignored the Clinton scandals, because I think they have been covered quite a bit, and, you know, generally, appropriately so, as should be covered. If you want to hear more about the case against Clinton, you're going to hear it. You're going to hear it from the Trump folks for the next several months.
MONTANAROAnd because it's been poured over by a lot of folks, you know, some of this stuff is conspiracy theory. And Donald Trump has been peddling in conspiracy theory for quite some time. And including meeting with Ed Klein, who wrote the book on all the conspiracy theories of the Clintons. And I assume that that's where a lot of his speech on Monday is gonna come from.
MONTANAROAbsolutely. I think that there's nothing that is off -- that is, you know, that is out of step for Donald Trump. He's going to use whatever it takes, especially considering Hillary Clinton has ramped up the attacks on Donald Trump.
PAGEWell, let's remember that one of the early causes that Donald Trump embraced was the birther movement.
PAGEQuestioning, making the false claim that Barack Obama wasn't born in this country.
REHMAnd do you think his Republican backers will stay with him through these kinds of insults?
PAGEYou know, I think the Republican Party is on the verge of a civil war. I think you saw that yesterday. That's one reason he gave that speech, I think Donald Trump gave that very restrained speech last night. Very un-Trumpian. And he didn't look that comfortable giving it either, because there -- because there are Republicans who are very concerned about the direction he's taking them. And if you talk, we can talk about divisions in the Democratic Party. They pale in comparison to the divisions that we're seeing on the Republican side.
REHMAnd spell those out, Susan.
PAGEWell, a lot of them go to, number one, is he really a conservative? He takes some positions that aren't particularly conservative. But a lot of them go to his tone toward minorities, including Hispanics. And that's been something Republicans have been concerned about since that study they did four years ago about why they lost last time.
MONTANAROLook, there's deep distrust of the Clintons among a swath of people in the country, whether it's conservatives or even some of these Sanders supporters for different reasons. I think the issue for Donald Trump is what kind of attack does he make? Because look, politics is, you know, a tough sport. Like, it's not something that you expect it to be, you know, civil and nice and everyone gets along all the time. You expect there to be pretty sharp, divisive attacks. That's what it's about. But, how far does he go?
MONTANARODoes he go so far that he alienates, you know, white women in suburbs who say, this is too far for me? Or does he level attacks that are fair or within some bounds of reason?
REHMSome bounds of reason. That's a -- I mean, the whole issue of racism, for one, is huge.
PAGEWell, and something extraordinary happened yesterday. Let's not lose sight of this -- the most senior Republican in the United States, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that the Republican Presidential nominee was making racist statements. Now, I've covered 10 campaigns. I've never heard anything like that happen before.
REHMAnd where do you think that goes?
PAGEWell, I think that Paul Ryan is sending, and Mitch McConnell and others, are sending warning signals to Donald Trump to stop making the kind of attacks he's made on the judge from Indiana.
REHMAnd if he doesn't?
PAGEWell, I think that's to be determined.
MONTANAROLook, this campaign, Bob Corker, who's a Senator from Tennessee, and is on the short list for Donald Trump's Vice President, warned him and said that his campaign is at an inflection point. That he needs to change. You saw Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell come out and say that needs to change and change now. And so, it's no coincidence you had Donald Trump give that very restrained speech last night.
REHMExcept for the T.P.P.
REHMDomenico Montanaro of NPR, Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today. Happy election guys. Enjoy yourselves. And thanks all for listening. I'm Diane Rehm.
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