The Biden administration has released a proposal to raise standards in nursing homes. Why one expert calls it the most significant development for the industry in decades -- and why it might still not be enough.
New polls show Hillary Clinton with a widening lead over Donald Trump in the presidential election. Trump surprises Republicans by refusing to endorse party leaders Paul Ryan and John McCain in upcoming primary elections. And Trump’s clash with the family of a slain American Muslim soldier continues to draw ire. The U.S. economy adds 255,000 jobs in July, beating expectations. The FBI investigates the hack of Democratic National Committee emails. WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange suggests more leaks are coming. And a Zika outbreak in a Miami neighborhood prompts a CDC travel warning. A panel of journalists joins Diane for analysis of the week’s top national news stories.
- Byron York Chief political correspondent, The Washington Examiner
- Reid Wilson National correspondent, The Hill
- Ruth Marcus Deputy editorial page editor, The Washington Post
MS. DIANE REHMThanks for joining us. I'm Diane Rehm. Hillary Clinton continues to pull ahead of Donald Trump in presidential polls after a week of controversial statements from Trump that left many Republicans questioning whether they can support him in November. The U.S. added 255,000 jobs last month. And in Miami, the fight against a local Zika outbreak continues.
MS. DIANE REHMHere for the Friday News Roundup, Byron York of The Washington Examiner, Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post, and Reid Wilson of The Hill. And as always, you can join us, 800-433-8850. Send us an email to email@example.com. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter or if you like, you can watch video streaming of this hour. Go to drshow.org and click on Watch Live. Welcome to all of you.
MR. REID WILSONGood morning.
MS. RUTH MARCUSHi.
MR. BYRON YORKGood to be here.
REHMGood to see you. We now have the jobs report for July. Reid Wilson, what do you make of it?
WILSONIt is a almost uniform-ily positive report of 255,000 private -- jobs added in the last month over July. The unemployment rate is stable at 4.9 percent, but the labor force participation is up. This is something that a lot of people have pointed out over the last eight years, that even as jobs have been added and the unemployment rate has dropped, the number of people actually looking for jobs has been down. It's now ticking up a little bit, a sign that people are actually starting to look for jobs again.
REHMWhat about wages, Ruth Marcus?
MARCUSWages are up, continue to be up just a little bit. All this news is good, but it's also news that -- I think it's a little bit confusing for people for a few reasons. They don't necessarily feel that wage growth in their pocketbooks yet. They look at these jobs numbers. Those come out every month. But they're also seeing what continue to be still pretty anemic growth rates and I think there's -- look, these are terrific numbers and numbers that should make both the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign really quite happy.
MARCUSBut I think, as we see this on the campaign trail, there's still a lot of underlying economic anxiety in the country among voters about where we are really heading.
YORKAnd you did see in her convention speech last week, Hillary Clinton say that her main goal is to have more jobs at better wages. And so, yes, this is good news. Republicans made a big deal of the growth rate in the last quarter, 1.2 percent, not very good at all. A lot of Republicans wanted Donald Trump to make a bigger deal of that. I went to his speech in Ashburn, Virginia, a couple of days ago and he got around to it 53 minutes into his speech. So Republicans want to -- want their presidential candidate to make a bigger deal of economic conditions.
YORKBut I mean, this is, clearly, good news. I think the issue with Hillary Clinton is how big a deal to make of it because it's been my experience is -- you can kind of talk down an economy and say things are terrible and people think, well, maybe it is for other people, but you can't really talk up an economy because someone will say, well, it's not really good for me. So that's her problem, I think.
REHMSo what about the Fed? Is this going to make change, alter decision-making?
YORKWell, we had a really bad jobs report about two months ago that I think may have scared the Fed into not hiking rates at their next opportunity or maybe even through the end of the year. A rate hike will come at some point, but the recovery probably has to be sort of more sustained at this level. I mean, in the last three months, we've averaged 190,000 jobs. That's great. But we did have that one blip a couple of months ago, which probably still scares people. More jobs reports like this make a rate hike more likely.
REHMJanet Yellen is scheduled to speak the 26th of August, Ruth. What do you suppose?
MARCUSI think she will be, as always, very careful and somewhat cryptic, which is...
MARCUS...which is the job of the Fed chair. However, I think this news both raises the prospect of a rate hike, but I still would not expect that to happen until -- because this is all we're thinking about right now after the election.
REHMAll right. So this week, we've seen Hillary Clinton, Byron York, pass Donald Trump in the polls anywhere from 6 to 15 points. Post-convention jump or more?
YORKWell, I think it's two things. I think she did get a bounce from her convention, which was well produced, well received, featured big speeches by the stars of the Democratic party, the president, the vice president, the first lady, the former president. You didn't see those stars of the Republican party speaking at their convention. So convention bounce, yes, and also Donald Trump stepped in it in just a huge way in his fight with Khizr Khan, which began with a very calculated attack from the podium of the Democratic National Convention to which Trump immediately responded very badly.
YORKSo I think it's a mixture of those two things and Republicans have just been tearing their hair out about this. I think we've all seen these stories about panic, which is true, and I think, in the past, if you go back to the Judge Curiel affair, Trump creates a huge controversy, Republicans want to leave him and Trump dials it back a little bit, everybody starts breathing again and then we're onto the next controversy.
YORKAnd I think we're seeing the dialing back starting right now.
REHMHasn't he -- this is on a totally different subject, but he said in regard to that plane landing with $400 million that he saw a video. He's now stepped back from that, Reid.
WILSONUsually, Diane, when we're doing the Friday News Roundup, I have to study up on nonpolitics things. This time, I had to make a list of all of the things that Trump has said in the last week, just because there are so many of them. He refused to endorse Paul Ryan and John McCain, two highlights of the Republican party. He suggested, in an interview, that people pull their 401 (k) out of the stock market. He said that he'd always wanted a purple heart and that just having somebody give him one was easier.
WILSONI can go on. Byron referenced the Khan family. He picked a fight with a crying baby at that event in Virginia earlier. He suggested that the elections may be rigged. And I've got more here. I don’t want to take up the more show, but this is -- any one of those comments -- remember when we were sort of paying attention to Mitt Romney's flubs on saying he had binders full of women and that 47 percent of the electorate wouldn't vote for him. That was the -- and, oh, by the way, he was severely conservative.
WILSONThose were the impolitic statements that Mitt Romney made during an entire campaign. Donald Trump has doubled or tripled that in a week.
MARCUSAnd just to Reid's most excellent list, that builds on the hacking comments, encouraging Russia to hack into DNC emails and Clinton campaign emails from the previous week. And I think there was one omission that actually meant a lot to me, which were Donald Trump's comments about what his daughter Ivanka and others should do if they were subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace, which is find another career or get another job.
MARCUSIvanka Trump did clean that up. I think, in general, I agree with everything that's been said. I think Donald Trump has turned what would have been a post-convention bounce into a post-convention pole vault by doing two things, saying a bunch of things that just really double down on people's concerns about him and also saying things that take attention away from some missteps that Hillary Clinton has made after what I agree was a very well produced convention. And so we did see two -- Byron suggested that he's dialing down. We'll see.
MARCUSHistory does not suggest that Donald Trump can keep himself in check for that long, though this statement about he was wrong about this Iranian video is something of a new development for Donald Trump fessing...
MARCUS...fessing up, which he didn't do, for example, about those Muslims he allegedly saw celebrating in New Jersey.
WILSONWell, it's the Iranian money tweet -- he sent out a tweet saying, well, actually I was looking at a video of something else. It wasn't this. And it's being taken, you know, this huge sigh, his advisors have now gotten him to just kind of, at least, pull back on the small things. As far as Trump dialing it back is concerned, we're on the radio. I can't give a perfect picture of this, but if you look at the...
REHMBut there is video steaming. Go ahead.
WILSON…real clear politics -- if you look at the real clear politics average of polls, now they just go up and then they meet and they -- and Clinton goes up and Trump goes down and then they come back and meet, and come back and meet. So I think that suggests we're in a really low cycle for Trump, I think. And I think that suggests that they'll meet again...
WILSON...maybe two or three times before the general election.
REHMWould you agree, Ruth?
MARCUSI'm not sure I agree because we -- but I do think it's possible. The direction of these polls is so uniform and so significant that I think the word was used on the front page of my newspaper this week, panic, about the feelings in the Republican party and I think that is both accurate and warranted. I also do think that let's remember we have, let's hope, three debates, four if you include the vice presidential, ahead of us. Those can be...
MARCUS...voter-changing events. So I wouldn't rule out those polls crossing again, but I think this has been a very bad stretch for Donald Trump.
WILSONAnd beyond the national polls, we're looking at surveys coming out of key swing states and even Republican-leaning states, she's up 9 points in Michigan, 11 points in Pennsylvania, which Trump's campaign has said is a must-win state, 17 points in New Hampshire and then she's ahead by 4 points in Georgia, which Democrats haven't won since '92 and 3 points in Arizona.
REHMWow. Reid Wilson, national correspondent for The Hill. Short break here, your calls, your comments shortly.
REHMAnd welcome back. Here with me for the domestic hour of the Friday News Roundup, Reid Wilson, national correspondent for The Hill, Ruth Marcus, she's deputy editorial page editor for The Washington Post, and Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner. We now have third party candidates in the race, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein. To what extent are they affecting the polls at this point, Reid?
WILSONA lot more than they will be affecting the polls on Election Day. Gary Johnson is in the high single digits, if now low double digits. One of the recent surveys that came out -- I'm blanking on which one now -- had him at 11 percent of the vote. That would represent about 10 times more -- 10 times higher than the Libertarian Party has received in recent years. Gary Johnson himself got something like 1.3 percent in 2012.
WILSONAs we move towards Election Day and more and more Americans focus on the actual choice between them, of these four candidates in most states -- some states have a lot more than just four candidates on the ballot for president -- the real fight is gonna come down to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. And in all of these early polls over the last several cycles, the third party candidates tend to do a lot better in August and September than they do on actual Election Day.
REHMAnd what does it mean for debates? At what point are they allowed in the debates, Ruth?
MARCUSI believe the threshold is 15 percent. We have seen them flirting with low double digits at some points. That doesn't seem likely. It's also not surprising, though, that voters in this context would express some interest in third party candidates, even in the recent polling, even with this big pole-vaulty bounce, Clinton's negatives remained at 53 percent negative. In the CNN poll Trump was at 61. So voters are obviously looking for an alternative.
YORKI agree that in general a Libertarian candidate and a Green candidate is not gonna get very many votes on Election Day. The one argument you could make, that this election is different, is especially on the Republican side, all of these Republicans who say they simply can't vote for Trump. And then they start looking around because they can't vote for Hillary Clinton. And can, you know, can they really, if they're a pro-life Republican, can they really vote for Gary Johnson? I don't know.
YORKBut I do think that Johnson will do better than he did in 2012. Yes, not being on the debate stage is huge. You tend -- they'll just not exist after they're not on the debate stage. But still, enough voters are looking for an alternative that they may get -- Johnson may get more than he got four years ago.
REHMYou know, I think about Ross Perot taking 19 percent of the vote when he ran.
MARCUSSure. And I think about Ralph Nader -- who I know I'm gonna now get an angry call from Ralph -- who had an impact on 2000 election.
MARCUSIf Ralph Nader's voters had not voted for him in Florida, it's a fair inference that Al Gore would have definitively won Florida and the outcome of the election would have been different. But I've been keeping a little bit of an eye on these third party polls and I'd like my colleagues to correct me if I'm wrong. I'm not seeing a clear evidence that the existence and relative popularity of the third party candidates is hurting one candidate or the other. It seems to be pretty much a wash.
WILSONTo your point, because they are both so hugely unfavorable. They -- their -- Americans' opinions of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are unfavorable. So these candidates are probably pulling from both at the moment.
REHMAll right. And where is the money coming from that Donald Trump has raised? Lots of money said to come from small donors, Ruth.
MARCUSSure. And this is the really good news in an otherwise dreadful week for Donald Trump. I think maybe fundraising numbers might be the new polls that he'll start waving about at his rallies. I think the number was $82 million that he raised in the last month. That was Donald Trump in combination with the Republican National Committee. It is true that the Republican National Committee has a very strong history, not just of raising what we would think of as big bucks from deep-pocketed donors, but they have a very good fundraising list for small donations.
MARCUSWe've seen with other candidates the incredible power of the internet in generating lots of money. Donald Trump has not deeply tapped into that in the past. So there is this gusher of money that was potentially available for him. There'll be two things to look at going forward. One, is whether he can replicate that in month two. And the second is how much money it took to raise that money. Because you can spend a lot of money on direct mail and phone calling. And your yield might not be as great as your total.
WILSONThis really is huge for Donald Trump because he had been so far behind. And also because it required a complete about face from his rhetoric in the primaries, where he always said all of these, all of these other guys, they're just the puppets of the big donors. The big donors own these guys and I'm so rich I don't have to take anybody's money.
WILSONSo to be, I believe Ruth is right, it was $82 million. The comparable number for the Democrats was $90 million for the same period. So Trump was sort of in the ballpark, which he has never been before. So that's a big deal. He says his average donation was $61, which is pretty small. I mean, Bernie Sanders always said $27…
WILSON…over and over and over. But still, $61 indicates that he's getting small donations.
REHMI want to ask you all about some mistakes that Donald Trump has made on the campaign trail. He's forgotten names. He's used the wrong names. We've all seen what's been called erratic behavior on his part. What is that telling us? There have been some letter to the editor, one in particular in a Pennsylvania newspaper, suggesting that there may be more to this erratic behavior than just his personality, Ruth.4
MARCUSWell, I'm a little bit reluctant, based on my medical degree from the university of Web MD, as I tell my kids to engage in, you know, arm-chair diagnosis, arm-chair medical advice, arm-chair psychoanalysis. But it has been striking -- I was listening -- it kind of got lost in the press conference where he talked about encouraging Russia to hack into the Clinton emails. He repeatedly referred to Tim Kaine as the governor of New Jersey and talked about unemployment and other things in New Jersey.
MARCUSHe -- that was the day that John Hinckley was ordered released. The would-be assassin of President Reagan. He referred to him as David Hinckley. I have to say if I were on the campaign trail and keeping the hours that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are keeping -- and I'm a lot younger, thank goodness, than they are -- I would probably be stumbling over my words, too. So I don't -- wouldn't make a ton of it.
REHMAnd Arianna Huffington has said it's lack of sleep.
WILSONWell, I -- it takes an incredible amount of knowledge to run for president. People spend years digesting briefing books and papers. I mean, people like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz go through binders and binders of information on foreign policy and domestic policy and history and things like that. And what this has all said to me is that Donald Trump did not do that same level of intellectual preparation.
WILSONThe moment that stands out, to me at least, was when he mistook the Quds Force from Iran and the Kurds, which could be easy to miss here.
WILSONBut there is a difference that somebody who had spent years studying for the -- this sort of ringer of running for president would not have made. And, in fact, Donald Trump has continued to make those. So to me at least it's just evidence that he did not go through the same sort of preparation process that other candidates have.
YORKI think one thing we've seen in the whole campaign, is that Trump can be easily distracted and that I think he has a different kind of intelligence than people who have been in politics are concerned. If you look at the long interview that Philip Rucker of The Washington Post did with Trump a couple of days ago at Trump's golf course in Virginia, they're in a room and there's a screen with Fox News on in back of the interviewer.
YORKAnd Trump would see himself and become distracted while he's giving this interview, which is on the record. And, you know, then he'd see something and become distracted. Listen to his speeches, he goes all over the place. He distracts himself, gets back on track, distracts himself, gets back on track.
REHMSo what does that say to you?
YORKWell, it -- he's a completely different type of -- he's obviously a very effective communicator. But he's a completely different type of intelligence than we've seen in candidates, excuse me, political candidates. If you talk to people who've tried to brief him on things, do you give Donald Trump this long briefing paper? No. Do you draw him a picture, for example, in the Middle East they've drawn pictures, you know, this is where you could have a safe zone for Syrian refugees. And he gets that sort of thing. It's like blueprint.
YORKSo, you know, some people are more spatial and some…
YORK…people are more intellectual. I do think there's a very different type of world view and brain in Donald Trump.
REHMAll right. Let's talk about the positions his vice presidential candidate, Mike Pence, has taken. He simply separated himself from Trump on acknowledging his support of Paul Ryan.
MARCUSThis was a really remarkable moment. I mean, you don't only have Democrats criticizing Donald Trump or separating themselves from Donald Trump this week. You don't have Republicans in tough races, like senators who are up for reelection, separating themselves from Donald Trump or the speaker of the house. You have his own running mate separating himself from Donald Trump because Mike Pence is very, very close to Paul Ryan.
MARCUSAnd when Donald Trump could not really stop himself from turning Paul Ryan's words back against him, "I'm not quite there yet," on the Ryan endorsement, that created exactly the kind of contretemps firestorm that I think Trump anticipated it would create. And there was Pence left in a deeply uncomfortable position.
YORKCan I give my theory of what Trump…
REHMSure, of course.
YORK…could do with Paul Ryan? Obviously, there's a lot of pressure on Paul Ryan from the whole Republican establishment to disavow Trump, to rescind his endorsement of him. And clearly this is not working. I mean, if they're so-called partners, it's not working. And President Obama made a very reasonable point the other day, when he said, "Look, if there's somebody and you keep having to say that what he has just said is unacceptable, then why are supporting him?"
YORKSo perhaps Trump could release Paul Ryan from his endorsement, because Trump needs to separate himself from that sort of thing. He could say, look, I respect Paul Ryan greatly, but I understand he does not support my plan to build a wall, secure our borders and protect America from dangerous illegal immigrants. I could -- he could say I understand that Paul Ryan does not support my plan for keeping radical Islamic terrorists out of the country.
YORKAnd I understand he doesn't support my plan to make trade agreements fair for all Americans first. And I know that I don't support his plan to cut your Medicare and Social Security. So Donald Trump needs to -- could distance himself from all the Republican things that voters don't really like very much. And Wisconsin is gone. You know, Republicans in Wisconsin do not support Donald Trump. He, you know, he's the Republican candidate, but he can't run as a Republican 'cause it's not working.
WILSONAnd let me just say, this is from a practical political standpoint. This is not a good fight for Donald Trump to pick. Paul Ryan faces a primary -- is it next week? It's coming up in the next few…
WILSONOkay, this coming Tuesday. He's going to win that primary and he might go north of 80 percent of the vote. It makes no logical sense for Donald Trump to have picked this fight with Paul Ryan, but for the fact that he feels slighted and feels the need to take a shot back.
REHMI think -- let me just remind you, you're listening to "The Diane Rehm Show." Ruth, I do believe the comments that Trump made about the Gold Star family were something that really disturbed not only veterans, not only those who have friends, loved ones serving in the Armed Forces, it bothered everybody.
MARCUSIt bothered everybody. And it bothered everybody for a good reason, which is that he simply went too far. Not just complaining about Khizr Khan, who he said had attacked him viciously from the stage at the convention, but also raising questions about whether Mrs. Khan had been -- had anything to say, he said, or had been kept silent or been told to stay silent as a result of her religion.
MARCUSMrs. Khan, Ghazala Khan, wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post that was online on Sunday and in the newspaper Monday morning. It was -- I spoke to her Sunday morning extensively and to help her prepare that op-ed. We spent about 30, 40 minutes on the phone. Let me tell you -- and please, anybody, read the op-ed and you'll see for yourself. She had a lot to say. She had a lot to say about her son. She had a lot to say about how -- I mean, she was crying during this conversation.
MARCUSAnd I have to say, I might have been, too. Because the -- her son was killed 12 years ago, and the pain of this is so fresh for her. She spoke about -- not just about how she really couldn't -- she couldn't even look inside his closet to clean it because she still felt the wounds so much. And she spoke about her religion and the insult to her religion that she thought Donald Trump had directed in her way. And so this fight with the Khans is possibly the least smart fight I've ever seen any politician pick in American political history.
YORKI think what dismayed Republicans about the way Trump handled it so much was that it wasn't really hard to handle. You simply say, you know, we respect the Khans. We honor their sacrifice. And we're, you know, we appreciate the service to this nation. But there are serious issues about illegal immigration and terrorists entering the United States, and that's why I, Donald Trump, support this plan.
YORKBecause, you know, Khan actually did mention it was -- there was substance in what he said, in what Khizr Khan said in his speech. And he talked about the Mexican wall, I think he mentioned. He talked about the Muslim ban. He suggested they were unconstitutional. He quoted a portion of the 14th Amendment and then he endorsed Hillary Clinton. So I think that once you take the proper tone, you can actually respond to the substance of what Khan said from the podium.
REHMRather than to attack.
WILSONAnd contrast Donald Trump's reaction with George W. Bush, who met with people like Cindy Sheehan several times, people who deeply opposed him and were angry about it. And George W. Bush's response was always, I thank them for their sacrifice. They're allowed to say whatever they want about me.
MARCUSAnd can I say one quick thing here, Diane? The -- there are appropriate ways for Donald Trump to react, but the smartest thing for him to do would have been to not react. Because if he had not said anything on Saturday and Sunday, what would we have been talking about on Sunday and Monday? Hillary Clinton's comments to Chris Wallace in her interview about Jim Comey and whether she had told the truth to the American people and the four Pinocchios that it earned her with our fact checker.
REHMSo we are in the midst of a really tough, nasty campaign, you guys. And right now we're gonna take a short break. When we come back we'll open the phones. I know lots of you would like to have a word. So stay with us.
REHMAnd welcome back. It has certainly not been all good news for the Democrats this week. Three more party leaders stepped down over the emails that were leaked, Byron. Just before the convention. What happened?
YORKWell, it was a disastrous start to the Democratic convention. I mean, we all got to Philadelphia and Debbie Wasserman Schultz was going up in flames. And then, they wait until after the convention for the -- what was it -- the Communications guy, the CFO, and somebody else to -- basically the top structure of management all quit. And then there's this...
YORK...excuse me. They, they...
MARCUSQuit in air quotes.
YORKAnd, you know, you had Donna Brazile who has taken over the party on an interim basis coming out and saying, well, we know there's more stuff coming that we'll have to apologize for. So, this is something that truly has been -- it was reported quite a bit at the convention, but the after effects, I think, have been a little lost in our attention to Trump right now.
WILSONSo, CEO Amy Dacey, the Communications Director Luis Miranda and the CFO Brad Marshall were all out. Marshall was the one who had suggested in one of the emails that Bernie Sanders' religion would be a fair topic. So, the interesting thing that has emerged this week is that the FBI apparently knew that the -- that these two Russian units had gotten access to the DNC files last fall. And they didn't tell the DNC until this spring. I assume they were watching to sort of trace back to wherever...
REHMSee where they, exactly, were coming from.
WILSON...what, whatever they could learn from watching these hackers operate.
WILSONBut this is, this is nothing but bad news for the Democratic Party. But for the fact that there are all these things coming out of the other candidate's mouth.
REHMAnd that's exactly what you said, earlier.
MARCUSIndeed. But I do think that the departure of these three top officials is thus -- kind of, predictable, inevitable, aftershock from the big earthquake of Debbie Wasserman Schultz leaving. Anybody who looked at those emails and anybody who looked at what was -- what had been said during the convention week knew that there were departures to come. Why they didn't do it all at once, I don't know. That might have been a lot to pull off during a convention week.
MARCUSBut I don't think this indicates any more trouble than we -- for the Democrats -- than we already knew was present.
REHMAll right. Let's go to the phones. First to Joyce in Miami, Florida. You're on the air.
JOYCEThank you, Diane. I listen to your show every day.
JOYCEI really was upset at Donald Trump's comments that if you're being sexually harassed at work, you're just supposed to quit and find a new job. I was outraged at that. It happened to me in my corporate life and I was single. I mean, am I just supposed to quit my job and, you know, give up my 401K, give up my health benefits and find a new job? I just think that's absurd to say that to any woman.
WILSONAnd Ivanka Trump tried to clarify what her father meant. I thought it was interesting that she said that she, in fact, had been sexually harassed. And the, and people had apologized when they figured out who she was. There aren't a lot of people who, who, you know, who are the boss's daughter.
REHMI don't think there's a woman in America, Reid, who hasn't had some experience with sexual harassment and I include myself. Our caller was from Miami, and yesterday, we did a program on the Zika virus in that small area. Neighborhood of Miami and Dr. Fauci was, of course, on the program and at that time, I said, I'm going to Florida a little later in the month. And that I don't like DEET and would not use it. And Dr. Fauci persuaded me that I was wrong. So I wanted to be sure and say that on the air.
REHMWhen I go to Florida, Dr. Fauci, I will use DEET. And certainly, the CDC issued really quite a warning about this to pregnant women. Ruth.
MARCUSThis is very scary. I've listened to Tony Fauci as one of my rules in life.
MARCUSEveryone should listen, everyone should listen to the CDC. The notion that we have this warning in Florida that there are likely to be other places where we have such outbreaks. There might be an expansion and couple that with the just inexplicable and outrageous failure of Congress to provide adequate funding to deal with this mess before leaving town for its summer vacation.
REHMAnd you know why. You know why.
MARCUSIn a dispute over extraneous things, and there's a lot of finger pointing in a lot of different directions, but if we cannot, as a country, prepare ourselves and adequately fund known disasters that are rolling in our direction, we are in some big trouble.
YORKWell, actually, I agree with that. There is this period before a presidential election in which the government, traditionally, does nothing. I mean, just nothing. Congress can't agree. They all go -- they just want to go out and campaign anyway. And most of the time, they don't actually need to do anything in some urgent way. And here they did, and it was really striking, where you had Republicans saying, we want to provide this amount of funding for Zika. And Democrats saying, we want to provide this amount of funding. And it seemed to be an easily solvable problem, and yet, in the end, it wasn't.
REHMAnd part of it was because of Planned Parenthood. And it seemed to me that that was a pretty extraneous reason not to fund a very serious threat.
MARCUSRight. Look, if you are on one side, against the Planned Parenthood funding, you say, how outrageous is it that Democrats are holding up this funding because they won't allow any incursions on Planned Parenthood. And plus, Planned Parenthood wasn't named in this, and yadda dada da. And if you're on the other side, you say, how outrageous is it that Republicans will not allow this money to go forward because they are so insistent on depriving Planned Parenthood of funding.
MARCUSOne -- you can guess which side of this I come down on, but one of the things that I find most disturbing is that of all the things that we should be funding in the face of the Zika threat, it is access to contraception. We want people who don't want to be pregnant or want to avoid pregnancy in dangerous areas to have as much access to contraception as they can. That is a big piece of the business. I'm waiting for the emails about abortion providers and that's okay. Bring them on. But providing access to contraceptive services is a big piece of Planned Parenthood business, period.
REHMAll right. To Christine in Syracuse, New York. Syracuse, Indiana. Hi, you're on the air.
CHRISTINEHello. Yes, we live in a state governed -- was governed by Mike Pence. I could go on about that, but my question is about the fourth estate. The news media. I have yet to see them pivot to cover Donald Trump the way he needs to be covered. I watched the Sunday interview with George Stephanopoulos. And I also watched the Democratic convention and you could see, on Mrs. Khan's face, the turmoil that she was in. Any normal person with any kind of feeling could have seen it.
CHRISTINEAnd then, I listen to a gentleman like Jonathan Karl regurgitate information, Trump-isms, as some sort of solution to his inability to act like a normal human being. No one confronts him in any of these interviews, no one asks him questions. I'm curious as to when this man will have moment upon moment where he is questioned over his stupidity. It just stymies me that this man has so much television play, and yet no one, no one confronts him.
YORKWell, I see this from an entirely different side. I mean, I think the coverage of Trump has been overwhelmingly negative in the past seven days. And I'm not saying if that's good or bad. I think it's just been very, very negative. As a matter of fact, at Harvard, the Shorenstein Center did a study on press coverage of Trump in the whole primary season. And now in the general election. And they found that the coverage of Trump was really quite neutral to positive early on when there was so much horse race coverage.
YORKJust horse race all the time. And Trump was doing well in the horse race. And they found that the coverage was relatively neutral. And Trump absolutely benefitted from that. After Trump wrapped up the nomination, even before May 3rd when he formally gets it, the press coverage becomes more and more negative, because it's more and more him verses Hillary Clinton. And there's more attention paid to everything he says. And I believe if they continue that study, which they're doing now, but when we see it, I think the negative line will continue to go up.
REHMYou know, part of the problem, I for example, watched John Dickerson interview Trump, and face to face, Trump refuses to directly respond to the questions that are asked. He veers left or he veers right.
YORKAnd I think we need to make a distinction here between media as this sort of one overarching industry. I mean, there are a lot of different types of media. In an interview on CNN when the whoever it is only has four minutes to show something on air, you're right. Trump is all over the place, and it's hard to sort of get him into a box. But there has been a lot of really excellent coverage in the Washington Post. Phil Rucker just did that interview a couple of days ago in the New York Times.
YORKIn papers across the country. I don't mean to just single out two. It's been a lot of them on Trump's business dealings, on his overseas business. On his relationships in Atlantic City. Just like there has been really tough coverage on Hillary Clinton and her past too.
REHMSo, if you're only watching television, you may get one thought and reading newspapers is another.
MARCUSHi. I would like to stick up for reading newspapers and reading newspaper websites, but I'm also going to stick up here for my television colleagues. Reid is right. Trump is particularly elusive in being pinned down. But people, he is, that is capable of happening. Jake Tapper did a magnificent job of asking him the same question, something like 27 times. And if you look -- and I -- the notion of John Karl regurgitating really rankles with me, because that is not who he is.
MARCUSLook at that Sunday interview. George Stephanopoulos asked the questions that allowed Donald Trump to hang himself. Both in his response about Mrs. Khan and in his discussion about what Russia was doing in Ukraine and Crimea. So, our job is not to destroy Donald Trump or defeat Donald Trump, as the media. Our job, and I think the television networks are doing it as well as print journalists, our job is to ask him questions that elucidate information and allow voters to make their own judgments.
YORKAnd one of the things he's done that Republican strategists are kind of amazed at is he continues to grant interviews. The entire problem, if you look at the Khan controversy, the troubles he made for himself, were in interviews. I watched, I think, three of his speeches, Columbus and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and then Ashburn, Virginia. Didn't mention it at all. But then he goes and does an interview and he can't control himself in the interview and I think that a number of Republicans would advocate Trump to have a more Hillary Clinton like press strategy.
YORKAnd not do -- Hillary Clinton did do a Sunday interview, but generally, does not do very many. And we all know she hasn't done a press conference in forever. To take a more Clinton-esque strategy with the press.
REHMAll right. To Houston, Texas. Surrender, you're on the air.
SURRENDERYes, thank you for taking my call.
SURRENDERI want to know how many times Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy and how many times he changed the party from Democrat to Republican, Republican to Democrat.
MARCUSI think Donald Trump would tell you that he has never personally filed for bankruptcy and the number of business bankruptcy filings that he has had is at least four, but possibly as many as six. He was a Democrat, then he became a Republican. I can't give you a tick tock on the back and forth there.
REHMAnd you're listening to "The Diane Rehm Show." Let's go to Lauren in Palm Coast, Florida. You're on the air.
LAURENHello. Can you hear me?
LAURENHi. It's funny, I've been listening to all this, and there's been so much about the Presidential election and I get kind of ill in my stomach when I get worried about it. But then more so, I have heard nothing about the Congressional races, and given the last eight years, and the lack of laws being made, the lack of action in this country because of Congress, I'm wondering is there -- how much change is expected and has anybody got any outlook on what's going to happen with the Congress this, this...
WILSONSo, the real fight, at the moment, is for control of the Senate. And Lauren, in Florida, is at, at a, sort of an epicenter of that fight. Democrats need to take back at least four seats to get to 50, five seats to get to 51 and control it outright without having the Vice President. It is likely they will win at least two seats in Illinois and Wisconsin. They lead in Indiana right now, as well. And then, there are, sort of, the seats that, I think, are at the center of this battle, are in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.
WILSONThree very well-funded, relatively well-liked Republican incumbents fighting against relatively strong Democratic opponents. Of course, the Ds and the Rs will argue with me over those particular descriptions. I talked to a lot of Republican strategists a week ago who were telling me that Donald Trump has not had an impact on those down ballot candidates and they're feeling a lot more optimistic than they were just a few months ago. I wish I had waiting on that story until now, because I think that might have changed.
JOYCEAll right. And here's an email from Scott. Gonna be interested in how you all respond to this. He says, is it so far-fetched to suggest that Donald Trump may drop out of the race at some point if the polls continue to show Trump losing? Scott says, I can see him picking up and going home if he's always so willing to file for bankruptcy for business deals gone awry. Why not bail out on a losing candidacy?
YORKI think it's very far-fetched. I think this has been a fantasy, over the months, of people who are strongly opposed to Trump, there was this idea that when his polls went down, in, Ben Carson took over briefly in September of last year, well, Trump might get out. And then, there was this idea that if he didn't win Iowa, he always talked about winning so much, that if he didn't win, he would just go home. And I think now you're hearing some of the same stuff, and there's -- yes, Republicans are panicked. Yes, some of them talked about an intervention, but this idea that Trump would just...
REHMWhat's an intervention?
YORK...leave. It was, if you had the idea that there was a conference table and Newt and Rudy and Trump were sitting around, that's not happening. It's what's been happening for months, which is advisors trying to get a message to Trump, which is please, stop slicing it over the trees and into the parking lot. Just, you know, make little mistakes instead of huge mistakes.
MARCUSI agree with Byron. I don't think there's any serious chance that Trump is going to drop out, but that does raise the question of a really dangerous thing that Trump, I think, raised, starting raising this week, which is the prospect that if he does lose the election, it will because the election was rigged. He may well lose. The polls now suggest he will lose. I think that for him to suggest that it would be because the election is rigged is very dangerous and very bad for democracy.
REHMI also thought it was unwise of President Obama to say that if the election were held at a time when the polls showed that Trump was 15 points ahead, that then he could raise questions. We saw the polls in the last Presidential elections totally whacko. And then, of course, President Obama won again.
WILSONThere are a small -- there is a small minority of Americans who believe that President Obama is not a legitimate President. What if that number is 40, 45 percent of Americans? That -- I agree with Ruth. That's very scary.
REHMReid Wilson of the Hill, Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post, Byron York of the Examiner. Thank you all.
MARCUSThanks so much, Diane.
REHMThanks all for listening. I'm Diane Rehm.
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