It’s been three months since Democrats took control of the House. What that’s meant for legislative priorities in Congress and the balance of power in Washington.
In a win that stunned pundits and pollsters across the country, Donald Trump is president-elect of the United States. Voters—especially white male voters—came out in support of his promise to shake-up Washington. During the campaign, he vowed to tear up trade agreements, ban Muslim immigrants, repeal Obamacare, build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, appoint Supreme Court justices who oppose reproductive rights for women, back away from efforts to reduce global climate change and reduce taxes on the rich. With continued Republican control of both houses of Congress, he may be able to do all of these things. Diane and a panel look at Trump’s victory and what comes next.
- James Fallows National correspondent for The Atlantic magazine
- Amy Walter National editor, Cook Political Report
- Whit Ayres Republican strategist and pollster; president and founder, North Star Opinion Research
- Peter Navarro Business and economics professor at the University of California-Irvine; policy adviser to the Trump campaign
MS. DIANE REHMThanks for joining us. I'm Diane Rehm. He vowed to shake up Washington. In reality, he's shaken up the world. Americans voted for change last night and chose Donald Trump as our next president, tapping into smoldering disgust with Washington and party elites and now with GOP control of both the House and Senate, Donald Trump will have wide latitude to redefine U.S. economic policies and our role in the world.
MS. DIANE REHMHere to talk about what may be ahead, James Fallows of The Atlantic magazine, Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report, Whit Ayres of North Star Opinion Research and joining us by phone from Irvine, California, Peter Navarro. He's business and economics professor at the University of California at Irvine. He's policy advisor to the Trump campaign.
MS. DIANE REHMWe'll take your calls throughout the hour. I know many of you will want to join in. Give us a call on 800-433-8850. Send an email to email@example.com. Follow us on Facebook or send us a tweet. And thank you all for being with us.
MR. JAMES FALLOWSThank you, Diane.
MS. AMY WALTERGood morning, Diane.
MR. WHIT AYRESHey, Diane. How are you?
REHMFine, thanks. Amy Walter, you wrote this morning, I got it wrong, really wrong. Trump didn't just win. He crushed it. This is truly the most shocking thing that I have seen in my lifetime.
WALTERYes. You know, I'm still somewhat sleep-deprived. I've yet to go to bed, but we came into this election, at least I did, and I think many of my colleagues did, with the following assumption, that the coalition that Barack Obama put together, that the changing demographics in this country, that the divisive nature of Donald Trump's candidacy, that the polling that we saw up and down, whether it was the national polls, the state polls, battleground polls, all pointed to a Clinton win. Not that it was going to be a blowout, but that it was going to be a win.
WALTERAnd what happened, it seems, is that -- the following. One, there is no Obama coalition without Barack Obama. He is the reason that many young voters, people of color turned out and voted in 2008 and 2012. They didn't turn out in 2010. They didn't turn out in 2014. And it looks, at this point, they turned out for Hillary Clinton, but not giving her the margins that they gave Barack Obama and that rural voters in these battleground, rust belt states that have been voting for Democrats for years, including voting for Barack Obama, voted for Donald Trump.
WALTERNot by big margins, but by margins, nonetheless. In Michigan, which hasn't been called yet, he is up by 15,000 votes. In Pennsylvania, which he won, he won by 67,000 votes. In Wisconsin, which he also carried, he won by 26,000 votes largely on the strength of rural white voters. And thus, we come to the following, which is that only the first time since the 1820s that one party has captured the popular vote in what is it now, five of the last seven -- yeah, elections and yet in two of those elections went on to lose the electoral college.
REHMJim Fallows, what happened?
FALLOWSThere's a reason we are all going to be digesting this in this hour and for weeks to come because this is, I believe -- you can argue this is the most surprising political event in American history and one of the couple of most surprising events in my lifetime. The other candidates would, of course, be the Kennedy assassination and the 9/11 attacks, which, of course, were a different scale, but I think this is similar. And it's worth underscoring why it is we're calling it surprising. It's not simply the predictions, even as of, you know, 20 hours ago, were still leaning so heavily in Hillary Clinton's favor and for the demographic and other reasons that Amy was just explaining.
FALLOWSThere's also the fact that nobody like Donald Trump -- and by like I mean, with no experience whatsoever in public office or public service of any kind has gotten this far in the political process. The system has always buffered people like this out before and there has never before, to the best of my ability to find out, been such an array of what you might think of as authority against him. You know, the living Republican ex-presidents and candidates, with the exception of Bob Dole saying they were not going to vote for him, having all these former ambassadors, military officials, CIA director saying this would be a dangerous thing to do, having newspapers that are never Democratic, like a Dallas Morning News (unintelligible) saying vote for Hillary Clinton.
FALLOWSAnd so to the extent that elections have seemed to be a combination of sort of tactical predication tools like Amy was saying, of demographic blocs like the ones we thought Latinos and women and others and some kind of contest of authority, all of those suggested it would go a different way. So everything we've been using for prediction is upended.
REHMWhit Ayres, how do you see it?
AYRESDiane, this election has always been a clash of powerful opposing forces. On the one hand, you have an overwhelming desire for change. When two-thirds of the country is disgusted with the direction and wants to go a different direction, that obviously helped Donald Trump. On the other hand, you have the inexorable march of demographic change, which helps Hillary Clinton. Interestingly, last night, the march of demographic change continued. The percentage of whites in the electorate was down to 70 percent, which is about where most of us expected it would be, continuing a 20-year pattern of having every single presidential election with a lower percentage of whites in the electorate.
FALLOWSBut that was not enough to overcome this powerful force for change. Now, the interesting thing is, if you look at it just from the perspective of change, is that Donald Trump should've been well ahead all the way through and he kept stepping on his own message, running off into rabbit holes of going after individuals. But in the last week or so, he managed to stay reasonably on message, pounding away that he is change, Hillary Clinton is the status quo and that was just enough to pull him over in the electoral college.
REHMAnd to you, Peter Navarro, as an advisor to Trump, tell us what you think happened.
MR. PETER NAVARROWell, I predicted that he would win the primary months before anybody did. I saw, at the time, that he had a message which was in tune with the American people and out of tune with the traditional Republican view. He won the primary. Yeah, I thought very early on that he would win the general election and right up until the polls closed, I was convinced that he would win by basically taking down the blue wall in the rust belt area and hold onto what he needed to hold onto and that's exactly how it played out.
MR. PETER NAVARROI think the problem here, there's going to be a lot of speculation, but I think the problem here is that much of the media was just simply out of touch with much of America. If you have gone boots on the ground like I have, through so many of the states that have been devastated by the trade issue and have suffered from stagnate incomes for 15 years, the lack of opportunities, of seeing the factories and jobs going offshore, it's clear that somebody who could bring that message into the discussion politically would win.
MR. PETER NAVARROAnd that’s what happened. And I think what's important here going forward, besides some serious self reflection by the media that didn't see that, is what's going to happen next. And that's what I'd prefer to focus on. I think that Mr. Trump has a beautiful 100-day plan and a day one plan. There's an article which I wrote with Wilbur Ross and Andy Puzder in a publication called Real Clear Policy, that basically summarizes Mr. Trump's contract with the American voter, which he spoke at his Gettysburg speech, I think if the people listening to your show would simply read through that, they would find a very detailed action plan that will do the following.
MR. PETER NAVARROBasically, cut taxes to improve our competitiveness worldwide, reduce the regulatory burden, which is now at $2 trillion annually, unleash our energy sector, which is one of our most powerful natural resources to hone competitive advantage and deal once and for all and fairly and prudently with the trade deficit issue. And going forward, my projection is that we will double our growth rate, we'll create 25 million new jobs for the American people. This will generate corporate earnings that will help propel the stock market, which is important for people on pensions who want to be able to retire and it's morning in American 2.0 in this 21st century.
MR. PETER NAVARROAnd I would just ask your listeners and ask the people in the media who got it so wrong to stop talking about that for a while and think about why they got it so wrong because to a lot of people, it was obvious what was going to happen and the fact that that wasn't seen means that there's a disconnect with the media, the intelligentsia and the elites here, the political elites.
REHMAll right. Peter Navarro, he is a policy advisor to the Trump campaign. Short break here. When we come back, we'll talk more, take your calls, stay with us.
REHMAnd welcome back. Here with me in the studio, Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report, James Fallows of The Atlantic magazine, Whit Ayres, he's a Republican strategist and pollster, president and founder of North Star Opinion Research, by phone from California, Peter Navarro, is at the University of California-Irvine and policy adviser to the Trump campaign.
REHMI know you've just all heard Peter talk about what he thinks Donald Trump did right. James Fallows, what do you think?
FALLOWSI'd like to mention just this point of change. Obviously there was a desire for change with Donald Trump since he is a disruptive candidate. I think my experience is a little bit different from Peter Navarro's in this way, as I've discussed with you, Diane, over the last three years, my wife and I have spent most of our time in South Dakota and Mississippi and South Carolina, in Upstate Pennsylvania and Upstate New York, in Central Valley, California, places that are being affected by these changes -- by these economic dislocations.
FALLOWSWhat's striking is that people, their desire for change is at the national political level. Across the country this is not a sense of boiling, we're living in hell, hatred for how things are going. Most people feel as if in their towns, in Mississippi, in Fresno, in Central Valley, Oregon, things are moving in the right direction, but it is something about the national politics has become poisoned and disconnected in the way that we see reflected in this election.
REHMWell, and Whit, on that point, you had so many Republican leaders speaking out against Trump or at least backing away from him. So the question becomes, what do they do now? Do they go along with these rather extreme ideas that he has within this first 100 days that people may really like?
AYRESWell we'll see. I don't know where the Republican leaders are going, but it is interesting to think that they may have actually helped Donald Trump's fundamental message, that he was against the establishment, that he was against the status quo. Indeed the last Hillary Clinton rally occurred with Barack Obama and Michelle Obama the night before the election, which basically verifies the idea that she was running for Barack Obama's third term and is a continuation of a status quo.
AYRESSo all of that sort of fed into Donald Trump's I'm different, I'm changed message, which helped to carry him over. Now it's interesting, Diane, right now Donald Trump is losing the popular vote.
AYRESAnd he has right now fewer votes than Mitt Romney got in 2012. So we'll see where this ends up, but we could very well have a situation where, for the second time in the last four elections, the winner of the popular vote loses the electoral college.
REHMAnd what does that say to you about the electoral college, which is something listeners to this program have been asking about for years?
AYRESWell, it means that you have small states that have at least a modicum attention in a large, national election. And so those small states are going to fight very hard to maintain it. I should say the second time in five elections that the winner of the popular vote has lost the electoral college.
WALTERAnd into the -- and further to Whit's point about the electoral college, remember coming into this election, there were two assumptions being made, one that we -- or two historical assumptions, one that you -- it is very hard to get a third term, and so Hillary Clinton was running against that historical trend. But the thing that was working for her actually was the electoral college.
WALTERThere was this so-called blue wall of the battleground, rust-belt states. There were 18 states that had voted for a Democrat in every single election going back to 1992. That accounted to 242 electoral votes. She lost a lot of those blue-wall states, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, likely Michigan. And so that is -- the story isn't that the electoral college is a problem, the story is that the electoral college now has been reshaped.
WALTERShe thought it was going to be reshaped by picking up Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia, but she fell short. She did not get her voters to turn out at the -- it's not even at the number but at the percent. I don't -- as White pointed out, there aren't more people that actually turned up to vote, but the percent of the vote that Donald Trump got among those white voters was that much bigger than even Ronald Reagan.
REHMI want to ask all of you, to what extent do you believe the director of the FBI, James Comey, affected this outcome, James Fallows?
FALLOWSThe reason he should not have made either of statements, I would say any three of his statements, is precisely because we will never be able to answer that question. The reason there is a policy and a norm within the Justice Department and the FBI to avoid politically sensitive questions -- announcements at all, within, let's say, 60 days of an election, is precisely because this is something -- it changes the equation in a way that cannot be undone. So we will never know whether James Comey's announcement, the one like 10 days before the election, which was covered in such saturation way by cable news and much of the front page of the New York Times and then walked back much more modestly later, whether that changed things.
FALLOWSYou can hypothesize and what, but we won't know.
REHMWhit Ayres, what's your opinion?
AYRESI'm with Jim. I don't think you can disentangle that. The fact is that Donald Trump finally stayed on his change message long enough to pull enough votes over to his side, I don't know that -- I agree with Jim. I don't know that we'll ever answer that.
REHMPeter Navarro, do you want to weigh in?
NAVARROWell, I was in Trump Tower through much of this, watching what was going on and Obamacare premiums going up was a very significant event. Mr. Trump was trending up at that time. That sent the trend up even stronger. So I think that all of this, the speculation, what Kellyanne Conway said repeatedly, I think is correct, that whatever the FBI did, it was set in motion by Hillary Clinton when she destroyed her emails.
NAVARROAnd then we saw all of the WikiLeaks, which showed to the extent which the Clinton campaign basically tried to hide things and spin things. but I think what's important here, it's so important to your audience right now, let's move forward. Let's talk about policy. And one of the regrets I had in this campaign was that every time I would talk to somebody on the radio or TV or in print, instead of talking about policy, they'd want to talk about other things.
NAVARROThe people of this country want jobs, and they want to see their wages up, and they want to be able to retire, and that's what this should be about going forward.
REHMI think that -- I think that's such an important point, and Jim Fallows, Donald Trump has made lots of promises during the campaign and even you've just heard from Peter Navarro about what he's going to get rid of and what he's going to do. Do we know about his specific priorities?
FALLOWSWe -- certainly compared to previous nominees of major parties, there is a thinner corpus of political and policy information available from Mr. Trump. Peter Navarro has done these papers, and again compared to what's been available from other people. So how exactly the wall is going to go forward, how exactly are we going to deal with China and trade negotiations, a lot of this is to be filled in.
REHMAnd Whit Ayres, how do you...
NAVARRODiane, let me just say...
NAVARROI mean, Jim, have you read this stuff? Have you seen how detailed his speech in Pittsburgh was or how detailed his Gettysburg speech was or how detailed the 100-day action plan is? I mean, my sense is that the homework wasn't done by a lot of journalists. I just heard repeatedly out there, well, Mr. Trump doesn't have a plan. He had the most detailed plan of any candidate.
NAVARROAnd so I would ask again, people, moving forward, what's important here is what's going to happen next, and what's going to happen next...
REHMAll right, let -- let Jim answer your question.
FALLOWSYes, in answer to your question, yes, I've read all that. I've also read Hillary Clinton's platform papers, I've read them in previous elections. Just on a detail and elaboration basis, there's no comparison between what Donald Trump has put out and most major party nominees.
REHMAmy, what could Hillary Clinton have done differently?
WALTERWell, I think Peter raises a really good point, which is the issue for so many voters, not just about change, about economic anxiety, about overall frustration, I don't know that America was any more angry than it's been, but I do know that it was certainly frustrated. And Hillary Clinton never had a message that addressed that. Bernie Sanders did. Donald Trump did. Hillary Clinton's message was basically I'm not Donald Trump, so vote for me.
WALTERThat is not a winning -- that is not an inspiring message. It also doesn't really get to the heart of what voters were looking for in this election. Sure there were a whole bunch of people, and it looks like, as we said, with the popular vote that was enough for them to say I'll vote for her because you're not him, but in places where she needed to do much better among -- especially among white voters in the Midwest, that message just -- it was lacking.
WALTERAnd as I had written before, this idea that stronger together, which was her message, which by the way was message number three or four or five that had come out of that shop, didn't convey anything.
REHMOkay, but Whit, all along there was talk that the Republican Party was imploding, that you had all these different factions, and you had people supporting them, backing away from Trump. What's going to happen with Paul Ryan at the lead if he retains that lead? What's going to happen with the different factions in the Republican Party as Donald Trump attempts to put through these ideas? For example the Republican Party is in favor of trade. Donald Trump wants to back away from that.
AYRESWe haven't talked much about what's happened to the Congress, but last night the Republicans pulled off what has to rank as a huge upset, holding on to the Senate while defending 24 Senate seats, as well as holding on to the House. I think you will find Republican leaders very open to talking with President-elect Trump and figuring out where they can get on the same page. But it's also true what you say, that the Trump brand has been very distinct from the Republican brand, and many Republican senators ran ahead of Donald Trump in their states, like Marco Rubio, who ran some eight points ahead of Donald Trump in Florida.
AYRESSo they are not going to exactly roll over, either. They are going to have their own perspectives and their own agendas, which may very well be different from the president's.
REHMAnd what about the Democratic Party, Jim?
FALLOWSThe Democratic Party is in for very profound soul-searching. I mean, one under-reported effect of the last, you know, half of the Obama era for the Democrats is that the -- you know, of course eight years ago it was Obama against Hillary Clinton. Since that she's been essentially there as the presumptive next nominee, and that, sort of in garden metaphors, is like a spreading oak tree that just kept new seedlings from coming up. So they -- I think they have a lot of talk ahead, too.
REHMJames Fallows of The Atlantic magazine, and you're listening to the Diane Rehm Show. And we have lots of callers waiting, 800-433-8850. To Salinda in Knoxville, Maryland, you're on the air.
SALINDAThank you very much for taking my call. My question is brief, and I'll take my answer off the air. As each citizen is a member of the nation, regardless of what state they live in, is it possible to reform the electoral college for the presidential election so that each vote, each citizen's vote does count the way that voters are taught that it does?
SALINDAAnd so that it is not a matter of the states deciding the president but the citizens deciding who their leader will be? And how could we make that reform possible?
FALLOWSThe short answer to that is doing it by constitutional amendment would be probably impossible for the reasons that Whit says, because the smaller states would resist. There is something called the National Popular Vote Coalition, which is an agreement among states that they will cast their votes in accordance with what the national popular vote is, and so if you look online, you can get more details, National Popular Vote Coalition.
REHMAll right, and to Vanessa in Suffolk County, New York, you're on the air.
VANESSAHi Diane, longtime listener, first-time caller. I have a comment about why I think Trump won. You know, I was reading about how the white, uneducated voters are really kind of what swung the vote, and, you know, having family members that voted for Trump, just because they didn't go to school past maybe a two-year college doesn't mean that they're uneducated. It doesn't mean that they don't have a moral compass or that they don't want their government to abide by the rule of law.
VANESSAAnd I know from personal experience from my family that even though the way that Trump said things was just horrible, they really felt like he was touching on a vein, which was, you know, things are not going the way that certain Americans expected, like following immigration laws and policies. And also the abortion issue I think is big not with just Americans that are white but also with the Latinos, as well, and I don't think that that was really paid attention to.
REHMAll right, thanks for your call, Whit Ayres.
AYRESWell, I think she's right. I mean, no one is suggesting that because someone doesn't have a college education that they don't have good sense or can't make good judgments, and I think a lot of people read this exactly right, which was that Hillary Clinton was offering a continuation of what we've had, and Donald Trump was offering something different, and they were willing to try something different.
FALLOWSBut if Obama had been eligible to run for a third term, much like Bill Clinton in 2000, he would probably -- presumably have been re-elected. So it's -- he's a different kind of candidate from Hillary Clinton, but I'm just suggesting that a continuation of what we have now is not by definition so horrible, at least by his popularity ratings.
WALTERAnd that's really the fascinating part about this election, the number of cross currents that we have going here. You know, it's not simply what 63 percent of voters saying things are off on the wrong track, and yet the president's approval rating is over 50 percent. You have a majority of Americans saying they want change, and yet we have unemployment as low as it's ever been. We have $2-a-gallon gas, right, people -- and yet we have people saying that things are completely falling apart.
WALTERI think the one thing that really fundamentally -- it always is about the candidate who captures someone's imagination, who has enthusiasm, he had it, she did not.
REHMAmy Walter of the Cook Political Report. Short break here, and when we come back, more of your calls, your email. I look forward to speaking with you.
REHMAnd welcome back. Here's an email from Janney or Janney. Who says, as an African American woman, I find it amazing that almost half an hour into the show, there's been no mention of the role of racism and sexism that played in this election. How can we expect our country to overcome what we won't even admit? James Fallows.
FALLOWSSo, I think as coincidence, we haven't talked about it in this show. I've been writing about it all the time. I know all of us have too. I think that there are, from my perspective, as a white man, there are -- I think of this way, first, for Hillary Clinton, as the first major party nominee, as a woman, there is a much, much, much narrower path she was allowed to walk than the standard man could. You know, there's, if you are too forceful, you are shrill and harsh, et cetera. You are nagging.
FALLOWSIf you're not, then you're too meek. And so, I can only barely begin to imagine the burden on being the first female candidate. On the race front, I think it's impossible to ignore the way -- the extent to which Trump's base is overwhelmingly unhappy white people. That it is -- the, and I expect, actually, more of a Latino surge against him, but if you -- I know his base is not entirely white, but it's predominantly white. And if I were a Latino, a black, an Asian American, a Muslim, a Jew, I would feel, I would feel less drawn to the Trump coalition.
WALTERLet me just say this, though. And this is just the exit polls suggest that it's actually more than that, and it's not as easy as to write off as sexism or racism. Hillary Clinton didn't do any better among women than Barack Obama did. And Donald Trump did a lot better among men than Mitt Romney did. Hillary Clinton got 88 percent of the African American vote. Barack Obama got 93 percent. Hillary Clinton didn't do any better among Latinos than Barack Obama did. She did worse among Asian Americans.
WALTERThese were all the groups, when you talk to the Clinton campaign the weekend before the election, they said, this is the Clinton coalition. Yeah, there may be flagging African American enthusiasm, but we've got young people. Nope. She lost young people by compared -- she won young people, but five points lower than what Obama got. We have young people, we have Asian Americans, we have Latinos, that's gonna -- and suburban women. Guess what? No, she didn't.
AYRESI think, Diane, that the motivations for voting for Donald Trump are multiple and complex. I think it is a serious mistake to assume that all Trump voters believe all the hateful things he said. I think that they may have very well other reasons for voting for him. Might some be motivated by sexism or racism? No one can deny that, but I think it's a real mistake to paint all Trump supporters as racist or sexist because I don't believe they are.
FALLOWSSure. And I agree with that. I'm just saying there is a component.
REHMHold on, Peter.
REHMHold on one second, Peter. Let James finish.
FALLOWSYes, of course. The motivations are complex and you can't overgeneralize. But I think that it will be seen there is a -- this was a -- there was a strong white component of his support in contrast to hers.
NAVARROI think that we're misreading the black and Latino communities in this country. There -- I haven't seen the final numbers, but I do know that blacks voted much at much higher rates for Mr. Trump than previous Republicans. There's an issue here. The black community, going back for 20 years, has consistently voted Democratic on Election Day. And then, the next four years, their life has not gotten much better. And in some cases, has gotten worse. And Mr. Trump promises jobs.
NAVARROAnd the illegal immigration issue, which was divisive in the campaign, does strike the black American community really at its heart. And the illegals coming over, at the margin, as we say in economics, would disproportionately hurt black Americans. And people in the black community understood this, so the idea that this was just all about angry white people I think is silly. It's -- it was all about angry people who saw their jobs shipped offshore. Who saw their paycheck not go up for 15 years.
NAVARROWho saw policies like Obamacare, which may have had good intentions, but was implemented in a totally flawed manner, basically saying that we'd like somebody in Washington who would pay attention to the economy and jobs and make our lives better...
NAVARRO...and I keep hearing folks -- let me just finish this, because I keep hearing the commentators here. Jim's taking a leap on that. You're out of touch with America. You need to get in touch with the people and the people with the lower educated people -- that's correlated with the ones suffering the most, because they have the hardest time in the job market. And so, we need to, we need to pay attention to the economy moving forward. Come together and stop all this racial divide talk. Mr. Trump will unite, he will unite people of all colors and creeds in this country.
REHMAll right, here...
AYRESDiane, let me just mention...
AYRES...the exit polls. Eight percent of African Americans voted for Donald Trump compared to six percent who voted for Romney.
REHMInteresting. All right, here's an email from Amanda, who says, I understand the appeal of Trump's policy message. What I don't get is why he gets a pass on the xenophobia, racism, sexual assault, fraudulent business dealings, et cetera. I'm deeply disappointed that none of this seems to matter to the electorate. Amy.
WALTERIt mattered to some, but I think we've been talking about this for most of the morning. Voters had a choice to make between two really unpopular candidates. She was a little less unpopular than he was. She was seen as more experienced. She was seen as having a temperament. She was seen as having the better judgment. But at the end of the day, the number one concern voters had was for change. 39 percent, that was their top issue. And he got 83 percent of that vote.
WALTERAnd so, if you want change, you're willing to put the other stuff aside. And I think that's where we have to be very careful when we start talking about did the media not cover this? Did the media not say that? No. All this stuff was out there. Voters knew exactly who both of these people were. And they disliked both of them. And yet, one of them -- we always knew one of them was gonna have to be President.
AYRESThis was truly a lesser of the evils choice. And a great many people did not want to make either choice.
REHMAnd to Sean in Houston, Texas. You're on the air.
SEANYes, thank you for taking my call.
SEANYeah, I just wanted to mention that, you know, I don't feel like the result we would, we had -- we would have gotten had the Democratic Party elected Bernie Sanders back during in the primary. Every poll and statistic showed him winning the nation by a landslide had he gone on to the general election. So, I fault the DNC and the Democratic Party for this choice.
AYRESYou know, woulda, coulda, shoulda. If Marco Rubio had been the nominee of the Republican Party, he would have won by a whole lot more than Donald Trump.
FALLOWSOr Kasich or Mitt Romney. Yeah.
WALTERBut this is, this is going to, you know, we thought we were going to have a conversation -- many folks thought we were going to have a conversation today about where goes the Republican Party. Now look, they still are going to have a lot of challenges in front of them, trying to figure out how an outsider who has been running as an anti-establishment, not as a traditional Republican, comes in and works with traditional Republican Party and political structure.
WALTERAt the same time, I will expect that starting tomorrow, there are going to be a lot more folks like this caller here who say, a candidate who would have appealed to those very folks that Peter Navarro is talking about who feel disillusioned. Bernie Sanders talked about the rigged economy. Donald Trump talked about it being about the elites. They both were singing that -- from that same hymnal. I think that would have helped a Democrat in Wisconsin, in Pennsylvania, in Michigan.
WALTERAnd he would not have done any worse than Hillary Clinton in Colorado or Virginia. And so, there is going to be a lot of finger pointing and hand wringing about this. And James brought up this point, too. There is no bench on the Democratic side. There's no one. Now, this comes from, you know, the Obama legacy -- we're going to spend a lot of time on this in the next few weeks. He won in 2008 and 2012. His party has lost an historic number of seats at the state legislative level, at the Congressional level, at the gubernatorial level.
WALTERThere are no Democrats who are in power right now who you can say are the new rising stars. There is a deep, deep bench of Republicans. Now, they gotta all figure out how they're going to get along. But there are many more of them than there are Democrats.
FALLOWSAnd with how Bernie Sanders would have done, or Joe Biden, or other possibilities, we just will never know. On this poll showing Bernie's landslide victory, you always look better until there is mainstream oppo directed at you, which is certainly so -- we'll never know how it would have turned out, but certainly, things look bad for the Democrats now.
REHMAll right. And here's to Mary in Traverse City, Michigan. You're on the air.
MARYHey, thanks for having me. Quick comment on a previous caller. Yes, I totally believe in the demolition of the electorate vote. I believe in one person, one vote. But aside from that, yes, I voted for Hillary. But now, we have a president and I expect him to follow through with his promises.
REHMWhat kinds of promises?
MARYAll about the jobs and everyone's gonna have a job and, yeah, I'm an older woman. I'm approaching 60. Female in Traverse City, which is a tourist town. And yeah, the most job I can get right now is like 18 hours a week at minimum wage. So, I want him to not only boost the, you know, the repair bridges and highways, but what about the small person that needs a job, that desperately needs a job?
REHMAll right, and to Peter Navarro.
NAVARROThe Trump plan is clear. It will begin on day one and move quickly through the first hundred days. It's a four pronged approach, includes tax cuts, the corporate tax cut is important, because that will make our corporations more competitive globally. It will include regulatory cost reductions. We're running at about a trillion dollar, two trillion dollar annual burden.
REHMOkay, but Peter, Peter, please answer her question directly. She's saying, I'm approaching 60, I can't get a job building a road or repairing a bridge. What kinds of jobs is Donald Trump going to create?
NAVARROIf you double the growth rate through tax trade regulatory and energy policy initiatives, what you do is you create manufacturing jobs, you create jobs that in turn create other jobs that ripple through the economy in a way in which wages rise. What we've had as we've seen our big companies go off shore, what happens to the supply chain around them in states around the country that withers and dies and so communities die. And she's caught in that. She's caught in that wind shear. And so, the Trump administration will basically rebuild the economy from the ground up and jobs are created in that fashion.
NAVARROThe other problem she faces is with Obamacare. I don't know if you know this, but there's a lot of small businesses that might give her a job that restrict their employment to five employees so they don't have to face the regulations of Obamacare.
REHMAll right, and you're listening to The Diane Rehm Show. On that last point, regarding Obamacare, we have a tweet from Jesse, who says Obamacare was not implemented in the way it was intended because of Republican intervention. James.
FALLOWSIt's true. There's been -- the story of Obama's administration, on the one hand, he got it passed. On the other hand, it's been constant warfare to keep it from being overturned and difficulty getting it amended in the ways that it should be to make it work better. So, we've heard the plan from Peter Navarro. Now, we'll see how this all comes into effect.
REHMHow is that going to affect our 60-year-old caller, Whit Ayres?
AYRESWell, one hopes that some of the reforms that President elect Trump is going to put in will help generate and stimulate the economy to the point where there are more jobs for her. But the Obamacare debate is going to be very, very lively and continuing. And it is a continuing debate, in part, because it was pushed through Congress with zero Republican support.
WALTERYeah, and we're gonna have to see how much this Congress and the new administration are going to be proactive verses reactive. We're going to have Supreme Court fights, we're going to have a debt ceiling to talk about. So, there's going to be a debate about how do you get rid of Obamacare? So, there's a lot that needs to happen before we even start talking about implementing big bold changes.
REHMWhat about a Trump transition team? What are you hearing, Amy?
WALTERWell, remember, the leader of the Trump transition team is Governor Chris Christie, who's...
REHMAnd with his legal questions…
WALTERHe has, yes, now, he personally is -- there's, of course, his aides were just found guilty in the Bridgegate scandal. He was not. And, you know, I think we can expect that he will have a role in -- he will continue to have a role in the transition. And it's a lot more helpful when you win than when you lose.
REHMWhit, other people.
AYRESI have no clue, Diane.
AYRESI have no clue. I wish I could tell you I did, but I have no clue.
REHMThere was some talk, I don't know if it came directly from Trump, that he was going to appoint Newt Gingrich as Secretary of State.
AYRESI would imagine we have not seen the last of Newt Gingrich. I think a very interesting drama that will play out here is the -- essentially, most of the Republican foreign policy and military establishment did not support Donald Trump. Either came out and supported Hillary Clinton or absented themselves, so I think there will be a very interesting discussion among them. Do they think it is better for the country and for themselves to join this administration they have warned against as being reckless and dangerous? Or to keep their distance. We'll see that.
REHMAnd what about military policy and the Department of Defense?
AYRESOh, what about military policy? I think that, you know, the Japanese are already reacting to relatively loose talk about their nuclear re-armament. I'll be in China soon and see how their reacting to this. And of course, the whole NATO guarantee, which had been an iron clad part of American policy since World War II has been under question too, so, we'll see this work out.
NAVARROYou know, Diane, if I just might say here.
NAVARROLet's move forward and give Mr. Trump the benefit of the doubt here. I mean, this talking like Jim is doing or using words "dangerous" or "extreme." Let's give the man a chance now to move forward in a way where we can create economic prosperity and peace through strength around the world. And if we can just have that dialogue instead of doing kind of the knee jerk criticisms, give the man a chance.
NAVARROYou didn't think he could win. You don't think he can govern, apparently. Give him a chance, and he will be great for this country.
REHMAll right. On that note, Peter Navarro, he is Policy Advisor to the Trump Campaign. Here in the studio, Jim Fallows of the Atlantic, Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report, and Republican Strategist and Pollster Whit Ayres. Thank you all, and thanks for listening. I'm Diane Rehm.
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