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  • So you want to face Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders?

  • That's my question.

  • Okay, I was all set for Bernie because I thought it was gonna happen.

  • But, you know, we get ready for things, right?

  • So mentally, I'm all set for burning Communists.

  • I had everything down here.

  • I was all set.

  • And then we have this crazy thing that happens right on Tuesday.

  • So now I'm ready for Bernie, and now all of a sudden, I have a whole different here.

  • It's a whole different deal.

  • Two very different people.

  • I think it a certain way Bernie would be tougher.

  • President.

  • Sure, I'm not the only one surprised by Super Tuesday.

  • Let's talk about this now on a roundtable joined by Chris Christie, ally of President Trump, former governor of New Jersey.

  • Rahm Emanuel, author of the new book The Nation's City.

  • Why Mayors Are Running Now Running the World.

  • Former chief of staff to President Obama married Chicago.

  • Also Access National political reporter Lexie McCammon and our deputy political director here at ABC News, Mary Alice Parks.

  • Welcome toe, all of you and Ron.

  • Let's begin with this Super Tuesday.

  • Follow out.

  • I mean, we were here a week ago.

  • I don't think anyone could have predicted the kind of finished Joe Biden would have.

  • We just heard Bernie Sanders, right?

  • They're saying it's the Democratic establishment.

  • It does seem like the party has closed ranks behind him so fast without it faster than anybody ever predicted.

  • And I would say one thing that he's already materially benefit of the Democratic Party.

  • Montana.

  • You're all of a sudden head of state that with no Senate race, the Senate's now in play work before was maybe one of the three seed bullets.

  • Guns?

  • Yeah, Governor Ball.

  • It's gonna run a ready.

  • And that happened because of Job.

  • I defended Bernie Sanders.

  • Look like he basically split Super Tuesday or done better.

  • You would not have a Montana race, and that's changed everybody's prediction calculation in the Senate.

  • I think this happened faster, but I do want to say, with one rule of the last year, whatever you think on Tuesday is not true.

  • By 30 last decade, Well, I was just being generous, okay.

  • But I think that's a change for you.

  • Yeah, it's my big heart.

  • Yeah.

  • So I think everything look a month ago, everyone's gonna say, Donald Trump, the economy, Impeachment over Shoo in today, it's a different calculation, given the virus and given all the other things that are happening.

  • So my view is, until we get through about three or four more turns in the battle, I still believe Vice President Joe Biden will be the nominee.

  • But I do also believe it's gonna be a little more choppy that my insurance post under my protection.

  • Dave Bullock Running for Senate is a good example of Joe Biden campaigns theory of the case that Joe Biden as the nominee, would be better for down ballot Democrats in someone like Bernie Sanders.

  • He points in places like North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, even these places that help Democrats take back the House in 2018.

  • That Joe Biden helped campaign for these candidates in 2018 that he's hoping to help in 2020 with down ballot races in a way that he just thinks Bernie Sanders.

  • Political ideology cannot help them.

  • And you saw Bernie Sanders, who just now say he's got Jesse Jackson on his side.

  • Mary Alice.

  • He does seem to be trying to throw it every possible old Joe Biden vote here in these hours before Michigan.

  • Yeah, Michigan represents more than just Michigan.

  • It represents the general election.

  • To him, it was the state that famously saved his campaign in 2016.

  • And I think it's gonna have a big psychological impact on him if he wins there.

  • Even if he loses elsewhere, I think that's gonna be a sign that he's gonna be willing to fight this out because he fundamentally thought in 2016 more Democrats should have seen Michigan as a data point about Hillary Clinton's vulnerabilities.

  • So if he wins, he's gonna be making the same argument all over again.

  • But of course, this isn't 2060.

  • This is 2020 and running against Joe Biden is fundamentally different than running against Hillary Clinton.

  • And I'm just not convinced some of those same arguments about trade and manufacturing are gonna land.

  • And Chris Christie listening to Bernie Sanders right there.

  • Clearly, he's gonna fight hard through Tuesday and be on.

  • But he also seemed to start the signal that maybe he might not take this all the way if the numbers just aren't there.

  • Yeah, I think again there is a difference here.

  • One of the differences here in 26 2016 for the Democrats is in 2016.

  • Hillary Clinton with the Boogeyman.

  • Republicans wound up getting behind Donald Trump because we can't have Hillary Clinton's presence.

  • The exact opposite is happening this time.

  • Democrats are looking at Donald Trump, and he's the Boogeyman to them.

  • And so even somebody like Bernie Sanders, who you know, is never gonna run for president again.

  • He's 78 years old.

  • He knows this is his last shot, but he also doesn't want to be the guy who's blamed for re electing Donald Trump.

  • And I say one last thing about Michigan is I do think there's still great potency to the trade issue.

  • And if I were the Sanders people, that's all I'd be talking about as opposed to the gay rights aboard E.

  • Think that's a distraction.

  • And that is what the president's talkingabout, too.

  • He's not on Fox.

  • He continued there to talk about trade with Joe Biden.

  • He sounded a lot like Bernie Sanders about job.

  • Right here is the one thing that Joe Biden has.

  • Bernie doesn't Joe the auto bailout, which was came out of the top three sources.

  • Santa's voted against TARP and the resource is to save General Motors.

  • Chrysler came out of the fact that we used untapped resource is to save the auto industry and all the manufacturing jobs that are left in the auto industry and the suppliers all came from the resource is that in fact, there was a bailout with quote unquote Wall Street.

  • That's true.

  • That's listen.

  • But here's the thing.

  • Is Biden smart enough and adept enough to do that?

  • And that's the other point I want to make.

  • Is that Yeah, Joe Biden is clearly the frontrunner now, but there's no theme to the Biden campaign.

  • There's no theme to it.

  • There's no no organizing principle behind the other than I could beat Donald Trump.

  • I'm the best person to lead the ticket.

  • He better come up with something, and that's an auto todo to the question like me come in there.

  • Is that enough?

  • One of the things we saw on Tuesday, Turnout increased in Virginia.

  • Turnout increased in Texas.

  • We saw Democrats come out, and that was less a pro Joe Biden vote than an anti Trump vote.

  • I think an anti trump voted, maybe to an extent, an anti Sander's vote.

  • These folks are seeing the ways in which the party or a large section of the party is coalescing around Joe Biden and giving them a riel valuable alternative to someone like Bernie Sanders to vote for who they think can beat Donald Trump.

  • And I think two things.

  • One.

  • Joe Biden's message about beating Trump might not be the most complex message, but we have seen poll after poll showed that Democratic primary voters prioritized beating Trump more than even political leanings and ideology.

  • So to hammer that message and to now show that he can win 10 out of 14 states and put in Super Tuesday is really important.

  • But for Michigan, it's not just trade.

  • It's healthcare.

  • Michigan gave birth to the United Auto Workers.

  • Think about how many union workers I've talked to.

  • Other reporters have talked to you who are tourney over this idea of Medicare for all, having their health care plan that they worked hard to negotiate, replaced and totally lost because of a government controlled health care plan.

  • That's an argument Haydn and burn you're going to be making, and I wouldn't discount other part of health care, though which is women's reproductive rights and that part of health care.

  • I thought it was very interesting.

  • Actually, that's under standers started bringing up the Hyde amendment again.

  • Joe Biden flip flopped on that in this last year, suddenly is now talking about repealing the Hyde amendment, which keeps federal money from going towards abortions.

  • And that, to me signaled that he knows Ah, lot of female voters.

  • The Democratic Party are really grieving with Elizabeth Warren being out of this race, and I think that was a subtle way to try to speak to those voters.

  • He's not going to get her endorsement before Michigan.

  • It's very hard to imagine that her campaign basically say she doesn't know anyone in endorsement.

  • But does anybody really think Joe Biden's not pro choice?

  • I mean, you know, I think he's a champion of those issues inside baseball arguments, you know, in the end, none of them should be talking about health care.

  • I mean, if anybody should be, should be Biden saying, Bernie wants to take your health care away from you.

  • That's the argument.

  • Michigan.

  • And that's why Bernie, should we be talking about health care?

  • All you talk about is Joe Biden for these bad trade deals that lost on the manufacturing jobs That this bill didn't save a couple things says I think Democrats need to step back and taken analysis of mythologies or conventional wisdom than bear out.

  • Bernie did not produce a surge of vote.

  • In fact, the search was on the moderate side, not the far left side of the party.

  • That's number 1 2018 Duster number two.

  • And I say This is a zoo fund raiser.

  • Money isn't everything.

  • It always used to say Money is the mother's milk of politics.

  • Factors.

  • The two billionaires got eight delegates, but come by.

  • That is not everything.

  • Third, while this notion is important about identity, you had African American voters overwhelmingly vote for Joe Biden.

  • The African Americans, not Castro, was not the lead among Hispanic voters.

  • Women.

  • Elizabeth Warren did not win women voters and did it not a wit him in Massachusetts, and I think the analysis and I go back to what Kennedy said an Obama when they both ran.

  • When Kennedy was speaking and used into the religious leaders, he says, I'm the Democratic nominee who happens to be Catholic not the Catholic nominee running for president.

  • And I think when you broaden your coalition and speak toe all of Americans is what Joe Biden showed the depth of his message and a guard coalition rather than narrow focus.

  • We heard President Trump start to look ahead a little bit into the general election.

  • Not sure he believes that Jove items a weaker candidate Bernie Sanders.

  • But Alexey, let me bring this to you because this is gonna be now happening.

  • If Biden continues to to do well on Tuesday and beyond against the backdrop of this Corona virus crisis, which really does seem to have kind of blindsided the White House and they know now the impact could be severe on the general election.

  • Well, that's what's so fascinating.

  • And something I've been thinking about is looking ahead to the spring and the summer.

  • If the markets start to tumble or continue to tumble rather because of Corona virus, and the president has to go to Congress and ask for an economic stimulus package of some sort or packages of some sort, Democrats in Congress will have to decide whether or not they're going to approve this package and essentially potentially help Trump get reelected because he'll look like the hero who's bailing out the economy in all of this.

  • Now, you know, political calculus is not the only thing to consider when you're dealing with something like Corona virus and its economic impacts.

  • But that puts them right before the nominating conventions or even right before the general election in November.

  • If it comes later in the summer, and that's going to have interesting political rhetoric and Chris, it seems like the president's initial impulse on all of this was to do anything possible not to spook the financial markets.

  • Yeah, I think that's right.

  • And listen, I I went through something on a smaller scale like this during Hurricane Sandy, and the fact the matter is that the only way that you reassure people is to be strong toe, have a plan, and to be aggressive, they want I will become the first.

  • The first visit I made the day after Sandy to place called Belmar, New Jersey on the Jersey shore.

  • I got off a helicopter.

  • A 68 year old woman came running towards me.

  • The Putin Stapley stopped her.

  • She looked so upset, I let her come through.

  • She grabbed me and hugged me and she said to me, Thank God you haven't forgotten us.

  • We forget that people are full of fear, not just about what they know, but what about what they don't know.

  • And the only live for government to be effective in this regard is to be aggressive, to be strong, to lay out a plan and not to talk this stuff down.

  • People understand that this is serious and they don't feel like they're necessarily getting the truth.

  • That's a Dodger Generation made the point as well, Rahm.

  • Sometimes when people here don't panic from a government leader they had Yeah, here's the thing.

  • Every crisis, overwhelming force on the front end By the time you do it, if you wait three weeks, you've lost the initiative.

  • This administration right now looks like they couldn't organize a one car parade.

  • And I think here's what's gonna be devastating for Donald Trump began the fact that this requires science management data and reach and being transparent, which are all his weaknesses.

  • You're gonna have a point within about two months where you cannot have big events together.

  • If you look at presidential history.

  • Franklin Roosevelt used to drive out in the country to get out.

  • President Bush, 41 was on a speedboat that Bush and Ronald Reagan would cut.

  • Obviously go to the ranch is he is not gonna be able to have his rallies.

  • And it is going to psychologically the offices, isolating enough and his inability to get the admiration the adulation from that crowd is going to psychologically torment him and his isolation.

  • I'm going to get more intense in his tweets, are gonna get more vicious.

  • He has been willing to give up on the rallies yet, but we're already seeing the Democratic side.

  • They're canceling events.

  • Yeah, they're saying that they're working with public health officials on the state level to see if those rallies are still safe.

  • But the other thing I would say that happened this week is the president called the governor of Washington State a snake and the idea that some Americans would have to in any way worry that they're not gonna have the relationship with the federal government because they live in a blue state instead of a red state doesn't speak well to his ability to calm fears or or keep people comforted in this kind of crisis.

  • Chris Christie.

  • The president's first tweet this morning, attacking the media for the way we're covering it.

  • He does seem to want to go back to his the playbook that's worked for him.

  • He thinks so far.

  • Listen, I think there is still time to be able to be very aggressive because the severity of this in our policy initiative on what I what I would say it's not the way I would've done it, okay?

  • And so they're right.

  • So you still have time, though, to be able to put forward.

  • It's a very aggressive forward thinking steps to be able to get this to get people's confidence.

  • And so listen, all the old playbooks will be out in a couple of weeks because we could be sitting here in July and August with conventions that aren't gonna happen, You know, depending about how this breaks, we could be sitting here watching the tournament with no fans in the stands, and so we're into entering.

  • It's a whole different social realm now that everyone's gonna have to react the way, haven't wrapped our heads of complete have again and the present.

  • My view is that on this kind of stuff, Rahm is right.

  • We've been through things like this before.

  • I had a quarantine the Bollinger.

  • So finish that thought I e i t o Rama was right way The Ebola crisis went on.

  • We had a nurse who came in with a with an elevated fever into Newark Airport.

  • She had just been in the country where she was treating Ebola patients, and I made the decision to quarantine her for three days at a hospital in Newark, New Jersey.

  • I got a ton of crisis from civil libertarians and others, but if I had let her out and she had a bullet, the impact that would have had on the citizens was monumental.

  • But what they knew was I was putting their public safety ahead of my own political dreams.

  • We need to see that.

  • I think two things were when you were, you know, in about five months, four months.

  • This virus is gonna affect both President Trump, Kerr McGee and their authority and the ability and capacity to govern.

  • And that will be the conclusion that it took a virus toe actually on Endor those go together.

  • Meantime, we also learned Alexey from a late night treat from the president on Fridays.

  • Got a new chief of staff is fourth chief of staff Mark Meadows.

  • That's right, an Axe Years reported that same night that Mick Mulvaney, the former acting chief of staff, was in Vegas on a guy's trip with his brother and some of his college buddies when he got canned.

  • But he knew this was coming.

  • He knew.

  • So Mulvaney told Axios in a phone call that the president and he had been talking about this since November about a potential change.

  • We know that their relationship has been a little rocky over the last few months.

  • Mark Meadows is obviously a staunch advocate for the president on the Hill, and we know the president loves and and rewards loyalty.

  • And mark my nose is now gonna replace Mick Mulvaney, who maintains that their friends and that there's no bad blood and they'll be working on a transition to a staunch advocate.

  • The other way of putting it is this is someone who is good on television and has made that a point of his career on the hill.