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tv   Hudson Institute Discussion on the Republican Party  CSPAN  January 22, 2021 8:38pm-9:34pm EST

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announcer: biden nominees, gina raimondo and denis mcdonough, will be on capitol hill next week for their confirmation hearings. tuesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern, gina raimondo, commerce secretary nominee, testifies before the senate commerce committee. wednesday at 3:00 p.m. eastern, former white house chief of staff dennis mcdonough, monai did for secretary of veterans affairs, testifies before the senate affairs committee. watch the confirmation hearings live on c-span, on demand that c-span.org, or listen on the free c-span radio app -- at c-span.org, or listen on the free c-span radio app. ♪ announcer: next, a conversation about the impact of former president trump on the republican party and potential 2024 gop presidential candidates. michael barone is a senior political analyst for the washington examiner. he was interviewed by hudson institute fellow, walter russell
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mead, for just under one hour. walter: hello, everybody. it is both a pleasure and a privilege to be here this morning, with probably the greatest living student of american political parties and most interesting analyst of american politics. most interesting analyst of american politics. some of you, i'm sure, no of michael barone because of his pioneering work of cofounder of the all the neck of american politics -- almanac of american politics. a book that has been close to a bible for american politics is there can be for decades now. he is also one of the most interesting students of the republican party in particular. and given the dramatic events of the last couple of months, it's the republican party we will be talking about today. so, let me just ask to kick things off -- what is the state
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of the republican party today as president biden settles into the white house? michael: well, the state of the republican party today is in the eyes of some observers almost terminal. sure to be driven apart by chisms, repudiated by the voters. i think the republican party is about as good a shape as a party that has lost the presidency, lost the senate, lost the house of representatives, as has ever been in the course of american history. i have been following this stuff for quite a few years now. going back to reading "time magazine" and u.s. world and news report when i was growing up in michigan. and, i lived through many
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predictions of the demise of the republican party, the demise of the democratic party. these parties are old. they have been around a long time. they have endured. the republican party is 166 years old. the democratic party is 188 years old. they are the oldest and third oldest political parties in the world, with british conservative party probably be a number two, depending on when you date its founding. i think, as i argued in my recent book, they have a fundamental character. each of them differed. which has enabled them to both endure for a long time, to suffer through seemingly terminal crises of repudiation's
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by the voters. the republican party since its beginnings and oppositions to the nebraska act in 1854 has always been a party centered around a core constituency of people who are thought by themselves and others to be typical americans, but who are not by themselves a majority. when it started off, it was new england yankees and their descendents, all throughout upstate new york, southern michigan over to chicago and iowa. that was the foundation of the republican party. today, you might say it is white married, christian people that are the core constituency of the republican party. increasingly, a constituency of groups that are not college graduates. the democratic party has been a
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coalition of out groups of people not thought to be typical americans. who are often very different in their values and so forth from each other. so, the democratic party has had great splits. and also, when it's coalesced together, it has been a major majority party. having two parties of those two different characters has been one way that politics has kept together a country that has always had diversity. it has always had ethnic, regional, religious, economic, racial diversity from its very beginning. we didn't suddenly become diverse in the last 18 months or last 10 years. we were diverse when we were british colonies in the 18th, 17th century. the republican party, you know,
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it was supposed to disappear after barry goldwater. it was supposed to never be elected -- a conservative nominated president until the election of ronald reagan. it was going to be -- when bill clinton came in, it was going to be a minority again. it has been competitive and continues to be competitive. if you want to do just numbers, the republican party lost the presidency by virtue of 42,000 votes cast in margins for the democratic nominee in georgia, arizona and wisconsin. three states. that is less than the margin by which donald trump won four years ago, 77,000 in three different states. it has 50 of the 100 u.s. senators. 212, 213 members of the house of
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representatives of which 218 is a majority. it has majorities in most state legislatures in this country and actually gained state legislators in 2020. it's got some serious differences of opinion among republican officeholders and voters. but in terms of where it starts off from, as a minority party, it is by historical standards in pretty strong shape. walter: now, i guess when people talk about the crisis of the republican party, they are really talking about the question of donald trump and the future of the republican party, and the trump movement. i think you have said in some ways in terms of his republican approval, trump was a fairly
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typical example of a republican president. does the trump factor change the outlook for republicans or complicate the outlook for republicans? michael: the trump factor complicates the outcome for republicans. one of the things you can see when you look at public opinion polls and support for presidential candidates is that republican voters -- voters who self identify as republicans -- tend to show strong support for republican incumbent presidents of varying stripes. that has been true since polling begin in 1935. the republican presidents in question were presidents dwight eisenhower. very solid support from republicans, although some political conservative writers and politicians were unhappy with some of his policy. richard nixon until he got into political trouble with the
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watergate scandal. gerald ford, did not get elected, did not have strong support. the general election, he got solid support from republicans in 1976. ronald reagan. the two george bush's maintain support from republicans. and donald trump did. one of the things we see is that republican voters that centers around that core constituency, whose character has changed over time, but has always remained a core constituency support their incumbent presidents. then when they leave office, unlike democrats, they don't seem to have much sentimental regard. we see some of that for ronald reagan. but generally speaking, the republicans, you know, if you go
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to republican national conventions -- and i've attended in one way, shape or for m, 11 of those going back to 1968 -- they don't celebrate, write hymns to celebrate its philosopher kings, their previous republican presidents. one reason for that was president nixon left office in unhappy circumstances. but basically, they simply don't do that very much. with donald trump, what you saw was a stronger tendency on his part to repudiate past republican presidents. he called president george w. bush a liar about the iraq war. that may explain why neither president, second president bush nor his father was supporting mr. trump for president in 2016.
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kind of understandable in those circumstances. but for republican voters, once he was in office, donald trump got 90% support even though he had gotten less than half the primary popular votes in primaries and caucuses in the 2016. nobody ran against him in the republican primaries in 2020 even though various people were advertising themselves as never trumpers. i think the interesting question is whether or not republican voters are going to discard president trump. in effect, they seem to discard president bush's after they were gone, as they discarded most of their former presidents and historic heroes. they don't seem to have much
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sentimental regard for them. you hear them talking sometimes about abraham lincoln, but of course, the policy lessons lincoln gives us from dealing with the issues of his time are not always very helpful, relevant to the issues now. we don't have a civil war. they tend to have solidarity. we have already seen signs and polls of support for president trump plummeting. there are mixed results here, but pew research has a poll showing trump's positive job approval going down to 29%. it has been oscillating in a very narrow range among voters generally. between about 32%, 47% during his whole term in office. that reflected 90% of self identified republicans giving
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him job approval. that pew poll and several others we've seen, he is losing support from republicans. i think there will continue to be some arguments about donald trump and what his situation is. my bet -- i have made some wrong bets about donald trump's enduring or not enduring appeal -- my bet is still that he will fade with republican voters. he will perhaps make a lot of noise. use some non-twitter social media to show his stance on issues. denounce various other republicans and perhaps praise a few, but i think he will be the defining factor for the party
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ahead. walter: it's interesting to me -- i take your point that the republicans are in great shape for a minority party, but f o or republicans to lose arizona and georgia at the presidential level, and not have a single senator from either arizona or georgia does strike me as interesting. and, if we think about how colorado was once a pretty solidly republican leaning state. california, certainly. there seems to be an erosion of the sunbelt. is that right? michael: there has been a movement which trump amplified, increased, of the two parties' appeal to different demographic
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groups. if you want to bill percival oversimplify it, republicans have lost the support of college graduates, relative affluent people and has gained support of downscale americans. recently, the republican party has gained strength in the south and lost strength in the north. those changes have gone on for a long period of time. the republicans won pluralities of the popular vote of the house of representatives in the north going back to 1966 and 1968. they have been winning majorities of the house of representatives in most election starting in 1994, but they have only one time have they won a plurality of the popular vote in the northern states. but, they've had big majorities in the south.
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so, that has changed. what changed in georgia and in arizona, and to a lesser extent also in texas, was that we saw in big metropolitan areas, multiple millions of people in atlanta, in dallas-fort worth, in houston, and in phoenix, which is a bigger metropolitan area than my native detroit today -- you have a movement by affluent voters away from the republicans and towards democrats. that is what we saw in northeast, midwest and west coast metropolitan areas started in the 1990's or even before. go back to the 1988 election. first george bush winning over michael dukakis. that was an election where bush got 53.6% of the vote, higher than any president has gotten in
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any popular vote percentage since 1988. bush carried in metro boston, metro new york, metro philadelphia, metro cleveland, metro detroit, metro los angeles. that was because affluent areas, the suburbs to put it in demographic shorthand, were voting for him by large margins. that affluent support has changed. bill clinton started making gains for democrats in the 1990's, even as democrats were losing in the south and in particular in the rural south. those changes that happened over time. trump's appeal to non-college-educated voters and his repulsion to many college-educated voters has amplified or increased those
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trends, but they have been part of the political landscape now for a considerable amount of time. the regions have been going on for 50 years. now you have states like arizona and georgia suddenly starting to look more like northern areas because those affluent voters who had been usually republican went there. texas moving in the same direction but not as much democratic this time. it stayed with trump by basically the same margin as for years before. but, you look at president bush winning in 1988. in texas, his biggest margins are in dallas county, houston and so forth, that he's losing in his election big rural counties to the north and central parts of the state. those counties are now going 80% for republicans, for donald
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trump, for greg abbott, the governor, ted cruz and so forth. the parties have switched appeal. one of the things we see, there's almost a kind of newton ian second law of motion. for each action, there's a certain amount of reaction. the very policies and stances and styles that gave among upscale voters will lose you votes among downscale voters. because where they have differences of opinion, differences of basic cultural attitudes. and the kind of politics we have now and going on since 1988 and the changes since 1988 in the movement towards democrats among upscale, and republicans among downscale is a result of values
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to a large extent. it's not because voters in the lower income areas want to have tax cuts as an important thing. it is because they feel that the more conservative cultural values are more in line with the ways they have lived or the ways they are trying to live their lives and the way they help people in their communities will live their lives. that is why they have gone that way. walter: do you see a future for the never trumpers in the republican party? if so, what kind of future? michael: there are never trumper s and never trumpers. obviously, some of the people have become, the former republican consultants are now partisan democrats. i call them -- of their time.
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he was briefly a democratic congressman, committeeman from kansas in the 1920's and early 30's. he didn't like franklin roosevelt's new deal. he was also married to a very rich woman for a boston department store. he says i cannot support franklin roosevelt. every four years, he would indicate he cannot support roosevelt, he cannot support truman, adelaide stevenson. i thought as a young person watching, why doesn't he just say he's a republican? it is not a criminal offense to change parties. other people have changed parties. he has views that put up in a different party at a different time. i think a lot of the people, the
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never trumpers, the lincoln project crowd, and so forth are basically functionally democrats at this point. i think where there is going to be continuing tension, in part, is republicans that stands on what president trump has done never third. -- since the november 3, 2020 election. in his repudiation, in his claim he won by a landslide. and that this has somehow been obviated by election fraud. not only have he and his lawyers been unable to specify or identify any significant amount of election fraud that had anything like the potential of changing any of the electoral votes.
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the idea that he won by a landslide, to me, is delusional. and indicative of his you know, cavalier response he has taken to data that is not support his position. and his role in georgia, in characterizing the electoral system there as fraudulent and rate, clearly resulted in the loss of two senate seat. and the loss of the senate majority by the republican party. it is going to result, almost surely, insubstantial policy wins for democrats and policy defeats for most republicans. you still have a majority of house republicans that voted to contest the electoral college results in arizona and pennsylvania, interestingly, not in georgia. and there are bad feelings about
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actions against liz cheney, the number three house republican leadership. she voted for impeaching president trump. i think there is still going to be some ruckus but i think there will be. my prediction is there will be a diminishing desire to fight that fight over and over again. and i, i look back to history on this, and perhaps misleadingly. the republican party has had bigger ruptures before and that was in 1912, when the incumbent president william howard taft was chosen by the man who would handpicked in, the former president theodore roosevelt. roosevelt was denied the republican nomination, formed a progressive party around himself.
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he was the most popular guy in the country. he had one a percentage of the vote for the full term in 1904 by the largest possession and when ever had. his progressive party ran candidates in a majority of southern non-congressional districts and nearly as many -- in 1912, and nearly as many in 1914. this was as strong a move toward a third clinical party as you could hypothesize a highly popular leader. a strain of progressivism getting a lot of exposure and articulate media of the time. that had a great public appeal. roosevelt was a magnetic figure, and a highly capable person. if they had polls at that time, he would've had a job writing in the 60's or 70's during much of his term. and he lost, he cost taft the
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election. taft carried eight electoral bugs. utah and vermont, which are not one of the most democratic and most republican states in the union a century later, roosevelt 188 electoral votes and came close to winning 180 electoral votes. how enduring is this split? four years later, it is gone. roosevelt and william howard taft are supporting the republican candidate who nearly beats the incumbent president woodrow wilson. he loses by one states electoral votes. roosevelt looks like the strongest candidate to run again for president in 1920, except he dies in january, 1919 of what is now regarded as the very youthful age as 60.
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compared to our current leaders who are, the last two presidential candidates, more than a decade older than that. that split you know, disappears, and is papered over, and the party basically supports its next president, harding, coolidge and hoover, almost overwhelmingly in their elections. walter: i suppose that mugwumps are a point of comparison for never trumper's. michael: like some never trumper's they were guided by magazines. magazines with low circulation which did not make money in most cases. theodore roosevelt and henry cabot lodge did not support
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that. they stayed with lane, -- blaine , who would become important leaders of the party. the never trumper's, you know, in some sense they have represented people who have voted for democrats. you know, those upscale suburbs and things. where trump-pence run worse ---- where trump worse. in places with high degrees of social connectedness, the stuff that robert putnam writes about and that charles murray wrote about, in his books, about how where people live in socially connected communities, they don't vote for donald trump. we saw this.
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i wrote about it in march, 2016, in the primaries, where trump was running very poorly in dutch american areas, those areas which have protestant reform churches have a close cohesion. their members are involved in terrible activities, and, in some cases, major philanthropy. if you look at counties and ion, northwest iowa, south and central iowa, or in grand rapids, metro area michigan, most heavily. american areas in the country, they did not vote for trump in the primaries. they voted for ted cruz. trump ran much behind historic republican votes there and lost metro grand rapids this last year, which was ford's hometown, heavily republican area. utah, the mormons have more social connectedness probably than any group in america.
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they clearly have a real problem with trump and trumpism. so there is a group there that has gone that way. they have not prevented republicans in the trump area from being competitive. if i put on my old had is a political consultant, i would say both parties are being a little remiss in not hearing and responding to cues they should be getting in the political marketplace. the republicans for president are winning or coming close to winning the presidency and the electoral college, not getting a majority or a plurality of the popular vote is a weakness they should be addressing. if they could get themselves a majority or plurality of the popular vote they would be in a lot better shape. the democrats, there in a situation where they are piling up huge majorities. in new york and california, they
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do not do them any good, states where they are sure to lose seats in the apportionment when it is revealed. they should be trying less concerned about piling up your majorities in california, and trying to wind states that could give them electoral votes that would enable them to win the presidency. so they have not done a good job of responding to that either. but we shall see what happens. in the georgia senate races, we note candidates, sonny perdue and kelly loeffler, ran better in january 5, than they had run in november, in affluent areas. we were getting a little more votes. but they were running way behind where republicans have been running and affluent metro atlanta suburban counties prior to that.
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so they have ground to make up. they may make it up with trump not on the ballot. the question is, can they continue to win that, enough of the boats from that downscale constituency -- enough of the vote downscale cadets with seatwork trump to better than previous presidential candidates? they have tended to do so but it is an open question. it is one that requires a certain amount of political finance, and political aptitude -- political finance -- finesse,. -- and political aptitude. if not to the level of go clinton, then to the level of someone like george bush. walter: as you look around today, who are people you think in 2024 would be of interest and have qualities that might shake
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things up in a republican direction? michael: well, we have seen, you know, my own view is that, senators ted cruz and joshua holly -- josh hawley, resulted in bringing the vote dispute that led to the generous sex -- -- january 6 violence in the capital are now well-positioned for 2024. but they may rehabilitate themselves by that time. they both have senate seats up in 2024 which leads me to wonder if they might want to risk a presidential candidacy. i look at marco rubio, from florida, the third largest state now and one that has been relatively close and presidential races. i look at senator tom carton -- kotten in arkansas -- senator
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tom cotton in arkansas, he got the editor of the new york times fired, scalp that may appeal to some. i would say may appeal to james bennett but he apparently does not have a lot of hair on his scalp. there are number of people that i think have the potential. others will come forward. i think that the republicans have done a fairly good job of generating appealing candidates across the country in various places that a party usually does when it holds the white house. and some of those came from earlier air editions -- eruditions. you have former governor nikki haley of south carolina throwing
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her ship a -- hat into the ring. a number of fairly good candidates. the problem with 2016 is too many. you had donald trump getting billions of dollars of free time on cable news channels and not the conservative leaning foxe news channel that reputation but cnn and msnbc loved having him on. you had the multiple republican candidates having one of these things. i guess it is not the prisoners dilemma. but it is one of these things, what if your problems, if you want to go negative against somebody leading the race where there are multiple candidates in the race, if candidate a attacks candidate b, he may not candidate b down a few notches but he also hurts himself. and candidate c is the one who
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comes out ahead. in the republican case in 2000 see, candidate d, e, f and so forth through the alphabet. so none of them wanted to be candidate a. they badly needed a candidate a earlier on. and they simply did not rise to the occasion. so those intraparty things, were really predicted by the way the 2020 democratic race would come down the way it did with congressman clyburn of south carolina endorsing joe biden. suddenly he wins a big victory from the majority black constituency in south carolina. oh, and then wait shutdown the country because of covid, so they are not relayed or contests.
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and he is nominated by the democratic party which rejected him in 1988 and 2008. so, it is a little hard to predict these multicandidate contests. walter: i would like to get onto foreign policy and republicans. but just one other question for you as an observer. we do seem to be seeing, sort of, you know we hear a lot, human life expectancy has grown and older people are staying kind of active and alert longer, it is interesting that in both parties we have so many active politicians in their 70's and even in their 80's, who seem to have all of that cattiness -- canniness, and skill, they have accumulated him and are hanging on. at the same time, you have younger people who are increasingly restless. does this increased generational
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diversity, if that is the word for, have implications for american politics? michael: well it is, it does seem like 78 is the new 50. [laughter] if you go back to the making of the president in 1960, peter h white explains white nelson rockefeller ran for president briefly during that cycle. he said he looked ahead and thought the presidency would not be up again until 1968 and at that point he would be quote 60, too old to run,". rockefeller did run at the advanced age of 60, in 1968. but look, we had a race between a 78 euro man and a 74-year-old incumbent, who probably is thinking about running again at age 78, four years from now. and, you know, you have, among
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the defeated candidates in the cycle, people pass 70-- people passed 70. bernie sanders born the year before joe biden. we have not gotten the equivalent or anybody who has to -- hauture of [indiscernible] but we do seem to have extended that. it may be that, you know, this is the baby-boom generation hanging on. that group that is no longer the largest generation. there described in a book on generations, written a generation ago. boomers are still hanging around.
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i used to say in my speeches that the good news about the baby boomers was that it is that the point where the baby boomers at some point were going to die out. the bad news is i'm going to die about the same time. walter: [laughter] michael: we are going on to that point. look, we will see how people fare. but, you know, we have had three presidents now born in the same year, 1946, which is often considered to be the first year of the post-world war ii navy boom -- baby boom. president clinton, president bush, president trump. born a little earlier in the baby-boom generation, president biden. we have a bunch of post boomers itching to run but so far, you know, the mayor pete's of the
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world are settling for being transportation secretary. and don't discount the possibility of 70 new emerging in 2021-2022, etc.. that has the potential to caps on. wanted -- that has the potential to catch on. one advantage of republican emerging from elections, he or she would be less involved in disputes about donald trump. because it would be a post trump presidency, that this person's career would have been made. walter: as we think about foreign policy, and we think about it a lot, i at least had some sense in 2016 part of what was driving trump's primary success, was some weariness or
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skepticism about basic elements of republican traditional republican for policy ideas, whether it was strong alliances a nato, free-trade, immigration, so, is the republican party changing direction on foreign policy, or what do you see? michael: well, i think the, you know, donald trump was the first candidate, of either party at least in a long generation, to take positions on trade, that are on the less free-trade side, more protectionist side, at immigration, which was more about restricting immigration position than we have seen from many candidates, as immigration became a national issue after the 1965 immigration act. and, you know, he carried through his positions to some
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extent, in a sloppy manner. did not achieve as much as some of the people who backed his positions might have expected. but i think the republican, you know, i think that the support that most republican voters voted for, voiced for george w. bush on iraq and foreign policy, uh, is now a thing of the past in the republican party. i think the appetite for, uh, extended foreign military interventions is very weak among republicans. i think it is a mistake to call them isolationists. that is an epithet from a different era and is not really apply to what they were doing. but certainly less willingness for military intervention, while relying with some use the term hopefully, i think in the literal sense, relying,
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hopefully, on deterrence through military preparedness. this is, i think, what you can, at least a policy that president trump was aiming at, if not fully succeeding and implement thing. -- in implementing. that is more the republican side. i think on trade, you know, the republicans, you know, historically of course started as a protectionist party in the 19th century and well into the 1960's, they were the -- president kennedy's major legislative initiative was for free-trade. most democrats voted for it and most republicans voted against it. disabling amendments were produced by senator bus from
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connecticut, the ground -- senator bush from connecticut, the father and grandfather of the president. the republicans were never as pure a free-trade party as in the reagan and bush era as they would have you think. if you read douglas irwin's treatment of trade, his book on trade issues, there has a ways been some element of protectionism in that, and trump was not a pure protectionist either, basically renewing, with some cosmetic and small changes to the u.s.-mexico free-trade, you know and u.s.-canada-mexico free-trade agreement, the nafta he had run against, he renegotiated. so it is, but i do nothing to republicans, you are not going to see mark free-trade initiatives, i think. will the biden administration
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revived the transpacific partnership act that the obama administration negotiated, but did not get to the finish line when they were in office? that was repudiated by donald trump. and by candidate hillary clinton? i think we are not going to see something in that era. but there are challenges in that era that are still there. i think with trump's performance on trade tends to show, the republican party, even moving in a trumpward direction, and even if that becomes more or less permanent, which i think it roughly will be, it still retains what you called, in your book, social providence, the hamiltonian sense, that one of the purposes of foreign policy is to make that world say for american trade and american interaction, economically.
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and an economic framework which one could argue, i think correctly, is essential for america's prosperity, setting up a world framework of relatively free-trade and enter trade, commercial intercourse between nations, and i think that is going to remain unspoken. it is not usually a campaign issue. but it will remain part of the landscape, even while people are talking about restricting trade in some specific areas. walter: so, continued strong support for a strong military but maybe some less enthusiasm for using it? and continued support for economic openness in some form, but with a little bit less kind of ideological push to it? is that what you're suggesting?
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michael: um, i think that is a pretty fair description of it. i think in some ways you might say this resembles the republican party the 1920's, which writers like arthur/and george junior, and partisan democratic historians have characterized as isolationist, but west -- but which was a party during the presidencies of harding and coolidge, supported protectionist tariff measures in trade. but in terms of intervention, in terms of promoting naval disarmament treaties, promoting changes in the arrangements of reparations in post-world war i europe. it was a party that was active internationally, it was a party that even attempted to move towards international governments -- governance, into
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international law institutions and so forth. it was not a party that was totally disengaged. but it was not a party that was eager or anticipated being involved in major military actions abroad after the searing experience of what one, -- ww i, and its aftermath which included the communist revolution in russia. walter: there is, however, the specter of china. there was not the china equivalent in the 1920's. how do you think concerns about china, whether economic or strategic, are likely to play into republican politics? michael: well, i think the comic you know, looking at our engagement -- well, i think that, you know, looking at our engagement with china, president nixon and kissinger flying secretly from pakistan to china in 1970-19 7071 -- in 1971, and
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secret trips in 1972, the hopes that the bush and clinton administration had, that engagement with china, increased economic interconnection, what promote a china that would obey the international framework of trade rules, and economic roles -- rules, and a china that would move toward more democracy, toward a better, a more favorable attitude toward human rights. um, all these administrations and leaders of both parties had this goal. by the time donald trump comes down the escalator in june, 2015, it is looking to a lot of americans, that those hopes have not been realized. the obama administration is
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talking about as if they were there. one of the attractions of hank paulson to be treasury secretary in the bush administration. that he had spent so much time in china, as the head of goldman sachs, had been trying to negotiate with china. i do not see people in the biden demonstration advertising -- in the biden administration advertising their long experience with china or engagement with a and an understanding of china. i think the american people had soured on it at that point. i think there was a conclusion, which has been backed up by some significant policy research, that the engagement with china cost the united states a lot more and you factoring jobs, in the hundreds of thousands -- a lot more manufacturing jobs, in the hundreds of thousands, than anyone anticipated, when we
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began the neutral trade, normal trade relations with china in 2000-2001, sponsored by both the outgoing president clinton and the incoming president bush. i think on the republican side particularly china is now seen as an enemy, economically, and one that has hurt us, and one that is a menace in international terms. whether or not that will be political issue between republican critics and a democratic administration, i think remains to be seen. i think there is, as you have written in your wall street journal column, the potential of china doing something nasty vis-à-vis taiwan, is pretty scary potential, for people that care about human rights.
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and, oh, by the way, while we were so engrossed with whether or not the vice president could count or question the electoral votes coming out of that envelope, in the capitol, china clamped down and got rid of all civil liberties in hong kong. which is a major economic locus of the world. so there has been a real dissolution with china, public opinion shows the vast majority of the american public sees china as an enemy now, as somebody who has hurt our economy. and i think the engagement with china was a bipartisan project and it left open the way toward donald trump becoming president and becoming, and moving our policy at least somewhat in a different direction, which at the same time was a direction that has been supported by public opinion including a lot of people that did not like donald trump.
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and so, just as he was a great force, in his 2016 campaign, was juiced up by his opposition to dynastic politics, to families, you know, having family in the white house, running against jeb bush the primaries, hillary clinton in the general election. his seeming hostility toward china, arrangements we have had with china, i think was a motive force in his candidacy and i think going forward and notches because of what trumpeted but because of the failure of the hopes which many people, including me, had about our relationships with china, that is going to be a permanent fixture in our political environment. and for the republican party in particular as the out party now. with the democratic party at least some members of whose foreign policy establishment
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wants to maintain a kind of entente with china. walter: great, will thank you very much. that i think, those who have been following this conversation now know why i consider you such a distinguished student of american politics. thanks for your time. i very much appreciate it. >> general lloyd austin was confirmed to be the defense secretary and the first black mentor will the position, the senate voted 93-2 to approve his nomination. publican senators michael lee of utah, and josh hawley of missouri voted against him. secretary austen arrived at the pentagon and was greeted by the acting defense secretary since wednesday and army just -- the chair of the joint chiefs of staff. [indiscernible]

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