tv Meet the Press NBC April 18, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
♪ ♪ this sunday, a vaccine pause. >> this is all the johnson & johnson that i can't use. >> health officials temporarily stop the use of the johnson & johnson vaccine. >> this, in fact, is a confirmation of how seriously we take safety. >> after at least eight people suffered dangerous blood clots. >> you're talking about tens and tens and tens of million of people who have received vaccine with no adverse effect. this is a really rare event. >> the u.s. still has enough vaccines, but what about the world?
>> the world is probably going to have a setback. in the end, that sets back the united states. >> my guest this morning, dr. anthony foucher and governor gretchen whit her of michigan which has seen the biggest take of cases nationwide. another week of gun violence. >> there was no confrontation with anyone that was there. there was no disturbance, no argument. he just appeared to randomly start shooting. >> and criticism ofeaeadly policing. >> taser, taser, taser! [ bleep ]. >> i just shot him. >> with protesters in cities across the country. plus the former speaker speaks. >> there's nothing worse than a reckless jackass who thinks he's smarter than everybody else. >> john boehner goes after his former colleagues for the party's sharp turn to the right. but what role did he play in making the party what it is today? >> now looking backwards, do you think you should have done more?
>> my interview with john boehner. joining me are nbc chief correspondent current kristen welker, eddie glaude jr. of princeton university, anna palm her founder of bunch hole news and senior editor of "the dispatch," david french. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >>. good sunday morning. there was no shortages of big stories this week, criticism of police tactics, yet another mass shooting, this one in indianapolis. troop withdrawal from a war zone. president biden tried to flip and then flop on immigration policy. the news that garnered the biggest headlines came when federal aelgt agencies temporarily halted injections of johnson & johnson vaccines because a small number of people suffered blood clots after receiving them. while it's not clear what connection, if any, there is between the vaccine and this
clotting, the halt is likely to have profound implications, however temporary it is. will people ever feel confident about getting the j&j shot? >> will vaccine skeptics use this incident to erode confidence in all the vaccines? will developing countries feel the less attractive j&j vaccine is being dumped on them? will this further. after the federal advisory committee announced it had nothing more than to announce. for four years there was little to trust what was coming out of the white house. now this j&j pause is the biden administration's first speed bump. how it handles it will go a long way in determining trust in this new presidency. >> we had so many people committed to taking the j&j. as soon as we informed them that they had taken it off the shelves, they panicked. >> when complications came
behind it, i decided huh-uh, no. >> my family had appointments today. they all canceled. >> this week, a pause on johnson & johnson's vaccine. >> i have always told you i'm going to tell you the truth and i'm going to lead with science. cdc and fda were alerted to six cases of rare types of blood clots. >> 7.8 million americans have already received the j&j vaccine. the eight people who have now been identified with a rare clotting disorder experienced it in the first two weeks. roughly 3.8 million people were still within that risk window when the cdc made its announcement on wednesday. >> tens and tens and tens of millions of people have received vaccine with no adverse effect. this is a really rare event. >> i'm not worried at all. i mean, it is a really minute percentage. i felt great after my shot. >> the cdc advisory committee won't meet until friday to
decide whether or not to extend the pause. public health officials worry it is already having a devastating effect on vaccine hesitancy. even befor the announcement, according to "usa today," the number of counties with unfulfilled appointments at walmart, cva and walmart was up by about 60% in a week. >> going to be a little more of a messaging challenge. we've got to rebuild any lack of confidence as a result of this pause. >> hesitancy is particularly acute among conservatives. in polling conducted before the pause, more than 40% of republicans said they do not plant to get any covid vaccine. >> ideology, whatever your concerns, it is a very safe and effective vaccine. >> country music star brad paisley is among those irjing his fans to get vaccinated. >> empty seats can't cheer. when it's your turn to get the vaccine, be a fan, take the
shot. >> for me as a scientist who is also a christian, this is an answer to a lot of o prayers. >> fueling concerns, hospitalizations continue to rise, up 9% over the last two weeks. >> patients are again lining our hallways like they were last spring. this situation is very serious. >> this is a race against the clock. >> michigan is in a state of crisis, accounting for more than 10% of the country's daily cases. >> our test positivity rate is hovering around 18%. two dozen hospitals are at 90% capacity or higher. >> very overrun, all the hospitals are. >> joining me is dr. anthony foucher, the director of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases. dr. fauci, welcome back to "meet the press." let's start with obviously the concerns of a lot of folks, the state of the johnson & johnson vaccine. you anticipate we will at least know something more definitive come friday when the advisory
committee meets next? >> i'm fairly certain of that, chuck. i think by friday we'll know which way we're going on this. hopefully we'll get back on track, but i don't think there's going to be anything that will linger beyond that. i hope not. i don't think so. in hindsight, given -- i'm sure you've seen the survey, since the announcement of the pause, vaccine hesitancy is up. weave seen vaccine appointments go unfilled. i know you made the case, please, the fact we're telling you should give you more confidence, not less. but unfortunately, it appears it is the reverse. do you like at how this sort of spiraled out here and won disaster if there should have been a different way you guys handled this? >> well, you know, what we do, chuck, and that's what we keep saying, we leave it to the science. we have the experienced fda and
cdc people looking at it. there's one case, then two, three, four. then when they got to six, they said we really need to pause. hopefully it will be a quite temporary pause to do a couple of things. one, there, to alertphysicians, stay heads-up for this. we're concerned it's a very serious complication, although it is extremely rare as you well put. you have six cases in close to 7 million people. the other thing about it, chuck, that's important is that you want to let the physicians out there know who might see women or anybody with this condition, that the standard way you would think about treating clots is with the anticoagulant hepbron. that would be contraindicated in this case because hepbron could actually make things worse. there's a two-fold reason for doing it, one, to take a pause and a more detailed look at it and two, to make sure physicians
treat people appropriately. >> did you work with european regulators on this on the astrazeneca vaccine. these two vaccines are made with similar technology seem to be having a similar issue with blood clots in a certain segment of the population. i guess the question is, could you have made a designation that was a bit more narrow and say women -- dr. peter hotez was saying it's possible we'll end up saying women who are taking birth control shouldn't take the j&j vaccine. why not make a specific group on the pause rather than the entire population? >> i don't think we have enough information to do that, chuck, quite honestly. because when you talk to our colleagues in europe, particularly in the uk, it isn't only women. there are men involved and it isn't always associated with birth control by any means. so i think we have to be careful. we did not have enough information to make a narrow
restriction off the bat. when we get more information, and that's what we're talking about friday, it may be by the time you get to friday, that they will say, okay, we've looked into it now, here are some of the restrictions. i think it would have been too early to have restrictions without looking more closely at it. >> the third shots. both the ceos of moderna and pfizer have indicated it's likely we'll need a third shot. there are some people are going to hear, when pharmaceutical ceos say it, they might raise an eyebrow. i assume this is going to be a federal government decision. what can you tell us about your -- where we are in the research about the need for a third shot? >> you're absolutely correct. it is going to be a public health decision, not a decision made by a pharmaceutical company. we're partners with them because they're supplying it. it will be an fda/cdc decision.
the cdc will use your advisory committee and i'm nation practices the way they always do. we'll look at the durability of the response. namely measure the antibodies. we'll get hopefully soon the correlate of immunitiment if the correlate goes down and you see it start to slope down, you can project when it's going to be so low that you want to have a danger of having breakthrough infections. when that happens, clearly you're going to see a recommendation for a boost. the ear thing is you might start seeing more breakthrough infections that go beyond the level of the efficacy of the vaccine, and then you might also make a decision to do it. it will be a public health-based situation, not a pharmaceutical company bsh based situation. >> going back to johnson & johnson. what's more likely, that we'll still use the johnson & johnson vaccine with some restrictions, or is it very possible we don't use it at all?
>> everything is on the table. again, i'm telling you i don't know. my estimate is that we will continue to use it in some form. i doubt very seriously if they just cancel it. i don't think that's going to happen. i do think that there will likely be some sort of warning or restriction or risk assessment. i don't think it's going to go back and say, okay, everything is fine, go right back. i think it will be we're going to use it, but be careful under these circumstances. >> the idea of life back to normal after you've been vaccinated. governor ron desantis from florida thinks the messaging has been muddled. you tell people on one hand you've got to be vaccinated, but still have to social distance. he's concerned, and he's not alone here, that it almost defeats the incentive to get the vaccination. it should president, but it can.
why does a vaccinated person have to wear a mask? >> okay. this is something that, as we get more information, it's going to be pulling back that you don't have to. currently the reason is, when you get vaccinated you are clearly diminishing dramatically your risk of getting infected. that's one of the things we have to make sure everybody understands, you dramatically diminish it. however, what happens is you might get infected and get absolutely no symptoms and inadd very tently go into a situation with vulnerable people. if you don't have a mask, you might inadvertently infect them. there's a small risk of that, but it's there. the other thing is there may be variants may be circulating. new york has their own variant, 526. there's a south african variant. fortunately for us, chuck, the 117 variant dominate in europe
and the uk is also dominant in the united states. thank goodness the vaccine works very well against that variant. >> the state of michigan and some other governors are nervous about certain outbreaks right now. they would like a surge in vaccines. is that an effective way to beat back a hot spot? >> you know, when you're in the middle of a hot spot, the best thing to do is to try and contain it. that's why the government is sending in people to help out with testing, help out with contact tracing. try to get the distribution of the vaccines that are already there more expeditiously distributed. so they're putting resources in there to help them. but the best way, when you're in the middle of a real big outbreak and a big surge is really to shut down things much more so. places and move it around, you make that place you're not
seeing a lot of remobilization another. >> dr. anthony fauci, appreciate as always having you on. >> thanks for having me, chuck. >> of course, no state has been hit harder by the recent rise in covid cases than michigan. governor gretchen whit her, a democratic, has asked the federal government to do what i asked dr. fauci about, send more vaccines to her state. some officials say more vaccine won't help right now. their recommendation is for michigan to consider shutting things down like it did last summer. joining me now is governor whit her. what are your public health officials telling you today, and there's some tier. are we? >> we're clearly watching the data, working with our local
public health experts, talking with national experts as well. what we know is that our success at keeping covid spread down for such a long period of time has left us with vast reservoirs of people who don't have antibodies. that was a good thing until the variants came on stage. 15 month into this and people are tired and dropping the protocols. we still have very strong measures to keep people safe, mask mandates. we've got capacity restrictions. we've got work-from-home, imploring people to take a two-week pause, don't go to indoor dining. maybe keep your kids at home for virtual learning after spring break. we are starting to see the beginning of what could be a slowdown which is welcome. what also is welcome is we've gotten a lot of help from the biden administration to surge some therapeutics here, get some boots on the ground. i think all these things are going to be important to us stemming the tide of what we're seeing. >> governor, a lot of people
think you're changing your tune slightly. i want to play a couple things you've said to me before about following the science. so take a listen. >> we've got to follow the science and the data, and we have to make decisions based on facts. >> i'm not going to be bullied into not following the science or not doing what i know to be the right thing. >> and then here is what you said this week in response to the idea of a lockdown. take a listen. >> what might seem like a natural thing to do is much more complicated than what the cdc might suggest when you look at the reality here on the ground. >> so what's changed? is it the fatigue? is it the blowback you've been getting? is it all of it? >> a lo of o things have changed. 15 months ago we didn't know this virus could be contained by the simple task of wearing the mask. we didn't have the testing or
the vaccines. we're now in a much different position. on top of that, in the waning months i have been sued by my legislature, lost in a republican-controlled supreme court. i don't have all the dpakt same tools. despite those things, we still have some of the strongest milt gags measures in the country, mask mandates, capacity limitations, working from home. so we're still doing what we can. but what is really happening on the ground here is we're moving fast to get shots in arms. we've got a million in two weeks, a million in just the last nine days. we keep breaking our own records. we've got these continued mitigation practices. i'm working with a smaller set of tools at my disposal. that's why we really do need and appreciate the additional help we're getting from the federal government. >> all right. you said smaller set of tools. the bottom line is, if you thought you could do more, you would? a lot of the hospital systems in michigan are like, we
really wish there were a more official pause in activities. it does sound like you're saying my hands are tied. >> at the end of the day, this is going to come down to wherever one does their part. that's the most important part. this variant, the second most i think after florida. at least that was the last data i saw. michigan and florida are not next to each other. this is the time that snow birds come home from florida, people going on spring break, and all of these things can contribute to spread. that's why we're imploring people to take this seriously, mask up, get tested. if you've been around someone who is positive, stay home. if you do get covid, use one of these monochrome antibodies so we can keep you out of the hospital and retain your health. >> are you still looking for vaccines? governor tim walls was thinking about this. are the governors thinking about
helping each other out if the biden administration is hesitant about doing this? >> if more vaccines become available to michigan, i can tell you we will quickly get those into the arms of people. we are going to see i think a moment where supply outweighs demand. perhaps in parts of the country that's already happening and that's a concern. we've got to continue to urge the public to get these safe, effective vaccines, to see that this is the key to saving your health and those you love around you. but also getting our economy back on track and getting that normalcy every single one of us craves. we are, i think at a very serious moment. that's why we'll keep following the science, keep our mitigations up and keep moving vaccines as quickly as we possibly can. >> michigan, in particular the detroit area, has always been very welcoming to refugees. if president biden lifts this cap, as he's hinting he may do
in may, are you going to be a governor that says send -- resettle refugees in michigan? >> we are proud to be a home to a very diverse population. this is something that has been a great strength for our state, and something that has -- the auto industry drew people in from all over the world because you could get a good paying union job and raise a family on. this is a place where we always want to be welcoming to people looking for an opportunity and a better life. michigan will continue doing that. >> governor gretchen whitmer, we're looking for this case count to get lower. we know you are, too. thank you for sharing your perspective. >> thank you. when we come back, the panel joins us on policing and guns after another mass shooting. in fact, meet the eight victims of that shooting.
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welcome back. the panel is with us. kristin welker, eddie glaud, junior, anna palmer, and the senior editor of "the dispatch," david french. "the new york times" had this this weekend. since testimony began in the derek chauvin trial, 64 people have died at the hands of law enforcement, with black and latino representing more than half of those dead. the average was more than three killings a day as of saturday. where are we? have we made any progress here at all at at least having a police reform conversation? >> well, it seems that we are
between two worlds. what do i mean? there's policing we are experiencing that has been shaped by an ideological frame, being tough on crime. that resulted in massive incarceration of the american population, and a threat of violence as a way of policing particular communities in the country. that has resulted -- that is has had a tangible impact and affect on particular communities. we are seeing the effects of the policing. we seem to be transitioning into a new way of thinking about safety and security. the chauvin trial represents the transition. the residual traces of the age of reagan is collapsing as we reach for a new way of being together. >> david, here is how the governor of minnesota put it, very bluntly thursday. >> i don't think it's much a
debate. you are less safe to be black in minnesota than you are to be white. they are asking, are there changes we can make legislatively and culturally that will start to reduce that? >> david, can we? >> yeah, there are absolutely changes legislatively, changes judicially that can be made. one of the things that eddie said is we have a lot of doctrines that apply to police that enable the use of force as a result of the war on drugs. also, as a result of overestimating risk to police in various circumstances. at the same time, we have to reform police at the same time we recognize that we have a violent crime spike in this country. one of the things we have do is professionalize police and end this argument that somehow diminished -- that de-funding
the police, dismantling the police is any talking point in american politics. you have to reform police at the same time that you address a violent crime surge. we have to talk about both of these at the same time. >> what you just presented, david, is -- you feel like you see this debate in the democratic party, anna palmer, and it's in congress. here is jim clyburn, number three among house democrats. take a listen. >> this is not about policing. this is not about training. this is about recruiting. who are we recruiting to be police officers? that, to me, is where the focus has to go. we have to have police officers. >> it's that line there, no more policing, incarceration and militarization. is there a divide in the democratic party, or are there more on the jim clyburn side, we
need reform but you need policing? >> i think congresswoman talib is on her own right now. you have seen this pullback of democrats after she made that tweet. among them jim clyburn, bernie sanders, they don't want the rally cry to be de-fund the police. they think it will hurt them going into midterms. if democrats believe if they are not in power in congress, none of the kind of other issues could move forward. i think you will see democrats move away from de-fund the police, try to find other measures that they can agree on. >> kristin welker, the biden administration made promises on gun reform. we got a sledgehammer over our heads again here. i want to show this. these are the mass shootings in
2021. look at all these red dots. 592 people wounded, 181 killed. our definition of mass shooting, four or more people shot, not including the initial gunman. where does the white house think they can make progress on police reform or on gun regulation? >> taking both of those issues, first on police reform, the white house is pushing for the george floyd bill, which passed the house to pass the senate. that is a bill that would make it easier to prosecute police misconduct. it would pour resources into training police. there is a bipartisan effort to try to move that forward. no progress though. same thing as it relates to guns. they are urging congress to act on two bills that would expand background checks that passed the house. they want the senate to act. the reality though, while those two things are stalled, the white house is focused on infrastructure. >> david, the gun debate. it does feel as if the debate
has shifted, at least on the right side of the aisle, so far to the right. i mean, look at your home state of tennessee. there was a time getting a permit to get a handgun wasn't a controversial thing. >> true. look, a lot of our gun control argument and conversation after a mass shooting -- a mass shooting occurs and gun control measures are suggested that don't have anything to do with the mass shootings. what i think that is necessary and states should be exploring are things called red flag laws. >> we had one here, david. >> they are not foolproof. nothing is foolproof. one thing that red flag laws do is they are targeted at problematic and dangerous individual behavior rather than passing laws that don't really have anything to do with exactly how mass shooters obtain their guns. when you talk about reform, i think when you target at the problematic behavior, you are going to have a better
chance to save lives than gestures that aren't actually targeted at the behavior itself. >> eddie, care to respond? >> sure. i think we need to address the outsized influence of gun manufacturers in our public policy debates. let's be clear, people are dying. we can be nuanced in this way that david is trying to suggest. but eight people are dead at fedex. 147 mass shootings since january. that's four months. four months. it makes little sense to me that we think about or we dance around the second amendment while we are burying folk. let's be clear quickly. there is a mass mental health crisis in this country. it's happening in a place we are awash in guns. we need to prepare ourselves for the convergence of those things in horrific ways. >> everybody agrees, we don't want the mentally ill to have access to firearms. we can't figure out how to stop it. respectful debate. thank you for that. before we go to break, i
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his republican changed from a small government, low taxes party to what it is today. at various points in his new book "on the house: a washington memoir," boehner torches his knucklehead caucus, a lunatic and an a-hole. those are descriptions of members of his own party. his critics suggest he spent some time in the driver's seat and he deserves some of the criticism he dolls out to others pour the extreism of his own party. mr. speaker, welcome back to "meet the press." >> chuck, it's good to be with you. >> let me start with that general criticism, and you've heard it already, which says you did a good job of identifying all the ways in the last ten years that you saw the party lurch to the right for various reason, right? whether it was on talk radio, the fund-raising circuit, on the house floor. what responsibility do you have and do you hold yourself for in
this change in the party? >> well, chuck, every day that i saw this beginning in 2011, i'd push back on it. i did everything i could to bring all these members into the republican party, into our team, but some of them just didn't want to come. most of those so-called tea party types frankly become very good republicans. on any given day, i had 210, 215 solid republican votes. on any given day i had two or three dozen what i call knuckleheads who wanted chaos, who wanted it 100% their way or no way. but every single day, the five years i was speaker, i tried to work to bring them into the party. some just wouldn't come. >> is that the mistake though? i get what you're saying. that is the chief line of criticism is that you sort of -- you guys liked the energy that they brought, you liked the fact
that, hey, that attracted and helped with some donations that seemed to fire up some voters that hadn't been fired up in a while, and you just sort of ignored the downside until it was too late. now looking backwards, do you think you should have done more? >> no, chuck, i don't think i could have done more, given the time that we had. hindsight is 20/20. it's easy to look back now ten years, six years ago and wonder. but i can tell you i did everything every day i could to bring them into the party, make them part of the party. but some of them just frankly didn't want to come. >> let me ask something about the white supremacist, this stuff that keeps trying to get into the mainstream, into the conservative movement. i feel like the republican party that you grew up in did a pretty good job of trying to eradicate this. it creeped back in, whether it creeped in via libertarian
movements or whatever, it creeped back in. and you see it. you've gone from one problem in steve king, and it's metastasized, now they're trying to start a caucus sort of based on these racist ideas. how did this happen sm how did this get mainstreamed a bit in your party? >> well, chuck, i have no idea how this even showed up. i wouldn't call it mainstreamed in our party. i can tell you that this so-called america first caucus is one of the nuttiest things i've ever seen. listen, america is a land of immigration. we've been the world's giant melting pot for 250 years, and we ought to celebrate the fact that we are this giant pelting pot. to see some members of congress who start this america first caucus, it's the silliest thing i've ever seen. republicans need to denounce it. >> their definition, by the way,
of immigration, they would say there shouldn't be asian-american citizenship in this country the way that's described. i don't think people realize how cruel some of that stuff was said there, right, mr. speaker? >> i think it's awfully cruel. frankly, it has no place in the republican party. my second biggest regret during my time as speaker is not being able to come to an agreement with president obama on an immigration reform bill. our immigration system is a mess. it's broken, from top to bottom, and i needs to be fixed so that it's fairer for americans who are here and fairer for those who are trying to come here. >> was it him or was it conservative media? you wrote this about roger ailes. you said, i just didn't believe the entire federal government was so terrified of roger ailes that they'd break about a dozen laws to bring them down. i thought i could get them to control the crazies. instead i found myself talking to the head of the club.
here is the head of fox news, you met with him to say can we cool the rhetoric down. you put the blame on pr obama. isn't it roger ailes and what happened with the right wing at night that torpedoed the immigration? >> no, no. believe me, chuck, i wanted to get immigration reform done. president obama wanted to get it done. again, every time we'd get ready to move, the president would go out and give some speech or he'd loosen up some immigration regulation and just kind of set everybody on fire. and that's not a prescription for getting things accomplished in congress. >> you made it clear you voted for president trump for re-election. you made that decision, in fairness, before january 6th. after watching what you saw happen on january 6th, you still comfortable with that vote?
>> well, listen, i cast the vote. it was over and it was done with. i was disappointed in what happened after the election, the president continuing to make claims about the election being stolen, and i kept looking for evidence, like most americans did. where's the evidence? how can he keep saying something without providing any proof? and there wasn't any. clearly on january 6th, it was one of the saddest days in my life, watching a place i worked, watching a place where i and my team did everything we could for that institution, being trashed by a mob. >> didn't you think his actions make it where he forfeited his ability to lead the american democracy? >> listen, chuck, i'm not in office anymore. what he does or doesn't do really is of no interest to me.
i'm trying to make sure that republicans understand, as a republican party, we need to go back to the principles of what it means to be a republican, things like fiscal responsibility, things like a strong national defense, things that hold republicans and the republican party together and has for the again? >> i'd rather set myself on fire than to run for office again. >> the only reason i ask that question, because i expected an answer just like that. >> you're a [ bleep ]. >> i assume i'm getting that as a compliment. i'll take that as a backhanded compliment. former house speaker, john boehner, it's a pleasure. thanks for coming on. thank you for sharing your perspective with us. >> good to be with you. >> when we come back, how republicans are z looing their
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welcome back. "data download" time. we talked about how the two political parties are changing. now there are new warning signs for republicans in that realignment. in the first quarter this year, gallup found democrats have a nine-point edge. it's the largest gap recorded in a decade. now we've seen this before and it hasn't always stuck. data from the pew research center shows the shift from red to blue could have long-term consequences. here is why. at the beginning of this century, republicans held an 11-point edge among this group of voters. by the time barack obama was president, the anything yurd flipped and it became a narrow four-point edge for democrats. then came president trump. democrats had a 13-point lead among this group of voters. here is why this matters. republicans have long counted on the high turnout of college educated suburban voters, especially during midterm and special elections. yet in 2018, 64% of people with
a bachelor's degree went to the polls. watch this. that compares to 52% of some with some college and associate's. 39% with high school or less, 20% or less with those without a high school diplomas. we may have seen that already in georgia and a statewide election in wisconsin. when we come back, a caucus of republicans based on people everywhere living with type 2 diabetes are waking up to what's possible with rybelsus®. ♪ you are my sunshine ♪ ♪ my only sunshine... ♪ rybelsus® works differently than any other diabetes pill to lower blood sugar in all 3 of these ways... increases insulin... decreases sugar... and slows food. the majority of people taking rybelsus® lowered their blood sugar and reached an a1c of less than 7.
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welcome back. you heard former speaker boehner and i get into this topic. anna palmer, it was "punchbowl news," your outfit, that reported about this anglo-saxon, white nationalist, white supremacist, however you want to describe it. a common respect for uniquely anglo-saxon political traditions, infrastructure that be fits the progeny of european architecture and post 1965 immigrants decrease the capital to labor ratio. i pointed out the profound effect it would have on asian-americans here. anna palmer, you put this out and, boy, all of a sudden, sunshine does seem to bring out
at least some response to this. how are republicans handling this idea? >> well, a couple of ways. i think you've seen a lester holt of the members who were potentially going to join, disdance themselves from it. you certainly see senate minority lead kevin mccarthy put out tweets trying to say this is not representative of the republican party. to me what is important here and stunning is the fact that this used to be just a few outliers in the republican party. now the fact that they are trying to form a caucus and a group of members that were going to back this, matt gaetz even after it became public said, yes, i'm going to join it, that is becoming more the mainstream of where the republican party is. it's n boehner, who you just spoke to is anymore. that's going to be something they'll have to deal with going forward. >> kristen welker, i know you've been reporting on this. it's quite the contrast when you think about an op-ed from former
president george w. bush with the headline in "the washington post," immigration is a defining asset in the united states. what a contrast in the party. >> you're absolutely right. i spoke to a number of republicans overnight, chuck, who were just outraged. they echo the anger you heard from former house speaker john boehner and said this is just not representative of the republican party. of course, this comes against the backdrop of the party looking to rebuild itself, looking the take back the house and the senate in 2022. the deep concern is that even a few people associating themselves with a group like this harms the entire party. and i think the focus is going to be on leadership. i want to go back to something anna was just talking about. we did hear from kevin mccarthy this week who decried nativist thinking. i think there's going to be pressure on him, on leader mcconnell, who has not commented
at all, to come out more forcefully and denounce, not just this language, but anybody who would associate themselves with this type of a group. >> david french, you heard john boehner said he didn't want to say it was mainstream in the party. it looks like the party is more welcoming to this fringe than ever before. >> i'm going to tell you grim truth. the grass roots of part of the party is often defined by rage and hatred right now. conspiracy theories, rage and hatred. no functioning political party should have a tent big enough to include those people. but i tell you what, if mainstream republicans reputiate them, the rath from the grassroots in many of these states, we've seen this. we've seen censures of politicians who condemned january 6th or trump's role in the insurrection. this is something the party has to deal with decisively or it's
flat out not a party worth respecting. >> eddy, why did it appear -- maybe you might reject the premise i asked of speaker boehner. it appeared to me the republican party of the '90s at least publicly tried to eradicate trt david dukes or getting rid of steve king. obviously, in hindsight, it hasn't worked. >> it's always been a component of the republican party. how did they deal with george wallace? what is the southern strategy? >> don't forget wallace started as a democrat. >> but i'm just saying what has been the role of racial dog whistles. how do we think about tough on crime, welfare reform. all of these are ways in which you appeal to grievance and resentment and hatred. in some ways, that element of the republican party has metastasized and overwhelmed the party. i'm thinking of faulkner here, chuck, the past is never past is
not even dead. anglo-saxonism has always been a part -- in the bloodstream of american politics. think about late 19th century foreign policy and domestic policy. anglo-saxon is almost everywhere. we have to root it out. we can't dance with it, try to reconcile ourselves with it. we have to banish it once and for all. >> anna palmer, it wasn't that long ago that the majority of the republican party was agreeing to essentially kick steve king out of congress. we're not there anymore. do you think leadership can successfully eradicate this fringe? >> i think it's going to be extremely difficult. it was just the lone member when it was steve king. you now have a group of members that have a very big megaphone here. they aren't outliers here. how kevin mccarthy deals with this is going to be key. he wants to be speaker in two years, and the fact is, he's going to have to make some
really public statements and take out a claim. where is the house republican party when it comes to language like this. >> kristen welker, the biden white house flip-flopped on refugee caps in like a five-hour span, lunchtime to before happy hour. what did we learn about the biden sphere of the left? >> we learned that the pressure from progressives is very real. administration officials acknowledge that they botched the rollout of this. they reject the idea that they have reversed the president's campaign promise to increase the refugee cap. they say that's still going to happen starting may 15th. bottom line, look for more pressure and more pressure for immigration reform, chuck. >> terrific panel segmen be bac. because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
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