Sykes: Republicans have allied themselves with a 'mad king'

The Powerhouse Roundtable debates this week in politics.
14:45 | 10/15/17

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Transcript for Sykes: Republicans have allied themselves with a 'mad king'
I'm not quitting today. I don't believe, I just talked to the president, I don't think I'm being fired today. And, uh -- I'm not so frustrated in this job that -- uh -- I'm thinking of leaving. I would tell you, this is -- the hardest job I have ever had. This is in my view the most important job I ever had. I would offer, those, it is not the best job I ever had. Best job I ever had, as I have said many times, is when I was an enlisted marine sergeant infant infantryman. We bring in "The roundtable." Mary Bruce. Katrina vanden heuvel. Charlie Sykes. "How the right lost its mind." Matt schlapp. And van Jones. Also a new book, "Beyond the messy truth." Van, LE me start with you. The president's actions on his own this week. To desert if I the Iran deal. Is this a substitute for action, sit effective or more talk in the absence of real support from congress? Well, think that the president thinks of himself as a disrupter. And, that's a fashionable word right now in business. The reality is, in business, a drugs is when you have a new idea, a new product that is better than the old. Uber didn't go around smashing up taxi cabs. They had a better idea. The problem is, the president is breaking up everything. Erasing the Obama legacy, and throwing stuff at congress and hoping they fix it. That's not the kind of disruption that make America better. It's achieving some of the if the's end. It's simple. He said he was going to do these things. He's doing it. On Obamacare, he has a reform put in place on the associated plans. The Paris agreement. Ending the war on coal, it relates to the idea that we'll have manufacturing jobs and energy jobs in America. Stop the persecution of nuns. Forcing people to pay for contraceptions. It's so refreshing. I think his conservative base cleaves to him because of the policy. The question is, will the Republicans in congress stand behind him? This governing by disruption is a risky gamble. At least one Republican said the president's move on health care this week was no helpful. He fears they'll own this. The fallout of the the president's decision. Here are the options. They can go forward, replace these subsidies, as many Republicans want to do. The administration not keen to do that. Many Republicans say they won't do anything that props up Obamacare. At the end of the day, if the president is able to force Republicans and Democrats to the table, he'll show that he's that great dealmaker that he claim. Otherwise, it could really blow back in his face big time. Charlie Sykes is right. Do the Republicans now own the health care issue? Sure. You broke it, you own it. This is part of the problem. With all due respect, Matt, he's not doing what he said. He's sowing confusion, raising pain, shifting the blame. What you're seeing is not repeal. Not replace. It's not fixing. It's designed specifically to sabotage Obamacare so that what? You can force the Democrats to the table? But the problem is that we're finding out, the guy who wrote "The art of the deal" is terrible at this. He's a terrible negotiator. He doesn't understand policy, not the legislative process. Think Mary is right. It will be hard to get a legislative fix. As that all happens, Obamacare does unvalve every day. It's been undermined. Sabotaged. I think that what's important for Democrats in 2018 is to ensure that the Republicans own trumpcare. As you said, it's the pottery barn rule. You broke it, you own it. And I think that is a compelling message. Because, Democrats and Progressives can no longer just be about resistance. It has to be resistance, renewal, reconstruction. I would argue moral ideas of the best time to tell Americans that we're on their side. All of this disruption is not transformation. It's not making America greater. It's making America sicker, poorer, dirtier. It's not -- providing economic security for those we need to speak to in those states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Ohio and erode the coalition which trump is diminishing. Can I mention on the health care piece. Let's all look eight. Obamacare gave the Republicans in large part these majorities. We won on this issue for four straight elections. And, it's also the left. It's bush Nooe sander Bernie Sanders and those on the left coming out against Obamacare. They're not against Obamacare. They're undermining the the central part of Obamacare. The left and the right are -- I've never seen a president of the United States willing to hurt Americans to get his way. Oh. Willing to have Americans be sick. Possibly lose their lives, watch their children with conditions because he wants to get his way. I haven't seen that before. I agree with you that our health care system needs to continue to be improved and changed. I support the Progressive cause. I'm liling to listen to actual Conser conservative ideas. I'm not willing to see the president of the United States put Americans at risk to get his way. What can Democrats do? This is why this is such a combustible issue. Now you have lawmakers dealing with this as day head into the midterms. They head possibly for it to be used for leverage. We're trying to tack Al very long lengthy to-do list. Protections for dreamers. Tax reform. Leader Pelosi didn't want to address it. We're heading for a government shoutdown without democratic votes in December. The question is what price are Democrats going demand to keep government open? I have a different take. You saw the president playing footsie with Charles, chuck and Nancy. That went nowhere. That was double crossing them real quick. As this country betrays dreamers. The democratic party should be launching a massive Latino voter registration and turnout effort. Build the coalition. And erode a coalition which trump, through his own failed promises, is eroding. That is politics. That's long term. What about the short term? I can't see them willing to compromise much at all. Donald Trump and Steve Bannon declaring war on their fellow Republicans. Steve pannon said cutting off those payments was designed to blow up the changes. You have a Republican civil war. I guess Republicans will enjoy that. It is to, on a daily basis, distract them from the general gap you think of all of these issues, and the role the president is playing, rather than showing leadership. He's sowing chaos, confusion, and disstrax. I get the fact that there is an opinion on Donald Trump. A lot of people don't like him. I'm used to playing this role on these panels. For the Democrats, for chuck and Nancy, as they were referred to, it's simple. They have to do their job. If they want to get things done, get DACA done. The president wants to get DACA done. On the csr payments. I think the president wants to get it done. He wants to goat it done within the context of the other aspects. Dreamers are accompanied with border enforcement. Do your job. Sit across the table. It's not that hard. You just described probably the most complicated set of negotiations in the history of the Republican that the guy is ramming through. And -- I'm not done. We didn't stack up 15 in a row and tweet all the time about everything else. The problem you have is is what you're describing is something that requires real leadership. Real finesse. On both sides. I'll say on both sides. I understand your job. But you have to -- you have to admit that he is his own worst enemy. In order to do what you described, you would need discipline and focus. Let me break this down and bring to it Mary and ka between Ya. You said basically, the if the Democrats want the dreamers, you have to support a wall. That's what the president is saying. No, no. He says enhanced border security. He didn't link to it the wall. Actually, the president and Mick Mulvaney both linked to it the wall. It's interesting. For instance, on the dreamers issue. The president coming out with a list of demands. A classic move from the art of the deal. Coming to the table with all these huge requests. I asked leader Pelosi about this earlier. She brushed it aside. I'm all for transpartisan politics. I think your seeing some, by the way, with Republicans and Democrats coming together on remembering that congress has a role in invoking the war powers act when it comes to the actions in Yemen. I thought -- our lead diplomat, not tillerson, ambassador Haley, to have someone like that at the U.N., who said there is no talking, what kind of diplomacy is that. She seemed to be open the some talk today. No. What we have done with Iran is take an effective, verifiable, important diplomatic agreement, one in America's national security, an because of pique or anger at Obama, unraveling it will make this country and the world less secure. We need diplomacy. I don't usually agree with senator corker. What he said, we have to do everything we can to reduce Luke near -- the threat of nuclear war. Charlie, an extraordinary week. Senator corker's remarks. A series of articles. The white house behind the scenes. How to hem in president trump. You said real concern he's not stable. It was extraordinary. The sitting U.S. Senator, chairman of the foreign relations committee, talk about the lack of stability and discipline of the president of the United States. I think what Bob corker said is what a lot of Americans are thinking but not willing to say in public. The Republicans have alied themselves with mad king and they're trying to pretend that he's not, pretend that he's Normal. I suggest that the conservatives in denil about this should give him tough love rather than enabling all of this. What Bob corker said was a warning flare. Reflecting what is going on. That these are major stakes. Not Twitter wars anymore. He invoked World War III. If this not a come the Jesus moments for Republicans -- I'll agree with you that Donald Trump is far from Normal. I'll give you that. The fact is this. The Iran policy is a redo of the North Korea policy. It's the people -- it takes some disruption against the people who have established our foreign policies for decades and decades. Let's try to talk them out. Let me finish. Let's try to talk them out of their nuclear weapons. It's what Bob kosher's policy was on Iran. He's taking on the president because the president staking on his legacy. That legacy could be at the end of the agreement, Iran has a nuclear weapon. The Iran nuclear program has been frozen for the last two years. At the end of the agreement, it's matter of time before Iran joins North Korea as a nuclearized power. I'm born andd ind Tennessee. Corker is my home state senator. Did you vote for him? No. We're so into the crazy that when something happens, we don't notice. This is not a bomb-tloer. This is someone who supported Donald Trump. When somebody says something like that, World War III, this could should be an all cars stop on the interstate moment. He said most colleagues won't say so but they agree with him. It's a common sentiment. To hear many say it publicly is incredible. And someone like Bob corker. What you're not hearing is what's important. You can count on one hand the number of Republicans coming out and taking a side. There's been a lot of discussion about enabling and complicity in another part of our society. We're seeing that with this predator. What is important is to understand the signal. The desert if I occasion of the Iran agreement. Signals to North Korea. I thought ambassador Haley was a revisionist historian as she talked about how talking led to the north Korean program. It's George W. Bush who took us into the most destabilizing debacle. We're at risk with trump. I have to agree. This is where the credibility of

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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