Experts discuss the latest in politics leading up to vice presidential debate

ABC News contributors Yvette Simpson and Sarah Fagen talk to “Nightline” about the coronavirus outbreak in the White House, stimulus talks, the economy and where voters stand in the polls.
5:23 | 10/07/20

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Transcript for Experts discuss the latest in politics leading up to vice presidential debate
We know millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic, and with no relief package in sight how are voters going to respond? Earlier this evening I spoke to Yvette Simpson, CEO of democracy for America, and Sarah Fagan, CEO of deep root analytics. Thank you both for joining us. But Sarah, let me begin with you. The president called off stimulus talks today, telling his treasury secretary Steve mnuchin, to stop negotiating a new package with Nancy Pelosi. Clearly, Americans care about the economy and the coronavirus. How is this going to play with Well, look, this is the ultimate art of the deal, right? You know, is this really being called off or is this another tactic in a negotiation? The sides are almost a trillion dollars apart. So I think on its face it's very risky. The average person knows somebody out of work, is concerned about their local economy, and so when they see these talks shut down they're very concerned that Washington is broken, remains broken. At the same time you know, there is credence to the argument that the Democrats use these financial packages to load up on all the things they care about including the things that don't have anything to do with covid. And if you poll most Americans, they don't agree with that. And in this case there's a fight over bailing out cities, in most cases, which a lot of them are in financial straits long before covid happened. And the president is putting his foot down on this. And yet there are also bailouts for airline workers and jobs, jobs, jobs. Yvette, your thoughts on the unraveling of the stimulus talks. You know, I think it just shows once again how out of touch the GOP and the trump administration are. You know, folks are watching Donald Trump go to Walter reed in this amazing suite, being driven around by his secret service waving like the queen. He's getting the top-notch care. He's saying he beat the coronavirus. And meanwhile, Americans are suffering. And they're saying guess what, why does the trump administration, why does our president get this top-notch why does he get access to -- he's still getting paid. You know, the senators are still getting paid. Let's let them live on $1,200 a month during this time. So I think the American people are with Democrats on this because it's Democrats who have been prioritizing everyday workers, everyday people. There can be a deal tomorrow. The Republicans have offered $1.6 trillion. They will sign that tomorrow. It's not enough for Nancy Pelosi. And so she is in effect stalling these talks. Let's talk about covid response, though, Yvette. We've learned that the highest-ranking Pentagon officials are in quarantine. Yet another top white house aide Stephen Miller is among at least 24 people testing positive who've been at the white house. They're clearly struggling to contain their own outbreak. So how does the president convince Americans he's equipped to handle the nation's fight against the pandemic? He's doing the opposite. You know, most Americans, the super majority of them, don't believe trump has handled this well, and him contracting the virus and everyone around him is just proof that every move that he's made has made this virus more dangerous. Not just to all of us but certainly to him. The fact that he's not willing to wear a mask even when he has contracted the disease, the fact that he's back in the white house, potentially infecting workers and staffers shows that he's not taking this very seriously. You go back to that rose garden meeting that they had for Amy coney Barrett. You see all these people hugging, no masks, pretending that there's no coronavirus. And then all of a sudden they get it. So I think people were feeling really, really tired of the trump GOP -- and the GOP on this in part because we know a lot of people have died from this disease. And for trump to say covid's not that bad, you can survive this, it's not that big a deal, I think the American people are seeing right through that and they're saying this particular president is out of touch with the coronavirus pandemic. Sarah, we're a month out from the election. How does president trump's coronavirus response play with crucial voting blocs like suburban women or seniors for that matter? I think he has a tone problem. And importantly with tho two groups specifically. A lot of times on the things he says there's a veil of truth to it that a lot of people agree with. Don't let the virus control your life, for example. I think most people agree with that. Now, for some people they need to be very, very careful and very, very cautious and they can die from it. For most people, 97%, 98%, 99% of most populations, you know, can get sick from it but not perish from it. And so he tends to mix his messaging and it's not nuanced enough. Voters are sophisticated. Seniors are the most scared. But suburban women have a lot of different pressures on them related to this virus. They have children at home. They're trying to do jobs. They're wanting to keep their kids in school if their school is open and hoping the school doesn't get quarantined. They get the dynamics of balancing it. And the president was sort of going there yesterday but he just made a blanket statement. And those blanket statements are hurting him politically. Thank you, Sarah Fagen and Yvette Simpson, both for your perspectives and your time. Thank you, juju. And tune in to complete coverage of the vice presidential debate tomorrow evening starting at 8:00, 7:00 central right here on ABC.

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

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