'The centrist, the moderate. They are in trouble': Yvette Simpson on Obama comments

The Powerhouse Roundtable discusses the latest news in the 2020 presidential election.
9:26 | 11/17/19

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Transcript for 'The centrist, the moderate. They are in trouble': Yvette Simpson on Obama comments
question. We're getting closer. As I say, never say never. I will certainly tell you I'm under enormous pressure from many, many people to think about it. This 2020 election does not stand for the year. It stands for the number of people running in 2020. Damn, every time I turn around more people are jumping in the race for crying out loud. Deval Patrick in. Mayor Bloomberg may be coming in. We'll talk about all this now. The democratic side on our round table is back. I want to start with the new news out of Iowa, brand new pole showing mayor Pete buttigieg surging to now a nearly 10-point lead over Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden who is falling, both Biden and Warren falling. Bernie Sanders rising up to 15%. It's still bunched up. Amy klobuchar at 6%. A big, big move for mayor Pete. Rahm, what does it tell you? Mayor Pete is the winner not because of those numbers. Here's what was going to happen about a week ago. He was about to get the NBA treatment the same way Elizabeth Warren did over the last three weeks. Everybody that was about to do that chased Bloomberg and Deval Patrick. He's left alone in Iowa and new Hampshire to keep running the campaign he's going to do. What's interesting about the upcoming debate -- Wednesday night. -- There's a number of people on the stage who have been nice to who are now going to turn on him. That's going to get his Andy Warhol moment. This is what presidential campaigns are about. He benefited by the distraction because he was about to get focussed on in a way he hasn't been focussed on. It appears in some ways he's becoming the centrist alternative. Barack Obama weighed in on this debate speaking to the democracy alliance. I want to play this. This is still a country that is less revolutionary than it is interested in improvement. They like seeing things improved, but the average American doesn't think we have to tear down the system and remake it. It's important not to lose sight of that. Yvette, a lot of Democrats saw that as an indirect shot of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Which is funny because if you go back against where he was running against Hillary Clinton, he was bucking the system. I'm curious where this goes. We all have a lot of love for Barack Obama, but it's a sign that the centrist, the moderate is in trouble. They're trying to put out their big gun to say let's not be so less. The Democrats have the problem we had in 2016. It's not a problem. You're being pulled to the left. The other candidates -- nobody is coming up to take that. It's going to keep going long and longer and the left is running things in a way that Rahm has pointed out could be disastrous for them. I don't agree with that but -- Here's what I would say. It's a battle between revolutionaries and reformers. Yvette, you are right. He was the insurgent, but he's not the revolutionary. You're confusing the two words. Hillary was for universal mandate. He was for a child mandate. He had the more moderate position on health care. He never, ever -- he was an insurgent because he was in the senate for an hour and a half. There are videos of Barack Obama that sound like Elizabeth Warren talking about millionaires and billionaires. You're mixing the two words. He was the moderate candidate. Chris, I know you don't want to get into the debate. Could I say how much I love this? Listen, why -- I love Yvette and everybody who thinks like her -- 70% of Americans. Of course. Why listen to Barack Obama? He only won twice. I would love to have Democrats ignore Barack Obama. Ignore his advice. Minimize -- I'm reminded -- He only won twice. I'm reminding them of the Barack Obama that won the first time which is the important one. You're fantasizing about that Barack Obama. No, no. I was there. So was I. Parties always do this. It's either a center left or center right. The first word is center. You got to remember that. To get to the 51 plus, crow got to make sure the center counts. On the center Mike Bloomberg thinks he has a chance. Or his congress Su consultants do. Maggie, "The New York Times" covers Mike Bloomberg. You've covered him. In the past he always said I'm only going to get in if I think I have a chance to win. Are we seeing something different? I don't think they're seeing he has a chance. He's wanted to run for president. If he wasn't going to do it now -- it's a real this is my last shot. He has a lot of money to spend. He has a story to tell about being mayor. He has a lot of controversy, including the stop and frisk program that the NYPD ran, including comments he's made about women over the years. On the basic level he's not a natural candidate. When you're running for president, it's hard to do it just on television. What he believes, Rahm, is the numbers show that what Democrats care about more than anything is electability. He's already announced $100 million anti-Trump campaign. Can someone get in the race on super Tuesday, spend who knows how much money in the big states and actually have a chance? Yes. But let me go to what it's saying, both Bloomberg and Deval Patrick. The issue basically -- this is also what president Obama said. I give Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders credit. They brought their "A" game to the policy debate. There's a history from the new deal to president Obama, respecting the value of work, shared responsibility and the opportunity. Free income, college, guaranteed health care has walked away from the traditional democratic system. Social security, payroll tax, medicare, payroll tax, earned income tax credit is based on work. Americore under president Clinton is service to country. The candidates have to bring their "A" game to the policy I wonder if Elizabeth Warren was getting some part of that message this week. She made a pretty big shift. She had been hard lined for medicare for all including taking away people's private health insurance. Now she said no. We'll pass what Pete buttigieg and Joe Biden wanted, medicare for all who want it. Put off the big plan for later. I don't know where that's coming from. Her trying to answer questions, being more practical and making sure she's not giving room for new corporate folks to make it look like she's impractical is something she's doing. She's trying to get back to the frontrunner status in part because of what Pete buttigieg is seeing happen with him. I want to take a couple steps back. You see Pete buttigieg stepping up. Joe Biden who we all thought -- I didn't think -- most folks thought he was T most electable is now flailing. The entrance of Deval Patrick and Michael Bloomberg, people are saying who is going to be the standard bearer for Democrats. I think what Elizabeth Warren is doing is a mistake. Backing off her position is making it so now Progressives are rallying around Bernie. They're still looking for someone to carry the mantle. They want that person to go into the presidency what revolutionary idea, even if that means you compromise when you get into the office. When you look at the field it's interesting how -- now that Elizabeth Warren is leading, Democrat men seem to think they don't want that. It's interesting. There's still an element of sexism on both sides. Absolutely. The Democrats are suffering from that. I think that was an impact in '16. Democrat men who didn't want to vote for Hillary Clinton. Now the's something within the party saying we shouldn't elect a woman. It's interesting to see that happen. You've thrown a lot on the table. That's all we have time for.

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

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