'Prime opportunity' for Elizabeth Warren 'to shine': Rick Klein on Dem debate lineup

The "This Week" Powerhouse Roundtable reacts to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's interview with Jonathan Karl and debates the latest in the 2020 race.
7:32 | 06/16/19

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Transcript for 'Prime opportunity' for Elizabeth Warren 'to shine': Rick Klein on Dem debate lineup
roundtable. So, first, governor Christie, your reaction to AOC. What do you make -- Well, listen, you know, I think she doesn't know how to do math. That's for certain. In terms of the calculus on impeachment? No, talking at the end regarding billionaires. She wants everybody to have all of these things. She herself have been so off on math on what these things cost. To tax those things. I mean, the fact of the matter is, she is someone who's having a great experience at the moment. And it happens a lot in American politics. It's pretty extraordinary to see a freshman come on the way she's come on. Yeah, absolutely. Part of her popularity she's able to really talk about issues that everyday Americans face. Health care, education, equal pay. So, you know, she's having a moment for sure. But she's also talking about very real issues. That a lot of Democrats care about. But no realism attached to it. Not completely. She wants tuition-free college. She wants $15 minimum wage for everyone. Health care for everybody. These are all things that cost trillions of dollars and she's not once expressed a mathematically feasible way to pay for them. Now, that's okay when you're campaigning for something. But now, you have the office and you have an responsibility to do it. If you're going to have her on a show like this, she should be asked about how it works and she wasn't asked that this morning, Jon, and as long as she's not asked those questions, we'll continue to have her moment. At some point you have to govern. She's not governing. Well, she's a freshman member who is very influential where the caucus is going. That's why we were talking to her. Yes. She's somebody the 2020 candidates are lining up trying to get her endorsement. Yes, because she's speaking for Democrats and people who actually feel very left out of the process all across the country. She has a voice that represents a lot of people. I think it's important to have her on a platform like this, even though she's a freshman member. But she's misleading. Those people who feel left out, Stefanie, she's misleading them because she's telling them tuition-free college. You have medicare for all. Which is, by the way, the platform of many of the Democrats -- None have said how they're going to pay for it. Elizabeth Warren has a wealth tax. Let's get on to the bigger field here, we have the debate stage has been set. Rick, let's take a look. We have the graphic showing two nights of debates. Ten on the stage each time. Night one looks a little bit like, I don't know, Rick, how do you describe it? People are say it looks like JV, but that's a big night for Elizabeth Warren. I look at senator Warren. The way it was split up, the luck of the draw. She's up there, Beto O'rourke and Cory booker, two nice guys, they don't really attack. It's a prime opportunity for her to shine in the ideas primary. Out there dominating the discussion in that debate. It's a big moment for her coming up. To know she'll take the lead off. That second night is so back-loaded. More than 60% of the primary electorate represented with the top four candidates. Do we have the second night graphic? On the second night, you have Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, kamala Harris and mayor Pete. You're going to really see the debate within the democratic party play out on that second night. Where you're going to have Joe Biden representing the more moderate wing of this party. What some people would call the more realistic wing to governor Christie's point. You're going to see Bernie Sanders really leading the way for liberals, for big-government Democrats right now. I do think, to Rick's point, there's an opportunity for senator Warren on that first night but also a risk. She'll have that stage somewhat to herself in terms of a real platform to sell her ideas. She's going to hit that stage as a candidate who's really on the rise. The risk for her, in that second debate, where you just got Biden and Harris, mayor Pete on stage, does Warren look like she's out of the mix? Her campaign would argue what she's doing on the ground is much more important than what she dozen the debate stage. Here's the interesting thing about that, you know, there are two ways people got to the debate stage, one of them is how many unique donors the candidates have at this moment. Bernie Sanders currently has more unique donors than almost the entire first five folks who are polling in the race. So, he has a significant groundswell of donors. Sch, you know, money can get you volunteers. Your ground game is really important. I think it's going to be really important to see how the grassroots structure how they respond to these debates. Right now, he's winning in the money race. And having been through this, and having been at the main debate I think eight times and at the junior debate once, what the junior debate does for you potentially is, and what could do for Warren is, she's got to dominate that thing. The expectation -- I remember going in there being more nervous for that debate than the main stage debate, when you're standing between Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, you better do well. How many people were in that debate? It wasn't ten. No, I think there were eight in the junior debate and ten in the upper debate. When we got done with that debate, though, our poll numbers went up significantly. We were in the next debate previously. And we higher than we were before. There's a real opportunity for Warren but there will be a pressure, too, because the expectation will be, and we'll build this up in the media, that she's going to dominate the first night and if she doesn't dominate the first night it's problem for her. If she does, she's the upside. And then she's the target now of booker and Beto to contrast themselves with her as well. They're going to figure out -- Neither one of them seem like they're ready to take a fight -- I think booker will have a much more different voice. I think he'll be aggressively friendly. A question for a lot of these candidates in this debate, what is your strategy? Do you draw a direct contrast? For some of these candidates they're really still in introductory phases. They're unknown to a lot of the public. To have a breakout moment, go head to head with another candidate. Do a little bit more bio and more explanation of their policy. It's early in this race. But you know, it's two months earlier than four years ago. Two months -- one more thing, Jon, with booker, this is going to be the biggest moment for him of the first four, five months. Cory will have to decide, is he's going to be charming or go on the attack? My guess he'll be charming. Thank you all for joining thank you for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Tune in for George's primetime special with president trump tonight at 8:00 P.M. Eastern right here on ABC.

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

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