Republicans breathing 'very deep sigh of relief' after tariffs called off: Mary Bruce

The "This Week" Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics, including the president's reversal on imposing tariffs on Mexican goods imported to the United States.
9:53 | 06/09/19

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Transcript for Republicans breathing 'very deep sigh of relief' after tariffs called off: Mary Bruce
is -- It's also their fault, also. They're letting millions of people walk up through their country and they shouldn't let anybody walk up through their country. Frankly, we shouldn't need to have border patrol. Mexico will take unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb immigration. Those crossing the border to seek asylum will be returned to Mexico where they may await adjudication of their asylum claims. President trump pulls back the tariff threat after Mexico accelerates. I want to talk about it more with our roundtable. The president in a long tweet this morning complaining about a "New York Times" story that basically Mexico just gave them what they already agreed to. Something of a pattern with the president here. Yeah, the president's negotiating style I think is becoming eerily familiar in Washington, where he makes maximalist threats whether it's on North Korea, or he was going to close the southern border if Mexico didn't stop illegal immigrants in late March, early April, or to impose an escalating series of tariffs just this last week, lasted about a week, then he strikes a an imperfect deal, declares victory and savages the critics of that deal. That's what happened just this past week. I think it raises a question of whether his threats are going to have the desired effect going forward now that I think many people, including his negotiating partners across the table, have spotted the pattern. The Republicans, this was their most defiant revolt yet amongst senate Republicans. Yeah, there was really intense pushback from the president's own party. Mitch Mcconnell saying, Mr. President, do not do this. Even some of the president's allies like Ted Cruz were out there publicly blasted the move. I think to Eliana's point, the president threatens, the more the pushback. As this Goff governing by threatening is happening over and over again. As it happens over and over. Republicans are clearly breathing a deep sigh of relief. Democrats are quick to point out, first of all, we don't know whether this deal is going to do anything to stop the flow of migrants across the border. This threat isn't off the table just yet. The president said in a tweet this morning. Patrick, on the other hand, Mexico has accelerated these agreements, they put them in place, isn't a win a win? No. A win is not a win, he's hyping a deal that was struck some months ago that we know that's insufficient to the challenge. Let's be clear what's really happening here, I know Americans through the news media are focused on Mexico this story isn't about Mexico. It's about migrants who are coming from Honduras, el Salvador, from the northern triangle. They are a very different class of migrants. You have whole families that are coming as a consequence of pressures of climate shifts in the northern triangle. We have a five-year drought there and precipitation that's moving to other parts of the region. Any other president of the U.S. Should be working with that region to mitigate the climate crisis and the crisis also in some of the human rights oppressions that exists in those countries. We should be partnering with Mexico now, but not making idle threats. Listen, the president had a really good week, George, a win is a win. The fact is that he was on the world stage on the 75th anniversary of normandy, gave a very good speech in normandy, in regard to that anniversary. Had a really good visit with the royal family. Seemed to love the queen. Listen, they seemed to get along really well. The reports I'm getting from inside as well, they really did get along. Not so much the London mayor. Well, again, that's pretty predictable. Listen, the thing that I found most encouraging about the Mexico situation was who he had at the table. He had the vice president there and the secretary of state. I think those are the people with that type of experience and background who need to be negotiating these things going forward. The president does better when he takes the best people from his administration and puts them up front. On this instance I think the vice president and the secretary of state calmed, cooled this down. That's what the president wanted from the beginning, anyway. We already know that in the last year the result of the trump tariffs have absolutely wiped out any gains from the lowering of taxes and we also know quite clearly that some of these tariffs are having their greatest impact on some of Donald Trump's base in the heart land and -- let me go back to your point, governor, about the trip overseas, it was quite striking to see the president of the United States sitting in front of the graves of American troops who lost their lives in normandy, going after war veterans and heroes like Bob Mueller and making the kind of statements that he was making about those who are -- that's the big takeaway shot. Listen, that's not the big takeaway shot. That's the big takeaway shot only if you watch some of the networks that are clearly negative towards the president. You can't say it's a bigger takeaway shot with him sitting with the queen or him standing on normandy or being with president macron. It was part of story this week. Mary, he was attacking Nancy Pelosi. Let's show this on fox, after she said he should be in prison. I think she's disgrace. I actually don't think she's a talented person. I tried to be nice with her. Because I would have liked to get deals done. She's incapable of doing deals. She's a terrible person. I'll tell you, her name, it's nervous Nancy. She's a nervous wrack. I don't talk about the president when we're out of the country. That's my principle. Before she left she said she wanted to see him in prison. We have seen an evolution of Nancy Pelosi's talk, discussions of the president and impeachment as she faces more pressure from her caucus. Yeah, in a matter of weeks she said that the president isn't worth of impeaching to now saying he should go to prison. Because she wants to hold off impeachment. But Pelosi is essentially trying to walk this fine line, she's ratcheting up the rhetoric as the pressure on her increases. She's not changing her position despite changing the rhetoric. She still insisted -- We actually never saw Nancy Pelosi make a statement of president trump going to prison. They don't dispute it. It's not the same as standing in front of the graves of American troops and blasting -- She earned that one, Patrick. She earned it. If you're going to say you want to see the president of the United States in prison, then she earned a shot -- Again, I know you're at a convention where the lock her up chant was commonly refrained. There's quite a bit of difference between taking a shot from the president. And doing that at that sacred site. One thing that struck me about Pelosi's approach with dealing with trump that could be a lesson for democratic presidential candidates is that she hasn't reacted to every trump provocation by lavishing him with attention. Or ratcheting up the rhetoric against him. The prison thing aside, she was saying that to fend off calls of impeachment from her caucus. She's generally treated him like he's not worth giving attention to or like he's beneath contempt. That seems to be effective. I love hearing "The prison thing aside,," the prison thing aside, you can't just say prison aside, when you think the president of the United States belongs in prison, you want to see him in prison you got to expect an reaction to that. That's what she wants. She's succumbing to her own political pressure. Pelosi knows exactly what she's doing. She may not respond to every provocation from the president. She knows how to get under his skin. She now has a nickname, that's a clear sign of that. Putting him in prison is Pelosi trying to make that argument, she's trying to satisfy all of that increasing pressure and also bye herself some time essentially. That's an explanation, not an excuse. Once you make that statement you're going to get a reaction. Now, I also think that the president's press staff served him poorly in two instances in Europe. Putting him in front of piers Morgan and putting him in that interview at that site with Laura Ingraham. That doesn't serve the president well. When you give him a long period of time to do those things, ask those questions and follow up, that's what -- you know this, I know this. Anybody knows who has been in political campaigns, the staff's job is not to put the principal in a situation where you put him in greater risk of harm than greater risk of benefit. I'd argue when Sarah Sanders or whoever made those decisions to put him there, they ill served him.

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