Trump approval rating 'catastrophic' for Republican chances in 2018: GOP strategist

The Powerhouse Roundtable debates this week in politics.
3:00 | 12/17/17

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Transcript for Trump approval rating 'catastrophic' for Republican chances in 2018: GOP strategist
As the only African-American woman in the white house, as a senior staff to the president I have seen things that have made me uncomfortable. That have upset me. That has affected my community and my people. Omarosa out at the white house. Will she be the first of many more to come? We'll be looking for her book, I guess sh as well. We bring in Matthew dowd. Our senior congressional correspondent, Mary Bruce. Julie pace, the Washington bureau chief for the associated press. Sara Fagen, now a CNBC contributor. And Patrick Gaspar. The open society foundation. Matt. A chart. Polling amples for major leg slags over the last generation. You look back. Keep scrolling and scrolling and scrolling down. You get to the GOP tax bill. 3% right new. Bottomed out only by the GOP health care bill. That would suggest democratic hope. President trump's approval rating ticking up to 41%. Republicans coming home excited. By the idea of tax cuts. A year from now, plus or minus for the GOP? Minus. Big minus. You look at the polling of this. I think what's happened is the American public has figured out this tax bill is not tax simplification. It's not fund mentally tax reform. It's not fund mentally helping the middle class or working class of the country. When quhyou look at this as a dynamic, politically, you have a very unpopular president. At the lowest any president has been at this point in his term, pushing a very unpopular bill through a very unpopular congress. That is not a recipe for success. I don't agree. Some of the numbers about the GOP tax bill. There is a problem in the party. The party is not popular. When you test the individual provisions that are about to pass, they are quite popular. It is simplification. It will bgrow the economy. The question is, is it enough? Will it happen quickly muff? And, where Matt and I do agree is, I think everyone with the tax bill, Republicans are in from a very tough 2018. That is the question. A tough environment, Patrick, already the economic impact won't be felt right away. That's true. Rond Reagan could point to a steep recession when he passed his tax cuts and George Bush could point a budget surplice that indicated there would not be a strain on deficits. Right now, if you are a rb that voted for Donald Trump and you see the provision put into the bill, you recognize this is going to hurt schools, hurt students. It's not clear how this benefits you. Republicans decided they had to fall in line and get this passed. Not only did senator Susan Collins come on board. Senator corker, who said there was no way he would vote for a bill that included a deficit, he's on board. Never, ever, every would he sign on the the bill that does what this does. He said two weeks ago he's a deficit dinosaur. He's one of the holdouts in the party. He's come around. He says because when he looks at the big picture, he realizes Americans are better off with this bill than without it. To get at this, the broader conversation who ultimately wins here. Republicans are making the argument of trust us. They insist Americans will see the results here. That it will pay off for them ultimately. But it is a big gamble begin how unpopular the bill spp and how it's not clear if it will do what it claims lit do for the middle class. Comes just in time for president trump. It dud. He's at the end of the year looking at not having a major ledge collation. The first year of office is when you're supposed to have the most political pull. Republicans have gone out on the limb of what they promise people will see. Trump talk about the bill in grand, historic terms. He talks about middle class families seeing a ton of money back in their pockets. We'll see a little bit next year of the impact of is. This will be a long-term trend that could be a problem for Republicans. Matt, I have to say, this son verge of passing. The president will sign it slew law. Based on egg we know about the president's tax you returns this is almost as if it was written to give the president a benefit we still haven't seen the tax returns. Yet that seems to have had no political impact at all. Besides the sub Stant I problems with this, it doesn't simplify. Lit primarily benefit the wealthy. I think there ought to be a provision. That if you either have to voluntarily say how you're going benefit from a bill like this, if you're voting on it or going to sint, or there should be a provision that says, if you're going to benefit, you don't get the benefit on something you have voted on. To me, the Republicans have abdicated fiscal conservativism. After they pass a bill that raises the debt by $1.5 trillion and doesn't benefit the middle class. It fails to give any credit for broet in the economy and higher tax rev mus off a broader base and people making more money. I think that's just -- There is no evidence at the that will happen. In history. None. That's not true. Yeah, it is. There was no growth after the Reagan 196 tax bill. In H there was no growth. More people went to work. More people had higher wajs. On the point of simplification, lit simplify it. You double the standard deduction to almost $24,000 for married couples, that means 95% of the population is not going to itemize. That is simplification. There are some temporary gains here for workers. Temporary. Long-term permanent games for corporations. I don't want to lose the point of George's question. About how this directly benefits Donald Trump. I have to -- the blessing to serve overseas representing our country inspect is the kind of thing that we kritized autocrats for in other countries. No transparency here. The president is pushing a bill that he personally benefits from. We don't see his taxes. And we have this provision that seems to be a carve-out for him, his son-in-law. And others who, happen to -- be sitting on top of LLCs. That is not an incig knife captain thing here in the politics. Sit not a perfect bill. There are provisions that probably shouldn't be in there. However, when everybody gets tax cut, that includes the president and members of congress. I suppose. But not even has real estate LLCs. That's how he gets moat of hi income. Not everybody has an estate over $10 million. Is there these are fair points. People who make more money pay more taxes. When there's a tax cut, they themselves tepid to get more relief. That won't be the case in states like California and New York. There are many people frustrated by that. The average person understands the wealthier you are in America, the lower percentage your tax payments are. It's not a perfect bill. It will help everyone. One of the the big Ricks for the president. You look at that bill in a political context. This president made real promises to real Americans who have been struggling economically for years. And I was always struck when I would go out on the campaign trail last year, how much people believed in what he was saying. I don't think you can discount the idea that if he, and other wealthy Americans and corporations are seen as the big win nrs this and average Americans are getting $1500 or $2,000 in tax breaks, that is going to have a political impact. People in the country have looked the to Donald Trump to solve a lot of their problems. I don't think that will be the case. It needed to happen now because of Tuesday. Republicans lose another seat. Doug Jones probably coming in January 2nd. 51-49, it is so close. It's why everyone is scrambling to digest a 1,000-page bill. What's interesting is, I can't remember the last time you had Republicans, though it puts them at such a disaadvantage, celebrating a loss like that. John Cornyn didn't look that upset. They knew Roy Moore would be a headache for them on the hill and the campaign trail. They would rather deal with the Democrat in that seat than that. Day can't be excited about the turnout numbers among African-American, young people, women in Alabama. If you look at what happened in Alabama from the exit polling and election results. The number one indicator of how people voted. We they turned out wasn't anything to do with Roy Moore and nothing to do with the sex allegations. It had everything to do with Donald Trump. That was the number one I had cater of how somebody would vote and if they re enthusiastic. You move into a midterm electionier, after watching what happened in Alabama and taking what happened in New Jersey and Virginia. What happens in this is the wave now that is come, I thought was about 7 or 8 feet sh it's 11 or 12 feet. You have Democrats win the house of receiptives. You now open the territory for people that did not think they could win. Is this it's tough for the house because of the way that the districts are so protected by Jerry Manders. The 11-point wave is the latest Wall Street journal-nbc poll. That will be catastrophic for house majorities and probably the senate. If it's truly is 11 points at the end of the day. Since 1942, presidents under 50% in their job approval rating typically laz 3seats in the house. That's the majority. There's no way the to the will be above 50 by next year? No. I don't think the paradigm shift is enough. Those amp American numbers were impressive. In 2016, African-American turnout was down 4.3% in the country. Over 5% in key battleground states. A African-American women have proven to be the bull wark. African-American women have responded. They're watching this me too movement. Seven members of congress and the senate resign or say they're not running again over the last two weeks. And this wave is lookly still at the beginning. Sources I have talked with, they know there are more to come. You had three members quit in one week. They're braced for that. They realize what we're seeing may be the tip of the iceberg. You have congress working very quickly to put in place legislative solutions. Accountability in reporting. You have members of congress, just like journalists, trying to find more information here. Given the way the system is set up, they're trying to figure out who received settlements. How much money was paid off. Secret settlements paid for by taxpayers. This could lead to a purnl. You're going to see the kind of turnover we haven't seen in generations. This is affecting both sides of the aisle. This is not a Republican or democratic problem. What is so stunning is the lack of transparency involving elected representatives using taxpayer dollars to make settlements. It has put the white house in an uncomfortable position. Because of, in part, the allegation dpeps president trump. They have doubled down on the the idea they don't believe the women. They came forward and were not telling the truth. You'll see those women being more prom intercept heading into an election year. We're seeing a greater number of women running for house and senate seats next year. And we're seeing significant believe from Republicans in the sub you Ares. This is the season for the "Star wars" release, the suburbs are striking back. It's affected Washington, D.C. The Republicans may not have a Roy Moore problem. They have a Donald Trump prom in this regard. It puts Republican flaersd a tricky position. They're taking seriously any allegations against members of congress, it forces them to have to answer the question about comparisons to the president. And when that question is asked, the story is well, that's a didn't story. Is there we don't have jurisdiction. I thought the president's support for Roy Moore was calculated. Roy Moore, you know, he denied all his allegations. Donald Trump denies all his allegations. By definition, Donald trufr had to support Roy Moore. Because if you deny your Al dpagss, they must not be true. Does that peen they go away? No, they don't. And they won't. They may not cause him any more of a headache than they have this terms of P.R. Until and in which the house of representatives turns. In which case, not only does he have investigations intense on Russia. He'll have very aggressive instigations on -- We're hearing Democrats talk about impeachment. Resignati resignation. In 1998, Republicans pushed the impeachment card as far as ey could. In a year when the Democrats gained seats. Could they go too far here? It's politics. It's Washington, D.C. There's an instinct towards overreaching. It -- let's talk about where we are here. It's hard to go too far against somebody who releases a tweet against a standing U.S. Senator and basically tries to pardon my language, slut-shame Kirsten Gillibrand from New York state. Donald Trump has stretched all the boundaries of what might be too far in politics. There the base of the Democrat party is not going to let them not impeach Donald Trump. 81% of 82% of democratic lasers at the last poll I saw said Donald Trump should be impeached. There is no way the Democrats are not going to have to start holding impeachment hearings where the way the base feels. I think there's a lot of smoke swirling around. Not a smoking gun at this point. There are finger prints. There are fingerprints. The information during the Flynn plea deal. There was contact with wrush Ya. It with was more than Mike Flynn. Every piece of reporting we and others have done points to a lot of focus on what happened with the Comey firing. I think obstruction is where a lot of this is going to go to. It's not surprising to me that 70% of people feel there is a worth chooil investigation to be done. Cc1 Test message

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