'Trump is doing everything that Biden needs at this point': Rahm Emanuel

The Powerhouse Roundtable looks ahead to the last two weeks of the presidential race on "This Week."
16:13 | 10/18/20

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Transcript for 'Trump is doing everything that Biden needs at this point': Rahm Emanuel
If I lose Minnesota, I'm never coming back here, I don't care. How do you lose to a guy like this, is this possible? I will never come to Pennsylvania again. If don't get Iowa, I won't believe that one, I may never come back here again. Can you believe if I lose, my whole life, I'm going to say I lost to the worst candidate in the history of politics. I'm not going to feel so good. Maybe I'll have to leave the country? I don't know. Rahm Emanuel joining us, Sarah isger, first, Chris, welcome back. I'm glad you're feeling better right now. You often said that the president wouldn't change. That he is who he is. Is he doing what he needs to do for these final two weeks? Listen, in the last few weeks what he has to do is remain disciplined on the economic message. I think there are real concerns by people across the country about what Joe Biden will do. They admitted they will take back the trump tax cut. That will raise taxes on middle class families. No matter what vice president Biden says, that is the truth. The fact here is that the president should be focused on the economic message. He gets great credit, and I think if they're looking to the future in that way the president has a better chance of winning than if we talk about old grievances. And I just, you know, this goes back, George, you remember on the show we talked about the memo that I sent to the president over 110 days ago now. I said if you run the campaign you ran in 2016 and 2020, it will not be a winning campaign. Rahm Emanuel, what worries you the most? Sometimes I feel like that dog in the commercial where you hear the music and you have we have seen this before. I look at this each time and I watch the polling in this area. Watch the state polling in this area. And I realize that Joe Biden is in a better position. I think complacency is one thing. What also worries me is making sure that the voters understand that this is a campaign against a culture of grossness on the presidentness. Presidency. I would also add in thiscase, campaign is about everything that you need to do and everything that your opponent needs them to do for you to win. Trump is doing everything that Biden needs at this point. He never laid out a second term agenda, or what he wants to do. And we need to make the argument about a future for this country and focus on bringing back decency and a future that works for everybody. There is not a day to waste with two weeks to go. I felt for the chair of the RNC when she has the president taking on Republican senators up for reelection. You're starting to see senators go on different tracks from the president, is there a way to coordinate this campaign right now? No. At this point a lot of the down ballot candidates believe that trump already lost. They're looking ahead to try to survive the election and also the future of the Republican party. If trump only loses by a little, the question will be is it just a post trump party? He was a flawed messenger? Or is it a full repudiation of Donald Trump's presidency and the direction he took the Republican party. I think you will see more and more defections at governor Christie pointed out. The president refuses to stay on any economic message and the more he makes this about himself and culture, this will be a turnout election. There are no more persuadable voters to go. He is discouraging early votes allowing Democrats to bank voters. Republicans and RNC folks are going to concentrate so hard on turnout that they will have three times as many voters they have to hit on election day than the Democrats will. They don't have the votes banked. There is a lot that the Republicans have uphit in these next two weeks and I don't see how the down ballot folks will be able to distinguish that. These early vote numbers are pretty staggering right now. It sure looks like we're on the road to record turnout. The Democrats appear to have the edge in those that have voted so far. What we don't know is whether or not they're just banking votes that they're going to get anyway. That's one of the. Folks are worried about voter suppression, and I think that is a reason that democratic voters are going out really, really early. They don't trust all of these changing rules still happening in states as people are voting. And we have been encouraging them to go out early. I think that momentum is going to continue. I don't they trump is helping himself among any voter not decided. Among any independent voter, any voter that has not voted before. He continues to strut around like nothing has happened. He continues to not wear masks, he is dancing at parties, he has big rallies, and I think the more time that goes on voters that are undecided, those that have not been encouraged yet to vote, they go out in record in your opinions. I continue to worry about voter intimidation, that machines might be down we're working really hard to make sure our voters are going out hard. We're also seeing the president out there barnstorming. Record numbers of coronavirus cases again, the highest numbers since July. How big of a proem is that for the president? Also comment on some of your fellow former Republican governor that's are sitting governors right now. Charlie baker, Larry hogan, they're saying they're not going to vote for president trump. Well, listen, Charlie baker and Larry hogan are dear friends of mine. It's not surprising. They're sitting governors of blue states. I don't suspect them to support them now. I think he has that in mind and Larry has a future as well. So they're all looking towards their future. So I don't think that means all that much. I don't think anyone was wondering whether or not he would win Massachusetts or Maryland. I don't think it matters all that much. I think the bigger issue here is not so much how the rallies are going, but what will the president say at the rallies? What will he say on Thursday night at the debates. If he can get people focused on the fact that Joe Biden wants to raise taxes, that he would not repudiate the green new deal. You asked him why is it on your website if you don't want it? And he didn't really have a good answer for that. That is a huge expenditure as well. I think the pi should be focusing folks on those things in his rallies and in his debate on Thursday night. And those grievance issues, the people motivated by those issues, they're voting for the president. We need to turn out people that won't vote because they don't like either candidate at the moment, or are still somewhat undecided and persuadable. I think that is more important than how something looks, it's what is being said in these last two weeks. What does Joe Biden need to do? How will he handle those attacks from president trump? Look, I think you saw that the other day in the two town halls. I think that there was a decency and a respect that came across. I don't think it was an accident that it was on ABC. People are hungry for answers. Joe Biden has an agenda for the future. The president has not laid one out, and the American people never forget that an election is about tomorrow. And I do think that is a strategic advantage and Biden has to press down on that. All of what trump offer social security a divisiveness. And the second thing I want to add is this. For all of the Republicans in the senate now, I'm sorry but you made a bargain. After three-and-a-half years, and now you're finding the moral courage to speak up. That dog won't hunt. I don't get this. Always at the synagogue. That dog won't hunt. Three-and-a-half years, all of the things the president has done, now with two weeks to go you're going to abandon him. As he showed in the town hall, it's not about you, and it's not about me. A lot of people ithe white house think that Ben sasse leaked that tape on his own. My assumption is he did. I was throwing that to Sarah, take it, Sarah. He has some Texas phrases up there in Texas. I need to teach him "All hat and no cattle" next. I think these candidates are looking at the polls. That is the opposite of what we saw in 2016. I would not be surprised to see candidates Ben sasse. The top tier senate races, they're pulling tighter, that is what is really shocking. When you look to 2022 the Republicans can't get any of the seats back. The states up in 2022 are bad for Republicans. I think overall the Republican party is having a bit of a panic attack right now in part because the president can't really get past these grievance issues. And yes, this will be a turnout election and the complacency on the democratic side that I think the trump campaign want today see wasn't there. That's why this fascinating study that came out that said people sitting at there -- It seems like Amy coney Barrett is going to sail towards them. It doesn't appear from the Democrats are prepared to do anything about it, or they can't. You know a lot of Progressives including our organization democracy for America has called on Diane Feinstein. I don't understand. We have been having some political issues among issues as we lead outside of health care and other things when you think about the future of our country as it relates to health care, as it relates to choice, marriage equality. And so many other issues with voting rights and education. On behalf of Democrats, it is appalling. And I will tell you that we will see many actions over the course of next week. Our organization will be making calls to senators in the next week. This is a very critical issue. And we're very, very glad that Joe Biden clarified his position on the future of the court during the town hall that he had with you. What Democrats want is to see Democrats fighting back against the cheating of Mitch Mcconnell and Republicans. The strategy that Mitch Mcconnell had. He has a ways to come, I want to get back to the economy. Is he closing the deal with Nancy Pelosi, too, and should he tell Mitch Mcconnell that we need to vote on it. He sounded like wimpy from the old popeye cartoon. I'll give you an answer before election day, maybe, about whether or not I'm going to pack the court. It's ridiculous to say he clarified his position. If they're happy with that answer they've lost their way. He didn't give an answer. Every action as an equal and opposite reaction. No, it doesn't. He is saying if you want to pull those strings, we will also be ready to rectify it. I would love to interrupt you but you weren't saying anything of any substance so I let you go. The fact of the matter is this. You're responding to what I just said. You're responding now to what I said. What the president just talked about and needs to talk about in the last two weeks, George, and what will get some candidates more enthused, is the difference between what he wants to do. This is the difference, this is starting to remind me a little of the bush/gore campaign. When they focused on restoring honor and dignity to the oval office. That will be Biden's argument in the last few weeks. George, on this, there is a key point between Sarah and Chris. The trump car, the last 3.5 years, about the character of Donald Trump, the coarseness, are the American people saying we want a course correction. When an incumbent runs, do you play them or trade them. The American people are saying the culture, the character, when you vote for an executive, you're voting for the person, they made a decision about the character of Donald Trump and they want him out. That will have to be the last word today. Two weeks, two days to go. Going for a record turnout for 2020. We'll be right back.

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

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