A Republican congressman who might not vote for Trump | FiveThirtyEight

Congressman Will Hurd of Texas spoke with the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast about who he’ll vote for in November, what he thinks of the U.S. COVID response and more.
27:01 | 07/30/20

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Transcript for A Republican congressman who might not vote for Trump | FiveThirtyEight
Now. I'm game. Congressman from Texas real. It's present on and the future of the Republican Party. Some critical ports. And his own party. He's previously. Plans and for president Paul. Says sure. Representative Byrd is one of only four Republican lawmakers. Still represented district Hillary Clinton one. XT. And he's the all black Republican. He's also retiring at the end of this her. Hello congressman and welcome to the 530 politics podcast. Things are happening arm will act uncles say hi Galen Wright is and how as how the rest of the team always does it. I thought. You can hear however you. There's a lot of want to ask you about but let's deal with the news of the date first this morning president trump suggested delaying the presidential election. Which congress has the power to New York branch of government do you support filling the auction. We are not an authoritarian government where the head of state gets to decide on a whim. Win a win that election happened so no this is Congress's role as you said I should go for it as has been established and ultimately. But I'm I'm of the opinion. That we should be increasing the ways for for people to vote right the more people to vote the better off it is and this is something that I've been able to prove. And during my time in congress that if you take a message to more people you can give it to resonate with more people and and we shouldn't be afraid. As we've mentioned and congress has the role of deciding that date for the election but the president has a lot of control over the United States Postal Service he also has an important say in whether states get funding to help and administering this election. So if the president were to take any moves to make administering the election more difficult to any of the avenues he pat what would you do. Well oh ultimately idle I don't think this is something that's even being discussed up here. When it comes to oversight that's been done in these of these entities those aren't being debated the states are pretty clear. On their role in how to administer elections. I'm these are debates that have happened you know and in previous administrations on on the State's role. Is what damme went on speaking of a specifically so. As I've always said tweet is not. AEA. Government fee odds. And on this is something we know making sure I wouldn't vote for it to change the date we should be moving forward my governor just extended. I'm early voting in Texas. I'm I think that's a good move to make sure that people are able to have more opportunity and we should be working. The federal government especially DHS should be helping. The states when it comes to you know defending the digital infrastructure of our votes so great series this him go ahead. A tweet of course is not a Fiat but now the the president of the United States has suggested delaying the election we have to take it seriously. So if he were to suggest any of the things I read Al. What would you do in response and what are you doing now to make sure that the legitimacy of the result of the election and is believed in people's ot. Why I think this is this is a question that big and south. Prior to 2016 I was actually went right wing Republicans were in power in the house a man held the first hearings on the Russian attempts at trying to influence our elections and so protecting the sanctity of our elections or something that I've been involved in. And now ladies and essentially sixteen. There is no proposals that at at and right now in front of congress to do this on this is something that neither the senate nor house has has an interest in doing. There has been no. And language or directions given to Postal Service based on arm what what I said or what I've seen so far since this morning. And so you take this as it comes but in the end. I'm moving the election is not is not is is this awesome how would support. I think talking about it is even takes. Focus off of of real issues and it's something that. Is is unhelpful and unnecessary a right now and I want to see ways to make voting easier and increased voting because in the end you know we should be giving voters. In the options as they can to do this safely especially. As we're dealing now with co overnight team and will probably be dealing with Kobe nineteenth through the the election and well instant queue to a 20/20 one. Are you supporting the four billion that Democrats hot and their current proposal to help states set up there collection infrastructure of a small. I haven't seen look at that that the proposal is out I'm when we're gonna vote on that when that's in front of us I don't have that the data that. Is four billion what's ultimately necessary. In some of these places. I think that number is probably a little time. I think when it comes to. Making sure if that deal the the 100000. Plus. Election districts across the country. Have the PP in order gifts for their workers to to make sure they can hold these elections early. Making sure that we can increase the UV the ability to do early voting on increasing that time horizon. And the number of people that have access to it these are all things that I'm supportive. In some of the the the democratic legislation there's stuff like the vote harvesting and and things that I am not supportive of and so if it was something that's. I I think he can get a bipartisan. A package together. And if my colleagues on the side of the aisle where ridge the governor. Yeah let's talk about that bipartisan package now and the increased unemployment benefits expire this week. And what we're just talking about three point six billion Democrats were suggesting for helping election administrators this fall. Was part of Democrats heroes bill which has already passed house. Now the senate Republicans in particular are working on their response. They say they wanna put together a package that's one trillion compares to the Democrats three trillion they say they want to reduce the unemployment benefit from 600 dollars to 200. A week and Democrats want to keep it at 600. At this point. What does a compromise bill look liking your what do you want to. Look I think I think I believe instant envoy here number two Democrat in the house said that 600 number. Can't can probably be negotiated. I think the final number for unemployment support will be somewhere between that 600 and in 200 I think there needs to be can continue support to folks that are unemployed. And I believe there needs the additional. A money for Frontline folks to do the testing. And I've been on calls. All week at last couple weeks being honest. With superintendents throughout my district. I'm 29 counties I represent. Urban stance on you know which is in the simplicity in the country. It's a loving county which has 95 people in the entire in the entire county. And so making sure that superintendents have the tools they need is some folks the some superintendents in my district. That would love to Margaret testing facility. Acts on their campus and use some of their own employees and we're to test students and teachers in the Stanley managed the students but they don't have some new equipment view that we should be providing in them and cares two point award four point Ellis endless war on highway heavy want to call that the next the next to help him to be able to give. This. Schools. What are the resources. That they'll need to do this we also need to figure out how we can help additional resources. Two to deal with the processing. Of attacks. There have been a number of tests being administered. Across nine states in my hometown Santonio. Weaved in leader in this in this issue since January when we had 91. American citizens rights stance in Texas from Wuhan China. At the beginning of this pandemic but the bottom that is and once that sample is collected is processing that sample. And determining whether it's positive or negative that's taking on in some cases up to two weeks. Which is way too long and so how we speed up that process is something that should be indicators package I also believe. You need supports these states and in local municipalities. I'm since. CC. They are finding ability has been has been constricted. Must take Texas mind my home state for example. In the next budget they're probably gonna have a four on a forty billion dollar hole. So it either we saw with unemployment. On the Texas workforce commission couldn't keep up with with the demand so we need to make sure there's resources for states and such in order to administer those things up. So something that helps with the modernization of these resources. Should be and advocates package as well two and all of this I wish this were involved in being negotiated a weeks ago and not just happen you know over the last you know. So what we're talking about here is a cluster of crises are pandemic all recession and and on top of that were also dealing with reckoning with systemic racism in the country you've laid out a watt that you think the government can view at a time like this. Had any of these crises meet you rethink the role that you think government should play in society. Look great question and 11 of the things he also left out is. We are and a generational defining Chicago what the government of China. The Chinese Government has China surpassed the United States as cynical as this is the global superpower by rights when he 49. And that's driving when it comes the five GA quantum computing and this is good to chime in the American economy for a long time is determined. And the world economy for for a long time so lax in the back. Of all these things that we are we are dealing wit. Look at what when it comes to what the federal government can do in the federal government can help in some places. And make sure that that everybody has equal opportunity on the someplace sometimes and getting away. Of creativity in an entrepreneur ownership so. Has it changed my perspective. My goal as a represented him is to help people about the bureaucracy. Who need it battle and I deal with the issues like. A woman who lost her husband. And disposed to getting benefits from the VA eight. But for some reason the VA screws up and that she's not getting those benefits and she may get evicted from her home. So these are these are at that ways that you know as a government helping in that place in that case yes but they're also creating a problem because they're not being efficient. And effective and so in in my time in congress try to make sure that when government does play a role that's being effective and efficient. And solving in this arming some of these. In some of these problems though. Have these things change my opinions. I don't know what that's the case I would say I think these these global issues that we dealing with. I'm shows. The rules that government at different levels on the rule that they that they have to play. In the lives. Marcos'. How do you think the country. Far. I think it's mixed reviews and and so again I go back to in my experience. I believe was a second or third week in January when those 91 American citizens of our sense from the Texas. At Lachlan air force base. And what we what we saw there. The questions. If somebody at lax and air force base got tested positive what did you do with them. They had to leave the base but the city and county didn't want somebody transiting that enable it what hospital facility they go to. If this was it this was an increase what would you do and so so to meet. It in my hometown San Antonio we. We've leave. We've weaved. Done a good job of working. At eight at a local level. A state level and with the federal support from entities like FEMA and CDC so I feet on the ground we've seen some of that. Like I said earlier in and our conversation overall I think that countries. Should come. But now we have the worst we have that we have increasing. A death rates right we have the most number of people. That are dealing with this right right right I think the impact has had to the United States of America vs other countries is that it would where we're dealing with one of the worst some of the worst cases. We're having debates on whether you should he wearing a mask and a Wear a mask. I like the mask you know is its protect yourself but also with a packed protect the people around you so. Why are we why are we debating that this debate and and fights around whether school should open and not. We shouldn't be debating we should we talk about how we work together in order to six to exceed. CDC guidelines on opening schools not whether or not it should happen and so so yes there's there's all kinds there's all kinds of problems and I'm always trying to work with these these folks that deal with the Parma as it is right now. And and we couldn't handle we couldn't handle I think a third I know in Texas. A third of its assets of corona virus have been in in nursing homes. That's outrageous. And also on prisons and so we couldn't handle this in nursing homes in prisons. How are we going to be handle it in and then in an educational. In an environment where it it is even more chaotic than those other places so so we we have we have a long way to go and guess what this is this is a marathon this is not a sprint. We're gonna be in this. Probably until at least cutesy look of the next year. And and so so yes so so we need it week week this week we're not out of woods. This could potentially get worse and where battling and fighting some of the some of the though the wrong battles when we should be working together to try to see how these bombs and have good health health sources. Those wrong battles that you mentioned about masks about opening schools and so on a lot of that is coming from the president of the United States and right now his approval rating. When it comes to battling the pandemic. Is negative 22 you net write 60% of Americans think he's not a record job this is a matter of life and it's a matter economics. And for a lot of people going to be what they vote on in the fall of giving your assessment do you think that president truck deserves a second term. Why I think is based on those numbers you've shown that he's gonna have a hard time earning a a a second term and this is. Well look I I think I want to vote for for someone an election whose you know who's been inspired a country and out of ideas but. This is you know what 976. Days left in the election he's had a law he's gonna have a long way to go in order to change people's. Opinions and mines and I think this as you said one of those issues I'm assuming that shelves yells polling on this. I'm but this is not just. The current issue with width with corona virus. I'm I've been talking about the Republican Party in general for a long time needs to start appealing more. The communities of color people winner with a college degree in the suburbs and people on the agents when he nine Ayman Al pod cast a couple weeks ago. You all had an interest seeing analysis. A comment. GOP. And the African American community you know sense since since Barry Goldwater. And when you look at the numbers are what we're of how Republicans are appealing to people. We're we're going in the wrong direction and so. The the November the November. Election is is going to be something that's gonna decide you know that Texas has the opera's. Has it we might lose the Statehouse Texas is purple. It's it's a jump ball and if we lose the state house the impact that's going to have. Gone on redistricting. Is arm you know is gonna define as that a defined politics for for a decade. I want to talk about all of that strategy and what the future of the party looks like by. Are you going to vote for trump the people. Like a lot of Americans. I wish I had different options on on on the ballot. And and I admire my plan has always Tutsis support. Republicans and William making those decisions over the next ninety days so it. You're going to decide whether or not to vote for him over the next ninety days. Mine that's how I always approach while election I'm just like everybody else. William previously thought that you will vote for trump this falls I'm just wondering if Europe has sent a little bit now. I think that's accurate I think best that year he also calling are showing that Tom Tom like everybody else. On that this is this is my I don't want to vote for. AKA. Joseph Biden because in the end some on the policies I think that a unified Democratic Party. Is going to pass in the 88 unified government. Would be it would be tough for the four for the country and the sayings that I don't support and haven't supported on during my time and in congress and in somebody who's represented a a large competitive district. I know something about competitive districts and what needs to be done and in order to win. And and so this is we are we are living in on an interest in times I think is. I under some. I understand the desire not to vote for Joseph Biden but I guess more specifically on whether or not you'll vote for Tom. Like what could change your mind in the next 98 days that would make you view and that has presidency differently then. What he's shown us so far. It's it's a good question and and and who knows I don't think a year ago you would have you we would have been thinking about. A global pandemic that would have impacted. The the the entire worlds and brought the world economy. Two to a standstill and so. That's you know you see who who knows what what can happen over these over these next they have these next few. Few weeks but in the end what I think that I bench I've preach to my colleagues is that this is you know we have to change. As a Republican Party we have to start appealing to approach to broader groups of people and and if we Jones. In it and also with the Republican Party doesn't start looking like America. We're not gonna have. A Republican Party in America. And and I'm a firm believer that I'm having to a strong two party system and a competition of ideas is what needs if you think. I make hobby disagree with you on this notion of driving out the base vs appealing to the middle. I I think most people in the political class think driving up the base is a way to go. But I have learned and I have been successful. In races that nobody thought I can win by appealing to brought a group of people. And that's a strategy that needs to be and he's been accepted in and everything you're saying here makes it sound like you are for. The case. Yes as I sent out we're Gannett which had I don't I don't like either one of my choices. And and a pennant. And in the end we're gonna evaluate this over over the Mets over the next ninety days or are ninety six's. OK so let's talk about where the Republican Party is added Saturday. That's argues that the Republican Party needs to look more like on there. And you know right now it doesn't yours the only. Black lawmaker. On the Republican side in the house. You think there are so few. Black lawmakers in the Republican caucus and house. So I think it is. The the difficulty of running for office I seek. The is I think that's one of them. I I I think also. Oh win win you know what I look at where I grew up in San Antonio in my experience is that texts and and and and growing up in Texas the people. On that I got to know and and and and an early young age were people like George W. Bush and Rick Perry and and these are folks that help. A craft my political ideology mine my father in who has been a Republican for four a long time. And so I think. A why they're not more elected officials from I'm trying to health folks from diverse communities. And how to run campaigns how to do. The that. X.s and knows when it comes to winning elections because because that's what it is it's hard. But but but we also need to make sure we're taking a message it's it's a different folks and that's why. You know I you know everybody asked me when I first got elected. Has a black Republican represented suddenly 1% Latino districts. And and I say it's because you know I I work hard. And and I show up to communities that had never seen a Republican show up and you do that multiple times. If you shelling out ninety days before an election that's called pandering and you have to be in in those communities. And that's something fat a show up showing up this is is half is have to battle and and unfortunately I think over time. You know professional political consultants talk about. Focus on you're likely X. Voter whether that's Republican primary voter a democratic primary voters. And rather than trying to grow and enhanced the appeal to a broad review its its heart it's hard and him. Do you think that part of the reason constant view that not just that Republicans are going into minority communities to campaign. But that they're actively appealing to a white identity. Look I think when you look at a at a person like a Steve King. And you know Steve King losing his primary is is ultimately a good thing. But win in you know folks that that. Have either been elected as a Republican. That say. You know racist and misogynist steak or homophobic things that hurts the the inn in entire the entire all of us. That identifying with with being a Republican and so what but what what I found not at that those people are not not that's not everybody some of those folks still and that that's not everybody. On the fact that Kevin McCarthy took. As Steve office office committees when he inmates some anti Semitic comments I'm. We you know those are changing but ever yet over time have those things instead. A yes and does that hurt yes and that's why are we have to speak out when those when those things I do happen. But I believe that if we had folks that are willing to engaged in and talk about. A major principles. You know 22 different communities that we can we can't ultimately be be successful. And I class and and I'm the eggs I've been the I've been the example. Of how to do that. The question here forward. Someone like you who has the goal of broadening the Republican party's appeal both in terms of voters and what the lawmakers look like. Is you know how do you do because we've heard this before we heard this from George W brush we heard this in the 2012. Post mortem that essentially saddened that minorities don't think Republicans like them or wap and in this country. Pretty bluntly instead we need to change that. But and you look at Republican primaries. And UC and often times. The most extreme voices are the likely is to win those primaries a 530 analysis shout. That the further right you are an immigration in a Republican primary. The better you do in the primary so how do you adjust that part of. It is it's act it's. That the constant I'd do it is arm is straightforward but its heart. You gotta you gotta change the nature of the voter right you got it you got. Most people appeal took for a floor vote right if people have voted for the last war Republican primaries and an end happens on the far left us as well to. And so you can't you have to make sure that you're appealing to your your bringing even new voters into the Republican and. A primary and there are a lot of people that vote for Republicans in general elections that don't vote. In in Republican primaries I think drew were dragging and bringing those people. And those primaries as important as well and and I would say I was once on out on a panel. But with a woman who was a visual director for the rock. Dwayne Johnson's right when the movie marijuana was coming out. And she said it won't want to came out and it was it failed at the box office. Are you gonna blame moviegoers are you say it was a crummy movie now I think no one is a good movie. But it's it's this kind of politics is the only place. Where we blame voters for not voting rather than saying we're not offering something or a product that people wanna come out to do so it starts with. You know appeal needs to abroad and -- people and doing the axes and those that are required to change a voters not just relying. On the folks that are what what what political consultants call those reliable voters it's hard it's not how campaigns Iran. But but I'm on the case in point and how we've been able to prove that we're successful silk Gail and I. I guess that this is a live action packed day I appreciate. I appreciate your time. And and and the sensitive and I enjoy enjoy yards on your products. I know you're regarded today thank you so much turning us. Awesome my name is Kim enter Tony chow is in a virtual control room you can touch right emailing us at podcasts that I thirty dot com. You can also of course greeted us when any questions or comments. If you're a fan of the show -- the reading a review in the apple podcast store or tell someone about us thanks for listening and policies.

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

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