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Trump And His 100-Day Agenda; Calls For Bipartisanship After GOP Health Bill Fails; Grassley: Gorsuch Vote Delayed One Week; Trump Notches His 13th Golf Course Visit. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired March 27, 2017 - 12:30   ET




[12:31:08] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning. We're going to win and win and win and sometimes I kid, I say you're going to get so tired of winning. You're going to say Mr. President, please let's lose just a little bit and I'll say, no. We're going to win so much. You're going to get so sick and tired of winning. You're going to come to me and say please, please, we can't win anymore.


JOHN KING, INSIDE POLITICS HOST: Well, we're two-thirds of the way to the 100-day mark and we are not tired of winning. Instead the President and his team are trying to understand and trying to explain a giant loss.


MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET DIRECTOR: I think what happened is that Washington won. I think the one thing we learn this week is that Washington was a lot more broken than President Trump thought that it was.

We haven't been able to change Washington in the first 65 days. And I think if there's anything that's disappointing and sort of an educational process to the Trump Administration was that this place was a lot more rotten than we thought that it was.


KING: And the dog ate my homework. I just -- you listen to this. Look, it's hard. It's hard. They lost and they're trying to put the pieces back together and to figure it out. But the President is new to Washington.

The President did spend two years on the road saying this is what is in before especially on Obamacare. I can make the deals. If you can't make a deal to politician, you're not very good. Those are the President's own words from the campaign. But Mick Mulvaney is a former member of Congress, a former Freedom Caucus member for that matter.

The Vice President of United States, Mike Pence, used to run the Republican study group, the Republican conference, policy guy. Tom Price was supposed -- in the Health and Human Services was the consecutive point man in the House on health care. Isn't this supposed to be team that told the President, you're new to Washington, trust us, this one's hard?

MARGARET TALEV, BLOOMBERG NEWS: Well, this is a message to the base, to the core Trump supporters, which is -- we told you there was a swamp. We told you it was going to take draining. It's even worse than you imagine. This is a pitch to double down on conference, give him a little bit more time.

The problem is two fold. Number one, beyond the base he has to try to hold kind of that middle part, not to be blue or never going to vote for him, never voted for him but the people who were persuaded to put him over the top. That message is less of a message that may resonate with them.

And the second part is that they actually have done. And that messaging is not a clear path toward getting stuff done going forward. But it's a temporary measure to try to say, look, give me a little bit more time. I told you the system was broken and it's really, really broken. It's sort of an obvious messaging tool, but it has its limits.

KING: Has its limits in the sense that the people Mick Mulvaney just called rotten there are his friends.


KING: And these are the guys he used to serve at -- it was Republicans who denied the President votes. There were moderates who couldn't go there either because they move the bill to the right. But it's just --

MIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: And there's no more -- no group more anti-Washington and anti-government and anti- establishment than the House Freedom Caucus. So there's some idea that somehow they are the embodiment of the swamp and all that's wrong with Washington is a little hard to believe. And --

KING: But they were keeping their promise.


KING: Whether you agree or disagree, this is what they said they were going to do when they ran.

HENDERSON: They were standing on principle, they were standing on what they ran for all of these years. You know -- I mean, the President has to figure out whether or not he needs the House Freedom Caucus. And it seems like he needs them more than they need him. KUCINICH: Absolutely. And he want to talk about a swampy issue, tax reform.


KUCINICH: I mean, then you're going to have all the special interest involved and everyone trying to get their own piece of this. So, if they were appalled by this, it's not going to get any better at this point. And to your point, I mean, Mick Mulvaney was one of the members that in this situation they would be trying to convince him.


KUCINICH: He just happens to be on the other team.

KING: What do they do now when the President has attacked them on Twitter? They are getting a lot support back home though from the people who sent them here.

KUCINICH: Exactly.

KING: Whether it's aggressive (ph) voters who sent them here, small Tea Party groups, small Conservative groups, where the people gave them money, the bigger Tea Party groups, (INAUDIBLE) as they're saying amen. This was Obamacare lite, this was still the government, thank you.

[12:35:03] What happens? We're days away from having a conversation about defunding Planned Parenthood. Days away, that's key to whether or not you pass the continuing resolution, sorry America, that's called the money, to keep the -- you know, keep government going. I don't assume the Freedom Caucus people feel very coward today.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If you feel like they were scorched by this process, you're wrong. Now, they legitimately don't feel good about the fact that health care has been taken off the table. They believe -- they were true believers in what they wanted to do, what they campaigned on. There's no question about it.

Here's the interest thing and I'd open it up to you guys whether you think this is actually going to work but it's what I've heard over the course of the last three days from senior White House officials and senior House aides. The idea and you heard them hint at it, on the Sunday shows, if you guys don't want to play, then the legislation is going to become more moderate. If you didn't think this was good enough for you, we're going to open the door to center stems (ph). This is your play right now. You need to decide to sit this one out and the President who is as ideologically, limber as any individual to sit in the White House that we've seen in a very long time has no problem saying goodbye to you.

And the pitch being that, OK, maybe they'll back off a little bit and at least be willing to deal on that. And I think that's a fundamental misreading of how these guys operate and how they showed themselves over the course of the last three weeks. But that is the pitch that you're hearing a lot right now from the White House and leaderships.

KING: And some of that, we'll talk about this a little bit later too on infrastructure and trade, maybe you do some of that, but they decided to do health care first.


KING: That was a choice. Now, I understand their reasons. You get money from health care form that you bring as a tax reform (ph). That was a choice. And the outsider President decided to go with the insider game and do it that way. But the clock is ticking when it comes to Planned Parenthood and government shut down and things like that. They have no choice and they get fight with those guys on that. They're in trouble.

KUCINICH: And there's not that many centers (ph) down in the House --


KUCINICH: And who -- and if the Freedom Caucus doesn't have a lot of incentive for the President or loyalty to him at the end of the day, this interest demes will? No way. He's going to have to do a lot of work to get those members as small as they are to trust him.

HENDERSON: Yes. It's hard to know who it is. I mean, you've heard from Schumer at least early on this idea that he could work with the President, then the President at some point called him a clown, called him a loser, called Nancy Pelosi a loser. It's important too. He called John Lewis essentially said that he didn't done anything for his district.

You saw early on the President try --


HENDERSON: Exactly. Exactly, building relationships. At some point he was reaching out to people like Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Manchin but even that seems to have just been frittered away and it seemed like it was just a photo app. So this idea that all of a sudden is going to be Kumbaya, bipartisanship and there are all these Dems who want to work with this President.

I talked to some Democrats before I came on air, and I was surprised at the number of times the word hatred was used to describe the way they feel about this President. That was pathological liar. They don't trust him. They feel like he throws people under the bus.

And if you look at these --

TALEV: I think the trust issue really is part of the problem. It's not like -- it's actually merchant trade (ph) transaction.


TALEV: Come on guys. Who were you kidding, right? Although Part of the Democrats calculations now is going to be fundraising. Know what their donor's expect. Part of it is going to be momentum for the midterms. And then the third part of it is on the transactional front, if it's something that they actually want that will help, if they don't trust the authenticity of the negotiations --


TALEV: -- and the terms of the deal, I mean, negotiator then there's no deal to make. And that is if President Trump decides to go in that direction, move away from the ideology of the party, that's what he was to work on.

KING: Also on that question, let's take a quick break. But we'll raise it (ph). Members of the White House last week, they said there was no plan B. Well, now that they've lost health care. Is plan B a run of bipartisanship? A lot of talk about that and a lot of reasons to believe though it's tough.


[12:42:41] KING: Welcome back. Well, to borrow an old Ronald Reagan line, there you go again.


GOVERNOR JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: You cannot have major changes in major programs affecting things like health care without including Democrats from the very beginning.


KING: That's the Ohio Governor John Kasich on CNN yesterday leading a course of calls for bipartisanship in the wake of the Republican Obamacare repeal disaster. Yes, working together would be a big change here in Washington.

But as we talked a little bit about last block, don't bet on it. There are giant policy differences on the big items just ahead. Plus Democrats at the moment see a weakened President and see little reasons to help him. Take Bernie Sanders for example. His definition of bipartisanship, President Trump he says should back his call, years long call, for a single-payer government health care plan.


SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: President Trump, come on board. Let's work together.


KINGS: Odds are.

HENDERSON: Not happening.

KIING: But that's where we are at the moment. I mean, I'm having a little fun with this, but, you know -- but yes, it's possible a little bit on trade and yes it's possible on infrastructure down the road because a lot of consecutives don't like the -- don't know where the money is going to come from to spend for that. But at this moment in time, when Democrats phones are ringing off the hook to fight this President and they see his approval ratings number in a 30s, I think anybody waiting at least for the Democrats to go the President's way is going to be waiting a long time.

KUCINICH: Well remember when they tried and when they were going through cabinet nominations, and some of the Democrats were voting people out of committee --


KUCINICH: -- they were getting backlash from their base. There were huge pressure from the base to oppose this President and we talked a little bit about fundraising 2018. They see blood in the water. So they don't want to reach out to this President and who hasn't really reached out to them.

TALEV: Yes. You would need some confidence building exercises.


TALEV: You know, sort of maybe throw Joe Manchin one or something. You know what I mean, it just, you know. And swamp aside, it's harder without earmarks, it's harder without kind of those old school traditional levers. And it's harder without greasing the wheels somehow. Rides on air force one. This, you know, a willingness for the President to stop across party alliance and build those alliances on those personal relationships until that begins. It's just hard to see.

KING: The immediate test before us on this question is the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. A remarkable that last week a Supreme Court nominee had confirmation hearings and there were barely noticed here on the country because of all the other drama going on.

[12:45:08] But the judiciary committee was meeting today and the Democrats exercise their right to delay the vote in the community for week. Bipartisan, right?

If this is a procedural move, it happens a lot. So there's no equity (ph). But, again, that's just going to get the Republicans back up a little bit more in this time. There's nothing to unify the Republicans more than a Supreme Court nomination. So in a way, after a very tough week, this is a good thing for the President for his base to fight about this. But the Democrats are not -- they're not going to reach out, right. As he going to get -- there's no way he's going to get 60.

MATTINGLY: No. I mean, and they've said it publicly. And I've actually been kind of stunned by that. I thought -- especially based on the hearing which I think by all accounts was a very positive thing. Look, this guy has been the shining beacon of hope for the Trump administration and no one's paid any attention to him for the course of the last couple of weeks. Democrats have clearly made -- coming conclusion that based on the record, based on the politics, based on whatever, there are not going to be eight of them that are willing to help get this through. And again I'm slightly surprised by that. I thought that if you're going to have a fight, I talked to a lot of Democrats behind the scene who said this is a Scalia (ph) seat. It's the next seat. It's the one that really maters. Do we really want the nuclear option now? They're clearly decided the answer to that is yes.

And it has huge ramifications going forward depending on what the majority leader does. And I think he's already said, what he's going to do.

KING: And the minority leader in this -- the Democrat, Chuck Schumer, he said this adjunct more at "The New York Times", we're not going to sacrifice our values for the sake of compromise. Do you think people from red state are going to be for tax reform with 98 percent of tax breaks going to the top 1 percent? So not only are the Democrats saying we're not ready to reach out to you, Mr. President. They think they can go after some of his guys.

HENDERSON: Yes. I think that's right. And you saw some of that play out with the 17-day effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. I've been talking about a war on seniors. Them talking about, you know, all of the things that would impact negatively Trump's base. So, yes -- I mean, here is so little I think enthusiasm or any sort of backing that these Democrats would get from their base for them to play with Donald Trump in any way.

It is anti-Trumpism that binds Democrats together. It's what gives them sort of hope and purpose at this point. And the idea that they're going to turn away from that and play ball with Donald Trump I think is --

KING: Is there any possibility though? He has defied every law of political gravity and defied every role of politics. Is there any chance that he can pull this rabbit out of his hat whether it's tax reform, whether it's something else and somehow find a bipartisan moment to get a W (ph) on the court?

TALEV: I don't know. I mean, the bipartisan question is one that we would need to see certain steps that haven't been taken. It's entirely -- of course he could. But -- I mean, in order to be successful, he would need to do things he hasn't done yet.

KING: Right. Nobody scraped through that yet. Clock's ticking. Everybody sit tight. Next, candidate Trump said one sad part of winning would be giving up golf. So far, no, he hasn't.


[12:52:05] KING: You might remember as a candidate Donald Trump openly talked about his love of golf and how prepared he was to give it up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: But if I were in the White House, I don't think I'd ever see Turnberry again. I don't think I'd ever see Doral again. I own Doral in Miami. I don't think I'd ever see many of the places that I have. I don't think I'd ever see anything, I just want to stay in the White House and work my ass off and make great deals, right? Who's going to leave? Who's going to leave?


KING: Well, 67 days in, turns out the President is seeing his golf courses and other places that bear the Trump name quite a bit. Check out this calendar. So far President Trump has visited a Trump property nearly one out of every three days as president. Now most of that as you can see is the weekends down at Mar-a-Lago. So be it, except you're making this point earlier, the President deserves a break. The President deserves to go on the golf course. It's a stressful job.

Democrats used to yell (ph) at George W. Bush when he went to Crawford. The Republicans including that guy there used to scream when Obama golfed, and that's the problem.

KUCINICH: That's the thing. If he had never criticized Obama for the golf games, this wouldn't be an issue. No one would be talking about it. It -- because I think there is an understanding that this is -- this is a 24/7 job whether or not you're on vacation or not or whether or not you're in Washington or you're in Florida. It doesn't matter. But because of all the criticism, you've got to look at it now.

HENDERSON: You know, I think it's also because he's going to his properties. He's branding them as the summer White House or whatever it is. The southern White House or the winter White House or whatever, so that I think is part of the criticism too.

You know, in part of the argument that I think Republicans were trying to get at around Obama was that he was lazy, right? He was spending his time golfing when he should have been doing other things. And I will say this. After they spent so few days trying to repeal and replace health care, you do wonder if he could have spent more time in D.C. More time meeting with people in the White House and sort of using the perks (ph) --

KING: Or golfing with the Freedom Caucus.

HENDERSON: Exactly. Yes.

TALEV: You know, there's the secondary issue though also which is that he'll go to the property that has a golf course --

KING: Yes.

TALEV: But they will not confirm that he's actually golfing --

KING: Right.

TALEV: -- which seems like unnecessarily (INAUDIBLE) like, that's fine, you can go. I mean, who would begrudge that to any president, to get some fresh air, to stretch a little bit, maybe to have some either --

KING: The same people who won't tell us if they meet with Russian officials during the campaign.

TALEV: And adds on unnecessarily additional credibility.

KING: Which brings up this Phil. I know you're tracking this closely on Capitol Hill where you work most days. This is the Mar-a-Lago act.


KING: It's a stunt. It's a stunt by Democrats to say that if the President is going to go to these places, then there should be record keeping. Visitor logs just like there are at the White House. If you visit the President at the White House, if you came (ph) at the White House complex serve, visitor logs.

This has zero chance of passage, but the Democrats who introduced it now from the Senate, they would acknowledge it's a stunt, but I think it's an important stunt to draw attention to what they believe is a legitimate issue. Who is the President meeting with when he's off in these places that there -- that we have no idea?

[12:55:02] MATTINGLY: And it doesn't just extend to his properties, it also extends to the White House where Margaret (INAUDIBLE) but we haven't seen -- they had an updated visitor logs at the White House since he's actually been in yet. And I think this is a big issue. It's a political stunt, there's no question about it. It's an ability to map out a number of words that equal Mar-a-Lago is epic and topnotch staffer.

KING: Making access of records available to lead American government openness.

MATTING: That's topnotch staffers.

HENDERSON: Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes.


MATTINGLY: That's "a" game right there. But no, I think Democrats clearly see that this is an opening, this is an opportunity and the fact that work on his properties and at the White House right now you have no idea who's coming in and out. And the Obama White House didn't make it easy on us to figure out who is coming in and out, but at least they've dropped all the names. You can't see right now and that raises real concerns and it raises kind of political opportunities.

KING: It tees up shall we say an important access of government records issue. That's it for "Inside Politics." Again, thanks for sharing your day with us. Hope to see you back here.

Right tomorrow, the White House briefing live in the next hour. Wolf will be here after a quick break.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Wolf Blitzer. It's 1:00 p.m. here in Washington. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us.

Up first, new developments in the Russia investigation, the aftermath of the stunning health care defeat and where the Trump administration goes from here. Those are just some of the likely topics that today's White House press