Return to Transcripts main page

Inside Politics

Manchin Sinks Democrats' Plans on Climate Change, Taxes; Trump Says He's Made His "Big Decision" About 2024; Can Democrats Make Midterms a Choice, Not a Referendum?; Key Demographics Shifting Party Allegiances; Fetterman Campaign Taps Snooki to Troll Oz; Republicans Worried about Herschel Walker's Campaign in GA. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired July 17, 2022 - 08:00   ET





ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST (voice-over): Inflation is surging.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My rent has gone up. Groceries are like doubled. Gas is doubled. Everything is going up.

PHILLIP: What's left of the Biden administration is teetering.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): You cannot do something doesn't make any sense and causes more problems.

PHILLIP: And the president's approval rating is cratering.

VAN JONES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: We've got the White House. We've got the Senate. And we've got the House. Voters are going to hold us accountable.

PHILLIP: But can Democrats convince voters to focus on abortion and Donald Trump? Plus, the ex-president says he's made his 2024 decision as the January 6 Committee gears up for what could be its last hearing of the summer.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): American carnage. That's Donald Trump's true legacy. The Watergate break-in was like a Cub Scout meeting compared to this assault.

PHILLIP: And how Pennsylvania's pivotal Senate race became all about the jersey shore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Mehmet, I heard that you moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania to look for a job but Jersey will not forget you.

PHILLIP: INSIDE POLITICS, the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters, now.

(END VIDEOTAPE) PHILLIP (on camera): Hello and welcome to INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY. I'm Abby Phillip.

For the second time in seven months, Joe Manchin has stuck a dagger in the heart of the Biden administration. He's rejecting a plan with higher taxes on businesses and the wealthy to fight climate change.

Now, Manchin blames inflation, which in so many ways has hamstrung the Biden presidency. Economists say the bill has nothing to do with prices but Manchin told Chuck Schumer that he is not convinced.


MANCHIN: I said, Chuck, can we just wait until the inflation figures come out in July and then decide what we can do and how much we can do? He took that as no I guess.

They cannot have grips because I have a D by my name or someone has an R by their name, we should do whatever the sides want. That's not me. There's only one side as far as I'm concerned. That's the American side.


PHILLIP: So still not a flat no which in some ways infuriated Democrats even more. Quote: He is not concerned about working people, says Bernie Sanders. He's beholden to the fossil fuel lobby, says Jamaal Bowman. And, you can't trust him, says Pramila Jayapal.

Manchin did say, though, that he would support a health care bill that brings down prescription drug costs and President Biden says that it's time to take what he's offering.

Let's discuss all of this and more with Tamara Keith of NPR, CNN's Gabby Orr, CNN's Jeff Zeleny, and Seung Min Kim of "The Associated Press".

So, I got to show you this. This is such a turnaround from where we were a year ago. The Build Back Better agenda started like this. All of those agenda items, universal pre-K, so on and so forth, higher taxes on the healthy.

And here's what it is right now. We're down to two thing, Medicare costs and Obamacare subsidies, and that is all because of Joe Manchin. What is he doing here? I mean, is this really what he wanted at the end of the day?

SEUNG MIN KIM, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we never wanted -- well, Joe Manchin never wanted that laundry list that we just saw of all the bullet point items.

Remember, Democrats had an ambition of $6 trillion, negotiated down to 3.5 and then further. And then, Joe Manchin stuck a dagger into the whole plan when he was having discussions with Joe Biden back in December. What I find really remarkable, though, is over the last few months,

Manchin actually given us hints to do something on climate, which considering Joe Manchin and the state he represents is a really interesting development.

But inflation has been, you know, to Joe Manchin's credit, has been a consistent concern for the senators since last summer and now that the numbers are where are, you know, even though other Democrats have said, maybe we peaked we saw this week a 9.1 percent inflation rate and that is fueling Joe Manchin's concerns and saying let's put the pause on. But I think Democrats think he is done here.

PHILLIP: What is he looking for in terms of inflation? Is it really that he wants the number to be going down significantly to disappear altogether before he gets to a yes?

TAMARA KEITH, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NPR: He seems to have a concern about raising taxes on the wealthy in the face of rising costs, but also, his concerns are hard to pin down at times.


PHILLIP: Because it's changing. It seems to be changing.

KEITH: Now, what I will say is that the two remaining items that has been winnowed down to are still things that are important for Democrats to try to secure as they head into the midterms.

Obviously, it is not the huge dream list, laundry list that Democrats went in with. It's not a big, bold, ambitious agenda but avoiding a spike in Obamacare premiums in October on the eve of the election, that can't hurt.

And negotiating prescription drug prices, signaling that you care about things that Americans stress about all the time, those are fine things to campaign on.

PHILLIP: Yeah. I mean, that that's exactly right. The White House wants that. It was so interesting, Jeff. This weekend, Jill Biden on a fundraiser, really being candid about what it seems is a deep frustration and not just this moment. The whole Biden agenda is stymied by ongoing events.

She said: He's had so many hopes and plans for things he wanted to do but every time you turn around, he's had to address the problems of the moment. He's just had so many things thrown his way. She's not wrong.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: She's not wrong, and, you know, she is speaking clearly what is on his mind. They are incredibly close, but also, he knew this. No one knew the role of the president more than former vice president, former Senator Joe Biden.

So, look, this is what happens. It reminds me in the early days of the Obama administration, he said, you know, most presidents have two or three problems, I have six, seven, eight, nine problems on the desk. Well, welcome to the reality of this.

So, look, I think the -- back to the point here. Should they have gone for such a massive bill? Their majorities are very narrow. They're trying to sort of do all of this to reconciliation. That was likely never to happen.

So, this is a management issue at the White House. This speaks largely to was this the right strategy?

Tamara is right about this. There are 13 million reasons to sign this bill. Those are the 13 million Americans who could lose health care subsidies if this bill is not signed.

So, they should accept a victory most likely and move forward here. But it's not going to please Democrats, of course. But I think it's an expectations issue that was set incorrectly by this White House at the very beginning.

GABBY ORR, CNN REPORTER: I think one other thing that's interesting and needs to be mentioned here is the line that the Biden administration has to straddle every time that they try to work with Senator Manchin, with progressive Democrats.

I mean, a number of the quotes that you read at the beginning of the segment where you talked about, you know, Bernie Sanders saying he can't be trusted and others with frustration that this seems to hinge on one senator from West Virginia who's essentially dictating the Biden agenda through the midterms.

That is a very sort of delicate line to walk and it's frustrating progressives.

PHILLIP: And meanwhile -- well, front line Democrats are also not happy. They don't think that this is managed to your point.

Jeff, take a listen to Elissa Slotkin, one such Democrat this week.


REP. ELISSA SLOTKIN (D-MI): I think it should be the start of every press conference at the White House and every other relevant department agency. I think there should be a task force.

We have a responsibility in leadership to be honest with people, to not try to spin them, and then we have a responsibility to chart the way forward. I think people can feel and see spin and I don't think they like it.


PHILLIP: Just not feeling like there's a driving message on the economy from the White House.

KIM: Right, right. And it is those front liners like Elissa Slotkin who are also nervous about raising taxes even on the wealthy in this climate. And so that -- you know, on the policy, and some says was going to be a hurdle for Democrats to do this big bill but there's nervousness from the Democrats fighting the tough races and goes to a point.

There are like we mentioned earlier, you know, President Biden and now, Nancy Pelosi saying they feel like inflation peaked. And that's a pretty dangerous prediction to make.

PHILLIP: Well, they thought it peaked in December.

KEITH: And they thought it was going to peak in March.

ZELENY: They thought it was transitory. I recalled that word.

KEITH: And this term peak inflation was something that we were hearing in the spring. People are a little bit more cautious about that but officials saying gas prices were a huge part of the inflation number. So, maybe it has peaked.

PHILLIP: Well, speaking of gas prices, the president just coming back from Saudi Arabia where the fist bump seen around the world and a reflection of building more anger among his base for kind of going over there and seeming to sort of beg for more fossil fuels while climate change is being stymied -- maybe a no-win situation for this White House but --

ZELENY: Right. All -- I think clearly a no-win situation. Again, many presidents face no-win situations but they turn this no-win situation into a much bigger problem than it had to be.

And it's not clear that the president recognizes that. He was coming back to the White House late last night and reporters asked him about the fist bump. He said ask a question that matters.


Well, that is clearly a sign that he perhaps has not heard from activists, Democrats, others, about what that image was of the fist bump.

So, yet another -- I think this is a staffing issue. A handshake would have been fine, as opposed to a fist bump that made it look too cozy.

PHILLIP: A handshake is professional.

ZELENY: But the bigger point here is, yes, he had to go. He had to do this meeting. He -- it is just the reality of being president. He probably shouldn't have used the word pariah when he was running for office but candidates often say things on the campaign trail where they have to swallow a little bit.

PHILLIP: And we will see whether it was worth it, if this was in large part about gas prices, if that worth it.

Coming next for us, though, the January 6 committee's warnings about Donald Trump's unfitness for office are growing louder, but the former president is actually accelerating his plans to launch another run for the White House.



PHILLIP: In the seven hearings so far, the January 6 committee has painted a damning portrait of a president willing to do just about anything to hold on to power. And its latest session, a Trump supporter who participated in the riot described why he came to Washington and why he eventually left the Capitol.


STEPHEN AYRES, CAPITOL RIOTER: Basically put out, you know, come to Stop the Steal rally. You know, I felt like I needed to be down here. When President Trump put his tweet out, we literally left right after that come out.


PHILLIP: The Trump allies have been trying to pin the blame on advisers who are giving him bad advice, filling his ear with nonsense. But Liz Cheney is having none of it.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): President Trump is 76-year-old man. He is not an impressionable child.


PHILLIP: Meanwhile, Trump all but confirmed that he is running for president. He told a "New York Magazine" that he's already decided but his, quote, big decision is whether to announce before or after the midterm elections.

Of course, so, Abby, what is going on inside Trump world? It seems now, everybody is pushing him to announce because I guess it doesn't matter either way is the view in Trump world?

ORR: But it's actually him pushing his advisers to get him ready to announce before or shortly after Labor Day. It's the latest timing that I've been told.

His team is on high alert for an announcement, basically any point this summer. They think there's a sort of three-pronged benefit for doing so early and before the midterms, as opposed to waiting until after.

The first is that Trump as we know wants to be his own messenger and he wants to get out there and start defending himself against what we've seen from the January 6 committee because he doesn't have allies on the committee out there defending him.

And he's been frustrated with the response from Hill Republicans not holding regular press conferences. Not saturating the air waves with just 24/7 defenses of him. So, he wants to take that on to himself and he thinks that he can garner more attention if he's a presidential candidate as opposed to just a former president.

The second is to put his rivals on notice. I mean, we know that there is potentially going to be a very big and competitive field in 2024 and the earlier to announce he is running, the sooner he sort of dares other Republicans to run against him and potentially thwarts those plans and the groundwork they have been putting in.

And the third is just to he thinks capitalize on this moment where, you know, Biden's popularity is not the greatest that he's been. He's facing a number of issues.

Vote voters might be more focused on change and not personality, which would be a big conference for something like --

PHILLIP: I mean, we've all this table covered the Trump presidency at some point or another but he is also known to use his political status as a candidate in some ways as a shield. I mean -- and you can see why.

Look at what he is facing. The DOJ is looking into January 6 or looking into mishandling classified documents. There is the Georgia probe which is a very real thing around him. The January 6 committee, of course, and then the New York attorney general.

So, Trump -- I -- his viewpoint in large point is that running makes it easier for him to say this is all political. This is all a witch hunt.

ZELENY: Absolutely. I would add a number four to Gabby's very good list of three things, and that is to inoculate himself potentially or make it harder for Merrick Garland, perhaps to go after him for the DOJ to investigate if he's an active presidential candidate. So, we will see.

But this also is, I think I'm having like flash backs to his initial stages of is he going to run or not in 2015 and were sort of all falling into the same trap of covering every sneeze he is doing. We know he is going to run now most likely. It would be a bigger surprise if he did not, but then he did.

PHILLIP: Exactly.

ZELENY: So he is very much enjoying this spring preview or summer preview, if you will, of the next act of the Trump show. He loves all the fact of people talking about is he running or not. It puts him in the conversation in a way that he was worried he was sort of slipping out of.

Most interestingly though are how Republicans are reacting to this. Every time I talk to a Republican voter around the country on any kind of story, I ask them, would you like to see Trump come back?

And it is not nearly as strong as it was even a year ago. I talked to a woman this week in Pennsylvania who said, I like his policies, but we cannot have his personality or temper back.

So, we'll see about how this end going for her?

PHILLIP: And meanwhile, back in Washington, on Earth two, Graham says this to "The Washington Post": If Trump is going to run, the sooner he gets in and talks about winning the next election, the better. It will refocus his attention -- less grievance, more about future.

KEITH: When did he have less grievance?


KEITH: I mean, he thrives on grievance. He breathes grievance and he shares that grievance with his supporters.


That is the Trump brand this grievance. So, I don't know what Lindsey Graham is talking about, less grievance.

I do wonder what effect a Trump campaign would have on what the actual next election is which is the midterm elections in November. There is only one figure in politics who is like rocket fuel for Democratic motivation and that person is Donald J. Trump. Democratic voters vote against him in every way they can.

And if these midterms become Donald Trump, I mean, he will get the attention that he craves but I don't know if Mitch McConnell will be thrilled.

PHILLIP: Although I mean, I think there's some question about whether it will -- Trump alone is enough.

I do want to talk about the January 6 Committee because we are coming up against what may be their last hearing, at least for the summer and it's going to be a big one. It's all about Trump, 187 minutes. What kind of impact do you think that's going to be.

KIM: Well, I think it will continue to paint the portrait that I believe the committee has done pretty well. Trying -- painting just what Trump's mentality and actions were and during the moments of the insurrection will resonate the most and I think the way to present it is very compelling and been able to connect these dots of the Trump actions and words to the actual rioters.

I do think it's interesting, though, separate from the hearing, just have the coordination between the Justice Department and the January 6 committee seems to be picking up a little bit. I know there's friction between the two.

We heard this weak from committee members that for example they're sharing transcripts. They're sharing information. So, I think that is an interesting development.

PHILLIP: Such a good point. The DOJ seems to be getting with the program and getting to the witnesses that the January 6 put on the proverbial witness stand here.

But coming up next for us, the alarm bells are ringing. Why a near complete abortion ban all across the country, they're leading to health complications for women and potentially scrambling to politics ahead of the next midterms.



PHILLIP: Will the midterm elections be a referendum on an unpopular president or a choice between the two parties?

Here's what history tells us about that. Americans almost always use their midterm ballot to send a message to the party in power, but this year, with the Supreme Court dismantling abortion rights in America, Democrats see a potentially history defying moment. Red states have been racing to pass laws to ban all abortions, in some cases with no exceptions for rape or incest.

And the horrifying case of a 10-year-old rape victim in Ohio being forced to travel out of state for an abortion crystallized this frontier and put abortion opponents on the defensive.


REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Do you think a 10-year-old should choose to carry a baby?

CATHERINE GLENN FOSTER, AMERICANS UNITED FOR LIFE CEO: I believe it would probably impact her life, and so therefore, it would fall under any exception and it would not be an abortion.

SWALWELL: Wait. It would not be abortion if a 10-year-old with the parents decided not to have a baby that was the result of a rape?

FOSTER: If a 10-year-old became pregnant as a result of the rape and it was threatening her life, then that's not an abortion.


PHILLIP: To be clear that is an abortion and the other part of that I think that is raising a lot of eyebrows and the probably part. The part of this where I think now you have abortion opponents say this is not that common, this is pretty rare, but the stories are coming out and they have to be reckoned with.

KEITH: And many of the laws that are took effect -- these trigger, these are called trigger laws, are from decades ago.

They are some laws that are new and also old laws that took effect and it seems whether through a desire not to talk about what's really there or through a lack of understanding, there's just like not a lot of clarity of what is legal and what is not legal in the states.

It is a very confusing landscape which is potentially quite dangerous for people facing a health crisis, much less the situation of a 10- year-old.

PHILLIP: To that point, a rash of stories this weekend about the exact issue, the confusion and the medical frontier. "The Washington Post" writes this, at one Kansas city, Missouri, hospitals they required pharmacist approval before medications used to stop hemorrhages. A woman led for ten days after a miscarriage.

These are the kind of stories that as they come out it is expanding the issue of abortion beyond elective abortion and to health care and whether or not voters will care about this at the ballot box.

KIM: Right, right. And I think this chaos, if you will, is the thing that chief Justice Roberts wanted to avoid with a patch work of state laws where something is okay in one state and you drive a few hundred miles and it's not okay, and this was confusion that is emanating.

But I think talking about the contrast, we're talking about the contrast earlier that Democrats want to make and it's a struggle to make in a midterm election. They believe that among other issues.

Again, if Donald Trump runs again, that's one way to make that contrast but abortion certainly and access to abortion is certainly another where they're trying to capitalize on because I think the House looks pretty dire for Democrats at this point.

But a lot of the states where the Senate races will be won and lost are very pro-choice states. We're talking about New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania. It's certainly an issue in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race.

PHILLIP: Right. He's making it very much about this abortion issue.

KIM: Right, right. So those are the states that I would be watching where this issue will certainly matter.

ZELENY: And I would add Michigan to that because now there is going to be a ballot question in November. They've submitted enough signatures for "Should there be a constitutional amendment added to protect the rights to abortion".

And that is going to most likely lift the candidacy of Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic governor. And it could help other Democratic House members as well, many of them who are in, you know, tough races.

But it is not just state to state though. The patchwork is also county to county in some respects. You have blue counties in cities that are trying to sort of withhold the forces of the red governors and things. So the patchwork is utterly confusing and dangerous.

ORR: There have been sort of strategies adopted by a lot of vulnerable Republicans, especially Senate candidates to run away from this issue.

And these are candidates who previously said on the record -- I mean Doug Mastriano actually the Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania is a perfect example of somebody who previously said abortion was his number one issue. His focus for the past three -- four weeks since the Dobbs decision was handed down has been on inflation and gas prices and the economy. Things that he wants to be talking about over something that's as thorny as abortion.

PHILLIP: I mean I think the question for a lot of these candidates now is going to be -- especially on this question of rape and incest exceptions, do you support exceptions for rape and incest? This is not a new question in American politics but it is as salient now as it's ever been.

It's not just this issue though. I mean these headlines kind of make the point. "Donald Trump running in 2024, I have already made that decision." "National Right to Life official says a 10-year-old should have had a baby", and "A scourge of horror hits Highland Park, leaving death and fear". Gun control also on the agenda.

But will any of these things outweigh the economy at the end of the day?

ZELENY: At the end of the day I think it's hard to imagine that it would. I mean talking to voters, (INAUDIBLE) in Pennsylvania this week and we talked to a couple of dozen voters just north of Pittsburgh in an area that was formerly very Republican. It changed in the Trump era.

Everyone to a person, you know, mentioned inflation, the cost of groceries and gas, well above abortion. I had to ask in some if the Supreme Court was going to influence their opinion.

So if the burden is on Democrats and on the progressive side of this to make it the number one issue it still is not necessary settled in I think how sort of dire this is for abortion rights supporters.

There is also some celebration, much celebration on the other side of this issue. People have been working for generations, for half a century for this. So that is also something -- the energy has always been on that side of this debate. We'll see if that changes in this year.

So it's an issue. But right now I'm not feeling that it is the top issue people are voting on.

KEITH: Yes. And I will say that midterms typically are just about base turnout because turnout tends to be low. People don't care as much about midterms.

So if you have an issue that is animating the base that could potentially help Democrats so -- though as Jeff says it also could potentially help Republicans who are not afraid of the idea of a nationwide abortion ban. In fact they are talking about that being potentially part of the agenda.

PHILLIP: One of the things that's giving Democrats a little bit of hope is this "New York Times/Siena poll. Biden's approval rating is at 33 percent but when you take a look at who do you prefer controls Congress, Democrats have a narrow but still one-point advantage over Republicans in an environment that everyone tells you is extremely challenging for Democrats.

KIM: Right. Which is why a lot of times, you hear, you know, President Biden, you know, trying to focus so hard, I don't know whether it is sticking or not, but focus so hard on Republicans in Congress (INAUDIBLE).

You know, he talks about Senator Rick Scott a lot. I know Rick Scott actually likes it because that elevates his national profile, but trying to really make that contrast saying that, you know, we are doing x, y and z and Republicans if they're put in charge will do a, b and c, that are horrible for you, guys.

So that's the case the President Biden is making. That will certainly be his message when he goes out and campaign later this year. But again, does that stick? You know, it's not only just the approval rating of President Biden but all the numbers that we've been seeing about whether you believe the country is on the right track or wrong track.

I mean that would be certainly a deep concern for Democrats when so much of the country feels they are on the wrong track.


PHILLIP: Exactly. At the end of the day, it's about how people feel about their own position.

But coming up next for us, there's new evidence of a demographic shift that you may not have expected. Democrats are becoming a little more educated and the GOP is becoming a little less white.


PHILLIP: People of color have long been the backbone of the Democratic coalition but there are some signs now that that coalition is changing. In the 2014 midterms, for example, Hispanics went for Democrats by 26 points. And in a new poll last week that advantage has shrunk to 3.

On the other hand an even bigger shift is happening among college- educated whites. In 2014 they went for Republicans by 14 points and now they favor Democrats by a whopping 21-point margin.


PHILLIP: And joining me now to discuss all of this is Ruy Teixeira. He's written several books about demographics and politics and will soon be joining the American Enterprise Institute as a nonresident fellow. And we also still have Tamara Keith with us from NPR.

So Ruy, I want to start with you on this. This is something that you know a lot about.

This shift is happening but is it really that big of a problem for Democrats or is it just a shift that needs to happen because they are appealing to college educated whites -- or college-educated voters in general?

RUY TEIXEIRA, INCOMING NON RESIDENT FELLOW, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: Yes. No, I think it's a pretty big problem. I mean if you look at the realities of American electoral politics, the fundamental political arithmetic and geography of the country to be losing support as much as they are among working class voters in general, Hispanic voters.

It's very bad for them, it makes it very difficult for them to cobble together the coalition they need overall and in a lot of states in congressional districts to achieve the political success they want.

So it's very nontrivial. I mean if you look at the New York Times/Siena poll the data show that Democrats are actually losing working class voters as a whole by 11 points and carrying (ph) college-educated voters (INAUDIBLE) by 23 points.

That's a massive shift, a yawning chasm which suggest that the historic party of the working class of the United States maybe is no longer the party of the working class. And that's a big problem. I don't you can win on that basis in this country.

PHILLIP: The other side of it is this erosion with non-white voters. With Hispanic voters especially but also with black voters.

As the Republican Party really hasn't shifted, I mean from the time Trump has come down the escalator, you know, demonizing immigrants he has really taken the other strategy and yet in 2020 every Republican who flipped a Democratic House seat was a woman or a person of color. They are touting that as an example.

What do you think is behind that?

KEITH: Yes. And I was talking to a Republican consultant just this week who pays a lot of attention to House races. He says look at our recruiting this time, too, in the midterms.

That they have found candidates who are people of color, who are women, who you know, in -- certainly not in terms of policy but in terms of demographics look a lot like the candidates who were successful Democratic candidates in recent years.

You know, we have talked about this idea for years and years and years that demographics are destiny but as you point out, those demographics are shifting and now the demographics are maybe destiny, the biggest dividing line is college-educated versus not college-educated.

PHILLIP: I mean that idea of demographics as destiny is literally something that you popularized, Ruy. I mean what do you think is going on there especially with non-white voters?

TEIXEIRA: Right. Well, first of all, let me clarify. We never said demographics is destiny. Our argument was that there are a variety of changes taking place in America including the rise of non-white voters, including the shift to professionals for the Democrats, the changes in cosmopolitan/metropolitan areas, the shift in women voters. It was a big group of changes.

Plus we always argued very specifically Democrats had to retain a core support among white working class voters. And if they couldn't do it the political risk didn't work for them.

So unfortunately I think that got summarized in a lot of people's minds as saying there's going to be a lot more non-white voters, a lot less white voters there for the Democrats to win forever. That's not at all what we said.

And now what we see is that if you look at the non-white population, if you look at blacks, Hispanics and so on, you're actually starting to bleed working class support among those constituencies.

My data show that in the 2020 election, Hispanic working class voters moved away from the Democrats by 18 points. So this is a big deal. We're continuing to see these shifts as we move into the 2022 cycle. We're seeing them in the New York Times/Siena poll and other polls.

And Democrats can no longer assume that Hispanics assume that we will vote for the Democrats no matter what because they're on our side. That's no longer the case.

PHILLIP: You wrote this this week. "Democrats' emphasis on social and democracy issues while catnip for some socially liberal educated voters, leaves many working class and Hispanic voters cold. Their concerns are more mundane and economically-driven."

But ok, counterpoint to this. Joe Biden is not running on social issues. Or didn't run on social issues. He ran basically on the economy and on competency. He is governing infrastructure, prescription drugs not on those things. So is this really a critique of the Democratic Party or of like a sliver of activists?

TEIXEIRA: Well, let's be candid about this. That sliver of activists was quite large within the Democratic Party in terms of defining its cultural outlook and defining its national brand. I don't think there's any way to run away from that.


TEIXEIRA: And then you say -- you point out, well yes, Joe Biden did kind of put himself as -- forward as a moderate running on the economy and normality but look where we are now. Look and the economy and normality. It hasn't turned out that well as far as working class voters are concerned.

And you know, you can't eat the infrastructure bill. And after the infrastructure bill, we had months and months and months of arcane debate about the Build Back Better bill, completely lost on the median voter, especially working class voters. They didn't what was going to on. They just thought the Democrats wanted to spend a gazillion dollars on stuff while inflation was spiking.

So you know, I think Biden's brand was pretty good when he got elected. I think it's not in such good shape now.

KEITH: Do you think that this shift towards Republicans is due to anything that they have done to reach these communities, to reach Latino or to reach black voters? You know, I feel like every election cycle forever --


PHILLIP: Yes. I mean I think that that is part of the question that is out there that are they really reaching out to those voters. I actually also wonder, I mean you're here at this table, we wanted to talk about this poll but in the interim time, you left a progressive organization, Center for American Progress, and you are now at a sort of right leaning think tank AEI -- American Enterprise Institute.

Are you kind of leaving the Democratic Party a little bit over some of these disputes. About their --


TEIXEIRA: Well, like someone once said I'm not leaving the Democratic Party or the Left. The Left and the Democratic Party to some extent has left me though I still consider myself a Democrat.

Basically what has happened is the Democrats are now associated with a set of issues that you might call -- that you might characterize as culturally radical on and race, gender, crime, immigration and so on that I think is contributing to them bleeding working class voters.

I couldn't have that conversation about those issues at, you know, CAP, at most progressive organizations. One thing I like about AEI is they want to encourage a head or a docs (ph) open conversation about what is the problem with both of America's political parties.

I mean AEI is not defending or putting forward the Republican Party as the, you know, automatically superior party to the Democrats. They think there are big problems with both parties. And I think there are big problems with both parties.

I want to have a discussion about that and I didn't feel I could have a discussion about that at the Center for American Progress because they're basically, you know, on critically I think on the Democrats' side.

PHILLIP: I do. I do wonder how much of this is, you know, when we say the Democrats are too focused on certain things -- when you say that, is that real or is it a lot -- you see the same things that I do -- conservatives elevating small issues and making that the Democratic Party brand. Maybe the Democrats are allowing that to happen is the point you're making?

TEIXEIRA: Well, I don't think so. I would dissent from that.


TEIXEIRA: I mean this is what I characterize as a Fox News fallacy which is basically the only reason why issues like crime and immigration, you know, things around race and gender ideology, what's happening in the schools et cetera.

The only reason these are issues is because Fox News is talking about them. There's a lot of propaganda and disinformation and what I think that leaves out is these are real problems to real voters.


TEIXEIRA: Voters are concerned about crime. Voters are concerned about the situation at the border. And Democrats have tried to wave that away. Now they're doing it a little bit less but they tried to wave it away.

And you know, this is not just created by conservatives. It's created by the real world, about the concerns of voters and conservatives are able to take advantage of that because the Democrats are essentially not defending themselves.

PHILLIP: A fascinating conversation. Ruy Teixeira, thanks for joining us here.

And coming up next for us, why a "Jersey Shore" star found herself in the middle of Pennsylvania's Senate race.



PHILLIP: Does Mehmet Oz even live in Pennsylvania? Democrat John Fetterman wants that to be the question on voters' minds as the state's pivotal Senate race approaches. So he's enlisted New Jersey's most famous reality TV star to help drive home the point.


SNOOKI, REALITY TV STAR: I heard that you moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania to look for a new job. And personally, I don't know why anyone would want to leave Jersey because it's like the best place ever and we're all hot messes.

But I want to say best of luck to you. I know you're away from home and you're in a new place, but Jersey will not forget you.


PHILLIP: Who doesn't love Snooki. But for his part, Dr. Oz is ignoring those carpetbagger attacks. Instead, he's calling Fetterman out of touch with Pennsylvanians.


DR. MEHMET OZ, PENNSYLVANIA REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I'm glad Fetterman's healthy so he can worry less about his heart and his hoodie and more about the crazy leftist ideas in his head.


PHILLIP: The race is becoming quite literally a race between these two men. Fetterman still recovering from a stroke. I mean, notably, real questions there about his health. And Oz being hit with the carpetbagger attacks, as we predicted, but which of these attacks is really winning out here?

ZELENY: I think it's too early to know that. I was in Pennsylvania this past week. And look, there's no question that Fetterman's attacks, largely delivered online, really one joke after another -- those are settling in among Democrats. But at the end of the day, this race is likely to not turn on that.

There are some questions on the Republican side where has Dr. Oz been? He finally is coming out now doing ads but the last two months or so he's not been very visible. Of course, John Fetterman is still recovering from that stroke and heart attack. He's not done public campaign events but he's --


PHILLIP: Doing a lot of trolling online.

ZELENY: He's been trolling, but the question is will he be able to debate Oz in the fall? So this is one of the most closely watched races because Democrats see it as the one chance to pick up a Republican seat. Of course, Pat Toomey is retiring.

But I think it's too early to know. This race is not going to turn on Snooki, I do not believe.

PHILLIP: Ok. So let's turn a little to Georgia here because this is a case where it's another question of a celebrity candidate.

You've got Herschel Walker going up against the incumbent here Raphael Warnock. But Walker is now on the campaign trail after kind of not being around a whole lot. But what he is saying is what's getting him in a little bit of trouble. Take a listen.



HERSCHEL WALKER, GEORGIA REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Since we don't control the air, our good air decided to float over to China's bad air. So with China getting all the good air, their bad air got to move. So it moves over to our good air space. And now we got to clean that back up.


PHILLIP: Did you get that? What is going on here?

KEITH: I mean, that is certainly a play on the old Republican argument about climate change where if you fix climate in one country, it doesn't matter if other countries are still polluting, I think. But it is also a testament to the reality -- all of these races are -- that candidates matter. Candidate choices matter. And yes, there are broader dynamics and, you know, inflation and all of these issues and midterms that are always bad for the president's party, but the candidates do also matter.

And we saw that in 2010. We saw that in 2012. Year after year there are candidates who say things that cause problems.

PHILLIP: And the latest Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll shows Warnock a little bit ahead of Walker, but running below the Democratic gubernatorial race, in which Brian Kemp is doing much better than Herschel Walker.

Mitch McConnell, I mean paging mitch McConnell -- where is he? He was the one who decided that this was an ok candidate to go with.

KIM: Right. I mean if you recall earlier on in the cycle, McConnell and kind of his circle were pretty nervous about the prospect of Herschel Walker in that race perhaps for the reasons that we're seeing right now. He is an untested candidate politically.

And you're looking on the flip side with Raphael Warnock, obviously a freshman senator who's had a really high profile, considering his role in the senate on fighting for voting rights.

He had pretty blockbuster fund-raising numbers, $17 million is a lot of money. That can go pretty far in Georgia. He's spending a lot, certainly, with all the television ads. But that's a lot of money he can run on. So very much Republicans watching this race nervously.

PHILLIP: Another Trump -- I'm sorry -- endorsed candidate in Ohio. You're seeing JD Vance struggling a little bit, it seems, with the fund-raising numbers. Is that a cause for concern for some folks?

ORR: For Vance it most definitely should be. I mean his campaign right now is almost $250,000 in debt, which is not the place that you want to be heading into sort of the last few months of this general election cycle. And his opponent, Tim Ryan, has raised over $9 million and most of that is coming from small dollar contributions.

So that does send a sure signal to the Vance campaign that they do need to improve their fund-raising. The ones who have -- caveat to that is the money that's coming in from Peter Thiel. He has been the primary backer of JD Vance's campaign and has given to him almost $15 million since last year.

So that will continue to sort of be in the coffers of an outside group that is spending on his behalf, but his campaign, totally broke.

PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, the campaign itself may not have as much money, but there's still money flowing in on his behalf.

Thank you all for being here. And that's it for us on INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY. Coming up next, "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. And Dana's guests this morning include Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein.

And tonight join us -- join Drew Griffin for a new investigation into Steve Bannon and his master plan to reshape the United States government and the Republican Party. "STEVE BANNON: DIVIDED WE FALL" begins tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN.

Thank you again for sharing your Sunday morning with us. Have a great rest of your day.