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The Van Jones Show
Interview with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Talling with Trump Voters; Jon Favreau Interviewed. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired July 14, 2018 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:16] VAN JONES, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Van Jones. Welcome to the VAN JONES SHOW.
This time in Los Angeles, California. Look, they actually rolled out the red carpet for us. We have the mayor himself, Eric Garcetti is in the building tonight. I can't believe it. Such a big honor.
JONES: Listen. You guys know who he is because you live here. But if you have never heard of Eric Garcetti, get ready. This guy already runs a city as a size of a country. And some people think he may someday run the country. Maybe as soon as 2020. Someone asked him about that.
Also, if the anti-Trump resistance had an official podcast, it would have to pod-save America. (INAUDIBLE) successful, digital dentures ever. And one of the big reasons it is so successful is going to be here tonight. The great Jon Favreau is going to join us on this stage on the VAN JONES SHOW.
JONES: I love it.
Plus, I get back in my van. That's right, Van in the van. That's what I do. And I head for Pennsylvania. This time, I'm going visit my on-air sparring partner, David Urban in his hometown. I want to see how is this Trump revolution pairing, how stuff going in the industrial heartland. You really going to want to see what happened when we got out there together.
But speaking of the heartland, my heart is still breaking from separated families that have still not been reunited with their families to accelerating solution to packing, the lower courts with all these sketchy judges and now a second Supreme Court pick for Donald Trump. I feel like the Republicans are just really, really abusing their power. And they kind of swagger around. They could say it like this big ruling party they got a mandate that represents the majority of Americans and do all the stuff. But in fact, that's not true.
One of the reasons everything feels so crazy is we are living through something that is really bizarre. It's not really majority rule. It's more like one party, minority rule.
Never forget this. Based on the 2016 popular vote, the Republican candidate lost by nearly three million votes. But with the electoral college, they handed the vote to Donald Trump any way.
OK, fine. But then in Congress, the Republicans have more seats than they probably deserve. How does that happen? Well, back in 2010, midterm election just like this year. The tea parties came tout in force and the Democrats stayed home. So the Republicans been on this state races and they got enough power to quietly reshape all these congressional districts in their favor.
And worse still? The Supreme Court. The Republican senators just stole Obama's seat and gave it to Trump. So now in all three branches of your government, the White House, the Congress and Supreme Court, Democrats have less power than we probably should have and the Republicans have more.
Now that does not sound like a democracy to me. It's very heartbreaking and the Republicans are playing a very dangerous game. When you bend and break the rules so that anything goes, everything eventually goes, including respect for our institutions and then nobody's safe.
And the Democrats have to learn, too. Voting matters every time, even midterm elections. Not voting on one day can hurt our communities for decades.
So how do we get our democracy bac back? That's right. I need some hope. I need some help. And guess what? Our next guest leads one of the most diverse cities in the world and he just got reelected with 81 percent of the vote. So he might know how to both win elections and bring people back together.
Welcome to the VAN JONES SHOW, the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti in the house.
JONES: We need you! We need you!
MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI, LOS ANGELES: Good to see you.
JONES: Man. Thank you so much. Have a seat.
GARCETTI: Thank you.
JONES: Have a seat. Man.
GARCETTI: Great to be here.
JONES: What is your secret? How do you get people to come together across all these different lines? You got every race in the world in one city. They all get along. They all love you. What do you do here that should be happening in the rest of America? GARCETTI: Well, first of all, we need to spend less time on our
twitter feed, on our Facebook feed, we need to spend more time with each other, with our families, with our communities. I see hope everywhere in the city. And this city is full of Midwesterners and full of immigrants. It is full of people from every nation and every corner of this nation. And I think when we have common work rather than people who are seeking to divide us, telling us what they can take away, we can get together and add to each other.
JONES: Why do they all like you, though? I mean, it is like --.
[19:05:00] GARCETTI: I got plenty of detractors. Look, 81 percent, do the math. That means almost a million people didn't vote for me. So, it just keeps you humble.
JONES: What are you doing right?
GARCETTI: You know, I think here, we are focused on results. You know, in Washington, you have imaginary problems and they can't even solve the imaginary problems. Here we have real problems -- infrastructure, homelessness, traffic. And I think people respect those of us collectively that are addressing real problems rather than the imaginary ones we get out of White House.
JONES: Well. When you say imaginary problems, what do you mean imaginary problem?
GARCETTI: I mean, a problem with own invention.
JONES: Like what?
GARCETTI: If somebody say they had to separate children from their parent at the border? They created that problem. They can't even solve that problem that they have created. And as the grandson of an immigrant who as carried as a baby over the border right there in Texas at El Paso, a refugee from war, my great grandmother's husband, my great grandfather killed, carried over the border with her baby. Imagine if he had been snatched away? They are creating these problems. They are picking fights. They are losing friends and allies.
Whereas here, we are concerned about our bills. We are concern about our housing, our education, those things.
JONES: Let's talk about it. You do have some real problems that are tough to solve. On the one hand you have been able to have this ethnic diversity work and work for you, but you also have an economic divide that's horrible. You have some of the richest people in the world, big homeless problem. What do you say to people who say, you know, Eric Garcetti's America would have million of homeless people?
GARCETTI: Well, it is under Donald Trump's watches. Well, we have a national crisis. And when it comes to the mental health crisis, we have folks that are dying in Appalachia of drug overdose. We have people in the street of L.A. who are living in tents because we have no system. And if you and I broke our legs and went to the emergency room, both of us will be treat. But if we have on a diction, and we show up for medical treatment, maybe one out of ten of us would. That's unacceptable.
Here in L.A., thanks to voters, we passed the laws just measures in history of United States to end homelessness. And that is my goal, not to address it but to end it. I sure love to have a partner in the White House, love to have a partner in Congress but we don't have that.
JONES: You mentioned the White House and I did so that opened the door for me now.
What kind of Democrat do you think could win the Democratic party nation as the party moves further left and beat Donald trump? That seems like a Houdini trick.
GARCETTI: Look. It seems pretty clear that Americans in general don't wake up and even to find themselves anymore just by a party, not by Democrat or Republican. They wake up and they say, who is listening to me? Is somebody listening to my problems? Are they talking about themselves? Are the Democratic party obsessed with its own agenda? Or are Democrats actually listening to Americans who are suffering right now?
We are going through really tough times, even in economic plenty as you mentioned, there's tremendous anxiety. So I think first of all, one who is decent. We have to bring some decency back to this country because the White House isn't pushing that out. Second, somebody ho listens. And third a problem solver.
We actually hire people to solve problems. And that is not something that Democrats have always said were about.
JONES: Are Democrats listening now? I mean, for instance, right now there's a big push in the party some of the younger more activist leaning, says abolish ICE. You take that up to Iowa. Does the Democratic agenda around (INAUDIBLE)?
GARCETTI: I think, look. You don't back off with your values. You need to reset the mission of ICE. But the idea that we wouldn't go after child traffickers or, you know, folks who are bringing pornography into this country and people who are, you know, breaking the laws.
We need that. But the leadership has given them a mission that's making us less safe. So we got to change this conversation. Too often we are taking the bait of somebody like Donald Trump in talking on his terms and playing on his ground.
We have to reclaim that. For instance, on MS-13, it's his, you know, fabulous whipping boy. He loves it is almost as Willy Horton (ph) of this moment. Say MS-13. We are invading by all these folks. Well, the greatest force were actually combatting MS-13 isn't Donald Trump. It's the Los Angeles Police Department. And we don't just do it by going after gang members. - We invest in young people so that they don't become gang members. We have cut crime in half here because we know how to do it right.
GARCETTI: So, I will never listen to a politician over police officers and interventionists who know how to keep street safe for our own families.
JONES: Listen. I like what you said. You made me feel good. Last full-time I felt good there was a guy named Barack Obama that was running. You had a chance to work for him. And you talked to him and you said he gave you some of the best advice and help you turn his job offer down. Tell that story.
GARCETTI: Well, he was offering me a job to come work in the White House and oversee HUD, Depart of Education, transportation, all kind of the urban portfolio for America cities to be like the city czar. But he took in the oval office and he said, what do you think? I said, well, I'm thinking about running for mayor. He said, well, if you think you got a chance, you should do that. So I called him, you know, the next week. I said, you are really a bad salesperson. But you are a great advisor. I think I'm going run for mayor.
And I really owe him that gratitude because look, runs for things, you take risks. You have a lot of personal sacrifices for your family and yourself. But if you believe in your mission, you should always, whether it's in politics or in business or just the activism we see in this country, we have to seize this day. We got to jump in. And President Obama taught me that.
[19:10:07] JONES: What advice is he giving you now? I know he has been talking to a lot of people.
GARCETTI: Well, I'll respect that his counsel is private, but look, he wants us to win, but I think he wants us to get back to being a party of listeners, a party of decency, not so much about where you are on the spectrum. Because I can go with the most progressive folks. We made community college free here. Raised the minimum wage here. We have been fighting climate change not just here and but around the country.
But I think Americans are looking for people who are problem solvers. And he really pointed that out. He said people could smell the Midwest on me when I was in Iowa. They might have seen an African- American, but they knew the Kansas mother and they could kind of sense that I was from the heartland. And I do believe that the heartland doesn't just live in the heartland. It lives right here in south Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley, lives in our coastal cities. IT lives in rural and urban areas. And these false divides that have been peddled by so many people are not the America that I know and that I love.
(APPLAUSE) JONES: I have known you for a long time. I knew you when you are community organizer. I watched you kind of (INAUDIBLE). What does your heart tell you about 2020?
GARCETTI: My heart says we all better step up with almost any patriot would the champ should be thinking about what they can do in 2020. What role they can play. And in 2018, because Donald Trump is not on the ballot now, but we have a Congress that enables him for the next few years. But I think that as long as you can add something to a conversation, you should stay in the conversation.
JONES: But does that mean that you are going run?
GARCETTI: I have no idea. I really don't. I mean, I have to talk with family. But I'm exploring and looking at America and realizing when I go to a place like Iowa, it's the number one wind state in America with the number solar city in the America. That should bring us together.
Jobs in the green economy as you know don't just exist in the coastal areas. And when I talk to folks in South Carolina they say it's still not where we need to be in terms of civil right and police and community relations. As a mayor, I think I can bring nothing that conversation.
JONES: No mayor has ever gone from city hall to the White House. And the last mayor that tried was Rudy Giuliani who spent I think 18 gazillion dollars and didn't get one delegate.
GARCETTI: To be clear, not a role model for me, in so many ways.
GARCETTI: Yes, I mean, no African-American had been elected until one was. No TV reality star until one is. I think the rules are off. I think Americans want people who get things done. We have the largest port in America right here, 40 percent of all the good that come into the this land are from our city. One of the largest airports. The largest municipal utility, you know. We know about homeland security because we have police forces. We have to deal civil rights issues. We have to make sure we have economic development and trade.
I want an America that is competing to win the future. Right now I see a White House wanting to kind of rewind the clock back to a time that excluded a lot of us, and something that is not possible.
JONES: You have been traveling around. You know, all this stuff sounds really good, but you show up and they are going say, look., this guy is a blue coast, middle of the bluest blue sanctuary city. I mean, what the heck? I mean, what kind of reception are you getting showing up as a L.A. mayor from Hollywood?
GARCETTI: Well, Americans are generous people. I think we hunger to connect right now. That's what should give you hope. And I hope everybody here and watching hope. Is that we are decent people. I don't believe in those two Americas they keep talking about, but there are two. It's Washington and the rest of us. We have folks that are doing incredibly and been of work all across America waiting for us listen and connect with them. And I think that what is missing right now. We have indecency instead of decency.
JONES: I like what you say about the listening. A lot of times, we need a better message. Sometimes we need to actually be speaking at people less and listening more.
One thing you did really and have done really well, you have got Lebron James to come to your city. That's a big deal.
GARCETTI: Let's stack it up for a second. So Trump has got Dennis Rodman to North Korea. And I got Lebron here.
JONES: Well done, sir.
GARCETTI: Thank you. Appreciate it.
JONES: I may be stack. But you know, if Lebron runs for mayor, you are finished.
JONES: You turned out.
Hey, look. I want to thank you for being here.
Listen, we have got a pod save America's Jon Favreau ahead. He is an amazing L.A. resident. You love him.
But up next, before we get to John. I'm going get back in my van. I'm headed to the rust belt. A region of the country that actually flipped from blue to red for Trump in 2016. How do the voters there think he is doing? I want you to find out. I'm going to take a road trip with my conservative buddy, political commentator David Urban when we get back.
[19:18:07] JONES: All right. Welcome back to the VAN JONES SHOW.
Look, back in January, one of President Trump's staunchest supporters and campaign organizers David Urban challenged me to get in my van and go with him to western Pennsylvania. He said he wanted me to hear from the voters. And that, you know, one time, Democratic stronghold that Trump won over. In part, because he looks promising all that stuff around steel and manufacturing and all that stuff. I said, look. I'm not going the pass up a mini road trip with my CNN sparring buddy.
So I got in my van and I headed to David's hometown of Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
JONES: Pennsylvania. Broke my heart. Voted for Trump!
So we are in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. This place has always been a little bit red. Went for Romney by a few points. Went by Trump for 20 points. Massive blow out here. Part of the reason why Pennsylvania turned red. Let's go to this county right here. About a dozen communities went from Obama to Trump.
Well, there is no better person to talk about all things trump and Pennsylvania than David Urban.
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think the president is angry with the news media rightfully so because they are trying to delegitimatize his election.
JONES: My man.
URBAN: Welcome to Ambridge, buddy.
JONES: You got to terrible towel.
URBAN: No trip to Pittsburgh is complete without the terrible towel.
JONES: A terrible tower.
URBAN: So make sure you got it.
JONES: I got a gift?
URBAN: Welcome, Van. Let's go.
JONES: Sorry you got so nervous about getting in the car with me you cut you're shaving.
URBAN: I know. I know. I didn't want people to think that Van Jones punched me. After the last Cuomo show, Van took me out back and jumped to the woodshed.
[19:20:02] JONES: It's my turn. I get to talk.
URBAN: No, it's all good. We get along.
JONES: This is hometown. Ground zero.
URBAN: It is ground zero. Visit my mom. My mom was born and raised in this street right here. This is my mom's astral here. This little white house with the swing on the front porch. This is the church that I was baptized in. And my parents got married in. And my whole family is round the church every Sunday for 20 years of my life.
JONES: Everybody stair to types you. You're a white guy, a Trump supporter. You don't like people of color. URBAN: Nothing differ from the truth.
JONES: Tell me about that.
URBAN: So look, my dad, you know, worked in a -- you know, my grandparents worked in a factory. My father worked in the steel mill for a long time, you know. So I was raised in where the school and lot of friends of color and didn't think of anything about it.
JONES: I am from a small town too. Out downtown is just like that. And there was a lot of herd out there and a lot genius out there that's not recognized. The herd is not recognized. The genius is not recognized. And then you get these rebellions whether is a Sanders or Trump or black lives matter or whatever, a tea party. Whatever it is. And then people are baffled by why people so are so angry but people don't feel hurt.
URBAN: Ambridge, Pennsylvania I think represents more than just Pennsylvania. It represents all these towns across America not just Pennsylvania. The towns that, you know, that had a thriving factory. They made something, right. They produced things here.
JONES: Do people feel like it's turning around for them? Do they feel like it is at last that they been heard? I mean, how are people processing today?
URBAN: I think they feel like their voice is being heard. They don't expect the president to deliver a giant new steel factory on the shore of Ohio river? They do realize that that's not ever coming back. I do think they see incremental change.
JONES: It seems like the Trump phenomenon is really two things. You know, one is which is seems very noble, you know, working folks, who have been left out, screwed over, needing a champion, but the other is it seems like it's marveled in with all this toxic crap and division.
URBAN: That's unfortunate. You and I talked about this before. It is unfortunate. There is, you know, the immigration debate has raged out of control on both sides. A lot of, you know, rhetoric that I think is not helpful.
JONES: I just mean when I come out on the TV or come to the radio and I hear Christian conservatives kind of poo pooing the fact that he's had these affairs and porn stars and that type of stuff. Doesn't that bother you that at least movement of people putting him on a pedestal no matter what they do?
URBAN: When he (INAUDIBLE) said I'm here to represent the people of Pittsburgh, not Paris, right. And so, I think that the electorate is willing to overlook a great deal just to have someone that finally hears them. They feel this president speaks to Merchant street in Ambridge more than Wall Street, right.
JONES: You mentioned Pittsburgh. Where is Paris? Pittsburgh voted for Hillary.
URBAN: We were able to Marshall enough people in the rest of the state.
JONES: Another thing that's a heartbreaker is this opioid epidemic. I mean, especially in towns like this because you got morgues filling up. The coroner's office is overworked because that many people are dying out here.
URBAN: Look. It really it's a scourge on the community, right. It is not just everybody, not just the minority community. Not the upper middle class. Not lower middle class. It transcends race. It transcend socio-economic status. It's something that our country can do a lot better on.
Take a quick look o the street. How many American flag? That's one, two, three, four, five, six. It's not even a holiday. There are six American flags on this street. Just one little street. It's just kind of amazing slice of America. It's a great little town.
JONES: Here's the deal. I want to talk to some of the other folks who live here because I get your point of view. People get my point of view, but it's the actual as you know it is voter that count the most. I want to hear from them, too.
URBAN: Yes. Let's go talk to them.
JONES: All right. Well, coming up, those real voters are going weigh in on Trump's trade policy, immigration policy and what impact they think the Bob Mueller investigation is going to have on the upcoming election. You are gong to be surprised to hear what they have to say next when we get back.
[19:28:25] JONES: All right. Welcome back to the VAN JONES SHOW.
Look, even though his name is not on the ballot. There's no question the midterm election is going to be a referendum on Donald Trump's presidency. Now, is it going to be a blue wave of resistance or are the Trump supporters going build a red wall?
I spent time with a group of voters in Beaver County, Pennsylvania just outside of Pittsburgh where Trump won by almost 19 points. I wanted to see how they think President Trump and the country are doing. Check it out.
JONES: Who here is proud of Donald Trump? Can you do half? Who here is ashamed of Donald Trump?
URBAN: Half again.
JONES: You said you were half proud half ashamed of Donald Trump.
TONY SCIUTTO, VOTED FOR TRUMP: Absolutely.
SCIUTTO: Well, it's eclectic. Some of the things he espouses I'm completely on the board with. His methodology I tend to get off the bus.
LARISSA BUDKIEWICZ, VOTED FOR CLINTON: He is a snake oil salesman. And I think he is racist, sexist, xenophobic. He makes my skin crawl.
KEN GREGORY, VOTED FOR TRUMP: He has said some things but I look at what he has done. The things the programs he has got through.
JONES: Which ones are you like --?
GREGORY: I will give you a good example. The tax cut. Now it didn't affect me, but my daughter got a $1,000 raise. My grandson's fiance got a thousand dollars raise and then they come out and say it's chicken feed or nothing. It is might be nothing to them because they are rich, but it's not nothing to these kids.
[19:30:04] URBAN: You know, unfortunately, some of the divisive rhetoric that gets reported and some of the things the President does say takes away from what those great headlines, right. The economy, the tax cut is really helping folks.
JONES: What would it take for you to give Trump a second chance or give Republicans second chance?
BUDKIEWICZ: I feel like they need to reach across the aisle. I don't know. If they could work out something on immigration that would be nice. I don't like to see children getting separated from their parents.
JONES: How do you feel about that with the babies on the border and all that?
CARLA MALONEY, VOTED FOR TRUMP: I think they need to be here legally. They want us to roll out the red carpet out to them. My taxpayer dollars are going toward to feed them, to give them health care. We need to take care of us, Americans first. How many homeless children are in America? What about the black community that has one mother or one mother?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about the white community that has one mother or one father.
MALONEY: Exactly. And so, we have to as Americans help everybody.
JONES: So Paulette, how do you respond to that?
PAULETTE BATTISTI, VOTED FOR CLINTON: I don't agree at all with Carla. Carla and I went to high school together and we are friends. It breaks my heart. It totally breaks my heart. My mother was a French immigrant. She came here during World War II. Had they stopped her at the border, I wouldn't be here.
JONES: So how do you respond to her concern that we are suppose to help everybody but we are not helping our own enough?
BUDKIEWICZ: I feel like we can walk and chew gum at the same time. If somebody need help here, we can help them. And if somebody needs help over here, we can help them. We don't have to just focus on this one issue.
GREGORY: If you're going to blame somebody, blame the parents. They are the ones breaking the law. They are the ones bringing their children.
BUDKIEWICZ: They are not breaking the law, though. They are coming to seek asylum.
There's a law. You come to port of entry and you declare I'm seeking asylum. That's the law. And these people are doing that. And then they are taken to be processed.
MALONEY: They are being bused into Mexico and then bused all the way up. And they had reporters following them the whole way. Then they had script telling them exactly what to say when they got here so they would -- illegal immigrants that are fleeing another country.
BUDKIEWICZ: Who gave them scripts?
MALONEY: I don't know.
JONES: What do you want?
SCIUTTO: Common sense immigration regulations. Immigration worldwide fuels the growth of first world countries. But legal immigration is really the means to the end, not (INAUDIBLE) illegal immigration.
URBAN: People don't mind immigrants. People I think take Ambridge at illegal immigration. (INAUDIBLE) the issue the people who break the law get rewarded. I don't think anybody here wants to see kid separated from their parents.
GREGORY: The politicians are not going solve it because it's an election thing.
JONES: You are saying Democratic politicians want babies suffering at the border.
GREGORY: He could give them almost everything they wanted and they would not accept.
BUDKIEWICZ: I disagree. And President Trump just recently tweeted, let's not resolve this until after the election. He is the one who doesn't want to resolve it.
GREGORY: That's not what they said.
BUDKIEWICZ: That is what he said.
GREGORY: What he said is it's obvious that it's not going to get solved so let's just move on and get something else and after the election try again.
BUDKIEWICZ: Why not? You have Republicans running everything and you still can't resolve it? Why?
GREGORY: Not running it as long as they can't make it 60 votes.
BUDKIEWICZ: Because they can't reach across the aisle.
JONES: They cant get 51 percent in the House.
GREGORY: The reached across the aisle. They never get --.
BUDKIEWICZ: But you blame Democrats for something they have no control over.
JONES: Do you think that all this talking about Mueller and Russia and that kind of stuff is going to motivate turnout? Demotivate turnout?
BATTISTI: I'm so sick of it.
BATTISTI: You're a democrat. You're sick of it.
BATTISTI: I am.
GREGORY: I don't think it will have much of an impact because the people that like Trump think he's being railroaded and the people that don't like Trump he is guilty and that is not going to change opinions either way.
JONES: We got somebody here knows a little bit about steel?
You are part of a union that is, you know, at least started out being a big steelworkers union. You got a lot more people in it now. Certainly you are happy that Donald Trump is sticking up for you on steel.
BATTISTI: Steel and aluminum.
URBAN: There she goes. Way to go.
JONES: Are you happy with him on the steel stuff?
BATTISTI: Of course I am.
BATTISTI: Well, because it will put people back to work and actually stop the imports that we have. Ambridge was once a thriving community that once had traffic cops because we had so much energy in this town. We had five steel mills within an eight block area. If you talked to somebody they worked in one of the mills. That's all there was to it. When the steel base fell out of here in Pennsylvania, my husband for one lost his job. I had no idea how we are going to pay for our house and so on and so on.
[19:35:04] JONES: So why aren't you a Trump person now?
BATTISTI: I will never be a Trump person.
JONES: Why not?
BATTISTI: I'm a woman who doesn't appreciate locker room talk, OK. And I marched on Washington. I took 300 people here from western Pennsylvania down to Washington, D.C.
JONES: I'm going ask you a question about 2020. Is Donald Trump going to be reelected, yes or no?
BUDKIEWICZ: He is playing to his base. And so, he will have those people always. But I feel like for people who thought he would get into office and change and stop tweeting it's almost like he is not going change and we need change.
GREGORY: I think there's a group out there, my wife included who wont admit --
URBAN: You just gave her up.
GREGORY: Maybe you better not put that out there. That will not say in public that she supports him because she doesn't want to be harassed.
JONES: Will he win?
MALONEY: He is absolutely going win.
JONES: Tell me why.
MALONEY: By a landslide in 2020.
MALONEY: It's all about money. You put money in the peoples' pockets, they are going to vote for Donald Trump.
JONES: Will he elected, yes or no?
JONES: Why not?
BATTISTI: Because I'll do my damnedest to not get him elected.
JONES: You guys don't agree on anything politically. You are pretty much agree on anything. Why are you still friends?
BATTISTI: Because I respect Carla. It's her opinion. And we have been always been opinionated people.
MALONEY: Right. We are very strong women.
BATTISTI: Right, and I respect that. That's fine with me. And just because we disagree, that doesn't mean that we can't work on something collectively together. It's respect first.
JONES: Wasn't that beautiful?
Look. Up next we have to star of the pod save America franchise, former Obama White House speechwriter Jon Favreau. He has become the voice of the Trump resistance, but does he think Democrats have the right strategy to make the blue wave a reality in November? We are going to discuss that next.
[19:40:49] JONES: All right, look. My next guest is one of the hosts of the popular Save America podcast. He has also helped the craft many of Barack Obama's most memorable speeches both when he was a candidate and the president. Now he is trying to explore the history the future of the Democratic party in new podcast he is calling the Wilderness.
Please welcome to the VAN JONES SHOW, Jon Favreau into the house.
JONES: Oh, look at this guy. Oh, looking trim and amazing. Oh, my goodness. So good to see you.
JON FAVREAU, HOST, THE WILDERNESS: You too.
JONES: Hey listen, man, I want to get right into it. First of all, the boss Obama was here recently and he said Democrats need to stop moping.
FAVREAU: That's true.
JONES: Do you think Democrats are mope.
FAVREAU: I think there was a difference between the view you get of the party that's filters through Washington and on the ground.
JONES: What do you see on the ground? FAVREAU: So I mean, I talked to about 100 or so people for the
Wilderness podcast, including you. I did a focus group with Obama- Trump voters that is in Detroit. I did one with Obama voter who then didn't vote in 2016 or voted for third party outside of Houston. And I don't see -- I didn't see a lot of love for Donald Trump. I saw a lot of people who probably could vote Democrat but they just want to know what the party's for. They want to party to stand for something. They want the party to be unafraid.
JONES: It's so weird because, I mean, in 2008, ten years ago, we had everything -- just Democrats. You had the White House. We had the Senate. We had the house. We had a shot at the Supreme Court. We had hope.
JONES: And now it's 2018, ten years late and we got nothing. Like literally nada. Like what happened? You were there. You seen it. What happened in the Obama era that we lost all this stuff?
FAVREAU: One thing that I think happened is there was a bit of a transactional view of politics after 2008. It was OK, I'm going come up for Obama, I'm going to work for Obama, I'm going to organize, I'm going to hand him my vote and then I'm going to go back to my life. He is going to go fix everything.
And I think what we learned and what we are learning now after Donald Trump became president is democracy, the business of democracy is an everyday struggle. And especially as Democrats, we have to be organizing and fighting and pays attention and working hard every sing day.
JONES: It does seem though that that's right, but then there's this almost a fork in the road, even just tonally, temperamentally.
JONES: You know, Michelle Obama says, you know, go high. Maxine Waters says push back. Who is right? Who is wrong in that sort dynamic?
FAVREAU: I think it's fine for Democrats to be angry, especially Democrat candidate, to be angry on behalf of people because of what has happened. I think where you have a problem is if you are angry at your opponent all the time. If you are angry at Trump all the time.
Like people want passion, that they want to see passion on behalf of people, passion for universal healthcare, for jobs, for infrastructure, and the people I talk to wanted that. And I talked to people who voted for Donald Trump who were like, why can't we have Medical problem? Trumpers. But they didn't want to talk too much about Trump. They want to talk about issues that impact their lives.
The Democratic candidates we have seen who have won, whether it's Conor Lamb in a pretty red district in Pennsylvania or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a very liberal district in New York, what they have in common is that they are spending a hot of their time talking about issues that people care about. They are talking about healthcare. They are talking about jobs. And they are not spending a lot of time having the conversation that you often here on twitter, in Washington. And so I think there is a difference between Democratic candidates and sort the chatter that you hear.
JONES: I mean, let's talk about you a little bit because you built a phenomenal media success story. Are you concerned sometimes that in your attempt to try -- for you guys to try to pushback that you may be creating being a part of the problem? In other words, you know, you got FOX News there, a bubble that's almost become a bunker. Some people would say that you are building a bubble that's becoming a bunker. How do you deal with that set of concerns?
[19:45:06] FAVREAU: I don't think the problem with FOX News is that there's a bunch of people with conservative viewpoints on it. I think the problem is that they lie all the time. There's a lot of propaganda.
FAVREAU: And so, the one thing that I want to us guard against all the time is make sure that we are telling people the truth. And that when we make mistakes, which we will, if we say something that is wrong, if we see something in twitter and repeat then realized that is wrong, we say, we were wrong about that, and let's -- you know.
But the reason we started with the media is and Pod save America is I think sometimes when the people watch the news, the news leaves you feeling helpless. Here's all the problems in the world and now off to commercial break. And what we are trying to say is here are all the problems in the world. Here is what you can do to solve the problems.
JONES: What are some of the things that you (INAUDIBLE). I know that you actually are actively aggressively trying to get people who are in districts where they voted for Hillary Clinton but they got a Republican congress person to go all the way blue. Is that what you mean by doing something?
FAVREAU: Yes, we want to help organized people. So all these great organizations that have sprouted up since the Trump presidency, whether it is indivisible or swing (INAUDIBLE) to all these energy and excitement on the ground, to the extent that we have an audience, we want to let that audience know, don't just listen and feel like this is therapy in the Trump era. Go do something about it. And go knock on the doors. Go volunteer. Go register some voters.
And so, as we get closer to the election, I think we are going to be doing more traveling all around the country to make sure that we are going to help Democrats flip some of these states.
JONES: It sounds like you are trying to get people good facts and information and something to do about it. But that's really not the buzz about the resistance. I mean, usually this sort of anti--Trump, you know, almost hysteria and mania. And a lot of it not focused on voting but focused on Bob Mueller and impeachment. I got something I want to show you about that whole phenomenon. You tell me if you think I'm right or wrong.
JONES: But a lot of people have been drawn around this (INAUDIBLE). Here's what I think about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has brought us to the brink of nuclear war.
JONES: Well, you have probably seen the ads.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to impeach Donald Trump.
JONES: And heard the rallying cries.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today I say impeach!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president must be impeached.
JONES: But for Democrats who are dreaming of quickly ousting Donald Trump, I got some bad news for you. It's going to be almost impossible to force him out of the oval office.
Impeaching a president is extremely difficult. It's only happened twice in our history and Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton both stayed in office any way. Removing a president is really hard. So hard, it never actually happened.
Richard Nixon resigned before he could even be impeached. And that was at a time when plenty of willing Republicans actually seemed willing to hold their party leader accountable.
Under the constitution that president can be removed following both impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate for treason, bribery and other high-crime and misdemeanors. But that would take a lot of steps.
Proceedings would start in the House. The full House would have to approve articles of impeachment by a simple majority vote. Then the process moves to the Senate. Sixty-seven senators would have to rote for conviction. Right now, the Republicans control the Senate, 51-47 with two Democratic-leaning independently.
Even if the Democrats win every single seat that's up for grabs in November, they would still only have 56 seats. They would noon nine more Republican votes.
Now, who knows what kind of bombshells that Bob Mueller might uncover in his investigation, but the way things are going now --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of Mueller's team are anti-Trump.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: There are a lot of people who are using this investigation to go after the president.
JONES: It's hard to see a scenario where Republicans would turn on Trump and vote him out.
JONES: Do you share my concern that sometimes the impeachment things overtake the conversation about the midterm election or something like that?
FAVREAU: Yes. I mean, your piece is exactly right. Like we are not going get the nine Republicans in the senate to vote for impeachment. But like Tom Sayer has -- is spending a lot of money on house raises, on organizing like that. I wish he would spend all the money on that and not worry about the impeachment.
JONES: Listen. I love Tom. I feel the same way.
You have gotten out of the bubble yourself. You have gone around this country. You put together this thing called the Wilderness. Tell people why they need to download the Wilderness on Monday. What are we going to learn? I cannot wait.
FAVREAU: Yes. Look, I mean, the reason I did this project is because I think so much of the conversation as we have been talking about is focused on Donald Trump. So much of what we cover on pod save America is Donald Trump because he is on the news all the time. And I thought we need to have a conversation about what we need to do as Democrats. And what is happening to the Democratic party.
So I said, I'm going go here and talk to as many people I can and have like a long form documentary style podcast about I and we take on immigration, the economy, race, sexism, the party, the media. We talks to different candidates who are running for the very first time and we talk about the message that the Democrats should deliver.
[19:50:12] JONES: Hey, listen, it means the world to me to have you here and have you out there. Listen. All of us who are part of the Obama alumni association look at you as one of our great, great stars. Thank you so much in what you are doing.
Check out the new podcast about Democrats. It's called "The Wilderness." It's out Monday.
And coming up Scott Pruitt is finally gone from the EPA but there is a lingering danger he left behind in the agency. I'm going to talk to you about that when we get back.
[19:54:38] JONES: Former head of EPA, Scott Pruitt and all his scandals are finally out the door but he left behind some parting gifts for the polluters. Scott Pruitt gave major industries a green light to spew more toxic air pollution. He let coal companies dump debris into water streams. And all those nasty rules are still in place. And he did it supposedly to get rid of job-killing regulation.
You know, some people may think that climate change is an issue for our grand kids. But our planet is in peril right now. And if you want proof a dangerous record setting heatwave swept through southern California this week. Temperatures got to all-time highs, 117 degrees in some places. That's Venus. OK.
This heatwave, it killed a postal worker, it knocked out power for days for thousands people right here in Los Angeles. In Quebec, Canada 70 people were killed this week in a heatwave. In northern Siberia some areas are seeing temperatures 40 degrees above normal,. You think about that, 40 degrees. So we got to do more.
On July 21st we got high school students stepping up with a global youth climate march called zero hour. Help them out. Don't let zero hour fight alone. And let's all get involved. Go on social media. Tell the politicians that you will volunteer and vote for climate champion. Push your employers, your campuses, your house of the worship, to take some kind of action and vote with you're dollars. Choose green energy. Shop from a local farmer's market. Take public transportation and let's bring a different kind of heat to the ballot box in November.
I'm Van Jones, this is THE VAN JONES SHOW. Peace and love for one another.
See you next time.