Terry McAuliffe - Defending Virginians Against the Trump Administration - Extended Interview

Extended - July 19, 2017 - Terry McAuliffe 07/19/2017 Views: 39,851

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe explains how he challenged the Trump administration's voter fraud commission and weighs in on the GOP's effort to repeal Obamacare. (16:10)

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Please welcome Terry McAuliffe.

(applause and cheering)

-Welcome to the show, Governor.-Oh. Honored to be with you.

-Thanks, Trevor.-What a time to have you on.

This is fun.Timing is everything, they say.

-We've got a few issues.-Yeah, a few.

-Yeah. -Uh, let-let'sget straight into it.

Uh, President Trump had his, uh,voter fraud commission,

which is a new commissionthat's come together

to figure out, uh, where allthese illegal votes are.

-That's... -Which is a fraud--the commission.

-Ye... Oh, uh...-(laughter)

Which, uh, the votes that votedHillary out of power

-that were hers, but illegal.-Yeah.

But anyway, um,

let's talk a little bitabout the commission...

-Yup. -...and-and the idea behind it.

There is this concerted effortto state

that there is widespread...widespread voter fraud

in the Americanelectoral system.

Is this true or notfrom a governor's perspective?

No truth,I can tell you in Virginia,

we have no issuesat all of voter fraud.

This is all becauseDonald Trump cannot get the fact

that Hillary Clinton actuallygot three million more votes

than he did in the generalelection, plain and simple.

-It's, uh...-(applause and cheering)

When you... when you were askedby this commission

to hand over information,this-this...

It seemed like a scary overreachfor many Americans.

-You know, it was the federalgovernment saying... -Yeah.

"Hey, all the states,we would like voter names,

e-mails, addresses."

-I think it was partialSocial Security numbers. -Yeah.

-A hell of a lot of information.-That's right.

Why do you thinkso many people were hesitant

to hand that over,information over?

And why did youas a governor say,

"No, we won'thand that information."?

Well, I'm proud.I was the first governor.

No way were they gettingmy personal information

-from my Virginia residents.-(applause and cheering)

Wasn't gonna hand it over.

Listen, this commission--first of all,

they're spending $500,000of taxpayer money.

-It is no authorityfrom Congress... -Right.

...to try and get our data...Thi...

And the gentleman running it,this Mr. Kobach,

is the poster child for votersuppression in this country.

I'm gonna take our dataand let them use this

to continueto gerrymander districts,

to take voting rights awayfrom people?

There has been an effortfor the last several years

to reduce individuals' abilities

to walk into a voting boothand vote.

We got to stop it,and I was gonna say,

-we're not gonna tolerate it.-(applause and cheering) -The...

The... the presidentcame out today

and-and said, um,in a statement, uh,

"There are governorswho do not wish

"to hand this information over.

Uh, clearly,there is something to hide."

There's alwayssomething to hide

when someone doesn't wantto hand something over.

So, what are you trying to hide?

-(laughter)-All I can...

Trevor, I go back to the point,not one instance of voter fraud.

We just...

The states don't have it.

If you've got an allegation--he just cannot get over

this idea that Hillarygot more votes than he did.

He cannot get over it-- his egowill not let him deal with it.

So he has madethis whole illusion up,

that three million peoplevoted illegally.

Show me one piece of evidence.

I just... saying, show it to me.

If I... if you have evidencein Virginia,

I'll act on it immediately,

because we do have to protectthe integrity.

We got men and women wearingthe cloth of this country today

-to protect our freedomsand liberties. -Right.

My job as governor, to make surewe are the greatest democracy

and to make sure people can walkin that voting booth and vote.

But they're denying people--they want to make it harder

-for people to vote. -Let'stalk a little bit about that,

because America has seen anincrease in voter suppression.

That has been oneof the biggest things

-plaguing America's democracyright now. -Yeah.

Uh, in your state,you, I believe,

have now set the record...as a governor,

I guess, giving the most, uh...

voting rights to felons.

You know, which is somethingthat has been stripped away...

-(whooping, applause)-by many states.

Yeah.

But it was an interesting story.

You were blocked initially--how did you get around that?

Well, I'm proudto sit here tonight

as the governor who has restoredmore felon rights

than any governor in the historyof the United States of America.

(cheering, applause)

-If I may, if I may interject.-Yeah.

It may not seem obvious,but somebody might go,

"Why would you be proud of that?These are felons.

Why would you allow themto vote?"

First of all,second chances matter.

These people, Trevor,have paid their debt to society.

A judge and jury determinedwhat their sentence may be.

They're done.They're back in our communities.

They're going to churches.They're paying taxes.

I didn't giveyour gun rights back,

I didn't reduce your sentence--I merely said:

I want you to feel goodabout yourselves,

I want to welcome you backinto society,

you're paying taxes,you ought to vote.

(applause, whooping)

And... and now you were...you were blocked.

-Oh, I was sued. -It wasa really interesting story.

-You were sued.-Oh, yeah. I'm proud--

first Virginia governorever sued.

-(laughter) -I was suedfor contempt of court.

I was sued twiceby the Republicans,

who said I did not havethe authority,

even though the Constitution'spretty clear--

the governor has the authorityto restore his rights.

But I'll tell you this, thisgoes back to 1902 in Virginia,

when a state senator stoodin our capital,

a disenfranchisement of felons,a literacy test,

and a poll tax-- actuallyput it in our constitution.

And he said at that time,Trevor: I am doing this,

quote, to "eliminate the darky"

from being a political forcein Virginia.

Well, I was proud to standin that same capital

114 years later--new sheriff in town,

no dice, I'm giving these peoplethe right to vote back,

-and it's the right thing to do.-Wow. -(cheering, applause)

The, uh...

Now, this is interesting,because I...

there's a phrasethat I use in life,

which is basedon your last name,

and I... I say,"It's a McAuliffe thing."

All right? And, uh...I say a McAuliffe thing is

doing something that is right,

but for what people may deemto be the wrong reasons.

All right,so some people say:

Governor McAuliffe, yes,

wants to give felonsthe right to vote

once they leave prison,but it's because he assumes

many of them will votefor Democrats.

How do you respond to thatas a criticism from people?

Well, this is what shocked them.

When we came out with the data,

the average person whose rightsI was restoring:

46-year-old white male.

That shocked themwhen that data came out.

But it had nothing to dowith-- you know, people said

it had to do with thepresidential election.

As soon as I got elected,you know,

I-I made, uh, nonviolent, gavethem the right back immediately.

-People with drug offenses, c--I got rid of all that. -Right.

And the state, uh, applyingfor state contracts,

I went in and banned the box.

You can't have thaton our state fo--

I have tried to lead.

I'm a very socially progressivegovernor.

Uh, I'm all about jobsand economic development.

This was about giving peopledignity back.

There was-- you know what I wastired of hearing, Trevor,

when I walked around Virginia?

Individuals would tell me,parents, fathers would tell me,

on election day, they wouldgo to a polling booth,

and they would hope someonedropped that "I Voted" sticker,

so that they could put thatsticker on and go home,

because they were embarrassedto tell their children

that they didn'thave the right to vote.

Why do we treat peoplein this country

like second class citizens?

I want people to be treatedwith dignity and respect.

(applause)

Maybe some people saw thesticker and they're like,

"That's the fraud."

Um...

The...

The president of theUnited States and yourself

are not the best of friends.

Uh, you, uh,got to meet him recently.

I believe it wasfor the first time.

Uh, I-I think I rememberreading in the statement

you were four inchesfrom his eyeball.

And, uh, you said to him--and I may be paraphrasing--

you said to him, "Your policieshave hurt my economy."

-That's right. -What did youmean by that statement?

Yeah. Uh, as chairmanof the governors,

we were having a dinnerat the White House.

I had met the president before.

And I said, "Mr. President,what you're doing

on the travel ban..."

And I was very proud, as soonas they did that travel ban,

I went to Dulles Airportwith my attorney general,

and said "I'm the governorof this state.

"This airport is in my state.

"You have a Virginia familyin that back room

"with two childrenwith U.S. passports,

"that have been detainedfor five hours

"without accessto legal counsel.

"I want them released now.

-I am the governorof this state." -Right.

(cheering and applause)

His immigration policyhas hurt--

In northern Virginia, a dynamiceconomic area of Virginia,

if you look at that area,small businesses are the key.

60%, Trevor, of thesmall business owners

are foreign born.

They are the economic engine.

-There's a ch... 60.-60%?

And there isa chilling effect today.

I visit all the little grocerystores and mom and pops.

They're not investing;they're terrified.

They don't know what's gonnahappen to this country.

So I told the president,looked right at him.

"You talked about jobs,Mr. President.

"All you've doneis hurt my economy.

With your travel ban--"

I lost two companies that weregonna come to Virginia

looking, investing.

They said, "We're notcoming right now.

This is not a placeI want to go."

"Immigration,you're chilling people."

I told the president,"You're hurting my economy.

Go back to what you saidyou were gonna do."

I'll work with anybody.

His healthcare's been a mess.

"Morally repugnant"is what I said

about the president's commentsyesterday. That...

"Let Obamacare die,"and 32 million people

are gonna lose health insurance?

The man has abdicatedhis responsibility

as presidentof the United States of America.

-(cheering, applause)-Let's-let's talk about that.

Let's talk about healthcare, uh,for a moment.

It seems like... uh, the bill is dead.

Uh, it seems like, uh,they will not be seeking

to repeal or replace.

Nobody knows where theconversation will go right now,

'cause the president'sstill having meetings.

But let's talk about thehealthcare. On healthcare,

the CBO just releasednumbers today,

which was 32 millionmore Americans

would have been uninsuredby 2026 under the Senate measure

-that was heading to the votenext week. -That's right.

Right? 32 millionmore Americans.

Everyone understands the idea

of people losing their cover.

I would like us to havethe more difficult conversation,

and that is talking aboutthe possible effects

of expanding Medicaidinto the future.

As much as everybody wantsto have coverage for everyone--

and I know Medicaid is closeto your heart in Virginia--

-Yeah. -there are peoplewho project...

And the CBO, again, with thenumbers saying that by 2027,

for instance,the money spent on Medicaid

will have gone upto around $700 billion,

which would have beenup 80%, around.

Uh...

there is a pointwhen the debt of the country

has to be managed

and the expansion of Medicaidhas to be looked at.

-How do you balance those two-Sure.

whilst looking at expanding it?

No, it's a good question.First of all,

let's talk aboutMedicaid expansion.

Who are we covering?

-Elderly...-Right.

disabled, pregnant womenand children.

This is the pool of individuals.In Virginia,

65% of my Medicaid costs:

long-term elderly care.

What am I gonna dowith these elderly citizens,

throw 'em on the street?

Is that what the presidentreally wants me to do?

In order to get in our planin Virginia...

If you're a single motherin Virginia with two children,

Trevor, you have to makeless than $6,200 a year.

-So we have a very lean program.-Right.

The idea that the presidentwas going to tell us to cut

even more out of it--it meant that I'd hurt families.

I'd have to take moneyout of education.

We can work together.And this is the point

I tried to makeas chairman of the governors.

Work with us. We run theMedicaid programs in our states.

The governors run 'em.We have best practices,

we have great ideas, but theynever once reached out to me.

Work with the governors.There's things that we can do

on generic drugs,on the Medicare program,

on, you know,post-hospital stay.

We can save billions.

But they've made thisabout politics.

It's not about policy anymore.

This is the singlebiggest policy

we have in our country today.

Healthcare is a right.

Everyone is entitled to gethealthcare in this country.

(cheering, applause)

And he... they're treating itlike politics.

And this is all for politics.This is all because he said,

"I'd get rid of it.This would be easy."

And I said last nighton television, I mean,

I found his actions abhorrentyesterday. Morally repugnant.

The idea that we're just gonnalet people die.

This is a time for leadership.

Come togetherin a bipartisan way.

I havea very Republican legislature,

but I worked with themon economic development,

on a record investmentin education, on transportation.

You got to work together.

And the idea, what we've seenso far out of this president

is clueless about the factsand the policies

and he plays politicsand he's playing politics

with people's lives.And it has to stop.

I never liked his slogan,"Make America Great Again."

Let me tell you something,Trevor, we are great.

-I travel all over the globe.-(applause)

We're the greatest nationon Earth.

We don't haveto make it great again.

Can we make it better?Yes, we can.

-This idea that...-That sounded hella familiar.

Uh... (chuckles)The, uh...

(stammers) Um, let's-let's talkabout leadership

-before I let you go.-Yeah.

Uh, the Democrats--

many of their fansand detractors have pointed out

that the Democrats, although...

being up against Donald Trump,

don't seem to have a messagein place.

It doesn't seem to be a coherentmessage of "This is the plan."

It seems more to be "Wedon't like Trump. Vote for us."

Looking forward, um,there are midterms coming up.

You are ending your-your termas governor.

You've been very vocal,saying that you're going

to be out there. You're goingto be helping the Democrats

in the midt... midterms.

What's the plan? What is theidea? And what is the message?

The message for Democrats has tobe like what we do in Virginia.

Right now,66% of Virginians are happy

with the direction of the state.

Record jobs, record investment.

We've shattered everyeconomic investment record.

We've created jobs.

Record amount of money,

investment in education,in transportation.

You know, I've had to veto120 bills in Virginia.

I have the record, the mostbills ever vetoed by a governor.

And I never lost. 120 to zero.

But I told folksI will be a brick wall

to protect women's rights,I will protect LGBT rights,

I will protect our environment,

I'm gonna stop guns beingon the street,

-and I'm gonna stopvoter suppression bills. -Right.

-And that's how I have governed.-(cheering and applause)

-And so do you think...-You got to be for something.

Do you think that attitudewill translate?

'Cause, I mean, that... you'vejust told me about yourself.

So are you saying that you will,in some way, be influential

in helping the Democratswith that message?

They better start...Democrats have to talk...

tell voterswhat they're going to be...

-do for them.-Right.

They don't want...You know, listen, against Trump,

we got a lot of peopledoing their investigations.

They... Voters, you know,they don't ask much from us,

honestly, Trevor.

You know what,they want a quality job,

they want their kidsto have a quality job,

they want an education systemthat works,

they want to get on the roadand, uh...

and go see their kids playa ballgame

that shouldn't take two hoursto go each way,

-and a good healthcare system.-Mm-hmm.

If we can deliver that,that's how you lead.

And that's how we've done itin Virginia.

In the rural parts of my state,

who lost coal, textile,furniture, and tobacco,

over the last three years,unemployment's gone

from 5.4% to 3.8%since I've been governor.

We've dropped dramatically--

several hundred thousandnew jobs.

But in rural communities,rural communities--

Page County, Dickenson County,Wise County--

you've seen unemployment dropin half.

Work with people.Renewable energy, cybersecurity,

human genome sequencing,data analytics.

We can create these jobsif we work together

in a bipartisan wayto take this country forward.

That's what Donald Trumphas to learn.

He's got to start workingwith people

to move that ball forward.

We're the greatest nationon Earth. We can make it better.

But we can't do itby putting politics

into every single discussion.

Would you...would you run for president?

Uh, I'm happy right now

being governorof the Commonwealth of Virginia.

I mean, think about this,Trevor, Patrick Henry,

our first governor-- "give meliberty, give me death,"

started the American Revolution.

Thomas Jefferson,our second governor.

(chuckles)And now Terry McAuliffe.

I'm gonna take that as a yes.

Thank you so muchfor being on the show.

Governor Terry McAuliffe,everybody.

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