Today, we'll hear from former Maryland Congressman John Delaney (ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos) or former San Antonio mayor and Obama HUD Secretary Julian Castro (Face the Nation on CBS with Margaret Brennan).
In case you were wondering, yes - Lindsey Graham (R- White House) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) were both on television this morning - it is Sunday, after all. Others making appearances included Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ted Cruz (R-Wolverine), Chris Coons (D-DE), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI). From the House side, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Steve Scalise (R-LA) were out and about.
If I were one of the folks who watched the Super Bowl for the commercials, I might have known about John Delaney. My bad, I guess - honestly, this is the first I've heard of him but lots of folks probably can't say that. Delaney indicated he's been to Iowa 21 times and New Hampshire 12 times already, sharing his message.
On the other network, Margaret Brennan asked Julian Castro about the statement from the RNC that appeared "almost immediately" after his candidacy was announced:
Julian Castro has made history by becoming one of the biggest lightweights to ever run for president. He was a weak mayor who couldn't even handle being HUD secretary. This is obviously just another desperate attempt to become someone else's running mate."These sound like they're going to be fun. Let's take a look.
So, what is Delaney's message? Well, it's
about bringing this terribly divided nation back together, solving real problems that are facing workers and families, particularly in light of how technology is changing the workforce, getting big things done to build a better future and restoring a sense of almost moral aspiration to our political discourse.Stephanopoulos said pointed out that the 'dirty word' of Delaney's ad - bipartisanship - is lacking in DC right now, but wanted to "put (Delaney's) ideas to the test."
The first question was how he'd handle the shutdown. He noted that he wouldn't have caused one in the first place, but that the Senate Republicans needed to reopen the government.
The next question was about how he'd heal the divide that has been growing in the country over the past decade, with two Obama terms and two years of Trump.
What the American people are really looking for is a leader to bring us together, not actually talk like half the country's entirely wrong about everything they believe... Wouldn't it be amazing if a president looked at the American people at the inauguration and said I represent every one of you whether you voted for me or not and this is how I'm going to prove it.When Stephanopoulos pointed out that bipartisan legislation doesn't include Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, or $15 an hour, Delaney suggested focusing on infrastructure, comprehensive immigration reform, our 'broken and immoral criminal justice system" that are all bipartisan, as is some kind of national service program for kids leaving high school, but some things would have to go on the back burner.
The first hundred days you prove to the American people we can actually start solving problems and getting things done, then you start talking about some of the big things we need to do... I think there's a pathway to do things together as a country...They talked about him not being a person of color, and not being a woman, and appreciating his white male businessman background is not what Dems suggest they're looking for, but that leadership is what everyone's looking for.
Delaney was asked about marginal tax rates - the 70% over $10M that's been suggested by one of the new Dems. He thinks the marginal rate should be higher, that we should tax investment income more in line with how workers are taxed, and that, in general, we've got a lot of 'structural unfairness' to deal with, including the tax code.
He thinks his background in Congress, the time he's spent with the military, his strong view on what our role is in the world and belief in the post-WWII leadership model qualify him to be commander-in-chief. And, finally, that we should wait for the Mueller report before jumping to any conclusions about Trump's "suspicious" behavior toward Russia and his "suspicious" business dealings.
Going back to Brennan's conversation with Castro, he noted that the RNC could (and probably will) use the same words to attack any Dem, he spoke about his qualifications to be commander-in-chief.
I've had executive experience. I've led one of the largest, most diverse cities in the country. I've led a federal agency at HUD and done some great work to expand opportunity. I know what it takes to ensure that we have a government that functions well and to help inspire people. I also think I have a life experience that I think resonates with a lot of Americans.He listed growing up in a single parent household, attending public schools in his hometown, college and law school and reaching his American dream, and wanting to help others reach theirs.
On immigration, Castro believes Trump has created a tragedy at the border with his family separation policy; he's talked with folks who say a wall is not the answer; he doesn't believe we should have family detention for those seeking asylum or refugee status; we need other ways to process and keep track of people. He pointed out that Trump is failed leader on this. And instead of a wall,
I would make sure that we invest in sensible, smart and effective border security that includes personnel, that includes the smart use of technology, and that does not scapegoat these immigrants but tries to look for a way that we can get to comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken immigration system.Brennan asked how he'll distinguish himself in what's already looking like it'll be a crowded field. Mostly, he'll highlight his experience (discussed earlier).
... I'm under no illusion right now - that I'm in the pole position or anything...but nobody who grew up here in these neighborhoods, including myself, has ever been a front-runner. And I think in this country right now, there are a lot of people who don't feel like front-runners. And I'm going to speak to them in this campaign.Brennan then went after parts of his platform that were outlined, such as Medicare for all, universal access to pre-k, a Green New Deal - all of the progressive/liberal ideas that so many folks will be running on. Things got a little in the weeds on how centrists would feel, and how these things would be paid for.
Castro basically said the fight will be worth it to achieve these things, but he knows it won't be easy. People will have to pay their fare share - people, and corporations, too. He promised there'll be more details, the level of stuff that Brennan was probing for, as he releases in-depth position papers.
If I were to pick a winner from today's dueling lectures, it was clearly Castro. And Brennan did better than Stephanopoulos, too - but she had a lot more material then he did.
See you around campus.