MetroFocus: September 22, 2020

The NYPD motto “Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect” is called into question after the head of an NYPD union leveled a vicious attack against New York City Council member and Bronx Congressional candidate Ritchie Torres. The Twitter insult came after Torres and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called for an investigation into a potential police-response slowdown as gun violence spikes across the city. In a now-deleted tweet, Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, called Torres a derogatory term and accused the official of lying and blaming police to help win his Congressional seat. Ritchie Torres reacts tonight in a candid and personal discussion about the police union he says has “essentially become a hate group masquerading as a labor union.”

In the midst of a historic pandemic, economic hardship, and a reckoning with racism, this November Americans will decide who will lead the nation for the next four years: President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden. And before the votes are cast, as it has for every election since 1988, FRONTLINE will present The Choice — its critically acclaimed election year special offering interwoven investigative biographies of both major-party candidates. Tonight veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk, joins us with a unique primer for voters in The Choice 2020: Trump vs. Bidena two-hour documentary that tells the story of a deeply divided nation though the lives of the two men who want to lead it.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

WE BEGIN OUR CONVERSATION TONIGHT WITH THE NYPD CLAIMS OF A POSSIBLE JOB SLOWDOWN AND A DEROGATORY TWEET.

SOME OF NEW YORK CITY'S POLITICAL LEADERS BELIEVE THERE'S A GROWING PERCEPTION IN THE MINDS OF THE PUBLIC THAT A POLICE WORK SLOWDOWN MAY BE TO BLAME FOR THIS YEAR'S SURGE IN VIOLENT CRIME.

BRONX CITY COUNCIL MEMBER RITCHIE TORRES AND ERIC ADAMS CALLED ON THE CITY'S DEPARTMENT OF INVESTIGATION TO HELP DETERMINE IF THERE HAS INDEED BEEN A SLOWDOWN AND IF THERE IS, TO WHAT EXTENT HAS CRIME BEEN IMPACTED AS A RESULT.

THEIR SEARCH FOR ANSWERS HAS NOT BEEN RECEIVED BY SOME MEMBERS OF THE NYPD WHICH HAS DENIED THE ACCUSATIONS AND POINTED TO OTHER FACTORS FOR THE SPIKE IN CRIME.

COUNCIL MEMBER TORRES ALSO FOUND HIMSELF THE TARGET OF A DEROGATORY TWEET FROM THE HEAD OF THE POLICE SERGEANT'S UNION, ED MULLINS AND IS NOW CALLING FOR MR. MULLINS' RESIGNATION AS HE PUSHES FOR THIS INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION OF THE NYPD.

JOINING US TO TALK ABOUT ALL THIS IS COUNCIL MEMBER TORRES, ALSO RUNNING FOR ELECTION AS THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE IN THE BRONX'S FIFTH DISTRICT.

WELCOME AND THAN, FOR JOINING US.

IT'S AN HONOR TO BE HERE.

LET'S START OFF WITH THIS REQUEST YOU MADE IN CONJUNCTION WITH BOROUGH PRESIDENT ADAMS.

WHAT WERE THE FACTS THAT LED YOU TO BELIEVE THAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS REQUEST OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INVESTIGATION?

A FEW WEEKS AGO I JOINED WITH BOROUGH PRESIDENT ERIC ADAMS CALLING ON THE DEPARTMENT OF INVESTIGATIONS TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF A SLOWDOWN AT THE NYPD.

HERE ARE THE FACTS.

THERE'S BEEN AN OUTBREAK OF GUN VIOLENCE.

THE NUMBER OF SHOOTING VICTIMS AND INCIDENTS HAVE ALL BUT DOUBLED PARTICULARLY IN THE SUMMER.

THE OUTBREAK OF GUN VIOLENCE IS UNFOLDING AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF THE NYPD MAKING FAR FEWER ARRESTS, SOLVING FAR FEWER GUN CASES AND RESPONDING MORE SLOWLY TO GUN CRIMES IN PROGRESS, ALL OF WHICH ARE POSSIBLE SIGNS OF A SLOWDOWN.

SO I JOINED THE BOROUGH PRESIDENT IN CALLING ON THE DEPARTMENT OF INVESTIGATIONS TO CONDUCT AN INDEPENDENT REVIEW TO DETERMINE IF A SLOWDOWN DOES, IN FACT, EXIST, AND TO WHAT EXTENT HAS IT DRIVEN THE OUTBREAK OF VIOLENCE IN NEW YORK CITY.

EXPLAIN FOR US, IF YOU WOULD QUICKLY, WHAT IS THE DEPARTMENT OF INVESTIGATION AND WHY DO THE TWO OF YOU BELIEVE THAT WOULD BE THE APPROPRIATE AGENCY TO LOOK INTO THIS?

THE DEPARTMENT OF INVESTIGATIONS IS ESSENTIALLY THE INVESTIGATIVE ARM OF NEW YORK CITY.

THE COMMISSIONER OF DOI IS NOMINATED BY THE MAYOR BUT CONFIRMED BY THE CITY COUNCIL, AND IT'S THE ONLY AGENCY IN CITY GOVERNMENT THAT CAN CONDUCT THE INVESTIGATION INDEPENDENTLY OF BOTH THE NYPD AND THE MAYOR HIMSELF.

DO WE KNOW AT THIS JUNCTURE WHAT, IF ANYTHING, THE DEPARTMENT OF INVESTIGATION IS DOING AS A CONSEQUENCE OF YOUR REQUEST?

I HOPE TO FIND OUT IN THE WEEKS TO COME BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO HOLD A HEARING REGARDING DOI'S INVESTIGATION INTO THE NYPD GENERALLY.

SO WE HOPE TO LEARN MORE IN THE WEEKS TO COME.

DOI TENDS TO CONDUCT THESE INVESTIGATIONS CONFIDENTIALLY.

HOW DO YOU THINK THEY WOULD GO ABOUT DOING AN INVESTIGATION SUCH AS THIS TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT THERE HAS, IN FACT, BEEN SOME FORM OF A POLICE SHEDOWN?

CLEARLY, AND I'M NOT SUGGESTING THERE IS.

WE DON'T KNOW.

YOU'RE ASKING LET'S FIND OUT.

IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT SOME TIEF OF SLOWDOWN IN ANY KIND OF JOB, IT'S USUALLY NOT PRECEDED BY A DECLARATION THAT THIS IS WHAT WE'RE DOING.

SO HOW THEN WOULD YOU ANTICIPATE THE DEPARTMENT OF INVESTIGATION WOULD BE ABLE TO INVESTIGATE THIS AND REACH SOME CONCLUSION EITHER WAY?

IT'S NOT MY PLACE TO TELL THE INVESTIGATIVE PROFESSIONALS HOW TO DO THEIR JOB, BUT IT WOULD RANGE FROM INTERVIEWING OFFICERS UNDER OATH TO REVIEWING STATISTICS.

THE STATISTICS THAT I'VE SEEN ARE SHOCKING, FROM LATE JUNE TO MID JULY THE NUMBER OF GUN ARRESTS FELL BY MORE THAN 16%. FROM JANUARY TO MID JULY, THE CLEARANCE RATE, THE RATE AT WHICH CASES ARE SOLVED FELL FROM THE HISTORICAL NORMAL OF 30% TO 23%. ACCORDING TO NEW YORK 1, THE NYPD'S RESPONSE TIMES FELL BY MORE THAN 40% IN JUNE AND BY MORE THAN 14% IN JULY AND AUGUST.

REVIEWING STATISTICS, INTERVIEWING MEMBERS OF THE YNPD CAN BRING US CLOSER TO DETERMINE FG THERE IS, IN FACT, A SLOWDOWN.

THE RESPONSE BY THE NYPD, POLICE COMMISSIONER DERMOT SHEA SAYS ESSENTIALLY, LOOK, I'LL WELCOME THIS INVESTIGATION, DENIED THERE WAS ANY SLOWDOWNS AND POIRNLTED TO OTHER FACTORS, SPECIFICALLY SAYING THAT THE CUTBACK IN TERMS OF BODIES ON THE STREETS, THE CUTBACK IN TERMS OF MONEY THAT IS GOING TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, PEOPLE HAVE USED THE WORD DEFUNDING AND THAT'S A WORD WE'VE TALKED ABOUT IN THE PAST ON THE PROGRAM, IT CAN MEAN A WHOLE LOT OF THINGS.

ESSENTIALLY THE NYPD HAS SAID THIS IS NOT OUR FAULT, IN SOME WAYS POINTING BACK TOWARDS THE CITY COUNCIL AND THE MAYOR SAYING IT'S YOUR FAULT, YOU'RE TAKING AWAY FROM US SO LOGICALLY WE CAN'T PROVIDE THE SAME SERVICES.

WHAT'S YOUR RESPONSE TO THAT?

THE POSITION OF THE NYPD IS THAT IT'S THE FAULT OF EVERYONE BUT THE NYPD, EXCEPT THE VERY AGENCY RESPONSIBLE FOR PUBLIC SAFETY.

IT'S THE FAULT OF THE POLITICIANS, THE PROSECUTORS, THE PANDEMIC, THE PROTESTERS.

I BELIEVE IN HOLDING CITY AGENCIES ACCOUNTABLE FAR THEIR OUTCOMES.

THE NYPD IS NO EXCEPTION TO THE RULE.

THERE HAS BEEN NO DEFENDING OF THE NYPD.

THE HEAD COUNT OF THE NYPD REMAINS WITHIN THE HISTORIC NORM.

THE NYPD HAS THE SAME HEAD COUNT IT HAD MORE THAN A DECADE AGO AND YET WE HAVE MUCH HIGHER RATES OF GUN VIOLENCE.

SO IT'S NOT A RESOURCE QUESTION.

IF IT WERE A RESOURCE QUESTION, BEFORE I HELD MY PRESS CONFERENCE GUN ARRESTS WERE AT HISTORIC LOWS.

AND THEN THE WEEK AFTER MY PRESS CONFERENCE THE NYPD ANNOUNCED A 25-YEAR HIGH IN GUN ARRESTS.

IF THERE'S A RESOURCE PROBLEM, HOW DO YOU GO FROM HISTORIC LOWS IN GUN ARRESTS TO HISTORIC HIGHS?

I MENTIONED THE RESPONSE OF THE NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER HERE.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE RESPONSE I TALKED ABOUT IN THE INTRODUCTION, AND THAT IS THE TWEET THAT CAME OUT OF THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE SERGEANT'S UNION RUN BY, AS WE MENTIONED, ED MULLINS.

HERE IS WHAT HE SAID, A LITTLE UNCOMFORTABLE, BUT I THINK TO UNDERSTAND THE CONVERSATION OUR JURORS NEED TO KNOW THAT.

HIS RESPONSE WAS HE -- HE WE GO AMERICA.

THIS IS WHAT A FIRST CLASS WHORE LOOKS LIKE, RITCHIE TORRES, PASSES LAWS TO DEFUND POLICE, SUPPORTS CRIMINALS AND NOW BECAUSE HE'S RUNNING FOR OFFICE -- WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST REACTION WHEN YOU SAW THAT TWEET?

FIRST, IT LEFT ME IN A STATE OF SHOCK.

INSTEAD OF RESPONDING TO MY CONCERNS WITH ARGUMENTS OF HIS OWN, WITH FACTS AND STATISTICS, THE SERGEANT BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION, ED MULLINS, CHOSE TO DEMON NIESZ ME CALLING ME A FIRST CLASS WHORE.

THE ATTACK ON ME IS BY NO MEANS AN ISOLATED INCIDENT.

THERE'S NO PUBLIC FIGURE WITH A MORE EXTENSIVE RECORD OF HATE AND HARASSMENT THAN ED MULLINS HIMSELF.

HE'S REFERRED TO THE LATINA FORMER HEALTH COMMISSIONER AS THE B WORD.

HE REFERRED TO AN LGBTQ ELECTED OFFICIAL AS A FIRST CLASS WHORE, A FORMER LINEBACKER IN THE NNFL AN ANIMAL.

WELFARE QUEENS AND SECTION 8 SCAM ARTISTS.

HE'S APPEARED ON TELEVISION WITH A MUG NAMING THE SYMBOL OF A GROUP TRAFFICKING IN ANTI-SEMITISM.

HE'S INVADED THE PRIVACY OF THE MAYOR'S DAUGHTER, THREATENED VIOLENCE AGAINST THE MAYOR HIMSELF.

THESE ARE FORMS OF MISCONDUCT THAT OUGHT TO DISQUALIFY HIM FROM SERVING IN ANY POSITION OF RESPONSIBILITY.

I SHOULD NOTE THAT WE INVITED MR. MULLINS TO APPEAR ON THE PROGRAM TO EXPLAIN HIS COMMENTS, TALK ABOUT HIS OPINIONS.

HE HAS DECLINED.

WE WERE TOLD THAT HE WAS NOT AVAILABLE.

IN A STATEMENT SUBSEQUENTLY HE RELEASED, HE SAID HIS COMMENTS HAD NOTHING TO DO -- THESE ARE HIS WORDS, RACE, ETHNICITY OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION.

AS OF NOW, HE HAS DECLINED.

HE ALSO POINTED TO, AS I MENTIONED, ABOUT THE POLICE COMMISSIONER, THE ALLEGATIONS THAT -- SO FAR IF THERE'S ANYTHING HAPPENING REGARDING THE SURGE IN CRIME IT'S THE FAULT OF THE CITY COMMISSION.

'NEW YORK TIMES' HAD AN ARTICLE FAIRLY RECENTLY AND IN THAT ARTICLE THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT AN APPARENT DISCONNECT BETWEEN THE NYPD AND MEMBERS OF CITIZENS OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK.

SPECIFICALLY THEY FOCUSED ON THE NOTION OF THE PBA, THE POLICE UNION ENDORSING PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP.

THE TIMES SAID THEY HAVEN'T DONE THAT FOR DECADES.

PATRICK LYNCH WHO SPOKE AT THE CONVENTION DID THAT.

ACCORDING TO THE TIMES, THE UNION MEMBERS HAD NOT VOTED ON WHETHER THAT SHOULD BE DONE, QUOTED A NUMBER OF UNION RANK AND FILE AND LEADERS OF OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN THE PBA SAYING WE'RE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH IT.

THEY DIDN'T BELIEVE IT REPRESENTS THE RANK AND FILE MEMBERS OF THE PBA.

THE POINT MADE BY 'THE NEW YORK TIMES' WAS, BY TAKING A POSITION SUCH AS THIS -- AND THIS IS 'THE TIMES'' OBSERVATION.

IN A CITY WHERE THE PRESIDENT IS, IN THEIR WORDS, DEEPLY UNPOPULAR.

A POLICE FORCE WHICH IS LESS THAN 50% WHITE AND THE TIMES MENTIONED 88% OF THE UNION LEADERSHIP IS WHITE AND 60-SOME PERCENT OF THEM LIVE OUTSIDE THE BOUNDS OF NEW YORK CITY.

THE TIMES' POINT WAS ISN'T THIS DRIVING A WEDGE DEEPER BETWEEN THE NYPD AND THE CITIZENS OF NEW YORK CITY.

MY QUESTION TO YOU IS WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT?

AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED POLICE UNIONS LIKE THE SERGEANT BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

THE PURPOSE OF THESE UNIONS IS TO DEFEND POLICE MISCONDUCT NO MATTER HOW EGREGIOUS, AND THE LEADERSHIP OF THESE UNIONS AS DEMONSTRATED BY 'THE NEW YORK TIMES,' MORE THAN 90% WHITE MALES, MORE THAN 70% REPUBLICAN.

THE MAJORITY OF THEM LIVE OUTSIDE NEW YORK CITY.

THE LEADERSHIP OF NEW YORK CITY POLICE UNIONS IS UNREPRESENTATIVE OF THE VERY CITY IT POLICES.

THAT SPEAKS TO THE DEEP DIVIDE AND DISCONNECT BETWEEN NEW YORK CITY AND ITS OWN POLICE UNIONS.

WE HAVE ABOUT A MINUTE LEFT IN OUR CONVERSATION.

MY WRAP-UP QUESTION IS THIS, ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC AT LEAST THAT SOMEHOW THESE TENSIONS AND HOSTILITIES, THAT THEY CAN BE HEALED AND YOU CAN SEE A SMOOTHER RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CITY COUNCIL AND THE NYPD?

WHAT WE DESPERATELY NEED IS MORE EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP.

WE NEED A MORE EFFECTIVE MAYOR THAN BILL DeBLASIO AND WE NEED A FAR MORE EFFECTIVE PRESIDENT THAN DONALD TRUMP.

SO I WILL BECOME MORE OPTIMISTIC AS NEW LEADERSHIP TAKES HOLD AT EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT.

AS I MENTIONED AT THE BEGINNING, COUNCIL MEMBER RITCHIE TORRES, YOU ALONG WITH BOROUGH PRESIDENT ERIC ADAMS HAD MADE THE REQUEST OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INVESTIGATION THAT THEY LOOK INTO THIS PERCEPTION THAT THERE MAY WELL BE A POLICE SLOWDOWN TAKING PLACE.

WE APPRECIATE YOU TAKING SOME TIME TO TALK WITH US.

HOPEFUL WE CAN GET YOU BACK IN AS THE DEPARTMENT MOVES FORWARD AND FIND OUT EXACTLY WHAT SORT OF PROGRESS AND CONCLUSIONS ARE BEING MADE.

COUNCIL MEMBER TORRES, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

WE APPRECIATE IT.

IT'S AN HONOR.

TAKE CARE.

YOU BE WELL NOW.

> WE ARE TAKING BACK OUR COUNTRY.

IT'S THE BATTLE FOR THE SOUL OF AMERICA.

AS AMERICA FACES AN HISTORIC CHOICE.

PROTESTS AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY.

AWARD WINNING POLITICAL TEAM, THE ELECTION YEAR TRADITIONS CRITICS HAVE CALLED A FAIR AND HUMANIZING LOOK AT BOTH CANDIDATES.

'THE CHOICE 2020' TRUMP VERSUS BIDEN, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd, ONLY ON PBS.

> WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS,' I'M RAFAEL P. ROMAN.

THAT WAS A PREVIEW OF THE NEWEST INSTALLMENT OF FRONT LINE'S ACCLAIMED DOCUMENTARY SERIES 'THE CHOICE,' A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION YEAR TRADITION AIRING SINCE 1988.

THIS YEAR IT PROFILES DONALD TRUMP AND JOE BIDEN, TWO VERY DIFFERENT MEN WITH VERY DIFFERENT FLAWS AND VERY DIFFERENT STRATEGIES TO DEAL WITH THE VARIOUS CRISES THEY FACE IN THEIR PRIVATE AND PUBLIC LIVES.

HOW HAVE THOSE FLAWED STRATEGIES AND GENERAL LIFE EXPERIENCES SHAPED THESE TWO MEN AS POLITICAL ACTORS?

JOINING US IS THE PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR OF 'THE CHOICE 2020' MICHAEL KURT.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN, RAFAEL.

MICHAEL, I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION, YOUR DOCUMENTARY FOCUSES A LOT ON HOW THE LIVES OF THESE TWO MEN SHAPED THEIR POLITICAL LIVES.

THE FIRST THING THAT CAUGHT MY ATTENTION WAS THE IRONY THAT WHILE JOE BIDEN WAS INSPIRED TO INTERPOL TICKS BECAUSE OF THE KENNEDY FAMILY, IT'S THE TRUMP FAMILY THAT MOST RESEMBLES THE KENNEDY FAMILY WITH ITS WEALTH, ITS AMORAL PATRIARCH, WIN AT ANY COST, LOSERS NOT ALLOWED.

TALK ABOUT THAT IRONY AND TALK ABOUT THE INFLUENCE OF FRED TRUMP ON DONALD TRUMP.

IT IS A GREAT IRONY, ESPECIALLY IRONIC BECAUSE DONALD TRUMP DOESN'T SEEM TO BE SOMEBODY THAT -- THE BASE THAT HE HAS WOULD LIKE OR APPRECIATE.

HE'S FROM GUILDED WEALTH, IT WOULD SEEM.

IT'S UNBELIEVABLE.

THERE HE IS.

HE IS HIS FATHER'S SON, NOT THE SON THAT FRED WOULD HAVE CHOSEN TO INHERIT, TO BE THE HEIR APPARENT, THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN FREDDY, DONALD'S OLDER BROTHER, BUT FREDDY DIDN'T HAVE THE STUFF, THE RIGHT STUFF.

HE WAS RUN OUT OF THE FAMILY AND RUN OUT OF THE COMPANY AND TO AN ALCOHOLIC IN POOR HEALTH AND DIED AT 41.

THAT WAS HIS FIRST FORMIDABLE INFLUENCE.

ANOTHER INFLUENCE THAT THE DOCUMENTARY SHOWS IS ROY COHEN, OF COURSE, WHO FIRST CAME TO PROMINENCE AS THE PIT BULL OF JOE McCARTHY.

PIT BULL OF A PIT BULL AND THEN BECAME A BIG PLAYER IN NEW YORK STATE, NEW YORK CITY POLITICS AND BUSINESS.

I DON'T WANT TO EDITORIALIZE TOO MUCH.

I THINK IT'S SAFE TO SAY HE'S CONSIDERED ONE OF THE NASTIEST PEOPLE IN RECENT AMERICAN HISTORY.

THAT WAS A BIG INFLUENCE.

I THINK A LOT OF OUR LEADERS ALREADY KNOW THAT.

WHAT THEY DON'T KNOW AND YOUR DOCUMENTARY DEMONSTRATES IS THE INFLUENCE OF NORMAN VINCENT PEEL ON DONALD TRUMP.

WHO IS NORMAN VINCENT PEEL AND WHO WAS THAT INFLUENCE?

NORMAN VINCENT PEEL RUNS A CHURCH IN MANN.

SOCIALITES, POLITICS LIKE RICHARD NIXON, THE TRUMPS, THEY GO THERE.

WHAT'S NORMAN VINCENT PEEL VERY POPULAR IN THE 1950s IN NEW YORK, WHAT IS HE SELLING?

HE'S SELLING POSITIVE THINKING, THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING.

IF YOU'RE A CERTAIN AGE, YOU REMEMBER THE BOOK.

YOU MAY NOT HAVE READ IT, BUT YOU CERTAINLY MARVELLED AT THE KIND OF SALES OF THE BOOK, 2 MILLION COPIES IN 1953O '54.

ANYWAY, THE VISION WAS YOU CAN PROJECT INTO THE WORLD -- A BUSINESS DRIVEN PERSPECTIVE, INTO THE WORLD THAT THINGS ARE THE WAY YOU WANT THEM TO BE.

IF YOU STICK TO IT, THAT'S THE WAY THEY'RE GOING TO BE.

YOUNG DONALD TRUMP FOLLOWING HIS FATHER'S LEAD, THE FATHER WHO HAS TOLD HIM THERE ARE WINNERS, THERE ARE LOSERS, THERE ARE KILLERS, YOU'VE GOT TO BE A KILLER OR YOU'RE FINISHED, YOU'RE A LOSER, THERE'S NOTHING WORSE, ADDED TO THAT INFORMATION THE IDEA TO YOUNG DONALD THAT POSITIVE THINKING WILL GET YOU OUT OF ALL KINDS OF TROUBLE.

WINNERS THINK POSITIVELY.

YOU SEE THE MANIFESTATION OF THAT IN THE CORONAVIRUS-LIKE PETRI DISH OF HIS CASINOS IN ATLANTIC CITY.

THAT'S WHAT I FOUND FUNNY.

HE WASN'T LISTENING TO THE EXPERTS THEN, HE DOESN'T LISTEN TO EXPERTS NOW.

THE ROOTS OF IT IS THAT HE PICKED IT UP FROM HIS FATHER, WINNERS, LOSERS, KILLERS AND ROY C COHN, GO FORWARD, DON'T APOLOGIZE, PUSH EVERYBODY, PUSH ALL THE BUTTONS AND THEN NORMAN VINCENT PEEL WHO SAID YOU CAN THINK POSITIVELY THROUGH EVERYTHING, YOU DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN TO NAYSAYERS.

IT'S FUNNY YOU SEE THAT, NOW THAT YOU EXPLAIN IT.

JOE BIDEN, THE DOCUMENTARY SHOWS HOW HE SUFFERED FROM A DEEP STUTTERING PROBLEM WHEN HE WAS A YOUNG BOY.

TALK ABOUT HOW DEALING WITH THAT STUTTERING PROBLEM AND OVERCOMING IT, HOW DID THAT SHAPE THE MAN HE BECAME?

I COULDN'T IMAGINE THAT HE HAD THIS PROBLEM.

I HEARD ABOUT IT ABOUT A YEAR AND A HALF AGO AND I THOUGHT REALLY?

I INTERVIEWED JOE BIDEN, I SPENT TIME WITH JOE BIDEN.

WHEN WE LOOKED AT IT.

WHEN WE GOT DOWN INSIDE -- PLACE YOURSELF IN THE EARLY 1950s, YOUNG JOEY BIDEN, CATHOLIC SCHOOL, ROUGH AND TUMBLE KIND OF NEIGHBORHOOD HAS A TREMENDOUS STUTTER, SO MUCH SO THAT HE'S NOT ONLY A LITTLE KID, BUT HE'S AUTOMATICALLY THE BUTT OF JOKES, THE OVERDISCIPLINE OF A NUN AT ONE MOMENT.

HE'S HUMILIATED.

HE'S MOCKED, HE'S BULLIED BECAUSE OF IT.

I HAD NO SENSE THE EXTENT TO WHICH EVEN TODAY HE TALKS ABOUT IT, HE WORRIES ABOUT IT, HE THINKS ABOUT IT.

IT IS A FUNDAMENTAL PIECE OF HIS CHARACTER RAFAEL, IT'S SO FORMATIVE.

HERE IS A MAN WHO TRIED TO WALK THROUGH ALL KINDS OF ISSUES INCLUDING CLARENCE THOMAS AND ANITA HILL, BECAUSE HE DOES NOT WANT TO PUT HIMSELF IN A POSITION WHERE PEOPLE DON'T LIKE HIM, WHERE THEY MIGHT NOT LIKE HIM.

IT'S AS SIMPLE AS THAT.

DONALD TRUMP, ON THE OTHER HAND, LOVES IT WHEN PEOPLE DON'T LIKE HIM.

WAS THERE EVER A STARKER EXAMPLE OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO MEN THAN ON THAT DIMENSION ALONE?

JOE BIDEN'S FIRST RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 1988 BEGAN TO UNRAVEL WHEN IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT HE PLAGIARIZED THE SPEECH OF NEIL KENNETH WHO AT THE TIME WAS THE HEAD OF THE BRITISH LAB BORE PARTY, BASICALLY HIS LIFE STORY, NOT JUST HIS SPEECH.

THEN AFTER THAT HE GOT INTO THIS VERBAL JOUST VERY PUBLICLY WITH A JOURNALIST WHERE HE COMPLETELY MISREPRESENTED HIS ACADEMIC RECORD AND THAT ULTIMATELY COMPLETELY DERAILED HIS BID IN '88.

SOMEBODY IN YOUR FILM SAYS THAT THAT WAS AN EXAMPLE OF THE I'M P P IMPOSTER SYNDROME.

COULD HAVE HAVE COME FROM THE STUT STUTTERING?

HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN IT?

I THINK THAT'S TRUE.

I THINK THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW ABOUT JOE BIDEN AND I THINK IT COMES OUT OF THE STUTTER.

SOME OF IT COMES OUT OF THE -- SOMETIMES YOUR GOOD LUCK IS YOUR BAD LUCK.

HE WINS THE SENATE AT 29 YEARS OLD.

HE'S NOT EVEN OLD ENOUGH TO SERVE IN THE SENATE, BUT HE WINS AND HE BEATS BY LESS THAN 3,000 VOTES A VERY EXPERIENCED, VERY POPULAR GUY.

HOW DOES HE WIN?

HE DOESN'T WIN BECAUSE HE'S GOT A GREAT IDEOLOGICAL IDEA.

HE DOESN'T WIN BECAUSE HE'S GOT POLICIES THAT EVERYBODY LOVES.

LARGELY THEY TELL ME HE WINS BECAUSE HE HAS THE BLACK VOTE AND WINS BY LESS THAN 3,000 VOTES.

HOW DID HE GET THE BLACK VOTE?

HE THEY LIKED HIM.

HE HUNG OUT WITH THEM.

THEY GOT TO KNOW HIM.

THAT'S THE FORCE HE HAS.

IT'S NOT ABOUT POLICY.

IT'S NEVER ABOUT THAT.

AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT, IN SO MANY WAYS THAT'S WHO JOE BIDEN IS THAT ARRIVES AT THE MOMENT WHERE HE NEEDS A LIFE, HE NEEDS A STORY.

HE DOESN'T HAVE IDEOLOGY SO HE ADOPT NEIL KENNETH'S LIFE STORY.

IT BECOMES HIM THAT EVEN THOUGH AT TIMES HE WOULD CREDIT KEN NICK WITH IT, HE'S GIVING THIS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT SPEECH AT A DEBATE WHERE ALL OUR -- WHERE ALL THE OTHER CANDIDATES ARE SEATED IN IOWA OF ALL PLACES, AND HE JUST ABSORBS THE LIFE STORY.

THERE'S NOT A PIN DROP IN THE ROOM.

PEOPLE SAY, NOW THAT'S JOE BIDEN.

WHAT A STORY.

WHAT A GUY.

OF COURSE IT'S ALL FALSE.

SO WERE MANY OF HIS SPEECHES.

AS SOON AS THAT UNRAVELS, IT ALL FALLS APART.

YOU FIND HIM USING LINES FROM JACK KENNEDY'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS WITHOUT CREDITING HIM AND RFK.

HIS IETD DOLLS, THE KENNEDYS FOUND THEIR WAY INTO HIS SPEECHES, THAT'S JUST THAT FOR JOE.

THE IRONY, OF COURSE, IS THAT THESE ARE NOT OBSCURE THINGS.

THESE ARE THINGS THAT ANYBODY COULD FIND OUT.

VERY BIZARRE.

IN ANY EVENT, I NEED TO MOVE ON TO A VERY IMPORTANT SUBJECT THAT YOU COVER.

IT'S ONE OF THE DARKEST MOMENTS IN NEW YORK CITY'S HISTORY.

I'M TALKING ABOUT THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE WHERE FIVE YOUNG BLACK MEN -- BOYS REALLY, WERE CONVICTED OF RAPING AND BEATING A WOMAN WHO WAS JOGGING IN CENTRAL PARK THE WINTER OF '89.

TALK ABOUT DONALD TRUMP'S INVOLVEMENT IN HYPING THE HYSTERIA OF THAT MOMENT AND HOW IT PREVIEWS HIS FUTURE POLITICAL LIFE.

FOR ABOUT A YEAR BEFORE THE INCIDENT, TRUMP IS BEING ASKED BY LETTER MAN AND OPRAH AND RHONA BARRETT, ARE YOU GOING TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT.

HE'S TOO YOUNG TO RUN IN SOME CASES.

IT GETS PLANTED IN HIM.

HIS FRIENDS SAY HE WAS THINKING ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME.

ABOUT THE TIME THAT HITS THE PRESS, AND AS YOU REMEMBER MAYBE, CERTAINLY MANY OF US WHO WERE WATCHING, THAT NEW YORK AT THE TIME WAS A CALDRON OF RACIAL UNREST, TRUMP JUMPS INTO THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE CASE, TAKES OUT A NEW YORK AD SAYING THESE KIDS SHOULD BE EXECUTED FOR WHAT THEY DID.

HE ALSO APPEARS ON THE NIGHTLY NEWS.

HE REALIZES FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER THE POWER OF BREAKING INTO AN ISSUE, TAKING A KIND OF I UNDERSTAND SINEND AIR POSITION.

THERE'S NO REASON FOR A BUILDER, A DEVELOPER TO GO PUBLIC LIKE THIS.

HE'S TESTING THE WATERS AND I THINK THE RESULT OF THAT IN TERMS OF WHAT PEOPLE TELL US DONALD TRUMP LEARNED WAS CHAOS, DIVISION.

THESE SOUND LIKE FAMILIAR THINGS, DON'T THEY?

TAKING A STAND ON A VERY CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE, ESPECIALLY RELATED TO RACE.

REMEMBER, MUSLIM TRAVEL BAN.

REMEMBER WHAT'S HAPPENED IN THE LAW AND ORDER POST GEORGE FLOYD PHASE.

REMEMBER MURDERISM ALONG THE ROAD.

THIS IS THE FIRST STEP FOR DONALD TRUMP, THE WAY WE TALKED TO A LOT OF PEOPLE, INCLUDING HIS FRIENDS, OF HIM DOING IT.

WE HAVE LESS THAN A MINUTE LEFT.

I HAVE TO ASK YOU THIS.

IT BECOMES VERY CLEAR IN THE DOCUMENTARY THESE TWO MEN HAVE ALMOST THE OPPOSITE STRATEGY TO DEAL WITH CRISIS.

TRUMP NEVER APOLOGIZES AND GOES THROUGH THE DILEMMA LIKE THE PROVERBIAL HONEY BADGER.

BIDEN TENDS TO APOLOGIZE, COP TO HIS MISTAKES AND SAY I'M GOING TO DO BETTER.

WHICH OF THOSE TWO STRATEGIES ARE LIKELY TO BE WINNER STRATEGIES IN THE NEXT COUPLE WEEKS?

IT'S THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION.

HAS THERE EVER BEEN A STARKER CHOICE?

BIDEN HAS PROMISED I'LL BE THE GRIEF COUNSELOR IN CHIEF, I'LL HELP YOU OUT OF THE CRISIS.

I'M GOOD AT TRAGEDY.

I'M GOOD AT TALKING TO AMERICANS.

I DON'T MEAN TO BE CYNICAL.

THAT'S WHAT HE'S PROMISING IN ESSENCE.

TRUMP IS TRUMP.

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET.

MICHAEL, THE TIME IS UP.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

I HOPE A LOT OF PEOPLE SEE THE DOCUMENTARY.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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