MetroFocus: October 23, 2020

THE FINAL DEBATE: BATTLE FOR THE OVAL OFFICE

Tonight, we debate the highs, the lows and the future of the country after last night’s debate between President Trump and former VP Joe Biden. Back with powerful insight are faith leader Reverend Leah D. Daughtry, former chief of staff for the Democratic Party and CEO of the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions, and political columnist Amy Holmes, a writer for HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and past speechwriter for former GOP Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

 

TRANSCRIPT

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

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B.

PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY JANET PRINDLE SEI SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARHOLD, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> TWOEM 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

SO, THE LAST OF THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES IS IN THE BOOKS.

AND MOST OBSERVERS HAVE AGREED THAT IT WAS CERTAINLY FAR MORE INFORMATIVE AND FAR LESS CHAOTIC THAN THE FIRST EVENT, BUT WE'RE LEFT WITH SEVERAL QUESTIONS.

FIRST, JUST HOW DID THE CANDIDATES DO IN TERMS OF THEIR PERFORMANCE RELATIVE TO THE EXPECTATIONS COMING INTO THIS EVENT?

NEXT, DID WE LEARN ANYTHING NEW, SOMETHING THAT COULD HELP US IN MAKING OUR ASSESSMENTS OF THESE TWO CANDIDATES IN DECIDING WHO TO VOTE FOR?

AND WILL THIS HAVE ANY REAL IMPACT ON THE FINAL RESULTS, ESPECIALLY GIVEN THE FACT THAT TENS OF MILLIONS OF FOLKS HAVE ALREADY CAST THEIR BALLOTS?

AND THEN, LAST QUESTION IS, THEY'RE IN THE FINAL STRETCH -- WHERE DO THE CANDIDATES GO FROM HERE?

WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE BACK WITH US TO TALK ABOUT ALL OF THESE ISSUES, THE REVEREND LEAH DAUGHTRY, WHO IS A FAITH LEADER.

SHE IS ALSO A POLITICAL STRATEGIST, THE FORMER CEO, CHIEF OF STAFF, I SHOULD SAY, FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, WHO SERVED AS THE CEO FOR BOTH THE 2008 AND 2016 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTIONS, AND ALSO JOINED BY AMY HOLMES, WHO JOINS US REGULARLY, A POLITICAL COLUMNIST, WRITER FOR HBO'S 'REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER,' ALSO A REGISTERED INDEPENDENT, A CONSERVATIVE, FORMER SPEECHWRITER FOR THE FORMER REPUBLICAN SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, BILL FRIST.

SO, WE'LL GET THE TWO OF YOU UP HERE SO WE CAN ALL TALK.

AND AS I SAID BEFORE, IT'S ALWAYS A DELIGHT TO HAVE THE TWO OF YOU JOIN US HERE.

SO, NOW, HERE'S WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO.

WE HAVE A LOT OF SPECIFICS I WANT TO GET TO WITH BOTH OF YOU, BUT LET ME START WITH KIND OF A BIGGER-PICTURE QUESTION TO FRAME OUR CONVERSATIONS HERE.

AND THE QUESTION WILL BE THE SAME TO BOTH OF YOU.

AND REVEREND, I'LL START WITH YOU FIRST THIS TIME.

WHEN YOU FINISHED WATCHING THE DEBATE LAST NIGHT, YOU SAT BACK AND SAID TO YOURSELF, WELL, THAT WAS WHAT, REVEREND?

BETTER?

I THINK IT WAS, CERTAINLY, A FAR SIDE BETTER THAN WHAT WE SAW A COUPLE WEEKS AGO.

THE NEW RULES FROM THE DEBATE COMMISSION, IN TERMS OF THE MUTE BUTTONS REALLY HELPED US TO HAVE -- OR TO HEAR A REAL CONVERSATION FROM THE CANDIDATES.

THE MODERATOR WAS EXCELLENT.

SHE DID A GREAT JOB OF HERDING THE CATS AND KEEPING FOLKS FOCUSED IN A WAY THAT WE HAD NOT SEEN BEFORE.

SO WE WERE ACTUALLY ABLE TO HEAR I THINK WHAT ANY OF THE UNDECIDED PEOPLE WANTED TO HEAR, WHICH WAS REAL SUBSTANCE AND SPECIFICS FROM EACH OF THE CANDIDATES, SUCH AS THEY COULD PRESENT IT.

AND I THINK PEOPLE WALKED AWAY SAYING, OKAY, IT WASN'T 'ROMPER ROOM.'

IT WAS A DISCUSSION AMONG A ADULTS, THANK GOD.

NOW LET'S WRAP THIS THING UP.

AMY, HOW ABOUT YOU?

YOU THOUGHT, THAT WAS?

I AGREE WITH THE REVEREND, A VAST IMPROVEMENT.

IF THE FIRST DEBATE, PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS MR. HYDE, LAST NIGHT HE WAS DR. JEKYLL.

AND TO REMIND OUR AUDIENCE, DR. JEKYLL'S THE GOOD GUY.

THE GOOD GUY.

AND I WAS, KIND OF SAT BACK IN MY CHAIR WHEN THE DEBATE OPENED AND PRESIDENT TRUMP PRESENTED SUCH A SELF-CONTROLLED AND ALMOST CONCILIATORY, YOU KNOW, ATTITUDE.

AND I THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, WOW!

WE'VE ALSO LEARNED SOMETHING, THAT HE CAN TAKE CRITICISM AND LEARN FROM IT.

AND WE SAW THE RESULTS OF THAT LAST NIGHT.

I ALSO THINK THAT PARTISANS GOT WHAT THEY WANTED OUT OF IT, THAT IF YOU SUPPORT THE FORMER VICE PRESIDENT, JOE BIDEN, YOU HEARD THE TALKING POINTS AND THE POSITIONS THAT YOU WANTED TO LAST NIGHT, AND HE GOT THROUGH THE DEBATE, I THINK, YOU KNOW, PERFECTLY REASONABLY.

AND IF YOU SUPPORT MR. TRUMP, PRESIDENT TRUMP, RATHER, THEN YOU WERE VERY PLEASED AND RELIEVED BY WHAT YOU SAW LAST NIGHT AND ENERGIZED.

THERE'S AN AREA THAT YOU KNOW, IS NOW KIND OF BUBBLING UP IN THE HOME STRETCH TO ELECTION DAY, AND THIS SEEMS TO BE THIS EVER-GROWING SCANDAL AROUND JOE BIDEN AND HUNTER BIDEN AND THE BIDEN FAMILY AND HOW THEY RAISED MONEY AND PAID FOR THEIR LIFESTYLE ALL OF THESE YEARS.

AND LAST NIGHT ON THE DEBATE STAGE, PRESIDENT TRUMP RAISED THOSE ISSUES.

AND FOR MANY AMERICANS, THIS WILL BE THE FIRST TIME THAT THEY'RE EVEN REALLY HEARING ABOUT THIS STORY, AFTER FACEBOOK AND TWITTER TRIED TO CENSOR IS, THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA NOT WANTING TO PURSUE IT, AND MORE EVIDENCE IS PILING.

AND LAST NIGHT, THE MILLIONS OF VOTERS WHO TUNED IN I THINK ARE GOING TO BE A LITTLE BIT MORE CURIOUS.

LET ME ASK YOU --

WELL --

I WANT TO FOCUS ON A COUPLE OF SPECIFIC ISSUES.

AMY, LET ME ASK YOU THIS FIRST, THEN REVEREND, I'LL ASK YOU TO COMMENT ON IT ALSO.

I WAS STRUCK BY HOW OFTEN PRESIDENT TRUMP CAME BACK TO THIS QUESTION.

AND LET'S BE HONEST, IT IS A QUESTION, AS TO EXACTLY WHAT HUNTER BIDEN WAS DOING.

THERE DOESN'T SEEM TO BE MUCH QUESTION -- AND PEOPLE ON THE SIDE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT HAVE SAID, LOOK, IT WAS PROBABLY INAPPROPRIATE FOR HIM TO BE TAKING THESE POSITIONS.

BUT IN TERMS OF ANY REAL INAPPROPRIATE ACTIVITY.

SO, HERE'S MY THOUGHT.

AGAIN, I WAS STRUCK BY HOW OFTEN THE PRESIDENT CAME BACK TO IT.

I UNDERSTOOD WHY.

I READ A COLUMN THIS MORNING BY A NATIONAL SYNDICATED CONSERVATIVE WRITER WHO IS A STAUNCH PRESIDENT TRUMP SUPPORTER.

AND HE HAD SAID -- AND THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME I SAW HIM SAY THIS, AND I'VE SEEN OTHERS.

HE KIND OF BEMOANED THE FACT THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS FOCUSING SO MUCH ON THIS.

AND HIS COMMENT WAS -- HIS COMMENT WAS, THIS ELECTION IS NOT GOING TO TURN ON HUNTER BIDEN.

AND HE WAS QUOTING A NUMBER OF POLLS WHERE -- AND I'VE SEEN SOME OF THEM -- WHERE UNDECIDEDS ESPECIALLY WERE ASKED TO RANK THEIR ISSUES, AND HUNTER BIDEN WAS AT THE VERY BOTTOM.

AND SOME OF THEM WERE GIVEN A 0% INTEREST.

SO, HERE'S SOMEBODY WHO'S A STAUNCH SUPPORTER OF THE PRESIDENT, AND HE'S SAYING, THIS IS NOT WHAT IT'S GOING TO TURN ON.

SO, WHY DO YOU THINK, THEN -- AMY, I'LL ASK YOU FIRST -- WHY DO YOU THINK, IF THAT'S CORRECT -- AND YOU MIGHT DISAGREE WITH THAT AND MIGHT DISAGREE WITH THE POLLS, BUT WHY DO YOU THINK THE PRESIDENT DECIDED TO HAMMER THAT SO OFTEN LAST NIGHT?

WELL, THERE IS AN ANSWER TO THAT, AND I WRITE FOR A SWISS MAGAZINE, A SWISS WEEKLY, AND THIS WEEK WE'RE FEATURING STEVE BANNON, WHO WAS PRESIDENT TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER THE LAST TIME AROUND, A VERY CONTROVERSIAL FIGURE.

AND HE POINTS OUT -- AND I'VE BEEN TOLD THIS BY TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN POLSTER EVEN A YEAR AGO -- THAT THEIR STRATEGY IS A GROUND GAME.

IT'S A GET OUT THE VOTE, TURN OUT YOUR BASE, YOU KNOW, GET THOSE PEOPLE ENERGIZED AND MOTIVATED.

AND STEVE BANNON, AS HE WAS ONE OF THE PEOPLE THAT BROUGHT THIS INFORMATION TO THE 'NEW YORK POST,' AND YESTERDAY A COLLEAGUE OF HUNTER BIDEN'S HAD A PRESS CONFERENCE.

I DON'T KNOW IF YOU SAW THAT, JACK, WHERE HE SAID THAT THE VICE PRESIDENT IS NOT TELLING THE TRUTH.

HE DID TALK QUITE A LOT ABOUT HUNTER BIDEN'S BUSINESS BECAUSE HE WAS ESSENTIALLY A BUSINESS PARTNER IN TERMS OF BIDEN FAMILY INC.

AND ALL OF THIS IS BREAKING IN THE LAST 24 HOURS.

BUT IN ANY CASE, STEVE BANNON'S POINT IS, THIS ISSUE IS MOTIVATING FOR THE LOW-PROPENSITY VOTERS THAT THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN IS TARGETING.

AND LOW-PROPENSITY VOTERS ARE PEOPLE WHO DON'T TEND TO VOTE THAT MUCH.

SO, WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING AT HOW DO YOU EXPAND YOUR NUMBERS, YES, YOU WANT -- SO, THEY'RE NOT NEW VOTERS OR FIRST-TIME VOTERS.

THEY'RE PEOPLE WHO KIND OF DON'T REALLY GET ENGAGED IN THE PROCESS.

THESE ARE PEOPLE THAT CAME OUT FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP IN 2016, PARTICULARLY IN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY, AND NOW THAT'S WHO THIS CAMPAIGN IS LASER FOCUSED ON.

IT'S NOT A PERSUASION CAMPAIGN FOR THE TRUMP PEOPLE.

IT NEVER HAS BEEN.

IT'S ABOUT MOTIVATING THAT BASE, TRYING TO GET THESE LOW-PROPENSITY VOTERS TO SHOW UP ON ELECTION DAY.

REVEREND, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT AND THE APPROACH THAT THE PRESIDENT TOOK TO HAMMERING THIS ISSUE?

I THINK THERE IS A SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE FOR WHOM THIS IS OF INTEREST, BUT WHAT WE KNOW IS THAT THE PRESIDENT IS A CREATURE OF HABIT, AND AS HE SHARED WITH BOB WOODWARD, HE BELIEVES THAT THE STRATEGY THAT HE USED IN 2016 OF RALLIES AT THE LAST MINUTE IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS, OF GOING AFTER THESE ISSUES LIKE HE DID WITH HILLARY CLINTON -- HE'S REPEATING THE SAME PLAYBOOK THAT HE USED IN 2016.

WE'RE IN A DIFFERENT WORLD NOW.

AND WHILE -- LISTEN, I'M ALL FOR LET'S GET THE FACTS OUT THERE, LET PEOPLE MAKE THEIR DECISIONS AND LET'S DECIDE.

THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS -- AND I THINK JOE BIDEN MADE THIS POINT VERY WELL LAST NIGHT -- IT'S NOT ABOUT HUNTER BIDEN OR EVEN IT'S NOT ABOUT DONALD TRUMP AND HIS CHILDREN, AND YOU KNOW, THE MONEY THAT HIS FAMILY IS MAKING IN THE COURSE OF THIS PRESIDENCY.

IT'S NOT ABOUT THAT.

IT'S ABOUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THEIR FAMILIES AND WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THEIR LIVES, THE KITCHEN TABLE ISSUES, AS THEY ARE TRYING TO NAVIGATE CORONAVIRUS, THE DECLINE OF THEIR BUSINESSES, WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THEIR CHILDREN'S SCHOOLS.

DOES ANYBODY REALLY CARE ABOUT CHINA?

SO, IT IS A MYSTERY TO ME, OTHER THAN THAT THE PRESIDENT IS A CREATURE OF HABIT, THAT HE KEEPS ROUNDING BACK TO CHINA AND RUSSIA AND HUNTER BIDEN, WHEN PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO MAKE PAYROLL AND PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO EARN A PAYCHECK AND PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO STAY HEALTHY WHEN WE HAVE RISING CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS EVERY SINGLE DAY.

WE HAD THE HIGHEST SPIKE YESTERDAY THAT WE'VE HAD SINCE MAY.

THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT IS FRONT AND CENTER ON PEOPLE'S MIND, AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT JOE BIDEN HIT THAT EMPATHY BUTTON YESTERDAY TO EXPLAIN.

LET ME GO TO --

WELL, THE --

AMY, LET ME JUST JUMP TO BECAUSE THERE IS A BUNCH OF TOPICS I WANT TO GET TO.

AND THE DEBATE LED OFF, AS THE OTHER ONES HAVE DONE, WITH THE CORONAVIRUS.

SO, AMY, I THINK SOME PEOPLE -- I KNOW WHEN I SAW SOME OF THIS WRITTEN BEFORE -- SOME PEOPLE THOUGHT THAT PERHAPS THE PRESIDENT MIGHT COME OUT -- AND HE DID SAY, I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS.

AND THERE HAD ALWAYS BEEN QUESTIONS WHETHER HE HAD SAID THAT OR WOULDN'T DO THAT BEFORE.

HE DID DO THAT LAST NIGHT.

BUT THERE WERE SOME OBSERVERS AND INDEED SOME ALLIES, WHO SAID, WE WISH HE WOULD COME OUT AND JUST SEEM A LITTLE BIT MORE EMPATHETIC TO THIS.

AND IF YOU WANT TO PROVIDE ENCOURAGEMENT, SAYING, AS HE SAID, WE'RE ROUNDING THE CORNER, ALSO PROVIDE SOME SENSE OF THE DEPTH OF THE LOSS HERE.

AND AGAIN, LOOKING AT HIS APPROACH LAST NIGHT, I THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY THAT THE EMPATHY WASN'T THERE, THAT, AGAIN, HE CONTINUED TO BEAT THE DRUM, SAYING WE'RE BEATING IT, WE'RE BEATING IT, WE'RE ROUNDING THE CORNER, WE'RE ALL GOOD.

AND AGAIN, MANY OBSERVERS SAID HE DOESN'T SEEM TO HAVE ANY SENSE OF LOSS FOR THE SOME 200,000 PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES.

WHAT'D YOU THINK ABOUT HIS APPROACH TO THIS QUESTION YET AGAIN?

I THINK THAT HE COULD WEAVE THAT EMPATHY WITH ALSO POINTING OUT THAT A LOT OF THAT LOSS CAME FROM VERY POOR DECISIONS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL.

WE KNOW HERE IN NEW YORK THAT OUR GOVERNOR, HE PUT PEOPLE WITH CORONAVIRUS IN RETIREMENT HOMES, AND IT SPREAD LIKE WILDFIRE AND KILLED UPWARDS OF 30,000, 40,000 PEOPLE.

SO, PRESIDENT TRUMP COULD BE ABLE TO PUT TOGETHER THE EMPATHY AND THE POLICY OF WHY WE ARE WHERE WE ARE.

BUT I WOULD ALSO ADD THAT CORONAVIRUS, WE KNOW THAT THIS IS PART OF THE DEMOCRATIC STRATEGY, IS TO KEEP FOCUSED ON THIS ISSUE, BECAUSE IT'S AN ISSUE THAT WORKS FOR JOE BIDEN, THAT WE KNOW IN THE POLLING THAT JOE BIDEN IS CONSIDERED TO BE MORE TRUSTED IN HANDLING CORONAVIRUS.

THIS ISN'T A GOOD AREA FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP WHEN IT COMES TO PUBLIC OPINION.

WE ALSO KNOW THAT THE MEDIA IS NOT REPORTING ACCURATELY THAT, IN FACT, THE DEATH RATE IS FALLING IN THE UNITED STATES.

NOW, I WILL ACTUALLY GIVE CREDIT TO 'THE NEW YORK TIMES.'

THEY DID A BIG PIECE ON THIS THAT SAID, WE'RE ACTUALLY DOING REALLY WELL GLOBALLY IN HOW WE'RE TACKLING THIS.

SO, WHEN PRESIDENT TRUMP TALKS ABOUT THERAPEUTICS, HE'S ACTUALLY EXACTLY RIGHT, AND THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT THIS IS THE CASE.

NOW, GETTING BACK TO, NOBODY CARES ABOUT HUNTER BIDEN.

AGAIN, IN THE HOME STRETCH, THIS ISN'T ABOUT PERSUASION.

THIS IS NOT PRESIDENT TRUMP TRYING TO GET PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, THOSE OBAMA FLIPPERS FROM 2016 -- OR MORE OBAMA FLIPPERS FROM 2016, TO VOTE FOR HIM.

AND WHEN YOU ASK, WHY IS HE USING THIS PLAYBOOK?

BECAUSE IT WORKED.

HE BECAME PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE OF QUESTIONS ABOUT HILLARY CLINTON'S TRUSTWORTHINESS AND CHARACTER, AND I THOUGHT THAT VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN ACTUALLY OPENED A DOOR TO A LOT OF VULNERABILITY BECAUSE HE, HIMSELF, SAID, YOU KNOW ME, YOU KNOW HIM.

I'M THE GUY WHO'S DECENT.

I'M THE GUY WITH CHARACTER.

I'M THE GUY YOU CAN TRUST.

AND NOW WE HAVE THIS BURGEONING SCANDAL, THAT THAT MIGHT NOT BE THE CASE.

IS IT ENOUGH BETWEEN NOW AND NOVEMBER 3rd TO, YOU KNOW, RAISE QUESTIONS IN PEOPLE'S MINDS?

NO.

BUT FOR THE PEOPLE WHO, AS I SAY, THAT THE CAMPAIGN IS TARGETING, TRYING TO MOTIVATE, TO GET OUT TO THE POLLS, THESE LOW-PROPENSITY VOTERS, THEY MIGHT SAY, YEAH, WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

DRAIN THAT SWAMP!

THAT WAS A VERY EFFECTIVE APPROACH FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP IN 2016.

WELL, HOW ABOUT -- GO AHEAD.

COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT, WHERE WE WERE IN 2016.

IN 2016, WE WERE DEALING WITH A CANDIDATE, HILLARY CLINTON, WHO HAD BEEN THE VICTIM OF 20 YEARS OF REPUBLICANS BASHING HER.

AND SO, BUT PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS ABLE TO PLAY ON WHAT WAS ALREADY A PREDISPOSITION OF PEOPLE AND THEIR FEELINGS TOWARDS HILLARY CLINTON.

THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS -- AND I'M A NEW YORKER, SO WE CAN ARGUE WHAT HAPPENED IN NEW YORK TILL THE COWS COME HOME, BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES SAID TO THE GOVERNORS OF THIS COUNTRY, YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN, GO FIND YOUR OWN PPE.

WE WERE NOT ON OUR OWN.

HE SENT US --

NO, THAT'S WHAT HE SAID.

BUT THAT'S WHAT -- AMY, WE'RE BOTH NEW YORKERS.

THAT'S WHAT --

ACTUALLY --

GOVERNOR CUOMO HAD TO DO WHAT HE HAD TO DO TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAD THE PPE.

I LOST MANY CHURCH MEMBERS AS A RESULT OF THE LACK OF FEDERAL RESPONSE, HELPING THE GOVERNORS ACROSS THE COUNTRY DEAL WITH THIS VIRUS.

BUT REALLY, AT THE BASE OF IT, CORONAVIRUS SHOULDN'T EVEN BE AN ISSUE, BECAUSE WE AS A COUNTRY SHOULD BE UNITED IN HOW WE ARE DEALING WITH WHAT GOVERNORS, WHAT STATES, WHAT MAYORS, WHAT LOCALITIES NEED IN ORDER TO ADDRESS THE VIRUS.

AND THE FACT THAT IT IS EVEN AN ISSUE IS PROBLEMATIC.

WELL, IT'S --

LET ME SAY -- AMY, LET ME HOLD YOU.

AMY, I KNOW, WE COULD TALK ABOUT THIS ONE ISSUE ALL NIGHT --

I DO WANT TO CORRECT THE RECORD.

WE KNOW THAT THE PRESIDENT SENT A NAVY SHIP OF BEDS --

THAT WAS THREE WEEKS AFTER -- THAT WAS FAR AFTER --

WE KNOW THAT THERE WERE EMPTY BEDS AND THE PRESIDENT SENT VENTILATORS.

THERE WAS EVEN -- WE HAVE TOO MANY VENTILATORS.

THAT IS THE TRUTH.

HE THANKED THE PRESIDENT FOR THIS.

ALL RIGHT, I'M GOING TO JUMP IN NOW, BECAUSE WE'RE KIND OF DOING WHAT WE WERE --

THE FIRST DEBATE!

OH, NO.

EXACTLY.

SO, LET ME JUMP TO A COUPLE OF OTHER THINGS, ALL RIGHT?

ONE OF, I THINK, THE ANTICIPATED CONVERSATIONS HAD TO DO WITH RACE IN AMERICA.

AND WE SAW THAT, ONCE AGAIN, KRISTEN WELKER.

I WANT TO TALK FOR A FEW MOMENTS ABOUT HOW WONDERFULLY I THINK SHE HANDLED THAT.

I WANT TO GET YOUR IMPREGNANTS -- IMPRESSIONS ON IT, BUT WE SAW HER SAY TO THE PRESIDENT ABOUT HIS REACTIONS AND COMMENTS ABOUT THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT.

SO, REVEREND, I'M GOING TO ASK YOU FIRST THIS -- WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT HIS RESPONSE TO THAT QUESTION?

FIRST, I THOUGHT KRISTEN WAS VERY GOOD IN ASKING POINTED QUESTIONS AND INSISTING THAT BOTH CANDIDATES ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.

I THOUGHT TRUMP WAS, YOU KNOW -- I DON'T KNOW THAT HE SURPRISED ANYBODY.

AND I THINK THAT HIS VIEW OF HIMSELF AS A NON-RACIST, LEAST RACIST PERSON IN THE ROOM AND COMPARING HIMSELF TO ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS PROBABLY THE HEIGHT OF THE RIDICULOUSNESS LAST NIGHT.

AND I JUST THOUGHT THAT JOE BIDEN DID A GREAT ANSWER IN TALKING ABOUT THE TALK THAT WE ALL HAVE IN THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY, CERTAINLY THAT MY BROTHER HAS WITH HIS SONS AND THAT MY DAD HAD WITH MY BROTHER.

AND PRESIDENT TRUMP -- IT WAS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR HIM TO RECOGNIZE AND TO EMPATHIZE WITH THE FACT THAT, WHETHER HE AGREES WITH IT OR NOT, THAT HE IS AWARE THAT THIS HAPPENS AND THAT THERE ARE FAMILIES THAT LIVE WITH THIS KIND OF ISSUE IN OUR COUNTRY.

AND I THOUGHT HE MISSED THAT OPPORTUNITY AND THEN COMPOUNDED IT WITH THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN, I CAN'T SEE, BUT I'M THE LEAST RACIST PERSON IN THE ROOM COMMENT.

AMY, LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THE SAME QUESTION, BUT I WAS ALSO STRUCK BY, IN A COUPLE OF INSTANCES, WHEN THE QUESTION POSED BY KRISTEN WELKER TO EACH SIDE WAS, ESSENTIALLY, LOOK INTO THE CAMERA AND TALK TO -- AND THEN THERE WERE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES OF THE QUESTIONS.

AND AS REVEREND DAUGHTRY SAID, ONE OF THEM WAS TALK TO THE PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO HAVE HAD TO GO THROUGH THE TALK.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?

AND I WAS A LITTLE SURPRISED THAT HE DIDN'T TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO THEM.

IF YOU WERE ADVISING HIM, AMY, IF YOU WERE PREPARING HIM FOR THIS, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE SAID TO HIM ABOUT TAKING THAT OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS THAT ISSUE IN SOME KIND OF A POSITIVE WAY?

WELL, WE'VE SEEN THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP DOESN'T TEND TO USE THAT TECHNIQUE OF LOOKING DIRECTLY INTO THE CAMERA, AND THIS IS ME TALKING TO YOU, THAT YOU KNOW, MANY POLITICIANS DO, AND WE SAW THAT VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN DID LAST NIGHT.

HE DID SAY THAT HE WAS SYMPATHETIC.

I WOULD HAVE LIKED THAT.

I WOULD HAVE LIKED THAT MORE KIND OF PERSONAL CONNECTION TO THE ISSUE.

BUT ONCE AGAIN, YOU HAVE THIS TOPIC BEING RAISED IN A WAY THAT IS MEANT TO PUT THE PRESIDENT ON DEFENSE AND THE VICE PRESIDENT ON OFFENSE.

THE VICE PRESIDENT HAS HIS OWN VULNERABILITIES ON THIS QUESTION, AND YOU SAW CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD, FOR EXAMPLE, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN WITH DON LEMON -- HE SAID THAT HE'S NOT VOTING FOR JOE BIDEN.

HE'S VOTING FOR KAMALA HARRIS.

AND HE UNDERSTANDS PERFECTLY WELL WHY SO MANY YOUNG, BLACK MALES ACTUALLY FIND PRESIDENT TRUMP APPEALING.

AND THERE'S POLLING THAT SHOWS THAT HE MIGHT GET AS MANY AS 17% OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE VOTE.

AND IN TERMS OF THE VICE PRESIDENT'S VULNERABILITIES, WE'VE SEEN THEM THIS CAMPAIGN, WHEN HE SAID TO CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD THAT INFAMOUS, YOU KNOW, BLURTED OUT THAT INFAMOUS LINE -- IF YOU DON'T KNOW IF YOU'RE VOTING FOR ME, YOU AIN'T BLACK?

THAT WAS SHOCKING!

AND HE WAS ROUNDLY CRITICIZED FOR THAT.

WE DIDN'T HEAR THAT QUESTION POSED TO HIM ON THE STAGE LAST NIGHT.

AND THE VICE PRESIDENT, OF COURSE, WE KNOW, BACK IN 2008 WHEN HE CALLED PRESIDENT OBAMA, LIKE HE'S THE FIRST CLEAN, BRIGHT, ARTICULATE AFRICAN-AMERICAN TO BE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

JOE BIDEN HAS HIS OWN HISTORY AND RECORD OF, IF YOU WANT TO CALL THEM, TO BE GENEROUS, GAFFES, WHEN IT COMES TO TALKING ABOUT THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY.

ONCE AGAIN, A REMINDER, WE'RE TALKING WITH REVEREND LEAH DAUGHTRY AND AMY HOLMES ABOUT THE LAST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE LAST NIGHT.

REVEREND, YOU WERE GOING TO JUMP IN ON SOMETHING?

YEAH, I WAS GOING TO SAY, THE DIFFERENCE IS, JOE BIDEN IN HIS GAFFES AND TRUMP AND HIS GAFFES AND ERRORS -- THE DIFFERENCE IS JOE BIDEN IS ABLE TO OWN THEM, BUT STILL LOOK INTO THE CAMERA WITH EMPATHY, ACKNOWLEDGE THE TALK, TALK ABOUT WHERE HE'S MADE MISTAKES AND WHERE HE'S ABLE TO COURSE CORRECT.

FOR THE PRESIDENT AND HIS CAMPAIGN STRATEGY, WHICH SEEMS TO BE TO PEEL OFF BLACK MEN, YOU WOULD THINK, JUST AS A CAMPAIGN TACTIC AND STRATEGY, THAT HE WOULD BE ABLE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE TALK, THAT HE WOULD BE ABLE TO TALK WITH BETTER EMPATHY AND SYMPATHY AND FACTS AND DATA ABOUT HIS RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY AND NOT DEFAULT TO ABRAHAM LINCOLN, WHO SIGNED THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION, AND HIS COMPARISON POINT, COMPLETELY SKIPPING OVER KENNEDY AND JOHNSON AND THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT AND ALL OF THAT, TO GO ALL THE WAY BACK OVER 100-SOME-ODD YEARS TO FIND SOMEONE WITH WHOM HE THINKS, PERHAPS, HE SAID, WITH THE NOTABLE EXCEPTION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

IT'S JUST LIKE, DUDE, COME ON.

LEAH --

LET ME COME BACK FOR A SECOND TO THE FORMAT --

I DO WANT --

WE TOUCHED BASE ON THIS LITTLE BIT, BUT IN OUR LAST CONVERSATION, I SAID TO YOU, I WAS SORT OF LEERY OF EVER DOING THESE TYPES OF FORMATS AGAIN, BECAUSE THEY HAD BEEN -- IT WAS DONE SO POORLY.

AND I EVEN SAID, WE TALKED ABOUT THIS, ALL THREE OF US, YOU KNOW, MAYBE THE FORMAT IS THE ONE-PERSON TOWN HALL TYPE OF THING.

I WAS -- I GOT A BIT OF AN AFFIRMATION LAST NIGHT BY THIS.

WHY DO YOU THINK IT WORKED?

AND AGAIN, KRISTEN WELKER IS A FRIEND OF MINE, AND I THINK SHE DID A MARVELOUS JOB.

WHY DO WE THINK THIS ONE -- AND THIS IS JUST A REAL QUICK QUESTION FOR ALL OF US, BECAUSE I WANT TO GET TO A COUPLE OTHERS -- BUT WHY DO YOU THINK THIS ONE SEEMED TO WORK SO MUCH BETTER?

AMY?

WELL, I THINK THE THREAT OF THAT MUTE BUTTON WAS EFFECTIVE, AND I THOUGHT SHE WAS A TERRIFIC MODERATOR AND KEPT THINGS MOVING ALONG.

GETTING BACK TO THE QUESTION OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LACK OF EMPATHY AND VULNERABILITY FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT ON ISSUES OF RACE, WE DID HEAR THE PRESIDENT LAST NIGHT TALK ABOUT, YOU KNOW, THE CRIME REFORM BILL, PRISON REFORM BILL, FULLY FUNDING HBCUs FOR TEN YEARS.

MY BROTHER WENT TO MOREHOUSE.

I KNOW HE'S VERY HAPPY TO HEAR THAT.

SO, THE PRESIDENT DID TALK ABOUT SUBSTANTIVE THINGS THAT HE'S DONE IN HIS ADMINISTRATION WHEN IT COMES TO THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY.

I AGREE THAT HIS HYPERBOLE OF BEING THE BEST PRESIDENT FOR THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY SINCE ABRAHAM LINCOLN -- I THINK HE ACTUALLY DOES BELIEVE THAT, WHICH IS SORT OF ASTONISHING, AND I DON'T KNOW WHERE HE GOT THIS IDEA.

WE DO KNOW THAT THE PRESIDENT USES HYPERBOLE.

BUT ONCE AGAIN, THE PLAYING FIELD, WHILE I THINK THAT THE MODERATOR HANDLED IT VERY SKILLFULLY, I THINK SHE WAS TERRIFIC, VERY HIGH MARKS.

ONCE AGAIN, YOU HAD THE TOPICS AND THE ISSUES BEING APPROACHED -- FIRST OF ALL, THE TOPIC SELECTION AND THE WAY THAT THEY WERE APPROACHED REALLY TO BENEFIT THE ISSUES THAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THE VICE PRESIDENT ARE RUNNING ON.

BUT AMY, YOU DON'T THINK THOSE ARE THE ISSUES THAT -- IF YOU LOOK AT ALL THE POLLS THAT ARE DONE, FOR WHATEVER THEY'RE WORLD -- YOU KNOW, THEY'RE A SNAPSHOT, BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE POLLS, THOSE SEEM TO BE THE ISSUES THAT PEOPLE ARE MOST INTERESTED IN TALKING ABOUT.

CLIMATE CHANGE RANKS VERY LOW ON THE BOTTOM.

IT HAS FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS, WHEN IT COMES TO VOTER, YOU KNOW, VOTER INTEREST AND WHAT PEOPLE ARE MOST FOCUSED ON.

AND LAST NIGHT, AN ENTIRE SEGMENT DEVOTED TO CLIMATE CHANGE.

THIS IS, YOU KNOW, AN AREA THAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY THINKS IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL AND VOTERS DO NOT, AND THEY HAVE NOT FOR MANY ELECTION CYCLES NOW.

SO, AGAIN, THAT PUTS THE PRESIDENT ON THE DEFENSE AND IT PLAYS TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THE ISSUES THE WAY THAT THEY WANT TO FRAME THIS ELECTION.

THE ECONOMY IS NUMBER ONE, BUT WE OPEN WITH COVID.

AND IN FACT, LAST NIGHT, THE VICE PRESIDENT SAID SOMETHING ABOUT THE ECONOMY THAT I THINK IS RATHER SHOCKING, THAT HE WANTS TO COMPLETELY PHASE OUT THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY.

THAT IS WORTHY OF A LOT MORE INVESTIGATION.

REVEREND, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE TOPIC SELECTION, IN TERMS OF THE INTEREST OF THE VOTING PUBLIC?

JUST TO GIVE YOU A HEADS-UP, WE'VE GOT ABOUT TWO MINUTES LEFT IN OUR CONVERSATION.

OKAY, AND I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT, JACK.

THE ISSUES THAT THEY TALKED ABOUT ARE ISSUES THAT ARE TOP OF MIND IN THE AMERICAN PUBLIC.

EVERYONE IS DEALING WITH CORONAVIRUS.

IT WAS RIGHT TO START WITH THAT.

WE'RE ALL -- I HAVEN'T SEEN MY PARENTS IN SIX MONTHS.

PEOPLE ARE DYING.

AS JOE BIDEN SAID, THERE IS THE EMPTY SPACE NEXT TO YOU IN THE BED.

THAT IS AFFECTING HOW THE ECONOMY IS GOING TO FUNCTION.

YOU'VE GOT TO TALK ABOUT IT!

TO HAVE A DEBATE AND NOT TALK ABOUT IT, AND TO FRAME IT AS A DEMOCRATIC ISSUE IS REALLY PART OF THE PROBLEM.

SO, CORONAVIRUS.

WHAT WE DIDN'T REALLY GET TO IN ANY DEPTH, WHICH I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO, IS THIS MYSTERIOUS HEALTH CARE PLAN THAT THE PRESIDENT SAYS HE'S GOT THAT WE HAVEN'T -- WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOUR YEARS FOR AND WE STILL HAVEN'T SEEN.

SO, I THINK THE ISSUES THAT THEY FRAMED, AND I THINK KRISTEN -- TO GET BACK TO THE ORIGINAL QUESTION -- DID A REALLY GOOD JOB.

AND I THINK THIS IS A THREAD THEY NEED TO FOLLOW FOR FUTURE DEBATES IN TERMS OF FORMAT, THE THREAT OF THE MUTE BUTTON, A MODERATOR WHO IS STRONG AND CAN SHIFT FOLKS AND IS NOT AFRAID TO CUT PEOPLE OFF, REALLY.

AND YOU KNOW, THE TOPICS WERE PUBLISHED AHEAD OF TIME, AND I THINK THEY WOULD MAKE ALL OF US BREATHE A SIGH OF RELIEF AND COME TO THE TABLE WILLINGLY WITHOUT ASPIRIN, AND PERHAPS A STRONG BEVERAGE IN ORDER TO WATCH.

WELL, I THINK WE ALL AGREE -- WE ALL AGREE, AS SO MANY OF THE OTHER COMMENTATORS DID, THAT THIS WAS -- IT WAS SO MUCH BETTER, IT WAS SO MUCH MORE INFORMATIVE.

IT GAVE YOU A MUCH BETTER SENSE OF WHERE BOTH CANDIDATES STOOD, AND I THINK WE NEEDED THAT.

CLARITY IS ESSENTIAL.

WHETHER YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE, THE CLARITY, A SENSE OF CLARITY IS ESSENTIAL.

AND ALSO A SENSE OF DECORUM.

WE'VE GOT TO REMEMBER, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION HERE.

AND I THINK BOTH THE CANDIDATES, AS WE SAID, CAME TO THE STAGE LAST NIGHT IN PRESENTING ALL THAT.

SO, AS ALWAYS, REVEREND LEAH DAUGHTRY, AMY HOLMES, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS.

IT ALWAYS, AS I SAID BEFORE, I ALWAYS FEEL SMARTER WHEN I TALK TO THE TWO OF YOU.

I LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING TO YOU AGAIN REAL SOON.

YOU BE WELL.

TAKE CARE.

THANK YOU.

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