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This was tough.
[Sound: Crowd cheering]
This was tough. This political stuff is nasty and it's tough.
ANNA MARIA TREMONTI: It was also long, drawn out and a result only his own pollsters had predicted. It was not until around three o’clock in the morning that the numbers were unequivocal and Donald Trump took to the stage as president-elect of the United States. With the electoral college, he won a decisive victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. The popular vote fluctuated in Hillary Clinton's favour, but in percentages it was a squeaker, underlying the divisions laid bare in this electoral season. Donald Trump's victory is the result of a populist campaign that took relentless aim at the US political establishment and its institutions. It championed a lack of government experience and questioned and denounced globalization and multiculturalism—all part of a trend identified succinctly by Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party.
2016 is—by the looks of it—going to be the year of two great political revelations. I thought Brexit was big but boy, this looks like it's going to be even bigger.
AMT: So today we're looking at the numbers that indicate Trump supporters cut a wider swath through the American electorate than anticipated. We are asking about that glass ceiling and about the rift that remains. I'm Anna Maria Tremonti. This is The Current.Back To Top »
What Trump's historic victory says about America today
Guests: Erica Seifert, Ed Goeas
[Sound: Crowd chanting “USA”]
It's a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs, who want and expect our government to serve the people and serve the people, it will.
[Sound: Crowd cheering]
Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
[Sound: Crowd cheering and applauding]
AMT: Donald Trump speaking in his acceptance speech after being elected to be the 45th president of the United States. After a campaign that stood out for its divisiveness, he vowed to be inclusive in his leadership. Hillary Clinton did not make her concession speech until hours later, closer to noon on Wednesday, saying she hoped Donald Trump would be a successful president and telling her supporters, “We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.” Speaking of her own loss for the Democratic Party, she urged those coming up behind her not to be discouraged.
To the young people in particular, I hope you will hear this. I have spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. You will have successes and setbacks too. This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it.
[Sound: Crowd applauding]
AMT: Well, Donald Trump called his campaign a victory for a diverse America. But CNN political commentator Van Jones disagreed.
This was a rebellion against the elites. True. It was a complete reinvention of politics and polls, it's true. But it was also something else. We've talked about race. I mean we talked about everything but race tonight. We’ve talked about income. We’ve talked about class. We’ve talked about regions. We haven't talked about race. This was a whitelash. This was a whitelash against a changing country. It was a whitelash against a black president in part. And that's the part where the pain comes.
AMT: And yet Sarah Hylander, a Trump supporter, sees it completely differently.
This was a really big deal. This is two vastly, vastly different, vastly different views for the future of our country. I want a government that works for me, the individual. I want the government to work for the people and not for a group of corporate elitists who are puppets for corporations.
AMT: Well, what we're seeing today is a country deeply divided with a presidential win neither the Democrats nor the Republicans thought was likely right up until the results were coming in. For weeks polls put Hillary Clinton ahead. Even late polls gave her a persistent edge. The result—obviously so shocking to the Clinton campaign—that Hillary Clinton conceded this election in a phone call, not even in a speech. Erica Seifert is an in-house pollster for the National Education Association, a large labour union in the United States. She joins us from Washington, DC. Ed Goeas as is a Republican pollster and strategist in Alexandria, Virginia. Hello to you both.
ERICA SEIFERT: Good morning.
ED GOEAS: Hello, how are you?
AMT: Well, I'm interested in what you are each thinking. So first of all, Ed Goeas, did you see this coming?
ED GOEAS: Well, we knew it was going to be close. You know quite frankly if you look at the map and as the popular vote has continued to come in, it looks like Hillary Clinton has about a half a point slight edge. But I think when all the dust settles on this we’re going to see not only how big this was for Donald Trump, but how big it was for the Republican Party. They’re only down nine seats in the House. It looks like they won the point one seat down in the Senate with 53 senators. We actually picked up three governorship and now 33 of the 50. But what we saw at the beginning of this campaign, I always like to look at the voters in a broader sense of looking at the middle class. And it wasn't as much anger as frustration and quite frankly scare that the middle class felt like the economy was teetering and not improving enough to help them from the recession they had come out of. They were afraid terrorism was going to come to their—not only to our shores but to our doorstep. And they thought the American Dream was getting further and further from their reach. And where the anger came, was that they were somewhat angry at the rich because they felt they got the special deals and they got richer. They were angry at the poor because they got the programs and the benefits and what they got was an ever increasing and larger bill for an ever increasingly ineffective government. And that was there long before Trump got into this race and he tapped into that very well.
AMT: Okay. And it was there, but Erica Seifert then, what did the polling miss? I'm wondering as you were watching those results come in last night, what were you thinking? What wasn't there before that was missed?
ERICA SEIFERT: So I don't think that there was a huge polling miss, right? So if you look at a lot of the national polls, a lot of them over the weekend and yesterday and on Monday, had Hillary Clinton up by around three points, right? And a lot of those have a margin of error of three points. So I don't actually think that this was a disaster for American polling. I guess what I would say is that one thing that has you know plagued Democrats—and you know they've seen this as a strength—has been what's an economic determinism on the part of the Democratic Party, this faith is that an increasingly diverse and young country is going to deliver national electoral outcomes for them without actually having to work hard for those voters. And we see this in particular with Latinos. I think there was a sense among Democrats that Latino voters were just going to vote against Donald Trump because of you know his willingness to deport people and build the wall. And I think that this really came to bear in Florida when we started to see the early vote totals, a lot of Democrats were thinking well, Latino vote is up in Florida, missing the idea that that you know Cubans weren't necessarily going to just vote against Donald Trump because they saw him as a racist. Democrats don't win Cuban voters. And this is a demographic that they really did need to go after. And you know if you look Hillary at the breakdown even among African-Americans, Hillary Clinton won 88 per cent of African-Americans. Barack Obama had won 93 per cent. It's not that Donald Trump is winning more of these voters. It's that Hillary Clinton won fewer of them.
AMT: Okay. Well, I’m going to—and I really want to pick up on all of those, Erica. But you talked about Latino voters and specifically the vote in Florida. So I want you both to listen to Franco Caliz. I spoke to him just a little while ago about the Hispanic vote. He's the state director for the Center for Community Change Action in Florida. He was working to get out the Latino vote for the Democrats and I reached him at an airport in Orlando. Listen to his emotional reaction to this result.
FRANCO CALIZ: A little numb, little shell shocked still. But more than anything, just afraid. Afraid for what our friends and our neighbours are going to have to go through these next few years.
AMT: Why do you say that?
FRANCO CALIZ: You know some of the rhetoric that we have seen coming out of President-elect Trump's campaign has had a very negative long-term effect I think on our communities, on our students, on kids. And we've heard about it from teachers in our classrooms, from moms, from parents in general. And the onus is now on him to either placate his base who has sort of pushed that narrative or on him to really step up and provide leadership and essentially do an about-face and treat people as humans. That's a really scary place for you to be when you don't know how your president is going to react.
AMT: So how do you think the Latino community in Florida and across the US is reacting to this today? How are they feeling?
FRANCO CALIZ: Disillusioned, I think is the right word. Latinos came out in huge numbers in a lot of different states. Nevada, for example, is one—Florida frankly was much more competitive because Latinos came out in droves out here. And for so many, this was the first time that they got engaged in the political process and this was the result that was handed to them.
AMT: We had been hearing as the polls were closing that if the Latino vote had been strong, that Hillary Clinton would've taken it. So what do you think happened?
FRANCO CALIZ: I think the Latino vote was very strong. I'll give you an example here in Florida. Miami-Dade County—huge Latino population—those came out. They came out in droves. Osceola County just elected the first Puerto Rican congressman in their area, Darren Soto. So those communities really turned up. The reality is that Latinos are one of the bright spots for Democrats in the country.
AMT: And so what happened?
FRANCO CALIZ: There was a huge amount of votes that came in from much more rural counties, from counties that typically don't turn out at this volume. And I think that is where we saw the difference. At least it was in Florida.
AMT: Given Mr. Trump's vow to build a wall, his characterizations of Mexicans and his vow to send illegal Hispanics back to the countries from which they came, how do you see things moving forward?
FRANCO CALIZ: You know I noticed that President-elect Trump did not talk about the wall during his concession speech tonight. And I think now that he is the president, it is incumbent upon him to either flesh out his plans and give America a glimpse into how exactly he’s going to do that or—I think this is the real option here—find a humane comprehensive immigration reform solution that is actually realistic and feasible. But it has to be something that is not punitive towards communities that really have done nothing but contribute to the fabric of American society.
AMT: But you're telling me the communities, your community does feel under attack after this vote?
FRANCO CALIZ: Oh, absolutely. I think that's the fear. Whether you're talking to somebody here in Florida or anywhere across the country, there is real anxiety and fear about what to do with a president who in many cases has treated our community as less than. And I think it's an incredible thing to say about somebody who is going to be the leader of the free world.
AMT: Okay. Well, that is Franco Caliz of the Center for Community Change Action in Florida. I want to pick up on what he was saying. Erica Seifert, he spoke of the Latino vote as a bloc and you're saying not so.
ERICA SEIFERT: Yeah. And I think that one of the things the Democrats took for granted, right, is that Donald Trump's inflamed rhetoric about immigration and about the wall was going to deliver huge margins for Hillary Clinton and that just didn't hold up compared to the past. So Barack Obama in 2012 won 71 per cent of Latinos. Clinton won 65 per cent. So it's not that Donald Trump was getting more than Mitt Romney. It’s that Hillary Clinton was getting less. And we see that with African-Americans and we also see that with young people. These three major voting blocs that Democrats assume are the demographic future of this country and take as an article of faith that they are going to be delivering increasingly large margins for Democrats, and that didn't hold up, particularly among young people, right?
AMT: Well, what do you know about how young people voted then? First of all, did they come out in big numbers?
ERICA SEIFERT: So it's not that their numbers dropped off. It's that their support for Clinton dropped off. So just 54 per cent of voters age 18 to 29 voted for Hillary Clinton. And that compares to 60 per cent for Barack Obama in 2012 and that was the group that was more likely to go for a third party candidate. So nine per cent of voters aged 18 to 29 voted for a third party candidate and eight per cent of voters aged 30 to 44. And so they just didn't win over these young voters, many of whom were supporters of Bernie Sanders in the primaries.
AMT: Ed Goeas, what did Donald Trump do right?
ED GOEAS: [chuckles] Well, I mean first of all, throwing out all of these numbers, I have to go back to it. I mean you have to look at Florida separately on the Latino vote, the Hispanic vote, than the rest of the country. About half of the Hispanic vote in Florida is Cuban. So you get a much different vote out of that. You get different margins when you look at that. When you do look at the Hispanic vote, I actually think—when you look at the fact that Texas was a single digit win by Donald Trump, he had no chance to move to Mexico, Colorado. Nevada ended up going against him. Arizona is still not decided. So the area where there was a real impact of the Hispanic vote did show up and the facts started locking some of those states out from him. So you know I think we will get there. One of the things I would say to the individual on the phone—and I think we saw a little bit last night—I've done this for 42 years and I've seen it with executives, people taking office of governor, particularly taking the office of president, that they do rise to the occasion. So I think if you look at the speech last night, it was the beginning of the impact emotionally of winning the presidency will change Donald Trump as it has changed every person taken an office in the past. I think the bigger thing in terms of it though, is that you know we forget when we get into these subgroups that we have about 70 per cent of the American public is registered to vote and only 70 per cent of that turns out in the presidential year. So there's room for—everyone's talking about these voters like there's very little edge here when in fact you can have it increased. And I think what you'll see at the end of the day was an increased white vote in this election. We began seeing it earlier in the week with higher turnout in states that had no contest—Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia—all having a much higher than normal, with no organization, no campaign to push them out. That was where you saw the beginnings of a sign that in fact there was—what we saw in the polling—was about an eight or nine point intensity advantage of Trump's voters getting more intense about voting than Hillary Clinton’s. Now there was a belief on those of us that believe real campaigns matter, that where there was a get out the vote operation that was superior on the part of Hillary Clinton, that would offset that intensity. But in fact if you look at the states last night, Michigan which is not declared yet but Wisconsin where we were doing the Senate race was declared last night. What you had under the surface is there was no get out the vote for Trump. There was a Senate race that was focusing on that and that was true in Wisconsin, true in New Hampshire, true in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida—every one of these target states.
AMT: What you're telling me then is that there was a worry that Trump would actually negatively affect the other Republicans running as you go further down the ballot. And in fact they helped him in some ways.
ED GOEAS: Right.
AMT: They got out the vote.
ED GOEAS: We’re always monitoring both the ground game that was being put together by the Senate and the Senate campaigns and the intensity that Trump was driving with a segment of those Republicans. And we always thought we needed both and we got it.
AMT: Okay. We don't have a lot of time and I just want to pick up on something we heard in the very beginning of the program. I had a clip of Nigel Farage. He was talking about a political revolution after Brexit and now the United States. Erica Seifert, how do you see it?
ERICA SEIFERT: Yeah, I actually do see. So when we talk about sort of this white racial identity that was playing out in the US campaign, I actually do see these common threads, right, between a lot of what's happening in terms of you know nationalism in Europe or you know what we saw with Brexit. I do think that there are these common threads and this isn't new, right? We've been studying this phenomenon now you know for five to 10 years.
AMT: Well, yeah, but except that it is new. I mean we've seen like in the last year, we have seen these changes that have taken people by surprise.
ERICA SEIFERT: Right. But these were you know strong undercurrents. So if you, you know had been doing focus groups in this country over the last five to 10 years, you can hear it, right, in anger over things like trade and immigration. Some of it you know was previously coded in language that was seen as polite. I think one thing that Donald Trump did—that's very helpful for those of us who do focus groups—is he opened up a more honest vocabulary about these things, right? So we no longer hear white voters talking about you know immigration in ways that they see as politically correct. They straight out come out and say it. So I do think that there are these you know common threads, I think if we’re to compare it to a historical moment rather than a geographic comparison.
AMT: Right. Okay, so—
ERICA SEIFERT: It feels like the 1920s in this country.
AMT: Okay. I'm just going to ask Ed to weigh in on this as well just briefly because we're almost out of time. How do you read that revolution?
ED GOEAS: Well, first of all, I think Brexit is much of a myth. The polling there showed that a close race going into it. It showed seniors more support of it and young voters not. And what we've seen in the last couple of elections in Great Britain is that they are starting to mirror American elections. That things like age and education do drive that vote out and that's what happened with Brexit.
ED GOEAS: I think too much is being made of that. I think the reality is—and I would go back to the message for Republicans—is a middle-class message is extremely important even when it comes to Hispanics, African-Americans, various groups. Eighty-five per cent of the Hispanic vote we're getting as a party is coming from middle-class Hispanics.
ED GOEAS: Ninety-five per cent of the blacks are coming from middle-class blacks.
AMT: Okay. Ed Goeas, we have to leave it there. We are out of time but you’ve both given us real insights. There’s lots to talk about. Thank you both.
ED GOEAS: Thank you.
ERICA SEIFERT: Thank you for having me.
AMT: That's Erica Seifert, in-house pollster for the National Education Association, one of the largest labour unions in the US. She's in Washington, DC. Ed Goeas is a Republican pollster and strategist. He's in Alexandria, Virginia. Now Canadians have been watching all night as well. They’re having parties as the results rolled in and dismay is the only way to describe the reaction for people attending this particular US presidential election watching party at this particular downtown Ottawa house.
VOICE 1: [On television] Take a look at Florida right now.
VOICE 2: It’s more like an apocalypse party. Like we don't know, it might be the apocalypse so we'll have to name the party after the fact to see if it was retroactively an apocalypse party.
VOICE 1: [On television] Hillary Clinton is now in second place. Donald Trump has taken the lead.
VOICE 2: Oh god.
VOICE 3: How did they tie?
VOICE 1: Donald Trump just took the lead again by like 700 and some odd votes. So it’s scary.
VOICE 3: I guess I'm just feeling nervous and sad, you know? I don't know how to explain this to kids, that a person who has said these things can get this far ahead. So I'm just nervous. I'm half paying attention and half just playing with my dog. [laughs]
AMT: Well, some political junkies at a downtown Ottawa home for what they dubbed a pre-apocalyptic US presidential election party. Not everyone sees it that way obviously. Stay with us. The news is next and then we're back to talk more about this election.Back To Top »
'President for all Americans': Women voters react to Trump's win
Guests: Mica Mosbacher, Jaclyn Friedman, Anoa Changa
AMT: Hello. I'm Anna Maria Tremonti and you're listening to The Current. Well, still to come: healing the rift from an incredibly acrimonious divisive campaign for friends, families and the US as a whole. It is an open question, whether Americans can rally together behind their newly elected leader. We continue our special coverage of the US election results, beginning back at that house party in Ottawa where news of Donald Trump's win was sinking in.
It just… How can anger against the system be directed and misdirected in such a major way? It's baffling. I mean this is going to be—I'm sure this will be studied in so many—it’s not just the pollsters got it wrong. But it’s like how can—like categorically the US people have just gotten it wrong. They've just gotten it wrong. No, that’s it. There's no factually. And it's like so obvious that they've gotten it wrong and everyone on the outside of the world is looking at this like you're watching a horror movie.
AMT: Well, that was the talk at a house party in Ottawa in the wee hours of the morning once it was clear that the US president-elect is Donald Trump. Not everyone shares that view, but it is a divisive view. In an election where expectations ran high that the glass ceiling for a woman in the White House would be shattered, it remains intact. I'm joined by three women who have some insights into the division and what needs to happen next. Mica Mosbacher is a Republican National Committee finance co-chair. She's also a Trump spokesperson. She campaigned for Donald Trump. She joins us from New York City. Jaclyn Friedman is a Hillary Clinton supporter, a women's rights activist and the editor of Yes Means Yes. She joins us from Boston. And Anoa Changa is a lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also an editor-at-large of the Progressive Army, an independent news outlet. She voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Hello everyone. Welcome.
MANY VOICES: Good morning.
AMT: Mica Mosbacher, first of all, what's your reaction to this win? You must be pretty happy.
MICA MOSBACHER: Very exciting. We were cautiously optimistic from the beginning. I will say this is my seventh presidential campaign in a national role and I felt that the typical Republican playbook was not working. It was almost [unintelligible] the definition of Einstein's theory of crazy—we were doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. We failed to reach out to Hispanics, everyday working Americans and it wasn't working and it was time that we grew our party. And it also gave birth to an outsider and I had predicted a year ago it would probably be Donald Trump or the Texas senator Ted Cruz because they represented real change and frustration in the United States which I think is something that other countries are still trying to understand. But unless you live in the States, you don't understand that people are feeling disenfranchised. They are feeling left behind. Their wages are going down and cost of living going up. Obamacare is going up, it's doubling in some states in terms of premiums and people have felt like that they had no voice. And Donald Trump was that voice.
AMT: So what do you say to Canadians, Mica? Like the ones you just heard from at that party.
MICA MOSBACHER: Well, I think that yes, it was acrimonious to a degree. I have to congratulate Hillary Clinton on running a very tough campaign. She was a seasoned competitor and I do feel that there was some polarization in the United States. But I have to say that we have very big issues in this country that will bring our country back together and one is our concern about ISIS and national security. Second, about our decaying inner cities. And I feel that Americans at the end of the day are Americans and they're patriots. And while it might take a few months to lick their wounds so to speak, especially if their candidate didn't win, I have great faith that our country will come back together.
AMT: Okay. Well, Jaclyn Friedman, how are you processing Hillary Clinton's loss?
JACLYN FRIEDMAN: I'm in shock. I feel a lot like the gentleman that you played from the house party that it feels like I’m in a horror movie. Donald Trump has run a campaign based on hate and divisiveness. I have profound concerns about the future of press freedom in our country. I have concerns about climate change. I have concerns for my friends who are Muslim, who are immigrants, for myself as a Jew and a woman. He is a serial sexual predator. I could continue to go on. My insurance, my Obamacare is probably going to go away and those premiums are going to be more expensive without it. I do not plan to ever unify under a President Trump. That's anathema to everything that I believe in.
AMT: How important would it have been to you, Jaclyn Friedman, to have a woman as the president and Hillary Clinton?
JACLYN FRIEDMAN: Oh, I mean it would have been so meaningful. Absolutely. It would I think have transformed the way that we think about what a leader looks like. It would have opened so much possibility for women. But honestly, the greater issue that I'm grappling with right now is not that Hillary lost but that Donald Trump has won and I am greatly afraid for the future of our country.
AMT: You're going to cry.
JACLYN FRIEDMAN: I’m very emotional, yes. I slept very little.
AMT: Anoa Changa, what are you thinking?
ANOA CHANGA: I'm thinking that it's time to work. I was a former Bernie Sanders supporter and digital organizer for African-Americans for Bernie. And I spoke on the show back—I think it was February—as a member of Women for Bernie. I believe the same thing that I did then. There are several issues that are going on in this country right now and we really do need to organize, mobilize and engage communities, not just where they are on the issues but help bring them along with us. We need to get down there and explain the issues with campaign finance reform. We're talking about issues of environment and stuff. You know a lot of the problems with the Clinton campaign on the one side was there a lot of talk way up above where people were just trying to get along. You know some of the issues that the Trump campaign was able to make headway on, when you look at places like Ohio and Michigan, when you're looking at places that Barack Obama handily won against Romney in 2012 that was now lost. I mean Secretary Clinton did not do a good enough job of reaching everyday average workers. And to double down as if there was this fear campaign, yes, Donald Trump has said a lot of different things that are extremely divisive, extreme turn off. I'm not happy or proud about him winning but at the same time, I don't think that the Hillary Clinton campaign and those who have supported her without any check or balance in this process can be shocked at this. You can't run on fear only and not give something and people inspire them to get out the vote. The ground game was shoddy. They knew for weeks. They knew for months that there were issues in North Carolina with voter suppression. They knew of issues of Florida and Ohio. I mean we had our Democratic nominee going after Republican voters starting in August right after the convention instead of trying to work with liberal and progressive voters you know who supported Bernie Sanders or who otherwise ended up going third party. And ultimately when you look at the numbers, there wasn't even that large portion of the country as the party was hoping that would vote for them. So I mean this was Secretary Clinton's campaign to lose. She is one of the most popular or one of the most well-known politicians nationwide, one half of the most powerful political machine in America. And Donald Trump came in. I don't really know much about their operation but allegedly from all the media we were given, you know Hillary Clinton had him outmatched in every turn.
AMT: So how do you see a Trump presidency going forward then, Anoa?
ANOA CHANGA: I see it as opportunity to organize and engage the same way I saw a Clinton presidency. I mean neither one of them were my chosen candidate. I think that Donald Trump has said a lot of things to invigorate a very nasty and insidious side of America. But it's a side of America that has existed. I mean everyone who's running around sad and scared and worried, we've already had issues of racism and terrorism and we've already had issues with deportations. These things already exist. So this is an opportunity to continue the work that many of us have already started. I mean I'm not terrified about tomorrow. I'm a black mother living in an urban area and the dangers that may face my children today or yesterday or a year from now are not going to change at all. I never had any delusions that Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would somehow save or ratify or change in my life.
AMT: Okay. So Mica Mosbacher, as you listen to this, what can you say very specifically about the concerns about Trump?
MICA MOSBACHER: Well, first of all, he will bring jobs back to America. And the fact that he did so well in Ohio and other Rust Belt states emphasizes that he is once again bringing hope back to these decaying communities. And he gave a speech on October 22nd which was what he would accomplish in his first 100 days. And I think that this speech inspired people. He said he would put America first and renegotiate trade deals such as NAFTA and bring jobs back to America. And that, for example in Pennsylvania is where individuals have been suffering because many of their jobs been exported to Mexico for example. Secondly, tax cuts: small businesses are being choked by taxes. We have the largest corporate tax in the world. Additionally regulations are choking our small businesses, making it very difficult to survive. He said that he would insist that for every new regulation that was brought forth by Congress, that two regulations be repealed. He is clearly trying to cut the fat and the bloat in Washington down to even bringing about a hiring freeze temporarily to try to reduce and force budgeting and possibly workforce cuts in a very bloated government. Additionally he would export illegal aliens who are criminals in this country and I want to emphasize the word criminals. He is for term limits in Congress which would really encourage those members to create and pass bills that they have to live with. He would roll back most of Obama's executive orders and cancel federal funding to sanctuary cities and put America first and this message obviously resonated with the majority of people. So I have to say Americans have spoken.
AMT: Okay. Well, let me just—let me ask you some specifics, Mica Mosbacher. You now have a president who bragged about assaulting women. grabbing women's genitals. Is that a message? What message is that sending? That he has been chosen.
MICA MOSBACHER: We had this discussion on another program and I will tell you this: that I don't condone that language and I did not like it but he apologized for it. And as a Christian and as a mom, I do believe in forgiveness, first of all. And secondly, he is not—he has not been convicted of any crime. We have had this play out in the media. The media bias exists in America and as a journalist, I have been appalled at the obvious bias in a number of news outlets and I feel very strongly that unless someone is convicted, you cannot convict them in the press. And I would go back to—
AMT: Okay. But he actually said that though. People are just quoting him.
MICA MOSBACHER: I understand he said that and he's apologized for it. And as far as I’m concerned, no one is perfect.
AMT: Okay. So let me move on, Mica. Let me move on. David Duke, Marine Le Pen came out early to congratulate Mr. Trump. The American alt-right movement emerged during this campaign. Are non-white Americans justified in being worried?
MICA MOSBACHER: You're asking me that question?
MICA MOSBACHER: I mean he really came out as a voter and said he supported Trump. He certainly was not involved in the Trump campaign in any way shape or form.
AMT: Okay. Jaclyn Friedman, how do you see this?
JACLYN FRIEDMAN: I mean we know for a fact that he was endorsed by the KKK, right? He took a long time in the primaries to distance himself from those comments and his close adviser Steve Bannon is one of the leaders of the alt-right movement which is a neo-Nazi movement. Like I don't think there's any daylight between them honestly. And I'm very afraid, literally afraid for my safety and the safety of many people I love because of that. I think that we are seeing the rise of a new hate movement in America. And I agree, it's not new it didn't start yesterday but it is going to be greatly empowered by a President Trump.
AMT: The rise of a new hate movement. Anoa Changa, what do you think of what Jaclyn just said?
ANOA CHANGA: I mean I'm always sympathetic to the way other people feel and I definitely understand. I want to backtrack to something about in terms of Trump bringing back jobs because of jobs being exported overseas. Trump himself in his own business dealings exports jobs overseas from America. So no one—I don't really think a lot of people—this wasn't a referendum on Trump. I mean if we [unintelligible] by the popular vote, when I just checked this morning Hillary Clinton actually has more of the popular vote than he does. But he won key states because of serious mistakes in her campaign—not that he had the better platform—half of his platform not even really up. I mean so that's neither here nor there. I mean congratulations, you guys you know bested the best political machine in the country. But let's just be real here. I mean Trump is—I mean he's not even the best and the brightest the Republicans had. But he outwitted and he outsmarted you know a whole cadre of folks. Now in terms of the rise of a new hate group, this has been something—the rise of neo-Nazi white nationalist movements—has been something that has been watched and followed and predicted as an issue. Domestic terrorism has been an issue on the FBI’s radar for years now and no one has done anything to address it. The Southern Poverty Law Center has issued reports after reports ahead of this election cycle about the rise. Trump, I don't know whether he's really this racist or not but he has definitely capitalized and I do agree that that people have been emboldened and feel like they can step out of the shadows now because of the way he has enabled you know their movement to flourish and prosper. But let's just be clear: this is not the only president to rely on racial stereotypes, to rely on problematic relationships with racist white people. The first Clinton, Bill Clinton, did the same thing in 1982 when he stood at Stone Mountain—which is the largest Confederate Memorial here in the United States—to announce his candidacy. There are pictures with him talking with black prisoners standing behind him. He has never apologized for that in particular. So the Clinton family, Donald Trump as a Clinton family friend, this is the house they built and he just continued it on and took it to a whole new level. I mean if he was so racist and they were really so concerned about him, in July Bill Clinton would not have sat down and encouraged him to run and given him advice or whatever the conversation that transpired. So I do find that Donald Trump presidency is absolutely problematic. I do find that there are issues happening now, finally maybe people who are not what we consider traditionally people of colour, not black, not native, not Latinics, you know maybe they'll start understanding when we say America is not post-racial, that racism has still been going on, that there are issues. Maybe now people will start taking it seriously. I mean you have Secretary Clinton, her campaign refusing to actually take a stand in favor of first peoples with the Dakota Access pipeline in the past few weeks in the egregious use of force that has come down on them. But hey, Trump is evil. I mean Trump has issues. But America has issues and we have to work together to get this resolved. You can’t just sit here and say oh my god, it’s all Trump's fault.
AMT: So what kind of conversations do you want to see happen now to go there?
ANOA CHANGA: I want to see action. I’m tired of talking. I really do believe that old guard, black and Latino leadership has been having too many conversations with people since the sixties. We need action. We need people actually organizing and moving. We need to get rid of the gatekeepers who hand over our vote to elected officials without actually any change. We need to make sure that there are issues on the table that actually need to be addressed. I mean this—all this nonsense about deporting criminal aliens and stuff, I don’t even understand what language that is. Because that's not even our largest issue facing America right now.
AMT: What is the largest issue for—
ANOA CHANGA: The biggest threat to America internally are these white nationalist groups, these white militia groups that are arming themselves, claiming that they're about to start warfare. That's a huge problem. And that's something that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies need to start taking seriously instead of coming down heavy handed on communities of colour across the country.
AMT: Jaclyn Friedman, what conversations do you hope to see happen?
JACLYN FRIEDMAN: I mean I agree. We need to have conversations about resistance. You know I've been having those conversations for years. So I don't know how those conversations change now and if more people will be coming to the table for the organizing and activism that you know many communities that I'm a part of have been doing for a long time. I suppose that would be a silver lining here. But I think also organizing is going to become more difficult under President Trump. But I think that you know in terms of crisis conversations we need to have, we also have to talk about climate change. Donald Trump has said he will tear up the Paris Accord. We do not have a large window here for action for the entire planet. And I'm quite concerned about that as an issue as well.
AMT: Mica Mosbacher, how do you respond to their concerns about those issues? Where do you think—can there be some common ground?
MICA MOSBACHER: I think we have very real issues in this country. I disagree that the issue in regard to African-Americans and white supremacy is the number one issue in this country and I will say that Donald Trump not only is a successful businessman, but I know a number of individuals—African-Americans—who are employed in his business and who are involved in this campaign and also a number of African-American Republicans and independents who supported Donald Trump. So I would say first of all, that one of his plans—and I hope we see it sooner rather than later—is to sit down engage community members especially in inner cities and discuss what is really wrong and what needs fixing in their city. Secondly, we need to beef up our FBI. One, we need to restore our faith in our justice system in this country because what we're seeing is corruption at the highest level at the Department of Justice. Secondly, the FBI are undermanned. They can't even completely complete files on terrorists and continue to follow those terrorists in this country so we need to beef that up and to include other issues. But right now they don't have the funding or the manpower to carry out what is really needed in the United States. Third is what we have to do is restore faith in the establishment in Washington, DC. We've had a do-nothing Congress. We need to pass some very real laws that help all people in this country. And I think once voters see action in this country and again, Donald Trump represents change, he represents action, he represents actually accomplishing something whether it is, as I said earlier, suspending immigration from terror prone areas so people feel safe at night.
AMT: So let me ask you, you talked about—
MICA MOSBACHER: I think our problem in this country is more about terrorism and the lack of hope and lack of vision in previous administrations and struggling to feed your family. And I think those are the two top issues in this country right now.
AMT: You mention Congress, that Republicans have both houses. But a lot of Republicans did not fall behind Donald Trump right away. Do you expect them to fall behind him now? Do you expect to see real unity in Washington?
MICA MOSBACHER: Absolutely because Speaker Paul Ryan fell into line, one of the first people to congratulate Donald Trump and he'll set the tone. Secondly, Governor Pence is highly respected. Had he stayed in Congress, he would have possibly been Speaker of the House. What you will see are Republicans pulling together because they also understand that voters voted in an outsider because they were frustrated with the fact that our Congress is gridlocked.
AMT: And so you don't—you expect to see the things that Trump wants should fall in place very quickly then because he will have the support.
MICA MOSBACHER: Absolutely. Governor Pence knows how to govern. And again, with his 100 day agenda, Donald Trump is a highly successful businessman. People who don't live in this country or don't live in New York City as I do, don't understand what it takes to get an office building built for example. This man will get something done. He is all action. He's demonstrated that with everything he's done in his life. And I think that people will be surprised at what is accomplished in this next year.
AMT: Jaclyn Friedman, how do you respond to that?
JACLYN FRIEDMAN: I think that that's the one thing she said this entire time that I agree with. I think people will be very surprised.
AMT: But not in ways they think, you’re saying.
JACLYN FRIEDMAN: No. No, indeed. I mean look, I grew up in New Jersey. I saw firsthand what he did in Atlantic City. I saw the businesses, the small businesses he bankrupted by nonpayment. I've seen how he treats his workers. I know about his history of discriminating against black tenants. I know how Donald Trump does business. And the idea that he wants to run our country the way he does business is just deeply horrifying to me. So I think that people who voted for Trump because they think that he's going to make jobs happen in America and make people safer are going to be very surprised. I think that he doesn't make us safer in terms of you know foreign policy. We know that he will fly off the handle if you mock him on Saturday Night Live. So I don't see how he's going to cool down tensions anywhere. I think that the country is in for an enormous shock.
AMT: Mica Mosbacher, briefly—this is a polarized country. How do you deal with that?
MICA MOSBACHER: It is a polarized country and so how you deal with it is it starts with leadership at the top. It starts by restoring our presence as the United States on a national stage. It starts by—and specifically surrounding yourself with very bright people, very capable people and delegating them the responsibilities to carry out what your agenda is. And then for example, Mayor Giuliani would be a fantastic choice as attorney general. He surrounded himself with very good people in the campaign. And I think that they will listen to voters, they have listened to voters and feel a strong responsibility to deliver these promises.
AMT: Okay. Well, we have to leave it there. Thank you, all of you, for weighing in on this today. It's interesting times. We'll see how things unfold. Thank you. I've been speaking with Mica Mosbacher. She's a Republican National Committee finance co-chair. She's also a Trump spokesperson. She joined us from New York City. Anoa Changa is a lawyer and commentator in Atlanta, Georgia. Jaclyn Friedman is a writer and a women's rights activist in Boston. Let us know what you are thinking as the results continue to come in, as the fine detail of what unfolded in the US election yesterday continues to come in. You can tweet us, we are @thecurrentCBC. You can find us on Facebook and find us online: www.cbc.ca/thecurrent. If you’re joining us part way through, download the podcast. And stay with us. In our next half hour, three reporters immersed in this dramatic election reflect the morning after. Now that the campaign is over, can Americans come together? We'll ask these reporters. They've been talking to a lot of people. We're also going to talk to two friends, one on each side of that divide. I'm Anna Maria Tremonti. This is The Current.Back To Top »
'We agree to disagree': Best friends for 12 years divided on election results
Guests: Ernie Lou, Tod Steward
AMT: Hello. I'm Anna Maria Tremonti and this is The Current.
[Sound: Crowd cheering and applauding]
Now it's time for America to bind the wounds of division, have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and Independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.
[Sound: Crowd cheering]
AMT: Well, those wounds of division run deep in the US. If there's one thing everyone seemed to agree on, it was on how they couldn't agree and how polarizing the race has been. That's something Ernie Lou and Tod Steward know firsthand. They are good friends. But Ernie Lou supported Hillary Clinton. Tod Steward is a Trump supporter. They are both at their homes in Seattle. Hello.
ERNIE LOU: Hi, Anna Maria.
TOD STEWARD: Hi, Anna Maria. Nice to be on your show.
ERNIE LOU: Anna Maria. Anna Maria, I have one question for you first.
AMT: Go ahead.
ERNIE LOU: Could you be my sponsor when I apply for immigration to Canada?
AMT: Oh okay. So obviously I'm talking to Ernie there. Okay. Well, so Ernie, okay. Tell us, as you watched what were you thinking?
ERNIE LOU: I think the polls—obviously the polls did not have it right. I mean some websites had 90 per cent chance that Hillary would win. The FiveThirtyEight was very accurate. It had like 70-some per cent. I think anybody that was a Hillary supporter yesterday went in last night really confident. Like I was like 90 per cent confident that she was going to win. And when the night you know padded out and state after state, states that she should have won did not win, I was devastated to be honest with you. Devastated.
AMT: Well, but Tod’s your best friend and his guy won.
ERNIE LOU: But still. I mean I love Todd, he's a good friend of mine but we agree to disagree that I think Donald Trump is the worst candidate in the history of our country.
AMT: So Tod, what can you say to that? What are you thinking?
TOD STEWARD: Oh yeah. [laughs] I disagree with that assessment big time. You know Anna Maria, this is a case where that the establishment tried to get back in for another four years. And for the last quarter century, the voters are sick and tired of this. I mean remember: Obamacare went up 25 per cent.
You know right before the votes everybody was saying that you know that Obamacare, your premiums are going up. This is one of the reasons why the people spoke last night and they spoke loud and clear. I’m not surprised at all with this result.
AMT: Were you guys watching the results together?
TOD STEWARD: No.
ERNIE LOU: No. I was at a bar that had mostly Hillary supporters.
AMT: What was that scene like?
ERNIE LOU: It was very festive at first but as the night went on, everyone became very, very sad and depressed. It was like we were at a wake near the end of the evening when everyone started leaving. It was like you know you're there, you were there for this big celebration and all of a sudden the guests never showed up or something happened. And it was such a disappointment. I cannot describe. I have never been so depressed at an election night than I have last night here in the US.
TOD STEWARD: And I’ve never been so—I've never been so happier in my life. [laughs]
AMT: So Tod—
ERNIE LOU: I mean I—
AMT: Go ahead. Go ahead. You guys probably haven’t talked till now. Go ahead. [chuckles]
ERNIE LOU: No, we haven’t talked. But Tod, you know I’m happy that you're happy that you know and I do hope you know I'm a person that, hope that—Donald Trump is going to be our president. I do hope Donald Trump is successful. I don't want to be the naysayer that when President Obama became president that wanted him to not succeed. That is awful. I will do my best to make sure that Donald Trump is the best president. I will commit to that unless I can get my Canadian immigration status.
AMT: Okay. Well, I'm going to play you another part of Donald Trump's speech from the wee hours of this morning. Here he is.
I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans. And this is so important to me.
[Sound: Crowd cheering]
For those who have chosen not to support me in the past—of which there were a few people—I'm reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.
[Sound: Crowd cheering]
AMT: So what do you think, Ernie?
ERNIE LOU: You know I listened to parts of his victory speech last night and I definitely give him credit. He definitely said the right words. He was very calm in his tone and very conciliatory and hopefully he will continue that. Except that—like this morning, everyone that is Latino, everyone that is a Muslim, everyone that is like us, they're gay—you know people are scared because of his rhetoric over the last year and a half about banning Muslims, about having these immigration deportation teams. I mean literally people in America that are minorities—either Latinos or Muslims or other minorities that he has criticized—are scared. And that's reality. So I do hope that Mr. Trump, the president-elect Trump, does a number of things in the next 30 days before he gets office to appease, to make sure that everyone knows that he will be their president, irregardless of what their religion is, what their race is, what their immigration status is. He really needs to do that because a lot of people are very afraid today, living in the US.
AMT: Tod, there were lots of people who believed that Trump's language would enable a certain kind of view to go forward. Maybe you can speak to that because you are a supporter but you share some of the same concerns as your best friend.
TOD STEWARD: Well, I do. And I think that you know I didn't agree with everything, what Trump said on the campaign trail. There's just no way. I did not agree with that. But I will say though, that you know I think Donald Trump, he’s not beholden to really any political party because he's not a politician. And I think you know as a businessman, he's going to come in and he's going to allay the fears of the country like he's doing right now and he's going to, you know he's going to bring in people from both sides of the aisle. He’s going to bring in the best of the best, folks that will you know oversee jobs and create jobs to people that are tough on terror and experts on terror no matter what, if they're Democratic or Republican. So I don't think we have anything to fear, anything to worry about. I mean our country moves on, the day moves on and you know we'll get through all of this. I just think that you know the last quarter century, the voters have been sick and tired of the same old, same old. And an outsider came on. And you know it so happened to be Donald Trump. An outsider came in and look what happened.
AMT: And what about those in Congress and the Senate? Some of those people actually have been there a long time. They'll be working with him but they're establishment.
TOD STEWARD: Yeah. No, you're absolutely right and you know I don't like it. I mean you know I thought you know another big surprise that not too many people are talking about or at least mentioning is the fact that the Senate wasn't overtaken. All the polls said that the Democrats would take over the Senate. I mean basically now Donald Trump has you know both the House and Senate plus you know the presidency. I think he can get a lot done if he works with both parties and I think he will.
AMT: And why do you think the polls seem to get it so wrong? We had some pollsters on earlier who said the polls really weren't wrong. But certainly the expectation was that the polls were showing something else.
TOD STEWARD: Yeah. You know I think the polls were wrong big time. I mean I watched—I looked at and read just about every single poll since the beginning, since the first primaries and no, they were dead wrong. I think that people went to the voting booth and you know they didn't want to admit that they were going to vote for Trump and they thought you know we want some real change here. And the only way to get change is to elect somebody that is not part of the system and not beholden to any of the parties. And that's why Donald Trump won. Whether it was casting their ballots at home or going at the polling station, they were by themselves, who weren’t you know speaking to any friends, any relatives or anything like that and they voted for Trump. Overwhelmingly.
AMT: Ernie, what do you think?
ERNIE LOU: You know I do agree, Anna Maria. I think there was a hidden vote. There was definitely a hidden vote. I think he became so polarizing and I think any person that would—except for my friend, Tod—would actually come out and publicly say they’d vote for Trump would be chastised. And I think that created an environment where people did not even say they were going to vote for Trump even though they did. And I think there was a lot of hidden votes that were not caught in all the—none of the polls caught this. None of the polls caught this.
AMT: How long have you two been friends?
ERNIE LOU: We've been friends for like 10 to 12 years.
AMT: Okay. And you're really close, huh?
ERNIE LOU: Yeah. We go to our sports. In fact, we're going to go to the football game this Friday. We go to Seattle soccer games together. We're big sports fans.
AMT: Okay. So that's not changing.
ERNIE LOU: No. I’m going to focus my efforts with [unintelligible] sports.
TOD STEWARD: But I will say, as Ernie said, and yeah, we are really good friends. But I will say though that yes, I am a rare breed. I mean here we are in liberal Seattle where reporters could not find anybody that would publicly speak for Trump and go on record and provide their first and last name or even their name at all. [laughs]
AMT: Well, and then here you are speaking out. So there we go. Thank you both. Stay friends.
ERNIE LOU: Thank you, Anna Maria.
TOD STEWARD: Thank you.
AMT: Okay. Bye-bye.
ERNIE LOU: Oh, we will. Bye-bye.
AMT: Ernie Lou supported Hillary Clinton in the US election. His friend Tod Steward is a Trump supporter. They joined us from Seattle. You were listening to The Current on CBC Radio One and Sirius XM and online on www.cbc.ca/thecurrent. You can also catch us on podcast if you're joining us partway through and you want to listen later.Back To Top »
Reporters covering U.S. election reflect on Trump victory
Guests: Bob Ortega, Susanne Craig, David A. Fahrenthold
AMT: A new era in US history is set to begin. One of the longest, strangest and ugliest presidential campaigns in US history is now sort of in the rear-view mirror. My next three guests have been chronicling the race for American newspapers. Bob Ortega is a senior reporter at the Arizona Republic. Susanne Craig is a reporter with the New York Times. She and a colleague made headlines early in October when they published portions of Donald Trump's 1995 tax returns, revealing he may not have paid federal taxes for 18 years because of hundreds of millions of dollars that he claimed in losses. Susanne Craig has joined us from New York. David A. Fahrenthold has covered the presidential election for the Washington Post. Among his scoops, we're getting the now infamous Access Hollywood tape in which Donald Trump bragged of groping women without their consent. He also broke numerous stories about the dodgy record of the Trump Foundation. David Fahrenthold is with us from Washington. Hi everyone.
BOB ORTEGA: Good morning.
SUSANNE CRAIG: Good morning.
DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: Good morning.
AMT: Susanne Craig, I'm wondering maybe we'll start with you. What kinds of things are you thinking about as someone who will be continuing to follow this story?
SUSANNE CRAIG: Well, I mean I think today a lot of—and it's already sort of begun—I think for the media generally, I think there's one, looking both at just how this sort of went so wrong in terms of what everybody was seeing and there's been a lot of discussion this morning about the polls and how the media fed into that. And then I think behind that, there's also I just think a larger look today at the mood of the country and just the depth of the feelings and just the people who are you know felt disenfranchised in how this vote came into play. And I think those are two huge themes that are going to be front and centre I think with most reporters this morning.
AMT: And David Fahrenthold, what surprised you most about this result?
DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: Well, frankly everything about it. What surprised me was how after all the Clinton campaign has spent on get out the vote and on advertisements for the last few weeks, it seemed like the real story was that Democratic states just didn’t respond or they thought they had it in the bag. Obviously Trump seemed to have fewer votes now than Romney or McCain got but he still won because the Democratic vote dropped so much. I was really surprised by that, especially given the talk we heard before the election about a surge in non-white and particularly Latino turnout.
AMT: And Bob Ortega, what struck you as you watched those results come in?
BOB ORTEGA: Well, I mean I think a lot of people are shell shocked this morning for the same reasons that our other two guests, your other two guests have already mentioned. I think the other thing is the Latino vote as David just mentioned, here in Arizona for example, and also in Florida and also in Georgia, we were seeing a huge surge in early ballots by Latinos which seemed to be pointing to Latino votes really making a substantial difference this year. And I think in the end, it's turned out that while they did increase in some of the key states, they didn't do so by enough to offset increases in voting that helped Trump.
AMT: Susanne Craig, what weakness was the most important when it came to Hillary Clinton’s loss?
SUSANNE CRAIG: I mean I think it was there from the beginning and I think it was the baggage that she has carried through this entire campaign. And I just think when it came down to it, you know you sort of asked this morning how did this happen and I think both you know there's the issue of just the feelings that people have had about being disenfranchised. And I also think that there was a vote and a lot of the votes that happened yesterday were a vote against the Clintons and I think that people not just have said we want somebody new but we don't want somebody who's that establishment in the White House. And I think that these things came together this morning or last night to create the situation that we have this morning.
AMT: Do you see a turning point, Susanne?
SUSANNE CRAIG: Well, it's interesting because you sort of look back and there were so many inflection points in the election and most of them were Donald Trump. And so what is the inflection point for her? And I think it's that from the beginning, just people couldn't get beyond just the idea that they didn't want another Clinton in the White House and the e-mail scandal continued. It wasn't a turning point, it was just a continuation of that issue that just never—she was never able to overcome it. And every time you thought she got beyond it, something happened and I just think that that issue was emblematic of just so many problems that Americans have with the Clintons and particularly with her. And they just, they wanted a change. Was Donald Trump the change that they maybe would have picked? No but I think for a lot of people, it was the vote that they had to make given how strongly they felt about her and just the baggage that she brought with her.
AMT: Well, David Fahrenthold, you broke the story about Access Hollywood and the tape showing Trump's now infamous comments about women. You also broke stories about the Trump Foundation. For another candidate, those might have had a greater impact. Why didn't those stories stick do you think?
DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: Well, I think in part because there was so much going on. Trump did get away with you know saying and doing so many things that you know sort of one scandal was erased by the next scandal for him. Also [inaudible], which is that Hillary never articulated a case of herself beyond sort of her own resume and the fact that she sort of was deserving and would do a good job. It was kind of a qualification-based appeal. There was never any sense of [unintelligible] any direction. [Inaudible] You always need a positive case, not just a negative case against the other person. I think that was one of the reasons [unintelligible] because there was nothing—[unintelligible] other than her resume, which as the email scandal grew, it was not that enticing.
AMT: And Susanne, you broke the story of his tax returns—Donald Trump's tax returns—one of many stories that did not paint him in a positive light. What impact do you think stories like that had on the campaign?
SUSANNE CRAIG: I think that they had—it's interesting because I think that there was and that was one of them. It was one story after another and I think it speaks both to just the shock value of these stories sort of became no matter how disturbing each one was, you know they became one after the other. And I think that social media and just the instant nature of this campaign, I think it all just played into it and I almost think people became both numb to it. And they also just—it's almost like when one happened you're like what's going to happen next? And there was almost not a rage, but an anticipation at times. I mean I've never seen anything like it. And I think that the issues that you know all of us, the reporters that are talking this morning have written about and you know they were all really serious and under themselves should have I think given Americans more pause in terms of the candidates that they selected and that's not to say they should have selected Hillary. But on both sides, I just think Donald Trump definitely I don't think you can say he didn't have more issues surrounding him that were you know really, really troubling and also statements that he made be it you know calling Mexicans rapists or promising full bans on Muslims. And not just scandals that he was in the middle of it but also just outrageous statements that he said that you know were very concerning. But I just think it became a wear down effect.
AMT: And I'm wondering as well if you think the things that would outrage people about Donald Trump outraged the constituency that wasn't interested in him and vice versa. It was almost as if it only served to strengthen.
SUSANNE CRAIG: Yeah.
AMT: As opposed to go further. And Bob Ortega, in Arizona, I'm wondering how you watched that play out. So far from New York, from Washington, I realize everybody was on the road doing stuff but as somebody based far from there, how did you see that kind of thing play out?
BOB ORTEGA: Well, I think one of the things that is really clear is that there was a certain amount of epistemic closure and also a perception that Trump cultivated, that attacks on him by the mainstream media were in and of themselves just proof of what an outsider he was. And so for the base that was voting for him, the kinds of stories that Susanne and David were writing were simply fodder for his campaign and did not really wind up I think out here, certainly in Arizona and in a lot of other places. Among those voters who supported Trump, those kinds of stories did not really ultimately change their minds. You know we can see here in Arizona, for example, very clearly that there was really very little change over time in the polling and where we did see increases, for example in the Latino vote, some of that was driven by local issues. We have a very controversial sheriff here named Joe Arpaio who has been an ally of Trump's on this campaign and who has himself taken a very strong anti-immigrant position. And he was voted out of office yesterday. So you know at the same time that Trump looks like he's going to win Arizona, it's unclear. We're still counting votes here. He's ahead by about 70,000, 75,000 votes with I think over 300,000 still to count. So it looks like he's going to win but we're not sure. But one of the people most closely associated with him here was defeated.
AMT: And David, so—
BOB ORTEGA: By Latino voters, it looks like.
AMT: David, a lot of commentators have called this a fact-free election. How good a job did the national press do in fact-checking the candidates?
DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: Well, I think we actually did a pretty good job. The print media, the text-based media, I feel like we did a lot of things that, as you pointed out, might have killed the candidacy of another candidate. I think that there was a lot of work. The Post wrote a whole book about it and the Times did a lot of great work as well to look in Trump’s background, to look into his honesty, others things about his character that you could learn from his life. I think it's hard to say there were big stories about Trump that [unintelligible]. The question is just whether it sunk in or whether, as you were saying, there was some sort of some sort of defense mechanism by Trump that caused [unintelligible].
AMT: And he accused the media of trying to rig the election for Hillary. What did you think of that charge?
DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: Well, I mean every Republican does that. Every Republican in modern times has done that. But certainly you know I don't know how much that swung people to his side. You know I don't know how much people just took that as noise. But it's certain that he didn't do things. There’s sort of normally a ritual that candidates do follow when they've committed a gaffe or done something outrageous that sort of signals their shame to the broader electorate. And Clinton certainly did that, her e-mail by ducking questions, trying to minimizing it, trying to [unintelligible] and then finally apologizing. That whole ritual she did was a normal way politicians show they’ve done something outrageous and bad. Trump never did that. I mean well, maybe in the Access Hollywood tape he did a little bit. But he rarely apologized. He rarely sort of stopped to explain his behaviour. He just kept going. And I think that was a useful tactic for him.
AMT: He and his most ardent supporters were very vocal of what they thought of the media, the mainstream, the “mainstream media.” We saw—I'm sure you saw—even we heard about the reporters being jeered by whole rooms full of supporters. How does that affect how you do your jobs now?
DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: Well, I think the bigger question for us now is going to be—when Trump takes office—what kind of relationship he will have with the media? All the things that presidents normally do is give the media some access to the daily briefing, the press that travels with him. All that sort of stuff is just custom. It’s not the law. And if Trump follows the example he’s followed in his campaign which is to give the media as little as possible, to hoard all the information himself and share only what he absolutely has to, that’ll be a very different relationship between the presidency and the media. It's something that I think [unintelligible] if he continues to follow that very non-transparent example.
AMT: Susanne Craig, what do you think?
SUSANNE CRAIG: Well, I think a free and healthy press is—it's a cornerstone of a strong democracy. And I think—I even look at it beyond the access and just the chilling effect on the fourth estate of this, just the way that he—not only has he used, you know every time there's a negative story, he points to the messenger rather than the content of the story. Very effectively he did it during the campaign and I think now once you have a distrust in an institution like the media and some of it's certainly warranted and a lot of questions will be posted. But I think broadly that issue is just—you need to have some trust in that and I think that his continually undermining the people's trust in the media isn't healthy when not warranted. And I think a lot of it is not warranted. I think there was some great reporting. And reporters, you know the newspapers and TV and the media in general they serve a really important role in society and he's been effective in undermining that. It's going to have a chilling effect. There's no question.
AMT: Bob Ortega, what do you think?
BOB ORTEGA: I'd have to agree. It's pretty clear that there's going to be a lot of self-examination by the media in the coming weeks, hopefully by the broadcast media as well. And there's going to be a lot of questions that we're going to have to examine very carefully going forward about the relationship between the media and our politicians.
AMT: Okay. Well, thank you all for your work and I'm guessing you've been up all night so I'll let you go. Thank you very much for speaking with me today.
DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: Thank you.
BOB ORTEGA: Thank you.
AMT: David Fahrenthold covered the campaign for the Washington Post. He's in Washington. Susanne Craig is a reporter with the New York Times. Bob Ortega is a senior reporter with the Arizona Republic. That's our program for today. Stay with Radio One for q. Tom Power’s convening a crew of comedians to reflect on the campaign that was and the outcome that is. Negin Farsad, Tom Green, Mark Critch—all will weigh in on this election. For the past five months, the Rolling Stones repeatedly asked Donald Trump to stop playing their songs at his political rallies. That did not stop him from playing one of their biggest hits after his victory speech. We'll leave you today with a bit of that song. I'm Anna Maria Tremonti. Thank you for listening to The Current.
[Music: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” – The Rolling Stones]
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