Axios (2018) s04e09 Episode Script

Season 4, Episode 9

Jackson Hole, WY - Hi Congresswoman.
- Hi Jonathan.
Good to see you.
- Thanks so much for having us in.
- You too.
Welcome to Wyoming.
All by herself / Rep.
Liz Cheney, R-WY On May 12th, Representative Liz Cheney was voted out of Republican House leadership over her lack of support for former President Trump.
We're here in Wyoming, and your family's roots go back so deep here.
And your family holds such stature here.
To what extent do you feel like voters in Wyoming are willing to be honest with you about how they feel about, like, what you're doing? Or is there a sense of reserve or politeness? One thing about people in Wyoming is people, they tell it like it is.
And so I'm having a lot of conversations with voters, with people who have supported me in the past, with people who haven't, with people who are angry.
I welcome that because it gives me a chance to talk to people and to explain what we've gone through over the course of the last months.
What do the angry conversations feel like? Give me a sense of what that's like.
Well, I think it's certainly people who have been big supporters of Trump who, you know, were upset with my vote on impeachment.
People definitely are angry about the vote, but it's a lot of sort of, "We need to understand this.
Why did you do this? What was going on?" When you talk to someone here in Wyoming that that says to you, "I love the former President Trump and I think he won the election," like, what do you say back to that? I say, "He didn't win the election.
" I walk through the fact that we have a process where if a candidate wants to challenge the results, wants to make claims about election fraud, they can do that.
President Trump did that in over 60 state and federal courts.
They all ruled against him.
And once the Electoral College meets, that's the end of it.
I've covered President Trump or Donald Trump for five years.
His supporters are right now a pretty good proxy for Republican voters.
Most Republicans like Donald Trump, support him.
God knows 70% think the election was stolen.
It almost feels anachronistic to hear you talking about a party that that kinda doesn't exist anymore.
- Yeah, I don't agree with that - Which part don't you agree I don't agree that the party doesn't exist anymore or that it's anach Well, the party exists.
It's just a party that overwhelmingly believes Donald Trump won the election and they support him.
Well, and I think that's partly why it's so important for those of us who know that's not the case to stand up and say so.
You're trying to chart a new course for the party away from Donald Trump, away from the lie.
And it seems like there aren't people willing to buy what you're selling.
Where do you where do you get the hope for this that this is going to work? Because I love this country.
Because I believe in our democracy and I believe in our constitutional process and system.
Because I look at it from the perspective of what's right.
It's just by doing what you've done, empirically you're three times more popular among Democrats than you are among Republicans.
So it comes back to the question of, like, what is the Republican Party and why you believe you can reconstruct this party when it's just moved on.
It's moved beyond what the Bush-Cheney party was.
But I think the future of our party has to be built around ideas.
- It has to be built around substance.
- But which ideas? I think we have to be able to make a substantive case for limited government, for low taxes, for a strong national defense, for securing our borders.
The ideas and the substance and the policy are on our side, but we have to get back to a place where we're making those arguments.
The big lie wasn't sort of conceived in, like a summer tryst between Trump and Rudy Giuliani in 2020.
There's also a much longer-running Republican Party messaging effort, which is that voter fraud is rampant, that people are voting four times in the inner cities, that illegal immigrants are voting.
How much culpability do Republican elites have for fertilizing the soil for the big lie? That is that's not how I think about it, you won't be surprised to hear.
I think that when you look at things like voter fraud, it certainly exists.
I will never understand the resistance, for example, to voter ID.
I think you oughta have to show ID to go vote.
There's a big difference between that and a president of the United States who loses an election after he tried to steal the election, and refuses to concede, and then continues to say the election was stolen, suggesting that our democratic process is insufficient of conveying the will of the people.
Well, except they're linked.
Voter fraud, from everything we can tell, is vanishingly rare.
But yet Donald Trump focused his campaign on this idea that fraud was rampant.
You don't see any linkage between Trump saying the election's stolen and then Republicans in all of these state legislatures rushing to put in place these restrictive voter laws? Well, I think you have to look at the specifics of each one of those efforts.
I think if you look at the Georgia laws, for example, there's been a lot that's been said nationally about the Georgia voter laws that turns out not to be true.
But even the Republican lieutenant governor of Georgia, Geoff Duncan, said that when this bill started to pick up momentum was when Rudy Giuliani was testifying that the Georgia election was a sham.
I don't think anyone doubts that the reason 400-some voting bills have been introduced, 90% by Republicans, supported by the Republican National Committee I don't think it's a coincidence after the election that this has happened.
Look, I think everybody should want a situation and a system where people who ought to be able to vote and have the right to vote can vote and people who, you know, don't shouldn't.
And again, I come back to things like voter ID.
But what problem are they solving for? - What are all these states doing? - No, each state is different.
What was the big problem in Georgia that needed to be solved by a new law? What was the big problem in Texas? What was the big problem in Florida? These laws are coming all around the states.
What are they solving for? I think you've gotta look at each individual state law.
We can agree But you can't divorce 'em from the context.
Well, yeah.
But I think what we can agree on is that what is happening right now is really dangerous.
I can agree with that.
When I think about 2000, I think about sitting on the inaugural platform in January of 2001 watching Al Gore.
Of course, you know, we had won.
I'm sure he didn't think he had lost.
We had fought this politically very, very intense battle.
And he conceded.
He did the right thing for this nation.
And that is one of the big differences between that and what we're dealing with now and the danger of Donald Trump today.
Inflation nation? / Atlanta Federal Reserve Pres.
Raphael Bostic One of the key responsibilities of the Federal Reserve System, the central bank of the United States, is to set interest rates.
In April, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose sharply, raising concerns about rapid inflation.
Raphael Bostic is the president of the ATF and a member of the committee responsible for setting the Fed's policies nationwide.
A lot of people don't understand what the Fed does.
Your decisions decide really how much people are paying on their mortgage, the price of gas, how much they're spending at the grocery store.
As a voting member, you're makin' the decisions that are really deciding the fate, the future of the U.
What are your thoughts about the current state of the economy? There are no chapters in econ textbooks, pandemic policy responses.
And now, we've been on this road to recovery for a good 11 months.
And the recovery has been strong, but we're still millions of jobs short of where we were before and those jobs that are missing aren't just evenly distributed across the entire population.
So we know for African Americans they're still down more than others.
We know for lower-wage jobs, they're down more than others.
And in the last couple of months, we've seen those gaps narrow, which has been encouraging.
But 8 million is still a pretty big number.
So we have a long way to go.
That has been the thing we've heard from the Fed really this entire year.
"The job's not done.
The job's not done.
" But when you look at inflation up 4.
2%, you said you need to keep policy going in the same direction.
What makes you so certain? There are always people who are telling us that we're doing the wrong thing.
I am worried about all of the things that people are concerned about and they voice.
I'm just not seeing that right now as something that is the most likely to happen.
A year ago, the economy was really not doing well.
Right? And so if we're in a stronger position now, the inflation rate is just gonna be higher.
Now, the question you have to ask is, "Okay, of these factors that are driving this, how many of them are likely to be more permanent or more transitory, very situational?" I'm pretty confident that today most of these forces look like they're gonna be temporary.
All those things you talked about are true, but the price of gas has been rising I think it's the past 11, 12 months.
Same thing with the price of food.
And that you're certain that this is going to move on? You talked about the price of gas going up over the last 12 months.
That's true.
But 12 months ago, we were all sitting in our homes actually not doing anything.
We didn't need the gas.
And what's happened since then is as the economy's continued to reopen, more and more people have gone out.
The demand for gas goes up.
As the demand goes up, the price will rise.
And we're stilling going through that process.
We have an unprecedented pandemic which puts the economy in a place we've never seen before.
Well, one big thing that's happening that's influencing all of these things is Fed policy, is those artificially low interest rates.
I do not think interest rates are artificially low.
The interest rates that we have are appropriate for where the economy is and the goals that we have at our institution.
And when we're 8 million jobs short, that's a huge number.
And I think it merits a pretty strong response.
And I think this brings me to another area of criticism some folks have leveled at the Fed, which is the idea that the Fed's policies do little to actually reduce the inequality in terms of employment.
They do a lot to increase the wealth inequality, which is increasing folks' portfolio prices, increasing stock prices, increasing housing prices.
And that exacerbates the unevenness and the inequality of the economy.
In order to play in that game, you have to have assets.
If you don't have a job, there's no way you're going to get to assets.
I want our institutions and I want our policies to work in a way that many more people get jobs than have historically because then they can actually start to build those assets so they can be in that game.
I don't think anyone disputes that's what you want and are attempting to do.
But I think they do because for us to succeed in the job side, there's also gonna be success on the wealth side.
You can't get one without the other.
Is there a thought given to, "Our policies aren't working the way they used to because the economy doesn't work the way it used to"? It used to be that when we lowered interest rates, businesses hired workers.
Now when interest rates get lower and businesses can just borrow money to load up their balance sheet with cash, and they enrich the people at the top, the C-suite executives, and it exacerbates inequality and the unevenness of the economy that you talked about.
I have a different narrative.
I think that my focus is on first principles, which is try to get as many people a job as possible.
I do think that the goal in a pandemic is to try to create a bridge for every business and every family to get to the other side with as little damage as possible.
Because it does seem like as long as what the Fed does is what Wall Street wants, then the Fed is willing to do as much as it takes as long as it takes.
I don't do what Wall Street wants.
I do what's best for the economy.
And if Wall Street has an investment in that economy, if the economy grows and they do better, then so be it.
You're the first Black person to lead the regional Fed bank in the hundred what is it? 1913? - So 108 years.
- It's been a long time.
There have been, I think, 139 presidents who have led regional banks, one Black one.
I think three people of color.
Why is that? In my four years here, the Fed has been much more front forward in terms of its relationship to the full range of Americans.
And we just came out with a new monetary policy framework.
And we explicitly talk about an inclusive economy and the idea that we need to be mindful and thoughtful of the range of experiences that happens in America.
But it seems like the recovery has been all in the higher-wage workers and those lower-wage workers have really been left behind.
Those people now are seeing their spending power eroded.
They're having to pay more for things that they would ordinarily buy.
And what do you say to those folks? I say help is coming.
We have not forgotten about you.
I have people in my family who have had very difficult times.
I never forget about them.
And I never forget about the neighbors and the people that I've grown up with.
That's what I say to them.
I understand your pain, I understand the challenges you're going through, and I'm doing all that I can to try to get you into as positive and strong a position as possible.
And I will forever pledge to take that role.
Green light? / National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy Washington, D.
- Hello.
- Will you pick up a masked man? I don't know.
Got any money? Gina McCarthy is an environmental health expert who advises the president on domestic climate policy.
She is responsible for pursuing U.
goals to get to 100% clean electricity by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Biden administration has ordered 400 new electric vehicles since the inauguration.
That's correct.
That's correct.
And more will be coming.
The way in which we're gonna get there is to put the federal government's money where our values are and what our policies are.
Eventually when you get over the hump of a shift like this, it becomes ingrained in the private sector, and they simply compete, and it gets better and better.
And that's what you look for.
- People are still skeptical.
- Yeah.
They're worried about whether they can get the charging that they need and whether it's gonna be accessible to them.
But when they see the performance, and when the demand starts rising, and when we get the infrastructure in place, that's when it's gonna go leaps and bounds instead of a little at a time.
See, the minute you hit the accelerator, it just goes.
There's just no hesitation.
And it's so quiet.
It's a Chevy Bolt.
Would you say it fits your personality? Yeah.
I like it.
It it's small, and well, I'm not quiet.
You have good pickup.
That may be the only thing that doesn't suit me, is I prefer a lot of ruckus.
Gina McCarthy, you're President Biden's national climate advisor.
You are the first climate job that he created.
I am.
- It's a new job.
- It is.
You call yourself a climate optimist.
That seems like a stretch.
Look around, you've got rising tides.
You've got hurricanes.
You've got infernos out in my home state of California.
How do you be a climate optimist? I think you be it by lookin' at all of the great technology options available.
And the whole job is to get people excited about what's available, get that deployed to its maximum.
And it doesn't come naturally.
People don't want to change.
No, change is hard.
They get in routines.
And so they don't want to have to do research on things like cars.
They just want 'em to be what they used to be.
And if you want to make the kind of shift that we need for climate, you gotta be optimistic about the future.
Isn't the climate emergency immense enough that people should feel pain? Whereas you're sort of saying, "Here's money, here's jobs, and we'll save the planet too.
" We've had 22 million jobs that have actually been empty because of this pandemic.
And now is not the time to sit them down and say, "Let's talk about climate.
How can you sacrifice?" It's never going to be a winning strategy.
Right now, it's ridiculous.
You know, the president recognizes that climate change is a problem, and he also recognizes that getting there doesn't mean you don't think about growing jobs.
It means you do.
You back in Washington under President Obama, you were the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
And throughout your career, environmental justice has been very important to you.
What is this administration gonna do that's new, that hasn't been tried before? The whole idea that President Biden has is to not treat EPA like it's the only place that oughta talk about inequities in the system because pollution is so much more of a problem in Black, and brown, and Indigenous, and poor communities.
That's not just EPA's responsibility.
President Biden sees this as a whole-of-government approach.
That's why he created this job.
Under President Obama, you were an architect of a big regulatory agenda, very successful, to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
But so much of it has been undone between Trump and the courts.
What did you learn from that so this time more Biden policies will last? Part of the good news during that period of time was that cities and states played a prominent role in maintaining the move towards Well, so it was distributed.
It's been undone here, but you're finding it lasted out in the states? Well, you know, I worked at the state level for more than - Massachusetts.
- Yeah, in Massachusetts.
And I ran the environmental agency in Connecticut.
I worked for six Republican governors, six of them including - And lived to tell.
- Including Governor Romney.
And they all moved forward on these issues because when you when you So why is Washington so slow? Because when you're closer to people, right, you're more accountable, right? And so if people are worried about their air quality or their water not being clean, you hear about it, they're gonna react and expect your leadership, and they're gonna demand it in the next election.
The innovation and the drive has often come from the local and state level to make changes.
So when the prior administration decided they didn't want to recognize climate change, governors did not back off.
and China both want to be leaders in electric vehicles.
What is the U.
government doing to make sure industry gets the minerals that it needs to make batteries, that supply chain from upstream? Well, the good thing is that we've discovered that we have those minerals available in the United States and we've identified a number of states where we can do responsible mining.
But that's not gonna be enough and that's harder and more expensive.
Not necessarily.
What's more expensive is losing the electric vehicle market to China.
That's what's more expensive.
Through hard work, we have a couple of new battery manufacturing operations that are starting up, one for Ford, one for GM, because our car companies know that electric vehicles are the future.
And they are working with us to make sure that that future's delivered in the United States.
Is big oil an ally or an enemy in fighting climate change? Well, fossil fuel companies have been spending a good deal of money early on on fighting the idea that climate change was real.
I think we even see them recognizing now that the future is different than it used to be and their way of making money is not going to be the same.
Big banks: ally or enemy in fighting climate change? Some have been very good at recognizing commitment needs to be made.
Now, it's time to make good on what they've been saying.
But it really actually has to be everybody participating.
So you're gonna see some movements on our part to make sure that climate risks are understood and factored into both public and private decision making on the finance side.
Right-wing media had a field day with the completely made-up notion that President Biden is coming for your hamburgers.
Why do you think that took off? If you have to make up stuff like that, you must have a very losing argument, number one.
And secondly, man, if people think that switching your hamburger or going down to less meat is the entire solution to climate change, we're all in a lotta trouble.
President Biden's infrastructure plan is the largest climate proposal by any president ever.
Climate activists are concerned that in splitting the bill, in doing hard infrastructure like bridges, that there will be a lot of compromises with Republicans and then they won't get the human infrastructure where most of the climate is.
The infrastructure that President Biden is looking to make is the kind of infrastructure that's not just hard but just provides us an opportunity to live a better life.
President Biden has been around for a while.
He remembers what bipartisan work and working across the aisle actually can get in terms of good bills, good Congressional action.
- I mean, that may not happen here.
- And he's gonna try it.
But your eyes wide open that it may not happen.
He wants that package delivered.
And he wants to work across the aisle because he knows that it's going to be quicker to deliver.
He knows it's an opportunity to bring the country together again.
Gina McCarthy, thank you for mixing it up with Axios on HBO.
Thanks, Mike.
What's changed - a poll / a year since George Floyd's murder Russ, it's been a year since the murder of George Floyd.
So we did this poll to try to understand how Americans are making sense of this year of introspection over systemic racism in this country.
We talked to almost 1,900 Americans.
You cover race and justice.
Do you see the findings about the past year as a positive story or a negative story? Now, we knew that there were wide divisions.
But a year after, we may have assumed things have gotten better.
But this poll is showing 57% of people believe race relations have worsened, and only 13% believe they've improved.
And the reason is they keep seeing viral videos of excessive force involving police.
And then they're seeing these proposals on voter restrictions in some states.
Combine the totality of all this, people believe things are getting worse.
The killing of George Floyd set off a larger conversation about systemic racism in the country.
But fundamentally, it was about policing and the systemic racism in American policing.
And one of our questions was, "Do you agree that the police treat all Americans equally?" 59% of the respondents overall said that's not true.
84% of Black Americans disagreed with the idea that the police treat all Americans equally.
And 68% of Black people polled believe that the treatment of Black Americans by police has worsened.
What this tells us it that things aren't changing.
We're seeing window dressing here, small reforms there.
So police reform is one area that we've spent a lot of time thinking about for the last year.
But the corporate world is another.
What have we done in a year's time when we're holding businesses accountable? There is no racial group in the United States that believes that their employers have substantially changed their practices to make conditions more fair, more equitable in the last year.
If you remember right after the death of George Floyd, cities were creating these racial healing committees.
And what we found a year after is that a lot of these committees are just lip service.
And what these committees have done is brought people together but in many instances made them more angry and say, "Talking won't solve this problem.
We need action.
" There's nobody in America who didn't think about race relations and the demonstrations over the course of the past year.
But how much of a priority it was for Americans depended almost entirely on race and demographics.
"Which of the following topics do you find the most worrying?" For Black Americans, it was racial injustice and discrimination.
But for white Americans, the top concern was political extremism or polarization.
And then Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans, the coronavirus.
Not to say that these groups don't care about racial injustice, not to say that they're not worried about political polarization.
Hispanics, Black Americans, Asian Americans are coming together in coalition and demanding reforms.
Hispanics are saying, "Look, we're disproportionately shot by the police, too.
This is a problem in our community, too, and we'd like it to be addressed.
" There might be some effort to turn back the pages of history, but some elements of the last year seem lasting to me.
That phrase, "Black lives matter," once incredibly controversial, is viewed favorably by 56% of Americans overall, including 48% of white Americans.
There are two very distinct camps of white Americans: white Americans who identify with Republicans and white Americans who identify with Democrats.
Look at some of these numbers.
57% of white people say that the events of the last year have made them realize there's still a lot of racism in the country.
35% for white Republicans.
93% of white Democrats.
And this is what advocates tell me, that we cannot have an honest discussion about race relations until we get white people on the same page.
They all have to see the world through our eyes.
And if there's a continued resistance about privilege, about systemic racism, we're gonna be talking in circles against each other.
I talked to Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale about this.
And when I asked him, "Do you have any advice you would give the young people that are in the streets right now yelling, 'Black Lives Matter'?" one thing he said was, "Keep it multi-ethnic, build coalitions, and use that for political power.
" Thank you so much.
Have you been in an electric car before? I haven't.
And I've not been driving with a celebrity.
Do you hear how quiet it is? There's, like, nothing going on, but it's on.
- So the battery's under the floor? - I don't know in this car where it is.
I read my Consumer Reports.
- Is that where it is? - The battery's under the floor.
So shall we do our next interview on a scooter? I haven't tried one of those.
- That that'll be our next adventure.
- Did you? I don't know.
I kinda like walking.

Previous EpisodeNext Episode