Face the Nation Transcript November 13, 2016: Gingrich, Sanders
JOHN DICKERSON, HOST: Today on FACE THE NATION: Mr. Trump goes the Washington and takes a victory lap after the greatest real estate acquisition of them all, the White House.
The ultimate outsider begins his transition to the highest office in the land amidst promise and protest. Will president-elect Trump change Washington, or will Washington change him? Will he keep his more controversial campaign promises, or is everything negotiable?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LESLEY STAHL, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: They’re talking about a fence in the Republican Congress. Would you accept a fence?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: For certain areas, I would. But certain areas, a wall is more appropriate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: We will get a preview from his first post-election television interview that will air tonight on “60 Minutes.”
Plus, can Trump unify the Republican Party and the nation?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We are now talking about how we are going to hit the ground running to make sure that we can get this country turned around and make America great again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: We will talk with former Speaker of the House and Trump transition team member Newt Gingrich. And after a thorough defeat, Democrats look to rebuild. We will sit down with former presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders and talk about that and his new book.
We will also hear from our politics panel and sit down with CBS News journalists you don’t normally see on camera, our 2016 embedded campaign reporters. What did they learn from voters along the way?
It’s all ahead on FACE THE NATION.
Good morning, and welcome to FACE THE NATION. I’m John Dickerson.
President-elect Donald Trump sat down with “60 Minutes”’ Lesley Stahl on Friday. She asked Mr. Trump which campaign promises he expects to keep.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STAHL: So, let’s go through very quickly some of the promises you made and tell us if you’re going to do what you said or you’re going to change it in any way.
Are you really going to build a wall?
STAHL: They’re talking about a fence in the Republican Congress. Would you accept a fence?
TRUMP: For certain areas, I would, but certain areas, a wall is more appropriate. I’m very good at this. This is called construction.
STAHL: So, part wall, part fence?
TRUMP: But a fence will be -- yes, it could be -- there could be some fencing.
STAHL: What about the pledge to deport millions and millions of undocumented immigrants?
TRUMP: What we are going to do is get the people that are criminals and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, a lot of these people, probably two million. It could even be three million. We’re getting them out of our country or we’re going to incarcerate.
But we’re getting them out of our country. They’re here illegally.
After the border is secured and after everything gets normalized, we’re going to make a determination on the people that you’re talking about who are terrific people. They’re terrific people. But we’re going to make a determination at that.
But, before we make that determination, see, it’s very important, we want to secure our border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: More of Lesley Stahl’s interview with Donald Trump and the Trump family will air on tonight’s “60 Minutes” after football.
Joining us now is former Speaker of the House and vice-chair of the Trump transition team Newt Gingrich. He is also the author of the upcoming novel “Treason.”
Welcome, Mr. Speaker.
Does Donald Trump have mandate?
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, I think, first of all, he won, and he won pretty decisively in the Electoral College.
And I think the deeper thing is, the Republicans won the House. They won the Senate. They won the governorships, most governor -- most Republican governors in history, most Republican state legislators in history. So, if you look at the country, there is certainly a shift towards Republican government on a pretty big scale.
DICKERSON: Is it a challenge for him that he didn’t win the popular vote?
GINGRICH: To some extent.
But, remember, in 49 states, he had a 2.2 million-vote majority, and then there’s California. We don’t compete in California.
The current rules of the game, we’re not going to carry California. And it’s a sad cycle. They don’t invest because they’re not going to carry, so they don’t -- so it gets worse every year. If this had been a general election, where the total vote mattered, we would have competed in California.
DICKERSON: Are you still a fan of getting rid of the Electoral College? You used to be.
GINGRICH: Well, I think, in the long run, you want to find a way to have the whole country represented.
But my point is, if we had total vote mattering, we would have competed in California. And we would have probably picked up at least two million votes just by competing.
DICKERSON: Let’s talk about the pace of change. Should Donald Trump swing for the fences or go for singles?
GINGRICH: Swing for the fences.
I have done this twice in my career. I did it with Reagan in ‘81. I did it as speaker in ‘95. This is a city which if you don’t shove it as hard as you can while you have got momentum, it will just surround you. The swamp doesn’t want to be drained, and the swamp will just suck you in if you let it.
So, he needs to have a very, very aggressive first year.
DICKERSON: When I covered your presidential race and run in 2012, you were -- you made a case for incrementalism. In two cases, you said, you know, when the country is as bitterly divided, and you put your name on a program and think any Democrat is going to vote for it, you have to go out -- your argument was, you have to go out and sell it and that you have to -- so explain how you swing for the fences, shove this country, but aren’t moving too fast.
GINGRICH: Well, two things.
First of all, I recommend to all of our reviews that you read a terrific book called “The Education of Ronald Reagan,” which really captures Reagan at General Electric and shows you what he learned about moving the country.
So you have got to move the -- Trump has got to be the salesman. Second, take something big like infrastructure. He can work with Chuck Schumer on infrastructure. He can find a bipartisan path that allows us to dramatically improve infrastructure, something Trump knows an immense amount about.
And you could have a very big bipartisan bill on infrastructure. I suspect, on tax reform, there’s a chance to actually put together a tax reform package which also, as Speaker Paul Ryan has pointed out today, also means you can handle a lot of the tariff differentials inside the tax code in a way that could be very advantageous to American business.
DICKERSON: Back in ‘12, you also said, “We got mad at Obama because he ran over us when we said don’t do it. Well, Republicans ought to follow that same ground rule.”
Does that still apply?
GINGRICH: I think it’s very important that Trump try to have as many Democrats as possible help him do this, because one of the lessons of the Obama years is, if you do things that are big on the purely partisan basis, they’re not stable.
And I think Trump wants to change America to make it great again for a generation, not just for eight years.
DICKERSON: What has he done since being elected president that made you think, gee, that’s different?
GINGRICH: Well, I mean, first of all, his speech on -- his victory speech was very conciliatory, very much in the right direction. I think his visit to the White House was very respectful on both sides, and I think encouraging in that sense.
And I think his meeting with Paul Ryan and with Mitch McConnell and the fact that he’s integrating Mike Pence so thoroughly, which also happened with Cheney. Remember, Cheney, as vice president, led the transition. Pence, as vice president, is going to lead the transition.
I think all those things show you steps toward stability and maturity that are very, very encouraging.
DICKERSON: Paul Ryan said today on CNN that there’s not going to be a deportation force. Mr. Trump has said that he’s going to incorporate some ideas of Obamacare, which he talked about on the stump, too.
Now that he’s president, are a lot of the things that seemed to be bright lines in the campaign, are they much more negotiable?
GINGRICH: Well, I think if you listen to the brief section you aired from “60 Minutes,” there are going to be substantial deportations. They’re called criminals.
I mean, two million people would be a lot of people to deport. And if, at the same time, you can gain control of the border, and if you pass as guest-worker program, you would be a long way towards then, three or four or five years from now, dealing with the rest of the folks who are here without legal permission.
And I think, by that stage, we would accommodate it in some way. I think, in terms of Obamacare, it’s going to be repealed. But there are certain aspects of it that are very widely supported. And you don’t want to capriciously take away the right of somebody to be on their parents’ insurance until 26.
You want to protect the right to have insurance coverage without any kind of precondition. But that means, if you’re not going to have a mandate, which we’re not, and it hasn’t been effective -- they can’t punish young people with taxes enough to get them to buy insurance. Then you better have a high-risk pool, which Paul Ryan has suggested, or some device, so that if you have a precondition, but you’re not insured, you’re still going to get health care.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you about a sense of conflict in this country. There were 60 million people who didn’t vote for Mr. Trump. Why should -- or help explain to somebody who didn’t vote for him and to -- you know there are people going around saying, not my president.
In part, Donald Trump rose to prominence by challenging the idea that Barack Obama was a legitimate president, said he wasn’t born in America, there was no evidence to that, spent five years saying he was illegitimate.
Why should anybody who doesn’t like Donald Trump think, oh, well, I should think he is legitimate now?
GINGRICH: Well, it’s a question or whether or not you want America to be a successful venture.
And I think, frankly, if you’re hard left, it’s very hard to imagine why you’re going to accommodate a Trump presidency, because the two goals -- remember, George W. Bush was attacked from day one by the hard left. Obama was attacked from day one by conservatives.
We have now been through 16 years of a siege warfare. And, interestingly, while we got involved in a fight with Clinton, no one ever attacked the legitimacy of the Clinton presidency or Bush I or Reagan or Carter, for that matter.
DICKERSON: Part of what this stems from is the campaign that Mr. Trump ran.
In “The National Review,” Ian Tuttle writes about this divisive campaign. He says -- quote -- “His victory in the primaries gave unprecedented visibility to the alt-right, a small but vocal fringe of white supremacists and anti-Semites and self-proclaimed fascists. Supporting a President Trump cannot mean giving a pass to the ugly fringe that has risen with him.”
What does Donald Trump have to do to address that?
GINGRICH: I just have to say that’s garbage.
DICKERSON: Even though it’s coming from “The National Review”?
GINGRICH: Yes, I don’t care where it -- this whole notion -- it’s like “The Washington Post” had this columnist the day who pointed out that we’re on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, which was the night when the Nazis attacked Jewish businesses.
And I’m thinking, what is -- this is crazy. Donald Trump is a mainstream conservative who wants to profoundly take on the left. The left is infuriated that anybody would challenge the legitimacy of their moral superiority. And so the left goes hysterical.
But the fact is -- and you get this all these smears of Steve Bannon. Steve Bannon was a naval officer. He was a managing partner of Goldman Sachs. He was a Hollywood movie producer. The idea that somehow he represents -- I had never heard of the alt-right until the nut cakes started writing about it.
DICKERSON: But -- so your point is, it’s garbage; therefore, Donald Trump doesn’t have to deal with...
GINGRICH: Donald Trump has to be Donald Trump. And the country will organize itself around who he is.
DICKERSON: Does being Donald Trump mean keeping the Twitter account? What is your advice on that?
GINGRICH: My advice to that is to always have an editor.
DICKERSON: But still keep tweeting?
GINGRICH: No, sure. Look, it’s a technique for reaching 13 or 14 million people at no cost and gets him around “The New York Times.”
DICKERSON: What do you want to do in this administration, if anything?
GINGRICH: I want to help plan the restructuring of the federal government.
DICKERSON: And so that sounds like a domestic role.
GINGRICH: No, well, it’s the restructuring of the federal government, including State and Defense.
DICKERSON: One of the questions people had about Donald Trump is whether anyone can tell him no. Can anyone tell Donald Trump no?
GINGRICH: Oh, maybe Ivanka or Melania. I don’t know.
GINGRICH: And then I don’t -- look, this is a very strong-willed guy who has risen in remarkable ways.
He’s worth $4 billion to $10 billion. He beat 15 other people for the nomination. He beat Secretary Clinton for the presidency. He took on virtually the entire national media and beat them. He has a great deal of faith in his own instincts. And you have to say, most days, he’s more right than we were.
DICKERSON: All right, Speaker Gingrich, thanks so much for being here.
GINGRICH: Thank you.
DICKERSON: While Republicans are enjoying their victories in the House, Senate and, of course, the White House, Donald Trump’s opponents are scared, angry and vowing to never let the country forget what he said and did on the campaign trail.
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UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: We reject the president-elect!
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DICKERSON: Tens of thousands took to the streets Saturday as protests continued for a fifth day across the country.
And “Saturday Night Live” took a break from the comedy to mourn the outcome.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE”)
KATE MCKINNON, ACTRESS (singing): And even though it all went wrong, I will stand before the lord of song with nothing on my tongue but hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: But Democrats are also in for some soul-searching, looking to recapture lost ground.
As it happens, there’s a new book coming out this week offering a road map for the party, Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In.”
And its author joins us now, a familiar fixture from campaign 2016, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Welcome, Senator Sanders.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: It’s good to be with you, John.
DICKERSON: So, one of the protest anthems going on about Donald Trump is “not my president.” Is he your president?
SANDERS: He won the election. I did everything I could to see that he not become elected, but he won.
Our job now is to hold him accountable, you know? Mr. Trump claimed that he was the champion of the working class of this country. And, as you know, there are millions people who are working longer hours for low wages. They don’t have any health care. They can’t afford to send their kids to college. They can’t afford child care.
If Mr. Trump, in fact, has the courage to take on Wall Street, to take on the drug companies, to try to work forward, go forward to create a better life for working people, we will work with him on issue by issue.
But if his presidency is going to be about discrimination, if it’s going to be about scapegoating immigrants or scapegoating African-Americans or Muslims, we will oppose him vigorously.
DICKERSON: A lot of Democrats are bereft at this outcome. And it’s in the just a loss. It’s that there are people who are shaken by this. What is your message to the Democrats?
SANDERS: Our message is that we have to do a lot of rethinking and ask ourselves, how does it happen that we have a president, a U.S. Senate, a House, and most governorships around this country are controlled by people who want to give huge tax breaks to billionaires, in many instances, want to cut Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, who do not even believe in the concept, the understanding of climate change, which is virtually unanimously agreed to by the scientific community?
How does it happen that they win elections and Democrats lose? And I think what the conclusion is, is that Democrats are focused too much with a liberal elite, which is raising incredible sums of money from wealthy people in the upper middle class, but has ignored to a very significant degree the working class and the middle class and low-income people in this country.
Look, the truth is, in my view, this country is moving toward an of oligarchic form of society, where a handful of billionaires and large corporations control the economy. As a result of Citizens United, they now control our political system, where the Koch brothers and the billionaires can buy elections.
They have undue influence over the media as well. And what the Democratic Party has got to say to working people, we are on your side. You know what? We are going to take on Wall Street. We’re not going to take their money. We’re going to lower the cost of prescription drugs. We’re going to raise the minimum wage. We’re not going to be the only country, major country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee health care to all people.
You have got to make a decision which side you’re on. Democrats have got to stand with the working families of this country.
DICKERSON: How do you read the election result? Was it a failure of Hillary Clinton to turn out Democrats to reach that voice or was it a victory for Donald Trump?
SANDERS: I think it was both.
I think Speaker Gingrich is right. I think Trump has very, very good political instincts. And what he understood, which many Democrats did not, is that if you are an average American out there making $30,000 $40,000 $50,000, you’re working longer hours for low wages while almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent.
And you know what, John? You’re pissed off. You’re not happy about it. You’re seeing your jobs go the China. Your kids can’t afford to go to college. You can’t buy the medicine that you need. You’re worried to death about the future generation.
Trump tapped that anger. Now, what our job is to do is to see, what is his solutions? All right. He talked about the problems. You think throwing 20 million people off of health care is a solution to the health care crisis? Is giving hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top two-tenths of 1 percent going to be the solution to income and wealth inequality? I don’t think so.
So, our job is to say, Mr. Trump, you talked about being the champion of the working families. All right, now produce. Your rhetoric was great. Now do something. But we will not accept racism. We will not accept sexism or xenophobia.
DICKERSON: Do you think his campaign was built on that? Newt Gingrich said that idea was garbage.
SANDERS: No, I’m afraid Mr. Gingrich is wrong.
I’m not saying that’s all it was built on, but when you begin your campaign by talking about throwing 11 million people who are undocumented out of this country or building a wall with Mexico or preventing Muslims, one of the largest religions in this country, in the world, I should say, coming into this country, of course, to a large degree, it was built on that.
DICKERSON: Democrats going forward, should they pay attention to the way you ran your campaign or the way Hillary Clinton ran hers?
SANDERS: I think it’s time -- it’s not just Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It’s time to rethink whether or not the Democratic Party can simply spend so much time and energy raising money from wealthy people and putting ads on television.
What we need to do is create a grassroots movement of millions of people who want to transform this country and make it the kind of country that we know that we can have.
John, there is no rational reason why we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, no rational reason why we are the only major nation on Earth that doesn’t guarantee health care for all people. We don’t have paid family and medical leave.
Why are our kids going to see a lower standard of living than their parents? We can transform this country. We’re a wealthy country. We can do it. But we have to have the courage to stand up to the billionaire class and corporate America and Wall Street to do it.
DICKERSON: All right, Senator Sanders, we are going to take a quick break. Then we are going to be back. We will talk about your book a little bit.
So, we will be back in a moment with more from Senator Sanders. Stay with us.
DICKERSON: And we’re back with more from Senator Bernie Sanders, who is not only a former presidential candidate, but the author of “Our Revolution.”
Senator, is this the user’s manual, owner’s manual for the new Democratic revolution?
SANDERS: I think it is, John.
I mean, what I tried to do there, half of the book is talking about the campaign, why I ran for office, what we did well, what we didn’t do well. The kind of excitement that we generated all over this country. But the other half of the book basically asks the question and tries to give the answer, how do we go forward?
I am tired of watching television where you have a campaign which is about Mr. Trump’s attitude toward women vs. Hillary Clinton’s e- mails. You know what? Those are not the major issues facing America.
The middle class of this country for 40 years has been in decline, massive levels of income and wealth inequality. Why? What can we do about it? Why do we not guarantee health care to all people? How do we create a health care system that’s cost-effective and universal? What about our broken criminal justice system? Why do we have more people in jail than any other country? How do we invest in our young people, so we don’t end up in jail?
What about immigration reform? So, what that is, it says, we have to have as a nation, and the media has got to do it as well, John, a serious discussion about the serious issues facing America.
And, by the way, what astounds me -- and I hope this changes very quickly -- is we now have a president-elect who actually does not believe that climate change is real. I worry very much what this means for our kids and our grandchildren and the future of this planet.
And millions of people are going to have to tell him, Mr. Trump, you are dead wrong, and we’re going to have to transform our energy system.
DICKERSON: But are you talking about marches on Washington? Are you -- what’s the action item for a nervous Democrat out there?
SANDERS: Is to understand that, on virtually every major issue, raising the minimum wage, climate change, pay equity for women, rebuilding our infrastructure, making public colleges and universities tuition-free, we are the majority.
That is what the American people want. And the Democrats will win elections by pounding away on those issues and talking about not giving tax breaks to billionaires, undoing Citizens United, a disastrous Supreme Court decision.
So, we are the majority. And, by the way, let’s not forget Hillary Clinton did win more votes than Mr. Trump did. So pound away on the issues that bring people together, fight vigorously against all forms of bigotry.
DICKERSON: Who is the leader of the Democratic Party right now?
SANDERS: Well, in the House, it’s Nancy Pelosi. In the Senate, it is Chuck Schumer.
DICKERSON: And you’re OK with that? I mean, you think people should look to them for guidance? Or are there a lot of you?
SANDERS: I’m not into leaders.
SANDERS: I am into building a movement which transforms this country and brings people together around an agenda that works for the middle class and working families of this country.
DICKERSON: Don’t follow leaders.
The next question is, Donald Trump has talked about infrastructure, spending a lot of money getting people working again. Sounds like something you could sign on to.
SANDERS: If it is sensible infrastructure program, absolutely. Our infrastructure, roads, bridges, water systems, airports, rail, collapsing. We can put millions of people to work rebuilding the infrastructure.
DICKERSON: And when you say sensible, it sounds like he’s willing to spend a lot of money to do it, put people back to work.
SANDERS: Let’s see the details.
But, in general, rebuilding our infrastructure is absolutely imperative for this country.
DICKERSON: Is there another area where you could find common ground?
I am very proud -- look, I have been a leader in opposition to disastrous trade agreements from the first day I was in the Congress. To the best of my knowledge, the TPP is now dead. I fought it. Hillary Clinton fought it. Mr. Trump is opposed to it.
There is an area. Creating a trade policy so that corporate America starts investing in this country, not in China, yes, we can work together on that.
DICKERSON: All right, Senator Sanders, we will look forward to having you back. Thanks so much for being here with us.
And we will be back in a moment.
DICKERSON: Coming up next, what to expect in a Trump administration with “Wall Street Journal” columnist and CBS News contributor Peggy Noonan, Michael Gerson, a columnist for “The Washington Post.” Jeffrey Goldberg is editor in chief of “The Atlantic.” And Jamelle Bouie, chief political correspondent for Slate and also a CBS News political analyst.
Also, tune in to FACE THE NATION again next week for an in-depth look at the policy challenges president-elect Donald Trump will face at home and abroad.
We will be right back.
DICKERSON: Some of our CBS stations are leaving us now, but, for most of you, we will be right back with a lot more of the results of the 2016 presidential election and what’s next.
That’s next on FACE THE NATION. Stay with us.
DICKERSON: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. I’m John Dickerson.
We’re back with our politics panel. Peggy Noonan of “The Wall Street Journal,” Michael Gerson from “The Washington Post,” Jeffrey Goldberg of “The Atlantic” and “Slate’s” Jamelle Bouie.
Peggy, I want to start with you.
PEGGY NOONAN, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”: Yes.
DICKERSON: The country is split. There are -- more people voting for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump, but he’s the president. What does Donald Trump do to address that situation?
NOONAN: Oh, it’s probably always good to start out with a -- with a -- a central, yet banal, yet truthful insight like a kind word turnith away wrath, ratchet it down, be cool, be humble, be calm. I think that a lot of people will be looking at the staff members and appointees he makes over the next few weeks and trying to discern whether we see accomplished people who look like they can do this and are -- seen inherently moderate, or are -- are (ph) folks I know, or if it will be a little more unusual than that.
One of the things I think that we’ll see over the next six months say is that it’s a mistake to discount the amount of pent-up energy there is in Capitol Hill on the Republican side. They’ve got a House. They’ve got a Senate. They haven’t been able to do very much the past eight years. They haven’t been able to move too many balls forward. I think there will be a lot of reason for a lot of people on The Hill to want to work happily and closely with Donald Trump and do big things, such as Newt Gingrich was talking about, infrastructure, as everybody is. Well, heck, do a big pow on that.
NOONAN: Take a serious look at taxes. Do something big.
DICKERSON: Michael, is doing something big going to solve the aftermath of this in which you not only have Democrats who are unhappy, but there are a number of Republicans who were against Donald Trump who are now nervous and not sure?
MICHAEL GERSON, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Well, the party’s unified right now, but there is a split here. You know, some of the Trump coalition hates the Republican establishment, and some of the coalition is the Republican establishment. That’s the way you have to run a government. So it’s all sweetness and light until you start to pick personnel and start to make priority decisions on -- on governing.
Some of that might be controversial things on executive orders, for example, with the dreamers or -- and we’re going to have a Supreme Court fight almost immediately. So, yes, I think it’s fine now. Republicans are unified by victory and the prospect of 6,000 jobs, which is what the president, you know, fills. And -- but I think we’re going to see the fissures very soon in the source of the chief of staff. That’s going to send the signal, you know, are they for conciliation or are they, you know, with -- with their base?
DICKERSON: Jamelle, the -- on the one hand you have the president and Hillary Clinton and even Bernie Sanders saying, we’ll try and work with the new president. And the other hand you have people marching in the street. Where does that go from here?
JAMELLE BOUIE, “SLATE MAGAZINE”: I think this gets to the question of what President-Elect Trump can do to unify the country in the wake of this election. I think the people marching in L.A., on college campuses around the country, aren’t marching simply because Trump was a Republican president and he got elected. They’re marching because the Trump campaign is very much centered on demagogic rhetoric against immigrants, against Muslim-Americans, against black protest, against sort of America’s non-white community.
And in the wake of Trump’s elections, there have been reports across the country of intimidation, harassment and violence against those very groups. So if Trump is serious about unifying the country, if this is a thing he wants to do, then I think he needs to immediately speak against these acts of intimidation, harassment and violence that are happening to some degree in the name of the campaign that he ran.
DICKERSON: Jeffrey, what’s your take on that? I mean Newt Gingrich said those charges are garbage. They’re baloney. On the other hand, there is this feeling in the country, doesn’t -- Donald Trump is now the president of the entire country. And if he were to speak to that, as Jamelle suggests, what would that even look like?
JEFFREY GOLDBERG, “THE ATLANTIC”: Well, I mean to unify what Peggy’s saying and what Jamelle’s saying, I think, is that if there’s a -- if there’s a moment for him to speak to the country broadly, as president-elect, not as a former reality TV star, it might be on this very question. He might do something large-hearted and articulate in a very specific way. I don’t stand with the alt-right. I don’t stand with racism. I reject the support of anybody affiliated with the KKK because I believe I want to be the president of all Americans. That would be the key signal to send that would actually calm the legitimate fears of a lot of people in America, citizens and people who are not yet citizens, and certainly undocumented people that -- that this is a fundamentally different kind of presidency than anything we’ve seen before. That would be the most --
NOONAN: That would be really, really good.
BOUIE: And I think this would get the --
GERSON: Yes, and Republicans have been waiting for that pivot for a year and a half.
GOLDBERG: That’s right.
GERSON: It’s very hard to escape the practice or habits of a lifetime. And he has not been able to do so thus far.
GOLDBERG: The good thing is, is that she’s shocked now that he’s president of the United States.
GERSON: Yes, I agree (INAUDIBLE).
GOLDBERG: And that hour and a half he spent with President Obama was a fairly shocking hour and a half for him, I’m sure, on any number of levels. And maybe the pivot will come because he realizes that, I’m not a reality TV star anymore. I have -- I have this job now.
NOONAN: There are legitimate --
BOUIE: And I think the personnel decision will get to some of this, right? Two of the people in contention for chief of staff are Steven Bannon and Reince Priebus, the chair -- the chairman of the RNC. And I think if Trump chooses Steven Bannon, who is known for his associations with the website Breitbart, which is sort of a clearinghouse for these alt-right group, that will give us a sign of the kind of President Donald Trump intends to be, in the sense in which he is not aiming for any kind of unity with America’s non-white population.
NOONAN: Knock down the alt-right, show compassion and leadership towards those who are understandably nervous or even paranoid, but also deal with the fact that some people on the other side of Trump, some Democrats, some left liberal progressives, some have become quite unhinged. I was in the middle of a Trump -- an anti-Trump demonstration in Manhattan yesterday, and -- and it managed somehow to be smilingly enraged. They were having a good time, but they were enraged at the outcome of this election. Sometimes people have to be reminded, this is what democracy is. There are outcomes sometimes that you don’t like. And you can’t simply assume the worst. At a certain point you have to say, America, you made a decision. OK, we’re going to watch now and soon we will be judging.
GERSON: But it’s hard when the worst people in the country are cheering, the people with the confederate flag, the people that do anti-Semitism on Twitter, that’s difficult for a lot of people in this country. But, you know, I do think an inaugural, for example, is almost always an act of national healing. If they just go back and look at previous inaugurals back to Thomas Jefferson, healing divides. I mean that is a moment where your goal is to bring together the country in a substantive way to say that we’re united by values and more -- that are -- you know, stronger than the things that divide us. That could be a moment.
NOONAN: Yes. He may have to move sooner than that, though. That’s January.
BOUIE: And I think don’t -- and I think -- and I think part of the -- part of the problem here is that Trump’s campaign wasn’t a typical lower case d campaign in democracy. It was, in a lot of ways, ill-liberal democracy campaign. A campaign that set out sort of explicitly that some people in this country aren’t quite worth as more as other people in this country. And that -- that is the core of the -- the fear that is the core of the paranoia, if you want to call it that. That is what people are worried about. And that is what needs to be resolved.
NOONAN: We have to remember also of 60 million people roughly who voted for Donald Trump. So many of them, they are just good, honest, decent, patriotic, wanting the best. They had an insight into their -- into our system, that it was broken and it need something dramatic. They just backed something dramatic, and they hope it will work. But the -- I understand the negativity that we have all seen, but there is profound decency, too. But it’s not marching in the streets. Forgive me.
GOLDBERG: I wouldn’t deny what you just said about most of the people who voted for Trump. I would also say that to vote for Trump was to at least overlook the fact that we’re talking about someone with a record of misogyny and racist invective. And so that is what is troubling to a lot of people and that’s what makes this election, among other things, makes this election very different than others is that those good, decent people over -- at least overlooked a very, very sorry record of prejudice.
DICKERSON: Let’s switch to the Democratic Party and its challenges here in the last couple of minutes. Jamelle, what has the Democratic Party learned from this election and what does it do to fix itself?
BOUIE: I think on a tactical level what the Democratic Party has learned is that it actually needs to win over some chunk or a greater chunk of working-class whites. I mean that ultimately is where this turned. Had Hillary Clinton won 60,000 more votes between Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin, she would be president of the United States. The question is, how you go about that.
I think the choice, the likely choice of Keith Ellison as head of the DNC, Keith Ellison, congressman of Minnesota, African-American, Muslim-American, but also a member of the Democratic (INAUDIBLE) Labour Party in Minnesota, a strong populist, is giving you a sense of where the party may go in this direction. Kind of a commitment to its -- it’s multiculturalism. A commitment to its social inclusion. But also a greater commitment to a kind of economic populace and that might be able to reach these voters.
DICKERSON: Michael, what’s your take on -- do they become the party of opposition? I remember Mitch McConnell saying that, you know, keeping Barack Obama to be a one-term president was his goal. Is that the better organizing principal, or have the Democrats really lost the theme and need to sell something positive?
GERSON: Well, they don’t have a lot of levers and they do need to wait for mistakes and wait for overreach, which often happens in new administrations. So I think they need to do this. But they do have a choice. They have a Sanders’ model, a kind of left-wing economic populism. They have a Biden model, which is a much more outreach the white Catholics and union workers and a more traditional Democratic constituency. Or they have just someone who could actually implement the Obama model, the Obama coalition, which Hillary Clinton tried and could not get out the votes to do. But another candidate might be able to. This is the coalition of the ascended (ph). They’re not yesterday ascended. They will eventually be ascended. I don’t think that model is a discredited model.
NOONAN: I just think it’s amazing that one year ago and 18 amongst ago the subject at this table was the break-up of the Republican Party. It is shattering. It is breaking in two. It’s lost everything. The --
GOLDBERG: Also last week it was the discussion, frankly, at this table.
NOONAN: Fair enough.
GOLDBERG: (INAUDIBLE) ago.
NOONAN: And now it has turned and we’re talking about the breakup of the Democratic Party. There’s no deep bench. They can’t win here. They can’t do this. They’ve lost here. The Obama coalition didn’t turn out. Why working class doesn’t like them. This is an amazing flip on expectations.
DICKERSON: Although the Sanders campaign was evidence of all of that, it’s just --
NOONAN: Well, yes. And part of the whole -- yes, but they didn’t go down that road.
GERSON: But, unfortunately --
DICKERSON: We have to go at this point, but, fortunately, we’ve got lots to talk about in the future weeks and we’ll look forward to having all of you here for that.
But for the moment, we’ve got to go. We’ll be right back in a moment.
DICKERSON: We’re back now with the seven CBS News 2016 campaign embeds, the wonderful journalists who have covered every moment of this campaign.
Sopan Deb covered Donald Trump. Hannah Fraser-Chanpong was with the Clinton campaign. Erica Brown followed Senator Tim Kaine, Chris Christie and John Kasich. Jacqueline Alemany was based in New Hampshire and then Ohio. Kylie Atwood was based in Iowa during the primaries and also covered Senator Bernie Sanders. Sean Gallitz was embedded with senator Marco Rubio and then covered the battleground state of North Carolina. And Alan He covered Governor Mike Pence and Jeb Bush.
Erica, let me start with you, but I’m going to ask all of you this question, which is, if there’s a story from the road, was there a moment for you that sticks out?
ERICA BROWN, CBS NEWS DIGITAL JOURNALIST: There was a moment, and it was a personal moment. It was in New Hampshire before the primary. There was a really bad snowstorm. And the snow was accumulating so quickly. And I was driving. And I got very nervous. And as I was turning the corner, it seemed in slow motion, my car started to veer into a ditch. And it got stuck. And there were five gentlemen riding in a tow truck who drove past me. They stopped, came back. They started digging out my car. And I immediately got out and I said, wait, I need to know how much this is going to cost me first before you guys continue because I don’t know if we can afford this. And they said, you know, the cost is for you to do something nice for someone else.
ALAN HE, CBS NEWS DIGITAL JOURNALIST: The thing that sticks out to me was on the last day of the campaign. It’s 8:00 at night. We just landed in Manchester, New Hampshire. Mike Pence gets on the P.A. system on the airplane, and he thanks the staff, he thanks the Secret Service, he thanks the airplane crew, and then he goes ahead and thanks the reporters for telling the story of the vice presidential campaign. And then 20 minutes later, we’re in this rally, this joint rally with Donald Trump and Mike Pence, and then Donald Trump comes on stage and calls us the most dishonest people. And it could not be a more jarring experience.
DICKERSON: What did you -- what did you learn about this country, about who the voters are?
Hannah, we’ll start with you.
HANNAH FRASER-CHANPONG, CBS NEWS DIGITAL JOURNALIST: I think most of the people who I met covering Hillary Clinton at her events were true believers. But there were moments on the campaign trail where she met voters who, you know, weren’t going to support her or -- or who were not sure if they wanted to.
When we went to West Virginia, she had a very memorable exchange with a man who worked in a coal mine, and he had lost his job. And I remember when we pulled up to that event, there were a lot of Trump supporters outside who were protesting. It was raining, but they were still out there. They were waiting for her and they were angry.
And when we were inside, this man told her, you know, I represent those people outside. And I’m not sure how you can come here and tell us that you’re going to be our friend. And it was just a really telling moment that I think really held up in the end.
DICKERSON: Sopan, and you were in some pretty rough stays (ph), you know, from time to time covering Donald Trump.
SOPAN DEB, CBS NEWS DIGITAL JOURNALIST: What always struck me about Trump rallies was, they weren’t rallies as much as they were concerts. You know, he’d come on stage. You’d be in these amphitheaters and (INAUDIBLE). And it doesn’t matter what venue, he’d always start out by saying, “wow. Look at this crowd. It’s record sending.” And it doesn’t matter whether they’re -- you know, we were in a coffee shop or not, he said there are thousands of people outside waiting to get in.
But in terms of the people, what always struck me was, there -- there almost was a -- they want -- you know, I felt like Trump supporters really wanted change, but a change back, not a change forward, which is kind of the, you know, make America great again, right? And so I always felt, you know, there was a fear of the change that was happening in the country already, and they wanted to change it back.
KYLIE ATWOOD, CBS NEWS DIGITAL JOURNALIST: I think for me, as I -- as I talked to people at the different candidate events, it was clear that Americans take politics very personally. And I guess that was something that was new as a reporter who had covered politics more Washington centric politics, if you will. But talking to people was my favorite part of this job, because they have stories they want to tell you.
SEAN GALLITZ, CBS NEWS DIGITAL JOURNALIST: I mean I think we all know this has been a pretty divisive election. I had a week where I covered like a Bernie Sanders event on Wednesday, Ted Cruz on Thursday, Bill Clinton on Friday, back to back, and like what I’ll never forget, especially coming like a Sanders campaign rally and a Ted Cruz rally, they weren’t talking to the same country I felt like. There was -- there was no commonality in their messaging or what they were talking about. They were painting very different pictures, and I think we’re seeing some of the -- some of the aftereffects of that in some ways.
DICKERSON: So, Alan, you were with Governor Pence when the video comes out about Donald Trump on the bus with Billy Bush and those remarks. What was it like in those moments of -- I mean what happens to a campaign in a low moment and how did the candidates respond?
HE: For the reporters covering the campaign, it felt like the campaign was in a death throw (ph). But, you know, we -- that day we went up to the rope line, which you’re not supposed to do, and we asked Mike Pence, you know, what’s your reaction? What’s your reaction? And he didn’t respond. And then he just walked away.
DICKERSON: And, Hannah, what was it like on the -- when the -- when the Comey letter came out?
FRASER-CHANPONG: Yes. We were on the campaign plane flying to Cedar Rapids the day that James Comey sent his letter to The Hill saying he was looking at something new. And we had no wi-fi on the plane. And then suddenly a reporter, who somehow got a tweet or something came up on his phone and he was like, um, you know, have you seen this? And, you know, all the campaign sort of disappear and -- into their cabin and consult about it. And when we landed, it was sort of unclear whether or not, you know, the candidate knew that this was happening.
But the day sort of carried on like it was a completely normal day. We went to the event. Hillary Clinton did the event. She didn’t mention it at all. And then, by the end of the day, they decided to respond, and they responded pretty forcefully to -- to Comey and -- and she had a little press conference and, you know, where she’s followed by press calls and press releases and all this, but it was -- it was a really, sort of weird day.
JACQUELINE ALEMANY, CBS NEWS DIGITAL JOURNALIST: Then you have the low moments, though. What was amazing to me amongst Trump supporters was that there were never any low moments despite the media narrative.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that’s right.
ALEMANY: I went to a -- the watch -- a watch party in Parma for -- hosted by a group of Trump supporters after the lewd tape had come out, the “Access Hollywood” tape. And people were cheering and hooting and hollering the entire time and walked away, you know, that Donald Trump blew -- blew us away. He won hands down. That was it. You know, it was a completely different narrative. And I don’t think Trump supporters lost faith once throughout this whole thing.
DEB: No. No. And the most shocking moment for me on the campaign trail was before a debate, I was, along with a small -- the pool -- the pool reporters, we were going we were going to get -- you’re going to get a five-minute photo op with Trump preparing for the debate. And then we walk in and -- and my jaw just drops. It’s Trump --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There’s a picture of it. I’ve seen that picture in your face.
DEB: It’s trump with -- with Clinton accusers of sexual -- alleged sexual misconduct. And you see -- I’m on the live stream. Donald Trump is live streaming the reaction of the reporters as they’re walking in. You could see me and you could see me kind of walk in and go. It was truly one of the most shocking moments of the campaign or probably that I’ve ever seen.
DICKERSON: We’ll talk more about campaign 2016 with our panel after the break.
DICKERSON: With our campaign reporters talking about surprising moments on the campaign trail.
BROWN: I think the moment I got to play ski ball with Ben Carson was surprising.
DICKERSON: And how is he as a ski ballplayer?
BROWN: I beat him by 3,000 points.
DICKERSON: Is that a lot or a little in ski ball?
BROWN: That’s in between. Medium. Because Dr. Carson wasn’t the most accessible in terms of getting beneath the surface. He would hold gaggles often, but we never quite knew what it would be like around him off of the campaign trail just to kind of get a sense of how he was as a person.
DEB: To Erica’s point, when I first started this job, I pictured this similar reactions from candidates. I never got to know Donald Trump. I covered him since pretty much the beginning of his candidacy. A lot of his surrogates talk about it. There’s this Donald Trump, there’s this private Donald Trump, this charming, disarming guy that is not the combative person they see at rallies and in interviews. I only saw the combative person because he never -- he never gave us any access. He never talked to us. He never -- you know, I’d be surprised if he knew the names of anybody in his traveling press.
DICKERSON: Why would anybody want to be an imbed?
BROWN: Oh, my gosh. Being an inbed grows you tremendously as a journalist. You get to interact with so many voters and learn about what makes this country unique, what makes people want to come here and what some of the -- some of the concerns are with people who lived here and who have families here and who want to be constructive members of society.
DEB: On top of learning about America and the people, being away from friends and family for a year and a half, you also learn a lot about yourself.
GALLITZ: This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically, emotionally, psychologically. I mean, this job tests you in ways you didn’t think were possible. And you learn, like Sopan said, a lot about yourself and what you’re actually capable of, whether you think you can stay awake for 36 straight hours and, you know, travel the way we did and everything else. But there’s also the hotel points and --
BROWN: And airline miles.
GALLITZ: All of that kind of stuff, which is not a bad perk, so --
DICKERSON: The Courtyard Marriott.
GALLITZ: Yes. I mean --
DEB: I was wondering who would say that.
ATWOOD: I mean, they’ve all said it. I think it’s -- you are on the front lines of history in the most -- in the most beautiful way. I mean you see it. You eat it. You live it. You breathe it. I mean, I -- I never thought that I would have such an understanding of like the fabric of America.
DICKERSON: Well, as someone who read all of your work and profited from it and also somebody who once did what you do, I couldn’t have done it half as well as you all did, and we are incredibly grateful for your energy, for what you taught us and for that fact that you reminded us that there is joy in covering these races and in this incredible American experience that is an election. There was not a lot of joy at times in this campaign, and so thanks for bringing some of it back into our lives.
ATWOOD: Thank you.
ALEMANY: Thank you.
DICKERSON: And we’ll be right back.
DICKERSON: We want to say congratulations and thank you today to veteran CBS News correspondent Bill Plante. Bill’s career has taken him all over the world, to unprecedented heights and into the most powerful rooms in Washington. As a young reporter, he covered the civil rights movement, interviewing Martin Luther King during the historic march from Selma to Montgomery. And he covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama.
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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Bill Plante? No? Bill’s not here? That’s shocking.
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DICKERSON: Bill, it’s hard for us to imagine CBS News without you. No one does it better, and you’ll be missed.
Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I’m John Dickerson.
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