This discussion is one segment of a multi-part series centered around the 2020 Presidential Election.
Interviews have been transcribed from a digital roundtable that took place on 11/19 that included panelists, Democratic pollsters, and WINS team members Bernard Whitman and Matt McDermott. The roundtable was moderated by Scott Kotchko.
SCOTT: As part of the roundtable, we’ve asked friends, colleagues, co-workers, and clients to submit questions for you gentlemen. We promised anonymity. Here they are…
MAILBAG Q1: How will Trump continue to impact the country and the Republican Party, even after he’s out of office? Will he ever go away?
BERNARD: Upon his death, he will go away. Or when his insanity just boils over. But look, realistically, he’s going to start a media empire and try to kill Fox News and have direct conversations with his millions and millions of legions of sycophantic fans.
MATT: The Republicans wanted the party of Trump. They’ve got the party of Trump.
MAILBAG Q2: If the Democrats win the run-offs in Georgia, should Biden still put any Republicans in his cabinet?
MAILBAG Q3: What does the Democratic party’s refusal to support and elevate the progressive wing mean for the future of the party?
BERNARD: I disagree with the assumption bias in this question!
MATT: I’m firmly of the belief that these last few election cycles have proven that we are a left of center country and should have a government that reflects it.
Hopefully, that answers the question.
MAILBAG Q4: What can we plan to expect if Trump totally refuses to participate in the transition? And what can Biden do to restore faith in democratic process, if Trump keeps claiming he won?
BERNARD: Well, I think Trump has already shown that he’s not participating in the transition process. The transition is going ahead anyhow. And if he keeps on claiming he won, he’ll be in for a rude awakening about 12:01 on January 20th of next year.
MATT: Yes, Joe Biden will be the President. And he will be inaugurated on the 20th. And he will enter into the White House shortly thereafter. I think I’ll sort of answer with a slightly different perspective, which is, the challenge for Republicans is that by sowing this much cynicism into the process, they really do challenge themselves in turning out these voters that they need.
Not only in the Georgia election coming up, but in elections moving forward.
If the Republican message is that the process isn’t balanced and fair, their voters aren’t going to participate in that process, and they need them to.
MAILBAG Q5: What do you make of these career Republicans—not career politicians, but Republican stalwarts, the Mitch McConnell’s of the world, Lindsey Graham’s of the world, backing Donald Trump instead of supporting our country’s democratic decision to elect Joe Biden?
What does that say about the Republican Party?
BERNARD: Look, I think it’s disgusting. And it’s not limited to Lindsey Graham or the people that you mentioned.
It’s literally almost to a person, Republicans over the last four years have been afraid to get even a degree outside of Trump’s shadow.
It is a disgusting abrogation of the responsibility to their constituents, to the country and to democracy.
And I hope to god they pay a price. I worry that they won’t, but their blind allegiance to someone who essentially is a fascist, megalomaniac who has driven this country into the ground and divided us like nothing else, is not to be excused, not to be believed.
And I still, to this day, am flabbergasted by it.
MATT: My half glass full take on this is that there is one benefit of the Trump years in that it has brought what was long in the shadows into the light.
The Republican Party has always been a party of deceit, corruption, and disinformation. This is is the party that ran the Willie Horton ads 30 years ago. The party that spent the entirety of the Obama administration saying he wasn’t born in America. This is what the Republican Party is folks! I’m glad you’re all arriving at this show now in the year 2020!
And look, they are able to ring a minority of voters in this country into a mere majority given the systems that exist.
And I hope we as Democrats are able to rationalize to the actual majority, that this is not who we are as a country and we deserve better.