tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 6, 2015 6:00am-7:01am EST
>> this week on "q&a," john bresnahan and manu raju share stories about mitch mcconnell, at the first one a republican primary and then won the general election. >> this experiment of government has lasted long enough. [applause] it is time to go in a new direction. [applause] it is time to turn this country around. [cheering & applause]
>> manu raju, when you interviewed mitch mcconnell, what was he like? >> it was the most complex race of a 30 year career. he was attacked -- right off the bat, he had his first primary challenge. he had democrats that made him the top target. he knew that going in. mcconnell is a guy who looks around corners, and he had planned for four years this campaign. that started in 2010, right after he saw what happened at the republican primary at rand paul. rand paul beat mcconnell's handpicked guy in that primary. mcconnell realized, i have to recalibrate everything i know about republican primary politics in my home state. he started to make changes and hired key staff and started to build a very sophisticated
infrastructure, knowing this would be the most difficult race in his campaign. he said to me, this is the most complex challenge i've ever had to deal with. and he won big. >> we're going to talk about mitch mcconnell for the hour and what he is like as a leader. when you see him up close, what is he like compared to what we see on a national basis? >> he is very, very smart. very intelligent. he knows what he is talking about in terms of policy politics. he is exceptionally bright. he is a tactician, very sharp. you can never get him to say anything he doesn't want to say. i don't care how many ways you ask him. if he doesn't want to say it he is not going to say it. he is funnier than people think. he is more personable and
charming. he is never going to be warm and friendly. >> backslapper. >> that is not his style. he will tell you what he feels and what he thinks but he is going to do it on his terms about what he wants to say and how he wants to say it. he is a very precise man. this was a precision race that he ran. >> you guys wrote an article back in november. one of the things you have any is that he could have spent as much as $50 million? >> he was preparing for that and by the end of it, with the outside groups, and probably exceeded that on the republican side. there was a republican outside group, kentuckians for strong leadership, which ended up pummeling the airwaves with attack ads against alison grimes.
what that allowed mcconnell to do was run a very -- a series of very focused ads that highlighted the positive side of mitch mcconnell. this is a guy who had a lousy approval rating back home, low 40's to high 30's for much of the campaign, and you realize you need to turn that around. these outside groups dumped millions on the air. it allowed him to spend a lot of his ads on promoting the good parts of mitch mcconnell's career. that helped improve his image or at least stabilize his image. alison grimes became less popular than him by the end of the campaign, which was a stunning the. >> stunning turnaround. another thing about mcconnell -- he had a first draft of his campaign plan in 2010. they knew they were going to spend a lot of money in
technology. they had watched the obama campaign in 2008 in 2012. they had watched harry reid's election in 2010. he was going to have the latest technology. he said he was going to build the most thorough senate campaign ever. he probably got there. he built a very impressive campaign operation. there was data mining, identifying target groups, they had to be -- they had to know which voters they wanted to go after. they had a broken down by geography and region and everything. this was a presidential caliber
campaign running for a senate race. >> here is an ad that was run by the mcconnell campaign against his opponent. tom bevin -- who was he? >> he was a businessman, very wealthy, he had a belt manufacturing business in connecticut. the mcconnell people were looking for any possible primary opponent for months. they were going to keep party meetings. they were befriending a lot of be potential folks and convincing them to get out of the race before they ran. they started to hear about -- who was this guy? they did an extensive opposition research months before he got
into the campaign. months before he got into the campaign he was already a hit with negative -- there was already a hit with negative press accounts. they had already prepared an attack ad, which they showed it to bevan's top consultants. they said, if you get in this race we are going to hit him. >> bevin's business has not paid taxes, and his company was the number one tax delinquent. this company failed to pay taxes, then got a taxpayer bailout. not a kentucky conservative. >> bevin was dishonest about his resume, claiming to graduate from m.i.t. -- not true. he never attended m.i.t. and m.i.t. has no record of bevin. not a kentucky conservative.
>> by mitch mcconnell and i approve this message. >> it is hard, it is direct. you are going after bevin's strings. he is claiming to be this conservative alternative to mcconnell and you are raising doubts about his integrity. another story -- we had said bevin claimed he was against the wall street bailout but he was actually for it. they knew exactly what they were going to use against him and they did. they even told him, we are going to run these ads. >> i would add that what was remarkable about it is that it came up the day he announced he was going to run. there was a statewide ad going
after bevin. no one had even heard of matt bevin, but they were going after him on day one. >> how badly did he beat bevin? >> 60%-30%. >> they claim this was a good margin because bevin spent $5 million on this campaign, and he was supported by outside groups. >> in your article, you say that mitch mcconnell spent $2 million of his own money. you say you came here as an intern in college and worked for senator and then went back and did the same thing. where does he get his money? >> he has made some money over the years but also his wife came from a wealthy family.
>> an inheritor. >> her father is a big shipping executive. a very wealthy man. >> that was one of the attacks that grimes launched against mcconnell and it really got under his skin. he hated that attack. he thought it was so unfair, so much so that they did a focus group to push back on it. one of them was showing him shopping at kroger's, driving around in his mercury. to show that hey, i am just a regular guy. but he decided not to do this because the focus group couldn't believe it. >> here is a mcconnell add and obama ad.
let's talk about how he used the president. >> the president of the united states. >> don't tell me words don't matter. >> the president ostroff is to unite the country, to bridge differences, not aggravate them. to encourage success, not condemn it. the president seems to have forgotten that he was elected to lead all of america, at a moment when the national debt makes us look more like a third world country. i think our highest elected official should be looking for solutions instead of scapegoats. americans expect their president to forge ahead and take responsibility for the policies in place. ♪
>> john bresnahan, all kinds of little things popping out. >> i like that mohammed ali was in there. mcconnell has a fascinating relationship with the president. he respect him, but he has told him before, once in a private meeting, that obama lost 104 out of 120 counties in kentucky. sorry, 116 out of 120. he is not popular in kentucky. whoever he ran against, he was going to tie obama to it. he did a very good job of tying obama to alison grimes.
toward the end she exacerbated all her comments on whether she voted for obama. but he did a very good job -- he made obama and obamacare, which has been a success in kentucky he made them key issues in the race. >> senator mcconnell is 72 and alison grimes was 35. without overstating it, mitch mcconnell is not a matinee idol. she is a smart, attractive -- what does it say in the age of television that he not only be turbot beat her badly? >> she was never able to define herself. people who are watching this race -- it was not exactly clear what she stood for, what she believed. she didn't come across as an authentic candidate. she was very cautious, very disciplined, and tried hard to distance yourself from the
president and make the race all about attacking mcconnell. everything was about mcconnell being in washington for too long, the guardian of gridlock all the things mcconnell didn't like about mcconnell -- she was going far on that. but if you do that, you can probably get 40%-45% -- but how do you get that last 6% to push you over the top? >> she was never able to say that i am not mitch mcconnell. there is a second half of the equation. you can run against somebody and mitt romney suffered the same problem with obama. i am not obama, but you have to answer the second part. voters are not stupid. they understand -- you are not mitch mcconnell -- who are you and what are you going to do?
>> how long have you two been with politico? >> i joined in 2008. just over six years. >> i am an original. i was hired december, 2006. i was there when political started in 2007. >> somebody far away from washington, d.c. can get politico where? >> online. we have a newspaper that is circulated but mostly that is washington. >> we are owned -- he was a tv executive. his father owned some tv companies and stations. they have sold that now, so he owns politico. we own "capital new york." we are opening politico europe.
>> back to alison grimes. in your article that you wrote you talk about the family's relationship to the clintons. who is she, by the way? do you know where she went to school? >> american university law school. her father was a longtime state party chairman, a member of the state assembly from lexington. they have long-standing roots in kentucky democratic politics. that is how he got close to bill clinton. when he was governor in arkansas they came up with a friendship. with bill clinton ran for president, he was very helpful in those two campaigns for president, and he also ran hillary clinton's kentucky campaign. this is a long-standing relationship, and they lean on
the clintons hard. they played a large, outside role in alison grimes's campaign. he helped and a lot of the key decision-making. >> staffing. >> he was involved in almost every single decision. >> what about the backtalk on the difference -- she seems to be in touch with harry reid. the political operatives here in town -- explain how that works. >> there were a lot of questions about whether -- who was going to be the opponent for mcconnell. they, themselves, did not have her initially on the upper tier. they respected her but she was not an issue. they had other opponents. when she was going to get in she was recruited heavily by reid, and other democrats.
they recruited her hard. >> jeffrey katzenberg. >> stop for a second -- jeffrey katzenberg's name has popped up all the time. he is not a political guy. >> he is a rich donor. >> he starts your fundraising -- >> she and her father met with katzenberg. he works for dreamworks. he is the founder of that. a very wealthy movie mogul worth hundreds of millions of dollars. there was talk that katzenberg was going to release $20 million to counter any republicans. they met with katzenberg before she became a candidate.
she wasn't a candidate and they had to have a discussion. katzenberg and the folks who wanted to shake mcconnell -- liberal democrats hate mitch mcconnell, no question, they were going to get him. >> grimes was very -- these outside groups would get her money. before she got in there was a very aggressive push by both her father -- to line up fundraisers and make sure the majority pack would not leave her hanging, they wanted to make that clear. it shows just how cautious of a candidate she was. super cautious on the campaign trail and before.
she did not want to take the risk if there was a chance the democrats would abandon her. >> she initially told reid i am not running. so they panic. they get her on the phone and she goes into a meeting with her supporters and comes back out and she is running. there was this disconnect -- she was a very well-respected executive director. it is -- the republicans have their own version. >> when we see the president allow for fundraisers, does he raise money -- >> he raises money for the house and senate democrats who have their own campaign committees. house republicans have their own, senate republicans.
>> how much can they contribute to any campaign? >> there is only so much they can spend in a coordinated manner but they can spend on their own, an independent expenditure effort. they cannot coordinate. they can't say we are running this ad here, you run that at. >> let's look at this clip. >> the first question to you is why are you reluctant to give an answer on whether or not you voted for president obama? >> there is no reluctantly. this is a matter of principle. our constitution grants the constitutional right for privacy at the ballot box. you have that right, i have that right, every kentuckian as that right. i am tasked with overseeing and
making sure we are enforcing all of our election laws. i have worked very closely with members of our military to ensure the privacy at the ballot box. >> so your reluctance is a matter of principle? >> i am not going to compromise a constitutional right provided here in kentucky in order to show myself on one side. i will protect that right for every kentuckian. >> who do you think advised her to do that? >> after the election, we were trying to figure that out. there were fingers pointed at who said what. everybody denied it was them. i assume she did discuss this with her pollster and father. it was a curious decision because, of course she voted for obama, she was a delegate for him.
she was at the convention. she could have come up with a better answer. i interviewed her in january and asked her a similar question -- would you vote for barack obama again? she said to me at the time, you are factually mistaken and launch and do some speech about something else. then i said, what do you mean? for months, she was not saying who she voted for. at that critical juncture in october, she became part of a national punchline. >> the thing is i have had democrats on the hill say to me they were flabbergasted that she would say something like this, because of course she voted for obama. you are going to be hit with obama no matter if you are a democrat.
she could have voted for mccain or romney -- >> she said she voted for hillary clinton. she supported bill clinton on the campaign trail. she doesn't want to talk about it but in another way she does -- it didn't make any sense. you could have come up with any answer better than that one. >> it was a gift for mcconnell. i was surprised he didn't start laughing in the middle that debate. it was a gift. you are making yourself the issue. i have talked to some african-american workers who are flabbergasted -- why wouldn't you say you voted for obama? they were really upset with her. >> i voted for obama but, you know -- >> this is not the barack obama
i voted for, she could have done a lot with it. >> mitch mcconnell had 70 different ads. >> he tried to be hyper local. a lot of these were targeted to individual media markets. eastern kentucky on the coal issue, western kentucky on rural issues. helping workers involved with radiation -- this was a very highly sophisticated effort. one of the reasons he did this -- the era of your marks are gone. mitch mcconnell used to run a point barrel project. now those are gone. >> those are really gone? >> they are gone on capitol hill.
>> you can't claim credit for his spending your marks. >> republicans banned it. >> mcconnell was smart enough to look down the road and see -- this is how you win election. he helped deliver kentucky. >> he did a news conference the day after the election and he was standing in the mcconnell center. corporate donors -- >> there was some initial money but it was mainly in corporate donors. >> let's bring this back to what people see on our network. here is harry reid and mitch mcconnell. they are in a debate, a chat on the floor of the senate. i want you to tell me the difference.
>> republicans stall, delay, obstruct, and then we have a vote here. their only purpose for the delay is for delay purposes. they are obstructing this as they have obstructed everything the last five years. >> that the majority leader doesn't like the way it is working i would recommend he change his behavior. we don't have a rules problem we had a behavior problem. we have had a couple of examples of trying to get back to normal where we brought up the bill that was open for amendments. amendments were processed. but it seems of late we are back into the old senate. all we are about is scoring partisan points and denying members the opportunity to offer amendments. >> i am a patient man. i try to be. my friend, to come here and have
the audacity to talk about my grace in my word, the trouble with that statement as we have the whole senate to see what happened. >> i think i can safely say that most of the people don't get it. they wash this and i say, they are with each other every day. explain it. >> there is a certain amount of theatrics that goes into being the majority and minority leaders. the rule of thumb is the more combative the language, the closer they are to a deal. in this case, they are a lot alike. they are around the same age reid came from very humble origins, a very troubled background, very poor.
mcconnell suffered from polio and overcame that. he was ill often. they worked their way up, they both were state officials first. they were both extraordinarily proud of their state. that is where they cut their teeth. they were both very good at doing the dirty jobs in the senate in order to gain leadership. >> what we have seen in this past year is that their relationship has soured. we made mcconnell a top target. they made in the number one race. they spent millions, and mcconnell knew all this, and that really hurt the relationship on the floor. he thinks mcconnell has really
prevented him from doing anything on the senate floor. that was what that argument was. things got so bad they needed an intermediary to talk to one another. things were getting pretty tense during the election season. that is going to be a big question in the new congress. >> over the years, they have had a pretty decent relationship with all the public dueling. privately, they could talk and work things out. >> reid tends to talk a lot about everything that is on his mind. mcconnell gives nothing away. >> correct me if i am wrong, but mitch mcconnell got 800,600 votes. that is a 16 point lead. that $60 a vote.
>> another point you raise -- you need to go back to 2004. the republicans made a big effort. the republican leader went to south dakota and campaigned -- which was a huge violation of an unwritten etiquette -- leaders did not campaign. they didn't have races and never campaigned, it was unprecedented that the republican leader went to a democratic city -- when reid ran in 2010, they made a big effort.
mcconnell knew that he was going to be a top target because he was unpopular. there was still significant democratic support in kentucky. obama was a popular but there were democratic voters down there. he knew there would -- somebody would attack him for being in the senate for this long. the public was clearly unhappy. he wasn't sure how it was going to play. he was prepared for anything that is mitch mcconnell. when reid ran they didn't leave any stone unturned. he looked to reid's campaign.
>> which one is meaner? [laughter] >> they both can be kind of curt. >> why do each of their party members like them? >> they really respect them. i don't know if they are loved by their caucuses but they are definitely respected. >> they will do the job. mcconnell had two terms as the campaign chairman. >> they take arrows for their caucus. >> they have done the dirty
jobs. >> mcconnell did not take any money from them -- he asked them not to spend money on his race. he led them attack him. he said, if you want to attack me, fine. that kind of stuff really helps you. >> let me show an ad from 1984. he had just won his sixth term. the famous bloodhounds. i want you guys to explain this. >> my job was to find him and get him back to work. he was missing big house on social security, budgets agriculture, skipping votes and making an extra $50,000 giving speeches. i was close.
we can't find him. maybe we have to let them make speeches at switch to mitch. >> awesome. >> they had two versions of that ad. to turn around that race, it looks like he was going to lose. he does those hard-hitting attacking ads. he also has those funny ads that are humorous but negative and those seem to work. when alison grimes went on the air with a shotgun and showed i am not barack obama -- what they decided to do is, that looks
like barack obama when he shot his shotgun. they ran an ad the next day comparing obama to grimes and it was done in a humorous way. >> here is a humorous ad from mitch mcconnell. >> a lot of people try to tell me -- >> that sounds dangerous. >> hey, mitch. >> that has been done before. that is not going to work. maybe it is enough to say mitch fights for kentucky. >> how big a sense of humor does he really have? >> he has a dry sense of humor. he is a funny guy. he is a fanatical sports fan.
his dream job would be athletic director. he knew his stats. he has watched every game, he knows his football. >> and he takes it personally. got into a big fight with a democrat over conference realignment between their respective alma maters. they yelled at each other on the senate floor. >> why did you to come to washington? >> i moved down here in 1989. i was looking to change up from new york. >> what was the draw? the politics draw.
>> it was by accident, to be perfectly honest. i ran copy, i was a part-time copy clerk. i fell into politics by accident. >> you? >> family reasons. we relocated to the area. >> where did you guys go to school? >> new york, state university. >> wisconsin madison. >> a producer of this program did an interview with mitch mcconnell couple years ago. it has never aired. it will be aired on our american history tv channel. but i wanted to to run it because he is not talking about the day-to-day politics -- he is talking about one of his idols.
>> henry clay was kentucky's most famous statesman. he ran for president three times, never made it. after which he declared he would rather be right than president. he didn't say that earlier in his life while he was still trying to be president. many people felt clay was the great compromiser. he had been involved in a compromise in 1820 that involved an admission of new states and whether they would be slave or free, which kicked off a great debate here in congress over slavery. he somehow managed to reconcile the differences. 30 years later, toward the end of his life, it was the compromise of 1850 upon which i did my senior thesis in college. >> compromise. any difference in mitch mcconnell's ability to compromise versus harry reid?
>> that is the big question. i think he is in a very difficult spot. this is going to test his political skill. it is going to be 46 democrats. he needs a six democrats to pass any legislation. he has to balances competing interests, which is not just conservatives running for president, but blue state republicans who are up for reelection. he will have to balance those interests, get democratic support, keep the conservative house at bay, and get the democratic president to sign something. we will have to see how much he digs in, or how much he tries to play in the middle.
>> on the personal side, if you were a young person watching this and you see mitch mcconnell with the thesis in college about henry clay. then he came here as an intern. then he went to work for his senator. followed him, because he was a judge in jefferson county. he has been here for 30 years. what does it say to people that want to get into politics? >> in the piece he talks a lot about clay. mcconnell understands his place in history. he knows the history of the state as well as anyone. he will no county voting patterns going back decades. he can rattle it off. it is pretty amazing. he knows where he is.
he knows he is the longest-serving senator in kentucky history. >> a democrat is the governor of kentucky. >> he is very much aware of that. he is constantly thinking about his place in his state's politics. >> he can help enact big tax reforms. >> there is more from the interview. >> it is important that there be a place in the legislative process where things are fought over, where things are rarely done on a purely partisan basis. it almost always takes some kind of bipartisan buy-in to do something.
it is an institution that moves things to the political center. >> it is interesting. he came up as an appropriator. appropriators, they spread money around, but they would get big votes. you cannot but guys like ted stevens, famous chairmen. this is where he cut his teeth. >> the difference between an appropriator -- >> and an authorizer. >> they have the earmark, they could spend back home.
they could run on those pet projects. earmarks are going away, funding levels are decreasing. you could ask any member, they would still be on the ways and means committee. >> let's go back to the campaign again. how did he raise his money? >> he has a long time aide, but he travels all around the country. he goes to new york, spends a lot of time with wall street donors, washington donors. >> corporations. >> corporate pac's came out baked, folks who knew they could not cross the incoming majority leader.
they would be placing a wrong that on a guy who would pay very close attention. >> we did a story about how mcconnell was always raising money. >> to say in this article that it was hard for his competitor tom bevin, to hire someone to raise money for him because people didn't want that on their resume. >> if you are a republican consultant working for his primary poll -- mitch mcconnell -- >> i asked him that directly. he said to me, well, i don't think you'd want that on your resume, do you? if you want to go broke for matt bevin -- >> any democratic or republican senator or house member -- >> here is an ad about a kidnapped child that was run in
the campaign. let's run it and you explain how this happened. >> you don't know how important a senator's experiences until your child's life is on the line. in 2011, after a dark period in my life, my marriage ended. my husband adopted my daughter and took her to mali. i reached out to senator mcconnell and he took it up personally. i can't even talk about him without getting emotional. he cares, he cared about me and my children. he let it be known that this little kentucky and needed to come home. senator mcconnell worked with our state department and the government to hold him accountable. when we won our fight, he met us at the airport.
we turned despair into joy. i never stopped fighting for my daughter and mitch never stopped fighting for us. >> we know the cynics watching this are saying -- this is so political. >> it is an extremely powerful ad. the story is true. they contacted his office, and what she said happened. her daughter had been kidnapped by her estranged husband. she reached out to mcconnel's office and he worked on this issue. when he was running for reelection, he didn't have earmarks. so they spent a lot of time going through casework files of kentuckians they helped. they found her, they asked her if she would be part of the ad.
>> on election night -- >> he gave a discerning campaign speech too. he said, i have been all over the state. he said, that rarely happens for a positive ad, people come up and ask about it. this one in particular struck a chord. it was important because of what we talked about earlier. he was very unpopular back home. this approval rating had not been great. how do you do that? how you promote things that make you look better? this was a very powerful episode about a woman who was an obama supporter who agreed -- she was a big surrogate. she cut several ads for him. >> explain -- in your article, you talk about at the beginning
of the campaign they had targeted 1.2 million people in the state they figured were going to vote, and they went door-to-door for 1.1 million of those. who went door-to-door? >> the kansas campaign and the kentucky republican party. they built a database of every registered voter in kentucky and assigned numerical values to all of them about whether or not they would support them. they built a very, very sophisticated data modeling operation about voters they could get and couldn't get, they contacted voters they thought had a certain -- they thought they could appeal to. they contacted them directly. they had online ads, targeted to very specific groups. they had a very sophisticated --
identifying borders, contacting, phone calls, mail. using online, digital ads. targeted on specific issues. they were either anti-obama orders, or coal was a huge issue. they tried to get support for cap and trade programs. they have been devastated over the last couple decades in terms of jobs. they tried to attach coal voters or anti-obama voters. >> they had data all over the
place. when they came in, the senior adviser who led the campaign -- they saw data all over the place, and he was a centralizer. he was 35 years old. he was a former communications person for mcconnell. he became chief of staff and senior adviser. there was data everywhere. decentralized that database and used it in a very targeted manner. what they studied was the obama campaign, which did it very, very sophisticated manner. they built a big ground operation, led at the time by jesse benton, a former rand paul campaign manager.
there was a part of this big effort to find specific voters who may or may not vote for mitch mcconnell. >> 2010, there were 442 coal mines in the state. what were you -- you were in his room -- what did you see? >> he was watching "face the nation" with a pile of newspapers on his foot rest with the fireplace going. to wife was walking around upstairs. a pretty modest townhome, a very liberal neighborhood, one of the most liberal in the state of kentucky. his living room had pictures of his ancestors, of his wife's family, and from his own family's ancestors.
a pretty modest home. he was in a very casual mood jeans, about to hit the campaign trail. >> did he know he was going to win? >> at that point it was pretty clear. the story ran the day after he won. we spent months reporting on this story. >> the democratic senatorial campaign committee stopped advertising. they knew that the margin was getting big.
>> if someone is listening to this and they want to study more -- can they go on the politico website and get the story? >> you can google our names with mitch mcconnell and it will probably be the first thing to come. >> here's a statement by the president the day after the campaign was over. >> today i had a chance to speak with john boehner and congratulated mitch mcconnell on becoming the next and the majority leader. i told them both that i look forward to finishing up this congress's business and then work on america's. i talked with mitch mcconnell about the prospect of working together. >> people watching this say, yeah, right. they already had meetings in the oval office -- explain to people
what they can't understand. >> politicians always say after the election, we want to work with each other. the proof is in the pudding. we are not really seeing any effort to really change the discourse and suggest areas where they are beginning -- it will be interesting to see the white house on whether or not compromise on some of these key issues republicans will be demanding, whether they are willing to give up on higher tax revenues. it doesn't seem like that is really going to happen. one area where they could get some stuff done is on international trade, as the president does support free trade agreements and the republican congress does, as well. the on that we could see
warfare. >> republicans run congress now. if they want to do a budget resolution, if they want to do obamacare repeal -- they could force a vote on it. they are going to have to pass spending bills, too. >> about the rules on the senate -- will mitch mcconnell go back to the old days? >> he said that he won't use the nuclear option to change the filibuster rules. it is not clear whether or not there will be an increase of threshold to block presidential nominees. the threshold to overcome a filibuster decreases from 60 to 51 for presidential nominees. the question for mitch mcconnell is whether he increases that threshold back to back to 60 for presidential nominees.
right now you can still filibuster. the question will be whether there will be pressure to allow the filibuster to be broken. >> what do you say to people who ask you what is going on? >> both parties are guilty of the same thing. the tea party, the rise of the populist group in the democratic party. i don't know what is going to change. 2008 -- the recession had a much
bigger impact than folks recognize. that is not business as usual. right now the fringes are where the energy is. it is going to continue. i am not sure what is going to change and i don't know when it is going to happen. >> these gentlemen wrote an article together on mitch mcconnell in politico. manu raju and john bresnahan thank you for talking with us. ♪ >> for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at q&a.org. there are also available a c-span podcasts. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> congress gavels in today at noon. republicans will control both chambers. you can to the swearing-in of members and the election for house speaker. watch the house live on c-span. on c-span 3, watch the swearing-in of senators. at 3:00 eastern, we bring you the swearing-in of members of the house of representatives. that is live also. >> coming up on washington journal, a preview of today's opening of the 114th congress.
we will talk to capitol hill members and incoming freshmen members. we will figure calls, plus your favorite -- facebook comments and tweets. "washington journal" is next. host: it's tuesday, january 6 2015, and it's opening day of the 114 the congress. this morning, on a five-hour addition of the "washington journal" we will be talking to capitol hill reporters and, of course, taking your calls and comments right up until the 114th congress gavels in at noon eastern. you can watch the election of the new house speaker ceremony here on c-span and in the senate on c-span2. the first, we want to your what you have to say. give us a call.