tv Amanpour Company PBS October 30, 2018 12:00am-1:01am PDT
hello, everyone, and welcome to "amanpour and company." here's what's coming up. the worst ever attack on america's jews. we take stock as the country mourns a spate of hate crimes. then, brazil lurches to the far right after candidate jair wins the candidacy. why this radical move? plus, for decades he helped shape the republican message. now, a week from the midterm he says the country is more divided than ever.
sreenivasan talks to strategist frank lunh. uniworld is a proud sponsor of "amanpour and company." she had bigger dreams and those dreams were on the water. >> the river specifically. multiple rivers. >> would one day be home to uniworld river cruises and floating and peak hotels. today, that dream sets sail in europe, asia, india, egypt and more, bookings able through your travel agent. for more information, visit uniworld.com. additional support provided by rosalind p. walter. roslyn schwartz. the philip milstein family. judy and josh weston, by contributions from your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> welcome to the program,
everyone. i'm christiane amanpour from new york. america has suffered hate filled violence, attack on african-americans at a kentucky supermarket. political with a pipe bomb mailings to cnn. and religious inside a pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 worshippers. american jews are reeling from a resurgence of anti-semitism in this country the one they felt the most safe in where a mass murderer is saying he wants all jews to die seems like a relic from distant pass. it wasn't ancient history to rose, the much loved 97-year-old killed that morning. she was there when jews were exterminated during world war ii. as america tries to make sense of the violent, whatever the
perceived thoughts of the mexican migrants coming across the border most attacks in the united states were in fact carried out by homegrown extremists and just plain haters. a spiritual leader at new york's congregation, rabbi jeremy helped lead an interfaith prayer vigil last night that attracted and overflow crowd to his congregation on manhattan's upper west side. and reverence jones heads the unilogical seminary where she is also a professor of religion and democracy and both join me in new york now. welcome to the program. it is a dark day, a dark week and frankly dark times. can i ask you because of the proximity to the pittsburgh synagogue massacre, to what do you attribute this rise inani inanity -- in anti-semitism?
>> i think the jewish people in the united states have felt extraordinarily comfortable and thriving in many many ways. it comes so much out of the blue in the experience of american jews. what do i attribute the rise to? i'm somewhat at a loss. certainly, the tenor of american public life in recent years has been to identify people who are perceived as for whatever reason, outsiders. american jews have for more than a century felt very much like insider, verirch y much at home the united states and reality like other places we lived hundreds and hundreds of years in europe and the islamic world there are those that like to remind us we are not insiders, outsiders and those a small minority and the smallest of minority who would take violent expression. plenty of people look at us and find us a little too different and like to remind us in their
view we don't actually belong. >> yes. go ahead, reverend. >> just in the past year and a half, a dramatic increase inanity semitism in the united states. it's gone up 35% in a year and a half period. >> a year and a half? in anti-semitism. what does that correspond to? it corresponds to a campaign that makes its point about the future of america by tying it to hatred of various groups across the country. anti-semi-tism is in the mix of that hatred. >> do you see it then, because you have a wide eye on various of these groups being targeted. anti-semitism, the tree of life at the synagogue, we had mail bombings and a guy go into a kroger reality all of these are
interconnected hatreds. targeting african-americans, targeting the jewish community, immigrants, targeting muslims, targeting women, the list can go on and on and the list is part of a general dynamic a country, a people begins to define themselves by virtue of what they hate, what kind of group they can find an scape goat. it's as old as religion but we are bigger than that. >> i do think the tenor of public life within the last 24 months has made it much much worse as people chanting so-and-so -- you should not replace us or the immigrants are bringing all sorts of crimes. i think those things are horrifying. i want to remind people it was 2001 after the 9/11 attacks we
started hearing about islamophobia and sikh attacks because they were mistaken for muslims. i think the current administration and its rhetoric bear as lot of the blame but it's not exclusive. >> that's interesting. let's dig down into that for a second. let me play as a relevant sound bite by the rabbi at tree of life that fortunately survived. this is what he said about words and their consequences. >> it starts with speech. [applause]. >> words of hate are unwelcome in pittsburgh. i want to address for a moment some of our political leaders who are here. ladies and gentlemen, it has to start with you as our leaders. [applause].
>> so, the rabbi there talking about words of hate and how leaders have to take responsibility. this is a very sensitive issue today, and in the aftermath because many are pointing to the top leadership in this country, frankly to the white house and the president himself. they are furiously pushing back and they're saying this is our fault, the media, the president calling us the enemies of the people and we are the people creating a climate of anger and hatred. it's a very sensitive topic. how should one address this because there is so much political anger right now and so much knee-jerk anger. what does one do? immediately blame the white house? not blame the white house? what should one do? rabbi, first you. >> first me? >> or first you, reverend, go ahead. >> i think we do two things. first of all, we have to reach into the muck of american history and see how old these hatreds are.
so we can't treat it like this is a momentary phenomena, something we can relate to just the past year and half but every single religion, we teach a number of religions, they all say what one is called to do is meet hatred with love. that's a mighty hinthing to do what this moment calls for. >> practically, how do you do that? the great civil rights leader in this country, representative john lewis sent out a statement today. he knows about trying to meet hatred with love first hand. he said as part of a statement, if our leaders cannot bring us together and help us and bear their responsibility then it is up to all of us to try to do what you've just said. how does one do that against apparently a crackpot on social media, in a particularly poisonous group not even in the mainstream social media, in the
dark web. 600,000 followers spewing this disgusting stuff. >> well, i think it's important to remember there will always be truly unhinged people. there are so to speak the mainstream bigots and racists and then the completely unhinged people who will take assault rifles. i don't know how to stop -- i'm not expert in such a thing. it seems to me that in this country, which has such a great diversity of backgrounds where people come from, languages and religions and cultures so vulcanized and so little contact we actually have with one another, we talk about red america and blue america and it's absolutely true. i did grow up in much more red america, i grew up in louisville, kentucky. but living in the upper west side of manhattan in 10025, i have to say i don't meet a ton of people who think very differently than i do and quite in a bulb.
those people who live in -- in a bubble -- the people in the other part of the country live in their own bubble. it's easier to hate people you don't see and have a different perspective and easier to hate people and think those jews are betraying the country or black people and muslim people are betraying the country if you actually don't meet them. once you meet them you discover human beings are human beings and are worthy. this is where our religious traditions come into play. even though we come from different religious traditions, it is absolutely true what you just said we are the corners of human society that teach people love is the answer to all our conflicts. >> it's interesting to me even to listen to the responses and the characterizations in both instances, the perpetrator, even there, i happen to believe for someone to perpetrate acts this horrific there has to be
profound mental illness. even for our leaders to be referring to them as crackpots or -- they have done -- they have done horrendous things, but what does it mean to meet those horrendous actions with compassion for the fracturing force of our world upon human bodies? >> you've talked about not just this sort of leadership vacuum or leadership and necessity for leadership right now, not just political tribalism happening right now, you talked about a moral crisis, a crisis actually tearing the fabric of democracy apart. how profound is this kind of crisis? this kind of week we've just gone through on the fabric of american society? what kind of effect? >> it's devastating. what it's revealing is not just a political crisis, we can see that clearly on the surface but a deep -- what i refer to as a spiritual crisis, a moral
crisis. i don't think that any more in the united states we can assume that what is a fundamental principal of our democracy, mainly all people are equal and deserving of equal respect and dignity is a fundamental value shared by everyone. that's simply not the case anymore. when we get to that point we have to dig inside ourselves as a nation and say what is it we value? have we lost our way? who are we anymore if that doesn't bind us together. >> you do actually have to look to leaders. i just want to play this sound bite from president trump at a rally just last week. he has veered from being statesman like and calling for unity and calling against hatred to then tweeting or saying other things at rallies. this is what he said about one of these strains you're talking about nationalistic nativism we've seen over the last two years. >> you know, they have a word, it sort of became old-fashioned.
it's called nationalist. i say, really, we're not supposed to use that word. you know what i am? i'm a nationalist. >> what do you make of that? >> when somebody -- it's one thing to say i'm a patriot and i care about this country. i think people should care about the homeland they share a past and future, that's good. when you say you're a nationalist, it's hard to extricate that from some of you people don't belong and the experience of the jewish people in modern nation states and germany and soviet union and other states the jewish people have often been like the canary of the coal mine, you don't belong and lord knows african-americans have experienced this more than the rest of us, been told they're not part of this country. when the president says he's a nationalist, i don't know exactly what he has in mind, the tone is i'm the right kind of
american and some of you are the wrong kind of americans and don't belong. i absolutely agree, it has to be mental illness to take a gun to people celebrating. these don't happen out of context. in the context of this country we ratcheted the language that some people don't really belong. while i do -- i don't think the right has a monopoly on this, they are hitting on -- >> a match. >> -- hitting on these notes. i don't want to make an equivalence, in this country there is all too much the view, i represent the right kind of americans, you other guys are the wrong kind of americans, either where you come from or what you believe, and you guys are the problem. >> for me, i heard the word "nationalism," from a religious perspective, nationalism is any kind of movement that makes a god of something called an entity that is a nation
regardless what those principles are. that's dangerous. patriotism is a commitment to the values that are even greater than we are as a nation that found us and bring us together. >> you talk about the nation and what's at stake. the mid terms are coming up. there was some polling done which showed these kind of attacks, anti-semitic attacks and hate attacks were predicted to rise ahead of the mid terms. president obama was stumping for mid-terms and said the character of this country is on the ballot. listen to what he said. >> maybe most importantly, the character of our country is on the ballot. i would like to think everybody in america would think it's wrong to spend all your time from a position of power vilifying people, questioning their patriotism, calling them enemies of the people, and then suddenly pretending that you're concerned about civility.
>> so it's kind of summing up what we've been talking about. what would you, as a rabbi, and you as a reverend, representing different ridgeligions and all religions, what would you like to see from the oval office right now? >> i have not seen anything from the oval office in the last few years that makes me believe its current occupant has it within him to put something above the accumulation of his own political power and electoral success. what i think we actually need as a country is not only in the language of judaism, the language i speak, the recognition every human being is infinitely valuable and unique and the religion bears the image of god. if you look at other people with the image of god, look at other people as infinitely valuable and infinitely unique, it's
vastly more difficult to call them names or praise people who act with violence or body slam people or make fun of people. we haven't seen from the campaign while in the office the president exemplify that kind of personal kindness and dignity. >> what needs to change? >> i think what needs to be coming from the oval office is a vision for who we are as america that is filled with the better angels and reaches into the soul of each of us and speaks about the goodness and our common values, and the future we can build together. the oval office needs to be speaking to not just america but human kind, what it means to be a person and seek the flourishing of all. >> the better angels. where would we be without abraham lincoln who probably didn't have speechwriters. >> you know, exactly. on this really terrible day and after this terrible week, i'd like to say thank you to you both, rabbi and reverend, thank you very much, try to put it in
some context. as a counter-terrorism expert, richard clark advised several u.s. presidents on threats from outside and within the homeland and joining me now from washington. richard clark, welcome to the program. >> good to be with you. >> you listened to the dialogue about compassion and tried to get away from this sort of hate-filled narrative and really tried to bring the country together. from your, you know, more sort of law enforcement perspective, what needs to happen right now? >> i think we have to be frank about the cause of the problem. we've always had hate-filled nazis, for lack of a better word, nazi is a fairly accurate word. we've always had people like that lurking in the dark corners of our country, usually afraid to come out. in the last year, year and a
half they've come out of those dark corners. they're beating people up at trump rallies, beating people up on the streets of new york and now they're attacking synagogues. there's a reason for this. we need to be clear and frank about it. the reason is that the president of the united states and his ally, steve bannon, of breitbart, with connections to info wars and these terrible right wing hate-filled sites, they have been intentionally, since the campaign of 2016, using dog whistle, code phrases that the right wing crazies recognize, and they know what's being said. it's being said by the president and his supporters are, we know you, we're part of you, we can't say it publicly, but we believe what you believe. that kind of dog whistle messaging, which they've been intentionally doing since the
2016 campaign encourages these people to go out and beat people up on the street, encourages them to make pipe bomb, encourages them to attack synagogues. let's be frank about it. >> well, i can hear what you're saying and quite a lot of people are making that same point. obviously, this is being furiously rejected by the white house. >> of course they say that. >> yes. pointing the finger of the general tenor of the media again calling us the enemy of the people. >> that's one of the dog phrases, "enemy of the people." >> it's difficult to see how this moment can somehow be used as a moment to do a sharp u-turn. i'm wondering whether you think that's even possible. >> it's not possible with this man as president. he has had ample opportunity to mack that sharp u-turn. if he didn't make it after the pipe bombs on all the democrats, if instead of making that sharp
u-turn, he attacked the media again, then he'll never make that sharp u-turn. with him in office, we have to look to the fbi to do its job, which it has been doing. we have to look at non-governmental organizations, like the anti-defamation league and human rights campaign. those are groups that monitor the hate-filled media sites and expose them. we have to look to them to continue their great work when the government doesn't. >> to that point, then, i wonder what your reaction is, we heard a lot of different views coming, and certainly from israel and israeli officials, the current israel ambassador to the united nations suggested israel could give a lot of tips to law enforcement, particularly people
who can monitor certain social media sites, platforms. do they already do that well. t >> the fbi is doing a good job within the justice department guidelines. there are guidelines that protect free speech and protect civil liberties, therefore, the fbi can't -- and we don't really want them to -- go around monitoring people before they've committed crimes. what we can do is send checks and send our support to non-governmental groups that do this very very well. >> so, i mean, there's a lot of statistics out around this right now. first and foremost you mentioned the adl. they published a report mentioning millions and millions of twitter messages over a two week period over the summer finding 30% were repeatedly repeating derogatory comments about jews and most were auditory bots but the most vir
rulept were by actual human beings. this person who committed this crime in the synagogue apparently belonged to an online social network that has been taken offline and he posted they like to bring invaders in to kill our people. i can't sit by to watch our people get slaughtered. screw your optics, i'm going in. this is awful stuff. it's apparently got something like 600,000 followers. it's not mainstream. how does one root out this kind of stuff? why isn't the fbi looking at that? why wouldn't they have seen that? >> again, the fbi has to operate within justice department guidelines. they can't monitor american citizens for their expressions, they can only monitor them if there's an indication of a crime being planned or being plotted. that's where the non-governmental organizations come in because they can monitor these individuals, and they do. it's not just attacks on jews
that have gone up, attacks on lbgt people have gone up, attacks on african-americans have gone up, physical attacks, attacks on buildings, and attacks -- verbal attacks on sites like this gab website, which has at least now temporarily been taken down. >> should it be taken down permanently, richard clark? >> no, i don't think so. i know people want to do that. but the thing about freedom of speech is that you have to support it even when it's hate-filled speech. you have to support it even when it's speech you think is on the edge. if you do otherwise, it's through many years ago in illinois.
they got a lot of criticism for that. the aclu was true to what it believes in when it did that. no. the way to -- >> uh-huh. >> the way to kill hateful speech is not to ban it, it's to show a light on it and show who the people are behind it, drag them out of the dark corners of the internet and expose them and let people know who they are, let their employers know who they are, let their neighbors know who they are. >> that's important. that would be a very important development. t that was decades ago, way e before they had their message exponentially paraded around the country and around people's consciousness. you've been covering this or rather following this and investigating this and trying to work on this for many many years. does language matter? do enough important senses of power call this domestic
terrorism? should it be? are you surprised by the one week explosion of this? we haven't seen something like his nor a long time, this systematic wave of terrible attacks that we've had over the past week alone. >> we've had the president of the united states in an unprecedented campaign running around the country holding these mass rallies, and many of these people who show up at these rallies are in fact this kind of supporter. not all of them but a very small minority of them are. they've been encouraged, whipped up prior to this election, not only by the president running around holding these rallies but by the websites, info wars, breitbart, all the right wing hate-filled media. >> all right. richard clark, there is so much more to discuss. thank you very much for weighing in on this. it's been really a horrendous week. we'll have much more on how this polarization is affecting
everyday meramericans in a mome. first the wave that swept through the united states and europe is now sweeping brazil the biggest more powerful country in latin america, where the far right candidate, jair bolsonaro was declared the winner of the election. the president congratulated him and promised they would work well together. until recently bolsonaro was known to be a racist extremist known for homophobic comments and racist comments, with high crime and massive government corruption, bolsonaro rose to the top promising to raise brazil. >> i will lead and protect the rights of citizens who follow their duties and respect the
laws. the laws are for everyone. this is how it will be during our constitutional and democratic government. >> serving as foreign minister for several brazilian governments, joins me now from rio de janeiro. welcome to the program. thank you for talking to me again. >> good to talk to you. let's be clear. you have worked for the opposition party, the worker's party in the past. now, this party has taken over. what do you attribute this to and do you admit that the failings of the workers party has led to a complete pendulum swing the other way? >> well, i don't think we have a problem with the candidate of the workers party. the candidate was a good candidate. he is a professor, a very good man. i think the question is that
there was some sort of discrediting of politics in general, so this military man who is trying to bring back some of the generals back to power profited from these bad opinions that the people have about politics in general. so, i think he said we are going to do away with all these old things. so that's the same way as other populist leaders did, including he has the advice of steve bannon also. >> does he? i hadn't realized that was one of his advisors. but, you know, look, let's be frank, there's always ground for these kinds of reaction, these kind of political reaction. your most famous most successful democratic president was
devillevo who did much for brazil and brought many out of poverty and now in jail because of a corruption conviction. there's a problem with the workers party. what i want to know from you is what do you think will the next year or several six months look like? you even saw bolsonaro there coming to vote in protection and body armor. >> i'm very worried about what can happen in the next six months. of course, bolsonaro is now elected, although there are doubts about the use of technological means of what's up influencing opinion of people very vulnerable to this kind of message, not rational, just emotional. of course, you're right, you're pointing to the paradox of the moular politician in brazil is in jail on very fragile accusation, not only my
opinion, opinion of "new york times" times aand all of them. we don't know what will happen. we know he has been preaching violence insisting very much on the including distributing weapons. we'll have something similar to what happened in the united states, not the case in brazil, have other kinds of violence but not this kind of violence like mass shootings. we may have. we don't know yet. it is too early. if we're going to base our opinion on what he has said in the campaign and all along his life we have many reasons to be worried. this is a very strange combination, if you allow me, strange combination of an extreme right wing politician, which is at the same time an ultra new liberal in economics. i never saw this combination work. we are very worried how it will go.
let me just explain you saying about the guns and things. on his campaign, he was saying everybody should be armed and he also said really quite terrible things about a certain woman and women in general, about the gay community. he's also talked about -- people in the environmental community are very worried. let me read you what the amazon watch program director said to cnn. bolsonaro's reckless plans to industrialize the amazon in conjunction with the agri business will bring disaster for the rain forest and spell disaster for the global climate. do you think he can drive those policies through? >> well, i think many things he has been saying are very contradictory to one another. i think really there is a danger
because he has very strong support during agri business. during lulu's time, without much detriment to the environment and without detriment to the small farmers. what we see now is an opposition, conflicting of viewpoints and i think a total neglect for environmental and indigenous people's rights, the same applies to afro descendents and homosexuals. we never had something similar in brazil, even during the military dictatorship, in which torture was practiced but it was not praised, not admitted publicly, and bolsonaro not only admitted instead of just torturing the military government should have killed more people. i don't know if all these things stand or if it all is now over
and different policies will be taken. we are very worried and worried with latin america. we don't know, always working for peace and dialogue in latin america. 10 different countries. it's very dangerous if you have someone with aggressive policies. we can't say yet, i don't want to prejudge what will happen but we are very very concerned. >> i was going to ask you because you are a foreign minister, how you think this will spread in latin america and whether you think bolsonaro will ditch his rhetoric saying he want to be a unifier. he has been dubbed the trump of the tropics. how do you see brazil's new relationship with the united states under a president bolsonaro and president trump? >> well, he has already made his respects to the american flag which raised many eyebrows in brazil.
that's not what you expect from the military much less a candidate for president. having said that, on the other hand, you have to think, the foreign minister at the time had a very good relationship with president bush although having different views because he was a man of dialogue. that's not what i see in bolsonaro. in the same way he says he love the united states, in practice we don't know what we will get and get different problems in latin america because of the lack of empathy towards other candidates and other countries. for instance, the basis for south american integration, and his probable minister of finance said already it will not be a priority. i think it's very dangerous in many respects. i'm concerned most of all with human rights and freedom of speech, because these are the things brazil got accustomed not
only with lulu but cardoza, more right of center politician, but we had 20 years of even more of experiencing democracy, and now we are maybe back to authoritarian regime with some fastist overtones. i hope it doesn't materialize. it's only hopes. what was said until now, i have many reasons to be worried. you know i dealt with foreign policy, relations with africans, arab countries, all of that is being thrown away. the creation of the greeks important for the world balance. >> developing country economies, yes. thank you so much, former foreign minister giving us a state of play at what's potentially at stake in brazil after sunday's election. as far right extremism spreads from there we return to
the rise of polarization here in america and we ask what is causing the left and the right to be so angry, too angry even to talk to each other? it's something our next guest is trying to understand himself as the u.s. mid-terms approach, just a week away, republican strategist and pollster, frank lunge has worked with those of recent times and trying to help us understand why americans have such difficulty disagreeing without going nuclear on each other. he told us why the situation is so dire and what needs to change. >> thanks for joining us. heading into the mid-terms where are we as nation or two nations? >> i don't know if it's two nations. in some ways it's a dozen or even more. i've never known us to be so angry with each other, so disrespectful, so distrusting that we tend to write each other
off within the first moment of what we hear. viewers right here that will make a decision about whether they like me or not and that decision will determine whether or not they stay with the segment. why have we become so impatient? why have we become -- why do we think we can say anything and do anything because we have the right to be heard? it used to be that we wanted to learn. now, we just want to speak. >> there is a clip we have from a show you just did, a special for vice news for voters in nevada. let's take a look. >> by a show of hands, how many of you would say you're mad as hell about all the stuff going on? it's almost all of you. what are you so mad at if the economy is so good? >> the economy isn't everything. the economy is -- it's healthcare, the way that they're treating certain classes of people. >> immigration. >> education. >> exactly.
>> veterans. >> these are things that are disturbing. the economy is only one segment. it's great to have money, but if you live in a society that doesn't value other things, it's sad. >> your life. we have to be civil whenever we have a discourse. i want my president to be civil, ird grade vocabulary.re than a >> world powers. >> right. i don't want him to be laughed at. >> we want somebody to stand up and take charge. >> we have been abused -- >> i don't like the -- >> i have to ask this question. you say it goes to hell the moment donald trump is mentioned. why is that? >> because we are learning it from him. i mean, he interrupts people, bullies people. the problem is he's attacked nonstop by the media every single day. he can't win no matter what he does. >> if he wasn't doing what he's doing, he wouldn't be attacked. >> hold on. is this america? do you represent america?
you're nodding your head, yes. >> of course. >> they're proving your point. they can't even stop interrupting each other. you said this is the beginning of this. >> that was 45 seconds into it. it got worse. by the way, that was them behaving well. they don't know each other. they never met each other before. the moment that the word "trump" is entered into the discussion it comes apart. it comes apart when you say healthcare, it comes apart when you say tax cuts. it comes apart when you say everything, tragically, that's america. >> have we become more entrenched, backed into our corners even more and how much of that is president trump responsible for? >> his language is unlike any other president, his presentation is unlike any other president and the people who condemn him are like any other critics. where are the people saying enough is enough? where are the people who are saying, let's calm down, get in a room, disagree, but come out
with something? there is an agreement to be made on immigration, i know it. there is an agreement to be made on education because i've heard both sides or all sides. nobody wants to come to an agreement for two reasons. they'd rather yell and be just so harsh at the people they disagree with, and you're punished if you compromise. >> when you talk about the parties in that context, in washington today, is the republican party president trump's party? it seems the ideological conservatives, fiscal conservatives, the establishment has lost any ability to challenge him? >> donald trump has a higher favorability rating among republicans than any republican or democratic president in modern times with their own political party. as popular as he is among republicans is as despised he is among democrats.
that's part of the problem. you used to try to appeal across the country. the president is committed to keeping his promises. i know this from friends i have who work in the white house. he is determined that the things he said on the campaign trail he is going to do. and no one's going to stand in his way. that's an admirable approach but we should be reaching beyond our base, we should be reaching to those who didn't like us back then to say, wait a minute, give me a second chance. the thing is -- i'm not putting it all on your shoulders, part of this is a reaction to campaigning by polls, by seeing exactly what's going to work with which particular audience and just going after them. >> i don't agree with that because if you're campaigning by polls donald trump would not be saying what he's saying and not doing what he's doing. if you're campaigning by polls, he would not be in a trade war with china. >> there's a bunch of people in the manufacturing rust belt say,
great, this makes so total sense, bring the jobs back to the country and whether it hurts the soybean farmer or not. >> he's doing it whether or not it's supported in the polls. the fact this is the wall has minority support. more americans oppose a wall than support it. they want border security and barriers where it's necessary. a wall is not a popular issue but trump talks about it. in fact, i'd argue that donald trump is more willing to challenge what public polling shows than any other president in my lifetime. i wish that he were more open to reaching out, more open to pulling people in. >> since i've got you here, you know what works in a political ad and what doesn't. you've been helping campaigns for years now. i want to play a few different ads, and i want you to just tell me why this ad would resonate and what the key themes were
that were engineered into it knowing what buttons to push. let's look at one of the first ads now running in florida. >> everyone knows my husband, ron desantos is endorsed by president trump. he is also an amazing dad. ron loves playing with the kids. >> build a wall. snow he reads stories. >> then mr. trump said, you're a fighter. i love that part. >> he's teaching madison to talk. >> make america great again. >> people say ron's all trump but he is so much more. >> so good. >> i just thought you should know. >> ron desantos for governor. >> best ad in a primary campaign of anyone running for the senate, governor or the house. >> why? >> he so wrapped himself around donald trump a crowbar could not have separated them. that this is the worst ad for the general election, which is why they stopped running it for the primary. there is an awful lot of people
in florida who have not decided who to vote for for governor but don't have a favorable point of view for donald trump. you don't do that. i know we're a few days away from the elections. i believe the democrat wins that race. that's a very historic race for the democrat to win. there are other extenuating circumstances happening as you and i are doing this interview but the republican is so tied to trump, who has a favorability rating of the low 40s in florida, that's not what you want to do. he won the primary but i don't think he wins the general election. >> let's shift gears to texas, an ad running against ted cruz. >> somebody left something on my door the other day. said ted cruz, tough as texas, i mean, come on, if somebody called my wife a dog and said my daddy was in on the kennedy assassination, i wouldn't be kissing their ass. >> i love that because people don't know the background behind it. a very famous hollywood persona
who hates cruz so much he got in the middle of the race. you don't do that in texas. texans do not like hollywood or like actors or anyone from the hollywood community telling them what to think or do. second, it is funny, but that doesn't change someone's vote. the reason why the democrat has done, up to this point, so well, is because he offered a very positive vision, he offered an alternative to the president, to the senator. people compare him to barack obama, i compare him to bobby kennedy. in the last 10 day, last two weeks he's gone so negative he's no different than any other politician. he would have had a shot at beating ted cruz if he actually kept to the end of the campaign. this message of not only am i different but we can win without tearing each other apart. >> let's take a look at an ad that has a lot more to do with
patriotism and fear. >> the first female pilot to fly in combat. she has launched a one woman campaign against a military policy in saudi arabia that forced her to wear a long black islamic robe over her air force uniform. >> i absolutely refuse to bow down to sharia law. after eight years of fighting i won my battle for the religious freedom of the american service women. now, i deploy to d.c. protecting arizona jobs and securing the border. >> arizona is one of the oldest states in the country in terms of the average age of the population. it has a higher than average percentage of veterans. that's what that add is attempting to appeal to. that ad is -- people have been critical to it because she brought in sharia law and they don't feel that is a legitimate issue. in visuals, she's always in uniform. when she spoke, she spoke straight to camera, not to some
unseen interviewer somewhere. she wanted to say to people there because swing voters there are pro military. she wanted to say to them there's no one tougher than me, i will fight for you. in this election environment, if you're the one fighting for us, if you'll be our voice in washington you have an advantage. >> there's another comedic ad talking about issues not resonating. >> sir, what happens when the average joe out there realizes that we got like the entire republican tax cut, we got like all of it. >> come on. they got a tax cut, okay. >> side table, how much was your tax cut? >> it was -- it was not a lot, sir. >> but for someone like side table, not a lot is actually quite a bit. >> that's true. >> i bet he saves enough each week to buy, hell, a latte at starbucks. >> actually -- >> shut-up, side table! >> i had not seen that until right now.
the reason i'm smiling is because that ad is effective, only 30% of americans felt they got a tax cut. that ad plays to their 70% that feels like they didn't. the actual statistics, it's somewhere in the 80 percentile that paid less in taxes because of that legislation, but no one knows it. that ad says, wait a minute, the rich got it, did you get any? what republicans didn't realize, two responses here, number one, they forgot so many people do direct deposit for their paycheck there's no way for them to know they got a tax cut, and number two, republicans quite frankly, communicated it so horribly, for months they talked about we needed to get business, we needed to help business, so the economy would be stoked and jobs created. it worked. what's unemployment right now? it's like a 50 year low. our growth rate at 4% is incredible. the economy is healthier in more
places than it has been in decades and the gop gets no credit for it because its messaging and communication completely failed. >> how have your personal politics evolved? somebody googles you, this is a republican, worked with pat buchanan and newt gingrich, he's such a student of language, he knows the power of crafting a question a particular way to get a different kind of response. >> my whole life has been about supporting things rather than tearing it down. has been about promoting free enterprise rather than capitalism. people see capitalism as wall street and free enterprise or economic freedom is main street. it's been about promoting hard working taxpayers rather than the middle class, because everyone defines themself as a hard working taxpayer, yes, i do focus on language. in the work i've done in the inner cities i recognize, i will acknowledge telling people to
get your act together and pull yourself up by your bootstraps is meaningless to someone who has no parents, no adults in their life and no boots. but i also have seen all this money, these billions and billions of dollars go to people and have no impact whatsoever. i'm wrong. i was wrong. my philosophy of libertarianism, i guess, conservative libertarianism does not help kids in the inner city to get the education they need to have the life they deserve, it doesn't. >> was there a tipping point? a specific issue? what do we need to focus on? >> for me it was personally going into schools kids angry at only 15 years old and you would think they had so much to live for. the stories they would tell me would break my heart. i had to stop doing the research because i couldn't keep going to the schools. i would leave there crying, because it's a lie.
the american dream has to be available to everyone. i say this as a conservative. it has to be available regardless of your gender, regardless of your race, regardless of your income, your parental situation, your geography. it isn't. i say this to every conservative, its not as alive in west virginia as in massachusetts. it is not as alive in compton as it is in beverly hills. we've always had income inequality and disparity of opportunity and we will always -- you have that in socialist countries, it exists everywhere. we always said that you had the chance to make it out. i'm telling you that i've now met way too many young people who will never have that chance to make it out, and that their future is prison or death. in my understanding of this country, that is unacceptable. our politics doesn't address any of that.
who's talking about poverty in this election campaign? not the republicans, not the democrats. who's speaking up for those who don't have a voice zblfrp? donald trump says he is. he is speaking up for the working class, not being paid well but have a job. i'm talking about kids 25 blocks from here attending schools that are crap, they can't even read the diplomas they're getting being passed through for social promotion so the teachers don't get fired. >> you don't sound very optimistic. >> i am very pessimistic. i've had a couple of good days. if i had done this interview a week ago, it would have been hard for me to get into this chair. i believe that we will not -- i question whether we will come back. generation after generation, society after society fell when it could no longer solve its
problems, when it could no longer coalesce. the romans is the best example. rome fell because of moral decay and political decay, and it happened at the same time. now, tell me if you don't think it's happening here right now. >> frank luntz, thanks for joining us. >> i don't think you'll ever have me back but i appreciate the invitation. >> sobering words from frank. before we go tonight. the white house says president trump will tomorrow visit the site of that pittsburgh synagogue massacre when no doubt they hope for a statesman like message of unity and solace. that is it for our program tonight. thanks for watching "amanpour and company" on pbs and join us again tomorrow.
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-♪ i think i'm home ♪ i think i'm home ♪ how nice to look at you again ♪ ♪ along the road ♪ along the road ♪ ♪ anytime you want me ♪ you can find me living right between your eyes, yeah ♪ ♪ oh, i think i'm home ♪ oh, i think i'm home ♪ -today on "cook's country," bridget and julia cook up a southern specialty -- tennessee pulled-turkey sandwiches... adam reviews paper towels... and bryan makes bridget a regional favorite, eastern north carolina fish stew.