MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: October 22, 2020

Tonight, we debate the highs, the lows and the future of the country after last night’s debate between President Trump and former VP Joe Biden. Back with powerful insight are faith leader Reverend Leah D. Daughtry, former chief of staff for the Democratic Party and CEO of the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions, and columnist Amy Holmes, a writer for HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Frist.

AIRED: October 23, 2020 | 0:28:16
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORWARD,

AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B.

PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM, BERNARD AND

DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE

ZUCKERBERG, AND BY JANET PRINDLE

SEI

SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARHOLD,

JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT

C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

>>> TWOEM "METROFOCUS."

I'M JACK FORD.

SO, THE LAST OF THE PRESIDENTIAL

DEBATES IS IN THE BOOKS.

AND MOST OBSERVERS HAVE AGREED

THAT IT WAS CERTAINLY FAR MORE

INFORMATIVE AND FAR LESS CHAOTIC

THAN THE FIRST EVENT, BUT WE'RE

LEFT WITH SEVERAL QUESTIONS.

FIRST, JUST HOW DID THE

CANDIDATES DO IN TERMS OF THEIR

PERFORMANCE RELATIVE TO THE

EXPECTATIONS COMING INTO THIS

EVENT?

NEXT, DID WE LEARN ANYTHING NEW,

SOMETHING THAT COULD HELP US IN

MAKING OUR ASSESSMENTS OF THESE

TWO CANDIDATES IN DECIDING WHO

TO VOTE FOR?

AND WILL THIS HAVE ANY REAL

IMPACT ON THE FINAL RESULTS,

ESPECIALLY GIVEN THE FACT THAT

TENS OF MILLIONS OF FOLKS HAVE

ALREADY CAST THEIR BALLOTS?

AND THEN, LAST QUESTION IS,

THEY'RE IN THE FINAL STRETCH --

WHERE DO THE CANDIDATES GO FROM

HERE?

WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE BACK

WITH US TO TALK ABOUT ALL OF

THESE ISSUES, THE REVEREND LEAH

DAUGHTRY, WHO IS A FAITH LEADER.

SHE IS ALSO A POLITICAL

STRATEGIST, THE FORMER CEO,

CHIEF OF STAFF, I SHOULD SAY,

FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, WHO

SERVED AS THE CEO FOR BOTH THE

2008 AND 2016 DEMOCRATIC

NATIONAL CONVENTIONS, AND ALSO

JOINED BY AMY HOLMES, WHO JOINS

US REGULARLY, A POLITICAL

COLUMNIST, WRITER FOR HBO'S

"REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER,"

ALSO A REGISTERED INDEPENDENT, A

CONSERVATIVE, FORMER

SPEECHWRITER FOR THE FORMER

REPUBLICAN SENATE MAJORITY

LEADER, BILL FRIST.

SO, WE'LL GET THE TWO OF YOU UP

HERE SO WE CAN ALL TALK.

AND AS I SAID BEFORE, IT'S

ALWAYS A DELIGHT TO HAVE THE TWO

OF YOU JOIN US HERE.

SO, NOW, HERE'S WHAT WE'RE GOING

TO DO.

WE HAVE A LOT OF SPECIFICS I

WANT TO GET TO WITH BOTH OF YOU,

BUT LET ME START WITH KIND OF A

BIGGER-PICTURE QUESTION TO FRAME

OUR CONVERSATIONS HERE.

AND THE QUESTION WILL BE THE

SAME TO BOTH OF YOU.

AND REVEREND, I'LL START WITH

YOU FIRST THIS TIME.

WHEN YOU FINISHED WATCHING THE

DEBATE LAST NIGHT, YOU SAT BACK

AND SAID TO YOURSELF, WELL, THAT

WAS WHAT, REVEREND?

>> BETTER?

I THINK IT WAS, CERTAINLY, A FAR

SIDE BETTER THAN WHAT WE SAW A

COUPLE WEEKS AGO.

THE NEW RULES FROM THE DEBATE

COMMISSION, IN TERMS OF THE MUTE

BUTTONS REALLY HELPED US TO

HAVE -- OR TO HEAR A REAL

CONVERSATION FROM THE

CANDIDATES.

THE MODERATOR WAS EXCELLENT.

SHE DID A GREAT JOB OF HERDING

THE CATS AND KEEPING FOLKS

FOCUSED IN A WAY THAT WE HAD NOT

SEEN BEFORE.

SO WE WERE ACTUALLY ABLE TO HEAR

I THINK WHAT ANY OF THE

UNDECIDED PEOPLE WANTED TO HEAR,

WHICH WAS REAL SUBSTANCE AND

SPECIFICS FROM EACH OF THE

CANDIDATES, SUCH AS THEY COULD

PRESENT IT.

AND I THINK PEOPLE WALKED AWAY

SAYING, OKAY, IT WASN'T "ROMPER

ROOM."

IT WAS A DISCUSSION AMONG A

ADULTS, THANK GOD.

NOW LET'S WRAP THIS THING UP.

>> AMY, HOW ABOUT YOU?

YOU THOUGHT, THAT WAS?

>> I AGREE WITH THE REVEREND, A

VAST IMPROVEMENT.

IF THE FIRST DEBATE, PRESIDENT

TRUMP WAS MR. HYDE, LAST NIGHT

HE WAS DR. JEKYLL.

AND TO REMIND OUR AUDIENCE,

DR. JEKYLL'S THE GOOD GUY.

>> THE GOOD GUY.

>> AND I WAS, KIND OF SAT BACK

IN MY CHAIR WHEN THE DEBATE

OPENED AND PRESIDENT TRUMP

PRESENTED SUCH A SELF-CONTROLLED

AND ALMOST CONCILIATORY, YOU

KNOW, ATTITUDE.

AND I THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, WOW!

WE'VE ALSO LEARNED SOMETHING,

THAT HE CAN TAKE CRITICISM AND

LEARN FROM IT.

AND WE SAW THE RESULTS OF THAT

LAST NIGHT.

I ALSO THINK THAT PARTISANS GOT

WHAT THEY WANTED OUT OF IT, THAT

IF YOU SUPPORT THE FORMER VICE

PRESIDENT, JOE BIDEN, YOU HEARD

THE TALKING POINTS AND THE

POSITIONS THAT YOU WANTED TO

LAST NIGHT, AND HE GOT THROUGH

THE DEBATE, I THINK, YOU KNOW,

PERFECTLY REASONABLY.

AND IF YOU SUPPORT MR. TRUMP,

PRESIDENT TRUMP, RATHER, THEN

YOU WERE VERY PLEASED AND

RELIEVED BY WHAT YOU SAW LAST

NIGHT AND ENERGIZED.

THERE'S AN AREA THAT YOU KNOW,

IS NOW KIND OF BUBBLING UP IN

THE HOME STRETCH TO ELECTION

DAY, AND THIS SEEMS TO BE THIS

EVER-GROWING SCANDAL AROUND JOE

BIDEN AND HUNTER BIDEN AND THE

BIDEN FAMILY AND HOW THEY RAISED

MONEY AND PAID FOR THEIR

LIFESTYLE ALL OF THESE YEARS.

AND LAST NIGHT ON THE DEBATE

STAGE, PRESIDENT TRUMP RAISED

THOSE ISSUES.

AND FOR MANY AMERICANS, THIS

WILL BE THE FIRST TIME THAT

THEY'RE EVEN REALLY HEARING

ABOUT THIS STORY, AFTER FACEBOOK

AND TWITTER TRIED TO CENSOR IS,

THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA NOT WANTING

TO PURSUE IT, AND MORE EVIDENCE

IS PILING.

AND LAST NIGHT, THE MILLIONS OF

VOTERS WHO TUNED IN I THINK ARE

GOING TO BE A LITTLE BIT MORE

CURIOUS.

>> LET ME ASK YOU --

>> WELL --

>> I WANT TO FOCUS ON A COUPLE

OF SPECIFIC ISSUES.

AMY, LET ME ASK YOU THIS FIRST,

THEN REVEREND, I'LL ASK YOU TO

COMMENT ON IT ALSO.

I WAS STRUCK BY HOW OFTEN

PRESIDENT TRUMP CAME BACK TO

THIS QUESTION.

AND LET'S BE HONEST, IT IS A

QUESTION, AS TO EXACTLY WHAT

HUNTER BIDEN WAS DOING.

THERE DOESN'T SEEM TO BE MUCH

QUESTION -- AND PEOPLE ON THE

SIDE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT HAVE

SAID, LOOK, IT WAS PROBABLY

INAPPROPRIATE FOR HIM TO BE

TAKING THESE POSITIONS.

BUT IN TERMS OF ANY REAL

INAPPROPRIATE ACTIVITY.

SO, HERE'S MY THOUGHT.

AGAIN, I WAS STRUCK BY HOW OFTEN

THE PRESIDENT CAME BACK TO IT.

I UNDERSTOOD WHY.

I READ A COLUMN THIS MORNING BY

A NATIONAL SYNDICATED

CONSERVATIVE WRITER WHO IS A

STAUNCH PRESIDENT TRUMP

SUPPORTER.

AND HE HAD SAID -- AND THIS IS

NOT THE FIRST TIME I SAW HIM SAY

THIS, AND I'VE SEEN OTHERS.

HE KIND OF BEMOANED THE FACT

THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS FOCUSING

SO MUCH ON THIS.

AND HIS COMMENT WAS -- HIS

COMMENT WAS, THIS ELECTION IS

NOT GOING TO TURN ON HUNTER

BIDEN.

AND HE WAS QUOTING A NUMBER OF

POLLS WHERE -- AND I'VE SEEN

SOME OF THEM -- WHERE UNDECIDEDS

ESPECIALLY WERE ASKED TO RANK

THEIR ISSUES, AND HUNTER BIDEN

WAS AT THE VERY BOTTOM.

AND SOME OF THEM WERE GIVEN A 0%

INTEREST.

SO, HERE'S SOMEBODY WHO'S A

STAUNCH SUPPORTER OF THE

PRESIDENT, AND HE'S SAYING, THIS

IS NOT WHAT IT'S GOING TO TURN

ON.

SO, WHY DO YOU THINK, THEN --

AMY, I'LL ASK YOU FIRST -- WHY

DO YOU THINK, IF THAT'S

CORRECT -- AND YOU MIGHT

DISAGREE WITH THAT AND MIGHT

DISAGREE WITH THE POLLS, BUT WHY

DO YOU THINK THE PRESIDENT

DECIDED TO HAMMER THAT SO OFTEN

LAST NIGHT?

>> WELL, THERE IS AN ANSWER TO

THAT, AND I WRITE FOR A SWISS

MAGAZINE, A SWISS WEEKLY, AND

THIS WEEK WE'RE FEATURING STEVE

BANNON, WHO WAS PRESIDENT

TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER THE

LAST TIME AROUND, A VERY

CONTROVERSIAL FIGURE.

AND HE POINTS OUT -- AND I'VE

BEEN TOLD THIS BY TRUMP'S

CAMPAIGN POLSTER EVEN A YEAR

AGO -- THAT THEIR STRATEGY IS A

GROUND GAME.

IT'S A GET OUT THE VOTE, TURN

OUT YOUR BASE, YOU KNOW, GET

THOSE PEOPLE ENERGIZED AND

MOTIVATED.

AND STEVE BANNON, AS HE WAS ONE

OF THE PEOPLE THAT BROUGHT THIS

INFORMATION TO THE "NEW YORK

POST," AND YESTERDAY A COLLEAGUE

OF HUNTER BIDEN'S HAD A PRESS

CONFERENCE.

I DON'T KNOW IF YOU SAW THAT,

JACK, WHERE HE SAID THAT THE

VICE PRESIDENT IS NOT TELLING

THE TRUTH.

HE DID TALK QUITE A LOT ABOUT

HUNTER BIDEN'S BUSINESS BECAUSE

HE WAS ESSENTIALLY A BUSINESS

PARTNER IN TERMS OF BIDEN FAMILY

INC.

AND ALL OF THIS IS BREAKING IN

THE LAST 24 HOURS.

BUT IN ANY CASE, STEVE BANNON'S

POINT IS, THIS ISSUE IS

MOTIVATING FOR THE

LOW-PROPENSITY VOTERS THAT THE

TRUMP CAMPAIGN IS TARGETING.

AND LOW-PROPENSITY VOTERS ARE

PEOPLE WHO DON'T TEND TO VOTE

THAT MUCH.

SO, WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING AT HOW

DO YOU EXPAND YOUR NUMBERS, YES,

YOU WANT -- SO, THEY'RE NOT NEW

VOTERS OR FIRST-TIME VOTERS.

THEY'RE PEOPLE WHO KIND OF DON'T

REALLY GET ENGAGED IN THE

PROCESS.

THESE ARE PEOPLE THAT CAME OUT

FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP IN 2016,

PARTICULARLY IN THE REPUBLICAN

PRIMARY, AND NOW THAT'S WHO THIS

CAMPAIGN IS LASER FOCUSED ON.

IT'S NOT A PERSUASION CAMPAIGN

FOR THE TRUMP PEOPLE.

IT NEVER HAS BEEN.

IT'S ABOUT MOTIVATING THAT BASE,

TRYING TO GET THESE

LOW-PROPENSITY VOTERS TO SHOW UP

ON ELECTION DAY.

>> REVEREND, WHAT DO YOU THINK

ABOUT THAT AND THE APPROACH THAT

THE PRESIDENT TOOK TO HAMMERING

THIS ISSUE?

>> I THINK THERE IS A SMALL

NUMBER OF PEOPLE FOR WHOM THIS

IS OF INTEREST, BUT WHAT WE KNOW

IS THAT THE PRESIDENT IS A

CREATURE OF HABIT, AND AS HE

SHARED WITH BOB WOODWARD, HE

BELIEVES THAT THE STRATEGY THAT

HE USED IN 2016 OF RALLIES AT

THE LAST MINUTE IN THE LAST FEW

WEEKS, OF GOING AFTER THESE

ISSUES LIKE HE DID WITH HILLARY

CLINTON -- HE'S REPEATING THE

SAME PLAYBOOK THAT HE USED IN

2016.

WE'RE IN A DIFFERENT WORLD NOW.

AND WHILE -- LISTEN, I'M ALL FOR

LET'S GET THE FACTS OUT THERE,

LET PEOPLE MAKE THEIR DECISIONS

AND LET'S DECIDE.

THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS -- AND

I THINK JOE BIDEN MADE THIS

POINT VERY WELL LAST NIGHT --

IT'S NOT ABOUT HUNTER BIDEN OR

EVEN IT'S NOT ABOUT DONALD TRUMP

AND HIS CHILDREN, AND YOU KNOW,

THE MONEY THAT HIS FAMILY IS

MAKING IN THE COURSE OF THIS

PRESIDENCY.

IT'S NOT ABOUT THAT.

IT'S ABOUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

AND THEIR FAMILIES AND WHAT'S

HAPPENING IN THEIR LIVES, THE

KITCHEN TABLE ISSUES, AS THEY

ARE TRYING TO NAVIGATE

CORONAVIRUS, THE DECLINE OF

THEIR BUSINESSES, WHAT'S

HAPPENING IN THEIR CHILDREN'S

SCHOOLS.

DOES ANYBODY REALLY CARE ABOUT

CHINA?

SO, IT IS A MYSTERY TO ME, OTHER

THAN THAT THE PRESIDENT IS A

CREATURE OF HABIT, THAT HE KEEPS

ROUNDING BACK TO CHINA AND

RUSSIA AND HUNTER BIDEN, WHEN

PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO MAKE

PAYROLL AND PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO

EARN A PAYCHECK AND PEOPLE ARE

TRYING TO STAY HEALTHY WHEN WE

HAVE RISING CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS

EVERY SINGLE DAY.

WE HAD THE HIGHEST SPIKE

YESTERDAY THAT WE'VE HAD SINCE

MAY.

THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT IS FRONT

AND CENTER ON PEOPLE'S MIND, AND

I THINK THAT'S WHAT JOE BIDEN

HIT THAT EMPATHY BUTTON

YESTERDAY TO EXPLAIN.

>> LET ME GO TO --

>> WELL, THE --

>> AMY, LET ME JUST JUMP TO

BECAUSE THERE IS A BUNCH OF

TOPICS I WANT TO GET TO.

AND THE DEBATE LED OFF, AS THE

OTHER ONES HAVE DONE, WITH THE

CORONAVIRUS.

SO, AMY, I THINK SOME PEOPLE --

I KNOW WHEN I SAW SOME OF THIS

WRITTEN BEFORE -- SOME PEOPLE

THOUGHT THAT PERHAPS THE

PRESIDENT MIGHT COME OUT -- AND

HE DID SAY, I TAKE

RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS.

AND THERE HAD ALWAYS BEEN

QUESTIONS WHETHER HE HAD SAID

THAT OR WOULDN'T DO THAT BEFORE.

HE DID DO THAT LAST NIGHT.

BUT THERE WERE SOME OBSERVERS

AND INDEED SOME ALLIES, WHO

SAID, WE WISH HE WOULD COME OUT

AND JUST SEEM A LITTLE BIT MORE

EMPATHETIC TO THIS.

AND IF YOU WANT TO PROVIDE

ENCOURAGEMENT, SAYING, AS HE

SAID, WE'RE ROUNDING THE CORNER,

ALSO PROVIDE SOME SENSE OF THE

DEPTH OF THE LOSS HERE.

AND AGAIN, LOOKING AT HIS

APPROACH LAST NIGHT, I THINK

IT'S FAIR TO SAY THAT THE

EMPATHY WASN'T THERE, THAT,

AGAIN, HE CONTINUED TO BEAT THE

DRUM, SAYING WE'RE BEATING IT,

WE'RE BEATING IT, WE'RE ROUNDING

THE CORNER, WE'RE ALL GOOD.

AND AGAIN, MANY OBSERVERS SAID

HE DOESN'T SEEM TO HAVE ANY

SENSE OF LOSS FOR THE SOME

200,000 PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST

THEIR LIVES.

WHAT'D YOU THINK ABOUT HIS

APPROACH TO THIS QUESTION YET

AGAIN?

>> I THINK THAT HE COULD WEAVE

THAT EMPATHY WITH ALSO POINTING

OUT THAT A LOT OF THAT LOSS CAME

FROM VERY POOR DECISIONS AT THE

LOCAL LEVEL.

WE KNOW HERE IN NEW YORK THAT

OUR GOVERNOR, HE PUT PEOPLE WITH

CORONAVIRUS IN RETIREMENT HOMES,

AND IT SPREAD LIKE WILDFIRE AND

KILLED UPWARDS OF 30,000, 40,000

PEOPLE.

SO, PRESIDENT TRUMP COULD BE

ABLE TO PUT TOGETHER THE EMPATHY

AND THE POLICY OF WHY WE ARE

WHERE WE ARE.

BUT I WOULD ALSO ADD THAT

CORONAVIRUS, WE KNOW THAT THIS

IS PART OF THE DEMOCRATIC

STRATEGY, IS TO KEEP FOCUSED ON

THIS ISSUE, BECAUSE IT'S AN

ISSUE THAT WORKS FOR JOE BIDEN,

THAT WE KNOW IN THE POLLING THAT

JOE BIDEN IS CONSIDERED TO BE

MORE TRUSTED IN HANDLING

CORONAVIRUS.

THIS ISN'T A GOOD AREA FOR

PRESIDENT TRUMP WHEN IT COMES TO

PUBLIC OPINION.

WE ALSO KNOW THAT THE MEDIA IS

NOT REPORTING ACCURATELY THAT,

IN FACT, THE DEATH RATE IS

FALLING IN THE UNITED STATES.

NOW, I WILL ACTUALLY GIVE CREDIT

TO "THE NEW YORK TIMES."

THEY DID A BIG PIECE ON THIS

THAT SAID, WE'RE ACTUALLY DOING

REALLY WELL GLOBALLY IN HOW

WE'RE TACKLING THIS.

SO, WHEN PRESIDENT TRUMP TALKS

ABOUT THERAPEUTICS, HE'S

ACTUALLY EXACTLY RIGHT, AND

THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT THIS IS

THE CASE.

NOW, GETTING BACK TO, NOBODY

CARES ABOUT HUNTER BIDEN.

AGAIN, IN THE HOME STRETCH, THIS

ISN'T ABOUT PERSUASION.

THIS IS NOT PRESIDENT TRUMP

TRYING TO GET PEOPLE, YOU KNOW,

THOSE OBAMA FLIPPERS FROM

2016 -- OR MORE OBAMA FLIPPERS

FROM 2016, TO VOTE FOR HIM.

AND WHEN YOU ASK, WHY IS HE

USING THIS PLAYBOOK?

BECAUSE IT WORKED.

HE BECAME PRESIDENT OF THE

UNITED STATES BECAUSE OF

QUESTIONS ABOUT HILLARY

CLINTON'S TRUSTWORTHINESS AND

CHARACTER, AND I THOUGHT THAT

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN ACTUALLY

OPENED A DOOR TO A LOT OF

VULNERABILITY BECAUSE HE,

HIMSELF, SAID, YOU KNOW ME, YOU

KNOW HIM.

I'M THE GUY WHO'S DECENT.

I'M THE GUY WITH CHARACTER.

I'M THE GUY YOU CAN TRUST.

AND NOW WE HAVE THIS BURGEONING

SCANDAL, THAT THAT MIGHT NOT BE

THE CASE.

IS IT ENOUGH BETWEEN NOW AND

NOVEMBER 3rd TO, YOU KNOW, RAISE

QUESTIONS IN PEOPLE'S MINDS?

NO.

BUT FOR THE PEOPLE WHO, AS I

SAY, THAT THE CAMPAIGN IS

TARGETING, TRYING TO MOTIVATE,

TO GET OUT TO THE POLLS, THESE

LOW-PROPENSITY VOTERS, THEY

MIGHT SAY, YEAH, WHAT IS GOING

ON HERE?

DRAIN THAT SWAMP!

THAT WAS A VERY EFFECTIVE

APPROACH FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP IN

2016.

>> WELL, HOW ABOUT -- GO AHEAD.

>> COMPLETELY DIFFERENT,

COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

ENVIRONMENT, WHERE WE WERE IN

2016.

IN 2016, WE WERE DEALING WITH A

CANDIDATE, HILLARY CLINTON, WHO

HAD BEEN THE VICTIM OF 20 YEARS

OF REPUBLICANS BASHING HER.

AND SO, BUT PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS

ABLE TO PLAY ON WHAT WAS ALREADY

A PREDISPOSITION OF PEOPLE AND

THEIR FEELINGS TOWARDS HILLARY

CLINTON.

THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS -- AND

I'M A NEW YORKER, SO WE CAN

ARGUE WHAT HAPPENED IN NEW YORK

TILL THE COWS COME HOME, BUT THE

FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT THE

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

SAID TO THE GOVERNORS OF THIS

COUNTRY, YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN, GO

FIND YOUR OWN PPE.

>> WE WERE NOT ON OUR OWN.

HE SENT US --

>> NO, THAT'S WHAT HE SAID.

BUT THAT'S WHAT -- AMY, WE'RE

BOTH NEW YORKERS.

THAT'S WHAT --

>> ACTUALLY --

>> GOVERNOR CUOMO HAD TO DO WHAT

HE HAD TO DO TO MAKE SURE THAT

WE HAD THE PPE.

I LOST MANY CHURCH MEMBERS AS A

RESULT OF THE LACK OF FEDERAL

RESPONSE, HELPING THE GOVERNORS

ACROSS THE COUNTRY DEAL WITH

THIS VIRUS.

BUT REALLY, AT THE BASE OF IT,

CORONAVIRUS SHOULDN'T EVEN BE AN

ISSUE, BECAUSE WE AS A COUNTRY

SHOULD BE UNITED IN HOW WE ARE

DEALING WITH WHAT GOVERNORS,

WHAT STATES, WHAT MAYORS, WHAT

LOCALITIES NEED IN ORDER TO

ADDRESS THE VIRUS.

AND THE FACT THAT IT IS EVEN AN

ISSUE IS PROBLEMATIC.

>> WELL, IT'S --

>> LET ME SAY -- AMY, LET ME

HOLD YOU.

AMY, I KNOW, WE COULD TALK ABOUT

THIS ONE ISSUE ALL NIGHT --

>> I DO WANT TO CORRECT THE

RECORD.

WE KNOW THAT THE PRESIDENT SENT

A NAVY SHIP OF BEDS --

>> THAT WAS THREE WEEKS AFTER --

THAT WAS FAR AFTER --

>> WE KNOW THAT THERE WERE EMPTY

BEDS AND THE PRESIDENT SENT

VENTILATORS.

THERE WAS EVEN -- WE HAVE TOO

MANY VENTILATORS.

THAT IS THE TRUTH.

HE THANKED THE PRESIDENT FOR

THIS.

>> ALL RIGHT, I'M GOING TO JUMP

IN NOW, BECAUSE WE'RE KIND OF

DOING WHAT WE WERE --

>> THE FIRST DEBATE!

OH, NO.

>> EXACTLY.

SO, LET ME JUMP TO A COUPLE OF

OTHER THINGS, ALL RIGHT?

ONE OF, I THINK, THE ANTICIPATED

CONVERSATIONS HAD TO DO WITH

RACE IN AMERICA.

AND WE SAW THAT, ONCE AGAIN,

KRISTEN WELKER.

I WANT TO TALK FOR A FEW MOMENTS

ABOUT HOW WONDERFULLY I THINK

SHE HANDLED THAT.

I WANT TO GET YOUR IMPREGNANTS

-- IMPRESSIONS ON IT, BUT WE

SAW HER SAY TO THE PRESIDENT

ABOUT HIS REACTIONS AND COMMENTS

ABOUT THE BLACK LIVES MATTER

MOVEMENT.

SO, REVEREND, I'M GOING TO ASK

YOU FIRST THIS -- WHAT DID YOU

THINK ABOUT HIS RESPONSE TO THAT

QUESTION?

>> FIRST, I THOUGHT KRISTEN WAS

VERY GOOD IN ASKING POINTED

QUESTIONS AND INSISTING THAT

BOTH CANDIDATES ANSWER THE

QUESTIONS.

I THOUGHT TRUMP WAS, YOU KNOW --

I DON'T KNOW THAT HE SURPRISED

ANYBODY.

AND I THINK THAT HIS VIEW OF

HIMSELF AS A NON-RACIST, LEAST

RACIST PERSON IN THE ROOM AND

COMPARING HIMSELF TO ABRAHAM

LINCOLN WAS PROBABLY THE HEIGHT

OF THE RIDICULOUSNESS LAST

NIGHT.

AND I JUST THOUGHT THAT JOE

BIDEN DID A GREAT ANSWER IN

TALKING ABOUT THE TALK THAT WE

ALL HAVE IN THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN

COMMUNITY, CERTAINLY THAT MY

BROTHER HAS WITH HIS SONS AND

THAT MY DAD HAD WITH MY BROTHER.

AND PRESIDENT TRUMP -- IT WAS AN

OPPORTUNITY FOR HIM TO RECOGNIZE

AND TO EMPATHIZE WITH THE FACT

THAT, WHETHER HE AGREES WITH IT

OR NOT, THAT HE IS AWARE THAT

THIS HAPPENS AND THAT THERE ARE

FAMILIES THAT LIVE WITH THIS

KIND OF ISSUE IN OUR COUNTRY.

AND I THOUGHT HE MISSED THAT

OPPORTUNITY AND THEN COMPOUNDED

IT WITH THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN, I

CAN'T SEE, BUT I'M THE LEAST

RACIST PERSON IN THE ROOM

COMMENT.

>> AMY, LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THE

SAME QUESTION, BUT I WAS ALSO

STRUCK BY, IN A COUPLE OF

INSTANCES, WHEN THE QUESTION

POSED BY KRISTEN WELKER TO EACH

SIDE WAS, ESSENTIALLY, LOOK INTO

THE CAMERA AND TALK TO -- AND

THEN THERE WERE DIFFERENT

CATEGORIES OF THE QUESTIONS.

AND AS REVEREND DAUGHTRY SAID,

ONE OF THEM WAS TALK TO THE

PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO HAVE HAD TO

GO THROUGH THE TALK.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?

AND I WAS A LITTLE SURPRISED

THAT HE DIDN'T TAKE THE

OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO THEM.

IF YOU WERE ADVISING HIM, AMY,

IF YOU WERE PREPARING HIM FOR

THIS, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE SAID

TO HIM ABOUT TAKING THAT

OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS THAT

ISSUE IN SOME KIND OF A POSITIVE

WAY?

>> WELL, WE'VE SEEN THAT

PRESIDENT TRUMP DOESN'T TEND TO

USE THAT TECHNIQUE OF LOOKING

DIRECTLY INTO THE CAMERA, AND

THIS IS ME TALKING TO YOU, THAT

YOU KNOW, MANY POLITICIANS DO,

AND WE SAW THAT VICE PRESIDENT

JOE BIDEN DID LAST NIGHT.

HE DID SAY THAT HE WAS

SYMPATHETIC.

I WOULD HAVE LIKED THAT.

I WOULD HAVE LIKED THAT MORE

KIND OF PERSONAL CONNECTION TO

THE ISSUE.

BUT ONCE AGAIN, YOU HAVE THIS

TOPIC BEING RAISED IN A WAY THAT

IS MEANT TO PUT THE PRESIDENT ON

DEFENSE AND THE VICE PRESIDENT

ON OFFENSE.

THE VICE PRESIDENT HAS HIS OWN

VULNERABILITIES ON THIS

QUESTION, AND YOU SAW

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD, FOR

EXAMPLE, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH

CNN WITH DON LEMON -- HE SAID

THAT HE'S NOT VOTING FOR JOE

BIDEN.

HE'S VOTING FOR KAMALA HARRIS.

AND HE UNDERSTANDS PERFECTLY

WELL WHY SO MANY YOUNG, BLACK

MALES ACTUALLY FIND PRESIDENT

TRUMP APPEALING.

AND THERE'S POLLING THAT SHOWS

THAT HE MIGHT GET AS MANY AS 17%

OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE

VOTE.

AND IN TERMS OF THE VICE

PRESIDENT'S VULNERABILITIES,

WE'VE SEEN THEM THIS CAMPAIGN,

WHEN HE SAID TO CHARLAMAGNE THA

GOD THAT INFAMOUS, YOU KNOW,

BLURTED OUT THAT INFAMOUS

LINE -- IF YOU DON'T KNOW IF

YOU'RE VOTING FOR ME, YOU AIN'T

BLACK?

THAT WAS SHOCKING!

AND HE WAS ROUNDLY CRITICIZED

FOR THAT.

WE DIDN'T HEAR THAT QUESTION

POSED TO HIM ON THE STAGE LAST

NIGHT.

AND THE VICE PRESIDENT, OF

COURSE, WE KNOW, BACK IN 2008

WHEN HE CALLED PRESIDENT OBAMA,

LIKE HE'S THE FIRST CLEAN,

BRIGHT, ARTICULATE

AFRICAN-AMERICAN TO BE RUNNING

FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED

STATES.

JOE BIDEN HAS HIS OWN HISTORY

AND RECORD OF, IF YOU WANT TO

CALL THEM, TO BE GENEROUS,

GAFFES, WHEN IT COMES TO TALKING

ABOUT THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN

COMMUNITY.

>> ONCE AGAIN, A REMINDER, WE'RE

TALKING WITH REVEREND LEAH

DAUGHTRY AND AMY HOLMES ABOUT

THE LAST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE LAST

NIGHT.

REVEREND, YOU WERE GOING TO JUMP

IN ON SOMETHING?

>> YEAH, I WAS GOING TO SAY, THE

DIFFERENCE IS, JOE BIDEN IN HIS

GAFFES AND TRUMP AND HIS GAFFES

AND ERRORS -- THE DIFFERENCE IS

JOE BIDEN IS ABLE TO OWN THEM,

BUT STILL LOOK INTO THE CAMERA

WITH EMPATHY, ACKNOWLEDGE THE

TALK, TALK ABOUT WHERE HE'S MADE

MISTAKES AND WHERE HE'S ABLE TO

COURSE CORRECT.

FOR THE PRESIDENT AND HIS

CAMPAIGN STRATEGY, WHICH SEEMS

TO BE TO PEEL OFF BLACK MEN, YOU

WOULD THINK, JUST AS A CAMPAIGN

TACTIC AND STRATEGY, THAT HE

WOULD BE ABLE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE

TALK, THAT HE WOULD BE ABLE TO

TALK WITH BETTER EMPATHY AND

SYMPATHY AND FACTS AND DATA

ABOUT HIS RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE

AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY AND

NOT DEFAULT TO ABRAHAM LINCOLN,

WHO SIGNED THE EMANCIPATION

PROCLAMATION, AND HIS COMPARISON

POINT, COMPLETELY SKIPPING OVER

KENNEDY AND JOHNSON AND THE

VOTING RIGHTS ACT AND ALL OF

THAT, TO GO ALL THE WAY BACK

OVER 100-SOME-ODD YEARS TO FIND

SOMEONE WITH WHOM HE THINKS,

PERHAPS, HE SAID, WITH THE

NOTABLE EXCEPTION OF ABRAHAM

LINCOLN.

IT'S JUST LIKE, DUDE, COME ON.

>> LEAH --

>> LET ME COME BACK FOR A SECOND

TO THE FORMAT --

>> I DO WANT --

>> WE TOUCHED BASE ON THIS

LITTLE BIT, BUT IN OUR LAST

CONVERSATION, I SAID TO YOU, I

WAS SORT OF LEERY OF EVER DOING

THESE TYPES OF FORMATS AGAIN,

BECAUSE THEY HAD BEEN -- IT WAS

DONE SO POORLY.

AND I EVEN SAID, WE TALKED ABOUT

THIS, ALL THREE OF US, YOU KNOW,

MAYBE THE FORMAT IS THE

ONE-PERSON TOWN HALL TYPE OF

THING.

I WAS -- I GOT A BIT OF AN

AFFIRMATION LAST NIGHT BY THIS.

WHY DO YOU THINK IT WORKED?

AND AGAIN, KRISTEN WELKER IS A

FRIEND OF MINE, AND I THINK SHE

DID A MARVELOUS JOB.

WHY DO WE THINK THIS ONE -- AND

THIS IS JUST A REAL QUICK

QUESTION FOR ALL OF US, BECAUSE

I WANT TO GET TO A COUPLE

OTHERS -- BUT WHY DO YOU THINK

THIS ONE SEEMED TO WORK SO MUCH

BETTER?

AMY?

>> WELL, I THINK THE THREAT OF

THAT MUTE BUTTON WAS EFFECTIVE,

AND I THOUGHT SHE WAS A TERRIFIC

MODERATOR AND KEPT THINGS MOVING

ALONG.

GETTING BACK TO THE QUESTION OF

PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LACK OF

EMPATHY AND VULNERABILITY FOR

THE VICE PRESIDENT ON ISSUES OF

RACE, WE DID HEAR THE PRESIDENT

LAST NIGHT TALK ABOUT, YOU KNOW,

THE CRIME REFORM BILL, PRISON

REFORM BILL, FULLY FUNDING HBCUs

FOR TEN YEARS.

MY BROTHER WENT TO MOREHOUSE.

I KNOW HE'S VERY HAPPY TO HEAR

THAT.

SO, THE PRESIDENT DID TALK ABOUT

SUBSTANTIVE THINGS THAT HE'S

DONE IN HIS ADMINISTRATION WHEN

IT COMES TO THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN

COMMUNITY.

I AGREE THAT HIS HYPERBOLE OF

BEING THE BEST PRESIDENT FOR THE

AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY SINCE

ABRAHAM LINCOLN -- I THINK HE

ACTUALLY DOES BELIEVE THAT,

WHICH IS SORT OF ASTONISHING,

AND I DON'T KNOW WHERE HE GOT

THIS IDEA.

WE DO KNOW THAT THE PRESIDENT

USES HYPERBOLE.

BUT ONCE AGAIN, THE PLAYING

FIELD, WHILE I THINK THAT THE

MODERATOR HANDLED IT VERY

SKILLFULLY, I THINK SHE WAS

TERRIFIC, VERY HIGH MARKS.

ONCE AGAIN, YOU HAD THE TOPICS

AND THE ISSUES BEING

APPROACHED -- FIRST OF ALL, THE

TOPIC SELECTION AND THE WAY THAT

THEY WERE APPROACHED REALLY TO

BENEFIT THE ISSUES THAT THE

DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THE VICE

PRESIDENT ARE RUNNING ON.

>> BUT AMY, YOU DON'T THINK

THOSE ARE THE ISSUES THAT -- IF

YOU LOOK AT ALL THE POLLS THAT

ARE DONE, FOR WHATEVER THEY'RE

WORLD -- YOU KNOW, THEY'RE A

SNAPSHOT, BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE

POLLS, THOSE SEEM TO BE THE

ISSUES THAT PEOPLE ARE MOST

INTERESTED IN TALKING ABOUT.

>> CLIMATE CHANGE RANKS VERY LOW

ON THE BOTTOM.

IT HAS FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND

YEARS, WHEN IT COMES TO VOTER,

YOU KNOW, VOTER INTEREST AND

WHAT PEOPLE ARE MOST FOCUSED ON.

AND LAST NIGHT, AN ENTIRE

SEGMENT DEVOTED TO CLIMATE

CHANGE.

THIS IS, YOU KNOW, AN AREA THAT

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY THINKS IS

ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL AND VOTERS

DO NOT, AND THEY HAVE NOT FOR

MANY ELECTION CYCLES NOW.

SO, AGAIN, THAT PUTS THE

PRESIDENT ON THE DEFENSE AND IT

PLAYS TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

AND THE ISSUES THE WAY THAT THEY

WANT TO FRAME THIS ELECTION.

THE ECONOMY IS NUMBER ONE, BUT

WE OPEN WITH COVID.

AND IN FACT, LAST NIGHT, THE

VICE PRESIDENT SAID SOMETHING

ABOUT THE ECONOMY THAT I THINK

IS RATHER SHOCKING, THAT HE

WANTS TO COMPLETELY PHASE OUT

THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY.

THAT IS WORTHY OF A LOT MORE

INVESTIGATION.

>> REVEREND, WHAT DO YOU THINK

ABOUT THE TOPIC SELECTION, IN

TERMS OF THE INTEREST OF THE

VOTING PUBLIC?

JUST TO GIVE YOU A HEADS-UP,

WE'VE GOT ABOUT TWO MINUTES LEFT

IN OUR CONVERSATION.

>> OKAY, AND I THINK YOU'RE

RIGHT, JACK.

THE ISSUES THAT THEY TALKED

ABOUT ARE ISSUES THAT ARE TOP OF

MIND IN THE AMERICAN PUBLIC.

EVERYONE IS DEALING WITH

CORONAVIRUS.

IT WAS RIGHT TO START WITH THAT.

WE'RE ALL -- I HAVEN'T SEEN MY

PARENTS IN SIX MONTHS.

PEOPLE ARE DYING.

AS JOE BIDEN SAID, THERE IS THE

EMPTY SPACE NEXT TO YOU IN THE

BED.

THAT IS AFFECTING HOW THE

ECONOMY IS GOING TO FUNCTION.

YOU'VE GOT TO TALK ABOUT IT!

TO HAVE A DEBATE AND NOT TALK

ABOUT IT, AND TO FRAME IT AS A

DEMOCRATIC ISSUE IS REALLY PART

OF THE PROBLEM.

SO, CORONAVIRUS.

WHAT WE DIDN'T REALLY GET TO IN

ANY DEPTH, WHICH I WOULD HAVE

LOVED TO, IS THIS MYSTERIOUS

HEALTH CARE PLAN THAT THE

PRESIDENT SAYS HE'S GOT THAT WE

HAVEN'T -- WE'VE BEEN WAITING

FOUR YEARS FOR AND WE STILL

HAVEN'T SEEN.

SO, I THINK THE ISSUES THAT THEY

FRAMED, AND I THINK KRISTEN --

TO GET BACK TO THE ORIGINAL

QUESTION -- DID A REALLY GOOD

JOB.

AND I THINK THIS IS A THREAD

THEY NEED TO FOLLOW FOR FUTURE

DEBATES IN TERMS OF FORMAT, THE

THREAT OF THE MUTE BUTTON, A

MODERATOR WHO IS STRONG AND CAN

SHIFT FOLKS AND IS NOT AFRAID TO

CUT PEOPLE OFF, REALLY.

AND YOU KNOW, THE TOPICS WERE

PUBLISHED AHEAD OF TIME, AND I

THINK THEY WOULD MAKE ALL OF US

BREATHE A SIGH OF RELIEF AND

COME TO THE TABLE WILLINGLY

WITHOUT ASPIRIN, AND PERHAPS A

STRONG BEVERAGE IN ORDER TO

WATCH.

>> WELL, I THINK WE ALL AGREE --

WE ALL AGREE, AS SO MANY OF THE

OTHER COMMENTATORS DID, THAT

THIS WAS -- IT WAS SO MUCH

BETTER, IT WAS SO MUCH MORE

INFORMATIVE.

IT GAVE YOU A MUCH BETTER SENSE

OF WHERE BOTH CANDIDATES STOOD,

AND I THINK WE NEEDED THAT.

CLARITY IS ESSENTIAL.

WHETHER YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE,

THE CLARITY, A SENSE OF CLARITY

IS ESSENTIAL.

AND ALSO A SENSE OF DECORUM.

WE'VE GOT TO REMEMBER, WE'RE

TALKING ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL

ELECTION HERE.

AND I THINK BOTH THE CANDIDATES,

AS WE SAID, CAME TO THE STAGE

LAST NIGHT IN PRESENTING ALL

THAT.

SO, AS ALWAYS, REVEREND LEAH

DAUGHTRY, AMY HOLMES, THANK YOU

SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR

THOUGHTS.

IT ALWAYS, AS I SAID BEFORE, I

ALWAYS FEEL SMARTER WHEN I TALK

TO THE TWO OF YOU.

I LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING TO YOU

AGAIN REAL SOON.

YOU BE WELL.

>> TAKE CARE.

>> THANK YOU.

>>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE

POSSIBLE BY SUE AND EDGAR

WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND

SIMON B. POINTA PROGRAMMING

ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM, BERNARD AND

DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE

ZUCKERBERG, AND BY JANET PRINDLE

SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD,

JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT

C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.