Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
podcast_1400-MiddayEdition.jpg
KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Four Undecided California Democrats Explain What They Want In A Presidential Candidate

 June 4, 2019 at 10:42 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's the question many Democrats are grappling with this presidential primary campaign. Do you pick the candidate who best reflects your policy views or the one you think has the best shot of winning a general election against president Trump at this past weekend's California Democratic Party Convention Cap Radio's Ben Adler sat down with for undecided voters and asked them who they like, who they don't and what they're looking for in a nominee. Speaker 2: 00:26 Uh, my name is kin chuck Juanita. I am work with a local labor union that union United health care workers. Speaker 1: 00:33 And you're 27 years old and you're from Richmond? Speaker 3: 00:35 Yes. Hi, I'm Joe Griego. I am the chief technology officer for the Mono County Office of education, but I live in Bishop California in Inyo County, California. And I am our county, one of our county delegates. Well, and you're 54 years old. I'm 54 years old. All right. And next. My name is rosemary ran and I'm an educator and a student and San Luis Obispo County, California. And I'm also the chair of our county Democratic Party. I'm 55 years old. And you want it to be clear that you were speaking for yourself and not for the party. Exactly. Thank you. All right. And I'm Mimi fell. Koen I'm from Irvine, California. I'm 56 years old and a small business owner. All right. Speaker 1: 01:17 Why don't we start by just going around and asking for your opening impressions of the weekend. You've had a chance to hear from 14 Democratic presidential candidates. That's about two thirds of the 23 candidates who have declared so far. And, and so what stood out to you the most? What's each of your takeaways from this weekend and, and, uh, let's start with Keenan. Speaker 2: 01:39 Okay. Um, I have to say that some of the candidates who maybe I wasn't so hot on earlier, I'm impressed me with their rhetoric and the way that they were able to kind of get across. Um, I guess certain policies, ideas, values, even like, um, for instance, may repeat Buddha, judge somebody who have been extremely skeptical of, and I think that he did a really good job. And, and why were you skeptical about him? Um, I honestly think that has policy or his rhetoric doesn't actually have a lot of kind of substantive kind of policy under girding it. And I guess one thing that's really important for me is not only, you know, we always say who can win was electable, but for me it's how can you solve the problems that got us here. Um, and that's why I've, I still remain relatively skeptical of him and Joe, uh, what stood out Speaker 4: 02:23 you from this weekend? I think, uh, changing hearts and minds requires engaging people's emotions. Donald Trump does an excellent job at that. I wish he didn't put, he does right? It resonates with people. The things that he says, and that's what I was hoping to gain. So I, I wanted to hear people speak so that I could hear, uh, whether or not they had an emotional hook and whether or not I could relate that to our constituency back at Inyo county. And I did. I, I was, I was excited to hear some folks speak. Um, some folks were a lot more dry than I had hoped. Um, I liked, for example, what Elizabeth Warren had to say. She does in fact have a plan for everything. Um, and she was really strikes me as a policy wonk, which speaks to me, but she does, she is not as power powerful and orator, which is a requirement. It seems like I, when I heard for example, Tulsa Gabbert, I didn't know that much about her, but she is a passionate can be a passionate speaker. But policy wise I need to make sure that I can go back and report to my constituents and Inyo county, well, here's, here's what she says here, how, how exciting she can be here, her policies. So we'll see. I'm excited to see what might happen in November. Rosemary. Speaker 5: 03:52 Yeah. I um, I'm with keen on this where I heard from people who I was pretty skeptical about and felt a lot more energized by them from then before. So me, Pete in NATO or actually two that got my attention more than they had before. Uh, I'm, I'm with you though on Elizabeth Warren and her policies and her plans. I think of all the speakers, she had the most, uh, to support what she wants to do. And it was a really great opportunity I think for Californians to hear from these candidates because we are an important state in the, in the upcoming election. And I think it was very important for us to get to hear from them. Speaker 4: 04:39 And Mimi, your takeaways from the weekend? Speaker 3: 04:42 Well, I was really anxious to hear from some of the candidates that I had read and heard from. Um, but shockingly, by the end of the weekend, the ones that I was most eager to listen to, um, we're not the most memorable in my mind. And the what do you mean by that? Um, I was really excited to hear Mayor Pete and in my opinion did not deliver. Um, I really, and also Beto I was very excited to hear it from and um, just kind of Ma about Elizabeth Warren. I was so pleasantly surprised by how engaging she was as well as Cory booker really surprised me. And then I was at the veteran's caucus last night and heard from Tulsi and she was and really didn't know much about her coming into this and was very impressed. Speaker 4: 05:40 What are you most looking for in who you are going to vote for in March? There's this debate over policy views verse electability or trying to have the best combination of the two. Where do each of you fall on that and this time? Let's, let's start with Joe. I think what's most important to me is if I am honest with myself, electability, I wish I could say it was policy, but the Democratic Party planks are something that aligned with my values. And so honestly I'm not so worried about who specifically, as long as they are, uh, support the Democratic Party planks and all of the members do. So for me, I'm looking for electability. Does that mean that you will vote for the candidate in March who you think has the best shot of winning in all likelihood? Yes. Rosemary, Speaker 5: 06:33 when I'm looking for is a candidate with, with integrity who is also someone who I believe can lead. That being said, whoever does come out of the Convention, um, in 2020, I will support that candidate as a Democrat because like Joe said, if they've adopted the Democratic Party principles and values, then I'm, I'm good with that Mimi. I'm all about electability. I feel we have to get Trump out of office and, um, I will vote for whoever will get him out of office Speaker 2: 07:08 and keen. Um, I actually, uh, the way that, the way that I look at it is, um, we are where we are and we have the president that we have because I think that a lot of people were ignoring to the point where they felt like this process wasn't working for them. And while I understand the concern about, you know, electability, I also think that if we have that conversation now, we might be kind of closing the door on certain candidates. I mean, if you look at last cycle, the, the candidate who at least on the republican side was pulling the highest at this time was Jeb Bush. And we all know how that turned out. So I know, and I'm not saying that that's what you're saying now, right? Um, but I, I think that there are a set of problems within like American society, both like in our politics and in our economy, um, that have led us to where we are. Um, so things like income inequality, um, that kind of reach out into every facet of our political life now are extremely important to me. And if you can show me that you have a plan to combat that on multiple fronts, you'll have my phone next year, next year, Speaker 4: 08:10 several of the candidates seem to sense what's on many of your minds, the electability question and sought to offer a counter arguments to that. So let's hear these two pieces of tape from Elizabeth Warren and Pete, a judge. Speaker 6: 08:23 Take it from this Midwesterner though he is deservedly unpopular. This president really could win again. We're not going to let that happen are we? We'd better not, but he wins. If we look like defenders of the system, he wins. If we look like more of the same, he wins if we look like Washington. And so the riskiest thing we could do is try too hard to play it safe. Some Democrats, Washington Speaker 7: 08:56 believed the only changes we can get our tweaks and nudges if they dream at all, they dreams small. Some say if we all just calm down, the Republicans will come to their senses. But our country is in a time of crisis. The time for small ideas is over. So I'm starting this time with Speaker 4: 09:21 Rosemary. I wonder what you think when you hear the candidates say those things. Speaker 5: 09:27 A mentor of mine once said, sometimes you have to put a stick in the spokes of the bike wheel to stop and, and really shake things up a little bit to, to get things back on track. So I believe that the candidate that can lead us to beating Trump is the one who can show young people who can show, um, underrepresented people that that person has their values and their best interest in mind. Speaker 4: 09:55 And Mimi. So, so when you hear many of the candidates take implied jabs, I think most likely it Joe Biden. What are your thoughts when you hear a candidate say like Elizabeth Warren or people to judge? Um, well we have to think big. We can't just be incremental. Speaker 3: 10:11 Well, I think that, um, one of the thing, the reasons that Trump got in and one of the biggest problems that we have since he got in was promising to shake it up, bring in new people, drain the swamp as it were. And now we have people in some of the highest positions in our country with no experience who are completely incompetent in the position enrolled that they're in. And I would, and I think that that has, um, awakened a large percentage of the population who prior to this election where like myself just kind of somewhat paying attention. Now I'm fully paying attention and I think that that will help us if we provide a clear message, a clear mission, a clear, um, path. And if that candidate can do that, keeping, keeping it very simple, like Trump kept it very simple and whichever candidate can do that is going to be our best chance at beating Trump. Speaker 4: 11:19 He, and I would imagine that quotes like that speak to you. Speaker 2: 11:24 Yeah. Um, I think if you start thinking about political considerations before you've put together your policy proposal, you're doing this backwards. Um, policy is meant to solve problems. I think everybody here would agree that the United States has problems. So if you're thinking about, oh, well, you know, what will, how many votes will I lose if I say this instead of just trying to address the problems that people have. Um, well the end result of that is government not working for people. Um, and that's how people lose hope and hopeless people don't want to say that they don't turn out to vote, but you know, hopeless people. Um, I think one of the most dangerous things that can happen in the democracies, people losing faith. Speaker 4: 12:08 Joe, you are among the most concerned at this table with electability. So, uh, what do you make of quotes like the mayors and the senators? I think that big ideas are necessary, but the key is that the candidates need to make sure that those big ideas connect with the people in the country. And I mean all of the people in this country, I come from a very rural, very red county, and those people felt left behind. They felt ignored and they felt that whatever they did didn't really matter and they would reach for anything, anything that made them feel relevant, that made them feel someone was listening to them. And if you can make a big idea, resonate with their real life. That to me is electability. Could we end with two lightning round questions? The first, give me your first and second choices as of this moment in the primary. And then the second lightning round question is, will you vote for the Democratic nominee for president no matter what, whether it's anyone ranging from Bernie Sanders to Joe Biden keen. Do you want to take a stab at those two lightning round questions first? They don't need to be long answers. Speaker 2: 13:20 Yeah, sure. Um, tied for one Sanders Warren and absolutely. Yes. I mean, anything is better than Donald Trump that we have for Speaker 4: 13:29 right now. Joe Griego, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker. I was inspired by Cory Booker. I think Elizabeth Warren could be an effective legislator and a wonderful leader. And will you vote for anyone for any Democrat for precedent over any Republican? Yes, every day of the week rosemary run. Speaker 5: 13:50 I'm with keen, literally tied with Bernie and Elizabeth. I think either one of them would. I would be ecstatic to see either one of them on the top of the ticket. And barring that, yes, I will vote for the Democratic nominee in 2020 and made me feel calm. Well this has come back full circle. Um, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker and yes, I will vote Democrat no matter what. Speaker 4: 14:17 And now all of you together, can you name the 23 presidential candidates? Can you put your heads together and the name all 23 can you give us 15 minutes? We're going, yeah, if I can Google it. Yeah. Well thank you. Thank you so much. All of you for making the time to talk. I'm just going to let everyone know who you are. One last time he and chuck, when ETA from Richmond and organizer for a local healthcare union, Joe Griego from Inyo County who works for the Mono County Office of education. Rosemary ran, who a part time lecturer, uh, and doctorate student, uh, from the San Louis Obispo County and made me, fell Cohn, a small business Speaker 1: 14:52 owner from Irvine and Orange County. Thank you so much for talking with capital public radio. Thank you. That was capital public radio has been Adler speaking with, for undecided voters at this past weekend's California Democratic Party convention in San Francisco. Speaker 8: 15:08 [inaudible].

MiddayEd_generic-new_JmoAH0T.jpg
At this past weekend’s California Democratic Party convention CapRadio’s Ben Adler sat down with four undecided voters and asked them about who they like, who they don’t, and what they’re looking for in a nominee.
KPBS Midday Edition Segments