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Joe Kennedy III: LGBT rights, white working classes, Presidential run?

Joe Kennedy III: LGBT rights, white working classes, Presidential run?
congressman first of all just given the last 24 hours in American politics it's kind of there is a sense of chaos here how real is that sense is its kind of heat noise or is it substantive so I think look the political environment at the moment is chaotic and it's for those of us in it it it could be I would appreciate a little more boring at the moment the reality though is that after you get outside of Washington and I spent about half my time here and half my time at home and in my
joe kennedy iii lgbt rights white working classes presidential run
district and in Massachusetts you also are spending a great deal of time with folks that are focused on doing what every other person does right which is trying to keep a roof over your head and food on your plate your kid in school and save for retirement and they're far more focused on the challenges they confront every day and not necessarily the rumblings and goings-on of what is a bit of chaos inside these buildings so I think it would behoove all of us in government at the moment to
try to do what we can to move towards a more stable footing that I would love to get there I'm not so sure this administration is going to make that a priority I mean as first president Trump would say he wouldn't describe it as chaos but he would argue that that's exactly what he's trying to do for example with his tariffs announcement that is all about making sure that

working

-class Americans have a chance again to work in industries that have been decimated over the past few
years the president the United States continues to say a lot of things and his policies reflect something different he is professed to be for

working

families across this country he put forth a health care bill that was gonna cut health care for

working

families by eight hundred billion dollars and to millions of people from access to health care he talked about the important impacts of a tax reform bill the vast majority of those benefits are streamed towards or weighted towards the wealthy and
to multinational corporations the money that has come back overseas from those corporations is being used for stock buybacks predominantly more than anything else 50 percent of Americans don't own a single stock over 80% of stocks are controlled by about 10 percent of America households that's that is not reflective of a tax policy it is focused on middle-class

working

-class you can talk about the import and the impacts of trying to revitalize an American steel an aluminum industry fine
rolling this out without conversation with Capitol Hill without conversation throughout various agencies in the

White

House in the executive branch without consensus within his own

White

House so is this feeling of chaos and not one of a consistent reasoned thoughtful economic policy given that reality I mean there are a lot of

white

working

-class and middle-class Americans who used to vote Democrat who this time around last election decided to vote for Donald Trump what did the Democrats get so
wrong that created the possibility for him to win look I think Democratic Party has to do and I think we've done a fair amount of soul-searching over the course of the past 18 months or so the biggest issue here is I think Democrats gotta earn back that credibility and one back that credibility and I think we have to do a better case of articulating the fact that a number of the structural economic challenges that the

white

working

-class faces are not different or not all that different from
the challenges that a single mom is facing in our urban centers to minority families across our country and trying to address those concerns recognizing that we're not gonna not falling prey to this or falling victim to a politics that pits one segment of Americans against another there are real structural challenges that we need to address in this country both with regards to the challenges foreign and domestic dividing America up to try to win an election and then continuing on a path of
division isn't going to muster the political will that you need to address these concerns it's a cheap political tactic that might be successful to win an election it's not gonna be successful governing the country in a long run you feel quite angry about the way things I'm frustrated it's certainly look president Trump won an election I understand that I appreciate that and he's the president United States he practices a very different form of politics than the one that
I believe in he has professed to be for a middle class of

working

classes

and in this country which is where government should be focused wealthier families are fine plenty of ways to take care of themselves middle class always an distracting for middle-class families might need a little bit of an extra hand that's where we should be diverting our energy the policies I think that he has put forth betray that as talking points and non actual substance and so I I do believe that for those of
joe kennedy iii lgbt rights white working classes presidential run
it's in the system at the moment standing up and calling that out when we see it is important and trying to find ways where we can in fact work together to advance the ball forward is is critical as well I hope the administration is willing to reach out a bit more than they have I mean we'll come back to the midterms fast approaching soon but if you had to build the kind of ideal Democratic opponent to Donald shunt for 2020 we had to build them from the ground up what would they look
like what do they mean I think most importantly for Democrats at this point is to recognize that we need to earn back the credibility and the trust of voters across the country we are well-known and I think have earned a reputation of standing for people in this country regardless of who you are so color of your skin gender of your spouse person that you love god of your prayers that you count that we stand for civil

rights

we stand for equality Democrats are known for that that's a core
value of who we are and I think one of the values that actually makes America great what we also have to recognize is that for families that are struggling to be able to support themselves to provide for their children to plan for their future their their anxieties pretty much beginning and at their door that is their sole focus and we need to recognize that and we have to you can't separate those kind of civil

rights

from the economic ones that actually make those values come to life and so
we have to do both who does that and how we come to that I think what you need is a big messy contest to see who could earn that credibility back there's no shortcuts to this this is something that has to be earned and you got to go out there and make your case I mean do you need a

white

man but is it going to take something like that I mean he is such a big personality in it's about persona and part is it not it is a it is absolutely about persona in part but I don't believe that at
this point the American public is going to say you a woman are a

white

man or a minority or whatever that is I don't think I don't put as much stress or importance and that I think whoever is able to go out articulate a common vision that is able to unite the various different communities that we have across our country put that forward yes draw contrasts with President Trump which I think will not be hard but also articulate a positive vision for what needs to accomplish what we need as
a country to accomplish in order to overcome the challenges that oftentimes President Trump has diagnosed but has offered no solution to that's what we need and I I have an awful lot of faith the that is what our nominee is gonna be in 2020 is gonna be judged on that's who will beat Donald Trump in 2020 I could care less who he what he or she looks like their gender where they come from anything else the importance is is that they can articulate that vision and they can earn back that
credibility and they're willing to do it could you would you want to be part of that big messy contest for I have no plans on doing that I've got a two-year-old baby and a ten week old baby and so at the moment that sleep is yeah okay and I want to ask this question but and I don't mean it in a rude way so please don't take offense but but I wonder whether in that you gave the response to the State of the Union address and you were widely praised for your effort in doing that but
I wonder whether is there something is there a problem with the idea that when the Democrats reach for someone new and someone fresh to kind of send a new message that actually they go to a

Kennedy

they go to someone in a way who directly relates to the past who brings their kind of kind of intellectual capital and the historic memory of the party with them you know the Clintons the Bush's the moment for kind of feudal family politics in America seems past so is it a problem for a

Kennedy

so
I think a couple of points one obviously I'm very proud of the contribution my family has made I've done my best to try to recognize that but recognize that as remember the Democratic Party and as an elected official you gotta stand on your own two and so to articulate what I believe are the values and vision that can unite a democratic party and to try to put the past year of a trump administration in context to the broader themes that we see and the overall governing philosophy I
joe kennedy iii lgbt rights white working classes presidential run
don't think that's something that is necessarily made more or less powerful because of what other members of my family have done I think it is critically important given that the Democratic Party at its core and its best aspires to be a Big Ten Party that we have a number of voices in there do I think I can contribute to that sure and I'm honored that leader Pelosi asked me to give that speech but we've got an awful lot of talent across the country here in our Democratic caucus
of younger folks even and more experienced ones that have diverse backgrounds represent diverse constituencies that I think their voices on this are going to be extremely valuable part of this too I think I have a contribution to make to that but by no means what I say that at this point in democratic party there should only be one voice articulating what those values and vision are let's talk about the midterms if we can one of the things that we asked it seems seeing already is this
extraordinary rise in the number of women who are talking about running who are getting involved and yesterday in Texas I know a lot of the women candidates did particularly well so that there must be encouraging for you I mean do you feel like there is the possibility in real terms of a new wave of Democrats being elected in the midterms and what would the significance of that be why does it matter look I think so I absolutely feel that way I think you're seeing a younger generation start
to get really active and engaged in politics in a way that we haven't seen before or certainly of late I think that you're seeing an emerging generation that recognizes that what happens in Washington the policies the values the issues that are discussed by our government actually matter and they impact them and that they're willing to do something about it and I think that's really exciting because our system as a whole represented democracy is going to function better if more
people more of its citizens roll up their sleeves and dive on in and that's regardless of your political beliefs or what party you line up with the more people that are bought into it and the better the debate the more engaged the more voices are going to be involved in it and the better the decisions the more likely the decisions are going to be reflective of the overall will of the people I think the idea that we're having seeing a wave of young women sign up to run I think look
critically important as we address some of the structural equity inequities across our country everything from unequal pay to representation on boards to my wife and I obviously with a very young family confronting issues of what it means to have paid leave what it means to be able to now raise a family in a country that still lags behind the rest of the world with family-friendly policies so that families can actually spend the time with a bringing a child into this world and nurturing them and
not feel like all of a sudden they're gonna sacrifice their ability to pay rent we're in a different category we're very blessed to be able not to have to make some of those choices but being in the midst of it makes you realize how difficult it would be for other families that aren't so fortunate the United States of America we should be able to make that choice at this point and make those choices to invest in our families our government hasn't done that and so I think a
younger and younger representation particularly with a number of women stepping forward provides the opportunity to really force some of these debates in a discussion that so far have our government really hasn't confronted okay I've got two quick final questions even one is last year was actually the dead Den this year on record for transgendered people in in the US I think 25 people were killed do you think that the administration currently even understands or recognizes the scale of
the scale of this problem not even close and I don't think they put any effort into understanding and I think they've done everything they can to ignore it we have written letters to this administration trying to get this on their agenda we most the time don't even get a response we have been pushing policies that are I think I believe and I think America believes they are civil

rights

issues look the bottom line on civil

rights

is it's there are laws that try to make sure that
we defend our government recognizes who you are and recognizes the dignity of every single human being regardless of carve your skin your gender identity that person that you love that you've we say you count you count because you're human you're American we're here we we see you we want you and what this administration is doing is papering over that those differences and say that not you and I've got a real problem with that and I think we know in the long run bar art pardon
America's history is a narrative to become a more tolerant a more perfect place we're not there yet but I have no doubt when historians look back 30 40 50 years from now what they will say about those that try to stand in the way of equal

rights

and equal representation for all Americans final question it's the house flips if that happens gee why does that matter in the sense that does it potentially increase the chances of an in the impeachments the much talked-about impeachment
proceedings against the president it would mean impractical to know it matters because it will see obviously I'm very optimistic that we will take back the house I'm hopeful we're able to take back the Senate but regardless we're gonna have a Republican representation in the

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House because of arcane procedures here winning back the House of Representatives we do all don't win back the Senate means that it prohibits Republicans from being able to use a policy called
reconciliation to be able to pass solely partisan based legislation it means that the House Democratic Party can start putting forth and acting on and legislating on a positive vision that is an alternative to what Donald Trump has put forth it means that the the bills that will be signed into law are reflective and far more reflective of a bipartisan consensus than just the far-right freedom caucus folks that are essentially hold Republican caucus hostage to anything that they want to come out
that they want to put forward so it means that you're gonna get far more balanced representation and far more balanced bills that are

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one way through the process and I think an oversight of an administration that as of now Republicans are doing everything they can not to do you look at the rhetoric that I'd come out of a Republican House when President Obama was in office and how the house was a co-equal branch of government and they were going to act on their policies and put
forth their bills and dare the president to sign them or not to now having a speaker that says that he's only gonna put a bill on the floor that president Trump supports well that wasn't what we did for the my first four years here but to the extent that there's bills that have a majority of support from this body and there are on immigration particularly I think on guns theories as well then let's have that debate let's put those bill bills for it and I think what the
Democratic representation will have that chance could be a game changer is it well you