Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • -The crowded 2020 field got another addition today

  • when Beto O'Rourke jumped in,

  • and President Trump immediately attacked him.

  • For more on this, it's time for "A Closer Look."

  • [ Cheers and applause ]

  • Trump and his advisers are already putting together

  • his 2020 re-election campaign,

  • and they're not just staffing up and raising money.

  • They reportedly want Trump's re-election bid

  • to be one of the biggest

  • and most sophisticated campaigns in history.

  • Trump's campaign manager told "The Washington Post" this week,

  • "We are creating the largest campaign operation

  • in American history.

  • An unstoppable apparatus that will follow and implement

  • President Trump's strategy."

  • An "unstoppable apparatus"? [ Laughter ]

  • Are you talking about your presidential campaign

  • or the Death Star? [ Laughter ]

  • But, of course, Trump has to create an unstoppable apparatus

  • because he's, perhaps, the weakest candidate

  • of any sitting President in recent history.

  • Polls have shown that a large majority of Americans

  • consider the President both a criminal and a liar.

  • And yesterday, the guy who ran the President's last campaign,

  • Paul Manafort, was both sentenced in one case

  • and indicted in another.

  • Trump was asked by reporters if he was considering a pardon

  • for Manafort, and he insisted that he wasn't.

  • -Will you pardon Paul Manafort?

  • -I have not even given it a thought as of this moment.

  • It's not something that's right now on my mind.

  • -Now, in fairness, that's an accurate answer

  • to virtually any question you could ask Donald Trump.

  • [ Laughter ] "Mr. President..."

  • [ Cheers and applause ]

  • For example, "Mr. President, what is the role of government

  • in American life?"

  • "It's not something that's on my mind."

  • [ Laughter ]

  • Trump's brain is capable of holding

  • exactly one thought at a time,

  • and it echoes through his skull like a cave.

  • -[ Echoing ] Hamburgers, hamburgers.

  • China, China, China.

  • Golf, golf, golf.

  • -But the Russia investigation and the various scandals

  • swirling around Trump

  • aren't the only things making him vulnerable.

  • In fact, this week, he did something

  • that could potentially hurt him more politically

  • than Robert Mueller ever could.

  • He proposed a budget that would gut

  • wildly popular healthcare programs

  • that he specifically promised he would never cut.

  • -President Trump released his budget for 2020 today,

  • proposing massive cuts to government-funded healthcare.

  • The President's budget includes a cut of $845 billion

  • to Medicare over the next 10 years

  • and $241 billion from Medicaid.

  • -So, Trump said he would never cut Medicare or Medicaid,

  • and now he's cutting billions from Medicare and Medicaid.

  • Is there anything about this guy that isn't a lie?

  • I'm starting to suspect his fake hair

  • is covering a full head of real hair.

  • [ Laughter ]

  • Trump's legal attacks and his attacks on healthcare programs

  • have made him one of the weakest incumbent presidents

  • in modern polling and left a huge opening for Democrats,

  • which is why so many of them are running for president.

  • In the last few weeks, Washington governor Jay Inslee

  • and former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper

  • have officially jumped in.

  • Colorado Senator Michael Bennet was in New Hampshire,

  • and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio

  • was in South Carolina,

  • and Senator Elizabeth Warren was in Queens,

  • and three more candidates were in Texas

  • doing townhalls on CNN.

  • In total, "The New York Times" lists 15 candidates

  • who've already declared

  • and at least another eight who might run.

  • Look at that. There are so many people

  • on that screen, you didn't even notice

  • that one of them was Carrot Top.

  • [ Laughter and applause ]

  • And on top of all that, "The New York Times" reported

  • that former Vice President Joe Biden

  • is 95% committed to running,

  • and in this speech to firefighters this week,

  • he teased -- [ Cheers and applause ]

  • he teased a possible run.

  • -You know, I'd like you all to --

  • I appreciate the energy you showed when I got up here.

  • Save it a little longer.

  • I may need it in a few weeks.

  • [ Cheers and applause ] Be careful what you wish for.

  • -No, dude, be careful what you wish for.

  • You really want to do this?

  • If you run for president, everyone's gonna dig

  • through every dumb thing you've said the last 40 years

  • and get mad at you.

  • Why do you wanna do that to yourself?

  • Right now, you're known as Obama's wingman, Uncle Joe.

  • The only guy who ever looked like he was having fun

  • at the State of the Union.

  • [ Laughter and applause ]

  • I mean, look at that party animal.

  • He looks like right after that was over,

  • he was gonna make Obama do a keg stand.

  • [ Laughter ]

  • Then, there's former Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke,

  • who officially jumped into the race today

  • after spending weeks teasing a possible run.

  • Beto appears on the new cover of "Vanity Fair" this week

  • with the headline "Beto's Choice."

  • And, look, I'm a little upset it took Beto this long to announce,

  • because if he'd done it in 2008,

  • I definitely could've played him on "SNL."

  • [ Laughter ]

  • Definitely.

  • I mean, it certainly was closer than John Kerry.

  • [ Laughter ]

  • But the cover was not the only eye-catching thing

  • about this profile.

  • Beto also explained why he wanted to run for president.

  • Now, it's a key question for any candidate.

  • People want to know why you're doing this

  • and what you can bring to the table.

  • It's a question past candidates have flubbed,

  • and, in many cases, it's doomed them.

  • So, here's what Beto said.

  • "I think I'd be good at it. I want to be in it.

  • Man, I'm just born to be in it."

  • [ Laughter ]

  • I'm sorry. No one is born to be president.

  • Nobody is born to be anything.

  • Springsteen said he was born to run,

  • and then he wrote 400 songs about New Jersey.

  • [ Laughter ]

  • I mean, look at Trump. He wasn't born to be president.

  • If he was born to be anything,

  • it was selling fake Rolexes in Times Square.

  • [ Laughter and applause ]

  • Beto also talked about his rise to fame,

  • the Senate campaign that launched him to national stardom

  • and the very first event he did in that campaign,

  • and his description of that experience was --

  • Well, it was a little weird.

  • He told "Vanity Fair,"

  • "I honestly don't know how much of it was me.

  • But there is something abnormal. Super normal.

  • I got in there, and I don't know if it's a speech or not,

  • but it felt amazing, because every word

  • was pulled out of me, like by some greater force

  • which was just the people there.

  • Everything that I said, I was, like,

  • watching myself being, like, 'How am I saying this stuff?

  • Where is this coming from?'" [ Laughter ]

  • Now, in the run-up to 2020, we here at "Late Night,"

  • we're gonna try really hard, and we're gonna ask yourselves,

  • "Would we make fun of Donald Trump if he said that?"

  • So, let's see. "Because every word

  • was pulled out of me, like, by some greater force,

  • which was just the people there.

  • Everything that I said, I was, like,

  • watching myself being, like, 'How am I saying this stuff?

  • Where is it coming from?'"

  • Yeah, no, Beto, that was [bleep] weird, yeah.

  • [ Laughter and applause ]

  • That was a [bleep] weird thing to say.

  • Seriously. I did not know that weed was legal in Texas.

  • And when Beto went to Iowa today for his first official event

  • since announcing his campaign,

  • there were a few more weird moments.

  • For example, at the end of his speech,

  • a lady in the crowd forced him to make it absolutely clear

  • that he was running for president.

  • -Thank you.

  • I cannot tell you how much this means to me.

  • I will remember this forever --

  • every single one of your faces and what you were wearing,

  • what you had to drink. [ Laughter ]

  • -Let us remember it!

  • Tell us that you're going to run.

  • Announce it now for us. -He already did.

  • -I'm running to serve you

  • as President of the United States of America.

  • [ Cheers and applause ]

  • -Man, I don't know who that lady is, but I love her.

  • [ Laughter ]

  • She should moderate every presidential debate.

  • "You have five seconds. Now spit it out!"

  • [ Laughter and applause ]

  • And yet as weird as Beto's launch has been so far,

  • as always, Trump and his allies on Fox News

  • have found a way to outweird him.

  • For example, the "Vanity Fair" profile

  • mentions some of the books Beto has in his house,

  • and Fox News host Brian Kilmeade was apparently baffled by that.

  • -"Vanity Fair" has a huge article and feature on him.

  • It's almost as if they helped launch his campaign.

  • Here's a quote from it.

  • He says, "I want to be in it, man.

  • I'm just born to be in it."

  • They also point out that he has this huge library,

  • as if it's a big plus that he reads books.

  • -I mean... [ Laughter ]

  • It is a plus.

  • Reading is definitely...

  • [ Cheers and applause ]

  • It's definitely a plus for a president.

  • Also, just so you know, when you attack someone

  • for reading books,

  • you're really attacking yourself.

  • [ Laughter ]

  • Although I'm not surprised Kilmeade is anti-book.

  • I bet if you open one in his house,

  • there would just be a hollowed-out spot

  • for a Snickers. [ Laughter ]

  • "I see you found 'Moby Dick.'

  • I think you'll find it's delicious."

  • [ Laughter ]

  • And Fox News is not the only cable channel

  • that's taken a keen interest in Beto's announcement.

  • There was also MSNBC, which honed in on even

  • the smallest details of Beto's trip to Iowa.

  • For example, they seemed especially fixated

  • on his minivan.

  • -Beto O'Rourke is driving himself in his Dodge Caravan.

  • -Where is he?

  • -And he's arriving here to Fort Madison High School.

  • -Yvonne, do we know how the minivan got to Iowa,

  • if it's a rental that he acquired there

  • or if this is sort of the O'Rourke family minivan

  • that has now been moved to Iowa for campaign purposes?

  • -It looks like an Illinois van.

  • This is about three hours away from any major city.

  • The question, Congressman, is where is the rental car from?

  • -Des Moines. -Des Moines.

  • -Picked it up in the Des Moines airport.

  • -Wow. Hard-hitting stuff, you guys.

  • [ Laughter ]

  • "Did you use Hertz or Avis?! Answer the question!"

  • [ Laughter ]

  • "Will you release your minivan returns?!"

  • [ Laughter ] Then there was Trump.

  • Today, Trump is dealing with an urgent airline-safety issue,

  • a resolution from the House

  • calling for the Mueller report to be made public,

  • an unprecedented rebuke from the Senate

  • over his national emergency declaration,

  • and dozens of scandals and investigations

  • of every aspect of his life,