2020 Opening Arguments: Andrew Yang, John Delaney, & Jay Inslee The NPR Politics Podcast analyzes exclusive interviews with the 2020 Democratic candidates. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Congressman John Delaney, and Washington state governor Jay Inslee lay out their vision for the United States. This episode: Congressional correspondent Scott Detrow, political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben and political editor Domenico Montanaro. Email the show at nprpolitics@npr.org. Find and support your local public radio station at npr.org/stations.
NPR logo

2020 Opening Arguments: Andrew Yang, John Delaney, & Jay Inslee

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/714090176/714100016" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
2020 Opening Arguments: Andrew Yang, John Delaney, & Jay Inslee

2020 Opening Arguments: Andrew Yang, John Delaney, & Jay Inslee

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/714090176/714100016" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

EILEEN: Hello. I'm Eileen (ph).

JOE: And I'm Joe (ph). We're at the Laurie Auditorium on the campus of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, for the live presentation of the NPR news quiz Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me.

EILEEN: We're here because we received tickets as a present on our 50th wedding anniversary.

JOE: This podcast was recorded at...

SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

That's a nice ad, and congratulations. It's 12:38 Eastern on Tuesday, April 16.

EILEEN: Things may have changed by the time you hear this, and if they didn't change, why would there be a podcast?

JOE: Keep up to date with all the latest news by listening to your local NPR member station.

EILEEN: Ours is KSTX Texas Public Radio in San Antonio.

JOE AND EILEEN: OK. Here's today's NPR POLITICS PODCAST.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE BIG TOP ORCHESTRA'S "TEETER BOARD: FOLIES BERGERE (MARCH AND TWO-STEP)")

DOMENICO MONTANARO, BYLINE: That is really cute. It's like, you know, find someone who will go with you to Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me.

DETROW: Nothing says romance like live podcast taping - in my book, at least.

MONTANARO: We have had lots of couples at our live shows.

DANIELLE KURTZLEBEN, BYLINE: Aw.

DETROW: If you've got an anniversary coming up and you live in the Philadelphia area - you know what? Even if you don't have an anniversary, even if you just want a fun night, reminder - we have our live show in Philadelphia Coming up. It's a week from Friday. You can get your tickets at nprpresents.org.

KURTZLEBEN: It's a romantic night out.

DETROW: Hey there. It's the NPR POLITICS PODCAST. I'm Scott Detrow. I cover Congress.

KURTZLEBEN: I'm Danielle Kurtzleben, political reporter.

MONTANARO: And I'm Domenico Montanaro, political editor.

DETROW: We are continuing our conversation, listening to opening arguments from 2020 presidential candidates. If you go back in your feed, we've done a couple episodes like this already. Today, we are going to talk about three candidates who maybe haven't been getting as much attention as the others, but they're running interesting campaigns. And we're going to hear from them. And that is Andrew Yang, John Delaney and Jay Inslee. Danielle, you're up first because you just sat down with Andrew Yang yesterday.

KURTZLEBEN: Right.

DETROW: Who is he? What's his deal? What's his campaign about?

KURTZLEBEN: Right. So Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur, I think, is the best way to put it. He most recently ran a nonprofit called Venture For America, which is a group that helps place young adults, recent college graduates, that sort of thing in the startup world, helps them become entrepreneurs. The idea is to go to different cities and set up these new businesses, set up these people with jobs at new businesses and hopefully grow jobs. And so he's running for president based on his business experience. And the central focus of his platform is a universal basic income, a certain amount of money for everybody in the country. We're going to get to that later.

One of the things that I asked him about was this hat that one of his staffers had on when I met up with him. This hat? It's navy blue. It's a baseball cap. And it said in big all-caps letters and white letters - MATH across the front. I didn't recognize it at first as an Andrew Yang hat, but then I saw the logo on the back at one point.

DETROW: MATH.

KURTZLEBEN: MATH. So I said, OK, I have to ask you about this. Tell me about your staffer's hat.

ANDREW YANG: Well, one of the mottos for the campaign has been that the opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math. And my remarks naturally include a lot of facts and figures. And so now we have this math hat that reflects the fact that we're all about facts and solutions. And it's become something of a stealth acronym for Make America Think Harder.

MONTANARO: I don't want to think harder.

(LAUGHTER)

MONTANARO: I mean...

KURTZLEBEN: Take a nap.

MONTANARO: ...Let's think harder.

DETROW: From from MAGA to MATH.

KURTZLEBEN: Right. Yeah. Yeah. I guess you start with the M-A, and then it just kind of - the rest of it writes itself.

DETROW: Which is interesting because, Domenico, like, I feel like so much of the political wisdom is that, like, making logical fact-based empirical arguments to voters isn't necessarily historically the way to get people really revved up about your campaign.

MONTANARO: You know, no, it's not. I mean...

(LAUGHTER)

MONTANARO: You know, we can...

DETROW: Right or wrong, it's just not.

MONTANARO: I mean, we can lament the state of politics in a different podcast maybe. But the fact is, you know, most people just look at a candidate. They sort of thin slice them. They see if they like them or not. And they sort of, you know, make a choice that way. As long as they ideologically go in the direction that they want, that's kind of the end of the story for most people.

DETROW: But the MATH hats are selling.

KURTZLEBEN: Well, yeah. And, I mean, he - there are MATH T-shirts, buttons. He - it's a thing at his rallies. But, like, this thing you just asked Domenico about being emotional as opposed to sort of cold and logical, I asked him about that. And I said, you know, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, you know, they're running on this whole idea that the economy is rigged, and you should be upset about it. And Donald Trump famously won on a lot of anger. And I said, so what about you? Isn't emotion the way to win votes? And he said, well, no, I don't necessarily think it is. An aside from that, that's just not who I am. So I'm just being me. And me is a guy who likes math.

DETROW: All right. So that's who he is. But, Danielle, why is he running?

KURTZLEBEN: It's a great question because you're right, yeah, he's not a politician. So I asked him that - why you and why now? And he had a big response for it.

YANG: I'm running for president because America is in the midst of the greatest economic and technological transformation in our nation's history. We're in the third inning of what's called the fourth industrial revolution. And this led directly to Donald Trump's victory in 2016. If you look at the voting district data, there's a direct correlation between the adoption of industrial automation in an area and the movement towards Donald Trump. The reason he won is that we'd automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri and Iowa. And now my friends in Silicon Valley know that what we're doing to the manufacturing jobs we will now do to the retail jobs, the call center jobs, the fast food jobs, the truck-driving jobs and on and on through the economy. Americans do not seem to understand that we need to address the fundamental challenges of the 21st century. Instead, we're scapegoating immigrants, who have very little to do with this set of problems. So I'm running for president both to wake us up to what we're facing and then implement real solutions that will actually help Americans transition through this time.

DETROW: So, Danielle, if not automation specifically, this general erosion of industrial jobs has been a big part of politics for decades now. And there have been candidates who say the answer is to bring these jobs back to America. There have been candidates who say we need to train people for new skills. What is Andrew Yang's solution for this problem?

KURTZLEBEN: His solution, like we said earlier, is a universal basic income, what he calls a freedom dividend. That's his branding on it. The idea is a thousand dollars a month for everyone - everyone, rich or poor, no questions asked. And you can do as you like with that money. Well, then also you mentioned retraining. One of his rationales for this is that retraining, it has spotty success records. It doesn't necessarily always help. So why not just give people money to stimulate the economy, to let them try to find their own retraining if they would like, that sort of thing, and also cover their basic expenses?

DETROW: It's interesting because there are so many Democrats, especially more Midwestern Democrats - I'm thinking Sherrod Brown, Joe Biden - not Midwestern, but, you know, that kind of vibe, talking about the importance of the dignity of work, the importance of having a job, having a mission and how that's part of you and part of your self-worth and self-being.

KURTZLEBEN: Yeah.

DETROW: And Andrew Yang is basically saying, yeah, it doesn't matter. Jobs don't matter. Here's the money because your job's going away.

KURTZLEBEN: Well, although it's $12,000 a year, it's not meant to be a total replacement...

DETROW: OK.

KURTZLEBEN: ...For a job because you can't live on 12,000 a year in pretty much anywhere in America. I asked him about this. He said the idea is that if you are in a job that is at risk of being replaced - you know, you're a truck driver, you're a CVS clerk, you know, that sort of thing - then this is money you can use right now assuming that you know that this is coming in the future and that you believe this is coming the future. And you can use it to create a cushion for yourself or try to retrain yourself now. Of course, there are a lot of questions about this, like, how do you pay for it? And are people that forward-thinking?

DETROW: But, I mean, how would you pay for it is a central part of this. How would he pay for it? How much would this cost in his estimation?

KURTZLEBEN: So the central way that the Yang campaign says this would be paid for would be a value-added tax. If you've been to Europe, you may have paid one of these. This is used in some European countries. You experience it like a sales tax because you go to the store and you buy a loaf of bread, and you pay a value-added tax on it that's tacked on to your receipt when you go to the cashier. It is a tax that is paid at every stage of production. So the farmer raising the wheat pays a little bit of it. The person that mills the wheat pays a bit of it. The baker that bakes the bread pays a little bit of it. And then you pay some when you buy the bread from the grocery store. That's a value-added tax.

And one criticism is that a value-added tax is regressive, that it might hit poorer people harder. So that is one potential criticism of this. Now, aside from all that, there are a few other ways that Yang says this would be paid for, that in implementing this $12,000 a year to everyone, you would save money on welfare programs and other programs because some Americans will get a choice between either taking current welfare programs or this $12,000 a year but not taking them both at the same time. So you'd save a bunch of money, he says.

DETROW: Anything else from your interview that's worth flagging?

KURTZLEBEN: Yeah. So, once again, let's get at the math thing because that's at, again, at the center of...

DETROW: Too much - it's too much math for me.

KURTZLEBEN: I can't help it. That's just the bent that this interview took.

DETROW: All right.

KURTZLEBEN: I asked him about, you know, OK, so you see this automation crisis coming. You think it's happening already. And yet, as our president often says - and he's right - unemployment is pretty low right now. And the economy is humming along at a pretty good clip. OK. So I said, Andrew Yang, is it that the crisis isn't happening now? Is it happening now? When is this problem happening? And here's what he said to me.

YANG: Well, the headline unemployment rate is quite low. It's around 3.9 percent. But the labor force participation rate is at a - is near a multi-decade low. And that's not included in headline unemployment. Headline unemployment also doesn't take into account the fact that 44 percent of recent college graduates are doing a job that does not require a degree. That doesn't take into account the fact that 94 percent of these jobs we're talking about are temporary gig or contract jobs that don't have real paths forward or health care benefits. So the headline unemployment number is an example of a terribly misleading stat that is leading us astray. And one of the key tenets to my platform is that we need better measurements.

KURTZLEBEN: So what I found so fascinating about this is that he's kind of saying something similar to what an Elizabeth Warren might be saying, which is, you know, she would argue to you, I think, that, you know, yes, the economy has been growing, but you - American workers - have not been partaking in the benefits of that. Yes, GDP grows, but where's your share of it? That share has gone down, or at the very least, flatlined in recent years.

What Andrew Yang is saying is the measurements are flawed, which is not - he's highlighting a different thing. He's highlighting the numbers. She's highlighting the - you and what you're getting out of it. But either way, he's sort of making a somewhat similar pitch here that these numbers are flawed, that even when the economy is doing well, maybe you're not partaking in the spoils of it.

DETROW: So he's like the Bill James-type baseball figure saying stop looking at wins and losses for pitchers. There are better stats out there.

KURTZLEBEN: I am going to take your word for that, yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

KURTZLEBEN: This Bill James guy sounds right.

DETROW: Yeah. All right. We're going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we're going to talk about John Delaney and Jay Inslee.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DETROW: We are back, and the next candidate up - John Delaney, former Maryland congressman and, Domenico, somebody who's been running for president and spending more time in Iowa and New Hampshire than basically any other candidate in the field.

MONTANARO: He announced on July 28, 2017. So he has been running for quite some time. He's spending a ton of money - a ton of his own money 'cause he's a pretty wealthy guy - on his bid and in his effort to do that. He's 56 years old. He's worth somewhere between 52 million and almost a quarter-billion dollars.

KURTZLEBEN: Man.

MONTANARO: This is somebody who was very wealthy before he entered Congress. That's how he sort of made his way to Congress 'cause he was able to self-fund his campaigns for Maryland's 6th Congressional District. And he had been there for three terms.

DETROW: And he gave up his House seat, right? He didn't run for re-election...

MONTANARO: Yeah.

DETROW: ...To commit to this.

MONTANARO: He gave up his House seat in - after 2018.

DETROW: All right. So you listened to an interview between Delaney and Laura Knoy from New Hampshire Public Radio. What stood out?

MONTANARO: What stood out for me, first of all, was how he sort of presented himself as compared to the rest of the Democratic field. He doesn't see himself in the same ways that maybe many of them do.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

JOHN DELANEY: In many ways, I'm a different kind of Democrat because I'm definitely defined by some as more moderate and more centrist. I tend to think of myself as someone who's a problem-solver. You know, I've spent my whole career - whether it's been in Congress or in the private sector - bringing people together and actually finding common ground and getting things done.

And I think that's exactly what we need today because there's so many things we should have already dealt with in our country and our society. We need someone who actually wants to lead us around a conversation about some of the things we agree with each other on and actually make progress on those issues, to help the American people but also to help us rethink our future because the future we're leaving our kids right now is not the one we want to leave them.

KURTZLEBEN: You know it strikes me, listening to him, that even within the Democratic Party, that some of the candidates might have a problem that we talked about during the general election last year, which is making the case for yourself in a negative versus a positive way. What he's saying here is, I am not like those other guys. But in this massive field, you still have to make a positive case for yourself - OK. I'm not like the other guys. Who are you? What is your main thing, right?

MONTANARO: Yeah, well, he makes plenty of points about - for an affirmative case for himself, certainly. He was asked to sort of differentiate himself and asked about this quote that he had made about it being sort of socialist versus capitalist in this campaign and how he doesn't see it that way. He sees himself as firmly a capitalist. He said that the truth is that in the United States, it's a free-market economy.

But he also thinks that there need to be really strong social programs. He said, allow capitalism to work its magic and reimagine how it could do that. So, you know, that's the way he views it, rather than it needing to be something that's more northern-European socialist or government-led solutions.

DETROW: So that seems to get into his thought process of how Democrats are going to beat Donald Trump, right, Domenico?

MONTANARO: It really does because he really talks about how that's the critical issue for most Democrats, that that's what's going to stand out. And for him, the political argument is pretty clear.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

DELANEY: Now that the Mueller report's over, now that we're in a country where the economy is doing reasonably well, I think it's pretty obvious that the way you beat Donald Trump is with a more moderate, centrist candidate. And I think that'll be obvious to everyone in the Democratic Party when we get closer to the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary because I think people will appreciate that the president is going to turn out his voters. And he's going to do a good job turning out Democratic voters. We don't need a candidate to turn out voters. We're going to turn out against Donald Trump. So this election's going to be fought in the center.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DETROW: Guess they had a commercial break coming up there.

MONTANARO: They had a break coming up.

DETROW: I have a couple of thoughts on that. I think what's been interesting to me - looking at polls, talking to voters, talking to campaigns - is that it does seem like, more than any other overarching issue, there is just a hunger from Democratic voters to find someone to beat Donald Trump. So I think he's right there. But I think a lot of people would disagree with him on how moderation is the way to do that.

You know, I just worked on a story about how Bernie Sanders is the latest candidate to campaign in Michigan and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. A lot of candidates are doing that. And I talked to a few people who said, look. The focus has been on - how do you get back that moderate, suburban voter, that rural voter? But the fact is, in order to win these states, you need to excite the Democrats in the core urban communities in these states who weren't super excited about Hillary Clinton in 2016, particularly.

So I think this is going to be one of the biggest areas that the primary's going to be fought out on. Do you want to appeal to moderates, or do you want to just excite hardcore Democrats?

MONTANARO: He also does have a lot of solutions and ideas on things like health care, in particular, because he is somebody who has worked in that field - or at least, in lending in that field - where he really believes that a single-payer system would be problematic for the country. He says that, like, Medicare, for example, pays too little to a lot of hospitals and when they talk to hospitals and doctors, they don't like having to take less money. And he has this solution where it's essentially an opt-out government plan. You would essentially get the baseline minimum Obamacare plan automatically guaranteed to you. And then you would get tax credits for getting supplemental health care.

Now, the criticism with that is that some people say that that would just continue to allow the rich to get even better plans 'cause they...

KURTZLEBEN: Right.

MONTANARO: ...Can afford it.

KURTZLEBEN: Yeah.

DETROW: Any other policies that he focused in on in this interview?

MONTANARO: He talked about immigration and talked about asylum-seekers. He said that in his first hundred days, he would push for the comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill that got 68 votes in 2013. So he'd like to go back to that, to be able to solve some of the issues in the country on immigration.

But he really did talk a lot about climate change. And he had a three-step plan on climate change. He didn't say, by the way, a negative thing about the Green New Deal. He said that he thought that it was exciting, that it had created a lot of excitement, but that he likes his plan better.

One, he would put a carbon tax in. He'd put a price on carbon and give back people a dividend. Two, he said that he would increase research fivefold. He called it a climate moonshot. And the third thing was about creating a market for what he calls negative emissions technologies. That's where he got most aspirational.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

DELANEY: And the third thing I would do is create a market for something called negative emissions technologies. These are machines that actually exist that suck carbon out of the air, filter it and pump it back in the earth. The problem is these machines are incredibly expensive and not of-scale.

What I've proposed is to take the $5 billion that we currently give fossil fuel companies in tax breaks and use that money each year to create a market to basically buy carbon and encourage all this innovation to basically get these machines to scale so that they can actually be effective.

KURTZLEBEN: Is he right? Could - can these carbon-sucking machines save the world at a big enough scale?

DETROW: It's more theoretical than where the technology is right now. But yes, and we're going to talk about this next with the next candidate. Most experts agree that the amount of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere is at the point where the temperature is going to continue to go up to a point where that's going to do a lot of damage.

KURTZLEBEN: Right.

DETROW: And the solution needs to be, at a certain point, getting that carbon out of the atmosphere in one way or another, hopefully avoiding the the "Snowpiercer" scenario, where you go too far in the other direction.

KURTZLEBEN: (Laughter).

DETROW: But yes, that's the general thinking. But again, it's something where the goal is not near where the technology is.

KURTZLEBEN: Right. Sure.

MONTANARO: And what I find fascinating about what his solutions are, are - you know, these are things that I feel like were - are - would be viewed, in previous years, as pretty radical. You know, these are things that, you know, putting a carbon tax in place and giving people a dividend seems like the kind of thing that would have probably set Republicans' hair on fire for trying to do something like that, you know, 10 years ago. And he's essentially saying, we need to incentivize behavioral change. And in that way - which is the kind of thing that you can actually do, right? - liberals are probably thinking, that's not big enough.

DETROW: That leads us to our last candidate, which is Jay Inslee, the Washington state governor. Again, it's an 18-person field, and you need to find a lane - this is my thing, this is my area - whether that's a tonal or approach to the campaign or whether it's a specific issue. Inslee has gone a lot further than most other candidates.

And he is saying, I am organizing not only my entire campaign, but if I'm elected, my entire presidency around one issue - granted, a very big issue that affects a lot of things - but that is climate change. Inslee's argument is, if the country and world are ever going to be serious about this, there's really not much room for anything else. And that's one of the first points he made in an interview with Rick Ganley, also of New Hampshire Public Radio.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

JAY INSLEE: We need leadership to call this country to a mission statement to defeat climate change. And I'm the only candidate who says what, to me, is clear - defeating climate change has to be the No. 1 priority of the United States. If it is not job one, it won't get done. And we need to make it the first and foremost priority of the next president. And I am committing to do that.

And I have the youth of the nation with me. I have entrepreneurs who are ready to put millions of people to work. I just met a fellow here right now that has a renewable energy company. We're seeing economic growth like crazy around the clean energy industry. And it's time to have a president who understands that.

KURTZLEBEN: OK. So that is his big top priority. But what are his specific policy prescriptions? Does he support the Green New Deal, for example?

DETROW: Yeah, so a lot of Inslee's argument actually is more about the focus and less about the policy right now. You know, I think his message by and large is, this needs to be issue No. 1, not something I want to do, but first let's talk about health care or the economy.

I'm looking at his website right now, which - interestingly for such a forward-looking campaign - if you are of the age of our podcast cohort or older, you will appreciate that his logo with the color and the font looks exactly like the Netscape Navigator logo (laughter) from back in the day.

KURTZLEBEN: I had a friend compare it...

MONTANARO: I'm coming around.

KURTZLEBEN: ...To the Microsoft Encarta logo from that old encyclopedia. Remember?

MONTANARO: It's definitely, like, mid-'90s Internet - like, 1995 Internet logo.

DETROW: It looks like a 404 site. I love it. Four-point plan, basically - and a lot of it's overlapping - invest in clean energy, get to the point of 100 percent clean energy, you know, really play up the fact that this would create new jobs, and then kind of use the money from various ways of taxing carbon to reinvest it and direct money in programs towards people in lower-income communities and people who suffer a lot from pollution. Again, it's basically the framework of the Green New Deal and a lot of other big-picture climate plans.

MONTANARO: Generationally, this is a top issue for those under 30, for sure.

DETROW: That is true.

MONTANARO: They feel like older generations haven't done enough in talking about it. And that point that he makes about how, you know, this can't just be something that you say that you're in favor of but we've got to do these other things first. He's saying - and echoing, I think, a lot of what younger people are saying, which is that this needs to be the top priority.

DETROW: And that gets to the second point that I wanted to bring up, is that Ganley asked the obvious question, what about all this other stuff? I mean, are you really just going to focus on climate as president? And his argument was, one, climate change affects basically every aspect of the economy in the world once it goes into effect more and more and has more bigger consequences. But second, he said, I want to deal with economic issues through climate change, for example.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

INSLEE: Climate change is an economic issue. Look. If the economy is your No. 1 interest, climate change warriors, like myself, are for you. Because we're going to both prevent damage to the economy, and we're going to grow jobs by the bucketful building a clean energy future. This is probably the No. 1 growth opportunity for the U.S. economy because we know the world is going to need new products and services, and that's what we do in America. We create. We invent. We build. We build new technologies. Whenever there's been a transition, America has done well. And there is going to be a big transition.

KURTZLEBEN: To me, this frames what seems to me like a pretty risky bet that Jay Inslee is making. Because most definitely, if you take it as a given that climate change is an existential threat to our planet and our future children and all of that, OK, yeah. Well, then what he - the bet he's making is that voters hearing climate change at the forefront of his message are going to weigh that above these other things, perhaps. Because to your average person, what is of more immediate consequence is, do I have a job? Is my job going to be shipped to a factory somewhere else? Do I have paid leave at my job? Am I being paid a fair wage at said job? Or do I have health care? All these things, not necessarily just economics.

DETROW: I think there is some research that that is starting to change. The question is, would that change fast enough to...

KURTZLEBEN: Sure.

DETROW: ...Be in place for the primaries?

KURTZLEBEN: Yeah.

DETROW: So last point from Jay Inslee is that, again, it's all about climate change. (Laughter).

KURTZLEBEN: Of course.

DETROW: And that does not change throughout this interview. But he is using that as a way to try and politically outflank some of his opponents. We've talked in, I think, in a couple other of these Opening Arguments podcasts and also in other podcast episodes about this, this unexpected big debate that broke up about the filibuster. Right? Like, I didn't expect filibuster reform to be a top issue in the primary the way that it was for a little bit. He is a longtime House member before he became Washington governor. And he was one of the first people saying, yeah, the filibuster, which - three second refresher, if you don't remember - is, basically, in order to pass any - most legislation in the Senate, you need the support of 60 votes.

KURTZLEBEN: Right.

DETROW: You need the support of 60 senators, which in all but a very small handful of cases means bipartisan support. He's saying, you got to get rid of that. You need to be able to pass bills with just 51 votes because otherwise, these big solutions are never going to happen.

MONTANARO: Otherwise, you can't address climate change.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

INSLEE: I believe in democracy. I believe in the power of one person, one vote. I believe that we should follow the Constitution, which does not have a filibuster in it. And it is now an antiquated, antebellum, archaic institution. And we just have to face reality. And there's a really simple reality. The earth is, effectively, on fire. I marched with thousands of kids the other day striking because they know their futures are very much endangered. We know that we have just a few years to really start defeating climate change.

KURTZLEBEN: Antiquated...

DETROW: Yeah.

KURTZLEBEN: Antiquated, antebellum, archaic.

DETROW: I don't know if that or MATH is the really, like, breakout phrase of this podcast.

KURTZLEBEN: I'm going to go with MATH. (Laughter).

MONTANARO: I mean, I don't think we can downplay, you know, the seriousness with which he takes climate change as an issue, obviously. He's going to bring everything back to that. And I think that there is a significant chunk of the population that sees one party, the Republican Party, completely ignoring the issue of climate change, having President Trump pull out of the Paris climate accord, for example, when the science is pretty clear and he's determined that, you know, win or lose, this is going to be the issue he runs on.

DETROW: All right. That is a wrap for today. A couple things to flag. First of all, we've done several of these candidate interview podcasts. If you look at your podcast feed, you can find them. They are all worth a listen. Point No. 2. It is April 16, which means as of yesterday, all of the presidential candidates released their first-quarter fundraising information. There's a lot of valuable information in there about how these campaigns are doing, where their support is coming from. Luckily for you, if you go to nprpolitics.org, we have one chart looking at all of the campaigns - how much money they've raised, how much money they've spent, how much cash they have on hand. Really interesting and useful tool. Nprpolitics.org.

KURTZLEBEN: It's a lot of MATH.

DETROW: A lot of MATH. A lot of MATH.

MONTANARO: And hopefully, we didn't make you think harder, but think easier.

KURTZLEBEN: (Laughter).

DETROW: And it is not - in no way would a graph on a website be described as antebellum. So we've got that going for us.

KURTZLEBEN: Or archaic.

DETROW: Point No. 3. You probably are aware that the redacted version of the full Mueller report is coming out later this week. It's coming out on Thursday. When it comes out, rest assured, we will be here in this podcast studio telling you what matters, what you need to know and how it could change the political conversation. So look for that in your feed late on Thursday after we have read all 400 (laughter) pages.

KURTZLEBEN: (Laughter). Yay.

DETROW: I'm Scott Detrow. I cover Congress.

KURTZLEBEN: I'm Danielle Kurtzleben, political reporter.

MONTANARO: And I'm Domenico Montanaro, political editor.

DETROW: Thank you for listening to the NPR Politics Podcast.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE BIG TOP ORCHESTRA'S "TEETER BOARD: FOLIES BERGERE (MARCH AND TWO-STEP)")

Copyright © 2019 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.