Chuck Todd: Trump’s ‘Ego is Too Much in the Way’ of Ending Shutdown

Appearing on NBC’s Today show Friday morning, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd lamented that President Trump’s “ego” was standing in the way of a deal being reached to end the government shutdown. Even after acknowledging that Democrats didn’t “have any political incentive to somehow compromise with the President,” Todd never referred to the egos of Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer being a problem.

At the top of the segment, co-host Hoda Kotb fretted: “...both sides seem to be locked in, they’re dug in, they’re not giving any way. I mean, how do you think this thing finally ends?” After outlining a possible deal, Todd pessimistically added:

But in the short term, I don’t see how this ends. Democrats don’t appear to have any political incentive to somehow compromise with the President. And right now, it’s Republicans that are breaking ranks with the party. So – and I don’t see how the President is somehow going to give in yet. That’s just not his style. So I do think we’re gonna be here for a while.

 

 

After Savannah Guthrie worried about the President getting pressure from his “right flank” on border security, Todd recalled earlier attempts at immigration legislation:

...you know, it’s funny, remember the infamous Chuck and Nancy, the first time he almost cut a deal with Chuck and Nancy, referring to Schumer and Pelosi, the first time DACA for the wall, the legislation to protect DREAMers, those kids brought here by their parents illegally. When the President supported that or appeared to support that for a couple of days, his base went crazy. So I don’t think he thinks he can move at all.... And so, if that’s what he’s believing, then you tell me what his incentive is to somehow compromise. There’s not.  

He then concluded that Trump’s “ego is too much in the way here. He’s talked about it himself. You know, he’s like, ‘I can’t take a compromised deal like that, it’ll make me look bad.’ That’s the position we’re in right now.”

Where was that same scolding when it came to Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer? Aren’t their “egos” just as responsible for the budget impasse? Aren’t they worried that doing a deal with Trump would make their left-wing base go “crazy” and make them “look bad”?

When Democrats refuse to compromise, the media cheer them on for standing on principle. When Republicans do the same, the press savage them for not backing down.

Here is a full transcript of the January 4 segment:

7:06 AM ET

HODA KOTB: We’re gonna bring in Chuck Todd. Chuck, just as Kristen said, both sides seem to be locked in, they’re dug in, they’re not giving any way. I mean, how do you think this thing finally ends?

CHUCK TODD: I think that’s a great question. Usually in Washington when you are at an impasse you do a couple of things: Somebody folds because the political heat is too much or you make the deal much bigger. Right? So in an instance like this, suddenly we’re having this fight over – this small fight over some small wall funding – well, suddenly does DREAMers, DACA for the wall become a deal or something like that?

But in the short term, I don’t see how this ends. Democrats don’t appear to have any political incentive to somehow compromise with the President. And right now, it’s Republicans that are breaking ranks with the party. So – and I don’t see how the President is somehow going to give in yet. That’s just not his style. So I do think we’re gonna be here for a while.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And you know, Chuck, I was just reading a quote from Senator Lindsey Graham, who sometimes has the ear of the President, and he said if President Trump gives in on the shutdown, his presidency is probably over. So if he’s hearing that from the right flank, what incentive does he have to deal? And the Democrats have made clear they don’t want to deal.

TODD: I think that that’s right. Look, the President – you know, it’s funny, remember the infamous Chuck and Nancy, the first time he almost cut a deal with Chuck and Nancy, referring to Schumer and Pelosi, the first time DACA for the wall, the legislation to protect DREAMers, those kids brought here by their parents illegally. When the President supported that or appeared to support that for a couple of days, his base went crazy. So I don’t think he thinks he can move at all. So the President is convinced with what Lindsey Graham says. I don’t think that’s true. It’s only true if you believe it. But in this case, the President does believe this. And so, if that’s what he’s believing, then you tell me what his incentive is to somehow compromise. There’s not.  

GUTHRIE: No, no, we ask the questions here, Chuck.

TODD: I know.

GUTHRIE: You’re the Meet the Press host.

TODD: No, no, no. I don’t see – his ego is too much in the way here. He’s talked about it himself. You know, he’s like, “I can’t take a compromised deal like that, it’ll make me look bad.” That’s the position we’re in right now.

KOTB: Alright, Chuck, thank you. Of course, you’re going to have a lot more on Sunday on Meet the Press.

GUTHRIE: That’s right.  

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