Capitol Alert

California Nation podcast: DMV saga, McClintock and Morse talk Trump and Kavanaugh

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U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, an Elk Grove Republican, and Democratic challenger Jessica Morse are battling for California’s 4th congressional district, which stretches from Roseville in Placer County south to Fresno County.

After a debate on Monday, the two stepped into The Bee’s Capitol Bureau for a pair of wide-ranging conversations, highlighting their views on President Donald Trump, climate change, and the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

You can subscribe to the “California Nation” podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play Music and SoundCloud. This week on the show, we outline issues at the California Department of Motor Vehicles and look at John Cox’s messaging during a recent governor’s debate.

Here’s where McClintock and Morse stand on a few key issues:


McClintock: The congressman said he mostly agrees with Trump on issues related to the economy and immigration. He mostly disagrees with the president’s escalating tariffs and intense trade war with China. “Tariffs have produced consistent results whenever they’re applied. They harm the economy of any country that employs them. They turn abundance into scarcity. They make raw materials scarcer, which never helps producers, and they make prices higher, which never helps consumer.”

Morse: She said her biggest areas of agreement with Trump would be on expanding vocational training. “I would love to flesh that out and have that be a reality.” She added she would also like to work with him “on bringing real infrastructure resources back to our communities so we can be safe.”


McClintock: In last month’s debate, McClintock said the role of humans in contributing to rising global temperatures “is being hotly debated right now.” During the podcast, McClintock expressed disagreement with the scientific consensus that human activity is warming the planet. “The problem is I’m old enough to remember when the scientific consensus was that we were about to enter another Ice Age. Science is not democracy. Science is a constant challenging of consensus. When somebody says, ‘The debate’s over,’ that’s not a scientist talking. Science welcomes debate. Science welcomes questions.”

Morse: Despite multiple attempts during the primaries, Morse was unable to receive a “national security consultant” ballot designation. McClintock has used this to accuse her of inflating her military recorded. She responded, saying she would “love to have her military career reflected on the ballot.” Nevertheless, she decided to adjust her designation on the November ballot to say “Candidate for Congress.”


McClintock: “Our civilization is formed on certain bedrock principles of justice. One of the most basic is that you cannot make an accusation against someone, particularly a vile, grotesque accusation like those that were hurled at Brett Kavanaugh without any evidence. That’s called slander, it’s called libel, it’s called defamation, and that is happened in these hearings.”

Morse: “The real danger that we’re seeing right now in the country is the hyper-partisanship on every level. … The hyper-partisanship where a Supreme Court nomination process became a partisan game is deeply disturbing to all of us.”

The Sacramento Bee’s California Nation podcast is produced by Bryan Anderson.