Why Trump won't debate Biden or make a decision on stimulus

Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares his insights on US politics this week:

Why wouldn't the president want to debate Joe Biden?

Well, I think the president does want to debate Joe Biden, but he wants to do it on his terms. He wants an in-person debate where he can try to dominate and overwhelm Biden and push him into having what looks like a senior moment, to help make the case that Joe Biden is too old to hold office. The Commission on Presidential Debates has offered a virtual debate where they can mute Trump's microphone and that's the format just doesn't really work for him. So, probably this debate is canceled. We'll see what happens with the third.


Stimulus talks are on again and they're off again and they're back on again. What's happening?

It's really unclear what's happening on Capitol Hill right now. And the reason is the president of the United States keep changing his mind. He originally told his negotiators earlier in the week to pull out of negotiations because it was very clear that Nancy Pelosi's $2.2 trillion bill wasn't going to have the votes to pass the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is mostly concerned about confirming a sixth conservative justice of the Supreme Court at the end of this term but would be happy to let a stimulus go through if the votes were there. And it's unclear if Steve Mnuchin, the president's negotiator, can find the votes for the kind of deal of a size that Pelosi wants to do. The final thing here is that I'm not sure Pelosi wants to give the president a win in the final weeks before the election, but if she does, it's going to be really close to her starting number, which is the $2.2 trillion bill the House has already passed.

Why won't the polls miss as much as they did in 2016?

Well, they might. Polling error in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania average about five points in 2016. So, if you missed by that much right now, if the election were held today, that still wouldn't be enough to help Donald Trump win this election, where he trails in those states by as many as seven points and he trails nationally by nine points. This is a much larger lead for Joe Biden than you saw at this point in 2016 for Hillary Clinton. So, the race tightened a lot in the last couple of weeks. A lot of undecided voters broke for Trump in the last week of the campaign, and that could happen this time around. But it seems like polling error may not be a big part of the story with Biden's margin being this big.

Thanks for watching. This has been US Politics In over 60 Seconds.

While residents of wealthy countries are getting ready for hot vaxxed summer — COVID is still ravaging many low- and middle-income countries. The horrifying scenes coming out of India in recent weeks have gripped the world, causing governments and civil society to quickly mobilize and pledge support.

But on the other side of the globe, Brazil is also being pummeled by the pandemic — and has been for a year now. Yet thus far, the outpouring of aid and (solidarity) hasn't been as large.

What explains the global alarm at India's situation, and seeming passivity towards Brazil's plight? What are the politics of compassion?

More Show less

Delhi-based reporter Barkha Dutt's decades of journalism couldn't prepare her for the horrific experience of covering the death of one specific COVID-19 victim: her own father. In a conversation with Ian Bremmer, Dutt recounts her desperate struggle to find an ambulance to take her father through Delhi traffic to reach the hospital, only for him to die in the ICU. Their in-depth discussion looks at India's struggle with the world's worst COVID crisis in the upcoming episode of GZERO World begins airing on US public television Friday, May 7. Check local listings.

A Green Party-led government for the world's fourth largest economy? That's no longer far-fetched. As Signal's Gabrielle Debinski wrote last month, most current polls now show Germany's Greens in first place in federal elections set for September 26. And for the first time, the Greens have a candidate for chancellor. Annalena Baerbock is vying to replace Angela Merkel, who has led Germany for the past 16 years.

More Show less

India and Brazil are currently the world's top two COVID hotspots. But while India's crisis is — at least according to official statistics — a relatively recent one, Brazil's COVID disaster has been an ongoing train wreck. Where India seemed to have kept the pandemic under control until some bad missteps about two months ago, COVID has been wreaking havoc in Brazil almost constantly for over a year now. And President Jair Bolsonaro's macho-posturing and COVID denialism has clearly not helped. We take a look at average daily new cases and deaths in both countries since the pandemic began.

US reverses course on vaccine patents: In a surprise move, the Biden administration will now support waiving international property rights for COVID vaccines at the World Trade Organization. Until now the US had firmly opposed waiving those patents, despite demands from developing countries led by India and South Africa to do so. Biden's about face comes just a week after he moved to free up 60 million of American-bought AstraZeneca jabs — still not approved by US regulators — for nations in need. It's not clear how fast an IP waiver would really help other countries, as the major impediments to ramping up vaccine manufacturing have more to do with logistics and supply chains than with patent protections alone. But if patent waivers do accelerate production over time, then that could accelerate a global return to normal — potentially winning the US a ton of goodwill.

More Show less

28: Yair Lapid, leader of Israel's opposition Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party, has 28 days to form a new government. President Reuven Rivlin tapped Lapid after incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to cobble together a governing coalition by Tuesday's midnight deadline, further prolonging Israel's political stalemate.

More Show less

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

How big of a blow is Apple's new privacy feature to companies like Facebook, who depend on tracking users?

The long-awaited update, including enhanced privacy features, actually empowers those users to decide not to be tracked. So that's great news for people who are sick of how the data trail they leave behind on the web is used. But it has to be said, that simple feature settings changed by Apple cannot solve the problem of misuse of data and microtargeting alone. Still, Apple's move was met with predictable outrage and anti-trust accusations from ad giant Facebook. I would anticipate more standard setting by companies in the absence of a federal data protection law in the United States. That's just to mention one vacuum that big tech thrives on.

More Show less

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter, Signal

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal

India’s COVID crisis hits home

GZERO World Clips
The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal