LOS ANGELES — As President Donald Trump gives his second State of the Union speech Tuesday night, the prospect of yet another government shutdown looms just 10 days away.
But both Democrats and Republicans in a panel convened by veteran pollster Frank Luntz said they’d rather have another government shutdown than see their party make any compromises on the president’s long-promised border wall.
Luntz convened a group of 13 people of both parties in Los Angeles to pose the question: Who’s to blame for the longest government shutdown in U.S. history? Their answers stunned even Luntz, who tweeted this group was perhaps the most hostile he’d encountered in his 30 years of conducting political research.
“The comments that some of you are making in here to me sound like they're one step away from a hate crime,” Luntz told the panelists. “I hear a lot of hate in this room.”
So far, the president — who has threatened to declare a state of emergency as a means of bypassing Congress to get his demanded $5.7 billion border-wall funding — hasn’t shown any sign of compromise and even suggested building a “human wall if necessary.”
“If we're declaring national emergencies so that we can invoke eminent domain to then bypass Congress,” said panelist Jordan Nakdimon, a student at UCLA, "that's a scary thought.”
No matter the tactic, however, panelists in support of Trump maintained their confidence in the president’s posture.
“I would tell the president, 'Keep going,'” said Talia Nosrati, another panelist. “The Democrats are frightened because he's delivering on every single promise.”
This segment originally aired January 28, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.