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Why Biden should go 'small' on policy after taking office

Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman joins Kristin Myers to break down why he thinks President-Elect Joe Biden should set small policy goals after taking office in January.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: Well, let's talk about a Biden presidency. We have Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman here with us who says that Biden should, quote, "go small when he takes office." Hey, Rick. Tell us what that means.

RICK NEWMAN: Hey, Kristin. Well, first of all, Biden did not get much of what you would call a mandate in politics. So he's probably going to end up with about 306 electoral votes. That's the same amount Trump got in 2016. And he is going to win the popular vote, which Trump did not in 2016.

But this was a narrow victory still. In at least four states, Biden's margin of victory was less than 1%. That's Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia. He needed those states to win, and he just got over the top in those states. So this is not like voters sent Biden-- are sending Biden to Washington and say we want you to completely shake things up, and I'm not sure he could if he wanted to because it looks like he may not have a Democratic-controlled Senate. It might be the Republicans who control that.

So I think it's actually quite reasonable for Biden to focus on deal with the coronavirus problem, if he can do a better job of handling that than Trump has done, and we've got this explosion of cases. Just focus on that. We know he's going to sign some executive orders reversing some Trump policies. That might actually be enough for Biden's first two terms.

I mean, I don't think he necessarily needs to come in and have massive new spending programs or new tax hikes or anything like that. You know, get this virus under control for a couple years. Calm things down. Lower the temperature. Lower the volume, and then see what voters have to say about all that in 2020 when we have the midterm elections.

KRISTIN MYERS: All right, thank you so much, Rick. I want to quickly ask you about this interesting news coming from Mike Pompeo saying that the Trump administration is prepared for a transition to Trump again, to another Trump presidency.

RICK NEWMAN: Obviously he's just trying to placate his boss, President Trump. So what Pompeo said was somebody asked him, how do you think the transition at the State Department is going to go to the new Biden administration? And he, in a real smart-alecky way, said, "I think we're going to have a smooth transition to a second Trump presidency." So he's just perpetuating this fantasy that somehow Trump is going to be able to overturn the election that shows Joe Biden is going to be the next president.

Trump is not going to be able to overturn the election. Mike Pompeo is going to end up looking like an ass. He already does. And this is the chief diplomat of the United States, by the way, the man whose job it is to represent the United States before the world, and he's basically acting like this is a banana republic. So foolish thing to say. He's going to regret it eventually.

KRISTIN MYERS: I have another minute here with you, Rick. I want to quickly ask you because I know that the comment was fairly flippant but would love for you to explain how important it is to allow the next president coming in to appropriately transition their team and what that means for government moving forward.

RICK NEWMAN: How much do you care about continuity of government? You know, just think about any organization. If everybody who runs the place leaves and a new group of people come in to run it for the next four years and the new group has no chance to sort of catch a glide path into the next administration, I mean, obviously you're going to have problems, and this is probably most important for national security. I mean, you just cannot have glitches on things like national security, all the other things, you know, the government does that are important.

I mean, you know, Social Security checks-- I mean, some of this is on autopilot, but a lot of it is not on autopilot, and there are just a lot of things where the outgoing administration needs to basically hand off to the new administration. Give them a chance to get up to speed before they actually are-- you know, technically take office starting on January 20 so it's a smooth transition, and this is not going to be a smooth transition.

So, you know, if you're anybody-- if you're any enemy of the United States anywhere in the world who wants to take advantage of chaos at the top the US government, the next two months are going to be that moment to try something like that, and let's hope nobody does.