Chuck Todd: 'Collective IQ of Congress goes down every two years'

Lawmakers are getting dumber, “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd quips in a new interview.

“I sort of joke, but I feel like the collective IQ of Congress goes down every two years because smart people look at it and say, ‘Why do I want to do this?’ ” Todd tells Larry King on King's OraTV show, “PoliticKING.”


The remark came during a discussion about big money in politics. Todd said candidates need more than simply "enough friends to write you checks that'll add up to a couple of million dollars."

“You have to find out if you have a sugar daddy or sugar mommy that can write you a check for a billion dollars or knows people that can accumulate a billion dollars,” he added.

“I think this whole process — it’s the money. It’s media, social media, opposition research, the destructive nature of American discourse. ... You have an accumulating effect that drives good people from running for office,” Todd added.

In the interview airing Thursday night, Todd, a former NBC chief White House correspondent, tells King that the political parties are becoming “stale” and need a Silicon Valley-style “disruption.” Noting car-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, Todd said, “The peer-to-peer economy is seen as a disruptor, for instance, of the taxicab industry. ... If you’re the Republican and Democratic parties, think about this, Larry: You spent more money than ever on the campaign in 2014, and fewer people than ever voted in seven decades.”

The parties, Todd says, have what he calls “a dog food problem.”

“You are spending more money advertising the dog food, and fewer people are eating the dog food.”

Both parties need a disruption in the vein of former independent presidential candidate Ross Perot or ex-White House Democratic hopeful Howard Dean, Todd told King. “The Tea Party sort of was that for Republicans in ’09, but I feel like they’re both kind of stale.”