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CROSSFIRE

Governors Refuse New Immigrants; A Challenger for Clinton?

Aired July 15, 2014 - 18:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


NEWT GINGRICH, CO-HOST: Wolf, lawmakers are working on a plan to shut down the flood of immigrant children at the border and send them back where they came from.

VAN JONES, CO-HOST: And they had the nerve to call this plan The Humane Act.

The debate starts right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight on CROSSFIRE, governors refuse new immigrants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are illegal individuals. These aren't legal American citizens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What will happen to the kids?

On the left, Van Jones.

On the right, Newt Gingrich.

In the crossfire, Charlie Rangel, a New York Democrat. And Michele Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican.

Let them stay or send them home?

Plus, the Outrage of the Day, tonight on CROSSFIRE.

GINGRICH: Welcome to CROSSFIRE.

I'm Newt Gingrich on the right.

JONES: And I'm Van Jones on the left.

In the crossfire tonight, we've got two of the most outspoken members of Congress.

Now, neighbors taking in neighbors -- that's what you do in a crisis. Now, we've got a refugee crisis right now. Kids in our hemisphere, in other words, our neighbor's kids, are in trouble. They're running for their lives.

The question is, are we being good neighbors?

Not all of us. Two governors -- governors now -- are, in effect, sending out the

message, children in trouble, no room at the inn for them in my state, keep them out of my state that.

That is shameful. And worse, over the weekend, this graffiti popped up on a former military facility in Maryland, where it was just rumored that some of these kids might be sent there. And it says, "No Illegals Here."

Look, wrong spelling, wrong values and wrong for America. Maybe we should just ship the Statue of Liberty back to France -- Newt.

GINGRICH: Well, I think there's a long way from shipping the Statue of Liberty back to being foolish.

And, you know, we're delighted tonight to have in the crossfire, Democratic Representative Charlie Rangel of New York and Republican Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

And, Charlie, you're an old friend. And I just have to ask you this. You've heard our good friend Van here, who's very worried about these governors who don't want all these children. so would you recommend to Governor Cuomo -- you know, President Obama

has about 60,000 children available that he could send to New York. I mean New York could become the exact example. You could fill up the Adirondacks with children.

Would you feel comfortable calling Albany and saying, governor, I've got a great opportunity for you?

REP. CHARLES RANGEL (R), NEW YORK: I'm glad you haven't lost your sense of humor, Newt.

(LAUGHTER)

RANGEL: The truth of the matter is, this is a great time for America to stop talking about what a great country we are and just show the compassion that we have, compassion that is not just American, but it's what the American people really are.

I can imagine how Michele would be if she saw a little kid in the department store just crying his little heart out and you embracing him, can I help you out little one?

Where's your mommy and daddy?

That's -- Americans do more of that, I think, than anybody in the world.

Do we have complex legal immigration problems?

You bet. But if you think for one minute that little babies -- you know, God does good work. The older we get, the worse we screw up his work. And...

GINGRICH: So I just want to... RANGEL: -- you...

GINGRICH: -- would you be comfortable...

RANGEL: -- you can't...

GINGRICH: -- if Governor Cuomo offered to take...

RANGEL: Oh, you're not serious. Come on, now.

What's Governor Cuomo got to do with this?

GINGRICH: Well...

RANGEL: Are you afraid the Canadians are coming across the border?

GINGRICH: No, no, no. He could offer to take the 60,000 children.

RANGEL: Why should we offer?

We've got the United States of America. We're sending 300, 400 troops back to Iraq. If we don't have the wherewithal, the resources to take care of these kids, I'm in the wrong country.

JONES: Well, let me get you in here Congresswoman.

You are probably the most compassionate person in the U.S. Congress.

You actually have taken in 23 foster kids, is that right?

If you saw these kids -- and to the Congressman's point, if you saw these kids, they're hungry, they're scared, (INAUDIBLE), wouldn't you take them into your home?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Well, we've taken 23 foster kids.

RANGEL: That's right.

BACHMANN: We had them in our home.

JONES: Right.

BACHMANN: We raised them. We graduated them from high school. These children were legally in the United States of America.

But I want to frame what we're talking about. Since April, we've had an invasion of 300,000 to 500,000, is the estimate, foreign nationals penetrating and coming across America's southern border. Yesterday, I spent the day over at the National Counterterrorism Center. I sit on the Intelligence Committee.

Our own government is extremely concerned about who is coming across the southern border. We have foreign nationals that are coming across the southern border...

JONES: But the...

BACHMANN: -- from countries like...

JONES: But they're children.

BACHMANN: -- Yemen, Iran...

JONES: But they're children.

BACHMANN: No.

JONES: But...

BACHMANN: -- we have...

JONES: Because (INAUDIBLE)...

BACHMANN: We have...

JONES: Because of your incredible stand...

BACHMANN: The estimate is 57,000.

JONES: You've had an incredible stand for kids.

BACHMANN: Again...

JONES: I just want an...

BACHMANN: Again...

JONES: Just answer my question...

BACHMANN: It's important...

JONES: -- really quickly.

BACHMANN: But, Van, it's important...

JONES: (INAUDIBLE) they're children.

BACHMANN: -- that -- that your viewers...

JONES: (INAUDIBLE).

BACHMANN: -- understand what we're talking about.

JONES: Yes, children.

BACHMANN: Since April, 300,000 to 500,000 foreign nationals, at their election, have invaded the United States...

JONES: Are you...

BACHMANN: -- through our southern border...

JONES: -- referring to the children as invaders?

BACHMANN: What I'm talking about are...

JONES: You're talking about children...

BACHMANN: -- the older -- well, Van...

JONES: -- who are fleeing...

BACHMANN: -- you -- you've left out...

JONES: -- (INAUDIBLE) dangerous...

BACHMANN: -- the true -- the whole story. These aren't all children. There are 57,000 children.

GINGRICH: You don't think...

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: But we're talking about kids...

BACHMANN: But the total number of people coming across the border are...

JONES: We have the...

BACHMANN: -- 300,000 to 500,000 foreign nationals...

JONES: And there are 50,000 of them

BACHMANN: -- that are penetrating the United and, in fact, are in the United States to date.

JONES: OK, I under -- listen, there -- we have all kinds of problems in the country. But there are 50,000 who are children, who are young people, who have -- who have come here.

Are you calling them invaders?

BACHMANN: My -- my...

JONES: You're saying the young -- these children are invaders in your -- in your eye?

BACHMANN: Foreign nationals that have come into the United States are between 300,000 to 500,000. My heart is broken for a female college student in Minnesota who was raped, murdered and mutilated by a foreign national who came into our country.

RANGEL: (INAUDIBLE).

BACHMANN: There is an illegal alien...

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: -- who came into our country...

RANGEL: (INAUDIBLE) against children.

BACHMANN: -- and we had -- we had a school bus full of kids in Minnesota. Four children were killed on that school bus...

JONES: And are you let...

BACHMANN: -- because an illegal alien...

JONES: Are you -- are you (INAUDIBLE)...

BACHMANN: -- driving a van...

JONES: (INAUDIBLE) every one of these kids...

BACHMANN: -- went into that school bus.

JONES: Well, hold on a second.

That...

BACHMANN: Well, I'll tell you...

JONES: Because there are lines that can't be crossed here.

BACHMANN: If you want to talk about...

JONES: I'm sorry, Congresswoman.

BACHMANN: -- compassion...

JONES: I'm sorry, Congresswoman. There are...

BACHMANN: -- my -- my tears...

JONES: -- lines that can't be crossed.

Are you -- are you going to scapegoat...

BACHMANN: My tears are crying...

JONES: -- these children...

BACHMANN: For the family members...

JONES: -- for the crimes of this despicable person?

BACHMANN: -- that lost four little children...

JONES: And -- and we should stand with those...

BACHMANN: -- on a school bus in Minnesota...

JONES: -- children.

BACHMANN: And a woman...

JONES: But we shouldn't -- we should not scapegoat every one of these kids for that despicable crime. You know better...

BACHMANN: Don't scapegoat...

JONES: As a Congressperson than to...

BACHMANN: -- don't scapegoat the American people.

JONES: -- lay at the feet of these children the acts of a simple criminal.

BACHMANN: Van, don't scapegoat the American people right now who are losing jobs. In fact, look at Chicago last weekend. There was a huge protest last Friday from African-Americans on the South Side of Chicago who said, President Obama, why don't you pay attention to the kids who can't get jobs here?

We can't get jobs. We're homeless. We have fatherless youth -- youth who are subject...

JONES: Do you think it's fair for her to pit...

BACHMANN: -- to being 120 people...

JONES: -- African-Americans who are suffering against these children?

BACHMANN: -- 120 people who have been shot...

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: -- in Chicago...

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: -- in the first two months of...

RANGEL: I would...

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: -- of this month.

RANGEL: -- to come to her defense, because this is two beautiful ladies. One is a Republican, the other is a mother and a compassionate person.

What you're trying to do is mix the two. She is never going to say anything against beautiful young children. She'll talk about all the invaders coming across the country.

But there's one thing that it was recorded that you said -- and I don't want to believe that either -- is that we should not do anything for these children.

And I said, oh, no, not my Michele. She didn't say that.

Another thing that -- staff gives me all this stuff, that you said God forbid if we should pass an immigration law, it would be the end of ever having a Republican president.

I said that doesn't sound like Michele, it sounds like a candidate for president, but not my Michele.

But get off of -- back on the children. She would not know how, in her Christian body, to say something against these children.

But she's against immigration, period.

JONES: But -- and you -- and you think it's fair for her to pit the African-Americans who are suffering in Chicago against these children?

Do you think that's -- that's -- that's fair?

BACHMANN: What I think is...

RANGEL: Compared to what some of the people in her party have said about the president, I think anything along that line is...

BACHMANN: Well, I'll tell you...

RANGEL: -- is now accepted. Ten years ago, it would have been ridiculous.

GINGRICH: Let me ask you about Chicago for a second, because it's an interesting problem for some of our friends.

Eighty-two people were wounded, 17 have died, which is, by comparison, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in the 1920s was seven people. So in one city -- in one American city in one weekend...

RANGEL: Yes?

GINGRICH: -- you had 82 people wounded and 17 died.

Now, shouldn't we be as concerned or more concerned...

RANGEL: I hope you...

GINGRICH: -- about Americans in Chicago?

RANGEL: Newt, I wish you wouldn't talk about this. Absolutely. That is a serious problem in Chicago.

GINGRICH: Right.

RANGEL: And I would want to discuss it, but there's no way you can stretch your imagination to talk about children that come here escaping torture, victimization, poverty and manage to get to the borders of the United States of America and we turn our eyes and now we're going to talk about kids killing kids.

Don't do that.

GINGRICH: Well, the president...

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: Let's talk about...

RANGEL: I will stop talking about immigration. No, I don't see the connection.

What it is that these kids in Chicago, it's hard for me to believe that they manufactured these guns. It's hard for me to believe that they started off in life with the same opportunities as anyone else. It's hard for me to believe that most all of these kids are either going to end up dead or in jail or unemployed.

JONES: You're talking about...

(CROSSTALK)

RANGEL: We've got a lot to talk about. And...

BACHMANN: Well, what I'd like to be able to say...

RANGEL: And you and Reverend Sharpton...

BACHMANN: -- is that...

RANGEL: -- have done a lot toward dealing with that.

BACHMANN: We're talking about...

RANGEL: But if you can bring this back to the borders, these little kids, you know, there's a guy that carries a whole bunch of kid's pictures. He loves them. He interrupts me and he shows me pictures. And I told him once, I said, my buddy, Dave, every -- some of those -- every murdered terrorist that you ever see looked as cute as that.

He hasn't talked to me since, you know.

(LAUGHTER)

JONES: OK.

RANGEL: So don't get Michele...

BACHMANN: If I can just say...

RANGEL: -- to talk about those children.

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: -- this is no joke. This is -- we've never, in 236 years of this nation's history, had a situation where our southern border has been erased, because effectively what we have is we have a president of the United States who's decided, what laws?

We don't have any border security laws.

And so he is not enforcing the borders. There's a reason why we have border security guards. We've increased the budget for border security guards by 54 percent since Barack Obama came into the office. We have 22 percent more border security guards than had before. So it's not lack of money.

GINGRICH: OK, hold on just...

BACHMANN: It's lack of political will.

And what I care about are the people on this side of the border, the American people who are being disadvantaged.

GINGRICH: OK.

We're going to be back in a minute.

The 2016 race for president is about to get much more interesting, not on the Republican side, but among the Democrats.

But first, today's CROSSFIRE quiz -- how far was Hillary Clinton ahead of Barack Obama in December of 2006?

Was she 14 points ahead, 22 points or 35 points?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GINGRICH: Welcome back.

Now the answer to our CROSSFIRE quiz, a CNN poll in December of 2006 showed Hillary Clinton leading Barack Obama by 22 points. Now, imagine you were Hillary Clinton this morning. You remember the unknown candidate who came out of nowhere to destroy your inevitability and become president. You've been through a terrible three weeks of mistake after mistake after mistake. And you read that there's now a Ready For Warren draft movement forming.

How can you not sit there drinking your coffee and thinking, after five or six self-destructive weeks, it's happening all over again?

And what would you and Bill talk about at that point?

So, Charlie, you went through that whole campaign. And I think, if I remember correctly, you were -- you were loyally with Hillary for the whole...

RANGEL: She was my senator. You bet your life.

GINGRICH: So I'm curious. Don't you think there has to be a little sense of deja vu all

over again with this -- this current last couple of weeks of bad reporting?

RANGEL: If, indeed, it's true, as reported, that Hillary Clinton is looking forward to running as president, you bet your life she should be looking at everything around her. But if she had Charlie Rangel in her corner and she was concerned about Senator Warren, I would tell her, but, darling, they haven't got anyone to run against either one of you two. And that should give her some small call for comfort...

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

GINGRICH: I'm not sure she's worried about the Republicans yet.

JONES: What is your view?

I mean, Elizabeth Warren, she's actually apparently able to take this populist message into red states. She's campaigning for Democratic candidates in red states, getting a good turnout.

Do you think at Elizabeth Warren and think to yourself, this is somebody who might be able to pull away some Republicans?

Or do you just see her as a far left candidate?

What's -- what's your view of (INAUDIBLE)...

BACHMANN: No, I don't see her as necessarily taking Republican votes. But I think that she will be an extremely attractive candidate for the Democrat voters in 2016. If she chooses to mount a run for the presidency, I would agree with Newt, I think that, if I was Mrs. Clinton, I'd be extremely concerned with what I see.

And it's interesting, what I'm seeing in all of the national journals, it's a swoon fest right now over Elizabeth Warren. They're salivating over her, because she represents a very progressive view. People want to go that direction. And I think there could be trouble.

JONES: Well, now, here -- we could be in a situation where Democrats have two women...

BACHMANN: Two women. Yes.

JONES: -- running. You, as a woman, ran. You -- you said that Elizabeth is a progressive, but a lot of the stuff that she's talking about is majority opinion stuff. I mean the majority opinion wants to be tougher on Wall Street, both Democrats and Republicans.

Don't you think that at a certain point, she's not -- not the progressive, she's -- she's a populist?

She can run right up the middle? BACHMANN: No, she's a progressive. Let's face it, Van. Good

try. But she is a -- she's a way progressive as I think Hillary is...

GINGRICH: But, you know, you...

BACHMANN: -- a pretty strong progressive, too.

GINGRICH: You -- you represent New York City and you understand Wall Street and all this...

BACHMANN: Good try.

GINGRICH: -- and you know the Clintons pretty well. And I think, clearly, Hillary has done a lot in the last few weeks to make sure we all realize that she's in the 1 percent.

I mean isn't...

(LAUGHTER)

GINGRICH: -- isn't she going to have this challenge, if Warren does run, that Warren is going to run as a reform Wall Street, don't just get money from it?

And isn't all of Hillary's fundraising and speeches and all that from those kind of places going to become an anchor that -- that makes her campaign harder?

RANGEL: You know, people who don't have money don't hate the One Percenters for reasons I don't understand.

But, you know, Roosevelt, Bloomberg, all were billionaires -- million and billionaires. And I really don't think the fact that she has been a recent recipient of wealth has anything to do with where she would go in order to bring about...

JONES: Well...

RANGEL: -- some fairness and equity and justice to people, when you think of the disparity between incomes.

JONES: But as close as you are to the Democratic base, I think you're whistling a little bit past a certain graveyard here, in that maybe it's not because she's got money. But when you talk to base Democratic voters, there is a concern that she's been too close to Wall Street, too cozy with Wall Street, and that Elizabeth Warren has been tough.

GINGRICH: Oh, Van...

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: Doesn't that open up a door?

Come on.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: You're one of the best politicians...

(CROSSTALK)

RANGEL: Let me tell you something...

(CROSSTALK)

RANGEL: -- I don't know how much money Obama got as a result of his book, but he's not Lenox Avenue poor. And neither is Obama. And if you take a poll right now, the Clintons and the Obamas would win automatically.

So I really don't see how you really -- this is good stuff for the TV that she's talking about being broke and then it turns out she had $300,000.

(CROSSTALK)

RANGEL: These are the issues that will go away. It's not going to be a bump on...

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: They go...

(CROSSTALK)

RANGEL: -- radar...

JONES: -- they go away unless Elizabeth Warren gets into this race.

Now you know and I know...

RANGEL: I...

JONES: -- that if Elizabeth Warren gets into this race and she starts pushing hard -- Elizabeth Warren, by the way -- and you love young people. Elizabeth Warren has been banging away on this question of -- student loans...

RANGEL: What do you mean I love young people?

JONES: Student loans.

RANGEL: We love young people.

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: But I...

(CROSSTALK)

RANGEL: The student loans in... BACHMANN: -- I think...

RANGEL: -- the United States.

BACHMANN: I think -- I do think...

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: -- I do think the point that Mrs. Clinton has presented herself in a light that just doesn't ring true rubs people the wrong way, because they do wonder if maybe Mrs. Clinton has lost touch with the average person. And they look at somebody like an Elizabeth Warren, and she's got fire in her belly. And she is connecting with people when she's on the stump.

And that's what people want. They saw that in Barack Obama, that he was connecting with people on the stump.

So the question is, who's going to connect with the hearts of people, the minds, but the hearts?

And I think Elizabeth Warren...

RANGEL: (INAUDIBLE) talk about that...

BACHMANN: -- has been edging out Mrs. Clinton...

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: -- on that score.

RANGEL: You know, one of the reasons I'm reluctant to vigorously endorse Hillary Clinton is because that's all you have to talk about. But I would rather talk about -- you know, the last circus we had on an issue in the presidential election, I was so ashamed to foreigners, for them to believe that that was the best that my country had to offer.

JONES: Are you talking about the Republican Party now?

RANGEL: No.

JONES: Do you think there might be some...

RANGEL: No. There is no...

JONES: -- something (INAUDIBLE)

RANGEL: -- there is no...

JONES: -- (INAUDIBLE) the Republican Party.

RANGEL: There is no Republican Party. That's my problem. If there was, if there was a Republican Party, Democrats and Republicans would be able to vote on all of the issues -- immigration...

GINGRICH: But aren't you...

RANGEL: -- jobs.

Right now, there's a Tea Party and what's left of the Republican Party. So, no, there's no Republican Party.

BACHMANN: You know -- you know, I've had a hard time, Van, tracking even, with all due respect, what Charlie said in about the last four minutes. The fact is, we have a vibrant, growing Republican Party that the Democrat Party has been scared to death of...

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: -- this fall. That's why I think we're going to see...

(CROSSTALK)

RANGEL: I know you and you're right. But they won't let you vote, that's the problem.

GINGRICH: OK, guys...

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: Won't let us vote?

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: I don't even get what you're talking about.

JONES: We'll talk about that when we come back.

BACHMANN: I have the right to vote.

JONES: We're going to come back, also...

BACHMANN: Remember the suffrage movement?

JONES: -- with the Outrage of the Day.

BACHMANN: (INAUDIBLE).

JONES: I'm outraged because there is a prize winning journalist whose life story has actually been featured on CNN who was detained today by immigration authorities. We want you to weigh in at home on this. Here's today's Fireback question for you -- should Jose Antonio Vargas have been detained today?

Tweet yes or no using hash tag crossfire.

We're going to give you those results right after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JONES: Welcome back. It's time for the Outrage of the Day.

If you've been feeling inexpiably safer today, there may be a reason for that. Our border police grabbed that awful fugitive, Jose Antonio Vargas, and locked him up. That's right, the Pulitzer Prize- winning reporter, the same guy who starred in the CNN film, "Documented," America's most famous dreamer -- this is a guy who came into this country as a young child. He knows no other home but America, but he's too old to qualify for DACA, which is the president's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

So, fortunately, we can say that Vargas was released today by the Border Patrol. But his detention was a total waste of time and a total waste of money and a total outrage -- Newt.

GINGRICH: Well, I'm not sure it's a total outrage. I think it poses a very serious challenge when you're asked for your documents by the Border Patrol, you don't have them, and now you're saying, oh, but as long as he's famous...

JONES: No...

GINGRICH: -- he should go ahead and break the law.

But let me -- I'm going to say, let's check and see how the country felt about it.

Our Fireback results showed Jose Antonio Vargas had been detained today. Right now, 64 percent of you say yes; 36 percent say no.

What do you two think?

Should he have been detained?

BACHMANN: I say that...

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: -- I say that...

RANGEL: -- Vegas -- Vegas. So he has a Latin speaking name, I think he ought to be detained and -- and -- I mean it's ridiculous. You know, there's a part of America that no one wants to talk about. And that's presumptions that are made, not on your fame (INAUDIBLE)...

BACHMANN: But I think that one thing...

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: -- we should talk about is the fact that no man should be above the law. The law needs to apply legally -- equally to every person there is.

JONES: Well, listen, I want to thank both Representatives Charlie Rangel and Michele Bachmann.

This debate will continue online, because you're both wrong.

And we're going to continue at CNN/CROSSFIRE, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

From the left, I'm Van Jones.

GINGRICH: From the right, I'm Newt Gingrich.

Join us tomorrow for another edition of CROSSFIRE.

"ERIN BURNETT UP FRONT" starts right now.