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Trump In Ohio: Lost Jobs Are "All Coming Back"; Trump: Any Tax Hike Would Hit "High-Income People"; Senate Delays "Repeal And Delay" Vote; McCain Delivers Moving Speech On How Politics Should Be; McCain Makes Dramatic Return Amid Political Storm. Aired 12:30-1p ET
Aired July 26, 2017 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[12:31:35] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I rode through your beautiful roads coming up from the airport. And I was looking at some of those big, once incredible job producing factories, and my wife Melania said, what happened? I said those jobs have left Ohio.
They're all coming back. They're all coming back. Coming back. Don't move. Don't sell your house.
Don't move, don't sell your house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Don't move, don't sell your house, the jobs are coming back. That was the president of the United States, blue collar Youngstown, Ohio last night. The president promising the jobs will come back in those communities hard hit especially by manufacturing job losses.
The question is, has the president kept those promises yet and what is the outlook for those that are still TBD. At the moment, this is a problem for the president six months in. When he started, are you satisfied with the way things are going in the United States back at the beginning of the Trump administration? Seventy-two percent of Americans said no, 26% said yes.
Six months later, pretty much exactly the same. So as yet, people aren't satisfied about the direction of the country, no change during the six months of the Trump administration. To the president's credit and to his benefit, any president likes this, a low unemployment rate, 4.4% nationally. It's actually gone up a bit in Ohio just a little bit during the Trump presidency.
So when he keep -- trying to keep his promises to Ohio, you got to say, TBD. In Youngstown, what kind of jobs do they care about?
Number one, just look at the pace over the first six months. This president actually below in his first full five months in office. The pace of 2016 jobs growth is same five months in the last year of the Obama administration. President Trump who promised a big jobs during the campaign actually a little bit behind his predecessor's pace from last year.
And what kind of jobs? This is what's important when you're talking about Youngstown, Ohio. They don't want mining jobs in that region. Only up modestly in the Trump presidency so far.
Construction jobs up a bit, but it's health care, social assistance that are driving the jobs growth we do have right now. The president's promise is do more on infrastructure and mining, still TBD. Still, if you listen to that rally last night, then and now from the president of the United States, it was a nostalgic trip back to 2016.
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TRUMP: I just want to say upfront right now, second amendment, a 100%.
Yes, our second amendment is very, very sound again, that would have been gonzo. It would have been gone.
ObamaCare has to be replaced, and we do it and we will do it very, very quickly.
The Senate is working not only to repeal ObamaCare but to deliver great health care for the American people.
We will end the sanctuary cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths.
My administration is launching a nationwide crackdown on sanctuary cities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We mentioned this a bit earlier, he thrives in this setting, and there's absolutely nothing wrong if the president of the United States going on the road to talk to his supporters. The question is, what is the purpose of talking to your supporters. And I would pause at the question that -- my question in six months is going to be has he delivered when -- places like Youngstown, Ohio, is their economy noticeably better.
It is not six months in, that's not to compare him to Obama and that's not to criticize the president. It's not fair to say, six months in, where are all the jobs in Youngstown, Ohio.
[12:34:04] It is a (INAUDIBLE) to start to think about those things because those people will start to think about it. But what do we make of -- is this helpful or is this just therapy for the president?
JACKIE KUCINICH, THE DAILY BEAST: Can I make one correction about Youngstown, Ohio? Yes, it is a former steel town. But this is also -- well, Trump is talking nostalgia. It's also a region where high- tech manufacturing is starting to take hold, 3D printing. They're trying to move towards the future and create these jobs, these new jobs instead of, you know, relying on things that a lot of these people know are not coming back. So, the fact that Trump is still like him, for sure, but, he's taking them back to a point in time that they're moving fast. So that should just be noted that Youngstown isn't the sort of dilapidated --
KING: But that is the fascinating question of the past 15 years and the next 20 years. Can politicians connect with people honestly about what we can fix and what can come back? Or what the new economy you need to move to, and whether that's a college education, vocational training, how do we do that. That's one of the reasons Donald Trump is president because all the people who came before him are not having that honest conversation.
ABBY PHILIP, THE WASHINGTON POST: To your point about campaign promises, that is actually the divide between a campaign promise and governing. Is you go from making promises to people that might be big or as big as their expectations, as big as their hopes and dreams to helping actually get things done that are practical. And Trump has never made that switch from the campaign to governing.
That is evidenced in his activities over the last several months. But it's also evidence in the fact that we still don't know what the president's vision is for a lot of things, including health care, tax reform, infrastructure. Where are these plans?
KING: When you say tax reform, here's one. Yes, the president goes on the road to talk about his agenda, but he also talked to the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Remember, Republicans are stuck on health care. We don't know (INAUDIBLE) but they're stuck on health care.
The first six months of the Trump presidency have been spent with the Congress -- Republicans in Congress debating health care. They say they want to move on a tax reform. The Republican Congress does not want to raise taxes.
This is the Republican president of the United States talking to the Wall Street Journal yesterday. "The people I care about most are the middle-income people in this country who have gotten screwed. And if there's upward provision, it's going to be on high-income people."
And if his friends want him to raise tax is on the (INAUDIBLE), that's what he wants to do. You know, his Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has said the same thing. But none of the tax bills that he put out as a candidate, and there were at least two, and his one pager as president.
JACKIE CALMES, LOS ANGELES TIMES: They do not give big tax cuts to the vast middle-income people. They give big ones to top earners and it will be really interesting because getting it out of the Congress, I see a real parallel or repeat of the health care fight they're having where he is saying in his rhetoric, we're going to give tax cuts to the middle class, we might even raise taxes on the rich. Where in that same Wall Street Journal interview on health, he's said what he's often said is, we're going to cover everybody.
He said, I didn't want to do just repeal, we want them do replace because otherwise millions would go uninsured in the lurch. Well, millions will go uninsured even with his replace. But he still seems to think it covers everybody. And so the disconnect -- other disconnect between what he says in rhetoric like that, whether on taxes or health care and what he delivers in legislation is almost inexplicable.
PHILIP: (INAUDIBLE) infrastructure where these are a lot of areas where Democrats would look at any -- if you take that quote and just took the name out of it, Democrats would say, we can behind that raise the rich (INAUDIBLE) middle income taxes go down.
KING: Bill Clinton actually did that.
PHILIP: Bill Clinton did that. But Trump isn't actually doing that. And he says a lot of these things but the leadership doesn't extend farther than his rhetoric. And that's where Democrats have sort of been like, we can't trust this guy. Because what he says is --
KING: Early in the process and you're going to cast the tough vote for Donald Trump on tax reform if you think he's going to pull this one. Anyway, it's difficult.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes, there's that. But then there's also kind of the clear picture that Jackie were getting at which is, that his rhetoric doesn't match the legislation.
It hasn't mattered because the legislation has been stuck in Congress. But if that legislation actually becomes law, let's just take health care because that's the only one that's sleeping on the table right now. And it doesn't cover everybody and everybody's premiums won't go up and, you know, the rainbows are going to come out and, you know, that the birds are going to chirp and everything else that they say is going to happen.
Then he and the one who is going to be -- and the Republicans in Congress are going to be in trouble rightly so with their voters who said, wait a minute, this isn't what you said was going to happen. And that's called democracy.
KING: If you like the doctor, you can keep it up.
BASH: Yes, exactly.
KING: (INAUDIBLE) comes back to bite you. And we're going to take a quick break. When we come back, that health care debate is playing out right now on the floor of the United States Senate. Republicans just barely got to bring that debate to the floor, do they see a finish line?
[12:44:04] KING: Welcome back. Live pictures here on the floor of the United States Senate. Ron Wyden is still talking. I don't know if he's been up since we show these pictures earlier or he got back up. Democrat of Oregon on the floor.
Republicans are trying to vote today on several of their proposals to repeal and replace ObamaCare. There was supposed to be a big vote this hour, it has been delayed until the 3 o'clock hour here in the East Coast we are told because of the Senate parliamentarian rule they had to rewrite some of the language dealing with Planned Parenthood funding. It's process thing in Washington. There's a big policy part of this debate but the vote has been delayed because of that.
This is what they're supposed to vote on. A number of Republican alternatives, we expect them all to be voted down. But what they were supposed to vote on this hour was the repeal and delay replacement plan. What that would do is eliminate the individual and employer mandates in ObamaCare, eliminate the ObamaCare subsidies and the Medicaid expansion, a big part of ObamaCare by 2020, and eliminates Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare taxes on wealthy Americans and insurance companies or medical device makers.
[12:45:01] Now, this is part of the deal Mitch McConnell (INAUDIBLE) get this to the floor. Yes, we're going to vote on a plan -- the moderate side is going to vote on the plan, the conservative side were going to vote on a bigger plan. We think they're all going to fail because we don't have the votes to do it.
So part of this process argument is a bit of a show trial if you will. With the ultimate goal of getting those bills out of the way and then what? To pass some kind of a shell so you can get through a House and Senate conference committee.
BASH: Yes, but they're calling it skinny repeal after following the ridiculous Washington lingo. Well, skinny repeal and replace I should say which -- and scale that just at it sounds. The scaled down version of the replacement.
KING: Here it is on the screen (INAUDIBLE). So it eliminates the -- what's the power ball number? It eliminates the individual employer mandates, eliminates the tax on the medical device makers. It keeps some of the ObamaCare subsidies and Medicaid expansion in place for now.
KUCINICH: And then it goes to the House then the House is not going to be OK with any of that. And that's -- and there lies the problem and that's going to be -- even if it does get to a conference committee, what we just saw is DOA.
KING: So that's my question. Have the Republicans just prolonged their misery here in the sense that maybe they get to a bill that gets to a House, Senate conference and then guess what, the House conservative sits down with the Senate moderates and realize they will never agree on issues like rule of government and issues like ObamaCare subsidies, on issues like the Medicare expansion, on issues like allowing states to take the Medicaid program and you sit down. They'll just never agree on that.
They have significant, legitimate real policy differences. And so are they going to then take August, September, and October then run out the whole first year of the Trump presidency and all Republican Washington debating something they can't resolve?
BASH: If that's what they're going to do, I think let's just assume that they can get that skinny repeal and replace out of the Senate, which is a lot to assume anything. But let's just pretend that's actually going to pass for sure.
Then the two options are, bring it to what's known as a conference, so that the House and the Senate can resolve their differences, which is the way it's supposed to work, anybody who's seen "schoolhouse rock." Or, -- I don't think this possible but you never know, maybe they can convince the House Republicans, this is the best we're going to do over here, we're not going to get anything else. It's fair minimum, just pass this and we'll claim victory and move on.
KING: And again we'll watch the president's words in all of this because he has said inconsistent positions on the bill. Now this morning he was tweeting attacking Senator Lisa Murkowski, one of the no votes to proceed. Why he wants to do that in the middle of it, who knows.
But then he also said, this on the Wall Street Journal. "The trouble with straight repeal is you'll have millions of people out there that will say, well, you know, how do we know we're going to have health care. And I hate to do that to people."
So the president is saying he's against the repeal only bill and his name is Donald J. Trump. Last week or 10 days ago, the president of the United States said, if they can't reach a deal on a bigger bill that repeals and replaces, then go ahead and vote on a repeal vote. Which is it?
PHILIP: Yes, and he also said, let's just let the whole thing collapse. So we have know idea where the president stands on this. And (INAUDIBLE) frankly which is they're not really paying attention to anything that he's saying on this.
They know that they just have to try and try until they get something done. And I suspect that they're determined at this point that if the skinny repeal is all that it is, that's better than going into the midterms is nothing in their hands.
I mean, the bill that they had wasn't that great anyway so it's not like we're dealing with two good options. They're dealing with two bad options and they have to figure out which one will actually get enough votes.
CALMES: I can only speak for 33 years but I have never seen norms fall in the legislative process, both at the executive branch end and the legislative branch end like this since I got here in 1984, at the end of the Reagan first term. And I've covered a lot of big bills. I have never seen anything like this process. KING: That is bizarre.
CALMES: And it's for a cause that affects tens of millions of people and 1/6th of our economy.
KING: Every single person after watching to some degree, this is going to affect them, their family members, their neighbors, everybody else in Washington as the moment (INAUDIBLE) confusing you.
Up next, John McCain's emotional return to the Senate and his, to hell with them message.
[12:53:16] KING: Arizona Senator John McCain's emotional return to Washington adds a compelling human drama to the high stakes political debate over ObamaCare repeal and replace ideas. Senator McCain's vote was critical to moving forward. But the senator, just days removed from a brain cancer diagnosis, made clear he has giant doubts about his party's ideas on health care reform and more broadly about its ability to get much of anything done.
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SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We're getting nothing done, my friends, we're getting nothing done. And all we have really done this year is confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Our health care insurance system is a mess. We Republicans have looked for a way to end it and replace it with something else without paying a terrible political price. We haven't found it yet and I'm not sure we will.
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KING: His lecture included this McCain prescription for improving the country's polarized politics.
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MCCAIN: Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the internet. To hell with them. Let's trust each other, let's return to regular order. We've been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle.
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KING: It's a fascinating speech, most of us had to watch it on television. Dana Bash was in the Senate Chamber when they played out. You've been there for number of remarkable moments over the year. You've covered Senator McCain for quite a bit there.
A lecture to his colleagues there. Some would say hypocritical that he claims to be the maverick and vote against with the Republicans. But take us inside the room. BASH: It really was remarkable. First of all, it was obviously up against the backdrop of legislative drama. The question of whether or not they would be able to go to debate. And that all have just kind of evaporated from the moment when Senator McCain walked on to the doors of the Senate Chamber and everybody applauded which you could see on T.V.
[12:55:11] What they couldn't necessarily see was, that there was an impromptu kind of receiving line that happen. And that McCain, you know, we have covered them both for so long. He was so happy to have, you know, the respect, and he has such friendships that he really cherishes. But you can tell he was a little uncomfortable because, you know, he knew why this was happening because of his very bad prognosis.
But for me, watching that was one thing but then I looked up at the visitor's gallery just above, and his wife Cindy McCain was sitting right in the front row and she was looking over watching that scene before he even spoke. And she's wearing this bright yellow dress, as if she was trying -- hoping that that would kind of make her feel better but she couldn't help that. I mean, she was pushing back tears, she was clutching a tissue. And, you know, it was really, really emotional to see that especially, you know, people who have gotten to see their relationship and their partnership through all these years of politics.
KING: And we don't see here in Washington that often. So she's sensing as well the scope of this moment, the gravity of the moment.
Thanks for joining us in the INSIDE POLITICS. We'll see you right back here same time tomorrow. Wolf Blitzer is up after a quick break. Have a great day.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Wold Blitzer. It's 1 p.m. here in Washington, wherever you're --