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Cory Booker Speaks After Announcing Presidential Bid; Cory Booker Joins A Diverse and Crowded Democratic Field; A Source Says ISIS Could Regain Territory in Syria in 6 to 12 Months if U.S. Does Not Keep Up Military Pressure. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired February 1, 2019 - 14:00   ET

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


[14:00:00] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN CO-HOST: That's just a rumor. On the field the Rams coach Sean McVay is the youngest coach ever in the super bowl, just 33, half the age of Bill Belichick going for his sixth ring. I add one question that will define this game, can the rams get to Tom Brady? He's thrown the ball 90 times in the playoffs, has not been sacked once. You got to put him on his back if you're going to beat him, Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Dave Briggs. Thank you so much for that. Be sure to watch "KICKOFF IN ATLANTA, THE CNN BLEACHER REPORT SPECIAL" with Dave Briggs, Hines Ward and Coy Wire, that is tomorrow afternoon at 230 eastern on CNN.

And that's it for me. "NEWSROOM" with Brooke Baldwin starts right now.

BALDWIN: Brianna, thank you. Hi, there, I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN. And here he is, Senator Cory Booker in Newark, New Jersey.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: I have the greatest comeback story for any American city right now. I'm proud to have you on my front lawn, but in many ways it's right up this street that my career started in politics. It was a bunch of tenant leaders who were perhaps -- I got my B.A. from Stanford. They really believed that was the best way to make a difference in this neighborhood. I've long since believe that life is about purpose and not position and I tried to stay true to the purpose that brought me into the politics in the first place. If you're in my office in Washington, it's a map of this neighborhood that sits behind me to focus on the folks who first took a chance on me and put me into the game. What my neighbors are concerned with and I've heard all around the country, is that people in America are losing faith that this nation will work for them. They're beginning to believe that too many folks are going to get left out or left behind. They're beginning to believe that the forces that are tearing us apart or stronger than the forces that bond us together as a people, as a country. I'm running for President because I want to address these issues. We are a nation, the story of who we are, everyone's who's gathered on my front walk here, we are all here because of different backgrounds and different religious and even different political parties stood together, worked together, fought together to make this country stand for something. What makes us unique and different is that we have folks from all over the planet earth from eastern Europe to Asia, from western Europe to Africa whose DNA is now on this soil and by us working together with did things that other people thought was impossible. My parent's generation knew that if we came together, blacks and whites, Christians and Jews we could up end Jim Crow. There's no Republican or Democratic way to get there. You definitely don't get there by fighting each other. Beating each other day and dividing people against themselves. We did those things because we found our common ground. Now, this is not easy. It's the tough work of building a great community or what king called the beloved community. It's hard to do that. It's about time we get to the hard work of building this nation, to be who we want us to be, our best values, our best ideals, the best of who we are. We need leadership in this country that understands what patriotism means and patriotism is love of country and you can't love your country unless you love your fellow countrymen and women. Doesn't mean will always agree or some days we'll always like each other but we got to extend each other grace, less judgment and more hard work to find common ground to do the things that other people on the planet earth don't think we can do. We're a nation that leads and we've got to get back to doing that together. I'm happy to answer any questions you all want, but I'm seriously grateful to have you all in Newark. For those of you who only pass through our airport, take some time in downtown and see the buildings we've built and the new hotels, see the schools that are now ranked us as the number one city in the America for beat the odd schools, high poverty, high performance. We're doing great things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator?

BOOKER: My old friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've never invited me to your House.

BOOKER: And after this, I'll tell you to get off my stairs. Get off my lawn!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of the Democrats I've talked to are skeptical about your message of love. They say that, man cannot live on love alone and they wonder if you're ready to take on a hard-nosed Donald Trump?

[14:05:00] BOOKER: I called on Cruz first because when I was mayor, he gave me my most difficult questions. I start with the hardest first. Look, love ain't easy and our history in this country some of the toughest most heroic people who I admire, who's pictures I admire, who's statues are in the capital, they took on armed hate, billy clubs and fire hose and they took down Jim Crow. They're folks like a great New Jerseyian Alice Paul who loved this country so much that she was willing to demand it lived up to its promise. She was the first person ever arrested in front of the White House because she refused to let the people in power undermine the power of women. The people that I admire are people that lead. I'm running for President because I believe in us. I believe in these values. I'm going to put them before the American people. Hey, and if that's not what they want, then I won't be the next President of the United States but I know my country. I know the goodness and the dean essentially across this land. I'm in new jersey because of that decency of white families who would not let my parents be denied housing because of the color of their skin. That's the kind of patriotism, that's the kind of love my family's experienced. I know it exists. I'm putting my faith in that message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people in new jersey are going to sit and look at this and say, we have another guy who ran for President four years ago and he spent a lot of time not doing his job. How do you convince people that you can run a campaign and yet not make the same mistakes that Chris Christie made?

BOOKER: Look, the voters in New Jersey put their faith in me and I will never, ever let them down. I'm going to continue to be an active force in the Senate and at a time of cynicism in Washington, if you look at the last Congress at a time that people don't believe Washington can get big things done and the last Congress alone, I was able to work across the aisle with my partners and get big pieces of legislation done. The system of mass incarceration in this nation is a shame to a nation that is the land of the free and i, working with others, past the first bill that final takes a real crack at ending mass incarceration. Even something that I realized that even capital in this country is lazy, doesn't invest. About five cities have the overwhelming majority of investment capital going there. I passed -- I wrote legislation with a Republican across the aisle that is now law and it's going to get hundreds of billions of dollars invested in the lowest income areas creating many, many jobs. I know I can do my job as a Senator. I've been showing that and I also know that I can answer the call of what I believe my country is right now, which is leadership that's going to bring us together and not try to rip us apart.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator?

BOOKER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to run for Senate and President as you're allowed to do in Jersey now?

BOOKER: I'm grateful that New Jerseyians pulled together to make sure that that possibility is there, my focus is running for President of the United States and I will be running hard and going directly to the people hand to hand, shaking hands, knocking on doors in many ways the way I started my career when I was running for city council. I'm going after the people. I intend to be the next President of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three quick questions.

BOOKER: You're a greedy guy? Even Cruz over here who used to badger me today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you do away with private health care?

BOOKER: Even countries that have vast access to publicly offered health care still have private health care, so, no. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what will you do about the filibuster so you

can maybe move some of these issues that you want --

BOOKER: The filibuster is a decision made in the Senate, my colleagues and i, everybody I've talked to believe that the legislative filibuster should stay there and I will personally resist efforts to get rid of.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And lastly, if President Trump attacks you on your history with banks and hedge funds, how will you respond to that?

BOOKER: Anybody who knows my history knows that my history is standing up for people that are often being hurt by bad actors. I lived in Newark during the mortgage crisis. I saw the predatory loans where people were luring people into homes who had no jobs and no income and they gave them cash at closing. My record as a mayor, my record as a Senator is fighting those interests that are trying to screw people and when it comes to defending folks, I will be ferocious.

Yes, in the back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know that there are some who -- too corporate among those on the left. I know you're not taking corporate tax money, have you changed your opinion about corporate America?

BOOKER: Let's be clear, whatever you do when you're in elected office, you're going to get criticized. When I was -- before I got into elected office when I helped someone cross the street, people said I was a really nice guy. Now when I do it, they say I'm just trying to get a vote. There's a lot of understandable cynicism out there. The best way to do that is with your actions. I believe we are a great nation because we have stuck up for each other and we've got to stop bad actors from taking advantage of people. It happens. I see it in the changes that have been made to allow credit card companies to overcharge. I fought overdraft fees as a Senator. I can go through the things I've done to hold people accountable and we need a lot of change from our tax laws to ending things like carried interests. I'm going to continue to be the person I've always been despite the criticism. My mom was joking with me last night, son, if you're not being criticized, you're probably not doing that much.

[14:10:00] I have two quick questions for you. The RNT just released a statement on your candidacy where they said you're a political opportunist who left Newark ridden with crime and emblem of poverty-- I want to see what your reaction is today.

BOOKER: This is what we have is people for political purposes trying to not talk about what they're for but talk about what they're against. Newarkers in cities all across America are tired of people putting down our urban spaces, trying to make them into jokes, ridiculing them and demeaning them. My time here during Newark, we did things that other people thought were impossible to do. We ushered in Newark's biggest economic period in 60 years building our first new office towers and our first new hotels, putting Newarkers to work constructing them and putting them to work in those buildings. We brought supermarkets. We improved our public schools. Your chances of going to a high performing schools went up 300 percent. The best thing to say, when I left Newark for the first time in 60 years, our population was growing again. People were moving here because of our schools, moving here because of our arts and entertainment, moving here because they weren't interested in tearing down this city, they wanted to be a part of this city's rising.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator?

BOOKER: Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Howard Schultz had just expressed interest in running as an independent and this has gotten a lot of criticism particularly from Democrats to say he would be helping Donald Trump. What's your reaction?

BOOKER: Anything you do there's competition, bring it. I believe in the American people. I think they're going to look to the Democratic Party for leadership. I believe that we are going to consolidate in this country against politics of hate, politics of division. I think that people are tired of the demeaning and are ready for some redeeming. To reclaim ideals of civic race and decency so I'm going to run a kind of campaign where I'm not focused on who else was in the race. When I was a high hurdler in the high school, my coach told me not to look to the right or left but to run my race and that's what I intend to do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: [speaking Spanish]

BOOKER: [speaking Spanish}

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: In Spanish. Clearly, he's fluent in both, once Newark mayor in a 19-degree Newark, New Jersey day in the front yard of his home flanked by members of the media officially announcing his bid to become the next U.S. President. So, let's just walk through a little bit of what we know about him, why we're not so totally surprised but what we should be looking for in a candidate here in Cory Booker.

Errol Lewis, John Avlon and Gloria Borger all with me. Let me just defer to the gentleman on my right here, Errol Lewis, starting with you. On message and on timing, first day of Black History Month, what did you think?

ERROL LOUIS, POLITICAL ANCHOR, "SPECTRUM NEWS": Message and timing could probably have been tweaked a little bit. Most people who have as big of a vision as Cory Booker has would have chosen a bigger setting, something like what Kamala Harris did with 20,000 cheering fans.

BALDWIN: A different rollout.

LOUIS: a different rollout suggests an urgency. Maybe he thought he had to get in sooner rather than later. Because donors and other insiders are starting to choose up sides. Maybe there was pressure to get out there and get the announcement out and then move forward. I think what you heard is the Cory Booker that I've known for 20 plus years now, which is, you know, if you think there's too much idealism in the world, maybe he's not your guy.

BALDWIN: Peace love and happiness.

[14:15:00] LOUIS: Honestly, I was mentioning just as we were watching it, he would talk the -- notice he was not scripted. There was no script or printed script or teleprompter. He would talk the same way if you caught him at a cocktail party. This is what he thinks. This is who he is, this is what he's about. The very highest hopes that people have for public service, that's who Cory Booker is and that's what he's offering to the country.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, FORMER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "THE DAILY BEAST": To some extent this is an announcement 20 years in the making. When he was running for city council, there were profiles published in the "New York Times" saying he was going to run for President someday. He has been -- I think you saw why in that conversation. Because he's been planning for so long, let's assume that was intentional. He's not doing a 20,000-person crowd. He's doing it in front of his House in Newark and that announcement was not scripted or prompted. That's a pretty remarkable ability to communicate and you listen to the message, there's a direct connection with President Obama's message of unity, of transcending our tribalism and what Cory Booker just did there off the cuff in complete sentences.

BALDWIN: Gloria, what did you think?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I want to know is that a wall or a fence behind him.

BALDWIN: Too soon, Gloria.

BORGER: I couldn't tell, but -- any way, I think that there's no doubt that Cory Booker is a terrific order and he's an uplifting order. I think the question I have about Democrats flocking to him is that they're so angry right now at Donald Trump and they want somebody who can fight him and so the question is, if Cory Booker is full of soaring, hopeful rhetoric, is that the kind of person they want to take on Donald Trump and meet their own anger because anger motivates Democrats now. Not hope. Hope motivated them with Barack Obama. Something else is motivating them now and it's not positive.

BALDWIN: He certainly has known for this is a guy that can ask pretty tough questions. He's been on the Senate Judiciary. When you watch him ask a question, you can't help but wonder, is this guy running for President. This is during the Kavanaugh hearings for the U.S. Supreme Court. This has been called the Spartacus moment. This is when he threatened to release confidential documents from Kavanaugh's time in the Bush White House so here's the moment and then he responded on "The View" this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOOKER: I appreciate the comments of my colleagues. This is about the closest I'll probably ever have this my life to an "I am Spartacus" moment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You got criticism for grand standing during your performance, how do you convince people, especially on the left that your authentic and not a phony?

BOOKER: You can't speak to authenticity. You got to be who you are and there are critics all the time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: He does seem almost perfect and practiced and didn't need notes the way he spoke a moment ago, is that moment that's a no big deal or is that something Republicans --

LOUIS: It's a fundamental question. He's sunny and optimistic. I walked the streets of Newark. In his first city council race back in 1998 I guess a guy named George Branch that everybody has forgotten about. They vilified him. There was so much negative garbage that was going on in that very, very local race and he just went around telling people on election day tomorrow we'll be one district. We'll be one people. That's who he is. The problem or the challenge is going to be that for many people in the Democratic party, they're looking for a villain. They're deciding that the crash in the economy that he talked about ten years ago, that was somebody's fault. It didn't just happen. We didn't just become a divided nation because we forgot to be unified. There are people in the Democratic party who are saying, this was done deliberately, it was the packs and the insiders, it was the corrupt dealings that went on in Washington and on Wall Street and we have to make sure that it doesn't happen again and we're not going to wish it away, we're not going to just hug each other and get out of it. He may not be the person to wage that fight. He's going to have to retool himself. I'm not talking about a fictional warrior called Spartacus but actually be a warrior that the Democrats are looking for.

AVLON: It seemed so rehearsed and the danger with Cory Booker does he start listening to his own rhetoric and the feet leave the ground. What was strong about his executive experience as mayor, he had responsibility and had some very good numbers. Not a perfect record. Perfect doesn't exist on the menu. I think that's the danger, that's the skepticism which is why one thing jumped out at me.

[14:20:00] You hear a lot of folks on left hit him for being too close to Wall Street, to banks, to hedge funds, Not a winning message for the Democratic party right now. He threw it in there close the carried interest loophole. That's a direct shot at hedge funds. That's substantive in policy and not kissing up.

BALDWIN: Go ahead, Gloria.

BORGER: And let me just say, now he's not taking any PAC money but he did take and I have a list here over $2 million in PAC money from securities and investment firms in the past. He's got -- he's got to now make the case that he's not owned and operated by any industry, so he is not taking any PAC money and over $2 million in PAC money from securities and investment firms in the past. He's got -- he's got to now make the case that he's not owned and operated by any industry, so he is not taking any PAC money and we should also point out that he loves to talk about working across the aisle, which he did with criminal justice reform, but now he's also shown the progressive side of him by talking about Medicare For All, which seems to be the mantra --

BALDWIN: With the public option and maybe he had a little time after Kamala Harris was on our CNN "TOWN HALL" and had to clarify. It gave him a minute, all right, I'll give the folks a choice. I could keep going on this. We'll come back to all of this. Everyone, thank you so much on all things Senator Cory Booker.

Just in, Elizabeth Warren is now apologizing to Cherokee Nation about her controversial DNA test which she hoped would prove her Native American ancestry.

Any moment now, Roger Stone is expected to emerge from court after learning whether the judge will issue a gag order. It's a busy Friday. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

[14:25:02] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: We're back. You're watching CNN. Breaking news. An official tells CNN that ISIS could regain territory in Syria in six months to a year if the U.S. does not maintain military pressure and this is coming just days after top intelligence officials warn Congress of a possible ISIS resurgence. President Trump is pushing to withdraw troops from both Syria and Afghanistan. So, to the Pentagon we go and our correspondent there Barbara Starr. This concern that ISIS regaining territory, this is coming in an upcoming report?

BARBARA STARR, CHIEF PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: It is, indeed, Brooke. This goes to the very fundamental question the President says the U.S. has won against is, that it is a win, that the physical territory that is controls is nearly gone, most of it now returned to the people of Syria and to fighters there. So that one fact, yes, it's true, about 99 percent of the ISIS territory is gone, but that may not be a win because now the U.S. military, the U.S. intelligence community warning in an upcoming report that if the U.S. is not able to maintain military pressure against ISIS that it will not only just reemerge in Syria, but within six months to a year, if you will, will begin to retake territory. They will come out of the woodwork and take some of those towns and villages back that the U.S. and the fighter had fought so hard over the months and years to liberate from is. So, it gets to this very fundamental question, what is a win, if you will, against is? The President like to define it as taking territory back, his own intelligence community saying not so fast. They can come back and take territory. They are still an ideology and this week the director of national intelligence publicly warned there may be thousands of is fighters still left in Syria and across the border in Iraq and they are dug in, prepared not to give up their ideology if they can't take territory, it doesn't mean that they've lost. They have their ideology and the feeling is that they are still hanging on. Brooke?

BALDWIN: We know the President like to keep saying that ISIS has been defeated, but -- Barbara Starr, thank you for that.

Just in, another reversal from Foxconn, the company changing its mind again about keeping manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin. Did a phone call from President Trump make the difference here? We have those details.

Any moment, Roger Stone is expected to emerge from court.