Return to Transcripts main page


Sanders Raises $18.2 Million in First Quarter Fundraising; Pelosi Says Biden's Actions Not Disqualifying in 2020 Race; Baltimore Mayor Takes Leave Amid Book Deal Scandal; LAPD Says Slain Rapper Knew Man Accused of Killing Him. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired April 2, 2019 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: When it comes to money, it looks like Senator Bernie Sanders may have the early edge in 2020 Democratic primary. The Vermont senators campaign announcing that he has raised more than $18 million in just a little more than six weeks since entering the race. He is outpacing other Democrats who recently announced their fundraising totals, Senator Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. So with me two of my absolute favorite ladies, CNN political commentators, Symone Sanders and Ana Navarro. And so, Simone because of you working with --

SYMONE D. SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I used to work for Senator Sanders.

BALDWIN: Yes, when you look at numbers -- throw them back up on the screen guys -- and compare between Mayor Pete and Senator Sanders and Senator Harris, yes, he is ahead with $18 million but this mayor from South Bend, Indiana, that is not nothing.

SANDERS: It's not nothing. Look, I think that is the beauty of this primary season, this election cycle. This could literally be anyone's game and someone can catch fire now. I would caution everyone that it's still early. And if I'm working for and advising a candidate, my candidate is really hot right now, it kind of concerns me. Because if you are hot early, I don't know if you'll be hot in December --

BALDWIN: So is that concerning then about Senator Sanders since he's got the $18 million.

SANDERS: Yes, but you know, I think Senator Sanders is like also I think also a different conversation. Because Senator Sanders has been literally building this army since 2015. And so he has been out there. He's been traveling the country and so I'm not surprised that he's doing well. The question becomes for all of the candidates is after the summer, after we've gone through a very public debates, now the voters are paying attention, where will they be and what are they saying and what do the numbers look like then.

BALDWIN: What do these numbers tell you?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It tells me there is energy and a lot of enthusiasm on the Democratic side. There's a bunch of candidates running and you are going to see I think practically every one of them post millions and millions of dollars in numbers. That is impressive in and of itself. You're going to see I think a lot of small donors. You've seen it with Kamala Harris. You're going to see -- do not be surprised if you see a lot of cross-over intonations. People donating to more than one candidate because people just want there to be one candidate who can beat Donald Trump and they don't care who it is. For Pete Buttigieg, I am thrilled.

BALDWIN: What do you think of him?

NAVARRO: You know, I've met him a couple of times, I'm thrilled that he caught fire because I invested a lot of time in learning on learning how to pronounce his name. But I also think there is this aspect of him where he is untainted by Washington. --

BALDWIN: That's appealing.

NAVARRO: Yes. He is from midtown USA. He's from a small town. He's not part of the Washington dysfunction. He also, like Beto O'Rourke, has got the advantage that this is their day job. Beto O'Rourke has raised a ton of money and is doing a lot of campaign events but unlike Harris, unlike Warren, unlike Gillibrand, unlike Booker, unlike Sanders, he's not in the Senate. He's not in Congress. He doesn't have a day job. This is what he's doing 24/7.

I want to ask you all about former VP Joe Biden.


BALDWIN: Yes. Because Senator Pelosi made news -- Speaker Pelosi made news today weighing in on the allegations of inappropriate touching against him. And while she said the claims aren't disqualifying if he decides to run, she did say this.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: So to say I'm sorry that you were offended is not an apology.

[11:05:00] I'm sorry I invaded your space but not I'm sorry you were offended. You know, he has to understand in the world that we're in now that people's space is important to them and what's important is how they receive it not necessarily how you intended it.


BALDWIN: Symone what do you think of the whole Joe Biden story? I mean, the women, his response, does he need to say more? How -- if you were working on his potential campaign, how would you advise him?

SANDERS: Yes, you know, I think, one, this is not something that's going away tomorrow and so, even if another story doesn't come out for another week, when and if Vice President Biden gets into the race this will be a question or something that will come up, in my opinion, on the debate stage, it will come up in a town hall. So I think Speaker Pelosi is absolutely right. It is not about your intent, it is about how folks are receiving what is happening. And I think what folks are saying is that we need to have a spectrum of harm and some nuance in this quote, unquote me-too conversation. And so no one is putting Vice President Joe Biden in the same basket as all of the crazy man that was almost elected down in Georgia, who was a pedophile, but what folks --

BALDWIN: Alabama.

SANDERS: Pardon me, Alabama.

BALDWIN: I'm from Georgia.

SANDERS: Pardon me. Yes, Alabama. But I think what people are saying is that we -- there is now -- we should be able to have a conversation about the spectrum of harm and space and what is and not considered appropriate. And I don't know if we're doing a good job in the national media of having that conversation.

NAVARRO: I'll tell you, what I think he needs to say I'm running. If he's going to run, he needs to run and he needs to run now. I think part of this is happening because were now in April. He still hasn't announced. And so, there are some people who I think have a political agenda trying to figure out how to keep him out.

BALDWIN: Some people as in Democrats?

NAVARRO: Yes. I as a Republican who is desperate to get rid of Donald Trump and see Donald Trump out of the White House, I am perplexed by the circular firing squad that the Democrats are executing on themselves. They have -- there's like -- it's almost like they're looking for the perfect candidate. You don't need the perfect candidate. You need a candidate good enough to beat Donald Trump. Please, for the love of God, don't screw it up and give us somebody because I've given up on the Republicans being able to do that.

I think if Joe is going to run, he needs to show that this is not going to dissuade him and he needs to come out and he needs to be a candidate. I'll tell you as somebody that knows Joe Biden, sorry folks, but he gives the best hugs in the world. He is a consoler in chief and he needs to stop doing that because when he -- when he's talking to me about my brother's death and he's consoling me, I'm good with that. But there are some people who are not into public displays of affection. He needs to understand that and he needs to stop unwelcome, uninvited contact with people that he doesn't know. But with those that he does know, he's Joe Biden and we want him to continue being Joe Biden.

SANDERS: The only thing that I'd like to add here is that, look, I think that he is definitely getting into the race. I do -- the question is when. I spoke to folks from his camp and the uncertainty was that honestly, I don't think he knew until a few weeks ago what he really wanted to do. And so, now it is the big leagues and this is a primary about being battle tests. And so, it looks like a circular firing squad but the Democrats want to come out knowing they have the candidate that can stand up against Donald Trump and I think this is part of the name of the game. BALDWIN: All right, Symone and Ana, thank you very much. Thank you,

thank you

Coming up next, a children's book named "Healthy Holly" written by the Baltimore's mayor, now has her in political hot water. Details on the allegations of corruption and why she's taking an indefinite leave of absence.


BALDWIN: Baltimore has a new mayor in charge at least for the time being. Current Mayor Catherine Pugh has suddenly decided to take an indefinite leave of absence for health reasons. Her office says she has pneumonia. But the timing of her exit comes amid brewing political scandal. Maryland's Governor has actually called now for this investigation into lucrative sales of the mayor's "Healthy Holly" children's books to the University of Maryland medical system. And "The Baltimore Sun" reports red flags are being raised about the mayor's book sales to a to a company that was bidding for city business. David Zurawik is media critic with "The Baltimore Sun". He's with me now. And so, you certainly don't hold back in these columns I've read of yours. You're calling this moment humiliating and ugly for the city of Baltimore. Tell me why.

DAVID ZURAWIK, MEDIA CRITIC, THE BALTIMORE SUN: Well actually I'm quoting a radio show host on there but you know what, Brooke, I would agree with the characterization of ugly and humiliating. So I'm totally fine with it. It is really. Because there is a narrative about this city that is out there and the narrative is that it is dysfunctional and corrupt and does not operate in the interest of its citizens. That's a pernicious destructive narrative. Some of it's political. Because then they say, well this is what you get with 60 years or whatever it is of Democratic one-party rule and so that becomes ideological and political. But that narrative is not just -- it is out there. OK.

This -- her actions in her "Healthy Holly" book deals absolutely feed that narrative.

[11:15:00] For many people it is proof positive. If you listen to the talk shows on Baltimore radio yesterday, they were just blowing up with people. And there were plenty of calls for her resignation as a result of it. The irony is that she came in saying change the narrative. Let's change that narrative about Baltimore and then her actions. Yes.

BALDWIN: Well in talking about changing the narrative and these are your words. This is a piece I read of yours from last year.

I detect something distinctly Trumpian and embattled public officials deflecting blame, especially in the direction of the media. Is that part of this with her?

ZURAWIK: It is. She's blamed the media often. And she's blaming "The Baltimore Sun" by the way. Last week after "The Baltimore Sun" had documented that she received $500,000 from the University of Maryland medical system for self-published books that nobody could account for where they were, who got them, any of that, $500,000. In an interview with "The Sun" she called what we were doing a witch hunt. So there's your Trump talk for you folks. She really picked up on that. Change the narrative, challenge the media, blame the media for the problems.

Look, the media are not the problems -- reason for the problems in Baltimore. But you were here in 2015 for the uprising. You are standing on the streets of Baltimore for several days reporting and I remember it. You know how deep-seeded the troubles here are. After the uprising in 2015 after the death of Freddie Gray, almost everyone seemed to agree there could be no margin of error any more. We have to get it right. We have to come together as a community and we have to come up with a narrative and we have to pursue that vision. Well in 2016 we elected Catherine Pugh mayor and it has been downhill since. It has been nothing but trouble and error.

BALDWIN: Wow, David Zurawik, not holding his fire today. Media critic with "The Baltimore Sun." Nice to see you. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

ZURAWIK: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Right now L.A. police are asking for help to find a suspect in the murder of rapper Nipsey Hussle. Details on what happened in the moments before the shooting.


BALDWIN: Grammy-nominated rapper, Nipsey Hussle, knew the man who is now suspected of killing him outside of his south L.A. store. Police say the motivation of the shooting appears to be a personal matter and not gang related, but we don't have the details.

There is a manhunt now for 29-year-old Eric Holder. A vigil for the rapper started peacefully, but several people were hurt in a stampede that started when a person tried to disarm a man with a gun.

Julian Mitchell is a writer for "Forbes" and interviewed Nipsey Hussle. And just I can tell I have been talking to you on commercial break, how much that time with him meant to you and his passing has been tough. And so I read this incredible interview you did and you talk about a lot, like being an entrepreneur and, you know, coming up in his career and on a path and being a leader.


BALDWIN: And this line jumped out at me, with new levels, he said, there's new devils.

MITCHELL: Yes, absolutely.

BALDWIN: Talk to me about what he said outside of the interview about that.

MITCHELL: Outside of the interview about that, in particular, we mentioned there's new levels, new devils. He talks about how you have to adjust to that.

BALDWIN: When you're becoming more and more?

MITCHELL: Yes, as you evaluate, as you're building. It's a process. Like he talks about the marathon. Right. It's a marathon, not a sprint. So you have to be in it for the long term. And as you continue to rise, there's these new challenges, new obstacles, new things that you face. What he spoke about, you know, off the record about that was just how you have to deal with life, you know. You have to deal with the different people around you, you have to deal with your family, you know, like how you take care of your kids, being a father.

You have to deal with being responsible for the people in your life and controlling the energy around you and being able to adjust and evolve in the way that you think and the way that you see yourself as you get older. So you can also continue to just be, you know, honorable and keep everything that's around you stable and together.

Because as you evaluate and rise -- as you spoke about before -- you know, you start to not know where your enemies are coming from. You know, there's times where you can't see, you know, what's around you, so it's really important to keep your energy pure, you know, keep your intentions pure, and just always take inventory of, you know, the things that you keep around you.

BALDWIN: You get to interview all kinds of fascinating people, but this truly, truly meant something to you.


BALDWIN: What did, does, Nipsey Hussle mean for you?

MITCHELL: I mean, he represents somebody who's honorable. He represents somebody who speaks for both sides of the class system. You know, that's something that I mentioned that's very, very important.

BALDWIN: How do you mean?

MITCHELL: I mean he speaks for people who have lack of access and he speaks to people who have access. You know, I mentioned Jay-Z. What makes him so powerful is that he literally can speak to the streets in the same language, but also represents being a CEO, being an entrepreneur, being a business leader. You don't see those types of examples. You know, like you aspire to what you're exposed to, and I think he represented something that was such so much bigger than music, so much bigger than the gang culture, the street culture, L.A. He represented somebody that knew their power and walked in it and lived in it and shared wisdom and shared information and made that who they were to ultimately evaluate and empower people. And I feel like that's who he was, that's what his legacy was, that's what his music spoke to. And I think that what he'll be remembered for.

BALDWIN: What a blessing for you --

[11:25:00] MITCHELL: Yes, absolutely.

BALDWIN: -- to have that time with him. Julian Mitchell, a pleasure.

MITCHELL: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

MITCHELL: Appreciate it.

BALDWIN: Just in, new CNN reporting on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the quote/unquote blood money that his children may get.


BALDWIN: In case you missed it, at the top of the hour, CNN has announced the details for the second Democratic presidential debate, which this network will host. It is now set for July 30th and 31st in Detroit, Michigan, so mark your calendars now. It will be quite a busy summer.

I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me. Let's go to Washington. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts right now.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: President Trump says the doctor will see you in 2021. "THE LEAD" starts right now.