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CNN NEWSROOM

Tensions over U.S.-China Trade Fight; Jill Biden on Her Life and Family; Georgia Governor To Sign Heartbeat Bill. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired May 7, 2019 - 09:30   ET

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


[09:30:00] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: What are traders on the floor saying there about the market?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, we got a taste. Just a little bit of a taste, Jim, of what could happen if a deal between China and the U.S. falls through.

Now, we did see by the end of the day yesterday a stunning reversal for the Dow, clawing back almost all of the 471 points that it lost. But here we go again, another triple digit drop for the Dow because these trade tensions are really holding tight to market sentiment.

You look at what happened before President Trump tweeted that he was going to go ahead and impose these additional tariffs, you know, and raise the tariffs on other goods. You know, the market was banking on having this U.S.-China trade deal. It was, as Wall Street calls it, it was baked in the cake. Well, guess what, now Wall Street is kicking that ingredient out because it can't -- it can't really hang its hat on these valuations that it put on stocks over the past several months.

We saw the S&P 500, the Nasdaq hit fresh record highs, in part because the thinking was -- the consensus here on Wall Street was that a deal was going to get done. Well, now that it's in jeopardy, you're seeing stocks extend their losses with that opening bell. The Dow down already 224 points.

Jim.

SCIUTTO: Christine, it strikes me that both sides here think they have a strong hand to play.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Trump administration believes it's a strong economy --

ROMANS: Yes.

SCIUTTO: And it is. So they've got some wiggle room here. But China also has enormous ability to inject stimulus into the economy to counteract.

ROMANS: Stimulus. SCIUTTO: You know, in poker, when two people think they have a strong hand, I mean that pot grows bigger. You know, how does this resolve itself?

ROMANS: And, look, President Xi doesn't face a re-election. I mean there's a lot of power that he can wheeled there. Although, you know, the whispers are that there is some dissent in the top ranks of the communist party elites there, that they don't want Xi to give up too much to the United States.

President Trump is dug in. The Chinese are dug in. What kind of deal will we get.

What we do know is that Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, and Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, were both very clear that China had reneged, had backtracked on some of the promises it had made in these ten rounds of negotiations. And when they were making, you know, the actual text of an agreement or the next round -- for the next round, the Chinese had changed their mind on some things and that was a bridge too far for President Trump.

And, you know, they've always had this threat, Jim, of those -- of raising those tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent. Remember, it was supposed to be in January. The president gave President Xi more time because they had a big, wonderful chocolate cake together or something at Mar-a-Lago, remember? And then they said March they would -- that that would be the deadline. And then the president said, no, there's enough progress on our trade talks that we're going to push that deadline forward. And now -- now, the president has lost his patience.

SCIUTTO: A person will only go so far. Just look at North Korea.

ROMANS: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Countries have permanent interests.

ROMANS: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Christine Romans, Alison Kosik at the market, thanks very much.

As Joe Biden heads to Nevada for the first time in the 2020 race, we will hear from his wife, Jill, on the challenges of joining a family torn by tragedy and why she says the country needs her husband in the White House now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:37:27] SCIUTTO: Former Vice President Joe Biden is heading to Nevada today for the first time since he entered the 2020 race. He will hold a rally in Henderson this afternoon. Of course, Nevada, a key state as we get to 2020.

And as he aims for the presidency, by his side throughout, of course, his wife, Jill. And she has a new memoire out. It is out just today, in fact. It is called, "Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself."

CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash, she sat down to speak with Dr. Jill Biden. She joins me now.

This is a very intimate book. It's a portrayal of her life.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

SCIUTTO: The highs and the lows.

BASH: Yes, look, she was a very young woman. She fell in love with a widower who had two young boys, after he had lost not just his wife but a baby girl. And he also happened to be a U.S. senator. So she gives a very intimate, a very human portrayal of what that has been like, especially as a self-described introvert, married to an extrovert, and the ultimate political extrovert, who has gone through horrible tragedy in their family.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: Joe Biden proposed to you, not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, five times.

JILL BIDEN: Five times.

BASH: That last time you got an ultimatum.

BIDEN: Yes, I did. And I had to -- I had to be sure, you know. Beau and Hunt had lost their mother and their sister in a car accident and I had to make sure that they would not lose another mother because of divorce. So I had to be 100 percent positive. And I just couldn't hurt them.

BASH: They were the ones who came up with the idea that their father should propose to you.

BIDEN: Yes. Yes. They -- Joe was shaving one morning and they were all in the bathroom before school talking and they said, dad, we think we should marry Jill. So they were the ones who came up with it.

BASH: We think we should marry Jill?

BIDEN: Yes. Yes. I think the boys, you know, they wanted a mommy, they wanted -- they wanted the family to be whole again, too. And it was important for the boys to remember their mother. And so her pictures were around and so we kept her memory alive.

BASH: You write about Beau's death. You say you still don't have words to express your despair, which is understandable. You write, since Beau's death, I'm definitely shattered. I feel like a piece of china that's been glued back together again. The cracks may be imperceptible, but they're there.

BIDEN: Yes, they're there. I mean, you have a son. You probably -- when I -- when you probably read that part in my book, I'm sure you just thought to yourself, I can't imagine it. And I don't think any parent can imagine it. I mean, they can't even put their head in that space.

[09:40:16] And so, you know, you just -- it's not something you get over. I don't think any mother who has lost a child is ever the same.

BASH: Let's talk about running for president.

BIDEN: OK.

BASH: One of my favorite stories in the book is, 2004, your husband is meeting with advisers about whether he should run.

BIDEN: Yes.

BASH: You're out at the pool in your bikini. You walk through the meeting and you write in sharpie on your stomach, your bare stomach, n-o.

BIDEN: Uh-huh. They got the hint.

BASH: It was subtle.

BIDEN: Yes, it was subtle.

BASH: Why is this the right time for Joe Biden to run for president and be president?

BIDEN: Well, for the past two years everywhere I've traveled across this country, people are coming up to me saying, he's got to run, he's got to run, Joe has to run. And I've really taken it to heart and thought about it. And Joe is such a unifier. He brings people together.

BASH: The physical way that your husband expresses himself has gotten a lot of attention, some criticism from some women. I was struck that you, in the book, write about your own experience coming into the Biden family. You said that you are not someone who was used to public shows of affection and that was an initially uncomfortable development.

BIDEN: Yes, he -- he comes from a very affectionate family. They're always touching. And -- and I think Joe is -- is -- one thing I've admired about Joe is the way he makes connections with people.

But recently, I mean, things -- times have changed and -- and Joe has heard that, you know, to back off and give people their space. And he has now taken responsibility for that. And -- and someone asked me, you know, did this ever happen to you? And I have to say, it has happened to me and I -- like 20 years ago -- and I did not have the courage to speak up then and say, stop that, you're in -- you're in my space.

Now I would have the courage. But 20 years ago, I wouldn't. Times have changed.

BASH: Was there ever a time over the decades where you said, honey, I know this is your DNA, but maybe it's not the way that you should, you know, interact with people, especially when you're dealing with women, they might take it the wrong way?

BIDEN: No, I didn't say anything to him, I guess because that's the way he all -- I mean that's just the way Joe was. But times have changed and now things are different and he has to back off a little bit and let people come to him. He shouldn't go to them.

BASH: On the campaign trail --

BIDEN: Uh-huh.

BASH: There is no doubt that President Trump will start to attack the Biden family. What should your husband and your reaction to that be?

BIDEN: Well, I don't think we're going to address -- I mean, we're not going to take his bait. And --

BASH: That's going to be hard.

BIDEN: Yes.

BASH: A lot of people have said that before and haven't been able to resist.

BIDEN: It is -- I know. I know it is going to be hard. And -- you know, but our family, we've talked about it. Our family is resilient. Just think about it, our grandchildren have never known anything but politics in their life. Our children have grown up with it. And I think it's -- it's going to be tough, but we've talked about it. They're ready to run.

BASH: One of my favorite parts of the book, fexting. What is fexting? I want to say "f" not "s" for the record.

BIDEN: OK. Yes. Yes. Yes.

BASH: OK.

BIDEN: So when you're in the car with the Secret Service, you know, they're -- they hear -- I mean they're not supposed to listen to everything you say, but you're sitting in the front seat and the back seat. So, of course, we're -- I love Joe to death, but sometimes, if he annoys me, you know, I start, you know, fighting over texts and then he'll say, this is on text.

BASH: When you're sitting right next to each other.

BIDEN: Yes, but you can't like say something horrible or anything that you would say to a spouse when they annoy you.

BASH: Because the Secret Service is right there?

BIDEN: Yes. Yes. So that -- so I came up with that word, fexting, fighting over text.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCIUTTO: I want to get back to fexting because that is a great innovation.

Bigger picture here, I mean --

BASH: Yes.

SCIUTTO: In the run-up to Biden's official announcement, the question had been, does he have the energy, the commitment to race. After speaking to Jill Biden, does he and does his family?

[09:45:01] BASH: They certainly are making very clear the answer is yes. I asked her specifically that question, Jim, what do you say to people who say he's too old. He's 76, would be 77 as president. And she was obviously ready for that. He's got more energy than anybody I know. He's in great shape. And she hits the experience button over and over again. That experience is what's important. That didn't work against Donald Trump in 2016. Maybe it's different now.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

She also hits what Joe Biden hit in his announcement, right, which is this time.

BASH: Yes. This time.

SCIUTTO: That the time is now for him. The country needs him, needs a unifier.

BASH: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

BASH: And the fact that she continuously brings up the fact that her kids and grandkids were actively pushing their grandfather to run makes -- makes is pretty clear that he didn't feel that he really had a choice. I mean can you imagine being told, first of all, since you were almost 30 years old that you could be the next JFK, that you should -- you should -- you should run because he was, you know, such a young senator. And now, 40 years later, his own grandchildren saying, the country needs you. Hard to resist.

SCIUTTO: Remarkable. Great interview.

BASH: Thanks, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Definitely worth watching. Look forward to seeing more.

BASH: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Dana Bash, always good to have you on.

In just moments, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is expected to sign one of the nation most restrictive bans on abortion. Will the Supreme Court eventually have to weigh in? We're going to discuss coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [09:50:56] SCIUTTO: In just minutes, the Georgia governor, Brian Kemp, is expected to sign into law the state's controversial heartbeat bill. It would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which could be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Opponents of the bill argue that women sometimes are not even aware that they're pregnant at the six-week mark. Kemp will become the fourth Republican governor to sign a so-called heartbeat bill into law this year.

Let's discus now with Talcott Camp. She is deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.

Talcott, thanks for taking the time this morning.

TALCOTT CAMP, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, ACLU REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM PROJECT: Hi, Jim.

SCIUTTO: I wanted to put up a map here because there are a number of states who now have similar bills under consideration. And you have two others, Mississippi and Ohio, with similar bills taking effect in July.

But to this point, no state has actually been able to put it into lasting practice because of legal challenges. Do you expect the same in Georgia?

CAMP: Yes. And let me just add, you've left out Connecticut, where the ACLU blocked a very similar law quite recently as well.

Right, so this law bans abortion, plain and simple, and we've known from the Supreme Court for over 40 years that's unconstitutional. And we know that a majority of Americans support the availability of safe supported abortion care. So, yes, we expect this law to be struck down in the courts.

SCIUTTO: How about at the Supreme Court? Because the current makeup, and appointees, of course, have been asked this question when they have gone through their confirmation hearings, but have certainly left wiggle room for an ultimate decision here. What is your read of the current makeup of the Supreme Court will they strike down if the challenges go that far?

CAMP: Well, I mean, that would require the Supreme Court to accept such a case. I don't know that we know that they would.

And, you know, I'd like to kind of shift the focus a little bit because the -- look, in order to uphold this law, the Supreme Court would have to overturn Roe. Roe and Casey. There's no way to uphold this law that's just an outright ban on abortion and leave those, you know, almost half century old precedents intact.

But that's kind of the wrong question because today states are making it just about impossible for so many people to access this care. Young people, rural women, low-income women, it's just there are abortion deserts in this country, particularly in the south, in the Midwest, and in the south. So rather than focus on, will the Supreme Court overturn Roe and uphold an outright ban on pregnancy, which this is in Ohio's law, in Kentucky's law, in Mississippi's law are, right.

What we should be saying is, how can we turn back the tide and stop politicians from usurping this decision, overriding the decision a woman makes with her family, her doctor, her pastor, her nurse.

SCIUTTO: It's a strategy, and it's important you draw attention to that because that is the situation today about restricting access. I mean, yes, the cases where, you know, access boiled down to one abortion center in a state, and you create these abortion deserts, as you say.

I wonder, in your view, is that strategy working?

CAMP: Well, it is working in the sense that so many women are in those abortion deserts. And as you mentioned, there are seven states that are down to one clinic. North Dakota, South Dakota, Kentucky, Mississippi, Wyoming, Missouri, West Virginia. So Missouri, very populous state with one clinic in the far eastern edge, quite near Illinois. Women -- many women are hundreds of miles from a provider where they could get the clinic-based abortion care they seek.

So is it an effective strategy? Yes, in the sense that those fake health restrictions and other restrictions have put abortion care out of reach for so, so many women, particularly low-income women, which disproportionately affects women of color.

[09:55:04] But we've got to fight back. We have got to insist that politicians get out of these decisions, get out of the medical room, and respect the decisions that women make. And I'd love to say just a word about Georgia.

So one might ask one's self, here I am saying what politicians should not do. What should politicians be doing? Well, in Georgia, a woman who wants to be pregnant and have a baby, you know, finds herself in a terrible state to do that. Georgia has one of the highest maternal death rates in the country for women to be pregnant and have babies. What should politicians in Georgia be doing? They should be getting behind a program to get obstetrician/gynecologists into the rural counties in Georgia where currently none exist. So many Georgians live in danger because there aren't enough women's health care professionals, OB/GYN doctors and nurses. So if Georgia politicians want to do something in this area, they ought to be making pregnancy and child birth safe for women in Georgia. Instead what they've done is passed a law that just disrespects and seeks to override the decisions that women make.

SCIUTTO: Talcott Camp, thanks very much.

CAMP: Thank you, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Deadlines are imminent on Capitol Hill. Can deals be done to stop House Democrats from voting to hold members of the Trump administration in contempt? We're following it all.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END