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Pelosi Backs Down, House Passes Senate Border Bill; Sanders Attacks Trump As "A Phony"; Rep. Susan Wild Makes Emotional Plea On Suicide Awareness. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired June 27, 2019 - 21:00   ET


[21:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: --entire team. Want to hand it over to Chris for CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, CUOMO PRIME TIME: All right, thank you, Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

So, we have new word for you tonight on how the Democratic frontrunner plans to deflect the arrows coming his way. Is Joe Biden going to be Joe Cool or Joltin' Joe?

And we have also have Bernie Sanders' Campaign Co-Chair here to let us in on the Senator's plan for the first face-to-face duel with Biden in this primary.

The current President is at the G20 in Japan. He is going to see Vladimir Putin. Question, why is it none of our business what he tells the Moscow Meddler? Trump friend, Chris Ruddy is in the Far East with him, and also with us tonight. Does he have insight on the sit-down?

And, once upon a time, we felt differently about those who came here, even if they didn't have a legal right to be here. Did this picture, dead child floating in the water with her father, it's moved hearts. Has it moved the argument? We're going to take a look back and see where we're headed.

Let's get after it.




CUOMO: Joe Biden doesn't want to spend the whole evening defending the past. He's going to try and pivot that this is all about the future. His aides say, though, he is ready for a fight, and prepared to defend his record.

What is Senator Sanders' strategy? We know one thing. It's got to be on tonight. They're two men, but there's only one spot.




CUOMO: And, of course, it's not just about them but that's what our discussion is. So, let's bring in Campaign Co-Chair, Congressman Ro Khanna. Good to have you on PRIME TIME.

REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): Chris, great to be back on.

CUOMO: All right, so let's talk about tonight. What is going to happen from the Senator's perspective to draw points of contrast because only one can be number one? What's the plan?

KHANNA: I think he's going to make a contrast on policy.

He's going to ask, "How did Trump win in 2016? He ran saying against NAFTA. He ran against the TPP. He ran against the war in Iraq. He ran against the Crime bill. And do we really want to make a mistake of electing someone who's going to have those same vulnerabilities, or should we go with someone who's going to be a candidate for change in the status quo?"

CUOMO: What is the plan for the Senator for those who say he's too far-Left.

Now, he's not going to get too much of that tonight, except he may get it from Biden. If that's the pushback, "Yes, you've got different ideas, just that very few people in our party share them," if Biden says that, then what?

KHANNA: I think the Senator speaks to how well he did in Michigan, how he resonates in rural America. I've campaigned with the Senator.

I see him go to rural America, talking about price parity for farmers, talking about rebuilding the downtowns of rural America. He connects and he connects with people in the heartland. And I think that will come through.

CUOMO: You know, one of the interesting things that Bernie Sanders offers, Senator Sanders, is that he's been in there a long time, but he's seen as somewhat of an outsider, not just because of how he caucuses, not just even because he calls himself a socialist, he does not work often with others in the Senate.

When they did that list of the Senators who work with the other side, he was the lowest on the whole ranks of people running right now. Is that a good thing?

KHANNA: Well, in my experience, I've been in Congress a few years, I have seen him work with the other side. I've seen him work very closely with Senator Rand Paul or Senator Mike Lee on issues of getting us out of unconstitutional wars.

I've seen him collaborate with other senators on issues, as he did with Senator John McCain, before my time, on issues of veterans benefit. So, I've seen him build those coalitions to be effective. CUOMO: Right. But you would still get hit with the same stick Ro, which is, "Yes, you just do it less than anybody else, and your ideas have given birth to the AOCs of the party who would rather do nothing to help the kids than compromise on anything ever."

90 percent of what you want, according to one of your own party members, Senator Leahy, wasn't enough.

KHANNA: Well I voted for the original House bill to give the funding for the -- the kids on the Border. But here's what's important to realize, Chris, because I voted against the Senate version. The Senate version didn't have any standards.

Now, the House appropriated $40 million more than the President had asked for, for these supplies in 2019. Do you have -- it's not a matter of money that these kids are going without diapers, and they're going without toothpaste. It's a matter of the administration's indifference.

So, we voted, many of us in the House voted for the funding. But we wanted human -- human rights safeguards in the funding.

CUOMO: The DHS now, we're segueing a little bit, and I think it's a good thing, Ro, because if we want to get into what this election is about, I believe you guys should be trying to own this issue. And instead, it seems like you've been on the sidelines of it.

And the criticism would be, from the DHS perspective, "Listen, we've been begging you for this money. The standards are done by the state level. They're done by us. HHS has standards. All of the parties have said they would work with you guys. But it was never enough. And so, instead of compromising, you had these kids waiting for the extra funding for months."

[21:05:00] KHANNA: That's just not true. The President's own budget in 2019 was, as I mentioned, $40 million less than Congress appropriated. The President didn't come to Congress with that request.

You know how much the President asked for more supplies this time? $10 million. We gave him $82 million. So, it's not just a matter of money. Do I believe we have to give him the money? Absolutely. That's why I voted for the House bill.

But it's a matter of having basic health standards. The House bill had a provision that said basic health standards and nutritional standards needs to be met. The Senate bill took that out.

Why wouldn't we want basic health standards as a norm for how we're treating these kids?

CUOMO: But you also had a little provision language in there. You had that you couldn't ask people who came as sponsors for the kids about their citizenship status.

And the one, I didn't understand that one, Ro. Help me on that because it's already suspended as a rule, so it seemed like you were just putting something in there that would just set up as a poison pill.

KHANNA: No. The -- the -- my understanding, and even the Senate has some version of it, is that we weren't -- you weren't being able to transfer something from Health and Human Services, if someone wanted to adopt or take some -- a kid in for foster care, you weren't able to take that information, and send it to the Department of Homeland Security because you wanted people to come forward--

CUOMO: Right.

KHANNA: --to take custody of these kids.

CUOMO: Right.

KHANNA: And I thought that's a reasonable provision. I mean--

CUOMO: It is. I just don't think they're doing that right now. And you know what? I accept your argument completely about the President, and what he asked for. There's only one problem with it. He's not in the business of caring--


CUOMO: --for these kids. He's in the business of harshness against those who come. He wants messages of deterrence. I'm not saying he wants people to die. I don't judge people's humanity that way.

But he's certainly ain't in the business of showing you the faces of the true crisis. He made one up that it was all going to be murderers and rapists and terrible people. He knew it was going to be kids. He didn't play to that because he knew a fence wouldn't fix it.

However, what I was asking you about is the DHS Acting Secretary coming, when he was at CBP and now again, when he was coming, and say, "I need the money. I can't keep these kids the right way. I can't even follow the laws that you want me to follow," you guys didn't answer his call for months. Do you regret it?

KHANNA: I think we acted as fast as we possibly could. The Speaker, this has been our highest priority, to get this funding, and we have acted expeditiously to get it done before the July 4th recess.

And I -- the Appropriations has not run out. Now had we adjourned and left for the break, the appropriations would have run out, and the DHS would have run out of money, but they haven't run out of money.

I think it's one of the reasons, unfortunately, that the Speaker had to take the Senate deal. The problem is we gave them the money, but there are no -- not enough safeguards. There are no strings and we'll rely--

CUOMO: But you can stay on it, Ro.

KHANNA: --on the President's judgment.

CUOMO: No. See, I don't think you are relying on the President's judgment. You're relying on the Secretary's judgment.

Now, I get the whole respondeat superior, and the whole idea of the chain of authority, but you know that's not how this government works, not right now. So, you've got McAleenan in there. You've got the HHS Secretary in there. Keep an eye on them.

If you hear reports, God forbid you guys go down there more often, and spot-check yourselves, if you find out that there are problems, then bust down on them. But at least now you know you've given them a chance to take care of these kids. Isn't that a worthy accommodation?

KHANNA: It's worthy that we got them the money.

It would have been better had we said that they had to comply with some minimal standards, or that they weren't allowed to transfer funding from looking after kids to enforcement, and that we had put some actual restrictions in there, or that they had more notification requirements if kids were unfortunately dying in those facilities that they had to notify within 24 hours.

The requirements that we had in the House bill were common-sense. And what we said is yes, we're going to give you the money, but you've got to hit basic American values, values that whether you're a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, you believe -- if you believe in the worth of human life, then you--

CUOMO: Right.

KHANNA: --would be for. And it's -- it's regrettable we don't have that now. We'll continue to fight for them. But it's regrettable that the bill doesn't have it.

CUOMO: And you can enforce them as standards anyway because if they don't do any and each of or all of those things, they'd be violating existing guidelines and laws anyway.

But Ro, I appreciate you talking this through with me because hey, that's what this election should be about. I love the horse race as much as -- any -- anybody else. I'm in the business for a reason. But it was good--

KHANNA: Well--

CUOMO: --to segue to policy, Ro Khanna, and I appreciate you doing it.

KHANNA: I appreciate it. Well Chris, I wish we had someone like Mario Cuomo running it, would've actually talked about the inspiration of immigrants as opposed to this President. That would have been a different America.

CUOMO: I don't know -- I don't know how he would have handled any of this stuff. In some ways, as much as we miss Pop, I'm kind of happy he's not here for this particular phase of our history. Ro Khanna, thank you for the good word.

KHANNA: He and he-- CUOMO: I appreciate it.

KHANNA: Thank you.

CUOMO: Be well.

KHANNA: Thank you.

CUOMO: I'll have you soon.

All right, last night's debate ratings were humongous. They ex-speed -- exceeded expectations.

Now, the question is well what does it mean, all right, because that wasn't even really the big night, no disrespect to who was on the stage last night, and acquitted themselves well.

[21:10:00] Let's bring in the Wizard of Odds, O-D-D-S, the numbers that are indicative of the passion we believe we perceived last night. He's making wizarding motions in a wizardly way, next.








CUOMO: Julian Castro is feeling the love after his debate performance, and his team says it translated into his best night of fundraising. Now, that's one of the big parts of these debates. Cory Booker's folks saying the same thing, big day online, for donations.

Money helps. They all say they want to take money out of the game, and yet, isn't that the biggest thing they used to distinguish themselves at this point? What does it mean going forward?

Let's bring in the Wizard of Odds, Harry Enten is here. Good to see you, brother.

So, look, there is, let -- let's call it a paradox in politics. "We want to take the money out. The money is no good. I want small contributors." And yet, money is what keeps you in the race, and money is what makes you go home.

Coming in strong in a debate early on, and getting a bump in fundraising is historically a good indu -- indicator, at least for a while.


CUOMO: How do we show it?

ENTEN: Yes. So, let's take a look, you know, looking for historical parallels.

[21:15:00] Let's go back to the last cycle, right, the Republican side. And Carly Fiorina, who sort of came into the race as an unknown, she had a very strong debate performance in a JV debate, she got up to the -- the actual varsity stage, and she took on Donald Trump.

And she, in doing so, look at this, in her second quarter, she raised $1.4 million, second quarter of 2015. Then in the third quarter, when those debates were occurring, look at that, she raised $6.8 million.

CUOMO: What is this supposed to be? An arrow?

ENTEN: That's an arrow. That's an arrow going up.

CUOMO: That is -- that is -- that's the worst.

ENTEN: You want -- you want to make a blue arrow or red arrow?

CUOMO: That is the worst. I took it out.

ENTEN: Oh, please, I was never a good artist.

But the question, of course, is how did that translate to the polls? And take a look at this. This, I can actually circle, or you know what? Maybe this time I can get an arrow. Look, that's kind of an arrow. There we go.

She was at 3 percent before the second 2016 debate. After that second 2016 GOP debate, she jumped all the way up to 15 percent. There you go. There you go. There, isn't that a nice? That's a--

CUOMO: Didn't teach you that at Dartmouth?

ENTEN: That's an arrow.

CUOMO: It's the same color, you know.

ENTEN: I did not take art at Dartmouth.

CUOMO: Go ahead.

ENTEN: Although they provided me a good government education.

CUOMO: Go ahead.

ENTEN: Donald Trump, on the other hand, look at this. He went from 32 percent before the second GOP debate, down to 24 percent, and that is sort of what a debate can do, and money can be a leading indicator that of, right?

Carly Fiorina, there were reports that she raised a lot of money after those debates. She saw a jump in the polls. Donald Trump, of course, who was on the bad side of that, saw a drop in polls.

CUOMO: Quick real-time reaction, already tonight, how many minutes, let's say 13 minutes into the debate, because they have the openings--

ENTEN: Sure.

CUOMO: --little bit of prelude.

ENTEN: And ice cream (ph) music.

CUOMO: They are -- that's right. They're talking more about Trump already than they did in the entirety of the debate last night. What does that tell us?

ENTEN: Well I think it tells you a number of things. And that is, you know, last night, you know, when we were sort of looking at the -- the field, we saw a field that was running very far to the left.

And, you know, if we look back, and we take a look at the average, and what I essentially did was all the people who were running, who were members of Congress, I looked at their voting record with zero being the most liberal, a 100 being the most moderate.

And what we saw with those candidates, the average of the 2020 candidates is a 55, so they're close to the liberal side than, say, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry or Barack Obama.

This is a field that was running very much to left. We saw that most clearly on the Elizabeth Warren answer. And look at this. This is something that's amazing to me.

Again, zero being the most liberal, a 100 being the most moderate, Warren, a 27, Sanders' a 16, that is far, far more liberal than Clinton being a 63 or Kerry a 66 or Obama a 66. And so, that was something that was very interesting to me versus tonight.

Look, the man who's leading everybody, Joe Biden, a 70, much closer to that, sort of center of the electorate going after Trump, trying to stave off that more liberal base of the party.

CUOMO: What does the voter split tell us?

ENTEN: Yes. And this -- this I think is rather key. You know, we had all these candidates running to the Left.

But this is something that you and I have had on so many times, just 19 percent of the party calls themselves very liberal, versus this 47 percent, this 47 percent that calls itself moderate or conservative, and that's the group that Joe Biden's going after, and was somewhat odd to me.

I sort of watched this, "So, wait a minute, all these candidates are running Left. They're trying to get this very liberal bloc. They're leaving this moderate to conservative bloc all alone at Joe Biden."

CUOMO: However, here's going to be something they're going to have to reconcile. Moderate conservative in terms of policy views versus your appetite to beat Trump, are you moderate to conservative on that?

That's what their bet is that you are going to come from my policies because I will convince you that that's what beats this President. We'll see how Biden deals with that tonight. We'll do more of it in real time, and you'll stay with me for later, yes?

ENTEN: Of course, my friend.

CUOMO: Harry, thank you very much. I'd appreciate it.

ENTEN: Thanks, brother.

CUOMO: All right, so, we're seeing a different debate tonight than we saw last night already, and I think that there are reasons for that.

So, when we come back, we're going to bring up some of the sound that's already been in the debate, and we're going to give you the benefit of not having to figure out what it means.

We're going to take you through an analysis in real-time, next.








CUOMO: All right, so you don't have to watch the debate because we're going to tell you what's going on and, more importantly, we'll tell you what it means in terms of status of the race.

This is a big night. I don't mean to undersell the people who were on the stage last night. But you have more people, more position to win tonight than you did last night.

And we have a very different debate so far. How so? Attacks. There are attacks tonight on the current President. You didn't really hear any last night. So, the question becomes what does that mean to bring in the President?

Let's discuss with some good minds that matter, Elaina Plott, Christine Quinn, and S. E. Cupp. Thank you for joining me tonight, my friend. So--


CUOMO: So, listen, let's talk about this. Bernie Sanders said the following in the opening, OK, not as a retort,

not spontaneous, he thought about this. "We beat the President by exposing him." He called him a phony, a pathological liar, and a racist. Think about the last time--


CUOMO: --that was said in a debate by a major candidate.

"Yes, taxes will go up. But your health core -- care costs will go down." By the way, that's not as tricky an argument. It's a trickier argument to make than it is to say in an opening.

And then the other thing I have there is that Biden did not say anything like that in his opening. Swalwell -- Eric Swalwell, the Congressman is the first one to take an age shot at Bernie. That's -- that wasn't going to come from Bernie.

CUPP: Biden, yes.


CUOMO: Age shot at Biden--

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: --that wasn't going to come from Bernie.


CUOMO: Swalwell said "32 years ago, your policies were great, time to pass the torch." Biden said, "I'm still holding the torch." Not the best comeback I've ever heard. So, the -- the idea of Bernie Sanders, S. E., saying--

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: --racist--

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: ---phony-

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: --we're allowed to play the sound. Didn't want to incur any undue--

CUPP: Right.

CUOMO: --cost of litigation tonight. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The American people understand that Trump is a phony, that Trump is a pathological liar, and a racist, and that he lied to the American people during his campaign.

He said he was going to stand up for working families. Well, President Trump, you are not standing up for working families when you try to throw 32 million people off the healthcare that they have and that 83 percent of your tax benefits go to the top 1 percent. That's how we beat Trump. We expose him for the fraud that he is.


CUPP: Yes. Sharp words. And they're necessary.

If you remember back in 2016, Bernie Sanders was essentially a protest candidate. And so, he really kept his -- kept his elbows, you know, to himself, even giving Hillary Clinton some assists, you know, saying, "Well, I don't care about your damn emails." [21:25:00] This time is different. Now he is not just there to push

the party to the Left. He is there to show he can run the country.

Now, I have my misgivings about whether he could do a good job at that, but that's what he has to show, and he is running against Donald Trump, and exposing him as a fraud, I think, is a really -- is a really smart tactic.

CUOMO: Is this the reflection of where the party is going to be because, you know, you guys have been at mixed minds, you know, don't talk like Trump, about Trump, we go high, he goes low.

That ain't going low. That is going right and punching him in the nose.

QUINN: Well I think, excuse me, I think to become the President, for the best Democrat to become the President, they're going to need to attack Trump and be different than Trump and have their own policies.

One will not work. Two is what's going to get the job done because people want a fighter to be the Democratic nominee, because they know Trump is, we hate to say it, but a good campaigner, and he'll punch until the -- the opponent is bloodied.

So, you need both. And I think, in Sanders' answer, yes, we heard more of the punching, but you did hear policy and substance in there--

CUOMO: Yes, sure.

QUINN: --so no one was left with thinking he's got nothing but bluster.

CUOMO: Last night, I had some crickets. Remember when I made that point last night, I was like, "They've got to fight."

QUINN: Yes. CUOMO: You know, at some point, you want to beat the guy, you're going to have to actually get in there, and start throwing some blows. We didn't hear it last night.

ELAINA PLOTT, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE ATLANTIC: We made the point last night. It's about bearing. People want to feel--


PLOTT: --inspired in some way, to feel, you know, emotionally driven by whatever this candidate is saying.

And I think you're precisely correct. I mean, last night was crickets because while we did get into the weeds on policy and many different points, not even Elizabeth Warren really who positions herself--


PLOTT: --as a fighter, I think, came off as someone who, you know, when, at the end of the day, Donald Trump starts calling her Pocahontas, you know, what is she going to do in response that actually lands a meaningful blow?

I think what Bernie Sanders was trying to do there was show this is not just about ideology. It's also about having kind of the -- the armor necessary, the drive necessary to take on someone as brash as Donald Trump.

CUOMO: Big test tonight is to see how Biden deals--

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: --with having people hit him.

CUPP: Yes.


CUOMO: I'm still holding the torch when somebody says pass the torch, I didn't hear it, so I'd have to see how he--

CUPP: Right.

CUOMO: --said it, the inflection, and stuff matters. But--

QUINN: It needs more.

CUOMO: It needs more. How big a deal?

CUPP: Got to be ready for that.

CUOMO: How much more?

QUINN: Yes. CUOMO: How much more if you want to be number one? And, you know, what's nice is that as things change, and it's great to have three women on the panel doing this, ordinarily I'd say, "If you want to be the man," now--

CUPP: Right.

CUOMO: --it could very easily be that the Democratic Party decides "The man" is a woman.

CUPP: Right.

QUINN: Yes. Yes.

CUOMO: And that to beat Trump, we need it to be a fill in the blank, but can't go man-to-man.

CUPP: Right.

CUOMO: But if Biden wants to be number one, what must he show he can do when someone punches him in the nose?

CUPP: A number of things, and we got a taste of it over the past couple of weeks. I thought he was real defensive, and -- and came off a little entitled, mostly because he was not doing a lot of press avails. He was not answering a lot of questions.

When you're going to sort of shield yourself from the tough questions, when you're actually asked one by a reporter, best not to snap, best not--


CUPP: --to act like "How indignant that you would -- you'd ask me this." So, what he needs to do tonight is defend his record without being defensive.

QUINN: Right.

CUPP: Answer questions. You might not think you owe it to us because we've known your record for 40 years.

You do. You owe it to us again to defend your record, both because your party's changed, and the country's changed, and you're facing some very formidable competitors, who will challenge you on this stuff.

So, I want to see that he is willing to go there, willing to fight for this without being entitled, like--

QUINN: Right.

CUPP: --"I -- I own this. I earned this already."

CUOMO: Yes, he also can't be the President either.


CUOMO: He can't be like this President.



CUOMO: And, you know, it's not easy. It's easy to say the toughest person in the room--

CUPP: Which he seemed like at--



CUOMO: --the strongest person in the room is never worried about what is said about them. You know, you ever hear that expression that--

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: --lions are never worried by the complaints of the sheep, you know.

CUPP: Right.

CUOMO: But it's tricky to do on stage because we want to fight.

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: And we want to show that you have moxie.

QUINN: Right.

CUOMO: And if Christine Quinn doesn't give as good as she gets, it's there -- "you're a little soft tonight, huh?"

QUINN: Right.

CUOMO: And if you're like "Well, no, I actually just don't care what you said," how's that balance for him?

QUINN: Well he needs to be, and it's tough, unflappable, and that can come quickly off as above it all, which he cannot be, but he needs to be unflappable, and strong, and quick.

CUOMO: But not petty.

QUINN: But no, no, no.

CUOMO: And not playing down to anybody else's level.

CUPP: Right.

QUINN: No. And--

CUOMO: Not easy.

QUINN: --respectful. Respectful like whether he believes everyone on that stage is his peer or not, he needs to respect them, and treat them as such. And that's a hard balance.

[21:30:00] On a good day, Joe Biden can hit that nail on the head. Is tonight that good a night? We'll have to see.

CUOMO: It's got to be every night though, doesn't it, for this long a campaign as it's going to be?

CUPP: Yes.


PLOTT: Yes. But I'm -- I'm going to push back against you all a bit and say that I actually think that the -- the defensiveness and his total lack of an interest in apologizing for anything that he's been called out on these last several weeks, at least in a general, I don't know if I see that as necessarily a bad thing.

Donald Trump never apologizes.

CUOMO: Never.

CUPP: Right.

PLOTT: And I understand that it's not about being petty like he is in the way that Marco Rubio tried to do, and he flamed out so spectacularly.

But this idea that, you know, I'm not interested in apologizing that, you know, I can -- I can play the game just as well as you do, that could very well work in a general election. The problem is--

CUOMO: Because you also you never get anything--

CUPP: But he has to declare (ph).

PLOTT: Exactly.

CUOMO: --for the apology. In all relationships--

PLOTT: The problem -- the -- but the problem is--

CUPP: But--

CUOMO: --you'll get something for an apology.

PLOTT: --he's got to get through--

CUOMO: I say something wrong, I apologize.

CUPP: Yes. But the problem wasn't--

PLOTT: --he's got to get through the-- (CROSSTALK)

CUPP: --just that he wouldn't apologize.

QUINN: How he does.

CUPP: Then he says "Cory Booker should apologize to me."


CUPP: "For what?" He went--

CUOMO: When the President doesn't--

CUPP: --a step further.

CUOMO: --what happens over time?

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: When's the last time you saw the media reward someone for saying they were sorry?

CUPP: Right, right.

CUOMO: Or that they made a mistake?

CUPP: Right.

CUOMO: Media is not the friend of any of these people.

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: Sometimes you got aligned interests, but they're never the friend.

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: And what this President has exposed is, if you deny it long enough, if you push back, and say--

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: --let alone if it's subjective, I don't think I did anything wrong--

CUPP: Right.

CUOMO: --it's not a matter of fact, you'll go away.

QUINN: They don't go away.

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: You'll have to go away.

QUINN: They won't go away.

CUPP: It might. Joe Biden's problem is he's a great general election candidate.


CUPP: He has to survive a primary--


CUPP: --that's going to--

PLOTT: Right, right.

CUPP: --cannibalize people like him--

CUOMO: Well--

CUPP: --if he is not on top of this game.

CUOMO: --we'll see it as it plays out tonight, we will get what matters most, spare you the noise, and bring it to you in terms of what mattered, and what didn't. That we can do. Now, why do we have to? Because the appetite is real.


CUOMO: Everybody knew that last night wasn't the strongest slate of the Democrats. You had Elizabeth Warren, they're true, but she was flanked by people who are in the low-single digits. But the numbers, the ratings were huge, everybody's talking about it.

So, what does the President think about it? What is he going to do tonight even though he's at the G20 that he may not have done last night? It's morning there now in Japan. He's about to meet with Vladimir Putin. But you don't think he's more worried about that than this, do you?

We have his friend Chris Ruddy there. What's the President's mind on what's going here? And what's going on over there, next.








CUOMO: More than 15 million people tuned in last night to the first Democratic debate. That's just shy of shattering the record set in 2015.

So, it's got to mean high interest, right? It's got to mean high interest in the Democrats, but most importantly, by the Democrats. And the question becomes, if you have a lot of people watching this, does that give the President pause?

Newsmax CEO and Trump friend Chris Ruddy is with us from Osaka, Japan.




CUOMO: Why is he there? That's where the G20 is. That's where the President is in attendance. And that's where Ruddy is with him. Good to have you. Thank you for making the time.

CHRISTOPHER RUDDY, CEO, NEWSMAX MEDIA: Chris, great to be on with you again.

CUOMO: So, let's deal with what's happening here, and then we'll talk about what's going there. Big numbers from the -- the debate, big interest, big appetite for the country right now, how does that play with the President?

RUDDY: Well I didn't speak to the President this morning about it. But I did speak to a number of his advisers. And everybody is sort of saying this really shows what the Democratic Party's about, the extremism that we saw in that debate.

Here the President is at the G20. He's not here for a photo-op. He's here to get jobs for Americans, to protect our businesses, grow real income.

We've had about a 50 percent income -- increase in real income under this President, almost double what Obama had done, and that's because he's focused on doing the business of the country.

The Democrats, last night, Chris, you saw when they were asked, "Should we end private insurance in America, healthcare insurance?" And Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren raised their hand, and said, "Yes." And they're the two leading contenders out of that group of candidates last night.

I think it shows you just the huge discrepancy or distance they have from the American people.

CUOMO: Chris?

RUDDY: They may not like the President's tweets all the time. But I think he's on target with where the people are, the--

CUOMO: Right.

RUDDY: --the people of the country are for what their-- CUOMO: It's--

RUDDY: --their priorities are.

CUOMO: It's not just the delivery to -- device. It's what -- about what the tweets reveal and often betray about where his head and his heart are. Did you say that there has been a 50 -- 5-0 percent increase in real income in the United States since the President took Office?

RUDDY: Well I -- I believe the current number's about 3 percent. And under Obama, it was -- it was ranging between 1.5 percent and 2 percent. So, in percentage points--

CUOMO: Oh, wait, you're talking about the growth rate.

RUDDY: --it has gone on market. Right, exactly.

CUOMO: Oh, right--

RUDDY: Real income wage--

CUOMO: Right.

RUDDY: --growth rate.

CUOMO: He's had a couple of good--

RUDDY: Well, and you know--

CUOMO: --he's happened -- had a couple of good--

RUDDY: --look at GDP growth.

CUOMO: --quarters. Hold on, hold on. Let me get these numbers first. There is no 50 percent increase in -- in real income for the American people. But if you're just talking about growth, but let's be--

RUDDY: In -- in the growth rates.

CUOMO: --apples to apples. The--

RUDDY: Correct.

CUOMO: --the growth -- growth rate right now is not far off of the 10- year trailing average.

Obama had some dog quarters, and a couple of dog years, at the end, fair enough. But the trailing average overall was about where we are now, and you'll have to look at how we got here. You -- we juiced this economy, Chris.

RUDDY: I don't know what numbers you're looking at.

CUOMO: That tax cut juiced the economy.

RUDDY: You're talking--

CUOMO: You look at the 10-year trailing average.

RUDDY: Chris--

CUOMO: It's about where we are right now.

RUDDY: Forget about the 10-year. Look at the eight years of Obama, his rate of economic growth, GDP growth was just under 2 percent. President Trump's been in, for almost three years now, his rate of growth is over 3 percent.

CUOMO: Right. But Obama was coming out of a 2008 hole.

RUDDY: So, it's 3.5 percent above the average--

CUOMO: He had to deal with the 2008 mess that he inherited from the Republicans.

RUDDY: Look, he also--

CUOMO: This President, he got a tailwind.

RUDDY: He -- he -- he also got about $10 trillion worth of stimulus from the Federal Reserve. He had a $1 trillion stimulus bill. He had eight years to oversee the economy. In two years, just over two years, look what the President's done. He's raised GDP growth by 50 percent.

[21:40:00] He's here -- look, you were talking about the tweets. What is he doing? He's talking about India. I was speaking to the President the other day, and he said to me, you know, "I'm going to really focus on India. They are the worst trade offender. They just slapped tariffs on the United States."

And he put out a tweet last night. He's meeting with Prime Minister Modi tomorrow. And he says, you know, "In the past, Obama, and even Republicans, were guilty of this. They looked the other way as America was put down in these tariff regimes," and the President didn't do an easy deal.

Everybody said he was going to cave to China. He's going to meet with Xi. He's fighting for the best deal for the United States.

CUOMO: I liked the -- the muscular posture.

RUDDY: So, I think his priorities are good.

CUOMO: I like the muscular posture. You think he's going to have it--

RUDDY: I think it's--

CUOMO: --when he meets with Putin?

RUDDY: Again, look at his actions about Putin.

You know, he's -- he's laser-focused on stopping their gas pipeline, which would tremendously benefit them financially, and give them leverage over Europe, the President wants to stop that. He wants to stop their arms--

CUOMO: How about their interference of our elections?

RUDDY: --the S-400 missile.

Look, I think the U.S. government is taking very serious steps--

CUOMO: Really?

RUDDY: --to make sure that that doesn't happen again.

CUOMO: How so?

RUDDY: I think it was a very -- I'm still -- Chris, I'm still -- did you ever ask Barack Obama why he did nothing as the Russians interfered? He had massive intelligence this was going on.

CUOMO: Because Mitch McConnell wouldn't go with him.

RUDDY: He did absolutely zero--

CUOMO: And he was worried about having a negative impact on the election.

RUDDY: He's President -- we're being attacked, we're being interfered -- interfered with, and the President of the United States does nothing? I think it only became a big issue after Donald Trump got elected.

CUOMO: At least -- at least he didn't stand next to -- to--

RUDDY: So, look, I--

CUOMO: --Vladimir Putin and say he agreed with Putin that the Russians didn't do it. How about that? What American President has ever--

RUDDY: Look, Chris--

CUOMO: --agreed with the enemy?

RUDDY: You're -- I don't think he agrees with the enemy. But, you know--

CUOMO: It's what's happened (ph).

RUDDY: --I don't speak for Donald Trump. I don't -- I don't agree with -- I don't agree with every position he takes. But I -- if you look at his track record -- I was just over in Germany meeting the Ambassador Rick Grenell, very hard line position against the Germans' interference to Europe.

I was traveling with Mike Pompeo. He's trying to get the India -- the Turks not to buy the S-400 missiles. He's trying to get the Indians to stop buying the Russian missiles, anti-missile system. So, this is a very positive step. They're -- they're -- they actually

have very strong priorities that working towards implementing those, and getting results.

So, if you look at the track record, I would say Donald Trump's the Results President, because no matter what you think about the tweets, and comments he might be making on this, or that, the truth is he's bringing home real results to the American people.

CUOMO: Well, Chris Ruddy, I appreciate you offering perspective on the results the President has gotten, and entertaining the tough questions as well, and doing so, from very far away, once again, thank you sir, and be well.

RUDDY: Well thank you, always great to be on with you.

CUOMO: Pleasure's mine.

RUDDY: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, did you hear what happened today? Heart-wrenching moment on the House floor, a Congresswoman fighting through tears. What was her message? What should this remind us about?

Let's bring in D. Lemon for some perspective, next.








CUOMO: Lot of bad news when it comes to mental illness. But there is good news as well. Suicide is preventable. We did a special last night, and you heard me say it, more importantly, you heard people who know what they're talking about say it.

They have solutions as well. So much of this is about shining the light and removing the stigma. We got to come -- keep repeating the message. We have to talk about mental health and show that it is OK, because no one is immune, not even the partner of a lawmaker.

Here is Congresswoman Susan Wild on the House floor.


REP. SUSAN WILD (D-PA): What most people don't know is that Kerry's death was a suicide. Kerry was 63 years old. He shouldn't have had a care in the world. He was financially secure, and had a warm, loving family.

Why am I sharing this very personal story? Because we all need to recognize that mental health issues know no boundaries.


CUOMO: All right, let's bring in Don.

Listen, you got to applaud Representative Wild. The best way to remove the stigma is to talk about it. Turning pain into purpose sounds -- it sounds easy. But man, it's got to be so hard to do, and you have to respect the effort.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON: Yes. Well, and especially to admit -- admit what she said, what you may not have known is that his death was a suicide.

And listen, I know of at least two people in my life, who committed suicide, and they don't -- usually family members of loved ones don't like to talk about it.

One person, when I was in Chicago years ago, did it. His boyfriend did it. And then, one of my friends that I went to college with, same thing, the families don't want to talk about it because they -- because of the stigma.

They'll say "Well there was, you know, had issues, had health issues," or it was, you know, some other kind of cause, they had a heart attack, and they won't tell people because of that -- because of the issue -- because of the stigma. And I think that -- that's wrong. We got to -- we got to stop doing it.

Listen, if people think something is wrong with you because you're going to a therapist, that's their problem. That's not your problem. So, I commend you for doing what you did last night.

As a matter of fact, today, I made a recommitment to go, and see someone, and made the effort to do it again, in large part because of our conversation. But I'd been planning to do it anyway. There was a catalyst to it, you know, recently. But because of our conversation last night, I did that.

So, I commend her, I commend you, and we should continue to talk about it, because maybe you'll save one life. And if you do, it's all worth it.

CUOMO: We lose far too many because too many don't want to get treated. And even when we talk about the school shootings, there's so often a mental health component.

And more often than not, it's somebody who was trending the wrong way, nobody knew what to do, they didn't know what to say, and even if they did want to say something, they couldn't get any control of the person.

[21:50:00] And, you're right, the solution is to do something about it, and just take care of yourself the best you can, if you're able to. I would get a group rate. You could come with me to therapy, but it'd be weird when I'm talking about you most of the time.

LEMON: Well this is -- this is kind of like therapy right here, don't you think? That's--

CUOMO: I'll tell you what. Talking about things that are -- and talking about things that can cause you pain is helpful.


CUOMO: And you have been a tremendous friend on and off the square screen.

LEMON: You know what I do, you know, since having dealt with similar things, when I see people who have had issues, whether it's addiction, whether it's depression, or whether it's a death, or whatever it is, when I see them, I'll say, "Let me look at you."

I'll look them in the eye, and say, "Let me look at you." And then I look, and I say, "You OK?" And they say, "I'm OK." And they know what I'm doing, and I go, "Good. It's good to see you. You look great. Now let's continue on, let's have lunch or whatever."

But that's what I do I want -- you know, it's -- who did that? Was that -- Larry David does that on Curb Your Enthusiasm where he'd say--

CUOMO: It's good to connect.

LEMON: It's good to connect.

CUOMO: And you're beautiful for doing it.

LEMON: You are -- you are as well. Listen, I got to tell you. The Supreme Court has been very active. I came back from D.C. yesterday. One of them was on my flight.

That is -- but we're going to talk -- we're going to be talking about -- I know and they had the -- the escort and the lights and sirens, and I was like, "Oh my gosh, are they here to arrest me?" But actually, it was on our flight. I won't tell you which one because I'll keep their privacy.

But we're going to be talking about two key decisions by the Supreme Court today, and we have a -- we've assembled a great group to guide us through it.

CUOMO: Two decisions took us in very different directions.


CUOMO: I'll be looking forward to that.


CUOMO: See you soon, pal. LEMON: See you.

CUOMO: All right, we used to want those desperately seeking entry to America to be treated with humanity and compassion. We have not always been as we are right now. What changed?

I can't believe I haven't made this argument sooner. If you look back, you'll see what "Great again" could mean, next.








CUOMO: You know, massive flows of undesirables to our borders and shores, not new. We've had boat people from broken countries. Remember wet foot, dry foot, with the Cubans? Huge numbers that we were not ready for, and people were spooked.

However, for the most part, unlike today, our reaction was about the humanity of it, and how to help. There were people who were worried but not like now, where it is the main reaction. It motivates an entire party. And that was the message from the top. The politics are so different now. We're different too.

Contrast the reaction to the father and daughter in the river with Elian Gonzalez, you remember that picture? Horrified us.

A gun pointed at the five-year old little boy, huddled in a closet with a fisherman, who rescued him. We were appalled that this would ever be done anywhere near a kid, forget about the legalities or the loyalties.

Today, who knows? Something like that may be used as a poster for deterrence. Then this photo, you notice the silence from most on the Right? The President being asked about this, he didn't come out about it, he had to be asked, and he used it as another reason to blame Democrats.

That's not the poignancy of that picture. We all know that. We don't even know them by name as we did Elian. Oscar is the father. Angie is the child tucked into his shirt. We don't seem to want to know them.

I've argued the idea of Making America Great Again is inherently reductive. It harkens back to eras when we were not as free, nor as tolerant, as we are today. But maybe there's an exception. We were better back then to strangers, to our shores. We wanted to care for those kids because they were kids, not part of a contagion. The country went crazy when we couldn't keep Elian Gonzalez, when he had to go back to Cuba.




CUOMO: Boy, have we changed!

Trump, he can do what Carter did back then or Clinton did back then. Remember Carter? When the thousands fleeing Cuba by boat, use the military, send the Navy.

Had a guy call me on the radio today who's working law enforcement then, and he said how the government and the Coast Guard and the Navy, everybody, came together to help, and provide accommodations, reopen military bases, process them quickly, get them back. Didn't work so well with the Haitians. But, with the Cubans, you could see a concern.

This President could use that emergency declaration that he already has, loosen up some purse strings. He's not supposed to. I don't think he should have gotten it. But he has it. But he does none of that.

He could visit the Border, not to look at the farcical wall, but to see the true crisis, not the Brown Menace that would allegedly be fixed by a fence, but kids and their caregivers that he knew were coming, and did nothing.

We have to see people, not problems. It's not true that migrants are stealing opportunity from us. But something is being lost in all this, our integrity.

And this isn't just a Trump problem. It's politicians playing to fringe ideas, the Right playing to the Brown Menace, fake labor realities, a tale of horror and crime that this group represents actually less than many other components of this society.

And the Left, they visit Border camps, but then nothing happens. Maybe Nancy Pelosi got the point of the picture. Maybe that's why today, she reluctantly agreed to the cleaner Senate bill. Listen.


NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: The children come first. At the end of the day, we have to make sure that the resources needed to the -- protect the children are available.


CUOMO: Would have been nice to hear that two months ago, but it passed. It passed. Took way too long, but it passed. But guess what? The progressive wing is furious. I don't see a cogent argument that this can make things worse, what they're doing right now. I invite them on to make their case. They don't come. That's on them.

However, I do see a cogent argument that fringe considerations are killing us. "Close the camps," screams the Left. Where do you keep the kids? In the cages?

"Well they're keeping these kids, you know, to feed private businesses that manage the facilities." Wrong! They don't have enough space. They're desperate to put them anywhere that the law allows.