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10 Democrats Face-Off In First 2020 Presidential Debate; Dems Tackle Threats From Iran At First Debate; Zuckerberg Says Facebook Is Self-Regulating; Instagram Considering Hiding "Likes"; Trump Rails Against USWNT Co-Captain Megan Rapinoe; ESPN's Bob Ley Retiring; First Female Secret Service Motorcycle Officer; Dow Finishes Flat Despite Trade Optimism. Aired 3:30-4a ET

Aired June 27, 2019 - 03:30   ET


[03:30:03] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: This is the first time the family has released information about the girl's condition since the May 29 incident. The girl is now at home and will be reassessed in July. It's also prompted some major league teams to re-examine how far the netting should extend. The Nationals and Dodgers have extended it all the way to the foul poles. Expect, I think, the entire league to reassess and probably extend to the foul poles in this off-season.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: I wish the best to her, that little girl.

BRIGGS: In deed, and to that family.

ROMANS: The first round of Democrats taking the stage for the first 2020 debate. Who had a strong night? Who slipped back in that crowded pack?


BRIGGS: All right. Welcome back to a post-debate early "Early Start." I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 34 minutes past the hour of the 2020 presidential debate season now officially here. It kicked off last night in Miami with dueling Democrats, the first batch of 10 candidates sharing the stage. Things heated at times but it was mostly civil and driven by policy.

Let's bring back Ron Brownstein, CNN Senior Political Analyst and Senior Editor for "The Atlantic." Hey, Ron. You know, a lot of folks this morning --


ROMANS: -- the morning after analysis is that, you know, Elizabeth Warren needed to survive and advance and that she managed to hold on, especially in the first half of the debate. She was -- she's seemed to sort of command the stage. [03:35:00] But then you have these breakaway performances by Cory Booker and by Julian Castro. Do you sort of agree with that analysis this morning?

BROWNSTEIN: I do. By the way, just slightly differ. This is still the night of for me. It's not the morning after. So we're kind of like in that. Look, you know, it's interesting. I thought that the other candidates chose not to engage Elizabeth Warren. I mean, she kind of ran in her own lane. She delivered kind of diced up versions of her stump speech on her major policy ideas.

And when even prompted to challenge her, Amy Klobuchar chose not to do that on really directly on Medicare-for-all or the free college, only kind of obliquely. And Cory Booker chose not to on kind of breaking up big technology companies. It was really left to John Delaney to make the case against the Medicare-for-all.

I do think the fact that she embraced so unequivocally the idea that everyone with private health insurance, 180 million people, are going to have to give it up and move into a government-run system is something that we have not heard the last of that tonight, certainly, if she makes it to the general election and even in the primaries.

But beyond that, yes, I agree that it was basically -- the night was fine for her and that Castro and Booker probably did the most to help themselves. I thought Klobuchar and Beto O'Rourke probably had the biggest missed opportunity. And for the remaining five, they started in the asterisk zero, 1 percent, 2 percent range. And although some of them performed incredibly, I don't really see anything that would move them out of that.

BRIGGS: Yes, the health care moment was interesting because Lester Holt just did a simple show of hands. It was elementary school for a moment --


BRIGGS: -- who would abolish private health care and it was just Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio that did raise their hands on that stage. So there are certain ways, Ron, to quantify all of this from the first night. Google Trends says Cory Booker had the most Google searches during this debate.


BRIGGS: The other way to quantify it is simply who said the most, and that was easily the same answer. Cory Booker talked for 10 minutes 55 seconds, more than twice as much as Jay Inslee and basically twice as much as Bill de Blasio as well. Cory Booker said the most. Did he make the most of those words, though?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, it was interesting. It was kind of a tale of two debates. I mean, the first half, Warren was kind of the central focus. As we said, particularly, they kept asking her more questions --

ROMANS: Right.

BROWNSTEIN: -- than the others. But I thought in the second half, Cory Booker really picked up a lot of strength. I mean, he has been an undervalued stock in this race. I mean, it's been kind of a mystery to people why he hasn't struck more of a chord. He's certainly a dynamic orator. He's got a lot of energy, but he hasn't really emerged. We'll see if this is enough. You would think that this performance would get him a second look.

And perhaps also Castro to some extent a second look from voters. But there is a lot -- there is a long way to go for these candidates who are kind of, you know, trailing in the polls in part because all of them have somebody in front of them and the lane they want to occupy.

I mean, you know, if Cory Booker is going to become a first tier candidate, he's going to have to consolidate a lot of African-American support. He's already got Kamala Harris. He's got a few steps ahead of him on that.

And same thing with Klobuchar, if she's wants to be -- if she's going to make it into the top tier, she's got to consolidate a lot of blue collar, moderate, older white support. Well, she's got a guy named Joe Biden ahead of her in that line who we're going to see tonight.

ROMANS: Yes, the breakaway performances from tonight or last night, depending on how long you've been up.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. We have few hours ago.

ROMANS: They have today to capitalize on that because in 24 hours we're going to be talking about another field of 10 --

BRIGGS: That's right.


ROMANS: -- and the breakaway moments and who won and who advanced. Let's -- there was a question asked last night that each candidate had a chance to answer and I think it's sort of revealing of the world views of these -- all of these Democratic candidates, the greatest geopolitical threat to the United States. Listen.



CHUCK TODD, NBC WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The greatest Geopolitical threat to the United States right now. Congressman Delaney?

JOHN DELANEY (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, the biggest geopolitical challenge is China.


DELANEY: But the biggest geopolitical threat --

TODD: Yes.

DELANEY: -- remains nuclear weapons, right?


DELANEY: So those are --

TODD: I got you.

DELANEY: You know, those are different questions.

TODD: Totally get it. Go ahead, Governor Inslee.

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The biggest threat to the security of the United States is Donald Trump and there's no question.

TODD: OK. Congresswoman Gabbard?


TODD: Greatest geopolitical threat.

GABBARD: The greatest threat that we face is the fact that we are at a greater risk of nuclear war today than ever before in history.

TODD: Senator Klobuchar.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Two threats, economic threat, China. But our major threat right now is what's going on in the Mideast with Tehran if we don't get our act together.

TODD: OK. Try to keep it to one -- slimmer than what we've been going here, one or two words.

REP. BETO O'ROURKE (D-TX) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our existential threat is climate change. We have to confront it before it's too late.

TODD: Senator Warren?


TODD: Yes. Senator Booker?

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nuclear proliferation and climate change.

TODD: Secretary Castro?


TODD: Congressman Ryan?

REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: China without a question. They're wiping us around the world economically.

TODD: Yes. And Mr. Mayor?

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Russia, because they're trying to undermine our democracy and they've been doing a pretty damn good job of it, and we need to stop them.


ROMANS: The China answer actually was interesting to me because that might be at odds with Joe Biden, who is going to be the frontrunner tonight, could say when he is asked this question, Ron.

[03:40:03] BROWNSTEIN: Yes. I was surprised that more people didn't say something along the lines of what Governor Inslee did. I mean, I would think by the time we get to the fall of 2020, the Democratic nominee is going to say the biggest threat to America's position in the world is Donald Trump's posture of alienating allies and coddling dictators, and no one really went anywhere near that direction in trying to make that case against the President.

And don't forget, I mean, you know, you're basically calling on the American people to fire someone from their job and making that case is really kind of the job one all of the time for the Democratic nominee.

Other than that, the emphasis on climate really is striking as a geopolitical threat. As was how many Democrats basically echoed the Trumpian argument that we are now in a position of strategic competition with China as opposed to what both Obama and even Bush and certainly Clinton tried to manage a more nuanced relationship.

ROMANS: Interesting. All right, Ron Brownstein, thank you so much. He's in Colorado for us tonight. Thanks, Ron.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

BRIGGS: And to his point, a headline on the "Washington Examiner" says Donald who? There were two candidates who didn't even mention Donald Trump, Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio.

ROMANS: Yes, that's right.

BRIGGS: Will that change tonight? We'll find out.

Democrats don't approve of the President's Iran policy, but which 2020 candidates says we should stay out of the nuclear deal with Iran? CNN live in Tehran, next.


[03:45:32] BRIGGS: 3:45 Eastern Time. And threats from Iran front and center at last night's Democratic presidential debate.


LESTER HOLT, NBC ANCHOR: So a show of hands, who as president would sign on to the 2015 nuclear deal as it was originally negotiated?

KLOBUCHAR: This president is literally every single day 10 minutes away from going to war, one tweet away from going to war. And I don't think we should conduct foreign policy --

HOLT: All right, your time is up.

KLOBUCHAR: -- in our bathrobe at 5:00 in the morning.


BRIGGS: Was in a bathrobe at 5:00 in the morning. Lester Holt stepped on her signature line there. In case you missed it, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker was the only candidate who said he would not get back in the Iran nuclear deal, but he also says he would not have pulled out in the first place.

So how is all of this playing in Iran? Let's ask Fred Pleitgen who's live in Tehran this morning. Fred, good morning to you. Is Iran even interested in rejoining that Iran deal, the JCPOA, at this point?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's a very tough question. I think it also depends on who you ask here in Iran, whether it's the moderates or the hardliners. It was quite interesting because just yesterday Iran's President, Hassan Rouhani, said the U.S. should really join the nuclear agreement. Again, he said it would be in the interest both of Iran and the U.S. and the international community as well.

On the other hand, though, we can't underestimate how much bad blood there is in Iran right now towards the Trump administration, especially after the Trump administration sanctioned Iran's supreme leader. It's something that Iranian officials are saying again and again and the foreign ministry said right now the door is absolutely closed for negotiations. Also, of course, President Trump's rhetoric about possibly obliterating Iran, not going down well at all.

Yesterday, I exclusively managed to speak to the country's foreign minister and here's what he had to say.


MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, IRAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, he's certainly wrong, but that statement indicates that the United States' intentions are certainly illegal. The United States is not in a position to obliterate Iran. They do not have the capability other than using prohibited weapons to do this.


PLEITGEN: So there's the foreign minister of Iran. And the Iranians today once again with some pretty strong rhetoric, they're coming out earlier today. Senior Iranian lawmaker came out and said the shooting down of the U.S. drone was a lesson that America needed, showing the U.S., as they say, that Iran will stand up to American power here in the Middle East, Dave. BRIGGS: All right, 12:17 p.m. there in Tehran. Fred, thank you.

ROMANS: All right. There have been calls to break up big tech companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google. And during that debate last night, Senator Cory Booker said there's a problem with corporate consolidation.


BOOKER: This is actually an economy that's hurting small businesses and not allowing them to compete. I feel very strongly about the need to check the corporate consolidation and let the free market work.


ROMANS: He also said this.


BOOKER: Again, I will single out companies like Halliburton or Amazon that pay nothing in taxes.


ROMANS: Right. Amazon and Halliburton's tax rates are low, but not necessarily zero. Amazon's tax returns are private. "The Wall Street Journal" recently reported Amazon's tax rate from 2012 to 2018 was 8 percent.

Before the debate, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rehashed his position on government regulation. He said Facebook is self-regulating but wants more governments to step in as it grows around the world. Here's what he said about balancing free speech and what rules to enforce around election advertising.


MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CEO: I really don't think that as a society we want private companies to be the final word on making these decisions.


ROMANS: Well, certainly, I mean, tech had the ability to self- regulate for years and didn't, right? Facebook is facing multiple investigations and a likely multibillion dollar fine from the FTC.

BRIGGS: All right. Instagram without the likes, it could be happening. We'll get a check on CNN Business, next.


[03:52:54] ROMANS: President Trump blasted American women's soccer co-captain Megan Rapinoe, Wednesday, for saying she wouldn't visit the White House if her team won the World Cup. This provoked a series of tweets from the President. He said Rapinoe should win before she talks, and he added, finish the job.

U.S. women's national team defender Ali Krieger tweeted harsh words back to the President saying, "I know women who you cannot control or grope anger you, but I stand by Rapinoe."

President Trump has invited the U.S. national team to the White House, win or lose. They play France tomorrow.

BRIGGS: It's the end of an era for sports television. Longtime ESPN Sports Anchor Bob Ley retiring at the end of the month after 40 years at the network. Ley is a legend among sport's journalists. He's been with ESPN since it launched back in 1979.

The 64-year-old Ley says he is in good health and leaving entirely on his own decision. Ley is perhaps best known for the ESPN investigative show "Outside the Lines."

ROMANS: Who knew watching "Early Start" could be a beneficial to your health. A new study says morning people may have a lower risk of breast cancer. Researchers analyzing sleep patterns found people who enjoyed getting up early are at a lower risk than people who stay up late, those so-called night owls. The study also found surprisingly sleeping more than the average seven to eight hours per night was linked to a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.

BRIGGS: Question is, is 3:00 a.m. early or is that just late and everything's messed up?

ROMANS: If you read that study, it says people who like getting up early. I get up early. I don't necessarily like it, so I don't know if I really fit the early bird category.

BRIGGS: We shall debate that. She is the first woman to serve in the Secret Service's elite motorcycle unit. CNN's Jessica Schneider introduces us to Lauren Gunawan who broke the glass ceiling on the back of a Harley.


LAUREN GUNAWAN, SECRET SERVICE MOTORCYCLE OFFICER: It's the freedom, the freedom of riding.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lauren Gunawan has had an obsession with motorcycles since age 18.

GUNAWAN: My parents were definitely not too excited that I got a motorcycle, my dad especially. I'm daddy's little girl.

[03:55:03] SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Gunawan grew up in Neponset, Illinois, population 400. It may have been a small town, but her upbringing sparked some big dreams.

GUNAWAN: It always made me want to be a police officer.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Gunawan's grandfather was an auxiliary police chief. Three years ago, she set her sights even higher and made the move to D.C. to join the Secret Service. But the roar of the engines from the motorcade support unit kept calling her name.

GUNAWAN: Motors popped up and I said, that's what I want to do, and I set my heart to it.

SCHNEIDER (on camera): Landing a spot in this elite unit is no easy task. In fact, it's just about a 40% pass rate and the biggest hurdle is actually being able to lift one of these 1,100-pound motorcycles.

GUNAWAN: Yes, it's a lot of bike, 1,100 pounds worth.

SCHNEIDER: Wow. So you have to be able to actually lift this up from the ground?

GUNAWAN: Yes, ma'am.

SCHNEIDER: All 1,100 pounds?

GUNAWAN: Yes, ma'am.

SCHNEIDER: That's a tough feat.


SCHNEIDER: Could you do it the first time you tried?

GUNAWAN: Yes, ma'am.

SCHNEIDER: You could.

GUNAWAN: I put all the hard work and dedication into it.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Officer Technician Gunawan makes it look easy, but she is the first woman to ever join the elite motorcade support unit. It's the division that clears the way for presidential motorcades, maneuvering through Washington gridlock, plotting a path for the president and V.P. The training and ultimate test to become part of this just 14-member team aren't easy.

Gunawan embarked on a two-week course riding her Harley eight hours a day, weaving in and out of tight spaces. The first time she tried she failed.

GUNAWAN: When I got my opportunity the first time, I was able to pick that bike up no problem. I just didn't get through the course the first time, so I was thankful that they were able to give me a second opportunity.

BRIAN POPIEL, OFFICER TECHNICIAN: She was definitely determined to become a technician on this unit and to get mounted. She just -- every day, she gave 120 percent.

SCHNEIDER: Officer Technician Popiel trained Gunawan and said her attitude made the difference.

POPIEL: There's no reason that a woman shouldn't be in this, in this unit. She brings a lot to the table. Her attitude is by far probably one of the best that, you know, I've seen.

SCHNEIDER: At just 30 years old, Lauren Gunawan has made her mark.

GUNAWAN: It was extraordinary. I feel like I got to break that glass ceiling.

SCHNEIDER: And set the bar for future females.

GUNAWAN: I don't want anybody to think that they can't get something and it looks unreachable. If you put dedication and hard work into it, you'll get it and you'll achieve your goals.

SCHNEIDER: Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


ROMANS: All right. What a cool story. All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this morning. First a look at global markets, there is some cautious optimism on trade.

The South China Morning Post citing sources said Washington and Beijing are laying out an agreement that would help avert the next round of tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports. If that's going to be the marker for success for this weekend, it looks like they're putting that marker out there.

On "Wall Street" right now, Futures also leaning slightly higher here. You know, stocks finished basically flat, Wednesday, despite the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying a trade deal with China was about 90 percent complete.

The Dow close down about 12 points. The S&P 500 finish lower and the NASDAQ ended a day up just a bit.

Look, it's been a fantastic month, right? So you're going to have to see some kind of progress or some sort of resolution in trade before you can really start to attack record highs again in the stock market.

Investors now turn their attention to that G20 and the meeting between the President and the Chinese President Xi Jinping over the weekend.

Instagram is considering a big change to the platform.


ADAM MOSSERI, HEAD OF INSTAGRAM: One of the ideas we're currently experimenting with is making like accounts private, for instance, because we don't want Instagram to be such a competition.


ROMANS: That's the head of Instagram. He said the company is rethinking the whole experience of Instagram with well-being as its top priority. He added Instagram will do things to create a healthier environment and focus less on social comparison.

BRIGGS: Very much like.


BRIGGS: I love that idea. Debate night was just what the doctor ordered for late night comedian Stephen Colbert went live with his take.


STEPHEN COLBERT, "THE LATE SHOW" HOST: The first of two Democratic presidential debates. I'm going to tell you all about it if Bill de Blasio does not interrupt me. It was an excellent dress rehearsal for tomorrow's actual debate now.

DE BLASIO: (Foreign Language).

COLBERT. When Beto was hablandoing de Espanol, this is true, in the closed captioning, it just said "speaking foreign language." I like that. Really got through. Really penetrated. It's a foreign language. Can we get a look at NBC's closed captioning guy? Yes, makes sense. Booker took Beto's Spanish and raised mucho mas.

BOOKER: (Foreign Language)

COLBERT. Oh, snap.