Return to Transcripts main page


Trump in Meetings at G20; Supreme Court to Take Up DACA; Second 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate Highlights. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired June 28, 2019 - 10:30   ET


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Candidate with such contrition. And say, "I couldn't get it done." How effective was that?

ROBERT BARNETT, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: When you prepare for these debates -- and as you say, I've been doing it since 1976 -- you know, in most instances, that there are going to be some things from your past that are going to come up. Sometimes they're immediate things, and sometimes they're things from years and years ago.

And you have choices to make. And you and your prep staff make these decisions. You can accept blame, you can accept responsibility -- and those are different -- you can try to explain what happened, or you can reject the premise that you did anything wrong.

Obviously, the mayor made a choice that resonated well, I think, with a lot of people. But as with all these difficult choices, in the context of these high-stakes debates, there are also negatives that arise.

So, for instance, those who don't wish him well will now ask, "Well, why didn't he, quote, 'get the job done'?" And those, if he were to make it through the process and be the nominee or the vice presidential nominee, those on the other side will also come to the party and bring that criticism.

So there's positives, there's negatives with these choices and he made a choice last night.

HARLOW: He made a choice that was in stark contrast, David Gergen, to a choice that former Vice President Joe Biden made. Instead of saying, "I've evolved on the busing issue," et cetera, or maybe even, "I was wrong" -- if he believes that, I don't know -- he said, "Kamala Harris got it wrong," and that she was misrepresenting his stance (ph). It's very different from what Buttigieg chose to do there.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely, Poppy. First off, thank you for inviting me to appear with Bob Barnett.

HARLOW: Of course. Yes.

GERGEN: He's the master in this -- in this area and I defer to him. Anyway. And -- but beyond that, let me say this. Look, I think that Buttigieg spoke much -- he relates much better to the younger generations than does Joe Biden. And I think, in showing vulnerability and showing some humility, that was very appealing to that age group.

The older age group, you know, tends to be, "OK, Biden, put your case out there." I thought Biden could have conceded in a gracious way. "Listen, if you look back at the context of where some of these things were going, I was not a perfect senator. I got some things wrong. But I always worked to try to be on the side of the angels on race. Here are some of the things I've done."

I do think that that, instead of being so defensive and rat-a-tat-tat, "Here are the five or six things," I thought he could have shown a little more humanity, a little more sort of self-awareness about the way that the national conversation has changed.

HARLOW: Bob, does that mean --

BARNETT: Poppy, may I interject --

HARLOW: Yes, of course.

BARNETT: -- something about that? I had the great honor or clerking for Judge John Minor Wisdom on the 5th Circuit during the period when these cases were being decided. And the debate of the day was going to say, de jure versus de facto segregation. So I have a bit of familiarity with these issues. And they're very, very, very emotional and sensitive issues.

But let me say something about Joe Biden, who I've known for a long time. Joe Biden has a decades-long career. He's done a lot of good. And if you look back to 1984 when, in the first debate between Walter Mondale and Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan was found wandering down Highway 101 at the end of that debate, and it caused --


BARNETT: -- "The Wall Street Journal," hardly a bastion of supporting Democrats, to question his mental state.

But with one line and one profound memorable joke, he --


BARNETT: -- turned the tide and was re-elected president of the United States. So based on 12 hours after and one moment, I don't count anybody out.


BARNETT: And I give Kamala Harris great credit for her performance last night. But I think sometimes, we overreact and overanalyze. this is a long race, not a sprint.

HARLOW: There you go. You remember that line, David Gergen? I'm going to butcher it here. But, right? I will not exploit your youth and inexperience --

GERGEN: Yes. HARLOW: -- for my -- for political gain --

GERGEN: Yes, I know.

HARLOW: -- and it turned everything. And the question is --

GERGEN: Well --

HARLOW: -- can Joe Biden do that next month in the CNN debate?

GERGEN: He hasn't found that magic key yet. And Ronald Reagan had a great sense of humor. I think he came up with that line.

Walter Mondale, his opponent, said as soon as that line came out of Reagan's mouth, he knew it was done. The election was over.

HARLOW: Wow, yes.

BARNETT: Let me say another thing too, Poppy, if I may.


BARNETT: This is really early. At this point in the 1992 cycle, I think Bill Clinton was at 10 percent and Jerry Brown was ahead, and Bill Clinton was twice elected president of the United States. So a lot can change.

There are going to be, I believe, 12 of these debates, six this year --


BARNETT: -- a whole lot of things can happen. And I think those who watch -- and, more importantly, those who aren't necessarily watching but are hearing the reactions today from us and others, are going to make judgments in the long haul, not the short term.


HARLOW: Yes. I think you're exactly right.

GERGEN: Poppy, if I -- one second. Yes.


HARLOW: Go for it.

[10:35:02] GERGEN: If I -- I do think that -- I think that you've got to first tier that's beginning to solidify, of five people. You know, of Biden, Sanders, Kamala Harris, Buttigieg and Warren. It's going to be harder to get in that first tier from now on out. And I think maybe Cory Booker has a shot, Julian Castro has a shot.

But after that, it's hard to see how (ph) the rest -- the rest of these people moving up. I do think increasingly, well, Bob is absolutely right. There's going to be a lot of fluidity among the top people. I think could (ph) be, a lot of the people at the bottom are going to be on their way toward the exit doors pretty soon.

HARLOW: Interesting.

BARNETT: Poppy, it's also interesting to notice that we're sitting here Friday morning, and we've almost completely forgotten about Wednesday night and Elizabeth Warren's excellent performance --

HARLOW: That's true.

GERGEN: Yes, yes.

BARNETT: -- the disadvantage of being on that first night is the viral factor goes away after a day. The second night, you get more opportunity to continue, even through the weekend, for good or for ill.

HARLOW: That's a very good point. Luckily, there is a great debate coming up one month from now, and that is the CNN debate in Detroit. We'll all be there, we'll be watching closely.

Thank you to both of you for your decades of experience. It's great to have your voices. Have a great weekend. Thanks, both --

GERGEN: Thank you.

BARNETT: Thank you.

HARLOW: OK. You got it.

GERGEN: All right.

HARLOW: New this morning, the Supreme Court has made a decision that it will take up the president's ending of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. It's going to hear that case next term.

A decision siding with the administration could strip protection for about 700,000 Dreamers in this country, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Any ruling would come in June of next year, that's in the heat of the presidential election. There is a lot at stake.

President Trump is set to meet with China's Xi Jinping on trade war -- on trade, as this trade war rages on and you'd better believe farmers and manufacturers in the U.S. are watching very closely.


[10:41:36] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: President Trump, on the world stage this week, right here at the G20 summit in Osaka.

Earlier, he sat down with Russian president Vladimir Putin. And soon, the president will have a crucial trade talk with the Chinese president Xi Jinping. Let's discuss all of this. With me now, CNN's Fareed Zakaria. He is host of "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS." Good morning, Fareed. Always good to have you on the program. You watched the moment earlier today where, once again, the U.S. president turned down, in effect, an opportunity to confront the Russian president on continued Russian interference in U.S. elections.

And I just wonder, does the U.S. president, in effect, taking Putin's side here, does it weaken the U.S. standing with its allies here? And even perhaps with Russia?"

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think it's bad all around. Because the Russians have been doing it not just in the United States. They've been doing it in Europe, they've been doing it in Ukraine very heavily. And in every one of those cases, it is contrary to U.S. interests.

So here, you have a situation where the president of the United States is not acting in the national interest of the United States because of this personal hang-up he has, that it would seem to legitimize the idea that he was helped in his election, which he was. So it's unfortunate, but it is completely predictable. I don't think anyone expected that Donald Trump would suddenly turn around.

It's also more than that, Jim. Because Putin seems to -- Trump seems to agree with Putin on lots of things. Putin gave an interview to "The Financial Times" a couple of days ago. And reading it, I was struck by the fact that Trump could have said mostly everything Putin has said.

SCIUTTO: Yes. I know you've been watching U.S.-China trade talks. And of course, the big bilateral on Saturday here, will be between President Xi Jinping and President Trump. Is there reason for hope? The president expressed hope, going into these talks.

But do you see the two sides' positions moving any closer together? Do you see any evidence that the U.S. or China will give ground on issues which both countries see in their national interests and their national security interests?

ZAKARIA: My guess -- and it's entirely a guess -- is that they will agree to restart negotiations. The two sides are not so far apart. The issues were close enough that they were -- they almost had a deal. And then from what we understand, there was some pushback on the Chinese side, to some very tough terms that the Americans were demanding.

Look, trade is all about money. You know, it's numbers. You can always split the difference. This is not like, you know, some -- an issue like abortion or something like that. These are all issues where you can split the difference. There are ways to find compromises.

The real question is, do both sides, you know, really badly need a deal? And will that propel them to move forward? I think that maybe not right now.

But we are getting to the point where President Trump doesn't want further instability in economic growth or markets. Xi Jinping faces problems of his own, similar kinds of problems. Though of course, he doesn't have to get re-elected.

So I would suspect that in the short term, we're likely to see some solution to this problem. But it'll be a band-aid. The tensions between the United States and China are going to persist for decades.

[10:45:06] SCIUTTO: It seems we can forget that a little more than a week ago, this country was nearly at war with Iran, or at least minutes away from taking military action against Iran. Iran is on the agenda of every bilateral meeting here. They say they're talking about it.

Do you see any consensus-building between the U.S. and its allies here, but even its adversaries, China and Russia, with how to deal with Iran? Or is the U.S. largely on its own here? The Trump administration on its own.

ZAKARIA: It's America First and America alone. Senior French officials essentially leaked that they felt there was no common ground between the United States and Europe on Iran.

Because the Europeans believe that it was a big mistake for the United States to pull out of the Iran deal. They are trying to find ways to help Iran make some payments that -- you know, so that they can conduct some economic transactions, while the U.S. seems to be stuck in a very hardline, squeeze Iran as hard as you can, almost to produce regime change.

It's not really -- part of the problem here, Jim, is it's not clear what the goal of American policy is. it is maximum pressure without a clear negotiating strategy, which leaves the Iranians thinking, "This must be about regime change." The Europeans are trying to save the Iranians and save the deal. And so we are on very different tracks right now.

SCIUTTO: And with -- in the midst of that, lots of military hardware in very close proximity in the region. Fareed Zakaria, thanks very much.

ZAKARIA: Pleasure.

SCIUTTO: This Sunday, be sure to watch Fareed host the CNN special report, "STATE OF HATE: THE EXPLOSION OF WHITE SUPREMACY." It will air Sunday night, 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, right here on CNN. An important program at an important time.

It is a state that Democrats are vying to win over, so what do voters in South Carolina think of those first Democratic debates?


[10:52:07] HARLOW: The economy, immigration, health care, race relations: all issues that dominated the first Democratic presidential debate for 2020. Voters getting their first glimpse at just how sharply divided some of these candidates in the same party are.

Our Marty Savidge, back this morning with voters in Greenville, South Carolina. And he joins us again.

Marty, both debates are over. We heard yesterday from the voters that saw debate one with you. What about last night?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT : You know, dramatic difference, of course, as everybody has noted, between night one and night two. For the crowd we were with -- we went back to the same place, by the way -- and they said, "Night one was kind of junior varsity; last night was varsity."

There were a lot more of what South Carolinians would say were the frontrunners, at least in their mind. And quickly, they began to focus on Joe Biden. There were a lot of supporters of Joe Biden that were in the crowd. As you point out, the crowd was a little older and a little less diverse than the night before.

And many of them felt it was not a good night for Joe Biden. They felt that he was not coming back as quickly or as well. And as we know now, that moment, Kamala Harris just really sucked in a lot of this crowd. They were paying very close attention. And when the exchange was done, you could tell, there was a sense of shift. So I think in many ways, people felt they watched a moment where this all changed -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Right. Martin Savidge, thank you very, very much for being there, for your reporting. It's been great throughout. We appreciate it.

All right. Now, a quick look at this. Here's "What to Watch."

TEXT: What to Watch... 1:00 p.m. ET, Joe Biden speaks in Chicago; 2:00 p.m. ET, USA Women's Soccer vs. France; 7:15 p.m. ET, President Trump meets Saudi Crown Prince


HARLOW: All right, Jim. So the debate was big news last night. But the big news now and all weekend is going to be where you are, the G20 in Osaka. What are you looking at?

SCIUTTO: Listen, so many issues to be discussed here. Russian election interference, of course. The president missed an opportunity to confront, there. U.S. meeting with China on crucial trade talks. The Iran issue, how to approach that. And so far, not a lot of progress building consensus on a way forward. We are going to be watching that Xi-Trump meeting tomorrow, local time though.

HARLOW: OK. We certainly will. Jim, I know you're going to be traveling throughout with this. You'll have a lot more on the show on Monday.

[10:54:57] I'm going to take the week off with my family. I'll see you guys in a week. Have a great Fourth of July holiday, everyone, from both Jim at the G20 and myself. Stand by, Kate Bolduan picks it up next.