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Winners and Losers From Day Two of the First Democratic Debates; Interview With John Hickenlooper (D) Presidentia Candidate About the Democratic Debate. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired June 28, 2019 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:00:00] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: NEW DAY continues right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We rescind every damn thing on this issue that Trump has done.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's personal and hurtful to hear you talk about two senators who built their career on the segregation of race in this country.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a mischaracterization of my position. I do not praise racists.
JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You don't clearly define that we are not socialists, the Republicans are going to come at us every way they can and call us socialists.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump seeming to joke about Russia's attack on the U.S. elections.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That was a test for this president. He sits next to the Russian president and makes a joke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump comes across as a supplicant to Putin. Trump is not showing any kind of strength.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: What a night it was. What a morning it's been already. And we are just getting started. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY.
Ten Democratic candidates were on the debate stage last night. But it was Senator Kamala Harris who stole the spotlight when she turned and confronted former vice president Joe Biden on his having worked with segregationist senators and his opposition to school busing in the 1970s. The former vice president took heat from many of his rivals.
BERMAN: Yes. But it was that exchange with Harris, some people calling it not just the big moment in the debate but the biggest moment of the campaign so far. It really does have implications on all kinds of different levels. Race was a big factor on stage also for another leading candidate, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. We will show you that moment.
And breaking news from just moments ago, side-by-side with the Russian leader Vladimir Putin, how did President Trump handle the issue of the Russian attack on the U.S. election? He joked about it. Laughed about it. Joked about it.
We're going to have much more about this, explaining this extraordinary moment. First though, it is the morning after a really important debate. The question is, is it a different Democratic race this morning?
CNN's Jessica Dean live in Washington with all the highlights -- Jessica.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you. Well, so many people, of course, were saying oh, gosh, are we really going to hear anything new, is anything going to happen? There's so many people on that stage. Well, in two hours we actually ended up hearing a lot.
There were four of the top five polling candidates on that stage. There were a lot of fireworks back and forth, of course, going after President Trump. But also drawing contrast among each other. Take a look.
DEAN (voice-over): Many of the leading Democratic candidates took shots at President Trump in the second debate.
BIDEN: The first thing I would do is make sure that we defeat Donald Trump. Period.
HARRIS: You asked before what is the greatest national security threat to the United States? It's Donald Trump.
DEAN: And also each other. Showing just how much the crowded field differs on issues and solutions. Senator Kamala Harris came out swinging, confronting former vice president Joe Biden on his record.
CHUCK TODD, DEBATE MODERATOR: We're going to get to you. Hang on, we're going to get --
HARRIS: As the only black person on the stage, I would like to speak on the issue of race.
DEAN: Harris blasting Biden for his recent comments on race by using her childhood as an example.
HARRIS: I do not believe you are a racist. And I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground. But I also believe and it was personal -- it was actually very -- it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that but you also worked with them to oppose busing. And, you know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools. And she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me.
BIDEN: It's a mischaracterization of my position across the board. I do not praise racists. That is not true, number one. Number two, if we want to have this campaign litigated on who supports civil rights, and whether I did or not, I'm happy to do that. I was a public defender. I didn't become a prosecutor. Everything I've done in my career I ran because of civil rights. I continue to think we have to make fundamental changes in civil rights.
DEAN: Senator Bernie Sanders asked directly if his programs like Universal Health Care would bring higher middle class taxes.
SANDERS: Yes. They will pay more in taxes but less in health care for what they get.
DEAN: Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper said Sanders' progressive agenda will make it hard for Democrats to win the White House.
HICKENLOOPER: I think that the bottom line is if we don't clearly define that we are not socialists, the Republicans are going to come at us every way they can and call us socialists.
SANDERS: Well, I think the responses at the polls last poll I saw had us 10 points ahead of Donald Trump because the American people understand that Trump is a phony. That Trump is a pathological liar and a racist.
[07:05:05] That's how we'd beat Trump. We expose him for the fraud that he is.
DEAN: The candidates speaking in personal terms attacking the Trump administration's handling of the border crisis.
HARRIS: A mother who pays a coyote to transport her child through their country of origin through the entire country of Mexico, facing unknown peril to come here, why would that mother do that? I will tell you. Because she has decided for that child to remain where they are is worse. But what does Donald Trump do? He says go back to where you came from. That is not reflective of our America and our values and it's got to end.
DEAN: Mayor Pete Buttigieg addressing rising tensions in South Bend after a deadly police-involved shooting in his hometown.
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a mess. And we're hurting. And when I look into his mother's eyes, I have to face the fact that nothing that I say will bring him back. This is an issue that is facing our community and so many communities around the country.
DEAN: The generational divide on full display with the oldest and youngest candidates in the field on the stage. 38-year-old Congressman Eric Swalwell taking aim at Biden's age.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was 6 years old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said, it's time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans. That candidate was then-senator Joe Biden. Joe Biden was right when he said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans 32 years ago. He's still right today.
JOSE DIAZ-BALART, DEBATE MODERATOR: Vice President, would you like to sing a torch song?
BIDEN: I would.
BIDEN: I'm still holding onto that torch.
BUTTIGIEG: As the youngest guy on the stage I feel like I probably ought to contribute to the generational --
SANDERS: It's part of Joe's generation.
BUTTIGIEG: I'm all for generational change.
SANDERS: Let me respond.
DEAN: Harris shutting down that generational tussle asking to get back to the issues.
HARRIS: America does not want to witness a food fight. They want to know how we're going to put food on their table.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
DEAN: Another big moment last night from the debate, so the question now, one morning after, is how will any of this shape the contours of the race going forward? Of course some of those candidates specifically Kamala Harris looking to use this as a spring board to really reignite attention on her campaign. An aide telling CNN she raised more money last night than she has any other day during her campaign. Same for her launch day and the day after. That was back in the winter. So this is a real opportunity for them to get back in the spotlight.
Also, Alisyn and John, important to note, Joe Biden is going to be headed to Chicago to speak to the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Reverend Jesse Jackson today. So we'll certainly be keeping an eye on that as well. And it will remain to be seen kind of how this impacts the 2020 field going forward. Of course we look to our own debates coming up next month.
BERMAN: It'll be very interesting to see when Joe Biden has a chance to think about it if and how he addresses this issue later today.
CAMEROTA: That's right.
BERMAN: Then again, he's had a long time to think about how he addresses it already.
CAMEROTA: And generally if history is any indication, he doesn't always clean something up the next day.
BERMAN: No. No. Joining us now, Errol Louis, CNN political commentator, Bianna Golodryga, CNN contributor, David Gregory, CNN political analyst and Andrew Gillum, CNN political commentator and former mayor of Tallahassee.
Errol, that moment between Senator Harris and the former vice president, obviously it was planned. And we know that because of the T-shirts and hashtags and everything that Senator Harris had ready. What did you see in that moment?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What I saw on that moment was one of the candidates who really wanted to do what all of them wanted to do which is take a shot, take a bite out of Joe Biden. And she figured out how to do it. She did it on an issue that fits perfectly with her persona and her presentation. She did it in a way that was respectful. She said this is not about you personally. She brought up facts that are sort of unimpeachable. His record is his record. He said and wrote what he did. And it was what prosecutors do.
And that again is part of her brand. She's saying, I can bring the case against Donald Trump, you know, sort of indirectly, she was making that case. And by the way it wasn't just on that issue of race. It was also on the secured communities program where she talked about how she was defying the Biden -- the Obama-Biden administration around some of their deportation policies. So she is ready to really sort of go after him but in such a way that, as we saw last night, he'd shut himself up. He didn't really have much of a response at all.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: And she showed that she is also ready perhaps to take on President Trump as well. We saw that side of her. She was clearly very prepared. She put Joe Biden on the defense throughout the night and she showed how important storytelling is. Her own storytelling and busing with her childhood, the storytelling with regards to health care and how parents -- many parents have the decision to make when they take their children to the emergency room when they have a fever knowing that the co-pay and that the huge amount of money that they would have to pay walking through those sliding doors. You saw that compelling side to storytelling.
[07:10:03] And you also saw a void left by Bernie Sanders for her to walk into, the one-on-one with Joe Biden because many people walked into last night's debate assuming that we would see Bernie Sanders versus Joe Biden. Instead we saw Kamala Harris who really stepped in. CAMEROTA: Mayor Gillum, you are a Kamala Harris supporter. I can
only imagine the high-fiving that was happening backstage.
ANDREW GILLUM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No --
CAMEROTA: When that moment happened, because, you know, you can plan as much as you want but the stars have to align for that moment to have -- to give you an opening, you know, to allow that to happen. So that was her moment.
And let me just have you also comment on a moment that some people think might have been a mistake, maybe even her campaign this morning. And that was when asked if she would do away with private insurance -- who would do away with private insurance, she raised her hand. And so that's the flipside of what might have been a weak moment for her. Go ahead.
GILLUM: Yes. Well, first let me clarify, I am unendorsed in this race for president.
CAMEROTA: Thank you. Sorry about that.
GILLUM: I think you have a tremendous amount of respect obviously for -- no worries -- for the senator as I do for many of the candidates but you're right. I mean, she seized on what was an opening, an opportunity clearly. They were ready for it. Having been in a number of high stakes debates myself, I know that you prepare vigorously but you never know exactly what may come out in that evening. The moment has to be right. It can't be contrived. Voters can't feel like you're rehearsed in that and I think she delivered on substantive areas that came across real and authentic and I think very, very believable.
To your point around health care, she did raise her hand there on this question of what would we do with private health insurance under her health care plan. And I do think honestly she's going to have to give more definition and more contouring to that. We need to understand that a little bit better. We don't want to frighten I think American people. But we want to make sure that we deliver on the policy goals that says you shouldn't be concerned about getting sick because if you get sick you'll be in the poor house.
She delivered that well. It hit. It resonated with regular people but I do think we're going to need to hear more from her and frankly from others in greater detail what it is that their health care plans are actually going to do and what it will cost the American people.
BERMAN: Yes. I want to talk more about health care in just a moment. And again, she needs to -- we need to know exactly what her position is on that because it's confusing right now.
CAMEROTA: It has changed, yes.
BERMAN: Her campaign tried to clean it up whether or not she is for doing away with private insurance or not, you'll get a chance to ask the campaign directly in just a moment. Remarkable, though, if she is for doing away with it, that she wants to get rid of it, Elizabeth Warren wants to get rid of it, Bernie Sanders wants to get rid of it. The leading candidates happy to do away with it.
David Gregory, just to go back to the Joe Biden moment with Senator Harris there, what did you see from him? You know, she was prepared for it. Should not he have been prepared with an answer, perhaps a more eloquent answer than he had?
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. And I think as much as we focus on Senator Harris rightfully for owning the night, I think just as important is the failure of the former vice president to perform well last night. He appeared halting. He appeared lost at times. He appeared to be grasping for answers that he had practiced. And I think he failed on a number of levels to respond adequately to what she was saying about his harkening back to an era where he could work with those who are segregationists to get things done in the name of bipartisanship.
Failing -- I mean, to champion state's rights? That's his opinion on busing in 2019? That it was left to her city council and that's how it should have been? When she made the point that the federal government should have stepped in. You know, just going after her as a prosecutor I thought was kind of a cheap line by Biden. So he just seemed unprepared. And it wasn't just on this answer. He had a terrible defense of the Obama administration when it came to the administration's deportation of illegal immigrants under their watch which came under attack by Senator Harris as well. He failed to respond to it directly.
On guns, he missed opportunities to go after Bernie Sanders. So I really think that he seemed out of step and frankly I don't think it was a good look for him, the side-by-side look with Senator Harris, a younger candidate, and with Pete Buttigieg who I think had an excellent night as well. That side-by-side did not look favorable. And finally, I think that he failed to deliver a tough blow against Trump. And that is what Biden has said. Like, I'm the guy who can beat Trump. He looked like a different guy last night.
CAMEROTA: Errol, your impressions of Biden?
LOUIS: Well, he did come across as I think a little bit sort of fumbling. You know, he was kind of, you know -- it never felt as if everybody were ganging up on him but people were taking little zings at him. They were taking these little shots at him. And what he needed and what he does need is some sort of a universal way of responding to all of them.
[07:15:03] The fact is that he's the oldest guy in the race. The fact is that he's got a long, long record. Not all of which stands up very well by today's standards. If elections are going to be about the future, and they are, he needs to explain and sort of really make it clear. I mean, if you think about it, his argument against Trump is not just that he can take him on but that he can bring us back to a time when -- you know, he keeps talking about we're going to remember who we are. Elections are about the future. And that to me is what came across
very, very clearly. So I think he needs to sort of fix that argument and make it clear and make it plain and be a little bit more forceful and on point and be ready for the attacks that are to come.
BERMAN: Mayor -- I'm sorry. Go ahead.
GOLODRYGA: And perhaps his biggest blunder was relinquishing his own time. We've never seen that side of Bernie Sanders --
GOLODRYGA: Of Biden. And so when the issue of whether or not his time has passed and if he's too old comes up, for him to relinquish his time and not be that invigorating candidate that we've seen in the past I think this --
CAMEROTA: You mean when he like stopped mid-sentence?
CAMEROTA: Like, oh, my time's up.
GOLODRYGA: My time's up. It's as if he lost his train of thought or he just knew that maybe he wasn't winning that particular argument.
BERMAN: Yes --
GREGORY: And, you know -- you know --
BERMAN: If there's one thing we know from TV, it's you never wrap. You never wrap.
GREGORY: You never -- yeah.
CAMEROTA: We don't.
BERMAN: David Gregory, go ahead. On that note (INAUDIBLE).
GREGORY: Yes. Right. Right. Right. And you know how to interject, right? But the mayor knows this as well. I mean, I think the thing that Biden lacked for me was that facility, you know, that command to think in your presence, to handle. Again, he seemed to be grasping for facts and arguments about his own record.
Look at Mayor Pete. I mean, I think that he is singularly impressive as someone who can -- the depth of his intelligence. You know, Chris Matthews made this observation the other day that -- every question he's asked, it seems like he just answered it yesterday because he just seemed so present in that moment. I think that's real skill. I think that's something that Barack Obama had in big measure. And again, that contrast came through. BERMAN: Mayor, you want a quick last word?
GILLUM: Yes. Yes -- no, I couldn't agree with you more as it relates to Mayor Pete. He's been through a rough week. And the beauty of it is that he didn't shrink from the challenges. He stood up to them, and better than that, he took the moment higher. He recognized what was going on in his own community but also painted a picture that I think every American could relate to and see themselves in.
As it relates to the vice president, I don't know if it's a matter of overstaffing. I don't know whether it is a level of insecurity. I don't know if it is sort of running, you know, not to lose rather than running to win. But something has got to be shifted up here. I don't think anything happened last night that was fatalistic to the campaign. This will be a long process. And there will be good days and there'll be bad days all along the trail. But he's got to rack up more good days than he does bad.
And he's got to run this race to win it and not just to frankly hold steady or think that he can ride above the rest of the fray. He's a candidate in this race. He's competing for the Democratic primary. He's got to win here first before he can take on Donald Trump.
CAMEROTA: Friends, geniuses all. Thank you very much for all of the analysis this morning.
So he's a moderate voice in a Democratic field that is filled with progressive ideas. Did John Hickenlooper get his message out last night? We ask him next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[07:22:22] HICKENLOOPER: The bottom line is if we don't clearly define that we are not socialists, the Republicans are going to come at us every way they can and call us socialists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: All right. That was former Colorado governor, John Hickenlooper, warning against a leftward turn towards socialism in the Democratic Party. So how are voters and viewers responding to what they saw last night?
Joining us now is former governor, John Hickenlooper. Good morning, Governor.
HICKENLOOPER: Good morning. How are you doing?
CAMEROTA: I'm doing well. How are you doing? Have you had any sleep?
HICKENLOOPER: I feel out west, we have a phrase, you were rode hard and put away west. I think that's how I would describe myself. CAMEROTA: Well, you look no worse for the wear. Give us your
impressions of how last night went. Was it what you were expecting? What did you think of the biggest moments?
HICKENLOOPER: Well, that's the first time -- I mean, whenever you do anything the first time, it's pretty -- it's different than what you expect. But I thought the intensity was good. I thought it was interesting to be on a stage with so many talented people. And certainly the direct and spirited exchange between Senator Harris and Vice President Biden was, you know, something that the viewers could look forward to.
CAMEROTA: And what did you think about that moment? I mean, did you -- were you surprised at how Senator Kamala Harris took it directly to Vice President Biden and were you surprised by his response?
HICKENLOOPER: I was surprised a little bit by how quickly it got intense. But these debates, you know, I think a lot of rehearsal and a lot of thought goes into each person's -- you know, how they approach it. And obviously they had both made up their mind that -- I think Senator Harris felt that she was going to go right at the vice president. I think the vice president was ready and was going to come right back at her.
CAMEROTA: So you thought that he had an effective response?
HICKENLOOPER: Say that again?
CAMEROTA: Did you think he had an effective response?
HICKENLOOPER: Yes, I thought he -- you know, I saw some of the critics and that, you know, he -- some people felt he didn't. I thought he came back. I mean, she's a prosecutor. She's tough.
CAMEROTA: There was a moment that you pointed -- or not pointed literally but that you directed at Mayor Pete Buttigieg about the anger that has erupted in South Bend after a police shooting. And your point was that you've had those situations as a governor and that you had handled it better. And so let me just play his response to your criticism of how he has handled it. Here's his response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[07:25:06] HICKENLOOPER: The question they're asking in South Bend, I think, across the country is why has it taken so long. We had a shooting when I first became mayor 10 years before Ferguson. And the community came together and we created an office of the independent monitor, civilian oversight commission. We diversified the police force in two years. We actually did de-escalation training.
I think the real question that America should be asking is why five years after Ferguson every city doesn't have this level of police accountability?
BUTTIGIEG: We've taken so many steps toward police accountability that, you know, the FOP just denounced me for too much accountability. We're obviously not there yet. And I accept responsibility for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Governor, that wasn't the only time that he said, I couldn't get the job done and that he accepts responsibility. What did you think of that response?
HICKENLOOPER: Well, I don't want to criticize his response, but I do think it's not just South Bend. I think it is across the country. You know, to have a civilian oversight commission that allows the community to decide how their neighborhoods are going to be policed, to have an office of the independent monitors so any allegation of police brutality gets independently investigated with subpoena power. That should be the blocking -- the basic blocking and tackling in almost every city. And clearly it's not. It's not in South Bend and it's not in a lot of places.
CAMEROTA: There was a moment that was visually powerful. And that was when you all on stage were asked if you would provide health care to undocumented immigrants. And every single one of you raised your hands in the affirmative that yes, you would. President Trump after that tweeted, "All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited health care? How about taking care of American citizens first? That's the end of the race."
The front page of the "New York Post" this morning basically says that's how you all will lose. I know you probably don't put much stock into the front page of the "New York Post," but do you think that you represent where voters are, particularly independent voters? Do you think that they will see this as an incentive somehow for increasing undocumented immigration?
HICKENLOOPER: No, of course not. I don't think that has a significant -- is not a significant factor in terms of undocumented people coming into the United States. You know, some level of health care you've got to give to anyone who's living in your country. That's pretty much the standard. I think we're overdue to have a comprehensive immigration reform where we actually secure the border but make sure we have a pathway to citizenship. That would have been unthinkable as well.
The bottom line is that now we don't have enough workers to keep our economy moving at the speed and the expansion that we want it to. So I think the country has to begin to rethink. Do we really want to begin expelling and deporting millions of individuals when already we don't have enough workers?
CAMEROTA: Governor John Hickenlooper, thank you very much for taking time this morning to give us your take on how last night went. We really appreciate talking to you on NEW DAY.
HICKENLOOPER: You bet. Thank you so much.
CAMEROTA: John. BERMAN: All right. An extraordinary moment just a few minutes ago.
It happened in Osaka, Japan. President Trump side-by-side with Vladimir Putin at the G-20 laughing off, joking about the Russian attack on the U.S. elections. We've got people on the ground there doing reporting on this. We'll speak to them next.