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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Democratic Candidates Jostle in Feisty Debate; Iowa Voters React to Democrats on Tonight's Stage; Health Insurance Questions Dominate Early Portion of Debate. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired June 28, 2019 - 00:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: -- Buttigieg I want to play, which was he was asked about -- which we talked about a little bit before, about diverse -- the lack of diversity, given the population of African- Americans in South Bend. I think the -- the police force only has about 6 percent of American officers on the force.

[00:00:14] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-five percent black town.

COOPER: Right. And so he was asked about that. Let's play his response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Your community of South Bend, Indiana, has recently been in uproar over an officer-involved shooting. The police source in South Bend is now 6 percent black in a city that is 26 percent black. Why has that not improved over your two terms as mayor?

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because I couldn't get it done. My community is an anguish right now because of an officer-involved shooting. A black man, Eric Logan, killed by a white officer.

I'm not allowed to take sides until the investigation comes back. The officer said he was attacked with a knife, but he didn't have his body camera on.

It's a mess, and we're hurting. And I could walk you through all of the things that we have done as a community, all of the steps that we took, from bias training to de-escalation, but it didn't save the life of Eric Logan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Interesting answer.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Amazing. Yes.

COOPER: He wasn't deflecting it. He said he didn't get it done.

BORGER: Yes, it was so amazing to me that you had a politician there saying, "I couldn't get it done," who was clearly angry, because he want -- he had called for body cams on every police officer, and he wasn't wearing it.

And he went on to say "I have to face the fact that nothing that I will say will bring him back." And it was clearly someone, on a personal level, who was so affected by what had occurred in his community, and he confronted it directly.

And that's one more thing about Buttigieg, which is I think he speaks so clearly. He speaks so directly. And there was something else he said tonight about calling out the Republican Party for its hypocrisy by affiliating itself with Christian -- Christianity. And he said to suggest that God would smile on the separation of families, that party, or whatever, has lost all claim to ever using religious language. Boom!

And he -- he has a way --

COOPER: Yes.

BORGER: -- of speaking that makes you kind of stop and just listen to him, because it is so direct. And it's forceful without being loud, if you know what I'm talking about.

(CROSSTALK)

JESS MCINTOSH: He and Kamala both had a grown-up in the room vibe.

BORGER: Yes.

MCINTOSH: I thought -- I was not surprised to hear that vibe from her. I'm used to it. But coming from the 37-year-old -- I'm 37 -- I don't often hear grown-up-in-the-room vibe from my own peers.

COOPER: You know, he did have that -- that back and forth with Vice President Pence on the subject of religion.

BORGER: Exactly.

COOPER: And I saw online a number of conservatives tonight also kind of portraying this as him attacking religion or attacking -- attacking prayer.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Actually, the reason they jump in on this is because Buttigieg actually is a person of faith.

COOPER: Yes.

AXELROD: It's very important to him. He talks about it often. And so, you know, when you look back at the last three Democratic presidents who were elected, Carter, Clinton and Obama, they both were very comfortable talking about their fate, quoting scripture. And that, from a cultural standpoint, is important.

So he is -- he is -- you know, that is an interesting element in his profile.

COOPER: I love that about him.

AXELROD: But let me just say one other thing. I was critical of him after this town hall meeting in South Bend last weekend.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

AXELROD: Because I felt it was good that he met with the community. But he seemed very stoic in that meeting. And Pete Buttigieg is not a person who emotes. He's not that kind of personality. He is very -- he is very disciplined, but he's -- he's restrained in his presentation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Midwestern.

AXELROD: Yes, Midwestern cool. But what he did tonight in that answer --

MCINTOSH: Yes.

AXELROD: -- was what I was missing over the weekend. He showed -- he showed genuine --

MCINTOSH: Moods.

AXELROD: -- angst and remorse about both the failures of the programs that he put in place and the loss of life and the suffering that's going on. And I think that was an important -- an important moment for him.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: And David, as a political matter, a study in contrasts. This was the question everybody knew he was going to get tonight. Right? This is the one that was the most obvious he was going to have to deal with in the debate, and he came fully prepared, and he executed on his answer. Just -- I'm talking about a pure political moment here.

COOPER: So --

CHALIAN: Compare that with Joe Biden. And I'm just saying, he did not handle the question that he knew, undoubtedly, he was going tonight, with that kind of skill and execution.

COOPER: Sen. Kamala Harris is talking to reporters now, including our Kyung Lah. Let's listen.

KYUNG LAH, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we just had the senator stopped by. Congratulations on your evening.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.

LAH: I want to start with that little girl is me.

HARRIS: Yes.

LAH: Why did you decide to bring up that personal story? [00:05:03] HARRIS: You know, there's so many issues that we talk

about in -- in a way that is theoretical, academic, ideological. But I believe the critical issues to think about, how these ideas and policies affect real people. Which is why I have what we call our 3 a.m. agenda, where I think about issues, like, through the lens of what wakes people up in the middle of the night.

Which is about health care. It's about can I get a job and keep a job? It's about can they get a decent education for their children? Can they deal with, you know, an opioid addiction, things like that.

So on the issue of -- of -- and in the conversation with Vice President Biden, it was through the lens of that, which is that these segregationists pushed policies and really made -- built their careers and reputations off of policies that were about segregation of the races in our country. And it had real consequence.

The policy perspective that was opposed to busing had real consequence. I was that little girl. And there are many others around the country who were those little girls and boys, who were bused.

And so I felt the need to speak truth about that. I think it's important that we, as Americans, never forget our history, including those dark days of our history. And so that's why I felt the need to talk about it.

LAH: We've talked about the difficulty of talking about yourself from your book.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes.

LAH: And presenting that to voters.

HARRIS: Yes.

LAH: You want to talk about policy.

HARRIS: Yes.

LAH: What is it that turned tonight that made you discuss that?

HARRIS: I just think that on some of these issues, it's that the American public deserves to know how we come at our priorities. And this is -- and as you recall during the debate, I brought -- brought it up in that context, which is this is -- the conversation was already happening, but I have a personal experience with this.

And I think that there are millions of people in our country who have personal experience with this, and that voice needs to be on the stage.

LAH: And on the campaign trail, you've talked about the guy in the Midwest being code; the challenge of running as a woman. Is this your answer to people who wonder, can a black woman win versus Donald Trump? HARRIS: Listen, I believe that the person who will win the Democratic

primary and go on to beat Donald Trump is someone who thinks about what wakes people up in the middle of the night and has a plan for them, which is why I am proposing the most significant middle-class tax cut that our country has had in generations, which would give families that make less than $100,000 a tax credit that they can receive it, up to 500 dollars a month.

Which is why I am the only one proposing that we deal with the fact that our teachers are not paid for their value, and I'm prepared to actually put a federal investment in closing the teacher pay gap.

Which is why I talk about equal pay. And I'm prepared to take action to make sure women are paid as much as men for equal work.

These are the issues that people care about. People care about the fact that we need to have a president who understands that trade policy should not be conducted by tweet; that trade policy should not be conducted out of a -- out of ego and instead should understand that, as this president has done, his so-called trade policy has resulted in what I call the Trump trade tax, which means that there are farmers in Iowa who have soybeans rotting in bins; that there may be as many as 700,000 auto workers who lose their job by the end of the year; that American families are paying $1.4 billion more a month in everything from groceries to washing machines because of this so- called trade policy the current president has.

I'm running on an agenda that's about saying we need a new leadership that sees these issues through the lens of the lives Americans live every day.

LAH: And quickly, did you speak to Vice President Biden after the debate?

HARRIS: No, I didn't see him after the debate.

LAH: Thank you, ma'am, greatly.

Anderson, that was Kamala Harris, making her way back down.

COOPER: Kyung, thanks very much.

HARRIS: Seeming very, very pleased about how she did.

COOPER: Yes, clearly. Thanks very much.

Want to get everyone's take on -- on what we just heard from -- from Senator Harris. Obviously, she knows she had a good night on that -- on that platform.

AXELROD: And she was carrying through some of the talking points that we heard from that platform.

I think she took a big step forward tonight. The nature of this process is so interesting to me, you know, because it is a long, long test. And every time you do better, every time you clear a bar, the scrutiny gets more intense.

COOPER: The stakes go up.

AXELROD: The tests get more difficult.

She cleared a bar tonight, and she will now be much more in the middle of the conversation; and she will get tested more.

[00:10:06] COOPER: How many -- you know, Governor, you raised this last night about fundraising. I mean, that -- you know, brass tacks, it's about who makes a big enough impression to get people going to their websites and actually donating money.

TERRY MCAULIFFE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Six or seven of the people on that stage tonight, they are going to lose all oxygen. They will not be able to get any money. They will not be able to get their message out. At some point, they can't pay their staffs anymore. They can't get the plane in the air. They can't do it. And that's why these debates are really so important.

I can tell you right now, Kamala's fund-raising will go off the charts tomorrow. Her online fundraising will explode. As it will, I think, probably for Julian Castro. I think in the last 24 hours, you know, he was sort of a loser tonight, because he had his run for 24 hours, and that's over. We've got a whole new story today.

But you know, this thing is going to move pretty quick. And, you know, it's going to get down. There's going to be maybe four -- four tickets coming out of Iowa, and then you head, obviously, into New Hampshire and then Nevada and South Carolina.

And then March 3, you know, you've got almost 40 percent of the delegates chosen on one day. And it's really -- that is going to be the day to watch.

AXELROD: You know what's really important here? Kamala -- Kamala Harris needs to do -- she needs to do well in Iowa to actualize her potential in Nevada and particularly in South Carolina, where Biden is leading now.

And if what she did tonight helps her in that early -- in those two early states, in Iowa and New Hampshire, puts herself in a position to move forward, she has a lot, as they say in football, a lot of green in front of her if she gets past those first two states.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, one thing --

BORGER: Well, but don't you think she becomes a target now, to a degree? Once you get into that --

AXELROD: Well, that's what I said before.

BORGER: Once you get into that top tier. She's got a record as a tough prosecutor that she's going to have to defend to liberals.

JONES: But one thing I think is important about -- about her is that people forget that, when Senator Obama first came on the scene, there were African-Americans who were really holding back from him.

BORGER: Yes.

JONES: There were African-Americans said, "You know what? We've been with the Clintons a long time, buddy. We don't know who you are. You're from Harvard, wherever it is." And people folded their arms. And he had to earn it.

Kamala, I think, is on the pathway to earning it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

COOPER: Joining us now, right now, is Senator Harris. She's moved over to our CNN platform.

Senator Harris, thanks so much for being with us.

HARRIS: Hi.

COOPER: I want to pick up with you where my colleague, Kyung Lah, left off. First of all, just -- I'm wondering what went through your mind when Vice President Biden invoked a states' rights argument to push back on -- on what you had said to him about your personal story and the effects of -- of busing for you?

HARRIS: I disagree with him. You can look at everything from the Voting Rights Act, to the Civil Rights Act and, you know, the need to pass the CRA.

There have been many moments in our history where states have failed to do the right thing and have even acted in a way that has been about suppressing certain populations of people.

And those moments are the moments that the federal government needs to step up and act. And certainly, leaders, the national leaders, should call on and would want that the federal government would act.

So I disagree with Vice President Biden in terms of his perspective on where the federal government and its role should intervene when states are diminishing, if not suppressing the rights of its citizens.

COOPER: You know, one of the things one of our panelists, Van Jones, said -- said earlier tonight about that moment was just -- and I don't want to get him wrong in paraphrasing him -- but just that on -- in a Democratic primary debate, to have one of -- you know, if you look at the polls, the leading Democratic candidate defending a states' rights argument when it comes to civil rights and federal busing, is just extraordinary.

HARRIS: Yes, I mean, I have to confess I was surprised.

COOPER: Did you expect him to -- the other option you could have done is just said, "You know what, I was wrong, and I'm moved by what you said." Do you expect him to, you know, kind of get to that place? Or do you expect him to sit with this states' rights argument? Because this is obviously going to be something that's talked about, and it's going to be asked of him.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes. I mean, I don't know what he will do. But I -- I think we are all -- many of us are very clear that this -- and for Democrats, has always been a very important issue, because we have known, again, that we cannot always rely -- and many times in history we did, and to our peril -- rely on states to do the right thing, and they just didn't.

And so we have always been an advocate for the need for the federal government, especially on issues that are about civil rights, to intervene and to act. And, you know, it's just a fundamental premise and an ideal that is the basis and the foundation of our country; which is that we are all equal and should be treated that way.

And these are the underlying principles that -- that informed the Constitution that the United States and all of its amendments, and the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence, and those words we spoke in 1776. So I obviously disagree with the vice president, and -- and that is that.

[00:15:19] COOPER: Senator Harris, I know Van Jones wants to ask you a question.

JONES: Well, you -- obviously, you did extraordinarily well, and as somebody who got family in California, super cool to see you do that.

What did you think of Pete Buttigieg's answer on policing? I'm curious to know, because this issue around policing, you being a prosecutor. Biden tried to throw some shade at you as a prosecutor. Did that make you mad? Did that make you feel proud? And what did you think about Mayor Pete on policing?

HARRIS: I -- I --

JONES: Did he do a good job or a bad job?

HARRIS: I can tell you that -- well, listen, I -- I ran the California Department of Justice. It was the -- and is the second largest Department of Justice in the United States, second only to the United States Department of Justice. And I ran that office in a state of 40 million people.

I'm proud of my background and leadership on the issue of body cameras, where I required my special agents to wear body cameras; and we were the first, I believe, state agency as a Department of Justice to require that. So -- and our policy required that the body cameras stayed on. So I think that --

JONES: So do you -- do you --

HARRIS: You know, there are different policies, obviously, but I believe that the preferable policy and the best policy is not that random officers at random moments can just decide when they're going to turn the camera on and off, because it really, then, works against the whole purpose of it, which is to make sure that there is transparency -- JONES: The reason I ask you --

HARRIS: -- and accountability and evidence.

JONES: The reason I ask you --

HARRIS: Yes.

JONES: -- is because, obviously, he tried to own it. Pete seemed to own it. He seemed to take responsibility, seemed very different than Biden, who didn't own anything and just defend it.

So I know he made a mistake in terms of how he ran his department. Do you give Pete a pass? Do you give him some credit for owning it? Or are you mad at him for not doing a better job?

HARRIS: No, I'm not mad at him. I think that he has -- he's showed, I think, a great deal of emotion. And -- and took -- and obviously feels, I think -- it's obvious -- a sense of personal responsibility for -- for what has happened and his role to correct course. And I applaud him for that.

JONES: Good.

COOPER: Thank you, Senator.

Nia-Malika Henderson, I know, also has a quick question.

HENDERSON: Hi, Senator Harris. I wanted to talk to you about black voters. You're struggling right now with black voters. A lot of the polling obviously shows that Biden is ahead with black voters. Why do you think you aren't doing better with black voters? And how do you think tonight's performance fits into your plan going forward to reach out to those voters?

HARRIS: Well, I'm still meeting a lot of people. You know, Vice President Biden has obviously, I think, run for president three times. He was the vice president for two terms under a very popular president, President Obama. And so he's well-known.

And I am still in the process of introducing my work and my plan to voters across the country. And I intend to work very hard to earn the vote and the support of everyone.

HENDERSON: And will you use what he said tonight, really backing states' rights? Is that going to be a message that you continue to take to black voters and really ding Vice President Biden?

HARRIS: Well, listen, I think that -- that there is no question that an election is, at some point, not only a competition but an exercise in pointing out differences of opinion. And this is -- has clearly turned out to be a difference of opinion between me and the vice president.

COOPER: And just finally --

HARRIS: It's a point that I think, obviously, people find it interesting; and it's, I think, an important subject.

COOPER: Senator Harris, just finally, it seems like a lot of what you said tonight, you people talked about, you know, the -- what people worry about at 3 a.m. You talked about traveling the country and -- and thinking of issues in terms of real people.

HARRIS: Yes.

COOPER: It seems like that is a message moving forward for you that you are going to be kind of focusing on as sort of leadership --

HARRIS: Yes.

COOPER: -- in -- you know, as walking in the steps of real people and nuts and bolts problems.

HARRIS: Yes.

COOPER: That seems to be your focus?

HARRIS: Well, Anderson, yes. And you know, I talk about it most often through the lens of what wakes people up at 3 a.m. in the morning. Right?

But another way that I think about it is this. My sister and I were raised by a mother who was a working mother. She often came home after we were already home from school. She would cook us dinner, you know. We'd all eat -- I'm going to date myself. She didn't let us eat dinner until we watched Walter Cronkite.

And -- and then we would -- you know, then everyone would do their thing. And then she'd put us to bed. Right? And my mother would sit up at that kitchen table, I think, till midnight and beyond, just figuring out how to make everything work.

[00:20:13] And it's through the lens of her that I think about a lot of issues, including the priorities for American families. It's literally that parent who's sitting at that kitchen table after the kids are in bed, just figuring out how to make it all work.

It's literally through the lens of when people wake up at three in the morning with that thought that's been weighing on them. Which by the way, for most people, regardless of where they live, their race, their ethnicity, is the same thought. Right? It's how -- you know, their personal health, the health of those children or their parents. Can they get a job, keep a job, pay the bills by the end of the month, retire with dignity, pay off their student loans?

These are the things that wake people up in the middle of the night. And these are, therefore, my priorities. And that is why I'm running for president, because I believe that we have got to focus on real issues that affect real people every day.

COOPER: Senator Kamala Harris, appreciate your time. Thank you.

HARRIS: Thank you. Take care, guys. COOPER: A lot more to talk about, plenty of more perspectives,

including from a focus group of Iowa Democrats. We heard what they had to think last night. Same group is back. We'll hear from them tonight.

Also, Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the healthcare issues that came up tonight. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:25:25] COOPER: Night two of debate one is in the books for the Democrats. Tonight's break-out moment, a confrontation between Senator Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden. We heard from the senator before the break. Joe Biden is not doing interviews in the spin room tonight.

Speaking of talking, though, take look. Here's a quick run-down of how long each candidate spoke on stage. Joe Biden topped the list, following by Kamala Harris. Andrew Yang had the least.

Back now with the panel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Van is sad about that.

COOPER: Van Jones, for those who didn't watch earlier, Van Jones was -- was predicting kind of a --

JONES: Andrew Yang brought me to tears, though, in those two minutes.

COOPER: I believe the term you used was a Yang bang at some point? That there was going to be a big explosion from Yang?

BORGER: Should he have worn a tie? What did you think?

MCINTOSH: It's a style.

JONES: His tie did better than he did tonight.

MCINTOSH: I want to defend Van. I actually had Andrew Yang on my radio show a couple months ago. And he was wildly impressive.

COOPER: No, he's an incredibly, I think, smart guy.

MCINTOSH: This was just not the platform for him. And I feel -- I feel bad for the Yang gang who I know was really looking for him to make -- make a mark tonight.

BORGER: Enough. You just said more than he said in the debate.

COOPER: I think let's stand by. We're going to take just a quick break, I think. We'll have more with panel, actually. OK.

JONES: Kamala Harris, a wall has come down.

BORGER: Yes.

JONES: A wall has come down. There was a way that she was defended often when she was talking.

BORGER: Yes.

JONES: And there's something that has happened in this process where she -- that -- I've known Kamala for 20 years, and I know that she has that heart. But she doesn't show it often. Even tonight, she was just -- there was something present there that I thought was --

COOPER: I think back to there was a CNN town hall we did, I think it was in New Hampshire several months ago where we had candidates back to back. And there was a moment when Don Lemon, who was asking questions to Kamala Harris said the question on the stage was should felons who are currently in prison be allowed to vote? And her answer -- which had been asked of several people, starting with Bernie Sanders, who said yes. Kamala Harris, her response was, well, that's a conversation we need to have.

HENDERSON: And she was roundly criticized for that. Right? For being cautious.

AXELROD: Well, not just on that question, but there were three or four other questions where she was --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Well, that's what's so interesting.

HENDERSON: She was -- tonight, she was her full black woman strong self. And we've never seen anything like that on a political stage. You think about women, you think about black women, particularly operating in spaces like this, when it's normally white men kind of set the standard and the tone. And that was what was so remarkable and so unforgettable. You watch that debate performance. It's something we haven't seen from her. We hadn't seen it from others.

COOPER: There is, though -- you were bringing up during the break, some inconsistency on her position on private insurance.

CHALIAN: Well, tonight, just like last night, the moderators asked for a show of hands for people that are willing to get rid of private insurance, to have a Medicare for all system in place.

We know she's a co-sponsor of Bernie's bill. But Kamala Harris tonight, when asked, was one of those people, with Bernie, to raise their hand, "Yes, I will get rid of private insurance companies."

This is where she started in January in a CNN town hall with Jake Tapper in Des Moines. And then, since January, Anderson, she has spent every week walking that back, trying to nuance it, suggesting there's language in the bill that says there is a roll for private insurance companies. She challenged Don Lemon at that town hall you referenced in New Hampshire on it.

And now, after all that time of trying to get nuance, because she entertained thought; she had exposed herself to a potential general election attack from Republicans, she now tonight, once again, went back to the whole-hog position, fully embraced Medicare for all, and raised her hand to get rid of private insurance. Again, maybe making that a tricky position in the general election context.

So it just is odd to watch her over all these months start somewhere, try and redo it all for months, and then end up in that very same place again.

BORGER: And she and Bernie were the only two, I believe, who raised their hands on that. So it was sort of surprising to us. But welcome to the top tier --

AXELROD: Right, right.

BORGER: -- if she gets there, because now the scrutiny is going be on her, on questions about Medicare for all, for example, questions about her history as a prosecutor.

And I'm going to say one more thing about her. I do think she's different. From the way even she is in the Senate to the way she is now. And I think it's because she has been out there talking to real people, hearing them. And I think, oddly enough, that is what was missing from Joe Biden, that empathy you talk about. He -- he's the guy who's always out there with the people, the populist. You know --

JONES: This goes --

BORGER: And it wasn't him tonight. It wasn't him tonight.

JONES: -- that's what I was saying earlier in this cycle, that California is a uniquely bad place to do politics. It's such a big state, you run so much media.

BORGER: Right, right.

JONES: To take Kamala Harris who's been so dominant in California politics and then put her in those living rooms in Iowa and South Carolina and New Hampshire. I do think it can let --

BORGER: Helped her.

JONES: It's how -- there's something beautiful happening in there.

BORGER: Yeah, you know.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Let me tell you through, she hasn't spent as much time in Iowa as I would if I were her campaign. I think that because --

JONES: Why?

AXELROD: Why? I don't know why she hasn't but I would spend more time there because as I said earlier, I think everything gets activated if she does well there.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Among white voters, right and then Obama did. AXELROD: And so she needs to spend some time --

JONES: And black voters.

HENDERSON: Yeah.

JONES: And black voters. We'll take it more seriously.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Let's take a quick break. We'll going to have more, we're going to check in next with Gary Tuchman's Iowa focus group, get their take on the night see what they thought of that big exchange between Vice President Biden and Kamala Harris.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:35:06] COOPER: First time many of these candidates will face actual voters, of course it's going to be this winter and Iowa. Gary Tuchman is there for us tonight in Iowa City with the focus group of Democratic voters. The same nice people who were willing to watch it last night and talk about what they thought last night. We want to hear what they have to say about tonight's debate. Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Johnson County is a very Democratic county and it's a very important state of Iowa. So it's a great laboratory for our political science experiment which consists of being with these 12 very nice people, men and women for the last two nights watching the debates. Last night, the consensus was that Warren, Elizabeth Warren did the best.

What I want to ask you now, and all of these people, this is really important, all were active Democrats. All are non-committed. They haven't chosen a candidate for the Iowa caucuses yet.

Who do you think did best? Who stood out tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not an endorsement but Mayor Pete did well when he talked about farming.

TUCHMAN: Who do you think did best?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harris and Buttigieg.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harris.

TUCHMAN: Harris. Who do you think did best tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harris and Buttigieg.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harris.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harris.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Biden.

TUCHMAN: Biden. Who do you think did best tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harris.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Harris.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Harris.

TUCHMAN: Senator Harris. You give the title though, OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harris.

TUCHMAN: Harris.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harris and Mayor Pete.

TUCHMAN: Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. So it sounds like 11 of you or 10 of you said Harris out of the 12 of you which is very significant. Several said Buttigieg.

Let me go to you first. You're the only person here who said Joe Biden. Why do you think Joe Biden stood out tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, Joe has a good track record. And I like what he was talking about.

TUCHMAN: Do you think he was going up on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Harris tried to shake him up a little bit. But I think he's done well from himself.

TUCHMAN: You said Harris? Why did you like Harris tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just like the way she addressed the issues. She was very specific and pointed with the things she talked about.

TUCHMAN: OK. Now you told me earlier that you are considering becoming a committed voter. You're the only one here who said that you may be ready to commit to Harris. Is that how you feel at this moment? You told me just 30 minutes ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was impressed by her performance. She did an excellent job tonight.

TUCHMAN: Is anyone else here saying they're ready to commit to anybody?

CROWD: No.

TUCHMAN: Now you said yesterday, most of you said yesterday that Elizabeth Warren did the best. Today it seems like Kamala Harris you feel did the best.

Let's put the two nights together. Ten men and women tonight, 10 men and women yesterday, 20 people, who for those of you who said you like Harris and Warren? Who feels that Warren did the best over the two nights out of all 20 people?

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Who feels Kamala Harris did the best? Just one. So that's very interesting that Harris seems to be the star of this evening but overall over the last two nights you feel it was Warren.

Final question for you, next debate is in five weeks at the end of July. What would you like to see mention that hasn't been mentioned?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My 3 a.m. issue, our 3 a.m. issue and many other families like ours are very concerned about the humanitarian crisis that is the lack of healthcare for people with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia. We are really hoping that all the presidential candidates will come out with a plan much like Senator Amy Klobuchar's plan.

TUCHMAN: OK, anyone else? What would you like to --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The trade war.

TUCHMAN: Trade war?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would like to see people talk more about some of the really serious foreign policy issues.

TUCHMAN: OK. And the final thing I want to mention to you is very interesting that 11 of you still are not ready to commit after these two debates. What does it take to get an Iowan to commit 7 months early?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. I mean, for me personally I don't think there is anything that can get me to commit so early. Because I am 16, this is the first time I'm going to be able to vote and I want it to count.

TUCHMAN: And you are allowed to vote in the caucus by when you're 17 in the state of Iowa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes.

TUCHMAN: You'd be 17?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I will be 17 in a month. And so I'm just waiting and seeing who I like and they'll be here. They'll be here and we can talk to them. And I'm just -- I want to make sure my -- I make my vote count and I want to vote right. And I think a lot of people especially young people feel that way.

TUCHMAN: Well, we'll see if they make the decision by the next debate which is on CNN by the way, the end of July. A promo.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: All right Gary. And thanks -- Gary did you -- there was a pizza again tonight for them?

TUCHMAN: That pizza tonight we had by gourmet food, Anderson.

COOPER: Oh, all right. Good. TUCHMAN: Just to make us right. And everyone is very happy with that for tonight.

COOPER: Good. Took up a notch I'm glad. All right, Gary thanks very much. Please thank them all for us. It's so fascinating here.

It's interesting when you heard the woman in the back and I apologize for not knowing her name who said, "Well my 3 a.m. issue," using language that Kamala Harris had used.

BORGER: Yeah.

HENDERSON: Yeah.

AXELROD: But you know, what most interest to me in both nights, and it's so familiar to me having work so often in Iowa was how almost indignant they were that anyone would suggest they would have made their minds out.

HENDERSON: Yes, it's one.

AXELROD: You know, when I was a young reporter I was covering a presidential race and I went to high school and this was New Hampshire but they have quite the same attitude. And a presidential candidate spoke and I asked the kid. Well, how did you feel? About 15-year-old kid. Very impressive and said well, if you could vote would you vote for him? And the kid, he just would grin. He said I haven't heard -- I haven't met all the candidates yet.

[00:40:14] COOPER: Well, that's the thing about Iowa -- I mean, for those who don't follow us and haven't been there for the campaign. I mean, in Iowa and New Hampshire they meet the candidates all the time.

JESS MCINTOSH, CNN COMMENTATOR: No, that's -- a 16-year-old fully expected to sit down with everyone running and she's probably will get to.

COOPER: Right, exactly. I know, so when she says like oh know, I'm going to meet some more of them like literally they will meet everyone of them.

AXELROD: Elizabeth Warren has been there a lot.

BORGER: Yes.

AXELROD: She's the best organized candidate. I did hear from Harris campaign that they have very much up at her schedule there and her staff. You have to have that contact with voters to close the deal there.

HENDERSON: What's interesting about this was --

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: He does. He does.

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: Right.

HENDERSON: What was interesting about that focus group was that nobody said Sanders, right? I mean, and if you think about Sanders, his performance last go around in Iowa, you think about, you know, the idea that he had this coalition that wouldn't ever leave him. And nobody thought he had a break out moment tonight.

JONES: But those weren't Sanders's people, those were undecided people. That African-American guy said still like Biden. That's going to be something to watch. They've got very interesting to see how long it takes for a Kamala Harris or Cory Booker to claw that's a poor (ph). It took Obama a while to claw black folks away from the Clintons. She was able to do it. And your point when you went in Iowa then it was over.

COOPER: How was Buttigieg doing in Iowa? I mean from, you know, Indiana?

HENDERSON: He's doing pretty well, yeah.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: The reason I will pull Buttigieg was right there with Sanders and Warren in this battle for second place to Joe Biden. And by the way, Joe Biden was not leading by the same kind of leads that we've see nationally in Iowa. So that was a closer race. So, he's right -- he was right there in the (inaudible).

AXELROD: And that was why he was a smart to race the rural.

CHALIAN: Yup.

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: One of the things he's got going from his side, he's from the heartland.

COOPER: Yeah, yeah.

AXELROD: And he should be talking about rural issue.

COOPER: We'll take a quick break. Everybody, please standby, there's more ahead. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:45:47] COOPER: The healthcare both the united and divided the candidates tonight all wanted to provide health care on undocumented immigrants with Senator Bernie Sanders Medicare for all plan which would effectively end most private insurance was a source of friction for the candidates.

Our Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us talk the healthcare and whether everyone got their facts right. So Sanjay, I want to play a moment that it's gotten the attention the President tonight where the candidates are being asked about undocumented immigrants and healthcare. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of you have been talking tonight about these government healthcare plans that you proposed in one form or another. This is a show of hands question. And hold them up for a moment so people can see. Raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants.

OK. Let me start with you, Mayor Buttigieg. Why?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Sanjay, you've done some reporting on the issue, what have you have?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I've been writing a reporting on this issue for some 20 years now. And, you know, this idea of undocumented immigrants having access to federal health benefits, having access to the marketplace has had a sliver of support. Certainly not what you saw in the states tonight, that's a significant shift

And there's been lots of stories that maybe driving some of the shift. We did a big investigators last year Anderson into thousands of undocumented immigrants who suffer from end-stage kidney disease, and end-stage renal disease. And that means that they require dialysis two to three times a week. But because they don't have health care coverage, the only way that they can actually get that dialysis was when they became an emergency, when they were an imminent threat of losing their lives, something known as The Emergency Medical Treatment Act.

So you have a situation now where people who could get treatment that exist, the dialysis had to wait until they nearly died to get that treatment under this Emergency Medical Treatment Act. And that's obviously bad for them, that they almost died before they could be resuscitated. And it's also very expensive about four times more expensive to take care of somebody when they've reached that critical stage.

So that's an example. It's a microcosm of the sort of predicament that undocumented immigrants find themselves in. They can't get the coverage they need until they're nearly dead or dying and that's bad and costly, Anderson.

COOPER: Another moment which was pivotal last night in the debate was about private healthcare insurance. And I just want to play the question I was posed to the candidates tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LESTER HOLT, NBC ANCHOR: Many people watching at home have health insurance through their employer. Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favorite of a government-run plan? All right. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: And Sanjay, David Chalian was talking about that, Kamala Harris is sort of been on different sides of that that issue.

GUPTA: Yes.

COOPER: She raised her hand tonight. I'm wondering what you made to that because it did force the candidates sort of stake opposition about it?

GUPTA: Yeah, I think people in some ways they're defining Medicare for all in different ways. I mean, you know, Senator Sanders has been very clear about this in terms of what it means. You have Medicare it's now for people who are 65 and older. It's a federal benefit that would be extended to everybody.

Everyone would come under in Medicare plan, which means that they wouldn't have their private health care insurance and they wouldn't have premiums that they would have to pay, they would have very little in terms of copays or deductibles. That's his sort of plan. But there's been a lot of polling around this and that specific issue around the private health insurance, if you lost your private health insurance.

But look at the things here. I think we have a graphic to show this. The things that actually increase the support for Medicare for all, 56% supporting it overall, eliminating premium 67% to support the idea that it would eliminated premiums, 71% support this basic idea that healthcare has a right.

But now take -- to your question Anderson, take a look at what sort of flips those numbers. When you start to layer in more data around why people might oppose Medicare for all, 58% oppose the idea of a limiting private insurance, that's not a winner issue if you -- as you know, as you've been talking about, 60% oppose this idea of raising taxes to pay for it.

[00:50:14] The price tag and the numbers are a little bit all over the place. The price tag is about 32 trillion dollars in increase federal spending over the next 10 years, $32 trillion. The big question is, how are you going to pay for it? Even if you get rid of premiums for people, the taxes are going to have to go up.

COOPER: Sanjay, thanks very much. I appreciate it.

More debate analysis coming up. And the man who was mentioned on tonight's debate stage more a dozen times. President Trump has meeting momentarily with Russian President Putin at the G20 Summit in Japan. We have live coverage of that as well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Talking about a breakout night on the debate stage for one candidate. Goodnight, for several and to some observers troubling performance by Former Vice President Joe Biden. The question is, where does each candidate now take this?

[00:55:05] Let's just quickly go around the table. David, what comes next?

AXELROD: Well, I think some candidates have some momentum here. Kamala Harris is being one. As Terry mentioned, she can turn that into her fund -- to a fund-raising advantage. I think Pete Buttigieg benefited from the same for him. I think the question is what do the Biden folks do now? Do they -- how do you correct this?

HENDERSON: Yes.

AXELROD: Does he have to be more public to give people confidence? And how do you deal with the problems of the African-American community that have been opened up as a result of this night.

COOPER: Right.

HENDERSON: Even though we don't yet know if this has opened up a problem with the African-American community, at some point we'll see some polls. We heard from that African-American male who thought he did just fine. So, we'll see. We'll see if has to walk this back. But, you know, I don't know how he corrects, you know, his appearance, you know, seeing to have lost a step in terms of his presentation.

COOPER: Yes, go head.

HENDERSON: I don't know how you fixed that?

BORGER: I think he's got to get out there more and test himself. And I think he wasn't used to it. He's going to get attacked. There is no 11th commandment, as Ronald Reagan used to say in this Democratic Party this time.

And I think that if Biden's going to prove to people that he can fight and win, he better do it. He better try.

CHALIAN: Yes. This and remember we've now gone to two nights of these debates. These same people qualified for our debate at the end of July.

BORGER: Right.

CHALIAN: The only difference is we're going to know who has money left in the bank and who doesn't. So, there's going to be more desperation on that July debate stage.

MCINTOSH: I think by the time we get to that July debate stage we're going to have a different front runner than we do right now.

COOPER: Van?

JONES: You know, Bernie's ideas have won. But Bernie looks like he might be starting to fade and we'll see if he can pull something together. But this could be -- it could be though that Elizabeth Warren progressive, moving now. COOPER: Governor?

TERRY MCAULIFFE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good two nights to Democrats, I though good enough. They got great candidates out there who can take on Trump, which is what they want to hear over and over again. I think for a lot of the shiny objects and I think now they're going to get a serious debates about issues that affect American families. So, you know, reports will come out on July 15th. I think a lot of candidates are going to be in trouble when those reports come out.

COOPER: Yes.

MCAULIFFE: Because they don't have any money.

COOPER: Money report.

MCAULIFFE: And then the CNN debates rapport down from many of them.

COOPER: All right, I want to thank everybody here. The debate coverage continues as we said President Trump and Putin are meeting this morning in Osaka, Japan. So, for more and both developing stories, I want to turn it over to Chris Cuomo 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. Absolutely, when the President meets with the Russian President we will take it as soon as it happens.

However, tonight the main event, boy it was en fuego, the second slay to 10 Democrats, but in entirely different universe of debate. They talked a lot about the President, right now and it was not favorable. And they got personal and it was a tough night for Joe Biden. Was he ready for what he got? Is this him at his best? And who was the best? It seems to be a consensus on that as well. What does it mean?

Kamala Harris the Senator from California, she went after her opponents for their food fight then launched one of the most memorable attacks of the night. We have a powerhouse political team to break it all down. And remember, as soon as we can get access to the United States President and the Russian President, they're meeting in Japan during the G20, we're going to take it. And we'll going to have the expert analysis out of that as well. There's a lot to cover. What do you say? Let's get after it.

All right, obviously a very different time zone in Osaka, Japan. They are dealing with their mid morning meeting. We need to get access and we need to get analysis on what happened between the United States President and the Russian President. As soon as I get word we can go to it, I am going to.

But, let's discuss what happened tonight because it was a big deal. First thing out of Joe Biden's mouth was the Trump swipe and the front-runner took some huge hits of his own.

Let's bring in the big guns for analysis, Nathan Gonzalez, Elena Plot (ph) and Mark Preston. And you almost got me I almost called you Elaine, because it was written wrong on a piece of paper.

ELENA PLOT: On purpose, yeah.

CUOMO: Never put anything on my head. It can't hold much. All right Mark Preston, everybody -- you know how I feel pounded tree around the stuff. Everyone's going to make a story, it rarely resonates in the polls a way it resonates in the after action reports. Tonight it's all Biden got upbeat down, Kamala Harris has arrived, she put him on his back the way Cory Booker couldn't even do it and it seemed like he was lost.

And Mayor Buttigieg was good too even though he admitted he couldn't get diversity done in his own police force and almost a whisper from Bernie Sanders. Is that how you saw it?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: By and large. But I do think that Pete Buttigieg for example had to come in. And his one mission tonight was a, to not look like a little boy, to look like a leader. And two, have to address what's happening up in his city. And I think owning it was a very smart idea. And gosh.

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