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AT THIS HOUR

New Iowa Poll: Biden's Lead Shrinks & Harris, Warren Battle for 2nd Place; Trump & RNC Announce $105 Million Raised in 2nd Quarter; CNN Poll: Harris & Warren Rise, Biden Slides After Debate; CNN Poll: Majority of Voters Do Not Support Government Health Care for Undocumented Immigrants; CNN Poll: Buttigieg Slips Despite Q2 Fundraising Success; Trump Gets Tanks, Fighter Jets at July 4th Event. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired July 2, 2019 - 11:00   ET

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


[11:00:00] AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: If there's any U.S. fans world about how they're going to watch the afternoon kickoff, they've been given a little bit of hope from a couple of the players, Kelley O'Hara and Allie Long, who have drafted a note to give to their bosses, saying, "Do you want to be the boss of the year, please give your employees the day off."

I mean, how can any boss refuse that?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Well, I'll be watching for sure myself.

Amanda Davis, thanks very much.

Thanks to you for joining us today. I'm Jim Sciutto.

"AT THIS HOUR" with Kate Baldwin starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Baldwin. Thanks so much for joining me.

First up, a breaking brand-spanking-new poll from the all-important first-in-the-nation state of Iowa. Let me show you this. The new Suffolk University/"USA Today" poll shows that Joe Biden is still in the lead with likely Democratic caucus goers at 24 percent. But the lead has taken a big hit.

Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren surging with 16 and 13 percent respectively. Bernie Sanders taking a slide, how in fourth place and down into the single digits.

All the more interesting because this poll was taken after the big debates and tracks with what CNN's new poll just released yesterday shows nationally.

Speaking of Sanders, his campaign just released its latest fundraising total, bringing in $18 million in the last three months. So what does it all mean?

Who better to explain than Iowa's favorite son. CNN's Jeff Zeleny joining me now.

Jeff, so many numbers, so little time. What do you make of it?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Kate, good morning.

Let's do some math here. The reality is for Bernie Sanders, that $18 he raised in the last three months, it's a very good number. It's a consistent number to what he raised in the first three months of the year. But it's slightly lower, $6 million lower than Pete Buttigieg's number that he released yesterday. So it shows that Bernie Sanders is no longer leading the way in terms of fundraising.

But, Kate, more important now are those new Iowa poll numbers out this morning. This is something we've all been waiting for. How do voters who are going to begin this primary process view the race as it stands right now?

Let's take a look at the numbers again. Joe Biden 24 percent, but Kamala Harris also rising in Iowa. And I think that that number is interesting. Also the Bernie Sanders number. We don't have an exact comparison to this poll, but to our most recent Iowa poll, Bernie Sanders has fallen significantly.

So, Kate, that is the dynamic of what is going on. And the race does not really separate from the early voting states to the national contest. Of course, people in Iowa are watching this, the debates, they're seeing the dynamics, as well as New Hampshire, South Carolina. So this race has been reset, no question.

Now the burden, the challenge, of course, is on Senator Harris to show that they can be in that top tier as well. And she is head to head with Elizabeth Warren.

And as it turns out, nearly all of them will be in Iowa over the Fourth of July holiday long weekend -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: It's remarkable how their travel plans are tracking each other.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: It's truly remarkable.

Let's talk about money. Some cold water for all the Democratic enthusiasm that you were just talking about. The Trump campaign and the RNC also put out new fundraising numbers this morning and they are huge.

ZELENY: No question. We should always remember the other candidate in this 2020 race is Donald J. Trump. He is running essentially unopposed on the Republican side.

Take a look at these numbers they're also releasing. In the first quarter $75.8, the second quarter $105 million. This is a combined total between what the president himself is raising and the Republican National Committee is raising. But it's essentially a wash because they are using it for the reelection of this president.

So that is a lot of money for television ads and digital ads. They're already spending a ton of money, online, on Facebook and Google ads, et cetera, trying to identify supporters.

So one thing that's clear, both sides will have a ton of money. But that right there should be a warning call for any Democrats. Because they have a competitive primary, President Trump, of course, does not -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: That is exactly right. There's going to be so much money spent on this election, it almost makes you sick to your stomach.

Jeff, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

ZELENY: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Let's take a deeper look, a deeper dive into the latest CNN poll showing that Biden is sliding and Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are gaining some major ground.

CNN's Harry Enten is with me. He's been digging into this.

This is the --

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR WRITER & ANALYST: I've been looking down at it, you know.

BOLDUAN: You look down at everyone, so let's --

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: Anyway, this was the first -- the Iowa poll just came out, entirely first debate. This was the first CNN poll was the first pole entirely after the debate. What is your big take away here? Where is Biden losing support?

ENTEN: Just, again, he dropped 10 points, Harris up nine. I think that this is a key part of this.

This is African-Americans. And I think that this is important, because this had been Joe Biden's base. He was at 49 percent in an aggregate of our April and May polls. Kamala Harris was just at 6 percent. Now look here in late June. He's down 13 points, at 36 percent, and Harris is up 18 points, from 6 percent to 24 percent. Everyone else is pretty stable.

[11:05:07] But then you combine with the Iowa poll that also showed Harris moving into second place. Remember, that was kind of what Barack Obama did. He won in Iowa and then he was able to get more African-Americans on his side.

So when you combine the two polls, you can really see that the latest polling data is good for Harris. The question is whether or not they could hold it. BOLDUAN: And I hope I'm not throwing this out of order. This is

warning signs. He still has a lot of support amongst the key constituency, African-American voters. But this is clearly warning signs.

ENTEN: This is clearly a warning sign because this is supposed to be his base and he lost 13 points among that base. And I think there was this real question, right, Kate, they're two African-American Senators running in the race.

Cory Booker is not going anywhere in our poll. But Kamala Harris has been able to take away the support. And it does remind me a bit of 2008, when Hillary Clinton was leading with African-American voters to start off with. And then, all of a sudden, as Barack Obama got better known, he went up. And Harris has gotten better known, she has gone up.

BOLDUAN: I am endlessly fascinated, maybe overly fascinated with the question of the most important quality that the nominee could have and it is still consistently, the person who has the best chance of beating Donald Trump. Good news for Joe Biden.

ENTEN: This is probably the best news for Joe Biden from our poll. Overwhelmingly, Democratic voters believe that he has the best shot of beating Donald Trump, 43 percent. No one else is even close.

I will point out, though --

(CROSSTALK)

ENTEN: Exactly, no one at all. The one thing I will point out is Quinnipiac asked a similar question back in late April, and he was up at 55 percent. So even on this question, you've seen it drop, but he's still overwhelmingly the number-one choice for which best candidate for the chance to beat Donald Trump.

BOLDUAN: On the second night of the debate, every candidate raised their hand when asked if they would support a government health care plan if it provided health care to undocumented immigrants. Everyone on the stage raised their hand. And this poll shows some very interesting information about that, Democrats versus the broader American electorate.

ENTEN: Exactly. Among Democrats, it is a very popular position. Among potential Democratic voters, 61 percent of voters say yes. But look at that, among all Americans, only 38 percent say yes.

So I think this is going to be a key thing. Can Democrats transition from the primary season to the general election to be more in the center of the electorate. It's going to be interesting because they raised their hands. They pretty much all raised their hands.

(CROSSTALK)

ENTEN: Can they back track on that? I'm not sure. But this is why they're doing it. But you have to win the general election to become president.

BOLDUAN: It all comes down to what is the bigger priority in the general election that voters are looking at. Is it the fact that they don't agree with this aspect of their policy positions or something else?

ENTEN: And you can bet your bottom dollar Donald Trump is going to run on this issue because he loves running on immigration, illegal immigration.

BOLDUAN: It was the big tweet after the second debate.

ENTEN: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: Great to see you, Harry. Thank you so much.

ENTEN: Nice to see you.

BOLDUAN: So 24 hours ago, we were telling you that Pete Buttigieg had a huge fundraising success over the past three months, raising nearly $25 million. A real sign of staying power. That's more than Bernie Sanders this quarter. Much more than you would even -- especially much more than you would expect from a candidate who was a virtual unknown six months ago.

But that surge in money has not translated into a surge in the polls, in the single digits still amongst potential Democratic voters.

And when you look at a crucial source of Democratic supporters I was talking about with Harry, African-American voters, Pete Buttigieg is getting zero. Zero respondents named them.

This morning, Pete Buttigieg is speaking before Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH coalition in Chicago. And this was the topic of conversation.

CNN's Phil Mattingly has been watching it all.

Phil, what did Pete Buttigieg say?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Preface with this, Kate, you can have all the money in the world, and if you don't have African-American support of any kind, at least some of it, you're not going to win in a Democratic primary.

With that said, the Buttigieg campaign and Mayor Pete Buttigieg are very keenly aware that this is an issue for them. This isn't a one pole snapshot. We've seen multiple polls where his support among African-Americans is zero or right around that area.

Their solution to this, both from the campaign and Buttigieg himself, is dual pronged. One is policy and the other is presence.

On the first one, he's laying out a plan, kind of a system-wide plan that would address criminal justice inequities and address access to credit issues and try and kind of boost African-American entrepreneurs as well and laying out the details of that.

The other is actually being there. He makes a couple of key points when he talks about this, that he's not very well known in the community. So you've seen him go to a number of events like the Rainbow coalition even today. You've seen him focus on radio and television with audiences that are predominantly African-American.

But he was asked specifically about that zero percent poll number by our extraordinary colleague, D.J. Judd. Take a listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETE BUTTIGIEG, (D), SOUTH BEND MAYOR & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, first of all, there's a lot of voters I need to get to know and who node to get to know me. They need to understand the details of the Douglas Plan and they need to see me in action for a longer period of time.

Look, when you're new on the scene and you're not from a community of color, you've got to work much harder in order to earn that trust because trust is largely a function of quantity time. I'm committed to doing that work.

[11:10:11] But I think the most important question is, will our policy benefit black Americans and all Americans. And if that happens, and if I can show that, I think the politics will start to take care of themselves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTINGLY: Kate, kind of a key point. He's making it clear it's going to take time, given where he came from. Six months ago, nobody really knew where he was.

I think the big question now, he has the money to stay in the race for a long period of time. That's an obvious bonus. He has the money to build out the organization that can start reaching out to people and try to bring them into the fold.

But does he have enough time to swing from zero percent to some type of number that makes him viable overall in a lot of these states? That's an open question right now -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: That's the unknowable at this moment.

Great to see you, Phil. Thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

Joining me right now the CNN senior political analyst, John Avlon, and CNN's Athena Jones here as well.

Athena, just listening to Pete Buttigieg -- because when you look at the pole number and that is brutal. Zero respondents. Zero African- American respondents give him support. You have strength for Biden. Harris is making gains. But then what Buttigieg is up against.

And then you hear his pitch when he's speaking to the Rainbow/PUSH coalition. What I took from it is it's going to take a long time.

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think so. You talk about name recognition and Biden's eight years with Biden and, obviously, Kamala Harris comes from a black community. Pete Buttigieg doesn't. And he made a good point explaining that. He's also said that he's willing to put in the work.

People just don't know who he is. And though he's making gains when it comes to fundraising and not moving so much in the polls, we know that that has to do with the black vote.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

JONES: And he's willing to fight for it, willing to show that he's willing to do the work. And I think that certainly black voters aren't a monolith and they want to see candidates trying to win their vote.

One more point about black voters. We saw, of course, we have the eight years and the deep reservoir of support that Joe Biden has. But remember, back in 2008, it was Barack Obama winning the Iowa caucuses, winning in a very white state that gave other black voters in other states, like South Carolina, they could see that he could have a chance.

And that's something that could happen with Kamala Harris as she begins to get more name recognition.

BOLDUAN: That is a very important memory, I think, from how that really transitioned at that time.

What is your big take-away when you see the poll numbers from Iowa and the CNN poll? You've got Biden on the decline. My big takeaway is, it's really a race, folks. Don't count anybody out yet. Except for maybe --

(CROSSTALK)

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Except for half the field, which is statistically in oblivion.

BOLDUAN: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

AVLON: But I think the big take-away is Kamala Harris won the debates. Even over both nights, she's the one that got the biggest bump. She was crisp and decisive and she was able to persuade a lot of people, particularly Biden voters, who are looking at electability. Biden did not have a disastrous face-planting debate but the trend is not his plan.

BOLDUAN: Right. And when you punch, it doesn't always backfire. You can be -- you have to do it artfully but going on attack on the debate stage worked.

AVLON: And she was incredibly artful about the way she did that.

Look, Bernie Sanders also in trouble. Not the same kind of loss in the numbers that Joe Biden has seen. But Warren and Harris on the rise.

It's striking to me that Cory Booker, who had a very strong debate, didn't seem to have a significant pickup in this.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

AVLON: But you're seeing the top-tier clearly march.

BOLDUAN: What do you make of the fundraising numbers? They're wild this quarter. This is so much money. It's crazy banana pancakes.

AVLON: Banana pancakes

(CROSSTALK)

AVLONG: The craziest.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: It puts a lot of pressure on the rest of the field. We've seen this huge number now from Pete Buttigieg, nearly $25 million. I mean, $18 from Bernie Sanders is nothing to slouch at. But --

BOLDUAN: It still is a big number.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: Bernie Sanders created an entire grassroots campaign of fundraising and now you're seeing that it's up against --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: People have tattoos of Bernie on them. Pete Buttigieg is not -- people don't have tattoos of Pete Buttigieg yet.

AVLON: Yet. Exactly.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: -- Biden. But what big number is he going to put out? We heard him tease around $20 million or so at a fundraiser, talking about the break down.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

JONES: But we don't know what the real number is. And it's going to put a lot of pressure on the rest of the field.

BOLDUAN: It's good to be the incumbent. I think we can take that away as well.

AVLON: Donald Trump's numbers in that quarter are extraordinary. Any doubt that he doesn't have a serious challenge in the race. But if other folks had gotten in, that might have taken a dent out of it.

You've got to pay attention to both sides of the aisle on this one. But a lot of money. This is going to be a very -- the most highly --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: And interesting, especially on the Dem side, they're having to spend a lot of money early because they need to get the requisite number of supporters to get on the debate stage. The guys who have not made the debate stage yet, they're burning through it fast to try to get on the debate stage come the fall.

AVLON: Yes. And if you're not hitting the financial threshold after --

BOLDUAN: Yes.

AVLON: -- wait for the next debate and people are going to try to break out one more time. If they can't get liftoff, they're going to start to fall to the wayside.

JONES: People will lose money. If you can't raise the money, you can't stay in, you can't build, you can't build your teams and --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Sorry to say, guys, money is everything.

Thank you. It's great to see you guys. Thanks so much.

[11:15:04] Coming up for us, tanks, flyovers and a big speech. What President Trump has ordered up for the annual July 4th celebration on the National Mall. Is this more celebrating America or more playing politics?

Plus, good reporting uncovered a secret Facebook page for current and former border protection agents. What was revealed was obscene postings about migrants and lawmakers. And now members of Congress visiting the border say the revelation made them feel unsafe. What's happening with this now?

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[11:20:24] BOLDUAN: The show will go on, sort of. President Trump has been long requesting a grand display of military might for the upcoming celebration of the Fourth of July and we are now getting new details of what exactly he's going to get and who will be invited.

Joining me now the CNN Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, and CNN White House reporter, Sarah Westwood.

Barbara, first to you.

What are you hearing about the military hardware that the president has been talking so much about? BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's likely to be

quite a number of aircraft flying overhead across the National Mall on July 4th for this Salute to America event. Kate, we expect now to see B-2 aircraft, the B-2 bomber, the Navy Blue Angels, the demonstration team, F-22s and F-35s, some of the Air Force's most-advanced fighter aircraft.

But the big question is, what people will be able to see right on the mall itself. And the question is whether these tanks, two M-1 tanks and two armored fighting vehicles, that have been brought down to Washington, D.C., these weigh tens of tons. They're very heavy vehicles. They can't really be driven on the city roads because they damage the streets. So will they be able somehow to tow them to the mall and put them out on display?

This is something even the president has acknowledged may be a real question from the sheer weight of these vehicles. But it's something he would like to see. The military has brought a small number of these vehicles to Washington to try and make it happen.

But if you have spent more than five minutes in Washington in the summertime, the real vote on July 4th will go to Mother Nature. It is always hot and steamy in Washington in the summers. And we checked the weather forecast already, a 40 percent chance of thunder showers on July 4th -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: It is always a crap shoot when it comes to the weather on July 4th. That's one thing you can't control.

Barbara, thanks for that.

Sarah, what are you hearing about the president's -- about the speech -- from the White House about the speech the president is set to give?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, the White House is trying to downplay the fact that this could be politicized by some. The White House pointing to the fact that much of the event will be open to the public.

But there's going to be a ticketed area right on the steps, the best seats in the house, around where the president will be giving this speech. And the Republican National Committee is allocating some of those tickets to major donors. That's according to the "Huffington Post." The RNC has not responded to CNN's request for comments. But the DNC is saying that they weren't given any tickets to allocate.

Now, a White House official also said that those tickets will be given to VIPs, friends and family and military members. They're not saying, though, Kate, exactly how the tickets will be allocated. That's all lending to the perception of some that there could be politicized.

The White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway, told reporters this morning that President Trump wouldn't be making this an event, although, she did say his speech will include a list of what Trump view's as his administration's accomplishments. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: This is a public event. It's open to the public. The public is welcome to come and celebrate our great country and the greatest democracy.

I'm not going to allow you to politicize the success of this administration and opening up so many jobs for individuals, what we've done for veterans.

There's no final form yet. But America will hear the whole speech.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WESTWOOD: There could be some concerns that the president listing his accomplishments could be inherently partisan.

But nonetheless, this type of event is something that President Trump has wanted to do for a long time, ever since he returned from that trip to France in the summer of 2017 where he witnessed the Bastille Day parade there.

He has wants to do some military show of force here in the nation's capital. He even planned last year to do a military parade to mark Veterans Day and the cost of that led to him having to scrap the plans entirely. Although, this event will mirror a lot what President Trump wanted to do at the time.

D.C. officials, Kate, including the mayor of D.C., have expressed concerns that the security necessary for the president to give that speech from the National Mall could put a real strain on the city's resources.

BOLDUAN: Sarah, thanks so much.

Sorry, I've got something caught in my throat.

It would be so sad if this becomes a political partisan event. This is so not supposed to be about politics. But we'll have to wait and see, of course, what the president actually says during the speech. Because other presidents in the past have not even made a speech at this event.

Let's dive more into this. Joining me now to discuss is CNN military and diplomatic analyst, retired Rear Admiral John Kirby.

John, what do you make of this? It's a Fourth of July celebration. It's supposed to be about independence. And now it's getting all interwoven with the demonstration of military might. The president is making a speech when past presidents have not. What do you make of it?

[11:25:10] REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY & DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: It bothers me a lot, Kate. The Fourth of July is not a military holiday. We have Armed Forces Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, all kinds of opportunities to honor the troops and their service to the country. This is not that day. This is not who we are. He got himself all enamored when he went to the Bastille Days

celebration in Paris a couple of years ago, which is -- it's a military spectacle, no question about it. And I think he's trying to replicate that as best he can. But that's, again, not who we are as a country and certainly not who we are as a military.

Fourth of July isn't about the day we won independence, it's about the day we declared independence. And it's not about the tools and the troops that have helped us stay free. It's about the idea of freedom itself. It should be above that. It should be above just the military or any branch of government. And it certainly needs to be above politics.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

John, thank you so much for that perspective.

KIRBY: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: So needed right now. Let's see what happens in the next 48 hours.

Coming up for us, still today, a congressional delegation tours a government detention facility at the border. They left saying that migrant women, asking for water, were told to drink out of a toilet. One of those lawmakers joins us, next.

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