Return to Transcripts main page


Trump's Top Economic Advisor Kudlow Praises Ocasio-Cortez; Biden Blasts Trump While Unveiling His Foreign Policy Vision; Sanders' Aide Jabs Biden Speech: Didn't Even Mention Iraq War; American Airlines Apologizes after Telling Woman to Cover Up her Romper. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired July 11, 2019 - 14:30   ET


[14:30:00] CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN POLITICS & BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The difference between the two is Kudlow wants to spend on tax cuts, which, arguably, the left is saying benefits the rich. And AOC wants to spend it government programs. But the reason they're different. But debunking this one economic theory would help them justify greater deficits, greater government spending, and that's what's behind this.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: What do even think a supply side economics conversation would look like between these two?

ALESCI: I think it goes nowhere. Because the supply side economic argument is you give tax cuts and those -- the benefits of those tax cuts will filter through the economy, generate economic growth. And AOC's hardline has been, we need to increase taxes on the wealthy to fund government programs.

So, again, the two couldn't be further apart on economic theory. That's why the nerds out there this morning, including me, were like, what, what's going on there?

BALDWIN: Yes. You can nerd out on this show anytime you want.

ALESCI: Thanks, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Cristina Alesci, thank you very much.

ALESCI: Thank you.

BALDWIN: We continue on.

"It's sincere, ill informed, corrupt." That's how Joe Biden just described the president's foreign policy. As the Democratic front- runner, he lays out how he would deal with everything from dictators to the climate crisis? We have that for you.

And a murder mystery on a Greek island. The body of an American scientist found in an abandoned Nazi bunker.


[14:35:49] BALDWIN: Tonight, in Milwaukee, Senator Elizabeth Warren will join several Democratic hopefuls at a town hall sponsored by the nation's oldest Latino civil rights group.

But before that, she's rolling out her thoughts on how to overhaul the nation's immigration system. The plan, which Warren describes as a fair and welcoming system, would, among other things, decriminalize illegal entries, set up a Justice Department task force to investigate abuse claims, reduce immigration detention, affirm asylum protections, and expand legal immigration.

And Elizabeth Warren isn't the only top Democratic making a politics splash on this Thursday. In the first major speech of his campaign and after a bruising past couple weeks, Joe Biden is unveiling his vision for America's foreign policy, a plan, he says, that will end the, quote, "erratic policies" of President Trump and restore America's role as a world leader.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES & DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The threat that I believe President Trump poses to our national security and, and where we are as a country is extreme.

American foreign policy, I think, has to be purposeful and inspiring. Based on clear goals, driven by sound strategies. Not by Twitter tantrums. And make no mistake about it, the world sees Trump for what he is, insincere, ill-informed and impulsive and, sometimes, corrupt.


BALDWIN: Josh Rogin is a columnist for the "Washington Post" and a CNN political analyst.

Josh, this struck me as the latest example if Biden setting that 2020 choice, right, between him and President Trump, kind of leap-frogging the rest of the crowd and heading straight for the general. What was your impression.

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Brooke, that's exactly right.

By presenting the foreign policy question as a battle between a second term of President Trump, which Biden says would be an existential threat to America's leadership in the world, and his plan, which is to return the United States to a traditional foreign policy that we may have seen over the last 25 years, Biden is reinforcing the idea that he's a general election candidate, and stepping away from the contentious debates inside his own party about what Democratic foreign policy should be.

There's no doubt that the Democratic Party is going through an internal struggle. On one side, people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are arguing for a more progressive, less interventionist approach. What Biden is saying is that, no, we have to go back to what we know. Because what we know is what has helped America succeed over the last 200 years.

BALDWIN: You talked to the campaign about the speech, and they're calling it, quote, "foreign policy for the middle class." What does that mean exactly?

ROGIN: Joe Biden, like on every issue, has the same problem on foreign policy. He's got this long report, these views, long-held views that everybody knows, and he can't step away from them.

At the same time, he has to acknowledge and convince voters that he understands that things have changed. That's why he's trying to present foreign policy as a middle-class program.

He wants to acknowledge that most American voters have lost the thread on what we call this liberal world order project that, due to the gaps in the benefits of globalization, many people in America don't believe in that system anymore. He wants to say that he gets that. He's going to tweak it to put that money back in the pockets of regular Americans.

He hasn't filled out the details on exactly how he's going to do that. But unless he addresses the grievances, legitimate grievances that brought Trump to power, he won't be able to convince voters to toss Trump aside.

BALDWIN: Just reminding everyone, and I know you know this, but this is his wheelhouse. He was the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. To your point, critics say he's been on the wrong side of a number of issues throughout his career. Case in point, the Iraq War.

This is what Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington and presidential candidate, said before Biden's big speech today.


JAY INSLEE, (D), WASHINGTON GOVERNOR & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the vice president in this particular case, if he's going to address foreign policy, really does have a responsibility to address his support for the Iraq War, his vote for the war authorization.

I do believe he has to take responsibility for that. I think he should -- part of that is to apologize for that vote. I think that that would be appropriate. And I would like to know how he made such a misjudgment.


[14:40:12] And just on top of this, let me read this for you. This is Bernie Sanders' foreign policy advisor just tweeting, "Did Biden really get through that entire speech without mentioning the Iraq War? Did that just happen?"

So the question is, in today's Democratic Party, is one of Biden's signature issues potentially a liability for him?

ROGIN: Yes, I think all of his record contains a lot of assets and liabilities. The Iraq vote is definitely a liability.

The best he can do is what Hillary Clinton did, to say, if I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't have voted for it.

But what the Biden campaign told me is that they're trying to spin this forward to address concerns about interventionism by promising to take all U.S. combat troops out of Afghanistan, and to remove U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen.

So he's trying to have his cake and eat it, too. He wants a foreign policy that progressives can live with, but centrists can love. And the details are to be determined.

I would look also at trade. Biden's never said whether he wants to go back to TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he worked on for years. It would seem he would be in favor of that. Those are all details that I guess we'll have to wait for in a future speech.

BALDWIN: Josh Rogin, thank you very much.

ROGIN: Thank you.

BALDWIN: How about this story? A doctor flying from Jamaica to Miami gets on board this American Airlines plane wearing a romper. Why did the flight attendants then pull her off the plane and ask her to cover up? We'll talk to her and get her side of the story, next.


[14:46:06] BALDWIN: A Houston doctor wearing a romper says American Airlines flight attendants told her to cover up with a blanket or risk getting booted from her flight home from Jamaica.

Dr. Tisha Rowe tweets going viral. She writes, "Here is what I was wearing when American Air asked me to deplane for a talk, at which point, I was threatened with not getting back on the flight unless I walked down the aisle wrapped in a blanket," end quote.

CNN has confirmed both flight attendants Dr. Rowe spoke to are also black.

American Airlines is apologizing. A spokeswoman says, "We have apologized to Dr. Rowe and her son for their experience and have fully refunded their travel. We are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds and are committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us."

And Doctor Tisha Rowe is with me, along with her attorney, Geoffrey Berg.

Dr. Rowe, thank you very much for being with me.

Because I wanted to hear your side of the story. So let's just go back. You've enjoyed this time in Jamaica. You're getting on the plane in Kingston. What exactly did they say to you?

DR. TISHA ROWE, FORCED TO COVER UP ON AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT: The exact word at the point when I complied with their directions and left the flight was, do you have a jacket. I was not offered an explanation for why. Her exact words were, do you have a jacket.

BALDWIN: So you say, I don't think I'm going to be cold on the plane, I'm good? Or what was your response and how did it evolve to, you need to cover up?

ROWE: I kept it short and sweet. No. I really didn't see a need for further explanation. As everyone now knows, I was in the Caribbean going to Miami. And she repeated the question again, in a different way. So you don't have a jacket? No, I do not.

By the third time, she questioned me, saying, not even in your luggage. I'm thinking, you're going to remove my luggage for me to get a jacket. I'm not a rocket scientist but I am a medical doctor. Something's going on, whether it's with my appearance.

But to give her the benefit of the doubt, at this point, I asked the obvious question, why? And she let me know, you are not getting on the plane dressed like that.

BALDWIN: What did "like that" mean?

ROWE: To me, I have no idea what "like that" meant. Because my breasts were not showing. My romper showed no cleavage. I had gone to the restroom immediately prior to boarding the plane. The last thing I did prior to boarding the plane was go to the restroom. And I looked at myself from the front and the back, something I just do as a standard, and my cheeks also were not showing.

So, to me, that felt like a slap in the face, because I felt appropriately dressed. But I'm being told indirectly in front of my son that I -- you know, it felt like -- you look like a slut, so let's fix this.

BALDWIN: Wow -- in the rational were they -- was she citing a policy or something? Did she give you anything more?

[14:49:55] ROWE: The only justification that she offered was the pilot has sanctioned this action. Her words were something to the effect of, and the pilot has approved. There was no explanation of the dress code, ma'am. Our expectation is for you, as a passenger, to not show all of your legs or to show your shoulders or to bare your arms. There was nothing offered to me except that the pilot has approved.

There was also nothing offered to me as to where this was coming from, whether, you know, passengers, several passengers said to us, we have a problem or, hey, we just, as flight attendants, collectively believe you're not dressed for this flight.

BALDWIN: So let's dig a little deeper into the why, Tisha, because we know that the woman to whom you're referring, the flight attendant and another one, they were black. But you feel like you were targeted. You tell me, it's my understanding, because of the color of your skin, and also your body. Is that correct? ROWE: Absolutely. It's hard to explain to people as a double

minority, as a black woman -- I'm black and I'm a woman you -- I have never in my entire life encountered anything of this magnitude.

But you face micro aggressions frequently enough, and you also see things that happen with your peers differently in the same environment. And you realize when you're being targeted, when you're being profiled.

Unfortunately, I know enough to know that I have friends of all colors and races, and in all of my years, have never heard, seen anything even near this happening to them.

And to confirm my suspicions, numerous friends have sent me pictures, women who are not black, saying, I am on an American Airlines flight right now, Tisha, here's what I see, this is shorter than your shorts, Tisha.

And numerous women, who are not my friends, women who I've never met, have said, women of all races, white, Asian, Latino, I have worn shorts shorter than your shorts and I have not had this issue.

I haven't had an outpouring of black women saying, hey, this has never happened to me.

BALDWIN: Tisha, just so -- as people are listening to you, it's my understanding American Airlines issued you an apology, not only to you, but to your son. You had an 8-year-old son. I'm sure you're hip to the fact that something's going on. And American fully refunded your travel costs. Is that good enough for you?

ROWE: It is it not good enough. And I think the actions following the incident is what will character American Airlines. Whether they are going to be a leader in the industry.

As you said, I have an 8-year-old child, you know. If my child spills a cup of milk and apologizes, by all means, that's OK. Mommy understands. Get a towel and wipe it up. If he goes to school and punches another student in the face and comes home and says, Mommy, I'm sorry. No, that is not enough, you're not going to just say, I'm sorry in this instance, you're going to take the next steps to correct your action.

BALDWIN: What is the next step. Quickly, what is the next step? What would you like American to do?

ROWE: What I absolutely want American Airlines to do is clearly define your dress code policy, not leave room for bias to come in from their employees. Everyone is human. It needs to be very specific.

If you do not want women and men -- it needs to apply to both genders -- to wear shorts of a certain length or formfitting clothing, say that.

For the benefit of your employees, also offer additional training. It's obvious at this point that you all have a serious internal issue. There has to be onboard training. Following the NAACP warning, you took some steps and those steps are not enough.


ROWE: We need to see training. We need to see changes. We need to understand what you're going to do to protect children traveling with their parents from trauma.

GEOFFREY BERG, ATTORNEY FOR DR. TISHA ROWE: I think we'd like to know --


[14:55:56] BALDWIN: Actually, forgive me, Geoffrey, forgive me, but I need to go.

Let me end by saying this. We will follow up with American. You follow up with American. And let's see where this goes from here.

ROWE: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Dr. Tisha Rowe, thank you for speaking up --


BALDWIN: -- and sharing your side of the story.

And, Geoffrey Berg, thank you for joining your client there.

I need to get to the breaking news out of New Orleans. There's a lot of concern down south right now in the path of the tropical storm, a storm that could bring epic flooding to people still in pain in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. We'll take you there.

We're also getting word that turbulence has injured 35 people on an Air Canada flight. We're hearing from some of those passengers who say some people actually hit the ceiling of this plane.

We'll be right back.


[15:00:06] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.