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Trump Defends His Racist Attacks On U.S. Congresswomen; Biden Unveils Health Care Plan, Highlights Divide Among Democrats; Kasich Demands GOP Speak Up, Trump's Racist Attack "Deplorable"; Decorated Soldier Dies In Combat Mission In Afghanistan. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired July 15, 2019 - 13:30   ET



[13:30:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Remember Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who decided against then-Candidate Trump in the Trump University case? "A Mexican judge," Trump called him. Actually, he's an American judge, born in Indiana.

Two years ago, amid violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, the president not only refused to denounce white supremacists and their hate speech, he called them good people.



TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me. They didn't -- you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.


KEILAR: And then there was the Muslim travel ban. The president banning people from, quote, "shithole countries" -- his words.

Ahead, I'll be speaking with former Republican Governor John Kasich about how Republicans are mostly not responding.

Plus, Joe Biden introducing the public option. The Democratic front- runner is unveiling his health care plan that is different from those of his competitors.


[13:35:48] KEILAR: In just a few hours, Joe Biden is set to unveil details of his new health care proposal today in Iowa. It's being called Obamacare 2.0. And it includes massive new subsidies along with a public option that would allow people to buy into a program that's similar to Medicare. Joining me now is CNN's Arlette Saenz. She's in Des Moines. And here

in studio, is one of the architects of Obamacare, Dr. Zeke Emmanuel.

Arlette, walk us through Biden's new plan so we can understand what's in it.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, Brianna. For weeks, Joe Biden has been teasing this forthcoming plan and he is putting some flesh onto the bones of what this would look like. At the center that is he would want to enhance and build on Obamacare.

But to get into some of the details, Biden's new plan would create a public option that allows American consumers to buy into a Medicare- like program. It also provides massive subsidies to make Obamacare cheaper for people to purchase. Along with that, it would also allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

Now, to get into the public option, this would be a program that would be similar to Medicare. There are nearly five million people in 15 Republican-led states which opted not to expand Medicaid. Those nearly five million people would be automatically enrolled in the public option for free. Basically, anyone that is unhappy with their insurance can buy into that public option.

But Biden also making it clear that he does believe private health insurance should stand.

Now, as for the subsidies, those would be provided to all Americans regardless of income to make it cheaper to buy Obamacare through the exchanges.

So the campaign estimates that a family of four making roughly $110,000 would save $750 a month in their premiums.

Now, the entire price tag for this plan is approximately $750 billion.

Later today, we're going to be hearing from Joe Biden here in Des Moines as he's talking at an AARP forum getting into some of the details of this plan, as he's insisting that Obamacare is the way to go and that Medicare-for-All isn't the answer.

KEILAR: All right, Arlette, thank you so much.

So, Zeke, assess this for us as someone who was the architect of Obamacare. This builds on that. It does not dismantle Obamacare in favor of something else, like some of the other Democrats are considering. Where do you see the pros and cons of the Biden plan?

DR. EZEKIEL EMMANUEL, OBAMACARE ARCHITECT: First of all, we should make clear that a lot of people have used the word "incremental" to describe this plan. This is incremental but it's still a pretty substantial change. And it is an effort to get closer to universal coverage, over 95 percent, 96 percent coverage in this country.

Get more people into a coverage option, whether it's the exchanges or this new public option that would allow people who can't get into anything else a way of getting insurance. And I think that's definitely a good thing.

He's also worried about the high deductibles people are paying so he's doing a technical fix, which is rebasing how you calculate the subsidies where the total deductibles are $1300 as opposed to $4300.

Then he's trying to make things more affordable. He's got the drug negotiation by Medicare.

I would say that one problem I see is that's drug price negotiation for Medicare, but about half of Americans don't have Medicare or the exchanges or a public option. They're in private employer-sponsored insurance. And that, so far, isn't going to do anything for their drug bill. I think that might be a gap.

KEILAR: I covered all of the little developments of Obamacare until it was passed by Congress. I remember some of the opening salvos were talking about tackling costs, and then that went away. And now it was not -- coverage in the end was what Democrats aimed for and achieved an increase in that, but cost is what is concerning so many Americans.


KEILAR: So where is the solution to that?

EMMANUEL: That's a really good point. I think if you look at the polls, health care is a top issue. And within that, it's really costs. And 290 million Americans already have coverage, the vast, vast majority of people. What they're worried about is affordability.

[13:40:07] Joe Biden does two things on affordability. One is this Medicare drug negotiation price. And the other is more antitrust enforcement of hospitals that are raising -- have local monopolies and raising prices.

But it's not a comprehensive cost approach. I still think there's no Democrat who has gone out with a comprehensive affordability platform.

I do think such a platform would say four things. Drugs has to be one of it, but for the whole country, not just for Medicare.

Two, you really have to address hospitals. They have, in local areas, just driven up prices, especially for people who have private insurance.

Three, we still have a lot of bureaucracy in our system, a lot of -- all of us get these insurance bills and that's paperwork, but that's people behind that paperwork that are really driving up prices. Recent estimate that $250 billion in unnecessary cost in that paperwork.

And then there's payment change. We need more change of how we pay doctors and hospitals that focus on keeping you healthy, out of the hospital, out of the emergency room, getting you care at home.

Those four things, they could really drive prices down substantially. And yet, I find it a little surprising that no Democrat has led the charge on affordability. As you point out, we're arguing about coverage. Do we stay with Obamacare or go to Medicare-for-All? But affordability is the secret, the thing most Americans are concerned about.

KEILAR: We'll see more programs, more proposals, and maybe it will include that.

Zeke, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

EMMANUEL: No problem.

KEILAR: Republicans are finally starting to react to the president's racist tweets. I'll speak with one who's demanding that his party condemn the president, next.


KEILAR: More now on our breaking news. President Trump defending his racist tweets aimed at four Democratic congresswomen. Listen.


TRUMP: I'm saying that they're Socialists, definitely. As to whether or not they're Communists, I would think they might be. But this isn't what our country is about.

Nevertheless, they're free to leave if they want. If they want to leave, that's fine. If they want to stay, that's fine. But the people have to know. And politicians can't be afraid to take them on.


KEILAR: So far, there has been only a trickle of criticism from Republicans.

Former Ohio Governor John Kasich is among those who have spoken out. He is demanding the same from others in his party.

What do you want to hear, Governor?

JOHN KASICH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I'm not demanding anything from anybody else, Brianna.

Here's what I'm saying. Our nation is at a bedrock a Jewish and Christian tradition. Not that other religions don't matter, because many of them are consistent with the fundamental principles of the Judeo-Christian ethic. What I'm saying is, in that ethic, at the foundation of our country, is to love our neighbor as we expect our neighbor to love us.

[13:45:12] And this kind of division -- go back to where you came from -- this kind of rhetoric, this kind of anger, it just begins to erode the very basis of what America is all about.

And I don't only think about my Republican colleagues who haven't said much yet. We'll see if they're about to come out. But what about the preachers? What about these right-wing preachers

who show up every time he calls? What do they tell him? This is absolutely wrong. This is not the way that Americans raise their kids.

And by the way, just because you might have a few more bucks in your pocket but in the process of that you lose your soul or you lose your principle. What is that all about?

So people say, who loses what? Everyone loses who remains silent when this kind of rhetoric, this kind of division, this kind of anger gets spouted in our country, particularly by the number-one leader of our country.


KASICH: As to what other Republicans can do, that's up to them.


KASICH: But everybody loses when this happens.

KEILAR: OK, so let me -- so you're a member of the GOP.


KASICH: Yes. But I'm an American, though, before that.

KEILAR: Of course. If this erodes the American fabric, as you just made the case for, why are you not demanding that other members of your party take a stand?

KASICH: Look, I'm demanding that everybody out there who's an American, that they walk away from this language. Why? Because I don't want to play politics all the time, Brianna. Everything is not about what party I'm in. It's about my country, it's about my culture, it's about my family, it's about the next generation. Thinking about just my Republican Party, that's small ball.

We see a constant effort here that divides. Whether it's the detention centers on the border, the way that we've seen children treated, the way that we go around and try to round people up. This is not just about something that involves the Republican Party. This is about the country. And these kinds of things need to be rejected en masse.

And again, the religious leaders who on Sunday morning --


KEILAR: That's my question, Governor. You're saying they need to be rejected. They need to be rejected en masse.

KASICH: Yes. Yes.

KEILAR: It's not being rejected en masse. KASICH: Yes, it's sad. That's why I put out my tweet. That's

exactly why I've spoken out. I don't like it.

Sometimes it seems as though politics and an advantage and passing another tax bill sort of outweighs the way that we really want to live. And I think that's unfortunate.

Let me tell you, I've held office for a long time. When you remain silent -- and I don't expect you to be popping off all the time. But when you remain silent consistently, and you look back on your career, you're going to wonder what you were proud of.

Now, I don't want to judge how other people are going to think. But I can tell you, when I look back, I'm proud of what I've done. There's going to be people that look back and say, what were you doing when all this rhetoric was out there giving our kids the wrong lesson. So everybody needs to think about it.

Again, I want to go back to the preachers. On Sunday morning, they're always out there preaching love your neighbor. What about this? What is this about?

You know, it's just really -- it's a bad thing. I mean, I'm -- I'm steamed about it because it's fundamental to what it means to be an American. Go back to where you came from? Are you kidding me?

KEILAR: When Senator Graham's response to this is to call these four Democrats Communists but not to address the racist language that the president uses, what is your assessment

KASICH: Well, first of all --

KEILAR: -- of how he judges that?

KASICH: Yes. I don't run around trying to call people Communists and their Socialists and they hate America.

I mean, you see, this is the road we're on. It's just that one thing leads to another. It started in Charlottesville. And all the time -- and the language becomes more and more acceptable. We become immune. We become numb to what's said. Oh, well, that's OK. It's not the time to speak out.

So I think this name calling, where does it leave us at the end? Does that mean you have an electoral advantage because you motivated your base? I don't -- I don't know. I don't know now people are going to react at the polls. I don't know what that's going to mean.

But what I do know is that we're losing a little piece of our soul every time we stand back and allow this kind of rhetoric and division and anger to be announced without people pushing back, saying, all right, that's enough, knock it off.

KEILAR: All right. Governor, thank you so much for joining us.

KASICH: Glad to have been here, thank you, Brianna. [13:49:55] KEILAR: So was the president's threat to carry out raids

on undocumented immigrants a stunt? Well, he just responded.


KEILAR: We want to take a moment to remind you that there's still a war under way in Afghanistan, which is now in its 18th year. And tonight, another family will be without their loved one.

Sergeant Major James Sartor was killed by enemy fire in the Faryab Province. And those that knew and worked with him described him as a beloved warrior who epitomized a quiet professional.

[13:55:20] He was deployed several times in Afghanistan and Iraq as well, a career that included more than 20 awards and decorations.

Sergeant Sartor returned home overnight to Dover Air Force base in Delaware. He is the tenth U.S. servicemember to die in Afghanistan this year. He leaves behind a wife and three children. He was only 40 years old.