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The Midweek Grades With Chris Cillizza; Republican Women React To Trump's Racist Tweets; France's Flying Man Wows The World With His Invention. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired July 17, 2019 - 07:30   ET



[07:32:52] ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: The same five Democratic candidates who top the 2020 polls raised roughly three-quarters of all the money brought in by Dems in the second quarter.

It is, of course, Wednesday, so time for "The Midweek Grades" with Chris Cillizza, CNN Politics reporter and editor-at-large. Good morning to you.

As we --

CHRIS CILLIZZA, REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE, CNN POLITICS: I find the sound of that pencil writing very soothing. School was --

HILL: I knew you were going to say something else based on the comments you made about your own school.

CILLIZZA: No, school was right in my wheelhouse, man.



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: He's drunk with power in these segments. He's so -- he's so professorial. He just loves the sound of pencils and grades. Look at him. He doesn't even wear glasses.

HILL: I know.

CILLIZZA: These are just -- these are just frames.


All right, who did you dole an A to?

CILLIZZA: OK, yes, let's start positive, Alisyn. I love your attitude.

A -- Elizabeth Warren. Anyone who follows this segment -- we've been doing it for a while now -- Elizabeth Warren has been on the come-up for a while in this race and in our midweek grades. She gets an A for a couple of reasons. One, $19 million raised in the

second quarter. It's not the most, but it's significantly more than she raised in the first quarter. It's her -- it, I think, reflects the momentum she has in the race.

And, new CNN polling, she is within striking distance, tied for second place -- within striking distance of Joe Biden in New Hampshire, which for her -- and, by the way, for Bernie Sanders -- is probably a must- win state.

CAMEROTA: Chris, one question about Elizabeth Warren.


CAMEROTA: Is there -- is there any way to tell where she's raising her money from? Is there a geographic region --


CAMEROTA: -- where she's more popular than others?

CILLIZZA: I mean -- so, for Democratic candidates, broadly -- and this is true for Warren, too -- there's always going to be a lot of coastal money. That's where you have the most donations, broadly speaking, in the country -- the most money in the country.

But hers is interesting, Alisyn, I think primarily because she is not raising money from big-dollar donors. She's not doing corporate donations. So, she -- she's doing it a little bit differently than most of the rest of field, including some other people on this list.

So, it is impressive in that I think it is more reflective of her grassroots strength than almost anyone else's money, other than Bernie Sanders, probably.

HILL: Gives us a sense. Where is -- where is Pete Buttigieg right now because last quarter he had a pretty significant haul?

[07:35:00] CILLIZZA: Yes. Now, I think if you look at Pete Buttigieg's numbers, which is 25 -- basically, $25 million raise in the second quarter, you say how could he not get an A? And the reason he doesn't get an A -- he gets a B -- is because the money is unbelievable. He raised the most out of any candidate.

This is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. If you said at the beginning of the year he would lead fundraising in any quarter, you -- I would say probably not. It's the second-most money on hand left to spend, other than Bernie Sanders.

Why does he get a B? He is not in the top tier. The top tier, right now by polling, is Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. Buttigieg is outside of that and, quite clearly, outside of it.

Now, he's going to have the money to spend his way to get more people to know him, so he's going to have an opportunity. He's just not there yet.


How about Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand -- her grade?

CILLIZZA: Yes, I gave her a D. I just -- it's just not happening for her. She raised a very small amount of money -- under $4 million. There's no evidence she's moving in polling.

And she also -- and this is the most troubling thing if you're a fan of Kirsten Gillibrand -- she had the highest burn rate, meaning she spent the most money versus what she raised. She spent almost twice as much as what she raised in the second quarter.

What does that mean? It means she has a big staff and she is outlaying a lot of money and not bringing enough in. That's dangerous unless she can turn it around because it means you start running into debt and that's when candidacies end.

HILL: Also lingering at the bottom, Beto O'Rourke.

CILLIZZA: Yes, I know. Beto O'Rourke's people and supporters on the Internet don't love me, which I guess is OK, but -- and this won't help.

Look, he starts the race and he raises $6 million in one day. He raises $9 million in 18 days in the first quarter. He raises $3.6 million in the next three months. Just not good enough.

He was a zero in a New Hampshire poll that came out earlier this week; two percent in the CNN New Hampshire poll that came out yesterday.

It just feels like we have reached rock-bottom for him. Maybe he bounces back again. There's 201 days before the Iowa caucuses, I counted.

CAMEROTA: And there are debates coming up, which --

CILLIZZA: Yes, there are -- there are --

CAMEROTA: -- often change the entire -- shuffle the deck.

CILLIZZA: And -- but I will remind you though, Alisyn, he was lifeless in the first debate, so he's got to do something better.

CAMEROTA: Wow. All right, I look forward today --

HILL: How do you really feel?

CAMEROTA: I look forward to the tweets you'll be getting.

CILLIZZA: Oh my, it can't get any worse than what I've gotten.

HILL: You're used to them by now, right?

CAMEROTA: All right. You want to talk about the Houston Rockets, which I assume is sports?

CILLIZZA: This is sports. OK, I always like to throw one non- politics one in here -- the Houston Rockets.

I've been away for two weeks -- I took a little vacation -- and in that time, the Houston Rockets traded for my favorite player, Russell Westbrook, from the Oklahoma City Thunder, which means that now, James Harden and Russell Westbrook reuniting the old Oklahoma City Thunder and I think giving them a very good chance to compete with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers' Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and the Clippers.

And shout-out to my friend Daryl Morey, the manager -- the general manager of the Houston Rockets. I love, in politics and sports, when people are willing to take big swings, take big risks. This is a big swing and big risk.

How was that, Alisyn?

HILL: So, is that how we brought it back to politics?

CAMEROTA: The last thing I understood he said was vacation. That was the last words I understood.

CILLIZZA: You just hear is it wah wah wah wah. Welcome to how most people consider my television appearances.

HILL: Just like Charlie Brown's teacher. It's perfect.

CAMEROTA: Chris Cillizza, thank you very --

CILLIZZA: Thank you all.

CAMEROTA: -- much.

OK, four House Republicans breaking with their party to condemn President Trump's racist attacks.

So, how do Republican voters feel? Well, you have got to see this. We talked to eight women who leave no doubt where they stand today.


[07:42:35] CAMEROTA: In the wake of President Trump's racist tweets against those four Democratic congresswomen of color, is the president's base still behind him? Well, let's ask this. Are women still behind him?

CNN's Randi Kaye spoke with a group of Republican women in Dallas. She is live for us in Frisco, Texas with their reaction. What a panel and what reaction you got, Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Alisyn. Good morning.

It really is remarkable. It seems as though there is nothing that Donald Trump can do to shake these eight Republican women from here in Dallas, Texas. They are still diehard supporters, still on the Trump train. And even in this most recent controversy, they feel that these congresswomen are racist, and Donald Trump still has their full support.


KAYE (on camera): How many of you don't think what the president said was racist? Raise your hand.

(All hands raised)

KAYE (voice-over): These eight Republican women from Dallas don't see anything wrong with President Trump telling four Democratic congresswomen to go back where they came from.

DENA MILLER, REPUBLICAN: He was saying that if they hate America so much because what we're seeing out of them and hearing out of them, they hate America. If it's so bad, there's a lot of places they can go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a brown-skinned woman. I am a legal immigrant. I agree with him.

KAYE (on camera): You don't think that's racist to say that?

MILLER: No, not at all.

KATHLEEN LIEBERMAN, REPUBLICAN: Well, actually, I think it's just -- it's a demonstration of how their ideology spills over. Even though they're American now, so to speak, they're not acting American.

GINA O'BRIANT, REPUBLICAN: I'm glad that the president said what he said because all they're doing is -- they're -- it's they're inciting hatred and division. And that's not what our country's about. We -- it's not about that at all and I don't --

KAYE (on camera): Isn't that what the president does with some of his own comments -- his own racist comments?

O'BRIANT: He didn't say anything about color.

CAMI DEAN, REPUBLICAN: We know the president is now racist. He loves people from -- you know, Hispanics to black people -- all across the board.

KAYE (on camera): Let me just share with you the definition of racism from Merriam-Webster dictionary. "A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities, and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race."

Based on that definition, do you not think what the president has been saying --


O'BRIANT: No. He dated a black woman for two years. Two of his wives are immigrants. He is not a xenophobic racist.

MILLER: But the first black billionaire is endorsing President Trump.


MILLER: How can you call him racist?

[07:45:00] KAYE (on camera): So these congresswomen --


KAYE (on camera): These congresswomen -- these congresswomen who said they ran for Congress and ran for office because they explicitly love this country, you're saying that's a lie.




MILLER: That's a lie.

KAYE (on camera): You're saying they hate this country?


LIEBERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) it's clearly that they're very manipulative to --


LIEBERMAN: -- accuse instead of extracting the truth --


LIEBERMAN: -- because when you say --


LIEBERMAN: -- you know, don't you think he's racist, you're accusing us. You're accusing him.

KAYE (on camera): I'm asking, I'm not accusing you. I'm asking you what you think.

LIEBERMAN: But you can tell we -- OK, it's irrelevant. It has nothing to do with the real issue. It has nothing to do with the premise of the issues.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly, and whatever --


LIEBERMAN: Why do you keep bringing it up?

KAYE (on camera): Do you think it's just a coincidence --


KAYE (on camera): -- that these four congresswomen that the president is going after -- none of them are white?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think it matters.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's idiotic, what they're saying, so it doesn't matter whether they're white, man, woman, brown, yellow, anything.

MILLER: I wish that there was a white one that they bait (ph). Why are they not racist? How come they aren't racist? Befriended one of their white female congresswomen colleagues and let her join the --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because they won't.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's a good point, right.

MILLER: They don't like white people. Come on, they're racist.


KAYE (on camera): How many of you still plan to vote for President Trump? (All hands raised).




CAMEROTA: Randi, so insightful. So, those women just squarely were putting the blame on the congresswomen for any sort of tension and not the president.

KAYE: Absolutely, Alisyn. They believe that the congresswomen attacked the president. That the president was simply defending himself and this country.

They believe that the congresswomen are the ones who are divisive. They don't think the president has been divisive at all, as you heard there. They believe the congresswomen are spreading hate.

They believe they have some sort of agenda, some sort of ulterior motive, and that they ran for office not because they love this country, but because they want power, they said.

They also think that they should apologize to the president and that if they don't like it here they should go back to where they came from. They believe that the president is simply standing up for American, Alisyn. CAMEROTA: Randi, great panel. So fascinating to hear all of their reasoning and their rationale. Thank you very much for sharing it with us this morning.

You know, I think that we've come to the point where what -- sort of the academics who think that they can impress upon people with facts and with numbers, and they'll get them to change their mind. I think that that doesn't work.

And what the president is great at is appealing to people's feelings and their guts.

HILL: And their fears, as well.

CAMEROTA: And their fears, sure -- and their fears. And so, you just hear that time and again of how effective that is --

HILL: Yes.

CAMEROTA: -- and why people get so passionate, I think, defending their positions and defending him on that.

HILL: Absolutely. And it's interesting, too, even when we hear repeatedly from the president things that are not true -- outright lies, in some cases. People who really support this president are very happy with what they're seeing. That's not important to them and that's another thing to remember, as well.

CAMEROTA: All right.

HILL: Some dramatic new video capturing the moment a private plane crashes into a hangar in Addison, Texas. Now, this happened last month but we're just getting to see some of this video now. All 10 people on board that plane were killed.

The crash was June 30th. It is under investigation.

A preliminary report from the NTSB says the twin-engine plane seemed more quiet than normal during takeoff and that it did not appear to have sufficient power. A voice recording from the cockpit captured a crew member commenting about an apparent issue with the left engine.

CAMEROTA: All right.

Hundreds of protesters gathering at the base of Mauna Kea Mountain on the big island of Hawaii. Watch this.

All right. They are trying to stop construction of an 18-story, $1 billion telescope. Protesters sat in chairs to block the road leading to the site. Some even chained themselves to a metal gate.

Scientists working in the area have temporarily suspended operations citing safety concerns.

Native Hawaiians consider Mauna Kea a sacred mountain. HILL: Drug smugglers have used pretty much every tool you can imagine to hide their contraband, but even this sort of stopped us all this morning. A poorly-fitted toupee because sure --

CAMEROTA: Wait a minute. How can you tell that's poorly-fitted?

HILL: I mean, I would never notice that there was anything wrong with that hairpiece. I love a little volume. I know you do, too, Jersey girl.

CAMEROTA: But what's that?

HILL: That is, according to Spanish police, a man captured at Barcelona's airport last month with a pound of cocaine hidden under his hairpiece.

CAMEROTA: Not really hidden there.

HILL: Poorly-masked, perhaps, may be more accurate. He was charged after the package was found to contain 30,000 euros worth of cocaine.

CAMEROTA: Wow. All right, I can hide things in my hair, also. I mean, as you could ask --

HILL: Far better than that man.

CAMEROTA: Far better. You don't know what's in here right now, OK?

HILL: You don't want to know what's in there right now.

CAMEROTA: You don't want to know, either.

[07:50:00] All right, so "GAME OF THRONES" going out in a blaze of glory.


Scene from HBO's "GAME OF THRONES".


CAMEROTA: All right, wait, I haven't seen the ending yet. I'm going to cover my eyes.

The HBO series earning a record 32 Emmy nominations for its final season. That includes Best Drama Series and 10 acting nominations. Overall, HBO scored a whopping 137 nominations.

CNN was also well-represented. "ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN" received six Emmy nominations. And, "UNITES SHADES OF AMERICA," with W. Kamau Bell, had two.

The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will air September 22nd.

Those are great, great news for CNN.

HILL: Yes.

CAMEROTA: All right.

So, this soaring display stole the show on Bastille Day in France. Is it the future of flight? More from the man behind that flying hoverboard. What does he have to say for himself, next?


[07:55:05] HILL: A French inventor and military reservist stole the show in Paris on Bastille Day, hovering over the City of Lights on his futuristic invention called a Flyboard Air. Well now, he's sharing what his view was like from up above.

CNN's Melissa Bell is live in Paris. This is pretty remarkable.

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erica, if you cast your mind back to 1989, the makers of "Back to the Future Part II" had imagined that by 2015 we would all be whizzing around on hoverboards regularly. Of course, 2015 came and went and it's just that the technology hadn't quite been ready until now.


BELL (voice-over): Neither a bird nor a plane, but a Flyboard Air. Above Paris on Bastille Day, it caught the world's imagination but this was the view from the man flying it. Right now, it can reach an altitude of nearly 500 feet with the potential to go much higher and a speed of 140 kilometers per hour.

A vision of the future developed by the French jet ski champion who demonstrated it himself on Sunday, holding a weapon. Franky Zapata began his quest with hydroflyers, using the power from personal watercraft like jet skis to take to the air. Now, though, he's taken his technology to another level.

FRANKY ZAPATA, INVENTOR, FLYBOARD AIR: When you fly with your body and then you see that your hands affect the direction you want to go and you feel the air through your finger before the wind affects your body, it's like coming like birth.

BELL (voice-over): The key, says Franky Zapata, was being able to place turbine engines over conventional electric propellers to allow intuitive flight controls designed around the human body. It may sound complicated but he says it all comes down to one single dream -- the dream of being able to fly.

ZAPATA: The one I enjoyed the most is when I'm alone, flying around the desert and around the mountain. That's why I drew the mission (ph).

When you fly in front of people and when you get some majors and some attractions, that helps. That's help to jump to the next step. But in my heart, I -- the best is the freedom.

BELL (voice-over): Early on, the French Defense Ministry say a future and decided to invest $1.4 million in tests of the board in the hope that it might give the French military a technological edge.

Back in 1989, the makers of "Back to the Future Part II" had imagined hoverboards used by civilians but that, says Zapata, will still take some time.

ZAPATA: The problem is not the technology, the problem is the regulations, first. How we can create enough safety and convenience to the government that it's safe enough.

BELL (voice-over): In 2016, Zapata broke the world record for a hoverboard flight, traveling more than 2,200 meters in the South of France.

Next week, though, he'll attempt to go much, much further still, traveling from France to England to mark the 110th anniversary of the first flight across. If he makes it, the ride will blow away his previous record as he gets the first real bird's-eye view of the English Channel.


BELL: All it really took was a man with a dream that he was determined to put into practice. And, of course, the recent changes in the technology -- the fact that drone technology has proved to be such a game changer, allowing for stabilizers to be made much, much smaller.

Of course, we will have to wait some time before we get to whiz around on the Marseille, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh, the future is now, Melissa. Thank you very much for that profile.

And thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, "CNN NEWSROOM" with Max Foster is next.

For our U.S. viewers, now that they've condemned the President of the United States, what do the Democrats plan to do today? NEW DAY continues right now.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They can go wherever they want or they can stay, but they should love our country.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): These comments are disgraceful and disgusting, and these comments are racist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is really happening here is that the president and his supporters have been forced to endure months of allegations of racism.

REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER, II (D-MO): No, fairness is not enough. We want to just fight. I abandon the chair.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Four Republicans voted for that resolution. Senate Republicans did not want to go too far in criticizing this president.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The president is not a racist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They want to show their base that they're fighting the Democrats against this.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

CAMEROTA: And good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, July 17th, 8:00 now in the East.

John Berman is off. Erica Hill joins me. Great to have you here.

HILL: Always good to be here.

CAMEROTA: It sounds like it was a wild night last night on Capitol Hill. The House passed this formal rebuke of President Trump, the first in more than 100 years. This resolution condemns the president's racist tweets that went after those.