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CNN NEWSROOM

Worker Fired After Questioning Citizenship of Customers; Trump Disavows "Send Her Back" Chants, Despite Remaining Silent and Starting Racist Attacks with "Go Back" Tweets; CNN Holds Drawing for Debate Lineups Tonight; Vote on 9/11 First Responders Bill Expected Next Week; Fort Lauderdale May Be Without Water for a Day After Mishap. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired July 18, 2019 - 15:30   ET

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


[15:30:00] RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: -- conversation started. Look, were an hour outside of Chicago and this has definitely gotten some people's attention. That is the convenience store that we're talking about. That is the Bucky's. There was a protest out in front yesterday. There's another protest in an hour and a half. But you can understand why there is so much anger about this. Because for their part, they feel like they were just trying to buy something at this store. We know the clerk has been fired. But listen to another part of this exchange?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are just traveling here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's like, oh, are those two girls adopted? She's like, no, they're my cousins, they came from Mexico. And he asked, are they illegal?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YOUNG: Now, of course we reached out to the corporation to get their side of the story.

They say, the comments of this associate are not reflective of the core values of the Bucky's Convenience Stores. We are aware of the situation and are managing this personnel issue.

What we've been told though is that clerk has been fired. Obviously, this becoming viral. Because people are upset about what they heard. Again, we're told today in the next hour or so, there will be another protest here. But some people feeling -- you see some of the online comments already. But this has sort of been exasperating by all the things that are going on if this country. It should be interesting to see what the response is when they have that second protest today. But again, the clerk has been fired -- Ana.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: OK, Ryan Young, yes, what a story there. Thank you.

This as we're seeing another example of Americans outwardly expressing xenophobia and talking about last night in North Carolina where the President stood in silence as his supporters launched in this chant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CROWD CHANTING: Send her back. Send her back. Send her back. Send her back. Send her back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: He waited for 13 seconds before continuing on with his speech. With this now former Ohio Governor, former Republican presidential candidate and now CNN senior political commentator, John Kasich. Governor, with those chants in mind and this incident Ryan Young just reported about in Illinois. What is happening in the U.S. right now?

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Boy, I'll tell you, that audio that I heard of those young women being questioned just makes me sick to my stomach. You know, Ana, first of all I've been highly critical of the President. I believe that we are a nation where we were taught to be kind to one another. That's what the Jewish and Christian tradition is all about, be kind. And that includes many other religions as well.

So the President in my opinion created -- it's almost like a contagion with some, and kind of tearing up the fabric. This is -- this is a sad, sad thing. But let me also say for those people who were at those rallies chanting. You know, this is not an object they're talking about. This is a human being. Somebody with flesh and blood. Someone with feelings, somebody's daughter. You know, a mom's daughter. A father's daughter. It's not an object. It's not inanimate. This is a real person.

And so, for those that want to go to a rally and chant. I would ask you to just spend a second and think what it would be like if your son or daughter was at a sporting event or they were in a school play, or wherever they might be and people started attacking them. People started chanting against them.

See, because as Americans, we better all take a deep breath, and begin to realize we're all connected to one another. And when we work to dehumanize another person it just doesn't hurt them. It hurts us as well. And so, this is not a political issue for me at all. This is an issue about our country. And, Ana, I mean, we all make mistakes in the way we treat others.

I mean, sometimes I'm not as nice as I ought to be. I can be rude. But boy, I have to tell you, when it's pointed out to me, I just try to do better. But to deliberately do this and use it to stoke a base or for the people that are there chanting, feeling good like they're in some kind of a baseball game, think about the human consequence to that. Think about your own children. Because this isn't our country.

And I'd say one other thing. We're not talking about massive numbers of people in our country. The bulk of this country are good folks. They don't like this. The polls indicate it, and that's not who we are. So we don't want to let a few people out here -- and maybe it's more than a few -- but that many people try to take the story and try to color the way we are as Americans. Because that's not who we are. We are generous and all you have to do is take a look at the beautiful and wonderful stories in this country of people helping one another in ways that are just make you feel so good, to just be not only an American, but a human being.

[15:35:08] CABRERA: I think it's fair to say there are some things that are objectively wrong, that are blatantly racist. And I spoke with former House Speaker John Boehner last hour, for his interpretation about this week's words, the tweets from the President, the chant, listen to his take.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Mr. Speaker, and let's back up to the President's original tweets. Were they racist?

JOHN BOEHNER, (R) FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I don't -- people can describe them anyway they want. I just don't think there's room in American society for these kind of chants, this kind of conversation. It certainly doesn't belong in our politics.

CABRERA: They're from America. They're all American citizens. Three of them were born here, one of them was born in Somalia as a refugee, as a naturalized American citizen. How is this not racist?

BOEHNER: He has a little different style than I have. Let's put it that way.

CABRERA: You don't want to go as far as --

BOEHNER: I'm not in the middle of this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: He's out of office. Isn't running for re-election, and yet he doesn't want to even want to weigh-in like so many Republicans, Governor.

KASICH: Well, look, I think there's always a reluctance to name call. Particularly, I've known John Boehner for a long time. You know, his father was a bar owner. He grew up in the rough and tumble. And you know, we all -- people who were around during the years when things actually worked. Where you could get things done. Name calling was never acceptable.

And when I look at what's happening in the House of Representatives and that frozen line down the middle of the aisle between Republicans and Democrats, I don't recognize the place. Because back in the days when I was in the Congress, we didn't tolerate it. Somebody got out of line like that, we'd take them to the back corner and explain the facts of life to them. And I didn't tolerate it when I was governor, and I don't tolerate it in the public arena. And I think what John is doing is he's just reluctant to name call.

But, look, I can't be any more clear or any more out there as what I've had to say about the tone that the President set. And look, every day, I -- people need to understand why I was never for the guy. I was never for him, because I saw these things, I thought it would change and it hasn't.

But I also want to talk to the Americans who form these crowds. I talk to someone who's working in a store. You want to ask somebody, where do you come from? It could be your son or daughter being asked next? That's not the way we want to live our lives. Let's live a life a little bigger than ourselves. And you know what? We can, we will, and we do.

There was a story last week about a young autistic girl who had her dress ruined. And there were thousands of people that searched for this special heart that was on the dress so they could send it to her. Thousands of people. And I've got story after story of the goodness of Americans. We need to talk about that.

CABRERA: I hear you speaking for a better ages. Governor Kasich, I appreciate your message.

KASICH: Thank you.

CABRERA: Thanks.

We're just a few hours away now from finding out who will share the stage during the two nights. The CNN Democratic presidential debates will break down how tonight's live draw will work, and how these matchups could impact the 2020 race.

[15:40:00](COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: It is a big night here on CNN, at 8:00 Eastern. CNN will air a live drawing to determine the lineup for the next round of Democratic presidential debates, that happen later this month in Detroit. And here's how it's going to work.

It's a random draw split into three parts to determine who will face off each of the two nights. So there's a first draw, a second draw and then a final draw. And for each draw a name card will be picked from the first box. Then matched with a date card from the second box. After the draw CNN will announce the podium positions based on public polling. And CNN's chief political analyst, Gloria Borger is here. I explained how this is going to work. It's going to take the entire hour. But I know the most important thing that people will be watching for is the matchups.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Exactly. And what everyone wants to know, of course, is there going to be a rematch between Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, and how will he handle it? And will we finally see Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren together on the same stage. Because this is all about the voters that you are fighting for in these primaries.

And Harris and Sanders for example are fighting for many of the same voters. And Biden and Harris, for example, are fighting for some of the same voters. Because Biden is so popular with African-American voters. Sanders and Warren would like a lot of those too. But I think, you know, that's why her attack on Biden was so smart the last time when she talked about desegregation. She talked about bussing. And she was so real and passionate about it.

CABRERA: We do have those four in our final draw --

BORGER: That's right.

CABRERA: -- that I will be selecting, you know, again, randomly.

BORGER: Lucky you.

CABRERA: Out of a box, literally, a blind draw. So we know two of them will be on one night, and two of those four based the polling will be on a different night. But it also really matters for the people who are polling at one or two percent, right?

BORGER: This is, make or break. This is it for them. Our debates are going to be either -- they'll be able to go on to the next step or not. Because don't forget the next debate basically doubles the bar. It raises it by at least 50 percent. So -- and if they don't do well, how are they going to raise money? How are they going to go up in the polling? How are they going to say to contributors, you know what, you have to come support me.

[15:45:00] If people watch them and said, you know, you didn't do so well. You have to prove yourself on this stage. You have to be prepared. And you really cannot look contrived. You have to look prepared but not contrived. And there is a real difference. And the good candidates can do it, and the ones who fall by the wayside really cannot. So the stakes could not be higher for the candidates at the lower end of the tier as we head into the debate.

CABRERA: Gloria, good to see you.

BORGER: Good to see you, see you tonight.

CABRERA: We're excited for tonight's drawing, see you then. Thank you.

And don't forget, it's all going to happen. The live draw for the "CNN DEMOCRATIC DEBATES" at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on CNN.

More on our breaking news this hour. The President just announcing a military incident with Iran. Saying the U.S. destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz. Standby for more details when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: We're just learning the Senate will vote on funding the 9/11 first responders Bill next week, but that doesn't mitigate the scorn and anger for Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee after weeks of drama to get the Bill passed. They threw up roadblocks saying this Bill is not fiscally responsible. And we have some new reporting that their amendments to curb the cost of the bill are not expected to pass. [15:50:00] Democratic Senator and presidential candidate, Kirsten

Gillibrand, and minority leader, Chuck Schumer, just spoke about what they hope will be the final passage of this Bill.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They shouldn't be having to come back to Washington again and again and knock on every door of the Senate and House just to get the compensation that they have earned and deserve.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Finally these first responders who spent so much time focused on Washington will be able to focus on whom they should -- the families of those who have been lost. Their brethren and sisters who are sick and the families that nervously await every doctor's visit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Rob Serra is a 9/11 first responder. A retired member of the fire department of New York and a team leader for John Feel's Feal Good Foundation. Rob, first thank you for your service to this country, to your community. The motto of the Feal Good Foundation is no responders left behind. And after all the effort, all the lobbying, the heartbreaking testimony of Luis Alvarez just days before his death, how does it feel to have this Bill stalled by just a couple Senators?

ROB SERRA, 9/11 FIRST RESPONDER: It's like a gut punch. Completely unnecessary, as you stated earlier. Their amendments are unlikely to pass. Just yesterday when Senator Paul was making his objection to the FDNY, was announcing the death of another member. That makes 200 members of the FDNY that have now died from a 9/11 illness. It's ridiculous. This Bill should have happened 15 years ago. It should've happened 10 years ago. It should've happened 5 years ago and should have happened yesterday. And they just keep moving the goal post back.

But I'm happy to see now that at least they're giving us a day where they're actually going to vote, and with 74 co-sponsors, we're pretty sure it's going to pass. So I'm hesitant to say I'm happy, because we shouldn't be here in the first place, but it's a good day.

CABRERA: If you could speak directly to Senators Paul or Lee who are worried about the fiscal responsibility in connection with this, what's your message to them?

SERRA: Well, my message would be we weren't worried about fiscal responsibility on 9/11. The federal government wasn't worried about fiscal responsibility when they told us the air was safe to breathe and they sent us back to work there. They sent 19,000 school children back to school. They weren't worried about the cost then. It was an act of the war and this is the price of war. People are getting sick and people are dying because of those lies and because of what was in the air. So I think the real responsibility is to take care of the first

responders, the survivors and the students that are suffering immensely from this. Like I said, we've lost 200 members of the FDNY. We have over 10,000 people right now failing a 9/11 cancer. Over 40,000 battling another illness. They don't deserve to be treated like this. I understand fiscal responsibility but in the grand scheme of our budget, we're not really talking about that much money. For this to be the case where they draw a line in the sand seems ridiculous.

CABRERA: And I'm just thinking about something we heard earlier from another responder, John Feel. Who said, you know, if Rand Paul and Mike Lee supported the $1.5 trillion tax cut, how can they have credibility trying to scuttle this Bill on the grounds of being fiscally conservative. Do you think they have other reasons for opposing the Bill?

SERRA: I can't speak for them, but it certainly seems that way. Senator Rand represents Kentucky, right? As far as federal dependency goes, they're the number three state in the country. So he's talking about fiscal responsibility? He should start looking at his own state. I don't know what their agenda is. Maybe they were looking for airtime. I'm not sure. But I look forward to watching their amendments fail. I tell you that.

CABRERA: Thank you for your time and we'll continue to stay on the story. We'll watch where this goes next. Hopefully it gets passed. Rob Serra, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

SERRA: Thank you, Ana, for having me.

CABRERA: Up next tens of thousands of people forced to stock up on bottled water. As one of Florida's largest cities has a complete water outage. Details on what caused it, just ahead.

[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: One of the largest cities in Florida has no water right now. A contractor apparently working near the Fort Lauderdale executive airport damaged a water main causing a citywide outage. And CNN's Rosa Flores is following this from Miami. What are you hearing from city officials -- Rosa?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, they tell us that about 220,000 people are without water right now in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas. In total, about eight municipalities are impacted. And officials say that on Wednesday a contractor was working near the Fort Lauderdale executive airport. They hit a water main. Now that 42-inch pipe feeds raw water into the treatment plant. They, of course, had to shut off the water in order to make the repair, that repair could take 24 hours. And so, they issued a boil order. And that boil order will be in effect for even 48 hours after the water returns.

Now, we're already seeing some fallout. Of course, it's a densely populated area with hotels, with high-rises, with senior centers. And some of these buildings require water as a cooling water source. Some people will be without air conditioning. Of course local officials are monitoring that very closely. We're also seeing that some buildings downtown have closed.

There are water bottle distribution stations for people who need them in the city of Fort Lauderdale, and of course, bottled water is flying off the shelves. But again, Ana, 220,000 people in the Fort Lauderdale area right now dealing with a situation of not having water in their facets.

CABRERA: Rosa Flores, thank you.

That does it for me.

[16:00:00]