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New Iowa Poll Shows Joe Biden Leads, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) Massachusetts Surges, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D) Vermont Sinks; Latinos Across America Worry About Being Targets; New Report Shows Growing Food Becoming Increasingly Difficult Due To Harsher Weather Patterns, Land Abuse. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired August 8, 2019 - 11:30   ET




It's where politicians stand on an actual soap box and give their speech, their message. Governor Steve Bullock from Montana also will be speaking here.

So, Kate, even though these polls give a sense of where the race is right now, Iowa frontrunners are often fleeting. Howard Dean was leading this campaign back in the 2004 campaign. Hillary Clinton was leading it in the 2008 campaign. So it certainly -- there's at least six more months to be done here.

But, Kate, another headline out of this poll, Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer. Andrew Yang now has qualified for the September debate stage because he did reach the polling threshold. Tom Steyer is one poll away from meeting that on the polling threshold. He still needs to get some donors. So that debate stage in September in Houston, Kate, could still be a little more crowded than some Democrats had hoped.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN AT THIS HOUR: And let's be honest. A rainy day at the Iowa State Fair is still better than no day at the Iowa State Fair. It's great to see you, Jeff. Thank you.

ZELENY: They still have pork chops here today, Kate. I can tell you.

BOLDUAN: Deal, sold. Thank you.

Coming up for us, the impact of Saturday's shooting in El Paso has hit far beyond Texas. Well, Latinos across the country are telling CNN now about their fears in the wake of this tragic attack.



BOLDUAN: The deadly mass shooting in El Paso on Saturday morning wasn't just an attack on that city. Look no further than the gunman's online writings. It was an attack aimed specifically at Latinos. And now Latinos across the country are telling CNN that they are also living in fear.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is here with me. Polo, what are you hearing?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We did hear from some of these Hispanic-Americans who may that they have been unfazed by what happened there in El Paso. But for many, myself included, it certainly hits close to home.

On Saturday, obviously, those what-ifs were playing out in my head. What if this white supremacist would have driven south to my border home town where my family shops at the Walmart?

However, what we are now seeing just about now or outside of New York City is that it is extremely difficult to overstate how much of a turning point El Paso was.


SANDOVAL: Some 2,200 miles from El Paso, Hispanics in Long Island, New York say they are living in fear. Saturday's attack targeting migrants in El Paso reverberated across minority communities throughout the country, including here in the City of Brentwood, New York, not far from where there was a series of attacks targeting Hispanics a decade ago, where Maria Magdalena Hernandez worries, a Salvadorian immigrant such as herself could also become the targets of white nationalists.

What has changed in the last few days? Is there more fear?

For me, there's an increased fear, says Hernandez, adding, we may not talk about it, but it's definitely palpable in and around our communities. We deserve dignity, respect and peace.

Hernandez's feelings were shared by many we spoke to, including her co-worker, Javier Guzman.

JAVIER GUZMAN, ORGANIZER, MAKE THE ROAD NEW YORK: He was trying to kill immigrants. That's why he went all the way down to the border, so that's scary.

SANDOVAL: Guzman, an organizer with Make the Road New York, which helps migrants, says, this concern has been heavy on the minds of the families he helps.

GUZMAN: We've seen a lot of fear in the community because of that, and because it's real now. It's not like we can connect those dots and people know that they're in danger just because of the color of their skin.

SANDOVAL: It's also personal for Latinos on the West Coast.

When things like this happen, we get more worried and we can't remain calm, says Jose Sanchez, a Mexican native living in L.A.

This week, President Trump called on the nation to condemn the racism and white supremacy espoused by the El Paso shooter. For many, it fell short.

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America.

SANDOVAL: The president did not acknowledge that some of the racist words that police believed the shooter posted online actually echoed the president's own words. In an online manifesto, police say, the killer rambled about a, quote, Hispanic invasion of Texas.

TRUMP: If you look at what's marching up, that's an invasion.

Our country is full. We're full.

How do you stop these people? You can't.

AUDIENCE: Shoot them.

TRUMP: That's only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement.

SANDOVAL: The president's words, some say, help fuel racism, embolden white supremacists and create a climate of fear among the nation's nearly 60 million Latinos.

Back at the scene on the latest attack on the Hispanic community in years, the shock and the grief are still raw.

CHRISTINA CARRILLO, EL PASO RESIDENT: We're being attacked and our government needs to step in. If not, the people here will step in.

SANDOVAL: Others are putting their message in writing. At the ever- growing makeshift memorial, three little girls said they were American citizens and the daughters of Mexican parents. We're afraid to go outside, they wrote to the president. We hope you read this message. God bless you.


SANDOVAL: And further proof that that fear is real, the Mexican government has reached out to U.S. officials asking for any information about the shooting in El Paso, Kate. What they wanted to do is essentially help determine whether or not there's an actual risk from white supremacist in the United States to their citizens who are living on this side of the border. As we know, eight of the people killed on Saturday were from Mexico.

BOLDUAN: And they should not be forgotten at all in this. Thank you so much, Polo, for bringing that to light, highlighting it, spotlighting it. Thank you so much.


All right, let's get back to El Paso, as we've been talking about El Paso, the 22 lives lost there. Joining me right now is Andrew Torres. He lost two family members in the weekend's shooting, his cousin, Maribel Hernandez, and her husband, Leo Campos. Andrew, thank you for being here.


BOLDUAN: It's been five days now since that shooting. How are you and your family doing today?

TORRES: I'll be completely honest and say that every time that I hear the news, I was just watching your station, I was just hearing you air your station right now and telling me everything that I've been told before and it's got me shaky and it's got me wanting to cry and it's got me feeling some sort of raw emotion that really can't be described unless you're a person that actually identifies this way.

I have been on the news before and I have stated that I am a half- white, half-Hispanic individual. I am half-Mexican and my Mexican ancestry goes back to the state for centuries. And my grandfather, 94 years old, you know, I ask him for advice every time I come to this show.

And I thought I would share this with you. I'd say that if you are a person that's wondering what this is like and how it feels to be these people, imagine your grandfather asking you to go to the store to buy you shoe shine to go to a funeral for his niece, who had children and grandchildren, and an entire family that loved her. It's hard. It's really, really hard.

BOLDUAN: It is also -- as you said, it's pretty much impossible to really put it into words, but thank you for doing that.

The president -- one of the things that has happened in the aftermath of the shooting is the president visited El Paso yesterday. The White House really didn't allow reporters to follow along his movements very much so we can't say for sure, but the reports are that he was well- received. But The Washington Post is also reporting that none of the victims that are still in the hospital said that they wanted to meet with him. They did not want to meet with him.

You're no fan of the president, but are you glad that he came to your community to see the pain that has hit your town?

TORRES: I'll say that, personally, I know that -- I saw the live coverage of President Trump and I will acknowledge that he is trying to do his best at picking up the pieces. However, a lot of people in my community feel as though he is a part of the problem and that, you know, many of the victims, as you mentioned, didn't want to see him right now. They didn't want to hear his condolences. And, you know, I think that that's something that we as a nation have to grasp, we as a nation have to understand.

And I feel like there is a large amount of people who do understand the pain and can empathize with the victims and can empathize that we really -- it's not that we don't appreciate his visit. It's not that we don't appreciate what he's trying to do. It's that we understand that just his very presence, it's frightening. It's frightening. It's as though this whole country is suffering through anxiety and, you know, these different traumatic emotions and feelings.

I don't know if you saw, but the video that really struck me, someone sent it to me of New York City, people scrambling, people running because of a motorcycle. For me, you know, I used to live in New York City. I lived there for two years. And, I mean, I would be one of those people running. And I think that too many people can relate to that now, you know?

BOLDUAN: On the same day of the president's visit, he -- he said that the whole point was to be with grieving families like yours and to grieve with the community. He also then left the community and started attacking political rivals, local officials and even the media, from Joe Biden to the mayor of Dayton. When you saw that after the visit, what did you think, Andrew?

TORRES: I personally stand with my representatives. I've stated this before, I'm not a staunch voter on any party. But I do stand with my representatives. These people are people from this community. They are mourning the loss of all of these people, just as we are. They are feeling the traumatic effects, just as much as we are.

Personally, I think that any attack on these people, it's so petty. It deserves no attention. Right now, what we're going to be doing moving forward needs the attention.


The healing, that's what needs attention. The families, that's what needs attention. Actual reform, you know, gun reform, we need these things. We need immigration reform. We need these various different principles. But right now, we just needed an apology. We needed him to owe up and just say, I recognize that at my events that I foster this rhetoric and that I want to say sorry. That's really all we want from him.

BOLDUAN: Andrew, thank you for coming on. Thank you for being so eloquent. I really appreciate it.

TORRES: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: And I know that it means so very little because of the pain that you're feeling, but we are so sorry for your loss.

TORRES: Thank you so much and thank you for giving the people of El Paso a platform. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

Coming up for us, there's a new and dire warning from the world's leading scientists on the global climate crisis, and it has to do with what we grow and how we eat.

We'll be right back.



BOLDUAN: A dire warning today from the world's leading scientists on the global climate crisis. The new report is the consensus of more than 100 scientists and they say that without all of us changing the way we grow food and eat it, the world will never be able to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

This new warning puts a spotlight directly on U.S. agriculture and farmers already facing the devastating effects of the climate crisis and record flooding and drought.

Here's CNN's Bill Weir.


JUSTIN JORDAN, IOWA FARMER: we had a very, very wet spring. And --


JORDAN: Too much rain to plant.

WEIR: Justin Jordan is among the millions of American farmers living on an emotional roller coaster that only seems to go down.

JORDAN: So this corn is almost two feet shorter than it normally is.

WEIR: Thanks to a bizarre spring, he's looking at a 30 percent drop in yield.

JORDAN: It's a kind of feeling of helplessness and stress. That is what it kind of what it feels like. But you just do what you can with what you have to work with.

WEIR: At least he has a crop. Too many farmers lost everything to epic floods. And even the lucky ones are losing sleep over fear of an early frost and trade wars and the highest farm debt in a generation.

And on top of it all comes the latest alarming report from the IPCC, which finds that growing food from India to Iowa will only get harder as the climate gets harsher.

EUGENE TAKLE, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, IOWA STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRONOMY: We're going to see by mid-century by current projections that our number of days above 90 degrees is going to rise from about 17 days per year above 90 degrees in Des Moines. That will be more up like 50 to 70.

WEIR: The report finds that about three-quarters of the earth's ice- free surface has been paved, plowed or deforested, great for economies, horrible for nature's cycles. And with all the diesel and fertilizer used to grow the modern meal, they say agriculture is to blame for nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions.

But here's the good news. Right now, every corn plant in this field is pulling carbon out of the sky and putting it in the ground. And with the right amount of innovation and financial motivation, a smart farmer can leave it there and still feed the world. Iowa could be one giant carbon sink.

And unlike miners and drillers and frackers, they don't have to change careers in order to help save life as we know it.

JORDAN: Just listen to all the birds too. It's something you don't hear when you walk out in a cornfield. I mean, there's so much more, like I said, not only the plant biodiversity but the wildlife diversity.

WEIR: It's life.

JORDAN: Exactly.

WEIR: Justin takes advantage of a federal program that pays him to let part of his fields go wild, which brings higher yields in the long-term.

Over in Nebraska, Brandon Honeycutt (ph) is trying out cutting-edge science funded by Bill Gates that uses bacteria instead of synthetic fertilizer, the stuff that creates ocean dead zones and red tides.

ERNIE SANDERS, VICE PREISDENT OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, PIVOT BIO: That's all petroleum-based kind of products industry that we live in. And the more we can move to a more natural bacteria-based, I think that's better for all of us.

WEIR: And even some conservatives like Ray Gaesser are joining this green revolution, even though the Republican refuses to blame a warming planet entirely on human habits.

WEIR: So how do you feel about big members of your party, even the president casting doubt and skepticism into whether or not humans can even help stop this?

RAY GAESSER, IOWA FARMER: Well, I think it's more about not having severe regulations, you know. I think one-size-fits-all-regulations really does not fit agriculture anywhere.

WEIR: But like many Republican neighbors, he still embraces wind energy, cover crops and soil conservation.

GAESSER: As we farm a little bit differently, as we sequester nutrients and carbon, we're doing the right thing. And that's what it's about, it's trying to do the right thing. We all want to do that.

WEIR: Absolutely.

GAESSER: And it shouldn't be political.

WEIR: Amen, brother.


WEIR: But, of course, everything in America is political, especially Iowa. State Fair kicks off this weekend. The candidates will be coming through. And the smart ones know that if they're going to win this state, they need farmers at the table to create this new green revolution 2.0., Kate.

Elizabeth Warren put out her farm plan yesterday. Maybe no coincidence she's leading the polls in Iowa. We have our big climate town hall debate coming up. It will be interesting to see who brings the most innovative ideas to this big, big, big question.


BOLDUAN: So big, but let's just hold on to that little bit of Iowa hope right there that it shouldn't be political. Amen, brother. I loved it, Bill. Thank you so much.

WEIR: My pleasure.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

Coming up for us, yesterday President Trump voiced support for expanding background checks for guns. But now, a new report says the NRA then called the White House. Will his support stand?