Return to Transcripts main page


Biden Says Trump Encourages White Supremacy; Parents Arrested in Immigration Raids; New Post-Debate Polls for Democrats; Stills Under Fire for Comments. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired August 9, 2019 - 06:30   ET


[06:30:00] TANZINA VEGA, HOST, WNYC/PRI'S "THE TAKEAWAY": About Elizabeth Warren's rise is that she has called the president a white supremacist. And she's getting this bump in polling. So I think that it's important to note that maybe this idea of having to be the moderate, which I think Joe Biden has been trying to play off of. Not being too radical. Not being too conservative of a Democrat is really -- maybe that -- that gamble is not going to pay off in 2020. I think Americans are saying, you know what, call the thing what it is. And Elizabeth Warren is doing that and Joe Biden, I think, is hedging a little bit too much despite the speech that he gave earlier this week.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Which is interesting because the question, too, and you and I actually talked a little bit about this yesterday, the question is, what can he carry forward from this speech because there was so much praise for this speech and the way he came out so forceful, so energetic.

And Errol --


HILL: That we move on.

LOUIS: That's right.

Well, and, you know, he -- you don't use that speech while you're shaking hands at the Iowa State Fair, I'll tell you that. You know, I mean, this is going to be that kind of delicate balancing act that Joe Biden knows about and is good at. I mean I read him refusing to sort of take the bait of the assembled press there as him kind of looking a little bit down the road, you know, that you're not going to win a name calling contest with Donald Trump. You know, you call him a liar, you call him a supremacist, he's going to come up with a thousand new nicknames and throw them back at you. And we've seen in the past that when people have tried to match him and play his game, he always wins the game because he sort of wrote the rules for that game.

You know, one thing that's interesting that's kind of buried in the Monmouth poll is that there's not a lot of optimism among Iowa Democratic caucus goers that more than half of the field can actually take on Donald Trump. You know, so this question about, you know, when does the field winnow down? Well, we're -- we're TV people. You know, media people. So we're looking to see who's going to make the debate state and so forth. The voters are way ahead. They're saying, like, look, we don't think most of these people can beat Donald Trump.

HILL: Yes.

LOUIS: And I think we're going to start to see them making their own choices. And that's why you see so much movement in the polls.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You know, one of the thing you could say whether or not Joe Biden is being too moderate, being too liberal. The one thing Joe Biden needs to be good at, Jeff, before anything else is being good at being Joe Biden, right? And so in that answer you saw him fiery and feisty. Whether or not he was carving out the right political position, that might be to (ph) discuss there. But he was comfortable in how he was answering that. You haven't totally seen that before. So this week he might be -- or this week, I should say, he may have found a space he likes to operate in more.

That's not to say that he hasn't been Joe Biden that we've seen over years with some gaffes the last few days. He's said some things which were controversial.


BERMAN: What did he say? He said that, you know --

HILL: Poor kids are just as smart as white kids or something to that effect.

BERMAN: Exactly.

HILL: Which, obviously, that makes you stop.

BERMAN: And also confusing Theresa May with Margaret Thatcher. Things like that. So that's all part of the Joe Biden package.

ZELENY: There's no question Joe Biden was on full Joe Biden mode yesterday, if you will. I mean Joe Biden loves to get ice cream, he loves to shake hands, and that's really what he was -- what he was doing.

But, John, I think you're right, I saw a different sense of energy in Joe Biden over the last couple of days. He has been trying to reframe this race, make this against him versus Donald Trump, make this a referendum on Donald Trump. That's why he wants this contest to be about. It's why he jumped into this campaign first and foremost.

I was talking with him yesterday and I asked him if he thinks that this week does represent a turning point, and he said it should. He said it should focus the, you know, the idea -- the contest of voters.

Think of what was happening just a week ago. Democrats were engaged in this huge food fight on our debate stage in Detroit. That has largely gone away for now. You know, I think it's on hiatus we should say. People are still going to be fighting over their Medicare for all plans, et cetera.

But Joe Biden has tried to focus this contest back on the matter at hand, if you will. And here in Iowa, you know, it is the battleground state. Donald Trump won this state four years ago. But that's one other thing I'm picking up talking to voters, who can win in the general election. Yes, that is a long ways away, more than a year away, but that is what is also on the mind of some pragmatic voters here. So that is sort of a duel track, if you will, and Joe Biden has tried to ride both of that, trying to make the case that he is in this for the long term, not just trying to win a Democratic primary race.

BERMAN: You know, it's interesting (ph), Errol said something that was very interesting, which is, yes, it's a 24 candidate race, but when you look at the polls, I just don't think the voters necessarily see it that way.

VEGA: No, they don't. And I don't think a lot of voters could even name all of the candidates at this point. I mean we really are looking at a solid core of maybe five candidates whose names are now maybe household names at this point. The recognition of these candidates is important. I think we saw, even on the debate stage, you know, half of the folks on the stage were really not resonating with a lot of voters. And I think if you go outside right now onto the street corner of New York and ask anybody who the 24 are, you wouldn't get a lot of answers.

So, I mean, Joe Biden also has that name recognition. He's been the vice president. He's run for president twice. He invokes Obama's name when it's -- when it's necessary and dare I say convenient. So that also has a lot to do with potentially why he's leading in the polls.

HILL: We'll see how long that lasts, too, as we move further in.

[06:35:03] BERMAN: All right, thank you so much, friends.

Coming up at 8:00, one candidate just won a ticket to the next debate stage. What does Andrew Yang plan to do to keep rising in the polls?

HILL: Authorities arresting hundreds in immigration raids in Mississippi. So what happened to the children who were at their first day of school as ICE took their parents into custody during those raids, and did that figure in at all when it comes to the timing? That's next.


BERMAN: We have new developments in Mississippi this morning, where immigration authorities arrested nearly 700 undocumented workers in a record-setting sweep at seven Mississippi food processing plants. The raids, which happened on the very first day of school, left many children without their parents feeling deserted and afraid.


MAGDALENA GOMEZ GREGORIO, FATHER TAKEN BY ICE AGENTS: Governments, please, put your heart, let my parents be free with everybody else. Please, don't leave the childs with cryingness and everything.

I need my dad with me. My dad didn't do nothing. He's not a criminal. [06:40:05] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please, can I just see my mother?




BERMAN: I need my dad. Can I please see my mother?

Joining me now is Larrison Campbell, "Mississippi Today" political reporter, who's been on this story since it broke. And it did come as a surprise.

Larrison, first where we are now. We heard the pleas from those children. Are there guarantees that all these children for whom their parents may have been brought in, taken away, are they all being cared for this morning?

LARRISON CAMPBELL, POLITICAL REPORTER, "MISSISSIPPI TODAY": I mean, John, that is a great question. Right now we know very, very little. And I think that's honestly because, you know, the people in charge of this investigation, DHS, ICE, the U.S. attorney's office, they know very, very little. I've -- you know, I've seen the contents of e- mails, I've heard reports from people on the ground, in the schools, and ICE ignored its own protocol, which was, you know, contacting CPS, was contacting the schools, getting these things in place for the children before this raids was supposed to even take place, and they didn't do that. They ignored their own protocols.

And I think for the people who have been trying to take care of these children, you know, it's been chaos. We don't know how many children have been reunited with their parents. We don't know how many children were even affected in the first place. So, yes, there are a lot of unknowns right now.

BERMAN: In the -- Mississippi, the state, Child Protection Services, what kind of a heads up were they given?

CAMPBELL: That's correct.

BERMAN: Were they given any?

CAMPBELL: They were given absolutely -- they -- no, they weren't. I actually checked in with them last night and the response I got back from my contact there was crickets. We're talking a day and a half after this raid too place and they haven't -- and they still haven't reached out to the agency in charge of the welfare of children in this state. They still don't know how many kids were even affected. And they've had a ton of people reaching out to them, you know, offering clothes, offering food, offering shelter, and they haven't been able to take any of those people up on their offers because they don't know where these children are.

BERMAN: This morning there's some new reporting on just how secretive and how long the planning was for this large effort. One thing was the White House wasn't even alerted because I think they were afraid -- there's some reporting this morning -- that the president would leak it in advance, like he did earlier in the summer.

But walk us through to the extent that you've pieced it together, exactly what happened and what the day was like for these children and their parents.

CAMPBELL: Sure. So from what I've gleaned, the raid took place around 7:30, 8:00 in the morning at these processing plants. And only then did those in charge of the raid actually reach out to schools. And I think that even happened towards the end of the day because the reports I've heard are things like principals calling school bus drivers and saying, wait, wait, wait, make sure you have eyes on parents when you're dropping these kids off at the schools. Do not leave a child unattended in their home. If they don't seem like they have parents at home, bring them back to the school and we're going to take care of them.

You know, I think everything seems sort of like a -- after the fact. The first concern -- and this is also according to the U.S. attorney's office. The first concern was conducting the raid. The second concern was the children. And, again, you know, back in 2007, they set these protocols at ICE saying child welfare needs to be informed before the raid takes place. Schools need to be informed. We need to protect these children to mitigate -- these children to mitigate the kind of trauma that this sort of displacement could -- or this displacement could cause, and that wasn't done.

BERMAN: We know this morning -- we're told at least by government officials, that about half of the people who were initially brought in have been released. The others still in custody.

You know, 700 people, workers targeted.

Larrison, any sense that the companies themselves were targeted?


BERMAN: They're the ones who hired the undocumented workers. What ramifications are there for the companies?

CAMPBELL: So far none. Yes, they're -- it's only been workers who have been targeted. I haven't heard of anything happening to the management who hired them.


All right, Larrison Campbell, again, it's great to have you on with us. Thanks so much for your reporting and work on this. Please keep us posted as to what you hear because there are still so many questions this morning.

CAMPBELL: There are. Thank you so much, John.

BERMAN: All right, Erica.

HILL: All right, John, thanks. And we're going to speak with some folks from the local schools too a little bit later this morning to get some more -- to find out when they got calls, because they don't have those answers either.

We do have some of our first polls showing how voters think candidates performed in the CNN debates. Harry Enten is here to show us the candidates moving up and moving down.


[06:48:30] HILL: The first round of post-debate polls are in. So, where's the movement going? Whose up? Whose down?

Let's get "The Forecast" with CNN's senior politics writer and analyst, Harry Enten.


Let's just jump right into it. And it turns out, and if we look at the polls, post-debate, pre-debate, it's the same old race. Joe Biden's still ahead. He's dropped a little bit in Harry's average, but really this is just noise. Sanders and Warren basically fighting it out for second place.

I would say the one thing we can say now, which was becoming clear pre-debate and now is clear post-debate, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg are basically now tied for fourth place. Harris is not part of say that second tier with Sanders and Warren.

BERMAN: Yes, there was a lot of movement, but it all happened before the CNN debate.


BERMAN: So a lot of this is static, you know, from after.

ENTEN: Right. This was a debate where I think a lot of people recognized that not a lot really happened in terms of moving things.

But what is powering Joe Biden lead right now? It's that same thing, among African-American voters, he's crushing it, 50 percent. Bernie Sanders is not even close, 12 percent. This is a huge, huge lead that's empowering (ph). And, of course, they make up about one-fifth to a quarter of all voters.

Just for some historical context here, I looked back at the 2008 cycle, where we were in August of 2007. I took an average of polls then among African-American voters. I think there are a few interesting things here. Number one, there was obviously a lot of movement because Barack Obama overwhelmingly went on to win African- Americans, winning about 80 percent of them in the primary.

But the other thing that I think is important is, a lot of people are saying, oh, you know, Joe Biden right now, when the other candidates, especially the African-American candidates like Kamala Harris become better known, they'll rise up and they'll be able to overtake Biden but -- based upon where Obama was. But Harris is not anywhere close to where Obama was at this point. Biden's actually running ahead of Clinton and no one's really close. So, to me, this is like a real sort of umm. You know, this could be real for Joe Biden.

[06:50:13] BERMAN: If Kamala Harris or Cory Booker is going to do what Obama did, they're far away from where he was right now. That's important, historical context.

ENTEN: Exactly right.

One other thing I'll note from our debate. You know, we were talking about not there too much being a bump. Cory Booker, who had a good debate, 2 percent, 2 percent. not very much going on there. Marianne Williamson, who received a lot of press based upon her debate performance, not a lot of bump there either.

BERMAN: Zero to zero.

ENTEN: Zero to zero, that's pretty much the definition of no movement.

Look at this. So this is Iowa caucuses, right? This is the first in the nation primary contest. You know, we were -- we were talking about this earlier in the show. This is the new Monmouth poll. Joe Biden still ahead here, 28 percent. That's not much different than the 27 percent. The big movement here is Elizabeth Warren, Senator Elizabeth Warren. But, of course, this probably happened mostly pre-debate based upon the other polling that we were generally seeing.

But right now basically you have a one/two matchup, Biden/Warren, then everybody else back in here, three through five, right around eight to 11 percent.

HILL: It is really remarkable when you look at it and really how little change there has been.

ENTEN: There -- there has been so little change. That's sort of been --

BERMAN: Well, except -- except I will note for this guy.

ENTEN: Oh, yes, that is the one thing.

HILL: True.

ENTEN: And we've sort of seen that nationally do a little bit at two. Bernie Sanders basically being replaced in that very liberal lane by Elizabeth Warren, who's jumped very much up.

HILL: By Elizabeth Warren, yes.

ENTEN: Another thing I'd point out about this Iowa poll that I think is important, you know, I usually don't go down to this level, but Andrew Yang qualified for the debate. You need 2 percent in four qualifying polls. He got it. Tom Steyer's been spending millions of dollars on the air in Iowa. He got to 3 percent. Now he has three of four qualifying polls. Do not be surprised to see him on the debate stage come September. It turns out you can buy your way on to a debate stage, at least Tom Steyer's proving that right now.

BERMAN: So The Beatles were wrong?

ENTEN: The Beatles -- you know, I was more of a Monkey's fan anyway.

Look --

HILL: I'm learning so much this morning, as I always do.

ENTEN: You know what, we're learning musical interests. We're doing polls. Who says polls can't be fun, kids?

This is important. I basically went back and looked at the polls in August before the caucus since 1980 and what percentage at a time different candidates won. So Joe Biden's right now in this range, right, the 25 to 30 percent range. Usually those candidates win about 30 to 40 percent of the time, which makes him a frontrunner. But if you were betting on someone to win the nomination, you'd probably bet on someone else. Someone like Elizabeth Warren, 20 percent. They win about 20 percent of the time. Even those candidates down by 1 percent, they win a little bit of the time. So it's not over yet.

BERMAN: No. I mean you wouldn't bet on someone else. You'd bet on the field --

ENTEN: Right.

BERMAN: Against Joe Biden. You'd still much rather have a 40 percent chance than a 10 percent chance?

ENTEN: Right. That's exactly right.

One other thing I'll just point out, just to put this into a little bit more context.

You know, Joe Biden's been compared to Jeb Bush, Rudy Giuliani, Joe Lieberman, weak frontrunners who were just based off of name recognition. But Biden's polling right now is well above where these folks were in Iowa at this point. So he's clearly, sort of, beating back that. He's got it over a hump to some extent.

And one last thing. I have a new podcast. I have a new podcast, folks. This is "The Forecast Fest" with me and John Avlon and Kate Bolduan. You should listen. It's good stuff.

BERMAN: Congratulations on that.

ENTEN: Thank you.

HILL: Very excited about it.

ENTEN: Thank you. If you like what you -- if you like what you heard, "The Forecast Fest," you should subscribe via iTunes.

BERMAN: Very good. Harry Enten, thank you very much.

By the way, thanks for the invite to be on the podcast, which I -- which I never got.

ENTEN: You -- both of you are -- both of you are going to be invited.

HILL: You didn't get one?


HILL: Errol (ph) and I were actually talking about dates earlier. So -- it's fine.


HILL: We'll get John's in the break.

ENTEN: Sounds good.

BERMAN: Noted. Noted.

All right, coming up, a new scare in a nation on edge. What we know about a heavily armed man who walked through a Walmart and sent police scrambling to the store.


[06:57:54] BERMAN: All right, new this morning, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills tells CNN he has received multiple death threats in the past 24 hours for his comments about Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

Andy Scholes with the new details this morning in the "Bleacher Report."



You know, Kenny Stills, he was one of the first players to join Colin Kaepernick in his protest of social injustice during the national anthem. And Stills kneeling during the anthem once again last night. And this comes a day after Stills criticized Dolphins' owner for what he says is playing both sides.

So Stephen Ross, the owner of the Dolphins, he has a foundation called Rise, whose mission is to fight for equality and against racism. Well, Ross, is also hosting a fundraiser for President Trump at his home in the Hamptons today. And Stills tweeting that you can't have a nonprofit with this mission statement, then open your doors to Trump.

Now, after last night's game, Stills explained to CNN's Coy Wire why he felt the need to call out his owner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KENNY STILLS, DOLPHINS WIDE RECEIVER: I just was baffled more than anything because, you know, you look at the work that he's done or the work that he's trying to do through Rise and then you look at the work that the man that he's, you know, hosting a fundraiser for has done and it just -- it didn't align, it didn't make sense.


SCHOLES: Now, Stephen Ross releasing a statement saying, I have known Donald Trump for 40 years, and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many others and I have never been bashful about expressing my opinions.

And, John, Ross also adding that while some prefer to sit outside of the process and criticize, he prefers to engage directly and support the things he deeply cares about.

BERMAN: All right, Andy Scholes watching that very closely. There's major controversy out in the Hamptons this morning about Stephen Ross also. We'll get to those demonstrations in a little bit.

Andy, thank you very much.

So, is there new progress this morning in the push to battle gun violence in America? There are major new developments, there are a lot of new words being spoken. We'll tell you what they mean, next.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was here three months ago, we made a speech.

And that was some crowd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are recovering from serious injuries and he's thinking about is his crowd.

[07:00:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we're talking about here is a constitutional right. We have to be very cautious about how we limit that.