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Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Presidential Candidate is Interviewed About the Debate and Vaping; Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Presidential Candidate is Interviewed about the Debate; Friends Forever: 25 Years of Laughter. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired September 13, 2019 - 08:30   ET



JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Would not require them to opt in.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They do not have to buy in. They do not have to buy in.

CASTRO: You just said that. You just said that two minutes ago. You just said two minutes ago that they would have to buy in.

BIDEN: They do not have to buy in if they can't afford it. Medicaid would automatically be in for it (ph).

CASTRO: Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?

Are you forgetting already what you said just two minutes ago? I mean, I can't believe that you said two minutes ago that they had to buy in and now you're saying they don't have to buy --


CASTRO: You're forgetting that.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Senator, did you think that that was -- that moment was fair game?

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, it's a debate. It's a debate stage. Things get heated. But I do believe, you know, to the point of your first question, that the focus needs to be on the fact that Donald Trump is not doing the American people the benefit of the office.

He is not -- he has not been performing in a way that we can be proud of, but he's also, I think, been very harmful to the country. He has been sowing hate, division among us. He has been engaged in unilateral efforts at foreign policy.

And to really -- to the extent that it is threatening, I think, our national security, we can look at the fact that he has done nothing in terms of supporting working men and women in America and that ranges again from that tax bill to a failure to build up the infrastructure of America. And I could go on and on.

CAMEROTA: I mean so are you saying that what Julian Castro did last night was not a fair line of attack?

HARRIS: I'm saying that the focus should be on what we need to do to prosecute the case against Donald Trump. And, for me, that is the focus. And for me the focus is also, equally, and frankly if not more importantly, the fact that in spite of these powerful forces that we've had that are trying to sow hate and division among us, I think it is critically important that real leaders remind the American people that the vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us. And that that's how we're going to win this election. And that's my focus.

My focus is pointing out that that mother in Iowa who is sitting at the kitchen table at midnight trying to figure out how to make it all work is thinking the same thoughts as that mother in Compton, California, that that dad who is living in Michigan who is trying to figure out how to make the ends meet at the end of the month and pay the bills is having the same thought as that dad here in Houston. That's my focus. And I strongly believe that is the way we are not only going to unify the country, but it's the way we're going to win this election, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: I want to ask you about something else that has been in the news a lot this week, and that's vaping and the dangers of vaping. Six deaths across the country at this point about vaping related disease.

The Trump administration announced this week that they want to ban all flavored e-cigarettes. Do you agree with that policy?

HARRIS: I think it's right. I -- based on what I know about it. I think this is demanding a real response from our public health systems.

But, you know, again, as it relates to the Trump administration, you can't, on the one hand do that, but on the other hand pull back and not adequately and robustly fund the NIH, the National Institutes of Health. You can't do that on one hand but then try and take away health care for millions of people when you've got your Department of Justice trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act and undo all of the advances we've made there.

So I think it's very important to point out that overall, if this president cares about the public health of America, then he would stop playing politics with the public health of America. He would stop trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act and the benefit it has brought. And he would actually, you know, walk the walk, which is to say that he has an administration that cares about all people. And I've just not seen any evidence of that.

I talked last night about the fact that but for members of the United States Congress, acting in a bipartisan way, especially the United States Senate, led in great measure by the late, great John McCain, but for that courage and that act of courage by the United States Congress, this president would have undone the Affordable Care Act, which brought health care to millions of people.

CAMEROTA: On a lighter note, you seem to chuckle last night when Andrew Yang had this cash giveaway idea that went beyond his policy. And he said he was going to give, I think, $1,000 a month to ten deserving families. What did you make of that moment?

HARRIS: Well, I just -- you know, I admire and, frankly, take joy in hearing people with innovative ideas and who are questioning status quo and willing to challenge it. I think that's healthy for our democracy. And one of the things I like about Andrew Yang is he is constantly raising ideas and approaches that have not typically been on that debate stage. And I think he is challenging all of us to think about how we can be more innovative.


And I admire that. I admired it.

CAMEROTA: I think that's fair. We have not heard that on a debate stage before.

Senator Kamala Harris, we really appreciate you being here on NEW DAY this morning. Nice to talk to you.

HARRIS: Thank you.


HARRIS: Take care, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: You too.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, here is what to watch today.


ON SCREEN TEXT: 10:30 a.m. ET, Mike Pompeo speaks in DC.

2:30 p.m. ET, Felicity Huffman sentenced in Boston.

8:45 p.m. ET, Bernie Sanders rally in Reno.


BERMAN: All right, much more coming up. Senator Cory Booker, live.



BERMAN: So one of the big moments from last night's debate, the former housing secretary, Julian Castro, directly questioning Joe Biden's memory in a discussion on health care. Castro himself told us this morning it was not a personal attack. We heard from Senator Amy Klobuchar. She thought it was personal.

I want you to listen to what Senator Cory Booker told CNN after last night's debate.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think that we are at a tough point right now because there's a lot of people who are concerned about Joe Biden's ability to carry the ball all the way across the end line without fumbling. And I think that Castro has some really legitimate concerns about, can he be someone in a long, grueling campaign, that can get the ball over the line? And he has every right to call that out.


BERMAN: Joining us now is New Jersey's Democrat Senator Cory Booker.

Senator, thank you very much for being with us.

I want to play you a moment from the debate itself last night. We just heard you after talking about Joe Biden and concerns you have about fumbling. This is what you said in the debate itself.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I mean this must be a moment where we as Democrats can begin to show that we cannot only stake and stand our ground, but find common ground, because we've got one shot to make Donald Trump a one-term president. And we cannot lose it by the way we talk about each other or demonize and degrade each other.


BERMAN: So, Senator, how do you reconcile, we should not degrade each other, the debate Cory Booker, with the after the debate Cory Booker who said that I have concerns about Joe Biden fumbling?

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think we're expressing concerns. It's just -- it's actually very important, especially because we love our country and we want to have the best candidate for that.

What I do have a problem with, his tone, tenor, how we go at each other. I saw this last election on how we tore candidates down or individuals down in such a way that when it came time after the primary, you didn't have the kind of unity that we need. I've been saying this over and over and over again in this campaign that whoever's the nominee, we must all unite behind them.

And, frankly, we must deal with each other in a way with a bit of grace that does call out people's issues and concerns, but does it in a way that doesn't undermine whoever is the nominee, their ability to lead. BERMAN: Why didn't you bring it up during the debate? If you have

concerns about what you say is Joe Biden fumbling, how come you waited until after, when he wasn't there with you?

BOOKER: I think you're taking this a bit too far, and forgive me if my football metaphor about fumbling the ball is being taken out of context. But the reality is, is, I want to get into the end zone. I think we need to win. That is the ultimate issue. And if I thought that I wasn't the best person to do it and better than the other people on the stage, I wouldn't be running. And so, yes, I have concerns about the other nine people on that stage. I think I'm the best person to do this and I'm making my case to the American people.

And one of the cases I'm making is, with all the disparate voices in our party, I believe I'm the best person to unify the Democratic Party. And, even more importantly, you know, the challenge for Democrats right now is not to just beat Republicans, it's to unite Americans and a larger sense of common cause and common purpose. That, to me, is the real score. That's the real win for America. And I think I'm the best person to be on the field to get that done.

BERMAN: So to use the football metaphor, you wouldn't throw a flag on questioning Joe Biden's memory?

BOOKER: Look, I definitely was not saying that. I think that we all have challenges at times. I can't even remember what I had for dinner last night. The reality is, what I'm calling into question is, who is the best person to unite this party, to get it done, to get in the end zone, not just for Democrats but for America. I think I'm the best person to do that.

BERMAN: I know --

BOOKER: And I hope people, when they're evaluating this, will evaluate who is the best unifier and who is the best person that can engage and inspire and get more people involved because when we do that, that's how Democrats win.

BERMAN: I know what you didn't have for dinner last night, Senator, and that would be a hamburger, or a steak, because -- because you're a vegan.

BOOKER: Well, you clearly --

BERMAN: Which, you know, which prompted one of the --

BOOKER: Yes, you clearly have not seen the rise of the vegetarian burger, the vegan burger.

BERMAN: I'm very -- I live with a vegetarian. So I have -- I have seen it all too closely, as far as I'm concerned, over the last few years.

But let me play the moment from the debate last night where you were asked about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE, MODERATOR: So should more Americans, including those here in Texas and in Iowa, follow your diet?

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, first of all, I want to say, no. Actually, I want to translate that into Spanish. No.



BERMAN: So as one practitioner of dad humor to another, well done. I think -- I think a lot of America laughed, frankly, out loud when you said that.

BOOKER: Thank you, sir.

BERMAN: I do want to ask a serious question though. There was another moment at the debate when senator -- former congressman Beto O'Rourke said, yes, you know, he is for mandatory buybacks and he does want to take people's assault weapons, AR-15s, AK-47s, away.

What's your view on mandatory gun buybacks or confiscation? And is there a difference?

BOOKER: Well, look, I hate when Democrats use the language that Republicans try to use to scare people away, as opposed to just sort of the pragmatism and practicality of this.

In the 1980s we said machine guns don't belong on our streets and we banned them and we don't see those in mass shootings, we don't see them in neighborhoods like mine doing kind of damage.

We have seen around this world countries that have said enough of these assault rifles. They dealt with the problem. They got them off their streets. These weapons should not be in this country. They should not be allowed to be accessed by folks who are trying to do such evil things. We can find practical ways to end the nightmare of these weapons that belong in military theaters and not in neighborhoods and communities and we can get it done.

BERMAN: How do you get them? How do you get them away?

BOOKER: And so I know that --

BERMAN: How --

BOOKER: Well, the same way we got machine guns done. This -- this is the thing. We are capable of doing it. Other countries have been and we've done it in the past. You have to set up a system, yes, that is mandatory. You have to set up a system to pull them off. But this idea, this imagery that the fear mongers and demagogues try to say of somehow armed police officers showing up and confiscating weapons, that's the fear mongering. And people trying to obscure and make people forget what we have done before as a nation with machine guns, what other nations have done with assault rifles. This does not have to be what the imagery and the fear mongering showing up.

We have evidence-based models of how to get this done in a peaceful way where America as a whole -- and, by the way, the majority of Americans believe that these weapons do not belong in our streets and neighborhoods. This is not something beyond us. And we're not -- I'm not going to let the fear mongers and the demagogues win the day on this.

We have a crisis in this country. It must end. And we must do the common sense things to get it done.

BERMAN: Senator Cory Booker, thank you very much for being with us. We'll talk to you again soon.

BOOKER: Thank you very much.

BERMAN: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Hey, John, my friend, Bill Carter and I, are just hanging out over here at Central Perk.

BERMAN: It's Ross and Rachel.

CAMEROTA: It's just, you know, will we or won't we, you know, as America wants to know right now. So, why is the "Friends" couch here? Because one of the most successful sitcoms in TV history debuted 25 years ago this month. So Bill and I are going to look at the enduring popularity of "Friends." And Bill had some things to say about it at the time. We'll hear those.



BERMAN: There's a lot that happened on this couch. It turns out, if this couch could talk --

CAMEROTA: Where are our umbrellas?

It's been 25 years since six friends gathered around this legendary couch at the Central Perk Cafe. This weekend, I host a behind the scenes CNN special on the hit sitcom that became "Friends."

And joining us now is CNN media analyst Bill Carter.


CAMEROTA: Bill, you know, when this first aired in 1995, some media critics --


CAMEROTA: Did not think that it was going to have quite the longevity and stellar run that it did.

CARTER: Well, who could actually predict it? But a lot of people questioned it because they thought it was narrow. It's only young people. It's only about this, you know, sort of insular group. And it was on at the same time as "Seinfeld." "Seinfeld" was considered the, you know, the gold standard and how could any show like compare to that. But they -- they were incredibly smart how they put the show together. Incredibly smart about how what they did was a true ensemble show. Every other ensemble show that you could think of really has a centerpiece and everybody goes around the centerpiece. Not this show. They actually built it around all these people and their differences and it --

CAMEROTA: Well, sort of. I mean what I learned in doing my behind the scenes special is that they did think they were going to have a centerpiece. Courtenay Cox was supposed to be the centerpiece.

CARTER: Right.

CAMEROTA: But then what happened was there was some sort of crazy alchemy, even at their first table read, when all these actors got together --

CARTER: Right.

CAMEROTA: That they saw the magic that each one of them and their chemistry had. And they ran with that.

CARTER: Yes. And that's really to the credit of the creators, Marta Kauffman and David Crane. They really looked at their show and said, look, let's make everything funny. Let's do it funny. But they also had a vision. The vision was, these are young people about to start their lives basically. And that is universal. And this is really why the show has lasted because every generation goes through that. You're about -- you're in your early 20s and suddenly, what am I going to be? What am I -- and I have a new family and they're my friends and it's about connecting. And that's what I think is made it last.

BERMAN: I say more then alchemy. First of all, the last few weeks, when we've been doing -- you've been doing this documentary, you've looked more and more like Rachel.

CAMEROTA: I -- thank you.

BERMAN: Like, like every day, your hair has changed every day.

CAMEROTA: I do feel like I'm becoming Rachel.

BERMAN: But it isn't just that the show has endured, Bill. I mean the show's like a hit now. A runaway hit now.

CARTER: It's amazing to me. And it -- first of all, it's all over the world. There are Central Perk sets in India for gosh sakes. It's amazing because -- and the kids today, especially young girls, watch this show and they just jump in and identify. It doesn't feel dated because it's about relationships. It's about starting your life. And my grandniece came to visit. She's like 12 years old. She -- all she wanted to watch was "Friends."


CAMEROTA: That's my 14-year-old daughter.

CARTER: And your 14-year-old daughter.

CAMEROTA: She loves it.


CAMEROTA: It's her favorite show.


CAMEROTA: She has a telemutic (ph) knowledge of every single line in --

CARTER: And it doesn't feel old to her, right?

CAMEROTA: No. It's evergreen.


CAMEROTA: That these themes are actually evergreen.


CAMEROTA: You know?

All right, well, Bill, thank you very much for coming to our cozy couch here.

CARTER: It's great.

CAMEROTA: We -- yes.

We have this fantastic special. Be sure to tune in tonight. "Friends Forever: 25 Years of Laughter." Oh, it's Sunday night, John.

CARTER: That's right.

CAMEROTA: Stop trying to show me up. It's Sunday night at 9:00 Eastern.

BERMAN: Look, let me help you promote this. I have been so excited hearing the stories of you filming this. All right, so I can't wait to watch Sunday night.

CAMEROTA: Thank you.

BERMAN: So, where does the 2020 race go from here? CNN continues its coverage, next.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: A very good morning to you. It is Friday. Thank the Lord. I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington. [09:00:00]

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: It's been that long a week, Sciutto? That long a week? We're back together.

SCIUTTO: Ah, maybe.

HARLOW: Good Friday morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.

And, wow, a hot night in Houston.