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Warren Lays Out Plan to Pay for Medicare-for-All; Warren Rivals: Medicare-for-All Plan Doesn't Add Up; Breaking Down the Costs of Warren's Plan to Pay for Medicare-for-All; Kudlow: Warren Medicare- for-All Plan Would Have "Catastrophic Effect" on Economy; Poll: New Top Tear in Iowa with Warren at Top; Concerns Raised Facebook is Turning Blind Eye to Bullying. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired November 1, 2019 - 11:30   ET





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you raise taxes on the middle class for -- to pay for it, yes or no?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So I have made clear what my principles are here. That is costs go up for the wealthy and big corporations, and for hardworking middle-class families, costs will go down.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Short answer, I'm not going to answer it.

But after dodging the question time and time again, just this morning, Democratic presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren, lays out how she would pay for Medicare-for-All. One headline, she promises not to raise taxes on the middle class at all.

Which is fascinating because the man who wrote Medicare-for-All, the plan she supported until this point, Bernie Sanders, has acknowledged that middle class taxes needs to go up. There's more than just that.

Jeff Zeleny joins me from the only state that matters, according to Jeff Zeleny, Des Moines, Iowa.

Jeff, you look so at home.

What is Elizabeth Warren saying with this plan?


Iowa certainly matters today. All of the Democratic presidential candidates are going to be here. But all attention right now focused on the health care plan. Ever since the moment in the debate in Ohio, earlier this month, and,

of course, at previous debates, Elizabeth Warren has not been answering the question how she would pay for the plan. Shortly after that, she promised more details.

We are finally getting the details this morning. Her campaign is saying that, the middle class will not get a tax hit. It will be funded through business taxes, taxes on the wealthy.

But, Kate, the politics of this are fascinating. Because she is, for the first time, drawing a line, a distinction between herself and Bernie Sanders.

She always said, I'm with Bernie, supporting his ambitions for Medicare-for-All. But this certainly puts daylight between the two, largely because she was facing political heat over this.

Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, others were saying, Senator Warren, your plan doesn't add up. She is certainly going to have to explain this.

The reason she is not raising middle-class taxes, she says, is because her projections of the cost of the plan are not as high as Senator Sanders' projections.

Kate, this is in the early stages of playing out. Most campaigns haven't responded. But the Biden campaign has responded. Take a look at these words here from Vice President Joe Biden's campaign about this Senator Warren plan.

They say this: "The mathematical gymnastics in this plan are all geared towards hiding a simple truth from voters. It's impossible to pay for Medicare-for-All without middle-class tax increases. To accomplish this sleight of hand, her proposal dramatically understates its costs, overstates its savings, inflates the revenue, and pretends an employer payroll tax increase is something else."

Kate, again, this is one of the defining issues of the rest of this early stage of the campaign. We're just three months before the Iowa caucuses here. We'll see if Senator Warren talks more about this this evening when all candidates gather at the big dinner Des Moines -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Huge gathering for Democrats today in Iowa.

Great to see you, Jeff. Thank you so much.

So does it all add up now? Where exactly would the money come from to cover costs reaching in the tens of trillions of dollars?

CNN chief business correspondent, Christine Romans, joins me now.

Christine, let's get to the top line is a second. Let's start with what do you see in this.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I see a populist attempt to say I'll protecting the middle class and go after people with the big, big corporations, investors, and the super wealthy.

When you look how she ticks through how to pay for the $20.5 trillion price tag, half of the items on the list are companies and investors.

For example, the wealth tax we know about, she would charge three cents of every dollar of net income -- net worth of a billion. She doubles that to help pay for this.


Also talking about a capital gains income. Right now, long-term capital gains are taxed at 20 percent process. She would tax capital gains for investors annually, not when you sell the --


ROMANS: -- sell the security and put that at the maximum tax rate, 35 or 37 percent, depending on how much money you make.

She very clearly here is saying, I'm going after wealthy people and corporations.

And this has been kind of her message a long time.


ROMANS: These are the people who can afford to pay for it and that the middle class has been paying an unfair burden in terms of the tax -- running the government paying for the government --


ROMANS: -- compared with companies and the rich.

BOLDUAN: That's a choice, a philosophy, a view of who pays -- who should pay more and how you get the money.

One thing I can't get past, you can throw back up, $400 billion raised from tax revenue coming through comprehensive immigration reform.

ROMANS: That's right.

BOLDUAN: She is saying, something that has eluded this country since Ronald Reagan, needs to happen first before you can get the money.

ROMANS: And she has the price tag. This means you have additional --


ROMANS: -- for boosting the population. Think about how different that is in a philosophy than we see right now when we talk about limiting legal and illegal immigration.


ROMANS: She's talking about comprehensive immigration reform. I have been covering that many, many years. That's been elusive to

get close to since the early 2000s. She assumes a President Elizabeth Warren would be able to get a Congress onboard with the comprehensive immigration reform.

BOLDUAN: Banking on it, fine, sure, one thing everyone does. Lots of people do, let me say. Banking on it to cover the cost so you don't have to raise taxes on the middle class is a whole other ball game.

ROMANS: That's why it's theoretical with all this.



BOLDUAN: In some regard, in some ways, it's funny money. Everyone has been asking her to come up with how to pay for it and she has down it today.


ROMANS: But, listen, the White House responding already. Larry Kudlow already saying you can look at the numbers and it looks smart to have the plan but this is what it means for the American economy. Listen.


LARRY KUDLOW, ECONOMIC ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Let's be very clear. It is the middle class who would have to pay the extra $100 billion or more to finance this kind of Socialist government takeover of health care. It would have a catastrophic effect on the economy.

All the numbers we are seeing, all the numbers on incomes for households, wage increases, on jobs, all these numbers would literally evaporate. And, by the by, so would the stock market.


ROMANS: There you go. You got from the White House and from the Biden campaign, criticizes Elizabeth Warren's plan.

BOLDUAN: But I'm telling you, it's going to be interesting going forward.

Good to see you.

ROMANS: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thanks for being here.

Coming up for us, as we have been talking about, the Democratic presidential candidates gearing up for a big night in Iowa. And 14 candidates, 13,000 Iowa Democratic voters expected to gather. And now a new poll shows there may be a whole new top tier in that state.



BOLDUAN: It's the biggest gathering so far in one of the most important early voting states, and it's hours away in Iowa. It's a dinner party but, politically, much more than that. More like a potential launching pad into the February caucuses, which are just 94 days away now.

And the new poll is out giving everybody a new snapshot of the state of play. Look at that. "New York Times"/Sienna poll shows Elizabeth Warren as the top choice among Democrats in Iowa. Look below her. The top tier is close behind.

Joining me now, "New York Times" national political correspondent, Alex Burns.

Alex, I'm so happy you can be here.

Give me your big take because I'm fascinated by it.

ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: This is a close race, very much anybody's game in Iowa. Elizabeth Warren slightly ahead. But everybody in close striking distance of first place.

To me, the biggest, clearest takeaway from the poll is that Joe Biden is not the frontrunner anymore in Iowa. He came in with --

BOLDUAN: Was it one, two or three?

BURNS: Effectively, he could be anywhere between two or three.


BURNS: It's a close race for that second spot.

But when you dig a little bit deeper into the poll, it's full of alarming signs for him. You see him with virtually no support with voters under 45 years old. Support is overwhelming older voters. When you ask, Iowa voters, second choice, only one in 10 name Biden.


BURNS: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg all substantially stronger when you combine first and second place. Elizabeth Warren with the brought broadest support by that measure.

BOLDUAN: That important when it comes to the Iowa caucuses because of the very fun and funny caucus, the way caucuses work, the second choice can become the first the way things end up going.

Let's talk about Pete Buttigieg. Yes, they're all clumped up. Can you say this solidifies he is top tier? Is there any other way to look at it?

BURNS: Certainly top tier in Iowa. His big challenge at national level is he is not appealing to non-white voters, which is important in the Democratic primary. He has focused on a laser on Iowa on appealing to somewhat more moderate voters. Paying for television ads there more aggressively than anybody else in the field not a billionaire.

Tom Steyer very aggressive on air. Not that's getting him a lot in the poll.


BOLDUAN: He's getting on the debate stage but not doing much there.

BURNS: Right.

And speaking of the debate stage, you do see Biden's unsteadiness in debates catching with up with him. And you see more voters who look like Biden voters moving to the Pete Buttigieg camp.

This is the first poll so we don't have a trend line on this. When you look at older, moderate voters, they tend to lean towards Biden and towards Buttigieg.

BOLDUAN: Real quick, how confident are you this candidate can beat Donald Trump. The numbers there are fascinating. Very confident. You have Biden and Warren up there, Sanders and Buttigieg. They're all -- but they're not -- it's kind of an interesting look on the numbers there.

BURNS: There aren't huge differences here. That's probably another problem for Joe Biden. If he runs as the electability candidate, we don't have evidence that Iowa voters see him as more electable than the other best-known candidates in the field, Bernie Sanders and Warren.

Pete Buttigieg a little bit behind but he has probably more room introduce himself to people.

BOLDUAN: That may begin or continue tonight at this gathering tonight. Very interesting.

It's good to see you. Thanks for coming in. Good to see you, man.

Coming up for us, Facebook under fire again. This time, for shocking and malicious messages that are testing the social media platform's policy on bullying. Coming up next, an eye-opening CNN investigation.


BOLDUAN: One part of the country that has long struggled with the opioid epidemic is northern New Mexico. And one man is stepping in there to give young people a safe haven from it. And he is one of this year's top-10 "CNN Heroes." Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: Many much our kids come to us traumatized. We create a healthy environment wore young people can discover themselves and a way to contribute.

Long neck, just find the length.

When I see a child's face and spirit come to life, I don't need any more evidence. I know that that kind of joy is what will save them.



BOLDUAN: You can go to right now to cast your vote for the "CNN Hero" of the year.

We'll be right back.


BOLDUAN: How bad does bullying have to get to get removed from Facebook? That is the question at the core of a new CNN investigation. A six-month long deep dive is now raising concerns that the social media platform is turning a blind eye to some horrific online bullying that is taking place in real time.

CNN senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, joins me now. She's been working on this for a long time.

Elizabeth, what did you find?

DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, we found that Facebook says they do not tolerate bullies, but when you look at it, there are a lot of bulling out there and they do nothing or very little about it in many cases.

I want to introduce you to a woman named Aisha Ulivan (ph). Aisha's (ph) brother has an immune issue, so she gets on Facebook and tells the rest of us to get vaccinated to protect people like him.

Last April, she opened up her Facebook inbox, the direct private messaging service on Facebook, and she got this message. It calls her the "N" word and says, "Kill yourself, kill your parents, kill your kids." Called her an obscene word and then it gave her graphic instructions on how to slit her wrists. That's what's on the black box below there.

So Facebook looked into it, because she reported it to Facebook. They found this was not this woman's first-time offense.

And the punishment? The punishment was, they said, you can't send Facebook messenger messages for a month. She was allowed to do anything on her page or other's pages, just not send messages for one month.

When we said to Facebook, really, that's all you're going to do, Facebook said, yes, OK, we'll take her down. But it took us asking about it. Kate, we brought this up to Facebook, all the criticism, everything.

Here's what they had to say. They said they -- they refused to do an on-camera interview.

But they gave us this message, "We want members of our community to feel safe and respected on Facebook and will remove material that appears to purposefully target private individuals with the intention of degrading or shaming them."

"We try to empower our users with controls, such as blocking other users and moderating comments, so they can limit their exposure to unwanted, offensive or hurtful content. We also encourage people to report bullying behavior on our platform so we can review the content and take proper action."

So that's their statement -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Reported and then you see what happens. What about the Facebook messages, Elizabeth, that aren't reported, that CNN isn't flagging individually to Facebook?

COHEN: Right. We found dozens of messages that Facebook says, yes, they violate -- when we brought it up to them. They said, yes, that violates our standards, but nobody reported them except the woman we just talked about.


In many cases, Kate, they were parents who had just lost a child. So parents who just lost a child, were grieving and mourning, and were sometimes barraged by hundreds, sometimes thousands of messages. They could not possibly have reported them and certainly weren't in the emotional state to do so.

And Facebook says, you know, it's hard for us to detect these, people have to report them. But people I talk to said, wait a minute, they can't come up with algorithms to figure it out? They said they really have a hard time with that.

BOLDUAN: It's hard is not necessarily the best excuse.

Elizabeth, thank you so much. Great work.

COHEN: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.