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INSIDE POLITICS

Donald Trump's First Rally Since Impeachment Resolution Vote; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Public Impeachment Hearings Will Begin Soon; New Poll: 49 Percent Support Impeaching, Removing Donald Trump From Office; Senator Elizabeth Warren Hits Back At Democratic Critics Of Medicare-For-All; Senator Elizabeth Warren Pledges No Middle Class Tax Hike In Medicare-For-All. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired November 1, 2019 - 12:00   ET

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


[12:00:00]

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NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN HOST: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Nia- Malika Henderson. John King is off. The President has been to Mississippi tonight to rally supporters in a deeply red state in preview his impeachment rebuttal. Plus, Elizabeth Warren has a new plan to pay for Medicare for all buy can she actually keep her promise of not raising taxes on the middle class?

And Speaker Nancy Pelosi is on a bit of a mini media tour after that historic impeachment resolution vote. But she's not quite ready to be boxed in on a timeline.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When do public hearings start?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): They'll be soon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could you be vaguer?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENDERSON: We begin the hour with a President's impeachment anger after a consequential week that moved the inquiry into a new phase. A witch hunt like no other, the President tweeted this morning, and Trump is headed to Mississippi tonight, his first rally since Democrats voted to go forward with the impeachment inquiry yesterday.

It would be a pretty safe bet to venture that the rally atmosphere will only amplify the President's attacks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Thursday vote was one of necessity and that the President's actions boxed Democrats into a corner. But the President's team says that they believe that Democrats are wildly overplaying their hand.

We've got CNN's Kaitlan Collins who is at the White House. Kaitlan, we've been hearing from the White House this hour, and they're trying to show how they think that impeachment actually cuts in their favor. KAITLAN COLLINS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes and not just the White House, Nia, it's also the President's campaign who are saying that they raised $3 million online yesterday as Democrats were holding that first formal vote on impeachment as they were moving forward. But the bottom line is that White House recognizes what happened yesterday does under undercut that Republican talking point that you've seen that this wasn't a real inquiry because Democrats had not voted on it yet.

That is something they're going to have to come to terms with, as well as what Nancy Pelosi was just saying there, that these hearings are going to start moving from being held privately to being held publicly. The question inside the White House is whether or not they're going to beef up their strategy in order to deal with that to confront having these current and former officials on television talking about the President's effort here over withholding that military aid.

The Press Secretary was just on Fox News she that they do not feel the need to add any staffers to create any kind of a war room, because in her terms, the President is in his own war room here. He hinted to the fact that he may take matters into his own hands during another interview he did yesterday "The Washington Examiner," where he said, that he was considering reading that transcript of that phone call with the Ukrainian President live on television.

As some sort of fire side chat which would certainly be something, because after that transcript was released there were a lot of Republicans and people inside the administration who did not think it worked in the President's favor to release that, much less have to have the President to read it live on television, but it does give you a sense of how the White House is going to face what Democrats are doing on Capitol Hill.

HENDERSON: Is certainly does Kaitlan, thanks for that report. And here with me to share reporting as well as their insights we've got Julie Pace with "The Associated Press," Toluse Olorunnipa with "The Washington Post" Jordan Fabian with "Bloomberg" and Julie Hirschfeld David with "The New York Times."

A very big week that we had so far when you think about what happened on Monday for instance Pelosi announced this impeachment vote culminates on Thursday with the passage of that in the House we have the testimony from Vindman as well. Julie, I want to start with you. What is your sense of where we are now? If you think about the White House, if you think about what folks on Congress want to do? Where are we right now and where do you see this going?

JULIE PACE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, ASSOCIATED PRESS: I think there are two major dynamics that we saw play out this week. On the one hand we have a series of witnesses that continue to come forward on Capitol Hill that bolster the initial whistleblower complaint. We see more detail added to it, we see more corroboration added to it and it really does paint a picture of a President who was pushing a foreign government to try to investigate political opponents. On the other hand, we see the polarization deepen where, despite the new evidence we get in the corroboration we get, we see Republicans that at least publicly are standing with the President, and the result of it is an impeachment vote that does look very polarized at this point, that does look partisan.

I do think that one of the challenges for Democrats as they go forward, if they can't get Republicans to move on this, will be to try to paint this as something other than a partisan investigation.

HENDERSON: And Pelosi out there trying to do that, she faced some criticism yesterday, people kind of throwing her words back at her because she said she didn't want to move forward on something like this because it would be divisive. She wanted to be bipartisan here she was last night talking about it.

[12:05:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: I have not been, shall we say, enthusiastic about the divisiveness that what occur from a impeachment weighing the equities I had said then he is not worth impeaching because it's even going to divide the country further than he has already divided it. But this was something that you could not ignore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENDERSON: And Jordan, Nancy Pelosi in an interview with your outlet saying maybe there is a timeline where she could see the impeachment happening in November. That's certainly something that people are focusing on to figure out what is the timeline? Is it going to bump up too much against the presidential elections which begin obviously in 2020 February?

JORDAN FABIAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, BLOOMBERG: Right and so much of this I think goes back to the Mueller investigation, right? The fact that she held back from impeachment during the Mueller investigation and right afterwards allowed her to may be make that point, that was its own thing but now we need to move forward.

And also the timeline I think is being influenced by the Mueller investigation. That's something that really dragged out. It allowed the President and his allies to form a defense and really knock this down and form it into a partisan lens.

And by moving more quickly, I think the Democrats' hope is that they will be able to quickly make their point and move forward with impeachment.

HENDERSON: And you've seen from this President, you talked about what he did with Mueller over and over the no collusion and the witch hunt, which we see some of that now with witch hunt. And the other idea is that there is this perfect call. You heard Kaitlan allude to it, the President saying, at some point I'm going to sit down perhaps as a fireside chat on live television, and I will read the transcript of the call, because people have to hear it. When you read it, it's a straight call.

He then he goes on to say this, everybody knows I did nothing wrong. Bill Clinton did things wrong, Richard Nixon did things wrong. I won't go back to Andrew Johnson because that was a little before my time. But they did things wrong. I did nothing wrong. The President have had trouble having Republicans particularly on the Senate side back him on this idea, right, that he did nothing, it was a perfect call. This is certainly what he is going to try to do, essentially this branding nothing was wrong.

JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, CONGRESSIONAL EDITOR, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Of course, I mean, this is his big argument. He is owning what he said and he's basically making the argument there is nothing wrong with it. It's true when you hear Republicans talking about this process; so far they're talking about the process they're not necessarily talking about the conduct, which many of them find very disturbing, to say the least, although most of them will only say that privately.

The challenge now is going to be, now that they're past this vote, they can't really say anymore that this is not an inquiry that has been blessed by the House. It is clearly not been blessed by the House, it was a partisan vote. It couldn't have been more partisan than it was, but it happened. And so there is not really a way of dismissing this as an inquiry that is fake thing.

It's happening and it's going to go forward in public now, so they'll use that argument as well, that people aren't being allowed to see what's happening. But I do think that it is going to put pressure on Republicans, the fact that the President is so aggressively owning the conduct and the underlying facts that have come out again and again in these testimonies behind closed doors.

They're going to have to find a way to defend what many of them consider to be pretty inappropriate. We hear some of them saying, well I might not have talked that way, I might not have said it quite that way, but you know this President. They're going to have to really bolster that and beef that up because we know that the President has not been satisfied with these process arguments from Republicans. He wants them to say, this was the right thing to do.

HENDERSON: Yes, that's right and we haven't heard that so far from any Senate Republicans in particular. We've got some polling on this from "The Washington Post." your outlet, Toluse, ABC News and "Washington Post" this is what the numbers look like, should Trump be impeached or removed from office?

The total yes, 49 percent, no 47 percent, independents essentially flip there but you do show we'll put this on this screen in terms of Republicans his approval rating down a bit right? From July it was 87 percent, it's 74 percent now among conservatives it 77 percent and it's 67 percent.

Now, we do know that this is a President that looks at polls. The polls he doesn't like he sort of dismisses. But he also thinks he has got a special kind of lie-in with Republicans and conservatives in particular. We'll hear from him tonight at this rally tonight in Mississippi. What do you think he's going to say?

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, that's his biggest defense, the fact that the Republican base is with him and that's part of the reason you're not seeing Republican lawmakers break from him, because you will see that if any of them break from him, they will get the wrath of the Republican base.

So that's part of what the President is doing in terms of his defense. We have seen the numbers increase over the last four weeks as the President has gone through impeachment. We've seen more people support impeachment, in part because the White House and the President have not had a clear strategy of defense.

The President wants to cater specifically to his Republican base and that gives you maybe a third of the country, but Democrats and independents are saying that impeachment look more like the right thing to do in part because the President hasn't been able to say why he was pushing for a foreign government to investigate his political rivals. Republicans haven't backed up his idea that the call was perfect.

So the President is focusing on his base as a last line of defense but when it comes to reaching out to the broader country to defend himself against impeachment, it's not working across the country.

HENDERSON: And we do know that the numbers for the President look a bit different in some of the battle ground states right Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida, so I imagine that the President is heartened by that.

[12:10:00]

But you think about the kind of work that he had to do with Republicans in the House to get them to all vote against this resolution he was on the phone with folks pushing this.

JULIE PACE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "ASSOCIATED PRESS": Yes, I mean look when we put this in an election context, the President's path to reelection is narrow, the same was that it was in 2016. It exists but it's narrow and to total his point it's a base play.

His campaign is really not focused in any way at persuasion right now. They don't look at these independents and moderate Democrats and think that they may have a chance there. So he is going to be leaning hard into this idea that he needs to get Republicans - the same Republicans that voted for him n Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania need to vote for him again. It would lead him to a narrow victory but a victory nonetheless.

HENDERSON: Yes, and you saw this in the air that he ran during the nationals victory yesterday, which was essentially saying that, with his ad saying listen, the Democrats are wasting their time with impeachment and he's done all these great things in terms of the economy and national security. So they're doing this early and often.

Before we go to break a flashback from the presidential archives here is a look at President Franklin Dillon Rose Waltz first fireside chat from March 1933 on the banking crisis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANKLIN DILLON ROSE WALTZ, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Some of our bankers adjourn themselves either incompetent or dishonest in the handling of people's funds. You people must have faith. You must not be stampeded by rumors or guesses.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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[12:15:00]

HENDERSON: Senator Elizabeth Warren finally answering questions about how she actually plans to pay for her Medicare for all plans? She says she can still do it without raising taxes on the middle class instead Warren's campaign is offering up a laundry list of sources for funding her plan including more taxes on the wealthy as well as employer contributions.

Now her critics they remain doubtful, Joe Biden's campaign quick to respond and accusing her of "Mathematical gymnastics and hiding a simple truth from voters". Senator Michael Bennet's saying this "Warren's numbers are simply not believable".

But Warren is answering that criticism with a dare writing in a medium post every campaign who opposes my long term goal of Medicare for all should put forward their own plan to cover everyone without causing the country anything more in health care spending, and while putting $11 trillion back in the pockets of the American people by eliminating premiums and virtually eliminating out of pocket costs".

We've got CNN's MJ Lee she has been all over this campaign. She is live with us in New York and she has got the details. MJ, now this is the $20 million question that has been on everybody's mind, or maybe it's actually the $30 million question because that's one of the estimates of how much this would cost, depending on which economist you ask. How will she actually pay for this plan?

MJ LEE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, Nia, Elizabeth Warren has been under fire for weeks for not having a plan on how to pay for Medicare for all? And particularly on the question of whether middle class taxes would go up under Medicare for all? This is a question that she has been dodging for weeks, whether it's from reporters or some of her rivals on the Democratic debate stage.

And now today she's saying the answer to that question is no, she says not a single penny would go up under her plan of paying for Medicare for all on the middle class. This is just an interesting dynamic that we're seeing now between Senator Warren and Bernie Sanders, because Sanders himself, the author of Medicare for all, has said earlier this week that he doesn't think it's necessary yet to put out a detailed plan.

Now speaking of here is that plan, she says that the price tag for her Medicare for all plan would be $20.5 trillion of extra federal spending over the course of ten years and you see there she is laying out how she gets to that 20.5 trillion including continued employer contribution. We're talking about cracking down on tax evasion and fraud, and targeting big financial corporations and big companies and also beefing up the wealth tax.

She's now saying people who have wealth of more than a billion dollars would now pay six cents for every dollar of wealth over a billion dollars rather than three cents. Most of this actually falls into sort of the political message that she has long had of wanting the rich and big corporations to pay more, but certainly you can expect that her critics and skeptics are going to say this is not realistic, and as you just pointed out, her rivals are already jumping on board in criticizing her and saying that this price tag and how she plans to pay for all this is not realistic. Nia?

HENDERSON: MJ, thank you so much for breaking all those numbers down. We'll bring it here to the table here. In some ways this seems like it's going to open Elizabeth Warren to more criticism if you look at the details of this plan. You had folks call a lot of her plans pipe dreams, and you imagine this criticism is going to continue when you look at these numbers?

FABIAN: Right, I mean, politically I think this is something she probably had to do given the amount of flak she was receiving for not having a way to pay for a Medicare for all plan. But if you dig into the details, some of these assumptions are pretty wild. $400 million coming from passing comprehensive immigration reform, I mean, that's something that Congress hasn't been able to do for three decades.

[12:20:00]

FABIAN: That covers that debate on Capitol Hill on 2013. Julie has written an entire book about it. It's an extremely difficult thing to get through Congress, not to mention the wealth tax which is probably a billion dollars to the savings that's something that I would imagine would be very tough to pass through Congress given how politically and popular tax increases are.

So she has got a lot of assumptions in there that have you scratch your head and think this might not work out practically.

HENDERSON: And then Warren as we have seen over these last many months, doing quite well right? She has been the one who has been moving up in the polls. Biden has been slipping, and you look at the folks who actually like her we'll put this up on the screen. She's up 28 to Biden's 21. A lot of that support coming from folks who are very liberal, that's 48 percent.

But she's also not doing terribly among moderates and conservatives. Julie, she has about 20 percent there. Do voters care about this? Are they in the weeds with Jordan talking about how she plans to pay for it? She was under a lot of pressure from her rivals. And some voters too right, who are think how do you pay for it?

PACE: Yes, no I think that's a great question. Do voters care about these specifics? Jordan is spot on when he says that when you do dig into the specifics here, there are a lot of questions about how practical this is. One of the things that has really fueled Warren's rise is this idea that she does have a plan, that she's thought through this.

HENDERSON: I got a plan for that.

PACE: I have heard from voters in lot of these early states where they will say versions of this. They will say I might not agree with exactly where she is on the wealth tax or Medicare for all or a variety of things, but I like that she has thought it through. I liked that she would come to this with an idea that she actually believes.

There is a real sense that she has some core convictions on policies, and even if people don't exactly agree with them, they will like the fact that she has got these too. So potentially this could give her kind of an out on this issue that has been kind of this wild card for her.

HENDERSON: And here she is facing reporter's questions and we've been out there asking her about this plan for weeks. Here she is explaining it, sort of defending herself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will there be a tax like on the middle class? That is the question.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What matters is how people pay and how much they're paying? Costs will go up for the wealthy and for big corporations, and for hard-working middle class families costs will go down. I will not sign a bill into law that does not lower costs for middle class families. I continue to work on parts of it that need more information.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENDERSON: And Toluse, you imagine and we heard some of the attacks there from Biden's campaign and Senator Bennet's campaign as well. And you likely imagine that this is also an opening for somebody like Pete Buttigieg who brought this up in the debate, as well as Biden. And so this is a real vulnerability for her, but as Julie said people do like that she's at least aspirational.

OLORUNNIPA: Yes, she is trying to insulate herself from this attack line which we have seen in the past not only from Republican - from some Democrats in the primary is that if you're going to provide healthcare for everyone with Medicare for all, you are going to have to raise taxes on the middle class.

It does seem like with this plan with all of these different revenue sources that she's pulling from mostly from the wealthy and financial transactions and Wall Street that she's trying to saying I'm with Bernie on Medicare for all but I'm not with Bernie on the part where you have to raise taxes on almost all Americans. We'll see if that works for her and it does seem like they're going to be a lot of Democrats who challenge her with those same questions about whether or not she can actually make this work. Whether or not her numbers are realistic? But one thing to point on this is that she is going into more details than a lot of Republicans and a lot of other candidates have gone through when they put out policies and they're familiar with the tax plan from the Trump Administration did not have all of these details but they were able to put it there.

HENDERSON: And Bernie Sanders not big on details, here is he - here he is talking about his plan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're asking me to come up with an exact detail plan of how every American - how much you're going to pay more taxes, I don't think I have to do that right now. What I have to say - is to say yes--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think it's foolish that Senator Warren is trying to?

SANDERS: I'm not saying it's foolish. I'm not saying it's foolish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --because some people are saying that, like why - why you box yourself in with that kind of details?

SANDERS: Well, all that I'm saying is that we have laid out a variety of options all right, which are progressive. We're going to take those, we'll have that debate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENDERSON: So is Bernie Sanders right here that maybe being sort of vague is better than these detailed plans that Elizabeth Warren has?

DAVIS: I mean there's no question that it exposes her to vulnerability but I do think that Julie is right, that voters do want to hear that you've thought this through, that you have a plan. One thing that we saw in 2016 is that having a candidate come out and make bold pronouncements about what he wants to do actually appeals to people. They don't often look at the details as much.

[12:25:00]

DAVIS: And this having the details proposal out does allow her to sort of speak to her values. If you look at some other things she was - she says she wants to do. She is saying she wants comprehensive immigration reform; she says she wants to cut military spending. It allows her to kind of give a broader picture of how she would handle things if she was President. And that I think really will appeal to the base.

The question is will it hurt what you are talking about earlier which is her success so far and probably as it has been with some of the more moderate voters. When they start to see things like employers are going to have to pay trillions of dollars to the government for this plan, will that sort of turn those people--

HENDERSON: Yes, and we'll hear some of these candidates in Iowa. This weekend I'm sure they'll be talking about all of this. Up next, President Trump's economic message revs up as today's jobs report exceeds expectations but before we go to break Speaker Pelosi weighing in on Medicare for all.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: I'm not a big fan of Medicare for all. I mean, I welcome the debate. I think that we should have had health care for all. I think that the - care of benefit is better than Medicare benefit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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