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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Likely Entering Democratic Presidential Race; Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang Interviewed on Michael Bloomberg Entering Democratic Presidential Race; Michael Bloomberg Prepares to Enter Presidential Race; Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) is Interviewed About the Ongoing Impeachment Inquiry. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired November 8, 2019 - 08:00   ET

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


[08:00:00]

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rudy Giuliani's in fact is coming into focus with the release of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent's testimony transcript.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Giuliani is all over the place and is himself in legal jeopardy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Democrats have a lot of information already, and it would be great to have Mick Mulvaney.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's been in the middle of this. He was actually putting a freeze on aid to Ukraine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Friday, November 8th, it's 8:00 in the east. Alisyn is away. Bianna Golodyrga joins me for this rollercoaster this morning.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: On a busy morning. Great to be with you.

BERMAN: Michael Bloomberg, the multi, multibillionaire and former New York City mayor, is preparing to enter the presidential race now, in November, less than 90 days before Iowa votes. Bloomberg will file paperwork today to get on the Democratic primary ballot in Alabama. Why? Alabama has the first deadline, that's where you have to sign up first. Now, Bloomberg declined to jump in months ago, so what changed his mind here? "The New York Times" reports that Bloomberg sees weakness in the top tier of the Democratic field and doesn't think that Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders are strong enough to defeat President Trump. The 77-year-old has financial resources no other Democrats, really almost no other humans on earth can match. He's also a former Republican who turned Democrat ahead of the midterm elections. He was a Democrat before he turned to a Republican, before he turned to an independent, before he turned back into a Democrat.

GOLODRYGA: And now we know he is likely running for president of the United States. We are also following several major developments on the impeachment front as well, as investigators get ready for the first televised public hearings. That's going to be next week.

Meantime, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney subpoenaed to testify this morning but he is not expected to appear. That is not really a surprise.

And a lawyer for the whistleblower sending a cease and desist letter to the White House, demanding that President Trump stop attacking his client.

And "The Times" reports that Ukraine's president planned to announce an investigation of Biden as President Trump had wanted during a CNN interview in September. But it was scrapped when news of the whistleblower complaint and alleged quid pro quo broke.

BERMAN: Joining us now, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Mr. Yang, I hope you can hear me. I know we were having audio problems. Can you hear me?

ANDREW YANG, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, loud and clear. Thank you, John.

BERMAN: Fantastic. The robots are working for both of us this morning. I appreciate that. So if I can get your reaction to this really big news, which is that Michael Bloomberg and his $50 billion filing paperwork to enter the presidential race. What do you think of that?

YANG: Well, I'm friendly with Mike, and he's a great philanthropist, was a really stellar mayor, but I will say, it's going to be really difficult for him to jump in right now and somehow replace the thousands of conversations that many of the candidates have had with voters in New Hampshire and Iowa and around the country with ad buys. There are limits to what money can do. We're seeing some of the limits of what money can do with other candidates. And so I think he's going to have his work cut out for him if he jumps in.

BERMAN: What do you think it changes in the Democratic race?

YANG: It's probably going to change the price of advertising.

(LAUGHTER)

YANG: In some of the early states. And certainly, Mike has a very valuable perspective to offer. As an American, I'm glad that he is looking at the race because he's an extraordinary leader and has done a lot for the country.

BERMAN: You know what I'm interested in? If he gets on the debate stage and you were there beside him, I'm curious how you will explain to Michael Bloomberg why he deserves to receive $1,000 a month of your universal basic income, which is a big part of your campaign. So why will you tell Michael Bloomberg he should get $1,000 a month?

YANG: Well, it's opt in, so he doesn't need to take it. Knowing Mike, he probably wouldn't take it because he has bigger fish to fry, though you don't get to be a billionaire by turning down $1,000 a month, so you never know.

(LAUGHTER)

YANG: But the fact is that when the dividend is distributed in Alaska every year, it goes to the richest Alaskan and the poorest. And that makes it universal. It removes any stigma. It's not like you're getting it, I'm not getting it. You don't have to keep track of how much people are making. And that's part of what's made the petroleum dividend in Alaska universally popular for decades.

BERMAN: So you, talking about money, have your first big money campaign ad up and running in Iowa. Let's take a look here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Obama named Andrew a champion of change, and his ideas are a blueprint for a new way forward -- an economy where big tech and Wall Street are held accountable, a health care system with Medicare for all that takes on drug companies to lower prices, a fight against climate change that confronts big polluters.

[08:05:10]

YANG: We have to rewrite the rules of the 21st century so that they work for us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So it's interesting. That ad was really an introduction. You've been running for months now. That ad was fairly general, it struck me as fairly general, promoting a lot of the ideas that most of the Democratic candidates are. And while you had the words "Universal Basic Income" up on the screen, you didn't really talk about it. I'm just curious about why you chose to talk about what you did.

YANG: When we did some research, John, we found out most Iowans still were getting to know me. So as you say, this was very much an introduction ad. We're going to have more ads in the days to come that dig a little bit deeper. But we found out that people wanted to learn more about me and my background. And so that's what this ad is meant to provide.

BERMAN: You have come out in support of the impeachment proceedings. But you've also talked about the risk to Democrats focusing too much on it. And I'm just trying to figure out what ultimately that means. Does that mean if you were in the House of Representatives, you would vote to impeach the president, and if you were a Democratic senator that you would vote to convict him? Is that true?

YANG: Those things are true, but we have to face facts that not a single Republican crossed party lines to vote for impeachment proceedings, which strongly suggests that it's going to run aground in the Senate. And all of the oxygen is going to be around Donald Trump and not around a new way forward and a new vision for the country that Americans will actually get excited about. That's how we solve the problems that got him elected. That's how we beat him in 2020, and that's where our focus should be right now as Democrats or Americans.

BERMAN: So we're getting closer to Iowa every day. I'm curious what your closing message will be in Iowa to the Iowa voters?

YANG: My closing message to Iowans will be that we have left an awful mess for the next generation, for our kids, and that we have to do better. We have to create a new way forward that will enable us to be able to look our kids in the eyes and say, your country loves you, your country values you, and you are going to be all right. And if we can say that honestly, then we will win in 2020.

BERMAN: Just to wrap this up, or go back to the beginning here, Michael Bloomberg, obviously, is getting in the race because, for whatever reason, he doesn't think the Democratic primary field is strong enough. What do you think he sees?

YANG: I can't speak for Mike, but if you look at the numbers, I think he's concerned that there are a couple of frontrunners that have economic perspectives that differ substantially from his, and that he wants to make sure that his perspective gets represented. This is a democracy. You can't fault someone for putting their hat in the ring. And I believe that Mike has a lot to add. He's done a lot for the country over the last number of years.

BERMAN: Do you think that he's right that perhaps Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, some of their economic models, are too far from the mainstream? In your opinion, where does Andrew Yang sit in comparison to those?

YANG: Well, I think that we need to have 21st century solutions for 21st century problems, not solutions that have not worked in the past. And unfortunately, some of the candidates in the field seem like they're reaching backwards for solutions to today's problems, and they don't seem to have a sharp understanding of how technology is transforming our way of life, and particularly the decimation of millions of manufacturing jobs in the Midwest that led to Donald Trump's victory in 2016.

BERMAN: Andrew Yang, we appreciate you being with us this morning. Thanks so much for being here. People listen to what you said about ad prices, because you're absolutely right. That will be the immediate proximate effect of Michael Bloomberg's entering the race.

YANG: That's the biggest impact that we're looking at, John. See you soon.

BERMAN: All right, thanks.

GOLODRYGA: I also like the point that he made that Michael Bloomberg didn't become a billionaire by turning away $1,000. So what would he do with that?

BERMAN: I mean it. When they're on the debate stage together, that is a question I would ask Andrew Yang, if Michael Bloomberg deserves his universal basic income. So it will be an interesting juxtaposition there.

GOLODRYGA: It will be indeed.

Jeff Sessions kicks off his Senate campaign by praising the man who fired him a year ago, and that's President Trump, of course. So what's all that about? We'll discuss that, coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:13:42]

GOLODRYGA: Former New York City mayor and billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg is preparing to get into the presidential race. Bloomberg will file today to get on the Democratic primary ballot in Alabama.

Joining us for more on this, CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip and former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod, host of one of my favorite podcasts, "The Axe Files" here on CNN. Thank you for being here, both of you. David, let me start with you and your tweet after the announcement. You said "This is a thunderclap and not exactly a vote of confidence from leading moderate and durability of Joe Biden campaign." I think a lot of people initially responded that way, too. This must be an indictment on Joe Biden.

But I want to turn now to this new poll that we have from "The New York Times" and the Siena poll on a sampling of swing state voters. And they were asked if the Democratic presidential primary were being held today, who would you vote for? All but one went for Biden.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, this is one of the paradoxes of the Biden campaign, because his numbers have been generally holding up. They're not in Iowa. They've been sliding in Iowa. And there's concern about Iowa and New Hampshire. It's really more of a performance issue. It's this question of, can he hold up over the long run?

And I think that one of the reasons Bloomberg didn't get in in the first place was because he didn't think there was room.

[08:15:00]

So, he's betting that Biden will falter and there will be a lane for him in the middle of the electorate.

I also had a second tweet in which I pointed out that Biden's base is not a Bloomberg base. It's white working class voters, non-college educated voters, African-American voters.

Bloomberg's reach is not really into that constituency, and that's his problem. It's not clear where his votes are. And, you know, I think this is motivated by a combination of conclusion that Biden may not make it, ambition. And I think genuine concern about Trump and the re-election of Donald Trump.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: Because Biden may be losing money. H's not losing African-American support yet.

AXELROD: Not yet, no. We'll see if it holds.

The real question is can you lose the first two contests and win the nomination. It sort of defies the laws of presidential physics, presidential campaign physics but that's their plan.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You know, it's interesting. I brought this up a few times. I covered the Wes Clark campaign in 2000.

GOLODRYGA: He can't get over this.

BERMAN: Bianna is not impressed at all by that.

GOLODRYGA: That's political coverage.

BERMAN: She is not impressed at all by that. But one of the lessons --

AXELROD: He talked about it like it was Normandy.

BERMAN: One of the lessons I learned, Abby, is when you get in late like Wes Clark did, no matter how hard you tried, your campaign is definitionally about why you don't think the other candidates were good enough. So you're forced to answer that question the whole time.

So even if you want to be delivering a positive message or even talking about the general election, you are forced to talk about why you didn't think everyone else on that stage was good enough for why you got in. So, I'm wondering, is the mere fact that Bloomberg is getting in going to disrupt the field in a negative way? Is this something that all Democrats now need to worry about?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I do think that that question is one that Bloomberg is actually going to have to answer. He has to make the case for his own candidacy. Why him and not any of the other moderates in the race? Kamala Harris or Pete Buttigieg. Why him and not Biden, frankly?

I mean, even as much as this is an indictment on Biden, to David's point, what Biden does that Bloomberg -- I'm not sure that Bloomberg can do based on what we understand about his political appeal is unify as much of the Democratic constituency as you can get. The progressives, the moderates, the voters of color, African-American voters, Latino voters.

The candidate who is going to win the nomination is going to do the best as a Democratic candidate is going to have to do all those things. So, it's a real question. Can Bloomberg do all that? And he has to make that case to voters himself. And then, beyond that, you know, yesterday, I was speaking to a top Democratic official in Iowa who was talking to me about some of the candidates who were already in Iowa and who have been there for many, many months and who have really extensive ground games. And there's a sense, though, that even the ones who have put in a lot of time and money, it is, for some of them, not going to be enough because some of these early states are so difficult in terms of organizing, they require a lot of elbow grease on the ground.

And it is very difficult to parachute in there and somehow get people to dramatically change their minds just because they know your name.

Andrew Yang alluded to this earlier in your interview, John, where he said he's seen the limits of what money can buy in this campaign. I think that's a reference to Tom Steyer who has a lot of name ID because he's running millions of dollars of ads in this campaign but is struggling when it comes to the ground game and gaining traction beyond the single digits.

AXELROD: It's hard for me to believe that Bloomberg is going to go into Iowa. I don't think that's a very promising place for him. He's got to figure out where he's going to start this campaign. New Hampshire would make more sense because Republicans and independents can participate in that primary.

But I think the bottom line is, you know, running for president is really, really hard. People are in your face all the time. You are scrutinized in ways you've never been scrutinized before.

Mike Bloomberg is a very formidable guy. I have some doubts as to whether he's going to take to this presidential nominating process.

BERMAN: Someone else who jumped into the political arena officially last night is former attorney general and former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions who announced he's running for his old seat and he did it with this ad. I want to play it for you and then I want your reaction to it. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF SESSIONS, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: When I left President Trump's cabinet, did I write a tell-all book? No. Did I go on the CNN and attack the president? Nope. The president is doing a great job for America and Alabama, and he has my strong support.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Please, please don't take me, President Trump. Pretty please.

What did you see there, Abby?

PHILLIP: I mean, it is probably the only strategy available to Jeff Sessions right now. The problem is, I don't know that it's going to work. The president is still unhappy with Jeff Sessions. He really didn't

want Sessions to get into this race, and I don't know that any amount of hugging of President Trump in an ad like this is going to really change that if Trump decides at any moment, which he could do to simply tweet more attacks on him.

[08:20:11]

So, look, it's about the best that he can do. And it might work for now in Alabama, but this is going to be -- I actually think, surprisingly, it's going to be a challenging race for Jeff Sessions just because of the drama that is in his past and also because the Republican establishment seems just as much to not want this to happen as the president does. And so he's going to have to kind of run a little bit like an independent in Alabama if he's going to make this work politically without sort of getting attacked from all sides here.

AXELROD: We'll be able to test the limits of how flattery works with the president. We know he's subject to that. We'll see if even Jeff Sessions can work that magic on Donald Trump.

GOLODRYGA: Welcome to campaigning in the Trump era.

I want to talk about your conversation with Cindy McCain on the "AXE FILES" --

AXELROD: Yes.

GOLODRYGA: -- your podcast and one of your shows here on CNN as well because we heard earlier from Don Jr. when he was on "The View" yesterday and talking to Meghan McCain. And he in his own way, sort of apologized for the bickering and animosity that ensued between her late father and the president.

And I'm curious to hear what Cindy McCain's views are now about a year after his passing and what transpired.

AXELROD: Yes. Well, I will say that the telling question I asked her was, why didn't you invite the president to the funeral? And I think in that answer, you can get a sense of exactly how she feels about that.

BERMAN: Let's play it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AXELROD: So you had two presidents speaking. There was one president who wasn't there, obviously, and that was President Trump. Why?

CINDY MCCAIN: Well, I had to -- I had to worry about my family. And the family was somewhat bitter about things that had been said about their dad, and so it was -- it would have been very disruptive to my children.

And so, I took their lead on this whole thing. It was ultimately my choice and my decision. But it just -- I just didn't want any disruption. I didn't want anything to overshadow John McCain that day because that's why we were there.

AXELROD: Yeah, words matter.

MCCAIN: Words matter. Words matter. Especially to a dying man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GOLODRYGA: So important.

AXELROD: Yes, yes. So my guess is that whatever Don Jr. did on "The View" was not adequate to repair the damage that's been done because the president continues to harangue John McCain, even in death. Something else we talked about.

Yes, I don't think that breach will ever be repaired.

GOLODRYGA: Likely won't see an apology either from the president.

AXELROD: I don't think so.

BERMAN: Looking forward to seeing that.

Cindy McCain talks about her late husband's legacy and the state of the Republican Party on "THE AXE FILES" tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

GOLODRYGA: Former Vice President Joe Biden takes questions from voters in a presidential town hall. That's live from Iowa on Monday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

BERMAN: New this morning, President Trump's Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney received a subpoena to go testify before Congress this morning. He's not going to show up. Will it make any difference? We'll ask a House Democrat, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:27:50]

BERMAN: New this morning, President Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, received a subpoena to testify in the impeachment inquiry but he will defy that subpoena and not show up. This as Democrats are going to begin the public impeachment hearings next week.

Joining me now is Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch. He serves on the House Judiciary Committee.

Which after the intelligence committee holds these public hearings, it's in your lap, Congressman. It will go to the Judiciary Committee to vote on articles of impeachment. Walk me through what you think the expected timeline is now for this.

REP. TED DEUTCH (D-FL): Sure, good morning, John. Good to be with you. The -- we've gone through this process over the past six weeks that's

been very deliberate. Since the call came out, we looked at that. We've had these witnesses come in. I serve on the Foreign Affairs Committee also. I've sat through the depositions.

Now, we're going to enter the public phase. The transcripts are coming out and the witnesses are going to start coming in to express publicly what we heard in these depositions. And that is their grave concern about the actions taken to undermine our national security and betray the president's oath of office.

And those will go on as long as need be. It's important for the story to come together. Then the committee, the intelligence committee will put together a report. Send it to the judiciary committee. Judiciary committee then will decide how to move forward on articles of impeachment.

BERMAN: Mick Mulvaney not showing up today to testify. Ambassador John Bolton not showing up, although you didn't issue a subpoena necessarily for him.

Why not fight this? Why not fight the fact that Mulvaney is defying the subpoena? Why not fight to have John Bolton come testify?

DEUTCH: Well, we've seen the efforts of the administration to obstruct investigations going back -- going back to march when the Mueller report came out. We've seen the ongoing effort to prevent people from coming to testify, then to the Judiciary Committee.

Now they've tried to prevent people from testifying in front of the Intelligence Committee and to speak to these important questions about the president of the United States using his office to pressure a foreign government to help him.

END