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2020 Democratic Primary Polls; Sanders Busts some Moves; Climate Change Becoming Costly; Gulman Tackles Mental Illness. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 27, 2019 - 08:30   ET



FRANK BRUNI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That kind of momentum coming out of those two states. What happens --

AISHA MOODIE-MILLS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Now he gets smacked in South Carolina.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Now -- now you're speaking my language here because this is --


BERMAN: This is like --

BRUNI: Yes, South Carolina is a problem. Yes.

BERMAN: Well, here's the thing, this is like the one moment every election cycle where we can utter the words brokered convention, right, because -- seriously, because you have a situation where the four early states could be won by three different candidates. If you have Pete Buttigieg winning Iowa. New Hampshire say maybe Bernie Sanders does. Nevada and South Carolina, South Carolina looks solid for Biden.

Aisha, what happens if we have three different people who have won states after four -- after four states vote?

MOODIE-MILLS: Then I think we look at what's happening on Super Tuesday. So here -- here is the thing. We can't -- we can't skip over the fact of -- the fact that African-Americans are going to decide these contests, right? It's -- are going to decide at least the early delegates. You know, get later on, that changes.

So coming through those, Iowa, New Hampshire don't really have a lot of delegates. South Carolina's going to be a really big deal and it's probably going to be whoever really connects with African-American voters. Right now it's looking like Joe Biden. We're going into Super Tuesday. Again, a bunch of southern states that have a high concentration of African-American voters.

So, yes, Pete looks good in the polls right now. I don't really know where he's going after that in terms of his path to getting the delegates that he needs to get. Elizabeth Warren is doing better. Bernie's doing better. I think right now Biden is the one who's kind of putting it together in terms of where am I getting my delegates from that add up, which is what we also need to be reminding people, because Iowa and New Hampshire are fine, but they're becoming less significant when you have three people splitting the vote, they're becoming less significant in terms of our pathway to victory because it's really about counting those (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: Here's a relevant poll, before you answer, just what you're talking about -- 103 -- this -- are the different demographics. So, as you can see, the white voters, Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg. Buttigieg is at 17 percent. And then he's right now non-white, which is Hispanic and blacks, 4 percent.

BRUNI: I was going to say, there are a lot of us who have not believed that Joe Biden can or will go the distance. And I do think it's time to recognize that he could very well be the nominee. It's impossible not to entertain that thought when you look at the fact that he came out of the gate in the spring with the lead. He still has the lead six months later. And he has the lead after so many flubs, you know, after answers in debate that, if you were trying to evaluate his syntax and grammar you'd need a super computer to diagram it all. I mean he is --

BERMAN: Or a record player.

BRUNI: Right. No, he has had one of the weakest performances I've ever seen a frontrunner have in any nominating contest and yet he remains in the lead by quite a bit. The other thing this poll shows is there are four candidates and then there's everybody else.

MOODIE-MILLS: Everybody else. There is, you know, Biden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg and then there's a steep, steep drop off. And what happened to Kamala Harris?

MOODIE-MILLS: You know what's going to be interesting to me, Frank makes a great point, and I'm really looking now to see who has the best ground game, because, at the end of the day, we can poll a thousand people, which is about what these polls do, and say, well, what are our attitudes? What do you care about?

But, at the end of the day, given how close this is going to be with those top four, it's all about the ground game and who's actually going to get out there are voters. Elizabeth Warren right now is killing it across Iowa. Pete's got the money to spend, to kind of bring more people out. The Bernie crowd, very loyal. They're going to turn out.

So, so much of these polls are showing that Joe Biden is off the -- is who's coming off of, you know, the top of people's heads, the top of people's, you know, tongues, but is Joe Biden going to have the organizing strategy to turn out the votes? That's going to be interesting.

BRUNI: And a related question, will he have the money? He has not been raising money the way Pete Buttigieg has.


BERMAN: I will say, the ground game matters a lot in the first four states. It's hard to have a ground game on Super Tuesday --


BERMAN: Because no one has the money or the time or the --

BRUNI: Mike Bloomberg has the money.

MOODIE-MILLS: So does Tom Steyer.

BERMAN: But I -- you know, when we put up those numbers for non-white voters, that includes African-Americans and Hispanics. We don't have a split out of just African-Americans. But Biden's doing even better among black voters. Do you think -- Aisha, I'll go to you first, do you think there's any reason to think that anyone's going to cut into that?

MOODIE-MILLS: No, because he's got the Obama factor. So -- so there's two things, he may have the majority of African-American voters, but we're already seeing Elizabeth Warren cutting into that. Meaning, if you look at South Carolina and look at her numbers, they've just been going up and up and up. And because she's so substantive on policy -- she was just down in Atlanta and did an amazing speech talking about -- talking about issues with African-Americans. It was kind of her race speech, if you will. She's extremely articulate and connects with the community. I think the more people hear her, she's going to keep rising, cutting into and taking away, maybe not, what she's doing there.

CAMEROTA: Aisha, Frank, thank you very much.

And you might want to stick around for the next piece. It's a funny one.

BERMAN: Yes, see. Exactly. Exactly. And I think that's connected to this piece. "Burn, Baby Burn." A recent heart attack did not keep Bernie Sanders from busting some moves on the dance floor.

Jeanne Moos has the story.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): You know how Bernie Sanders could get a little grouchy?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: OK, if we could keep that down a little bit.

MOOS: Well, now, you can't keep him down. This is the story of Bernie's night as a --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Dancing queen.

MOOS: Not quite two months after his heart attack. The sound of the Temptations lured him onto the dance floor.


And Bernie invited woman after woman to take a spin.

Even if this one shyly resisted his attempt to twirl. And even when he tried to stop, one after another, they kept cutting in.

Flashes popping as they scored dancing selfies.

MOOS (on camera): Would Bernie have been tempted to get down to the Temptations before he had his heart attack?

MOOS (voice over): Those who cover him say he's a more lighthearted, humorous man after the health scare. Sure, he's not the only one burning up the dance floor.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg's supporters have gone viral with a "Panic at the Disco" dance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's all part of Mayor Pete's strategy to get a negative percentage of the black vote.

MOOS: Nothing strategic about Bernie's dancing. He was pounced on by 23 women and one guy. As the Four Tops put it --

FOUR TOPS (singing): Can't help myself.

MOOS: Neither could Bernie.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


CAMEROTA: OK, he was enjoying himself there. I -- you know, I said it was funny. No, it was a fun package.

BERMAN: It's inspiring.

CAMEROTA: Inspiring.

BERMAN: It's inspiring. I want to dance like Bernie Sanders one day.

CAMEROTA: I think you can. I think if you try really, really hard and you practice a lot this weekend, with a lot of pictures on Instagram, you can.

BERMAN: I'll show you. I'll show you Monday.

CAMEROTA: That would be great.

All right, meanwhile, something very serious. The climate crisis is already costing a lot of Americans big money.

"CNN Business" on this, next.



CAMEROTA: It's time for "CNN Business." Homeowners and insurance companies are facing a new reality because of climate change.

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here to tell us how much the climate crisis is costing Americans.

Is there a price tag on all of this?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: There really is. You know, climate change is exacerbating weather patterns, making home insurance unavailable or unaffordable in some high-risk states. Data shows payouts for natural disasters for 2017 and 2018 combined was $219 billion. That's the highest ever for a two-year period. Data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners shows every state saw annual premiums rise between 2007 and 2016.

States in tornado alley saw the biggest jump. Oklahoma, for example. Premiums there jumped 78 percent over a decade. That's an extra $821 a year.

Now, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Oklahoma has declared 96 natural disasters this year, the second most in the country behind California. Now, insurers are also limiting coverage in states they deem too risky, like Florida, because of hurricanes. Homeowners there have seen insurance costs rise in areas considered more at-risk by insurers. And also California because of wildfires. Insurers are pulling back from high-risk areas, leaving homeowners scrambling. Merced Property and Casualty in California filed for bankruptcy last year after it was unable to pay out millions in claims after the devastating Camp Fire there.

And, John, big picture on the economy, we just got a new reading on third quarter GDP, 2.1 percent, showing the economy is still moving forward this fall.

BERMAN: All right, thanks very much.

So normally there's really nothing funny about mental illness, unless you're Gary Gulman.


GARY GULMAN, COMEDIAN: The only anti-depressants we had access to in the 1970s and '80s pretty much was, snap out of it, and, what have you got to be depressed about?


BERMAN: The comic turned his struggle with depression into a stand-up TV special. I am so excited for you all to see this, next.

CAMEROTA: I can't wait to see this.



BERMAN: So we have a different type of Thanksgiving story this morning. You might all know comedian Gary Gulman. He's a big deal. These days he's giving thanks and giving back. Giving thanks because of all the help he has had in his fight with severe treatment resistant depression and giving back because his new HBO comedy special "The Great Depresh" makes you laugh, it makes you think. When I first saw it, I have to say, I was so deeply moved that I decided I wanted to meet him. And, luckily, I have a TV show, so you can meet him, too.


GARY GULMAN, COMEDIAN: Over the years I have tried Pamelor, Nortriptyline, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Paxil, Abilify, Adderall, Afexa (ph), Celexa, Zyprexa. At one point my doctor said, let's just try drugs that rhyme. Thank you, Dr. Seuss.

BERMAN (voice over): Comedian Gary Gulman makes jokes about his depression because he has to.

GULMAN: Thank you. Thank you so much.

I was so clearly in distress. My hands were shaking. I acknowledged that I was sick, and I started to write jokes about it because that -- that's the most comfortable I am is when I'm being funny. So I started saying things like, have you ever gotten recognized in the psyche ward?

BERMAN (on camera): So it's a true story, you were recognized in the psyche ward?

GULMAN: Yes. Yes. Yes. The day I got there, a man came up to me and he said, I won't tell anybody, but you're Gary Gulman, right? Am I crazy or are you Gary Gulman?

I grew up at a -- at a time the definition of manhood was so narrow.


You were either Clint Eastwood or you were Richard Simmons. There was nothing in between. There were no Paul Rudds. No kind-eyed Mark Ruffalos. You had to be so hard.

BERMAN (voice over): His new film, "The Great Depresh," is a brutally honest chronicle of his journey back two years ago from a near fatal battle with treatment resistant depression.

BERMAN: (on camera): You said you were afraid you would never get better.

GULMAN: Yes. I wasn't communicating. I didn't feel good about anything. There was nothing I looked forward to. And I spent a lot of time trying to think of painless suicides. Yes. BERMAN (voice over): He was forced to step back from comedy, admitted himself to the hospital, twice, and more.

GULMAN: My psychiatrist is an advocate for and an expert in something called electroconvulsive therapy, which used to be called electroshock therapy, but they felt electroshock was not quite horrifying enough. They said, yes, electroshock is disturbing, but I feel like we're soft selling the convulsions.

BERMAN (on camera): How important is it to you to destigmatize these things. Like the hospital. Like electroconvulsive therapy?

GULMAN: I think I have a responsibility and an obligation, but also I'm so grateful for feeling good that I want to share this, that if people feel the way I felt, can feel better, I would do everything in my power to get that information to them so that they'll try it and so that they won't be afraid.

BERMAN: You actually joke about suicide notes?

GULMAN: Yes. Yes. And I was concerned about that.

I really feel, in some way, that my aversion to essays has saved my life again and again because any time I've contemplated suicide, I've thought, you got to leave a note. I'm not spending the last hour of my life doing something I have dreaded throughout it.

I didn't want to trivialize people who leave suicide notes or who are suicidal, so we -- we actually checked that with the National Foundation for the Suicide Prevention to make sure that it wasn't insensitive.

BERMAN: Really?

Was that the closest to the edge?

GULMAN: Yes, I think so. I think that was the closest to the edge. And also there was one joke where I -- where I said that I would compare my childhood to Charlie Brown's if Snoopy had died and I said that's too dark and really sad.

BERMAN: So I laughed at that joke. My wife went, awe.

GULMAN: Yes, it's so sad.

The only anti-depressants we had access to in the 1970s and '80s pretty much was, snap out of it, and, what have you got to be depressed about? That was the second leading brand of anti-depressant.

BERMAN: Were you convinced that you could make mental illness funny?

GULMAN: I was convinced at that point that even if I didn't make mental illness funny, it would be a valiant effort. Sort of a quicksodic (ph) effort that even if I failed miserably, if this was something that took some courage and quickly it became not even an act of courage because it worked so well. BERMAN (voice over): So well that he landed the HBO special. So well

that people are laughing. A lot. And so well that he's having an impact on people's lives, right before our eyes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My sister and brother both have severe depression --

GULMAN: I'm so sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I talk about you.

GULMAN: Oh, all right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're an inspiration.

GULMAN: OK, thank you. That's so nice. Thank you. That doesn't happen every day, but --

BERMAN (on camera): Yes, see.

GULMAN: But occasionally.

BERMAN: You say the first time you watched the special, once it was all cut together --


BERMAN: You cried.

GULMAN: It hit me that it was over and I survived and now I'm thriving.

BERMAN: How do you know you're going to be OK?

GULMAN: Well, I don't. But, I am optimistic and it doesn't dissipate. If anything, the work and the talks that I've given have given me more energy, and I can't thank God, the universe, the computer simulation that we're living in, whatever you -- whatever gets you out of bed, I can't thank that entity enough for saving me.

I am so glad -- are you kidding me -- that I stuck around for this. Oh!


CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, John, that is so powerful. That is such an important message that he could come out of it. He had the worst kind of depression --


CAMEROTA: Resistant. And if he can come out of it, that is the most hopeful message I think that he can send to people.

BERMAN: And he's so grateful again for the hospital. He's grateful for the electroconvulsive therapy. [08:55:00]

He's grateful for his therapist. And all the help he's had.

And now that he's telling history, I think the most wonderful thing is he's doing these stand-up acts and people laugh. I mean there's a lot of really funny stuff here. But people are coming up to him after he show -- and we saw it right outside our building here. People are coming up to him and saying, thank you. And you were telling my story, or, I have a sister or a brother whose going through this, and you're making them feel much better about it. So it's not just that he's doing entertaining work, he's doing really important work also.

CAMEROTA: It's just such an important message. You know you're -- there used to be a time on television where we were told not to talk about -- ever about suicide for fear of the contagion. But knowing that there is a hopeful note and that you can come out of it is really important to talk about.

BERMAN: And he's got a lot of resources on this. So check Gary out on Twitter. And if you know someone whose struggling, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. That's 1-800-273-8255.

CAMEROTA: OK. Back to the politics of the day.

BERMAN: It's hard.

CAMEROTA: Back to the politics of the day.

The president knew about the whistleblower complaint before the released the military aid. We have new revelations, next.