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Jill Biden on the 2020 Presidential Campaign; Kansas City Chiefs Win Super Bowl, First Title in 50 Years; Trump Congratulates Wrong State After Super Bowl Win; China's Stock Markets Plunge Over Coronavirus Crisis. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired February 3, 2020 - 07:30   ET

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


[07:30:00]

JILL BIDEN, WIFE OF FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: -- I mean, the people there were just -- everybody was -- the service was so uplifting, and then I traveled to rural Iowa and I talked to farmers and I listened to some of the struggles that they're dealing with, with climate change and with the tariffs and how the -- you know, how this has hurt them. And, you know, they might have been Trump supporters once upon a time, but now that's going to change because Trump has hurt them.

And I heard a story recently from a woman farmer who said, you know, climate change has hurt us. We've lost our farm. My husband had a nervous breakdown. Suicide rates are up among farmers and they said, you know, Trump isn't who he said he was going to be.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I mean --

BIDEN: And they want a -- they want a moderate.

BERMAN: They want a moderate?

BIDEN: They want a moderate.

BERMAN: What do you mean by that, as opposed to what?

BIDEN: Well, they don't want somebody too far left or too far right. I think Joe just fits the bill. You know, he is someone they can believe in. His ideas are practical and achievable, and I think that people who may have voted for Trump, or independents who are kind of on the fence, you know, they're going go for Joe Biden.

BERMAN: What's the risk of nominating someone who is not, as you say, a moderate?

BIDEN: Well, I don't think it appeals to the Democratic Party. You know, all across America, I think Americans want someone in the middle.

BERMAN: Bernie Sanders, as you well know, look he could emerge the winner tonight. If he does, he's certainly not what you would consider to be a moderate. Does that mean the Democrats might want something different than that?

BIDEN: Of course they want something different. They want someone who's moderate. They want someone who reflects their values and who they are all across America. And I think that's -- they don't want somebody who's too far this way or too far that way. Joe lays out his plans, he lays out how he's going to pay for them, and I think that appeals to Americans.

BERMAN: Is Bernie Sanders, Senator Sanders, too far left in your mind?

BIDEN: Well, he is for me.

BERMAN: You're announcing it -- you're announcing your support officially this morning for Joe Biden. Well, thank you for making news.

I imagine there's no more keen observer of Joe Biden than you. You've seen him throughout the years, you've seen him do this very thing.

BIDEN: Yes.

BERMAN: Throughout the years campaigning in Iowa. How is he different now?

BIDEN: You know, there's -- Joe is the same Joe he's always been. You know, I've -- we've been married for 42 years, he's always supported my career. I've -- you know, I'm supporting his career and he hasn't changed. He's still the -- you know, the -- he connects with people. He still has the same empathy, the same heart, and that's what I think appeals to Americans.

BERMAN: Have the stakes of this campaign made him approach it differently?

BIDEN: Well, there certainly is an urgency of now. I mean, we have never seen a president like Donald Trump, and I think Americans are really desperate to change the leadership of this country.

BERMAN: You have called Hunter the heart and soul of the Biden family.

BIDEN: Yes, he is.

BERMAN: What was it like the last two weeks for him watching this impeachment trial? Watching him repeatedly brought up on the floor of the Senate?

BIDEN: Well, you know, as a mother, it's really tough to see your son attacked and this is all about Donald Trump. This is not about Hunter Biden. This is about Donald Trump, who invited another country to come and look up, you know, dirt on the Biden family. And it's just disgraceful.

BERMAN: And as a mother, how has it affected you?

BIDEN: You know, it hurts. I mean, it's been very hurtful. And -- so we're just moving forward. You know, we knew Trump would be tough and we knew he would probably tell lies, as he continues to do. And we are ready for him.

BERMAN: Lindsey Graham, the Senator from South Carolina, whom I think you count as a friend.

BIDEN: We did. Yes.

BERMAN: We did?

BIDEN: Well, you know, Lindsey -- I don't know what happened to Lindsey. And we used to be great friends and friends with John McCain. I mean, we traveled together with the Foreign Relations Committee. We've had dinner -- you know, I've -- and now he's changed.

BERMAN: Do you consider him a friend anymore?

BIDEN: You know, it's hard when you -- I don't know, consider somebody a friend and then they've said so many things -- so many negative things and it's -- that's been a little hurtful.

BERMAN: I didn't even get my first question out about him, which he has now suggested that Hunter should be called before a Senate committee to testify.

BIDEN: Hunter has done nothing wrong. Why would Hunter be called? Donald Trump should be before that committee.

BERMAN: Going forward, you say you're going to win tonight.

BIDEN: Yes.

BERMAN: What happens if the former vice president doesn't win here? Then you go to New Hampshire which is bordering Vermont. Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire by a lot, not by a little, by a lot, four years ago.

[07:35:05]

What do you do to stay competitive in this race?

BIDEN: We move forward, that's what we do. We move forward. We are plan -- we're not quitting. We're going the whole way. So, John, you look for us in all these upcoming states because we're going to be there.

BERMAN: I will look for you in New Hampshire tomorrow.

BIDEN: Yes.

BERMAN: Jill Biden, it's great to see you here.

BIDEN: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: Thanks for coming to Drake University. Good luck tonight and going forward in this campaign.

BIDEN: Yes. It's exciting -- it's an exciting day. Thanks. BERMAN: All right. Alisyn, let's go back to you.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: John, great interview. I mean, and really candid stuff about how she feels about former friends. That was fascinating. Thanks so much. We'll be back to you in a moment.

The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions. But they should share their trophy with Shakira and JLo because the halftime show still has everybody buzzing. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:40:11]

BERMAN: So for the first time in 50 years, the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions. Now in the playoffs they came back from 10 points down, 24 points down. And then last night they pulled off another come from behind victory. Down 10 in the fourth quarter, they had the Niners just where they wanted them. That stunning 44-yard pass, a key part of the comeback.

Patrick Mahomes, the youngest to win a Super Bowl and a league MVP in the same season. So that was the game. And then there was this halftime show that you might have noticed or obsessed over as this case may be. Shakira. That was Shakira, and Jennifer Lopez, they put on an incredible, incredible show, Alisyn.

Are you looping this yourself, John? Are you controlling the video that we're seeing right now because I feel like you're really leaning pretty heavily into the Shakira stuff right now. And I mean, it was electrifying. There's no two ways about it.

And by the way, Adam Levine and Justin Timberlake and Cold Play better be doing some soul searching this morning because these guys put them to shame. I would do this every year, I don't think the NFL ever needs to look anywhere else but these two. They should be the halftime show every single year.

BERMAN: Every year. I'd watch Shakira dance every day. Forget every year. And I had the same reaction about the halftime -- wait, are you trying dance like Shakira?

CAMEROTA: Yes.

BERMAN: It's not quite -- I mean, you're great. It's not quite the same. It's not quite the same. Give me a sec.

And I will say I had the same reaction to you with the halftime show which is that there's no reason they have to stink. This proves they can be really good. We never have to see another bad halftime show.

CAMEROTA: No, we don't. This -- they've set the bar this high. I don't think anybody can meet it except them. So let's just do this over and over and over again. It just worked so beautifully.

I mean, they're powerhouses. They're forces. Look at them, on every level. They were --

BERMAN: I was. I have been. Trust me.

CAMEROTA: All right, John.

BERMAN: Trust me.

CAMEROTA: I don't know what he means by that.

All right. Meanwhile, President Trump quickly took to Twitter to congratulate the Super Bowl champs. "Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs on a great game and a fantastic comeback", he wrote, "under immense pressure. You represented the great state of Kansas, and in fact, the entire USA very well."

The problem is the Kansas City Chiefs play in Kansas City, Missouri. That tweet was corrected 12 minutes later. This is not the first time geography has been an issue for President Trump.

Joining us now is John Avlon. Hi, John.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Hello.

CAMEROTA: Twitter is having a good time with this.

AVLON: Yes.

CAMEROTA: Let me play you a couple of moments from Twitter. Former Senator Clair McCaskill of Missouri said, "It's Missouri you stone cold idiot."

AVLON: It's to the point.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Then here's somebody who decided that the president could just with a sharpie fix his little problem as we've seen happened before.

AVLON: As he is one to do. Yes.

CAMEROTA: It's right there. Then former RNC chairman Michael Steele said, "I got nothing for this one. Hashtag simply stupid."

Former lawyer in the Obama administration, Andrew Weinstein says, this would be funnier if he didn't have the access to the nuclear codes.

And then Philippe Reines says, "Any blank maps to spare of your home state?" He's asking Pompeo.

So, I guess it's funny but is it not funny that the president -- what I think is that he doesn't know that Kansas City is actually in two different states.

AVLON: Clearly. I mean, that's the deal. And look, this is mildly tricky. This is the extra credit question on the third grade geography exam. But you'd expect the president to know that one. I mean, Kansas City is a major great American city. And folks who have a passing interest in geography, politics, or sports know that it's Kansas City, Missouri. The president apparently does not.

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, I think this wouldn't be so outrageous if we hadn't just seen Secretary Pompeo try to school an NPR reporter about finding Ukraine on an unmarked map. So if he's such a professor of geography, perhaps he has a map he'd like to show President Trump.

AVLON: You know -- yes. First, school yourself. I mean, that was an attempt to shame the NPR reporter. She picked out Ukraine on the map we should say, and then there was a non-sequitur in Pompeo's notes saying, and for the record, Ukraine is not Bangladesh which nobody suggested it is.

You know, Rick Wilson, caught a lot of heat on CNN for joking that President Trump could not find Ukraine on a map. Not being able to locate Kansas City correctly seems like a much bigger deal. And we've got evidence in the president's own words, but he apparently can't make that leap.

[07:45:01]

CAMEROTA: You just did a whole reality check about how the president claims things and then hides the evidence of them.

AVLON: Yes.

CAMEROTA: And one of them is, you know, about his college transcripts and his grades. And so, should we be alarmed today that the president of the United States doesn't know U.S. geography?

AVLON: Look, it's just one more example of setting a bad example. You know, the president lies all the time. That doesn't send a good message. At a time when you cut a lot of civics education and basic things of American history and geography, the president's not setting the kind of example you would hope. You'd also just hope that an adult who cares about the country as the president presumably does would know these things.

So, yes, to the extent the president sets an example and other people are supposed to look towards it, he seems to be missing a couple of basic remedial facts about the United States. So you can say close but no cigar, Mr. President. You could break out the sharpies, you can look at all the Twitter mocking. But this is something the president should know.

Give it pass the long-term but let's keep in mind, any minor slip like this would be exploited by folks if a Democrat was doing it. It's worth talking about, it's worth calling out. And presumably he won't forget that Kansas City is, in fact, in Missouri.

CAMEROTA: John Avlon, thank you very much.

All right. Now to this, the deadly coronavirus is rattling Asian markets in a big way this morning. So we have a live report from Beijing on this crisis next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:50:27]

CAMEROTA: China stock market is plunging today on fears of the coronavirus. More than 360 people have died in China, and more than 17,000 people have gotten sick there. This comes as China is accusing the United States of overreacting with some new travel restrictions.

CNN's David Culver is live in Beijing with more. What's the latest on the ground there, David.

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn to put it bluntly, the Chinese foreign minister came out today and they are furious with the U.S. They feel like these travel restrictions were unnecessary, they call them an overreaction. The reason they're so upset is because several other countries have now followed suit and they are putting their own travel restrictions on China. Essentially, Mainland China and the 24.4 billion people have become isolated from the rest of the world.

I want you to hear a little bit of what the foreign ministry spokesperson had to say. Some strong words here. This is just part of a very long statement saying, quote, the U.S. Government hasn't provided any substantial assistance to us but it was the first to evacuate personnel from its consulate in Wuhan, the first to suggest partial withdrawal of its embassy staff, and the first to impose travel ban on Chinese travelers. All it has done could only create and spread fear which is a bad example.

Now this may also be part of the reason as to why the evacuation flights, one of which was scheduled to happen today were delayed. We're hearing there's a back and forth between the two governments, the U.S. and China, and folks on the ground who are trying to get out of Wuhan, the epicenter of all of this, tell us that it's been delayed and they haven't heard when it's going to be rescheduled.

Well, it seems like when you look at Japan and South Korea, they're bringing in medical supplies with their evacuation flights. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying they now may considering bringing in medical supplies in exchange of goodwill if you will.

Meantime, as far as the stocks are concerned, as you mentioned that, Alisyn, major plummets starting out today here and continuing throughout the day. Asian markets roughly down eight percent. And they're trying here in China to essentially pump the market with money. A $173 billion because they kind of anticipated this given it's the first day back after the lunar New Year holiday which was extended. And so ultimately though, there's no telling, Alisyn, how much longer this will loom over this region.

CAMEROTA: David, thank you very much for that. We will check back with you as we do everyday. Thank you.

All right, so President Trump is just days away from being acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate, it appears, despite some GOP senators now conceding that he acted improperly. They even say it's wrong but they believed not impeachable.

Joining us now is Ezra Klein, he's the co-founder of Vox, he's the host of the "Ezra Klein Show", and he's the author of this important new book called, "Why We're Polarized". And that seems like a topic we should get to today as -- in light of everything that we've just experienced.

I want to read a little portion from your book just to start the conversation about polarization and what you've found about how we've gotten to this point of such polarization in this country. You say, "The problem in our system is that it is built so that in conditions of polarization, there is not a way to resolve disagreement. This system gridlocks into forms of paralysis or just unending conflict. But that is a political system design problem, not a polarization problem."

What do you mean?

EZRA KLEIN, HOST, THE EZRA KLEIN SHOW: That's a great excerpt to pull out. Yes, what I mean is, look at the Senate right now which happens to be staging a live interpretation of the book as far as I can tell. When we have polarization, it doesn't mean much more than that the two parties simply disagree. They have clustered around two poles.

That is the normal state of affairs in political party systems, you've seen in America before, we've seen it in most international systems that look a little bit like ours. We have a depolarized period in mid- 20th century that makes us think that politics shouldn't normally be polarized. We can talk about why that was but it is in fact the norm for parties to be in pretty sharp disagreement with each other.

What is distinct about our political system is, number one, when a party takes power, they often done with the capacity to govern. I think President Obama facing down Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2015. We have one some political scientists called vetocracy, there are so many veto points spread throughout the systems, you need very high levels of bipartisan consensus in order to get things done. Polarization makes it very hard to get that.

But you see here in impeachment something else as well. A lot of our systems have constitutional accountability, the things that are supposed to protect a system in times of crisis or strain. They're not automatic. It's not like we've given it to the Supreme Court or to the legal system or to somebody insolated from politics.

Here, too, we are asking the House and the Senate to act with this supermajority, it's this very, very large bipartisan consensus and they're just not able to do that under conditions of polarization.

[07:55:06]

So, whether you think Donald Trump is great, whether you think he's terrible, I think one thing you can see here is that there is simply not a way to hold a president accountable using the impeachment power in conditions when one party does not want to hold their president accountable because it will be bad for their political power and self- interest. That is why the polarization poses a particular threat to our system which is not built for political parties like these.

CAMEROTA: But in terms of just the toxicity that we feel right now and the us against them nature of the politics right now, is the polarization worse today than we've seen before? Because, of course, we all have a tendency to believe that what we're living through is the worst of times. But historically, where are we on the polarization scale?

KLEIN: Historically, prefer to be here than a lot of other spots. So let me give just a couple of examples. We had a civil war in this country, and not only that, even if you think about the period of time that is considered the low point in American party polarization, which is roughly the 1950s, the 1960s, 19 -- early 1970s, let's call it, that was a time of enormous social division in this country. You had the civil rights, the women's movement, the indigenous rights movement, the Vietnam War movement, you had political assassinations, urban riots, kids were killed at Kent State. There was a lot of fracture happening in American cities.

What was unusual about that, it simply didn't map onto a political party. Anti-Vietnam War sentiment for instance was spread equally roughly between the two parties, the Civil Rights Act was a very bipartisan bill. In fact, a higher portion of congressional Republicans voted for than Democrats.

So we have had very high levels of polarization, we've had a lot more political violence in this country at other times than we have now. What is distinct now is the degree to which our -- not just ideological divisions, do you believe in universal health care or now or what do you think about abortion. Not only how much they have mapped onto party but also how much are demographic divisions have mapped onto parties. How much are parties were split along racial, religious, geographic, cultural, and even psychological lines. That is different, and it does create this feeling of in-group alliance and out-group hostility.

But, no. Compared to other points in our country, if the way you're thinking about polarization is division which is not really what I think we should imagine it to be but is I think how people often understand it. This is not the most divided we've ever been but it is in some ways the most our divisions have ever mapped on -- directly to political party.

CAMEROTA: And we only have a minute left. But I can't help but think about the Super Bowl, right. And you tell me if this is the wrong analogy. But people get so attached to their team and they identify so much with their team and they dress like their team, and it becomes part of their passion and their identity. And that's sports, OK, so I guess that's fine.

But somehow we've transferred that to political party. And now people so identify with the group that they're in and they hate the other side. But is it just in our nature to be polarized in this way?

KLEIN: Yes. A lot of the book is actually about the psychology of group identity and how that functions and how easily it is activated. And I think sports which I do talk about for quite a bit in there, is an amazing example. Here is something and not to say anything bad about sports, go Chiefs, but here is something where the stakes of the conflict are actually pretty low. Most of us do not -- our job does not depend, our incomes do not depend, our children's futures do not depend on who wins the game, and yet, it's very high highs, very low emotional lows, people riot and burn cities in the aftermath of both wins and losses.

If you wanted to see how much we are tuned towards the competition of different groups, just look at sports, and then imagine sports but with actual life and death stakes and that's when you get politics.

CAMEROTA: Ezra Klein, the book is "Why We're So Polarized", it is a perfect for these times. Thank you very much for bringing it to us.

KLEIN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: And thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, CNN NEWSROOM with Max Foster is next. For our U.S. viewers, a very big week ahead. NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is our moment in history, and it launches right here in Iowa.

JOE BIDEN (D-DE), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you stand with me, we'll end Donald Trump's reign of hatred and division.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are taking on the entire political establishment, both the Republican establishment and the Democratic establishment.

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Running for office is an act of hope, and so is caucusing, volunteering, or being part of this process.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president's impeachment trial in the Senate will finally come to a close this week.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Going after corruption would be the right thing to do. He did it maybe in the wrong manner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he shouldn't have done it. I think it was wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not letting the senators off the hook. We're still going to go into the Senate this week and make the case why this president needs to be removed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

BERMAN: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, February 3rd, it's 8:00 in the East where Alisyn is.