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Nancy Pelosi Holds A Press Conference On Defending Herself For Ripping Up A Copy Of Trump's State Of The Union Speech; Pelosi Says Trump's State of the Union "A Compilation of Falsehood"; Buttigieg & Sanders in Virtual Tie in Iowa; Sanders Announces Big Fundraising Haul for January; Buttigieg & Biden Step Up Criticism of Each Other; Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) Discusses Biden Opening Up on Stuttering Struggle, His Endorsement of Biden. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired February 6, 2020 - 11:30   ET

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


[11:30:00]

PELOSI: So no, I think it was completely, entirely appropriate, and considering some of the other exuberances within me, the courteous thing to do.

(CROSSTALK)

PELOSI: Yes, sir?

QUESTION: Does it give you pause -- I know you'd like another president -- but to invite him back for his State of the Union, given what you're describing as --

PELOSI: Well, that's (inaudible) of the United States. That is an absolute imperative for our country, for our Constitution; for the land that we love from sea to shining sea, which he degrades almost every day, but several times a week; for who we are as a people, a nation of immigrants unless you're blessed to be born a Native American, a nation of -- whom he denigrates; and for our values, which he just is disloyal to the Constitution, degrades the environment, denigrates who we are as a people and -- and undervalues who we are, as a great country that is a good -- that is a good country where people care about each other and where there's a sense of community.

It's appalling, the things that he says. And then you say to me, "Tearing up his falsehoods -- isn't that the wrong message?" No, it isn't. It's just, I have tried to be gracious with him. I'm always dignified. I thought that was a very dignified act compared to my exuberances, as I said. But we will not allow any president to use that Capitol, that Chamber of the House of Representatives, of the people's House as a backdrop for him.

Now, all presidents have guests. Constant guests? That was not a State of the Union. That was a state -- his state of mind. We want a State of the Union. Where are we, where are we going and the rest, not, "Let me just show you how many guests I can draw, and let me say how I can give a Medal of Honor." Do it in your own office. We don't come in your office and do congressional business. Why are you doing that here?

Quite frankly, when he started talking about someone with Stage iv -- all of that, I thought he was -- I don't know which stage John Lewis' cancer is at, but when he started talking about someone with cancer, we thought he was going to talk about John Lewis, a hero in our country. (inaudible).

So in any event, I feel very liberated. I feel very liberated. I feel that I have extended every possible courtesy. I've shown every level of respect. I say to my members all the time, "There's no such thing as an eternal animosity." There are eternal friendships, but you never know on what cause you may come together with somebody who may perceived as your foe right now. Everybody is a possible ally in whatever comes next. E pluribus unum -- from many, one. We don't know how many we'd be or how different we'd be, but they want us always to remember that we were one, and they, our founders had their differences, as do we.

So again, I extended the hand of friendship to him to welcome him as the president of the United States to the people's House. That's also an act of kindness because I -- he looked to me like he was a little sedated. He looked that way last year, too. But he didn't want to shake hands. That was that. That meant nothing to me. It had nothing to do with my tearing up. That -- that came much later.

And, you know, a speed reader. I just went right through that thing, so I knew what was coming when I saw the compilation of falsehoods, and -- but then, when I heard, like, the first quarter or third, I -- then I started to think, "There has to be something that clearly indicates to the American people that this is not the truth." And he has shredded the truth in his speech. He's shredding the Constitution in his conduct. I shredded his state of his mind address.

Thank you all very much.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a lot to say today.

Let me bring in Lauren Fox, who is listening along with me, and Congressman Charlie Dent.

Lauren, first to you.

If there was any glove left on between Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump, they're absolutely off now.

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: That's exactly right, Kate. She called his State of the Union speech a manifesto of mistruths. Making it clear that her statement to rip up his speech at the end of it just the other night was really her way of telling the American people that it was full of mistruths.

She said needed to convey that message in some way. She tried to shake the president's hand. He did not want to extend that friendship back to her.

And at the end of his speech, she was so frustrated by what he was saying and the mistruths he was speaking, especially the health care and Social Security cuts he made in his own budget, she said she needed to make it clear to the American people where she stood.

[11:35:05]

And she said eventually she has a lot of concerns about the way that the president is talking about Mitt Romney this morning as well. She said the president is speaking about something, faith, that he doesn't really know that much about.

Very powerful, very strong words from the speaker of the House this morning.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely

Lauren, stick with me.

Manu Raju, you saw him asking questions of Speaker Pelosi. He was in there as well.

Manu, where do you want to begin, from the fact she tore up his speech on Tuesday and then figuratively tore into it almost point by point in that room with you.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, she unloaded on the president. She has done that many times before. But not quite like this.

BOLDUAN: Right.

RAJU: She said she feels liberated about her decision, about going after the president the way she did because of what she is calling mistruths and lies throughout the president's speech, calling it a reality show and -- that he put on and the State of the Union, criticizing the guests that he brought in, as well as questioning why Rush Limbaugh was given the Medal of Honor.

But I tried to ask her about the decision to rip up the State of the Union, because she has told her members, oftentimes, behind closed doors, be dignified in dealing with the president, take the high ground.

In fact, that was a message that was delivered before the State of the Union, by the speaker, to some of the members, I'm told. So I tried to ask her if she stepped on that message in any way by tearing up the State of the Union. And clearly she does not think so.

She had a long explanation about how she believes that she had to send a message to the American public that this was a completely false document and just representing the president's state of mind and not the State of the Union. She said she would not be lectured about dignity.

She turned back to me later and pointed at me, saying I'm in the going to be lectured by dignity. I think she meant by the president's and allies who have criticized the president's conduct.

But that really got her going into what she believes is the president's effort to distort the reality of what is happening here.

But it just shows you how strained, she said, or perhaps nonexistent the relationship is between the president of the United States and the speaker of the House, who haven't spoken in months -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. So we have that element of this.

Let me bring back in Republican Congressman Charlie Dent.

Congressman, and then you have her comments, reacting really also to what happened this morning at the National Prayer Breakfast, where you and I were -- what you and I were talking about before, saying she that -- essentially saying the president doesn't know what prayer is because she does pray for him. And she says she does so sincerely.

And complementing and calling particularly without class what the president said about Mitt Romney.

I am wondering, from your perspective, when you see what just played out from Speaker Pelosi to what the president said this morning, and is likely to say in a few minutes when he speaks again, she says that they are going to be able to, likely be able to work together on the list of the agenda items they want to work on going forward.

Do you see that?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I'm not sure how they're going to work together. The president hasn't offered an olive branch. I didn't get the sense the speaker was in a good mood either.

We should rename the State of the Union to the State of Disunion. Because I think Manu hit it right, that, you know, frankly, the president was out of line the other day when he didn't shake her hand and she was out of line when she ripped up his speech. There shouldn't have been chants of, "Four more years." Democrats should walk out.

You know, Rush Limbaugh, you can debate whether he should get the Medal of Freedom, but you really shouldn't do it in the gallery. Can you imagine if Obama gave the Medal of Freedom award to Rachel Maddow or George Soros? The lid would have blown off the capital.

I mean, we're in a bad spot right now. And the president really should not be talking or questioning other people's faith or their -- how they go about prayer. This is not the president's strong suit by any means. I thought that point was wrong.

Speaker Pelosi didn't do herself any favors in that press conference. I thought she was very scattered, all sorts of issues she was talking about. And I don't think she really responded that well to the president's case. She called Mitch McConnell the Grim Reaper. That was unnecessary --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Well, he's named himself that.

DENT: Yes.

BOLDUAN: That's kind of a back-and-forth thing that has been going on for quite some time.

Surprisingly, I would say that's maybe the least-targeted thing she said. And that might be the nicest thing that went on between a Republican and a Democrat in that press conference.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: Congressman, thank you so much for coming on.

DENT: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Manu, thank you as well.

Lauren, thank you.

So let's see what happens when the president then takes the podium at the White House. He's going to be offering up his formal reaction to his acquittal in the impeachment trial in the Senate in just a few minutes. Stand by to stand by for that.

[11:40:05]

Also ahead for us, the votes are still being counted in Iowa. Yes, still. But the Bernie Sanders campaign is announcing another big number today. What impact could that number have on the race in New Hampshire now and beyond?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: So with just five days until the New Hampshire primary, it is a full-on sprint there on the campaign trail.

First and foremost, we need to tell you, we're still waiting for final tally out of Iowa. Still. After a new batch of numbers were released, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are in a virtual tie for first. Warren following them and Joe Biden sitting still in fourth.

[11:45:03]

During a CNN town hall last night, the former vice president admitted he underperformed in Iowa. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES & DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I expected to do better and I expected that our organization would perform better. But the fact is I'm happy to be here in New Hampshire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Now more than ever.

This comes as Bernie Sanders is reporting a massive fundraising haul. His campaign says it raised $25 million in January alone. That's Sanders' highest monthly total since entering the race a year ago and more than he raised in the first and second quarters of last year combines.

Where do things stand?

Joining me now, former Obama campaign manager, Jim Messina, and CNN political commentator, Patty Solis Doyle, former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's campaign.

It's great to see you guys.

Jim, where are we now? Let's start with Sanders, what that says. If you're looking at that total coming out of Iowa, heading into New Hampshire, what does that mean for your campaign?

JIM MESSINA, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR BARACK OBAMA'S 2012 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: He's going to be in the race as long as he wants to be in the race. He has an online ATM that continues to fund him. And we're going to come to some expensive states. And we'll start seeing a bunch of candidates drop out.

Usually, Iowa is where campaigns go to die. And now everyone seems to

(CROSSTALK)

MESSINA: Everyone gets a pass to New Hampshire, right? Campaigns would drop out, like Yang, like some people who didn't do as well, Steyer, et cetera, are now all going to be in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire will be the place that we go to get rid of some of these campaigns. Bernie is showing real financial strength.

One Biden's problem is, does he have enough money to be contesting these states.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

MESSINA: He's got some very tough spending choices to make.

And then we have Mayor Bloomberg sitting here advertising by himself alone in these March 3rd states --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: A wall they will hit, yes.

MESSINA: Right. And incredibly expensive. You have 38 percent of the delegates on March 3rd and, right now, he's advertising by himself while everyone else is fighting in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

Patty, just as Jim is saying, tough choices are going to have to be made. On the flip side of this, Elizabeth Warren. She is pulling back on ad buys in Nevada and South Carolina. What does that tell you? Is that a big warning sign?

PATTY SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely, it is a big warning sign.

I have to tell you, Kate, I'm having a little bit of a PTSD moment from our experience in 2008, you know? We -- Hillary Clinton was the formidable front-runner for more than a year, going into the 2008 Iowa caucuses. She came in a very disappointing third, much like Joe Biden did this time around.

And our big problem was money, after Iowa, going into New Hampshire.

The problem is there's a lot of infighting. There's talk about staff changes. Donors are looking at your campaign and saying, wait a minute, did I make a mistake. And they're going to cautiously wait until they see how you do in New Hampshire.

So for Elizabeth Warren, specifically, that you just mentioned, she has to do well in New Hampshire before she can play in Super Tuesday. She has to be able to prove she's formidable in order for that money to come in.

Of course, that's the same for Joe Biden.

BOLDUAN: In looking at the state of things as they rush into New Hampshire, now, Jim, you've got -- people are getting chippy as they do.

MESSINA: Yes.

BOLDUAN: You've got Biden and Pete Buttigieg. There's this back and forth over the -- like a fight over the Obama legacy at this point. Biden calling Buttigieg out, Buttigieg then saying that they -- all this success of the Obama administration is due to President Barack Obama.

What do you make -- what do you make of this? Who benefits in fighting over the Obama legacy as you head into the New Hampshire primary between these two candidates?

MESSINA: The person with the most to lose is Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders is calling for getting rid of Obamacare, which is

BOLDUAN: Yes. MESSINA: is the most popular thing in Democratic politics. He attempted to primary Barack Obama in 2012 and, in the end, didn't but thought very seriously about it.

And Barack Obama is the gold standard of Democrats. And, you know, people are fighting over his legacy.

Bernie will have some problems here. It is clear Bernie is going to win New Hampshire. He won by 22 points last time.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Yes.

MESSINA: I think as Biden and Buttigieg go at each other -- it makes sense, they're fighting for the same lane. They're righting for the same voters.

Buttigieg is the hot thing.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

MESSINA: And Biden is saying, as I go into Nevada, I have to slow Mayor Pete down.

I think you're going to start to see things get even chippier. Which is interesting, because Democrats don't like the negative campaigning very much. We get all wiggly when people start to do it.

But it is time to make some decisions. And people are about to decide between Coke and Pepsi and you've got to talk about the other ones.

BOLDUAN: What's one of your famous lines about that? Should be get into that right now?

Patty

MESSINA: Democrats are --

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: Patty, real quick, you know something about nasty primaries where candidates start calling each other out by name. Is this natural evolution, or what is this showing now between Biden and Buttigieg?

[11:50:05]

SOLIS DOYLE: It is natural evolution. And also, Biden has nothing to lose at this point, right? He has to leave everything on the field.

Again, my PTSD for 2008 --

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER) SOLIS DOYLE: We came in third in Iowa. And when we went into New Hampshire, we truly had nothing to lose. She did, you know, what, five events a day. She took every question. She had to prove to people that she was in this still to win.

And I think that's what Biden is doing. He's got to show a little fight. He's got to show some energy. And he's got to prove he's still in this to win.

BOLDUAN: Guys, it's great to see you. Sorry we had a brief chat today. We'll have much more to discuss in the coming days.

Do not forget to watch the last presidential town halls before the New Hampshire primary right here on CNN beginning -- starting at 8:00 tonight, 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:55:06]

BOLDUAN: During the CNN town hall last night with former Vice President Joe Biden, there's a moment that stands out in particular, when Biden talked about something personal, his lifelong struggle with stuttering. Something he's never talked about at this length before. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: Stuttering, if you think about it, is the only handicap that people still laugh about, that still humiliate people about. They don't even mean to.

When I was a kid, I talk -- talk -- talked like that.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "A.C. 360": How were you able to -- how were you actually able to overcome it? I mean, how did you learn how to do that --

(CROSSTALK)

BIDEN: Well, what I did was, I didn't have professional help. But I had three things going for me. I had a mother who had a backbone like a ramrod. She would go, Joey, look at me. Joey, look at me. You're handsome, you're smart, you're a good athlete, Joey. Don't let this define you, Joey. Remember who you are, Joey. You can do it.

So every time I would walk out, she would reinforce me. I know that sounds silly, but it really matters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: And that's just a piece.

Joining me now, Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts, Seth Moulton. He endorsed Joe Biden once he ended his own bid for the nomination.

Congressman, thank you for coming in.

REP. SETH MOULTON (D-MA): It's good to be here, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

What did you think about that moment last night?

MOULTON: It was powerful. It was inspiring. And it shows exactly the kind of courageous leader Joe Biden is.

I made a decision in my own campaign to deal with post-traumatic stress for the first time. And the reason that makes a difference is because it helps other people deal with their own struggles. A lot of people in America are hurting right now.

And Joe Biden is the kind of leader that people can get behind because people know, we all know, that he gets it. He understands what Americans are going through. And he's the kind of unifying leader who can win.

BOLDUAN: Congressman, you campaigned for Biden in Iowa. He has called the partial results, of what we know of them as of now, he has called it a gut punch. What do you call it?

MOULTON: Well, I'm not a pundit on the results. But I do know that Vice President Biden has a 50-state strategy.

He knows every state in this country matters. And he'll work hard to get delegates from coast to coast. That's exactly what he's doing. He's fighting hard in New Hampshire. You'll see him motivate the base in South Carolina.

And I believe the only candidate in the race who can do two things critical to winning. One is turn out the base. And two is appeal to moderates. Joe Biden can do both. That's why he's the strongest person to go up against Donald Trump.

BOLDUAN: You need a perspective here of running a campaign and knowing when to make the call that things are not going to go your way. After Iowa, is New Hampshire make or break for the vice president?

MOULTON: No, absolutely not.

(CROSSTALK)

MOULTON: Those are two states out of 50. He has a 50-state strategy. He knows that --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: But you need money to play in all those states.

MOULTON: Oh, yes.

BOLDUAN: And winning brings in money.

MOULTON: I think he's doing fine on money. But most importantly, he's strong on inspiration. And that's what people need. We need someone who is inspiring enough to unite the party and unite the country, has the unifying leadership to win, and then to govern. And most importantly, has the courage to go up against Donald Trump.

This is not going to be an easy election. I don't think anyone believes that anymore. This is going to be tough. We need an experienced leader that we can count on.

Trust me, there's no better preparation for being president of the United States than being vice president for eight years. Joe Biden is the single person who can come in and do the job on day one, both here at home and abroad.

That's the kind of leader that we need and that's the kind of leader we have in the vice president.

BOLDUAN: I actually looked back at your original endorsement of Biden and you said he's the guy that can go toe to toe with Trump. But at what point do you need to start racking up wins to do that?

MOULTON: He's racking up wins -- he's getting a lot of votes. He's racking up wins already.

(CROSSTALK)

MOULTON: If you look at the delegate count coming out of Iowa --

(CROSSTALK)

MOULTON: If you look at the delegate count --

(CROSSTALK)

MOULTON: If you look at the delegate count coming out of Iowa, it's -- I mean, we're talking about 1 percent of the vote in this primary.

Joe Biden never expected to win Iowa. I don't think he expects to win New Hampshire. But he does expect to win South Carolina. And he does expect to win across the country.

And that's ultimately what we need in a leader. I don't want a president who is just able to win Iowa or a president who is just able to win New Hampshire. I want a president who can unite this party across the country because that's what it's going to take to beat Donald Trump.

BOLDUAN: Congressman, thank you so much for coming in. I really appreciate your time.

MOULTON: Absolutely. Thank you.

[11:59:53] BOLDUAN: All right. Much more to come. As we know, President Trump will be speaking from the White House, his official, I guess we could call it, reaction to his acquittal after the impeach trial in the Senate.

Thank you all so much for joining me.

"INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts right now.