Return to Transcripts main page

NEW DAY

Democrats Clash in New Hampshire; Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) is Interviewed about Firing of Key Impeachment Witnesses; Biden Campaign Talks about Primaries. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired February 10, 2020 - 07:00   ET

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


[07:00:00]

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You will actually watch "Parasite," maybe this weekend.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, I don't want it to get in the way of my drinking. But -- but --

ELAM: Priorities.

CAMEROTA: Yes. But I might be able to squeeze it in.

Thank you very much, Stephanie.

CAMEROTA: All right, John, the New Hampshire primary is tomorrow. I don't know if you're aware.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You're not going to let that get in the way either, apparently. Based on what I've seen this morning.

CAMEROTA: No, I'm not.

And NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tensions run high amongst the candidates, just one day before the New Hampshire primary.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's a good buy. He's a great mayor. But guess what, he was a mayor.

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This isn't 2008. It's 2020. We are in a new moment calling for a different kind of leadership.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to have to bring our party together, not by launching a bunch of attacks on each other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump wasting no time punishing his enemies in the aftermath of the impeachment trial. RICK SANTORUM: I certainly, as a president, wouldn't want people

around me who don't support what I'm trying to accomplish. And it seems like, in the case of Vindman, that's the case.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The message that these firings send are, if you speak up, there will be consequences.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY.

In less than 24 hours to go until New Hampshire votes. The first in the nation primary. We have new posturing this morning and new polling to tell you about. You could see the final push over the weekend. Big energy and big crowds with Bernie Sanders, also Mayor Pete Buttigieg, also Senator Amy Klobuchar had what her aides are calling the biggest crowd they've had to date in New Hampshire.

And you know it's close by the look of it, the sound of it. And you know it's close because it's not quite so friendly anymore.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm running against a candidate, Pete Buttigieg, among others, who has raised contributions from more than 40 billionaires.

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: With a president this divisive we cannot risk dividing America's future further, saying that you must either be for a revolution or you must be for the status quo.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Come on, man, you think -- these guy's -- this guy's not a Barack Obama.

BUTTIGIEG: Well, he's right, I'm not, and neither is he.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: All right, so that's New Hampshire. A little mop up first from Iowa. The Iowa Democratic Party now says Pete Buttigieg emerged with the most delegates there, but Bernie Sanders is questioning the vote count. So I suppose it's not really over yet. Maybe not ever at the rate we're going.

As for New Hampshire, where we are now, Bernie Sanders seems to be leading in the polls. That is the trend. Pete Buttigieg is second. And look at Joe Biden in third place in that poll there, clinging to a third place showing, a long, long way from first.

CAMEROTA: Meanwhile, President Trump spent much of his Sunday tweeting his grievances at senators Mitt Romney, Joe Manchin and Doug Jones for their guilty votes in the impeachment trial. The president has already retaliated against two key impeachment witnesses, removing Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, even though some Republican senators reportedly begged him not to do that.

We're also following a new development in the coronavirus outbreak. The number of cases on a quarantined cruise ship in Japan doubled overnight. What does that mean? We have much more with Sanjay Gupta in a moment for you.

BERMAN: All right, let's start, though, with the New Hampshire primary, again, less than 24 hours to go until they vote.

But Michael Smerconish is ready. He's standing nearly outside in New Hampshire this morning, host of CNN's "SMERCONISH."

CAMEROTA: Or is he sitting?

BERMAN: CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip is there as well. And Paul Begala, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist nowhere near the snow because it's in his contract.

Abby, I want to start with you on the ground in New Hampshire.

You were out over the weekend in the midst of all the crowds. We've seen the events there. Both the Buttigieg and Klobuchar campaigns are saying they've had the biggest crowds they have had to date in New Hampshire.

What's changed as you've been watching?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Big primary energy here in New Hampshire. The voters here are really excited it seems like to actually cast some ballots. I think they feel like whatever happened in Iowa, they don't know what's going on over there, but they have a chance to really set the tone here. And I think that New Hampshire voters, it seems to me, are very much interested in sending a message with their votes, sending a message about the tone that they want out of candidates, about the kind of direction that they want the country to go in.

And it's actually going in two completely different directions. On the one hand there's Bernie Sanders, who did really well four years ago and is still doing really well here. And then, on the other hand, you have the two moderates, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, really showing a lot of strength, pulling some really massive crowds in this state. I mean both of them yesterday had crowds over a thousand. Buttigieg, at multiple stops, crowds over 1,000. Amy Klobuchar, a crowd over 1,000.

[07:05:03]

And it really shows that there are a lot of people here in New Hampshire, and perhaps in the surrounding areas too, who just seem to want someone who is more moderate in terms of ideology, but also moderate in terms of temperament. I'm hearing a lot about temperament from these voters. It's not just about policy, it's also about how you are in opposition to Trump. Trump is bellicose. They want, in some cases, someone who is more even tempered. And I think that's why you're seeing both Buttigieg and Klobuchar having a little bit of a moment here in New Hampshire.

CAMEROTA: Paul, what message are you picking up so far from New Hampshire?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, one more interesting thing is, as Abby points out, independents can vote in New Hampshire, right? It's an open primary for an independent. Democrats, obviously, the party wants them to vote, but they allow independents to vote.

Without a Republican contest on the other side, that may bring a whole lot of independents over to the Democratic Party. That could be very good news for Pete Buttigieg, for Amy Klobuchar.

But this is -- this is Bernie's to lose. You know, I went back and looked, no neighboring state politician has lost New Hampshire in the Democratic Party, with one exception, Teddy Kennedy lost to President Carter right after the Iowa -- the Iran hostage crisis. But you don't lose if you're from a neighboring state.

CAMEROTA: John.

BEGALA: Well, Howard Dean lost, but he lost to John Kerry, who's also from a neighboring state, Berman.

BERMAN: OK. I was going to say -- I was going to say, Howard Dean. Governor Dean's on the phone for you.

CAMEROTA: I mean and what -- and if Elizabeth Warren doesn't win, then that makes it two.

BEGALA: He lost to -- no, but he lost to John Kerry, who's also from a neighboring state, so it doesn't count. In any -- isn't -- I don't know, I'm not from Yankee land there, Berman. Isn't New Hampshire kind of right by Massachusetts.

BERMAN: That's Red Sox land, but that's OK. Keep going.

BEGALA: Here's the thing. What Bernie -- Bernie has to win, and I think he will. But then it -- those moderates may elevate two or three other moderates which is what Bernie wants, right? He wants to consolidate the revolutionary left. He wants Elizabeth Warren to go away. But then he can't control this, but he would be greatly benefitted if Pete and Amy and Joe Biden were all splitting up that alternative to Bernie folks. So this is -- this -- look, Sanders got 60 last time. He ought to be able to get 30 this time.

BERMAN: Yes, he got 60 percent, won by 22.

BEGALA: Right.

BERMAN: Won every county there.

Look, that's a high bar to meet. And one of the things I'll be looking at is turnout. Is Bernie Sanders able to turn out the same types of voters and the same margins he did last time? And if he's not, what does that tell us even in victory? There's many different races in New Hampshire right now, Michael. There's the battle for first between Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders that we talked about. There's also the battle for survival for Senator Elizabeth Warren and for Joe Biden, which is why it was notable that Joe Biden was talking about the African-American vote this weekend.

Let's play that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Not a single person has won without overwhelming support from the black community. Overwhelming. Overwhelming. OK?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So you know how much African-Americans make up of the New Hampshire electorate? One percent. The only number less than that is zero, Michael. So he's actually not talking about New Hampshire. He's talking about after New Hampshire. And I think he's making a subtle dig at Pete Buttigieg also.

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So you've just explained why I'm more interested in the runners up tomorrow night than I am the very top of what happens here in New Hampshire, especially when considering that this is all proportionate voting, right? So whether it's Bernie, whether it's Mayor Pete, yes it matters for momentum purposes, but they'll probably each leave the state tomorrow with roughly the same number of committed delegates. That's exactly what happened in Iowa, where the final split was, what, 14-12 between them.

But what happens lower on the ballot? Is it going to be Amy Klobuchar? Is it going to be Elizabeth Warren? How low will Joe Biden come in? Because the big question is, will there be a momentum shift that causes a reset among voters of color in Nevada and South Carolina. And that's what he's hoping desperately against. That somehow he, Joe Biden, can sustain a second loss but hold those voters in check. That's the big x the unknown.

CAMEROTA: But, Abby, wasn't he always planning to -- I mean we've been talking about this, it feels like, for weeks, that Joe Biden -- well before what happened in Iowa -- could lose Iowa, he could lose New Hampshire. South Carolina is the fire wall. And then he's off to the races.

PHILLIP: Yes, we have been talking about this for a long time. I mean his team has been setting these expectations almost a year now, frankly, for the -- particularly the first two states. But, I mean, we're facing the reality here where, as Michael just pointed out, what do losses do to Joe Biden's argument to voters in the latter state that he is actually electable? Does it undercut that case? And I think he's really facing that possibility right now.

[07:10:00]

I mean I've spoken to voters who said, you know, I like Joe Biden, but I do worry now that maybe he's weaker than I thought he was. That's a real problem for him because he has to hold onto his base of support in South Carolina. And we know that African-American voters in particular, their number one priority is picking someone who they think can beat Trump. And if Biden, by performing poorly here, undercuts that argument, I think it's going to be a problem for them.

And that's why you've seen that shift in his tone. That's why you've seen him start to become a lot more aggressive about this race, dealing with his rivals in a way that he hasn't before because they know they can't just sit on their hands and wait until they get to South Carolina. By then it might be too late.

BERMAN: We played that sound bite in the intro here. He's no Barack Obama. He's no Barack Obama. You're no Barack Obama. And I think you're right that it was always in the Biden campaign's plan for Nevada and South Carolina to be better for them. But it was never in their plan to be fourth in Iowa. Never in their plan to be a distant possibly fourth or fifth in New Hampshire.

CAMEROTA: Yes, so that's changing the equation.

BERMAN: And that really does change things.

And, Paul, as I look at the calendar and you look at how these primary days are spaced out, I know it seems soon, but Nevada is nearly two weeks away on a Saturday. That's a lifetime. South Carolina is one week after that. Those are just huge, long, grueling days for Joe Biden to be answering questions about why he finished fourth or why he was so far back.

How does he navigate those days if it comes to it?

BEGALA: Boy, Red Bull. You know, he's got -- he's got to re-energize himself in his campaign. Particularly if Sanders wins in New Hampshire. And I don't -- I don't want to pre-judge that, but he looks very strong. He should win.

I think that the -- the moderate majority of the Democratic Party will have what investors call a flight to quality. You know, when there's trouble in the Middle East, there's a flight to quality, people buy gold or whatever the hell they do. There's going to be kind of a freak-out and I don't know that Joe Biden benefits from that any longer, right? A couple of weeks ago I would have said, well, the stable, steady person that the sort of modern Democrats might want would be the former vice president to Barack Obama. I'm not sure at all, and I think Abby's right, I -- he -- he doesn't, I don't think, no politician should take the support for granted. But that firewall in South Carolina, it's very far away and I -- I would worry it's not as strong as perhaps Joe thinks it is.

CAMEROTA: Michael, final thought? We have ten seconds.

SMERCONISH: Final thought is that Michael Bloomberg is anticipating, hoping for a Bernie Sanders victory. He didn't want Joe Biden coming out of the first few states with a head of steam. But I don't think he counted on Mayor Pete doing so well. It will be interesting to see how the Bloomberg folks react to an ascending Pete Buttigieg.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, all, very much for the analysis. We will be joining you in New Hampshire tomorrow.

All right, President Trump is exacting revenge on some of the people who testified against him. How is Congress going to get anything done moving forward with President Trump, particularly with this feud with Nancy Pelosi. We ask a Democratic leader, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:17:01]

CAMEROTA: President Trump has moved fast in the wake of his impeachment trial, attacking the senators who voted against him and punishing some officials who testified in the House hearings. So what does this mean for getting anything done between Congress and the president going forward?

Joining us now is Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee. He's the chief deputy whip and a member of the Budget Committee.

Congressman, thanks very much for being here this morning.

REP. DAN KILDEE (D-MI): Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Are you surprised that President Trump ousted Colonel Vindman and his brother, Yevegney, and the, of course, Ambassador Sondland?

KILDEE: Well, it's hard to be surprised by this president, but it's pretty clear that he's going to continue to take retribution against anyone who tells the truth in his administration. I mean what Mr. Vindman did was to tell the truth. And what Mr. Sondland did was to swear an oath before that committee and told the truth. And the fact that the president doesn't tolerate that is pretty chilling.

CAMEROTA: Well 00

KILDEE: But I wish I could say I was surprised, but this seems to be a consistent pattern, he tolerates no dissent. And that's a pretty dangerous thing.

CAMEROTA: He also spent many hours yesterday tweeting at people who -- Democrats who he felt had, I guess, betrayed him with a guilty vote. And so that leads me to -- I mean, look, here's -- just up here, this is the I guess we call it executive time that the president spent yesterday. The 9:00 hour had tweets, you know, insulting tweets. The 10:00 hour had insult -- a lot of insulting tweets. The 11:00 hour, the 12:00 hour. Then there's a break, I guess for lunch, from 1:00 to 2:00, and then back at it in the 2:00 hour.

And that leads me to where Democrats are with the president. Between the State of the Union, what happened at the State of the Union, between the National Prayer Breakfast with the tension with Nancy Pelosi, what is the plan to get anything done? KILDEE: Well, I think we just have to keep our heads down and continue

focusing on actually the same things that we were working on during that whole period of the impeachment. I think there's a fallacy that the entire city of Washington and everybody here was engrossed in the impeachment fight. But, you know, we were working on legislation during that period. And I think we just have to keep going.

We have to keep working and rebuilding America's fracture. The president says he has a plan. We'll see what his budget plan really shows.

We have to keep working on prescription drug prices. This is -- this is the kind of stuff that when we go home, we hear about from the people we work for.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

KILDEE: And I think for members of Congress, we really ought to do what we've been doing and stay focused on those issues knowing that, you know, impeachment is an issue that's in the background. But for American, who are looking to Congress and looking to this government, they want us to deal with the issues that affect them every single day.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, just to highlight some of the ones that you just focused on, don't you need the president's help with that?

KILDEE: I mean, ultimately, of course we do. But I think the president, he does a lot of head fakes.

[07:20:02]

He talks about infrastructure. He never actually comes around to putting something forward. He talks about and promises to lower prescription drug prices and the cost of health care, never does anything. I think, in our case, the best thing we can do is just ignore the president's rants and just work on those pieces of our agenda that the American people want us to do. And I think ultimately the president will then have to make a decision and Mitch McConnell will as well. Are they going to continue to just look the other way when we're trying to put forward an agenda that the American people want us to push forward.

And, ultimately, over time, that does have the effect of separating him from those voters who are still waiting after three years for him to do the things he promised to do.

CAMEROTA: Well, you mentioned the budget today. President Trump is expected to propose a budget of $4.8 trillion with some steep cuts to programs like Medicaid, disability insurance, housing. He also wants $2 billion to fund the border wall. You're on the budget committee. How are you going to tackle all this?

KILDEE: Well, you don't rebuild America by taking away health care from people. And you don't rebuild America by reducing the quality of housing. You don't rebuild America by cutting programs to give skills to workers who are trying to find a path forward in this economy. You can't rebuild America with workers that don't have the necessary skills to do the rebuilding.

And this -- so this president, I think, ultimately is going to have to answer questions about what his real agenda is. It seems his agenda is to just be president and to surround himself with people who keep telling him what a wonderful president he is.

You know, the American people want to see their business taken care of. And the idea that he is going to somehow rebuild this country by cutting what I (ph) think are really essential investments to give people a path forward is -- I think it's a dangerous path for the country and I don't think ultimately in 2020 the president is going to be supported if he continues down this path.

He better turn back to us and say, look, we have to roll up our sleeves and get something done for the American people. We continue to pass legislation. He continues to look the other way.

CAMEROTA: Very quickly, the deficit has ballooned under President Trump to $1 trillion. I remember when Republicans hated -- railed against the deficit spending.

When Fox News and Republicans in Congress said that if you continue be trusted with the country's credit card, you couldn't be trusted to be president.

Do you hear anything like that anymore?

KILDEE: We do. But I think it is a pretty cynical ploy that the president uses is to talk a good game when it comes to fiscal rectitude and then explode the budget deficit by giving people at the very top of the economy massive cuts to their taxes and essentially charging that off to our children and grandchildren. It's not the responsible thing. And I don't know how he continues to try to take credit for an economic that's essentially fueled by borrowing money.

CAMEROTA: Congressman Dan Kildee, we appreciate you talking about what is coming up this week and beyond. Thanks for being on NEW DAY.

KILDEE: Thank you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: John.

BERMAN: So the Joe Biden campaign disappointed by the results in Iowa and now lowering expectations for New Hampshire. How can the former vice president bounce back? We'll be joining by a senior adviser to the Biden campaign, next.

[07:27:22]

BERMAN: As it stands now, former Vice President Joe Biden is looking at a fourth place finish in the Iowa caucuses. And as the polling shows this morning, he's fighting for third place in New Hampshire behind Senator Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg in the latest poll. So what is the case from the former vice president that he is still

the most electable candidate? Joining me now is Symone Sanders, the Biden campaign's senior adviser.

Symone, it is always great to speak to you. I can't help but notice you're in Columbia, South Carolina, this morning. Why is a senior adviser to the Biden campaign in South Carolina the night before the New Hampshire primary?

SYMONE SANDERS, SENIOR ADVISOR, JOE BIDEN CAMPAIGN: Well, John, it's always great to talk to you.

Yes, I'm in the great state of South Carolina meeting with some of our folks down here. We have some events coming up this week. Congressman Cedric Richmond will be here. Look, John, we are here to tell you that whatever happens on Tuesday, Vice President Biden will still be in this race.

Look, on Friday, Vice President Biden had a very fiery and forceful performance at the debate. And then he went on this -- that weekend to have a weekend full of events in New Hampshire. We are still in this race, John. We do believe we will be competitive.

But, again, regardless of what happens, we believe, and we have said for a long time, that this race absolutely runs through Nevada, South Carolina, and Super Tuesday. And it would be a mistake for the media to try to count Joe Biden out before other folks in this party have had their chance to have their say in this race.

BERMAN: What should it tell voters that you are telling me that whatever happens tomorrow you will still be in this race? Why do you need to tell voters that you will still be in this race after New Hampshire?

SANDERS: Because -- well, I think it's a good question, John, because so many people are -- are wondering, I have fielded questions from folks in the press all weekend about, what happens on Tuesday? Will Vice President Biden have the resources that he needs? And I'm here to tell you unequivocally, yes, he will.

Look, we know that it's going to be a fight. As we've noted, we took our lumps in Iowa. The day after Iowa, we came to New Hampshire for about a week full of events. Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden were in town. We had a number of surrogates in town this weekend launching canvases, speaking with voters. We're going to fight for this, John. We know it's going to be a hard-fought battle. But the reality is, that since 1992, the Democratic nominee in this party has been the person who has been able to garner a substantial amount of votes from African-American voters. You just don't get those votes out of just Iowa and New Hampshire, John. So we're here to say that this process does continue.

BERMAN: And I get it. New Hampshire, the electorate, the 1 percent African-American will vote in the New Hampshire primary.

[07:30:02] And South Carolina, where you are, it's about 60 percent of the voters will be African-American in the Democratic --