Return to Transcripts main page


Democrats Look Ahead to Super Tuesday States; Powerful Nevada Culinary Union Won't Endorse in Democratic Presidential Race; Buttigieg Slams Sanders over Nevada Culinary Union Attacks; Bloomberg Apologizes 3rd Time for Controversial Stop-and-Frisk Policy; CDC Director Warns Coronavirus Will Likely Stay Beyond This Year & Explains How Officials Are Preparing for Outbreak in U.S.; "The Windsors, Inside the Royal Dynasty" Premieres at 10:00 p.m. Sunday. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired February 14, 2020 - 11:30   ET




BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: We're just over one week until the Nevada caucus but, today, candidates are fanning out across the country. Take a look. They're visiting states from coast to coast, not just Nevada. And with some already looking ahead to Super Tuesday states, like Texas and California.

But in Nevada, another battle is brewing over health care. Now the state's culinary union, one of the largest and most-politically active unions in the country, says it will not endorse a candidate.

It is also slamming Senator Bernie Sanders' Medicare For All plans.

And last night, Pete Buttigieg took another swipe at his political rival.


PETE BUTTIGIEG, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER SOUTH BEND MAYOR: What I am proposing is that we create what I call it Medicare For All Who Want It. A public plan. Anybody can be part of it. But we're going to let you decide whether you want it.

I'm thinking, for example, of the culinary workers here in Nevada, who fought so hard, those strikes and those negotiations, to get excellent health care plans. Who are we to tell them they have to give up those plans?

And I was especially upset to see that union leadership was being attacked for standing up for their workers.


GOLODRYGA: Really taking advantage of a moment there.

Joining me now, CNN political correspondent, Abby Phillip, and former White House communications director under President Obama, Jennifer Psaki.

Ladies, welcome to both of you.

Abby, let me start with you, because Nevada is an important state in this race. What is going on with this culinary union?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a really fascinating political story, in which you have that really powerful union, basically deciding yesterday to say we are not endorsing at all. But they got to that point after making a really strong statement directed at Bernie Sanders and Bernie Sanders' Medicare For All plan.

The union basically put out a pamphlet right after Sanders won the New Hampshire primary saying, Medicare For All would end the culinary health plan as they know it. That was a really strong statement that they did not make about any of the other candidates on that pamphlet.

And what it resulted in, according to union leadership, is a lot of attacks. They said they received phone calls, e-mails, their personal information put online, and that they were basically being threatened by Sanders' supporters.

In response to that, Bernie Sanders basically implied that maybe some of these attacks were not actually coming from his supporters. He said, "Anybody making personal attacks against anybody in my name, it is not part of our movement and we don't want them."

But it has created a lot of chaos that, as you can see in that clip, candidates like Pete Buttigieg are trying to take advantage of.

Where the union is not making a statement to endorse someone, but the moderate candidates clearly see an opening here, to say that we are not necessarily for Medicare For All that would end private insurance.

Buttigieg has a plan that would basically allow people to buy into Medicare For All. And then you have Biden, who has clearly opposed Medicare For All. Amy Klobuchar opposing Medicare For All.

It is an opportunity for some of these moderate candidates to get in there and try to vie for these votes. Sixty thousand members the culinary union has --


PHILLIP: -- up for grabs here.

GOLODRYGA: Something that was unexpected as well to see this dust up.

Jen, what do you make of it? And what do you make specifically of how Bernie Sanders handled it? On the one hand, he denounced tactics behind this incident, saying he wants nothing to do if, in fact, these are his supporters. But he's also saying, hey, it is not coming from my supporters. Maybe

it's from people trying it sabotage me and my campaign.

Has he handled this appropriately or will it hurt him in next Saturday's caucuses?

JENNIFER PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's hard to tell how it will impact him.

On the Culinary Worker's Union, they endorsed Barack Obama in 2008. That helped him. They didn't endorse in 2016. Which is also interesting.

So I would also just add to what Abby just said, that this also is a -- it hurts Biden. He is somebody who would have loved to have had the endorsement from a labor union and a labor union he had long supported and worked on their behalf.

In terms of how Bernie Sanders handled it, he's saying the right things on the campaign trail. In his stump speech, he's saying we need to come together and unite.

The problem is there's a movement that he's created and he's supported and he's fanned the flames of that is both online, on Twitter, the Bernie Bros as they're known. But also, at a number of these events, where they're screaming at other candidates, screaming curse words at other candidates.


Elizabeth Warren referenced this in her speech the other night in New Hampshire.

I was at the New Hampshire Democratic Party dinner on Saturday. They were screaming at Pete Buttigieg's supporters, and at him when he was on the stage.

So at the end of the day, it may not be he's condoning it. But he's certainly isn't doing anything to control it.


PSAKI: And he's going to need people to support him if he's not the nominee and he's not doing anything to help that right now.

GOLODRYGA: Let me switch gears now, Abby, and ask you about Michael Bloomberg. He's taking his whole campaign on a strong showing on Super Tuesday. Can't turn on a television without seeing his ads. Yet, he continues to be hounded by his past policies, Stop-and-Frisk policy. He's apologizing for the third time.


MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: There is one approach I deeply regret, the abuse of a police practice called Stop-and-Frisk. I defended it, looking back for too long, because I didn't understand then the unintended pain it was causing to young black and brown families and their kids. I should have acted sooner and faster to stop it. I didn't. And for that, I apologize.


GOLODRYGA: That apology was made while he was in Houston after he was endorsed by Houston's mayor, who is also African-American.

Abby, is this an issue that will dog him as he tries to win the Democratic nomination?

PHILLIP: Oh, it absolutely will. And even one of Bloomberg's senior advisers, who spoke on CNN this morning, acknowledged as much. And he said this is something that Bloomberg is going to have to continue to apologize for, for a long time. The question is, is it going to be a stumbling block for him, with African-American voters.

One of the interesting things about Bloomberg being in this race is that we have seen him rising much faster among black voters than a lot of the other candidates, who spent over a year campaigning in those communities.

And so it really just begs the question whether black voters are willing to look past that, if they think Bloomberg is the guy who can actually beat Trump in November. That's the question.

GOLODRYGA: And we have yet to hear from him on a debate stage.

Jen, you made an interesting point ahead of next week's debate when we will see Michael Bloomberg. You said perhaps he shouldn't participate. How would that help him?

PSAKI: If I were advising his campaign, I would tell him not to.

He has the resources, unlike any candidate we have seen run, to introduce himself to the American public on television, online, on Facebook, on all the channels that people are getting their information. And he has reportedly spent about $300 million doing that, and this is just the beginning.

On the debate stage -- he's also avoided attacking the other Democratic candidates.


PSAKI: On the debate stage, you know, he may decide not to attack the other Democratic candidates. They're going to come after him. Because, as Abby said, he's on the rise among a number of demographic groups that the other candidates have been campaigning for, campaigning to win their support over, for last year. And he's going to have to figure out how to address that.

GOLODRYGA: Abby, Jen, we'll have to leave it there. I said it to my male panel, I'll say it to you, Happy Valentine's Day.


GOLODRYGA: I hope your husbands step up. I know they will.


GOLODRYGA: Have a great weekend.

PSAKI: Thanks, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you.

Coming up, as the deadly coronavirus continues to spread, the head of the CDC warns the outbreak could last beyond this year. Next, Dr. Sanjay Gupta asks the head of the CDC how officials are preparing for a possible outbreak here in the U.S.



GOLODRYGA: As health officials scramble to control the novel coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control is out for a new warning: This virus is likely to stay around even beyond this year. And health officials have growing concerns about it spreading in the United States.

Fifteen people now infected across the country. And more than 64,000 are infected across the globe.

CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joins us now with the latest.

And, Sanjay, you got a rare opportunity to discuss the outbreak with the director of the CDC. How big of a challenge has this been?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think this is a -- it is priority number one. Certainly for the head of the CDC, the entire organization.

I'll tell you, Bianna, it was a fascinating discussion. I mean, the stance is clearly aggressive containment when it comes to this virus. And you're seeing strategies going into place that haven't been used in this country in 50 years.

But what I was trying to get at with him was understanding how they arrived at these decisions and how effective they think they're going to be.

Take a listen.


DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: You know, this is going to, you know, obviously be a significant investment. DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the

same day the CDC confirmed a 15th U.S. coronavirus case, I went inside the agency's emergency operation center with director, Dr. Robert Redfield.

(on camera): How good is the public health infrastructure at reporting in?

(voice-over): To give you an idea of how rapidly the situation is changing.

(on camera): By the way the numbers changed I can tell you that's actually 15 there.

(voice-over): It's a lot to keep up with.

(on camera): What is the worst-case scenario here in the United States?

REDFIELD: So far we've been able to contain it. But I think this virus is probably with us, beyond this season or beyond this year. And I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community-based transmission.


And you can start to think of it in the sense of like seasonal flu. The only difference is we don't understand this virus.

GUPTA (voice-over): Which is exactly why the CDC wants to be on the ground in China. It's probably Redfield's biggest frustration.

REDFIELD: Right now, there's no evidence to me that this outbreak is at all under control. It's definitely not controlled. And the sooner we can help them get this under control, the better for the whole world.

GUPTA (on camera): So I guess that does raise the question: Why are we sitting here in Atlanta talking about this, versus the CDC being in China collecting some of this data?

REDFIELD: I don't think it's a medical decision that we are not being invited in.

GUPTA: What do you think it is?

REDFIELD: I think it's above the medical.

GUPTA: You think it's a political decision?

REDFIELD: I think it's above the medical. I don't think the director of CDC is making that decision.

GUPTA: You think it's a political decision?

REDFIELD: I think -- all I can say is I think it's above the director of CDC because I know he would love to have us assist them.

GUPTA (voice-over): China has accepted help from the World Health Organization. The CDC is waiting to hear whether it's going to be a part of that team.

In the meantime, Redfield says his priority is to keep Americans safe.

REDFIELD: Our whole issue right now is, as I said, aggressive containment to try to give us more time that it's going to take, you know, one to two years to get that, probably develop an out to prepare the health systems, to be able to be flexible enough to deal with the potential, second major cause of respiratory illness.


GUPTA: One of the other things I took away, Bianna, from all that, is that, when Dr. Redfield talks about buying time, I think what he's saying is, look, this is a little virus. It doesn't respect boundaries. It doesn't respect geography or borders. It is going to get into these places around the world.

Buying time does have value, though. With that time, you can start to better define the virus, maybe come up with some therapeutics, and maybe a vaccine, which everyone has been asking about.

GOLODRYGA: You can sense his frustration though. They want to be on the ground there in China to do more of their own research.

GUPTA: That's right.

GOLODRYGA: That must be stunning for you to see the numbers change before your eyes before that interview. Very important story.

Thank you for the reporting, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

GUPTA: Yes. Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: And coming up, one more sign that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are stepping back from their royal duties. The details, up next.



GOLODRYGA: There's new confirmation that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's controversial decision to step back from their royal duties. The couple's office at Buckingham Palace will now close.

This is far from the first controversy to engulf the British monarchy. The new CNN series, "THE WINDSORS, INSIDE THE ROYAL DYNASTY," tells their complicated story.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II: We're at the making history. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty-seven million people watched this


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know that I'm in love with this girl and I hope she's in love with me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The public definitely in love with this ideal couple, and yet the public can't see everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Edward leaves and throws the monarchy into chaos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Throughout much of Diana's marriage to Charles, there was a third figure hovering around.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She called herself the queen of hearts, which really stuck a knife in the queen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a woman of color who married into the royal family. Within two years of the marriage, she wants out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's this terrible balance they've got to strike between being extraordinary and being ordinary.


GOLODRYGA: Cannot wait to watch this Sunday night.

Joining us now, royal historian, Ed Owens, who appears in the series as well.

Ed, good to see you. Thank you for joining us.

We saw a little bit of it there. This latest challenge to befall the family with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping back from their royal duties, what impact will that have ultimately on the royal family?

ED OWENS, ROYAL HISTORIAN: It's going to be very interesting impact on the royal family. At the moment, it seems that they are not sure exactly what to do with Harry and Meghan.

It looks like that, in the short term, Harry and Meghan will spend their time in Canada. Questions are being asked about who is going to pay for them, whether it will be the Canadian government, whether it will be the British government.

I think the longer this sort of goes on, the more damage it could potentially do the royal family. They want closure. They want to know what Harry and Meghan are going to do. And they want them to get on with their new lives.

GOLODRYGA: And, of course, everyone is watching their every footstep as well.

In the meantime, the premier episode, to let viewers know of the series, sheds new light on the abdication of King Edward VIII. That's Queen Elizabeth's uncle. He left the throne to marry the woman he loved, Wallace Simpson. She was a twice-divorced American socialite.

Is it wrong -- because some people are doing it - is it wrong to draw parallels between Edward's decision to step off the throne and compare that to Harry, who, by the way, was never expected to take the throne?

OWENS: No, there are real similarities linking Harry to King Edward VIII. Both have married American women. Both have both married divorcees.

And it's also the case that those individuals, I think, looked to find woman who they, if you like, wanted to rescue them from royal life. Both desired a more private life than the public lives that they were set up to have.

And in Wallace, Edward sought, if you like, solace, a person who could take him away from being the rigamarole of being king, just as Harry has found somebody in Meghan who can offer him another life as well.


GOLODRYGA: Ed Owens, great to hear your perspective. Thanks so much for joining us.

And be sure to tune in -- cue the royal music -- be sure to tune in to the all-new CNN original series, "THE WINDSORS, INSIDE THE ROYAL DYNASTY." It premieres Sunday at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific only here on CNN.

And we'll be right back.