Return to Transcripts main page

AT THIS HOUR

Michigan to be Next Battleground on "Super Tuesday II"; Warren Drops Out of Race But Does Not Endorse Yet; Warren Says Online Attacks by Sanders' Supporters Is a "Real Problem"; Airlines & Cruises Hit Hard by Coronavirus Fears; Bill Clinton Says Lewinsky Affair Helped "Manage Anxieties"; Trump On Ground in Tennessee Surveying Tornado Damage. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired March 6, 2020 - 11:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:30:10]

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Forget Super Tuesday, friends. We're on to Super Tuesday II, or first one was just so super, we had to have another. It is just four days -- just four days now for the next major primary contest to take place.

Six states voting and Michigan is the day's biggest prize, up for grabs, with 125 delegates. It was a critical state that really helped jolt Sanders' campaign back to life in 2016, when he edged out Hillary Clinton by 1.5 percentage points then.

Four years later, what does Michigan mean for Sanders this time? Look no further than his schedule. Sanders announcing just yesterday that he's skipping a trip to Mississippi today and instead spending more time in Michigan.

Joining me now is Sanders supporter, former candidate for Michigan governor, CNN political commentator, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed.

Great to see you. Thanks for coming in.

DR. ABDUL EL-SAYED, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Thank you for having me.

BOLDUAN: Appreciate it.

So how is Sanders looking in Michigan right now? Do you think he's going to win?

EL-SAYED: I do. I'll tell you why. Michigan is a uniquely important state on our electoral map. We know how important it is in the general election, lost Michigan by 10,700 votes.

It is also a microcosm of America. We have got majority black communities like Detroit and Flint and Saginaw and Benton Harbor on the west side of the state. We have got a broad swath of rural area across the state. And we have got strong suburbs in places like Oakland County. It does look like America. The other part of this, though, Michigan has been uniquely hit by a

set of challenges that we saw during the Great Recession. The fact that we had these awful trade deals that decimated manufacturing, the fact that the current trade war has really hurt a lot of our agricultural industry, the second-biggest industry in the state.

And lastly, because we sit on the Great Lakes, it is going to become increasingly important with what is happening with climate change, how we secure out water. So this state matters a lot.

BOLDUAN: It absolutely does. You lay out all of the elements of why it is an important state, in primary and in general.

With all of that in mind and after winning the state and the primary in 2016, how much of a gut punch would it be if Sanders would lose it then this time around?

EL-SAYED: Let me tell you, you know, I think Senator Sanders is speaking specifically to a set of challenges that are uniquely raw in our state. The fact that a number of people lost their health care during the Great Recession. He's talking about Medicare For All. The fact that disastrous trade deals took away jobs. He's talking about standing up for unions and standing up for our workers.

I think it would be a challenge if you were to lose Michigan. But I also feel like this is one of those states that is uniquely poised for that message.

I can't, you know, say it enough. After Super Tuesday, I think Michigan tells us a lot about the kind of strength and the kind of bounce back that can come back from a campaign like this.

But I know that he is focusing here on Michigan. He's had a grassroots movement ever since 2015 and they have never gone away. And so I feel like the campaign has got some real momentum coming into Tuesday.

BOLDUAN: And we will soon find out. That's why the primary schedule is so packed. We'll find out soon.

Elizabeth Warren, she is still considering who she will endorse, if she will. How much does Sanders need Warren's endorsement to help expand his base of support?

EL-SAYED: Let me just say this. As a father of a little girl, I'm deeply saddened to see somebody like Elizabeth Warren dropping out of this race. She's brilliant. She's got such great ideas. She's one of the most articulate politicians we have seen in this time.

But she's also been carrying the flag on really critical important progressive ideals, Medicare For All, a Green New Deal, standing up to corporate power. I think it would be really important to earn her endorsement.

At the same time, you know, Elizabeth Warren is sort of split between her allegiance to her values and her allegiance to some of the party insiders that have already gone for Biden. BOLDUAN: Well, let me ask you about that. You talk about how her

endorsement would be important. She spoke on MSNBC last night and was asked one thing -- many things -- but one thing she was asked was on nasty online attacks that she received that were coming to her from Sanders supporters, especially online. Let me play for you what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): We are responsible for the people who claim to be our supporters and do really threatening ugly, dangerous things for others -- to others.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR, 'THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW": And it is a particular problem with Sanders supporters.

WARREN: It is. It just is. It is just a factual question. And it is. And that's something I think that -- that --

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW: Have you ever talked with Senator Sanders about that?

WARREN: I have.

MADDOW: What was that conversation?

WARREN: It was short. But, yes, we have talked about it. But I think it is a real problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: What do you say to that?

EL-SAYED: I agree with her. I think it is a real problem.

Look, I ran for governor as a Muslim guy named Abdul. I got my fair share of that. It is terrible. It is awful. It is scary. Nobody should have to go through that. And it has no place in our progressive movement. I am sorry that that happened to Elizabeth Warren and her supporters.

[11:35:12]

But I do think that there's an opportunity right now to come together around a set of values, a belief that health care should be a human right, a belief that we have to stand up to corporations and their power over workers and our politics.

And I think there's an opportunity to right now really consolidate around the progressive movement and progressive ideals.

BOLDUAN: Thanks for coming in.

EL-SAYED: Thank you for having me.

BOLDUAN: Talk to you soon.

Coming up, the travel industry taking a major hit from the coronavirus outbreak. How bad could it get and what does that then mean for your travel plans?

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:40:35]

BOLDUAN: Canceled flights, quarantined cruises, fearful passengers. The coronavirus crisis is definitely having an impact far and wide on the travel industry. Potentially, billions of dollars in losses as the outbreak stretches on.

The crisis is also continuing to shake the markets. Wall Street rounding out a turbulent week. The Dow is down over 400 points right now. So what is the long-term impact of all of this global -- on the global travel industry?

CNN's business editor-at-large, Richard Quest, he joins me now.

So, Richard, every time I open my email, I see another airline announcing more canceled flights and routes because of dropping demand. What is the real impact of this on the industry?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE & CNN HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": Well, let me tell you this morning, Lufthansa group, which is Lufthansa German Airlines, Austrian and Swiss announced it was reducing capacity by up to 50 percent and may park its 14 super jumbos, 8380s, temporarily. This is a crisis for the airline industry.

Some are saying it goes back to not just the financial crisis, but arguably back to 9/11 for the extent, the depth, the range and the long-term effects. And it is not going away anytime soon.

Airlines like United, which are putting in place major changes -- they had changes coming in April. The soonest they could reverse them would be in May.

BOLDUAN: Fascinating.

What is then the eventual impact on air passengers if the airlines going to continue to take a hit financially, cutting routes, what is the fallout then, I wonder, for people who want to get on the plane.

QUEST: Look at this. Short-term, you got a problem. Do you take the trip, don't you take the trip? Do you risk having to go to quarantine afterwards? The chances of you getting the virus is very remote. But getting caught up in the hoopla of the virus is a little bit longer.

Medium term, not much. Longer term, none. Airlines will return. There will be a sort of V-shaped recovery as people take trips that they put off. But a lot of people won't. A lot of travel will have gone and the

airlines will take a really significant hit in their bottom line in their quarter, probably Q2.

BOLDUAN: And almost scared to ask what this means for the cruise industry.

QUEST: It is just dreadful. Royal Caribbean is down 54 percent share price.

The perception -- it is about perception now, because the perception is, no matter how many times they clean the ships, no matter what they do, the perception going forward is that you're worse off on a cruise ship than as a holiday than elsewhere.

That's going to take a lot of time for the cruise industry to put right. They have done it before. They can do it again.

BOLDUAN: Yes. No kidding.

Good to see you, Richard. Thank you.

QUEST: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up, why former President Bill Clinton suggests that the affair that led to his impeachment was a way to, quote/unquote, "manage his anxieties." It's part of a new documentary series about the life and rise of Hillary Clinton. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:48:03]

BOLDUAN: It has been more than 20 years since Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Now in a documentary about Hillary Clinton, called "Hillary", the former president speaks about the scandal in a way no one has really heard before. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Somebody thinks I'm taking a risk. That's not why people do stupid things. That's not what happened. Nobody sits down and thinks, I'll take a really irresponsible risk. It is bad for my family, bad for my country, bad for the people who work with me. That's not what happened.

Everybody's life has pressures and disappointments and terrors, fears of whatever. Things I did to manage my anxieties for years -- it is not a defense. It is an explanation. It was awful. I feel terrible about the --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Joining me now, CNN chief political correspondent, Dana Bash. Dana, there's no shortage of documentaries, books and interviews on

this very topic, of course. But still, this is something Bill Clinton's never said before. I'm still not sure what to make of it. What about you?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is funny you said that. That's exactly what I just texted somebody. I'm not sure what to say about this or what to make of it.

Because obviously, he's being very raw. He's much older now. He's got more time on his hands. He's being reflective. But, especially in our culture now, when we look at what happened then through such a different lens, rightly so, just on that particular notion that he was trying to manage his anxieties, what does that mean?

I mean, those of us who cover him and who have read many, many books on him, like we both have, he obviously had issues with not having a father around, his father dying before he got to meet him. There are so many of those issues. Is that what he's talking about?

[11:50:03]

And then, of course, when it comes to Monica Lewinsky and how she still feels, is that even relevant?

BOLDUAN: And he spoke again about Monica Lewinsky and his regret. Let me play that for folks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I feel terrible about the fact that Monica Lewinsky's life was defined by it, unfairly, I think. You know, over the years, I've watched her try to get a normal life back again. But you've got to decide how to define normal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: So Lewinsky, she hasn't responded directly, as far as I've seen. But I wonder this morning if we're getting a window into how she feels about this once again being thrown into the spotlight and Bill Clinton speaking about it.

A former Obama aide tweeted out this morning, "When WJC, Clinton, one of the most powerful men in the world, responds how terrible he felt, will anyone ask, what did you do about it? How did you ever try to fix what you broke?"

Lewinsky responded to that tweet saying, "Thank you," this morning.

BASH: Because there's a feeling among people who were kind of in and around Monica Lewinsky after this happened and many years after this happened that the -- that her being ostracized continued.

Obviously, she didn't expect to have a role in government. But she did want to have a role in society and be a normal -- and have a normal life. There was a feeling that the Clintons, you know, made it hard for that to happen.

Again, even that was a long time ago. Things have changed dramatically in society.

And Monica Lewinsky is finally benefiting from people seeing the real deal about what happened, including the women who were around Bill Clinton in senior-level positions at the time, who, you know, believed what happened -- once they found out what happened, they said, well, you know, it's her fault even if it is consensual.

Which we all understand the power dynamic between any boss and any intern. It's all about the older person --.

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: -- never mind the president of the United States in the Oval Office.

BOLDUAN: That's exactly right.

It's so important to say, as we talk about this, this is one part of a multi-part series, documentary series about Hillary Clinton that is fascinating.

The "New York Times" review of it this morning had a great way of describing kind of what it might all mean: The warrior in Hillary Clinton weighed down by her armor.

BASH: Yes.

BOLDUAN: I'm misquoting, I'm sure, but a paraphrase of it. I'm fascinated with what this looks like, the series means for the Hillary Clinton legacy.

BASH: They did a really good job marketing it. I was going to watch it, anyway. I'm definitely going to watch it now.

BOLDUAN: Right. Exactly.

BASH: And looking at this, if it's anything like the Howard Stern interview, which was remarkable --

BOLDUAN: Yes.

BASH: -- you're going to see the unvarnished Hillary Clinton for the first time ever.

BOLDUAN: Ever.

Good to see you, Dana.

Coming up, President Clinton (sic) now on the ground in Tennessee as residents there are still trying to begin to pick up the pieces from the devastating tornadoes. There you see the president getting off -- getting on the ground as we speak. We'll take you there, next Before that, the first "CNN Hero" of 2020, she dove in to rescue seals after funding vanished and local conservation groups closed up shop. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: Rescuing the seals is really bittersweet. As much as I'm excited to see that animal be released, it's also hard in the sense of seeing that animal gone.

Do you guys know you're going back to the ocean?

So any seal that we rescue, the ultimate goal is for that animal to be released back into the ocean.

Ah.

I feel this intense responsibility to help these animals, and really, this is what I was put on this earth to do.

Yay!

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[11:54:07]

BOLDUAN: To learn more, you can go to CNNheroes.com.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: President Trump on the ground in Tennessee. He's going to be getting a firsthand look at the devastation left by two powerful tornadoes that killed 24 people this week.

CNN's Nick Valencia is in the hardest hit area of state in Putnam County. He joins me now.

Nick, what is the president going to be seeing when he gets there?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's going to be seeing scenes like this. It's been three days, Kate, since the tornadoes came through here and there's still a lot left to clean up.

People are chipping in, including this crew that have a local connection.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

They call this the Volunteer State for a reason, and you're showing us why.

DONNIE EKINS, OWNER, ELK MOUNTAIN CONSTRUCTION: Absolutely. We're just happy to get people out of bad, bad luck.

VALENCIA: Do you have a personal connection? I hear you know a lot of residents in the community.

EKINS: Yes. We all grew up here all our lives. All connected in one way or another. It's just so sad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VALENCIA: We don't know exactly if the president is coming here specifically, but we've seen a large oversized American flag put up here. They're certainly ready for him.

[11:59:59]

We also saw some campaign signs out here out front. The mixed reaction about the president's visit. But this is part of his base. I think it serves him well to show up here -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Yes. There was a time --