Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Lockdown in Italy; Stocks Gain on Stimulus Hopes; Voters Head to Polls in Six States; Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) is Interviewed about the Economy and the Virus Spread. Aired 9:30-10a

Aired March 10, 2020 - 09:30   ET

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


[09:30:00]

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The sense of urgency isn't sinking in everywhere at this point. The restrictions that were just a few days ago on just 50,000 people in theory are supposed to be now in place for the entire country, Italy with the population of 60 million. But it's not altogether clear if the Italian state has the wherewithal, the resources, the manpower, to actually enforce it.

And, in fact, some Italian politicians who are generally united in support of these draconian measures are saying that perhaps more needs to be done. There are several politicians have said that everything in this country should be closed, only supermarkets left open so people can at least get something to eat.

Jim. Poppy.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: The least you can ask and expect.

Ben Wedeman on the story there. Thanks very much.

Back here in the U.S., the markets have just opened and they're picking up some of the ground that they lost in the last several days, including 2,000 points just yesterday.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Chief business correspondent Christine Romans back with us. Alison Kosik down at the stock exchange.

Romans, let me just begin with you and what this -- what this tells you.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, this is a bounce back that I think a lot of people expected. It's going to take back about half of yesterday's losses, but the big story here is how much we've lost over the past two weeks, 5 trillion in market value, almost 2 trillion yesterday. So this is a bounce, I think, that is expected.

The big conversation from here is, one, is this like 2008? No, it's not. That was a financial crisis. We didn't know if the financial system would withstand it. This is a virus that we know at some point will be resolved, right?

HARLOW: Yes.

ROMANS: Number two, will there be a recession? We don't know that either. But just a couple of weeks ago we were talking about maybe the first half of the year would slow down the U.S. economy. But the U.S. economy was still strong. Now we're talking about, well maybe there will be a recession, but will it be shallow and short or a little bit deeper. Those are the questions we're having right now about the economy.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Alison Kosik, the Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, he said that the outbreak, and I'm quoting here, is not like the financial crisis where we don't know the end is in sight.

I'm curious, when you speak to traders on the floor there, do they have the same confidence? Do they know that the end is in sight? Do they see the light at the end of the tunnel or are they still trying to, you know, grasp at that?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And, you know, that's the big fear that's been driving this outsized action that we've been seeing for over two weeks in the stock market is -- is the fear of the unknown. We don't know how the coronavirus crisis will end. It's why we're seeing these giant moves, the Dow plunging more than 2,000 points, its biggest drop ever in a single day.

You know, watching traders walk out of the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, they were stunned. They told me they felt beaten up. So the bounce back we're seeing today, not such a huge surprise, just because it's the usual action that we would see after such an outsized move yesterday.

I think the other part of what's driving this bounce back, oil prices are bouncing back a bit after oil prices plunged their biggest amount since 1991. That really shook the markets.

But I think what President Trump is introducing, or trying to float, this payroll tax cut and other economic relief, I think that's really driving the action here. Of course the question is, will it even pass Congress? What are the details of those possible measures? Those are all questions that are still being asked here on the floor.

HARLOW: Yes.

KOSIK: And, you know, the biggest worry here, though, is the uncertainty about how the crisis will end and, of course, whether or not we could go into a recession because of the impact of the coronavirus.

HARLOW: OK.

So, Romans, I just heard Muhammad El-Erian (ph) saying this morning his big concern is corporate bonds and what happens there. ROMANS: Yes.

HARLOW: When you look at the rapid decline in the longer notes, in the 30 year Treasury falling below 1 percent --

ROMANS: Yes.

HARLOW: Which is more precipitous than the decline in shorter notes like ten years --

ROMANS: Yes.

HARLOW: We're not at an inverted yield curve yet --

ROMANS: Yes.

HARLOW: But that means that Wall Street and the market is -- is looking at an extended economic slowdown.

ROMANS: Yes. And we've never seen this in the bond market before, so that's what people are really concerned about. We also have corporate debt levels and debt to income for consumers is at kind of scary levels in some cases. So that's something to watch here.

How much lower can the Fed lower interest rates? Probably two more basis points. That -- or two more -- two more moves, you know, 50 basis points, that's baked in.

But what more can the Fed do and what is the bond market telling us about fears in the overall economy. That is one of the biggest debates in money, not what's happening in the stock market --

HARLOW: Right.

ROMANS: But what's happening in the bond market.

HARLOW: Right.

SCIUTTO: Well, that's the thing, you know, you can take measures to help the market and the question, what about measures to help working people --

ROMANS: People.

SCIUTTO: Who are going to deal with it, paid sick leave, you know, things, if kids are going to be staying home from school, can they keep their jobs as a result?

HARLOW: Well, they're -- Darden Restaurant --

ROMANS: Yes.

HARLOW: You were talking about this yesterday, Darden restaurants, they own Olive Garden and a lot of (INAUDIBLE). They are giving paid sick leave. They're going to pay people to stay home, which is great. ROMANS: Uber and Lyft are too. I mean I would -- I would encourage

corporate America to really look at this because you will be -- it's better for your own bottom line if you make sure that you don't have sick people working for you who are going to make other people sick.

[09:35:01]

That just makes sense.

But there could be some government leadership on this.

SCIUTTO: Right.

ROMANS: I will say, on the president's package --

SCIUTTO: Yes.

ROMANS: For a stimulus, we still have a lot of questions.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

ROMANS: And there is some reporting that he surprised his aides yesterday when he said there would be a slate of ideas due today -- ready today for Congress.

HARLOW: OK. Thank you. We're glad we have you guys, especially right now.

Romans, thank you.

Alison Kosik, we appreciate it.

Also, as you mentioned, there is a --

SCIUTTO: There is.

HARLOW: There is a presidential race very much going on today. Super Tuesday part two. All eyes especially on Michigan. Can Bernie Sanders grab back the momentum or will Joe Biden strike a critical blow there?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: Super Tuesday 2.0, if you will.

[09:40:01]

Voters, right now, casting ballots in six states, 352 delegates up for grabs today, many, of course, looking keenly at Michigan, a top prize, a make or break state potentially for Bernie Sanders.

SCIUTTO: That's a big day in this election. We've got teams covering the trail.

First up, Arlette Saenz. She's with team Biden.

Arlette, of course, Super Tuesday 1.0 was a big day for Biden. How are they feeling going into today?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Biden campaign is cautiously optimistic about things heading into this second round of votes on a Tuesday tonight. They tell -- one adviser tells me that they believe Michigan will be close.

They've pointed to Bernie Sanders' upset victory back there in 2016, as well as the fact that he's been organizing on the ground for quite some time. Now, a poll yesterday showed Biden leading in the state by 15 points, but the campaign does think that it will be close there.

And, ultimately, the way that they are viewing this night, they believe they'll pick up delegates. And the way that they might make up that deficit that they have in Michigan is by running up the vote in states like Mississippi, with a large African-American population, very similar to a lot of those southern states which gave Biden victories last week on Super Tuesday.

But what one Biden adviser tells me today is that they believe tonight is Bernie Sanders' night to prove he is still viable in this race. They think that he needs to show voters that he can go the long haul against Joe Biden and the Biden campaign thinks that if Bernie Sanders doesn't have a good night, it could be game over for him.

HARLOW: Let's check in, thanks, Arlette, with the Sanders team, Ryan Nobles in Detroit with him.

And he was really open this weekend, speaking to our Jake Tapper, about just how important he realizes Michigan is for him to clinch.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Poppy, I don't think there's any doubt about that. And Arlette's right, that there aren't too many states on the map here tonight that look encouraging for Bernie Sanders. But the two that they are raising the most hope in would be here in Michigan and then in Washington state. Washington primarily because there is a lot of progressive support in that state, but also they had such a significant early vote when Sanders was leading the Democratic primary field.

But Michigan is a state which was basically his comeback state four years ago. He was not expected to win here. It looked as though the Democratic primary was slipping away and they pulled an upset victory. They're hoping they can do that again here tonight.

But, to be clear, the Sanders campaign doesn't plan on going anywhere regardless of the results here tonight. They fully expect to participate in the debate on Sunday. One adviser telling me yesterday that the country needs to see a one on one debate with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. So this may be a tough night for Sanders, but they believe the campaign will go on.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Yes, and we have to be on the lookout from expectations management, of course, campaigns expert of that in the days like this.

Miguel Marquez, he's with voters in Michigan.

You've been talking to them. Tell us what's on the top of their minds right now. I mean is it about beating Trump in particular or is it more focused on issues?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For the most part, voters here in Warren, Michigan, this is Macomb County, just outside of Detroit, they want to beat Donald Trump in November.

I've been doing a bit of an informal poll as they come out of here. Most voter are saying they are voting for Joe Biden but only by a hair. There's a lot of Bernie Sanders voters as well and some Donald Trump voters coming in and out of there.

There are three different precincts in this voting location. It has not been busy today. The weather's pretty raw and miserable as well today, so that might keep people away, at least in these early hours. They expect it to get busier later tonight.

Polls close here at 8:00 Eastern and then at 9:00 Eastern some of those western counties, western areas, are on Central Time, so they close an hour after the rest of the state.

Officials also saying it will take some time for them to get the vote in. They've had a ton of absentee votes and they can't start processing those until today. That will -- that has started already, but they don't expect to have those votes counted until very, very late tonight.

Back to you guys.

HARLOW: Thank you. Appreciate the reporting to all of you guys. A big day ahead for sure.

And our special live coverage of Super Tuesday round two, it begins at 4:00 Eastern Today, only right here on CNN.

SCIUTTO: In Washington, lawmakers are questioning their next steps as coronavirus concerns grow on Capitol Hill and around the country. Several members of Congress, they're now in self-quarantine.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:48:46]

HARLOW: Capitol Hill is right now consumed with talking about how to react to coronavirus, what to do from all standpoints, from the funding fight against it, to lawmakers, some of them staying healthy themselves and self-quarantining. Several members of Congress under self-quarantining as the president prepares to pitch economic stimulus for the country.

Joining me now, Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee of Michigan. He is party's chief deputy whip.

It's good to have you, Congressman. I appreciate your time. REP. DAN KILDEE (D-MI): Thank you.

HARLOW: So far, unless you have different information, our latest data say no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state of Michigan. That could change in an instant.

How prepared are you in terms of number of tests, hospital beds, nurses, doctors?

KILDEE: Well, I think we're all scrambling to make sure we're prepared. And while there are no confirmed cases in many states, including Michigan, I think we know that there could be cases and there likely will be very soon, confirmed cases. There's been testing going on.

I met with our health officials yesterday morning and they are ramping up. I think they're prepared in terms of their end of the testing. It's having actually the test kits available at the labs to do the analysis. But that's where we get beyond that where we get into a little more difficulty. The ability to quarantine is severely limited.

[09:50:02]

There's a lot of work being done right now. I guess fortunately in Michigan, because we haven't had confirmed cases, that we've had a little more time to ramp up. But that window is going to close very soon, I'm afraid.

HARLOW: Do you -- we -- you heard the treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, because you talk about the economic impact, especially for hourly workers, people that don't have paid sick leave.

You heard Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin say that this is, quote, very different from the 2008 financial crisis because the good news here is that there will be an end in sight. That's a quote.

And that's true, this is not about the stability of the existing financial system as we know it, right? This is not a Lehman collapse or Bear Stearns, et cetera. But he does say the good news is there will be an end in sight. Do you share that assessment in terms of turning the corner within months?

KILDEE: Well, we don't really know how long this will go. So I think it's a little bit difficult to make those -- those sorts of predictions. I mean he's right in only one sense, in that the structural problems in the economy back in 2007 and 2008 were pretty severe and a stimulus was not going to immediately overcome that.

But there are structural problems in our economy right now that will be revealed by this crisis. And you mention one of them earlier, the fact that so many -- millions of Americans who go to work every day don't have sick leave.

HARLOW: Yes.

KILDEE: That's a structural problem in our economy -- HARLOW: Right.

KILDEE: That this crisis will lay bare. And so I think it -- it is important for us to keep in mind for many people, they may not recover from an economic downturn, where, you know, if the -- if the stock market recovers, that doesn't mean that somebody who lost their job because of coronavirus recovers.

HARLOW: Right. Of course it doesn't.

So the proposals right now, the administration is talking about a potential payroll tax cut. The president is asking for a slate of relief proposals for hourly workers. We've seen companies stepping in, Darden Restaurants, for example, they're going to pay people for sick time, et cetera, hourly workers.

What would you support on a federal level?

KILDEE: I think the single highest priority for me is paid sick leave for people who are sick so they can stay home. We want people to stay home if they're sick.

HARLOW: Paid by taxpayers? Paid by tax -- by the government or the companies?

KILDEE: At this point -- well, I think to the extent that companies are willing to step in and do what many companies already do, we encourage that.

HARLOW: Yes.

KILDEE: And if we can do that through some incentives for businesses, I think that's one way to get at it.

But I think we have to have universal paid sick leave. We need it eventually for everyone, anyway, but we absolutely need it for the coronavirus cases because we want people to not infect others, and we have to not create incentives for people to go to work if they're sick.

HARLOW: Sure.

KILDEE: And if they think they can't feed their families, they're going to go to work, and we need to do everything we can to support them.

HARLOW: Of course.

All right, let's turn to 2020. It's a big race. And it's a huge day in your state of Michigan with the primary there really -- it could be make or break for Senator Sanders.

You voted yesterday. You're not endorsing and you're not planning to.

KILDEE: Right. No.

HARLOW: Why is that, and do you, at this point, not think that members of Congress should endorse?

KILDEE: Well, I think each member has to make up their own mind. In my case, the goal of defeating President Trump and returning our country to some rule of law, some semblance of sanity is so much more important than any candidate that we put up, number one.

Secondly, I went through this in 2016. I saw how difficult it was to defeat Donald Trump in a divided party. And one of the reasons it was divided is that everybody seemed to have taken sides.

HARLOW: Yes.

KILDEE: I felt like in my case, in a swing state like Michigan, I want to be in a position to try to bring people together, to bring either Biden or Sanders voters together around that common goal. And I'll be much more successful and much more credible in doing that if I'm not in one camp or another.

HARLOW: Right. You did endorse Clinton early on into '16.

KILDEE: I did.

HARLOW: And Sanders had that surprise win in your state in that primary.

Let me just end on Flint, Michigan, because it is in your district. You've still got people there suffering from the lead water crisis, some drinking bottled water. They don't even trust the new pipes that are going in.

Listen to what was said last night about Flint.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're not looking for a revolution. What we ought to be able to do is trust the water that comes out of the pipes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: That was Joe Biden.

As you know, back in 2016, Senator Sanders voted against the continuing resolution that ultimately passed and was signed into law that gave $170 million towards Flint and recovery there. He had supported earlier aid for Flint, Michigan, but it seems like the two of them are battling over who would be best to help the residents there in a crisis like they experienced.

Who do you think would be best to help those people?

KILDEE: Well, both Senator Sanders and the Obama administration, which obviously included Vice President Biden, stepped up for Flint. I understand -- you know, I often am in a position of having things that I really like in an anonymous bill that I end up voting against.

[09:55:06]

So I understand Senator Sanders' position.

Both of them have been strong advocates for Flint.

HARLOW: OK.

KILDEE: And we also have a chance to be an advocate for Flint again. One of the things that I'm pushing for in the relief package is a moratorium on water shutoffs for people who can't pay their bill. You can't wash your hands if you don't have water.

HARLOW: Great point.

KILDEE: And in Flint, Michigan, right now, we have the potential for shutoffs in Flint and Detroit and other places. We need to stop that.

HARLOW: You know, I had not even thought about that. That's a very good point.

Congressman Dan Kildee, we appreciate your time today. Thanks.

KILDEE: Thanks, Poppy.

SCIUTTO: Great point about the water issue there.

HARLOW: I hadn't thought about it.

SCIUTTO: I mean, listen, all these decisions make a real difference to people's lives. We're going to stay on top of them.

Here's another question, stay out of the classroom, study online. That is the word from several colleges and universities now across the country.

HARLOW: Some schools going as far as telling students, when you leave for spring break, don't come back to campus after. Next.

SCIUTTO: Wow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)