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Twelve Days Of Protests Across America After Floyd Killing; Trump Stokes Disunity As Protests Grip The Nation; Biden Holds Big Lead In Polls; White House Trumpets Jobs Report; A Personal Conversation With Saint Paul, Minnesota Mayor Melvin Carter III; Interview With Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). Aired 8-9a ET

Aired June 7, 2020 - 08:00   ET




DANA BASH, CNN HOST (voice-over): From coast to coast, and around the world, protesters flood the streets, demonstrating against police brutality and the murder of George Floyd.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody is sick of the racism within this system. We're tired of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we are doing is helping America be America for all Americans.

BASH: Plus, President Trump claims victory on an economic recovery that not everyone is feeling. Hoping that, plus tough talk, are his keys to a second term.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am your president of law and order.

BASH: While Democrats promise reform and Joe Biden offers voters a sharp contrast.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Countries crying out for leadership, leadership that brings us together.


BASH: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Dana Bash, in this morning for John King.

After a tumultuous 12 days of huge and passionate protests about racial injustice, police brutality and the death of George Floyd, this new week begins with questions about whether the country is on the cusp of big changes. There is no doubting the passion in the streets, look at these pictures of the very large peaceful gatherings in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles and Washington.

Tens of thousands marched in Washington for Saturday's protests, some carried a huge black lives banner -- matter banner.

Across the country, the area around Los Angeles' city hall was packed. Listen to this young protester.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want people to help us carry this baton, stand by our sides and we want to take our allies and march toward the gates of racism and injustice and I don't think it stands a chance anymore.


BASH: In Minneapolis, and near his birth place of Fayetteville, North Carolina, memorial services eulogized George Floyd, the 46-year-old father, brother and son killed by police almost two weeks ago. Those services included more talk about the urgent need for change.


SHERIFF HUBERT PETERKIN, HOKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA: I deny all the wrong that law enforcement are doing today. I am denying the color of my skin. We are part of the problem.

REV. CHRISTOPHER D. STACKHOUSE, LEWIS CHAPEL MISSIONARY BAPTISH CHURCH: A movement is happening in America and I'm glad that all of us get to say that it was George Floyd that sparked the fuse.


BASH: Along with the peaceful protests and memorial, some disturbing images of police brutality also being revealed. CNN is told that the White House wanted to have 10,000 active duty troops on the streets of Washington and other cities, but the secretary of defense and chairman of the joint chiefs pushed back.

And here in the nation's capital, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser helped paint "Black Lives Matter" in front of Lafayette Square next to the White House, and she requested President Trump withdraw all extraordinary law enforcement and military presence from D.C. streets.

And now, the D.C. National Guard commander tells CNN an exclusive interview that the nearly 4,000 additional National Guard troops could be leaving D.C. as early as Monday.

And "Time" magazine memorialized this painful moment in America with this moving cover, an African-American mother, holding a baby that has been cut out of the picture.

Our next guest is the mother of four children and also the mayor of one of the largest cities in America, her moving speeches as some protests turn violent caught the nation's attention.


MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA: We are in the midst of a movement in this country, but it's going to be incumbent upon all of us to be able to get together and articulate more than our anger. There is something better on the other side of this for us and there is something better on the other side of this for our children's children.


BASH: And Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joins me now.

Thank you so much.

Madam Mayor, we are seeing, as you know, people all over this country marching -- they're not just out of anger and frustration, but they have hope that this might bring change.

So, let's talk about some potential changes. I know you told Anderson Cooper on Friday that you don't support defunding the police.


But the group Campaign Zero came up with eight policy proposals to reduce deadly police encounters, and I want to ask you about a couple of them.

First is duty to intervene when officers use excessive force. That is one of the eight.

Do you support that?

BOTTOMS: I think that's reasonable. But what we've done in Atlanta, Dana -- as you know, President Obama issued a charge to many mayors across this city, including Atlanta, and that charge was for us to immediately review our use of force policies. So we have convened a commission that we will be announcing in the next 24 hours to give me a report in 14 days on our use of force policies, and with a final report in another 45 days with input from the community.

But that certainly sounds reasonable because we saw at least one officer stand by and watch George Floyd be murdered, and so, that sounds like a reasonable proposal.

BASH: And there is currently no national police misconduct registry. Your state doesn't currently participate in the one database that is available. So, if an officer gets fired for arresting somebody improperly or doing something else wrong, they can go somewhere else and get hired without people knowing.

Is a misconduct registry nationally something you would support?

BOTTOMS: This is the first I've heard of that. But on the surface, that also sounds reasonable to me. I do think it's important that if we have officers who have abused their power in our communities, that it is important that they not be allowed to go to another municipality and behave in the same way. At least allowing the other municipality to know who it is that they are getting and what their history is.

BASH: I want to -- I want you to listen to something that President Trump said in the Rose Garden on Friday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We all saw what happened last week. We can't let that happen. Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying, there's a great thing that's happening for our country.

It's a great day for him. It's great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality.


BASH: What was your reaction to that?

BOTTOMS: Disgusted.

BASH: How come?

BOTTOMS: Simply disgusted.

This is a man who has been murdered on our streets. President Trump doesn't know him and, in fact, by all accounts from George Floyd's brother, when President Trump called to offer condolences, he didn't even give the family an opportunity to speak.

And so, I think if the president was going to say anything, it may have been more appropriate to talk about his family and perhaps him looking down on his children and perhaps him being proud of the movement that's happening in this country.

I didn't know George Floyd either. But I've been able to at least watch his family and those who knew him and get a glimpse of the type of man he was.

And I think, again, it just shows that this president is incapable of showing any type of empathy. He always gets it wrong time and time again. And I think we have got to stop expecting any more from him.

BASH: Mayor Bottoms, I want to ask you about the NFL. After years of refusing to support Colin Kaepernick, who knelt in protest over police brutality, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a video Friday morning saying this.


ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.


BASH: What do you make of that?

BOTTOMS: I think it was Maya Angelou who said when you know better, you do better. And if we want change in this country, we have to give people the ability to articulate that they were wrong, and they want to change. And so if he says that the NFL was wrong, and he recognizes it, I

accept that, and I look forward to continuing to work with the NFL in the way that we have done it right here in Atlanta with Arthur Blank and the Blank Foundation. They are a huge part of what's happening in our west side community in terms of job training programs, substance abuse training programs, creating affordable housing for our communities.


And so, we're seeing the change on the ground with our local NFL team and I think that it would be phenomenal to see that nationwide. And so, if he says they got it wrong, I think we need to accept that, and then hold them accountable.

BASH: Should Roger Goodell make it his mission to get an NFL team to sign Colin Kaepernick now?

BOTTOMS: I think that that would be a great signal to so many across America. I think it would be a great symbolic gesture to allow him to play in the NFL again.

BASH: I want to ask about COVID, which is still going on. I mean, there is obviously still a pandemic happening and there -- this weekend, you tweeted: If you have been part of a mass gathering, please take a COVID-19 test. I took one today.

And there are signs that COVID cases in your state of Georgia are ticking up, and if you look at the national map, the states in dark red are those going up significantly, some of those states border yours.

How worried are you about a resurgence?

BOTTOMS: Well, I was already concerned coming out of the Memorial Day weekend because we saw so many gatherings and we know that Georgia opened up very quickly. And even my going into the protest a few days ago went against everything that I've said about COVID, that we should avoid mass gatherings.

But this is an extraordinary time in our country, people are grieving and when people are grieving, they sometimes need to come together and be amongst each other.

But, again, it goes against everything that I've said and so many experts have said about COVID. And so, I did the responsible thing and went and got tested. And we are encouraging our people who have participated to do the same and, in fact, I believe it was CORE who was on the ground in the midst of some of the protests on yesterday in Atlanta offering testing to those who were around.

BASH: Before I let you go, I have to ask you about the buzz this week about you as a potential running mate for Joe Biden. Do you want to be on the ticket?

BOTTOMS: Dana, what I said repeatedly is I want Joe Biden to put the person on the ticket who will help him defeat Donald Trump in 2020. And I don't think there is anybody in this country who knows better other than President Obama and Joe Biden what that person -- who that person should be.

Joe Biden was one of the best vice presidents our country has ever seen, one of the most active vice presidents that at least I've ever seen in my lifetime, and I trust that he'll make the right decision.

BASH: Are you being vetted?

BOTTOMS: I'll defer you -- I'll refer you to the Biden campaign for answers on that process.

BASH: That's not a no.

BOTTOMS: I'll refer you to the Biden campaign.


BASH: OK. I really appreciate that. And I really appreciate you coming on and everything that you have done. Stay healthy, stay well and thank you, Mayor Bottoms, appreciate it.

And up next --

BOTTOMS: Thank you.

BASH: Up next, with the country crying out for change, President Trump doubles down on his law and order approach.



BASH: This week, one of the most emotional and tumultuous in recent memory is the kind of week most presidents, whether Democrat or Republican, seize on as a presidency defining moment to show leadership and bring the country together. But Donald Trump is not most presidents. He did create a legacy defining moment, but it was not one of unity. He sought to project an image of strength, encouraging governors and mayors to dominate the streets, flooding the nation's capital with law enforcement and military units.


TRUMP: I am your president of law and order, and an ally of all peaceful protesters. But in recent days, our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters. We're ending the riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country. We will end it now.


BASH: In that very moment as the president spoke in the rose garden, he was acting as anything but an ally of peaceful protester protesters. Across the street, police were using smoke, pepper spray and flash bangs to remove a peaceful crowd from Lafayette Square in front of the White House so that President Trump could have a photo-op outside the historic St. John's Church where he held up a bible as a prop, not for prayer.

The result: condemnation from an unlikely combination of people, Bishop Mariann Budde who oversee the Episcopal Diocese of Washington said she was outraged. Trump's former Defense Secretary James Mattis called it an abuse of executive authority. Former Trump chief of staff, John Kelly, said he agreed and we need to look harder at who we elect. And GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski said it is time to speak out and she is struggling with who to support in November.

Joining me now with their reporting and insights on all of this is Maggie Haberman of "The New York Times," CNN's Abby Phillip and CNN's Jeff Zeleny.

Abby, to you, you were, you know in the streets reporting. I know you covered the White House for a long time. I'm guessing you're not surprised by what you're seeing and hearing from this president.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: No, not at all. And this is a president who has instinctively tried to make almost everything about himself and he did it in such a dramatic fashion when he decided essentially to do that photo-op in front of St. John's Episcopal, clearing the streets with tear gas.


And I think what we have seen as a result is that that move has really galvanized people all over this country to take it upon themselves to speak out. Yesterday in Washington, you know, those crowds were as much a kind of anti-Trump crowd as they were an anti-racism and anti- police brutality crowd.

The president has made the alternative to these protests, really untenable for so many Americans, and that's why we're seeing these crowds swell. In the streets, he made this moment about himself in a way that I don't think that he intended. And now, you're seeing him trying to downplay what you're seeing out in the streets because I think he understands that on some level.

This could have been an opportunity for him to try to meet the moment with a sense of unity for the nation and he really didn't even make an attempt and I think what we're seeing now is that Americans all over the country are being forced in some ways to say who they -- which side they're on and a lot of people are siding with the folks in the street as you can see by the numbers all over this country.

BASH: And, Maggie, I want you and our viewers to hear what John Kelly, the president's former chief of staff, former homeland security secretary said about the president and his leadership.


JOHN KELLY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I think we need to look harder at who we elect, I think we should start all of us regardless of what our views are in politics, I think we should look at people that are running for office and put them through the filter. What is their character like? What is their -- what are their ethics?


BASH: Maggie, I know you tweeted and I thought that was -- this was really notable that this is a candidate who showed his character by, you know, attacking a gold star parent and that John Kelly knew that before taking the job, which is a fair point. But now -- this is a man now speaking with experience of being his chief of staff in the White House as president.

I mean, do you have any sense from talking to your sources that this is going to make much of a difference?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I think that if you saw a bunch of former officials, Dana, come out and speak all as one, then I think -- and folks of the, you know, professional caliber of Jim Mattis or John Kelly or a couple of others, I think that would make a big difference potentially. I think right now, the country is so polarized, I think people are in their corners, I think it is very hard to know who is that voice who would actually have an impact on people to sway folks one way or another.

I think that in terms of being persuaded, I think as voters are going to be more open to what they see for themselves in terms of the next five months and maybe won't be persuaded. Maybe they will decide to vote for President Trump.

I do think that officials, yes, they're offering an important position right now. John Kelly is who I have in mind. It is important to remember that John Kelly time after time did things that critics of the administration have been pretty vocal about. And, yes, President Trump attacked a Gold Star mother during the -- late in the campaign.

So it should have been clear, much of this should not be a surprise to anybody.

BASH: And, Jeff Zeleny, I just think it is important to put this in context. We have been talking about it and we started this segment talking about the president's take this and seize the moment historically, just some examples of presidential statements.

President Obama -- about this moment, former President Obama said this shouldn't be normal in 2020 America, can't be normal if we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must do better.

Former President Bush, those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America or how it becomes a better place.

Former President Clinton, we can't honestly answer these questions in the divide and conquer, us versus them, shift the blame and shirk the responsibility world we're living in.

And former President Carter, we need a government as good as its people and we are better than this.

It is hard given what we have seen over the last week, over the last almost four years, to see President Trump doing this. It is just not who he is.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It's not. We saw every living president stand up and meet the moment here except the current president.

We should point out, this is not a partisan issue. It should not be a partisan issue. Racism should not be a partisan issue.

President Trump clearly was unable to meet the moment this week. As he built a fortress around the White House, it is extraordinary, I spent a lot of time outside the White House, talking to protesters, seeing what he's done, he can't build a fortress around his presidency. He can't protect his presidency from all of this.

So we should point out, with less than five months before election day, we do not know how this will turn out, we do not know what his law and order message will do, will it drive people away from him or drive some voters into his campaign.

But, you know, at this moment, at least, he did not meet the moment.


His advisers around him are aware of that, certainly Republicans, even in their silence are aware of that as well. So this was a defining week in many respects for him as well, Dana.

BASH: He can't build a fortress around his presidency. That's very well said.

OK. Stick around, guys. We have a lot to talk about, because there is an election in November.

ZELENY: Sure (ph).

BASH: We'll talk about that in a couple of minutes.

But up next, I'm going to talk with the top House Democrat about his plan -- a top House Democrat about his plan to overhaul policing in America and why this is the right time to get it done.


REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (R-NY): This time will be different, not because of us, members of Congress, but because of you. That's why this time will be different.



BASH: It's been another raw week in America. Emotions are churning. Americans of all races flooded streets and cities, big and small, to protest racism and police brutality. Emotions everywhere are raw, including Congress.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): Children break down with me this week, wondering if this would be a country that values their lives as much as white people's lives. I've had to explain to grown men this week that there is still hope in America, that we can make change in America, that we can grow and heal in America, that we can make this a more perfect union.



BASH: We've seen protests over these issues before. This time feels different. An ABC News/Ipsos poll shows that three-quarters of Americans believe George Floyd's murder is a sign of a systemic problem, 30 points higher than when a similar question was asked in 2014 about the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

House Democrats think this is the time to overhaul law enforcement in America and tomorrow they'll introduce a sweeping police reform bill. And CNN is told it will include making it easier to sue cops for bad behavior and establish a national police misconduct registry so that fired officers can't just get a job elsewhere, banning chokeholds and more.

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York is the chairman of the House Democratic caucus and joins me now. Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman for coming on.

I want to start with some of what we expect to see tomorrow. banning chokeholds is something you've been pushing for since the death of Eric Garner in your home state of New York. It does appear to be in this new legislation.

You haven't gotten Republican support for this before. I know you have good relationships across the aisle. Do you have any GOP commitments to ban chokeholds now?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): Not at this point, but I remain hopeful because we are seeing throughout the country that police commissioner after police commissioner and many rank and file members of police departments and city after city have made it clear that choke hold is an inappropriate and unnecessary tactic. I believe that it is an uncivilized, unconscionable and un-American tactic.

What we need to do is to make it unlawful because no individual should ever be choked to death on the streets of an American city, town, county, or municipality, let alone by a police officer. Most major police departments across the country, including the New York Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Philadelphia Police Department, the Chicago Police Department prohibit the use of a choke hold or a tactic such as a knee to the neck that results in asphyxiation as a matter of policy.

But we need to make it unlawful as a matter of law so we can put this practice behind us once and for all.

BASH: And you mentioned that some major cities already have this ban and that speaks to the skepticism that we're hearing from Republicans that this is the federal government's role at all.

Roy Blunt, who's the senator from Missouri, member of the leadership, said this to my colleague Lauren Fox. He said, "I don't think you can come up with a national enforceable response on conduct or practice, nor I do think you can come up with a national manual that really makes sense for departments."

What is your response?

JEFFRIES: It's just another unfortunate excuse. Some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, on the other side of the capital want to continue to bury their heads in the sand.

We obviously have a serious problem. In terms of the police officers that I deal with here in New York City, the overwhelming majority of good individuals who are hardworking, and who are in the community to protect and serve. But we cannot deny that we have far too many brutal officers, far too many violent officers, far too many abusive officers and we have to address that phenomenon.

That's why so many Americans have been taking to the streets throughout the country -- black, white, Latino, Asian, young, old, gay, straight, citizens, dreamers, people across the spectrum of the gorgeous mosaic of the American people to say enough is enough. And Congress needs to hear those cries and act upon them and that's what House Democrats intend to do beginning tomorrow.

BASH: So as you know, there is some disagreement within your party about whether or not police departments should be defunded. Karen Bass, who as you know, is the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, says she doesn't believe it should happen. Some more liberal members of your party like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says that she wants to reduce money, for example, in the NYPD budget. Where do you stand?

JEFFRIES: Well, from my standpoint, you have to look at that on a case by case basis and also make the determination as to how do you appropriately maintain public safety and public order by investing in law enforcement, and investing in a law enforcement that is prepared to execute a guardian mentality as opposed to a warrior mentality. But at the same time investing in the public well-being of the American people, particularly long under-resourced communities of color, African-American communities, Latino communities, Native American communities that consistently are left behind.



BASH: So are you open to the idea of defunding the police department and putting that money elsewhere?

JEFFRIES: I haven't seen any -- I have not seen any proposal here in New York City that I'm prepared to support. What I do know is that in the context of the budget that the city is negotiating right now, you cannot propose to maintain the police budget but also cut, some argue (ph) cut libraries, cut after school programming, cut academic enrichment programs. That absolutely makes no sense and is not something that we should do.

BASH: I want to show you a video and our viewers a video that came out of Minneapolis last night. The Minneapolis mayor was booed by protesters for refusing to defund the police.

There is a lot of pressure on Democrats from the left to support -- outright support the notion of defunding the police. Politically speaking, I mean you guys want to stay in the majority, are you worried that this could be handing Republicans a talking point?

JEFFRIES: No, there is a lot of pressure on Democrats to abolish ICE and certainly ICE needs to be reformed in a dramatic fashion. But the mainstream Democratic position continues to be that we'll keep the focus on getting things done, on behalf of everyday Americans that impact kitchen table pocketbook, bottom line issues like lowering healthcare costs, increasing their pay, making sure that Americans, when you go to work, work hard, play by the rules, you can provide a comfortable living for yourself and for your family.

So we're going to continue to execute on our "for the people" agenda, that is designed to make sure that we help working families, help the middle class, help low income communities, help senior citizens, as opposed to the wealthy, the well off and the well connected, which is the consistent agenda coming out of Mitch McConnell and the boys in the Senate.

BASH: Your colleague, Congressman Jim Clyburn, said this week that Vice President Biden picking a black woman as a running mate is not a must, but it would be a plus. Do you agree?

JEFFRIES: Well, I certainly think you have incredibly qualified African-American women as candidates. Of course, individuals like Val Demings, my colleague in the house, she would be phenomenal. Kamala Harris would be phenomenal. Stephanie Abrams would be phenomenal as well as several others.

But I'm not in the business of giving the vice president advice on who the next vice president should be. But I do agree with Jim Clyburn that it would be a significant substantive plus and perhaps even an electoral plus if he were to choose amongst the wide number of highly qualified African-American women who are under consideration.

BASH: And would it hurt him with African-Americans in November if he didn't pick a woman of color?

JEFFRIES: That remains to be seen. I think the most important thing is that Vice President Biden continue to articulate a forward-looking, progressive, transformational agenda to deal with racial injustice, economic injustice, social injustice, as it impacts the African- American community and every single American as he has been doing.

I think his speech in Philadelphia was incredibly well delivered. He delivered it from the heart. Joe Biden cares about the well-being of the African-American community and everyday Americans. I sincerely believe that. And certainly that's a very different perspective than the one coming out of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

BASH: Hakeem Jeffries, congressman from New York, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus -- thank you so much for joining me this morning. I really appreciate it.

JEFFRIES: Thank you -- Dana.

BASH: With 149 days until election day, neither President Trump nor his campaign team is where they thought they would be. Up next, what top advisers told the President at the White House about his dip in the polls.




BASH: A big weekend for Joe Biden. CNN is now projecting that after the latest round of primaries, he has unofficially clinched the number of delegates he needs to win the Democratic nomination. And with 149 days until voters head to the polls, he has a double digit lead in CNN's poll of polls.

For comparison's sake, here is a poll of polls. It was exactly four years ago when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were virtually tied. The Trump campaign is well aware that it's been a rough few weeks, but they're hoping a turn around in the economy will mean a turn around in the polls.

No surprise that the President jumped on Friday's surprising jobs report. A record number of new jobs created in May as the economy began reopening.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The great American comeback has become. A record 2.5 million jobs in May and we're just getting started. Before the pandemic, President Trump made our economy the envy of the world. Now he's doing it again.


BASH: Quick fact check. Yes, more Americans were working in May than in April. And yes, unemployment ticked down. That is good news. But one in seven Americans is still out of a job. The most since the Great Depression.

Back with us now is Maggie Haberman of "The New York Times", CNN's Abby Phillip and Jeff Zeleny.

So, guys -- I want to kind of set the table with this political discussion on focusing on one of the states, the battleground state ground states where we saw polls and going into those polls to look at some of the key voting blocs. And this is state of Wisconsin -- ok.

Let's first look at union households. We know that the -- that from exit polls that Hillary Clinton won by 10. Look at where Joe Biden is. He is up by 28 points among union households.

White women: Hillary Clinton won by 2; Joe Biden is up by 17. Independents: Donald Trump won by 10 points; and now it is Joe Biden in Wisconsin up by 8. Suburban voters, so key: Donald Trump was up by 16; now it is Joe Biden in Wisconsin up by 14.

That is one of the reasons, Maggie -- I know you are and I am hearing from Republican sources inside and around the campaign that they're worried and the President himself is worried.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": That's exactly right -- Dana. The margins that you point to are not small and the key groups -- suburban voters and white women, white women in particular, are a group that exit polls showed President Trump winning last time, granted this is one state, not a battleground map per se. But it is a snapshot on where things are right now in a state that frankly President Trump's advisers think could be easier for him, Wisconsin, than Michigan, which they're not feeling great about right now.


HABERMAN: Look, people who are either involved in the campaign or close to President Trump know that this is the reality. They know this is what they're facing. They do believe that there is a path to come back and you saw that with that ad they did.

I just want to raise one point -- Dana, and this is in a lot of conversations the last two days, the way that they're seizing on these economic numbers and this is just definitely good news, right. Anybody who has been out of work knows how important it is that there are jobs coming back.

But the fact is they're taking a real gamble on presenting unmitigated rocket going up. It's the opposite of what we saw President Obama did with that unemployment numbers -- not like these. It was 8 percent during much of 2012. They framed it as the economy is getting better but we know there are a lot of people who aren't feeling it still.

And again it goes -- it is not solely the empathy piece, but there was a recognition that there are a lot of people who are still having hardships. And so far -- and maybe they will change -- but so far that's not what the Trump campaign has said.

BASH: That's exactly right, Maggie.

And Jeff Zeleny -- I covered the reelection campaign of the last Republican president, George Bush --


BASH: -- and he had a line for a while in the campaign trail, "We turn the corner, we're not turning back". And they pulled that back because they realized it fell flat.

ZELENY: Right. I remember that as well. I mean the reality here is this was a defining week in the presidential campaign as well when Joe Biden stepped out on to the campaign trail. This is a -- and the stark differences were clearly drawn between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

This week showed that it is going to be very difficult for the White House and the Trump campaign to avoid anything but this being a referendum on the President. That sounds obvious, but for every sitting president, every incumbent, it is a referendum on them.

They're trying to make Joe Biden unacceptable. They did not do that this week. So it turns on the economy for sure. But it also turns on so much more than that.

BASH: And let's quickly listen to what Joe Biden said in his message this week.



JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The President of the United States must be part of the solution, not the problem. But this president today is part of the problem and accelerates it.

I won't traffic in fear and division. I won't fan the flames of hate. I'll seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued our country, not used them for political gain.


BASH: And Abby -- what are you hearing from your sources about where the Biden campaign thinks he is and has to be?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, you know, it's not just about these economic numbers. Some Biden messages also centering around management of government.

One thing you hear from them a lot is that this was an act of God, the coronavirus, but how the President handled it they believe worsened the crisis. And I think that is a critical message here for voters as they're looking at what is going on here.

Back in 2008, people had no point of reference for how President Trump would be as president. And what the Biden message is centering on right now is governance. It is not just -- it is not just about temperament. It's not just about the economic numbers. But it is about how you run the government. And I think they're arguing to voters that that is as critical as everything else that is going on right now and that the President has already failed by that measure.

BASH: Maggie, Abby, Jeff -- boy, viewers you are lucky you got to peek inside their notebooks as they're among the best.

And up next, the story of one man's family, generations of discrimination and racism, and how that guides him now as the first black mayor of one of the Twin Cities.



BASH: Nearly three years ago, Melvin Carter III broke a big racial barrier becoming the first black mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Now with the Twin Cities erupting in anguish over the death of George Floyd, Carter's responsibilities as mayor are as complex as ever, especially given his own family's history in his beloved city -- four generations of discrimination and pain. I talked to Mayor Carter this week.


MAYOR MELVIN CARTER III (D), SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA: My father spent almost 30 years as a police officer right here in Saint Paul.

BASH: Melvin Carter III, the first black mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, grew up with the complexities of race and police.

CARTER: He became a police officer in the early 70s after a lawsuit required the desegregation of the Saint Paul Police Department. And so he was a part of a class of African-American officers who came in. And they have stories that weren't always complimentary.

My father tells me about the officers when he was first coming on the police department who would tell him that no matter what happened, I just won't back you up. And but then again --

BASH: Because he was black?

CARTER: Yes, that's right. I would also see all growing up the way he would use that badge and I saw it as sort of like a superhero outfit, right? We would be in the house at midnight on a Friday and someone would call and say, my son is holed up in this house and won't, you know, surrender himself to anyone except Sergeant Carter.

BASH: Still he says he's lost count of how many times he was stopped by police because he's black.

CARTER: Even as a city council member I would -- you know, there were times when I would get pulled over and people would say, like why didn't you tell them who you were? And my response is if I have to be a city council member, if I have to be a mayor, if I have to be the son of a police officer to just be treated with basic human dignity and to not be stopped when I'm obeying all laws, maybe that's the problem in the first place.

My young daughter told me today, she said that she didn't think anybody should be surprised by what has happened over the past.

BASH: And how old is she?

CARTER: 12 years old.


BASH: Did that break your heart?

CARTER: It does. It does. Like, how could it not? And, you know, but -- and I asked her, you know, why would you say that? And she said, because if we see ourselves being killed over and over and over again in these videos, and it seems each one gets worse, she said, people have to do something.

BASH: The pain runs deep. His grandparents lost their property in the city's largely black Rondo community so the government could build a highway.

CARTER: Our community was literally uprooted. Our community, you know, our community members were given pennies on the dollar for their properties. They were kicked out of those properties. Those properties were bulldozed.

My father can remember their family being moved off of old Rondo and can remember the fire department burning down his mother's home as a training exercise.

BASH: His grandfather, the first Melvin Carter, was a porter on the railroad.

CARTER: As a pullman porter, his name was Melvin Sr -- I'm III -- and as pullman porter it didn't really matter what your name was or how much experience you had or what your rank was. Everyone was named George.

And the reason I say this is because I was reflecting today on, you know, the fact that the killing, the murder of George Floyd, I think is so painful for us, so personal because for every black man in America, whether you're a lawyer or an architect or an accountant or a mayor, we know that there is no amount of credentials, there's no amount of accomplishments, there's no amount of money that can change the fact that we literally all are George.


BASH: And thank you to Mayor Carter for sharing his family's story.

That's it for INSIDE POLITICS.

Up next "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER". Jake's guests include former secretary of state Colin Powell, Housing Secretary Ben Carson, and Congresswoman Karen Bass. Thanks again for sharing your Sunday morning.