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MLB Season In Doubt After Outbreaks On Marlins, Cardinals; Negotiations Stall Between Dems, GOP On Stimulus Package; Biden's Vice Presidential Vetting Narrows To Five Candidates. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired August 3, 2020 - 12:30   ET

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


[12:30:00]

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Now the commissioner says baseball will work through this and salvage the season. And our next guest says keeping players on the field is important at this time of national stress. Doug Glanville played for nearly a decade in the majors. He's now an ESPN analyst. Doug, I'm grateful for your time today. I'm a fan. You're both a fan, a former player, and an analyst. Now, it's a hold your breath moment as you go through day to day to check. Is my team going to play today? What's the feedback you're getting from teams and players about how stressful this is?

DOUG GLANVILLE, ESPN ANALYST: Very stressful. I mean, these players are in it. I mean, they're literally on the ground. And it's important that they have the insular nature of their environment so that they're able to stay close and informed and protect each other. So to some degree, they're in their camps, trying to keep protected.

And, you know, baseball has played a role here to not only inform us about how this virus is operating but you're in an environment where players who have resources, the ability to get access to testing, all these elements that seemed favorable, yet still having these challenges. So we're looking to baseball beyond that entertainment value, we're actually gaining quite a bit of information on what we're facing right now.

KING: Right. This virus does not discriminate. And even if you're extra, extra careful, it can still find you. I want to talk to you about this. You wrote a fascinating piece in "The New York Times", I want to read some of it. You're on the field after 9/11. And you write about that. Baseball, you know, came back quickly after 9/11.

I remember my time on the Phillies in the wake of the September 11th attacks. As both a player and a player representative, I wondered how we would justify coming back to play at all. But when we did return, we found that some of what we recaptured was essential to the uplift of our spirit and to the restoration of the society. We created with our inspiration and our passion for fair competition and gamesmanship. It had become larger than the scoreboard.

Do you see that moment now as you watch this based on that experience you had as a player after 9/11 that you're rooting for them to stay on the field because you think the country needs them not just for the strikes the balls and strikes in the games, but for the spirit?

GLANVILLE: Absolutely. And part of it is just tapping the experience as a family man, as a parent. You know, I have four kids. And we're weighing every day. And you may know this feeling, are you going to school, should we go to school? And so much of the information I've been able to distill is through the lens of Major League Baseball. I've used those examples to talk about how tenuous it can be, to talk about the insecurity and the uncertainty.

And baseball has all these resources to be able to kind of fight this virus with the best of what we can offer. Because you do have the resources, you have the cache, you have high performance, generally healthy athletes to take this on. So to a larger degree, we're aligned with its success because we want to see it successful because in some ways, it does give us comfort of what's possible.

So I know day to day, players are trying to take it and that's all that you can assume out of victory is just making it through the next day safely.

KING: I'm with you on the family part. I'm a Red Sox fan. I spent the weekends cursing the Red Sox because they're alluding to the Yankees of all team, so with my sons. And it felt normal. It felt normal to be stressed and mad about something that was not the coronavirus.

The commissioner told ESPN's Karl Ravech this over the weekend. Rob Manfred tells me we are playing. The players need to be better, but I am not a quitter in general and there's no reason to quit now. We have to be fluid but it is manageable.

So the commissioner is going to try to keep this on the rails. As you think about the rigors of a season. What for you is sort of the marker that they, you know, if it's first the Marlins, now the Cardinals. At what point does it become, can we sustain this. I know you're confident they can stay on the good side of that line?

GLANVILLE: Well, they placed a lot of protocols in line to try to address this and they know its fluid. They know that information that comes in is informing them and also projecting out what their next steps need to be.

And so they have to expect interruption. They thought, recognizing going out of summer camp, that sort of secondary spring training, they knew they're going to have an interrupted disrupted season. It's just the failsafe that they put in place to try to address it at that moment. So whether to quarantine teams like the Marlins or, you know, adjusting in those ways.

So they're going to have to continue to expect this and hope the information they're getting in real time allows them to make better moves, and they can spontaneously change some protocols to address that new information. But I think it's going to continue like this. And from a competitive standpoint, that is a challenge because you have teams in the National League East, for example, that are two in one, played three games, where other teams have played 10. That's a huge challenge. KING: That's a huge challenge. And we'll see how they manage it going forward. It's like everything every day, we learn something new. We adjust and we tried to adapt. Doug Glanville, very much, grateful for your insights today, Sir, best of luck.

GLANVILLE: Thanks, John.

[12:35:00]

KING: Thank you. And now let's shift to our related story. In the NFL, the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Doug Pederson, he has tested positive of coronavirus. We're told Pederson is asymptomatic and now in self quarantine.

In a statement released on Twitter, the Eagles announced that the coach is doing well. The team also says it will test anyone at its facility who believes they may have come in contact with Coach Pederson in recent days.

Up next for us, is there any hope for reviving -- of reviving those now expired extra unemployment benefits, negotiators about to get back to work up on Capitol Hill.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: The White House and congressional Democrats are set to resume talks next hour, but there are still giant differences over the size and the details of a new coronavirus stimulus package. CNN's Phil Mattingly live for us on Capitol Hill. He's been following these talks. Phil, they keep saying we're talking about they're making progress?

[12:40:12]

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The short answer is, no. Look, the progress, the most progress they made out of the course of four separate meetings, closed doors, top White House negotiators, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on the other side was on Saturday where they met for three and a half hours.

And I'm told, according to people who are briefed on that meeting, that the progress was basically understanding what they disagree on, understanding what both sides red lines are. And, John, I think what we're watching right now is something that, you know, if you look back to March and the understanding, the grasp of the crisis that was at hand in the massive $2.2 trillion package that was passed almost unanimously in both chambers, you recognize how very different the dynamics are.

And one of those issues right now are the people negotiating, including where the President is. Take a listen to what Speaker Nancy Pelosi said when she was asked about that by Jim Sciutto this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Is the President himself substantively involved in these negotiations?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I assume that he is. I trust that he is. And that they represent his point of view. And that they carried back our point of view to the President. I certainly hope he is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTINGLY: It sounds like a resounding vote of confidence there. And I think part of the reason you see that right now is the President is on Twitter talking about a payroll tax cut. The White House is talking about moving forward on things unilaterally, none of which are really in play right now.

You know, you mesh that with the fact Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not actually in the negotiations right now. He's aware of them but he's not in the room. And Senate Republicans themselves have had serious questions about some of the White House negotiators and where the President is.

And you get to the difficulties right now, the complexities. It's not just policy. And look, on the policy, the goals are very significant and very real. Democrats obviously want to maintain that $600 flat rate on unemployment insurance, the federal plus up of that unemployment insurance. Republicans want to take it down pretty significantly, state and local, Democrats want nearly a trillion dollars more in state local funding.

Republicans right now say there's enough leftover from that first package. They just want flexibility. There are a number of major issues that still need to be ironed out. I think the big question right now is, the impetus to get a deal, the recognition that there are deadlines, there are actual millions of people hurting when they lose that unemployment, when they lose the eviction moratorium.

And the realities of there's politics coming up. There's an election in a couple months, will that start to straighten things out a little bit? We should know a little bit more after the meeting that starts at 1:00 p.m.

KING: And Phil, on another topic related to the election that's coming up, it was two weeks ago yesterday in an interview on "Fox News" Sunday, the President said he was crafting a new health care plan. We know it's an election year. We know it is very unlikely that anything not related directly to the coronavirus is going to get done on Capitol Hill as you're there. Are there any of the Republicans on Capitol Hill have any idea what the President's talking about?

MATTINGLY: No, not at all. Look, I'm always very hesitant. There's way too much snark and I think how a lot of people cover a lot of things. But there's just a level of absurdity to the President talking about health care plan that doesn't exist, saying that it's coming in two weeks, which is kind of I think friend of Inside Politics, Toluse Olorunnipa of "The Washington Post" wrote a story about everything is coming in two weeks. There's nothing coming in two weeks. There's nothing coming yesterday or today when it comes to health care. Look, the administration on the administrative side over at HHS and CMS, has done a lot of things on health care. Obviously, they're also signed on to a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act. But in terms of a new health care plan, at least as far as I'm talking to Republicans up here, nobody's heard about it. Nobody knows that it's coming.

And frankly, if I'm going to be honest with you, given everything else that's happening right now, I don't think Republicans want any part of that, given how that debate generally plays out for them, at least over the course of the last couple cycles, John.

KING: Yes. Repeal and replace didn't go too well, when they controlled everything. Phil Mattingly, appreciate the important updates there on Capitol Hill.

[12:43:46]

When we come back, the President's back up on T.V. after a brief hiatus that would be his campaign. And the new campaign manager says he wants debates sooner.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: A retired general who called President Obama, quote, a terrorist leader, now getting a big role at the Pentagon, this despite bipartisan opposition in Congress. It is an end around directed by the President himself.

Anthony Tata formally withdrew his nomination to be the undersecretary of defense for policy last week. His confirmation hearing was canceled after CNN's KFile uncovered numerous Islamophobic and offensive comments and conspiracy theories, Tata tweeted. He later tried to delete some of those tweets and he did issue some apologies.

The Trump campaign is back on the air after a brief advertising pause to review its strategy. Two new ads launched today suggests Joe Biden is now in the view of these ads now more of a puppet of Liberal Democrats. Those ads target four battleground states North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Arizona.

And the Trump campaign wants more and earlier presidential debates on "Fox News" earlier today, the campaign manager Bill Stepien says early in mail-in voting is why he thinks late September is too late for the first debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL STEPIEN, TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We want more debates. We want the bait starting sooner. First debate scheduled for September 29th. By that time, 16 states will already have been voting by September 29th. That's a concern to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[12:49:49]

KING: Up next here, Joe Biden promised you something this week, but you'll likely have to wait.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Joe Biden is keeping us waiting. The Biden campaign says there are 11 women in contention to join the Democratic ticket. But CNN is told, the search really has five leading contenders. They include three black women Senators Kamala Harris, former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Congresswoman Karen Bass, plus former 2020 Biden rival, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Iraq war combat veteran, Senator Tammy Duckworth.

Here to share the reporting and their insights on the search CNN's Jeff Zeleny and Tarini Parti of the Wall Street Journal is joining us as well. Jeff Zeleny, the interesting part about this is the lobbying campaign at the end. You see some elbows. You see both private and public lobbying.

[12:55:08]

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: John, there's no question about it. You can tell that the end of this search is really coming near. And the former vice president is going to be having these one on one interviews with some of the people on that list.

You can tell it's almost at the end because of the amount of lobbying and opposition research that really is flying in all directions. We have learned more about these particular finalists in the last 72 hours or so than we have known before. We've seen these potential candidates out defending themselves essentially how doing the job interviews on Sunday television.

John, it is a different search in every respect this cycle. Of course, this campaign is different this cycle. These candidates cannot be out there, you know, essentially working with voters, talking with voters on the stump. So, so much behind the scenes movement happening. But we are told that the former vice president will be having those critical interviews this week.

And that is the sense. He is looking for his Biden, if you will. Looking for A, a partner and that is going to be so essential. He doesn't really know many of these candidates for a long time. He of course knows them, you know, from a campaigning a bit but does not have deep relationships with them. So that's why we are told these one on one meetings likely in person possibly on Zoom or something else or phone calls are so, so important.

KING: And Tarini, I assume that's what the most important thing. Number one, if the vendors have not raised a red flag, does Joe Biden feel comfortable? Does Joe Biden who has eight years as a vice president, understands the job as well as anybody alive should be able to figure that part out. But to Jeff's point about the public part of it, Congresswoman Karen Bass on television yesterday, she's had to deal with a couple things of late. There was a video, "The Daily Caller" first reported of her to Scientology -- Church of Scientology ribbon cutting about 10 years ago when she was in the California legislature where she said nice things about the church, which of course, is quite controversial. And then the Republicans came after her for statements that they viewed as overly sympathetic to the Castro's in Cuba. Listen to her response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): Well, one don't consider myself a Castro sympathizer. Number two, I -- my position on Cuba is really no different than the position of the Obama administration. I believe the Republicans have decided to brand the entire Democratic Party as socialists and communists.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: This is always an interesting battle fight competition, more so this time, I think in part, because if you're a Democrat, and you're one of the candidates to get on the ticket, the prospects look pretty good right now.

TARINI PARTI, NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: That's right, John, you're seeing such a public audition here from some of these candidates, especially the lesser known candidates like Karen Bass. She's trying to get ahead of things here and really try to defend herself, walk back some of those comments that she's made in the past.

But then you're seeing people like Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, who are already well known sort of take not a backseat but not quite publicly auditioning in the same way as we're seeing some of these other candidates. But they do have their allies actively lobbying the Biden campaign.

We know some allies of Kamala Harris were granted a phone call with the Biden campaign recently to really make their case for her as she faces some attacks against her.

KING: And Jeff mentioned the character of this campaign, how different it is. The candidates are not out running around. They're not doing big rallies. And in part that gives Susan Rice maybe a better chance, former staff member, if you will, some important staff member at the State Department than the national security adviser, but she's never run for public office.

Your reporting includes this from a former Obama cabinet member, if there ever was a time to pick someone without campaign experience. This would be the year. Susan would be the best governing partner. So clearly, a friend from the cabinet putting in a good word for here but that is an interesting risk for Joe Biden. Do you pick someone to share the ticket who's never had to ask for a vote?

ZELENY: It would be absolutely unusual. But again in this campaign cycle, so many things are in luge unusual. John, I think the key part there is governing partner. At the end of the day, the former vice president knows that if he wins the election come next year, he inherits so many issues on the national security front, on the economic front. He is looking for a governing partner at the end of the day.

You know, there certainly are different calculations in terms of who helps him with this constituency or that constituency. But it's the governing partnership that he is looking at. So that is one of the reasons that Susan Rice at the end of this process is at least being looked at much more seriously than she was at the beginning.

But I do think we have to follow the beyond Biden a playbook, if you will. He was picked, John. It was 12 years ago tomorrow that he had his one on one interview with Barack Obama in a Minneapolis hotel room. Those two were not close friends at the time. They became of course good working partners here.

So he is looking for someone who can work with him. And I still think you have to give a stronger consideration to someone who has run before and that is Kamala Harris in this small group of people, you know, who he is considering, John.

KING: Interesting several days ahead, Jeff Zeleny, Tarini Parti, appreciate the reporting and insights. Tarini, I'm a map guy you might know that. I want that map over your shoulder. That's nice.

[13:00:07]

Brianna Keilar picks up our coverage right now. We'll see you tomorrow.