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Pres. Biden Speaks As U.S. Economy Adds 390K Jobs In May; Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D-TX) Is Interviewed About The Police Response To Uvalde Shooting. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired June 03, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: House can do the same to send me legislation in the coming weeks to crack down on these companies and help lower overall costs.
And my plan does all this without raising a penny in taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year and without raising the deficit at all by taxing the super wealthy and big corporations, like the 55 major corporations that don't pay a single penny in taxes, even though they had a $40 billion in profits.
The point is this, I'm doing everything I can on my own to help working families during this stretch of higher prices. And I'm going to continue to do that. But Congress needs to act as well. We can do so much more if we come together to lower the costs for American families.
But my congressional Republican friends, led by Rick Scott, have a different approach. He's actually introduced a plan. He wants to raise taxes on working families by an average of $1,500 a year, put Medicare and Social Security, Medicaid, excuse me, Social Security and Medicaid on the chopping block every five years. In other words, every five years, they're going no longer exist unless they vote them back into existence. I disagree with that. What in God's name are they doing?
And I'll work with anyone, Democrat, Republican, independent, to deliver real solutions and real savings for the American people, not take money out of their pockets. Now, the other element I'd like to address that has impacts on inflation is to lower the deficit. The reason this matters to families is because reducing the deficit is another way to ease inflation.
My friends on the Republican side like to paint me as the big spender. But let's look at the facts. Facts matter. Under my predecessor, the deficit exploded, rising every single year he was in office. Under my plan, we're on track to cut the federal deficit this year by $1.7 trillion. You hear me now? This year by $1.7 trillion, that's a fact, the largest decline in American history.
And by the way, those aren't White House projections. They come from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that you in the press and everybody around the country legitimately quotes all the time. That progress on tackling the deficit was not pre-ordained. It was my economic strategy built into our historic recovery, that we didn't anticipate a war in Ukraine at the time. Historic economic growth that not only helped tens of millions of families move up, it has helped our federal deficit come down.
And now, because of that strategy, we're on track for a deficit to take up a lower share of our economy than it did before the pandemic. In fact, the Treasury Department is planning to pay down, pay down the national debt this quarter, which never happened under my predecessor. Not once. Not once. Because, unlike my predecessor, the deficit has come down both years I've been here.
I've proposed a plan to keep shrinking that deficit by making commonsense reforms to our tax code, leveling the playing field internationally so that the biggest companies no longer have an incentive to shift jobs overseas, to shift them overseas to make their product because they get charged less in taxes and avoid paying their fair share of taxes here at home. We put together a multi-nation initiative that I'm hopeful will come into play at the G7.
And ending the outrageous unfairness of our tax system that allows billionaires, look, if you can make a billion dollars, I'm all for it. Just pay a little bit of your fair share, you know? Just pay your fair share. Billionaires pay a lower rate than a teacher or a firefighter.
The bottom line is this, part of the reason I ran for President is because I was tired of trickle-down economics. It doesn't work. My plans have produced the strongest, fastest, most widespread economic recovery America has ever experienced, with record jobs, a new record of small businesses, and wages rising. It's the foundation for an economy that works for working families.
And because of that foundation, we're better positioned than any country in the world to overcome the global inflation that we're seeing and reach a new chapter of stable and steady growth. So, let's come together and focus on what's the matter, on what matters. Let's build on the extraordinary progress we've made. And let's continue to build this economy from the bottom up and the middle out. When that happens, everybody does well, including the very wealthy.
Thank you. And God bless you. And I -- God -- may God protect our troops. I'll take a few questions. Yes?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, are you going to Saudi Arabia?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Saudi Arabia, sir?
BIDEN: Let me answer her --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, Elon Musk has asked has said that he has a super bad feeling about the U.S. economy. He is laying off 10 percent of his workforce. What do you say to Elon Musk about his feeling about the economy? Jamie Dimon has said similar things.
[11:05:05] BIDEN: Well, let me tell you. While Elon Musk is talking about that, Ford is increasing their investment overwhelmingly. I think Ford is increasing the investment in building new electric vehicles, 6,000 new employees, union employees, I might add, in the Midwest.
The former Chrysler Corporation, Stellantis, they're also making similar investments in electric vehicles. Intel is adding 20,000 new jobs for making computer chips. So, you know, lots of luck on his trip to the Moon. I mean, I don't, I mean, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, are you going to go to Saudi Arabia, Mr. President?
BIDEN: I'm not sure whether I'm going. I'm -- I have no direct plans at the moment. But let me tell you that I have been engaged in trying to work with how we can bring more stability and peace to the Middle East.
And there is a possibility that I would be going to meet with both the Israelis and the -- some Arab countries at the time, including, I expect, would be Saudi Arabia would be included in that if I did go. But I have no direct plans at the moment. We're looking at it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the Kingdom still a pariah, in your eyes?
BIDEN: Look, I'm not going to change my view on human rights. But as President of the United States, my job is to bring peace if I can, peace if I can. And that's what I'm going to try to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, would you be open to meeting with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman if you do end up going to Saudi Arabia?
BIDEN: Look, we're getting way ahead of ourselves here. What I want to do is see to it that we diminish the likelihood that there's a continuation of this, some of the senseless wars between Israel and the Arab nations. And that's what I'm focused on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is OPEC doing enough on oil production?
BIDEN: Well, what I recently read and talking to my team that they acknowledge that there is an oil shortage, and they have made an announcement, of late, that they're going to increase production. So, I don't know enough to know whether it's enough, but I know it's positive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, does Ukraine have to cede territory to achieve some peace?
BIDEN: You know, you've been always fair with me. The -- from the beginning, I've said and I've been -- not everyone has agreed with me, nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine. It's their territory. I'm not going to tell them what they should and shouldn't do.
But it appears to me that, at some point along the line, there's going to have to be a negotiated settlement here. And what that entails, I don't know. I don't think anybody knows at the time. But in the meantime, we're going to continue to put the Ukrainians in a position where they can defend themselves.
Thank you all so very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, will you go to the Hill next week on guns to meet with lawmakers?
BIDEN: My staff is -- my staff is dealing and have been dealing constantly with every member of the House and Senate who is wanting to talk about guns. It's been a constant interchange. And I've been constantly briefed. I'll do what I can to try to see if we have some real progress.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We've all been listening and watching right there, President Biden's speaking after the release of this morning's job report, which came in above expectations, but also being asked about a couple other important topics there by reporters in the room. Joining me right now CNN, John Harwood and Matt Egan, who are also listening in. John, I'm interested in your take. I also thought his answer when asked about traveling and traveling to Saudi Arabia, and its pariah status was an interesting answer.
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It was. He did not confirm that he's going, said he has no direct plans. But he acknowledged that he might. He of course, is going to be questioned about whether that reflects a backing off on human rights, given the concern that he's expressed consistently since the Khashoggi murder. But what the President is trying to do is, they've praised recently, the Saudis for brokering a truce in Yemen.
And the President said it's his responsibility to ensure to do what he can to bring about peace. The other issue he didn't really address, as directly in this context is that they've been trying to expand global oil supplies. OPEC recently announced a slight increase in production. And so the President clearly is balancing different priorities, human rights, on the one hand, war in peace in the Middle East and gas prices on the other. And I think that was reflected in his answer.
In general, of course, he was talking about this positive jobs report which showed continued strong job growth 390,000 jobs, no sign of recession, moderating wage growth, expanded labor force participation, which indicates some cooling of inflation pressures. So for the moment the White House thinks this is a report in the right direction, and an economy moving in the right direction.
BOLDUAN: A balancing act as you said, John, I think is when you're talking about the other issue, I think Matt is a good way of describing what the President was trying to strike a bit of a balance when he was talking about the state of the economy. A good report, he says, out but also trying to say once again, as we've seen him doing this latest push, that I feel your pain because people across America don't feel the economy is good right now, Matt, what do you see? What did you hear from the President?
MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Kate, what's interesting is the President actually spent most of his time talking not about the jobs report. But talking about inflation, he was talking about efforts to bring down costs for food, for fuel, for Internet services. He was talking about shipping costs. And I think that reflects the mood of the nation right now, which is that sure the jobs market is strong. But people don't like that the cost of living is just so high right now.
And today's report, I think, kind of offered some mixed verdict on that front hiring is strong 390,000 jobs added that a seated expectations, the unemployment rate, steady at 3.6 percent, that is a COVID low. It's down dramatically from 15 percent, nearly 15 percent in April 2020. Normally, this is all great news. But we're in a weird moment right now, because inflation is so high that economists say the jobs market actually needs to cool off. And the President alluded to this. He's talked about the desire to get to more sustainable job growth, how the months of blockbuster growth are probably over.
And the economists that I'm talking to, they're saying that we need to even see a further slowing of hiring because if that doesn't happen, then inflation is going to remain far too high.
BOLDUAN: Yes. And again, John, we heard the President say, essentially, the economy in this historical sense, the economy is very strong. And we've heard over and over I know you do all the time, the fundamentals of the economy are still there. And they are still strong. But again, that message, if it's getting out there, people aren't believing it, because -- you look at the poll numbers, they really are historically very bad with the President's handling of the economy. Are you sensing that the White House is aware of that? Is this their attempt to try to respond to that?
HARWOOD: Oh, they're very well aware of it. The President's been stuck in the low 40s for quite a long time. They had some hope earlier this year of getting out of it. And then you've got the war in Ukraine, gas prices are a very strong driver of a public sentiment about the economy. So as Matt indicated, strong reflections of growth, job growth in the economy. The question is the inflation levels too high.
On the other hand, if you can achieve or see the economy, have inflation peak and begin to come down, that's directionally where the White House wants to go. We do have some signs that inflation pressures are moderating. So too high right now, people aren't happy. But if it declines, and if it continues to decline through the course of the year, that will be a better place for the Biden White House than we're in right now.
BOLDUAN: Yes. We will see as we always say, we'll see when we see. It's good to see you both. Thank you very much for jumping on, I really appreciate it, guys.
[11:13:09] All right, so ahead for us time to act, last night President Biden spoke from the White House calling for action on gun reform. You heard him also asked about it at the end of his remarks just there but that may not be enough to get Congress to act yet again, yet again. We'll be right back.
BOLDUAN: President Biden in a primetime speech from the White House passionate and frustrated. The President pleading with Congress to act on gun safety in the wake of the latest string of deadly mass shootings, it clearly frustrated Biden made yet another forceful call for gun reform. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Over the last two decades, more school aged children have died from guns than on duty police officers and active duty military combined. Think about that. More kids than on duty cops killed by guns, more kids than soldiers killed by guns. For God's sake, how much more carnage are we willing to accept? How many more innocent American lives must be taken before we say, enough, enough?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: And while the President outlined a series of proposals, including a ban on assault weapons and tougher background check laws, most if not all of those reforms will likely go nowhere in an evenly divided Senate, a leading Democrat telling CNN, he is quote, prepared for failure. CNN Lauren Fox is live on Capitol Hill with the very latest for us. Lauren, what are you hearing from lawmakers now?
LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, when you think about the action on Capitol Hill, it's good to think about this in two different tracks. There's what the House Democrats are doing things like what Biden called for, limiting the size of magazines, trying to do something on the assault weapons ban. And then you have the Senate where the scope of proposals is going to be so much more narrow than what Biden had pleaded for last night in his address.
So those are sort of the two tracks. Democrats trying to make the case on the Hill, that this is where they would go if they had full control, if they had more seats in the Senate. That's almost an electoral message. Then you have Democrats and Republicans working in those private negotiations. And like you said Chris Murphy, telling us yesterday that he is prepared for failure that he has been here before. Remember, he negotiated for months a background checks bill compromised with Senator John Cornyn, the same Republican he's negotiating with.
Now, he never could get there. So he said he is completely prepared for Republicans to potentially pull the football out from under him. But he still believes this is a moment that he needs to negotiate. Those talks are going to heat up next week when lawmakers return. We expect that staff is going to continue negotiating throughout this weekend. But Kate, obviously a lot remains to be seen whether they can find a deal or not in the timeline that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set out. Kate?
BOLDUAN: Yes, that's right. Lauren, thank you very much. So in Uvalde, the teacher who had been wrongly accused of leaving the school's back door propped open is now taking the first steps in filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the AR-15 that the gunman used in the in the massacre. At the very same time that community is still waiting for state officials to put out a preliminary report about the shooting. CNN's Nick Valencia is live in Uvalde with the very latest on all of this. Nick, what do you have?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. Emilia Marin is the teacher that was falsely accused by police of leaving a backdoor to the school propped open where the gunman was initially to have said to have entered. We know that now is untrue. But it's that information that has caused her a difficulty to grieve according to her attorney, and has had her second guessing herself.
Now Marin's attorney says that they don't have any plans right now to sue the police, the school, or the school district, but they are potentially taking the initial steps for a civil lawsuit against the manufacturer of the gun used in the slaughter that day. Look, the community here is still desperate for answers. And for those of us who were expecting to get an explanation from police, today, that's not going to happen.
Texas Department of Public Safety had initially said they were going to need to release an initial findings report today on Friday. But we're no longer expecting that. And remember, they have since stopped answering questions about this case, handing it over any inquiries over to the local DA who hasn't said anything about the case. Kate?
BOLDUAN: Nick, thank you for that. So for more on that very issue, joining me right now is Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez. Thank you, Senator, for being here. Do you have any better understanding this morning why there won't be a preliminary report released from the Department of Public Safety or at this point, the Department of anywhere in the city of Uvalde and beyond, as you were told earlier, this week would happen.
SEN. ROLAND GUTIERREZ (D-TX): Yes, that's right, Kate. I was expecting a report today, when I specifically asked for were where the officers were situated in that hallway, which law enforcement entities they belong to, where they were along the perimeter. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be getting that situation report that I was promised. The district attorney has taken over this investigation and has ordered the Texas Rangers and DPS to not share any more reports with the media or myself or anybody.
It would seem to me that these are issues that policy makers need to be looking at going forward. How in the heck, are we ever going to fix schools, if we don't know what happened here? It's a shame that we're in this space. But, you know, I've also had to go out and investigate things on my own, like the issue with the 911 calls as, you know, we spoke yesterday.
BOLDUAN: Yes, I do want to ask you about that in just one second. But about the kind of control of information now, flowing through the district attorney, is it your understanding that the DA actually intends to present something to a grand jury?
GUTIERREZ: That is what I have been informed of. I think I can speak to that. As to the particulars of it, I don't know, you know, obviously, the assailant is dead.
BOLDUAN: Right. And that's why I was going to ask you, Senator, what would that something be?
GUTIERREZ: You know, Kate, I have no clue. I mean, maybe it's malfeasance, maybe it's criminal negligence, maybe it's -- maybe there's other co-conspirators, although that has never, ever been indicated. And so it would appear to me that we have to, even if there was, let's just say there was some Internet co-conspirators or whatever, even if those things were the case, it would appear to me that the procedural errors that occurred on that campus have nothing to do with any outside piece.
And so the systemic failures and the human failures this community needs to be aware of, and we as lawmakers need to be aware of so that we can immediately get to work on how to fix those things.
BOLDUAN: In terms of the timing here that we're looking at, do you think that what you're looking at in terms of the DA is standard procedure that the DA is following in terms of no report out , more information is coming in, or do you think the city is somehow stalling?
GUTIERREZ: Well, I will tell you that I have been told that this is normal procedure. I've been a lawyer for 23 years. And I've seen this as normal procedure in Texas. But again we're not talking about even if you were looking at some other theory whatever it was, criminality here, the procedure, the systemic human failure has nothing to do with all of that.
Quite frankly, we as lawmakers need to be able to get that information. And especially when you've got a governor that, quite frankly, hasn't called for the special session, but he's got this committee that's going to be looking at school safety. How in the world can they look at school safety if we can't even see what happened in this situation?
BOLDUAN: So do you have an understanding of when a preliminary report will eventually come out?
GUTIERREZ: Kate, I'm ashamed to say I don't.
BOLDUAN: So let me ask you quickly about the 911 calls, you want to know about these 911 communications. Some of the calls making clear obviously, there were children in danger, a very real danger in the classrooms with the shooter. Do you know yet or have any better indication if that type of call information got to the team of officers standing outside those classrooms?
GUTIERREZ: What I -- I'll tell you what I do know, Kate. And I had to do this on my own, which is, again, pretty, pretty pitiful, went to the Commission on State Emergency Communications. What I was told specifically is that in this area of the Uvalde, those calls are dispatched through Uvalde PD, not ISD as we were told before. PD dispatchers would then send as many as 17 different, two 17 different first responders, up to an including that school district, they are in the system.
That said, I have been told that this person did not have this person being the incident commander did not have radio communication. And I don't know as to why. And so those are the things that we do know. We also know that if these other first responders are getting these dispatches, then other cops on the scene are listening to what's going on, listening to the 911 calls coming in. And yet there's this inactivity for over 45 minutes, almost 48 minutes in that hallway.
BOLDUAN: Two quick questions, Senator. So you -- your understanding is that Pete Arredondo did not have a radio on him, did not have any communications?
GUTIERREZ: That is what has been communicated to management.
BOLDUAN: And setting this aside, even if there is a massive communications breakdown, as you seem to be concerned that there may have been what -- do you think they that they even needed to have 911 communications to know that they needed to get into that classroom?
GUTIERREZ: No, ma'am. I've said from day one that the active shooter protocols should trump everything. I'm not a police expert. I'm just a state senator trying to figure out what's -- what makes some sense out of this, try to make sure it never happens again. I don't think we -- any of us need to be rational people or policemen to understand that active shooter protocol says you go in, you go in immediately.
Colonel McCraw has already said that. He is acknowledged that there was human error here, that people messed up, me and I have yelled at each other and we've cried to each other. This is devastating what happened here. And it's compounded by those 48 minutes, and it's compounded by a lack of transparency, and a lack of credibility at this time.
BOLDUAN: Thank you for coming on, Senator. We'll stay in close touch. I appreciate your time.
All right to all of you, as we talked about the investigation, we have to remember the families and keep the focus on the victims in all of this. If you want to have information about how to help the victims in Texas, in Uvalde, and help other victims of mass shootings, you can go to CNN.com/impact for more.
Coming up for us, members of Congress yelling at each other displaying their private gun collections in the middle of a markup, what a contentious hearing in the House of Representatives says about the road ahead for gun reform? A member of that committee joins me next.