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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Biden Signs Bipartisan Bill Pouring $1.2T Into Roads, Bridges, Broadband, And Other Critical Infrastructure; Defense Delivers Closing Argument In Rittenhouse Trial. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired November 15, 2021 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HEATHER KURTENBACH, ORGANIZER & POLITICAL DIRECTOR, IRON WORKERS LOCAL 86: And this law empowers unions to keep building the middle class, leaving no one behind.
Most of all, I'm proud to stand here as an American in this moment. In our line of work you have to trust one another to get the job done and throughout this process, I knew we could trust someone . Here as an American in this moment. In our line of work you have to trust one another to get the job done.
And throughout this process, I knew I could trust someone to get this law done. Someone who understands what workers like me are going through and who always believes in us in what we can do if given a chance.
I never imagined in a million years that I would be standing here today. Yeah. But that's what's great about America. Thank you!
Thank you. Thank you.
Yeah. But that's what's so great about America and having a president who believes someone like me should be standing here.
On behalf of Local 86 in Seattle and union workers everywhere, for the faith he's placing in us, I am honored to introduce the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDEDNT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Heather. Thank you. Thank you.
AUDIENCE: Joe! Joe! Joe! Joe! Joe!
BIDEN: Well, thank you.
Heather, you thought -- you were surprised you're standing here. Jill was very surprised I'm standing here. Well, Heather, thank you for the introduction. And I can't look over here because the sun is shining in my eyes but
all this crowd over here, thank you, thank you, thank you for all you've done.
Look, thanks for sharing this day with us. Why this day matters to you and our fellow -- your fellow iron workers and families and you explained it well.
For all the folks at home, I know this day matters to you as well. I know you're tired of the bickering in Washington, frustrated by the negativity and you just want us to use and focus on your needs, your concerns and the conversations are taking place at your kitchen table, conversation as profound as they are ordinary.
How do I find work? How do I get there? How can our small business thrive and our child succeed in school? Or how do we emerge from this pandemic? Not just a little bit of breathing room but with real fighting chance to get ahead.
When we ran for president, the help -- I thought maybe I could help answer some of those questions for you and the needs you have, because every time I'd ride home on Amtrak I'd go through just north of -- just south of Baltimore and look out and go through suburban neighborhood and look in all those lights were on in the windows, and I look and I wonder, what are they talking about? I'm serious. Swear to God.
What are they talking about sitting at that table? What are they talking about?
They are talking about the things that I talked about at our kitchen table and Jill did hers and all of you as well. And that's about how can we come together, to be president for all Americans, to make sure our democracy delivers for you, for all of you. And I promise that we couldn't just build back to what it was before. We literally had to build back better. You couldn't build back -- we're the only country that's always come out of great crises stronger than when we went in.
The world has changed. We have to be ready. My fellow Americans, today, I want you to know we hear you, and we see you.
The bill I'm about to sign into law is proof that despite the cynics, Democrats and Republicans can come together and deliver results. We can do this. We can deliver real results for real people. We see in ways that really matter each and every day to each person out there.
And we're taking a monumental step forward to build back better as a nation. I want to thank everyone who helped make this happen. Vice President Harris, my cabinet members, my White House team, Jill, Doug, our first lady and our -- our first lady and our second husband. No, I'm joking.
These guys travel all over the country together. I'm getting worried, you know?
[16:05:05] And Doug is one hell of a lawyer besides.
And everybody from the United States Senate, Majority Leader Schumer and a group of Senate Democrats and Republicans that established this bipartisan framework, including representatives and all the folks you heard from.
Senator Rob Portman who is a really hell of a good guy. I'm not hurting you, Rob, because I know you're not running again. That's the only reason I say that. But you are a hell of a good guy.
And the most determined woman I know, Senator Kyrsten Sinema. Congratulations, Kyrsten.
Look, Committee Chair Tom Carper, Ranking Member Shelley Moore Caputo. I also want to thank Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for voting for this bill and talking about how useful and important it is.
And from the House of Representatives, Speaker Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Jim Clyburn and Committee Chair Pete DeFazio, Democrats and Republicans, progressives and moderates.
I'd like to pause and ask all the committee chairs and ranking members of the United States Senate and House who are here today, please stand. I want all of you to stand. Come on.
All right. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
To state the obvious, none of this would have happened without all of you. I really mean it.
And also to the governors. Where are the governors? Governors, stand up. Come on. I want you to stand up.
Red states, blue states, you all contacted me. You all said you were for this. You all stepped up and more than 375 mayors, Democrats and Republicans.
From every state and District of Columbia wrote me asking to get this done. You got it, kid. Nearly 50 of whom are here today including Republican mayor from Fontana, California, Mayor Warren who spoke earlier, and county and state and tribal leaders as well. Civil rights leaders, faith leaders, law -- you know, this law was supported by business groups. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable representing 200 of the largest corporations in America, and other top business.
I want to especially thank, and I'm sure you all, as we used to say in the Senate, I extend a point of personal privilege. I want to thank organized labor who understands this is about jobs. You all stood up. Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. Special thanks to the AFL-CIO, the United Auto Workers, Electric
Workers, IBW, the Iron Workers. It goes on -- plumbers, pipe fitters and building trades, steel workers. Mecha -- who did I leave out?
And my wife is a member of the union, the NEA. I'm going to get in trouble. And so many more.
Look, folks, for too long, we've talked about having the best economy in the world. We've talked about asserting American leadership around the world with the best and the safest roads, railroads, ports, airports.
Here in Washington, we've heard countless speeches and promises, white papers from experts. But today, we're finally getting this done.
So my message to the American people is this -- America is moving again. And your life is going to change for the better. If you live in one of the top -- if you live in one of the 10 million homes or you are a child that attends one of the 400,000 schools or child care centers that still has lead pipes in them, you face a clear and present danger to your child's health and your health now. This law is going to start to replace 100 percent of the nation's lead pipes and service lines.
So every American, every child can turn on the faucet and drink clean water, and tens of thousands of plumbers and pipe fitters are going to get work done and good paying jobs. Folks, as we saw with remote learning, remote working during the pandemic, access to high-speed Internet is essential. And access to water -- as essential as access to water and electricity.
This will make high-speed internet available everywhere in America, urban, suburban, rural and create jobs laying don the broadband lines. No parent -- excuse me, no parent should have to sit in a parking lot in a fast food restaurant again just so their child can use the Internet to do their homework. That's over.
Folks, if I visited your town, I'm sure you'd be able to tell me where you hold your breath as you cross a particular bridge, where the most dangerous intersection in your town is.
This law makes this the most significant investment in roads and bridges in the past 70 years. It makes the most significant investment in passenger rail in the past 50 years. And in public transit ever. So -- so what that means is you're going to be safer and you're going to get there faster and we're going to have a whole hell of a lot pollution -- less pollution in the air.
The bipartisan law will modernize our ports, our airports, our freight rail, to make it easier for companies to get goods to market, reduce supply chain bottlenecks as we're experiencing now and lower costs for you and your family. The law also builds on our resilience so that the next storm, superstorm, drought, wildfire, hurricane can be dealt with.
Last year alone, the United States, as a consequence of these kind of extreme weather events, lost $99 billion in the United States alone in damage. After Hurricane Ida -- I see the distinguished governor from Louisiana is over there. I saw him stand up. I went down to see him. We went through and saw all the damage there. They had 179-mile-an- hour winds at top speed in Louisiana.
But then I headed on up to New York, Chuck, up in your area, Queens and New Jersey. More people died there than in the hurricane. More people died in the flooding. Record wildfires raged and went -- I went to Idaho and California and saw it. More land is burned to the ground than the entire state of New Jersey out West.
Folks, walk the neighborhoods and look the people in the eye in these circumstances, as many of you have, and you'll see the despair and the heartache. So many of you understand you're living through it. This law builds back our bridges, our water systems, our power lines, our levees better and stronger. So few Americans will be flooded out of their homes and lose power, lose days and weeks as a consequence of storms that hit.
Folks, this bipartisan law for the first time ever creates a true national network of charging stations for electric vehicles, over 500,000, so you can charge your car here and drive all the way to California not worrying about having to find places to charge, creating thousands of jobs. Thousands.
We're also going to make it possible for Americans to get off the sidelines and into the game of manufacturing, solar panels, wind turbines, batteries to store energy and power, electric vehicles, including electric school buses, which will mean millions of children will no longer inhale the dangerous diesel fumes that come out of the buses. For real. It's a big deal.
And reward companies for paying good wages and for buying American, sourcing their products here in America right now. It's going to help the United States explore clean energy technologies to the world. Creating tens of thousands of more jobs.
There's so much more in the law, but most of all, it does something truly historic. I ran for president believing it was time to rebuild the backbone of this nation which I characterize as working people in the middle class. They're the ones who built the country. And to rebuild the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, this law delivers on that long overdue promise in my view. It creates better jobs for millions of Americans.
And no one, no one earning less than $400,000 a year will pay a single penny in federal taxes because of it. And it does not include, as we did the bipartisan infrastructure bill, it does not include a single penny in gas tax which I rejected because people under $400,000 will be paying it.
This law is a blue collar, blue print to rebuild America. It leaves no one behind and it makes and marks an inflection point that we face as a nation. For most of the 20th century, we led the world by significant margin because we invested in ourselves.
But somewhere along the way we stopped investing in ourselves. We risk losing our edge as a nation, and China and the rest of the world are catching up. Our infrastructure used to be rated the best in the world. Now, according to the World Economic Forum, we rank 13th in the world.
Well, that's about to change. Things are going to turn around in a big way.
For example, because of this law, next year will be the first year in 20 years American infrastructure investment will grow faster than China's. We'll once again have the best roads, bridges, ports and airports over the next decade. It will lead the world into the 21st century with modern cars and trucks and transit systems.
We're going to do this by building again and moving again.
Folks, too often in Washington the reason, we didn't get things done is because we insisted on getting everything we want. Everything. With this law, we focus on getting things done.
I ran for president because the only way to move this country forward in my view was through compromise and consensus. That's how the system works. That's American democracy.
And I'm going to be signing a law that is truly consequential because we made our democracy deliver for the American people. We compromised. We reached a consensus. That's necessary. And now, our focus moves to implementing an infrastructure law that's going to speed and with discipline. I have a lot of experience in doing that. When I was vice president, I was given responsibility for overseeing and implementing the Recovery Act for nearly $900 billion emergency package.
I'm proud to say that when we finished implementing that Recovery Act, it was determined there had been less than 0.2 percent waste, fraud or abuse. And I was -- and it was how I learned and earned the nickname Sheriff Joe from President Obama because I made it a point, every single day for well over a year to stay on top of how the money was being used.
I spoke with over 160 mayors, two, three times sometimes, and I spoke with county executives and every governor, save one. I won't mention that. Save one. She can see Alaska from her porch.
But monitor what we're doing. Just how it was being done. And it's one of the most efficient implementations of a program in American history.
And now, we owe it to the American people to do the same thing again, and to make sure every penny is spent where it's supposed to go in a timely fashion.
I've asked the former mayor of New Orleans and former lieutenant of Louisiana, Mitch Landrieu to oversee this responsibility.
He'll have full access to every tool that the federal government has and to get it done. And we have -- we have the high obligation and responsibility to make sure this money is used wisely and used well.
Folks, I've been looking forward to this day for a long time like all my colleagues here have. Tomorrow, I'll be traveling to New Hampshire to visit a bridge that is structurally not safe, like thousands of bridges across America. That's what this law is all about -- keeping communities safer, more efficient.
On Wednesday I'll be in Detroit to meet with UAW workers building the next generation of vehicles. And that's just the beginning.
We're also seeing me and the vice -- you'll be seeing me and Vice President Harris, Jill and Doug, cabinet officials hitting the road to help you understand how this is going to transform your lives for the better.
And folks, when you see those projects starting in your hometowns, I want you to feel what I feel -- pride. Pride in what we can do together as the United States of America.
Folks, you know, the saying goes for my plan to Build Back Better for the people, getting folks back to work and reducing cost of things like child care, elder care, housing, health care, prescription drugs and meeting the moment on climate change.
I'm confident that the House will pass this bill and then we're going to have to pass it in the Senate. And that's fully paid for. It will reduce the deficit over long-term according to leading economists in the world and again, no one earning less than $400,000 will pay a single penny more in federal taxes.
And together, together with the infrastructure bill, millions of lives will be changed for the better. Folks, let me close with this. Throughout our history, we've emerged from crises by investing in ourselves. During and after the Civil War, we built the transcontinental railroad, uniting East and West, and uniting America.
During the Cold War, we built the interstate highway system, transforming how America lived their lives. And now, we're emerging from COVID-19 pandemic and we're building an economy for the 21st century.
When I met with the president of China, whom I'm going to be speaking with tonight, several years ago, he asked me, we're in China. He asked me, he said, could I define America?
And I said absolutely. It's the God's truth. I said absolutely. I can define it in one word -- possibilities. Possibilities. There is no limit to what our people think we can do. And there is no
limit to what our nation can do.
And there is no one thing that I know more than this. It's never, ever been a good bet to bet against the American people. Never, never, never.
Given half a chance, the American people have never, ever, ever let this nation down. And it's our job to give our people that chance. It's our job to come together and make sure we remain a nation of possibilities as I look out on this crowd today. I see Democrats and Republicans, national leaders, local leaders, all elected officials, labor leaders, business leaders, and most of all, I see fellow Americans.
I see America.
Let's remember this day. Let's remember we can come together, most of all, let's remember what we've got done for the American people when we do come together.
I truly believe that 50 years from now, historians are going to look back at this moment and say, that's the moment America began to win the competition of the 21st century. So with confidence, optimism, with vision and faith in each other, let's believe in possibilities. Let's believe in one another. And let's believe in America.
God bless you all, and may god protect our troops. Now let me sign this bipartisan bill.
My mask. I guess I don't.
Folk s folks, I'm going to get each of you a pen. But there's 30 of you up here. I only have one pen.
Okay. Here we go.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Everybody gets one. All right. Thanks, everybody.
DANA BASH, CNN HOST: You just witnessed President Joe Biden signing a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law. It is now the law of the land. You see him there on the south lawn of the White House surrounded by
Democrats and Republicans. He's standing with Shelley Moore Capito, Republican of West Virginia. Republican Rob Portman actually speaking at this event. Those were members of Congress on the other side of the aisle who worked hand in hand with Democrats to get this done.
It is, as we heard, the president say, over and over in so many different ways, why he thinks that he was elected. And he said point blank to the American people, my fellow Americans, today we hear you and we see you.
A lot to unpack here as we go to the White House.
I want to get to Phil Mattingly who was there.
Phil, this is -- you really can't underscore and understate how big of a deal this is for the president and for the, again, the ideals that he largely campaigned on, which is, I can break logjams in Washington and do it on issues that really matter to people, that people are going to feel in their states in their hometowns all across the country.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Dana, it's something that brought no shortage of scoffs at times during his campaign. People who have been working in Washington over the course of the last decade or so and thought that idea in and of itself seemed a little bit far fetched.
And yet what you are looking at right now with the president being surrounded by cabinet officials, Republican senators, Democratic senators, mayors, local officials is the dream photo op for a White House and for a president in the sense it provides the thread from his campaign where he won election to the presidency with 81 million votes to this moment now, exactly what he campaigned on, delivering on infrastructure. Something multiple past presidents have said they would deliver on and failed miserably at times. And on bipartisanship which the president again said over and over during the campaign he could deliver on.
On this specific issue, this issue so many have tried and failed on in the past, the president was able to deliver. And when you listen to the president's remarks, you've got the connection to the campaign, to what he promised, delivering on that promise. But also, I don't know if you caught this, but it felt at the beginning of his remarks, almost cathartic release from Democrats in the audience cheering, chanting "Joe" who had been in the middle of this kind of intraparty warfare over the course of the last several few months. The president alluded to at the top if his remarks, the bickering, the frustration, something I think White House officials believe has played a role in driving down the president's approval ratings, Democratic approval ratings.
They have an outcome now. And, yes, there's a second proposal they are still working on, but this is a significant consequential piece of legislation that will have real effects on people throughout the country. That's something you hear from White House officials. Why they are going to focus on this so much in the days and weeks ahead. This has tangible benefits that people will be able to feel and they want to make sure people know those benefits are on their way, Dana.
BASH: Yeah. I mean, Phil, you're exactly right that there was -- it was not even that subtle, the message that he was trying to send. Again, not just to Republicans but to Democrats saying too often in Washington we focus on getting everything we want with this law. We focus on getting things done.
But, Phil, you mentioned all of the details of what is in this new law.
I want to bring in Diane Swonk on that particular issue.
There are hundreds of billions of dollars for roads, bridges, infrastructure projects, public transit, passenger and freight rail. He talked about broadband infrastructure, airports, electric vehicle chargers, it goes on and on and on.
So, Diane, my question for you is, if I'm sitting at home watching this, I'm wondering, when is this actually going to get going, and will it really affect me and help my life in the short term? What's the answer?
DIANE SWONK, CHIEF ECONOMIST, GRANT THORNTON: In the short term, probably not as much as we'd like. We know that infrastructure programs not only do they pay off, they pay off over time and productivity. We desperately need this. That's all true.
But they also take a long time to ramp up. There are some shovel-ready projects out there but the real -- really where the tire meets the road on this bill is middle of the decade. That's important to understand because at this moment in time, it's not likely to add much to the inflation situation which is already taking off so that's good news and it does mean productivity growth over time. It does enhance productivity growth.
This is the part of government spending that, as an economist, I would say take advantage of ultra low rates and finance it. The other parts of the programs that we're talking about there are the Build Back Better. There are very important parts of that to enhance our ability to compete, upgrade education, increase in catch up from what we lost to the pandemic, increase child care but all that has trends more inflationary and need to be paid for.
This is something that over time enhances productivity growth and is very important. But time is important issue. There's long legs to get infrastructure -- these big projects really ramped up to where they are hitting critical mass.
BASH: And so, on that note, Ron Brownstein, I want to bring you in here. Diane talked about the lag time here. The president said that they are going to -- he and the rest of the team that the White House, they're going to hit the road. They're going to be selling this. They're going to be explaining to the American people what is in this new law and how it can help them.
If you look at a recent poll, it asks about Americans' feelings about President Biden, how much he's accomplished in the ten months he's been in office -- 35 percent said a great or good amount, 63 percent not much or nothing. Presumably, what he just did, which is far from nothing, it is a big something, will help.
But the question is, the perception, right? In politics, it's all about perception and making people understand what is happening even if they can't feel it quite yet.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I think this will increase, particularly among Democrats and independents who are open to him the sense they did have a big accomplishment. This is, as Phil said, a big legislative accomplishment that frustrated many previous presidents.
I think the history is that it is very difficult to translate legislative success in year one of a presidency into political success in year two, whether it's the Reagan tax cuts in '81, Obamacare in '09, even the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. The party that did all these things all lost House seats in the next year.
The bigger question is whether this can come into focus in time to help him and his party, I think, in the presidential election, '24. And on that front, I think the key line out of everything that Biden said about the plan is one that he has used before. This is a blue collar blueprint to rebuild America. I mean, there are estimates that 85 percent of the jobs created by this, as well as 80 percent of the jobs in the Build Back Better plan would not require a college degree.
That's a different emphasis than what we saw under Clinton and Obama who were about moving people up the skill ladder. Biden is engineering an effort to kind of tighten labor markets and directly intervene to wages and benefits for people without a degree and, of course, that speaks to the largest political problem Democrats face in recent years, which is their eroding support among working class voters, particularly whites but now also some Hispanics.
BASH: Yeah, that's such a good point.
And then I'm going to bring in Tia Mitchell with "The Atlanta Journal Constitution".
And, Tia, there's also beyond what's tangible. There is just the notion of the moment that this is. And that is another thing that the president talked about in several different ways just now. We're going to be hearing time and time again, which is, we understand that you, America, want us to work together.
This past weekend I was with Josh Gottheimer at the ceremony. I saw him there. He, of course, is a progressive -- excuse me, a moderate Democrat who works in the problem solvers caucus, and he was in his district in New Jersey and I heard so many people come up to him and say, just get stuff done. So presumably, whether or not they know the specifics or they feel the tangibles, they are going to see that that's exactly, for the moment, what the president and what Washington did in a bipartisan way.
TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: Yes, and, like you mentioned, we have the president say that several times. Not just that we're working in a bipartisan way, but that he's listening to the American people. He feels their pain and that this bill specifically is to address not just the tangibles of what America needs, jobs, roads, bridges and transit, but the intangibles that Americans are asking their elected officials to work together in a bipartisan way.
So you're right. He hit on that time and time again that even the audience itself is Republicans and Democrats and business leaders and union leaders and local officials, state officials, national officials.
And I think it was important visually for them to say, look, there are 800 people at the White House today representing all facets of government, business and labor, and that it's a symbol that Washington can work together and get things done in a way that people will feel. So the question is, are people paying attention, and will it pay off and maybe boost Biden's approval ratings?
BASH: Yeah, it is an open question.
Jessica Dean who covers Capitol Hill for us, I want to come to you about the what's next. And the vice president alluded to it. A couple of others did. The president kept it mostly focused on the big victory that he is having as we speak.
But the "it" I'm referring to is the fact the other half of his agenda, the social safety net and climate provisions that are in the next bill, which is being negotiated only among Democrats. That is still hanging out there. How does that play into what you are seeing, and as you answer that, I did notice, I don't know if you did, Rob Portman, the Republican senator who is retiring from Ohio, he said that they made a point during the negotiations to separate this bipartisan infrastructure, now law, from this Democrat-only social safety net bill.
It was -- it wasn't lost on probably a lot of people but he made a point of saying that as he was praising everybody for getting this done.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. Because while this, as you just laid out is a big win for bipartisanship and for seeing Democrats and Republicans come together. This next piece of it, this second half of the Biden agenda is decidedly partisan in that it is going to be passed only with Democratic support. They are using this process, which requires simple Democratic support.
I say simple, but there's still a lot of hang-ups. And this piece, the build back better act, which would expand the social safety net and put those climate provisions into place, has a long way to go. And Democrats up here understand that. They know that this is going to be a heavy lift. Why is that? Well, we have some hold-outs, most notably Senator Joe
Manchin and again, when you need all 50 Senate Democrats to get on board, one holdout, that's the ball game.
So, Senator Manchin has expressed a lot of concern about what is likely coming over from the house. So here's where things stand right now. The House will likely vote for this. They are aiming to vote on this later this week. A group of moderate Democrats were holding out for a CBO score which we're now told will be ready by the end of business on Friday. Maybe it's a vote over the weekend. Maybe it's later this week. But it's likely that gets done.
And then it goes to the Senate, and it's very likely that this is going to be kind of taken apart and reassembled in a lot of ways. For example, there's four weeks of paid leave that's going to leave the House and come over to the Senate. Joe Manchin has said he's opposed to putting that in to this bill. Things like expanding Medicare which has been a big issue. The key issue for Senator Bernie Sanders, chairman of the budget committee, Senator Manchin is word about insolvency, worried about inflation.
So how do Sanders and Manchin, two big voices find the way forward? That's all going to play out. And that's going to take, Dana, as you well know, a lot of time.
BASH: It will.
And Joe Manchin didn't speak today at the White House, even though he was a big player in that. And he is going to be a big player going forward.
Kyrsten Sinema did give a very rare public address and did so at the White House again with the message of, this is how you get things done, and they clearly need -- every Democratic senator and the fact she was given a big speaking slot is certainly noteworthy.
Phil Mattingly, I want to come back to you. I want to talk about the president's kind of mood. There were a couple of moments where he threw some shade and kind of shows how understandably happy he was, but he was a little cheeky, like when he talked about Sarah Palin and the fact that he didn't even say her by -- her name but he said, you know, the governor who could see Russia from her house.
Talk about that Joe Biden who we saw on the south lawn just now.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think the president, then vice president when he was referring to the former governor of Alaska, he's got a little bit of an "I told you so" in this moment in time. If you look at what's transpired over the course of the last several months, it's deserved to a degree.
You saw it in august when that group of ten senators announced the initial agreement and moved the process forward in the Senate. And now actually getting this across the finish line and putting pen to paper, making it into law. The president is willing to take a little bit of a victory lap and often when the president takes victory laps, he gets a little bit loose and humorous to a degree. Making it -- you probably heard, making a comment about Rob Portman being a real hell of a guy and saying he can only say that because Rob Portman wasn't running for re-election. The former president has started to whip against this proposal and attack Republicans and threaten primaries against any Republican who supported this proposal, even though 19 Republicans in the Senate signed off on this proposal.
I think there's a recognition inside the president -- or inside the White House and with the president that this is a significant moment. The president is very happy to cheer this moment, sell this moment in the days ahead. But I think the other element here, too, is the president and his team are cognizant of not immediately turning the page to the second proposal, right? Focus on this moment.
And what it means, because it is a big deal. And just immediately moving on, back into the lifting warfare, particularly intraparty isn't going to be helpful when you have a very real accomplishment to point to, Dana.
BASH: Very well said. Thank you so much. Thank you to all of you for helping understand the history that we just saw being made on the South Lawn of the White House.
Now I want to go back to Wisconsin where the defense is presenting its closing argument in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
MARK RICHARDS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: -- for protecting his property. He was on the roof when it was chemical bombed. He knew that Sam was grateful for their presence, but he also knew that people on the ground needed weapons.
He heard Kyle, when Kyle came back saying, I had to shoot. Body armor. I don't know why the Grayslake cadet program gives people body armor. I don't know. My client had it.
If he wanted to be an active shooter, as Mr. Binger wants to portray him, why would he give up his body armor? Nick Smith wanted body armor. He was here. Use mine. I'm going to be doing medical. Helping other people. You see him do it throughout. He gave Nick his body armor.
Why would somebody give up their body armor if they're going to go out looking for trouble, seeking confrontation? Doesn't make sense.
JoAnn Fiedler, she described Joseph Rosenbaum, wearing a red shirt with a green earring. She described yellow pants, which I'll get to later. She stated Joseph Rosenbaum yelled he was going to kill us MFers and cut their hearts out. JR's arm goes up and with a second -- within seconds, tearing up from a gas bomb.
She couldn't say for sure that she saw him throw it, but, obviously, that's the circumstantial evidence and her belief. She never saw Kyle act inappropriately with anyone, point a weapon at anybody. The size of the weapon may change but it doesn't change what it can do. Presence speaks volume. It's a deterrent. They have been pelted all
night long with rocks. She was aware that they had consent to be where they are.
Nathan De Bruin, interesting witness. He was out there taking photographs on the nights in question.
More importantly, the 25th. He filmed the destruction of this community up town, downtown. And the ATF and FBI found out about his videos, his still photography, which I think was incredible. They wanted it.
And what did he do? Didn't ask for money. He gave it to them. He sat down with the detective and gave a full interview, showed him the photographs, talked about Mr. Rosenbaum and all the problems he was causing that night. The things he was doing.
And that's within less than a month after this. He'd never met Kyle Rittenhouse. Didn't know Kyle Rittenhouse. But he had a feeling about what happened that night. And he said if there was trouble, Mr. Rosenbaum was there.
I don't think any truer words have ever been repeated. Did he have a lawyer when he met with detective Howard? No, he didn't. When did he get a lawyer? Remember after he met with Mr. Kraus and Mr. Binger.
Mr. Binger, the person who has made it his personal goal of putting my client's head on his wall. Ladies and gentlemen, that's what it did. And it means he's been cutting corners.
And Nathan De Bruin said, after meeting with Mr. Binger, I was very uncomfortable. He tried to put words in my mouth. And he had to go and hire a lawyer to protect him. First, it was show them the videos and then ask him the questions, trying to put words in his mouth.
He didn't want that to happen. He wanted to be able to tell his story, what he knew, what he did. He talked about Ziminski, the photographs of all the conduct that Ziminski had done that night. And I'll show you some of them.
The photos have a time stamp on them. And he related to Detective Howard in September of 2020 about Joseph Rosenbaum yelling, I just got out of jail, and I'm not afraid to go back. Those are his words that he heard Mr. Rosenbaum.
It was not objected to by the state. And there's been no proof that he wasn't in a jail. They want you to believe he was in a hospital. There's no medical records he was in a hospital. No medical record he's was properly medicated. And I submit to you that in this case, the way he was behaving, I don't think he was properly medicated.
There's pictures of him with the trailer fires, the chains, starting numerous dumpster fires. I submit that he was with Ziminski on many occasions and emboldened by Mr. Ziminski because Mr. Ziminski was always brandishing his firearm.
We saw Joseph Rosenbaum taking the chains. He chose to come down and riot and that's what he did.
Nathan De Bruin chronicled that. Why? Because it's no -- it's not very interesting if you take a picture of a protester who is just standing there. But Mr. Rosenbaum was involved in all these different things, and I'll show you the pictures.
Lucas Zanin, a Kenosha County resident. He goes down to Texas in the winter. He testified, born and raised. He stated he had empathy for the small businesses of Kenosha. Did not want them looted. Did not want them burned.
Is that somehow to be called into question? Does any of us want those fires started and to come and burn? I don't think so.
He authenticated the video that was taken from his car as accurate showing the south side of car source 3. And you watch that video and you see people destroying someone else's property.
During the video, you look at the one wall. There's nothing there. You see somebody spray painting on it. And they've written the word "loot" on it.
You see another individual going in the hood of the car trying to do something. It's not his car. He's not some roadside mechanic. They are destroying property. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Binger and I will go round and round about it until the cow comes home.
They were rioters.
They weren't demonstrators. Were the demonstrators down by the courthouse earlier in the night? Yes. There were people doing legitimate demonstration. These people were rioting.
And you see this tape. They are hitting the cars with pipes. You hear the glass breaking. You see the people jumping on it.
And the important part of it, and I'll show it to you is you hear the first bang which is Mr. Ziminski's shot. Two seconds later, you see -- you hear the next shot and then see the exodus of all the people taking off from that. That's why Kyle couldn't run and continue to run from Mr. Rosenbaum, which he was under no legal duty to do whatsoever.
Jacob Marshall referred to himself as Gaige Grosskreutz's best friend. We brought Mr. Grosskreutz's best friend in as a witness because he had posted something on Facebook immediately after this. He testified, he couldn't find Gaige Grosskreutz because he was under an anonymous name at the hospital.
Nobody knew who Gaige Grosskreutz was, who Jacob Marshall was. But he takes it upon himself to post a Facebook message talking about how -- next slide, please -- just talked to Gaige. Only regret was not killing the kid. Coward. Here's a picture of them hugging each other at the hospital. And this is his posting.
Ladies and gentlemen, why does somebody post something like that? Because that's what his friend told him. And he wanted to get Gaige Grosskreutz's word out.
He didn't repost and say he lied but he took it down, but unfortunately, the Internet has a memory.
The next witness was Kyle Rittenhouse. We did recall the brothers but I've talked about that. Kyle Rittenhouse did not have to take the witness stand to tell his story. It was told through video. He wanted you as the jurors to hear his personal experience of the night of the 25th.
He knew Mr. Binger would cross-examine him for hours. He was willing to get up on that witness stand, take the oath and tell his story the best way he could. And he did.
Could Mr. Binger pick on him and find little things about it? A little bit. Did he damage his credibility? I don't think so.
Getting to Mr. Yellow Pants, which he's been talked about. Mr. Binger talks about, he says with sarcasm, ladies and gentlemen, you've seen the video, but remember, that when the yellow pants said to Kyle, he goes, you held your gun like this. That's low ready. That's not like this. It's down. He never pointed his gun at him.
Did he have a gun? Yes. Did he tell him to get off a car? Yes. But when he said it to Kyle, Kyle said, I did and walked away. Not wanting confrontation.
Remember Richie McGinniss's testimony about that. The individual with the slingshot. There's individual with two rocks in his hand and the other individual with the gun. And when Mr. McGinniss walked up to him, he immediately had to put his hand down because they were -- the one advanced on him and he bought him off of a white claw.
My client, when this happened, was 17 years old. His actions are to be judged as a 17-year-old, not by Mr. Binger's standards, but by that of a 17-year-old. And Mr. McGuiness said he didn't appreciate the way people looked at him. Maybe he didn't.
And I think the best evidence of that is Mr. Rosenbaum begins chasing him. You hear on the tape, he yells, friendly, friendly, friendly, three times. He thinks that if he just says the magic words, they'll stop.
They don't. They could have -- Mr. Rosenbaum could have looked at it and said, hey, you're not trying to harm anybody. I'll leave you alone. Is that what happened? No. He said, you ain't going to do shit, motherf-er and began to continue to chase him.
Mr. Rosenbaum made a fatal mistake. That day, chasing Kyle Rittenhouse into the corner. He ran as far as he could. And he shot. Four times in three quarters of a second.
Mr. Binger makes so much of Kyle's residence. Antioch, Illinois. I think most people here know where it is. It's not a foreign country. Antioch, Illinois, right across the border.
He worked in Kenosha. His dad lived in Kenosha. His grandmother lived in Kenosha. He worked in Pleasant Prairie. His best friend Dominick Black lived in downtown Kenosha. They want you to believe that there's some sinister thing about that.
Ladies and gentlemen, we live in a very mobile world. I'm from the foreign country of Racine, Wisconsin, 13 miles away. A little bit further. I'm on the north side.
Ladies and gentlemen, when Kenosha burned, people who like Kenosha, they hurt. I remember 34 years ago walking into this courtroom, first time I ever appeared as a lawyer, back in that conference room. When I saw what happened in Kenosha, it bothered me. Those three days.
People can protest, but people can't indiscriminately burn property for no reason of innocent people. How does that further anyone's cause?
Kyle feels for this community. He worked as a lifeguard. When he came down here, are we to believe that he's working to clean up graffiti, not getting paid because he's here to look for trouble? Is this all some master plan? That's ridiculous. He came down here trying to help to see the damage and that's what he did.
Next. Dr. John Black, his testimony about the slides, making times. And I'll go over some of those. But specifically as I argued earlier, the zero shot from -- I should say it this way. Friendly are friendly, three times, to the first shot, 10 point some seconds.
There's a change in elevation in the video as he's lunging forward. The shot rings out after that. The zero shot, which is shot one, then two -- 0.26, 24, 23 for a total of 0.739. He gets up, comes around the car because all the individuals had left.
After hearing the shots. Goes to check. And to believe that he could stay there is preposterous. All that would have happened, scene two would have been moved to scene one. You heard the one individual yell get the f out of here.
The Ziminskis are screaming. He just shot him. He just shot him. Get him. That's all happening.
Mr. Ziminski is walking around with his gun over his head pointing at Kyle. I'll show you that in a little bit.
In the exhibits that Dr. Black showed the jury, no color was added. No color was subtracted. The videos didn't go from color to black and white. There was no structural problems.
He demonstrated his technique regarding changing brightness and contrast right in front of you and the one video went from a dark mess of nothing, moved to two lines, I don't know how to do it, but he did, hit it and all of a sudden, it's light and you can see it. The whole event that evening took 2 minutes and 55 seconds from the three times friendly to the time he surrendered or attempted to surrender at law enforcement.
Officer Britney Bray, let me go through -- back up to the first one. Total time 2 minutes, 55 seconds, according to Dr. Black.
Next. Friendly, friendly, the four shots, 10.8 seconds. Those are the shot times. Remember the sound he put and synced up with the video. That was the audio graph. The green thing he showed you. You can see when the shot is fired he matches it up, times it out by the frames per second. You come up with those numbers.
And that's when you show something in slow motion it looks like somebody can really have the time to think, process and do all that. You have to remember how fast all this was happening in event number one.
He's running. The bag is thrown. Turns, addresses, keeps running and makes the decision. A life and death decision that he has to turn around and address the threat of Mr. Rosenbaum.
At that point, Kyle is stopped. Mr. Rosenbaum, like those other people at event number two, could have put up his hands and just backed up. Made a bad decision. Shouldn't have done it.
No. He goes diving for him. Yells the F.U. and is going for his gun.
Next. Event two, I have it beginning when he's hit in the head with the rock and ending with the fourth shot. Taking 14.9 seconds.
Next, Police Officer Brittany Bray measured the gun, the pullback. The slide, four inches. Brought the ruler out because you never see, event number two, Kyle pull back the four inches. Slow motion or otherwise. There were no unfired bullets found at the scene for the ar. There was the unfired bullet by the clip and the Glock that had been cleared from Jason Lackowski.
Drew Hernandez -- Mr. Binger for some reason didn't like Joe Hernandez. You could hear it in his questioning.
Ladies and gentlemen, Drew Hernandez had a point of view. No doubt about it. But what was that point of view?
He's a citizen journalist. And he's covering the riots. He didn't think that the mass media was covering the riots correctly. They were just calling everybody demonstrators. And not covering the devastation and the destruction that was being done.
That's his point of view. It's kind of my point of view, too, but does that mean that his video is lying? Does that mean when he says I saw him lunge that he's lying?
He doesn't have a dog in this fight. He tried to get all of his video to the state. The drop box wasn't big enough. He sees that the case is going to trial. He reaches out. Gets a lawyer and provides simultaneously to both of us, and we end up playing it.
He describes the Ziminskis, Joseph Rosenbaums starting fires in the dumpster, the yelling. He sees Kyle, the yelling of the "N" word. He sees Kyle walking around yelling medical, medical. Right up until the last time when event number one starts.
He was standing right at the corner. Had a clear view to the first incident. He described him as charging from behind. He saw Joseph Rosenbaum throw the bag. He described hearing a shot from behind Kyle which we all know is the Ziminski shot. A man who has never been brought before you people. And he saw Joseph Rosenbaum lunge.
Ladies and gentlemen, you sat through almost ten days of testimony. You've heard the openings. Most of the closings. And I have yet to hear Mr. Binger explain why Joseph Rosenbaum had the right to chase my client.
To me, if I didn't know better, I would think he's a whiny defense lawyer. Everybody is out to get me. Everybody is lying. I am the one who is bringing forth the truth.
Ladies and gentlemen, the videos show the truth. The videos show the actions of Joseph Rosenbaum.
Balch is lying. Fiedler is laying. Lackowski is lying. Richie is lying. Dale de Bruin, he's really lying because he's impugning my character. Nathan de Bruin, excuse me.
Hernandez -- he's lying because he's a right wing journalist. All six of them are lying.