Return to Transcripts main page
The Lead with Jake Tapper
Biden Sharpens Closing Argument On Economy 12 Days Before Election; Sources: Jan. 6 Committee Move Forward With Secret Service Interviews; Trump Lawyers, DOJ Prosecutors Meet Over Mar-A-Lago Dispute; Biden Gives Closing Message To Voters, 12 Days Before Midterms. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired October 27, 2022 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: President Biden paints Republicans as a threat to your wallet.
THE LEAD starts right now.
The president to make his economic case and say Republicans will crash the economy if they win control of Congress in 12 days. Ahead, the battleground races drawing him and Donald Trump out on the campaign trail.
Plus, the January 6 committee closing in. New this hour, the key testimony the panel is pursuing which could be its final act.
And the new data that should quiet questions about the U.S. in a recession. But can it stop the Federal Reserve from a new, big hike in interest rates?
BERMAN: Hello, and welcome to THE LEAD. I'm John Berman, in for Jake Tapper.
Just 12 days left now until the midterm elections. And President Biden is sharpening his closing argument. He will speak, any moment, in Syracuse, New York. You are looking at live pictures. He's going to talk about his administration's efforts to get the economy back on track. He is expected to point to new data showing the economy bounced back in the third quarter and grew -- it grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent.
Biden has recently called the economy strong as hell and he is trying to convince voters who believe the opposite, that Democrats deserve to stay in power in Washington.
The president is expected to slam Republican's economic plans in these remarks which we will bring you live.
CNN White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond is live on the scene in Syracuse.
Jeremy, what can we expect from the president any minute now?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, John, officially, President Biden is here to tout those $100 million in proposed investments by Micron, a semiconductor manufacturing company. But what we are expected to hear from the president is actually a much more political speech, and that is the president is going to be sharpening his contrast which we've heard him draw over the last couple of weeks, with Republicans, as it relates to the midterm elections. With the president's poll numbers lower than where he would like it to be, polls flashing warning times for Democrats in very competitive races. The president is going to be warning voters about the consequences of a Republican majority in Congress as it relates to the economy and to inflation, talking about these proposals to repeal key provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, for example.
And the president is also going to be doing a very delicate balancing out here, John. He is going to be touting some of these strong new economic numbers out this morning. At the same time, he wants to show Americans that he understands the pain that they are going through. And he understands that there is still a lot more work to do to get the economy where it needs to be.
BERMAN: Jeremy, this is part of a push towards the midterms. Where else is he planning to travel in the next 12 days?
DIAMOND: Yeah, John, you know, we are 12 days away from the midterm election. You would expect, perhaps, to see the president doing rallies in some very competitive states. But the reality is that the president's low poll numbers just don't allow for that. And so, what we're seeing instead is a lot of fundraising, and also some official events.
But nonetheless, the president tomorrow in Pennsylvania to do a fundraising reception. On Tuesday, he will be in Florida for a political rally. Then he is headed to the state of New Mexico later in the week. But here or there, not a lot of states where Democrats are running neck and neck with their Republican competitors.
Today though, the president is in a key congressional district. It's a very tight race between Democrat and the Republican. The president hoping that by touting the jobs and investment here, that will perhaps help push the Democrat over the edge here -- John.
BERMAN: All right. Jeremy Diamond with the president in Syracuse, we'll head back to Syracuse in just a moment when the president start speaking.
More than 13.8 million ballots have already been cast in this election, with just 12 days left to go.
CNN's Omar Jimenez files the support from this increasingly contentious campaign trail.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Midterm tensions on the rise in Arizona. Police making an arrest after a break and at the campaign headquarters for Katie Hobbs, the Democratic candidate for governor. Authorities not yet providing a name or potential motive for the individual, saying more individual will be released Thursday.
But Hobbs campaign officials said earlier that they believe the man seen here is responsible and placed blame on a statement on her Republican opponent Kari Lake, and her allies, for inciting threats against anyone they see fit.
Lake refuting the allegation and suggested the Hobbs campaign was lying about the break-in.
KARI LAKE (R), ARIZONA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Are you really buying that? This sounds like Jussie Smollett part two.
JIMENEZ: Lake referencing the actor convicted of making false reports to the police.
HERSCHEL WALKER (R), GEORGIA SENATE CANDIDATE: This is our problem here.
JIMENEZ: In the Georgia Senate race, Republican nominee Herschel Walker back on the trail today. Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz stumping for Walker in a show of GOP unity on his campaign bus tour, all amid more scandals.
JANE DOE: Herschel Walker says he is against women having abortions. But he pressured me to have one.
JIMENEZ: After another allegation that he paid for an unnamed woman to get an abortion in 1993.
JANE DOE: I am coming forward now, because I saw Herschel denied the allegations by another woman who claimed that he had paid for her abortion.
JIMENEZ: Walker has denied these allegations.
JOHN FETTERMAN (D), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: I'm also having to talk about something called the Oz rule.
JIMENEZ: Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman's debate performance intensifying their scrutiny on his post-stroke recovery. Fetterman acknowledging the performance head on.
FETTERMAN: That was not going to be easy after having a stroke. In fact, I don't think that is ever been done before in American political history.
JIMENEZ: While some supporters expressed concern the negative headlines would cost him voters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just seemed very uncomfortable with his answers. JIMENEZ: And in Wisconsin, attacks from both Senate candidates
heating up, with neither showing a clear lead in the polls.
MANDELA BARNES (D), WISCONSIN SENATE CANDIDATE: He said that women that don't like the laws of the state, like our 1849 criminal abortion ban, they can just move. Well, in 13 days, women of the state get to help move Ron Johnson out of office.
SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): Yes, that's why I'm running again, because our nation is in peril. We're already apart, and you've got one side that is pushing us down that road to socialism.
JIMENEZ: And both of the Senate candidates here in Wisconsin have been calling in reinforcement, with Barnes getting ready to do an event here in Green Bay alongside Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, before appearing alongside President Obama on Saturday. Ron Johnson is expected to appear alongside national Republicans tomorrow, John.
BERMAN: All right. Omar Jimenez, live from the campaign trail in Wisconsin, stay warm. It can get cold there, Omar. Thank you very much.
Let's discuss some of the biggest political threats today. Astead Herndon of "The New York Times', I'm going to come to you first.
The president about to speak in Syracuse. He is going to attack Republicans on the economy. This is something of a pivot, even though the White House would never use these words. Politicians don't like to use that word.
The fact that the White House is focused on the economy now, what does that tell you about what they are seeing?
ASTEAD HERNDON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think they are seeing the polling that we all are seeing that the economy is clearly top concern for voters, and for those voters, they, by a good degree, prefer Republicans on that issue. The White House is trying to flip that, they're trying to take that head on and use the GDP report from today to really be able to make the pitch, to say that not only do Democrats are good stewards of the economy, that Republicans have not laid out a plan that what voting for them to do things like inflation.
The problem for Democrats is that midterms, people's vote isn't always about solution but expressing frustration about a problem in the party in power. And so, for a lot of those voters, they could be voting against Democrats on the economy, but at the same time, the Republicans don't need a solution. They just need to not be Joe Biden.
BERMAN: Ruby Cramer from "The Washington Post", is this fertile ground to be sowing here by the White House?
RUBY CRAMER, NATIONAL POLITICAL ENTEPRISE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think so. I mean, I think you are seeing the White House say doomsayers have, you know, forecast of a terrible election outcome for Democrats. They're trying to push back on that and make everybody seem alarmist. But I think the fact of the matter is, Biden is here for an official White House event. He is not here for a campaign event.
I think you heard Jeremy say he is going to have a limited calendar in terms of campaigning at the top of the ticket with some of the key Democrats in the cycle.
BERMAN: I bet, we will see in a second, he gets pretty political at this event. We will see when he speaks live.
BERMAN: Ana Navarro, I know how you hate drama. So --
BERMAN: So, I want to ask you about what is happening in Florida because the former president of the United States has announced he's going to attend a campaign event in Florida, two days before election day for Marco Rubio. Somehow the invitation to Governor Ron DeSantis got lost in the mail? He is not going to be there? What's going on?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, because, you know, Donald Trump is known for being subtle when it comes to sending messages. Look, Donald Trump is irritated that Ron DeSantis has not sought out his approval, his permission, his anointment. I think that Donald Trump is irritated that Ron DeSantis is so doing -- doing so well in the polls. Not only for reelection as Florida's governor, but also for 2024, possibly against him.
I think what you're seeing in Florida is that regardless of what Donald Trump decides to do, Ron DeSantis is going to run for the Republican nomination in 2024. Also, let's not forget, since we are talking about drama, and everybody in Florida -- there is something in the water. Everybody in Florida thinks they can be president, right?
So, you got Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Ron DeSantis, Donald Trump who all think, not my dog, but everybody else does, and there is no love lost between Rick Scott, and DeSantis, and Rubio. I think this is so interesting.
I love the political telenovela. Just give me a big bowl of popcorn and let those Floridians fight.
BERMAN: What is Ron DeSantis do about not getting a invitation? Do you think he cares?
NAVARRO: Have you seen his numbers? No, he doesn't care. I think -- I think if anything it frees him to not owe one to Donald Trump, even though that's the other thing that really irritates Donald Trump.
Donald Trump believes, and I agree, that large part of Ron DeSantis' political success, the reason he is governor in the first place, was Donald Trump support four years ago. That part is true. He was in a very competitive Republican primary against a guy who was far better known throughout the state, Adam Putnam. And Donald Trump got him through as governor, as the Republican nominee.
Now he turns around, this ungrateful, you know, whiny guy, and he is planning on running against me. And he is doing better than me in the polls. And, of course, I'm not going to invite him to my rally.
BERMAN: Ruby, in Pennsylvania, we were just talking about Donald Trump. Trump is going to go campaign with Mehmet Oz in the days before election day. You know, Trump supported Oz in the primary. So, that part is not a surprise.
However, Oz, in recent days, has tried to become this new type of candidate where he's talking about reaching across the aisle. What do you say? Mitch McConnell magic something like that? So, could this backfire on Oz having Trump come in?
CRAMER: I think it would be a delicate dance. You are seeing some Republicans in certain states, like New York, try to do something similar. I mean, Lee Zeldin, the Republican nominee for governor of New York who was asked during this debate, would you support Trump in 2024, and he said, you know, I'm not even thinking about. It I don't know if Oz will take a similar approach, I think Republicans have found a way to not fully distant themselves from the president, or risk his ire, you know, obviously. You are seeing a little bit of that in this really competitive race.
BERMAN: Astead Herndon, you do a podcast which is wildly popular and universally loved.
HERNDON: I appreciate that.
BERMAN: You had a great discussion with some conservative voters. One of the subjects was Herschel Walker. A second woman, anonymous this time, a client of Gloria Allred, who has come out and said that Herschel Walker pushed her to have an abortion.
But you spoke to conservative voters. What did they tell you about this?
HERNDON: Yeah, it was really interesting. Our episode this week is about grassroots Republicans and just what they wanted to push the party on. We weren't talking to swing voters. We wanted to talk to the base because that's who we know these candidates and Donald Trump are most responsive to. And when we pushed people about Herschel Walker, specifically, they were not shy about the contradictions in not supporting abortion and backing Herschel Walker.
What they articulated was a clear understanding of power, that they know -- that they have a binary choice. And for them, they think that supporting, not supporting Walker is a tacit vote for Democrats. No matter what Herschel Walker did, individually, they find that to be unacceptable.
A lot of times we see that voters really passive about this, that they are voting for someone in spite of those concerns. The voters we talk to you very much knew what they were doing. They still, though, because of the dislike of the other side is so strong, that it did not weigh into the calculus. They were still backing Walker and rather enthusiastically also.
BERMAN: So --
NAVARRO: You know, I think it is such a change from 2016. I think 2016, we can't underestimate how much 2016 change the political landscape.
Listen, I remember 2016. We all remember. October, "Access Hollywood" tapes get revealed. Everyone start cancel events with Donald Trump. They're saying, we have to go pray about what they're going to go do.
Remember, he was going to Wisconsin, in fact, things get canceled there. Paul Ryan canceled things. Nowadays, they didn't take three seconds to say, we don't care. We want the majority in the U.S. Senate. This is not a problem, we have no qualms about it. We are with Herschel Walker.
I think Donald Trump lowered the bar so much that literally right now all you can do is look down at the bar and step over it. You don't even have to, you know, do the limbo rock.
CRAMER: It's hard to think of one single example from the last year, year and a half or two years of Republican saying you know this was too much for me, I can't support the ticket. I agree with Ana.
HERNDON: Well, I think for evangelicals, that transaction with Donald Trump worked. They got those Supreme Court justices in, which led to the overturning, which was their main goal.
NAVARRO: That's true.
BERMAN: All right. Friends, thank you very much. Great discussion, we really appreciate it.
Ahead, two battleground races that often don't come up in conversation, but the results could rock election night.
Plus, new reporting this hour on the January 6 committee. Members are pursuing testimony that could close in on former President Trump.
BERMAN: All right. We're about to show you some live pictures from Syracuse, New York, where President Biden is set to speak. He's going to tout what he believes to be White House accomplishment on the economy and we expect lean into Republicans.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He understands the value of our workers in the United States and that we've always as workers stepped up to help our communities and our country, that the workers of this country should be respected. As well as the unions in this company -- in this country, excuse me. (APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE: So, he made some promises when he got elected. I remember some of these promises. They're right down on this paper here. So, I'm going to read those.
BERMAN: All right. We will come back to this in the second, for a moment, though, our politics lead, CNN covering significant developments today in two of the investigations surrounding former President Donald Trump. We have new insight into where the January 6 committee is heading next with its probe.
Also, members of Trump's legal team and Justice Department lawyers are meeting in secret today in Washington over the Mar-a-Lago documents case.
Let's go first -- well, CNN's Jamie Gangel is with us. Kaitlan Collins s with us as well. As well as CNN's senior legal analyst, Elie Honig.
Jamie, I want to start with you on this new reporting on the January 6 Committee and the Secret Service.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So, John, first of all, I want to say this is team effort. Annie Grayer, Zach Cohen, Whitney Wild, all working on this.
We have learned that the January 6 committee is wrapping up its review of more than a million pages of Secret Service documents and it has now begun to schedule interviews, to bring in to top Secret Service agents, former agents and officials from the agency. They're expected to testify in the coming weeks.
We know that the committee has said it intends to call back two key witnesses, former Secret Service Assistant Director Tony Ornato, who you see there, the Trump's lead Secret Service agent on the day of the attack, Robert Engel. But in addition, we're told the following other witnesses are under consideration, Kimberly Cheatle, the new Secret Service director, Anthony Guglielmi, I hope I pronounce that correctly, who is the Secret Service's chief of communications, he was just appointed in March and was not at the agency at the time of the attack, but he has handled key responses to the committee. Also Timothy Giebels, who was the head of former Vice President Mike Pence's detail on January 6th and finally the driver of former President Donald Trump's SUV in the motorcade, his name has never been publicly disclosed.
So, John, our understanding is that committee has a lot of questions for these potential witnesses including, of course, what the Secret Service knew about those threats to Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers ahead of the attack. You may remember in the October 13th hearing, the committee had found out that the Secret Service received an alert of online threats. These were made before the attack against then-Vice President Pence including the words that, quote, he would be a dead man walking if he doesn't do the right thing. And, finally, CNN has learned according to a source familiar, John,
this is quite incredible, pence and his team were never briefed on those threats I was told today, and they only learned of them when they were made public during this month's hearing, John.
BERMAN: Pence and his team never briefed.
BERMAN: All right. Elie Honig, CNN senior legal analyst, let me bring you in here, we've heard a lot about the Secret Service and the January 6th committee. Cassidy Hutchinson saying that a former aide to Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, testified in the committee hearing in June that the president was irate and physical when the Secret Service detail refused to take him to the Capitol and then we learned about the wiped and missing communications. What does this say to you now that after this, the committee still thinks it needs information from the Secret Service?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, John, there's a couple of really crucial legal issues here highlighted by Jamie's reporting and that for her colleagues. First of all, nobody has access to the president, quite like the Secret Service.
And one of the big questions, what was Donald Trump doing, what was his state of mind as the attack unfolded on January 6th? Cassidy Hutchinson gave us her perspective on that. And we'll see and I believe they will, whether the Secret Service testimony will support that. And the other big question is, what was done with all these threats that the Secret Service was alerted to? You hit the nail in the head, why on Earth would Mike Pence's team not have been alerted? And I think that's what the committee is digging into.
And let's keep in mind, even though it's endgame here for the committee, all to this can make its way into their ultimate report, and more importantly all of this information can and will be available to prosecutors as they investigate.
BERMAN: All right. Jamie, thank you for your reporting. Elie stand by for a second if you will because I want to bring in CNN's Kaitlan Collins with what she uncovered about the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation.
Kaitlan, what is it -- what went on with this secret meeting in Washington today?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR, CNN THIS MONRING: What's notable about this is really kind of what we don't know about it. But you're familiar with this legal team, we have seen this several times, Trump's legal team that is handling the documents investigation, Jim Trusty, Lindsay Hooligan, Evan Corcoran, they were seen this morning going into the federal courthouse in Washington. They're the team that's handling the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation.
It's not unusual for them to be in front of the judge, but what's unusually is where they were, because typically, we've seen them in Florida in front of Judge Aileen Cannon. We have seen in Brooklyn in front of Judge Dearie, who's the special master. We have never seen this legal team dealing with the documents investigation in the D.C. federal courthouse. And that reason that's significant, of course, is that's where the grand jury we believe is investigating more into the criminal aspect of why these documents were taken from Mar-a-Lago, was there obstruction of justice, what did that look like.
And it comes at a really critical time, as there have been major questions that the Justice Department still has for Trump's legal team about whether or not the did documents marked classified were turn over to the government, not just because of the search that happened at Mar-a-Lago but also they've been a little suspicious of whether or not they got everything back.
And so, we haven't heard from the attorneys on this. They didn't speak to reporters when they were going in or exiting the courthouse. They were there for several hours in front of the chief judge. So, it's really interesting they were in D.C. dealing with this issue.
BERMAN: All right. Elie, very quickly to you, the geography of this in Washington where more of the criminal aspects of the investigation have been happening, including we think into obstruction, the significance here?
HONIG: Yeah. Here's what we can deduce, John. The fact that they're not in Florida in front of the judge or in Brooklyn, in front of the special master, tells me that this doesn't have to do with the actual search warrant itself or the special master. It makes sense to me if you have grand jury proceedings they're going to be under seal. They're going to be private, not open to the public, that's what this is.
The judge here, Chief Judge Howell, she's in charge of grand jury proceedings. Grand juries do two things, John. They issue subpoenas and they hear testimony. So, this could be about a dispute about the contours of somebody's testimony or a subpoena served on somebody. I think that's the best educated speculation we can engage in here.
BERMAN: All right. Elie Honig, Kaitlan Collins, thanks to both of you for this.
Let's go right back to Syracuse and listen to President Biden.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And Mayor Walsh -- Ben, thank you.
County Executive McMahon. It's good -- you know, it's good to be in a place that means so -- so much to me and that means so much to our country with the project we're here to celebrate today.
Governor Hochul, thank you for the passport into the state. Appreciate it very, very much.
(APPLAUSE) You've been a great partner to me and a great leader for this state.
You saw an opportunity to attract more semiconductor supply chain businesses, and you -- you signed a law to make New York even more welcoming.
We were down in Poughkeepsie not long ago. A little outfit called IBM is spending $20 billion investing in -- in incredible jobs -- attracting companies and creating jobs.
A century ago, this region was the heartland of manufacturing. And when I was up here as a law student, you had Kodak, Corning, General Electric.
The governor has always believed it could be that way again. She thought that would be the case, and the region is poised to lead the world in advanced manufacturing -- not a joke -- poised to lead the world.
And I also want to thank my buddy, Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader. This guy gets things done.
And a close-to-hometown girl, a senator from Upstate New York, Kirsten Gillibrand. She gets things done.
I learned a long time ago: When Kirsten calls and asks something, just get -- just say yes.
Just do it right away, because you're going to do that anyway. So, good being with you, kid.
And, look, it's a hell of a delegation. I think it's one of the best delegations in the country. And Chuck is a great Majority Leader.
Getting big things done. We wouldn't be here today -- it's not hyperbole -- we would be here today without him. And Kirsten's, as I said -- hometown here in Upstate New York. She's a fighter for the families in this area. And you'll be hearing from all these folks in a minute.
But Congressman John Katko -- where's John? Johnny?
John is a Republican, and I like him a lot. I like him a lot. John, when I -- I've been in the Congress for a long time. And we used
to have -- this is how we used to be. We used to work together like you've worked together with me and with the delegation. Thank you very much. I'm, quite frankly, a little sorry you're leaving. And thanks for what you've done.
And thanks for the passport into your district. I appreciate it.
And thanks for reaching across the aisle to support the CHIPS and Science Act, which this guy wrote, right here. We'll talk about that in a minute.
You know, and we also have one of the leading members of the United States Congress, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff. He came all the way from California just to see Chuck.
Where -- where is he? There he is. Good to see you, Adam.
Adam and I talk together a lot. We can't share any secrets with the rest of you, but you know, we can -- we can talk. He's the only guy I can talk to. I'm only kidding.
Folks, we're here to celebrate one of the most significant investments in American history. Again, not hyperbole: one of the most significant investments in American history.
And it's going to ensure that the future is Made in America.
It's one of the bright spots around the country that should give us a sense of optimism and hope about who we are as a nation.
And it's part of a broader story about an economy we're building -- one that works for everyone -- that positions America -- America to win -- a position to win the economic competition of the 21st century.
And, again, that's not an exaggeration. It's literally an accurate statement.
We're joined today by the CEO of Micron to celebrate their commitment to invest $100 billion over the next 20 years here in America --
To build American factories and make semiconductor. Those small, little computer chips that power everything in our everyday lives from our smartphones, to our automobiles, to washing machines, hospital equipment, you name it. It's the largest American investment of its kind ever, ever, ever in our history. Thank you very much, Boss.
They're going to build factories the size of -- this is not hyperbole -- the size of 40 football fields. Big enough to fit the Carrier Dome four times inside it and still have space left over.
And we're going to -- this is amazing what's -- what's going to happen here. You guys have no idea yet. It's going to run -- and it's going to run entirely on renewable energy.
Nine thousand jobs -- from PhDs and engineers, HVAC technicians, machine operators with an average salary of $100,000 a year and tens of thousands more jobs across the supply chain.
Twenty unions working together to fill jobs for technicians, construction workers, electricians, operating engineers.
And, by the way, it's the largest investment in American history that is also governed by a project labor agreement.
That's a fancy way of saying "union." Union. Not labor, union.
They ensure that the major projects are handled by well-trained, well- prepared contractors, sub-contractors, and highly skilled workers. These agreements make the construction a top-notch project because they're the best folks to do it. Their projects are on time, on task, and on budget.
Back in February, I signed an executive order to make sure large federal construction projects use project labor agreements, and it means that Micron is using one here as well.
Micron is also playing -- paying a prevailing wage for funding apprenticeship programs so folks can get trained at places like this community college for one of the thousands of good-paying jobs in this new site. And it really matters. It matters a lot.
America invested in these chips. The federal in -- the federal investment helped reduce their cost, creating a market and an entire industry that's American led.
You know, that's how it all started. Over -- as a result, over 30 years ago, America had more than 30 percent of the global chip production. Thirty percent.
Then something happened, American manufacturing -- the backbone of our economy -- got hollowed out. Companies moved jobs overseas from the industrial Midwest as well as from the Northeast and manufacturing towns like here in central New York and upstate New York.
And as a result, today we're down to producing only around 10 percent of the world's chips. We invented them, but only we're -- we're producing only 10 percent despite leading the world in research and design of new chip -- new chip technology as well. It's here in the United States.
But because of the new law I signed and Chuck designed and delivered, we're turning things way around -- around in a very big way.
When a -- with Micron's $100 billion investment alone, we're going to increase America's share of global memory chips and production by 500 percent.
The company Intel in Ohio and other companies, including foreign companies that are investing billions of dollars -- billions of dollars across America to make these chips here. And it matters to you all. No matter where you live, it matters a great deal.
Making these chips in America is going to help lower the costs for families looking to buy a car, to replace your washing machine, get a new cell phone. It also helps companies outcompete the rest of the world.
And I've got -- I heard from Xi Jinping that he's a little concerned about that.
No, I -- I'm not joking. It's not -- as I told him, it's not about conflict, it's about competition. And we're back in the game. We're competing again in a big way.
Think about it this way: IBM needs these chips to build the fastest quantum computers ever built in the world in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Instead of relying on chips made overseas that could be delayed because of a pandemic or some other global supply chain issue, they can get their chips in a few hours -- in a few hours.
It's a game-changer.
You know, where is it written -- where is it written that the United States of America can't be the manufacturing capital of the world? Think about this.
No, I -- I mean it sincerely. Where in the hell is it written that says we cannot be -- as we've been hearing for the last 25 years -- the manufacturing capital of the world?
This country lost over 180,000 manufacturing jobs under the last guy that had this job. We've created 700,000 manufacturing jobs on my watch, adding manufacturing jobs at a faster rate than in 40 years. (APPLAUSE)
The previous president made a string of broken promises in places like Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, where promised investments and jobs in manufacturing never materialized but layoffs and shuttered factories did materialize.
On my watch, we've kept our commitments. On my watch, "Made in America" is just a -- it isn't just a slogan, it's a reality. Made in America.
Today's announcement is the latest example of my economic plan at work. I've said from the beginning that my objective is to build an economy from the bottom -- bottom up and the middle out. An economy that rewards work, not just wealth. An economy that works for everyone so the poor have a ladder up, the middle class can do better.
And when that happens, the wealthy do very well. They don't get hurt at all. They do very well.
It's a fundamental shift, and it's working compared to what the very conservative Republicans are offering these days.
Let's just take a look at the facts. When I took office, the economy was in ruins. My predecessor was the first president since Hebert Hoover -- not a joke -- to lose jobs in the entirety of his administration. The first. Unemployment, when I was sworn in, was at 6.4 percent.
Hundreds of thousands of small businesses closed. The irony is that, during the pandemic, the record number of Americans became, at the same time we lost all of these small companies, the -- a record number of Americans became billionaires in the middle of this crisis while more than 9 million people were still out of work from the pandemic when I took office.
Today, with the help of the people behind me, we're in a much better place. Ten million jobs created since we took office -- a record for any administration in American history.
Unemployment is at 3.5 percent -- the lowest it's been in 50 years -- 5.4 million Americans applied to start new businesses, the highest level ever in American history.
And because of the actions we've taken, gas prices are declining. We're down $1.25 since the peak this summer, and they've been falling for the last three weeks at well -- as well. That's adding up to real savings for families.
Today, the most common price of gas in America is $3.39 -- down from over $5 when I took office.
(APPLAUSE) We need to keep making that progress by having energy companies bring down the cost of a gallon of gas that reflects the cost they're paying for a barrel of oil. There used to be a direct correlation: A barrel of oil goes down, the price at the pump goes down at the same time.
If we're taking average profits they've been making over the last 20 years instead of the historic profits they're making today, the price of gas would be down an additional 40 percent -- 40 cents today to $3 a gallon.
And by the way, last quarter, the five largest oil companies made -- in the last quarter -- $70 billion in profit in 90 days.
And Shell announced just this morning that it made $9.5 billion in profits in the third quarter: $9.5 billion. That's more than twice of what they made in third quarter of last year. And they raised their dividends as well, so the profits are going back to their shareholders instead of going to the pump and lowering the prices.
Because if they charge the same amount as they were -- as they're acting as they did a year and two years ago when the price of gas goes down, the price of oil -- I mean, the price of oil goes down, the price of gas goes down.
And even though my Republican friends in Congress seem to be hoping for a recession -- many of them -- present company excluded -- today, the GDP results came out and the economy in fact is growing.
In fact, the economy grew at 2.6 percent rate last quarter. And although it may not feel like it for everyone, people's incomes went up last quarter more than inflation went up.
And enough growth -- so economic growth is up; the price of inflation is down; real incomes are on -- are up; and the price of gas is down.
Folks continue to spend, but now at a more stable pace than during our rapid recovery last year. Businesses continue to invest in America. Exports are up, which means we're making things here in America and shipping the products overseas instead of shipping jobs overseas and sending them back here.
The supply chains are running more smoothly, helping companies build up inventories.
Here's another thing. My predecessor promised, and you heard it for four years, "Infrastructure Week" seemingly every week for four years, but it never got it done. It became a punch line when he'd talk about Infrastructure Week.
Well, on my watch, we turned "Infrastructure Week" into the "Decade of Infrastructure" and a headline -- a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation's roads, highways, bridges, railroads, ports, airports, water systems, high-speed Internet.
And the American people are seeing the benefits of this economy that works for them.
Families have more net worth today than they did before the pandemic. Fewer families are behind on their mortgages, their credit card bills than they were before the pandemic.
More Americans' health insurance -- more Americans have health insurance than before the pandemic. And we're doing everything we can to give folks just a bit -- as my dad would say, just a little bit of breathing room.
We're giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices.
Folks, we've been trying this for as long as I was in the Congress. We pay the highest price for prescription drugs of anywhere in the world. And I'm talking the exact same prescription made by the exact same drug company sold in the United States and sold in France -- you can buy it probably 30 percent cheaper in France or Canada or around the world.
Where is it written that that's okay? Where does it say that's okay to do?
We're capping seniors' out-of-pocket prescriptions starting next year -- prescription drugs -- and it's the law now -- will not have to pay, if they're on Medicare, more than $2,000 a year for their prescriptions -- no matter how much they cost, even if their drug costs are $10,000, $12,000, $14,000 a year, like some cancer drugs do cost.
And now, if big pharma tries to raise drug prices faster than inflation, they're going to have to write a check to Medicare to cover the difference, because there's no rationale for it, unless they can prove they engaged in additional research to improve the product. If it's the same exact product, they cannot raise the price beyond the cost of inflation for that particular drug.
And by the way, put this in perspective: Last year, the price of 1,200 specific prescription drugs went up faster than inflation. We're going to put a stop to that.
From now on, if drug companies raise the price faster than inflation, they're going to have to rebate the money back to Medicare.
We're also capping the cost of insulin for seniors on Medicare at $35 per prescription instead of the average $400 a month like some are paying now.
We passed tax credits to help families buy energy-efficient appliances, put solar panels on their homes, help them buy an electric vehicle, weatherize their home -- things that are going to save, it's estimated by the utility companies, an average of $500 a year for the families -- and much more if they were to purchase a vehicle.
Yesterday, we announced steps my administration is taking to get rid of unfair hidden fees, known as "junk fees," that are -- that are proliferating, like surprise banking overdraft fees -- an average of $35 for every overdraft; or credit card late fees -- an average of $50; or if you get on a plane and you want your two-year-old child to sit next to you, you're going to find out you paid a hell of a lot more for your ticket when you land -- before you land if you find yourself in a position.
And it goes on and on and on, all these hidden fees. Well, guess what? These can add up and make -- taking the real money out of the pockets of ordinary Americans.
That's on top of actions we took earlier this month to lower the cost of hearing aids, to make them available over the counter at places like Walgreens and Walmart.
This is going to save, on average, $3,000 for a pair of hearing aids for millions of Americans with hearing loss. Three thousand dollars.
I took action to ease the burden of student debt for millions of working- and middle-class families -- the average -- the average income $70,000 a family, recovering from the pandemic.
My friends on the right, Republic -- they criticized the move. But I'm never going to apologize for helping working and middle-class families as they recover from the pandemic especially not to those same folks who voted for a $2 trillion tax cut before I got in office to give away -- that mainly benefitted wealthy Americans and the biggest corporations. Not a penny of it paid for.
And we're doing all this while reducing the deficit at the same time. I don't want to hear about "big-spending Democrats" creating the deficit.
Let me give you the facts: The very deficit reduction the Republicans voted against when they opposed the Inflation Reduction Act, this year -- this year the deficit, under our leadership, is falling by $1.4 trillion. Let me say it again: This year alone, the deficit is down $1.4 trillion. And my first year in office, the deficit fell -- one year -- one year by $350 billion.
Ladies and gentlemen, the largest ever one-year cut in American history on the deficit -- cut the deficit in half. As I said, this follows a historic drop of $350 billion last year.
And we're going to reduce the deficit by another $250 billion over the next -- the next decade. Why? A big part of that is because corporations are finally going to have to pay something: a 15 percent minimum tax.
You know, in 2000 -- in the year 2000, 55 corporations made $40 billion. God love them, as my mother would say. But they paid zero in federal tax. Zero in federal tax.
So, guess what? The Inflation Reduction Act -- we made sure they have to pay a minimum of 15 percent. That's less than you guys pay as union members in your tax -- that's less than school teachers, firefighters, cops pay. But that 15 percent increase in the -- a minimum tax is going to make sure we're in good shape for a long time here.
That's all in stark contrast to Kevin McCarthy, the Republican Leader of the House of Representatives, and his fellow MAGA Republicans, who say their number-one priority is to do the following -- and they've said it publicly.
By the way, if I had asked you -- and we're just walking down the streets -- and said, "Can you tell what the Republican platform is -- what they're for?" I'm -- I'm not joking. I'm being deadly earnest.
Like I said, I've been around a long time in public life. Republicans used to always have platforms to say, "This is what we're for."
Well, they can't tell you what they're for, but they'll make sure -- they'll tell you what they're against. They're going to give the power we just gave to Medicare to lower drug prices back to big pharma to raise prices instead.
The cap on -- the $2,000 cap on prescription drugs for seniors, gone if they -- Kevin has his way -- McCarthy. The $35-a-month cap on insulin for diabetes for seniors , gone. Savings on healthcare premiums -- the $800 a year for literally millions of Americans under the Affordable Care Act -- gone.
And, of course, they're still determined to repeal the Affordable Care Act overall, which would mean that tens of millions of American with pre-existing conditions who can't otherwise get insurance will lose even that insurance because they have a pre-existing condition.
Those protections are gone as well if the Republicans get their way -- if Kevin gets his way and the Republican Congress. Tax credits to lower energy bills, gone. The corporate minimum tax, gone. Under the Republican plan, some big corporations are going to go back to paying zero again. That's the plan. I would argue it's reckless and irresponsible, and it will make inflation worse if they succeed.
And then they're coming after Social Security. Now it sounds like, you know, "What's -- there's Biden. That's a typical Democrat saying Republicans are after Social Security."
This is the one thing they've said out loud. They've written it down on pieces of paper.
Senator Rick Scott, the Republican from Florida who's in charge of getting Republicans elected to the Senate, has a plan that's laid out, and you can look it up. You can -- as my -- they used to say, you can Google it.
The plan that Congress will give -- give Congress a chance to cut Social Security and Medicare every five years. Every five years, it's going to be up on the ballot. It either gets voted on or it gets lost, every five years. It's no longer -- there's no such thing as a permanent plan. Every five years. You've been paying your Social Security since you were 16 years old, in your first paycheck.
Senator Ron Johnson, the senator from Wisconsin, he thinks that's taking too long. He wants it done every year.
Every year, Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block. Every single year. And now they put forward a real ticking time-bomb for the country, and you're going to hear a lot more about it.
Republican leadership in the Congress has said -- they've made it clear that if they don't get their way -- if I don't vote to shut down -- excuse me, if I don't vote to reduce Social Security and Medicare -- if I don't support that, they're going to shut down the government, refuse to pay America's bills for the first time in American history to put America in default.
Again, read this. That's what they're saying. Unless we yield to their demands to cut Social Security and Medicare, they're determined to cut Social Security and Medicare, and they're willing to take down the economy over it.
There is nothing, nothing that will create more chaos or do more damage to the American economy than that happening, if it were to happen.
Let me close with this: It's been a rough few years for a lot of people I grew up with -- hardworking Americans. For a lot of families, things are still tough. But there's some bright spots out there where America is reasserting itself.
I've asked CEOs, including Micron and CEOs in many other countries, the following question -- when I spoke to the Business Roundtable, spoke to the Chamber of Commerce -- National Chamber of Commerce: When the United States government decides to invest considerable resources in a new industry that we need to build up for our national security and economic wellbeing, does that encourage or discourage companies from getting in the game?
The overwhelming answer is it encourages them to get in the game. Federal investment attracts private sector investment, particularly in those things we need badly. Our national security depends -- depends on us having access to the most modern computer chips in the world. It depends on it.
One of the things I've been able to do, and I make no bones about it, because of -- with Russia's activities, we have curtailed their ability to access some of this stuff. And guess what? They're not able to rebuild those devastating weapon systems to take out those civilians in Ukraine as well.
Not a joke. It makes a big difference. These things matter. They matter a great deal.
And it creates jobs, and it creates industries. It demonstrates we're all in this together. And that's what today is all about. I've never -- and I mean it sincerely -- I've never been more optimistic in my life about America's future. I mean it sincerely.
Not because I'm president, but because we have entrepreneurs and people who know what they're doing to lead us through an -- in a completely different era in terms of the kinds of technologies we need, like this man right here.
Because I look out at that the younger generation. It's the best- educated generation, the least prejudiced, the most engaged, and the most least self-serving generation in American history.
Look, I hope you feel --
I hope you feel what I feel standing here today: pride -- pride in what we can do when we do it together to build a better America, providing our -- proving that -- to everyone -- proving to the world that our best days are ahead of us.
I know every major world leader because of the nature of my job. And before that, when I was vice president, that was my job. And before that, I was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
And guess what? There's not a single nation in the world -- a major nation -- that wouldn't trade places with the president of the United States in a heartbeat. Not a --no, not a joke. Think about it. Not a single, solitary one. Not a single one.
And I talk to these folks all the time and meet with them all the time, and they want to know are we going to be okay. Because if we're doing well, they think they got a shot to do well too. And I -- that's not hyperbole. That's a fact. But we just have to keep it going. And I know we can.
We just have to remember, for God's sake, who we are. We are the United States of America. There is nothing -- there is nothing, nothing beyond our capacity. And we're the only nation in the world that has come out of every crisis better than when we went into the crisis. And, folks, we're going to do it again.
God bless you all, and may God protect our troops.
And now I want to invite my good friend, the great partner Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, to the podium -- author of the CHIPS and Science Act and one of the major reasons we're standing here.
Chuck, the podium is yours.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Thank you, Mr. President.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: President Biden wrapping up a speech in Syracuse, New York with one of the most aggressive defenses of his administration's economic record to date, coupled with some offense, going after Republicans for what he says they will do if they take power back in Congress.
He touted his administration's record on jobs, millions of jobs added, hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs added. Unemployment at 3.5 percent and the GDP released today for the third quarter, growth of 2.6 percent. What he did not talk about very much, of course, was inflation, which is on the minds of so many Americans. So the political discussion will be will his offense on the things the administration has done well counter the inflation that people are feeling?
Coming up on "CNN TONIGHT", Jake Tapper will speak with actress Elizabeth Banks along with Congressman Dan Crenshaw of Texas. That's at 9:00 Eastern.
And coming up, the warning today of what could be one of the heaviest battles in Ukraine yet.