Return to Transcripts main page

CNN News Central

Ron DeSantis Announces White House Bid; Fitch Puts U.S. on Rating Watch Negative; South Carolina Governor Signs Abortion Bill into Law; Officer Shoots 11-Year Old Mississippi Boy Who Called 9-1-1 for Help; Interview with Republican Representative Nancy Mace on Debt Ceiling Debate. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired May 25, 2023 - 11:00   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Now that his presidential Twitter launch did not launch so much, what does Ron DeSantis do now?

One of the best sourced Florida reporters on Earth tells us what the DeSantis campaign thinks is a must-win for them.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): An 11 year-old boy is recovering at home after he was shot by a police officer. But he is the one who called 9-1-1 for help. The family is now calling for the officer to be fired and charged.

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And could the pill form of diabetes and weight loss drugs like Ozempic work just as well as the shot?

Ahead, the data that researchers are calling really good news. We are following these major developing stories and many more right here on CNN NEWS CENTRAL.


BERMAN: New reaction to the Ron DeSantis glitch heard around the political world -- or not really heard well for 25 minutes, as the case may be. One of the challengers, Asa Hutchinson, struck a sympathetic tone this morning.


ASA HUTCHINSON (R-AR), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Didn't make the best first impression. I did feel for governor DeSantis.


BERMAN: So Ron DeSantis is trailing Donald Trump in the polls but he is clearly one of the top two candidates in the GOP. With us is Marc Caputo, a national political reporter for "The Messenger."

I billed you as the best sourced Florida reporter on Earth -- let's make it the galaxy here. You are the best source here in the DeSantis campaign.

What happened last night?

MARC CAPUTO, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "THE MESSENGER": Well, they are not pleased and not so happy they trusted Elon Musk and Twitter to pull this off. After all this is a guy who can send off rockets but they couldn't pull off a Twitter Spaces interview.

Throughout you heard the moderator, say, oh, well, this happened but we fixed it. It did not help to remind the audience there was a failure to launch. So they are not too pleased about it.

But overall, one of the things that animates the Ron DeSantis campaign is their general loathing of the mainstream news media. So the more the media talk about it, the more they believe it proves it was not a problem and they are kind of over the target.

BERMAN: So, Marc, how very online Ron DeSantis is as a political figure. That is more of the substance of what happened and not the glitch.

What do you mean by that?

Why is that important?

CAPUTO: Well, one of the interesting things about a Twitter Spaces is that it is an opportunity to showcase who you are. And DeSantis showed that he is a very wonky, policy-oriented governor and leader. And he amassed the most conservative record we've ever seen in Florida.

And fair to say, it is a pretty right-wing agenda, from banning abortions after six weeks to eliminating the concealed weapons permit requirement, to rolling back transgender rights, banning transgender therapies, surgeries and pharmaceuticals for minors, considering those child abuse.

There was banning of an A.P. African American studies course until it met certain standards. And I have left many out.


CAPUTO: But it is a very broad conservative agenda that not only DeSantis forced through the Florida legislature but that he spoke about in great and gritty detail on this Twitter Spaces.

BERMAN: We put the map up so people could see the early travels of the DeSantis campaign, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina and that not surprising, because every candidate is going to take an itinerary like that.

But from your findings, Iowa is particularly important.

How important?

CAPUTO: Well, it is particularly important for everyone. But for DeSantis, who has so much riding on it and is in second place, it is elevated importance. When we are talking about the presidential campaign, it is a variety of campaigns in a variety of states.

And because of how powerful Donald Trump is in the Republican Party, there's a concern that if Trump wins Iowa, he is going to steamroll through New Hampshire and winning begets winning, momentum begets momentum and then what's to stop him?

He is just going to roll downhill. That's going to be decided in January or February. So for DeSantis, who has the money, the message and the organization, he is essentially, in the words of one adviser, basically moved to Iowa and he's going to set up an unofficial residence there and spend a disproportionate time there with the aid of a super PAC.

And he'll spend a tremendous amount of time in New Hampshire. In 1976, when Iowa was the first in the nation caucus state or contest in the Republican primary, no Republican been able to secure the nomination without winning either Iowa or New Hampshire.

And right now the polling is indicating that Donald Trump is winning both.

BERMAN: Marc Caputo, great to talk to you and thank you for your time and we will look forward to talking to you again.

BOLDUAN: You did not overhype it. It is great to have Marc.

BERMAN: And his stuff is fun to read.

BOLDUAN: I agree. Good stuff.

So a whole lot of talk going around the Capitol Hill. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is saying that every hour matters in the negotiations to avoid the debt default. One negotiator, Garrett Graves, is saying that we have seen a little movement yesterday.

Remember that nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to on Capitol Hill. And the country is one week away from possibly defaulting on the nation's debt. House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries just spoke, the top Democrat in the House, and this is what he said.


REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: It is clear to me that President Biden is continuing to hold the line as it relates to the types of devastating cuts that Republicans are trying to jam down the throats of the American people, including making sure that he stands up for our veterans.

It is unacceptable that, on one hand, you have Republicans pretending as if they would never cut anything that adversely impact the health, safety or well-being of veterans and military families but doing the exact opposite.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BOLDUAN: All right. CNN's Manu Raju back from Capitol Hill.

And you are adding to the voices but hearing from House conservatives, are they pouring cold water on all of this?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, concerns on both sides of the aisle. Democrats will be needed to pass any bill because of concerns among conservatives, particularly on the far right. I talked to a number of them this morning about the direction of the talks.

They are concerned, saying that they believe that this is watering down a Republican bill that passed in April. There is some discussion about a deal that is now being discussed and no final agreement between the White House and House Republican leaders.

And talking about possibly increasing the debt limit through the 2024 elections and including a part of that a range of spending cuts that the Democrats do want to have a long-term debt ceiling increase. The Republicans want a shorter one to have more leverage.

But Republicans are pushing for stricter spending cuts. That's something that the White House is resisting and caused some Democratic concern. I spoke to both Kevin McCarthy and the lead negotiator in the room, Patrick McHenry. McCarthy indicated optimism but he could not guarantee that a deal will be reached and a bill will be on the floor next week to avert default.


RAJU: How do you get this done by June 1st?

How is that possible?

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: One thing you didn't say, there is a bill that has passed the House and is sitting in the Senate.

RAJU: Yes, they're not moving that. You know that. So they're not going to be able to get this done by June 1st.

MCCARTHY: I sat down with the president February 1st. We passed the bill in April, long before they ever set a deadline. It was June 1st. Republicans have done everything they can.

REP. PATRICK MCHENRY (R-NC): We have still fundamental disagreements yet to resolve.


MCHENRY: The fundamentals of the deal are based off of the legislation that the House passed to raise the debt ceiling. And it is tough stuff for Democrats and the White House has made that very clear. But these are thorny issues..

RAJU: And the spending levels are not resolved yet? MCHENRY: Nothing is resolved.


RAJU: And McHenry said he is, quote, "sincerely worried" about the credit rating of the United States being downgraded, something that is warned could happen if there is no deal.

And the timing is so significant here, because June 1st is potentially the deadline to avert a default and get a bill to the House, three days at least; in the Senate, maybe a week. And a couple of days just to draft the text after the deal is reached. So negotiations continue today, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. It's painful to always watch the sausage to be made but it is so important.

And to remind everyone, as both sides are continuing to negotiate and publicly posture, it is still at its core a manmade political crisis, because they are deciding what to do in order to do what they are obligated to do, which is to raise the debt ceiling.

SOLOMON: Tick, tick, tick, Kate, thank you.

So is the U.S. on the verge of losing its AAA credit rating?

Overnight, ratings agency Fitch put the United States on what it calls the rating watch negative, a move that signals that it could, could downgrade the country's perfect credit. All of this as Democrats and the Republicans appear deadlocked.

Meanwhile, Moody's says that the fate of America's credit rating, it is confident that America won't default. CNN's Matt Egan is here with me.

Matt, what are you learning?

I mean, two sides of this.

MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS SENIOR WRITER: Well, Rahel, Moody's is convinced that disaster is going to be averted here, despite what Manu just told us, that Washington is running low on time and Treasury is low on cash.

I talked to Bill Foster of Moody's, who is one who's going to decide the fate of America's credit rating.

And he said, quote, "We absolutely don't think there will be a scenario where we cross the X date and interest payments will be missed."

And the last part, missing an interest payment, is key, because that is the red line for Moody's as far as what would trigger an actual default or a downgrade.

So why is Moody's so confident? Well, they pointed to two things. One, that the leaders in both parties, they say they don't want to default, which is nice to hear. And two, they pointed to the history. America has always paid its bills.

Foster said, quote, "There has never been a default."

And of course, a lot of --


SOLOMON: We have gotten very close.

EGAN: Right, in 2011. And a lot of things didn't happen until they did. I think the optimism from Moody's is nice to hear but it is going to be tested in the coming days and weeks.

SOLOMON: And quickly, how do you square that with what we heard from Fitch?

EGAN: They are sending a different message. They're taking a shot across the bow of Washington, warning that they could downgrade the U.S. credit rating. I think it's important to talk about why this matters.

A downgrade means it is going to be more expensive to borrow and every $1 billion to creditors is a billion less than doesn't go to stuff that we care about, like education, health care and infrastructure.

SOLOMON: Something you and I as business correspondents will be talking a lot more about, probably until June 1. Matt Egan, thank you.

BERMAN: So "Why did he shoot me?"

That is what an 11-year-old asked when an officer shot him in the chest when responding to a domestic disturbance. And now the family wants the officer fired and charged.

Weight loss drugs, including Ozempic, may soon be more accessible. What you need to know.





SOLOMON: Welcome back.

This just in to CNN: in South Carolina, the governor, Henry McMaster has signed a six-week abortion ban into law, when cardiac activity has been detected, an abortion is outlawed, except for rape or incest in the first 12 weeks, medical emergencies or fatal abnormalities. Los Angeles searching for a suspect who stabbed a Metro bus driver.

The suspect and driver got into a verbal argument. The two got off of the bus, at which point the suspect stabbed the driver, who is now in the hospital in critical condition. Not sure what started this fight -- John.

BERMAN: A family wants answers after a 11-year-old Mississippi boy was shot in the chest by a police officer. It happened after the child called 9-1-1 for help and the officer came to come to the home. The boy suffered fractured ribs, a lacerated liver and a collapsed lung. He was put on a ventilator but he is now home recovering. Nick Valencia has more.

Explain the timeline here.

How did this happen?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This morning the family said that Aderrien Murry was left so traumatized by the shooting, he needs counseling before he's ready to say what happened.

But his mother said what she saw at 4 am, when the father of another one of her children showed up at her home interest rate. And she was scared for her safety and felt so threatened that she had to sneak a cell phone to her 11-year old --


VALENCIA: -- Aderrien Murry, to call 9-1-1. That is exactly what he did.

He called 9-1-1 to get help for his mother. Nakala Murry says when the officer showed up, he had a gun drawn already. He was ordering the people to come out of the House. And that is when Aderrien came from around the corner, through a hallway into the living room. And the officer opened fire once, shooting the boy in the chest.

He had a lacerated liver, fractured ribs, he developed a collapsed lung and he was in the ICU on a ventilator for several days before being released from the hospital. The mother said it was one to two minutes passed before it was all over.

She said as he laid in her arms bleeding out, he was singing gospel songs, praying and trying to keep his mother calm. There is body cam of this incident. The police have not released it to the family.

We have tried to get in touch with the police department. They are not calling us back. The MBI does say, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, say they will not release the body cam video until this investigation is complete.

BERMAN: Well, let's hope for a quick and full recovery. I know you'll keep pushing for answers. Nick Valencia, thank you very much.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. The world of weight loss drugs could soon see a shakeup. Companies are

working on dozens of medications to improve upon the diabetes-turned- weight-loss drugs like Ozempic.

The newer versions could be pills. Right now, Ozempic and other drugs like it are prescribed as self-injections. This could be different. Meg Tirrell is looking at this.

Talking about the effectiveness, which is what matters here, especially when you are talking about pills versus the injections, the pill versus injections here.

TIRRELL: Yes, absolutely. So we are seeing data out this week on this next generation version of these drugs, that you can take as pills. The efficacy is looking similar to the weekly self-injectable drugs.

Novo Nordisk has a version. The chemical name is semaglutide. They have one which showed similar weight loss. Pfizer has some drugs in development and Eli Lilly as well. You can take these daily, once or twice a day, which could change things for patients who do not want to inject themselves and just want a different way to take these medicines.

BOLDUAN: Good point.

What about the side effects?

TIRRELL: Yes, the drugs are working in the similar way in terms of efficacy and have similar side effects, like nausea and vomiting. And they can be mitigated if you start with a lower dose and move up over time. And this is the way they are designed to be taken.

Doctors say they're intolerable for 5 to 10 percent of patients and, with the pills, maybe you can change the way you increase that dosage and make it so that the side effects are not quite so intolerable. So a lot of hope on that front as well.

BOLDUAN: Thank you, Meg. That is interesting. Thank you for bringing it to us.

SOLOMON: Ahead, a trial date is set for former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, accused of defrauding donors in his effort to build a border wall.

And tributes pouring in for Tina Turner, who is dead at 83. Her legacy ahead.





BOLDUAN: So the House Speaker is saying that every hour matters when it comes to the debt ceiling. And we're hearing how many proposals are being tossed around but there is still not a deal when it comes to the default. Just now the top House Democrat weighed in, putting the holdup all on the right wing of the Republican conference.


REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: But what is clear to me increasingly is that many extreme MAGA Republicans have made the political calculation that a dangerous default and crashing the economy and triggering a recession is in their political interests.


BOLDUAN: Joining us now on more of the state of this, Republican congresswoman Nancy Mace.

Thank you for joining us. You heard Hakeem Jeffries say that the Republicans are holding the economy hostage to get cuts that Republicans could not get any other way.

How do you respond?

REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): Well, Hakeem Jeffries is politicizing the debt ceiling negotiations, because the vast majority of Americans want the U.S. Congress to cut spending. And that means Republicans and the Democrats alike want us to rein in the out of control spending.

And honestly, I don't think that Kevin McCarthy's ask is a heavy lift. He is asking to freeze the spending levels at 2022 and work requirements and a few other things, all things that every American, Democrats and Republican alike, can agree on.

And we have to move forward. Both sides have created this problem.