Return to Transcripts main page

CNN News Central

Tributes, Remembrance Pour In For Rosalynn Carter; Biden Turns 81 As Polls Show Age An Issue For Young Voters; Microsoft Stock Hits All-Time High After Ousted OpenAI CEO. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired November 20, 2023 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, the nation is mourning the death of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. She passed at 96 years old yesterday. She was a global humanitarian. She was a trailblazer. And she had an incredible love story with former President Jimmy Carter.

And Rosalynn Carter had many passions, as we've learned over many decades in public life. And famously has said this. There are only four kinds of people in the world, those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers. Caregiving was one of the many causes Mrs. Carter dedicated her life to. And she founded the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers more than three decades ago to support those who are caring for the aging, ill, and disabled.

Joining us now is the CEO of the Institute Jennifer Olsen. Jennifer, thank you for coming in. What does Mrs. Carter's passing and now her legacy mean for all of you today?

JENNIFER OLSEN, CEO, ROSALYNN CARTER INSTITUTE FOR CAREGIVERS: Well, thank you for having me, Kate. Obviously, we're heartbroken with the news yesterday of Mrs. Carter's passing. And our thoughts are with President Carter and the Carter and Smith families during this challenging time. Mrs. Carter's passing though means for me that it is our turn, each of us, to take on the work that she led us in to support the nation's 53 million family, friends, and neighbors who are caring for someone ill, aging, or disabled.

BOLDUAN: Caregiving is such a central focus and cause for Mrs. Carter. Remind everyone how and why this became so important to her.

OLSEN: For her, it's deeply personal, you know. At the age of 12, her father was diagnosed with cancer and passed away shortly thereafter. And she watched her mother balance working and raising children and caregiving. And so, she saw that complex city.

And then in the lead up to the governor's mansion and the White House, she would be speaking to people often focused on mental health, her other -- one of her other passions, and realized that there was always a person standing next to or behind the person with the mental health challenges. She saw this that was often the invisible frontline of people who themselves didn't have anyone caring for them. And she started to realize that those individuals -- caregivers, were experiencing physical and mental health challenges themselves.

BOLDUAN: How has the mission changed for the institute over the decades since it was founded?

OLSEN: So, I like to say that we were in very local Georgia mode for our first 30-ish years as an organization. And then a few years ago, Mrs. Carter and I were having a conversation about the fact that there were so many more needs outside of Georgia. And as she described it -- she encouraged us to go national to take what we had learned here and to apply it to other caregiver experiences. And so -- and to take the work that we had done with veterans, caregivers, Alzheimer's caregivers, cancer caregivers, and to look beyond those diagnoses and conditions and to support caregivers at every stage of their journey.

BOLDUAN: What do you think Rosalynn Carter, the caregiver to all caregivers would want to say about the work and about the legacy still to -- still to be -- and the -- and the work still to be done today?

OLSEN: I think she would say there's a lot of work to be done. A few years ago, she called for an office for caregiver health, thinking that the government needs to have a champion who's focused exclusively on this very large population, one in five adults whose physical, mental, and financial health is struggling behind -- often behind the scenes. She'd say that there's a need for us to be advocates, but also to be good neighbors and friends to the caregivers amongst us, you know. The person checking you out at the grocery store or the person next to you at work may be going home to take on care responsibilities. And so, today, I would ask everyone to check on a caregiver in their life to see how they're doing.

BOLDUAN: That's a beautiful thing. It's a calling and so necessary on so many levels. Jennifer, it's great to meet you. Thank you for coming in.

OLSEN: Thank you.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Coming up. It is President Biden's 81st birthday. Ahead, why the commander-in-chief is marking the birthday milestone with a low-key family celebration? Plus, a huge shake-up in the tech world. Sam Altman, the former OpenAI CEO has landed a new job after being ousted just on Friday. Where he's headed? next.



BOLDUAN: Today is President Biden's birthday, turning 81 years old. It also comes at a moment where there is fresh concern over his age and that seems evident in new polling numbers. Also, those polling numbers showing some troubling signs in this moment in this snapshot in time about his approval rating, especially among younger voters. A New NBC News poll shows that Donald Trump is holding a four-point lead among voters 18 to 34 years old in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup with Biden.


Let's get more on this. Eva McKend is joining us now from Washington. Eva, what are you hearing the response is to these new polling numbers, and what are you hearing from the White House as they know questions about the president's age have been ongoing for quite some time?

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: You know, Kate, when you speak with voters, it's clear age is his greatest liability. The White House and campaign, they acknowledged this privately -- downplay it publicly. He's already the oldest president in history ahead of Ronald Reagan, who was 77 at the end of his second term.

And our colleague, Betsy Klein, she reports that Biden's advisors, they argue there's a double standard with news coverage more focused on President Biden's age than former President Donald Trump's age, for instance. And they insist voters are focused on other issues, and that age won't be a deciding factor next November. So, they argue ultimately, that the president's record of achievement. So, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, other policy achievements. That's what's really going to be front and center next year.

Team Biden also noted Trump is just a few years younger than Biden, and have highlighted some of Trump's recent gaffes, including confusing the city where he was in, calling former President Barack Obama his leading political opponent, mixing up the home country of the Hungarian Prime Minister. They also argue that with age comes wisdom and experience, and we've seen the president recently engage in these long strenuous trips, high stakes meetings with world leaders as evidence of his stamina. But young voters I speak to, they have expressed deep disappointment with Biden's response to the war in Israel. And perhaps, Kate, beyond age, that is something he will have to address.

BOLDUAN: Great point. Eva, it's always good to see you. Thank you.

JIMENEZ: All right, CNN political analyst and Washington bureau chief for the Boston Globe Jackie Kucinich joins us now. All right. Look, it is still early in regard to the general election. But when you look at this polling, obviously, it's not what the president wants to see for his birthday. What is his biggest risk here in terms of younger voters?

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It does seem like -- and again, you're very right, it's very early. However, getting these voters to turn out is likely to be one of his biggest issues going into this election year giving them something to vote for. You've seen younger voters express frustration with the fact that student loan debt wasn't canceled. Rightly or wrongly, they're not happy with the president about that even though there were some extenuating circumstances. It wasn't exactly Biden's fault that his plan wasn't able to go through. However, inflation, the economy, not feeling like they could buy a house. I mean, it's really just those kitchen table issues. And then you add on to it the mass disapproval among younger voters with the Israeli and Hamas war, and how Biden has handled it. Right now, just really, you're seeing all of that pent-up frustration really reflected in these polling. Will that continue? As Eva mentioned, the Biden campaign is trying to stress his achievements, things that he's done that is -- that is making the lives of everyday people better, but that's the case they're going to have to continue to make.

JIMENEZ: And, Jackie, stay with us for a second. We've got an important update to dip into President Biden talking right now about the turkey party happening ahead of Thanksgiving in just a few days. Let's listen in for a bit.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Chickens, but you don't have a chicken that big, man. I tell you. Just a few weeks ago, I visited another family farm in Minnesota where we talked about the pride of small towns and communities -- rural communities. The pride of people who've been able to know they can stay there and continue to keep their farms, and how because of the investments we're making, restoring hope and opportunity so family farms can stay in the family and children don't have to leave home if they wish to stay and make a living within the farm. Look, it matters. And thank to all the families across America who feed and fuel our nation and the world, I might add. Yes, the world.

The National Turkey presentation and pardon marks the unofficial start of the holiday season. We're here in Washington. A time to share joy and gratitude and have a little bit of fun. This is the 76th anniversary of this event. And I want you to know I wasn't there in the first one. I was too young to make it up.

One thing I want to make clear, there was not a clear then, you know, even though Liberty and Bell are from Minnesota, they're named from the famous Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. These birds have a new appreciation of the word let freedom ring. So, I'm told by the Turkey Federation of Liberty Bell and -- Liberty and Bell, they love honey crisp apples.


Not bad, huh? Ice hockey. I sure would like to see them play ice hockey. Thousand Lakes, and the Mall of America. Now, just to get here, Liberty and Bell had to beat some tough odds, the competition that to work hard to show patience and be willing to travel over a thousand miles. You could say even this is harder than getting a ticket to the Renaissance tour or reprint-ish tour she's down in. It's kind of warm in Brazil right now.

Look. Folks, based on their commitment to being productive members of society as they head to the new home with the University of Minnesota, I -- going to bring them on up for do I do it there? That's a big bird, man. I'm impressed. I hereby pardon, Liberty and Bell. All right. Congratulations, birds. Congratulations.

Look. Now, let me conclude on a serious note about why we have Thanksgiving in the first place, to remind ourselves and we sometimes forget this, how we have so much to be thankful for as a nation. This week, we'll gather with the people we love and the traditions that each of us has built up on our own families. We'll also think about the loved ones we lost, including just yesterday when we lost former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who walked her own path, inspiring a nation in the world along the way.

And let's remind ourselves that we're blessed to live in the greatest nation on this face of the earth. That's what I see when I travel to America. I've met so many incredible people who do such extraordinary things, including just yesterday, Jill and I visited the largest naval station in the world.


JIMENEZ: All right, President Biden just pardoning two turkeys, Liberty and Bell. Both, about 42 pounds each, so a big undertaking there, but obviously, an incredible White House tradition that would be --

BOLDUAN: I want to hear you'd be serious with this moment.

JIMENEZ: Look, it would be hard. It's like Groundhog's Day. It's almost hard to explain it to people who aren't from the United States.

BOLDUAN: This is one of the things that you kind of want an alien from outer space to look down and be like, what are you guys doing?

JIMENEZ: I know -- I know. But the round of applause to the pardoning, it's just incredibly unique and incredibly American.

BOLDUAN: So beautiful birds, the turkeys are around -- (INAUDIBLE)

JIMENEZ: Beautiful birds. Now, before we went there, I was talking to Jackie Kucinich about President Biden's election prospects for this next year as we -- as we sort of reset here. All right, here we go. We're back.

BOLDUAN: You have -- Jackie can talk to turkeys, and she can only do it.

JIMENEZ: Now, I want to --

KUCINICH: No, we don't -- he doesn't -- he doesn't want to run afoul of voters. Let's be --


JIMENEZ: He is -- oh, there it is. There it is -- there it is -- there it is.

KUCINICH: Grow up then. JIMENEZ: Well, look. I don't want to spoil the mood for Biden. But obviously before this, we were talking about the poll numbers that weren't so great.


JIMENEZ: When you look at them, specifically, job approval numbers among voters 18 to 34. It's now 31 percent versus 46 percent, which is what it was in September. I actually spoke to young voters in September. Take a listen to some of what students on one campus told me at the time.


JIMENEZ: How many of you think that President Biden is too old to be president again? And so, why do you feel that way?

MALISE FOSS, 21-YEAR-OLD VOTER: He does make a good president, but I just think that there is not a lot of representation for our generation in the entirety of the government right now. And I'd like to see more of that.

JOSEPH NIZZA, 18-YEAR-OLD REPUBLICAN VOTER: I'm just looking for a candidate who's appealing. But the current candidates, Trump and Biden, I mean, they're fossils.


JIMENEZ: Fossils. His words, not mine. But obviously, it's a dynamic. That's not just Biden, Trump isn't that much younger than him either if he ends up being the GOP nominee. Why does this seem to be such a bigger issue for Biden than it is for Trump?

KUCINICH: I really do think it is -- it is a case for both candidates. And we'll see that as this goes on. Because you need to go to places like Wisconsin where our reporter, Jess Bidgood was earlier this year, she was hearing it from both voters, both on Democrats and Republicans who were just sort of you know, throwing up their hands at their choices here.

But listen, I think this is again, why a turnout always matters. And it's a trope almost to this point. But I think, particularly for -- you know, for Biden, getting that Biden coalition back together and backing -- excited to vote for him and not only young voters but black voters, Latino voters, to really come out again is going to be his biggest challenge. But listen, you heard it there. You heard his -- even it was a light-hearted event, you heard him talk about rural voters, or -- I'm sorry, people in rural communities.


You heard him make a joke about his age, which we've actually seen him do more of to try to -- try to make light of the fact that you know, he can't change the fact that he's 81 years old. So, I think you're going to hear more things like that, you know, maybe not going to Turkey pardon, but going forward. JIMENEZ: Yes. Well, when you're talking about things and thankful for. Jackie Kucinich, thank you -- I'm thankful for you sticking around with that pardon. Come back and -- when there's not so much Turkey in the middle of our conversation.

KUCINICH: Anytime.

JIMENEZ: I appreciate you.

KUCINICH: Have a -- (AUDIO GAP) guys. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us. Sam Altman, the just ousted CEO of OpenAI and chatbot -- ChatGPT creator already has a new job. Hundreds of OpenAI employees are threatening to revolt essentially now. And the stock market giving Altman a big boost and a warm welcome. We'll be right back.



BOLDUAN: This morning, a shake-up in the world of artificial intelligence. Microsoft announcing its hiring of ChatGPT creator Sam Altman after he was fired by OpenAI just on Friday.

JIMENEZ: Yes. CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich joins us now. All right. So, Vanessa, what does this all mean for the tech world and the future of AI?

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS & POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We all use artificial intelligence whether we know it or not. E-commerce, customer service, health care if we have, in-home devices, changing the thermostat. That uses artificial intelligence. A lot of us don't know it because of ChatGPT. And this was created by Sam Altman, who was until Friday, the CEO of OpenAI.

He was ousted on Friday. And just about 60 hours later, he now has a new job at Microsoft. Microsoft had already invested in OpenAI $13 billion. They own 49 percent of the company. And now they just got their biggest asset, which is Sam Altman, who is now going to be doing artificial intelligence at Microsoft. And potentially taking with him, hundreds of employees from Open AI, who wrote this open letter this morning, over 500 of them, that's most of the company, essentially calling on the board of OpenAI to resign after what they say was the mishandling of the firing of Sam Altman.

But really what is at the core here is how do we, as a society, approach artificial intelligence. Sam Altman was saying we need to put our foot on the gas and make sure that we are moving artificial intelligence into the future. The board, on the other hand, felt like they needed to dial it back. Let's look at potential regulations around this. A lot of people say, could artificial intelligence be weaponized? And that's really at the core of what the discrepancy was.

Clearly, though Microsoft with this hiring doesn't feel that way. They want the biggest leg up in the artificial intelligence race to be Google, to be Amazon. And now, they have that with Sam Altman.

BOLDUAN: You were talking -- you were talking about the markets were reacting very favorably for Microsoft with this move.


BOLDUAN: How are they doing now?

YURKEVICH: Microsoft hit an all-time high this morning on the announcement of hiring Altman. You see Microsoft's stock up right now.

JIMENEZ: Still moving.

YURKEVICH: Still moving. This really does show that Wall Street also is very encouraged by this move. And also, potentially realizes that artificial intelligence is the future.


YURKEVICH: It is the now and it is the future and markets are reacting to that.

JIMENEZ: I want to point out. Sam Altman has said very little, but he said a total of four heart emojis --


JIMENEZ: In response to people sending support in some cases. Vanessa Yurkevich, thank you so much. And thank you for joining us, all. This is CNN NEWS CENTRAL from me and Kate. "INSIDE POLITICS" is up next.