Return to Transcripts main page

CNN News Central

Biden At Rally: "I Know Right From Wrong, I Know How To Do This Job"; Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) Discusses Debate, Trump And Biden Campaign Rallies. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired June 28, 2024 - 13:30   ET



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No president has ever said anything like that. No president. His words, not mine. We're going to let Donald Trump attack our democracy again?


BIDEN: I don't think so.

Folks --



BIDEN: Folks --


BIDEN: -- we've come a long way. We've come a long way from the mess that Donald Trump left us. We came out of the pandemic. We're a long way from where Donald Trump was telling us to injecting bleach in our skin, that Covid is not that dangerous.

Today, we have the strongest economy in the world, without exception.


BIDEN: Fifteen billion new jobs.


BIDEN: Eight-hundred-thousand manufacturing jobs. Unemployment under 4 percent for a record two years in a row.


BIDEN: Historic black and Hispanic unemployment down.


BIDEN: Historic creation of small businesses in black and all communities across the nation, particularly in rural areas. Historic economic growth. Inflation has dropped from 9 percent to 3 percent and is still going down.


BIDEN: I know we have more to do to get prices down. We have to take on corporate greed. They're making twice the profit they we're before the pandemic.

We've got to make housing more affordable.


BIDEN: Provide childcare, make the tax code fair.


BIDEN: Sixty Nobel winners of the Economic Nobel Prize have looked at my economy -- economic plans this week. They've issued a report and of Trump's plan. Here's what they concluded. They said that my plan would continue to grow the economy and bring down inflation.


BIDEN: Sixty Nobel laureates. And that Trump's plan would send the nation into recession and inflation soaring through the roof.


BIDEN: Don't take my word for it.

Folks, let me close with this. I know I'm not a young man. (INAUDIBLE) Well, I know.



BIDEN: Well --


BIDEN: I know --


BIDEN: Folks, I don't walk as easy as I used to. I don't speak as smoothly as I used to. I don't debate -- debate is well as I used to.


BIDEN: But I know what I do know. I know how to tell the truth.


BIDEN: I know-- I know right from wrong.

(CHEERING) BIDEN: I know how to do this job.


BIDEN: I know how to get things done. And I know, like millions of Americans know, when you get knocked down, you get back up.


BIDEN: I know what it took to take our economy out of the depths of the pandemic. This is where it is today, the strongest economy in the world. I know what it'll take to bring this economy to everybody.

I know what it'll take the rally the world to stand up against Putin and defend freedom, not yield to him.


BIDEN: And I know what it takes to keep the world safe and free for the years ahead.

Folks, I give you my word as a Biden, I would not be running again if I didn't believe, with all my heart and soul, I can do this job. Because quite frankly --


BIDEN: -- the stakes are too high. The stakes are too high.


BIDEN: Donald Trump -- Donald Trump is a genuine threat to this nation.


BIDEN: He's a threat to our freedom.


BIDEN: He's a threat to our democracy.


BIDEN: He's literally a threat for everything America stands for.


BIDEN: Look, he doesn't understand what I think all of you do. America is the finest, the most unique nation in the world.


BIDEN: We're the only nation in the world -- I mean this sincerely, it's a fact statement, not a hyper -- hyperbolic statement, is fact -- we're the only nation in the world built on an idea all the nations (INAUDIBLE) ethnicity, geography, and other religion.

But we're built on an idea that we're all created equal --



BIDEN: -- deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives.

We've never fully lived up with all these. And I'll be damned, in the year 2024, just two years --


BIDEN: -- just two years before the 250th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, that I'll let Donald Trump walk away from it.


BIDEN: I give you my word. I give you my worth, as a Biden. We're still a nation. I believe we are still a nation that believes in honesty and decency, and treating people with respect.

I still believe we're a nation that gives everyone a fair shot and leaves nobody behind.


BIDEN: We're still a nation that gives hate no safe harbor.


BIDEN: And we're still the beacon to the world. We could never give up what makes America, America.


BIDEN: Donald Trump is motivated by revenge and retribution. Well, revenge and retribution never built a damned thing.


BIDEN: You and I, we Americans are a nation of hope, optimism and possibilities.


BIDEN: That's what's always built America. That's going to continue to build American today.

The choice in this election is simple. Donald Trump will destroy our democracy. I will defend it.


BIDEN: Folks, are you with me?


BIDEN: Donald Trump's the first president I've heard as I stood up there and was running for president, having been one for one term, saying America is a failing nation. Where the hell does he think he is?


BIDEN: I'm serious. Failing? I don't know a president who wouldn't trade places with America in a heartbeat.

He's dead wrong. America is not a losing nation. America's winning.


BIDEN: As I stand here today, I can honestly say I've never been more optimistic about America's future in my whole career.

We just have to know who we are. We're the United States of America.


BIDEN: There's nothing beyond our capacity, nothing, when we act together.


BIDEN: You've got it.


BIDEN: May God bless you all and may God protect our troops.

Let's go get it, North Carolina!



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: A rousing speech by President Biden there in North Carolina on the heels of a terrible debate performance last night in what really could have been a great closing argument that he could have made last night.

And that this crowd was certainly very receptive to. He said, at the end, "I know I'm not a young man," to state the obvious. But he went on to say, "I know what I do know. I know how to tell the truth. I know right from wrong. I know how to get things done."

And he was trying to, Erica, assure voters that he wouldn't be doing this, if he didn't know that he could do this job another four years.

ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: And clearly obviously, a very friendly audience, right? KEILAR: Yes.

HILL: He's there at a campaign rally. It is packed with supporters. There was no audience last night, of course, in the debate. But certainly, a different Joe Biden than what we saw last night.

Which I think, in many ways, begs the question of, how much of this is also an attempt by the campaign at a reset, trying to reset that image that is in voter's minds? This Joe Biden versus the Joe Biden on that stage?

KEILAR: That's right.

Let's go to Priscilla Alvarez to talk a little bit about what we're seeing.

He needed, Priscilla, a reset. Is that what the campaign is going for here?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are trying to move on. And that's exactly what you saw play out there.

Over the last several hours, we have heard from Biden advisers, from Democratic officials, lawmakers, White House officials that they we're deflated, frustrated, discouraged over last night's lackluster performance.

Just there, you heard it from the president himself, when he said that he doesn't debate as well as he used to. And then went on to say that he does tell the truth, that he knows right from wrong, and going through his record.

And that was an argument that we started to see surrogates make over the course of the day, that, yes, the president had a lackluster performance on Thursday night, but that it is his record that voters should be judging him for.

The president also acknowledged his age during that rally a couple times, noting that, yes, he's up there in age. And that, too, has been a top concern among voters. And one that perhaps has been exacerbated in Thursday's debate.

But otherwise, as someone who has gone to a lot of these rallies, this was pretty standard. The president often does feed off of the energy in the crowd.


And he was very forceful in his remarks today in going through his record and also criticizing Trump on tax cuts, on the economy, on immigration. And going through sort of the whole gamut of issues.

And also noting that America -- or noting that it is important to preserve and protect democracy, a cornerstone of the president's campaign. Now the big question is, does this quell the concern and the panic

that we have heard so much about today? We'll see. But the president and the campaigns certainly trying to reset with this rally today.

HILL: Priscilla, thank you.

Also want to bring in Kayla Tausche, who was there at the rally.

Kayla, as Priscilla was just pointing out, of course, much of this is standard fare for a Joe Biden rally.

That being said, there was a reset needed. And it was interesting some of the things that he hit on, as Priscilla pointing out, noting, "I don't debate as well as I used to."

He also quite notably said, "I would not be running again if I didn't believe, with all my heart and soul, I could do this job."

Clearly, that is part of the new messaging amid these questions, Kayla.

KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It is part of the new messaging, Erica.

And when he said that line about not running again unless he believed it with every fiber of his being that he could do the job again, the crowd here erupted in chants of, "Yes, you can. Yes, you can." That's also new.

President Biden clearly feeding off the energy of this crowd here in North Carolina, yet another critical state for the Biden campaign.

But he also said, when you get down -- "When you get knocked down, you get back up again." And he received roaring applause to that line as well.

Clearly acknowledging that he was knocked down on the debate stage last night and that there needs to be a reset.

But President Biden today was animated. He was high-energy here at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. And it appeared that he was using many of the lines that he used onstage last night. But also using many that appeared to have been drafted for the debate but did not get used.

He talked a lot about how, I would tell the truth, how Donald Trump -- Donald Trump, in his words, it's a one-man crime wave with no respect for women, for the law.

So clearly, some very distilled and well-trained fire on Donald Trump about exactly who he believes he is in his character.

President Biden not mincing words whatsoever, but appearing to be rested and feeding off the energy of this crowd today -- guys?

HILL: Douglas Brinkley also back with us. Doug, feeding off that energy, doing all the things, as we have just heard here, laying this out, going after a number of Donald Trump's lies today that he did not go after last night.

But the reality is, one friendly campaign rally does not a full reset make for voters.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: It doesn't fully make it, but I think history will show this as the great rally reset.

One had to wonder, how is he going to respond after the failed debate? He went to a Waffle House last night, was trying to be a little bit homey with people there.

And I was wondering all day, what does he do? Does he do an interview? How does he get out of the mess he got himself in? Well, we just got the answer.

That was an extraordinarily energized speech. It was an entirely different Biden than we saw last night, almost two different people.

A lot of the messaging was the same and some of the lines we're the same, but they we're delivered with the verb.

And I thought Jill Biden introducing him and wearing her "vote" outfit and having the feedback, the given and take for four more years and, "Yes, you can," coming out of the audience was reminiscent of an Obama rally.

So that's about as good as you're going to get for the beginning of a rebound from the debate. And we just caught it live.

I hope more people that like Joe Biden will -- or are looking - undecided will listen to this speech and remember that Biden can rise to the oratorical heights when push comes to shove. He is the rebound kid here.

HILL: All right. Douglas Brinkley and our reporters, Kayla Tausche and Priscilla Alvarez, thank you all.


Stay with us. Short break here. We'll be right back.



KEILAR: Former President Donald Trump is back on the campaign trail in Virginia, where, in just a little over an hour, he is going to hold his first rally since the presidential debate.

And then we just heard, of course, President Biden revving up and trying to reset after a tough night last night at his debate against Trump. With us now, we have Republican Congresswoman of South Carolina, Nancy Mace, obviously very much in Donald Trump's corner today, and especially after this debate.

I do want to ask you, because we did -- CNN did analysis of these candidates and found 30 untrue statements by Donald Trump, which I mentioned, nine by Biden. So that's sort of the breakdown we're looking at.

And this is, I think, the choice that we saw from this debate. You have someone like Trump who has been a serial liar, more so than the person he's running against.

He still refuses to accept the results of the last election and say that he'll accept the coming election results.

And then you have another candidate, who it's hard to imagine, after that performance, him serving capably for the next four years.

What kind of choice is this for the American public?


REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): Well, first of all, I want to address, I believe, what was one of Joe Biden's most egregious lies last night, which was when he said no soldier has died on his watch.

There are 13 families of 13 veterans who died in the exit to Afghanistan. And they deserve to be honored with grace. They gave their lives for our country and for the Afghanistan people. And that was pretty egregious.

But last night, I mean, this was a wake-up call --


KEILAR: -- and I do just want to note that, what you're mentioned.

MACE: Well, that's great.

I think -- and I think CNN did a really good job. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well and fair and balanced the questions were for both candidates. I think that's what the country deserved last night.

But when you talk about what was going on in the debate last night, this was a wake-up call for the entire country.

Forget about post-debate analysis. I personally want to know what's going on in the White House. Who is in charge? Who is actually running the country? Because very clearly, after last night, it is not Joe Biden.

And this is a discussion that should be up for debate between now and November. He can't run the country. He's not running it now. He can't run it possibly after November. And so the choice between either of them couldn't be any clearer.

And I think it's really important that -- you know, we're not having a fight over the right or the left, right now. This is a fight over the center, where Independents, right of center, left of center, there's no way that they're going to support a guy who clearly doesn't know what's going on.

KEILAR: What -- why do you think he's not running the country?

MACE: Because of his cognitive decline. I mean, last night, I just -- for me, it was kind of heartbreaking. I have aging parents, I'm a mom.

To see what they put him through, I thought, was abusive. He should not have been on that stage. He should not have been in that debate. He is definitely not running the country.

There's no way that the leader of the free world, who couldn't stand up for 90 minutes, is running -- is running the show.

KEILAR: What I mean -- what evidence do you have? We have -- I do want to ask you that because I think a lot of questions we're raised by his performance, questions that he has to answer for.

And he tried to at least start to do that today. But what is the evidence that you have with that?

MACE: You had 90 minutes last night of Joe Biden onstage. You couldn't even -- you needed an interpreter. You couldn't even understand what he was saying when he was answering the questions.

Something is not right, something cognitively. He's clearly on a massive decline. And we have to be honest with the American people. Because for, clearly, over the last year, Democrats, the White House, aided by mainstream media, they've been covering up for the cognitive decline.

It was just last week when Biden was in Italy at the G-7 summit wandering aimlessly off. And all these real videos we're called cheat fakes by the mainstream media.


KEILAR: He was greeting someone, just to be clear.

I mean, I know what video you're talking about.

But there are many --


KEILAR: You are raising --

MACE: -- that one. There are a lot.

KEILAR: You are raising some valid points obviously. We all watched this debate last night. But I do just want to be specifically clear about all the videos that we've seen.

MACE: The mainstream media were calling these real videos cheap fakes. And we've all seen him --


KEILAR: No, the White House --


KEILAR: The White House press secretary was calling it that.


KEILAR: I just want to be clear, we we're not calling -- we were not owning that statement. I just want to be very clear about that.

I want to talk a little bit about some of the issues. And obviously, the president and his performance last night does raise a lot of questions.

But I do want to talk about some of the issues, the policy issues.

On the issue of abortion, here's what President Trump said last night. Let's listen.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They will take the life of a child in the eighth month, the ninth month, and even after birth, after birth.

If you look at the former governor of Virginia, he was willing to do this. He said, we'll put the baby aside and we'll determine what we do with the baby, meaning we'll kill the baby.


KEILAR: No, that is not what that means. Just to be clear, that was not even in the zip code of reality. Why is he doing that?

MACE: Well, if I recall, several years ago, there was actually legislation filed in Virginia about post-birth abortion.

And then the other thing about Roe v. Wade is Roe v. Wade does allow some --


KEILAR: You're not accurately --


KEILAR: You're not accurately representing that. MACE: Yes, I am. And even Roe v. Wade would allow, by law, abortion up

until the ninth month of a pregnancy.

So those are just facts --

KEILAR: I mean, let me --

MACE: -- about abortion.

KEILAR: Letting a baby die is a crime. Just to be clear.

MACE: Yes, but there had been Democrats in this country and state legislatures that have filed legislation related to post-birth abortion. That's a fact.

So when we're having this conversation, it's important for both sides --


KEILAR: You're not accurately --

MACE: -- have an honest conversation.

KEILAR: Well I -- well, I think that's incredibly important. So let's do that because that's not what this is.

MACE: This is a huge issue that I am --


KEILAR: But that's not what you're doing right there when you talk about that.

There are so many people who care deeply about this issue. And there are many people who fall along the continuum --

MACE: Yes.

KEILAR: -- of what they think is OK. And when you talk about it like that, that is not an honest conversation.


KEILAR: As you -- as you are aware --


KEILAR: -- the -- well, I hope I'm assuming you are. The abortions that occur later account for about 1 percent, right? We're talking after the -- the 20-some-odd week mark. That's the post viability mark.


The vast majority of them occur so much earlier. And when you're talking about those ones that occur later, these are decisions that have to do with the health and the life of the mother, with the life of the fetus --


KEILAR: These tend to be --


KEILAR: These tend to be wanted pregnancies and these tend to be decisions that are done with so much emotion, questions of morality as well. They're not done lightly.

And so the people who have actually been in that situation look at this characterization and it's incredibly offensive to them.

MACE: Right. And you're mischaracter -- mischaracterizing what I've said. My position has always been, when the life of the mother is in danger, that she should be protected.

I've run against Republican candidates who didn't have that position. In fact, I just disposed of one two weeks ago who had a position a couple of years ago with no exceptions, not even for life of the mother.

And so I leaned in on, whether it was a Trisomy 18 (ph) case in Texas, Mifepristone case in Texas and Alabama, the IVF ruling the crazy 1860 ruling in Arizona.

I've been pretty clear, probably one of the most vocal people in my party, one of the most vocal women certainly on abortion and finding that middle ground.

Because whether you're pro-choice or pro-life, all --


KEILAR: -- new here?

MACE: Well, I mean, I -- I won overwhelmingly in my purple district. I just won in my primary with these positions, won overwhelmingly in November as well.

But whether you're pro-choice or pro-life, all of us have some limits. Generally, in the second trimester, whether it's 12, 15 or 20 weeks, or, in some cases, some people had the position of 24.

But it's somewhere in the second trimester that the vast majority of Americans think there should be some limitations. That's a conversation we should be having now on both sides, but we're not.


MACE: Both sides are --

(CROSSTALK) KEILAR: They're generally -- there are a lot of limitations. If you actually dig into this, you'll see. And those are done a lot by a case-by-case basis.

Trump's still will not commit to accepting the results of the past election and the upcoming election. Does that worry you as someone who, at least initially, actually had some pretty harsh words for him when it came to how he responded to January 6th?

MACE: Well, I voted to certify the Electoral College in '20. I believe in the Constitution and following the rule of law.

We've now had --

KEILAR: Does that worry you that he will not commit to that?

MACE: We've had four years of Joe Biden. And we cannot have -- we cannot afford to have four more.

When I look at constitutional issues --

KEILAR: So you can overlook that?


KEILAR: The fact that he will not commit to accepting the outcome of a free and fair election because of that?

MACE: We've had four years of Joe Biden and we need Donald Trump back in the White House. We've had --


KEILAR: Answer the question.

MACE: We've had over nine million illegals invade the southern border. We have inflation and --


KEILAR: Why not answer the question?

MACE: I am answering your question. I support Donald Trump. I've endorsed him. I'm campaigning for him.

KEILAR: You're not worried -- is that the nitrogen? You're not worried about his --


KEILAR: -- lack of commitment to accepting the election outcome?

MACE: I think he's going to win overwhelmingly, I think there'll be no question in November where the American people stand.

KEILAR: Well, there's, of course, a possibility that he doesn't. And so the answer to that question is important.

We're out of time, actually. Unfortunately --


KEILAR: But Congresswoman Mace, I really appreciate you coming on.

MACE: Thank you so much.

KEILAR: And still to come, a major ruling on the January 6th capitol rioters. How it impacts former President Trump's case. We'll have that ahead, on CNN NEWS CENTRAL.