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Pence Says Media Focusing On Jan. 6 Demeans Trump Voters; Stephanie Grisham Says Jan. 6 Crowd Will Work In White House If Trump Wins; President Biden Gives Speech, Says American Is At An Inflection Point; Joe Biden Speaks In Michigan To Pitch Infrastructure, Spending Bills. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired October 05, 2021 - 15:30   ET



OLIVIA TROYE, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY AND COVID TASK FORCE ADVISER TO VP PENCE: Well, it is completely appalling and it is in keeping with what I would say Mike Pence's cowardice and a greed for power. And what he's doing here is he knows that this is a Republican Party's core tenant and agenda is to downplay and whitewash what happened on January 6th which was a horribly dark day in our democracy.

But the factor of the matter is Americans are not going to forget, and you can't forget the images that we've seen. We can't forget the U.S. Capitol Police that really faced that mob head on.

But his sights are set on 2024 and that's where his focus is. And he knows it. He has to go along with this, even though that day almost led to the death of him and his family and put all of them and his staff at risk.

But, you know, I think he knows that he stands no chance at 2024. He's got to go along with this because that is what the Republican Party is pushing right now.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Scott, is Mike Pence aware that he stands no chance in 2024 anyway because Donald Trump is going to be getting back in and not choosing him this time as a vice president?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, he's in a strange box, right. Number one, he clearly wants to run for president. Number two, if Donald Trump runs, that is an impossibility for him and frankly everyone else. And number three, if Trump doesn't run and he gets in, he needs Republican voters to forget that Donald Trump has essentially excommunicated him from the Trump orbit.

And so, it leads then to crazy statements like this, which then leads people like you guys to play the video of the crowd chanting "hang Mike Pence," which makes the whole thing look ridiculous. So, you know, I've been a Mike Pence fan, you know, for most of his career, you know, he served the country admirably.

I think he -- and he did the right thing on January 6th. He resisted, you know, the calls by people to try to overthrow the government. But in this particular case -- VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: That was after he consulted with former Vice President Dan Quayle.

JENNINGS: -- he tried to downplay it when you were there and you were a central player in it, that to me looks kind of crazy.

BLACKWELL: Yes, I should point out that, yes, he resisted the calls but he checked around first to see if he could do what the president, the former president asked of him.

Olivia, let me come back to you, and this is on Stephanie Grisham. She's on her book tour now, former Communications Press Secretary there at the White House, former Chief of Staff for the first lady. Before we get into the specifics on what she's writing, what do you make of this tour, this book, is there some value in this contrition after serving through the insurrection?

TROYE: Well, you know, I -- it's certainly hard for me to watch a lot of these people come forward on their book tours and tell the stories that are so egregious, that we all know, especially, for someone like me, who came forward prior to the election, when it really mattered. People needed to know who it was that was in office and what four more years would bring, and how dangerous that would be at that moment.

But I think that there is value here in the fact that people have a short-term memory at times. And that there's a whole group of voters out there who is still supporting Trump who needs to hear this from someone like Stephanie Grisham.

Someone who actually led some of the strategy and the attacks and enabled, she was one of the chief enablers I would say for those of us who worked in the White House with Stephanie. She knows exactly what this man is, what he represents, and what he's capable of.

CAMEROTA: And Scott, now she's saying that she has seen the light and now she's saying that she realizes how dangerous Donald Trump is and would be if he were to be elected again. So, here's what she said today.


STEPHANIE GRISHAM, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: If he gets into office, he doesn't run for reelection again. He'll be able to do whatever he wants, and we all know there's going to be retribution. There's going to be revenge. I guarantee there will be very draconian policies, and they're not going to care because they don't have to run for reelection again.

And if you think or people think the people in that Trump White House were bad perhaps, I have a feeling the '16 crowd might be working in the White House in 2024 or the Sidney Powells or the Rudy Giulianis.


CAMEROTA: OK Scott, so just to put a finer point on it, let me put up a picture for you of what Trump's cabinet 2.0 would look like according to Stephanie Grisham. These are the people who, as you'll recall, President Trump called very special, great people. He said he loved them. These people with the Confederate flag and all of this stuff. And basically, she, Stephanie Grisham, is saying she's terrified of what that looks like, and Scott, do you think the rest of us should be as well?

JENNINGS: Well, a couple of things. Number one, look, I think and I have said this many times, I think if he runs, he will be the Republican nominee. I don't know how anybody is going to beat him as the party is currently constituted.

Number two, it's time for us to move on.


I think he gives the party the least chance to win, and probably wouldn't win when other people would have a much better chance and take the country in a new and better direction if you're a conservative, you know, policy person like I am.

I don't need Stephanie Grisham to tell me what the attitude would be. I mean is this some great revelation that he would turn to these people. These are the people he turned to at the end of his administration. So, I mean this is not some great breaking news. I think we all are aware of how this would go the next time around.

So, I don't have a lot of use for staffers, frankly, who go out and do this kind of book writing after the fact, and I certainly don't think she's leveling anything we all don't already know. So, I hope the Republicans nominate someone else. I fear if he runs, he'll get the nomination, and you know, likely means a Democrat would win again. Although, not for sure, because obviously Joe Biden is not having a very easy go of it right now.

BLACKWELL: Olivia, on that point of what Stephanie Grisham there said about that his second term would be about revenge. I mean is that the what the base of the party wants, that they want revenge. When you look at the polling, how many Republicans say that believing that the election was stolen from former President Trump is part of the bona fides of calling yourself a Republican.

TROYE: Yes, I think that's certainly part of the narrative now that the Republican Party is, especially him, I think. You know, it's driving grievances, it's driving hate, and it drives violence, and I think that revenge is certainly going to be part of what that would lead to. And I honestly, it is terrifying to think what this country would look like should he get the nomination and run and win. I think it would be a terrifying moment for our national security.

It would be terrifying for the intelligence community who he's disparaged and undermined public health. We've seen what this man is capable of. And I think that that would be, you know, I do think there's a whole group of people out there who want revenge and think about those people who call themselves "patriots," and I say that in quotes. Those people who were charging the Capitol that day, people who were attacking law enforcement that day, who were calling for Mike Pence's hanging that day, those people certainly want revenge.

It's all part of the overall narrative of the big lie and laying the groundwork for overturning future elections potentially. That's the direction that this would go in. I mean, when I think of Trump winning the White House again, I think of people like Stephen Miller being in power and being the National Security Adviser to the President, and that is a pretty frightening and scary thought.


CAMEROTA: Yes. We've already seen this movie.

BLACKWELL: Olivia Troy, yes, Olivia Troy, I can hear the dogs saying the interview has gone too long. We'll wrap it there. Scott Jennings, thank you both.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, guys.

All right, any minute now, President Biden will give a speech to rally support around his twin economic packages that remain stalled on Capitol Hill, so we'll bring you his remarks as soon as he makes them.


BLACKWELL: All right, this is President Biden in Howell, Michigan, boosting and trying to get support for his Build Back Better legislation. Listen.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... matter is there's a reason why the American labor movement across the board has the single-best workers in the world, because you're the best trained.

I was kidding -- someone said to me earlier that -- I said I'm a union President; I'm a union -- a President who supports unions -- not labor, unions. And someone pointed out to me that I allegedly have the -- used the word "union" as President more than the last seven presidents combined.

You built the country. No, not a joke. You built the country. And it's great to be here with several excellent members of Congress. Elissa Slotkin -- Elissa, you -- you don't want to screw around with her. She's an intelligence officer as well, so she's forgotten more than most of you know.


But thanks for riding out with me, and thanks for the advice you've given me -- and I mean that sincerely -- and how we're going to make sure that everything we do here is paid for -- paid for, and not a single penny raised in taxes of anybody making under 400 grand.

And, Debbie, you're the best in the world. You and John have been so -- friends of mine -- you've been for so, so long. You've stepped in and taken over in a way that I think is -- had to be both emotionally difficult, but you've done an incredible job. And I consider you one of my great friends. Thank you. And, Dan, I -- you're OK, Dan. You ain't -- you ain't quite like the woman sitting next to you. But all kidding aside -- Dan, you've done a great -- I mean, I really mean it, you're always there for everything that's important to your constituents. And you understand what I'm going to talk about little bit later: The way we built this country is from the bottom up and the middle out, not from the top down. And you get it.

And, Andy, as my dad would say, you've got good blood, kid. And thank you for what you're doing. Thank you for stepping in. And thank you for the great job you do.

Michigan, I also have -- it's also fortunate to have an outstanding United States senators, who are doing what they're supposed to do. They're in Washington because the Senate's in. Debbie and Gary are in Washington now and -- to cast some really important votes to keep things moving.

And, of course, it's great to be here with my friend -- we've become friends -- an outstanding governor, one of the best governors in the United States of America, and her lieutenant governor, who covers her in every way -- both in terms of physically and mentally and every other way. And thank you for all you did to help me get elected. I really mean it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Look, I know there's a lot of noise in Washington. There always is. But it seems to me, a little more than usual now -- a whole lot of hyperbole, a lot of heat. And I'm here today to try to set some things straight if I can.

I want to talk about what's fundamentally at stake for our country now, at this moment.

I know it's an overused phrase, but I've been using it a lot. We're at an inflection point. Every -- anywhere from 40 to 80 years in America, there's an inflection point where we have to choose what direction we're going to go, what we're going to do. Not Democrat/Republican, but what are we going to -- who are we going to be?

For a long time, America set the pace across the entire globe. For the better part of the 20th century, we led the world by a significant margin in investments in ourselves, in our people, in our country.

We invested in our infrastructure -- in our roads, highways, bridges, ports, airports -- in the arteries of the nation that allow commerce to function smoothly and swiftly and allow us to generate significant income.

We've invested in our people, in opportunity. We're among the first to provide access, for example, to free education. It's the reason why, in the 20th century, we began to take off.

It was back in the late 1890s we decided, among the first countries, that we were going to be the first nation that every single American, regardless of their background -- and it wasn't, at the time, regardless of their background, but based on income -- would have free 12 years of education.

We invested to win the space race. We led the world in research and development that led to the creation of the internet.

And, you know, but then something happened. We slowed up. We stopped investing in ourselves.

America is still the largest economy in the world. We still have the most productive workers and the most innovative minds in the world. But we risk losing our edge as a nation.

Our infrastructure used to be the best in the world -- literally, not figuratively. Today, according to the World Economic Forum, we rank 13th. Our infrastructure -- 12 nations have a better infrastructure than we do, which means they can move product, they can do so many things better than we can do it.

We're among the first in the world to guarantee access to universal education. Now, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development ranks America 35th out of 37 major countries when it comes to investing in early childhood education as a percent of GDP.

Think of that. Think of that. Of all the industrial nations in the world, the instinct Americans would say if you asked them 25 years -- they would say, "We're number one." We are not. There's only two industrial nations that are lower than us.

All those investments that fuel the strong economy, we've taken our foot off the gas. We've taken -- we just -- I don't know what's happened. The world has taken notice, by the way, including our adversaries. And now they're closing the gap in a big way.

So, it's essential that we regain our momentum that we've lost. And work our -- you know, the work of our time, it seems to me -- those of us who hold public office -- is to prepare ourselves to be more competitive and to win the fast-changing 21st century in a global economy.


Things are changing incredibly quickly. That's why I proposed two critical pieces of legislation being debated back in Washington right now. The first, a bill to invest in our physical infrastructure. And the second is a bill to invest in our human infrastructure. I'll talk about both of these bills in just a moment.

But first I want to set one thing straight. These bills are not about left versus right or moderate versus progressive or anything that pits Americans against one another. These bills are about competitiveness versus complacency. They're about opportunity versus decay. They're about leading the world or continuing to let the world pass us by, which is literally happening.

To support these investments is to create a rising America, America that's moving. And to oppose these investments is to be complicit in America's decline. To support these bills is to pursue a broader vision of our nation. And to oppose them is to accept a very cramped view of our future.

This isn't about two pieces of legislation. It's about the inflection point I mentioned earlier we are in our history -- the world history.

So, here's what I'm proposing. First, the infrastructure bill. It's about rebuilding our roads, our highways, our bridges, our ports, our airports, our broadband -- all the things that need repair. Our arteries of our economy have always been fueled by the economic might and dynamism of Americans.

Across the country right now, 45,000 bridges and 173,000 miles of roads, according to the engineers -- Society of Engineers -- are in poor condition right now. Including more than 1,200 bridges, as the Governor has been fighting to repair here in your state, 73 -- 7,300 miles of roads here in Michigan.

I'll bet everyone in this room can tell me what the most dangerous intersection in this town or any town they live in -- and where it is -- that you hold your breath when you're driving over or trying to cross the street. Not a joke.

Working with the Governor and members of the Congress here, we're going to put hardworking Americans, like the operating engineers here in Howell, on the job to bring back our infrastructure and bring it up to speed. Good union jobs, not 12, 15, 18 doll- -- prevailing wage jobs. Wage that gives you dignity, that you can raise a family on, that you can hold your head up.

This is a blue-collar blueprint for how we restore America's pride. And the jobs can't -- these are jobs that can't be outsourced.

We're going to put plumbers and pipefitters to work replacing lead pipes in America so families and children can drink clean water. Forty -- 400,000 schools. I mean, this -- it's not just our homes, it's across the country.

We're going to put line workers and electricians to work laying thousands of miles of transmission lines and to build a modern infrastructure and energy grid.

We're going to make high-speed Internet affordable and available to everywhere in America. We were talking about it on the way over with Elissa, that how short the number of -- number who don't have access to the internet here because of the lack of investment.

We're going to make the largest investment in public transit in American history. And we're going to make the most important investment in our rail system since the creation of Amtrak 50 years ago.

Now, let me tell you, our competitors aren't hanging around and waiting to see what we're going to do. They've been pouring billions of dollars into infrastructure and into training their people for years now. Take China, for example. Now, I've been clear that China uses unfair and coercive practices to get ahead of their competitors. But that's not the whole of the story. They also invest in themselves. In recent years, China has spent around three times as much on infrastructure as a share of their economy than we have. Three times. And they're not slowing down.

Yesterday, my U.S. Trade Representative delivered an important speech on our competition with China. She pointed out that China made a major investment in steel plants beginning about 20 years ago. And in the last 20 years, half of America's steel companies have been shuttered. We went from 100 U.S. steel companies to 51. And employment in the American steel industry dropped by 40 percent since the year 2000.

China now produces more steel in one month than America does in an entire year. You can see it in the sector after sector. Other countries are speeding up and America is falling behind.

We've got to reset the pace again. We've got to set a different pace. For example, here in Michigan, we need to make sure that American autoworkers lead the world in electric vehicles.


And some of you came to the White House when I had the chairmen of the board of General Motors, Chrysler, and GM -- I mean, General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. You know -- and what have they decided to do? They decided they're going to lead the world and they're going to build more of the electric vehicles than any other country.

But guess what? China's not waiting around. They've manufactured more than twice as many electric vehicles as we have over the last decade. They control more than 75 percent of the battery market. And they're poised to invest another $14 billion in charging capacity now in their country.

Back in May, I had the chance to tour Ford's new state-of-the-art facility in Dearborn, where union workers are building the first-ever all-electric Ford F-150. I got to drive that sucker. It's quick. Zero to sixty in 4.1 seconds and it's a big boy. It's a big one.

Months later, I hosted the three -- the big three automakers at the White House, where the Ford 150 was joined by the GMC Hummer and the Jeep Wagoneer -- all going electric, all-in partnership with the UAW.

The whole world knows that the future of the auto industry is electric. We need to make sure America builds that future instead of falling behind.

We should build those vehicles, and the batteries to get them here in the United States of America. That's what we should build here in the state of Michigan. I want those jobs -- no, I really mean it. I want those jobs here in Michigan, not halfway around the globe.

That's what my plan will do. The infrastructure bill will put in motion the union workers on the job installing a national network of hundreds of thousands of charging stations along our roads and highways and communities -- over 500,000 of them.

And, by the way, parenthetically, when you build a charging station, it's like back in the day when my grandpop worked for the American Oil Company back in the turn of the -- in the 19 -- 1920s, in that area. They went from state-to-state convincing people that they put -- allowed them to put 20,000 gallons of gasoline under the ground. They didn't want them around. But guess what happened? Everything builds up around them.

You put these charging stations along the highway, and you're going to see a significant economic development go well beyond the charging station.

And the Build Back Better plan will boost our manufacturing capacity, investing in new and retooled facilities that employ American workers with good wages and benefits.

That includes grants to kickstart new battery and parts productions, that -- purchasing incentives for families to buy clean, union-made vehicles, like the ones championed by Debbie and Dan in the Senate and the House. And loans and tax credits to boost clean-vehicle manufacturing.

Look, these are the kinds of investments that get America back in the game and give our workers a chance.

My plan also makes historic investments in clean energy, including tax credits to help people do things like weatherize their homes, install solar panels, develop clean energy products, to help businesses produce more clean energy.

All told, this project will save literally hundreds of millions of barrels of oil on a yearly basis. Not a joke.

These credits -- those credits could cut the cost of installing a rooftop solar by about 30 percent, helping families cut their utility bills and helping the country cut its emissions.

My infrastructure bill will put Americans to work on long-overdue national environmental cleanups.

I want a job corps just like Roosevelt had a jobs corps -- but an environmental job corps of over 160,000 -- excuse me -- 1.6 million people. That means good jobs at prevailing wages capping hundreds of thousands of abandoned oil wells. You know, we have thousands and thousands of abandoned oil wells and gas wells and methane -- with methane leaks.

Well, guess what? The miners and the people who dug those wells, they'll get paid the same amount of money to cap them now. It's going to help us meet the moment of the climate crisis and do away with -- you know, it's going to create good jobs and make more economic -- make us more economically competitive.

Folks, here in Michigan, you all know the cost of extreme weather. All you remember the flooding this summer that shut down parts of I-96 -- the power outages and the tornado warnings. They're costing your state billions of dollars.

Nationally, last year -- last year, because of extreme weather, cost America $99 billion. Ninety-nine billion taxpayers' dollars.

I went all over the country. I went out West to the fires. You know, more has burned down in the Northwest than the entire state of New Jersey. That's how much we've lost.


You see what's happened with the droughts that are out there. You see reservoirs that are down 30, 40, 50 feet. Who's worried about the cooling down -- you're worried about whether you're going to have -- what the Colorado River is going to do.

This is a big deal. This is gigantic. And we're not going to ease up. We're not going to ease up on any of this.

We have to invest in resilience. Resilience. You saw Texas? Their entire power grid went down because they had no resilience -- the ability to build back and build things stronger.

Why a lot of those fires in the far west? And -- because guess what? It's a hell of a lot safer to have those wires underground not be knocked down by high winds and tornadoes and the like, causing fires.

Look, I haven't pressed -- I haven't a passed a -- we haven't passed a major infrastructure bill for decades in this country. It used to be a normal thing to do. It used to be a bipartisan thing to do.

If we get this done, we're going to breathe new life into our economy and our workers, and we're going to breathe cleaner air. Economists left, right and center agree.

Earlier this year, Wall Street -- not some liberal think tank -- Wall Street and a Wall Street outfit called Moody's projected that the investments in these bills could help our economy create an additional 2 million jobs per year, every year. Two million per year. That's going to be transformative.

And here's the deal: The jobs in my plan are for people who too often felt left behind and were left behind -- left out.

Ninety percent of the jobs in this bill -- these bills -- in my infrastructure plan don't require a four-year college degree.

We need to get this done. But it isn't enough just to invest in our physical infrastructure. We're going to lead the world like we used to. If we're going to do that, we have to also invest in our people, like you do right here in training -- in this training facility.

And that's what my second bill, the Build Back Better plan, that's what it does.

Take education, for example. When America said everyone is entitled to 12 years of free public education -- universal -- a century ago, it gave us the best-educated, best-prepared workforce in the world. That was one of the reasons why America began to grow so rapidly. It's a big part of why we led the world the bulk of the 20th century.

But guess what? If we were going to put together a committee today, like they did in 1898 -- I think it was -- and we were going to invent a public education system, is there any chance we'd say that we thought 12 years is enough in the 21st century? Just 12 years? I don't think so.

Study after study shows that the earlier our children begin to learn in school -- not daycare -- the better for themselves, for their families, no matter what the background they come from -- no matter what their background.

Recent university studies point out that they're increased by 56 percent the chance for them to get all the way through 12 years of school without getting in trouble. It's a gigantic deal. It doesn't matter whether their mom or dad know how to read or write, or the home is a home that is challenging.

But right now, we're lagging behind while other countries are investing in their children. Today, only about half of three- and four-year-olds in America are enrolled in early childhood education.

In Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Latvia, the number -- that number is more than 90 percent. Ninety percent of their three- and four-year-olds.

We're falling further and further behind the curve. It's not just early education.

According to one study, we rank 33 out of 44 advanced economies when it comes to the percentage of our young people who have attained a post-high school degree -- anything after high school. We're at the bottom of the heap.

I'll bet if I -- if that was on a quiz -- you were on one of these quiz shows that ask you that, you would have said maybe we're two or three or four. It's ridiculous.

My Build Back Better plan gets us back on track. We'll make four additional years of public education available to every person in America. Two years of high-quality preschool at the front end and investments in community colleges so our students can gain the skills they need to carve out a place for themselves in the 21st century economy.

And it'll also increase Pell Grants. They're grants for kids making -- families making less than 50 grand, helping their -- helping their folks -- helping them get through community college or a historically Black colleges in order to be able to get a shot so they can live. They can eat while they're going to school.

And we'll invest in our historically Black college and universities, which are an essential asset to help, to support, and to make sure that young people of every background and circumstance have a shot at good-paying jobs.