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Six Ranking Democrats Call For Biden To Drop Out; France's Far- Right Party Came In Third In Second Round Of Voting; Officials Urge Coastal Texas Residents To Evacuate Now; Officials Urge Coastal Texas Residents To Evacuate Now; Ukrainian Drone Attack Triggers Warehouse Fire In Russia; Biden Falsely Claims Polls Always Had Him Behind Trump. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 07, 2024 - 19:00   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Sources tell CNN more than a handful of top House Democrats are calling on the president to suspend his reelection campaign. This came during a call between ranking members and House Leader Hakeem Jeffries earlier today. And as President Biden hit the campaign trail on Pennsylvania today, telling supporters he's, quote, "never been more optimistic" about the future of America, insisting he's got the backing of his party.

We're going to bring in CNN's Dana Bash in just a moment with what she's hearing from her sources. But first, CNN's Arlette Saenz is live outside the White House tracking all of these breaking developments.

It's really quite incredible, this split-screen, Arlette, of a president digging in his heels and members of his own party telling him to step aside.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Pamela, you know, President Biden, when he was traveling today, said that he does believe that the Democratic Party is behind him, but you are consistently seeing the public and private pressure grow on President Biden to step aside in this race. The latest coming from CNN reporting that during a call with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries this afternoon, several top House Democrats said that they do believe it is time for President Biden to step aside.

Sources have told CNN that there were about six of people who spoke up on this call saying that they do not think that the president should be the Democratic nominee. That includes people like Adam Smith, Susan Wild, Mark Takano, also Jerry Nadler, all calling in this private phone call we're told for the president to leave this race. Now, there were a few lawmakers on this call who spoke up in defense of this president. That included Maxine Waters and Bobby Scott.

But sources said that the number of people speaking up for President Biden to step aside outweighed those speaking in support of him staying in this race. Now Hakeem Jeffries called this meeting with the ranking members on the Democratic side in order to really take the temperature of these leaders heading into this week. So much of the conversation around President Biden in the 2024 race has played out while Congress was away from Washington, D.C.

That is about to change this week where lawmakers are set to return. They will be in front of reporters. They will be holding their own meetings. The likelihood is that there will be more calling for the president to step aside, more pressure growing on him at this moment. Now one thing sources said that was also notable from this call is that Jeffries himself has yet to publicly or even privately in these calls say which way he is leaning.

He is really in a listening mode, trying to hear their members, believing that they have the ability and the right to make their voices heard. So we will see how this week plays out, but certainly this is all notable at a time when President Biden has been defiant saying that he is staying in this race through November. You saw that play out as he campaigned across Pennsylvania today.

I will note that while he was in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, he was joined by some Pennsylvania elected officials, including Senator Bob Casey, Senator John Fetterman, as well as Congresswoman Madeleine Dean. He also made a stop with the state's governor, Josh Shapiro, in the campaign's view this is an opportunity to have him out there with his supporters to show that there are some lawmakers who are still behind the president remaining in this race.

But certainly the pressure has been growing on him and we will see whether there are more calls to come as Congress is set to return here to Washington this week and how President Biden adapts to all of that at a time when he's insisting he is charging forward with his campaign, he is planning more battleground travel, heading to Michigan at the end of the week, and Nevada next week, even as some within his party are saying that it's time for the president to go in the 2024 race.

BROWN: What an incredibly consequential time, right? It just cannot be overstated. A consequential time, not just for the president before this country, right?

CNN's Dana Bash joins us now on the phone.

Dana, what is the significance of this moment?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (via phone): I mean, it's hard to really put into context how significant it is. The one thing I do want to note that I find interesting Pam, is that this call that occurred today was a private call, was a call I'm told that was done with no staff. It was members, and these are ranking members so the top Democrats on the committees, and with Hakeem Jeffries as Arlette was just talking about.

And so far, unless something has happened in the last 30 seconds or so, all of these members that we are talking about, from Jim Himes, who's the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, to Adam Schiff, to Susan Wild, to Adam Smith, who is the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee. They have not said it this publicly yet. I imagine that is going to change. But this is part of a private conference call which in some ways takes on perhaps even more of a significance and maybe even intrigue because what they were trying to do was say to their leader, look, you got to help us out here.


Effectively we want you to make it clear to the president that this is what we believe needs to happen for the good of the presidency and for the good of the party. I'm told that one of the messages that was very clear was concern about losing the ability to retake control of the House and Susan Wild is a Democrat from Pennsylvania, where the president was today. She is one of those so-called front minors. My understanding is she was one of the, if not the only frontliner on this call and she was pretty adamant that she felt it was crucial for President Biden to step aside in order to not face some serious losses in November.

BROWN: And it's notable, Dana, how the House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries is handling this so far. As you point out, this was sort of a plea from some of the members, right?

BASH: Yes.

BROWN: But so far he is still not showing his cards.

BASH: He's not. And you know what, from every conversation that I have had with people who have spoken to him, that has been consistent. My understanding is that he is clearly concerned. I mean, otherwise he wouldn't be having these calls in the first place, but he is acting as sort of a vessel for his members. But I do want to say one other thing, even though this is very significant, these are really important players in the House Democratic Caucus, people entrusted with really big positions in these really important committees.

It's not just one sided. There are Democratic lawmakers who are saying absolutely do not go. I'm told that Maxine Waters, for example, veteran congresswoman from California, Bobby Scott also was saying, you know, this is the wrong thing. We cannot push Joe Biden out. And they're not alone. We are hearing that from other lawmakers and also from a lot of grassroots, organizers and people who have been home.

I mean, remember, it's July 4th week, so all of these lawmakers have been home on July 4th. Most of them were out at parades or events. So they've really been interacting with their constituents. And it is not one-sided at all. Debbie Dingell was on "STATE OF THE UNION" with me this morning. She comes from the critical battleground state of Michigan and she said she heard just as much support for Joe Biden, pleading with her to tell him to stay in the race as people saying, please tell him to go. So it's not cut and dry in the least.

BROWN: I think that's really important context and we've certainly been playing some of the sounds from the grassroots voters as well on the ground. What are they thinking? And certainly, you know, some of them said, look, yes, I was concerned when I saw his debate performance, but I still want him to stay atop the ticket. And when the White House I think what, you know, and what you're probably hearing, too, Dana, is that when the members are back, when the leaders meet with their caucus both in the Senate and House, that is when we're going to get a much better sense, right, of where lawmakers are.

But right now we have 11 defections at last count at least. But it is important to over the context, there are 213 Democrats in the House, right? So we'll see what happens.

Dana Bash, thank you so much. And Arlette as well.

Joining us now is CNN senior political analyst and senior editor at "The Atlantic," Ron Brownstein.

Ron, you say the Democrats are stuck in a dangerous limbo right now. How do you see it?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Well, look, I mean, I think you have a drip, drip, drip of senior Democrats, particularly in the House, starting in the Senate, who are expressing publicly what many of them are saying privately, that they don't think Biden can recover from that debate performance to beat Trump. And that drip, drip, drip is going to weaken him whether he stays in the race or not.

But you haven't had a coalescing to the point particularly among the more senior Democrats, that there is genuine pressure yet on him, irresistible pressure on him to get out. I mean, you know, people close to Biden have told me that there may be only he two Democrats, Nancy Pelosi and Jim Clyburn, who he kind looks at as peers, who might in fact be able to influence this decision. But I do think that for those who believe that Biden is now in a position where you can't win the phrase I heard a lot Thursday and Friday was grace. We needed to give them grace to reach this decision on his own.


The fact that instead he's kind of dug in very publicly since I think is going to change that equation and it's highly likely you're going to see more public pressure on him this week.

BROWN: I mean, but the reality is, at this point, he's dug in, right? I mean, he is being very defiant so does the party with these -- with more and more defections and him continuing to do again and he stays atop the ticket, is the party risking weakening him as a candidate?

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, absolutely. Yes. I mean, like, well, you know, a word I'd add to your statement there, Pam, is further weakening him because for people --

BROWN: Further. Yes. Yes. Right.

BROWNSTEIN: Who are calling for him to get out of the race, yes, they believe that, you know, look, why did this debate exist in the first place. You know, a debate in June has never happened before. It happened because the Biden campaign realized that they were not on a trajectory to win. You know, I mean, they were the ones who are trailing and they needed to shake up the race. And if you look at Biden's position in '24 relative to 2020, what is his biggest problem?

His biggest problem is declining performance among younger, non-white voters who are traditionally Democratic, and this debate, you know, really kind of reinforced and underscored their concerns that he's too old. 84 percent of people in that "New York Times"-Sienna poll under 45 said he's too old to be an effective president. So for those who are worried, it's not like this kind of drop -- you know, this is not the house dropping out of the sky in the "Wizard of Oz." I mean, this was an existing problem that got worse, and at the least is an enormous opportunity lost and failing to put him on a better trajectory.

So I think there's a lot of concern and I also think there's a surprising amount of willingness even among Democrats who have been skeptical of Kamala Harris to believe at this point that she is a better bet.

BROWN: But it would still be a complicated process, right? I mean, it's not cut and dry in terms of, you know, if --

BROWNSTEIN: Well, we don't know, right? So obviously, if he doesn't want to go, it's almost impossible to remove him. Yes, under the rules, even his pledged delegates can vote against him on the first ballot. They changed those rules in the '80s after the fight over the so-called robot rule at the 1980 convention. But they are Biden delegates, they're not going anywhere unless he gets out of the race.

If he does get out of the race, in theory, a whole bunch of candidates could get in. And as -- and you know, there is an audience for that in the Democratic Party, not only among the kind of the consultants and the political professionals, but also voters. There are voters who are dubious and they're professionals who were dubious that Harris is a better bet. I'm not sure that any the candidates who would be seen as a stronger general election candidate than Harris would actually get in the race against her if Biden steps aside.

You know, whether Gretchen Whitmer or Gavin Newsom or some of the others are willing to risk their long-term standing with black voters, with women's groups and others by taking on the first woman of color who's been on a national ticket, I'm not sure that really happens. And as a result, I think there are a surprising number of Democrats at least that I talked to who thinks that this could coalesce around Harris fairly quickly if Biden steps aside, and that in fact, at the least she can articulate the argument about Trump and the threat to rights, values, and democracy more crisply and effectively than Biden.

All of which, you know, the gravity of all of which has been dramatically magnified by that Supreme Court decision, essentially giving him a green light to push against the boundaries of law if he's reelected.

BROWN: Right. And since you mentioned that we should play this sounds from Kamala Harris in New Orleans yesterday where she spoke at the Essence Festival of Culture. And she barely mentioned Biden, we should note, instead her speech focused on, like what you said, beating up Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have the former president who is running to become president again, who has openly talked about his admiration of dictators and his intention to be a dictator on day one, who has openly talked about his intention to weaponize the Department of Justice against his political enemies, who has talked about being proud of taking from the women of America a most fundamental right to make decisions about your own body.


BROWN: What do you -- how do you see this? Because she has clearly been more front and center than we have seen her. For example, you have the Fourth of July event, right? In years past, she's done her own thing with her husband, Doug Emhoff. This year she was there by Biden's side. She just seems to be there in more moments than we've seen and she's, as you saw there, giving these fiery speeches.

How do you read this?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, her argument there is the argument that Democrats are going to have to make to win. I mean, voters by a 10 to 15 point margins say they trust Trump more than Biden or Democrats on the economy which means that there are millions of voters who have to say, yes, I think Trump is better for my wallet but I'm going to vote against him anyway because he's a threat to my rights, my values, and to democracy itself.


The soundbite you just played was the case that Joe Biden could not make in the debate. It was the case he could not even really make on Monday night when he spoke briefly at the White House about the Supreme Court decision immunizing Trump from future -- virtually immunizing from future criminal prosecution.

Harris, you know, struggled to find her sea legs in this administration, but really since the Dobbs decision, this has been her job. I mean, kind of prosecuting the case against the rollback of rights in red states that the Supreme Court has enabled and that Trump has inspired and, you know, there are Democrats who were worried about lots of fronts, whether she can appeal to enough working class white voters in the critical three rust belt states to, you know, keep them in play and so forth.

But this is something she has shown that she can do. I mean, and she's honed this argument over really two years now to the point where she I think many Democrats feel that she can more effectively make the core case they have to make against Trump than Biden can. You know, there's a lot of risk moving beyond him, but I think a lot of Democrats feel like at least you would be shuffling the deck, whereas right now sticking with him, it looks like sticking with a hand that is very unlikely to win.

BROWN: Ron Brownstein, thank you so much.

Well, Parisians have been out of the street tonight. They have been laughing and crying after a stunning political upset as left-wing parties score a major comeback in France's parliamentary elections, preventing what was expected to be a victory for the far-right.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.



BROWN: We are following some breaking news out of France where celebrations broke out earlier today on the streets of Paris following a stunning victory for an alliance of left-wing parties in the second round of the parliamentary elections. But projections signal a defeat for Marine Le Pen's anti-immigrant party, which hoped to gain control of parliament.

CNN's Melissa Bell is in central Paris.

So bring us there, Melissa.

MELISSA BELL, CNN SENIOR PARIS CORRESPONDENT: OK, well, quite a lot of tear gas right now for a start, Pam, because what we've seen here at Place de la Republique have been celebrations by those supporters of the far-left alliance, quite an improbable alliance that was created on the left of the French political spectrum in order specifically to defeat the National Rally, the far-right National Rally.

And that is tonight what's happened. In a stunning reversal between the first and second rounds, the National Rally, which had come in first last week, now down to third. A huge victory for those left-wing parties who came together and that's what was being celebrated tonight, even if there have been scuffles now between the supporters of those left-wing parties and some of the police who'd come to try and keep order here, as these celebrations were underway.

But for the National Rally, a massive moment of disappointment. They had hoped to become France's biggest party, first-party in the parliament. And that hasn't happened, Pam, because there's been a fair amount of tactical voting between the two rounds and because again this alliance has come together successfully to keep them out of power.

The question now, what happens looking ahead, is that we will hear from the French prime minister, his resignation tomorrow morning, and we will wait to see whether that left-wing alliances can name and have appointed a prime minister.

What's almost certain at this stage, Pam, is that we're looking ahead here in France to a period of great political deadlock, no doubt, because whatever the color of the next prime minister politically it is a prime minister who is going to have to work with Emmanuel Macron over the rest of his presidential term. And it is unlikely that it should be someone from his party -- Pam.

BROWN: All right. Melissa Bell, thanks so much. And still ahead, the Texas lieutenant governor warning people not to

underestimate Tropical Storm Beryl. The storm is strengthening back into a hurricane and will make landfall in just hours from now, bringing dangerous conditions. We are live on the Texas Gulf Coast.



BROWN: Tonight Tropical Storm Beryl is gathering even more strained from warm waters as it closes in on the Texas coast. The storm now just hours away from making landfall, likely as a category one, maybe even a category two hurricane. Right now, authorities are urging people from Galveston all the way up to Houston that they should either evacuate immediately or be prepared for the worst overnight.

CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam is along the Texas coast.

What are you seeing there?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, right where we are in Port Lavaca, Texas. We are under voluntary evacuation orders, but there are of course other areas of the central Texas coast that are under mandatory evacuation orders.

Now, this storm has defied all odds. It has been named for 10 days. It was the first category five Atlantic hurricane to be recorded in the month of June. Very significant. It's overcome wind shear, all kinds of Saharan dust that normally knocks down hurricanes. And it has survived, and it's had a very dubious track record as well, making two landfalls and about to be the third landfall. And that's going to be the first U.S. landfalling hurricane in the 2024 hurricane season.

Now, here in Port Lavaca, where businesses are normally inundated by tourists all along this coastline because this area is popular for people to come and visit, we're ending the Fourth of July holiday weekend, so now businesses today have been focusing on not so much customer-facing, but protecting their business assets. And here's how they're doing so.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So anyway, we're probably overpreparing but it's better to be safe. If you're a visitor here, you need to go home. We love you and we're glad that you were here this week, but it's time to go home.


VAN DAM: She said it so kindly. Listen, authorities in Texas are always urging people to prepare for at least one category higher than what's officially forecasts. So a low-end category two is not out of the realm of possibilities, although the forecast track calls for category one. There are some things working to our advantage here, namely that Tropical Storm Beryl is running at a time to strengthen. But there are signs that it is starting to get its act together. Latest satellite and radar are showing a defined eye and this storm is approaching the coastline and feeding off of abnormally warm Gulf of Mexico waters which are typical of mid-August. So that's like jet fuel for developing and strengthening storms.


Now, the track calls for a landfall in Category One hurricane overnight sometime between 2:00 and 5:00 AM local time and the potential there exists for winds in excess of 74 miles per hour, basically west of I-45 and south of I-10.

But notice parts of Houston included in at least tropical storm-force winds. We don't have to go that far back. Remember what happened when straight-line winds damaged some of the high-rise buildings there. If we get those equivalent winds, it could be a bit of recipe for disaster.

Now, the storm surge here has already been realized in Port Lavaca, where I am located. They've upped the levels from four to seven feet along the coastline here and of course, the rain and flash flood potential with anywhere from five to ten inches of rainfall possible.

Pam, this will not be another Hurricane Harvey. It is going to move out quickly, but it is definitely one that is going to make people quite nervous here.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Yes, for good reason. And as that sweet woman you had on, say, they just need to go home. Everyone just needs to go home.


BROWN: All right, Derek Van Dam, thank you so much.

The war in Ukraine will top the agenda for world leaders set to meet for a NATO Summit in Washington this week as Ukraine uses drones in a new wave of attacks against Russian facilities.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.



BROWN: New video tonight of a Ukrainian drone attack on an ammunition storage facility right inside Russia. The massive fire and multiple explosions prompted a state of emergency in parts of a Russian region 50 miles from the border with Ukraine.

The facility was reportedly used to arm Russian soldiers on the frontlines. Russia is now vowing to respond.

Joining us now to discuss is CNN military analyst and retired US Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton.

Cedric, what do you make of this attack by Ukraine and what is its significance in the wider conflict?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Pamela, it was really a very spectacular attack when you think about it. This again is the video that shows some of this.

The facility that was attacked was actually a 99,000 square meter, almost a 100,000 square foot facility. So it was clearly a major transshipment point for the Russians and as you mentioned, it was here in Voronezh that this attack occurred. What that means is that it is about 50 miles from the Ukrainian border, close enough for the Ukrainians to reach and clearly putting a lot of Russia's weapons at risk.

BROWN: So another development to ask you about, Russian troops have taken some high ground in the key Ukrainian town of Chasiv Yar and may use that as a toehold, a gateway to bring more troops into Ukraine.

How significant is this for Russia?

LEIGHTON: Yes, it is pretty significant, Pamela when you look at this. Let's look first at the eastern front right here.

So this is the town of Bakhmut that fell about a year and a couple of months ago and when you zoom into Chasiv Yar, this is the area right here that the Russians have taken over. It is basically the eastern part of Chasiv Yar.

This is also the high ground, and what this means is that when you look at the big map, there is a highway that basically goes from here all the way straight up to Kharkiv. If the Russians cut that highway, that could very well limit the Ukrainians' ability to resupply their forces and it could potentially put some of their forces in danger on the eastern front.

BROWN: All right, Coronal Cedric Leighton, great to see you. Thanks so much, Cedric.

And still ahead, we are following this breaking news coming into CNN as a growing number of Democratic lawmakers call for President Biden to drop out of the 2024 race.

We will be joined by Democratic Congressman Jake Auchencloss.



BROWN: Breaking news coming in to CNN. A source familiar with Virginia Senator Mark Warner's thinking tells me that the private meeting that he was trying to organize for tomorrow with other Democratic senators to discuss the path forward as it pertains to Biden and his campaign, that's no longer happening.

The source tells me the purpose of this private meeting with other Senate Democrats tomorrow was to get them on the same page about the future of President Joe Biden's candidacy, but after it leaked out to several media outlets, including CNN, it was scrapped.

Also tonight, with just over 120 days until the presidential election, more House Democrats are calling for President Joe Biden to step aside, but with the Democratic National Convention just over a month away, is there enough time to replace him?

Joining us now to run the numbers is CNN senior data reporter, Harry Enten.

Hi, Harry. Great to see you. Been awhile.


BROWN: So Biden is claiming the polls always have had him down. Is that true?

ENTEN: No. No, it is not true. You know, I call them like I see them and yes, the polls right now have Joe Biden down.

BROWN: You do.

ENTEN: I do, right. The polls right now have Joe Biden down, but this is the worst position Joe Biden has ever been in.

You know, right now post-debate, what do we see? We see that Donald Trump is ahead of Joe Biden by three points. That's better -- Donald Trump is doing better than he was doing in pre-debate in 2024 when he was up just a point.

But compare that to where we were four years ago at this point? Joe Biden was ahead by nine percentage points nationally. And in fact, if you go through out that entire 2020 campaign, every single day in a matchup between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, Joe Biden led at every three single moment by at least three percentage points.

So this idea that Joe Biden is trying to float out there that the polls have always him down. They've always underestimated him.

The fact is the polls in 2020, at least when it came to the general election actually overestimated him, Pam.

BROWN: That's interesting.

So let's talk about Kamala Harris, who has been rumored as the obvious replacement for Biden. Of course, she is the vice president. In your view, according to the data you're looking at, would she do better at this stage and would the party be enthused to unite around her?

ENTEN: She couldn't do any worse, I'll tell you that much. If you take a look at the average of polls, in fact, she does slightly better than Joe Biden against Donald Trump. While Joe Biden is trailing Trump by three points nationally, in an average of polls, Kamala Harris is only trailing Donald Trump by a single point.

And the reason for that is, remember we have the left part of this country Democratic, we have the right part of this country, Republican, but elections tend to be won in the middle among Independents and look at this difference among Independents when you match up Joe Biden against Donald Trump and Kamala Harris against Donald Trump. Donald trump leads among Independents when he is against Biden by four points.


Look at that matchup though against Kamala Harris. In fact, Kamala Harris is up five points. That is the big reason why Harris is doing better in the overall numbers against Donald Trump than Joe Biden is. She simply does better with those voters in the middle.

And I will note, too, there are far fewer voters who at this particular point have an opinion of Harris than of Biden, and all of those voters tend to have a negative opinion of Joe Biden.

The fact is, Harris simply put in my mind, can't really do any worse than Biden is, given how unpopular Donald Trump is and that is my opinion why Independents are flowing, flowing to Harris in comparison to Biden against Donald Trump, because the fact is Biden is so unpopular amongst them.

If I were a Democratic donor, if I were Democratic activists, I might be willing to take a roll of the dice because at this particular point, Joe Biden is doing significantly worse than he has ever done against Donald Trump and that is specifically true among Independent voters.

BROWN: All right, so if Democrats decide, well, it is not really up to Democrats. If Biden steps aside, right?

ENTEN: Right.

BROWN: If the pressure is too much and Biden just decides, you know what? I am not going to win this and he has accepted that reality, he steps aside, how unprecedented is the timeframe until the Democratic convention?

ENTEN: Completely unprecedented, at least in modern American politics, this feels like it is out of an Aaron Sorkin novel or play or screenplay or whatever.

BROWN: Right? It does. Like, can we just take a moment and take a step back. This is a really big deal. This moment were in --

ENTEN: This is --

BROWN: And even that possibility.

ENTEN: This is insanity. This is the type of thing that someone would float to me a year ago, I'd say you're absolutely crazy and there are so few days until the Democratic National Convention.

I mean, look at this, compare this to the two other times that incumbents decided to drop out, 1952, Harry Truman, Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1968. There was over a hundred days left until the Democratic National Convention in those years.

We are down to 43 days in big red font on your screen. This is completely unprecedented. If Joe Biden is going to drop out, he better do it soon. Otherwise Chicago, which was already shaping up to be quite an interesting convention, will turn into a complete mess.

But these numbers tell you everything you need to know, this is completely unprecedented. We are closing in on Chicago fast. So if Democrats are going to make a move besides nominating Joe Biden, Joe Biden has got to make his decision now, now, now, or at least in the next couple of weeks.

BROWN: All right, so besides this timeframe, what is the biggest thing Biden has on his side to staying in the race?

ENTEN: Yes, I mean, look, it comes down to Democratic voters, you know, maybe Independents don't like Joe Biden, maybe Republicans don't like Joe Biden, but Democratic voters want Joe Biden to stay in this race despite all of this post-debate polling saying that Joe Biden is trailing Donald Trump.

If you ask Democrats how they feel, 58 percent on average say that he should stay, 39 percent say quit. Now that 39 percent is quite large. That's historically very unusual, but that 58 percent is still the majority of voters. Its why when Biden goes out to these Democratic rallies, he still gets thunderous applause.

He is still well-liked by the majority of Democrats, even if there is a significant minority with this particular point want him to get out.

But at this point, the Democratic voters are on Joe Biden's side and that's part of the reason why he is sticking in this race, at least for now.

BROWN: All right, Harry Enten, thanks so much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

BROWN: We want to go back to the White House with tonight's breaking news on the heels of what we just heard from Harry as well.

Let's go now to CNN's Arlette Saenz.

Arlette, any reaction tonight from the Biden campaign or the White House to these significant developments about more defections coming from House Democrats.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, so far, the campaign and Biden's team really aren't reacting to those House Democrats who are calling for him to step aside. Instead, what they are doing tonight is highlighting some of those lawmakers who are still on President Biden's side.

That includes Congresswoman Joyce Beatty who told our colleague, Eva McKend that she does not believe that House Democrats should be going rogue against their own president and against their own party. That is similar to messages from another key member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Frederica Wilson, who said that people should not be trying to undermine the current leadership here at the White House.

It kind of speaks to some of the complicated dynamics within the Democratic Party about the path forward for President Biden.

Now, President Biden fully believes himself that the Democratic Party is behind him, but you have started to see many cracks emerge when it comes to that support for the president, especially after this new significant reporting from CNN today, that in that private phone call with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, several top House Democratic leaders said that they do believe it is time for President Biden to step aside.

Sources have told us that there were at least six top House Democrats who spoke up in this call in favor of the president exiting the 2024 race. That includes consequential ranking members on key committees like Jerry Nadler and Adam Smith, also Susan Wild who is a frontline member in Pennsylvania, but sources have also told CNN that there were some people on that call who spoke up, such as two other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Maxine Waters and Bobby Scott.


But sources said that the number of people calling for President Biden to step aside at this time outweighed those who spoke up in favor of the president remaining in this race.

It all really presents a major challenge for President Biden especially as he is now back in Washington and Congress is also set to return here this week, putting many Democratic lawmakers in front of reporters and also potentially for these lawmakers to meet together to talk things out.

I think you reported just moments ago that Senator Mark Warner had initially hoped to assemble a meeting of Senate Democrats to discuss the future of Biden's candidacy, but now, as you've noted, that now is being pulled down that meeting after it had leaked out into the media.

So far, you really haven't heard any Senate Democrats publicly called for President Biden to step aside from this race that could always change in the days to come, but certainly President Biden now facing even more pressure from within his own party even as there are some who want to see him stay through this race.

BROWN: So you have Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who was on earlier with my colleague Dana Bash, and he said, this coming week will be critical for President Biden. I've heard that from others.

He offered this advice. Let's take a listen.


SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Voters do have questions and personally, I love Joe Biden. I don't know that the interview on Friday night did enough to answer those questions. And so I think this week is going to be absolutely critical.

I think the president needs to do more.


BROWN: So we know today, Biden surrounded himself with some of his strongest supporters in Pennsylvania. Do we have any sense of the Biden campaign's plan this coming week? Does it align at all with what Senator Murphy is calling for?

SAENZ: Well, Senator Murphy has said that he doesn't want to see things be business as usual for President Biden, that he thinks he needs to be more active in trying to convince Americans that he is up for a second term in office.

Now, I will note, President Biden is back here in Washington. A lot of his week here in DC will focus on the NATO Summit. They are set to assemble leaders from all around the world to talk about major foreign policy issues. Key among them, being Russia's war against Ukraine.

So that will take up a lot of President Biden's attention here in Washington this week, but his campaign is already planning battleground state travel. He will be traveling to Michigan, I am told on Friday and then the Nevada at the beginning of the next week during the -- while the Republican National Convention is playing out.

But one thing that you hear from Chris Murphy, you hear from other top allies like Senator Chris Coons, they want to see President Biden engage in these more unscripted impromptu moments, holding things like town halls and press conferences.

Biden will hold a press conference with reporters on Thursday and today, at, at least two of his events, he was talking without a teleprompter, walking around the room.

So you are seeing some changes being made as he is getting this advice from his allies.

BROWN: All right, Arlette Saenz, thanks so much.

We'll be right back.



BROWN: Right now, nearly seven million Americans are living with Alzheimer's.

For decades, researchers have worked on new treatments for Alzheimer's, but come up with few effective treatments.

Now though, there are new signs of hope from hard science, on lifestyle interventions, to early detection and intervention.

New tools are emerging to battle this horrible disease. This disease that also took my grandmother.

CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, spent five years investigating the breakthroughs in the documentary, "The Last Alzheimer's Patient."

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So Pamela, it is an incredible story and I think these are really hopeful times when it comes to dementia and that's what we really wanted to show there.

Mike Carver was in his mid-60s when he was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. Now, he is in his early 70s and his living a pretty normal life.

What would have happened to him before is that he would have likely been told there is not much we can do, maybe we can slow down the progression, but there is really no hope for potentially reversing the signs of cognitive impairment.

But in fact, that is what happened for him.

And you can take a look, Pamela, at what the clinical trial entailed. It was a vegan diet. It is exercise daily. It is strength training three times a week, stress relief. There's group support sessions.

For some people, that sounds like a lot, but also very doable for someone like Mike Carver. And I think what was most remarkable, Pamela, was that within five months, you saw these changes.

It just speaks to how biodynamic the body and the brain can really be. These changes can happen and they can happen quickly.

At the same time, Pamela, we also hear about new medications that are being made available. Donanemab was approved by the FDA. If you want to look at how well that works, it was about 29 percent slowing down of cognitive and functional decline, but there were also side effects.

People had these brain bleeds more likely to happen in the donanemab group versus the placebo group. And then the cost of these drugs, astronomical.

Pamela, we spend $4 trillion as a country every year on healthcare, those price tags that you see on the screen, they are obviously just going to add to that.

And again, I think it is why when we talk about these lifestyle changes, we've seen what they can do for heart disease. We are now getting an idea of what these lifestyle changes can do for brain disease as well, such as Alzheimer's and about 40 percent probably of Alzheimer's cases according to these big trials around the world, 40 percent is preventable.

These are big numbers worth paying attention to and that's why we are so excited about this documentary -- Pamela.

BROWN: Yes, I can't wait to watch it.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much.

"The Last Alzheimer's Patient" airs next on CNN.

And thank you so much for joining us tonight. I am Pamela Brown. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the evening.