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House Republicans Break with Trump on Family Separations; Memorial Day Travel Expected to Top Pre-Pandemic Levels; Automakers Removing AM Radio From Cars. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 15, 2023 - 08:30   ET



KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Said last week to me when he refused to rule out if he's re-elected, re-implementing that zero tolerance policy at the border that led to those devastating scenes of families being separated.

This is what Mark Green said about that.



REP. MARK GREEN (R-TN): So, that's why in this bill we were very clear, families should not be separated. If you look at House -- HR-2, it's very clear, we're not separating families.


COLLINS: He's a top Republican in the House dealing with immigration and he's breaking with Trump on that.

BASH: Very much so. And I pressed him again, and he made very clear, that is not a policy that he supports.

And I would say, Kaitlan, that what the former president said to you wasn't even only that he is not ruling it out, I mean, he made the case for separating families being a deterrent, which is a very clear intentional policy. And it was just one of many indicators on very controversial policies that the former president has not changed from where he was. And it's also a reminder that, you know, a lot of Republicans, we hear, well, I really liked Donald Trump's policies, but not his -- his sense of chaos that comes with a Trump candidacy or a Trump presidency. It's also a reminder that not all -- never mind Democrats, not all Republicans were onboard with some of his policies. And this is a very stark example.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Let's talk about an interview on another network -- of course we watch your show first and foremost -- but on another Sunday show, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley talking about promises that those Republicans running against her for the nomination have made about, if I'm president I would, you know, enforce, sign, et cetera, a national ban on abortions. Here's what she said is sort of the reality as she sees it for the American people.

Let's play it.


NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For a national standard, I think we have to tell the American people the truth. In order to do a national standard, you'd have to have a majority of the House, 60 Senate votes, and a president. We haven't had 60 pro-life senators in a hundred years. So, the idea that a Republican president could ban all abortions is not being honest with the American people, any more than a Democrat president could ban these pro-life laws in the states. So, let's be honest with the American people and say, let's find national consensus.


HARLOW: What do you make of that?

BASH: You know, it's taking me back to a campaign that I covered in 2000 and 2008, John McCain's straight-talk express. I'm not suggesting that there is -- that there are many, many similarities between the two of them on most issues, but on this particular answer, she's trying to cut through it. She's trying to say, look, you know, you're hearing maybe some bombast from other candidates who are vying for the Republican presidential nomination, but I'm going to tell you what's really going on here.

And if there is an appetite for that in the Republican primary process, then maybe she can, you know, gain some votes, even more than just a few votes, with that kind of talk. The question is whether or not there is an appetite for that kind of truth telling, because she's absolutely right about the numbers. She's absolutely right that when you look at Congress -- I mean we were talking about immigration.


BASH: Immigration is almost nothing compared to abortion and how divisive that is. So, it is true that what she is saying, the notion of Congress being able to do anything if the filibuster is still in place in the United States Senate is very, very unlike.

COLLINS: Yes, but, Dana, is that answer going to cut it when -- if Nikki Haley is on the debate stage come August, for example, and all the Republicans candidates are asked, well, how many weeks into a pregnancy do you believe abortion should be banned -

BASH: Yes.

COLLINS: Which is the exact question Trump himself could not answer last week, I mean, I imagine at some point she is going to be going up against someone like a Mike Pence or a Tim Scott.

BASH: Yes.

COLLINS: They're all going to be asked this question. BASH: You're absolutely right. And they're two different questions.

One is, what do you believe, which was not part of that answer. And the other is, what do you think is doable, which is that answer. Which is basically nothing on a national level.

I'm not sure if she was asked the question about what do you believe and what do you want to happen and what is your philosophy, what is your ideology on the issue of abortion. And that is absolutely a question that she and every single Republican and Democrat must be asked.

COLLINS: Dana Bash, great interviews, as always.

HARLOW: Thank you.

BASH: Thanks. You too. Good to see you both.

COLLINS: Speaking of abortion, North Carolina's Democratic governor has vetoed a bill over the weekend that would implement a 12-week abortion ban in his state, but is there a chance it won't get overwritten by the Republican supermajority in that state?


We're going to take you live to North Carolina with that exact question, next.

HARLOW: Also, a Florida teacher says she is under investigation after showing her fifth grade class a Disney movie with a gay character. More on that ahead.



GOV. ROY COOPER (D-NC): Now it's time for me to sign under the veto stamp. We now have a --


COLLINS: That is North Carolina's Democratic Governor, Roy Cooper, making a showing as he officially vetoed the Republican-backed 12-week abortion bill in his state. It was at an abortion rights rally over the weekend. The state legislature there does have a Republican super majority, though. And so the question now is when and if they will override his veto. Cooper says a vote could still go his way, though, if just one state Republican in either the House or the Senate votes against that bill.

CNN's Dianne Gallagher joins us live from Charlotte.

And, Dianne, that's obviously the big question here, because the way that they got this Republican supermajority there was a Democratic lawmaker switched parties and actually was the one who voted in favor of this abortion ban. [08:40:08]

The question is, is it a reality that there is going to be enough pressure on these lawmakers, as the governor is hoping, to help them when it comes to keeping his veto in place?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kaitlan, I think it depends on who you ask here, but we will likely find out this week. You mentioned that one lawmaker, Representative Tricia Cotham, she's from here in Mecklenburg County, who switched from Democratic Party to Republican Party last month. There are four lawmakers, though, that the Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, has basically put in the position of this public full-court press he has going against them in this pressure campaign, attempting to get their constituents to email them, go out and speak with them, try and get in contact with them to ask them to sustain the governor's veto that he signed over the weekend.

Now, those four lawmakers, one is a state senator, Senator Michael Lee, and three members of the house, Representatives John Bradford, Ted Davis, and Tricia Cotham.

Now, Senator Lee and Representative Bradford have already come out basically refuting this pressure campaign from the governor, saying that they don't think their past positions are in conflict with this current bill. But the other two lawmakers, Davis and Cotham, haven't really spoken about this. In fact, when CNN tried contacting them, Cotham didn't get back to us and Davis said he had no comment.

Davis is important because, Kaitlan, he did not vote for the bill. He was absent the day that happened. And, of course, Cotham, a former Democrat, before she switched parties, was a proponent of abortion access. So much so that she was actually a sponsor of a bill earlier this session, just a few months ago, that would have codified Roe v. Wade into law here in the state of North Carolina.

Now, the governor has said that even though Republicans have pitched this as a compromise bill, that there is so much in the bill, beyond just banning most abortions after 12 weeks, that it would essentially make it extremely difficult for people to obtain first trimester abortions, not to mention, of course, afterward.

Now, there are those exceptions for rape and incest victims up to 20 and 24 weeks. But there's also other things in there, including additional paperwork, additional regulations, and reporting requirements that they say would make doing -- performing abortions in North Carolina extremely difficult.


COLLINS: Yes, and the governor pointing out, it also would call for multiple in-person visits, is what he says was the erosion of women's rights there.


COLLINS: Dianne Gallagher, keep us updated, please. Thank you. HARLOW: A fifth-grade teacher says she's being investigated by the

Florida Department of Education after she showed her students "Strange World," That's a Disney movie that features a character who's openly gay. Jenna Barbee says she played the movie after a day of standardized testing and that she had retained permission slips from all the parents of kids in the class allowing students to watch a PG- rated movie.


JENNA BARBEE: I was told by every teacher and mentor at our school that our method for approval by administration of showing movies was to have a signed parent permission slip for PG movies. I had that from the beginning of the year. The whole fifth grade team had signed permission slips for PG movies with no objections to specific content. I actually had one student who did have objection to specific content.


HARLOW: She told the school board that the movie was in no way sexual and was tied to the current lesson plan on the environment. The parent who complained, who's also a school board member, explained why she reported it.


SHANNON RODRIGUEZ, COMPLAINED ABOUT DISNEY MOVIE IN CLASS: It is not a teacher's job to impose their beliefs upon a child, religious, sexual orientation, gender identity, any of the above. But allowing movies such as this assist teachers in opening a door -- and please hear me -- they assist teachers in opening a door for conversations that have no place in our classrooms.


HARLOW: Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation last year that banned certain instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom, a measure opponents have dubbed a "don't say gay" law.

Memorial Day travel expected to return to pre-pandemic levels this year. We'll tell you what to expect. That's ahead.

COLLINS: Well, when it comes to traveling, if you're riding in the car, AM radios may be a thing of the past. More and more cars are getting rid of that feature together in their new vehicles. Harry Enten will break it down next with this morning's number.



COLLINS: If you are making plans to travel next weekend, we have new numbers this morning that Memorial Day weekend travel is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels this year. AAA releasing this forecast just a few hours ago as the company is predicting that 40 -- more than 42 million Americans, I should note, will be on the roads, train tracks, and in the skies over the holiday weekend.

CNN's Pete Muntean is live over I-395 in Washington, D.C., this morning, where many of those cars will be next weekend as people are headed to the beach.

Pete, what should travels be expecting, be bracing for if this is going to look like numbers that we have not seen in several years.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: You know, we're only two weeks from Memorial Day itself, Kaitlan, but AAA says the rush really kicks off the Thursday before. So, ten days out, if you've not made your plans just yet.

And what's interesting here is that AAA says this really foreshadows a huge summer travel season that kicks off with Memorial Day. And, in some cases, it may be even bigger than pre-pandemic. That 42 million number you mentioned, AAA forecast those people will travel 50 miles or more over the Memorial Day travel period. It's really only 1 percent off from what we saw back in 2019 before the pandemic.

The good news here is the price of gas is down significantly. The average price for a gallon of regular, according to AAA, $3.35. Compare that to a year ago, it was $4.45.


So, we're down nearly a dollar a gallon.

The best times to travel, according to AAA, are Friday before 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. That's when it gets really bad. The real worse time is when people come home, Monday between noon and 3:00 p.m. So Aixa Diaz of AAA tells me that you can really tweak your travel if you try and work from home to try and miss some of this traffic.



AIXA DIAZ, SPOKESWOMAN, AAA: So, if you can extend that weekend trip to Tuesday, perhaps, or maybe work remotely on Tuesday, come back Wednesday, play around with your schedule a little bit to avoid those big delays because some metro areas could be seeing double traffic times, double than what they normally see. So, if your commute's normally two hours, you could be looking at a four-hour trip.


MUNTEAN: The vast majority of people will drive during the Memorial Day travel period, AAA says. But the thing that's really driving the numbers is so many people who will travel by air. AAA anticipates the number of air travelers will actually be 11 percent greater than what we saw back in 2019 before the pandemic. It could be a record breaker, Kaitlan, and it's only just the start.

COLLINS: What's the sense of why air travel has increased since 2019? MUNTEAN: You know, the really interesting thing here is that so many

people plan to travel internationally. We're seeing long wait times for passport processing. That's a sign that people are really wanting to get out and travel again. People feel comfortable because of the pandemic subsiding a little bit. So, so many people want to travel, and that is really driving these numbers.

We will see, though, as it goes forward, there are a lot of things in the mix and we'll see if the airlines are able to keep up with this shear volume of demand and the FAA with the shear volume of demand on its air traffic system as well.

COLLINS: Here's hoping.

Pete Muntean, thank you.

HARLOW: This morning, an iconic sound of American culture is closer to being silenced.


HARLOW: It really is such an iconic sound. AM radio in cars may soon be a thing of the past because more and more car makers are getting rid of the feature all together.

CNN's senior data reporter Harry Enten here with the number.



HARLOW: I feel like that's part of my childhood listening to that.

ENTEN: I love trying to pick up baseball games from distant areas, right, listening to the Baltimore Orioles here in New York.

All right, so this morning's number is 4,185. Why? Because that's the number of AM radio stations here in America. That's a lot of them.

And take a look at how many people listen to AM radio weekly, 47 million. Now, that's not nearly as many as podcasts and not nearly as many as any radio. Look at that, 235 million. So, AM radio is just a small portion of that, but, still, 47 million weekly is a very large number and we're looking at more than 80 million who listen to AM radio at least once a month.

And when we look at the percentages, right, so this gives you an idea, if they take AM radio out of cars, who does -- how does this really work, right? Fifty-four percent of the daily radio audience only listen in their cars and 20 percent of AM radio audience own a Ford. And so Ford is one of the companies that's saying, adios amigos to AM radio in tear cars.

HARLOW: Who does it hurt the most?

ENTEN: Yes, so who does it hurt the most? Who are the people that it hurts the most? Older Americans who are the most likely to listen to AM radio, non-English broadcasts are the most likely to be on AM radio, talk radio is the most likely to be on AM radio, and emergency broadcasts, you know, if there's some storm that's happening, a lot of people, especially in rural areas, will listen to AM radio to pick up that emergency broadcast. So, that's something that can hurt.

Now, here's the question, can you get AM radio in EVs, which is basically what's going on. They're eliminating them from a lot of electric videos because basically there's interference from the cars. GM and other cars have it. It just costs the companies more to get EV - to get AM radio in EVs. Or you can do streaming or FM simulcast sometimes, but some of these companies don't either have a streaming station or they don't have an FM simulcast. So, getting rid of AM radio could hurt a lot of people, Poppy.

HARLOW: You love it, don't you?

ENTEN: I love AM radio.

HARLOW: I know.

ENTEN: I love it. It's just part of a childhood.

HARLOW: It's sad. Thank you, Harry. Thank you, Harry.

COLLINS: Harry's an old soul.

The athletic trainer -- this is something you're going to want to see -- who performed CPR on Damar Hamlin on the field has largely avoided speaking to the media. We haven't really heard from him. But we are hearing from him now. We'll tell you what he told recent graduates from his alma mater, Oklahoma State University, over the weekend.



HARLOW: Just four months ago Damar Hamlin became a name everyone knew because his heart stopped on the football field during that game in January, and the Buffalo Bills training staff had to revive him.

This man, right here, Denny Kellington, he is the assistant athletic trainer for the Bills who immediately performed CPR on Hamlin before a defibrillator was used to restart Hamlin's heart. Hamlin says he owes Kellington his life.

COLLINS: Kellington, of course, was the first one to reach Damar Hamlin on the field. He has not spoken publicly since that moment, not often. This weekend, though, he returned to his alma mater, Oklahoma State University, to give the commencement address where he talked about how his time there prepared him for that pivotal moment on the field.


DENNY KELLINGTON, BUFFALO BILLS TRAINER: All the attention I've received is for simply doing my job has been overwhelming. I've said repeatedly that I am not a hero, but I will tell you what I was that day, I was ready. When unexpected doors open, or life changes course, trust that your experiences have led you there and you will be ready.



COLLINS: Last month, Hamlin, of course, was cleared to play and expects to suit up with the Buffalo Bills this fall. So exciting and so nice to hear from someone about just being prepared.

HARLOW: So great. Yes.

All right, just in, Turkey's supreme election council announced that a presidential election runoff is now a certainty. It will be held May the 28th after candidates, both of them, failed to cross the 50 percent threshold.

COLLINS: A huge race.

HARLOW: A huge race. Huge implications for the world and NATO. Much more of that on "CNN NEWS CENTRAL" ahead.

And we will see you tomorrow.