Return to Transcripts main page

CNN This Morning

Elbows, Threats And Name-Calling On Capitol Hill; Parents Urged To Look "Beyond Report Cards" To Measure Their Children's Progress In Classroom; Biden Compares Trump's Vermin Remark To Nazi Rhetoric; CNN: JP Morgan CEO Thinks Haley Is Smart & Thoughtful. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired November 15, 2023 - 07:30   ET



PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: You're more than welcome to at any point. But to you clearly had an idea or had some issues leading into that phone call that made you want to do that. What was --


MATTINGLY: -- what made you want to do that?

BURCHETT: Well, obviously, I was taken off six weeks prior to the budget, you know, they're saying, well, Mike Johnson just had two weeks. Well, Kevin McCarthy had since January, and he waited to the last two weeks. And we took off August through September, two weeks into September. So, six weeks right up to the budget deadline of September 30th. And then when I asked him about it, in that, in that phone conversation, when he said, well, that Steve Scalise, his job, he sets the calendar, and you know, it was just always somebody else. And I said to him, I said, you know, do you think Nancy Pelosi would have said that? Heck, no, she knew where every paperclip was up here, you know, and it's just, it just got to the point. I mean, he was, he was on the news, he was on the Twitter, he was on everything else meeting with the superstars and everything, but he needed to be here leading. And that's what we need in this country, we need leadership.

And frankly, he wasn't given it. And then when he demeaned me about, I've said, I was going to pray about it. I said that on CNN --


BURCHETT: -- and you know, and I guess he saw you all, and I don't listen, I'm a -- I'm a born again, Christian. I'm not apologize for that. But I'm not out prosperous as, and some of my best friends up here are not of the Christian faith.


BURCHETT: And they're not and I love them dearly. But you know, I'm responsible for my wife and my daughter and myself. And that's it. And I, you know, and then for him to belittle that to me, I just showed his character. And then yesterday in the hall, I think that was the cherry on top as far as who is character, brother. And it's just a sad commentary on him and not on any and not on Congress, not on the Republicans.

MATTINGLY: I do want to ask you before I let you go, the House passed a two-step CR, you are very opposed --


MATTINGLY: -- to CRs, you've made that repeatedly clear. Tell me why there won't be more CRs come January and February.

BURCHETT: I don't know that there won't. But Mike Johnson, I have support Mike Johnson. I just don't support the CR. He had two weeks to cobble something together. And that was as close as he could get. And the staggered approach. We're not forcing it down our throats all at once. And so that will allow us more discussion on the issues. And I think the public will see that instead of just one conglomeration of this massive trillion-dollar spending extravaganza that we go on every year at taxpayers expense. And he understands that we're $33 trillion in debt. And he also understands Jodey Arrington chairs, the Budget Committee, and he said --


BURCHETT: -- more than once publicly, we need a budget. And that is exactly what liberals and conservatives should ask for. Because here's what happens. You pass these humongous budgets --


BURCHETT: -- and nobody knows what's in them except for the lobbyists and the leadership and both parties. And they all get up there and fight and you know, and (INAUDIBLE) each other.

MATTINGLY: Right, right, right.

BURCHETT: But the reality is all they see is green. And that's why the American public needs a budget liberals and conservative so we know exactly what's in that (INAUDIBLE) budget.

MATTINGLY: It'll certainly be --

BURCHETT: And that's what we need.

MATTINGLY: Yes. And it's really going to be a discussion when you guys get back from recess. I think everybody needs to go on recess.

Congressman, we always appreciate you in these conversations. Again, my inbox is open for that tape if you ever want to pass it along. We appreciate you sir. Thank you.

BURCHETT: Have a great Thanksgiving brother if I don't see you.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: I think you're going to get that Mattingly, wait for that tape.

Meantime, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is rising in the polls now catching though backlash over a new controversial social media proposal. What she said that had her rivals pouncing.

MATTINGLY: Burchett is vigorously shaking his head no, Poppy.

And in new report, advising parents to look beyond report cards to measure their child's progress. What it says about great inflation. That's next.



HARLOW: OK, you might be a parent waking up with your kids getting ready to go to school. And you might be like one of so many parents in the country getting ready to read your kids report card over the next couple of weeks. But there's new data that suggests that traditional letter grade may not be the best measure of a child's progress in the classroom.

Our correspondent Athena Jones tracking this all. That is, that is great news for kids who are trying to explain those some of those grades to their parents.

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure. But here's the bottom line of this this study this report that was done with nearly 2,000 parents of K through 12 public school students, they found that the majority of parents rely on report cards to give them a good sense of their child's academic progress, but that the report cards aren't telling the full story.


JONES: They need to look further than that. Part of the reason I'm not telling the full story is because bees don't mean what parents think they mean these days.

And so, I want to take a look at we have some graphics to show you the disparity the disconnect between, between report cards and actual performance. So nearly nine in 10 parents think their child is on grade level for reading and math. Nearly 80 percent say their children receive B's or better, and even 36 percent of parents who say they know their child is below grade level say that those children still are getting mostly B's or better. So that gives you the first kind of instance of the disconnect.

Here we see the national report card showing actual academic achievement in 2022. You would think that a B and up would mean proficiency. But in fact, only about a third of fourth graders and eighth graders were proficient in reading and 36 percent of fourth graders in math, only 26 percent --


JONES: -- of eighth graders in math.

So, getting -- you might get a see a B on the report card.


JONES: But it doesn't necessarily mean they're proficient, parents needs to look deeper. And one more important area and that is college readiness. This is another area where perception and reality do not match. The perception is 61 percent of parents are very or extremely confident their child will be well prepared for college. But when it comes to actually meeting college readiness benchmarks via the ACT test, only 40 percent of 12th graders were deemed reading and reading, and just 30 percent of 12th graders deemed ready and math. So, parents need to be asking a lot more questions.

HARLOW: Yes. And it seems like some great inflation obviously.

JONES: Absolutely.

HARLOW: And The tools need to change for parents to measure their kids how they're doing in school.


JONES: You got to ask more questions, they've got to have a partnership, a relationship --


JONES: -- an ongoing conversation with the teacher, checking in with them about how their children are performing on in class assignments, tests, quizzes, homework, in addition to the benchmark exams and different subjects --


JONES: -- that happen throughout the year and statewide tests.


JONES: So, a lot more measures than our report card.

HARLOW: A lot. Thank you so much. We appreciate it.

Overnight, President Biden taking aim at former President Trump's comments when he called just a couple of days ago, his political rival's vermin.

MATTINGLY: Plus, name calling fistfight challenges and allegations of throwing elbows into kidneys. Why is Capitol Hill beginning to look a lot like a Jerry Springer episode? We're going to discuss. Stay with us.




MATTINGLY: President Biden responding to this comment from Donald Trump calling his political rival's vermin.


DONALD TRUMP, FMR PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: We pledge to you that we will root out the communist, Marxist, fascist and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country that lie and steal and cheat on elections.



MATTINGLY: Speak in front of donors last night in California, Biden likened Trump's comments to quote, language you heard in Nazi Germany in the '30s and warned his likely 2024 presidential rival will use another term in the White House to exact, quote, revenge and retribution.

Joining us now Jim Messina, former Obama Campaign Manager and White House Deputy Chief of Staff under President Obama. And Mark McKinnon, former adviser to George W. Bush and John McCain, and Co-Founder of No Labels, a centrist political organization that is actively considering running a third-party candidate in 2024.

Guys, thanks for joining us.

Jim, I actually want to ask you what I asked you during the break, which is the fundraisers you see a Joe Biden who is has a sharp political message, is willing to attack Trump doesn't avoid it, doesn't only talk about the policy achievements, which there's nothing wrong with that. It's not the same conversation. It's not the same messaging that you see from him publicly. Do you think that changes at some point soon?

JIM MESSINA, FMR OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Oh, yes, absolutely. But right now, his most important thing is he needs to do is explain to the American public what he's done in the economy, what his vision for the future is. And then once there's a nominee of the Republican Party, then you take that fight.

But right now, he's got to make the case about what he's done. And I think they're doing that. And next year, it'll be time to go right out Donald Trump.

HARLOW: Jim is not worried about Biden's prospects. He in fact, has a framed photo in his office of a 2011 headline --


HALOW: -- saying the Obama campaign was toast. But my question to you is, can you really make that comparison right now? Not only was Obama decades younger, he was running, he wasn't running again, Trump, if he just wasn't running, and someone there was such a hard to totally figure out extremely loyal base.

MARK MCKINNON, CO-FOUNDER, NO LABELS: Listen, Jim's job is to keep the breadwinners dry. And I understand that. And there are some historical parallels. But the point you're making is a really good one. There's some parallels that simply don't match up at all. And the most important one is that Obama wasn't 80 years old. And people have life experiences with people who are 80 years old. You can't be a park ranger in America, if you're 66, much less --

HARLOW: Is that the case.

MCKINNON: -- be ratifications. So that's a fundamental --

HARLOW: But who know given where you live.

MCKINNON: And given how old I am. So, but, but Jim's right too, at the end of the day, it's going to be a choice. And it's likely going to be Biden. And it's likely going to be Trump. And when you stack those up, you've got, yes, you've got anyone we've got, you've also got a guy who's 91 counts for indictments and, and pretty old himself.

So, you know it -- by next summer, we're going to clear away a lot of this clutter, and the choice is going to be a lot clearer.

MATTINGLY: Jim, to that point. I actually, I want to give that out, because I think it's important to note, people are always saying, why are we doing this now? Why isn't this -- there are -- there's a strategy in there, I think phases to how the campaign is operating, based on my conversations with Biden, folks. I will say that they've made a huge investment a lot earlier than I was expecting. Walk people through what those phases would be.

MESSINA: Yes. So, the very first phase is what you just talked about, which is the economic narrative and what he's doing, and he's doing a $25 million buy in the seven battleground states right now, talking to swing voters about what he's done. The second phase, is making sure his base is rock solid. He has historic spending right now and the African-American, Latino and young communities to shore up that base, to make sure they understand the choice that Mark's talking about, and what he's actually done and make sure that turnout is going to be. Because you have the best point which Trump has historic turnout, both times he ran.

And so, it's incumbent on Team Biden to make sure their base is rock solid. And that's what you do in the off year. Because you know, you can go after Trump every day, but that's like sugar candy, right? It feels good. But in about an hour, you have a little hangover from it. And the reason why is you've got to have your own message. And that's the hard part about American politics, it just can't be an anti-Trump message. Hillary tried that in 2016. It doesn't work. And Team Biden is not going to make that mistake again.

HARLOW: And you come to my house and tell my children about the after effects of too much sugar candy plays in here.

MESSINA: I'm here to help.

HARLOW: They need that right now. I gave up last night they had like 10.

Good thing, you're the executive producer of The Circus, because you can weigh in on what the heck is happening with the Republican Party on Cap -- (INAUDIBLE) Republican Party, excuse me, two Republicans, Burchett and McCarthy. But then look what we saw play out with like the fist fight on what's happened between the Labor leader and the Senator, then there's (INAUDIBLE) --

MCKINNON: Main voice at Congress, they have clawed their way to the bottom. I mean, I think that Mike Johnson must feel like Kevin McCarthy gave him the keys to the gates of hell right now. And we were talking earlier about that, who would want a job in Congress right now? And it's so dysfunctional, and this is a big part of the problem for the Republican Party, I believe, because they've caught the car. And so much of what they've been doing is about we're going to shut down and we're going to do this -- and you know, this that on abortion. Now, it's like they get to a point where they realize, you know, shutting the government down really isn't very popular, banning abortion really isn't very popular.


So, all these things that they've. But now they're you know they've been backbenchers for so long and now they actually have the reins and it's problematic.

MATTINGLY: Guys stay with us. Can you say we're not -- yesterday was so insane we haven't even talked about a Republican member of Congress who tweeted that one of her male colleagues did not have certain parts of their (INAUDIBLE)?

HARLOW: Yes, that's true Phil.

MATTINGLY: With emojis.

HARLOW: We haven't done that on this (INAUDIBLE) --

MATTINGLY: Which I know is disappointing.

HARLOW: -- on this morning program.

MATTINGLY: But that's how bad it was. All right.

HARLOW: It's true.

MATTINGLY: (INAUDIBLE) this will bring you back in a second.

HARLOW: And so also ahead, I want you guys to weigh in on this of some really interesting reporting that JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon has been talking to Nikki Haley several times and he's impressed by her. We'll talk about that ahead. MATTINGLY: And happening now, IDF forces are inside Gaza is largest hospital. The latest developments on that ongoing operation, that's ahead.


HARLOW: All right, welcome back. Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley drawing praise and attention from one of the most powerful men on Wall Street, I'm told by source close to the matter that JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon has spoken with Haley several times in the past couple of month. He views a former South Carolina Governor's smart, thoughtful and more moderate, someone who he thinks could be good for this country. I'm told this is not an endorsement of Haley. But Dimon believes, quote, this country needs good policy. And he thinks she's very smart hold her in high regard.


Also, our reporting on this is it, it doesn't mean Jamie Dimon is no longer a Democrat, quote, he just wants what's best for the country. But this is just another sort of peg and the rise of Nikki Haley that we've seen in this race so far. Look at her gaining in key early states that are a distant, second, though, still to Trump, and a target among her rivals. As New York Times opinion writer Katherine Miller recently put a quote, she ran campaigns that nobody thought much of until unexpectedly, suddenly she was winning them. Is that what's happening here? Is it real?

Back with us Jim, Messina, who is nodding his head. Oh, I'm sorry. Mark McKinnon is nodding his head. And Jim Messina is back with us.

So, Mark, let me start with you. She just responded to what, what that source says that Jamie Dimon said about her saying, look, we had a phone call. We talked about debt, the economy. And he said and she said we'll take it. We'll take it.

MCKINNON: Yes. Listen, just another sign and a long series of good things happening for Nikki Haley. All three debates, you could argue she won. She's Tim Scott's dropped out, that helps her, Jamie Dimon back meeting with her. That's a good sign. Lots of things happening happen for her. I've said for a long time. She's the last best hope for anybody to take on Trump. It's unlikely, but it's possible.

And here's how she does it. She just she's got to do is run a strong second, you know, why I think, which I think is very possible now. Then she wins New Hampshire, which I think is very possible. And she's very likely to win South Carolina. That would be a pretty good strength as for suddenly, to be a Man Who Would Be King moment where suddenly Trump's base ceases bleeding. It's like, oh, my God, maybe the struggle here.

MATTINGLY: I would like I the path --


MCKINNON: She's missing his biggest nightmare as a general. I'll tell you that.

MATTINGLY: Is that true?

MESSINA: I mean, today. Yes, absolutely. But look, I think the chances of her being a Republican nominee are about the same as Mark. Like he -- she trails by 45 points nationally, she trails in Iowa by 27 points. And you know, we forget who she's up against Donald Trump, the single best counter puncher in the history of American politics, who hasn't even started to train on her yet, because to Mark's point, she hasn't cleared the field, she still has DeSantis out there taking tons of votes. The anti-Trumpers have just been unable to consolidate. And everyone's excited because Tim Scott got out. He was it 2 percent like, great, give her the whole 2 percent. She still trails by 40 points nationally. And she's still for all the radical abortion things that the Republican Party is doing right now.

So, I think she's having her boomlet moments, she's having her moment that, that it's been happening for a long time very rational people want her to be the nominee. But the Republican Party is not rational right now in their motivation driven and their motivation driven for Donald Trump.

HARLOW: Can I ask you back to -- back to this reporting on Jamie Dimon, you know, he's also said, you know, my heart is Democratic, but my brain has kind of Republican. But this is a Democrat who thinks that this is someone who could unite the country, be good for the country. And when I go home to Minnesota, I hear it from a lot of folks who have not voted for a Republican before and I get the primary issues, the key issue. But it's just a through line that I'm hearing, you know, from a lot of normal folks. And I just wonder what your thoughts are on that. Is this real in that respect?

MCKINNON: Sure. I mean, I think that that people, I think this is very much a sort of center right country, and they're looking for somebody who's, who's more of a radical centrist and the Republican Party's become. I mean, that's, that's the big problem for Republicans is that there's such huge opportunity, and they're failing to rise to the challenge, and all they're doing is calling away to the bottom and Congress and showing that they can't govern, and that's going to help Jim's party.

MATTINGLY: Jim, do you view Nikki Haley as a radical centrist?

MESSINA: No, I think at the end, her party has taken her so far to the right.

MATTINGLY: Can I say though her message on abortion, which is different. I understand the policy.


MATTINGLY: But I'm saying the message which she has said a couple of times, and then did it again at the debate. Does that -- if you're a Democrat, and you're watching that message, not the Glenn Youngkin message, not the Tim Scott message in Iowa. Is that message problematic? MESSINA: No. Because in the end, Americans keep saying over and over and all these referendums, stop taking away our freedoms. She wants to message it differently. Great. That's a nice message. And I agree it's better than the other messages. But in the end, that's not where voters are. That's not people are Minnesota are. They just want the Republicans to stop taking away their freedoms on the right to choose. And until they stopped doing it, no messaging is going to fix that.

HARLOW: Final thought on that, because we had Governor Pritzker on the other day, and he took issue with me saying, well, that's not our Nikki Haley messages on abortion, and he took issue with it for the point that Jim is making.

MCKINNON: I will just say that we had James Carville in our show this last Sunday and he said that the era of strategic certainty is over. And the one thing that we know is whatever the hell is going to happen, it's going to surprise the hell out of us.


HARLOW: I like that, quote, the era of strategic service certainty --

MATTINGLY: Carville has been known --

HARLOW: -- (inaudible) is over.

MATTINGLY: -- to be have a clever.

HARLOW: Do you think it's the economy?



HARLOW: Thank you guys, Jim, Mark --

MATTINGLY: Thank you, guys. Appreciate it. Jim, Mark. (Inaudible).

And "CNN This Morning," continues right now.