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Biden, Trump Campaign in Georgia Ahead of Primary; Trump Hosts Hungarian Autocrat at Mar-a-Lago; 60M+ Face Strong Winds That Could Disrupt Travel. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired March 11, 2024 - 06:00   ET


KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: It's Monday, March 11. Right now on CNN THIS MORNING.


Joe Biden and Donald Trump campaigning in Georgia, a critical battleground state that's likely to prove pivotal again in November's election.

Plus, Benjamin Netanyahu defiant, rejecting President Biden's claim he's hurting Israel more than helping with his war strategy in Gaza.

And --


AL PACINO, ACTOR: Here it comes. And my eyes see "Oppenheimer."


HUNT: A big night at the Academy Awards for a smash hit movie at the box office.

Six a.m. here in Washington. A live look at the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial lit up behind.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Kasie Hunt. It's wonderful to have you with us. We're going to get to politics in a moment. But in case you missed the end of Hollywood's biggest night, they finally gave Christopher Nolan his due, crowning him Best Director for "Oppenheimer," which also won Best Picture.

Emma Stone won Best Actress for her role as Bella Baxter in "Poor Things."


EMMA STONE, BEST ACTRESS 2024 WINNER: My dress is broken. I think it happened during "I'm Just Ken." I'm pretty sure.


HUNT: As she alluded to, Ryan Gosling stole the show, performing "I'm Just Ken" from the "Barbie" movie. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)



HUNT: Amazing. It wasn't a completely apolitical evening, however. Former President Donald Trump just couldn't resist giving his review of the night, which led to this moment.


JIMMY KIMMEL, ACADEMY AWARDS HOST: "Has there ever been a worse host than Jimmy Kimmel at the Oscars? His opening was that of a less than average person trying too hard to be something which he is not and never can be. Get rid of Kimmel and perhaps replace him with another washed up but cheap ABC 'talent,' George Slop-anopoulos. He would make everybody on stage look bigger, stronger and more glamorous. Blah, blah, blah. Make America Great Again."

Thank you for watching. I'm surprised you're still -- isn't it past your jail time?


HUNT: Oh, man. Susan Page, the Oscars, political once again, I guess, but --


HUNT: -- I love Kimmel. I think he's great.

PAGE: Yes, yes. Well, they're often political, right? During the Vietnam War, during the Iraq War, during presidential elections. Movies are part of our culture, and so is politics.

HUNT: Yes, more than ever. Speaking of politics, this all brings us to the presidential campaign, which eight months to go, turning out to be just as negative and nasty as we all feared it would be.

President Biden and Donald Trump taking their campaigns to Georgia over the weekend. The state holds its primary tomorrow. Here was Trump, painting a dark picture of the Biden presidency.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to straighten out our country, and we have to do it fast. And we don't have that much time anymore. You know, even seven months is a long time. We're waiting. And it's at the end of seven months. In other words, it's close to the eighth than it is to seven.

And the destruction that they are doing to our country.


HUNT: The former president, once again setting decency aside, mocking President Biden's stutter.


TRUMP: We all heard Crooked Joe's angry, dark, hate-filled rant of a State of the Union address. Wasn't it -- didn't it bring us together? Remember, he said, I'm going to bring the country to -- to -- to -- together.


HUNT: That's a way to do it. Less than a year ago, in Georgia, Trump was being booked in the Fulton County Jail for allegedly engaging in a conspiracy to overturn the state's election.

The man he tried to steal the election from, campaigning in the same state, cast the race this way.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We all know Donald Trump sees a different America. An American story of resentment, revenge and retribution. That's not me; that's not you!



HUNT: All right. Let's talk about all this campaigning with Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, remains with us. Kate Bedingfield, former White House communications director. And Susan Page, Washington bureau chief for the "USA Today." A Republican guest hopefully will be joining us in just a few minutes.

I don't know about you guys. I had a rough Daylight Savings Time adjustment.

KATE BEDINGFIELD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The struggle was real this morning.

HUNT: You know, that's where I think we all are at the moment.

Kate Bedingfield, let me just kind of give you a chance to talk about a little bit of what we heard from Trump this weekend, with the -- mocking the president. Some of the stuff he had to say generated a little bit of laughter as we were watching it.


HUNT: What's your big-picture view of how this campaign is getting set up here?

BEDINGFIELD: Yes. Look, I've got to tell you, if I could choreograph the campaign for Biden for the next eight months, I would have Donald Trump and Joe Biden in the same state every single day. I think that contrast is such a benefit to Biden, because what you see is Trump kind of being vintage Trump, right? It's like he can't help himself. There's always the speculation. There was a sense coming out of the -- the early state contests. You know, is he going to be more disciplined? Is Trump going to be -- you know, is he going to be the better version of himself?

And then, you know, you see him out campaigning in a critically important state, coming out of Joe Biden having a really strong State of the Union, a moment where you would assume that Donald Trump would want to, you know, really make his kind of best case, you know, and he's mocking Joe Biden's stutter.

So I think he's reminding people of what a Trump presidency feels like. He's reminding people of the hatred and the personal ugliness. And those character issues, those accrue to Joe Biden's benefit.

So you know, on substance, I think there were, obviously, very important contrasts. I think Biden has really found -- he's found an aggressive and kind of forward-leaning vision and message that I think he articulated very well.

You know, but there's really -- there's nothing -- for the Biden campaign, there is nothing better than Joe Biden, Donald Trump split screen, because you know, that kind of performance from Trump is not what the key swing voters -- it may be great for the MAGA base, but the MAGA base is not enough to get Donald Trump over the finish line. And that kind of message does not appeal to the swing voters who he's going to need if he wants to win.

HUNT: The challenge, of course, for the president is the issue of immigration. And the Democratic National Committee put up -- we can show these billboards that they put up in Georgia during this. Trying to blame Trump for tanking the border security bill that, of course, was passed in the Senate, that the -- passed in the Senate, that the House has not dealt with, because the House speaker, Mike Johnson, has not put it on the floor.

But of course, Congressman, Georgia also home to Laken Riley. And you know, the center of this, you know, challenge. We heard from the president over the weekend, saying -- talking about the fact that he regrets using the term "illegal" at the State of the Union to describe the man that killed Laken Riley.

Do you think that was the right move on the president's part?

REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D-IL): I would have used a different term. But I think that it does go back, again, to the bipartisan deal that Donald Trump tanked, because the guy who murdered Laken Riley was let out, because they didn't -- ICE didn't have the detention facilities to be able to keep him. They didn't have the resources to keep him detained.

And I think it -- I campaigned for Tom Suozzi in New York 3, and that race was super tight, until Donald Trump tanked this bipartisan deal. And then independent voters saw that, you know, Trump was in part the reason why we're not getting to a bipartisan resolution of the border.

And I think that this is an issue that really hurts the Republicans right now.

HUNT: So you think that this -- this is something that can be effective? You think that independent voters will buy this? Even though, by and large, polls show that voters trust Trump over Biden on immigration?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I think so. But I think that we have to continue to explain what the deal was, what Biden can -- would do under the deal, and why, you know, Trump is standing in the way of it.

HUNT: Yes. Susan Page, what -- I mean, what do you see in all this? We also have the -- the Biden campaign ad. In fact, let's just show that a little bit. Because we had the president, kind of making light of his age. And again, it's a statement. You know, your first general election campaign ad. Watch this.


BIDEN: Look, I'm not a young guy. That's no secret. But here's the deal. I understand how to get things done for the American people.

I believe the job of the president is to fight for you, the American people. And that's what I'm doing.

I'm Joe Biden, and I approve this message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we do one more take?

BIDEN: Look, I'm very young, energetic and handsome. What the hell am I doing this for?


HUNT: Susan.

PAGE: So both first ads dealt with Biden's age. This dealt with Biden's age from the Biden camp with some humor. The Trump campaign put out a really tough ad, the kind of ad that we haven't seen in previous campaigns, that focused on President Biden stumbling on stairs and falling down.


And a -- a Trump super PAC just put out an ad a couple days ago that's questioned whether Joe Biden could survive four more years.

So this is a sign, I think, of the kind of campaign --

HUNT: It's what we're in for.

PAGE: -- we're going to see ahead. And the question is, does it -- does it work?

You know, I do think in the State of the Union address last week, President Biden went to a long way of addressing questions about his vigor and his ability to do repartee with people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, shouting at him from the floor.

But this is a question he's going to be answering for the next seven or eight months. He -- he doesn't settle that with one speech. He settles that with a series of campaign events like the one we saw in Georgia.

HUNT: Yes. I mean, honestly, it was -- when you watched that campaign ad, it seemed to me that that was the Biden, at least, that the campaign hopes shows up every time.

BEDINGFIELD: Yes, I think no question. No question. And I think that little -- the outtake at the end of that ad, I think, is brilliant. Because that is also just letting Joe Biden be Joe Biden. And that is where he's most comfortable. And so I think taking on the issue with humor I think is smart. But also just letting him do it his way, that's going to show people that he's got the fervor.

HUNT: Yes. I feel like -- I feel like we're going to hear that a lot through the next eight months.

BEDINGFIELD: I think you might.

HUNT: Let Joe Biden be himself.

All right. Thank you all. Stay with us for just a second.

Coming up next, Donald Trump dines with an autocrat at Mar-a-Lago and praises Hungarian leader Viktor Orban at a campaign rally.

Plus, why some news agencies say this new photo of Princess Kate was manipulated.

And just because we Ken, Ryan Gosling last night with an assist from Slash.







TRUMP: I had dinner last night with a great gentleman from Hungary, prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban. Very, very tough. Some people don't like him, because he's very tough.


HUNT: Donald Trump praising Hungary's autocratic leader, Viktor Orban, shortly after he hosted him at Mar-a-Lago on Friday night. The two reportedly sat with a group of close Trump advisors, discussing a range of issues, and then attended a members-only tribute concert at the club.

Trump's coziness with Orban, a Putin ally who's been a thorn in the side of European -- of the European Union since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, raising even more questions about the former president's embrace of global strongmen.

Our panel is back with us, including Shermichael Singleton, who rode his Ducati as quickly as possible to arrive with us. Welcome, Shermichael.


HUNT: So let's start with this Orban situation. High praise for this, a strongman, hosting him at the club. You -- can you sort of -- how do you view this, as a Republican? I mean, like, what's going on?

SINGLETON: You know, it's not only the former president but even the Heritage Foundation. They've also hosted him, and the Heritage Foundation clearly a conservative, once upon a time academic intelligentsia in the same vein as AEI and the Hoover Institute. They've sort of moved more towards a populist national sentiment.

Now, I think what you find when you talk to many MAGA supporters are that they do view the way Viktor has sort of led his country, as something that we need in the United States to correct some of our errors, whether that's culturally, whether that's politically.

I, as a conservative, I actually do not agree with that, because I think there are far more better ways to disagree with individuals on the other side than having a strongman in power.

So I would caution the former president, because you do run the risk, because he's already having trouble, with those moderate Republican; maybe even some conservative-leaning Democrats. They may say, I like certain economic policies that conservatives may traditionally support. You're going to have a difficult reaching out to some of those individuals.

HUNT: So a couple other things that played out over this weekend that kind of played into this strongman theme. One of them -- I'm going to show you two different things. One of them is something that happens at most Trump rallies. Another seems to have been unique to what happened over the weekend, or at least this is what he said, perhaps off the cuff, unclear, over the weekend.

First, about the press and how they are criminals. Watch.


TRUMP: And I watch these criminals back there, the press. Look at them. Look how many of them. That's a lot of people.

We need a free and fair press, and they're totally wise to you. You know the people are wise to these people. And I'm not saying all of them. I'd say about 94.2 percent are bad.


HUNT: Ninety-four point two percent are bad. Of course, let's just be clear. Donald Trump is more than happy to use the press for his own ends on a regular basis.

But this is something that we see regularly at Trump rallies. It is a version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" that glorifies people who have been arrested because they participated in the riot at the Capitol on January 6th. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the horribly and unfairly treated January 6th hostages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (SINGING): Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming.

TRUMP: I pledge allegiance to the flag --


HUNT: So again, that's people who were arrested, singing "The Star- Spangled Banner" as Trump recites the Pledge of Allegiance over the top.

Congressman, you were at the Capitol on January 6th. What does it say to you, that --

KRISHNAMOORTHI: It's repulsive. It's -- you know, when I was knocking on doors for the last campaign, people routinely talked about how democracy was under threat. I'm talking about independent voters. I'm not just talking about Democrats.

And when he talks in this way about the January 6th hostages, it just reminds them of why they didn't like the guy in the first place. And I think it's just another problem for him politically.

But also, from our standpoint as Democrats, we have to continue to talk about why democracy's on the ballot, not just Joe Biden.

HUNT: Susan, I mean, you've seen a lot in this town. And I was there on January 6th, too. It has a deep impact on me at the time. And I think now that, you know, half the country, it seems, is willing to basically, you know, embrace some of this, or at least I shouldn't say half the country. But, like, the MAGA base of -- of Donald Trump's has embraced this. A completely different version of events.

What should we take away from the fact that there are so many people that believe this and feel this way?

PAGE: Yes, well, lots of grievance in this country. Obviously, that -- that former President Trump has been able to tap into. Which is an important thing to recognize and to try to deal with.

You know, one thing that -- two things that you showed. One thing that -- that underlies both of them is the undermining of democratic institutions. That -- calling the January 6th defendants hostages undermines our faith in the justice system or is aimed to undermine

our faith in the justice system that has found them guilty and sent them to jail.

And then calling 94.2 percent of American political reporters corrupt or dishonest or not to be trusted.

HUNT: Criminal.

PAGE: Criminal. Undermines belief in another democratic institution, and that is a free press.

Politicians don't like the press. They never like the press that covers them. That's true of every president, not just Donald Trump.

But a belief that there is a role for free press and a respect for what they do is one of the things that keeps us going as a democracy.

HUNT: Yes. All right. Congressman Krishnamoorthi, thank you very much for being with us this morning. I really appreciate your time.

The rest of us -- the rest of you guys are going to stay with us. We're going to chat more in just a bit.

Get some more moments from the Oscars now, in case you're just joining us. "Oppenheimer" winning seven awards, including the top prize, Best Picture. Also, Da'Vine Joy Randolph won Best Supporting Actress for her role in "The Holdovers."




HUNT: And Best Original Song went to Billie Eilish. That was for "What Was I Made For." It was the only award that the movie "Barbie" won last night.

And a little later, we've got John Cena naked on stage. How's that for a tease? You've just going to have to stick with us to see that happen.

And we're going to make a hard turn now and make -- get an update on the weather this morning. Derek van Dam thankfully has all of his clothes on.

Derek, good morning.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I've only heard about that Oscar moment. I have not seen. So --

HUNT: Well, you're just going to have to watch until the end of the show, and then we'll show you.

VAN DAM: We'll see the Googling searching for after the show. OK.

So what's the weather today? That's -- what a hard turn. Thank you, Kasie.

Wind advisory. This is a big deal. You want to pay attention if you're on the East Coast. Major East Coast cities going to be blown around. You think about what happens when you get into that tunneling effect in some of the skyscrapers, downtown New York, perhaps into Philadelphia and Boston, really funnels through that area.

Gusty winds, over 50 miles per hour. Also means that it's going to be difficult to drive, let's say, an SUV, a truck, or difficult to get in and out of the major airports.

So you can see the winds picking up through the course of the day, kind of working up towards a crescendo by the middle to second half of the day. Look at that, 3 p.m. Monday evening, Boston.

And then we start to relax those winds as we head into Tuesday morning. It's all thanks to a departing storm system that brought some squally snow showers to the Northeast. If you were there, you probably experienced it this weekend. Intermittent whiteout conditions for many locations across upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire.

We still have our winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings in place, because we've already clocked in over half a foot of snow.

But this storm exits pretty quickly, and then we clear things out and warm up our temperatures. Spring is on its way.

HUNT: I can't wait. Derek van Dam. Derek, you're a great sport. Thank you very much for that. See you tomorrow.

VAN DAM: I'll play along any day. All right.

HUNT: All right. Up next here today, President Biden tries to sell his State of the Union message to voters. But there's one word that the president says he regrets using last week.


Plus, "SNL" skewers Alabama Senator Katie Britt for her state -- her response to the address.


SCARLETT JOHANSSON, ACTRESS: But to the American people who are struggling right now, know this. We hear you. We see you. We smell you. We're inside your kitchen right now, looking through your fridge. And what's that on the top shelf? Migrants.



HUNT: Welcome back. Later today, President Biden is set to lay out his annual budget plans as he tries to capitalize on his post State of the Union momentum. The president expected to lay out a variety of proposals that they say will help the middle class, including lower costs for families, increasing investments in American manufacturing and opposing cuts to programs like Social Security and Medicaid.