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CNN This Morning

Biden and Trump Presidential Debate; Biden and Trump Makes Final Preparation for CNN Debate; John King "All Over the Map" Podcast; Protesters Disrupt Play on 18th Green of PGA Tour Event; Two People Rescued in Downed Plane Near Turks and Caicos; Hiker Rescued After 10 Days; Violent Clashes Outside Los Angeles Synagogue; Nearly Two Dozen Counties in Iowa Underwater; Iowa Government Seeking Emergency Relief from WH; Impact of Roe v. Wade Two Years Later. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired June 24, 2024 - 06:00   ET




KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: It's Monday, June 24th. Right now, on CNN this morning, the countdown is on new reporting on the strategies Joe Biden and Donald Trump plan to use during Thursday night's historic CNN Debate.

Two years to the day since the Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade. How that ruling is impacting lives and our political landscape today.

Plus --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hard to deal with that much water. It's a monumental undertaking.


HUNT: Nearly two dozen counties in Iowa underwater. The governor seeking emergency relief from the White House.

And this, pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters clashing violently outside a Los Angeles synagogue.

All right. 6:00 a.m. here in Washington. A live look at the White House on this Monday morning. Good morning, everyone. I'm Kasie Hunt. It's wonderful to have you with us.

The rematch Americans say they have been dreading, we'll be fully joined later this week. When three days from now, President Biden and Former President Trump meet for the first presidential debate of 2024.

When they take the stage in Atlanta, Thursday night, it will be the first time a president and a former president face off. Donald Trump and his allies have been painting Joe Biden as, to put it directly, senile. So incapacitated by age that he cannot possibly run the country. The challenge that that creates is setting the bar so low that it might not be that hard for Biden to clear it.

Hence these comments from North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who's being vetted to be Trump's vice president.


GOV. DOUG BURGUM (R-ND): You have to look, the guy's run for office more than a dozen times. He's run for president four times. He's been campaigning since President Nixon was in office. This guy has got the ability, and we've seen it -- we've seen him in debate four years ago. We've seen him in the State of the Union this year that when he needs to, he can step up.


HUNT: Some classic expectations setting right there. President Biden has been reading briefings, engaging in mock debates for three days at Camp David. His team wants to frame the conversation around abortion, upholding democracy, and Trump's economic plan, which they claim benefits the rich.

But let's be real. Here is Biden campaign co-chair Mitch Landrieu on their message.


MITCH LANDRIEU, BIDEN CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIR: It really doesn't matter how Donald Trump shows up. If he comes in unhinged, like he is most of the time, or he sits there and is quiet, people are going to know that he's a twice impeached, convicted felon who's been found to have defamed somebody, sexually abused somebody, and gone bankrupt six times. They will always know that, and that is something that the American people have to think about.


HUNT: All right. It's a big week. So, we have the guests for that. CNN Chief National Correspondent John King is here, Philippe Reines, former spokesman for Hillary Clinton, and Matt Gorman, former senior adviser to Tim Scott's presidential campaign. Welcome to all of you.

Philippe played Donald Trump in mock debates for Hillary Clinton. So, he's going to sit here and think about how to practice that impression, which we're going to get to show to all of us.


HUNT: OK. Well, just think about what you're going to say. But, John, I want to start with you on the stakes for both of these men this week and how you're thinking about this. JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a giant moment for both of them. And you hear Mitch Landrieu there, look, the Biden people have an attack planned against Trump. I would argue he's the incumbent president. I would also say, that's the way I look at it from history. Never have we had two presidents running against each other.

So, the American people are going to be watching this. And there's the last three and a half years of their life in Joe Biden and there's the four years of their life before that in Donald Trump. So, I get the Biden campaign wanting to go after the Trump record, of course. Of course. But I would argue from my travels, they also better affirmatively look the American people in the eye and say, here's what I would do, not just what he would do, but here's what I would do on cost of living. Here's what I would do on other issues. He's the incumbent president and history tells us, people are essentially deciding, do I like what I have or do I want change?

Now, that argument is a lot more complicated when the change is Donald Trump, and that's the argument Biden can make. But it's the incumbent, yes, I get it. They want to take on Trump. They want to say, you don't want that back. You don't want the chaos back. You don't want that character back. You don't want how he behaves back as president. I get that. But there's a whole slice of people out there who don't like both.

That's the challenge. The people who would decide this election don't like Joe Biden or Donald Trump. And so, can one of them say, like me a little bit more.

HUNT: Philippe, take us kind of behind the scenes of what it takes to prepare for a moment like this. And obviously, Biden has stood opposite Trump on a debate stage before. But the stakes are very different this time. The realities are very different this time.


REINES: Yes. To start, I mean, it's interesting. It's been, by my count, 1,343 days since these two have even been in the same place the same time. And, you know, they don't like each other and that -- that's pent up and that sounds silly, but this is already infused with enough emotion and anger that that's going to take over.

I think John hit the nail on the head about what prep is like because there's a tension there. You have your to do list. You want to say why I've done a good job. Why I'm going to continue to-do a good job. Here's what I'm going to do for you. Here's why this guy is terrible.

The problem is this guy has got a to-do list also. Now, Donald Trump's to-do list isn't a strategy, it's just sort of a list of grievances and things that upset about with some economic data sprinkled in. So -- and, you know, we always forget there's -- you know, your colleagues will be there too. They have a say in what's discussed and how it's discussed. And look, 90 million people viewing.

HUNT: By which you mean the moderators? REINES: The moderators.

HUNT: Yes.

REINES: People are going to be watching TV looking for things we don't know about. Some people will be looking to see how Joe Biden looks. Some people would be looking to see, you know, how Donald Trump looks. You don't know, but it is a clash that it is hard to thread that needle, and that's what they're working through for five days up there.

MATT GORMAN, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER, TIM SCOTT PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN AND REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: And look, when you're in prep around this time, you're doing those mock debates, you always want to go, if you're, you know, in Philippe's role as the opposing candidate, or, you know, if you're Trump playing -- if you're playing Biden -- Trump's camp, you always kind of want to go to here.

Because the objective is you want to get them to such a place where anything they see in the debate, they at least haven't seen or haven't already felt before. You want to try and elevate it so much that there's nothing foreign to them and there's nothing that's going to surprise them. You want to try it -- I mean, Bob Bauer did this a lot during the Biden campaign.

I've read about it where he said every name in the book against Hunter Biden with the objective that when -- by the time Joe Biden went out there that night, he was not phased, not surprised. That is the sort of thing you want to do right now. You want to get that person -- just like it was football, you want to get them seeing every possible play so that way when the time comes, they've seen it all.

HUNT: Yes.

KING: Philippe makes a very good point about the personal part of it, that you can study all you want and you get into the room and you look at each other, they don't like each other.

REINES: I mean, are they even going to shake hands?

KING: Yes. Right.


KING: Yes. That's --

HUNT: It's a great question.

KING: It is a great question. And one of the American people process of that, this town gets too caught up in expectations. Like, you know, sometimes the American people aren't sitting around their breakfast table this morning going, well, it's Joe Biden, you know, he's -- how many times he debated. You know, they want to see who's my president? Who do I trust? Who do I trust?

So, the way I would look at this is both of these guys have considerable strengths. Both of them also have giant weaknesses. And so, in prep, what are you deciding? What's my number one priority, to expose his weaknesses or to try to fill in the cracks in my strength?

Biden has -- the Democratic coalition is more complicated, and Biden has a lot of cracks in that coalition. So, how can you answer some of those questions? Can you deal with apathy in the African-American community on the debate stage? What can you say to try to tell people, hey, think about this. Really think about this. You don't want him because of this.

One thing the Biden White House policy first, but also politically, they had hoped to have a ceasefire in Gaza, for example, because he has a giant hole with younger voters and with Muslim and Arab- Americans in places like Michigan, not going to be able to do that as a debate. So, you almost have to set that one over. We'll have to deal with that some other time, right? If you don't have a policy initiative or some progress, you can cite to say this, so, set that one over here. But if you're -- you know, if you're Trump, do you raise that? I don't think that there's a big enough policy difference there.

But that's my question for these guys, especially, you're in there saying, what's priority number one? Expose his weaknesses or fill in mine?

REINES: Well, hopefully, you're doing both at the same time. You're saying, this is what I did and he couldn't do it. And in fact, this is what I had to clean up because this is what he did. And, you know, I think it's important to note that the debate is not this isolated event disconnected from the campaign.

So, you're ideally going in and you're saying what you say day to day. And the reason I bring that up is because we're in between the trial of his 34 convictions and his sentencing, and while the trial did not move numbers dramatically, they did expose sort of a soft underbelly with some groups --

HUNT: They moved a little bit.

REINES: Yes, they moved a little. But it also said there are some people who, you know, I'm not happy about this. I don't know that I'm going to abandon the former president, and I don't know I'm going to go to Joe Biden. But Joe Biden has some, maybe not low hanging fruit, but he's got some fruit to try to reach for.

HUNT: Yes.

REINES: And it's an opportunity to go for that in ways that not -- you know, Roe, the two years of Roe is a big -- a moment for that, economy, what he's done for black voters, which has been a huge debate within the debate for weeks.

But Matt brought up a good point that it's really just -- it's no surprises. You want to throw everything at them, so that when they are out there, they're like --

HUNT: So, you did this with Hillary? I remember going somewhere after you were done with prep, you were literally dressed like Donald Trump.


HUNT: The shoes, the cufflinks, the whole thing.

REINES: The character actor.

HUNT: Like what's --

REINES: Daniel Day-Lewis kind of guy.

HUNT: What's the one Trump line you'd give to Biden right now?

REINES: Well, what's -- oh, give to Biden on stage?

HUNT: To try to prepare him.

REINES: I would say, you know it's been a couple of weeks, but I want to take a moment to wish Donald Trump a happy, what is it, 79th, 78th? Birthday?

GORMAN: Beats me.

HUNT: I can't get him to do it a Trump voice. I just can't do it. All right.

KING: If he does it, he better get it --


REINES: Well, that was -- he said to Biden. I mean, Trump would be like, no, I'm not -- I'm much better. But he's going to do a thing with the mic. He's going to be like, why is my mic off? They gag me. They want to put me in jail. They turn off my mic. This is --

GORMAN: Even when he's supposed to do it, he does -- he channels it.

REINES: He knows damn well. He's big on, you know, why are they playing with the teleprompter, why are they playing with the mic. He will play dumb as part of his, you know, they're out to get me.

HUNT: Very interesting. All right. Coming up next, what voters are thinking three days out from the presidential debate.

John King has been here. He has a new podcast, "All Over the Map." If you haven't been following this series, it's amazing. We'll bring you more of it up next.

Plus, how politics and the lives of millions have changed two years after the demise of Roe vs. Wade.

Plus, there was this, protesters storming the 18th Green at a PGA Tour event.



HUNT: All right. Welcome back. Many voters have made it crystal clear that they don't like either of their choices for president. It's kind of like I actually like kale and broccoli, to say it's like choosing between kale and broccoli. We've got some more evocative terms for later on in the show.

But with the big debate, just three days off, what is on voters' minds right now? Our John King explored that question in "All Over the Map." This is a special three-part audio series. It's dropping episodes today and then you'll see more on July 1st and July 8th. Here's of what you'll hear.


KING: In terms of your personal politics, you say a caring conservative. You decided to vote a little bit for Nikki Haley in a primary a couple months after she dropped out of the race.


KING: Why?

ROONEY: I'm sad that we only have these two choices, honestly. And I'm tired of celebrities, sort of, being in politics. I don't like Trump, but I have to say we're -- for us personally, we were better off when he was president. I don't like how you can't -- he's so unreliable in some ways. You never know what he's going to do next.

I just want a normal person. Like I just want someone normal. I don't want a celebrity and I don't have confidence in Biden. So, I feel like I don't have a choice.


HUNT: And of course, John King is here. That was a remarkable distillation of what's going on in this election.

KING: And so, Linda Rooney lives in Media, Pennsylvania. She's in the suburban --

HUNT: My parents used to live in Media, Pennsylvania.

KING: Yes. She's in the suburban call around Philadelphia that will settle Pennsylvania. And Pennsylvania may well settle the election. And people like her in other swing states are going to settle the election.

What makes her interesting? She's a Nikki Haley voter. Cast a ballot for Nikki Haley six, seven weeks after Nikki Haley left the race. You know, almost 159,000 people did that in Pennsylvania. So, there's a target of opportunity for Joe Biden. Republicans who don't like Donald Trump so much, they were willing to vote for Nikki Haley seven weeks after she left the race.

But Linda Rooney voted for Trump in 2016. Then she voted for Biden in 2020 because she couldn't take all the Trump chaos, but she's a Republican by DNA. She doesn't like the Biden policy agenda. She thinks, and we could debate this if you want, that he's become beholden to the left. She thought he was a centrist, and he's become beholden. She doesn't like the economic policy.

She says she cannot forgive Donald Trump for January 6th. She doesn't like how he behaves, but she might vote for him. She says she cannot vote for Biden. So, she'll either vote for Trump and hold her nose or she'll write somebody else in. So, that's Joe Biden's challenge. You want to win Pennsylvania? Try to win her back. But if you can't win her back, at least get her to write in, you know, Liz Cheney or Tim Scott or somebody else, right? Do something in the debate that convinces her, I just can't do it.

So, there's so many different layers of the onion. What are you trying to do? If you can't get a voter, can you at least keep her from going to him?

HUNT: Yes, I mean, is that the challenge? I mean, cutting through there -- there does seem to be some Trump nostalgia, right? So, even if she says, well, I can't forgive him for January 6th, whatever he did was not front and center for her, right?

REINES: Yes. I mean, I don't know if it's nostalgia, but it's definitely some sort of amnesia. I don't think -- and to tie it to the debate a little bit, look, Trump has not done a lot of media outside of his usual right-wing bubble. He's been off Twitter. I think a lot of people are going to watch him in the debate, and it's going to be a jarring reminder of who he is. And what --

HUNT: So -- I mean, the Biden team kind of believes that, the people have --

REINES: I believe it because, you know, John alluded to it, this is the first time in 134 years we had two persons trying to get their jobs back. And it's very weird. I mean, I don't remember what gas prices cost on January 19, 2021 versus January 21, 2021. It all blurs together.

But what Joe Biden, I think, has to do is this notion that we've seen this movie before, and it's not that bad. Like Linda Rooney might be thinking, OK, I don't like his shenanigans, but I can live with it. He's not going to storm the Capitol again. He's not going to do this. The truth of the matter is, is that President Biden has to make clear that the sequel will be the real horror show. The real blood and guts will come when he is now completely untethered and empowered.

And I don't think people process that. I don't think they think that it could get worse when, in fact, it sure as hell could get a lot worse.

HUNT: Very briefly.

GORMAN: Look, I think the difference is, you know, do Democrats really go after kind of everything I think is priced in? Oh, can you believe what he said now? Or do they do kind of what you saw a little bit here? Abortion, I think, could be very fruitful for them and some other issues that a little bit more policy focused that make it more of affirmative case.

HUNT: All right. Don't forget, you can check out John's special, "All Over the Map" podcast series wherever you get your podcast. Episode one is out now.

All right. Coming up next here on "CNN This Morning," today marks two years since the Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade. Ahead, how the Biden campaign plans to capitalize on the anniversary.

Plus, two people rescued from a plane crash near Turks and Caicos. This is one of five things you have to see this morning.



HUNT: All right. 24 minutes past the hour. Five things you have to see this morning. Protesters storming the 18th Green at a PGA Tours Travelers Championship. Extinction Rebellion, a climate activist group, taking responsibility for it. Six of their members now facing criminal mischief and criminal trespass charges. Here was the eventual winner, Scottie Scheffler.


SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER, WINNER, TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP: When something like that happens, you don't really know what's happening. So, it can kind of rattle you a little bit just because there's people running around the green and there's police officers running around the green and you don't know if they're peaceful. You don't know what they're doing. It's -- you have no idea what's going on.



HUNT: Two people rescued off the coast of Turks and Caicos after their small plane crashed. Both are in stable condition. Officials say their flight from Palm Beach experienced failure in both engines Saturday morning.

A stranded hiker found after 10 days lost in the California mountains. 34-year-old Lukas McClish says he survived by drinking a gallon of water every day.


LUKAS MCCLISH, HIKER RESCUED: I want a burrito and a taco bowl. That's what I thought about every day when I -- after the first five days, when I started to like kind of realize that I might be over my head.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HUNT: Over my head. All right. Violent clashes erupting outside a Los Angeles synagogue over the weekend. Police responded to the altercations between pro-Palestinian protesters and counter protesters. Governor Gavin Newsom condemning their actions, calling it appalling.

Days of heavy rain pushing rivers to historic levels in the Upper Midwest, causing major flooding and forcing evacuations and water rescues in the region. Officials say at least one person was killed in South Dakota.

And time now for weather. More storms possible in that extremely saturated area this morning, while triple digit temperatures continue for the south and southeast. Our Meteorologist Elisa Raffa tracking the system for us. Elisa, good morning.

ELISA RAFFA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Kasie. We still have flood warnings in effect from Mankato in Minnesota all the way to South Dakota, Sioux Falls, northwest Iowa and then down the Missouri River from Sioux City to Omaha because this area is so waterlogged, the rivers are still aggravated and could still rise and cause some flooding because we've got 10 to 15 inches or more of rain in just three days.

You see that pocket there over parts of Northwest Iowa, just south there of Sioux Falls. Another pocket of some heavy rain around Mankato. But a huge swath, all those reds and oranges that you see are totals that are four, five, six, seven inches. I mean, we're talking about 17-inch totals in parts of South Dakota. Totals nearing a foot in Rock Rapids, Iowa, more than 6.5 inches in Sioux Falls, makes it the top two wettest Junes on record.

We'll continue with the major and the moderate flooding as we go through the day today. So, hopefully finding these rivers trying to come down a little bit. Kasie.

HUNT: All right. Elisa Raffa for us. Elisa, thank you very much.

All right. coming up next, the double haters. Just wait until you hear how one voter invoked "South Park" to describe her choices this election.

Plus, the cargo ship that crashed into a Baltimore bridge finally leaving. Your morning roundup is ahead.