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CNN This Morning

Tonight: First 2024 Presidential Debate; Report: Abortion Inadvertently Posted Online; Attempted Coup In Bolivia, Soldiers Storm Presidential Palace. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 27, 2024 - 05:00   ET



KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: It's Thursday, June 27th, debate day in America.

Right now on CNN THIS MORNING:

We are here in Atlanta ahead of the debate, right here on CNN. Tonight, Joe Biden and Donald Trump will face off in a historic rematch.

Plus, prep time almost over. The different strategies for each candidate tonight.

And could the Supreme Court steal the spotlight from the debate stage? A decision on Donald Trump's claims of absolute immunity is imminent.


HUNT: It is 5:00 a.m. here in Atlanta, Georgia. A live look at CNN headquarters right here. It's going to be the home of tonight's presidential debate.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Kasie Hunt. It's wonderful to have you with us.

As we've said, it's debate day in America. Joe Biden and Donald Trump taking the stage tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern for the first presidential debate of 2024, hosted by us right here at CNN at the world headquarters in Atlanta.

And it is going to be a historic rematch, the first time a sitting president will face off against a former president. The last time each candidate participated in a debate was four years ago against each other.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The question is -- the question is --

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Why wouldn't you answer that question? You want to put a lot of new Supreme Court Justices. Radical left. BIDEN: Will you shut up, man?

TRUMP: Listen, who is on your list, Joe? Who's on your list?

CHRIS WALLACE, MODERATOR: Gentlemen, I think we've ended this-

BIDEN: This is so un-Presidential.

TRUMP: He's going to pack the court. He is not going to give a list.


HUNT: Remember that.

Tonight's 90-minute debate likely to look a little different for these reasons. There's not a studio audience. The microphones are going to be on only when it's a candidate's turn to speak. And notably, we want to underscore that both campaigns agreed to these rules.

To prepare for tonight, Trump and Biden have seemingly take an opposite approaches. Biden has been at Camp David huddling with a closed group of advisors for the past several days. He's been out of the spotlight. His campaign has been busy releasing new ads all week, including this one.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a sheriff, it's awful to watch police officers getting attacked. That's not supporting this badge and this uniform. I have no desire to work with somebody who divides. That's not what America is. But I worked with anybody who unites. That's why I'm with President Joe Biden.


HUNT: As for Trump, he's been talking to reporters, podcast hosts, doing interviews.


TRUMP: I assume he's going to be somebody that will be a worthy debater. Yeah, I would say. I think -- I don't want to underestimate him.


HUNT: Our panel is here early this morning. CNN data reporter Harry Enten, "Axios" national political reporter, Alex Thompson, CNN political commentators Bakari Sellers and Shermichael Singleton.

Welcome all.

Is that wave for mom, Harry?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: My mother is awake at this hour. It is merely because she worries about me so much. So she's keeping me awake.

HUNT: Well, there you go.

So, Harry, what -- what are the numbers we should be looking for heading -- heading into this night? I mean, I think big, big picture here, the one that stands out to me is 57 percent. That is the number of Americans who say they are likely to watch this debate. And the reality here is that the Biden team especially has been saying as Trump had has led them in the polls, that once people actually start to pay attention, these numbers are going to start to change.

So this really the first big moment that's going to test that premise.

ENTEN: It's not only the first big moment, its one of the few big moments, right? We're going to have this debate. We'll have the DNC come August, and then you'll have the second debate, which I think is often September, but that's eons away in presidential time frames, at least during campaigns.

Look, Joe Biden has been consistently in a worse position than he was four years ago at a given point, right? If you look at the national polls, you'll see -- you either see a dead heat or perhaps you'll see Donald Trump slightly ahead. You look at the swing-states, you see the exact same situation going into.

This is going to be one of those few times where perhaps Joe Biden can change the narrative that he's too old, that he's two out of touch at this particular point. And it's also a chance where you can go on the offensive against Donald Trump and maybe cause Trump to reshow his stripes of what American voters dislike about him.

HUNT: Yeah. Alex, you do a lot of digging inside the Biden campaign, especially. What are you hearing from them as we head into today? Because while obviously the stakes are incredibly high for both men, there does seem to be a particular focus on whether or not Biden can rise to meet the moment.


ALEX THOMPSON, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, AXIOS: Yeah, it's high risk, high reward because he's behind just as Harry was saying. If the election were held tomorrow, I think you've been very -- people very close to the Biden campaign say when he would probably lose.

And so, that's why you've seen him basically huddled away, you see him with all of his closest advisers, even including people that have already left the White House. They've come back, they've hunkered down at Camp David. You saw Ron Klain, his foreign to staff, come back and really run that intense debate prep.

And what they're really trying to do is avoid that, that normal rule for incumbent presidents. They're not used to being challenged on a stage and there's a long history of presidents and incumbent presidents really not having a good first debate. That's why he has been hunkered down for five days to try to avoid and break that rule. HUNT: Yeah. No, I'm glad you raised that. It really is an interesting

kind of track record when you go back and kind of look at how these performances go.

Bakari, Shermichael, you both are plugged it into your respective communities of operatives, people kind of looking at this. Bakari, what is the level of Democratic hand-wringing ahead of this? Is it as high as it usually is for --


BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, first of all, we are proverbial bed wetter but -- so there is some pearl- clutching on the Democratic side that's just us by nature. But I would also like to push back on everything they said on the right side bring --


SELLERS: There is no -- there is no, if you look at the most recent poll, the most recent national poll, which was a FOX News poll, Joe Biden was ahead. If you look at the most recent swing-state polls, he's actually winning Wisconsin. He's winning Michigan.

You saw what he was doing with voters under the age of 30. He's winning them by as much as he won them in 2020.

And so, regardless of how --

HUNT: These are slightly new trends I will say, right?

SELLERS: But they are trends, right?

HUNT: Yes.

SELLERS: So that means Joe Biden is trending in the right direction --

HUNT: But tonight, you know, that's my question to you, is --


SELLERS: So, yeah, but I just want to reframe it because there's not this warning sign, that's like, oh, my God, if the election was held today, first of all, elections aren't held in the middle of June. Elections are held in November. They always are.

And so, when you look at what's going on tonight, the most important moment will be the first 10, 15 minutes of this debate. Joe Biden comes out energetic. Joe Biden's able to actually get his point across, people hear it, and people, the bar is, as I said earlier, the bar is inhale for Joe Biden, right?

That is where Republicans have placed it.

HUNT: And they've been trying to move it. SELLERS: Yeah, they might have brought it to the purgatory, but it is it is for them. They have said Joe Biden is the moment lets feeble creature on earth. So, if he comes out and puts on a show for the first 10, 15 minutes, which I believe he's more than capable of doing, from 9:00 to 9:15 before the first commercial break is the most important time in this -- and probably Joe Biden's political history.

SHERMICHAEL SINGLETON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Joe Biden is hoping that you're right. I'm not confident or convinced in that. I'm really not.

I think this election really will show -- this debate, rather, will really showcase whether or not you Biden's message can penetrate you voters who are not enthusiastic about giving him another four years. You're talking about younger voters. You're talking about African- American voters. You're talking about many moderate Republicans were polling does suggest that they're shifting away from the sitting president and that can be consequential this November.

THOMPSON: Well, to Bakari's point really quick, in terms of the expectations game on May 15th, I was just looking this up. Donald Trump called Joe Biden the worst debater he's ever faced. Now, he said that he's a worthy debater.

Now handed over to Harry --

ENTEN: Thank you so much. We're going to tag team right here. Okay.

HUNT: Love it.

ENTEN: You can be in the universe you want to be, and I can show you that Fox News poll that had Joe Biden up by two points. I can show you a Quinnipiac University poll that had Donald Trump up for yesterday. I could show you in "New York Times" poll that had a Donald Trump up three yesterday among likely voters.

I think that there are different universes of where different folks want to be at this particular point. I think the one thing though that is clear throughout all of the polling is it looks very, very different from where it looked four years ago at a given point. And if you were to take the aggregate of the polling, you see that Joe Biden on the margin, is doing 6, 7, 8 points worse in the polling.

SELLERS: But then it was, but that's -- that is a false comparison. People --

HUNT: Why is it a false comparison?

SELLERS: Because you have a president running for reelection, and so, that the standard is not where it was four years ago. The standard is where it was Barack Obama against Mitt Romney. He was standing --

SINGLETON: He was better than Joe Biden at this point, Bakari.

SELLERS: My point is that you keep comparing this to four years ago, and that is not the standard. The standard is George Bush versus -- ENTEN: John Kerry.

SELLERS: John Kerry -- had to get up --

SINGLETON: A senior moment.


SELLERS: Those are -- those are -- those are the comparisons that we have to make. And when were taught, we have to frame it as such.

And so when you start to look at it that way, you starting to look at where they were trending and where they were coming from, Joe Biden is actually trending in the right direction.

SINGLETON: But, Kasie, if you historically look at where those former presidents were at this point, they were doing far better than the president, Bakari, and history would tell us, if these numbers persist in these trend lines continue, there is nowhere in the world Joe Biden is going to win this election in November.

THOMPSON: Well, that's the whole theory of the case up tonight, which you brought up at the very beginning. Is that a lot of Americans do not realize Donald Trump could be president again, and that this is -- this is the first moment when people are really going to realize, oh, wait, that guy, we're going to have that?


And that will continue that trend. That's the big bet they're making. And well find out soon if it's the right one.

HUNT: Yeah. We're going to come back around and also talk about -- we talked a lot about the president, what's at stake for him tonight. We've got to talk about Trump, the risks that he'll face. Shermichael, you're going to be on the hot seat for that.

We're going to take a quick break.

Up next, the Supreme Court mistakenly posts its opinion on a consequential abortion case.

Plus this --


ADAM KINZINGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If you'd have told me Adam Kinzinger of three years ago that you're going to be endorsing a Democrat for president in three years, I probably wouldn't have believed you.


HUNT: Republican Adam Kinzinger, firmly placing his support behind Joe Biden. And we're going to give you a first look inside CNN's spin room, where

hundreds of journalists from around the world will be watching tonight's debate.



HUNT: All right. Welcome back.

As we continue to wait on the Supreme Court to rule on Donald Trump's claim of immunity, a decision that could come before tonight's debate. The court is dealing with what was an astonishing breach of its usual protocol. According to "Bloomberg News" the Supreme Court appears poised to temporarily allow abortions in medical emergencies in Idaho after a document was accidentally posted on the court's website, and then it was quickly taken down.

The court has acknowledged inadvertently posting the document and says it is not officially rendered a decision. This is now the second time in two years that the public learned where the court was headed in a major abortion case before the justices had formally handed down their ruling after the 2012 -- 2022, excuse me, decision overturning Roe versus Wade was leaked to a media outlet.

Our panel is back. So this was pretty astonishing, right? From them because they are usually pretty locked down around these kinds of things. But let's be real the thing everyone is really waiting on ahead of tonight's debate is this potential immunity decision.

Alex, how are how are the Biden people thinking about that and preparing for it?

THOMPSON: Yeah. Well, first of all, in terms because if they abortion ruling, always pay your IT people. I think that's the lesson -- the lesson learned from there.

In terms of the Trump immunity thing, the timing of this is fascinating because you have nine, you have nine cases left to be decided. And usually we thought it was going to be all release Thursday, which should be today, which are really stepped on this debate or Friday, which would again also step on the debate, but its possible now they could go towards Monday.

Now in terms of what the Biden team is doing, you have two different cases, not just presidential immunity, but does other January 6 case, which is based on one of the charges that is being brought against Trump.

HUNT: It affects the sentences of people arrested in these --

THOMPSON: Exactly, including Trump. And so, this could also be another legal setback in terms the prosecution of Trump. So the Biden team, you know, I think they're a little bit like, what are we going to do, but you have seen them up the attacks on the Supreme Court lately. And a lot of Biden allies including Nancy Pelosi on CNN, has been really attacking them as, as sort off the rails. And I expect that to continue.

HUNT: Harry, can I ask you because I want to ask the court to weigh in on this as well, but the numbers around abortion right now and how that is motivating voters because I do see in this leaked decision, the Supreme Court clearly aware and we know John Roberts was aware of this as they were deciding to overturn Roe versus Wade, that the politics of this have really been, it has been a full-circle backlash again, Republican candidates, quite frankly. So this decision seems to play in the favor of abortion rights supporters what do you know about how motivated voters are on this issue right now?

ENTEN: Democrats and Joe Biden are praying. They are looking up to the skies here and praying that this election is about an abortion. It is by far, Joe Biden's best issue. He is more trust on and Donald Trump, what you can say about a lot of other issues and he's been consistently so.

And more than that, the voters who are motivated because of the abortion issue are primarily Democratic voters. This is very different from what we saw four years ago, where it was in fact Republican voters who are more motivated about -- to vote because about abortion and about the Supreme Court overall, major backlash to that decision, right? When they overturn Roe v. Wade approval of the court is at near or at its all time low.

This will be interesting, right, especially if they come out on the side or what is seen as the pro-abortion right-side. Does that mollify some voters? I very much doubt it.

Still the thing that's going to be in their minds as it used to be that abortion nationwide was legal. And now at this point, it's not including in some swing states.

HUNT: Yeah. I mean, we should be clear about what were talking about in this decision. It's not legalizing abortion in Idaho. It is about whether or not emergency room firms can treat women in emergency medical situations, which is kind of one of these unintended consequences that has really shown the country and given -- you know, not just Democrats, but people who are really affected by these, these are very personal decisions. People are making in really hard spots and its way beyond politics for a lot of people.

SELLERS: Yeah, and I'm not sure the consequences are unintended. And in fact, I think that there are a lot of individuals that Sam Alito being one who had thought about this and thought this through.

I mean, Sam Alito, Harriet admires is one of the most consequential decisions we've ever seen in American political history, when they were swapped out on this issue of abortion. And so I'm not sure they're unintended.

But what we have seen is the political way this plays out in places like Kansas, in places like Ohio, we actually see white women, white college-educated women being galvanized and ways that we haven't seen them be galvanized around a particular issue.

That's going to help Joe Biden when you come to places like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin --


HUNT: Right here in Atlanta, Georgia.

SELLERS: In Georgia, but even more importantly, the secrets that most people aren't talking about is Georgia is an important state, but Georgia is not the state that's in the top four or five states because North Carolina has replaced Georgia and where Democrats are focusing their dollars and resources because of a gubernatorial race.

But in states like North Carolina, you're going to see that happening. And the demographic to watch on this particular issue is probably going to be the most important demographic in this race, which has college-educated white women.

HUNT: All right, our panel is going to be back in just a little bit, but up next here, soldiers stormed the Bolivian palace as the president there stares down a failed attempt coup. That's just a head in roundup.

Plus, tensions and stakes are high as the country gears up for the first presidential debate tonight, right here in Atlanta, right here on CNN.



HUNT: All right. Twenty-four minutes past the hour. Here's your morning roundup.

A coup attempt thwarted in Bolivia. Armed soldiers stormed that presidential palace facing down their democratically elected president. The ex-army chief who led the attempted coup has been detained, according to local media reports.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called Kenya's president, thanking him for taking steps to reduce tensions in his country. This comes as protesters say, they'll go ahead with a 1 million people march in Nairobi today.

And this --


PARIS HILTON, BUSINESSWOMAN: I'm here to be the voice for the children whose voices can't be heard. I will not stop until America's youth is safe.


HUNT: Paris Hilton on Capitol Hill yesterday, urgent Congress to pass protections for foster children while testifying about the abuse that she experienced at boarding -- at a boarding school for troubled teens.

All right. Ahead here, battleground Georgia, the site of tonight's historic presidential debate. How the states impacts could factor in, plus immigration a major issue for voters as the two candidates spar over the border.