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CNN This Morning

Democratic Governors Standing By Biden As Nominee; Israel & Hamas Nearing Framework For Ceasefire Deal; Beryl Approaches Grand Cayman Islands As Cat-3 Storm. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 04, 2024 - 05:00   ET



KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: It's Thursday, July 4th. Happy Fourth of July.

Right now on CNN THIS MORNING:


GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D), NEW YORK: President Joe Biden is in it to win it.


HUNT: President Biden says he's all in, but can he still salvage his campaign?

Hurricane Beryl on the move after slamming into Jamaica. A first look at the damage left behind.

And a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas gaining traction? New CNN reporting on where those talks stand.


HUNT: All right, 5:00 a.m. here in Washington. A live look at the Washington Monument and the White House on this Thursday -- this holiday Thursday.

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

President Joe Biden says he is not backing down. The president's team declaring he will absolutely not withdraw from the top of the Democratic ticket and Biden himself. he is acknowledging his debate performance didn't help his cause.

So let's just say he is acknowledging reality, but we did hear from him yesterday. Here's what he said.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I had a bad night. And the fact of the matter is that, you know, it was -- I screwed up. I made a mistake. That's 90 minutes on stage. Look, what I've done in 3.5 years.


HUNT: Nearly all the Democratic Governors in the country rallied to the president's side yesterday or high-profile meetings at the White House.

Three of those governors spoke afterward. Here's what they said.


HOCHUL: I'm here to tell you today: President Joe Biden is in it to win it. And all of us said, we pledged our support to him because the stakes could not be higher.

GOV. TIM WALZ (D), MINNESOTA: None of us are denying, Thursday night was a bad performance. It was a bad -- it was a bad hit, if you will, on that, but it doesn't impact what I believe he's delivering.

GOV. WES MOORE (D), MARYLAND: And the president is going to -- the president is our nominee. The president our party is our party leader and the president has told us and he was very clear back there that he is in this to win this.


HUNT: All right. Joining me now is Kadia Goba. She's political reporter for "Semafor".

Kadia, good morning. Thank you so much for being here.


HUNT: So I know you have been doing reporting on this. I mean, we all are right. It's the story that has consumed not just Washington, but the country in terms of what is the future for President Biden right now.

Clearly, yesterday, that was aimed at sending this message that they are doubling down, although we here at CNN did report that the president has privately acknowledged how bad it is and that he is facing a critical choice.

What is -- what is your latest reporting? What are you hearing behind the scenes?

GOBA: Well, I know that -- well, first of all, governors have a personal interests that for their state, whether or not he can pull through and when some of their states and are political reporting that the governor of New Mexico suggested that they had concerns whether or not he would win as well as the governor of Maine. But also this is, these are a lot of implications for whether or not the House -- Democrats are able to take over the House. When I talk to members on the Hill, especially those in those

vulnerable seats, there is a lot of hesitation, a lot of concerns, and frankly, they are not clear on what they should do on how they should move forward and whether or not, they should ask the governor the president two step down.

HUNT: I think -- I think the -- when you look at how a lot of these folks, the governors, members of the House are looking at this -- the question is, is it going to be a bloodbath across the map as you point out, blue states that should not probably be in play. There are many that are wondering if they are, then of course, in the House, there are Democrats were very confident that they were going to be able to take that back and now they're not. And that's really the major concern, especially for people in what they call front-line districts.

Here was Congressman Seth Moulton, who didn't go as far as now, two of his colleagues have gone but he said this, the unfortunate reality is the status quo will likely deliver us President Trump. So he's saying this pretty bluntly.

When your current strategy isn't working, it's rarely the right decision to double down. President Biden is not going to get younger. I have always said that America needs to elevate a new generation of leaders. And I respect those colleagues have already spoken out. We should have all viable options on the table.

We also had Congressman Raul Grijalva do an interview with "The New York Times" and say that the president should get out.


I spoke to several Democratic members yesterday behind the scenes and there is this sense of rising pressure, but there's also a sense and I'm curious what your reporting says around this, that if they push Biden too hard and he doesn't feel like he's able to make this decision on his own, it could actually backfire.

GOBA: Well, see this is also something that's coming from donors as well, where they feel like there is a new herd or breed of Democrats who are definitely able to take advantage or, you know, step in for Biden at this point. It is unclear and nobody's going to make this decision until Joe Biden actually says something or until he confirms with his family and determines whether or not they're going to move forward.

HUNT: Yeah. This takes are also incredibly high for Biden's primetime interview, which is -- well, it's a taped interview. ABC has now moved it to primetime on Friday night.

How much of a turning point do you expect that to be for the president?

GOBA: I think it is extremely important. I think this is like the next phase that people are looking at. And whether -- they'll determine whether or not they'll go forward. I think people are looking at two things, especially members of

Congress who are in their districts right now, I think they're looking at whether or not he's going to perform such that if he's going to have a successful interview. But I also think they're listening to what their voters are talking about, what their constituents are saying on the ground.

And I think we'll hear more of an upheaval or whether or not people are going to rally behind him shortly after they come back from cong --

HUNT: Certainly if he has a bad performance, it's likely to impact and the other thing that we're waking up to this morning is Reed Hastings, the co-founder of Netflix, major Democratic donor. He writes this, according to "New York Times", he says this, Mr. Hastings became one of the first to say publicly what many Democratic donors are saying privately? Biden needs to step aside to allow a vigorous Democratic leader to be Trump and keep us safe and prosperous.

Is this a sign of things to come?

GOBA: He is not alone. I was, you know, I had a recording of a call. The other day which I reported out in "Semafor", where several donors were very concerned about his state and whether or not he would be able.

Listen, donors are interested in winning, right? And their position is, why are we going to put a failing candidate up?

HUNT: Right. And I've been hearing a lot of the money may start to go to House and Senate races if in fact Biden continues.

GOBA: For sure.

HUNT: Kadia Goba for us this morning, thanks very much for being here for us on this holiday.

GOBA: Thanks for having me.

HUNT: I appreciate it.

All right. Coming up next, Israel and Hamas ready to head back to the negotiating table.

Plus, assessing the damage left behind from the deadly Hurricane Beryl.

Plus, how are troops abroad are spending this Independence Day? We're thinking of them.



HUNT: All right. Welcome back. Talks between Israel and Hamas are reportedly intensifying. An Israeli

source tells CNN that both sides are nearing a framework agreement for a ceasefire and a hostage release deal. A Hamas official telling CNN, quote, we have put forward some demands that achieving securing access to a complete ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli forces.

Right now, Palestinians are evacuating southern Gaza under orders from the Israeli military.

Let's bring in CNN's Max Foster. He is live for us in London.

Max, we have been in this position before where such a deal seemed imminent.

How close are they and what's different this time.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: We don't know, but that's partly why there seem to be some positivity here because normally, the Israelis would respond very quickly saying this is not the deal for us and we're not getting that this time. Sources saying they are considering a deal and Hamas has reacted to some of the elements around this framework positively. So, everyone's looking at it and the process would work, like this, you know, Netanyahu would look at whether he liked it or whether he good work with it, and what we are talking about here as a framework to deal, not the deal itself, that would come much further down the line.

And then he would consider it, you know, take consultations on that. And then you'd have to take it to the war cabinet as well. So, we're looking to see if those movements are happening behind the scenes. But certainly, something that both sides appear to have which they can begin work on with a view to getting a deal which is obviously much more progress than we've had before.

HUNT: Max, what -- one of the pressures, major pressures on Benjamin Netanyahu, of course, is coming from the families of the hostages how does what they want and what they are looking for from him potentially conflict with Netanyahu's political imperatives. Shall we say?

FOSTER: Well, I think that will be a fundamental part of any deal, wouldn't it? It would be how many and which Israelis would be released in exchange for which Palestinians would be released from prison as well, and how many of them. So that's going to be a big part of the debate. And obviously, a little the domestic pressure on Netanyahu is coming from the families of Israeli hostages, he has to respond to that because it's -- you know, this sympathy, of course, within Israel for those families and the hostages themselves.

And maybe there has been some movement on that in terms of what he can offer in return to Hamas, we just don't know the details of that yet, but certainly, that's been a big sticking point going through.

HUNT: Max, what do we know about American involvement at this point? Barak Ravid is an "Axios" reporter, a contributor here at CNN, he writes this, quote: A deal in Gaza would be a huge accomplishment for Biden. The hostage and ceasefire deal would append the news cycle and allow Biden to flex this is national security and foreign policy credentials which officials have long pointed to when rebutting questions about his age.


This -- this would most definitely be welcome news for Biden and I know there have been intensive Secretary Blinken, the secretary state, has been to the region multiple times recently. What do we know about the American involvement right now?

FOSTER: Well, they're obviously big players, because they supply Israel with arms and Israel won't be able to fight this war without Israel -- American support. So they're always in the room, they always part of the debates.

But certainly, President Biden is set up and giving speeches and said we close to submitting and it hasn't transpired. The Israelis are then come back, saying, you know, it's not entirely right. Blinken has worked extremely hard with all of the negotiators here in Egypt and the. Qatar as well as the Israelis to try to get some sort of deal, but they haven't got a deal quickly, as quickly as they had wanted.

So if they can reach a deal, of course, it would bolster Biden's foreign credentials. But well wait to see whether or not actually something happens and whether or not actually people will say Netanyahu that push this through without any pressure from the Americans. He didn't respond to it. I don't know.

HUNT: Very interesting.

All right. Max Foster for us this morning -- Max, always grateful to have you. Thank you so much.

Coming up next here, why so many Democrats are nervous about standing by President Biden?

Plus, relentless Fourth of July heat not helping firefighters as California burns.



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

The defense resting without New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez taking the stand in his federal bribery and corruption trial. Menendez's legal team claiming he kept nearly half a million dollar in cash and gold bars at his home because of past family trauma.

A wildfire in northern California, forcing thousands to flee their homes. The Thompson fire has scorched more than 3,500 acres. California's governor declaring a state of emergency. The fire is just 7 percent contained. It's pasta only if you're flying Delta International? The airline

forced to temporarily pull most of its main cabin meal options after reports of spoiled food on a flight to Amsterdam. The flight had to be diverted to New York.

CNBC says menus on about 75 international flights are impacted. Unclear or how long this is going to go on.

Holiday gas prices at a three-year low, according to Gas Buddy, the average price for regular gas, $3.49. Sixty-one million people expected to be on the roads today.

This morning, Hurricane Beryl is bearing down on the Cayman Islands after battering Jamaica as a category four storm. Beryl has weakened a little bit to a category three, but it's still packing a life- threatening storm surge and 120 mile per hour winds. At least one person died in Jamaica, bringing the strong death toll across the Caribbean to eight.

Let's get to our meteorologist Elisa Raffa for the latest on this.

Elisa, good morning.

The storm also prompting watches and warnings in Mexico?

ELISA RAFFA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. That's going to be the next stop after dealing with some tropical storm-force and hurricane conditions in the Cayman Islands right now. They've got some tropical storm-force conditions, but those hurricane winds are expected in the next couple of hours. We're still dealing with a major category three hurricane when 120 mile per hour wind sitting 55 miles south and east, their Grand Cayman. Wind gusts, there have already been over 44 miles per hour.

You can see where some of those wins getting into to the islands and departing parts of Jamaica. Jamaica's conditions are getting better as Cayman Islands conditions deteriorate.

We'll continue to find it at the Cayman Islands today. Then as we go into tomorrow, we're looking at another landfall somewhere in Mexico in Yucatan Peninsula, where we could find some storm surge, heavy rain, again, hurricane conditions from Cozumel to Cancun, and then we'll find it getting back into the Gulf of Mexico, and then we'll have to see where it can go after that.

Does it restraint in a little bit in the warm, open waters? Does it turn towards Mexico, or Texas, something that we'll have to watch. But heavy rain across the Yucatan peninsula, looking at up to eight inches of rain possible that could lead to some flash flooding and mudslides.

So, it will continue on this weakening trend as it gets towards Mexico, but it's still expected to make landfall as a hurricane. Hurricane warnings are in effect there as we go into tomorrow and then again, we could be looking at another landfall somewhere between Mexico and Texas, something to watch as we head into the week. It really all depends on how strong this area of high pressure as is

if it nudges itself a deeper into Mexico, or if it makes it to Texas -- Kasie.

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

Coming up next, the growing concern among Democrats who fear losing more than just the White House in November. And we're going to talk one of those House Democrats, Debbie Dingell, to get her take on the state of Joe Biden's campaign on this Independence Day.



HUNT: Just before 5:30 a.m. on the East Coast. That is these Statue of Liberty as we celebrate this Fourth of July in America.

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

House Democrats have long viewed this upcoming election as a prime opportunity to win back the House, that is until last week's debate. There is now growing panic in the ranks. Democrats fearing it's going to be difficult at best to flip competitive House seats, if President Biden remains at the top of the Democratic ticket.

Two Democratic congressmen now calling on Biden to drop out of the race. Raul Grijalva telling "The New York Times".