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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Trump Rips McConnell For Debt Ceiling Compromise With Democrats; Polls Close In Iraq Election, Low Turnout Reported; Kim Kardashian West Roasts Famous Family As "SNL" Host. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 11, 2021 - 05:30   ET




CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, good Monday morning, everybody. This is EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: It is, in fact, Monday. I'm Laura Jarrett. It's about 32 minutes past the hour here in New York.

And fall 2021 felt like fall 2016 --

ROMANS: It did.

JARRETT: -- over this weekend. Donald Trump holding a campaign-style rally in Iowa and his familiar stump speech has only grown more bold with more lies.

With the win of the Republican Party at his back now, the former president took direct aim at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, not just for making a deal with the Democrats on this short-term fix for the debt ceiling, but also because McConnell refused to go along with his attempted coup.

We get more now from CNN's Joe Johns.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Former President Donald Trump holding a rally over the weekend in Iowa, the first-in-the-nation caucus state, but barely teasing the possibility of another run for the White House.

Still, there was plenty of red meat for the crowd. Trump attacking Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for joining Democrats on extending the debt limit, as well as for not challenging the last election which Trump falsely claims he won.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And to think that we had 11 Republicans go along with an extension headed up by Mitch McConnell. Can you believe that -- Mitch McConnell -- Republicans? And you know what it does -- it gives the Democrats more time -- two months -- it gives them more time to figure it out. They can now have two more months to figure out how to screw us, OK? He's only a leader because he raises a lot of money and he gives it to

senators. That's the only thing he's got. That's his only form of leadership. He should have challenged the election.

JOHNS (on camera): As he always does, Trump spent an enormous amount of time repeating baseless claims about the last election. But he did not talk about the Biden administration's decision to share his papers with the Select House Committee investigating January sixth.

Christine and Laura, back to you.


ROMANS: All right, Joe Johns. Thank you so much for that.

It's time for three questions in three minutes. Let's bring in CNN White House correspondent John Harwood. Good morning, John.


ROMANS: That was a big day at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The Hawkeyes won and Donald Trump won. He went on attack against Mitch McConnell in Iowa this weekend. He's clearly the standard-bearer for the party.

What does this relationship mean? What does it mean for the future of the GOP?


HARWOOD: Well, first of all, Christine, Donald Trump doesn't have relationships with any other individual. He's got a relationship with himself and he judges his interactions with every other person by whether they're helping Donald Trump or not. The Republican Party is in a very bad place for that reason.

Donald Trump is a dishonest demagogue. He is trying to feed his fantasies about having won the election and he's going to attack any Republican who doesn't try to vindicate those claims. He doesn't care about the Republican Party. He doesn't care about the United States Senate.

And -- but because he's got an emotional hold on the base of the Republican Party, he is going to do everything he can to use that to pressure people like Mitch McConnell and pressure the American political system if he, in fact, decides to run in 2024 -- to try to make sure that his efforts to overturn the election, to defy the will of the American people -- a majority of the American people -- are not stopped. And it's a -- it's a very difficult situation.

ROMANS: There was a lot of energy at that rally, I've got to tell you.

JARRETT: But it's so -- it's so interesting. He's going after McConnell on the debt ceiling -- for making this deal with the Democrats even though the national debt rose by, what, $7.8 trillion under Trump's watch. And McConnell --

ROMANS: And it was raised under a Trump administration, too.

JARRETT: Yes, and McConnell votes to raise the debt ceiling for Trump three times. It just shows you it's like Trump knows that that's the talking point and he hits on it even though it doesn't match the facts.

John, let's also talk about what's going on --

HARWOOD: The truth means absolutely nothing to him.

JARRETT: We have seen that.

Let's talk about what's going on in Virginia. I think this race is fascinating. Less than a month out now and polls show that Terry McAuliffe's lead against Glenn Youngkin is tightening.

If the Democrats lose this race, is it a bad omen for the 2022 midterms?

HARWOOD: Well, Laura, we already know that Democrats are in trouble heading into the 2022 midterms. Historical patterns bear that out.

Joe Biden, the president, has taken on water in the last couple of weeks as a -- last couple of months, rather. His approval rating is now below 50 percent.

We've always known that because of normal off-year election dynamics this is going to be a difficult election for McAuliffe to win. Ten out of the last 11 Virginia governor's races have been won by the party that lost the previous presidential election. The only exception to that was Terry McAuliffe in 2013 when he won after Barack Obama won a second term.

Virginia, of course, has become bluer over time because of the growth of the suburbs with those college-educated voters who tend to lean more Democratic. So, Terry McAuliffe has got to fight. It will demoralize Democrats if they lose that race, but we've always known that's going to be a tough race.

ROMANS: John, you have a piece -- your latest piece talking about inflation and what a problem it is for the White House. You know, gas prices up a dollar over last year. Prices for just about everything are up.

Another network that is not friendly to this White House calls it Biden inflation. It's Biden's fault that there is inflation.

What can they do about it and how big of a problem is it? I mean, of course, White Houses can't change prices -- change gas prices, but what can this White House do about it?

HARWOOD: Well, the Federal Reserve, as you know, Christine, is the dominant overseer of monetary policy and, therefore, inflation -- so most of the response to inflation has to come from the Fed. But what the Biden administration thinks it can do on the margin is

try to help resolve some of these kinks in the supply chain that have caused demands to be -- goods to be scarce and prices, therefore, to go up.

So, you've got these container ships backed up at American ports. You've got semiconductor manufacturers scrambling to get supply. All across -- all across the supply chain in the United States, it has become -- and around the world, to be honest -- it's become more difficult to get high-demand goods.

And so, what they're trying to do is get the Agriculture Department to expand poultry processing. Get the Transportation Department to help get those -- some of those goods off of those container ships onto trains, onto trucks -- to try to expand the supply of truckers because we've got a trucker shortage --


HARWOOD: -- and the fewer goods you move to market means the harder it is to get goods. The more expensive they're going to be.

And the Commerce Department has got a very intensive effort to try to do what they can, both through legislation -- there's a piece of legislation that would spend $52 billion on domestic semiconductor production.


HARWOOD: But in the meantime, to try to do what they can do to expand supply and help companies that get supplies, say, from Asia -- get those back to the United States.

ROMANS: It's so interesting. There's not just a single switch. All of these are kind of unrelated supply chain problems around the world.

"The Wall Street Journal" this morning has a really interesting story about how retailers are actually chartering their own ships, trying to figure out how to get goods in time for Christmas.


JARRETT: The holidays.

ROMANS: So it's just a really unprecedented situation.

Thank you, John Harwood, for that -- White House correspondent. Nice to see you this morning, thanks.

JARRETT: Thanks, John.

HARWOOD: You bet.

ROMANS: Speaking of this, if you are looking for Sour Patch Kids or your favorite spices for dinner in the coming months, they might be hard to find. Some of the country's biggest food makers are telling grocery stores

they're going to have limited amounts of their products because of ongoing labor and supply chain issues. Companies are also telling stores to cancel promotions over the holiday season so products won't disappear so quickly from shelves. These limits mean stores won't have some of the niche items and flavors customers are looking for.

Last month, Kellogg's told at least four grocery distributors that Rice Krispy Treats will be in short supply through the end of the year. Kellogg also said it was experiencing constraints in packaging materials and labor pressure. That was before 1,400 workers went on strike last week.

Shoppers will still have options as companies make their core products a priority over items that are in less demand. For example, if you're a fan of Ben & Jerry's fish food you shouldn't have a problem, but some of the lesser-known flavors might be harder to find.

And I think you look -- you talk about Halloween decorations, Christmas trees -- I mean, right down the line you can see how these global supply glitches are really going to sort of -- you're going to feel them this year.

JARRETT: Well -- and I talked to a small business owner this weekend who said you might not see higher prices but you will see fewer discounts and fewer coupon codes we all love on our online purchases.

ROMANS: You also might see smaller -- I call it shrink-flation.


ROMANS: So instead of a higher price for your box of whatever, the box is going to be a little smaller.

JARRETT: Smaller.

We'll be right back.



JARRETT: Welcome back.

Iraqis have just finished voting in their country's parliamentary elections. The polls are now closed and the first results are expected in a few hours. Early reports are showing a lackluster voter turnout even though protesters had demanded these elections be held early.

CNN's Sam Kiley is following all the latest developments for us. Sam, why the low turnout?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The low turnout is something of an irony, if you like, on first look.

The 2019 near-revolutionary levels of protests that spread right across the country precipitated a change of government, and then a promise by the new prime minister, Kadhimi, to introduce these early elections precisely because of the pressure coming from the ground to end the close influence of Iran on Baghdad, but also demands for economic reforms. And above all, an end to corruption.

Now, the problem is that notwithstanding the fact that this electoral system with 55,000 different voting booths, 3,200 candidates designed to bring more independent potential members of Parliament into the 329-seat Legislature isn't going to do that.

What we are seeing and what many people on the streets are seeing, which is why the turnout was only about 41 percent, is that there is -- it's more of the same. More of the same bloc voting along sectarian lines with very heavy sheer dominance.

The one kind of wildcard in there is Moqtada al-Sadr. You'll recall he used to lead a militia that fought among others against the American invasion and the American occupation -- American-led occupation. Now he is steering away very heavily from Iran and trying to forge very much more of a nationalist agenda. But other Shia-blocs are very, very close to Iran and also likely to do very well.

And then you've got the Sunnis and the Shia -- the Sunnis and the Kurds also voting along sectarian lines, unable to break what those demonstrators were demanding back in 2019, many of whom paid for those demands with their lives -- some 600 of them -- demanding an end to this sectarian -- to this backward-looking form of politics that has so been problematic in Iran over many -- Iraq over many decades.

No real sign, though, that that's going to change because so few people have actually turned out at the polls.

JARRETT: All right, Sam Kiley. Thank you so much for that update -- appreciate it.

A little sports for you now. The Red Sox pushed the Rays to the brink of elimination in extra innings -- an extra innings classic.

Coy Wire has this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning to you, Laura.

It is marathon Monday in Boston but the Red Sox and Rays battled it out in their own marathon last night. We are talking more than five hours of drama.

Top of the 13th, tied at four with two outs. Runner at first for the Rays, Kevin Kiermaier, who hits a blast to right-center. It looks like a home run but upon closer review, you're going to see the ball actually hit the wall, bounce back in, and deflect it off Red Sox right fielder Hunter Renfrow, then up and over the wall. I've never seen anything like it. By rule, it's a ground-rule double, so no runs score.

Sox get out of the inning and onto the bottom of the 13th we would eventually go. That's when Boston's Christian Vazquez set the place into a frenzy. First pitch is gone, ripping just the eighth walk-off homer by a catcher in MBL postseason history. And you know it's a good night when you can barely find home plate because your best mates are there waiting for you to celebrate.

Red Sox win 6-4 in the 13th inning over the Rays.

Boston can wrap up the series with a win tonight. It's one of four playoff games on the schedules, beginning with the Brewers and Braves on our sister channel TBS.

Not even an hourlong weather delay at halftime could keep those Buffalo Bills from getting their revenge on the Chiefs in a rematch of last season's AFC title game. Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen out of this world, throwing three touchdown passes, 12 yards per attempt.

Or how about nearly 60 yards and a score running the ball. Check this out, Laura. Fourth quarter, six-foot-five leaping and levitating over the defender. That's the type of quarterback that'll get a team hyped.

Bills win 38-20, now 4-1 on the season, while the Chiefs fall to last place in their division.


The Giants lost a pair of their top offensive players in the first half with their 44-20 loss in Dallas.

Running back Saquon Barkley, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, left the game in the first with an ankle injury. Things went from bad to worse in the second quarter when quarterback Daniel Jones lowering his head, going helmet-to-helmet with a defender near the goal line. He was wobbling while trying to get off the field and needed to be carted to the locker room. Jones will need to clear the concussion protocol in order to play next week against the Rams.

It was also a rough day for kickers in the NFL. Exhibit A, Packers and Bengals. In a span of eight minutes at the end of regulation and overtime, there were six possessions. Five ended with missed field goals, including three from the Packers' Mason Crosby who also missed an extra point, and two from the Bengals' Evan McPherson.

Green Bay finally would win it when Crosby, who had hit 27 straight before three straight misses, connects from 49 yards out. What a wild one.

Finally, LeBron James checking out his Browns in L.A. against the Chargers, but he didn't like how it ended. Browns up 42-41 in this shootout when they seemed to push Austin Ekeler into the end zone and give their offense about 90 seconds to work with to try to score a touchdown. Well, that strategy -- it didn't really work. Baker Mayfield's forced into a Hail Mary on fourth down and it does fall incomplete. Some people wanted pass interference but they didn't get it.

Chargers win 47-42 to improve to 4-1 on the year.

We have Colts and Ravens for a big "MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" matchup. Congrats to your Bears who got a win yesterday.

JARRETT: Yes. I love how you follow my Chicago sports teams for me.

WIRE: You got it.

JARRETT: Coy, thank you -- appreciate it.

WIRE: Yes.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this morning. Looking at markets around the world on this Monday, you can see a mixed performance, barely -- really, in Asia. And also mixed to start the week in Europe. On Wall Street, stock index futures at this hour, barely moving.

Look, with a showdown over the debt ceiling averted for now, attention turns to corporate profits. Companies begin reporting third-quarter results this week. S&P 500 profits -- they're forecast to jump more than 27 percent from a year ago. That's the third-best since 2010.

The big question is what companies say about the future. How are they managing the kinks in the supply chain? Are they passing higher costs for materials and labor on to consumers?

New inflation figures on deck this week. Reports on both consumer and producer prices for September are due later in the week.

All right, the economists at Goldman Sachs cutting growth forecasts for the American economy again and now expects GDP of 4 1/2 percent for the fourth quarter of this year. It's also downgraded its growth for the year to 5.6 percent and four percent in 2022. Look, 5.6 percent his year is still solid growth but they have been downgrading their expectations.

A couple of challenges here. First, shrinking support from the federal government through the end of next year. Second, it noted that consumer spending and services is going to need to recover quickly to offset the decline in spending on goods.

You know, charting the recovery has been fraught. In fact, overlapping supply glitches -- if you drop that banner, you'll be able to see what this means -- and product shortages lasting longer than expected. "The Economist" magazine calling it the shortage economy, summing up the remarkable situation like this -- empty shelves.

All right. Teachers getting a little extra love this week -- free breakfast at McDonald's. McDonald's is offering teachers and school staff thank you meals until Friday, October 15th. They need it. What a challenging year and a half this has been for educators.

Meantime, teachers are asking tech companies -- hey, crack down on viral vandalism challenges. The so-called "devious lick" challenges had kids vandalizing school bathrooms and hallways.

The National Education Association urging TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter to put public safety over profits. Teachers are now warning of a new challenge that dares students to

slap teachers. Parents, talk to your kids about their TikTok account. This is a dangerous trend.

JARRETT: Christine Romans is all over it.

All right, a mother in Texas breathing a huge sigh of relief, reunited with her missing toddler after he disappeared for three days. Three- year-old Christopher Rameriz had wandered off Wednesday afternoon chasing a dog into the woods while his mother and his grandmother were just unloading groceries from the car.

More than 150 volunteers have been combing the woods and following leads. But Christopher was finally found Saturday miles from home after a Good Samaritan alerted authorities about some weird noises. The Grimes County sheriff says the boy was hungry but in good spirits. Some good news there.

All right, finally for you, Kim Kardashian West receiving some praise this weekend after hosting "SNL." The reality T.V. star didn't miss a beat, poking fun at her public persona and famous family.


KIM KARDASHIAN WEST, T.V. REALITY START, HOST, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": I was, like, you want me to host? Why? I haven't had a movie premiere in a really long time. I mean, actually, I only had that one movie come out and no one told me it was even premiering. It must have slipped my mom's mind.


I'm excited to be here tonight to show you guys that I'm so much more than just a pretty face. I'm just so much more than that reference photo my sisters show their plastic surgeons.

Now, I know we're divided as a country but I'd love America to come together, which is why I'm here to announce that I'm running for -- I'm just kidding, guys. I'm not running for president. We can't have three failed politicians in one family.


JARRETT: Deprecating humor, always a smart move.

Thanks so much for joining us, everyone. Have a great day. I'm Laura Jarrett.

You can catch Christine Romans on "NEW DAY." "NEW DAY" is next.