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Police: Victim In Oregon Safeway Shooting Fought Gunman; Today: Biden Speech To Promote His "Safer America Plan"; Serena Williams Wins First-Round Match At U.S. Open. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired August 30, 2022 - 05:30   ET




CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, new details are emerging this morning about the deadly shooting Sunday at a Safeway grocery store in Bend, Oregon. The gunman walked into the store while firing an AR-15-style rifle. Two people were killed.

Police say one of the victims, a Safeway employee identified as Donald Surrett. He tried to stop the gunman.


SHEILA MILLER, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, BEND POLICE: Surrett engaged with the shooter, attempted to disarm him, and may very well have prevented further deaths. Mr. Surrett acted heroically during this terrible incident.


ROMANS: Police found the shooter dead inside the store from a self- inflicted gunshot wound. Blog posts apparently written by the gunman describe mental health problems and outline plans to commit a mass shooting.

The nation's gun violence epidemic will be front and center for President Biden today. He travels to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania for a speech touting his Safer American Plan -- America Plan. It includes a push for a ban on assault weapons and increased funding for public safety.


KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: And the simple basic notion that when it comes to public safety in this nation, the answer isn't to defund the police, it's to fund the police. And the president has been really clear that congressional Republicans -- that extreme MAGA agenda that you heard him talk about last week is a threat to the rule of law.


ROMANS: Let's bring in CNN's Jasmine Wright live in Washington. What else do we expect to hear from the president today, Jasmine?


JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Christine. Well, we can expect him to really talk up his crime prevention plans. Now, of course, this is happening in Pennsylvania. It's a battleground state where both Republicans and Democrats make or break elections really heading into the midterms, and both parties are really trying to gain ground.

So, the White House has said Biden will be playing up the contrast between the two parties. We will hear him kind of go after Republicans for their insistence on not supporting an assault weapons ban. President Biden has been very clear that he wants to see it reinstated after it has lapsed.

Of course, that is something that he leaded the charge in getting passed decades ago. He wants to see that back and we've heard him talk about it a lot after those really high-profile mass shootings across the country that we saw really in the last few months, including Texas, Illinois, and New York just to name a few places.

And now, of course, Congress bipartisanly passed some gun safety legislation but the president has been adamant that he wants to see more -- specifically, this assault weapons ban.

And we also hear the president talk about how really playing up those contrasts -- how we just heard Karine Jean-Pierre talk about it just then -- that Democrats, he's going to say, want to see more community policing and want to see more investment in the policing. Whereas, Republicans -- we can expect the president to say -- have been really -- especially on the far-right -- talking about defunding the FBI and, of course, the actions that happened on January 6.

But those are all things that we can expect the president to address today when he heads to Pennsylvania.

ROMANS: And we know he will be delivering a primetime speech Thursday on the threat to democracy. He'll be in Philadelphia. What more do we know about that speech? Will it be sort of a redux of what we saw last week with the president taking off his jacket and really getting fired up there?

WRIGHT: Well, I think that there is certainly a fair chance that we could see that. Remember last week when we saw him really return to the campaign trail in a fiery notion, suggesting that semi-fascism is what really motivates some of the more hardcore, far-right supporters of former President Trump?

And, of course, this speech is going to be happening again in Pennsylvania -- a battleground state -- in Philadelphia in front of Independence Hall.

And so, after the last week that we heard those comments from the president, we've heard him take some flack from it, both from Republicans and also some folks within his own party. But the White House has been adamant in defending him, saying that it was appropriate for him to make those comments because, again, it signifies the contrast between the two parties. So, surely, we may hear some of that language again from the president.

But an official told CNN yesterday that the president is also going to focus on talking about what values that America has that are at stake in this election and, of course, the freedoms that are under attack here -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right, American values at stake. Thank you so much, Jasmine. Nice to see you this morning.

Let's bring in CNN political analyst and managing editor of Axios, Margaret Talev. Nice to see you, Margaret.

So the president in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania today. We'll hear about gun violence. Philadelphia on Thursday for a big primetime speech about America's values.

You call it a 2020 flashback where residents in parts of Pennsylvania are going to have dueling visits from President Biden and former President Donald Trump. We know this is a battleground state. What's the significance, in your view?

MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, MANAGING EDITOR, AXIOS (via Webex by Cisco): Yes, did you pick up on that? It'll be three times in one week we'll see President Biden in the sweet state of Pennsylvania -- Wilkes-Barre, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh -- three completely different parts in three different political centers of that very important vote.

And I think -- look, two of these events are official events and one is a Labor Day parade, so a political event. But you put these three together and it really brings into clarity how important Pennsylvania is both in the contest for power of the Senate and looking ahead to 2024 in the presidential election. And don't forget there's a big governor's race, too.

So look, Pennsylvania is going to be really important. And what you're seeing here, of course, in terms of that Senate race, is that open seat. Republicans' Dr. Oz, backed by Donald Trump, in more trouble than Republicans hoped he would be and perhaps a real opportunity there.

And in a place where Biden is going to try to begin to take advantage of what we're seeing as -- look, no one ever ran circles in the street for having a 45 percent approval rating, but when you are at 38 percent, 45 percent looks darn good.

ROMANS: Well, we see him sharpening his message, too, here over the past week or so -- fired up, campaign-like, taking off his jacket last week, for example, right? And he's saying the MAGA Republicans -- extreme MAGA Republicans -- he's making this distinction about what is driving them as we near the midterms here, or what he thinks is driving them. The GOP, though, I think not seeing that distinction between the Grand Old Party and the extreme MAGA approach. One argument is that it is the president who is polarizing the country.

Let's listen to a little bit of what New Hampshire's governor said.



GOV. CHRIS SUNUNU (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: You can see elements of fascism and white supremacy in America. Let's own that as Americans -- it's no doubt. And we could say that all the Democrats are communists. They're all ultra-socialist communists that just want to bring down a free capitalistic market. That's not true of Democrats either.

So, when we allow ourselves just to talk in these extremes, we polarize the country. We bring people -- bring people further apart.


ROMANS: So, sort of turning it around. What President Biden has been trying to focus on -- the MAGA extreme of the GOP -- they are now saying you can't paint the whole GOP with that brush. You're the one, Mr. President, who is polarizing us, not the MAGA extreme.

TALEV: Right, and I think Republicans hope that they'd be talking about inflation and economic distress right now and instead, they're talking about Donald Trump's search warrants at Mar-a-Lago, and abortion rights being on the ballot.

Like, if Gov. Sununu and Larry Hogan, and Glenn Youngkin were the three standard bearers of the Republican Party, Joe Biden's message would be different, and probably so would a bunch of the prognostications about swing races in this country.

But Biden has a few big tools as he heads into Labor Day weekend and that traditional push for the last two months. And two are real center and left-of-center distress, especially women around the issue of abortion rights. And Trump's reemergence as like this main driving force, which was helpful to Trump during the Republican primaries but may be more helpful to Democrats heading into general elections.

So that, plus Biden's recent legislative wins on what they call the Inflation Reduction Act -- this tax and clean energy --


TALEV: -- and prescription drug bill. And Biden's using the tools at his disposal and I think he thinks campaigning against Trump is one of them heading into the general election.

ROMANS: And also interesting you mentioned abortion and what that's going to mean for women. I mean, we were just looking at voter registration numbers in Pennsylvania. That could be a wildcard there. Biden's poll numbers, meanwhile, Margaret, creeping up. You have new reporting at Axios about Democratic swing state candidates no longer hesitant to have the president on the campaign trail with them.

TALEV: Yes. I think everyone is still running this calculus in their minds but they are a lot less hesitant than they were a couple of weeks ago as we've seen those numbers come up. And there are a couple of folks to watch.

Tim Ryan, the Democratic congressman from Ohio and now the Democratic nominee in that important Senate race, now saying -- telling CNN, and we're reporting, plans to appear with Biden at this manufacturing event in the coming days.

And in Pennsylvania, Congressman Cartwright, who is in a hotly contested Pennsylvania -- northeastern Pennsylvania's seat -- saying he'll appear with Biden.

John Fetterman, the Senate nominee, kind of -- he'll be with Biden at the Labor Day thing but not at the other thing.

So, I think there -- every Democrat who is in a tight race is probably still thinking about this but seem a lot more comfortable embracing the president with his numbers in the mid-40s and the idea of Democratic unity than they were when he was in the mid to high 30s only a few days ago.

ROMANS: All right, and fair to note that over that period of time, also gas prices have declined every day for like almost 80 days now, too. So that's the backdrop to mention as well.

Margaret Talev of Axios, thank you so much. Nice to see you this morning.

TALEV: Thanks, Christine.

ROMANS: All right. NASA now looking forward to Friday for its mission to the moon and beyond.



ROMANS: All right, you see that time on the clock. It's about time for a check on CNN Business this morning before the top of the hour.

Looking at markets around the world, you can see Asian shares closed mixed. Europe has opened slightly higher here, bouncing back, but headwinds abound. The CEO of Shell says the region could face several winters of gas shortages as a result of the cuts to Russian supplies. Asian markets finished mixed as a cluster of COVID-19 cases prompted the closure of the world's largest electronics market in southern China.

And on Wall Street, stock index futures bouncing back this morning. It looks like a pretty solid rebound for the Dow. That's after investors kept selling Monday with further losses on all three indices. The Dow fell more than 184 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq ended the day down one percent.

Stocks have, frankly, nosedived since Jerome Powell's hawkish speech last week forecasting more aggressive rate hikes. But, gas prices fell another penny overnight. The average cost for a gallon of regular now $3.84 a gallon.

The main event today, a consumer confidence reading. Stocks have been wobbly. Recession talk is in the air. The housing market has stumbled. Interest rates are sure to keep rising. It's a lot.

Let's bring in Bess Freedman, CEO of Brown Harris Stevens, a real estate company with 3,000 agents in Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Boy, do we need to talk to you today.


ROMANS: So, it is a lot. I mean, how are consumers feeling? I mean, the housing market seems to have rolled over a little bit. Are people feeling a little better about things?

FREEDMAN: I think there's a bit of uncertainty. I mean, you rattled off a lot of things. So there's some uncertainty in the market and consumer confidence is a little bit wobbly. Rates have ticked up, as we know, and Powell's speech I think didn't help the environment.

ROMANS: Right.

FREEDMAN: But there's still opportunities out there and even though rates are up, I think buyers can negotiate more because sellers are going to have to capitulate their prices. So, there's an opportunity out there and it's not all doom and gloom.

I mean, look, the jobless rate is at 3 1/2 percent.

ROMANS: Right.

FREEDMAN: That's good news. You just said gas prices have gone down -- good news. So it's not all doom and gloom.

ROMANS: So your -- so the rate hike situation -- rates are going to continue to keep rising, right, but people don't buy a house sort of leveraging interest rates. They buy a house because their kid is turning five and they want to move to a suburb where they like the schools, right? I mean, so, it's still life making these choices, not interest rates.


FREEDMAN: Thank you, Christine. Such an important point because again, the market doesn't instruct us. We do what matters to us. Our circumstances determine what we decide. If we have to move, if we have a new baby, if somebody passes away, that determines what we decide to do next.

And obviously, when rates go up, sellers and buyers have to sort of maneuver that. Buyers have more negotiability in what they're doing and sellers have to be more flexible with prices.

ROMANS: It's been -- I mean, for -- to use a technical term, insane in Florida, New York, and New Jersey real estate where you are -- you know, where you dominate. Has it cooled off in your view? I mean, those days of 200 couples in line on a suburban street for a house, ready to pay cash -- is that over?

FREEDMAN: I mean, there's less of that now. It depends. There's a lack of supply. In places like Montclair, New Jersey, a lack of supply. Palm Beach, a lack of supply. But in New York -- in New York City, for example, there is a decent amount of supply.

So the market has come more into balance today, which is better because when it's sort of low supply-high-demand the market is challenged. But right now, I think New York City is in a good place.

ROMANS: So rapid-fire -- we have a minute left.


ROMANS: Thirty seconds -- advice to sellers. Thirty seconds -- advice to buyers -- go.

FREEDMAN: OK. I think sellers need to be realistic on their prices. They can't overprice now. It's not a time to be aggressive or ambitious. And buyers, take advantage. Even though the rates are high you can negotiate really well depending on the area.

And buying a home is the American dream. It's the best investment of your life. I always believe that people should invest. You have a little bit of money, buy a home.

ROMANS: All right, Bess Freedman. Nice to see you this morning.

FREEDMAN: Thank you, Christine. It's good to be here.

ROMANS: Thank you for telling me it's not all doom and gloom. That's what I like to hear. Nice to see you.

FREEDMAN: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Every time you make a call your wireless carrier keeps your location data for years. Who they'll give it to, ahead on "NEW DAY."



ROMANS: Serena Williams is not ready to say goodbye just yet after winning her first-round match at the U.S. Open in straight sets.

Carolyn Manno was there last night and she joins me this morning with more in this morning's Bleacher Report.

What more can you say? She is the best.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: She is the best and the crowd loves her so much. It felt like a final. I mean, it felt like a major final evidenced by the fact that she had a full post-match on- court ceremony involving the likes of Billie Jean King and Oprah, and everybody else. I mean, everyone is just kind of willing her to this win.

The crowd was packed. More than 29,000 people at Arthur Ashe Stadium. I mean, to the gills -- to watch the greatest of all time in what could have been her last match. To say that there was a buzz in the air was certainly an understatement -- that's for sure. I mean, all the stars were out that you might expect at center court. And Serena -- I just love that she was shining the brightest in this really thoughtful, kind of diamond-studded outfit from head to toe.

Her coach, Rennae Stubbs, told me before the U.S. Open that she just wants to go out on her own terms. And you could really see that against Danka Kovinic. She was moving so well. She had some early struggles with her serve but she settled in. She did what she does best. She battled back and she put her foot on the gas at the end.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion taking 10 of the final 13 games, winning in straight sets.

And when the match was over she told the adoring crowd how she hopes that her journey will actually just inspire others.


SERENA WILLIAMS, 6-TIME U.S. OPEN SLAM CHAMPION: It's so important to give your all no matter what you do, no matter what you do, and no matter how many obstacles you face. Like, I've been down and out so many times in the public eye and I've had to like come back. And, you know, you just never give up. And it sounds cliche but that really means something. You have -- no matter what you're going through out there -- and I just want people to be inspired by my story.

I'm from Compton, California and -- yes, you know -- shoutout to Compton -- and I made it.


MANNO: Yes. Man, that was just so great. That's good advice for everybody, truly. I mean, she can enjoy the moment today but it's back to business probably later today and then into tomorrow because she is going to face the world number two, Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in the second round. And if that's not enough, she's also going to play doubles with her sister Venus, and that campaign starts Wednesday into Thursday.

Earlier in the day in the tournament, teenage sensation Coco Gauff got her tournament off to a terrific start. The 12th seed knocking off Leolia Jeanjean in straight sets. The 18-year-old already playing in her fourth U.S. Open.

And hours later, she tweeted a picture of her in the stands at Serena's match, saying we were watching the GOAT. I love you. And she means that as well. Her legacy reflected in Coco Gauff and so many others.

And what a moment for Ukrainian qualifier Daria Snigur. She upset the 7th seed Simona Halep in three sets. It was her first ever WTA Tour win and who could blame her for being overcome with emotion afterwards. Snigur came in ranked 124th in the world and now she is on to the second round. She said afterwards "This match is for Ukraine."

And that's a phenomenal story in and of itself but unfortunately, just kind of gets moved to the back of the sportscast because Serena dominates the headlines so much. But it was a phenomenal day of tennis on the men's and women's side and we hope this is just the start of an incredible ride.

ROMANS: Lucky you. You have the best beat of the week. You and maybe the people covering NASA have the best beat of the week.

MANNO: Thank you.

ROMANS: Nice to see you, Carolyn Manno.

All right, thanks for joining me. I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Signs that a Ukrainian counteroffensive has begun, and rocket attacks in Baghdad as that country sees upheaval not witnessed in years.

I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar.