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First Move with Julia Chatterley

White House: Biden Still Running for a Second Term; Second House Democrat Calls Biden to Leave Race; Biden to Meet with Democratic Governors; Interview with Hawaiian Governor Josh Green; Hurricane Beryl Batters Jamaica; Japanese Issues New Banknotes; 4th of July Food Costs; Independence Day Food Prices Reach Record-High; Shohei Ohtani Attracting Fans from Across the Pacific; Biden "Staying in the Race"; Biden Seeks to Reassure Democratic Governors. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired July 03, 2024 - 18:00:00   ET



PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: It's 7:00 a.m. in Tokyo, 5:00 p.m. in Kingston, Jamaica, and 6:00 p.m. here in New York. I'm Paula Newton in for Julia

Chatterley. And wherever you are in the world. This is your "First Move."

And a warm welcome to "First Move." Here's today's need to know. Staying in the race. The White House says President Biden is still running for a

second term despite continuing questions over his fitness for office.

Hurricane Beryl hits Jamaica with devastating winds and a life-threatening storm surge.

And money makeover. Japan issues its first new banknotes in decades.

And yes, Shohei Ohtani impact. The Japanese baseball sensations, celebrity drawing people across the Pacific to Los Angeles. That conversation and

much more coming up.

But first, it's a critical day for U.S. President Joe Biden as he pushes back on calls to end his bid for re-election. He's expected to hold a

meeting, in fact, this hour, with more than 20 Democratic governors. We will speak to one of them shortly.

Meantime, the White House is strongly defending the president following his disastrous performance in last week's debate. Press Secretary Karine Jean-

Pierre telling reporters Biden will not step aside.


KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president is cleareyed, and he is staying in the race. I don't have anything else beyond

that. He is staying. He's staying in the race.


NEWTON: Now, the president spoke briefly on camera at a Medal of Honor ceremony, yet behind, closed doors, he's fighting for his political life. A

second House Democrat has now called for him to leave the race, and a new CNN poll of polls has him trailing Donald Trump 44 to 49 percent. Those

polls all conducted since Thursday's debate and MJ Lee has more now on the White House reaction.


MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, President Joe Biden trying to save his teetering re-election campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President. Mr. President.

LEE (voice-over): After keeping a limited public schedule for days following his disastrous debate performance last week, the president

emerging to try to reassure panicked supporters. Biden rallying his campaign staff on a call telling them "I'm running. I'm the nominee of the

Democratic Party. No one's pushing me out. I'm not leaving. I'm in this race to the end."

But this as CNN is learning that the president has privately acknowledged this week that the next stretch of days will be critical to whether he can

save his candidacy. An ally who spoke with Biden on Tuesday, telling CNN that the president was chastened and blamed himself, not his staff for his

poor debate performance.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: With the COVID -- excuse me, with -- dealing with everything we have to do with --

LEE (voice-over): The ally saying Biden is cleareyed about what it would look like if his efforts to save his campaign were to fail. The polls are

plummeting, the fundraising is drying up, and the interviews are going badly.

Meanwhile, the White House struggling to answer a barrage of questions about the president's health and medical records.

LEE: If now is not the time for full transparency, when is?

JEAN-PIERRE: We have been one of the most transparent administration when it comes to medical records.

LEE (voice-over): The White House also confronting questions about Biden's new explanation for his halting debate performance, jet lag and fatigue

from two foreign trips, despite having had nearly two weeks back in the states before the CNN Debate.

JEAN-PIERRE: When he travels abroad, it's a pretty rigorous travel. We get tired looking at him doing his meetings and traveling.

LEE (voice-over): The White House and campaign had previously blamed a cold.

JEAN-PIERRE: I was so focused on the call -- on the cold and that's what I kind of leaned into and talked about. But yes, his schedule did have

something to do with it. It was the schedule and the cold.

LEE (voice-over): One of Biden's first major tests coming on Friday, when he sits down for an extended TV interview. Biden also beginning to call

Democratic leaders like Chuck Schumer, Hakeem Jeffries and Chris Coons. And tonight, hosting a group of Democratic governors at the White House, all

eager to hear directly from the president.

GOV. ANDY BESHEAR (D-KY): The governors just want a direct and candid conversation with the president. We want to make sure he's doing OK.


NEWTON: Our thanks to MJ Lee there. Now, Vice President Kamala Harris is also expected to be at President Biden's meeting with those Democratic

governors. Ron Brownstein joins us now. He is a CNN senior political analyst and senior editor at "The Atlantic."

And, Ron, I'm going to get to what was a riveting read that you just put out on The Atlantic. But first, just some breaking news for us here to CNN

from our Jeff Zeleny saying that, you know, the Biden campaign is saying they're going to keep Kamala Harris close. She will be at that meeting.


But listen to this, they also say that plans are underway for Biden to immediately throw his support behind Harris. This is if he should decide to

step down, and release his Democratic delegates and ask everyone to do the same.

This is so interesting because it now seems as if advisers are giving a clear picture, according to our Jeff Zeleny, that there is a succession

plan in place and it involves Kamala Harris.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Well, you know, in my piece today, one of the things that struck me was a belief, a widening

belief in the party, even among strategists and elected officials who are skeptical that Harris can beat Trump, that if you climb the first mountain

of nudging Joe Biden out of the race, it is probably too much to ask to climb the second mountain of bypassing a sitting vice president.

And I came away -- even before Jeff's excellent, and I'm sure it's, you know, solid reporting. I came away feeling that the consolidation behind

Harris, if Biden steps aside, might be much greater and quicker than anyone could have anticipated, given that one of the reasons he didn't face more

pressure to step aside to begin with was that many Democrats felt that they were in an impossible dilemma where they doubted Harris could win, but they

also feared that bypassing her would tear apart the party. So, this could move in that direction very quickly. I think.

NEWTON: So, I want to stay on this track, though, for a little while. Do you think there would be rumblings, though, in the party? I mean, James

Clyburn, congressman, as you know, a big backer of President Biden, suggested to CNN that there could be some sort of a mini primary, even if

all you were trying to do was strengthen Kamala Harris as a candidate, is it a good idea to actually have some kind of a competitive rigor about


BROWNSTEIN: Well, you got to look at the demand side, Paula, and the supply side. The demand side is there. I think -- you know, as I said,

there are certainly a lot of Democratic strategists and historically, there have been a lot of Democratic voters who worry that Harris could not beat

Trump, in particular, that, you know, give -- look where the race is now.

Biden has really fall -- the Sunbelt swing states have almost completely fallen out of reach for him in Georgia and North Carolina. Arizona and

Nevada are not much more competitive to win. Democrats are likely going to have to sweep our Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. And there are a

lot of Democrats who worry that she simply can't win enough working-class whites to do that.

So, you know, there is an audience in the party that would be open to an alternative. The question is whether the supply side would be met. Would a

serious other candidate, Gretchen Whitmer, Gavin Newsom, Roy Cooper, Josh Shapiro, really get into the race against the first woman of color to serve

as vice president? Again, if Biden steps aside. At the risk of damaging their long-term standing with those key party constituencies.

It's not clear to me that there -- maybe there will -- maybe ambition will kind of trump everything else, but it's not clear to me that there will be

a full-scale first tier choice or choices available willing to get into the race against her, especially, you know, when someone like Clyburn, despite

that quote also said he expected the party to consolidate behind her if -- you know, if Biden steps aside.

NEWTON: He really is. And in fact, Governor Gretchen Whitmer from Michigan is already saying, not in my name. Don't put my name into this. Ron, I

wanted to get to your reporting. I mean, you have Democrats saying things very blunt things to you. No one -- from your reporting now, no one I have

talked to believes Biden is going to win this race anymore. Nobody.

And then, in terms of trying to capture the narrative here, you have another Democrat saying to you, look, he needs to speak relentlessly, off

scripts at this point in time. Do you see any of that happening in the coming hours, in the coming days?

BROWNSTEIN: It hasn't happened. I mean, with a different candidate, you would have seen that. The reaction to this debate would have been town

halls, interviews, you know, kind of blanketing the media's info ecosystem. And it's not happening. And the fact that it's not happening, many of the

skeptics of Biden take as, you know, more evidence that it simply can't happen.

I mean, as I said, I mean, if you look at where -- Biden went into this debate trailing. I mean, the only reason this debate existed in June was

because the Biden campaign recognized that they had to shake up the trajectory. They were not, at this moment, on a pathway to win.

As I said, you look at the seven states that matter most, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, almost completely out of reach. Arizona and Nevada, not

completely out of reach, but very difficult. And going into this debate, he almost certainly had to win -- you know, was on a position where he had to

win Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.


I am told by -- there is -- I am reliably told that there are polls in all three of those states post-debate that have them down six to seven points.

And, you know, that is a big gap. Now, even if some of that is an exaggerated number as a result of the immediate, you know, blast radius of

the debate, reverting to where he was before, it still leaves him down four or five points in states that he has to win.

And, Paula, don't forget, there are seven Democratic Senate candidates running in states that Biden is at high risk of losing at this point. And I

-- you can't emphasize enough that in the past two presidential years of 2016 and 2020, exactly one Senate candidate out of 66 has won a state that

voted the other way for president.

NEWTON: And you also make the point that given the fact that we just had the Supreme Court with this sweeping immunity ruling, we -- you know,

you're saying there's now a risk that they would lose the House and -- sorry, lose the Senate and not be able to take the House, which gives

Trump, if he's re-elected, an absolute lock. How terrifying is that for Democrats right now?

BROWNSTEIN: Existential. I mean, not only for Democrats, but really, you know, for, you know, a broad range of Americans who view Trump as something

outside of our democratic small D traditions, you know, in the history of this country. I mean, Trump has made clear, as I've written, in a variety

of ways, he is talking explicitly about deploying federal force into blue states and cities over the objections of their local officials.

He is talking about purging the civil service. He's talking about setting up internment camps for migrants. He's talking about openly using the

Justice Department to pursue his political enemies. In fact, he said he believes he has the authority to fire a U.S. attorney who refuses an order

to investigate or indict a specific person that he targets. And it is at that moment, against that backdrop, that John Roberts and the five other

Republican appointed Supreme Court justices chose to write Trump this blank check. I mean, even, you know, in a throwaway line in the decision to give

him explicit authority to order the Justice Department to do things. They went beyond what the Trump lawyers were asking for.

So, you add all of that up, you know, for -- and you're -- you know, you noted the poll of polls where Biden is now five points behind Trump.

Biden's never been five points behind Trump. That "New York Times" poll today with him eight points behind Trump, I have to think, is the furthest

he has ever trailed him. And certainly, the idea of him trailing in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by margins outside the margin of

error, all of this is terrifying to Democrats.

I mean, right now, they can look at polling that says their Senate candidates, by and large, are holding up and running well ahead of Biden,

but they are defying history if that is to sustain all the way through the election day. Some of them might win, but one out of 66 in the last two

cycles, could you really imagine seven out of seven if Biden can't recover to win some of those states?

NEWTON: No, no one can, especially not in the Democratic Party. Ron, we'll leave it there for now. Thanks so much for your insights as we wait for

this governor's meeting to take place in the next hour. Ron Bronstein for us. Thanks so much.

And we will be right back with more in a moment.



NEWTON: Turning to our top story now in the pressure on President Joe Biden to step aside, Hawaii Governor Josh Green will be attending the

governor's meeting. He will be attending virtually, and he joins us now. Good to have you. Really appreciate your time from Honolulu before this

all-important meeting.

What do you want to hear from the president, or have you already heard and seen what you need to see to be assured that this isn't just your

candidate, right, that he has the capacity to be president for the next four and a half years?

GOV. JOSH GREEN(D-HI): Right. This is our candidate This is my president and this is someone I care deeply about. The governors and I are going to

be speaking with the president and we want to hear from him whether he feels he has the full capacity to run and to beat Mr. Trump.

I know him well. He has been there for us over the last year since the tragic wildfire on Maui. I've seen him in action. He's been solid as can

be, but he did have that terrible debate. And now, the world is questioning whether he's up to the challenge. So, when we hear from him and see him, we

will know.

But let me be very clear, this is his choice to make with Dr. Biden, Jill, his wife, and others that are in his inner circle.

NEWTON: If I hear you correctly, though, you do think it is valid to ask the president, is there something more we should know? This is not the man

that consoled your entire state last summer after that terrible tragedy in Maui.

GREEN: Yes. Remember, consoled helped us rebuild and fund our recovery. But, yes. Of course, we asked this question of the president whether he is

up to it. But if you're asking me as a physician whether or not this is a clinical problem, then we asked that of both the candidates. If the

president is forgetful, we acknowledge that and we see whether that's a threat or whether he can carry out this job with a great team around him.

If we ask whether or not the former president, President Trump, has a narcissistic personality disorder which means there's no empathy and it

threatens the safety of our country, that is also something that has to be discussed. So, I hope people don't get caught up in television debates.

NEWTON: But, Governor, you know, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016. It did not -- and perhaps you're right about any personality disorder

about the president, I don't know, but he was still president and was president for four years. The point is you want a Democratic president to

either be re-elected or be elected. So, you brought it up. I asked you as a physician with your knowledge and credibility in your state. It's

absolutely indisputable.

And yet, the White House tells us again that the president has not seen a doctor since February. This is a man who is not just your president, he's

your friend. What would you say to him as a physician?

GREEN: Look, I'm a physician, but I hate going to the doctor too. So, it doesn't surprise me. He's been very busy. And what I will tell you is this,

of course, everyone's going to judge each of these candidates, and they should, and they absolutely should. But it's their values and what they can

get done which matters most.

The president himself will pull himself from this election if he feels he is not up to it, if he can't do what is necessary to be president, and we

respect that.

NEWTON: Are you assured of that? Because what -- from what we saw on the debate stage, at some point, either he or a family member would have

insisted that he get checked out at this point.

GREEN: Right So, you know, you've heard what the White House has said, that he was under the weather and he was exhausted. And that is the case,

obviously, for people who are in their 80s. And that's where basically the president and the former president are.

I'm not denying at all that the president had a terrible debate and was just off his game. So, we need to see him a couple more times. If the

family decides to pull him out of this election, it's because they care about the country more than anyone else. And that's what we would respect.

That's what we as governors will see.

But I can tell you, for the last year, this president really helped my state, really got the job done. And I'm being serious about this, OK. If

we're talking about the clinical state of people, men or women, that are running for a president, senator, governor, I'm not their doctor, but I can

say these are very relevant questions. And we should have been asking those relevant questions of the former president also.


He did perform well during that debate because he just rolls over people. He cast out with a loud voice a million lies. That's not terrific. That's

actually pathological. So, I hope the country is capable of judging people on the breadth of their experience. But the president's going to make this

decision, I'm sure, in the coming days. And we will try to help him as governors and senators and congresspeople, and general citizens. We want

the best for this country.

NEWTON: Yes. And the viewers who are watching, though, President Biden, even his supporters saw what they saw during the debate. And again, it is

not about how the president's behavior in the last three and a half years, it's if he has the capacity to go on for the next four and a half.

So, when you're in this phone call in the next hour, what can you bring to the table in terms of what Democrats are telling you in your own state,

whether they be donors or regular voters or people worried about down ballot races?

GREEN: I could tell them, look, this is a gentleman who served our country for five decades, who has been a public servant longer than anyone else. It

is wrong to not trust his judgment and the judgment of people around him. And I know everyone's got an opinion in every coffee shop, in my family, in

the governor's meetings, that is appropriate. We should all have opinions. But we have put our trust in this gentleman, and he has to make that

decision with his inner circle.

I can tell you also, we are opinionated partners in this adventure. That means governors and congressmen, and everyone is sharing their opinion.

Some of them are very harsh behind the scenes, and that's part of the process. President Biden is not a shrinking violet. He will know if he's

got to get out of this race, but he's very reluctant, as would anyone be, to hand a race potentially over to Donald Trump, because there are some

terrible stuff that's come out of that gentleman's mouth over the years, which is pathological in its own right. And no matter what, I'm going to

make that case.

So, let's do what's best for the country. It could be that the president decides to get out of this race. But if that's the case, the standard

should also include Mr. Trump getting out of the race because he does not have the empathy for this nation.

NEWTON: Governor, I have to say, you say that it would be harsh to hand it over to the other candidate. You do have a deep bench, some of which are

people that will be on that call in less than an hour from now. Can't they handle this? Can't they take on the former president?

GREEN: Yes, but that's not our role right now. You know, many of us are going to serve for a long time, and his governors and potential presidents

or vice presidents. But right now, the nomination has gone the way of this dear gentleman who cares deeply about the country. And that's Joe Biden.

So, I would say this, I think we are all united in the sense that we have to honor him. We have to respect his decisions.

But he is definitely consulting with the vice president right now who I have a great deal of respect for. And he is consulting with some of those

individuals that would step in if asked. So, I appreciate that. But we have to really think hard about looking at public opinion over an hour and a

half- or two-hour debate.

When you have 50 years of service -- I hear you. I'm a regular person too. It was a scary thing to watch in the debate. I've seen a lot of scary

moments from people who serve in office that would much more easily disqualify them from service in the future. I mean, I'm not trying to be

crazy partisan here, but the former president, when we had this disaster, this tragedy in Maui, came over the top with the most caustic nonsense

ever, which scared our people, did not help us recover. That's something I would never expect from any, any elected officials.

So, I'll be making the case for a good human being to be president going forward. If it's Joe Biden, that's fantastic. If it's one of these folks on

the phone call, believe me, I'm going to support them because we have to have empathy for our country.

NEWTON: Well, we certainly know from what you've just said that this will at least be a very candid conversation and we wait to see what comes of it.

Again, Governor Josh Green of Hawaii, not just your role as governor, but also as a physician, we really appreciate your time. Thanks so much.

GREEN: Thank you.

NEWTON: Now, Jamaica's prime minister is warning that his country has not seen the worst of Hurricane Beryl yet. The Category 4 hurricane is not

expected to make landfall, but the eye of the storm is moving perilously close to the Jamaican shoreline, bringing with it high winds and waves.

Beryl is one of the strongest storms to impact Jamaica in more than 15 years. Raphael Romo is in the Jamaican capital, Kingston.

Raf, can you hear me?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Paula, we had seen periods of -- yes, Paula, we have seen periods of very intense winds followed by periods of

torrential rains. Right now, we have a mix of both, and it's been going on for several hours right now.


Now, there's an open question on whether the eye of the hurricane is actually going to make landfall on the island. We can -- whether we can

call it officially a landfall. But in any case, even if it brushes the southern coastline of Jamaica, it's still causing a lot of rain, a lot of

damage. The building right behind me, part of the roof was torn off. We've seen a power lines that have been downed by the winds. And this is just

here where I am. Imagine what's happening around this island of 3 million people.

Earlier today, we heard from the prime minister who said, their word is, it's not over yet. He also said that as many as 500 people are in shelters.

And so, it remains to be seen what's going to happen. One big worry was that the storm surge was going to go above the wall here at the pier. That

has not happened yet. So, in a way, that's good news.

Now, another piece of good news that we have is that this is a fast-moving storm moving at about 18 miles per hour. It means that it's not stationary.

And even though it is very strong, very powerful, the winds are very powerful, as you can see, it's going to move rapidly through Jamaica and

not cause as much flooding as it was, or much less as it was fear.

So, that's the situation here on the ground. We are going to wait and see what's going to happen in the next few hours as it moves further west here

in the Caribbean. Paula, back to you.

NEWTON: Rafael, thank you so much for your report. We really appreciate it as we continue to keep an eye on that storm. And now, as I said, perhaps

maybe making landfall in Jamaica.

We want to get more now on exactly how the storm system is progressing. Chad Myers is at the World Weather Center for us. And, Chad, I know how

carefully you watch these storms. Rafael is right, right, whether technically it makes landfall or not, that may not matter?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Correct. And in fact, it's worse that it's not making landfall. I think for some people. Landfall means that the

center of the eye goes over a part of the land. Well, the center of the eye isn't the worst part of the storm. It's the right side of that eye, that

eye wall that is right on shore right now, about 60 miles west now of Rafael. So, things have calmed down for him.

I saw a live shot earlier where he was literally unable to stand up. So, things have calmed a little bit, but for the people around Treasure Beach

and even toward Negril, this is by far not over. It's still going to get worse. Raphael talked about that flooding too, six more inches of rainfall

is possible tonight on those mountains. And if you ever heard of Blue Mountain Jamaica Coffee, that rain is on those mountains too. Ready to come

back down toward the ocean.

It eventually gets south of the Cayman Islands later on tonight. Still a Cat 3 likely. And then, making landfall somewhere around Quintana Roo,

maybe toward Xcaret, into the peninsula here and back into the Bay of Campeche. After that, it's really a crapshoot. Does it go on the right side

of this eye, right side of the cone, or the left side? That's kind of the question we have right now.

Here is the European model. It's an ensemble, 50 different members of the ensemble run. You look for where things are kind of clustered and you can

see, yes, clustered over the Yucatan, but also clustered just South of Brownsville.

There are some outliers to the right, but also some squiggly ones to the left. We don't really believe those right now, but as it gets closer, we'll

know. Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, this storm just won't quit. We certainly hope that it continues to weaken on its trajectory. Chad Myers for us. Thanks so much.

Really appreciate it.

Now, still ahead for us. Talk about a money move. Freshly printed cash is making a splash in Japan. The first new banknotes in two decades. The

surprising story of how the bills are made. That's just ahead.



NEWTON: So, people in Japan may be in for a pleasant surprise the next time they visit a cash machine, call it if you will, a high-profile money

makeover. The Japanese government has begun stocking ATMs with new banknotes, the first in decades. The money also coming from a very special

source. Our Hanako Montgomery joins me now.

I'm really curious how people in Japan are receiving these banknotes, because sometimes change is tough, right?

HANAKO MONTGOMERY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly, Paula. Yes, change can be tough, but I can tell you that the Japanese are very, very excited about

these brand-new bills. Actually, I have some in my hands today. We went to the bank yesterday to pick up this cold hard cash because we wanted to show

you what these new bills look like. And there were some people who were lined up for more than five hours just so they could also hold these newly

designed bills in their hands.

Now, we have to remember that the Japanese absolutely love their cash. Unlike many other wealthy nations that are completely cashless or very near

cashless, countries like China, South Korea, Sweden, for example, the Japanese still hold cash very near and dear to their hearts. In fact,

vending machines, which are ubiquitous in the country, some restaurants, even clinics, do not take credit card payments.

But you'll be surprised to know that more than 90 percent of Japan's bills are made with materials sourced outside of the country, and Nepal is a

very, very key player. It supplies this crucial ingredient for Japan's bills, a plant called Mitsumata. So, take a look at how Mitsumata travels

from the Nepali mountainside to Japan's banks.


MONTGOMERY (voice-over): Along the winding paths of Nepal's Himalayan peaks thrives a key cash crop for one of the world's wealthiest economies,

Mitsumata. This small yellow plant is essential for making Japan's bills. But shrinking farming populations and climate change means it can no longer

be sourced locally. Instead, it's found in abundance in Nepal's highland regions. A chance discovery made by Kampo Incorporated, a company that

produces paper for the Japanese government.

TADASHI MATSUBARA, PRESIDENT, KANPOU INC. (through translator): The profits from the Mitsumata are used to build elementary schools, to offer

better education to children in hair salons in the village.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): Tadashi Matsubara's company first went to Nepal for a charity program to help farmers dig wells. But after discovering

Mitsumata in the mid-90s, growing wild as far as the eyes could see, they taught farmers how to cultivate the crop turned cash. Transforming the

local economy, Matsubara says.

MATSUBARA (through translator): I really think that Nepal contributed to Japan's economy. As cash is fundamental to Japanese economy, without Nepal,

Japan will not function.


MONTGOMERY (voice-over): And as Japan unveils its first new bills in 20 years, the demand for the plant skyrockets.

MONTGOMERY: These are Japan's brand-new bills. They're the first to have 3D holograms of historical figures to prevent counterfeiting and have

tactile marks for the visually impaired.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): The new bills arrive as cash loving Japan pushes for more digital payments. In 2023, nearly 40 percent of transactions in

Japan were noncash, but it still trails far behind neighboring China, where it's almost completely cashless.

In Japan, where cash reigns king, this vital crop from the Himalayan hillside is key to filling its wallets.


MONTGOMERY (on camera): So, Paula, even though cash unfortunately does not grow on trees, it does in fact grow on bushes in Nepal, which are used to

produce Japan's cash currency. Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, we'll see how everyone adapts to them. I'm glad you got some in your hand there. We were able to see them. Hanako, thanks so much. We

appreciate it.

Coming up on "First Move," Americans are likely to pay a bit more for their 4th of July barbecues. We'll speak to grocery store owner Stew Leonard Jr.

about rising U.S. food prices this Independence Day. That's next.


NEWTON: And welcome back to "First Move." Another day of record highs on Wall Street topping today's "Money Move." U.S. stocks closing mostly higher

on Wednesday in a holiday shortened trading session, with the S&P and NASDAQ, in fact, hitting fresh records. All that despite weak U.S. economic

data, including softer than expected private sector jobs growth. Service sector activity contracting last month, too, that also was lower. That's at

least according to one survey.

Wall Street is closed for Independence Day, we remind you, on Thursday, but traders will be back in action at the end of the week for an all-important

monthly U.S. jobs report.

Now, a higher close in Europe, meantime, with modest gains for U.K. stocks ahead of Thursday's general election. Asian stocks mostly higher, too, the

Nikkei rallying more than 1.25 percent, with fresh all-time highs in sight.

And, of course, now we have just reminded you that Thursday is the 4th of July here in the United States. Shoppers are stocking up on burgers, hot

dogs, and coleslaw. However, they might be feeling some sticker shock. Americans hosting a 10-person barbecue will spend an average of $71 bucks,

that's according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. It is a record high.

Here's the good news, though. Some items are actually getting cheaper this year. Meat is the main culprit behind the record high average. So, if

you're having a vegetarian party, yes, I know some people moan, but it would be cheaper because you're in luck, the cost of homemade potato salad,

cheese, and strawberries held relatively steady or even went down.


For more on all of this, how consumers can pinch some pennies, I'm joined by Stew Leonard Jr. He's the CEO of the family's namesake grocery stores,

which I'm told are absolutely epic. I've never been to one. They are like the Disneyland of groceries. And we thank you for being here.

So, we learned in the last two years that the basic grocery trip is getting much more expensive. What have you seen, though, besides all that amazing

stuff you have in front of you? What have you seen in terms of prices?

STEW LEONARD JR., PRESIDENT AND CEO, STEW LEONARD'S: Well, Paula, first of all, Bonjour. OK. Because I see you speak French like that. And my son-in-

law is French and my little grandkids, three of them, are teaching me French right now. So, I'm learning, maybe I'll be able to talk to you that


But, you know, what we're seeing right now is basically saw some increases in '22 and '23 as far as food prices goes. There were a lot of factors,

Ukraine war, feed prices, all of that. This year, we've seen them -- it's about the same as last year.

So, you know, we have ground beef right now, which we just did 25,000 pounds of butchers are grinding it fresh all day long. And that's the same

price, $399, as it was last year. You see things like eggs, which have taken a big jump up, but then corn is down, and as you mentioned,

strawberries and cheese and other things. So, you know, you're not going to see a bigger increase. It's nice to see inflation. Maybe this has a good

sign for the future right now.

As far as customers go, you know what you can do, shop the specials. I mean, at Stew Leonard's, we have a lot of specials this week going on. And

we also want to encourage everybody, there's a lot of app deals. You know, you see them with Starbucks and all sorts of other places. And so, look for

any deals or loyalty programs, you can save some money on that. Yes.

NEWTON: And that's great advice, no matter where you are. I have to ask you, if we look at the typical American barbecue, though, are you saying

that people are feeling that sticker shop, because prices have already gone up and they're not necessarily going down all that much, especially on

things like meat?

LEONARD JR.: Well, you know, Paula, I just spoke with one of our farmers here in Connecticut. You know, we're in the metro New York area, but he's a

young guy. He actually looked a lot like John Denver, actually, and he's got a three -- yes, he's a really cool, nice guy working his butt off, just

trying to make ends meet, really. You know, and he grows a nice local crop.

But I was talking to him and he said the labor costs have gone up. There's also a lot of legislation, which now -- he used to have to have his workers

work 60 hours a week without getting overtime. Now, if they work 40 and over, he has to pay them overtime. Well, look, that's just a small farm and

those costs have to be passed on. He doesn't, you know, drive around in a Rolls-Royce or something. I can guarantee you that.

But, you know, feed prices, they're up. That's why you're seeing egg prices right now. Chicken feed is up. And so, some of those costs have increased

and the farmers actually are just passing them on. There's no price gouging going on from what I've talked to any of my fellow retailers across the

country, and even a lot of our -- even Stew Leonard's, I mean, we're not looking at this where you can raise prices or anything. We're trying to

hold prices as low as we possibly can.

NEWTON: Stew, I'm already getting quite hungry, just even looking at everything in the grocery store. I'm sure Americans are getting prepared

for their big celebration. I know you've got a lot there. Like I said, I'm already hungry. Oh, look at that steak.

LEONARD JR.: This is the people -- if you want to get a wow at your barbecue, get one of these tomahawk pig, OK. These are great right here.

NEWTON: We -- and it's likely worth the splurge. Stew, we have to leave it there, but we'll continue to check in with you. We absolutely love checking

in with you. Thanks so much.

LEONARD JR.: Hey, Paula?


LEONARD JR.: Quickly, can I just give a quick shout out to be safe around the water. My wife and I had a little son that drowned and we promote water

safety. Now, is a critical time. All the moms, dads, and grandpas and grandmothers watching, please watch those kids around the water. This is a

critical time right now.

NEWTON: You are so right. And sometimes it's during those family gatherings where it's so important to watch them because everyone else --

someone else is watching them. I know. Stew Leonard, always good advice. Thank you so much. Take care.

Now, to baseball now. The great season for the L.A. Dodgers, their Japanese megastar, Shohei Ohtani, you know who he is, a big reason for that on

Tuesday, Ohtani hit his 27th home run of the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks.


He's only been a Dodger for a few months now. And clearly, having a big impact. Ohtani's broader impact is on the community. CNN's Natasha Chen

joins me now from Dodger Stadium. I am so glad you are there. Let us know because everyone knew he'd be big, but how big?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, so big that I have more food to show you in this next piece. But the energy in the stadium, as

you can imagine, it's just crazy when he comes to play home plate. And, you know, especially for those fans who flew more than 5,000 miles for a

baseball game.

Now, yes, there have been Japanese baseball fans who have gone to Anaheim to see him play when he was with the Angels. But anecdotally, we're being

told this is a whole new level. One major Japanese travel agency told me they're booking up to 200 clients in these seats for every home Dodgers



CHEN (voice-over): Baseball is America's pastime. But here in one of the country's oldest baseball stadiums, you'll see a celebration of Japanese

heritage and hear Japanese language tours four days a week, all because of six-foot-four --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is a superhero.

CHEN (voice-over): -- star hitter and pitcher --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are proud of him.

CHEN (voice-over): -- new Dodger, Shohei Ohtani.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is a good baseball player and so cute.

CHEN (voice-over): After a record-breaking contract with the Dodgers, Ohtani is drawing fans from across the Pacific Ocean in waves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were expecting a spike, but truly nothing like this.

CHEN (voice-over): The team has a dozen new Japanese sponsors this year and added six new Japanese-speaking tour guides. Dodger Stadium food now

goes beyond the Dodger Dog to the Kurobuta pork sausage dog, sushi, chicken katsu, and takoyaki, which are round fritters filled with octopus. You can

get the original or --

CHEN: It's got a kick. Salsa and cheese, and guacamole and cheese.


CHEN: The Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board says 80 percent to 90 percent of visitors from Japan come to Dodger Stadium at least once during

their trip to LA. And many of them end up here in LA's little Tokyo to find the mural they've heard about all the way from Japan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The painting is moving he said.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They scan the QR code at the base of the mural, point your camera phone and they can see Shohei actually swing and see him pitch,

and you hear Vin Scully say --


CHEN (voice-over): Artist Robert Vargas says he painted this mural to bring everyone together in the city's crossroads of Asian and Latin

American communities.

ROBERT VARGAS, ARTIST: Shohei has been hard hit for -- during COVID and I really felt like as a longtime resident of Downtown L.A., I wanted to be

able to contribute to the AAPI community.

CHEN (voice-over): Little Tokyo businesses say they have doubled the customers they normally get this time of year. And with the weak Japanese

yen, it is a costly trip for travelers from Japan spending U.S. dollars, but they'll find a few local deals.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After he hit a homerun, next day, it will be 50 percent off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Shohei hits a home run, we automatically pass out Shohei's shot.

CHEN: You hope this goes on for 10 years.


CHEN: Yes.

CHEN (voice-over): The Miyako Hotel's general manager says rooms are fully booked during home games.

Takayo Hezume (ph) says her son also play baseball and she feels as if Ohtani is Japan's son.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And wait until he starts pitching for us. I'm just like, my God.

CHEN (voice-over): Whether fans are from his home country, second- generation Japanese American, or have no connection to Japan at all, it is

a unifying moment.


CHEN (voice-over): A moment as American as a hot dog on the 4th of July and a Takoyaki covered in guac.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is good for everyone. This is good for all of baseball.


CHEN (on camera): It's not just the fans, it's also Japanese media who have followed Ohtani here so much so that the signs for media at the

stadium are translated into Japanese. Now, the fans do tell me that they're seeing other classic L.A. sites while they're on their trips, which is what

the tourism board wants to see. They tell me they're going to Santa Monica Beach. They're going to Hollywood. And now, they're experiencing an

American 4th of July. Paula.

NEWTON: Yes. You -- by the way, you did make me hungry by the way, showing me all that food. It all looked delicious. And I noticed you got a little

bit of kick out of it. But it is amazing just to see what this one man has been able to do, even in a city like Los Angeles. Natasha Chen for us.

Thanks. Great report. Appreciate it.

Now, still to come for us, President Biden is meeting with Democratic governors this hour as the White House insists, he's staying. We'll have

all of the latest developments, next.



NEWTON: And welcome back to "First Move." The White House is pushing back on reports that President Biden is reassessing his re-election bid in the

wake of last week's debate. A group of Democratic governors is meeting with Biden this hour to discuss the way forward. We're told the president has

privately acknowledged that the next few days are critical as to whether he can save his re-election bid.

MJ Lee joins me now. And, MJ, that was your reporting. You found out that, look, people are saying, quite clearly, he is going to give this some

thought. What are you expecting with these governors?

LEE: Well, remember, this is a group of Democratic governors, some of whom have really discussed the concern that they had after seeing President

Biden and his stunningly poor debate performance just a few days ago. And really, I think the main thing that they are wanting to get out of this is

direct interaction with the president. They want to know whether he is doing OK, and certainly, you expect that they are going to want some sense,

again, directly from the president on what the path forward here is.

And of course, we've seen the president, the White House, the campaign, all really making a concerted effort today to press home that they are not

going to be giving up this fight, that despite the panic that we have seen within the Democratic Party, donors that are concerned, two House

Democrats, sitting members in Congress have come out now to say the president should drop out, others expressing concern within the party,

despite all of that, that the president is in it for the long haul.

The president himself joined a campaign call today to let everyone working for his campaign know that he isn't going anywhere. He said that he is in

this until the very end. And we've seen this on a staff level too, which I think just goes to show, sort of, the moment we are in of real uncertainty.

We've seen senior White House officials and senior campaign officials holding these kinds of calls with their staff to reassure them and at least

to try to give them a pep talk and say, look, these are uncertain times, understand the concern, but it's time to just keep our heads down and keep

working. And the president is still the nominee.

And again, he isn't going anywhere. But we're going to have to see whether a meeting like this and the outreach that the president has been doing to

lawmakers in the last 48 hours or so. And then a couple of the other things that the White House has planned for the president, like a big sit-down

interview, as well as a press conference with reporters coming next week, whether all of those things really add up to reassure people in the party

that are really concerned right now.

NEWTON: Yes, MJ, I don't have a lot of time left, but our Jeff Zeleny is also reporting that in the words of, at least, one source that they're

going to keep Kamala Harris close and that that -- there is a succession plan there. I mean, is that really going to fly at this point, especially

when the governors are looking to this president to make a decision?


LEE: Well, you know, that is a big hypothetical, of course. We need to take this one day at a time. The hypothetical where that would even be

relevant, of course, would come after the president decided that he was not going to pursue a second term.

But look, I think the vice president is certainly in a tough place right now. She understands that there are so many questions and concerns right

now about the president. She needs to make sure that she is being a good soldier and being completely publicly supportive of the president, even

though, of course, she is the deputy. And as the White House press secretary told me today, she said the president specifically chose Kamala

Harris as his running mate back in the 2020 campaign, because he sees her as being the future of this party.

But look, contingency plans and all of that, I think there's a lot of talk going on right now about what might happen in the coming weeks. And at this

moment in time, we just don't know what is going to happen. But the president certainly is trying to reassure everyone that he's still in this.

NEWTON: Yes, and we have to say, every moment of his time in front of the camera now under scrutiny. MJ Lee for us at the White House, really

appreciate it.

That's about wraps up our show here. I want to thank you for being with us. I want you to join us tomorrow for special coverage of the U.K. election.

I'm Paula Newton in New York.