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Some Families Could See Heating Bills Double This Winter; CNN: Trump Allies Pushing For "Stay Away" Strategy In 2022; Federal Judge Rules TX School Mask Mandate Is Against The Law. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired November 11, 2021 - 12:30   ET



JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Inflation is getting more public attention from the President all of a sudden. Yes, Washington is often late to feel or to fully understand your pain. Prices are climbing at rates not seen in 30 years. In a moment, what if anything President Biden can do to help, first though, and not in America look at inflation's impact on working families and on communities struggling to escape the COVID cloud. CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich is live for us in Des Moines, Iowa. Vanessa?

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: John, well let's start with gas prices over $3 a gallon here in Iowa that's up more than $1 since last year. We spoke to one gentleman said -- who said he was gas station price hopping, he saw one station was charging 3.40. He said that's too much. He found a station that was closer to $3. And he felt comfortable with that.


Also rising food costs, we spoke to one gentleman who said he was in the store just to peruse the aisles. But when he realized bacon was a lot more expensive, up 20 percent in just the last year, he said he needed to stock up. But John, the big thing here for Iowans is raising energy costs. Mid Atlantic energy, the biggest power provider here in the state says that folks can expect to spend nearly double what they did last year on their energy bills. And John winter is coming.


JOHN HOSKINS, ANKENY, IOWA RESIDENT: And it's coming, and we all know that it's coming. So we flip the fireplace on and get a little heat that way, instead of turning the furnace up. We can't go too far out of our means to make ends meet. But, you know, you still got to eat, you still got to live. We kind of just kind of watch it. Be careful.


YURKEVICH: Now it is possible to price shop at the grocery store, it is possible to do so at the gas station a little bit. But it's really hard to save money on heating Americans and Iowans in particular here during these very cold winters, they're going to be expected to pay a little bit more even double this season, just to stay warm. John? KING: Vanessa Yurkevich, grateful for the reporting live from Des Moines, Iowa very much. Let's bring the conversation back into the room. Again, you know, Washington, all of Washington in previous administrations as well as this administration is often a little slow to pick up on what's happening out in real America. Part of the President's problem here is that number one, there's no magic wand for this.

This is global COVID related economic pressures that go back to the Trump presidency. I'm not blaming on Trump, it's just go, that's what they do on the calendar. And Biden has no magic wand to speed up the world global recovery, to speed up manufacturing, to speed up things through ports and tanks. One of his problems, though, is back in July, he said this.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As our economy has come roaring back, we see some price increases. Some folks have raised worries that this could be a sign of persistent inflation. But that's not our view, these disruptions are temporary. There's nobody suggesting as unchecked inflation on the way. No serious economist.


KING: That's the problem is when you say something like that, and then months later the problem persists. You seem out of touch or not on top of something.

MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, temporary is in the eye of the beholder, right? Is temporary, this will be over by January 2023, this is temporary, this will be over by Christmas. It's not going to be over by Christmas, I think. You know, we've all -- we can all agree on that. It's not going to over by Thanksgiving.

So Biden has two problems. One is expectations, just like you said. And the other is that it's going to be very easy for Republicans to at least try to message that all of the spending, the stimulus, the infrastructure spending, the BBB that hasn't even been passed yet.

That all of this is what is contributing to it in some way. It doesn't, I mean, it doesn't matter how much that's true. But for a political argument, it doesn't matter how much that's true. It is going to feed this feeling the Democrats have done something to exacerbate this problem, or to make it worse.

And you know, I think it's going to we're already seeing that these inflation numbers are going to make it that much more difficult for that Build Back Better plan to pass either chamber, but certainly the Senate. And that's a real problem.

KING: Right. And so the issue becomes, you know, is the price of eggs, the President's fault, you know, so if you just look things that cost more, it's everything. Gas costs more, used cars costs more, bacon costs more, Vanessa, just noted that beef costs more, eggs costs more, everything costs more right now, for different reasons and different factors, a lot of them connected.

Or you could just look at it this way, a year ago for the average family of four, $674 a month. That's what you spend on groceries now it's $849 a month, I remember conversations around the kitchen table growing up where this time of year, you got to start paying for home heating oil and what does that do to the groceries budget. Washington sometimes gets disconnected from those conversations.

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: And you're seeing more and more the President is trying to change what he's saying compared to what he was saying over the summer. So now Biden is starting to acknowledge the pain that Americans are feeling across the country.

You saw in statements this week, as well as in his speech yesterday, he was saying I understand that your pocketbooks are hurting and that this is not helping you come out of, you know, the pandemic, come out of the recession, and that he's doing everything in his power to possibly address it directing his Economic Council to look at options.

But he also is trying to make the argument to Margaret's point, he's aggressively now trying to push back on the Republican attacks by saying that one, the Build Back Better plan, which is his the second piece of his big economic agenda that addresses families and eldercare and childcare, he's arguing, the White House is arguing that that would address inflation because of the effective tax cuts that it would deliver to American families.

And then the other argument is that there trying to make is that it's paid for. Unlike the infrastructure package which added more to the deficit than the second plan would, the Build Back Better is paid for. And so that's his pushback against some of the senators like Manchin who are right now wary of the impact of inflation, and may potentially use inflation as an excuse to further whittled down that bill.


KING: Well, to that point that there's the economic and political concerns the President has to have for everyday Americans and then there is there an impact on his agenda here in Washington. Laura mentioned Senator Joe Manchin, he tweets out this.

By all accounts, the threat posed by record inflation to the American people is not transitory and is instead getting worse. From the grocery store to the gas pump, Americans know the inflation tax is real and D.C. can no longer ignore the economic pain Americans feel every day.

OK. In and of itself, in a vacuum good for Senator Manchin is smart reach out to people. But some people took that as a cue. He says no more spending, or at least less spending, dial it back. Will inflation become not only a political problem for the pain on American families, but for the president getting votes for his agenda?

NOLAN MCCASKILL, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, LOS ANGELES TIMES: That could definitely be the case. I mean, progressives voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill last week that's gone through, they sort of lost a lot of leverage there. Now we're seeing inflation, holiday season approaching, people are having to make difficult decisions about do you go see your family on Thanksgiving, our gas prices too high, our flights too expensive, our rental car is too expensive.

It wouldn't shock me to see Joe Manchin decide that hey, 1.75 is too high for me when it comes to this, you know, social spending bill that Democrats are hoping to pass next week. I think Biden has some work to do to not only assure everyday Americans that this will, this situation will improve but also that Democrats are able to pass their agenda. He has some work to do.

KING: He has some work to do. And it gets complicated by the day.

Up next for us, some brand new CNN reporting on what we'll call a stay away debate in Trump World as some advisors studied the map for races were showing up this might not be the best thing for the former president to do. Plus House Democrats move to censure Republican Paul Gosar for a violent tweet that he says was just a cartoon.



KING: Some new CNN reporting today on Donald Trump's game plan for the 2022 midterms with the recent GOP win in Virginia as a template, allies of the former president are quote, pushing for a stay away strategy in some races and claim their temperamental boss is uncharacteristically quote, willing to be deferential to candidates.

This reporting comes from CNN Gabby Orr who's with us now to join the discussion, fascinated by this idea that they see how Youngkin won in Virginia, and they think you know, Mr. Former President, maybe there are some places where it's better for you to stay away. And then in your reporting, that he's willing to be deferential to candidates. Is there a clock on that?

GABBY ORR, CNN REPORTER: Yes. Look, I don't know how easy it's going to be to convince somebody like Donald Trump who is notoriously prideful to go along with a strategy that essentially prevents him from going to different candidates backyards. It's going to be difficult to convince him that that's a good idea.

But there are Trump allies making the case that in 2022, in some instances, there will be Republicans, either in statewide races or national races that might not benefit from having him campaign beside them. And that he should be willing to potentially endorse those candidates but not go and rally beside them that that could hurt them at the end of the day.

KING: And we can see this is for Monday, a picture posted on the desk of Donald Trump website of Donald Trump helping House Republicans raise money. And you see Kevin McCarthy introducing him or shaking his hand there in the picture. So he's helping raise money, which also is on them, because he also keeps repeating the big lie. He says the insurrection was Election Day. No, the insurrection was January 6th. But where he fits is a giant question about the midterms and the success or not of the Republicans.

TALEV: I mean for Donald Trump, it's very important to be able to take credit for these for successful GOP elections in swing areas. And you saw him do it with Youngkin where he's putting out those statements saying like, congratulations, there's no way you could have done it without my people.

And so like, I think, for the advisors who are trying to push them in this direction, that's the argument to make, which is that there is a -- it's a median term game, but a long game in being more strategic and deciding when to be on stage with someone and when to just be doing radio shows and stuff on the side.

I think the question is, what's this all leading to like, the minute the clock turns, you know, 12 on midterm day, November of next year, you're in a different game.

KING: And that picture tell us, that picture just tells you the foundation of what they are doing is based on a lie and a liar. I'm sorry. There's, you know, if you went to an organization to buy a product and its foundation was based on a lie and a liar, you might turn away. The Republican Party is not I'm sorry.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Now also, I mean, talking about the lie that Trump has created, the one that a lot of Republicans are going along with is that there aren't that many candidates right now that are in the mold of Youngkin that are running for Senate races, statewide Senate races, races that Trump may get involved in.

You think of Herschel Walker in Georgia, Sean Parnell in Pennsylvania, there was an Arizona Senate Republican Senate candidate who recently ran an ad I think this week that said, Donald Trump is the president of the United States. And so a lot of these candidates are fully embracing the big lie, fully embracing Trump and it's difficult to see him staying out of this.

KING: Right. And it's important because the Trump wing of the party does not endorse diversity of any. You're either with Trump or against Trump or you're now you're against Biden or you're something around. This is Matt Gaetz on Twitter because 13 House Republicans voted to support was a bipartisan infrastructure bill.

The current Republican Conference is not in position to win with 13 Republican supporting the Biden agenda. At GOP Leader McCarthy should do the right thing, remove these members from their committee leadership positions. And so this will not be tolerated.


So a difference of opinion is not tolerated in the Republican Party, a congressman or congresswoman voting for something they think will give roads and bridges and clean drinking water back home is not tolerated in the Republican Party. Huh?

MCCASKILL: It doesn't make much sense to me, but I'm not a member of Congress. And I think that we're just seeing Republicans take their cues from Donald Trump. He's still the leader of the party, even though he's now no longer in the White House.

KING: It is that one, yes, OK.

Up next, the latest COVID news, including a giant legal setback for the Texas Governor Greg Abbott.



KING: Today's COVID news includes a major setback for the Texas Governor Greg Abbott. A federal judge ruled the state's blanket ban on massive requirements in schools violates protections for Americans with disabilities. The judge says the Texas law denies the clear benefit of in person learning to children who are at higher risk of getting COVID.

Let's get some perspective now with Dr. Richina Bicette-McCain. She's the medical director of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. And Doctor, as I do this, I just want to bring up this map. You're in the heart of this in Texas, your state has been central to fights over mandates, including mask mandates because of the governor's policy. We've also seen schools in at least eight states have started to make masks optional.

Many of those states have a somewhat improving COVID transmission rates others, you've had people just say they're tired of all this. In the context of being in the middle of this in Texas, a court saying it's discriminatory against children who need that mask because they're at higher risk. What's your take on how long do we, should we keep school masks in place in schools?

DR. RICHINA BICETTE-MCCAIN, EMERGENCY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: We absolutely need to keep masks in place in schools for now. The CDC has said that over 87 percent of counties are in places where COVID transmission is at substantially high levels, it's not time to start dialing back protection, especially when a large proportion of our children have not yet been vaccinated.

KING: It's a great point in a sense, if you look at that right now, if you look at the national vaccination rate, you do see an uptick in recent days. And that is largely those eager parents of children aged five to 11 now that they're eligible, the eager parents are getting them out and you see the numbers go up some but you also see at the same time, doctor, our case, the case rate is up 6 percent since last week, you might say that's not a ton, but we were coming down steadily then a plateau now starting to inch back up as it gets colder in much of the country. How worrisome is that?

BICETTE-MCCAIN: It's pretty worrisome because we know that during the winter months people move indoors and being indoors by itself is a higher risk for transmission of COVID-19. Not only that, before, a lot of people who did get vaccinated early on in the pandemic, what we've seen is that immunity is starting to wane around six to nine months. So we need to get those boosters and arms as quickly as possible. KING: Boosters in arms as quickly as possible. If you look at the kids vaccination so far, the White House says 900,000 of those five to 11 year olds newly eligible had the vaccines by the end of the day Wednesday, they say they're probably about 700,000 appointments already booked.

So we are seeing as we have seen in the past when different groups have become eligible for vaccinations, those who were eager and waiting or rushing to get appointments. The question is what comes after that? Will we see that lag again where people are either hesitant or outright resistant say wait?

BICETTE-MCCAIN: So those numbers are encouraging, but they're not enough. Early on in the pandemic, we thought that maybe we would need to get about 70 percent of the population vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity. That Target has shifted.

We know from a historical perspective to get measles eradicated, we needed to get 95 percent of the community vaccinated. Vaccines are what eradicate disease, no matter how many treatments and pills are on the horizon. Treatment is not going to bring an end to COVID-19 prevention is.

KING: There are so many different ways we have looked throughout this pandemic at different attitudes among different groups as we go through big questions in the pandemic. This survey is will you -- are you willing as a parent to get your young child aged five to 11 vaccinated?

And it shows that among people who are more affluent people with annual income above $100,000, nearly half, 47 percent say yes. Those in the 75,000 and 99,000, 37 percent, and then those whose annual income is below 50,000 only a third, 34 percent say that. What is your real world experience, is it education? Is it income on the willingness to embrace and accept science and the skepticism?

BICETTE-MCCAIN: Well, it's multifactorial. You can deduce that those who are making higher incomes potentially could have more education and are more willing to accept medical recommendations or willing to accept science. But there are other things to look at as well, though of lower socioeconomic status may be less willing to take time off of work in order to take their child to get vaccinated or take care of their child if they have symptoms after the vaccine.

It could be an education level thing that's playing a part here, but we've also seen that those of lower socioeconomic status have been more affected by the pandemic in general, higher case loads, more hospitalization more deaths.

KING: Dr. Bicette-McCain grateful as always for your insights and expertise. We'll stay in touch as we get through these days. Thank you.

BICETTE-MCCAIN: Thank you, John.

KING: This quick -- thank you. This quick programming note, more than 20 years after her death, Princess Diana's story is having a moment go inside her lasting legacy on a new episode of the CNN Original Series Diana, that's Sunday night, 9 o'clock Eastern and Pacific right here on CNN.


Thanks for joining us in INSIDE POLITICS today. We'll see you back here tomorrow. Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage right now. Have a good day.