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Democrats Furious Over Potential Overturning of Roe; Putin Could Use May 9 Holiday to Escalate Conflict in Ukraine; Voters Unhappy with Biden Handling of Economy; Some Trump Supporters Boo Dr. Oz at Pennsylvania Rally; Supreme Court Grapples with Fallout from Abortion Leak. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired May 08, 2022 - 08:00   ET





ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST (voice-over): A seismic shock from the Supreme Court.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If this decision holds it's really quite a radical decision.

PHILLIP: In one month, will Roe versus Wade be overturned?

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How dare they? How dare they tell a woman what she can do and not do with her own body? How dare them.

PHILLIP: And can Democrats turn that outrage into votes in November?

Plus, as Russia prepares to celebrate victory day, questions about whether the U.S. is ramping up intelligence to Ukraine. Will that trigger a wider war?

And President Joe Biden lashes out at Republicans. But can he flip the midterm script from inflation to GOP radicalism?

BIDEN: This MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organization that's existed in recent American history.

PHILLIP: INSIDE POLITICS, the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters, now.


PHILLIP (on camera): Hello, and welcome to INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY. I'm Abby Phillip.

We begin this morning with a stunning Supreme Court leak. According to a draft decision by Justice Samuel Alito the conservative majority is on the verge of overturning Roe versus Wade. "Politico" obtained the draft opinion dated February, but we likely won't know if it's final until the ruling is released next month.

Anti-abortion activists aren't ready to celebrate just yet, but supporters of abortion rights took to the streets to protest, and it has shaken Democrat to their core.


HARRIS: How dare they? How dare they tell a woman what she can do and not do with her own body?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): This is going to fall hardest on, is going to be on poor women, it's going to fall hardest on those who have been molested. It's going to fall hardest on women who've been raped.

REP. BARBARA LEE (D-CA): In the '60s, abortions were not safe, they were not legal. The deaths of the majority of black women during that period were from septic abortions. I was one who survived.


PHILLIP: About half of the states have laws on the books that would immediately ban virtually all abortions, and the Senate plans to vote on a bill that legally protects abortion rights on Wednesday. But it's expected to fail.

Two-thirds of Americans in polling say they oppose overturning Roe, which is a 49-year legal precedent and Democrats are hoping that this issue helps galvanize their voters ahead of the midterms, yet CNN polled voters immediately before and after the decision. It was leaked this week, and Democratic enthusiasm to vote was up seven points after the news, but Republican enthusiasm was up nine points in the same period.

So joining me now to break down all of this is CNN's Manu Raju, Amy Walter of "The Cook Political Report", Tamara Keith of NPR, and CNN's Michael Warren.

So, the polling right now seems to indicate that this is not going to be the shift in the other direction as Democrats expect it, but do you think that there's a possibility that this could help them turn the tide?

AMY WALTER, COOK POLITICAL REPORTER PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: I think in individual states, it's going to have a big impact, especially the gubernatorial level where this fight then will go. I think about a state like Pennsylvania, where they don't have one of these so-called trigger laws, where we're already seeing the Democratic nominee, Josh Shapiro, lean in on that issue. Individually in these states it's going to have an impact.

Overall, probably not as much. And the fact that there's a vote this week in Congress, I think that's actually not that helpful to Democrats, to take that vote, because in essence what it says is, our hands are tied, what -- if you keep electing Democrats to the Senate, there's not much we can do, unless we have 60 votes, which is not going to happen.

PHILLIP: Yeah. I mean, Tamara, I really don't understand the strategy of holding a vote that is going to fail, and that's likely going to divide your own caucus.

TAMARA KEITH, NPR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, but Democrats are under a lot of pressure to show that they are trying. And this goes with other issues, like gun control, or immigration, or any number of issues where they simply don't have the votes to do what they promised back when they were running in 2020. And President Biden is also under pressure to try to find some sort of executive action.

But I talked to a legal expert on that, and there just isn't much there. It would be nibbling around the edges, but this person said the president has to show that he's going to try, that he's going to do something.

PHILLIP: Or are they doubling down on a narrative that nothing is getting done in Washington, at the end of the day?

MICHAEL WARREN, CNN REPORTER: Well, they've got to do something. You can't really blame Democrats because look at that CNN poll, seven- point advantage on the generic ballot for Republicans.


They've got to do something to get their voters excited. You know, the bottom line is, is that I agree with Amy, that on the state level, particularly governor's races but also Senate races, you've got very narrow Senate races in swing states, a state like Georgia.


WARREN: Republicans don't really talk about this issue very well, and they -- we've seen this in a lot of recent cycles, it's the kind of issue that could turn a Senate race, where it doesn't turn is a House race. And, in fact, that's where Republicans really seem to have not lost any of their advantage.


WARREN: Because, you know, while voters may be with Democrats on this issue, it doesn't rise to the level of an important issue when you're dealing with inflation, economic concerns, some of these other concerns that continue to persist and benefit Republicans.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And, yeah, that's why the Republicans, they really don't want to talk about this.


RAJU: To that point, I do want to play exactly that.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: You need, it seems to me, excuse the lecture, to concentrate on what the news is today, not a leaked draft, but the fact that the draft was leaked.

SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): What I'm hearing from people is they're more concerned about the integrity of the court right now.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): If Roe versus Wade, in fact, is overturned, the outcome will not be that abortion is suddenly illegal everywhere.


PHILLIP: Abortion -- what abortion?

RAJU: Yeah. I mean, look, I was at that press conference, and I asked Mitch McConnell whether or not he takes personal credit for the fact they're in this position. He, more than anyone else, perhaps Donald Trump, was responsible for the 6-3 conservative majority. And he would not say that at all. In fact, he said let's focus on the leak, let's not focus on this actual ruling.

Now, he did say in an interview on Thursday with "USA Today" that it's possible that there could be a federal abortion ban. Now, just him saying that was enough for Democrats to seize on this, and you saw one Democratic campaign blast out those comments, because they want to run on this issue.

Republicans don't want to run on this issue. They see the economy, inflation, immigration, border security, crime in the streets as their winning messages and issues to focus on, both in the Senate races and the House races, and talking about this, simply could motivate Democratic voters, which is why McConnell wants to turn the page.

PHILLIP: I mean, putting aside McConnell's comments this weekend -- I mean, there are efforts to talk about a national abortion ban but you do hear, to your point, Manu, the president, President Biden, talking about what could be next. And he is in some ways kind of an expert on this, because he is one of the people who pioneered this idea of privacy rights. He says other privacy rights could be at risk.


BIDEN: It basically says all the decisions made in your private life, who you marry, whether or not you decide to conceive a child or not, whether or not you're going to have an abortion, a range of other decisions, does this mean that in Florida they can decide they're going to pass a law saying that same sex marriage is not permissible?


PHILLIP: Is this an exaggeration, or a real possibility, and also just how potent is that kind of message to voters?

KEITH: Well, one thing to note here is that President Biden didn't say the word abortion while president until this week so it's not something he's wanted to talk about. Expanding the frame of this beyond abortion, which is an issue that on the polls people feel passionately about, but in the middle there's a lot of ambivalence. Expanding it to other issues that Democratic base voters care a lot

about, like same sex marriage, like access to contraceptives, some of these other things. Sort of broadens the base of people who could be animated, agitated, outraged by this ruling, and legal experts say that it could expand beyond that, although Alito, in the draft opinion, says that this is just about abortion.


WALTER: And look, we've seen this in so many campaigns. The -- if you're a Democrat, what you're going to try to do as Manu pointed out, play on your turf, which is all of these issues that Tamara raised, and hope your Republican opponent gets caught in that, that they go down that rabbit hole, and start saying things that really look way out of step with where the majority is on a hole host of those issues.

Remember in 2012 you had candidates come out and talk about abortion, and then they said things like, well, there's legitimate rape. Well, a woman doesn't get pregnant when she gets raped because their body shuts down, right? We had candidates making outrageous statements and then those statements became the focal point of those races, instead of what was then a pretty bad environment.

RAJU: Yeah, and those two Republican candidates, ended up losing op that.



RAJU: Look, I mean, at the end of the day, what motivates your base? Fear and anger, and that's what Democrats are really hoping to tap into. Because up until this point there has been frustration, anger at Democrats. So division about not doing enough, but doing something like this, the wider set of issues that could be at play could help them.

PHILLIP: Well, we should point out there's rhetoric and then there's reality. If Roe is overturned, there are 18 states who have laws that are on the books that would totally ban abortion, with few exceptions, four more could pass similar laws. And then in some of those states, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Wisconsin and Michigan, you've got competitive gubernatorial races that could make all the difference.

This isn't just hype. In a lot of states there would be more complete ban on abortion than even 15 weeks or six weeks.

WARREN: I mean, Roe v. Wade has actually kind of frozen abortion politics. We don't actually know how this -- how this reshuffles a lot of things, even in some of these red states, where you're seeing more extreme abortion laws.

Look, when it becomes a political issue, what are politicians going to do? They're going to have to moderate or they're going to get thrown out of office. I think that's sort of a long term --

PHILLIP: Well, maybe they will moderate, but the base of the Republican Party --


PHILLIP: -- wants the opposite of moderation on this particular issue.

WARREN: Absolutely.

PHILLIP: Standby for us.

Coming up next, just how much is U.S. intelligence helping Ukraine on the battlefield, and is it bringing the West closer to a direct confrontation with Russia?



PHILLIP: President Biden will meet virtually with G7 leaders and the Ukrainian president leader this morning as Russia prepares for a holiday known as Victory Day tomorrow. It marks the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, and this year, though, Russia's Vladimir Putin is expected to commemorate with military parades in Red Square.

He could also use the holiday to escalate the conflict in Ukraine. This is coming as new intelligence leaks reveal just how much the United States is helping Ukraine's military. Those disclosures are leading to growing concerns that the U.S. and Russia are getting closer to a direct confrontation.

Joining me now to discuss all of this is CNN's contributor and former Moscow bureau chief, Jill Dougherty, and the New Yorker's Robin Wright, a dynamic duo back with us again.

Thank you both for being here.

So, Jill, there's a lot of talk about these leaks and how significant they are. Tom Friedman wrote this weekend that according to his reporting President Biden was furious. He called around to his intelligence and defense saying, basically, stop it before you get us into a wider war.

And he writes: Vladimir Putin surely has no illusions about how much the U.S. and NATO are arming the Ukraine with material and intelligence. But when American officials start to brag in public about playing a role in killing Russian generals and sinking the Russian flagship, killing many sailors, we could be creating an opening for Putin to respond in ways that could dangerously widen this conflict and drag the U.S. deeper than it wants to be.

How significant is that risk at this point?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN RUSSIAN AFFAIRS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, Putin already has said, in essence, that he is at war with NATO. Because of all ideas, you know, Ukraine is being exploited by NATO and the United States.

So you've -- you kind of cross that bridge, but here's the proof. And I think that is the concerning thing, that if you have the United States directly providing intelligence to kill Russian generals, that is -- that is very serious because it is Russia against the United States, the United States against Russia.

Also, I think the other side of this is, in explaining that this is happening, the U.S. begins to reveal how it gets information about Russia, the actual intelligence that is used for other purposes. Not just Ukraine. And that could be a concern for the U.S.

PHILLIP: Yeah. I mean, it seems that the concern here is that there's no strategic reason to reveal -- look, the intelligence, according to the United States, they have said it's not designed to help kill Russian generals, but it's designed to help Ukraine win, if that involves killing Russian generals, so be it.

But, you know, Robin, you wrote in the last week that this is basically becoming a proxy war. The U.S. officials now frame America's role in more ambitious terms that border on aggressive. The goal backed by tens of billions of dollars in aid is to weaken Russia and to ensure sovereign Ukraine outlasts Putin. For Putin the war in Ukraine always seemed to be a proxy fight against NATO and U.S. leadership. What impact does that have on Putin's psychology, that really, I mean, we really, it seems, are in effectively a proxy war.

ROBIN WRIGHT, NEW YORKER CONTRIBUTING WRITER; Well, we crossed a threshold over the last ten days.


WRIGHT: We were initially reactive. We responded by providing humanitarian aid, arms and so forth to allow the Ukrainians to stand up for themselves. We crossed a threshold in saying we're -- we want to weaken Russia. That Ukraine, independent and sovereign, will long outlast Vladimir Putin. We're now proactive.

The $33 billion requested by president Biden equals almost half of the entire Russian defense budget, more than half of the entire U.S. State Department budget, it's a lot of money.

PHILLIP: It's a lot of money.

WRIGHT: That's only for five months. So the United States is all in, one way or another.

But I do think that one of the things that's happened is that in the aftermath of Afghanistan, and also Iraq, when the United States didn't seem to know what the exit strategy was, or what the end game was, or what the goal was, how to define it, that there's been an effort by this administration to say, more specifically, as it asks for more aid, as it heightens its profile, what is it that you want to achieve?

[08:20:14] And so I think we've got out there, in crossing a threshold then went a step too far about the language about the intelligence we were given.

PHILLIP: The intelligence is a step too far.


PHILLIP: It also -- I mean, the United States public opinion is in such a weird place on this. Americans want us to do as much as possible, but not have boots on the ground. I mean, can the Biden administration really manage that very, very fine line that we seem to be in right now?

DOUGHERTY: I think it's very hard, and I also think that as they everyday roll out another 33 million, et cetera, the Americans who are right now looking at the economy, and inflation going through the roof, and people who have investments are looking at the market, and there might be some people who say where's all this money coming from? And why is it going to Ukraine? Don't we have problems? This is a constant problem for leaders at war.


DOUGHTERY: As their people do --

PHILLIP: Yeah, absolutely, the financial piece. I do want to talk about Victory Day, which is tomorrow. We've been looking forward to this -- forward in the sense that we've been looking at this as a major inflection point. What do you think Putin's going to do and then, Jill, I want you to tell us about what Victory Day even is.

WRIGHT: Well, my sense is this going to be a moment that will define for us what Putin -- how far he wants to go. Is he going to say, declare open war, and that this is no longer simply a special military operation, which has always been a sham.


WRIGHT: And does he start making accusations about the West, what the West's intentions are, and trying to mobilize support so when he calls up conscripts, so when he deploys more and there are more losses, that Russia stands behind him.

I think he's -- he is personally popular, but he's very vulnerable to public opinion, even in an autocratic system.

PHILLIP: Yeah, and, Jill, Victory Day, it's a uniquely Russian moment.

DOUGHERTY: It is probably -- there's no question, it's the biggest holiday. It has enormous emotional resonance for Russians, and what you have in Ukraine is a direct reflection of the message from World War II, which is we are fighting the Nazis. And World War II was we defeated, Russia, and its allies, but mostly it's Russia talking about the way they defeated Nazism. And here you have Ukraine with this same purpose defined by President Putin, defeating Nazism, but the war isn't over.

So, I think Robin is --

PHILLIP: Yeah. It's not even close.

DOUGHERTY: Exactly. So, Robin's right.

And, you know, Vladimir Putin is a master of surprise, at least rhetorical sometimes.


DOUGHTERY: And you really -- he could do something that we really don't expect, you know all out war, but I do think he has to some way make the case that he has accomplished or won something.

PHILLIP: Something on the ground in Ukraine.

Jill and Robin, thank you both so much.

Coming up next for us, President Biden warns the GOP is too extreme. But after preaching unity, is Biden really willing to spend the six months attacking the other side?



PHILLIP: Six months from today Americans will head to the polls to give their verdict on the Democratic leadership in Congress and of the Biden presidency. And this CNN poll doesn't really have much good news for the president sp his party. The economy is, of course, the most important issue to voters, and on that measure, most think that Biden's policies are actually making it worse.

Yes, there is a jobs boom as Friday's report confirmed, but inflation is still historically high. That is what voters are focused on, and it's why Biden's only hope they be this new pitch, that we're better than the alternative.


BIDEN: Let me tell you about this ultra MAGA agenda, it's extreme, as most MAGA things are. What are the next things that are going to be attacked? Because this MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organization that's existed in American history -- in recent American history.


PHILLIP: Our panel is back with us.

So, Tamara, this is a change of tone for President Biden, but do you think that the voters will buy that? That extremism on the right is more important than inflation, economy, pocketbook issues? KEITH: Every election is about choices. The White House, the

president is trying to put a choice out there that is something other than, do you want Democrats on the economy or Republicans on the economy?

When it comes to the economy, there is a really big challenge, as your poll points out, one thing that is fascinating is that for the last decade, at least, the views of the economy have been really closely tied to partisan views. If you're a Republican, and there's a Democratic president, you think the economy's terrible. If you're a Democrat, and there's a Republican, you think the economy is terrible.

Well, somehow, this economy has broken through the partisanship, and many Democrats also now are concerned about the economy too, which is not great for President Biden.


PHILLIP: Broken through the partisanship, but maybe not in the way you would expect.

I do want to stick with President Biden for a second. You hear from a lot of Democrats, a little bit of skepticism that he can hold this line.

RAJU: Yeah.

PHILLIP: I mean, take a listen to him on Friday, talking about a Republican senator, Rob Portman.


BIDEN: Senator Portman, since he's not running again, I can say all the nice things about him that I want. And it won't get him in any trouble. We may not agree on everything although we agree more than he'd want to admit.

I think he's -- I want to thank his leadership for bringing folks together to find common ground.


PHILLIP: Now, don't get me wrong, this is not a bad thing, but that is the Joe Biden, I think, a lot of people know.

RAJU: Yes. I mean look, you're right, elections are about contrast, elections are about messages, elections are about how voters feel. The question has been what has been the Democrats' message up until now? They have really not had one. They probably still have not really settled one.

We are in May of an election year and they're still trying to debate how to convince voters they need to continue to hold Congress, and that is the real challenge because, yes, there are signs, real serious signs that there are positive indicators in the economy, unemployment being low, things turning back from the pandemic, but inflation is still obviously very high. People see how high gas prices are.

So how do you message a situation where, yes, we're doing things maybe better but you're still getting hurt at the -- in your pocketbook. That is the balance that they've had, and they haven't been able to really convince voters why they are the ones who need to be sent back, to continue to control Congress. That's their challenge going forward.

WALTER: Yes. And inflation is so insidious. If you've ever been of a bike, which I wish I were doing more of, but there is nothing worse, it doesn't matter -- a hill, mountain -- those are ok compared to a head wind because even the downhills are hard when you're facing a head wind.

And that's where Democrats are, which is even when they have good news to tell, people are like, yes, that's great, we're getting more money in our pocket but it's still hard to even go downhill because I'm spending more on rent and on groceries.

The other thing I'm glad you brought that clip up because that is really the key, is that Joe Biden is just not the warrior that say, a Donald Trump was about let's go and, you know, show blue team versus -- blue team versus red team.

And that's what I hear from Democrats too, is this worry that, gosh, we -- we lose Democrats, we lose, because we don't go all in, like Trump did.


WALTER: We don't make those contrasts like Trump did. And that only serves to depress the people that those Democrats need to get out.

MICHAEL WARREN, CNN REPORTER: I always ask Democratic campaign folks, who are the Democrats' surrogates in the midterm elections. They don't have a good answer.

PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, gone are the days of like you trot out Bill Clinton.

WARREN: Barack Obama.

PHILLIP: Barack Obama.

WARREN: Maybe. But no, I think it is a serious problem. And you hear Biden kind of grasping for the sort of MAGA movement. He's trying to run against Trump. Here's the big problem. Trump is not on the ballot. And Democrats can try that, and there are a lot of things -- data points they can point to, to say this is what happens. There's this sort of a MAGA movement in actual fact.

But the problem is, they can't run against Trump because he's not on the ballot. This is sort of a fundamental problem. They haven't figured out since the 2020 election, what do Democrats stand for?

PHILLIP: I mean we will talk more about the kind of Trumpism in these competitive races, but, you know, the Senate and House Republicans really kind of want to decouple rank and file members who are running from Trump himself. Whether they can do that is a different story.

I do want to bring up this economic poll. It says something very interesting about how people view the economy. So 23 percent say that their -- that economic conditions today are good. So that's a very low number. But 53 percent say that they're satisfied with their own financial situation.

So people feel like, ok, maybe I'm ok, but overall, the economy is bad. And when you talk to Democrats about that, they know that even though that seems contradictory, that is a real thing out there, and they have to figure out how to run.

RAJU: Go ahead.

KEITH: I would just say that there's huge uncertainty in the economy. And that is hanging over everything. The uncertainty, it becomes with the Fed raising interest rates to try to contain inflation. Will they be able to come into a south landing? People don't know.

So maybe your checkbook looks fine now, your savings account looks fine now but will it be worth what you want it to be, will this job be there, that uncertainty is palpable.

PHILLIP: Exactly.

Well, coming up next for us, former president Trump defends his endorsement of Dr. Oz but his supporters, they just aren't sold yet.



PHILLIP: Six years ago Pennsylvania Republicans voted for a television star-turned-politician promising to make America great again. And now former President Trump is asking them to do it again.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Dr. Oz has led an enormously successful career on television. And now he's running to save our country just like I do.

Dr. Oz is a man who truly believes in make America great again, or the MAGA movement. He believes it 100 percent.


PHILLIP: But it's not yet clear voters are buying that. Some Trump rally goers actually booed Dr. Oz on Friday night or even turned their backs when he spoke.

And a new poll shows that Trump's endorsement has barely moved Oz's numbers. He's running neck and neck with former hedge fund CEO David McCormick. Trump's message to MAGA world is, Dr. Oz, just like me -- but why hasn't it worked?

WARREN: Well, the activist base in Republican politics in Pennsylvania really did not like this pick.


WARREN: We've been talking about Roe v. Wade, the pro life community had a lot of problems with this Oz pick.


WARREN: And look, you've -- got David McCormick has had a ton of money behind him as well. Running ads constantly up in Pennsylvania, they were on all the time in Philadelphia, all the time in the Pittsburgh markets.

That has just really hammered home to Republican voters there that McCormick is the kind of guy that they would like to vote for. Oz is somebody who's frankly coming from out of state, coming from this kind of TV, Hollywood world.

That's something McCormick has hit hard, and it's resonated with the Republican voters there.

PHILLIP: Huge name ID, but some other problems on the issues. But really, it's kind of like the ideology, the conservative ideology. Speaking of ads, though, I do want to play this ad going after Oz over abortion.


DR. MEHMET OZ, PENNSYLVANIA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: The whole thing about the heart beating, the heart's not beating.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: I'll say it, I'm not afraid to say it. It was a mistake to endorse Oz.


PHILLIP: Really turning on him, and also the McCormick campaign, as you wrote about this weekend, running against Oz as kind of a foreigner, his ties to Turkey, raising you know, spurious questions about what that means. It's really getting nasty.

RAJU: Yes. And look, it was fascinating too seeing on Friday the McCormick campaign trot out Mike Pompeo, Trump's former secretary of state, going after Oz on these Turkish issues.

Now, the real concern for Republicans here is that if this primary, which has been very bloody, hurts them in the general election by them moving too far to the right because Pennsylvania is one of the very few pick-up opportunities for Democrats in this cycle.

And presumably the chance of holding the majority could come down to the Democrats winning here. And they have a serious chance of picking up this seat. It's a Republican seat of John Fetterman, the lieutenant governor on the Democratic side who's leading that primary. Conor Lamb running against Malcolm Kenyatta as well. But that is the concern for Republicans. Can they -- whoever emerged

from this be someone unscathed and deal with this. This is going to be a very close race and obviously there's already been tens of millions of dollars spent, much more on the air waves ahead.

PHILLIP: I want to set the scene at this rally on Friday. Trump really going after the many people who used to work for him, who actually now work for the guy he didn't endorse, David McCormick.


TRUMP: Dr. Oz is running against the liberal Wall Street Republican named David McCormick. If anybody was within 200 miles of me, he hired them. He may be a nice guy but he's not MAGA. He's not MAGA. David is totally controlled, this is the opponent, by Mitch McConnell, the old crow, the old broken down crow.


PHILLIP: He's really mad.


KEITH: Right. So McCormick would be the traditional Republican dream candidate, right. He is successful in business. He is a veteran. He is the image of the candidate that they would want.

He has hired all of these people from the Trump orbit, and there is nothing that Trump hates more than people making money off of his name. He has said this repeatedly over the course of time.

He just -- it just really, really bothers him to have his people going out and working for people that he hasn't picked.

WALTER: Well, and it's not just that the -- his advisers, McCormick's advisers worked for Trump, he's married to a Trump former --

PHILLIP: Dina Powell, yes.

WALTER: Dina Powell. So it's not as if he was never in the world of Donald Trump and now is trying to buy his way in. His wife actually served in his administration.

RAJU: And just to be clear, Mitch McConnell is neutral in this fight despite what Trump is saying --

PHILLIP: Yes. That's a very important part.

RAJU: Yes. He thinks that out of these candidates could win come November but they're going to have to spend a lot of money on the Republican side, the leadership to save this seat.

PHILLIP: For Trump this really matters because he's coming off of the Ohio race. He endorsed, J.D. Vance won.

Here he endorsed and it's really down to the wire. He cares about how this turns out.

WARREN: But you know, he has to also realize that Ohio and Pennsylvania are different, both states that Trump won in 2016, but they have diverged since then.

Ohio has become so much more Republican, it was also a split primary. There were so many different people running. And Trump's endorsement really kind of came at the opportune time for J.D. Vance. He was sort of putting more money, the super PAC was putting more money behind him right at that moment where Trump endorsed him and it all worked out.

He also ended up with, what, about 32 percent, this is basically, at the moment, a two-man race in Pennsylvania. And again, go back to -- McCormick has spent so much money. That matters in a state like Pennsylvania that has two major media markets, it's very expensive to get up.

You know, at the end of the day, though, Trump went with what he knows. He knows TV. And Oz, for him, represents what people like, what people like about TV. A lot of people were talking about this as I've been covering Pennsylvania Republican primary. Oz can win swing voters because they've been watching him on TV for so long. And I don't know if that's actually going to be the case, or if it's going to get him to the primary.


PHILLIP: We will find out in just a few days.

Coming up next for us, inside the Supreme Court's deliberations on abortion, and a warning from Hillary Clinton.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Many Americans said look, I'm not a woman, this doesn't affect me. I'm not black, that doesn't affect me. I'm not gay, that doesn't affect me.

Once you allow this kind of extreme power to take hold, you have no idea who they will come for next.



PHILLIP: The Supreme Court is grappling with the fallout from the leaked opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Chief Justice John Roberts calls the leak appalling and says he hopes that it doesn't change people's perceptions of the court. And just as Clarence Thomas claims the judiciary itself is threatened if people are unwilling to, quote, "live with outcomes we don't agree with."


PHILLIP: More on that soon, but a final decision in this case is expected next month, but behind the scenes at the court, the impact of this bombshell on the abortion rights debate and other issues that could come before the court is still unknown.

Joining me now on all of this is our Supreme Court whisperer Joan Biskupic. So Joan, this is a bombshell and as Justice Roberts said in his statement this week, it's not perhaps, the final decision of the court. There is an ongoing debate. How does this leak disrupt that debate?

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT ANALYST: It is impossible to overstate how disruptive this is. First of all, for the country to think that 50 years of privacy rights would be rolled back, for people who saw it burst on the scene in this chaotic way and for the justices themselves.

The draft is dated February 10th. It was released, you know, just last week. So much already has gone on behind the scenes, give and take of the persuasive process, and now to go forward among the nine, trying to figure out who will definitely stay on this opinion, who is dissenting, who would just maybe agree with some bottom line judgment but write different rationale. That's a process that all gets very, very heat towards the end of May and early June until we see an opinion in late June. So, so much is happening --


PHILLIP: And based on your reporting, Justice Roberts was not in line with this full rollback. Do you still think there's a possibility he could bring others to where he is?

BISKUPIC: You know, I never count out Chief Justice John Roberts. It looks so bad right now. And it does look like he's lost his court in so many different ways in terms of the operations of the court, in the building that this would even get out, in terms of what he wanted to have happen in this opinion. He wanted to uphold the Mississippi law that prevents abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy but not go so far with something so disruptive.

I think that this definitely hurts his case. But again, I still think there's a chance that what we saw this week may not be the law. May not reverse Roe to the extent that this is saying.

PHILLIP: There's a lot in the ruling but one thing that has raised a lot of eyebrows is the way that Justice Alito justifies rolling back Roe. He writes the inescapable conclusion is that the right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the nation's history and traditions. He also names other rights that are similarly not rooted in the nation's history and traditions but then claims that it doesn't touch those rights. Do you think people can reasonably buy that?


BISKUPIC: No, I don't think anybody should be -- if this opinion were to stay exactly as it is, which I don't think it will. I just want to say that right now. I do not think it will stay this way.

But if it were, yes, all those other rights would be threatened. And I'll tell you why. Because the scaffolding of Roe in the 14th Amendment isn't as explicit as it might be for other major rulings or other rights. And that extends also to contraceptive rulings, same-sex marriage, interracial marriage.

Even though Justice Alito says, don't overreact to this, this isn't going further. He says that a lot but it's almost a little bit of protesting too much. And also we don't know what --


PHILLIP: He said it specifically for a reason it seems, right?

BISKUPIC: Yes. And also, you know, lawyers can risk and extend things. I have to say, I have been saying for decades, Roe v. Wade will not be overturned, it's so entrenched. And now we say that -- see that it could be. I'll never say never again.

PHILLIP: Yes. There's a lot of -- on gay marriage -- there's a lot of political will right now, more than people think to revisit that decision.

I do want to ask you about Justice Clarence Thomas.


PHILLIP: He spoke on Friday along with Justice Roberts separately but they both spoke Friday. He said it bodes ill for a free society. It can't be that institutions only give you the outcome you want or can be bullied.

It seems clear to me that Justice Thomas is actually one of the reasons there has been an erosion in the confidence of the court. His wife worked with the White House to try to overturn the last election. How does Justice Roberts deal with that problem?

BISKUPIC: That's just one of his many problems now. And it's how is the court viewed in the American eye. Chief Justice John Roberts hardly writes any opinion or gives any speech that he doesn't talk about the integrity of the court and the fact that these justices are not just politicians in black robes. And to have the controversy going on about Justice Thomas and his wife, Ginni and how much she might have affected him in rulings from the 2020 election, that just -- that just kind of imbues the whole atmosphere with distrust.


BISKUPIC: And going into this moment just a week ago, you know, last Monday, the court was already on kind of shaky ground in terms of how people were viewing it. Its approval rating had plummeted according to Gallup.

The justices were pointing fingers at each other. There were a lot of recriminations. And then this bombshell, this earthquake just makes it seem like how does the court recover both its integrity and the kind of trust the American people have to have to abide by its rulings? You know, Clarence Thomas cannot just say, you need to abide by these rulings. You have to agree with something you don't agree with unless the court inspires some confidence.

PHILLIP: Absolutely. I mean, it seems that this leak is a symptom of the polarization that is existing all over the country.

Joan Biskupic, thank you so much for all your incredible reporting.

And that is it for us for INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY. Don't forget, you can also listen to our podcast, download INSIDE POLITICS wherever you get your podcasts and scan that QR code at the bottom of your screen.

Coming up next, "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. Jakes guests this morning include Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Plus the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

Thank you again for sharing your Sunday morning. And Happy Mother's Day to my mom and to all the moms watching in the United States today. Have a great day.