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How Election Lies Have Become GOP Orthodoxy; Texas Congressman Warns Dems Taking Latinos for Granted; Trump Teases Supporters with Talk of 2024 Run; Trump Repeats Attacks On Pence For Not Overturning Election; DOJ Asks 1/6 Committee To Share Deposition Transcripts; Biden Blames Putin, Corporate Greed, Republicans For Inflation; Fed's Actions Push Mortgage Rates To Highest Level Since 2008. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired June 19, 2022 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Inside Trump's plot to stay in power by spreading election lies, even after aides told him he was wrong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's my point. If he really believes this stuff, he's become detached from reality.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Common sense would tell you the answer cannot possibly be that the Vice President has that authority.
PHILLIP (voice-over): Will the ex-President face criminal charges? And could he try it again in 2024? Plus, why was Justice Thomas's wife in touch with a lawyer who helps carry out the plan? The committee wants some answers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's just deeply up to her elbows in mischief.
PHILLIP (voice-over): And inflation is surging. Stocks are plunging. Experts say a recession is coming. Can Biden shift the blame to the GOP?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Republicans in Congress are doing everything they can so stop my plans to bring down costs on ordinary families.
MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: American people are bracing for a very pricey summer. And they know exactly who to blame.
PHILLIP (voice-over): Inside Politics, the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters now.
(END VIDEOTAPE) PHILLIP: Good morning and welcome to Inside Politics Sunday. I'm Abby Phillip. Donald Trump's plot to hold on to power after losing the election came dangerously close to working. That's one of the inescapable conclusions from the first hearings of the committee investigating January 6. And we've also learned that Trump was told over and over that his election fraud claims just weren't true.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: There was never an indication of interest, getting what the actual facts are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: And the theory that Vice President Pence could basically declare Trump the winner wasn't true either.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY), JANUARY 6TH COMMITTEE VICE CHAIR: What the President wanted the Vice President to do was not just wrong, it was illegal and unconstitutional.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: And Trump was told that too, but he pushed Pence anyway. And after a violent mob broke into the Capitol looking for Pence, Trump egged him on with a tweet.
REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS), JANUARY 6TH COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Mike Pence made it clear that he wouldn't give in to Donald Trump's scheme. Donald Trump turn the mob on him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think what a traitor and he deserves to burn with the rest of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Pence has betrayed the United States of America.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER (in unison): Boo.
REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA), JANUARY 6TH COMMITTEE: Approximately 40 feet, that's all there was. 40 feet between the Vice President and the mob. Make no mistake about the fact that the Vice President's life was in danger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: After all of this, Trump is on remorseful and undeterred from continuing to spread election lies and from attacking his former Vice President.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mike Pence had a chance to be great. He had a chance to be frankly historic. But Mike did not have the courage to act as to what happened on January 6, it was a simple protest, it got out of hand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: And joining me now with their reporting and insights, Jonathan Martin of The New York Times, CNN's Audie Cornish, CNN's Melanie Zanona and CNN Legal Analyst Carrie Cordero. Trump is no stranger to persisting with lies even after they've been strongly debunked. But in some ways, it seems that on this particular issue, he's actually kind of emboldened.
JONATHAN MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, he's -- instead of sort of walking away further from the actions of January 6th, he's sort of embracing what happened that day, even further, and he's obviously trying to create his alternative history as to what happened that day, which would probably be sort of contradicting the advice of every consultant who's talked to him, but he's never really cared about that.
And look, I think he's got to sort of re-establish what happened that day to suit his purposes for the future. But it does create challenges within his party. His party is mostly focused on Joe Biden, and here and now of inflation, and the challenges in the economy in the future. And Donald Trump is mostly fixated on yesterday, and especially the election of 2020. At some point, those two things are going to come into tension. Don't focus on yesterday and his party focus on tomorrow.
PHILLIP: When you say the party, you're talking about party leadership, because, I mean, I think there's an argument to be made --
MARTIN: No, both.
PHILLIP: -- downstream. A lot of Republican voters --
PHILLIP: -- are also concerned about Trump's election.
MARTIN: Yes, look, I think you'll certainly find concerns about the election of 2020. I don't think Brian Kemp litigated the election of 2020 and he won a primary overwhelmingly --
AUDIE CORNISH, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: But to Abby's point --
CORNISH: -- if you think of it a little differently, we just went through a primary season where more than 100 candidates --
CORNISH: -- campaigned on either election denialism or on the idea of fraud or irregularities that was reported in The Washington Post.
MARTIN: Yes, no, of course.
CORNISH: So it is actually part of the kind of platform down ballot. Let's say you don't have to say Trump is right.
MARTIN: Totally get that, yes.
CORNISH: You cannot say Trump is wrong.
MARTIN: No, that -- and that's a key point right there. You can't challenge Trump, by the way.
PHILLIP: To your --
MARTIN: That's a key point, yes.
PHILLIP: -- I mean, Melanie, you reported that Trump wanted a whole lot of pushback. He didn't really get it. And it's partly because I think a lot of Republican leadership, they saw the dangers of trying to litigate the facts of this issue. But what happened to the plan to push back?
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL REPORTER: Well, I think a few things, one, to your point, there is no good argument substantively for the stuff we've seen. I mean, this is cold, hard evidence that they're coming out with. There's witness testimony from Trump's own allies, his own daughter, his own supporters. So they've kind of latched on to this just generic argument of everything's legitimate, and no one cares about it. But that's not really a very strong argument.
And so I think they're looking at that, realizing it's not very effective, they would rather focus on to J. Martin's point, other issues like the economy, but Trump behind the scenes is still itching to punch back. I mean, I think that's part of the reason why he wants to run for president early. I think that's part of the reason why he did lash out at Pence at an event on Friday, so.
CORNISH: And released, I think, a dozen pages.
ZANONA: A 12 page.
CORNISH: Response which was to litigate everything he had said before.
PHILLIP: I do want to talk exactly about that, because the Times has a story this morning, suggesting that maybe the 12-page rebuttal was actually part of a legal strategy to maybe inoculate himself, Trump, from further legal jeopardy. I mean, where do you think things stand, Carrie, in terms of what is the real criminal exposure for Trump and perhaps for some of these others who are implicated here?
CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think there were two main things, I think that came out of the hearings this week that move the needle forward a little bit. One is that all -- there was so much evidence presented that he knew at the time that he was informed at the time that he was involved in this pressure campaign against the Justice Department, against the Vice President, against state election officials, that it was illegal, that it would be a violation of the Electoral Count Act.
And we know that in part also, because a judge that ordered the release of his lawyer, Johnny Eastman's e-mails did so on the crime- fraud exception.
CORDERO: Meaning that there had to be evidence of a crime that he believed there's evidence of a crime that then broke the attorney client privilege. So we know that there is much more --
PHILLIP: The crime on Eastman's part or --
PHILLIP: -- or the crime on Trump's part?
CORDERO: Well, just that a crime --
PHILLIP: Yes, that a crime was committed.
CORDERO: -- was committed.
CORDERO: That a crime was in play. And so, therefore, it justified producing these e-mails, which were the communications between the lawyer, Eastman, and the President in terms of his e-mails between them. And so there is more evidence that they knew that it was illegal. And so I think the committee really didn't move forward on that this week.
PHILLIP: Yes. I want to talk about Mike Pence for a second because he is the -- there's just such an undercurrent, especially the hearing was about Mike Pence on Thursday. But he has been staying out of the fray. He gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal where he was basically like, you know, I'm going to the battleground states to test the waters, but I don't want to attack Trump. I mean, he could emerge as the hero of this story and seems to not really want to be. It's a little bit puzzling.
CORNISH: I mean, I don't think he's holding back all that much. You're talking about him being in the media, specifically, the Wall Street Journal --
CORNISH: We're talking about his entire circle of people didn't just subpoena, but spoke very forthrightly, right, in describing the pressure campaign on him. Nothing happens without his say so. All these people are lawyers, they know how to sit in a deposition and give answers in a way that would give one image or another, and they chose to give a very specific one.
So in a way, he's walking that line, right, making sure everyone in their mother knows how, quote unquote, heroic he was during that time. And at the same time, not being the one that you can show soundbites and clips of --
CORNISH: -- speaking against Trump.
MARTIN: Yes, he want in out vote ways.
PHILLIP: At some point --
PHILLIP: -- that is going to have -- come to ahead.
MARTIN: So I interviewed Pence in Iowa in April, and to your point, Audie, he wants to have it both ways, right? He wants to embrace when he calls the Trump-Pence agenda, which he mentioned in Iowa when I was there at a County GOP speech at least a half dozen times. But at the same time, he hasn't spoken to Trump for a year now.
He's obviously OKing his staff to openly confront Trump about January 6. Those pictures that we saw leaked this week, don't get out without Pence's permission. And so this is the great question is, can Pence sort of tell GOP voters, you can get Trump without the crazy effectively if you support me? But at the same time, you know, I broke from that man, and that's a really hard line to walk --
CORNISH: Or I think in another way who is the Pence constituency? And is there one created after this week?
PHILLIP: This is the real question, I mean, you can look at Brian Kemp, you could look at some of the Republicans who have survived being on the wrong side of Trump. But I don't think that that's a consistent enough picture to say, there's a constituency for a Pence without Trump.
CORNISH: Yes, who are those voters?
PHILLIP: Yes. I -- before we go, Carrie, I mean, I want to ask you about what's coming up next. The DOJ wants these transcripts from the January 6th committee, they're probably going to get them at some point, but why? What's coming up next? And how do they play into some of these prosecutions that are underway? And maybe the ones that -- I have some questions, I mean, where is the prosecution of John Eastman, for example?
CORDERO: Sure. So we know that the Justice Department is conducting its own massive investigation. And that's including the people who attacked the Capitol that now has moved into the people who -- the Oath Keepers, and the other far-right groups that are charged with seditious conspiracy. And so now, the Justice Department wants these transcripts because there are likely some people that have been interviewed and a part of the committee's investigation, which is a political process, not a legal process. But that are the same people who have been interviewed by the Justice Department. So they could be looking for either evidence of crimes of individuals that they already have spoken to, or they have subjects of investigation. They also could be looking for exculpatory evidence, or inconsistencies between things that people may be told the committee versus things that they may have been interviewed by the Justice Department, or the FBI.
And so the committee, you know, the committee doesn't have a huge staff. So I do wonder if it's simply isn't manpower, I don't know. But I wonder if it's just a manpower issue that they have not been able to comply with this Justice Department request, but they'll get those documents over and the investigators are going to need to pour through those documents, to look for evidence, to look for exculpatory, and to look for inconsistent statement.
PHILLIP: And of course, some members of the committee have said, we're not done yet. This is an ongoing process. We're still collecting evidence. And so that's one of the reasons they've said that it hasn't been turned over yet. But standby for us, Carrie, thank you so much.
And coming up next, can President Biden's convince voters to blame Republicans for inflation? He's certainly going to try.
PHILLIP: In case of emergency, break glass, that is pretty much the message from the Federal Reserve's new strategy to fight inflation. On Wednesday, it announced that the biggest interest rate hike in nearly 30 years. And the R word is on everyone's minds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: It looks increasingly like Democrats may have driven America toward a full on recession.
PENCE: The problem is Republicans in Congress are doing everything they can to stop my plans to bring down costs on ordinary families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: Biden sat for an interview with the Associated Press this week. And he said that a recession is, quote, not inevitable. And he rejected the idea that his $2 trillion COVID Relief Bill contributed at all to inflation.
Tarini Parti of the Wall Street Journal is here with us to join the conversation. Tarini, Biden is -- has been telegraphing this for a while. He's blaming Republicans, blaming Putin, but is it working?
TARINI PARTI, WALL STREET JOURNAL WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: So this is a reflection of a few things, there's little he can actually do to control inflation. But what they're realizing is they need to shape the message, they need to push back stronger. So we're seeing the President now try to put sort of a -- as positive as of a spin he can on the bad economic numbers in terms of saying, you know, it's not inevitable that a recession could happen, even though there is growing consensus among economic experts that it could happen.
We've seen them do this before, when we were talking about inflation. They insisted for months that it was transitory, and it would not -- it would go away after a few months. Of course, that didn't happen. So you're seeing the White House try its best, at this point, months before the midterm elections to really try to find its footing on inflation messaging, but it really remains to be seen if that's going to work because voters are struggling every day with gas prices, with food prices. So you know, some sort of pushback from the president can only go so far.
PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, as I always say, messaging is only going to go so far when people's realities are a different thing. But Melanie, three White House aides went up to the Hill this past week to basically talk to Democrats about this message. I mean, how did that go over?
ZANONA: Not well, to put it mildly. Listen, Democrats, they have been panicking privately. They have been saying for months. Back in December, they started pressing the White House to get a handle on inflation, start talking about this issue. They've been pressing Nancy Pelosi, just start putting bills on the floor, even if it's just messaging votes just to show the voters that they're doing something.
And when White House officials came, they basically said, blame other people, blame corporate greed, start talking about what we're doing legislatively to attack these issues. But there was a lot of Q&A, they showed up late. So Democrats do not feel like they're going back to the districts armed with the necessary talking points and messaging.
PHILLIP: Never good to show up late to a meeting.
CORNISH: I mean, it's unbranded bed but, yes.
PHILLIP: Yes. I do want to -- just for our audience at home, just explain, when we talk about what the Fed is doing on inflation, what it actually means for people and it basically means that things get more expensive. Mortgage rates are higher, credit card and car loan rates are higher. It's harder for small businesses to borrow. Stocks tend to fall.
There was a story just yesterday about cooling demand perhaps for not just goods but also services and that sounds like a bad thing. But it actually is kind of what they want to happen.
CORNISH: Right, because we're not talking about the fact that people are still shopping.
CORNISH: The gas is high. The groceries are high, but there is a good degree of demand going on and that's playing into this.
PHILLIP: It's too much demand.
PHILLIP: And -- but but the interesting thing is that things are going to get more expensive, things are going to be out of reach, homebuying, for example, how is that going to play as we go into a midterm cycle, where the goal is to taper inflation but it might mean more pain for voters?
MARTIN: Yes, the triple whammy of high inflation, high interest rates is -- and then a lower 401(k) --
MARTIN: -- for a lot of American --
PHILLIP: Yes. People feel like they're losing their money.
MARTIN: Yes, who are near retirees or are retirees. That's a hell of a combination for a lot of American voters. And it does tend to focus the mind politically. And it focuses the mind against the party in power. And so, you know, to your point, Abby, Biden can message this as much as he wants. But when people are paying $5 and $6 a gallon of gas or checking the website of their 401(k) and seeing that red, that's pretty hard to overcome.
And it just reinforces the kind of sour mood that a lot of Americans are in right now. And so it's going to create real headwinds. And I think the frustration that Democrats have is that the Biden folks have known this for months now. And there's still no clear plan to confront it beyond trying to, you know, turn the tables on the GOP. But even Biden doesn't do that consistently.
And I think that's another frustration as well as Biden will give a speech occasionally. But it's not done consistently. There is no week- to-week message that Biden is capable of driving, I think that is going to cause even deeper, deeper and you're in the party going forward.
PHILLIP: There's one big outstanding issue. I mean, there's probably a couple big outstanding issues. One of them is tariffs on China that Trump put into place. And that many economists say you should lift because, a, they don't work and, b, they can help with inflation. But Biden is taking the slow road and making a decision about this.
PARTI: He is. He calls himself, you know, the most pro-union president ever. So we're seeing businesses and labor on the opposite sides of this decision. So that's factoring into his decision making. My colleagues at the Wall Street Journal have a great story this weekend on how Biden's decision making process is frustrating a lot of Democrats because he's so slow in figuring these things out. And not just tariffs, but also student loans.
He's been sort of slow walking that. So there's a lot of debate right now. Another factor into the tariffs decision is how this plays on China. Like there are a lot of Republicans who have been messaging a lot on being tough on China, President Trump -- former President Trump being one of them. So how that decision would factor into the politics of China.
PHILLIP: And none of this is like you flipping a switch. I mean --
PHILLIP: You do it now. Maybe you might see the effects before November. So I think that is playing a little bit more into the anxiety as well.
Coming up next for us, democracy under threat. How a few men and women and key jobs could try to steal the election in 2024?
PHILLIP: The January 6th committee has exposed that very few people around Donald Trump truly believed that this election was stolen. But that lie has still spread far beyond Washington. It is now the orthodoxy in today's Republican Party, but some are trying to ring the alarm before it's too late.
Take a listen to retired Judge J. Michael Luttig, an icon of the conservative legal movement who testified this past week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. MICHAEL LUTTIG, FORMER FEDERAL JUDGE: The former president and his allies are executing that blueprint for 2020. Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: So here is what he is talking about. In some of the key states where this election, the next presidential election is likely to be decided there are candidate after candidate after candidate running on the big lie in Michigan, in Pennsylvania. The governor of that state will appoint the Secretary of State in Arizona and in Nevada, and that's not even the half of it. In Indiana, an election denier just became the Republican nominee for secretary of state. So the people who could be running elections are going to be the same people buying into this debunked, why?
ZANONA: Right. And that is a scary thought, especially when you think of it in terms of democracy. What the select committee has tried to do is not just show what happened on January 6, but also emphasize the threat to democracy still exists. And you look around at what's happening.
And as we were saying earlier, some of this has become a key primary strategy and Republican nominations. I think the question is, does it matter in the general? And do voters care that there's election deniers or people who were at the Capitol on January 6 running in congressional races, Democrats are betting that it will matter? In fact, they have been propping up some candidates on the far right, thinking that they'll have a better shot of beating but I think that's a really risky strategy, especially in a potential red wave here. I mean, there could be election deniers that end up in these positions.
PHILLIP: To your point about whether the voters care. I mean, obviously, many voters don't care, Democratic voters and a lot of Republican voters, but the base of the Republican Party, here's where they are. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's strange to me that Joe Biden could get 81 million votes supposedly, more than Barack Obama, who was obviously the favorite of especially many people. Strange to me some of the figures don't seem to add up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: So let's call it 30 percent of the Republican Party, maybe 35 percent, but it basically amounts to this just doesn't seem right and it's become in a lot of ways an organizing principle for that part of the Republican base.
AUDIE CORNISH, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: And the reason why this matters isn't just sort of a vague sense. Democracy I think just sounds like such a big word. The nitty-gritty in that we've learned in the last week is what does this mean when it comes to a state choosing its slate of electors that gets sent to Congress to be certified.
One of the things that they've exposed is this idea of having a second slate of electors. You know, people are saying these are fake electors and another set of heroes here are the congressional delegations that said that certified the electors that Biden had won the election.
All of these tiny things that seemed for so long ceremonial as it turns out carry real and significant weight or we've learned are vulnerable to manipulation. And we've learned they're vulnerable in the past week and for 2024 when -- can they disintegrate? Can the elections and the races you guys are talking about be the cause of their full disintegration.
PHILLIP: Also this weekend the Texas Republican Party had their convention. A lot of things happened.
One of them, Dan Crenshaw, congressman accosted by hecklers. You know, physically accosted by hecklers who were saying that he should be tried for treason.
But listen to this from "Texas Tribune". The Republican Party there in Texas approved measures declaring that President Joe Biden was quote, "not legitimately elected" and rebuking Senator John Cornyn for taking part in bipartisan gun talks. They also voted on a platform that declares homosexuality an abnormal lifestyle choice and calls for Texas school children to learn about the humanity of the pre-born child.
A lot going on there in Texas but just a lot of threads here about this idea of first of all, the Proud Boys being a part of that Crenshaw confrontation. The kind of undercurrent of violence --
JONATHAN MARTIN, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "NEW YORK TIMES": Yes.
PHILLIP: -- and the pushback against people like John Cornyn who is not a moderate. He is a conservative --
PHILLIP: -- trying to work across the aisle.
MARTIN: Yes. I thought that that conversation with Crenshaw was so revealing because it does capture the sort of menace that still hovers over our politics, this threat of physical violence in our experience. Alex Burns and I wrote a book called, "This Will Not Pass" and we call it that for a reason. We're still living through these challenges to our democracy and they're not just at the ballot box.
And that's what's so sobering. The sort of threat of more political violence in America is ever present. Certainly in the Capitol every day where every time there's somebody who is arrested outside with guns in a car. We all get the sort of same chills. And also even people like Dan Crenshaw. It doesn't matter your politics, all right. Left or right, you can be targeted now by people.
And by the way, it's not just folks like Crenshaw. It's back bench members of the Congress. You would be shocked at the people who now have security protection, at least occasionally, because of these constant threats coming in.
I think that's what so depressing, I think, about American politics in this moment is lawmakers who are living in fear, day in, day out in Washington and back home because of these threats.
PHILLIP: And they were particularly fearful in the wake of January 6. I remember members telling reporters privately they voted the way they voted on impeachment or what have you because of that fear.
This has also not -- it's not just the executive branch, it's not just the state, the Supreme Court now entangled in all of this via Ginni Thomas. Now we don't know what that is. What we are going to learn about the facts of that but it has brought the court into this really toxic political brew.
TARINI PARTI, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": It has. And I think the irony of all of this is that Clarence Thomas -- Justice Thomas just a few months ago was the one talking about how he thinks institutions in this country are being eroded. Trust in institutions, how he thinks the Supreme Court is being too politicized.
So I think just sort of the connection to -- via Ginni Thomas to Justice Thomas here is interesting to see what comes at because he is the one who's been so public in talking about, you know, threats to democracy and eroding of public trust.
PHILLIP: I mean this summer will be such a tough summer for the Supreme Court. They have two big decisions coming up on abortion and on guns. The January 6 committee and the undercurrent of all of that. All of what that means.
There's no question, this will be a trying summer in terms of the public confidence in the court.
But coming up next for us, a warning from Texas Democrats about Hispanic voters. Is it an existential threat for the party?
PHILLIP: For nearly a century south Texas has been a Democratic bastion but voters in the largely Hispanic region now seem to be shifting right.
Take a look at this one Rio Grande Valley district that Obama won by 23 points in 2012, Clinton won by 22 points in 2016 and Biden by just 4 in 2020. And in the special election last week, voters picked a Republican to send to Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP-ELECT MAYRA FLORES (R-TX): We cannot accept the increases of gas, of food, of medication. We cannot accept that. And we have to state the facts that under President Trump we did not have this mess.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: Democratic strategist Maria Cardona is joining us for this conversation. So Maria, a lot going on in this district. There's going to be some redistricting of the lines which will change what the district looks like.
But that hasn't changed the sense of alarm from the Democrat who's going to be running in this new district.
PHILLIP: Vincente Gonzalez told Politico on Wednesday, "They've just forgotten about the brown people at the border and that's basically what it is. I'm not going to try to sugarcoat it anymore. They are taking Latinos in south Texas for granted."
Are they? I mean this is a little bit of a question of are Democrats listening early enough to some of the warning signs that there's erosion here? MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well there's several things
going on here, Abby.
As you know I have been working on the Latino vote pretty much from the beginning of my political career. And what I have seen overall is that there has been tremendous growth with Democrats and the Latino vote.
In 2004 with George W. Bush we had a margin with Latino votes 700,000 votes. In 2020, it was a margin of 5.5 million. So our focus on Latino votes has been enormous growth for us.
Now, I have also said --
PHILLIP: Are you talking about at the presidential level?
CARDONA: I'm talking about nationally and in general.
PHILLIP: Because Trump did better by 8 points with Latinos than Biden did.
CARDONA: Did better, depending on where you look.
PHILLIP: -- from 2016 to 2020.
CARDONA: He did better in some places. He did better in Miami-Dade. He did better in Rio Grande Valley. But Joe Biden would not be president today if had not won Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada, something that a Democratic president hasn't done in 80 (ph) years.
But let me say this. I have always preached to the Democratic Party that we will not continue to grow our appeal with the Latino vote if we don't earn that vote every single day and in every single cycle. And that's what we have to continue to do.
PHILLIP: Let's take a look at a little bit of what you're talking about here. There are differences in what's going on with the Latino vote, if you look at Texas, Florida and Arizona. These are three districts that are a little bit -- we will call them emblematic of what we're talking about.
Florida 27, this is the Miami-Dade area, went from being Clinton by 19 in 2016 to Biden by just 3 in 2020. Texas 15, that is on the Mexico border. Clinton 16 to Biden plus 2. Arizona, this is the Tucson area, so Arizona is a place that some Democrats say -- that helped Biden win that state.
PHILLIP: It went from Clinton 29 to Biden 27 -- so not a huge shift. But still in Texas and in Florida there are big erosions happening. Big erosions happening.
MARTIN: Yes. And look, I think it's pretty clear why. And certainly in Florida you have a number of Hispanic voters who fled socialist countries and portraying Democrats as socialists is very politically effective.
In south Texas it is part of a larger national story about this sort of class realignment in American politics and working class voters are not voting for more Republicans in -- across racial lines.
Look, a place like south Texas you have a history of voting for Democrats but they're Texans. They often work in either the energy business or on the border and customs -- or border --
PHILLIP: Mayra Flores' husband is a border protection agent.
MARTIN: Yes. The nature of those jobs, the nature of living in south Texas is a fairly culturally conservative outlook. And I think they were voting the way that their grandparents and parents have voted for a long time but eventually there does tend to be a shift in the voting. And that's what's happening in South Texas.
PHILLIP: I want to raise this question though that JMart just raised about the way in which not just when we're talking about Latino voters but black voters and Asian-American voters, when class and race start to either do some funny things. Maybe voters think that their class identity is more important than their racial identity.
How does the Democratic Party deal with that or message effectively around those issues?
CORNISH: Right. And you know, the reason why I'm not jumping is in some ways this feels like a media story instead of a political story. there's a way that reporters flatten out voting subgroups, so to speak, minority groups that ignores generation, religion --
PHILLIP: -- do that too to some extent.
CORNISH: They do but it means that we are comparing Arizona, Florida and Texas and they are wildly different populations of each.
One thing I'll add here is that your point is very correct. When it comes to identity politics we all have a quote/unquote hierarchy of out identities, right. Are you a mom first? Are you the wife of a border patrol agent first? Are you Latino first? Are you Latinx first? These things are also --
CORNISH: -- signifiers to political parties to say like wait a second, you can't just go from one state to another thinking one message is going to work and I think Democrats have really suffered for a long time thinking that immigration was somehow the most important issue to this voting group and I just don't think that is the case.
PHILLIP: And Maria, I'll let you have the final word here.
CARDONA: It's not. It's the economy. And so This district, I don't think you can take what happened in this district and put it sort of as a big lesson. This district Republicans outspent the Democrats by 20. And they only got to 51 percent.
CARDONA: So I think if we had --
PHILLIP: But you can spend a lot of money and fail. So I think it is --
CARDONA: Yes. But 20 -- but 20 to 1 and they only got out 7 percent of the vote. And I guarantee you, yes. Is it a lesson? Yes. And all of the Democratic committees and Vincente Gonzales are going to do everything they can to now compete in this and I am completely confident he will win it. It's now a plus 15 Democratic district.
PHILLIP: Well, the investment is a big question, too. I mean I think what you're hearing from some of these battleground members, Latino battleground members is where is the investment? And will it be at the level that they think they need to make it -- to counter a real Republican?
CORNISH: -- with Rust Belt voters at the time. Those staffers and workers there in those places said why aren't you investing here?
CARDONA: As a Latina, I never think it's enough but they need to do more and I think they will.
PHILLIP: Great conversation. We have to leave it there.
Thank you, Maria Cardona for joining us for that.
CARDONA: Thank you.
PHILLIP: And coming up next for us, he's been hinting at it for months but is Donald Trump ready to announce a 2024 bid this year?
PHILLIP: On Thursday, Donald Trump was accused of inciting a mob that wanted to kill his vice president and overthrow American democracy, but none of that mattered to him it seemed. The very next day he teased his fans about running for president again.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the most urgent tasks facing the next Republican president, I wonder who that will be -- Would anybody like me to run for president?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: And it's not just loose talk. Sources close to Trump tell CNN's Gabby Orr that he is closer than ever to announcing a 2024 run, but at least ten Trump aides and allies have told him he should hold off for at least another year.
So Audie, I mean, what is going on here? Is it just boredom or is there any kind of strategic advantage to Trump getting in the race very, very early at this point?
CORNISH: I think it's no surprise that the former president would like to be in power, given the lengths we've heard this week for him to stay in power. I'm more interested in who runs against him, who challenges him, especially in his own party.
We haven't seen Mike Pence, right, publicly this week, despite the fact that it seems like every one of his aides was in that deposition and also speaking publicly. So, who is a challenger in the party of Trump in this moment?
PHILLIP: I mean Pence is not even making it a secret that he is interested, for sure, in a 2024 run, but it's really Ron DeSantis that might be causing some of this. Take a listen to a voter at the Faith and Freedom Conference who has a bit of a suggestion for what Trump should do next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump number one, and I say DeSantis for vice president. They would be a great team.
The thing is DeSantis is in a position now to do things that Trump would have done were he really in power now. So, the spotlight is on DeSantis as a politician.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: I find that to be so telling because it's almost like the split mind of the Trump base voter right now. They like Trump but they really kind of like DeSantis, too.
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Right. And that is why Trump is so nervous about DeSantis. Our colleague Gabby Orr reported that lately in the last month Trump has been really fixated on what the polls say about DeSantis. DeSantis has been building a massive war chest.
You know, he is up for re-election, too, but that is putting Trump on notice. And so one of the benefits perhaps for Trump actually announcing early would be to actually freeze the field because we have not seen that happen actually.
Even the threat of him running has not been enough to put someone like DeSantis in a corner or Pence or some of these other candidates.
CORNISH: We won't know if he feels someone is a threat of course, until they get maybe a cooler, vulgar nickname. I mean I think that --
PHILLIP: Sure. Yes. I mean I think that would be --
MARTIN: this is a combination of losing some of these primaries where he spent capital and the, you know, indictment, whether political or otherwise from these 1/6 hearings is accelerating his thinking, too, Abby because he obviously wants to change the conversation. And how do you do that if you're Donald Trump? Well, you either formally enter the presidential race or you say that you're going to. That will certainly change the conversation directly.
And also, it would freeze the field. Doesn't necessarily mean he's going to follow through with it but I think even the sort of talk about his intention to do so could turn the page.
CORNISH: Although, can I just say, he didn't lose those primaries, right? Just because he endorsed those people, it doesn't mean his power is off. We saw this with Barack Obama, right. You ain't (ph) Barack. And I think there's a couple of people who found out they are not Barack.
MARTIN: -- and primaries where he just --
CORNISH: That's fair. That's fair. But I'm just saying that's not necessarily reflective of how he would go for it.
PHILLIP: I think that that's probably -- that's right.
I do want to go --
MARTIN: In terms of the perception, though, I think in his mind, he knows that it has stung him, which is why he's trying to find victories now for (INAUDIBLE) in Alabama, getting ahead of Katie Britt (ph) in the runoff against Mo Brooks. Not that he likes Katie (INAUDIBLE) --
MARTIN: -- but because he wants to find a victory.
PHILLIP: I do want to just ask Tarini about President Biden. I mean how does this play into his thinking about --
PARTI: Yes. I think, you know, we've talked a lot about how it might scramble or clear up the Republican field, but on the Democratic side, this could really factor into President Biden's thinking, whether it's on the timeline or whether the decision to run for re-election at all. We're already hearing some concerns about his age from some voters and party insiders. We're already seeing some Democrats start traveling more. We saw Illinois governor JB Pritzker in New Hampshire yesterday. We saw Vice President Kamala Harris in South Carolina.
So I think all this chatter combined with whether or not former President Trump announces could factor into President Biden's thinking on this as well.
PHILLIP: All right. A big conversation to be continued. Thank you all.
MARTIN: Thank you.
PHILLIP: But before we go, today in the United States we celebrate Juneteenth. For decades, black Americans have marked June 19th as their true independence day. It is the day that two and a half years after the emancipation proclamation was signed, word of freedom finally got to the slaves in Galveston Bay, Texas in 1865.
And this weekend all across the country, there will be public parades and private family barbecues and, of course, now that it is a federal holiday, plenty of corporate and political statements attempting to latch onto the holiday's symbolic meaning.
But we cannot forget the real reason that Juneteenth is a federal holiday at all. And that is 95-year-old Opal Lee. Here she is in 2020.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPAL LEE, JUNETEENTH ACTIVIST: We need a million signatures to give to congress to let them know it's just not one little old lady in tennis shoes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: Miss Lee walked and walked and walked from Fort Worth, Texas to Washington, D.C., until they couldn't ignore her anymore.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: It's not a black thing. It's not a Texas thing. None of us are free until we're all free.
To have it actually happen was, can I use the phrase the children use? It was off the chain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: It is off the chain. And celebrating Juneteenth has always been about black history, perseverance and, of course, joy. And it is about freedom for all of us.
And tonight you can join some of the biggest stars as they lift their voices for "JUNETEENTH, A GLOBAL CELEBRATION FOR FREEDOM", live at 8:00 only on CNN.
And finally, I want to take a moment to thank our executive producer, Tasha Diakides, whose last day at CNN was on Friday. I personally want to thank Tasha for her guidance and support, especially in this last year as I've taken over this show.
And we will of course, miss her so much on "IP SUNDAY and wish her the absolute best.
And to you at home, happy father's day to all the dads out there, to my dad, and to my husband. A happy birthday to my mom. And a happy Juneteenth to all of you. Have a great day.