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Sen. Blumenthal: Manchin Is Democrat "At Heart"; CNN: Dems Target Republicans Whose Districts Benefited From Clean Energy Incentives, Voted To Repeal Them; New: Fed Report On SVB Details Grave Mismanagement; Moody's: Treasury Could Run Out Of Cash By June. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired April 28, 2023 - 12:30   ET



JOHN KING, CNN HOST: And he says, Jim Justice says he's a conservative, but don't buy it.


SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: Manchin voted with us on all of the key measures that really forged a new era for the Democratic Party, and he may be taking different positions now that prompts some disagreement, but at heart he's a Democrat.

Joe Manchin is the last remaining statewide elected Democrat, and we want Joe Manchin back in the United States Senate .


KING: That was not what I was looking for there, but let's talk about it. That's Senator Richard Blumenthal, one of the Democrats who was constantly disappointed by Joe Manchin. Constantly frustrated by Joe Manchin, who held up parts of the Biden agenda for a very long time, made them pair back a lot of the Biden agenda, and yet he has a D, he votes to help them organize. He's the reason they have the majority, therefore, we're with him.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the most important point in this conversation. And the Democrats, particularly on the left, were so frustrated by Joe Manchin. I mean, I cannot tell you how many times I heard, well, why is he even a Democrat? Let's just kick him out of the party, in the first two years of the Biden administration, because he did put the brakes on and just full out, killed a lot of things that Joe Biden wanted.

He ended up working with him at the end on some important issues as well. But the important thing to remember is that there is not a Democrat in West Virginia right now who exists, who is likely to win statewide.

This is a state that was second, Wyoming was number one. West Virginia was number two when it comes to the margin that Donald Trump won by in 2020. This is not a place for Democrats. The only hope that Democrats have, no matter who his Republican opponent is, is for Joe Manchin to say, I'm going to run again.

KING: Right. And so on that point, they need Manchin to run and they will forgive him, or at least, forget temporarily all the things they were mad at him about. The question is, is it Justice in the end? Let's go back to the the Mooney conversation. Alex Mooney is a congressman. He had Trump's endorsement in a primary last year that was key to him becoming the congressman from West Virginia.

He's already running, and again, he says Jim Justice is going to -- say he's a conservative, but no.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jim Justice is trying to hide his liberal record as governor. Justice destroyed business and lives when he locked down our state and big Jim pushed the largest tax hike in West Virginia history. Backed Joe Biden's trillion dollar spending bill, and tried to stop adults from buying sporting rifles. Now, big Jim wants to be your senator, but he can't mask the truth.


KING: So Donald Trump has a decision to make here, the Republican leadership. And Senator Daines has been very smart in trying to keep Trump in the loop and say, you know, this is what we need, sir. We need to take the Senate back. He was for Mooney last time, but he also was at the rally when Jim Justice switched parties from the Democrats to the Republican. So Trump has ties to both men and a choice to make.

CLEVE WOOTSON, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes. Notice that the dog did not make an appearance in that video at all, too. Yes. We're going to continue to see, you know, a, what Trump wants to do, but also the power of Donald Trump and whether or not he can exert enough influence on this.

But I also want to talk a little bit about Joe -- another President, Joe Biden, because I think, again, was saying, you know, Manchin may have to go scorch to earth on Joe Biden --

KING: He already is.

WOOTSON: -- on the Democratic Party.

KING: He is already, yes.

WOOTSON: More frustration, you know.

KING: Even more OK.

WOOTSON: Going, you know, for Democrats going forward and how does that impact --

KING: Right.

WOOTSON: -- Joe Biden, who needs to prove to the American people that he's up for, you know, he's up for reelection. Like, how does he make that argument if he can't get anything done in the House or the Senate.

KING: More scorch to earth. He's already saying negotiate with Kevin McCarthy on the debt.

WOOTSON: Nuclear.

KING: Yes. I don't like the way you're implementing the investment, the Inflation Reduction Act, and so he's going to go even more. OK.

All right, before we go, a little housekeeping here. I brought a tool today. This is -- you want to measure the drapes?

BASH: Wait, we're getting drapes? I guess you're getting drapes in here.

KING: For those of you at home --

BASH: Nobody told me that.

KING: For those of you at home who don't follow the internet, CNN announced yesterday, I'm going to move on to an amazing election project in a few weeks. We don't have a hard date yet. And Dana Bash is going to end up in this chair as the anchor of this program. And so as the anchor you get to make, you know, you make all changes.

You can change the colors, you can change the drapes.

BASH: Because --

KING: I hope you don't change the great guests.

BASH: Because you're sitting with three reporters. You know that all of us were saying, why do you have a measuring --

KING: Everybody ask me why. I actually know how to use one of these things.

BASH: I'm -- I am very much looking forward to this when it happens. And I'm very grateful to the people in the control room who make this happen to you, who took this storied brand and and modernized it and changed it and very much looking forward.

KING: It'll be great. It'll be great for everybody. And don't forget, the crazy people behind the --

BASH: Now that I know I can bring drapes in.

KING: All the great people, you can do whatever you want. Just ask Brandon over there. He brought me my tape measure. Every now and then I ask, I never got the martini I asked for though, Brandon. We'll work on that one.

Up next for us, Democrats target what they see as Republican hypocrisy. GOP lawmakers who just voted for a debt limit plan that would wipe out clean energy investments back home in their districts.

Plus, the new debt limit timeline and the risks for the economy.



KING: Some new CNN reporting now, Democrats and their allies taking aim at more than two dozen house Republicans whose districts benefited from the Biden administration's clean energy investments. But, who then voted just this week to repeal the spending that made those investments possible.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond joins us now live from the White House with more. Jeremy, what's happening?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, since the Inflation Reduction Act passed last summer, there has been more than 150 billion in announced investments by private companies in clean energy manufacturing. All of that has been spurred on by the tax breaks, clean energy tax breaks included in the Inflation Reduction Act.


And in fact, a majority of those investments that have confirmed locations have gone to Republican districts. About 80 percent of those investments have landed in Republican districts. And I've now identified a list of 26 Republicans who have welcomed multi-million dollar clean energy investments in their districts.

And yet just this week voted to repeal those very incentives as part of this debt ceiling and spending cut bill by house Republicans. Here are just a few of them who have welcomed some of the biggest projects. You see Congressman Mike Carey in Ohio. He has a battery manufacturing investment by Honda of 3.5 billion.

You've got Marjorie Taylor Greene, the fiery Republican congresswoman who welcomes a solar power manufacturing investment in her district. Now, members like this, including Congressman Drew Ferguson, have slammed the clean energy tax breaks even as they have welcomed some of these investments.

And I spoke with the CEO of FREYR Battery, which is the company that invested in Congressman Ferguson's office. The CEO said that this was a core -- the Inflation Reduction Act was a core catalyst for his investments. And he had a message for members like Congressman Ferguson.


TOM JENSEN, CEO, FREYR BATTERY: The Inflation Reduction Act is the core catalyst for us accelerating our plans. So stick to the Inflation Reduction Act. It's a very strong incentive program that will accelerate the deployment of lower cost energy infrastructure.

So I would say steady as you go, stick to the the plan as it's been developed. And then you will see a lot of development in the clean energy solution space in Georgia, in general, and in the southern parts of the U.S. in particular, I would say.


DIAMOND: And Democrats are already pouncing on this climate power in the League of Conservation Voters. They are rolling out a seven figure ad campaign targeting many of those Republicans, including local ads with six individual Republicans in swing districts.

And the White House has also issued similar messaging. You can expect a lot more of that over the summer, John?

KING: As we move closer and closer to 2024, the battle, not just for the building behind you, but for the House and the Senate as well.

Jeremy Diamond, appreciate that important reporting.

The Federal Reserve just moments ago, releasing its autopsy on what caused last month's collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

Let's get some important insights from the Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi. Mark, grateful for your time today. The Fed just released this autopsy and it says the SVB board management just failed to manage obvious risks. It said there were 31 unaddressed red flags, essentially, safe and soundness supervisory warnings.

That's triple the average. They said of the pier banks. That the Fed, though, it also says the Fed has some blame here, did not fully appreciate the vulnerabilities and the Fed. That the Fed insisting that Silicon Valley Bank, Mark, was an outlier. But if the Fed was asleep at the switch, my words, not the autopsy words, do you worry? Is there another one out there, or are they right? It's just Silicon Valley Bank?

MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: Well, I think Silicon Valley was an outlier and a number of really key respects, John. I mean, almost all of the deposits that they have are two folks with -- that were large, big companies. They were uninsured deposits, which is very, very unusual for a bank.

Also, they invested a lot of those deposits in treasury and mortgage- backed securities that lost a lot of value when interest rates have risen over the past year. And those losses weren't -- are called hedged. They -- it didn't offload any of that risk to the rest of the financial system. And all other banks, most other banks, in fact, do that.

So I think there is -- it's fair to say that SVB was kind of out there very, very different from most other banking institutions. Now having said that, you know, there is -- banking system obviously, is under a lot of stress given the run up in interest rates and the losses that that's created for them. And so the system is under, you know, a fair amount of pressure. But I do think SVB is kind of out there.

KING: Well, and hopefully the Fed learns from its own mistakes as we look at the rest of the terrain out there. You just made a very important change in your assessment of where we are in the economics, the math of this debt limit debate.

Jeremy Diamond was just talking about some of the politics in the fallout. And a lot of people on Wall Street, a lot of people in your business are worried that the politicians are worried about politics and not worried about the math, if you will. You just -- your previous reports thought this would be about mid-August by the time we hit crisis time.

Now you believe it could be in early June, which is right around the corner. We're about to end April and move into May. A, why the change? And b, when you see the posturing, the Republicans pass their plan, the White House says, sorry, we're not going to negotiate over that, what is your biggest worry at this moment?

ZANDI: Well, the change is tax receipts. So, you know, the April tax filings that generates a lot of cash for the treasury that they use to pay the government's bills. And the amount of cash coming in is falling well short of last year and expected.


And so that means the treasury just doesn't have as much cash sitting in their bank accounts to pay those bills. And so it feels like there's a reasonable possibility that they're going to run out of cash in early June.

We'll have to say it's still a bit early. We're still getting more tax receipt information from the IRS. It feels a little bit better in the last few days than it did, you know, this time last week. So, you know, hopefully they'll have enough cash to get through that early June period.

If they do, then a number of other things come together and the next kind of drop dead date is late July. So, you know, either -- if it's not early June, it's going to be late July. Either way, it's coming up fast and lawmakers have to act.

KING: They have to act, but first before they can act, they have to figure out the process for acting because right now they're unparalleled tracks.

Mark Zandi, we'll keep in touch as that all plays out. Really appreciate your insights today. Have a great weekend.

Up next --

ZANDI: Sure.

KING: -- Bernie Sanders is talking to guess who? Chris Wallace, and he offers his take on President Biden and 2024.



KING: A great kickoff tonight for the new season of "Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?" that kickoff is tonight 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. Senator Bernie Sanders is a guest and he offers this interesting take on the 2024 campaign.


CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR: President Biden announced this week that he's running for reelection and you have already endorsed him. Why is it that not a single, leading Democrat is willing to contest that nomination in the primaries? Why do you think that is?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: You know, I can't speak for other people, but I suspect that has to do with the real fear of the growth of right-wing extremism in this country. And that is the Republican party over the last number of years accelerated by Trumpism has become not a conservative party, but a right-wing extremist party.

And this is a party that, not all by any means, but you have many of the leaders who actually don't believe in democracy anymore. You have many Republicans maintaining the lie that Trump actually won the election.

You have Republicans working overtime to deny low-income people, people of color, young people, the right to vote, people who defended the insurrection in January --


SANDERS: -- 6th. So, the first answer to your question, Chris, is that I think there's a great fear in this country about attacks on democracy. We want to maintain democracy --

WALLACE: So you're saying it's more fear of Donald Trump and MAGA than it is enthusiasm for Joe Biden?

SANDERS: Well, I think that's half of it.


KING: Chris Wallace joins us now. He's a fascinating guy. He's polarizing even to some Democrats. He's an independent from Vermont, but he's a progressive leader.

That is an interesting take that sure, there's some grumbling maybe about Joe Biden among some Democrats, but there's a bigger challenge here. Bigger --

WALLACE: Yes, I found so interesting though, when I said half and then he said, well, yes. And also when he laid out some of the things that Biden had done, the American Rescue Plan, infrastructure, other legislation.

But I thought to go on at such length when I asked him why Democrats aren't challenging. And make it all about Donald Trump and MAGA and trying to prevent that from taking power again, I thought was a very interesting answer. KING: Yes. What else did you -- what was your biggest other takeaway from him, in the sense that he was a guy, you know, obviously ran for president thrice? He was a rival of Joe Biden, but they actually are genuinely friends from their days in the Senate together. So it's been incredibly important for the president in his White House in the outreach to progressives. What's next for him? Where's this go?

WALLACE: Well, what's -- immediately next for him is he's 81, Biden's 80, and he has to decide next year whether he is going to run for reelection or not. And when I asked him about that, he said, you know, I'm going to say a revolutionary thing. We actually can govern for a while.

We can't immediately think about the next election, which is also a pretty good dodge for saying, I'll think about it when I think about it. But it was interesting, he tend to take some credit for moving Biden to the left. He says he was more progressive as a president than he was as a senator. But on the other end, he's quite disturbed by some of the moves back to the Senate or even to the right on immigration and other issues that he's seen in Biden as he gears up for 2024.

KING: Another guest you have tonight, this one, no offense to Senator Sanders, this one more interesting to me just because I remember sitting next to my dad growing up watching laughing, and Carol Burnett. Carol Burnett on the program. And one of the things she told you was that, back in the day, she was thinking about being here, sitting at this table doing what we do.


WALLACE: Did you at any point kind of see a place for yourself up there on the screen?

CAROL BURNETT, ACTRESS: I never ever thought I would ever be a performer. I wanted to be a journalist.

WALLACE: Oh my Lord.

BURNETT: I was the editor of my junior high school paper in Hollywood High School News. I was editor and that was kind of what I thought I would be. It would be --

WALLACE: You could have been Barbara Walters before Barbara Walters.

BURNETT: -- a writer. Yes.


KING: An icon. Looks like you were having a fun conversation. Tell me more.

WALLACE: Well, absolutely. Well, the reason we got into the thing about the screen was because in it's a piece of Hollywood lore. She and her sister were brought up by their grandmother and very tight circumstances, and one of the things they did to escape that was that three or four times a week, they would go to the movies and see a double feature.


So she was watching movies all the time as a kid. And I was asking, did you ever see your place for yourself in show business? And she said, no. She thought about journalism. And I said -- and she said, you know, I even thought maybe I could interview famous people.

And I said, well, whoever would do that for a living. And I said, you know, it's a pretty good gig --

KING: Right.

WALLACE: -- but, Carol, you've had a better gig.

KING: If you ever need a week off, we could have a substitute, "Who's Talking to Chris Wallace"? Carol Burnett. Put her in the chair. Take a week off.

WALLACE: I'd be worried about that the ratings would spike.

KING: See, you're a smart man. That's why you've survived so long in this business, because you're a smart man.

And you can catch the new season, "Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?", that's tonight. 10:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

Thanks for your time in INSIDE POLITICS today. I hope you have a fantastic weekend.

"CNN NEWS CENTRAL" starts after the break.