Return to Transcripts main page

Inside Politics

Any Moment: Biden To Speak About September Jobs Report; Fox News Invites Speaker Candidates To Televised Debate; Jordan, Scalise Make Their Arguments To Become Speaker; Rep. Jeffries Urges "Bipartisan Coalition" To Run House; Biden: Jobs Growth Shows "Bidenomics" Is Working; Biden Speaks As U.S. Jobs Growth Surges Past Expectations. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired October 06, 2023 - 12:00   ET



DANA BASH, CNN HOST, INSIDE POLITICS: Today on Inside Politics, facts versus feelings. On paper, new data that makes a clearcut case that the economy is good. Any minute, the president tries to bridge the gap between the stats and how people feel about so-called Bidenomics.

Plus, the speaker's race gives us an early test of Donald Trump's sway with Republicans. Jim Jordan scored the former president's endorsement. The question is, will it propel him to the front of the line to claim the gavel. And a cardboard tycoon, submarines nuclear secrets and the former president. New reporting sheds light on a surreal story that has now been confirmed by the special counsel prosecuting Donald Trump.

I'm Dana Bash. Let's go behind the headlines at Inside Politics.

Up first, the Biden disconnect between what's happening and what you believe. Any moment, we're going to hear straight from the president of the United States, who is going to speak just hours after a new and very good jobs number report.

Let's get straight to the White House where Kayla Tausche is reporting. Kayla, can you just put this into context? We're going to talk about the specifics but put this into context. How important it is for the White House to try to convince the American people, the American voter, that what they are talking about on paper really will translate to how they feel in their wallets and as they do their budgets at their kitchen table?

KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dana, it's an effort that's been months in the making with the president and his cabinet officials talking about Bidenomics, with the hallmark of that message being the creation of jobs in this country, millions of jobs created since the president took office.

And today when he speaks in just a few moments, he's expected to tell manufacturing in particular and the renaissance there in this country. To be sure, job creation has been on a tear. The numbers this morning more than double what experts and economists had been expecting. But it also shows just how difficult it is to predict where the economy is headed. With many of those experts expecting a recession to begin by now when they were pulled a few months ago.

And also, the Biden administration itself suggesting that the economy would return to slow and steadier growth post pandemic and that job creation would have to slow down. So, it does put the administration a little bit on its heels in terms of messaging to try to explain why this is still happening and to take a victory lap essentially, for the fact that it is.

All that being said, Dana, there are still reasons why Americans at the ground level do not feel that economic strength, gas prices have been relatively high throughout the summer, inflation while it's been slowing, is still far higher than it was just a couple of years ago.

And Americans feel that when they're paying their rent or buying a home or going to the grocery store. You have student loan payments that just restarted this week after three years, though a senior administration official tells me that the administration is confident.

They believe that it's going to take several months for that fully to kick in and to be felt by the American consumer. But no doubt that today, Dana, is a day where the administration feels good and feels like this data underpins its argument.

BASH: OK. I know we are, as we've mentioned at the top of the show, waiting for the president. We are going to get back to you and to the White House when that happens. As we wait for him, we're going to head down Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill where choosing a new speaker was meant to be a family affair held behind closed doors.

And then Fox News stepped in and invited the speaker candidates to debate in Primetime and invitation they accepted, and that is drawing the swiftest of blowbacks from members of their own Republican conference.

I'm going to go to Lauren Fox who is joining me now. Lauren, I'm sure that your text and email inbox is blowing up like mine is. I just got a text from a House member, saying the pushes on to convince these candidates not to do this. They think it will be detrimental to their ultimate goal, which is unity finding unity inside the House Republican conference.


LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Dana. I mean think about the week that these guys have had up here on Capitol Hill. On Monday they had a Speaker Kevin McCarthy. On Tuesday the historic ouster of that same man. So, there is certainly a lot of reeling, a lot of raw nerves up here on Capitol Hill.

And as you can expect, this feeling that they want to hear from the candidates first. Now our colleague Melanie Zanona is reporting this morning that Jim Jordan who was expected to participate has said that he wants to speak with his Republican colleagues in private before he does this forum. We also are learning that Steve Scalise had initially said, he was not going to participate, but then was told these two other candidates were participating. And that influenced his decision. So, a lot up in the air right now.

And obviously, there's a question about what this means for the schedule next week and if this will actually happen. So, Dana, so many unanswered questions. But as you can expect, Republicans are thinking what about us. Why don't we have this conversation among ourselves first before going public? Dana?

BASH: Absolutely, Lauren, thank you so much. Appreciate that. And before we talk around the table, about all this, just a little context. Has there been turmoil at the top of the House before? Yes, but here's the yes part.

In my time covering Washington alone, we had a coup to push out Newt Gingrich in the 90s. From the eighth wonder The Washington Post in November of 1998, Gingrich steps down in face of rebellion. Then a plan to replace him with Congressman Bob Livingston of Louisiana. He had to drop out abruptly because of an affair.

That led to how alleged affair -- that led to House Republicans settling on a little-known Congressman Denny Hastert. Fast forward to 2015 when John Boehner abruptly resigned, sidenote that was because of a revolt, led by Jim Jordan.

Kevin McCarthy was the heir apparent, and then he ran into problems, and they all immediately coalesced around Paul Ryan per speaker. Yes, each of these periods were chaotic. Here's the but now is different, because we really don't know how this is going to end. There is no consensus. There is no they who decide what's next.

Let's talk about that with our panel. This is such a fascinating time. And the question that I have at this moment, is whether or not they is Donald Trump, whether he will be the decider, whether he his endorsement of Jim Jordan, will seal the deal for him. We don't know.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, we'll find out that obviously, we don't know. Obviously, Donald Trump is the leader of the party and has a ton of sway with a lot -- a huge swath of the Republican conference. But I think we have to remember, you're dealing with a Republican conference. What do they have 221, 200, the total numbers.

It's such a narrow majority in the House. There are definitely some members, we've heard from them of the Republican conference who are in very tough districts. 18 of them sit in districts that Joe Biden won, who are up for reelection, and who are going to be resistant to this notion of Donald Trump dictating everything.

And as we just learned, with the eight members that ousted the speaker of the House for the first time in United States history, which is also what makes it different from all those other examples you just went through. Is that a very small group, just a handful of Republicans can have real say in how this goes. BASH: As we continue this discussion, whether or not this debate happens in Primetime in front of the cameras on Monday night or where the debate happens where a lot of these House Republicans wanted to remain in the short term, which is inside the closed doors of a conference meeting.

We do have the beginnings of the arguments that Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise at least are making about why they should be speaker. Let's listen?


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What is different between you and Steve Scalise?

REP. JIM JORDAN, (R-OH): I think it's just this risk. Another two questions. I said this yesterday, who can unite the conference. We can also -- I guess, maybe three questions, who can unite the conference, who can unite conservative Republicans and our party around the country.

REP. STEVE SCALISE, (R-LA): The problems that we have internally. They don't go away with a new speaker. But the real question the members have is how do we get things back on track? And the reason I've been able to build such a strong base of support over these last few days that's been growing. Is that I've got a long-proven record as somebody who knows how to unify Republicans.


NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I mean, listen, yes, Jim Jordan asked a good question. Who can unify the caucus? He obviously thinks it's going to be him. Donald Trump wants to be the kingmaker here and sort of the center of attention and use his muscle there.

But listen, it's not clear that the moderates are going to take to Jim Jordan, someone who isn't as good a fundraiser for instance. As Steve Scalise, somebody who's much more sort of in bearing in manner and approach to politics is much more of a bomb thrower, then somebody like Steve Scalise, who obviously, is also very conservative and has his own, you know, interesting backstory which some people might like some, people that's problematic is health issues.


But listen, it's anybody's guess as to what's going to happen going forward. I think in Scalise, you obviously have somebody who has been in leadership and has lots of relationships across the caucus and Jim Jordan, much more, you know, someone who is, you know, doesn't like to wear a jacket, for instance, and is just someone who will brand the party in a very different way that lots of Republicans, moderates might be uncomfortable with.

ALEX BURNS, HEAD OF NEWS, POLITICO: You know, it's interesting to be, Dana, is when you mentioned a couple previous elections for speaker of the House in each of those. And also, the one when Denny Hastert stepped down, that got us Speaker Boehner, eventually Speaker Boehner.

In each of those campaigns or battles, there was one candidate who was seen -- one or more candidate who was seen as sort of the low-key legislative craftsman. The guy who came up through the committee system, who really knows his way around the way the hill actually works, right?

And I don't think we have that candidate in this race, right? There's not an option right now. Who if all you want to do his craft policy and have somebody who's going to know where to refer this and when to bring this up for a vote? They do not currently have that option.

When you think back to the speaker vote in January, you heard over- and-over from allies of Kevin McCarthy? If not him, who else even is there, right. And I think you're seeing the same problem hit now, right? We have two candidates. They're both serious, formidable figures within the Republican Party. But there are real questions about both of them as Nia said. And I think one of the biggest ones is either of these guys really up to the job of managing the House, just on a purely operational level.

BASH: Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, the Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries just penned an op ed, that he put in the Washington post. The headline is, a bipartisan coalition is the way forward for the House, this is fascinating that he's doing this here and right now.

Now, he is not saying that there should be a coalition government or anything like that, because that's not a thing in American congress. It's not a parliament. But he is talking about the fact that the narrow majority, and from his perspective, the smallness where the Republicans was McCarthy, apparently, who pushed to kick Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer out of their hideaway offices, that that is not serving people well.

My question is whether or not there is a big audience for this. I think on an individual basis, if you talk to moderate Republicans, those in the 18 Biden districts, those who got probably want to get something done and not just blow-up government. Yes, there is an audience for this. But whether there is enough to do what the American people want, which is just everybody calm down, act like adults, and figure things out. CHALIAN: It seems to me that what Hakeem Jeffries is doing that op-ed is also doing a little bit of cleanup work. It's just positioning after his party joined with Gaetz's faction here, I'm not blaming them. I'm just saying, this is what happened to outs Kevin McCarthy a speaker.

They were not at all of the mind that they should be part of finding a solution for Kevin McCarthy to keep his job for governing purposes or the like. And I do wonder when I read that, if indeed, he's making a case now so that he portrays his party is not completely in opposed to the idea of reaching across the aisle to make the House function.

BASH: No, I think you're right. My reporting is that McCarthy wasn't not interested in anything. He was done. CHALIAN: I don't think the Democrats were all that interested.

BASH: Yes. And so, it made it easy for them.


BASH: Everybody standby because we are waiting for President Biden to speak about this booming jobs' report. More jobs is a good thing. But the question is whether or not as we've said before, and we have to keep saying, he can convince people that they should feel better about podium there.




BASH: We are standing by to hear from President Biden. He's going to be speaking to the country after a blockbuster jobs' report. 336,000 new hires, doubling expectations. It's the 33rd consecutive month of job growth. You zoom out and a $2.7 million -- excuse me 2.7 million more people are cashing paychecks now versus a year ago.

And if you run on the economy, you usually do it with numbers like this. This is what we've seen a cycle after cycle, and yet Americans who will decide who goes to the White House in 2024. They don't seem to be buying Bidenomics yet.

Jeanna Smialek of The New York Times joins our conversation. Jeanna, can you help sort of connect the disconnect between these, again blockbuster statistics and the feeling among Americans?

JEANNA SMIALEK, FEDERAL RESERVE AND ECONOMY REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: It is a surprising disconnect in some ways. You know, we have unemployment at very low levels. It's been at low levels for a long time. Jobs have been plentiful for a long time. These job gains just keep coming in month after month very strong.

But I think the thing that sort of squares the circle that makes it make sense is inflation. You know, we've at the same time dealt with an inflation rate that's been very high. It's slowed down a lot in recent months, and that's giving homeowners and households a lot of relief.


But at the same time, you're still dealing with a situation where people remember a time when it was cheaper to eat out or cheaper to buy whatever it is, they want to purchase in their daily lives. And I think that that memory doesn't fade back quickly. And so, we are still seeing that really impact not just consumer confidence data, but also definitely presidential approval numbers when it comes to the economy.

BASH: I want you to weigh in and just warn you that I might have to interrupt you when the president comes out. CHALIAN: Well, I mean, I think everything you described is true. I think inflation and by the way, this blockbuster jobs' report, correct me if I'm wrong, may cause the Fed to raise rates because the economy is still on fire to some degree, and then that is going to impact prices for people as well, obviously, in certain areas, like mortgages and like.

So, there's no doubt that that factor is the thing that keeps Americans in this disconnect. I would also note though, despite 30 -- you said 33 months of job growth, consecutive months, that's also the length of time Joe Biden's been in office, right? You think this should be such a calling card? Gallup put out new data this week that showed which part -- here comes the president.

BASH: Thanks, David. Here's President Biden.

JOE BIDEN, 46TH U.S. PRESIDENT: Good news today. This morning we learn the economy created 336,000 jobs in September alone. That means since I've taken office, we've created 13.9 million new jobs. Heard me say before and we'll keep saying it. My dad had an expression. He'd said, Joey, job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about your dignity. It's about respect. It's about being able to look your kid in the eyes, honey, it's going to be OK and mean it.

Well, 336,000 more Americans, if they have children can say that to the children immediate. Unemployment rate had stayed below 4 percent for 20 months in a row. The longest stretch in 50 years. We've achieved a seven-year low and unemployment rate for women, record lows and unemployment for African Americans and Hispanic workers and people with disabilities.

Folks who have been left behind and previous recoveries and left behind for too long. We have the highest share of working age Americans in the workforce and 20 years. And it's no accident, it's Bidenomics. We're growing the economy from the middle out of bottom up, not the top down.

And inflation is coming down at the same time. It's down 60 percent. Since last summer, core inflation was just 2.2 percent over the past three months. And now we have the lowest inflation of any major economy in the world.

Today, we're celebrating National Manufacturing Day. We didn't name it that it was already National Manufacturing Day. But it seems appropriate. I can think of no better way to mark the occasion and the thank the 13 million Americans who are manufacturing jobs as we speak.

They're restoring our pride, making things in America. And today I want to highlight that of those 13 million manufacturing jobs. 815,000 of those jobs are created since I took office, twice as many as the previous administration.

And report what we learned earlier this week, that spending on construction for new factories being built to generate more economic growth and jobs hit an all-time high last month. Folks, Bidenomics is about investing in America, and investing in American workers, and business are investing more in manufacturing than ever before, are bringing the supply chains home. Before the pandemic, supply chains was a phrase most people didn't even associate with and think much about. And but today, after a few delays and availability of parts and products everyone has known about, they know why it's so important.

My economic plan is bringing supply chains home and investing in industries of the future. So, we can make things in America again, with American workers. We're creating good jobs in communities all across the country, including in places that had been left behind for the last in some cases, 20 years. Because the factories they used to work at for years and yours shut down, leaving them with no options. No jobs in that community all over the Midwest and all over the Northeast.

That under Bidenomics you won't have to leave home now to get a good job. I don't know how many times I heard and out on the road people saying my kid came up to me got a decent education and the state came up to me and said, mom, I got to leave, no jobs, no jobs. Well, I think you're going to be able to find a good job close to home, more and more all across America.

We're also making sure that jobs were created. Offer workers a free and fair right if they choose to join a union to form a union Bidenomics is leading the surge and unionized workers, exercising our collective bargaining race.

For example, our clean school bus program under the bipartisan infrastructure law, as replacing dirty diesel buses with clean electric buses, so children getting on and off those buses can bring clean air, not diesel fuel. We're encouraging the companies building those buses to allow their employees to unionize if employees choose. And it's working.


We saw in Georgia when workers of Blue Bird, the electric school bus manufacturing company that's receiving federal funds voted to unionize because that was their choice. Treasury department laid out recently in a major report that unions and collective bargaining are good for the economy overall, they help raise wages not only for the workers in that factory, but for everyone, whether or not they're union, whether or not you belong to a union.

And they also increase -- excuse me, they also increase corporate growth. And today's job report is just another example of what it looks like. When we focus on building an economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down, while bringing deficits down at the same time.

You know, just this summer, I signed strong bipartisan law, we shook hands with the former speaker. And we passed in the House in the Senate as well, to cut spending by $1 trillion over the next 10 years. Unfortunately, last weekend, Republican House members decided they were going to put that progress in jeopardy.

Instead of honoring that commitment they made, they once again brought us to the brink of a government shutdown, creating unnecessary instability and risk in order to secure more extreme cuts and programs that helped working Americans and seniors. Cuts that would have hurt everyone from hurt us manufacturing, would have stymied the pay of military appeal a whole range of things.

They tried cutting funding by 30 percent for small businesses, which are growing under our administration, for local manufacturers, for Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program, that helps small and medium sized manufacturers, attract and train workers and grow their businesses.

But we stop them. Quite frankly, I'm sick and tired of Republicans in the House saying they want to cut the deficit, when all they really want to do is once again cut taxes for the very wealthy and big corporations, which will only add to the deficit.

When I was able to cut the federal debt by 1.7 trillion over that first two years. Well, remember what we were talking about was 50 corporations that made $40 billion more paying a penny in taxes. Well, guess what we made them pay 30 percent, obviously 50 percent in taxes, 50 percent, nowhere near what they should pay.

Guess what? We're able to pay for everything. And we end up with actual surplus. You know, it's not about -- it's not what the economy needs right now, more tax cuts for the wealthy. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, we've cut the deficit by over 1 trillion since we taken office. Laws that I signed, we'll cut it by another 1 trillion over the next 10 years. And my budget would cut it by another 2.5 trillion over 10 years.

Here's the deal. The federal debt went up by 50 percent on my predecessor, in part because he passed a $2 trillion tax cut overwhelmingly skewed to the very wealthy and large corporations. I believe we should be reducing the deficit by making sure that the wealthy and large corporations and just pay their fair share. I'm going to ask them to pay 90 percent, just pay their fair share by cutting wasteful spending on special interests like big oil, all the money they made, pay so little in taxes.

Big Pharma, same thing. You know, we just gave them American public a real gift in terms of not gift but fairness in terms of what they have to pay for insulin and what they're going to have to pay for other things. Well, guess what that -- it also cut the federal debt, cut the federal debt, for example, over thousand billionaires in this country.

And I know you're going to hear me say this until I'm able to change it. Know what their average rate of pay federal tax rate is? 8 percent, 8 percent. I think you should mainly be a trillionaire, billionaire, zillionaire if you want but pay your taxes for God's sake. Pay some fair and or somebody approaching a fair tax that's less than a teacher or a firefighter or a cop pays in their taxes just wrong.

Look, how she probably did you put us back. She shouldn't put us back in a crisis mode again. And we have only 40 days for Congress to get back to work or I'm the same House Republican on recess now, to fund the government, avoid a shutdown and protect the tremendous gains American workers have made over the past two and a half years.

Shutdown with me troops don't get paid. Air traffic controllers wouldn't get paid. There'd be all kinds of problems at airport, as long as a small business would be delayed in closing some of them. It's time to stop fooling around. House Republicans it's time for you to do your job.