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Biden Campaign Announces "Month Of Action" After Fiery Address; Biden Campaign Today In Pennsylvania, Tomorrow In Georgia; White House Hopes Fiery Speech Defuses Concerns Over Biden Age; Biden Baits Republicans On Border Bill, Tax Cuts; Biden Tears Into "My Predecessor" Without Using Trump's Name; Trump's Daughter-In-Law Lara Trump To Become RNC Co-Chair; Trump Posts Nearly $92M Bond As He Appeals E. Jean Carroll Case; March 25: Trump's Deadline To Post $454M Bond In Fraud Case. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired March 08, 2024 - 12:00   ET



DANA BASH, CNN HOST, INSIDE POLITICS: Today on INSIDE POLITICS, taking the show on the road. President Biden is headed to a crucial swing state as he looks to amplify his State of the Union message and battlegrounds across the country. We're going to have new reporting on his campaign plans.

Plus, breaking news this morning. Donald Trump just posted a nearly $92 million bond in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case. Where do you come up with the cash? And does he have enough left to pay that $454 million judgment in the New York fraud case.

And TikTok boom. TikTok users are outraged and with the help of a lobbying campaign bombarding lawmakers with calls after the House advanced a bill that could ban TikTok across the country. We'll tell you what's its stake for the social media platform and roughly 170 million Americans who use it.

I'm Dana Bash. Let's go behind the headlines at INSIDE POLITICS.

First up, I'll have what he's having. That's the feeling among Democrats today after Joe Biden's fiery and energetic performance, campaign kickoff in the form of a State of the Union address. The president tackled concerns about his age head on, but his focus while never using the words Donald Trump are clear.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: My predecessor, a former Republican president tells Putin quote, do whatever the hell you want. My predecessor and some of you here seek to bury the truth about January 6. My predecessor came to office determined to see Roe v. Wade overturn. Well, my predecessor many in this chamber want to take those prescriptions drug away by repealing the Affordable Care Act. I'm not going to let that happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BASH: Today, the President Biden is starting an aggressive travel push with stops in Pennsylvania. CNN's Arlette Saenz joins me now live from the White House. Arlette, I know you have some new reporting on what else the president and his team plans to do to try to harness what they felt was a good night last night?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Dana. President Biden is hoping to build off the momentum of his State of the Union address with what the campaign is calling a month of action for the weeks ahead. That includes ramped up presidential travel, as well as trying to organize volunteers and staff and also launching a new media campaign.

It comes as the president really used his speech to draw that clear contrast with the former president without naming Donald Trump by name, and that is really a theme that campaign officials will seek to drill into in the coming months as they head into November's election.

Now the president will face a key test this afternoon as he launches the first of a week-long travel blitz. He'll be in the battleground of Pennsylvania, visiting the suburbs of Philadelphia. Of course, suburban voters will be key as he tried to court moderates, independents and also female voters in this campaign.

The President Biden is also slated to travel to Georgia tomorrow. And then next week, he's traveling to New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Michigan, of course, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, all critical states in that blue wall that Biden is trying to maintain heading into November's elections.

You'll also have Vice President Harris out west, courting Latino voters in Arizona and Nevada. But it's not just to travel from the president and vice president, the campaign is also trying to use the momentum of the State of the Union to organize their volunteers.

They plan to open about hundred new offices in battleground states that will include about 350 staff to work on training and mobilizing volunteers through organic moments. They're also looking at the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act at the end of the year as a big moment.

And then there is also their television and digital campaign ad strategy. The campaign is investing a lot of money in the next six weeks. They're going to launch a $30 million ad campaign on digital and TV. They're going to target a black and Hispanic-owned media outlets.

They're also looking at non-news outlets to reach these voters. They're going to sports channels like ESPN, also cultural channels like the Comedy Central. You'll note that that is a channel that airs The Daily Show which Jon Stewart has been critical of the president at times. They're also looking to build some momentum around March madness with ads there.

But it all comes as the president now faces the challenge of trying to translate that message that he gave to the American voters last night out on the campaign trail, trying to deliver that same energy that many Democrats have been craving for him to display with voters as he now faces the very difficult task of trying to convince voters to vote for him over Donald Trump heading into November's election.


BASH: Arlette, there was a lot of new reporting in there. Wow. I'm just still trying to absorb it all. Thank you so much for bringing that to us. And one of the president's top goals for last night was to allay concerns that he's too old and not up to running another term. He chose to hit those concerns head on.


PRES. BIDEN: I know I may not look like it, but I've been around a while. In my career, I've been told I'm too young. And I've been told I'm too old. Thew issue facing our nation isn't how old we are, it's how old our ideas are?


BASH: Joining me now to discuss that and so much more from last night is my panel, CNN's Gloria Borger, The New York Times' Zolan Kanno- Youngs, Jackie Kucinich of The Boston Globe. Thanks guys, for being here. It's too bad we had no news to cover this week.

Gloria, you have known Joe Biden for a long time, covered him for a long time. You have been to one or two State of the Union addresses. Can you just kind of put in perspective, what you saw, not only from him but just in general this kind of delivery of the speech that he gave last night?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think he knew exactly what he had to do. And Joe Biden prepares and prepares and prepares. You know, he was born with a stutter always has to overcome it, marks up every speech. He does. And I think that he did the same thing this time. And he knew that he had to be energized.

There were moments during this speech last night. He might have been a little too energized, but he knew exactly the job he had to do. And he spent a lot of time with his staff at Camp David. And he understood it. And he likes jousting with the audience and he -- they played rather Republicans played right into his hand.

BASH: Yeah. I'm going to show a bit of that in a second. But first, this is probably a Joe Biden that you will recognize, Gloria, all of you -- those of us who know him. There was a moment that we got from the cameras that were there with the president as he left the chamber when he was talking to two members of Congress. Watch this.


REP. HENRY CUELLER (D-TX): You were on fire. You were on fire today.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): Nobody's going to talk about cognitive impairment now. CUELLER: You were on fire tonight.

PRES. BIDEN: I kind of wish sometimes there was cognitively impairment.


BASH: That was funny.


BASH: I wish I was cognitively impairment. You're watching.

KANNO-YOUNGS: There were various moments where you could see the president sort of enjoying a homecoming of sorts. I realize he spent most of his career in the Senate, but still, he has relationships with many of these members of Congress. And even just the amount of time that he spent sort of mingling and talking after the speech. It seemed to all be a part of it, at least in part of sort of showing energy, showing stamina in a way.

We know that there's been criticism and concern from voters about his age, and about his stamina, and whether it was the jousting, sparring with Republican hecklers as well, ad-libbing or even -- you know, engaging with Democrats that he's known for a while. Yesterday, you saw that he had an intention to really show that energy.

BASH: So, I want to show two clips that sort of speak to examples of what each of you has said. One on him taking. He believes clearly the Republicans taking his bait and the other and ad lib moment.


PRES. BIDEN: Oh. You don't like that bill, ah? That conservatives got together and said was a good bill. I'll be darned. That's amazing. Oh, no. You guys don't want another $2 trillion tax cut. I kind of thought that's what your plan was. Well, that's good to hear.

Lincoln Riley, an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal. That's right. But how many -- thousands of people being killed by legals. To her parents I say, my heart goes out to you, having lost children myself. I understand.


BASH: Sound a little bit like you said killed by illegals but sounds like he was trying to say -- maybe did say, killed by illegals at the end there.

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN, POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. I mean, it was a moment -- it was a surprising moment. I can't remember the last time I was that surprised during a State of the Union. But like Joe Biden's ad-libs in the past, this one kind of got him into some trouble, particularly with Democrats who don't use the word illegal, he called undocumented workers. However, he -- it almost -- he was able to get back on script quickly and -- but it was part -- it was -- both of those clips were the same Joe Biden. He likes to spar. He likes to go back and forth. And the Republicans did play into his hands. I can't remember who said it earlier, but you were talking about how Matt Gaetz was someone who was saying don't engage, right.


We're trying to have this. I think you were saying it, Gloria. And it's because -- they could -- I would imagine it's -- he could see that this was going to play right into, Biden was prepared for this. Mike Johnson actually has -- asked his members not to or to behave. These are adults. And so, I think because of that, they were prepared for some of this.

BASH: And listen, they weren't just prepared. He egged him on.


BASH: He wanted to have those moments. He wanted to have this fight. And that's another thing -- he's comfortable with that. But I wonder what your thoughts are Gloria, about the fact that it is -- I'm sorry, it was so political. I mean, we've never seen. I mean, have you ever seen a State of the Union address like that?


BASH: To be clear, I don't think we've seen a general election race that started this early. We certainly haven't seen a president running against his predecessor who wants another term. And then there are lots of other maybe unprecedented moments that led to that speech last night.

BORGER: Yeah. I noticed you said his predecessor, just like Joe Biden would never mention Trump's name. Look, I think the norms were used to those of us who've covered politics for a while are out the window. And one of those norms was the State of the Union speech, which normally didn't sound like a convention speech, which this sounded like a convention speech to me or a campaign speech.

And I think that that this may be the way it's going to be. And he knows he's running against Donald Trump. And he knows what Donald Trump has been saying about him. And I think that people in the White House felt the need to respond.

BASH: Yeah. I mean, how many times have you heard don't take a knife to a gunfight?

BORGER: Gunfight. And they took an -- exactly.

BASH: OK. And then we are hearing from a lot of Republicans who, frankly, are pro-clutching and saying I can't believe he was so political. That's not a State of the Union. That is a campaign speech. You know, it sounds like a convention speech. That's all true. I mean, that is fact. BORGER: Yeah.

BASH: But compared to what?


BASH: Compared to the politics, not only that we're seeing in the audience with the members. I mean, Marjorie Taylor Greene wearing like a full-on MAGA costume. And, you know, a lot of that what we're seeing elsewhere. Like you're saying, times have changed.

KUCINICH: It wasn't the Republican convention, literally in the White House this last time. I mean, there were things that were happening, you know, not -- maybe not in the White House, and there were political events at the White House constantly during the Trump administration. So come on.

KANNO-YOUNGS: I mean, this is -- this is just emblematic of our times here. You know, our politics has become more polarizing, become more divisive. So, it only makes sense that you would see a State of the Union address. That is confrontation.

BORGER: It sounded like he was on the floor of the chamber, sometimes more than at the podium when he was jousting.

BASH: Well, he's more used to being there.

BORGER: Exactly.

BASH: Can I just -- can I just quickly talk a bit about some of the substance and what he tried to do, obviously, a big part of it. Most of it was trying to neutralize some of the issues that are hurtful to him and what it makes him vulnerable with swing voters. He also did so on an issue that makes him vulnerable with some -- in his own party, particularly what's going on in the middle east.

Apparently, he said in a hot mic moment to Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado. I told Bibi, don't repeat this. I said, you and I are going to have a come to Jesus, meeting. Now if he can get Bibi Netanyahu to come to Jesus. I was going to say, that will be something.

KUCINICH: Yeah. But right. He has been facing so much pressure from the left, not only the left, I mean, as the situation in Gaza worsens. You really seen Biden sort of move from where he was on the seventh, like a lot of people have moved where they were on the seventh. And perhaps, that's what's next. I don't know if Jesus is going to be involved.

BASH: Yeah. I don't think so. And you know, Jamaal Bowman, who has been one of his -- maybe one of two of his biggest critics and is very much passionate on an issue, on one side of this said that he would have liked to have heard an immediate ceasefire, call from the president and but that he was happy that he was critical of Israel. Of course, that wasn't going to happen. But I guess the question is whether or not this was going to tamp down on something.

BORGER: Is it enough? Is it enough?

KANNO-YOUNGS: It only goes so far, right. And I mean, you can talk about the efforts to have humanitarian aid go in. But at this point, people are looking for some sort of hostage agreement and ceasefire.



BORGER: The other thing that surprised me was starting out with Ukraine. I really never heard a State of the Union speech that started out with foreign policy.

BASH: Yeah. I know it's true.

BORGER: It was remarkable.

BASH: All right. Coming up the steep cost of Donald Trump's court cases is catching up to him fast.


BASH: Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS. It is official there is a new chair of the Republican National Committee. Michael Whatley was just elected by members of the RNC during their meeting that's happening. As we speak in Texas, we expect that the RNC will also elect Lara Trump, the president's daughter-in-law as co-chair by the end of this meeting. Let's talk about that with the panel. Jackie?

KUCINICH: This just really shows kind -- this is kind of the final piece of the puzzle of Trump's complete takeover of the Republican Party. And you saw it started happening, but this really now the entire party apparatus is behind him and is very much his hand-picked people. Those that are there for the party and there to, you know, elect Republicans not really -- not really as much as the ones who are just delivered solidly around Trump.


BASH: And we should say, it's not like a usual thing to reshuffle the RNC in the middle of an election. It is typical for a candidate to bring in their own people. But to have this kind of change, particularly when he was the one who brought Ronna Romney McDaniel into the RNC to begin with back, you know, seven, eight years ago.

BORGER: But it's also not typical to put your daughter-in-law in there. This is a man who had his daughter and son-in-law in the White House. So, we shouldn't be surprised by that. But this notion of, OK, yeah, and Lara Trump is going to be number two there and nobody says a word. They say, OK, sure, no problem.

KANNO-YOUNGS: The timing is also advantageous here for the former president as well, right? You now have -- basically were effectively in the general election. So, the RNC is going to be able to really dedicate itself to his campaign as well. You also have Whatley, who's also been elected here. And he comes from sort of the Bush era in 2000 already, after being elected said that he was ready to deploy more poll watchers as well.

BASH: And he's an election denier.

KANNO-YOUNGS: And an election denier as well. So, you can expect that rhetoric also and some of those statements that continue to come.

BASH: OK. Everybody, stand by. Just into CNN, Donald Trump posted a nearly $92 million bond as he appeals the judgment in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case. Moments ago, his campaign called the rolling baseless. CNN's Kara Scannell is following the developments. Kara?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Dana. So today Donald Trump met the deadline to post the bond in the E. Jean Carroll case. He put up $91.6 million. And he said, he's going to appeal the judgment. You'll remember the jury awarded E. Jean Carroll, $83.3 million. Finding that Trump defamed her when he denied her allegations of rape and made some other statements.

Now that the bond is more than the judgment because he has to put up more money for interest because it will be held in by the court until the appeals process is over. So, this a big question of been where would Donald Trump get this money? The company underwriting the bond is Chubb. It's an American insurance company well-known business.

So, they have put up the bond. And then you can actually see on the bond Donald Trump signature. He signed this bond on Tuesday of this week, even as he was asking the judge overseeing this case for more time to put the financing together. So now this chapter is closed for now, assuming the judge approves this bond.

But it does raise questions about how Donald Trump is going to come up with the next big judgment he's facing. He has a little more than two weeks to come up with $454 million. That's a satisfy the judgment in the New York Attorney general's civil fraud case.

They did appeal to one judge who said that they would not give him more time. Trump is now bringing this up to a panel of judges at the New York appeals court. They will then decide whether to give him an extension or additional time. But until then, the deadline for this as the -- is about two weeks away.

Source tells us that the appeals court is expected to reach their decision around the same time, which by the way is also in jury selection will begin in the New York criminal case that Trump is facing and 34 counts of falsified business records. So, a lot of these things coming together are right around the same time and it could come down to the wire again just like it did today. Dana?

BASH: And Kara, before I let you go, I just want to underscore and maybe clarify. Did he -- hey, did he post I should say that $92 or $93 million today?

SCANNELL: So, he's posted this bond with the court today. The money is coming from the -- basically this Chubb, this insurance company is backing it up. But Donald Trump has to give them either cash, stocks, bonds, maybe even some of his property, some collateral to back it up. This man doesn't say exactly what that collateral is though.

BASH: OK. Thank you so much, Kara, for that reporting. Jump off who wants to take this one?

BORGER: You know, the question is, OK, he got Chubb to underwrite this, and that's fine. And then it's a respected company. What happens with the over $400 million case? What is -- what he's going to do about that?

I mean, he has bragged publicly that he has a lot of cash. And he has bragged publicly that he had over $400 million in cash. That doesn't seem to be the case. So, you know, the question is, what have the numbers on the screen? Yeah, 454.

BASH: This is super relatable.


KANNO-YOUNGS: This is just a reminder of how -- we just were in unprecedented times here, though. I mean, we just discussed how the former president -- the leading candidate for the Republican Party put his daughter-in-law at the RNC. Now, he's also facing all these cases as well forced to pay all that amount of money. We have a complete convergence of the judicial system and litigation with our political system. These really are unprecedented.


BASH: And you know, what I wonder is now that we are pivoting, or we have pivoted from primary life to -- primary, right -- to the general. Up until now he has been able to use these kinds of events. As you see, they're all after me. You see, this is what happens, and you need to -- I'm working for you and I'm fighting for you. And this could be you tomorrow.

How much does that play in a general election where he really is going to have to get not just as base, which I think he's got them, but the suburbs. And people who might not be sort of energized by that kind of argument.

KUCINICH: Right. And that's assume -- you're right. He does have his folks. And I think one of the things that Democrats are counting on is that now -- because it is a general election, the public will be more focused on where he is, what he's doing. The fact that he is in a Manhattan courtroom.

The fact that he is -- that there's jury selection, there's all these things that are going to be front and center. These aren't just, you know, the ruminations. These are the trials that are -- and theory are going to start unless they get moved.

BASH: All right. For those of you out there who are not following, along with the former president on his social media platform as he was live, reacting to Joe Biden's State of the Union address. I'll just give you some examples. First, just on the substance. He had a lot to say, including past the freedom to cheat and Voting Act, which is really what he wants, which is Classic Donald Trump branding.

But then there was the more colorful of the comments. Who kissed him on the cheek with lipstick? Now he's got lipstick on his face. How stupid of her. This is like a shouting match. Every line is being shouted. The drugs are wearing off, don't shake people's hands going out. He keeps coughing into his right hand. I mean, that's the germaphobe. But I mean, this is like the guy who we used to see tweeting about everything under the sun before he was a politician.

BORGER: You know, you have a -- I mean, it's so unserious that Joe Biden talked about a lot of things policy wise that he could respond to. And some of them are his favorites like immigration, et cetera. He's talking about the guy having lipstick on his cheek. I mean, what is that about?

BASH: And yet, the other side of that is that a lot of people who like him -- like him because they think he's funny and they have sort of an emotional reaction to things like this.

KANNO-YOUNGS: In the base, and you know, of the Trump sort of base. But you have to wonder as there's this fight for independence and swing voters to. Will people be reminded of those tweets every morning during the Trump era and sort of the constant chaos on a daily basis by this?

BASH: We have to take a break. But I first want to say, Happy International Women's Day, to the women here and to the son of a woman, friend of a woman, especially you Gloria, who is ---

BORGER: Thank you.

BASH: I'm not going to get emotional, but I just want you to know how much women here appreciate everything that you've done to whack away at the glass ceiling, for us and continue to do 100 percent.

Up next. Will TikTok be banned in the United States? That could be the result of a House bill that requires its Chinese owners to sell it. And now lawmakers have been flooded with angry calls from its loyal, addicted or egged on by lobbyists users.