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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Files Motion To Oust Speaker Johnson; Rep. Greene: We Need A Speaker Who Knows How To Defend America First; Rep. Greene: This Funding Bill Is A Betrayal Of The American People; CNN Polls Spell Trouble For Biden In Critical Swing States; Trump, Biden Tied In Pennsylvania While Trump Leads In Michigan; Biden Goes On The Attack During Fundraising Events. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired March 22, 2024 - 12:00   ET



REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE, (R-GA): When this was our point of leverage, Republicans had the power of the purse. This was our power. This was our leverage. This is our chance to secure the border and he didn't do it. And now this funding bill passed without the majority of the majority.

This was a Democrat bill. This is Chuck Schumer bill. This is a bill that Joe Biden cannot wait to sign into law. And it is a betrayal of the American people. Here's the problem. Right now, Americans are watching the border. Americans -- women are being raped. Women are being killed. Illegals are squatting in people's homes and then killing them when they come to take their houses back. Like just -- that's just what happened in New York. We're done. We're absolutely done.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What did you do -- what did you do -- what do you need to hear? What do you need -- what do you need to hear? What do you need to hear from the speaker or anything else to not move forward? What will change your mind to not move forward?

TAYLOR GREENE: He heard from everyone all week long, do not break the 72-hour rule. He heard from all of us. He heard from all of us all week long. Allow us to introduce amendments. Allow us to do our jobs. Allow us to represent the districts that voted for us -- sent us here. We want a secure border. And that -- and the Senate proposal of legalizing 5000 people coming across the border every day is not securing the border.

And this is giving up every point of leverage we have. Also forcing Republicans to vote on full term abortion funding in order to fund our military is a complete betrayal of all of our values. And our voters don't want us to be doing that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When do you -- when do you plan to call this resolution to the floor?

TAYLOR GREENE: Again, I don't have a timeline. That will be a rolling issue that we'll be judging and making decisions by. But I assure you, it's -- I'm not the only one. I have support on this from others in my conference. And it's not -- I'm not introducing this to throw the House into chaos. Committees will continue doing their work, investigations will continue.

I support my conference. Again, I have paid all of my dues to the NRCC. And then some. I support Republicans holding the majority next conference. But we need a speaker of the House that knows how to negotiate, knows how to walk in the room, knows how to hold the line and knows how to defend America first and the values and the policies that President Trump will bring the next.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- to find new speaker? What is that process look like without the motion to vacate?

TAYLOR GREENE: That process allows everyone to have discussions and internal meetings and conversations. And it allows other people to step forward and say they're willing to run for --


TAYLOR GREENE: Not at -- not at this time. I want to have conversations and I want to hear from others how they would have handled this.

RAJU: Have you talked to Trump -- have you talked to Trump about this?

TAYLOR GREENE: I have not talked to President Trump about this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said there is more support from Republicans, how many Republicans?

TAYLOR GREENE: I won't give you a number. But I've talked to many who probably won't go public but silently there -- they're breathing a sigh of relief. Everyone is -- you can look at the numbers and the votes of this. This bill was passed without a majority of Republicans. This is a Democrat budget, and it was passed by Mike Johnson.

RAJU: Should Johnson stepped down -- should Johnson has stepped down?

TAYLOR GREENE: That'd be a choice that he would have to make. But we're going to have to find a new speaker.


RAJU: -- you saw what happened in the fall. We saw one -- we saw one -- we saw one speaker candidate after another fall short of getting the votes necessary. You can't -- I mean, how could you possibly even find someone to succeed -- Mike Johnson who could get the votes, keep this conference together and not (Inaudible) chambers to chaos, TAYLOR GREENE: We're going to have to do it because the country is in crisis. We have a border invasion that's happening every single day. We have Americans under the age of 30 -- for the first time at showing in all types of polling have lost hope for their future. The younger generations can't afford to buy a home. Inflation is running rampant. Our country is in crisis.

And we need real leaders that know how to fight. That know how to walk in a room and don't get rolled by the deep state and don't get rolled by the Democrats and don't get rolled into doing whatever it takes to maintain that power and position. We need a speaker of the house that actually represents the people. This is the people's House. This is not Washington D.C. House. This is the people's House.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just to follow up on that, though, you're calling this a pink slip, a warning sign. The bottom line, you want Speaker Johnson out.

TAYLOR GREENE: I will -- I wouldn't have filed a motion to vacate.


TAYLOR GREENE: We need a new speaker. This is not personal against Mike Johnson. He's a very good man. And I have respect for him as a person, but he is not doing the job. The proof is in the vote count today. He passed a budget that should have never been brought to the floor, did not represent our conference, and it was passed with the Democrats and without the majority of the majority.

RAJU: What happened? What happens if he moves on Ukraine? What happens if he moves on any aid to Ukraine?

TAYLOR GREENE: That would also go against what the American people want. Polling shows that it's approximately 70 percent of the American people do not support continuing a war in Ukraine.


RAJU: Well, through that trigger, will there be triggering event for you?

TAYLOR GREENE: The motion to vacate is already been filed.

RAJU: What would you call it up -- would you call it up everyone?

TAYLOR GREENE: Not. He should not bring funding for Ukraine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are saying, you will cover this all or are you saying you're still -- I know you're saying no time ---

TAYLOR GREENE: I'm saying that we've started the plot to start the process to elect a new speaker. And I'm giving my conference time. I'm being respectful to my conference. But many members in my conference agree, even though it's uncomfortable, it's a process, none of us want to go through. It has to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, does this try to way to avoid you be teaming with Democrats as well by counseling the speaker of the House. Just like speaker Johnson did in teaming with Democrats to pass the government funding bill.

TAYLOR GREENE: We have to find a new speaker of the House. I'm not sure how that vote count would be. And I'm -- I've heard a lot of Democrats may support him. So, I'm not sure how that works out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we do that, don't you worry that you're basically pushing him or any new speaker into the arms of Democrats because like it is --

TAYLOR GREENE: He is already in the arms of Democrats and its proof in the vote count today. This was a Democrat bill. This was not a Republican bill. We weren't allowed to introduce amendments. We weren't allowed to have a say. We weren't even given the respect of the 72-hour rule to read one thousand and twelve pages.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, you think it was -- it would be better to shut the government down then. I mean, you were up against the clock. Would it have been better --

TAYLOR GREENE: It would have been better to back in October when he became speaker to have actually worked on appropriation bills, stayed with single appropriation bills and done what all of us had set out to do.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) Do you think there would be the votes for that? I mean, technically, he doesn't have to be a member. I know you support him, so I'm just wondering.

RAJU: Do you really think that there's someone who can get 218 votes to become speaker of the House?

TAYLOR GREENE: I certainly hope so.

RAJU: I mean, it was so hard to go the last time -- you're going to go through --

TAYLOR GREENE: It was hard to go the last time but look at where we are now. We that -- they just passed a funding bill that doesn't secure our border, does nothing to stop the daily invasion. This budget funds full term abortion. It funds DEI. It funds trans ideology on our youth as young as 12 years old. We're already in crisis. So, now it's time for real leadership.

RAJU: Is this fight you want to have in an election year?

TAYLOR GREENE: Absolutely. It's a fight I want to have an election year because, damn it, I want to win that House. I want to win the White House. I want to win the Senate. And I want to restore this country back to greatness again, back to safety, back to security for every single American because right now we don't have it. And that's the fault of Democrats in the Biden administration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're against this when it was Kevin McCarthy -- Congress after he kind of deal with Democrats to the budget, right?

DANA BASH, CNN HOST, INSIDE POLITICS: OK. Deep breath, America. Here we go again. Yep. You just saw Marjorie Taylor Greene, making very clear in many different ways that she is done with Mike Johnson that she has -- as any member does, still has the ability to vacate the chair, which means that they can hold the vote to get rid of Mike Johnson. And she said, she has filed a motion to do that.

I want to go to Manu Raju, who you were seeing there for a while in that scrum with Marjorie Taylor Greene. The first question I have for you Manu, is what I'm hearing from members of the House Republican leadership, and this is all complicated stuff.

So, we'll try to walk our viewers through it as we try to process what's happening. Is that yes, she filed a motion to vacate to kick Mike Johnson out of the speaker's chair, but she hasn't noticed it yet. Can you explain what the significance is of that?

RAJU: I will -- yes, I will. If she needs to actually be called address the House floor and announced that she's moving ahead with us. That starts the clock that would have -- there'll be two legislative days after that happens on the floor where the vote must take place. And they're going on a two-week recess. So, this is not going to happen for a couple of weeks.

The question will be how the votes come down if she does go forward this. And I want to bring you one very key development. I'm talking to Congressman Tom Suozzi here because they don't have votes that the Democrats will have to choose -- if they're going to have to vote, vote to House Mike Johnson or if they're going to vote to keep them in there. Conference Suozzi, Democrat of New York, will you vote to keep Mike Johnson in as speaker?

REP. TOM SUOZZI, (D-NY): Yes, I will.

RAJU: Why is that?

SUOZZI: Because it's absurd. He's getting kicked out for doing the right thing, getting the -- keeping the government open. It has two thirds support of the Congress and the idea that he would be kicked out by these jokers is absurd.

RAJU: Will there be other Democrats who join, you think?

SUOZZI: I hope so.

RAJU: OK. Thanks for your time.

SUOZZI: Thank you.

RAJU: So, that is an important development that I want to bring to you just, you know, there, Dana. Democrat here, Tom Suozzi says that he will vote to keep in Mike Johnson. That's different. That what we saw in the -- in the fall when Kevin McCarthy became the first speaker ever to be ousted by his own colleagues.


All Democrats in that situation along with eight Republicans voted to oust McCarthy here. We have at least one Democrat saying, yes, I will vote to keep Johnson in. That will make it harder for (Inaudible) to succeed in kicking out Mike Johnson. The question is how many other Democrats like Tom Suozzi are there that will keep them in. And what price will they exact for that because there are so many huge issues that are pending.

Yes, they just barely passed this bill to keep the government open. What about Ukraine funding? That is still pending. Maybe there'll be some discussions about how to get him to move ahead on Ukraine funding in exchange for keeping him in as speaker. All that will undoubtedly play out over the next two weeks.

But you're right, Dana, it is what Marjorie Taylor Greene indicated right there was that she's dangling this over Mike Johnson. She says she wants to begin the process of figuring out a new speaker. But when she pulls a trigger, she has not said when that will happen that just -- when that will happen. And that will actually lead to that key vote, probably in a couple of weeks. Dana?

BASH: I mean, wow. Absolutely, wow. Manu, thank you. Don't go too far. I want to bring in our colleague Melanie Zanona. Melanie, I know you've been talking to members of the current Republican leadership in the House of Representatives. What are you hearing?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yeah. Well, this move is not going overwhelmed. Remember, the conference is still reeling from Kevin McCarthy's ouster, which was not that long ago. There's been a lot of raw emotions and sore feelings in the conference. And now the prospect of yet another chaos weeks without a speaker something that roiled the conference last time, is really upsetting to a lot of members.

I talked to one member Lisa McLean, when she was just off the House floor, but this is all going down. She said this is crazy. I can't believe we're doing this again. I just talked to another leadership source who said this is so stupid. And he pointed out that moderate Republicans are probably not going to try to back another conservative speaker.

If they get into another speaker's race, like they're probably going to team up with Democrats and say we've had enough. So, a lot of concern right now about what this means, although for Johnson's party has been pretty dismissive. I caught up with him just outside of the chamber as well. I tried to ask him about this, and he basically dismissed it with a wave -- suggesting he doesn't care.

Yesterday, he also said that he wasn't concerned about a motion to vacate that he does not want to operate in fear. And remember, as of this point, we've only heard Marjorie Taylor Greene saying that she supports us. She did tell Maju. You heard in that gaggle that there are other colleagues who are with her, but those numbers really matter here, especially if you have Democrats like Tom Suozzi who are willing to support the speaker.

So, it takes 218 people in order for this to succeed if there isn't even a floor vote that goes into motion. But at this point, it really is a headache for Johnson, they are going on a two-week recess. When they come back, they're going to have to deal with the topic of Ukraine funding, which is another issue that has really divided the GOP conference. So, a lot of headaches. And of course, this is looming over Johnson's head as he goes in the two-week recess, Dana?

BASH: I mean, so much to discuss and to break down about what this all means and how we continue to get back to this place. Melanie, thank you so much. Obviously, let us know if you hear anything new from your sources up there. I want to talk to our great panel about this. Seung Min Kim of the Associated Press, CNN's Kristen Holmes and CNN's David Chalian.

Ok, so. You guys did the math while we were listening to Marjorie Taylor Greene 22 days, October 3 to October 25. That's how long it took. Once Kevin McCarthy was ousted to get to the point where they found this backbencher person who -- people had to Google when they heard his name, Mike Johnson. And here we are, again.

That's sort of an important data point that we need to remember. The other is that she is dangling it as both Manu and Melanie said. She did say he's getting a pink slip, but then she's not noticing it.


BASH: It's a little bit -- so that's not really what I don't think that's what a pink slip is. But it's -- to put this in -- put this into the context of where we are right now in America.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, this is what I think is so important. The timing is so different politically now in the election year than it was last October. Do you all remember we were sort of hanging on Hakeem Jeffries, every word that he -- as he would emerge conference to -- and his caucus to see if Democrats would actually helped save Kevin McCarthy or not? Or as Manu was saying, what they would demand in exchange for helping to save Kevin McCarthy's speakership?

And Hakeem Jeffries emerged from that as the Democratic leader and said we are totally unified, and nobody is going to vote to save Kevin McCarthy here. This is on him and the Republicans to deal with and. And ensued all of this chaos, I'm not suggesting that the Democrats fault, it was all obviously Republican chaos. But now instantly, you hear what a different moment we're in.

I mean, Tom Suozzi to Manu, right off the gate saying no, no, no. And you could imagine a lot of these frontline Democrats in the election year saying, I remember those 22 days of chaos that you're talking about, Dana, and that did not look well or reflect well on the House at all. We're as a governing body and I don't know that my constituents at home in my battleground district would want to see that kind of chaos, Dan.


BASH: And there's another aspect to that argument and that is that as much as Democrats can prove that House Republicans who now after -- by the way, Ken Buck of Colorado leaves Congress today. So, there is a two-vote majority --


BASH: Basically, that Republicans have. So, if I'm Tom Suozzi who just won his seat in this special election and has to run again in a swing district in November, and the others who Democrats who were in Trump districts or more conservative districts. If they can say, I'm doing what's best for America because and this is how much I cross a party line, I'll even vote for a Republican, because the Republicans can't govern themselves, they cannot be trusted with the leadership in Washington, D.C., you can hear that argument being made already.

SEUNG MIN KIM, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS: The Democrats, especially in those frontline districts we're talking about can step in and say Democrats have to work to save Republicans because they cannot govern themselves in Washington. And I could see that being a potentially compelling message for voters to come this fall because it's not just this latest drama where Democrats have huge power here.

It is in the spending bill that would -- that is kind of precipitated all this today, that Johnson -- that Mike Johnson cannot pass with his own vote. So, he has to rely on a huge chunk of Democrats to govern.

And we've seen that time and time again, where the House Republican majority is not really a functioning one because of that small minority of House Republicans who want to foil the leadership at almost every turn, forcing them to turn to Democrats basically, you know, make sure the house is functioning. And that, you know, basically the House Republicans don't have a governing majority right now.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, we'll just point out. Marjorie Taylor Greene, enough for all intents (Ph) and purposes on an island alone. We know, no one else is coming out to backer. This is a very different situation. And then we saw with Kevin McCarthy. If so far, but there was a larger group of people who were calling for his ouster. It wasn't just one person. And now she's saying, it's just a warning. I just brought it up. I might not bring it up to the floor, or as you said, dangling it over him.

But I won't say, when I'm talking to these very conservative Republican House members, they also don't want to do this again. There's also another person who doesn't want to do this again, and that is former President Donald Trump.

BASH: And did you notice that she said --

HOLMES: She said she hadn't talked to her. Because the thing is, by the end of this, he was calling everyone saying, just get this done. I am tired of this being here. You guys all look like buffoons. Nobody wants to go through this yet. Now will someone come out and backer maybe, but we haven't heard it yet. So, it is again, on all sides, it's a different part.

BASH: Yeah. It will be interesting to see if he calls her and says, come on. You all can do. Let's not do this. This is not good for anybody. OK, everybody standby. We do have new CNN polling and it gives us a snapshot well beyond the House. Two critical swing states that flip from red to blue in the presidential race in 2020. Michigan, Trump leads, Pennsylvania, it is a dead heat. We're going to talk much more about that after a break.




BASH: Now to new CNN polling from two states that could very well determine who will win the presidential election. CNN's David Chalian is here to break it all down. David?

CHALIAN: Dana, we have these brand-new polls from SSRS. In these two critical battleground states, Michigan and Pennsylvania, just draw a line here. So, Pennsylvania on the right-hand side, dead heat 46 percent to 46 percent, Trump, Biden. Michigan, Trump has a lead 50 percent to 42 percent over Biden in Michigan.

And I want to show you here, if I add the third-party candidates in like Robert Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West. Look what happens here. Kennedy is getting 18 percent in Michigan, 16 percent in Pennsylvania. Now, we'll see him track that throughout the rest of this election season to see if he can hold on to that support.

But when we see underneath that is that he's kind of pulling from both parties. But what's critical to see here is that the third-party candidates really lower the win number needed for Donald Trump in the states, he hits 40 percent. And that would be enough. I mean, Pennsylvania is within the margin of error. But that would be enough to be numerically on top, just 40 percent. That's really what the third-party factor is something to watch out for in this cycle.

BASH: And let's take a closer look David at Michigan where some of President Biden's issues are there.

CHALIAN: Yeah. So why is Michigan behaving differently? Well, one thing I want to show you here. Take a look here. We ask people to recall their vote in 2020, right. So those that say they voted for Biden in 2020, 87 percent are with him in our poll in Michigan today. Those that said they voted for Trump in 2020, 95 percent are with the former president in our poll today.

That means that Donald Trump's having an easier time right now in Michigan, hanging on to his 2020 coalition, which wasn't sufficient to win, obviously, than Joe Biden is. He's only at 87 percent. So that's a key warning sign there. And then you see, for those that didn't vote for either one of them big Trump advantage there in our poll in Michigan.

Dana, I want to show you here about risk -- Dana. Voters of color in the 2020 exit polls in Michigan, Joe Biden won them by 62 points. In our poll today, that margin is down to 21 percentage points. That's an enormous drop of an advantage among voters of color in Michigan.

And you see, Donald Trump is actually increasing his advantage among white voters in the Wolverine state. He's got back in 2020, the exit polls he was up 11 among white voters. Today he's up 16 percentage points in our poll, but I want to caution everyone. This is what we mean about a poll being a snapshot in time. We've got a lot of time to go here. And look at this middle line here.


In Pennsylvania, one in five voters tell us they may change their mind. In Michigan, it's a quarter of registered voters that tell us they may change their mind That's obviously a large enough swath of voters to tip this race in either direction. So, obviously the work for these campaigns is cut out for them. And there are voters to appeal to who are not yet locked in.

BASH: Such an important cautionary note. As you always do when you give us this great information and data that is, as always, a snapshot in time when we do a poll and the fact that it is a bit of a roadmap for these campaigns, particularly the Biden campaign of where he clearly needs to make up ground. Thank you so much, David. We'll see you back at the table in a second. Let's talk more about this.

And as we do, let's just in the game of -- and the world of hypotheticals and as we look at the map, as we are going to do over and over again, between now and election day. The two states we polled, Michigan and Pennsylvania. If Trump wins those states, Biden cannot lose any of the other swing states -- true swing states, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, or Nebraska is second congressional district, or he will not win the White House, Kristen.

HOLMES: Yeah. And I think one of the numbers on here that was really striking to me was that 95% of people who are still with Donald Trump. And the reason why is because that is the number that his team is really banking on. It is the base. It is the people that he thinks will turn up no matter what.

Now, obviously, we also saw this 25 percent quarter of people in Michigan who said that they would maybe change their mind. But I would go out on a limb to say many of those people are not Trump supporters, because one of the things that Trump has been able to do is to really turn out his voters.

Part of the strategy for Donald Trump's team is to turn out his voters and continue to turn out his voters. Maybe they can get a couple of Biden voters, particularly in Michigan, we're talking about working class voters. But also, can the Biden vote just be so depressed? And can they depress that vote so that his base turns out, Biden's doesn't, and then you have a win in some of these states. BASH: Yeah. And let's just dig into some of the issues that could turn this race looking ahead at these two states. First of all, on abortion and democracy, these are the two issues where Biden has an advantage, the only two issues where Biden has an advantage in in both states, then you look at other issues, U.S. and world affairs, economy, immigration, Israel, Gaza, Trump has an advantage. And it's actually -- if you look at the Israel, Gaza question, the fact that Trump has a 20-point advantage in Michigan, I mean, the world is upside down.

CHALIAN: But I think that finding probably explains a lot of Joe Biden's troubles in Michigan right now as well. I mean, it's obviously an issue that we saw in the primary where the uncommitted voted against him. We see young voters, independents, people who have been affiliated with this calling for a ceasefire movement, very frustrated with the president and his policies. And so that's clearly partly at play here in Michigan.

BASH: Yeah, no question. But it's hard to imagine that Donald Trump will be any more sympathetic to what's going on in Gaza than Joe Biden is, which is -- what is so surprising it has --

CHALIAN: Nothing to do with their actual policy position.

BASH: Right, exactly, exactly.

CHALIAN: -- necessarily, or what he's proposing.

BASH: And I just want to say -- I want to bring you in on something that the Biden campaign is doing. But if you kind of go back to that, the first issue of abortion. I was talking to a Democrat in Michigan, a senior Democrat in Michigan this morning. Who notes that, yes, these are alarming numbers. But the 25 percent who are gettable, and also the fact that they are going to turn it on when it comes to the women's vote, and on the issue of reproductive rights.

To switching a little bit or building on that. But just more broadly beyond these two states. Seung Min, I know you were out with the president at all of his stops, doing all of his public and private events, including fundraising events where he tends to be more forward leaning, if you will, or more candid. And he was really on the attack, much like James Carville, on the show on Monday said he's got to go out and, you know, drop an anvil on his head or something along those lines.

Donald, I can't help you with crushing debt. Ted Cruz joins another loser Donald Trump. Remember when he said inject bleach? I think he must have done it. I mean, that's kind of Trumpian.

KIM: Yeah. I mean, Biden was having a very good time, basically eviscerating Donald Trump -- mocking Donald Trump at every turn, particularly at these fundraisers where he can get more candid and loose with the donor crowd. And that -- I mean, that's something that Democrats want to see. They want to see more of that fighting side of Joe Biden. They want -- they know that this is going to be an ugly race. They want -- they want Joe Biden to take the punches that Donald Trump is throwing, throwing right at him. But you do see just, you know, he traveled through Nevada and Arizona obviously not the states that were pulled today but also going to be very close states as well. And those themes of abortion and democracy that came up basically at every campaign stop whether he's meeting with supporters in Reno, in Washoe County which is that one swing county in Nevada.