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Inside Politics

Obama, Bill Clinton to Join Biden for Campaign Event; Obama Highlights Affordable Care Act in Outreach to Young Voters; Trump Claims He is Not Running to Terminate the ACA; RFK Jr. Picks Tech Lawyer Nicole Shanahan as Running Mate; Trump Media Shares Soar Again on Second Day of Trading; Bloomberg Says Trump Makes It to the List of 500 Richest People for First Time. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired March 27, 2024 - 12:30   ET



MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: -- effective staff to know, given that they have known each other, many of them going back to the Obama White House, of course. But it was definitely a working visit. This was the Biden campaign putting the former president to work. The two spend a lot of time together, several hours I'm told, taping a lot of materials for the Biden campaign that is going to get rolled out in the coming weeks including, of course, related to the Affordable Care Act.

And with the general election now fully underway, we do expect to see the former president increasingly more involved with the Biden campaign and certainly hitting the trail more, especially when we get into the fall. And tomorrow, we are about to see this big fundraiser in New York City at Radio City Music Hall, where we will see not just President Biden, not just President Obama, but also former President Bill Clinton as well. The three of them are going to be on stage together, a moderated conversation with Stephen Colbert. And these are tickets. Dana, that range from $225 to $0.5 million.

There are going to be celebrities in the audience, some of the audience members will have an opportunity to get photographs taken by Annie Leibovitz, the very famous photographer. So it's going to be sort of that kind of high-dollar event. And our reporting is that the former president believes that this matchup between President Biden and Donald Trump is going to be extremely close to November, and he's described this as sort of an all-hands-on-deck moment. And I think tomorrow evening, when we see those three presidents together, physically together, banding together to try to stop Donald Trump from returning to the White House, we are really going to see a stunning visual of how much urgency national Democrats are feeling in trying to stop Donald Trump from coming back here to the White House, Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT AND ANCHOR OF 'INSIDE POLITICS': MJ, thank you so much for that great reporting. We are going to pick up on that with the panel. Let's look, first, Jeff, I want to come to you on this, about what a big part of the former president that most recent Democratic former President Barack Obama is saying about the health care law that bears his name.


BARRACK OBAMA, (D) FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Before the ACA, young adults would be kicked off their parent's health care plan, often right when they were getting ready to head out on their own. All it takes is one diagnosis or one injury, one accident to throw off your plans if you don't have insurance. And thanks to the ACA, young people everywhere have some security. They have some freedom to choose how they live their lives.


BASH: So Obamacare, obviously, a big part of reaching out to the Obama coalition.


BASH: -- the former Obama coalition, which is a big demographic group, or various demographic groups that Joe Biden absolutely needs to get re-elected.

MASON: Absolutely needs. And you saw Vice President Harris and President Biden doing that this week as well during their trip to North Carolina, really emphasizing healthcare is an issue. Vice President Harris has talked a lot about abortion rights as a healthcare issue.

And I think bringing Obama back is a Rockstar and the Democratic Party need some Rockstars right now, especially at a time when President Biden's polling is a little bit lower, although he is saying in some of the fundraisers that I've gone to lately that his polling is coming back and some of it is. But having a jolt like this from someone who is very popular still with his base and with the Democrats, former President Obama is a big win.

BASH: He is still popular, of course, with the Democratic base and so is the ACA Obamacare. The latest from KFF asks about the favorability of the Affordable Care Act, 18 to 29 year-olds, young people, 67 percent; all adults, 59 percent. I should say, as I bring you in Mario, it is kind of remarkable that the people -- the young people who voted for Barack Obama are now in their 30s. They are kind of out of the demo.


MARIO PARKER, NATIONAL POLITICS TEAM LEADER, BLOOMBERG: Yeah, but it is a just point. I mean, he still remains the most popular figure in the Democratic Party. Look to toward 2022 when they have utilized him or dispatched him rather as more or less of a closer, right? He was visiting Pennsylvania. He made several trips to Georgia as well.

The fact that they're bringing him in this early in the cycle just shows -- just that sense of urgency to use the word MJ used, that the Biden campaign and Democrats have. We know that Barack Obama has had some concerns about this -- a lack of urgency that he felt on the part of the Biden campaign. So, we are seeing him getting engaged, getting engaged pretty early on in this cycle. BASH: And it looks as though this has gotten under the skin of the Republican candidate, the former President Donald Trump. Just going to read part of something he posted on his social media platform. I'm not running to terminate the ACA as crooked Joe Buden -- that's actually what it says -- Buden disinformates. You think that's how you would pronounce it?


BASH: Disinformates or misinformation all the time. The ACA or Obamacare as it's known much better, stronger and far less expensive, in other words, make the ACA much, much better for far less money or cost. I think this was -- what time was this? Like 1:30 in the morning?


ALAYNA TREENE, CNN REPORTER: Yeah, he had (inaudible) many of them.

BASH: Yeah.


BASH: And the --

TREENE: The early stuff (ph).

BASH: Yeah. Yeah. And the Biden campaign had some fun with disinformate and misinformate. But just putting that aside --

TREENE: Right.

BASH: -- the gist of what he is trying to do is say, after all those years of we are going to repeal Obamacare, now he's saying no, no, no, we are just going to make it better.

TREENE: Right.

BASH: It really is telling.

TREENE: And I remember too, a couple of months ago, Donald Trump was on this kick about talking about the ACA, something that -- to this disdain I should say of many of his advisers and people in the Republican Party, they still are -- have nightmares I think about their failure to deliver on their promise when Donald Trump was in office to repeal and replace Obamacare.

And now, Donald Trump bringing that message back is something a lot of Republicans do not think is a winning message ahead of November. But all that said, I do think there's one thing I want to point out that they have in their story that I find is really interesting, is that Obama is saying this is going to be a close election. He's trying to raise alarm bells about that. It's something that the Trump campaign and Donald Trump himself also believe. They all recognize that it's going to have to be, as MJ described it, an all-hands-on-deck effort to get their respective candidates elected. And I do think one thing that I've just picked up on and I don't cover -- I cover the Trump campaign. I don't cover the Biden Administration or how Obama's efforts, but I'm surprised they haven't brought him in sooner, to be honest, because I feel like he is such a star as both of you have pointed out and I do -- I take the point that it is very early. But I'm curious to see how involved the actually is because I know that like, even my conversations with Democrats, I pick up that he's not as much front and center as maybe they think he should be.

BASH: Yeah. There is time. I'm guessing --


BASH: -- that's -- obviously, that's the reporting that it is going to change.

TREENE: Right.

BASH: Up next, a spoiler alert. Who's more worried about RFK running? Joe Biden or Donald Trump? Get it, spoiler alert. Get it?

MASON: Nice. Yeah, well done.


BASH: Stay with us.



BASH: Just in the Super PAC backing Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s bid for president says it raised $2.1 million in the hours after he announced his choice for vice presidential running mate yesterday. He picked silicon valley attorney and entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan as his running mate. He said this about his role in the race.


ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR., (I) 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our campaign is a spoiler. I agree with that.


KENNEDY JR.: It's a spoiler for President Biden and for President Trump.


BASH: This all comes as RFK Jr. is still battling to get his name on majority of states' ballots in November, a challenge that his running mate, who is already contributed millions toward helping him advertise, can certainly help take on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KENNEDY JR.: This campaign is the most powerful financial interest in history. We also face determined campaign to keep us off the ballot by fair means or foul. And I'm grateful that Nicole has put her self- interests aside and made the momentous and very, very difficult decision to embark with me on this extraordinary crusade to win back our country.


BASH: Panel is back here. Let's first talk about this choice that he made. He could have gone with somebody with high name ID. Aaron Rodgers, although I'm dying to know what happened there, if that was a real thing.


BASH: He went for money, big time money. And as I mentioned, she has been giving him high dollars to get on air and his Super PAC as well?

PARKER: Yes, she's a venture capitalist, formerly married to Google Founder Sergey Brin. As you mentioned, Dana, she helped him find that Super Bowl ad a few months ago as well. I mean, it -- Kennedy, based off the polling that we have, Bloomberg and Morning Consult has, he's getting about 9 percent of the vote right now. There is a difference of about four percentage points between Biden and Trump. You're seeing both campaigns express some type of angst about this candidacy. The fact that he didn't go for Aaron Rodgers or Killer Mike probably makes him less of a novelty actually, and even more formidable as an opponent come November.

BASH: OK. So you mentioned the campaigns of Joe Biden and Donald Trump being worried and our polling shows that he does take from both of their sort of support bases. Another 1:52 a.m. post by the former president says the following. RFK Jr. is the most radical left candidate in the race by far. He went on to say, he is crooked Joe Biden's political opponent, not mine. I love that he is running. Does he protest too much?

MASON: Well, I mean, President Trump -- former President Trump is very good at framing and very good at making -- trying to make something be what would be best for him. And in this case, I think that's what he's doing. Your polling, other polling I've seen, suggests that RFK Jr. is going to pull from both -- from both sides. And I think both sides are worried, but I think it's kind of hilarious in a way that he's saying that now, is a way to frame. And --

BASH: Yeah.

MASON: -- we'll see if it works.

BASH: And we know that Biden world Democrats are concerned. They set up sort of a team at the DNC --

MASON: Yeah.

BASH: -- to try to combat the rise of RFK Jr. But you're hearing there is genuine concern in Trump world.


TREENE: That's right. I do think and I should hedge or clarify, but that when RFK Jr. first announced that he was going to be running as an independent, Trump's team was far more worried then, than they are now. But I do think there's this buzz out there, right now, that he's only -- RFK Jr. is going to hurt Biden more and that only Biden's team is worried about that and that's just not the case.

There are many people close to Donald Trump on the outside, people like Steve Bannon, others, but also inside his campaign, that are concerned. And the main concern there is that Donald Trump gets a lot of the anti-establishment voters, but so does RFK Jr.. He -- they have similar messages on some of these funds.


MASON: Including anti-vaccine.

BASH: When you said anti -- I was just going to say --

TREENE: Anti-vaccine.

BASH: When you said -- when you said anti, I thought you were going somewhere else. OK.

TREENE: Right.

BASH: So, we are about to do with truth sandwich as they call it. There have been multiple studies that show no link between vaccines and autism or other issues. However, this is something that Nicole Shanahan, RFK Jr.'s new running mate, and the candidate at the top of the ticket agree on. They are anti-vaxxers. Listen to what she said.


NICOLE SHANAHAN, (I) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Pharmaceutical medicine has its place, but no single safety study can assess the cumulative impact of one prescription on top of another prescription, and one shot on top of another shot on top of another shot throughout the course of childhood.


BASH: Again, one study -- one of the studies was so flawed that it was retracted. The author's medical license was revoked. The CDC estimates childhood vaccinations prevent 4 million deaths per year.

PARKER: Yeah, just watching the rollout of her vice presidential announcement yesterday, I was struck just by how much they leaned into kind of that anti-vax rhetoric. And so, to the point about taking voter from both sides, you've got the Kennedy name, right? It's synonymous with the Democratic Party. But to Alayna's point, you also have this anti-establishment swath (ph) that really leans -- usually lanes toward the MAGA Donald Trump wing of the party. That's also going toward the Robert F. Kennedy (inaudible).

BASH: And on that note, the sort of people who are driven by anti-vax idealism, whatever you want to call it.

MASON: Yeah.

BASH: -- who might in other times go for Donald Trump are mad at him because he did push through the vaccine for COVID. And we don't have time to play it right now. But, the few times he's mentioned it, he's gotten booed.

MASON: Yeah. No. He not only is responsible for getting that vaccine, something that in a normal year, you might think he would be proud of. But he also took the vaccine. So, there's definitely a disconnect there and the issue of being anti-vax certainly resonates with a chunk of voters and those voters are largely people who vote for President Trump.

BASH: Yeah, there are some who are more on the left --

MASON: Yeah.

BASH: -- but that's a whole another conversation. Thank you, guys, so much.

Up next, it's never made money. It's losing users. And yet it is making Donald Trump billions of dollars at least on paper. We are going to dive into what's really going on with Truth Social after a quick break.



BASH: Shares in Donald Trump's social media company are exploding higher again today. The company, formerly known as the Trump Media and Technology Group, only has one real product. That's Truth Social and it's barely making any money. It's losing users. But Trump's stake in the company means his net worth has more than doubled, at least on paper. For the first time ever, he has made it onto the Bloomberg List of the 500 Richest People in the World. And he clocks in as of this morning at 377 (ph).

Our Business Reporter Matt Egan joins me now from New York. Matt, are you going to make sense of what this means and how this can be a company that isn't worth very much on paper and yet, its stocks are as high as they are right now?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Dana, this is a wild situation. This is a classic example of a stock that's not trading on fundamentals. It's trading all on momentum and hype. And so, we see Trump Media shares moving thank sharply higher -- 15 percent higher as we speak. This is after a spike yesterday. This is after a really, really good stretch for this company and the publicly-traded shell company that it merged with. They have spiked. They're up by -- they've quadrupled over the last six months. Shares of this company, you see, actually went up really sharply in January. That was back when Donald Trump had a landslide victory in the Iowa Caucuses. And as you mentioned, the higher the stock goes, the richer Donald Trump is at least on paper. He owns a dominant stake in this company. Now, he's not able to necessarily monetize that stake anytime soon because there's restrictions over when he can sell or even borrow against it. But still, it is certainly padding his net worth and the experts are warning that retail investors need to be really, really careful here because the market is assigning a ridiculous valuation on Trump Media, even though Truth Social, its main product, is struggling. I mean, it's still very tiny.


EGAN: We are talking about 0.5 million monthly active users in the U.S., Android and iOS, for Truth Social. Compare that to the company formerly known as Twitter, 75 million users, even threads has ten times as many. In fact, Truth Social is actually shrinking, down 51 percent year-over-year. But Dana, listen, none of that matters right now. Investors are piling into Trump Media. It has become a vehicle for people to bet on the Trump brand and Trump's political fortunes.

BASH: Yeah, and that's the other thing that I want you to come back and talk to me about because it is the political question that people are -- can -- you can see who is buying. And if this is a way around some campaign laws, campaign finance laws that people can absolutely make it very clear to him that they support him. I should also say that one expert told you that this stock is probably worth about it $2 a share.

Matt, thank you so much for breaking that down for us.

Thank you for joining "Inside Politics." "CNN News Central" starts after the break.