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Biden Makes The Case For Democracy In D-Day Speech; Biden Speech Contains Echoes Of Reagan Speech; McConnell: U.S. Must Avoid 1930's-Style Isolationism; Economy Added 272,000 Jobs In May As Wages Outpace Inflation; Today: Trump Hold Fundraiser In Beverly Hills; Wisconsin Voters Weigh In On Trump's Conviction; Biden Delivers Speech On Democracy From D-Day Site. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired June 07, 2024 - 12:00   ET



DANA BASH, CNN HOST, INSIDE POLITICS: Today on Inside Politics. America's greatness is not a thing of the past. Joe Biden just delivered that message to the world from the hallowed shores of Normandy. Well, never saying the word Trump. The president implicitly warned of the threat he believes his election your opponent poses to U.S. democracy.

As for Donald Trump, he's using his guilty verdict on 34 counts to rile up his base on the campaign trail. As some swing state voters tell CNN, they don't care about what happened in that New York courtroom.

And I'll go one-on-one with the former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She is in France for D-Day commemorations and will weigh in on the president's message overseas and all of the drama with her congressional colleagues right here in Washington.

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

First up, a presidential tweet from the cliffs of point to hawk where American soldiers turned the tide of World War II 80 years ago. Today, Joe Biden is asking the American people to honor the legacy of those heroes.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: As we gather here today, it's not just to honor those who showed such remarkable bravery on that day, June 6, 1944. It's a listen to the echoes of their voices, to hear them because they are summoning us and they're summoning us now. They ask us, what will we do?

They're not asking us to scale these cliffs. But they're asking us to stay true to what America stands for. They're not asking us to give or risk our lives. But they are asking us to care for others in our country more than ourselves. They're not asking us to do their job. They're asking us to do our job to protect freedom in our time, to defend democracy, to stand up aggression abroad, and at home. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: That speech capped off two days of D-Day commemorations in Normandy. Biden met with an assortment of world leaders this week, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, where he announced a new $225 million military aid package and apologized for the months long holed up in military assistance.

I want to bring in three terrific reporters here on this Friday with me, CNN's Gloria Borger, CNN's Jeff Zeleny, and Molly Ball of The Wall Street Journal. Hello. How are you? Happy Friday. Gloria, put this Biden speech in context -- a global context, of U.S. historical context of Joe Biden history.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the first thing you think of obviously, a Pointe du Hoc is Ronald Reagan, and his speech about the boys of Pointe du Hoc. And I think what Joe Biden was interestingly doing today, was saying a lot of the same things that Ronald Reagan was saying.

And if you remember, as a young senator, he wasn't exactly a huge fan of Ronald Reagan's. But I think he was making the point that America remains great that it doesn't need to be made great again. And I think that he -- this is the whole framework of his campaign, you know, he'll talk about the economy and inflation and all the rest of it.

But this is what drives Joe Biden is this notion of American democracy, American exceptionalism. And he was trying to be optimistic, not pessimistic. And I think that that came through, I mean, he said, you'll never convince me America isn't great.

BASH: Yeah. I'm glad you mentioned Ronald Reagan. Let's play a little bit of that speech from the same spot 40 years ago.


RONALD REAGAN, 40TH US PRESIDENT: We in America have learned bitter lessons from two world wars. It is better to be here ready to protect the peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost.


BASH: We love the way back machine here and it's -- also it's a lot easier to give a speech when it's cloudy than it is -- when it's bright sunny.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Sure. I think the most striking thing, just comparing the moment is the state of Ronald Reagan's Republican Party. I mean, President Biden, as you said, no fan in the 80s of the Reagan policy, but the Republican Party and the standard bearer Donald Trump has a completely different view of America's place in the world. And that is also front and center in this presidential campaign.

[12:05:00] So, I think overall, if you talk to Biden advisors and people who are close was to him, they want him to be strongly. It is strength is key to reelection. But what's unclear to me if foreign policy strength is actually as helpful on the domestic stage as it once was. Because the foreign policy has been so roiled in the aftermath of America's longest wars in Afghanistan, Iraq. It just is a completely different moment.

So, the foreign policy is not President Biden's ticket to reelection. It's his love. The chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, obviously, as the vice president traveled around the world as much or more than any, but it is such a different moment.

BASH: And Molly, I want to wait -- want you to weigh in in one second about how the Republican Party has changed. But you talk about sort of the parallels 40 years ago, a president running for reelection at that point. When Ronald Reagan gave that speech 40 years ago, it had a very, very big effect on him domestically in his race, which he ended up winning in a landslide.

BORGER: His numbers went up. No, I don't know that that will happen for Joe Biden because people aren't voting on foreign policy. If you look at the polling, they seem to trust Donald Trump more on foreign policy than Joe Biden. Maybe that comes from the withdrawal in Afghanistan. I mean, who knows -- you know, who knows? But this is definitional for Biden, it's the way he sees himself. And he'd liked the public to see him this way, but I don't think that's the case.

ZELENY: I mean, look, he's eight years older than Reagan was at that time. So, I mean, contemporaries, but again, of a very different time. But still, for the voters out there who want, you know, a sense of order, you know, a break from the chaos. I think this is the message that President Biden offers for them.

MOLLY BALL, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, and I think the problem to your point is that so many people look at the world today and see mostly chaos. And I think that's the reason that Trump gets better marks for foreign policy, despite all the chaos and instability that we remember from his term as president and so much of the world.

You know, I've just been in Asia, where there's a similar sense of concern about the potential for a Donald Trump return to the presidency and all the uncertainty of that potentially represents. But I think, you know, the American people look at that contrast as ever since the withdrawal in Afghanistan, but also with the wars in Ukraine and in Gaza. They see a world on fire on Joe Biden's watch.

And I think some of his Republican critics who are not in that more Trumpian isolationist school of foreign policy would argue that Trump -- despite the rhetoric, which was very different than the high-minded rhetoric we hear from Joe Biden. That Trump in his actions was able to project strength in the world in a way that they would argue that.

BASH: And rhetoric -- Trump's rhetoric could not be more different from the Ronald Reagan rhetoric. We just heard and that kind of approach the world that defined the party, that Donald Trump heads right now. And you wrote a great piece with sort of a spotlight on this very notion. And we have the headline up there, GOP hawk tries to reassure a world on edge about Trump.

This is about one specific senator who is -- as you say hawk, the Republican Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska. He and Mitch McConnell -- I just want to quickly put up the headline of what McConnell said in a New York Times op-ed yesterday. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the 1930s. They are trying to make the case for the party to go back to the approach of Ronald Reagan, but they're in the minority.


BALL: Well, they aren't. If you look at the final vote on that military supplemental, right. In the end, 32 Republicans, which is more than half of the Republican conference didn't vote for it. So, you know, speaking with McConnell about this issue, speaking with people like Senator Dan Sullivan about this issue.

They say, look, that is a majority of Republicans. We did eventually get there. But it was an uphill battle. And that does tell you that this sense of isolationism that obviously Trump exemplifies, although, he never also came out against --

BASH: That's true.

BALL: That target military funding never came out against the funding for Ukraine was just sort of dancing around it. But again, I think there are a lot of open questions about how he would approach the world. And so, this faction of the party with which, you know, Biden has a lot in common -- Biden -- a lot of the things that Biden wants to do. They want to do. That's why there's this continuity with Reagan. But there is this rising force in the party that's pushing in the other direction. And that I think is why there's just so much uncertainty about -- wait a second --

BORGER: Isn't it a great irony, though, that Joe Biden no fan of Ronald Reagan's is now portraying himself as more in touch with Ronald Reagan, then the Republican Party.

BALL: Yeah, absolutely.

BORGER: And then the Republican Party's nominee.


BASH: Such a -- such a crystallized way to see how much the world --


BASH: American politics have changed. All right, everybody standby. Because while Joe Biden is overseas, he got another blockbuster job's report. Right here at home, the economy added 272,000 jobs last month that is far more than economists expected the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4 percent. Now wage growth was also strong up by more than 4 percent from a year ago. And that means wages are growing faster than inflation. I'm guessing that's going to come to a campaign ad near you, when you think.

Coming up. I'm going to have a conversation with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who's going to join us live from France. And after weeks, off the campaign trail, Donald Trump goes on the road to ignite his face.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The impeachment is a fake. The court cases are a disgrace to our country. Everything is fake. So, they come up with his order. I won't say it because I don't like using the word bullshit.





BASH: Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail for the first time since his conviction and the theme of his agenda could be summed up with one word, revenge. CNN's Alayna Treene is traveling with the former president. Alayna, OK, so fundraisers last night in San Francisco, today in Beverly Hills. These are not known as bastions of Trump country.

ALAYNA TREENE, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: They're not and clearly Donald Trump is trying to make some inroads with some of these, you know, hefty Silicon Valley. Investors that as you mentioned, have traditionally gone for Joe Biden and other Democrats in the past. And so, this west coast swing is really about raising as much money as he can off of his conviction last week.

But look, Dana, you summed it up perfectly. This tour is also about revenge. And we heard Donald Trump talk about that really within moments of taking the stage in Arizona yesterday. He called the verdict rigged. And he also claimed that if you did not win an appeal into this case that there would, quote, be no country anymore.

And so, he really escalated some of that retribution rhetoric that we've heard from him and his allies over the past week now. But Donald Trump also surprisingly stayed somewhat on message. In my conversations with the Trump campaign, they've told me that they really want to leave his trial in the past and shift back to his general election campaign. And that means focusing on the issues that they think will help get him elected in November.

And one of the most crucial issues is immigration. It's something that they think is one of Joe Biden's biggest vulnerabilities. And really, the Biden campaign and the Biden administration, I should say, delivered somewhat of a blow to Donald Trump this week on that issue with this executive order, attempting to crack down on illegal immigration. We heard Donald Trump bash that order during his speech yesterday. Take a listen.


TRUMP: You people know better than just about anybody about the southern border, because they are pouring through your state at levels nobody's ever seen before. Two days ago, Joe Biden signed an executive order to officially declare his formal approval and support for the largest border invasion in the history of the world. So, this has been the largest invasion in history. We've never -- we are being invaded.


TREENE: So, if you hear things here, Dana, and I want to be very clear. The Biden executive order actually does the opposite of what Donald Trump was saying in that speech and attempts to shut off access to asylum for immigrants who cross the southern border illegally. And also remember that this is one of -- this is an order that Donald Trump actually attempted to do himself while in office but got blocked by the courts.

But I think the key thing here to remember with this messaging is that this is an issue that Donald Trump wants to be the key voice on. He wants immigration to be the issue that he owns. And so, he's doing as much as he can to try and attack this order during his speeches yesterday, and also later this weekend in Las Vegas. Dana?

BASH: Yeah. Very important point there. Alayna, thank you so much for that reporting. My colleagues and friends are here with me still. Jeff, you were in Wisconsin this week. Maybe -- I mean, all of the swing states are important. But I would say, right now, Wisconsin seems to be like the most important when it comes to what's going to happen. I want to play for our viewers, your conversation with Tony Duckert.

ZELENY: Duckert.

BASH: Duckert. You know, I looked at you because I wasn't --

ZELENY: Right.

BASH: He's a Trump supporter.


TONY DUCKERT, TRUMP SUPPORTER: The (inaudible) that conviction last week helps President Trump. I think it's going to make President Trump more popular. It's going to give him -- give him more popularity. And I think he's going to do great. This time around the next five months, I'm hoping that he keeps that type of rhetoric to a minimum. I'm hoping he focuses on the policies of the past and what President Biden's done, and what his view, his vision of the future will be.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BASH: Is he pretty much indicative of the other voters you talk to there about not really caring very much about what happened in New York?

ZELENY: Sure. I mean, he thinks it's a sham. He's glad that it's over and thinks it's indicative that Trump raised a lot of money over it, but he said he hopes he doesn't dwell on it. And that is sort of a central question here. In one respect, it's like, good luck with that.


BASH: Yeah.

ZELENY: I mean, because that's what Donald Trump does --

BASH: Nobody will tune into the Dr. Phil interview --

ZELENY: Exactly. But in another respect, he speaks to the kind of Republican that I think is so interesting. He wanted DeSantis to win the primary, not because he didn't like Donald Trump, but he was ready to move on. And he lives in a suburb in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, the town of Cedarburg, that Joe Biden won by 19 votes. The first Democrat declared in a quarter century.

So, those are the places in America that we'll have our eye on November 5. And he believes that if Trump talks about policies, it will sort of help him in the suburbs, not sort of dwell on the conviction, we'll see.

BALL: Well, I think this is so relevant to the conversation we were having previously about foreign policy, right? Because a lot of what Joe Biden has tried to do with his soaring rhetoric about democracy is also connect that to the domestic debate, the importance of democracy at home, the attack on democracy that he would argue that Donald Trump represents in the way he's attacked the rule of law, and institutions like the court in the wake of, for example, the criminal verdict, but that's only one of many right, instances where Trump has done this.

So, I think we see the Biden campaign doing this more and more, trying to connect the democracy argument between foreign policy and domestic policy because he knows that Trump is going to continue to marinate in these grievances. He's not going to suddenly turn this election into a seminar on tax policy for you.

BASH: Well, final word on this well?

BORGER: Well, all these -- all these voters who were saying, you know, I wish he would just stick to the topics. I like him. I wish he would stick to the topics. I don't love the rhetoric. Well, that's just never going to happen. It's never going to happen. It's going to be about retribution. It's going to be about revenge. It's going to be about the rig trial.

And, you know, he talks about immigration, but you know, his campaign wants him to talk about other things. And that's not who Donald Trump is. And to your debate, Dana. It'll be interesting to see whether he turns every conversation back to the rig trial, the rigged election, his grievances, retribution, et cetera, et cetera.

BASH: Thank you, guys. All view for great reporting. You can see more objects. Terrific reporting from Wisconsin on Coming up next, Nancy Pelosi is in France for the D-Day commemorations and she's going to be here live after a short break to weigh in on President Biden speech and much more.




BASH: President Biden's address about democracy in France was clearly directed at voters here in the U.S.


BIDEN: They're not asking us to give a risk our lives. But they are asking us to care for others in our country more than ourselves. They're not asking us to do their job. They're asking us to do our job, to protect freedom in our time, to defend democracy.


BASH: My colleagues are back with me now. It was really noteworthy how he had that play on Make America Great Again, effectively saying America is already great. We've heard versions of that before -- from not just a Joe Biden, but from other Democrats. But the context and the location of where he did that was very telling.

BALL: Absolutely. I mean, as we were talking about before, it's so ironic to see all the indications of Reagan, Make America Great Again, was literally a Reagan slogan as well, one that Trump has adopted. So, this kind of nostalgia is nothing new, even in Republican politics.

But, you know, we've seen Biden do relatively better with older voters. And it may be in part because he does represent this sort of nostalgic return to a Reaganite worldview, whereas the younger voters -- this might not do anything for them, you know.

BASH: And I just want to incorporate this conversation into one of the things that I mentioned, which is these really good job numbers today. And it's not just job numbers, its wages, and how it relates to the rate of inflation. And it's, oh, it has been for the past many, many months and will continue to be the question of which issue democracy, you know, the fear of Trump, or the rose-colored glasses as Democrats call it about the Trump presidency. Or just the plain dollars and cents that sometimes people vote most on.

ZELENY: I mean, the jobs numbers are good. But the question is, are people still feeling it? Inflation is also still high. But what I was struck by in the speech, really calling the country to a greater moment. He said, we're the keeper of the mission.

So, I do think he makes such a good point about older voters, baby boomers now are seniors. And that is a -- the Biden campaign believes that they can win older voters and that older demographic for the first time for a Democratic candidate. So that is something that I think he absolutely is talking about the normalcy of all.

BORGER: I also must say, I heard the echoes of John McCain in this speech when he talked about a cause greater than yourself, which we heard during the McCain campaign over and over and over again. And Biden said it quite a few times. And you know, that was -- that was a rub at Donald Trump who he -- you know, all about himself. But I also -- it just did remind me of the McCain campaign a little bit. And of course, McCain's foreign policy would be in line I think with Joe Biden.