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Biden Delivers Speech On Democracy From D-Day Site; Israeli PM Netanyahu To Address Congress On July 24; Israel, U.S. Waiting For Hamas Response To Latest Hostage Negotiations 8 Months After Brutal October 7 Attack. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired June 07, 2024 - 12:30   ET



GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: And, you know, 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 with Joe Biden's right now.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: And Sidney McCain, of course, spoke at the Democratic convention --

BORGER: That's right.

ZELENY: -- four years ago, talking about the unlikely alliance between McCain and Biden. Their worldview was similar. But that is one sort of stark moment. This isn't a foreign policy election per se, but the differences are so stark.

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: OK, we're going to take a break. And on the other side, we will talk to the former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is in France. Don't go anywhere.



BASH: Joining me now from Paris, France is the Congresswoman from the 11th District of California, also the former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Thank you so much for being here. I want to ask first about the speech --

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Thank you.

BASH: -- and the message that President Biden had on the importance of America's role in standing up for democracy now as it was 80 years ago.

PELOSI: Well, first I want to say how exhilarating it is to be here. Our purpose in coming to the D-Day observance as we have done for a number of years is to thank our men, women and our veterans, and each year the number is smaller. The age is older. The enthusiasm is evermore increased to see them to hear about their -- they don't talk about their bravery. They just said we we did our job. We did our job. So let me just say the purpose of coming, of course, is to observe, but to thank first and foremost, it is the most exhilarating experience to hear from these veterans what it was like for them when they were practically teenagers, some of them. Now, maybe 100 years old, some of them, and -- or more, one from Baltimore, 104 years old, Mr. Melnikoff, he's from Baltimore, Maryland. Anyway, I've seen him along the way.

In any case, in that atmosphere, the president's speech was almost prayerful. It was so beautiful in terms of the sacrifice that they made at the time, the purpose of it all for democracy and freedom, and the inspiration they are to us to protect it as we go forward.

He referenced the speech today, referenced, of course, the Reagan speech, which is exactly halfway, you know, it's the 80th anniversary. That was the 40th anniversary, and it was a speech against isolationism for our country. It was a brilliant speech, and the president referenced that with our own call for understanding our role in the world.

And as President Reagan said at the time, it's better to prevent war than to have to deal with the consequences of it afterward, or words to that effect. So we're very proud of the President's speech both days -- speeches both days. Yesterday, at the ceremony, then in the evening at the international ceremony when he was magnificently received being brought in by President Macron and then the speech the speech today.

It was about values, about patriotism, about what America is all about and has been about, but it's mostly about the veterans and the sacrifice they made for love of country. It wasn't even any question. I took pride in telling them in 1970, when I led a dedication there in 19 -- I mean, excuse me, not 1970, the 70th anniversary, the 75th anniversary --

BASH: Yes.

PELOSI: -- and on this anniversary, that my uncle Johnny D'Alesandro (ph) died on the way to the Battle of the Bulge. He's buried in France. And they said to me, they said, oh yes, we went there next. So they not only did they storm the beaches --

BASH: That's right.

PELOSI: -- the more --

BASH: That was just the beginning.

PELOSI: That they kept fighting for six more months.

BASH: Yes, yes. And what --

PELOSI: To the Battle of the Bulge, which was a turning point.

BASH: Absolutely. And what you have described and what we saw from President Biden on this trip clearly intentionally, not just sending a message to the world, that is first and foremost, his goal, but also back here in the U.S. cautioning about the fragility of democracy. And it was quite a contrast from what we heard from the former president, his rival to take the White House again, Donald Trump.

I want you to listen to what he said yesterday.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (R) AND CURRENT U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (R): The word revenge is a very strong word, but maybe we have revenge through success. Revenge does take time, I will say that.


TRUMP: And sometimes revenge can be justified, Phil, I have to be honest. You know --


TRUMP: -- sometimes it can't.


BASH: What's your response?

PELOSI: Well, I don't respond -- I mean, let me just say this. We came here and we thanked the French for their help in our own revolution. And that was part of our conversation with the Chamber of Deputies today. The President of the Chamber of Deputies, the Speaker of the House, a woman with our -- the members of the Chamber with, all along the way, we've been thanking the French.


We have in the chamber a picture of George Washington and a picture of Lafayette in the chamber of the House of Representatives. So we talked about that democracy. We talked about what happened 80 years ago on the beaches of Normandy, when our troops went there to -- for freedom. So freedom at the beginning of our country and their help to us, our help to them and to the world for democracy to fight Hitler in 80 years ago.

And then we had with us Zelenskyy. The response that he received was so overwhelming. I don't know if you saw it there, but in the theater, not theater, stadium that we were in, it was just overwhelming. People from all over the world, but mostly all over the country -- all the countries that had fought against Nazism and fascism, just giving an uproarious, uproarious applause and see him hugging our veterans and they're hugging him back, calling him a hero was just so beautiful.

So why don't we be inspired by what is good out there and not have this -- and really, quite frankly, there's so many good things to be happy about. And at the time that we're celebrating, observing the 80th anniversary of Dwight David Eisenhower, the supreme allied commander who would then become president of the United States, masterminding this victory over, over Nazism.

It's -- so to hear that kind of thing is, save it for another day or, if ever. But I don't want to respond to that. I'm going too much of a high from the veterans to spend any time listening to him.

BASH: I want to ask you about another democracy the one in the Middle East, Israel, of course. And the fact that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now set to address Congress on July 24th. One of your close colleagues Congressman Steny Hoyer said, quote, "There will be a lot of disruption and it will not be helpful for Israel or its supporters."

If you were still speaker, would you have invited him?

PELOSI: No, absolutely not. Absolutely not. I think that -- I think this is wrong. Frankly, I didn't approve of his being invited the last time. But the speaker, just on his own, invited him without consulting with the rest of the leadership. And he came and he criticized President Obama for the masterful work that he had done with the nuclear agreement regarding Iran to stop them from developing a nuclear weapon.

And I thought it was completely inappropriate. I'm -- I feel very sad that he has been invited. But who knows by then, will he still be Prime Minister, or what is Benny Gantz going to be saying tomorrow? What's happening? Everything I read is that they're unhappy about this, they're unhappy about that. Not just Benny, but other members of his cabinet.

I wish that he would be a statesman and do what is right for Israel. We all love Israel. We fought for Israel. October 7th was terrible. Hamas is a terrorist organization. They're dedicated to the destruction of Israel. The hostages are not free. The people of Gaza are suffering.

We need to help them and not have him stand in the way of that for such a long time. He being Benny -- Netanyahu. So I -- so I think it's just -- I think it's going to invite more of what we have seen in terms of discontent among our own people --

BASH: Can I just --

PELOSI: -- about what's happening there. Let's try to have a two-state solution to make it -- make peace in the region rather than coming to the capital to draw protesters.

BASH: So just real quick, the -- your colleague in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, effectively said he is agreeing to this because this is about more than just one man and it's about the support of -- by the United States of Israel. We're almost out of time, but do you think that that is fair or do you think that just the entire notion of him coming is wrongheaded?

PELOSI: Well, I don't think it's a wise decision, but I respect other people to have their own view of it.

BASH: Got it.


PELOSI: And Chuck is a strong supporter of Israel, as am I. And because I don't support Netanyahu doesn't mean I don't support Israel. But I'm not making a judgment about anybody's invitation --

BASH: Got it.

PELOSI: -- or anybody's attendance. It's completely up to them. And again, Chuck has no better friend in the Congress of the United States. Israel has no better friend than Chuck Schumer. So I respect his view. I don't necessarily share it.

BASH: Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, thank you so much for being here all the way from Paris. Appreciate you coming and sharing what it was like to be there to commemorate --

PELOSI: Welcome.

BASH: -- this important milestone in history.

PELOSI: Thank you. My pleasure. Thank you so much.

BASH: And we did not plan these outfits. You can't see us, but just for the record, we did not.

Up next, more than 100 hostages remain captive in Gaza. We speak to one family. American citizens praying every day for the safe return of their son.



BASH: Eight months, October 7th was eight months ago today, the day Hamas terrorists murdered more than 1,000 innocent people in Israel and took nearly 250 more as hostages. The Israeli government believes 120 are still being held captive in Gaza. And today, the U.S., Israel, Egypt and Qatar are waiting for Hamas to respond to the latest ceasefire proposal to pause the war in Gaza and bring hostages home.

One of the hostages is Hersh Goldberg-Polin, a 23-year-old American- Israeli citizen who was kidnapped from the Nova music festival. In late April, Hamas released a proof of life video of Hersh. Now CNN will only show an image of that Hamas video, but as you can see, Hersh, he has a mutilated arm.

His parents, Jon Polin and Rachel Goldberg-Polin joined me now live from Israel. Thank you so much for being here. We all see the number on your your shirts you wear every day, the number of days that your son has been held captive. Today is 245, which is really remarkable. And it's impossible for anyone who's a parent or anyone who, you know, just has a sense of right and wrong to imagine what you're going through. You have been dealing with that, but you've also been dealing with the ups and downs of the negotiations. I want to start there. Egypt does say that they're receiving encouraging signs from Hamas. Are you hopeful?

RACHEL GOLDBERG-POLIN, SON HERSH GOLDBERG-POLIN IS MISSING IN GAZA: We are always hopeful. We - every morning, say to each other, hope is mandatory. It's not an option. It's not a suggestion. It's not advice. It's absolutely mandatory. And yet we have been on this ride before with all of the hostage families. So we are optimistic and praying, but we also know that this is a very complicated, complex, tangled situation.

And, you know, we're frightened. We don't want to count our hostages until they're home and we're hugging them.

BASH: Yes. I mean, that's completely understandable. You know, there's so many players in the negotiations. I mentioned there's the U.S., there's Qatar, there's Egypt, but really any deal comes down to two people at this point, the Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar and the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. What is your message to Netanyahu right now?

JON POLIN, SON HERSH GOLDBERG-POLIN IS MISSING IN GAZA: Our message to Prime Minister Netanyahu is, the hostages must come home, that should have happened 245 days ago. It's got to happen today. There can be no politics, not domestically, not internationally across any of the mediators. This is a human issue.

People are suffering, the hostages, the hostage families, Israelis, innocents in Gaza and it's time to end the suffering and push politics aside. Get a deal done. There's something close. We applaud President Biden and the entire administration for pushing something aggressively last week. Hopefully, that gets over the finish line in the coming few days, and we do get to hug our hostages, as Rachel said.

BASH: And Jon, you mentioned the U.S. administration, the National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, I know met with a number of hostage families, and you were among them. Do you feel confident that the Biden administration is doing everything and its power to bring Hersh home?

POLIN: So as we always say, until the hostages are home, the answer is people are not doing enough. That includes the U.S., includes Israel, Qatar, Egypt, Hamas, the hostage families, we need results. That being said, we have tremendous gratitude for the fortitude of the United States to continue to push for 245 days.

Specifically, you mentioned the meeting with Jake Sullivan. I want to give him a little shout out here. We don't have the results we want yet, but he has been available. He has been sharing information with us. He always does it with grace and dignity. And we just hope that we can keep doing that and get this thing, as we said, over the finish line and all of us get our loved ones home.

The living to be rehabilitated. And those who we know, unfortunately, are no longer alive to give them and their families the burial and the closure that everybody needs on this.


BASH: Rachel, what should the world know about your son, Hersh?

GOLDBERG-POLIN: Well Hersh is laid back, happy go lucky, curious citizen of the world. He's obsessed with learning about other people. He loves geography. He loves music and music festivals. He's obsessed with soccer.

He has been very active in the coexistence peace movement locally in Israel, working with youth, bringing them together through the lens of soccer Arab-Israelis and Jewish-Israelis to sort of demystify the other. He is just a regular 23-year-old, lovely young man as -- and I'm not just saying it because I'm his mother, you'll meet him (INAUDIBLE) and you'll say, oh, wow, you know what? He legit is a really lovely young man.

BASH: I have no doubt. And I certainly do hope that I get to meet him someday and I have confidence that I will as well.

Thanks to both of you. Your strength is absolutely boundless and it's stunning. Appreciate it.

POLIN: Thank you for telling the story.


BASH: Thanks.

And thank you for joining INSIDE POLITICS. Join me on State of the Union this Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Eastern. Among my guests is Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. "CNN NEWS CENTRAL" starts after the break.