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Isa Soares Tonight

Biden Faces Pressure to Step Aside After Poor Debate Performance; Hurricane Beryl Slams Caribbean; Less Than Two Day Until Polls Open in U.K. Election; U.K. General Election; Mass Evacuations in Gaza; Israel Issuing New Evacuation Orders for Southern Gaza; White House Spokesperson Defends Biden's Record After Debate. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired July 02, 2024 - 14:00:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, U.S. President Biden is facing increased

pressure from his own party following that disastrous debate performance on CNN. Now, at least, one congressman is calling or Mr. Biden to get out of

the race. We have the very latest for you.

Also ahead, a monster hurricane tests through the Caribbean hitting Barbados, Grenada and more, and it is heading to Jamaica next. And some

first-time voters here in the U.K. feel they are facing a quote, "impossible future". So, who will they vote for in this week's election? My

roundtable chat with young voters, first-time voters this hour.

But we begin with a growing fallout for U.S. President Joe Biden to last week's disastrous debate performance on CNN. A growing number of Democrats

are openly questioning the administration as well as the White House efforts to stem the damage. And one congressman now going so far as to say

the president needs to drop out of the race.

Not a short time ago, it's about half an hour or so ago, House Democrat Lloyd Doggett of Texas became the first sitting Democrat -- a Democratic

lawmaker, pardon me, to call on the president to withdraw, comparing the tough decision to when U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson exited the 1968

presidential contest.

And the calls for change are not just coming from leaders within the party. Have a look at this new CNN poll which shows 75 percent of registered

voters, you can see there on your screen, believe the Democrats could have a better chance this year if the nominee is someone else, someone other

than Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, Mr. Biden's approval rating, well, that's falling to a new low, dropping as you can see there to 36 percent in that same poll. And these

are the first polls we are getting since that CNN debate. All of this is happening as his administration tackles a different crisis.

Extreme weather, moments ago, President Biden announced new heat safety rules and said that the U.S. is ready to assist communities impacted by

Hurricane Beryl. I want to focus on the politics of all of this, CNN chief U.S. national affairs correspondent Jeff Zeleny is tracking the story, he

joins us now live from Washington.

So, Jeff, now we have what? In the last half an hour or so, a sitting Democrat, Congressman Lloyd Doggett publicly calling on the president to

quit the race. What has been the reaction from the White House or how are they responding?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF U.S. NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Look, I mean, this is hardly a surprise. The only differences that this congressman has

put his name behind his statement. So, it certainly amplifies the call, but for the last three days or so, really over the weekend and the early part

of this week, many Democratic lawmakers have been telling us privately and talking amongst themselves that they do believe that President Biden should

reassess his re-election candidacy.

But it is very significant that a Democratic lawmaker, a long-time Democratic lawmaker from Texas has gone out there and said what he believes

with his name attached to it. And he does make the historical comparison to Lyndon Johnson, who of course, in 1968 said that he would step down and not

run for re-election.

Look, so many differences now, of course, but you pointed to that -- the poll there where nearly three-fourths of our poll respondents say they

believe someone else should be running. The question, though, is who? And that is a messy process and that is one of the things that causes a lot of

Democrats wonder and worry about, is it worth the risk of finding a replacement candidate?

Vice President Harris, first among them, or is it riskier to leave President Biden in the slot? And that is something that is really being

worked through here. But I can tell you, it's an extraordinary level of conversations, the likes of which I've not seen in nearly a quarter century

here in Washington.

SOARES: And in the last what? Ten minutes or so, we heard from Democratic Senator Laphonza Butler who said she still backs President Joe Biden, but

praises Harris, Kamala Harris as a talented VP.


I want to play this as well from Pelosi. Have a listen.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I think it's a legitimate question to say. Is this an episode or is this a condition? And so, when people ask that

question, is legitimate of both candidates?


SOARES: Right, so the question still being asked very much, what is the White House then, Jeff, doing to kind of allay those fears about the

president's viability as a candidate. What are they telling donors? How are they reassuring them here?

ZELENY: Look, there have been a series of phone calls and meetings with donors and Democratic officials. The phone lines have been burning up with

White House staff and campaign staff trying to ease the concerns, they're listening to the concerns, but saying it was a bad night, that President

Biden had a bad night and they go on to say that, you know, Donald Trump would be a bad President.

But that shorthand is not enough for some people. So, when you have Speaker Pelosi, their former Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, asking out loud if it's a

condition or something that just happened, that is something the White House would have to address. So, what they do say and what we'll be seeing

in the coming days as we've been reporting, the White House is likely to arrange the high profile interview for the president to show in an

unscripted way that he is in command of this campaign and indeed the presidency.

And he will have to show this day-in-and-day-out those 90 minutes of the debate certainly have lingered here. And those images on television or

simply something that he is going to struggle to get around. But as you heard Speaker Pelosi there say of both candidates.

So, that is what some Democrats are hoping that people focus on. The contrast and the comparisons between these two, these two candidates,

President Biden, 81 years old, Donald Trump, 78 years old, will be the oldest candidates on record here.

But at this moment, the focus is on President Biden and what he is going to do. But all of our reporting indicates he is not anywhere close to

reconsidering. He believes that he is the man to defeat Donald Trump, it's a gamble, no question.

SOARES: Jeff Zeleny, as always, appreciate it, thanks, Jeff.

ZELENY: My pleasure.

SOARES: Well, let's discuss the Democrats ongoing damage control strategy. Joining us now is the DNC Convention consultant Meghan Hays and Democratic

strategist Roginsky Julie, welcome, Megan, welcome very -- welcome to the show. Let me start with Julie, really, with what we've heard in the last

well -- half an hour or so from Congressman Lloyd Doggett, really to publicly there call on President Biden to quit the race.

Just your reaction and critically for our audience around the world, do you think others will follow suit, is the tide turning here?

JULIE ROGINSKY, U.S. DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Look, I do think that once the first person goes, it makes it easier for others to follow. I will say a

lot of these members are making decisions both for and against the president leaving in an absence of any kind of data.

And those of us who do this for a living understand that going with your gut and not necessarily with the data in front of you is not the right way

to go. I don't know whether it's the right decision for the president to stay or go. I don't know whether it's the right decision to replace him

with Vice President Harris or a different candidate.

There are a lot of mechanical issues as to why it has to be somebody like her as the vice president and not somebody else on the other hand, is she

the strongest candidate we have if he were to drop out? But I think the most important thing that these candidates and these members of Congress

will be seeing over the next week is two-fold.

One is, they are going home for the 4th of July break, they will be hearing from their constituents, and the other is some kind of qualitative and

quantitative data that they can point to that will give them a better idea as to the path forward.

SOARES: And Meghan, look, prior to this, I think it's fair to say, and we've seen this since the debate, CNN debate, columnists, of course, have

been calling as we've seen for President Biden to call it quits. But now we are hearing not just from one, but from a couple of Democratic congressmen.

I just want you to listen to what Mike Quigley said today on CNN. Have a listen to this.


REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D-IL): I think his four years are, you know, one of the great presidencies of our -- of our lifetime. But I think he has to be

honest with himself, this is decision he's going to have to make. He clearly has to understand, I think what you're getting to hear is that his

decision not only impacts who is going to serve in the White House the next four years, but who is going to serve in the Senate?

Who is going to serve in the House? And it will have implications for decades to come.


SOARES: And I'm guessing it's not so much what he's saying, but the fact that he's actually saying this publicly. So, how can the campaign turn this

around? I mean, in your view, how is it handling this fallout to start off with?

MEGHAN HAYS, DNC CONVENTION CONSULTANT: Yes, look, I mean, I think that his being at the top of the ticket does have an impact on down-ballot

races. I think that the congressman was correct in saying that, I think that the president needs to have some space and some time to evaluate the

poll numbers that are going to come in to see what he's going to do.


He's given no indication that he's going to drop out. So, I -- it's -- you know, it's hard for us to speculate on that. I do think their fundraising

numbers have been extremely good. They raised $33 million in a couple of days following. So, that strong points a strong, you know, grassroots

support here and grassroots donations are a big indicator of what -- of where voters are.

So, I do think, you know, it's a challenge and it's a balancing act, but the president is going to get out there, you know, Jeff Zeleny was just

saying that they're considering doing an interview. He was out there yesterday, he was out there today giving remarks. So, I think that it's up

to the president to prove to folks that he is up for the job and can do the job for another four years, and he needs to take it to the voters.

But I do think that the president is going to have to look at the polling numbers that are going to come in after the debate and make a decision. So,

you know, the congressman is not wrong in asking folks to look at the down- ballot tickets, it does impact that. But also this is the president's decision, and he needs the time and the space to decide that. And he's

given no indication that he's changing his mind, and he is going to be the nominee.

SOARES: And speaking of interviews, and I know Jeff Zeleny mentioned that, we just heard in the last few minutes that President Biden is expected to

give an interview to "ABC News" on Friday. Is this the right strategy here, Julie? Should he be doing more of this unrehearsed? We saw him a little

half an hour ago, 45 minutes ago, but that very much was using a teleprompter. Just speak to that strategy here.

ROGINSKY: Yes, he does. He needs to get out there, he needs to reassure his supporters, but also the rest of the country, even those who don't

support him who are on the fence, that he's capable of doing that. It's not a hard thing to ask to sit through hour long interviewer or even half an

hour interview or several of them to prove that he doesn't need to just read from a teleprompter.

And look, when you -- when you match that up to what comes out of Trump's mouth most of the time, it may be a good comparison. But the president does

need to go out there, he does need to show that he's willing to talk directly to the American people and address their concerns.

Look, people are scared to death especially based on what happened at the Supreme Court yesterday and the powers that it gives the president. They're

scared to death and they want to make sure that we have a president who is capable of beating Donald Trump, because if not, the powers that the next

president will be imbibed with is just imbued with -- excuse me, are just so --

SOARES: Yes --

ROGINSKY: Extraordinary that we'll have no choice but to really think -- say goodbye to our democracy if Joe Biden is not or a Democrat is not

elected and Donald Trump is.

SOARES: Yes, well said. And look, if we go with the polls that we've been seeing here on CNN today, Joe Biden, at least, according to these polls, is

not on track to win -- to win this race. In fact, let me just show viewers the latest polling that we have here on CNN.

The first polling of course, since the CNN debate, and you can see in terms of the choice for president, if Democratic candidate is Biden, you can see

there, how the numbers shifted. We've also seen that approvals, his approval racing -- rating is 36 percent. The conversation that is being had

on this side of the pond, ladies, is if it isn't President Biden, and we saw the polling that what stood out to me was that 75 percent believe

someone else ought to be -- ought to step in.

If it isn't President Biden, who should -- who could step in and beat possibly Donald Trump here, Meghan?

HAYS: Look, I mean, I think that the vice president is the natural person that would take that spot if that's -- if, you know, the president does

step aside. I think that there's a lot of nuance here and a lot of different factors that play into the financial -- you know, she's already

on the ticket, so she has the campaign finance there.

There's some convention rules. There's just a lot at stake. There's a lot of nuance there that it's complicated, I think, to get into. I don't fully

understand all the different rules and regulations that have to happen and you know, the people did cast ballots for -- in the primaries for the

president and for the vice president.

So, that will make the natural jump here. So, you know, I don't know, but again, like the President's given no indication that he's going to step

down --

SOARES: Yes --

HAYS: So, it's kind of a little bit of a premature conversation.

SOARES: Premature conversation, but I do sense some nerve, some anxiety. Just tell us what is happening behind the scenes, what kind of messages are

you getting? Just speak to the moment, how that feels to you since that election -- since that debate, of course, that went so terribly wrong for

President Joe Biden. Julie, just give us a bit of color for us here.

ROGINSKY: Well, the debate was scary. But what was really terrifying as I mentioned earlier, was the Supreme Court decision yesterday. You are now --

SOARES: Yes --

ROGINSKY: Effectively giving the dictatorial powers to the president of the United States and in the wrong hands, in the hands of Donald Trump

who's threatened to assassinate his political rivals or have put them in front of a firing tribunal. I mean, this is not rational talk, but the

Supreme Court is effectively allowing him to now do it.

That's not a democracy that anybody in this country signed up for. And for those listening around the world, the beacon of democracy to the United

States has been -- is imperiled. If somebody like that gets into office because of the Supreme Court giving him the powers to do that.


And so, this has become a lot more than just about whether Joe Biden stays or goes. It is about making sure that somebody like Donald Trump does not

ever see the inside of the Oval Office again.

SOARES: Julie, last thought to you.

ROGINSKY: I think you meant, Meghan.

SOARES: Oh, Meghan, pardon.

HAYS: I know. I agree with Julie a 100 percent. I think that this is more than just about if Joe Biden can do the job for the next four years. This

is about keeping Donald Trump out of the White House. And I think, you know, the president feels deeply in his heart that he's the person that can

do that.

And so, until he decides not to, I think that we need to all stand behind him as Democrats to make sure that happens. Because what Donald Trump

offers is extremely scary --

SOARES: Yes --

HAYS: And you know, just not going to be good for our democracy.

SOARES: Terrifying indeed. Meghan and Julie, thank you very much, ladies, really appreciate it. Well, Donald Trump and his legal team aren't wasting

any time a day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the former president is entitled to immunity for quote, "official acts", which is what Julie was

talking about there.

His sentencing in the hush money case could soon be delayed. Earlier today, the Manhattan District Attorney's office said it's open to delaying the

sentencing that was supposed to happen on July 11th. Trump's legal team has filed a letter saying it wants to challenge the verdict.

Joining us now with much more on this is Zachary Cohen. So, Zachary, the sentencing was supposed to happen next week, I believe so. What happens


ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, we're already seeing how Donald Trump is trying to use that Supreme Court ruling to attack his

other criminal cases, and includes trying to convince the judge in the Manhattan case to set aside his conviction. There's 34 felony counts that

he was convicted of earlier this year.

And as you said, it seems to be paying dividends already. The District Attorney in Manhattan, Alvin Bragg, who is the prosecutor in that case is

already said that he's open to delaying Trump's sentencing in the case by at least two weeks.

I mean, and that's significant because a two-week delay in sentencing means that Donald Trump would not be punished and sentenced for his conviction in

Manhattan until after the Republican National Committee, which is of course, where he will officially be anointed the Republican candidate for

president of the United States in this upcoming election.

So, a significant win early on here are just a day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on that Trump does have immunity over in official acts that he

took as president, but not over unofficial acts. That still has to get parsed out at the federal court level, the district court, and Jack Smith's

federal case against Donald Trump related to the 2020 election.

She still has to sort through which actions in that charging document do qualify as official, and which ones do not. The timeline on that seems a

little bit murky though.

SOARES: Yes, that's what I was going to ask you about if whether we have a sense of the timeline. What are you hearing in terms of how long this could

take? How -- I mean, clearly, it's not going to happen before the U.S. election, right? But how soon after that are we looking at here?

COHEN: Yes, absolutely. I mean, only time will tell, and if Donald Trump is elected president, the case likely just goes --

SOARES: Yes --

COHEN: Away. He could fire Jack Smith, but even the review process back in the trial court level from Tanya Chutkan, it's unclear when that could

start. Jack Smith had asked that for the Supreme Court to hand back jurisdiction of that case immediately after ruling yesterday.

That still has not happened as of now, typically, it takes about 30 days, so, we may not see the review of what is official and what is unofficial

happen for another month from now. Now --

SOARES: Wow --

COHEN: What's interesting though is, we could start to see what are called evidentiary hearings where Jack Smith could present some of the evidence

he's collected, but as you mentioned, there's almost certainly no trial in this case before the 2024 election.

SOARES: Zachary, appreciate it, thanks very much. And still to come tonight, it's a record-breaking storm leaving behind a path of immense

destruction, pain, as well as suffering the devastation caused by Hurricane Beryl. We'll have the very latest next.

Plus, my discussion with four first-time voters in the U.K., all tell me they're still deciding who to vote for in Thursday's election. That's later

in the show.



SOARES: Well, tragedy in northern India where a stampede has now killed 116 people. It happened Tuesday during a prayer meeting in the northern

state of Uttar Pradesh. Police and local officials say many women and some children are among the victims. Authorities believe event organizers may

have exceeded the permitted attendance levels.

The organizers can now face charges from the police. We'll stay across that story for you. Well, Jamaica's Prime Minister is urging people to prepare,

but not to panic as deadly Hurricane Beryl heads towards the islands. Beryl is now an intense Category 4 storm expected to make landfall in southern

Jamaica on Wednesday.

Haiti and Dominican Republic are likely to see heavy rainfall, storm surge and dangerously high winds today. A United Nations official says Beryl is

setting the tone for quote, "a very dangerous hurricane season." And the impact of climate change is on really, on full display.

A storm as powerful and early into the season as Beryl is extremely rare. Beryl left behind a trail of devastation in places like Barbados as well as

Grenada. Have a look.


DICKON MITCHELL, PRIME MINISTER, GRENADA: The situation is grim, there is no power, there's almost complete destruction of homes and buildings on the

island. The roads are not possible, and in many instances, they're cut off because of the large quantity of debris strewn all over the streets.

And obviously, the danger posed by downed power lines. Minister Andrews has tentatively reported at least two deaths as a result of the passage of

Hurricane Beryl.


SOARES: Well, I want to get the very latest, Patrick Oppmann, who is tracking the storm from Havana, and joins me now. So, Patrick, Hurricane

Beryl clearly as we've heard there from the Prime Minister of Grenada, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Just talk us through the damage


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CUBA CORRESPONDENT: Well, you've seen people's boats sunk, power lines down, no drinking water, roofs sheared off of homes and

it's very tough to see in low-lying islands like this one where it will be difficult to get help in very quickly because these are remote places, and

they just don't have a lot of resources on the ground.

Now, as Beryl heads towards Jamaica, it's a much larger island in terms of population, in terms of infrastructure, and that could mean, hopefully not.

But that there could be even more devastation than some of the smaller Windward Islands which were very hard hit. So, you know, you have seen the

warnings go out in Jamaica.

You have seen officials there tell people not to panic, but to prepare, and already the government there has said that emergency preparedness measures

are underway, and so, this is a dangerous storm. It's going to likely hit Jamaica quite hard as a Category 4 storm, and then potentially head on to

the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

And you know, it's so -- they do it by the alphabet. So, we're only on B. It's the second-named storm of the season, and it's only a month and a day

into the hurricane season, five more months to go. Forecasters have said that they are predicting a record -- you know, more storms than they've

ever predicted before. So, it's certainly going to be a very difficult long season, and it's already --

SOARES: Yes --

OPPMANN: Hitting records.

SOARES: Indeed, and it's a Category 4 storm right now, but it could shift as we were looking there at the eye of the storm.


The concern from what I saw in Barbados is this storm surge, Patrick, like you said, these are low-lying islands. This is something that we have

heard from their Prime Ministers for so long that developed countries had to take into consideration climate change and the impact this will

ultimately have on their country.

OPPMANN: You know, the old saying when you're covered in hurricane is you hide from the wind and you run from the water. But when you're on a small

island and the water is all around you, you know, where do you run to?


OPPMANN: You cannot get on the highway like you can in Florida and drive out of town. If you were in the Caribbean, you're probably stuck when a

hurricane comes like this. And so, this is a very clear sign of the impacts of climate change or the water in the Caribbean is warmer than it ever has


That is a fuel for hurricanes, it's just a fact. And it's also a fact that poor countries are shouldering the burdens of climate change in a way

that's not quite fair. So, what is the solution here? You know, it's not clear at all, but certainly, we're seeing the impacts of climate change for

islands like Barbados, for islands like Grenada and Saint Lucia, and other places you know, they have been absolutely hit very hard, it's going to

impact people for years if not, for longer than that, and coming back from a storm like this.

You know, storms that people maybe who saw once in a lifetime before, and here we are at the beginning of hurricane season and you're seeing a

monster storm like Beryl, which is much more typical for kind of the height of hurricane season, and that's still, you know, weeks away.

SOARES: Yes, it's just the start, it's very troubling indeed. Patrick, appreciate it, thank you very much. And still to come tonight --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I genuinely think it's just the state of the country, as in everywhere you go and every person that you talk to has had some, you

know, dramatic change in their life, that means they're struggling.


SOARES: After 14 years of conservative rule in the U.K., these first-time voters tell me why they want a change. That discussion coming up next.



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Welcome back everyone. We are now less than two days away until polls open here in the U.K. for the general

election. Candidates are doing everything they can in the final stretch to lock in those votes.

Earlier, today, you can see there, Labour leader, Keir Starmer, met with supporters at a football ground in Nottinghamshire. While Rishi Sunak, the

prime minister, had an early start to meet with staff of working at a vast retail warehouse. Both Ed Davey from the Liberal Democrats and Nigel Farage

from Reform have also been out and about this week trying to encourage voters.

But if the current polls are anything to go by, it would take a monumental effort to shift the Conservatives into the lead. Labour is expected to

triumph, which would bring an end to 14 years of Conservative rule. And for thousands up and down the country, this will be their first time voting in

a general election. And many say the stakes cannot be higher.

Earlier, I sat down with four first time voters, all under the age of 22 in the very final stages of the race. They were all mostly undecided on who to

vote for. I began by asking them if they had made a choice. Have a look.


EVIE CRAGGS, FIRST-TIME U.K. VOTER: Not completely. I'm kind of split between whether I vote Labour or whether I vote for Green. Mainly because I

feel that Green Party is actually where my true kind of views lie or feel who best represent me. But with the kind of -- in my constituency, I feel

that I'm worried about a Tory getting into power.

SOARES: Where do you stand, I mean, in terms of your voting? I know you're also undecided. Which way are you leaning?

ANGEL IKOGWE, FIRST-TIME U.K. VOTER: Oh, it's the same as Evie. I'm leaning towards Labour and the Green Party in my constituency as well with

Dagenham and Rainham. The Tories almost won. So, maybe I might vote tactically to get the Conservatives out as well, because I feel like they

don't align with my beliefs the most.

SOARES: And to you, boys, I mean, Charlie, where do you stand? Where are you going to vote? I mean, have you both decided at this stage where you're

going to go? Go ahead.

CHARLIE GELL, FIRST-TIME U.K. VOTER: I would say I haven't completely decided.


GELL: But historically. I've always aligned with the right, more center right ground. In my local area, same as Angel, Dagenham and Rainham, I

think they have completely ruined the area. So, much of our community is just broken, and I put that down to a local level of government.

SOARES: How do you feel? Have you decided?

DYLAN BROWN, FIRST-TIME U.K. VOTER: Well, I think I'm quite strongly leaning towards Reform, to be honest. I'd say I'm quite ideologically

similar to Charlie. Yes, I'm leaning towards Reform, mainly as a protest against Conservatives. Because honestly, I don't think they deserve to get

into government. I think they need to have a quite a significant change up to be government ready again.

But I wouldn't vote Labour mainly because I don't really think they have anything new to offer apart from new faces. I think they're quite similar

in their policies, trying to be very moderate with no real fiscal plan as well, in my opinion.

SOARES: What is it about, first of all, the Conservative Party that, I know, 14 years in power, that's made you decide, OK, I've had enough?

CRAGGS: I genuinely think it's just the state of the country. As in, everywhere you go and every person that you talk to has had some, you know,

dramatic change to their life that means they're struggling, you know.

I've just graduated uni and I'm looking at the rental market and thinking, how am I possibly going to make my way in this world and in this country?

You know, my parents were able to work their way up and be able to afford a house after working for a while. And I'm looking that as a kind of

impossible future.

SOARES: So, Charlie, for you, I mean you're voting then potentially Reform. What are you hoping then if we're looking at the polls and the

polls suggesting that Keir Starmer, the Labour government is going to be in power, what do you think that's going to be like under his leadership?

GELL: Under Starmer's leadership?


GELL: Well, Labour government, it doesn't scare me as much as I think it would have in 2019. I think the far-left, if they took over in 2019, would

have been quite a scary position for our country. I wouldn't say -- as I say, I don't think I fear Keir Starmer leadership, I just don't think --

SOARES: So, why not vote?

GELL: Why not vote Labour?

SOARES: Yes. I just don't think it's very inspiring. There's not --

SOARES: Policy wise or leadership wise?


GELL: Both. There's no real charisma with Starmer. I think someone put it right in a debate the other day. He sounds like a robot, doesn't appeal. I

think his policies, the way they're being explained and the way they're being costed are very vague. There's not real numbers there. And I think

Conservative and Labour right now are two sides of the same coin.

SOARES: What about the Lib Dems? Were any of you considered Liberal Democrats? No?


CRAGGS: I would also -- I would consider the Liberal Democrats. I quite like Ed Davey.


CRAGGS: I think his stunts --

SOARES: He's definitely got personality.

CRAGGS: He does. And, you know, he was very honest about his stunts. You know, he was very honest that I don't get as much news time as all the

other parties. So, here I am, you know, going down a water slide to grab attention. And I -- you know, I really respect that, you know.

SOARES: I do feel like what you see is what you get.


SOARES: With him.

CRAGGS: And, you know, the Lib Dems have some great policies as well. I think they're the only party calling to make nonbinary identities and

enshrining them in law, which I think is something that I'm personally really passionate about.

SOARES: And because you're all first-time voters, I mean, just talk to us, Angel, in terms of what matters to you. What do you think are parties

getting it right in terms of the tone? What do you want to see? What is the most important issues would you say to you?

IKOGWE: For me, well, growing up, struggling, it's all about equality to me. Like how Evie said with minorities, more support with minorities as

well. I strongly believe in that as well. So, when I see minority struggle, it just -- it gives me -- I want a party to support these people. You

understand what I mean, but I don't really see, you know, Conservatives, Reform, supporting those people.

SOARES: What are the biggest issues? I mean, you're going -- coming out of university, going into university. I'm guessing cost of living is one of

those. What else matters to you? You can just chime in, in terms of topics. Give me topics.

GELL: Biggest one for our generation is education.


GELL: I think something I often think about is how high tuition fees are becoming, how much of a burden it is for students wanting to succeed.


BROWN: Can I add on to that --


BROWN: -- and talk about regional inequality? I think that's -- maybe not here in London, and we all live in London. So -- but generally, across the

country, there's huge regional inequality, especially in the north, in Wales, in Scotland, and I think that's a huge issue for a lot of young


SOARES: What about you, Evie? What kind of -- what are the issues that matter most to you?

CRAGGS: During this election, I think, like, in the build up towards this election, I've really felt strongly about how immigration has been spoken

about and dealt with during the lead up to this election. I think it's quite easy to almost box young people in when it comes to, like, issues

that we care about.

You know, just because I'm not personally affected by immigration, or it's not an issue that is particularly present in my everyday life, it doesn't

mean that, you know, my empathy is not so short that I don't care about that issue greatly because I think, frankly, the immigration is being used

really cynically and really horribly in the lead up this election to kind of win votes in for Nigel Farage in particular, but he's certainly not the

only one to kind of attract attention to himself and gain, you know, social credit and political power by discrediting some of the most vulnerable and

oppressed people in the U.K. at the moment. And seeing that kind of unfold in this election process, I think, it makes me genuinely really sad.

SOARES: Last few questions. Just -- we focus so much on domestic policy. Foreign policy, is there any -- I mean, we've obviously got wars in

Ukraine. We know Farage has been very outspoken and made some slip ups when it comes to his support for Putin. Also, war, Israel, Hamas, right? Do any

of those foreign policy concerns, do they weigh on your judgment, your opinion of which way you're going to go?

CRAGGS: Frankly, like, for both Conservatives and Labour, and Reform in particular, the fact that they haven't really spoken out about the

atrocities happening in Gaza, I think is pretty disgusting. And I would particularly expect better of Labour. It took so long for Keir Starmer to

even say -- talk about the idea of a ceasefire.

GELL: More so, I think we're in a situation now which really feels -- obviously none of us were there, but it really feels like a 1930s

situation. It feels like a world war is looming. And I think the U.K. government have been quite strong on their foreign policy, especially in

the last four years.

I think Boris Johnson done an excellent job with Ukraine. I mean --

SOARES: Backing and think supporting Ukraine, yes.

GELL: Supporting Ukraine. Absolutely. I think we were -- the leaders, especially in Europe, for a long time. In terms of the Gaza situation, I

think it's really become quite an aggressive left, right issue. And I think if one thing that can be taken away from it, there needs to be -- human

life really needs to be prioritized rather than making it into a left, right situation, where people are losing their lives every day.

SOARES: Just tell me who you think is going to win. Go ahead, Angel. On Thursday, who do you think is going to come out on top? Who's going to be

British prime minister? Have a bet.


IKOGWE: It'll be Keir Starmer.

SOARES: Keir Starmer?

BROWN: Keir Starmer.

GELL: Keir Starmer majority.

CRAGGS: Keir Starmer.


SOARES: And you heard it here first, let's see if they are right. Our thanks to Charlie, Evie, Angel, and Dylan for that conversation. You can

tune in to CNN for all action on election night on Thursday. Myself and Richard Quest and Anna Stewart will be hosting a special coverage beginning

at 9:55pm here in London. That is 4:55pm in Atlanta. And we'll be here until the very early hours of Friday morning.

And still to come tonight, fleeing for their lives yet again. Thousands of men, women, and children are on the move after Israel issues new evacuation

orders for Southern Gaza. We'll bring you the very latest, next.


SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Mass evacuations of civilians are underway in Southern Gaza as Israel escalates attacks against Hamas targets. The

U.N. says it expects 250,000 people to be affected by the evacuation orders that include Eastern Khan Younis and Rafah. But it says they have nowhere

safe to go, which is something that we've heard throughout.

Medics are even evacuating an area hospital, including patients in intensive care and babies on incubators. One doctor calls it a chaotic as

well as dire scene. Some displaced families who've made it into the Al- Mawasi area are living in tents surrounded, as you can see right there, by unexploded rockets. And a new a new U.N. report says Gaza is littered with

such bombs, exposing Palestinian children to significant risks of injury or death.

Let's get the very latest from our Jeremy Diamond who joins us now from Jerusalem. And, Jeremy, just worth reminding viewers that, you know, so

many Gazans have been told on numerous occasions to move from one area to another. Just bring us up to date with this latest evacuation order.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes. What we have begun to witness emanating out of Eastern Khan Younis is a site that we have seen so

many times in Gaza. Over and over again, people have been forced to be -- forced to evacuate, to be displaced from areas where they have sought

shelter, sometimes for the second, third, or fourth time.


And in this case, this evacuation order for Eastern Khan Younis, as well as a part of Eastern Rafah, is expected to impact about a quarter of a million

people. And just to try and put that in perspective, I mean, just imagine the movement of tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people in a

very short span of time, all moving in the same direction, all moving west. In this case, many of them heading for that "safer zone" of Al-Mawasi,

which the Israeli military has designated as such.

But we know already what they will find there is going to be inadequate resources. It's going to be a lack of running water, of sufficient

infrastructure and resources for people to live in adequate conditions in that area. And it is the area, of course, where we know that nearly a

million people from Rafah had already fled to. And so, once again, we are seeing the mass movement of people, one that often leaves the most

vulnerable behind, or at least leaves them in an even more vulnerable state.

And that also includes patients at the European Hospital, which lies right between the cities of Rafah and Khan Younis, where we have spoken to

foreign doctors who have gone to volunteer there for weeks at a time, viewing that area not only as a refuge for patients, but also for thousands

of people who have been sheltering in and around that hospital.

The Israeli military today saying that that evacuation order, although that hospital did fall within the evacuation zone, that it was not expected to

apply to the patients at that hospital or at least there was no intention to force that hospital's evacuation. But nonetheless, that is indeed what

has occurred.

We've also seen that in the hours since that evacuation order was posted yesterday, the Israeli military overnight launching a series of airstrikes

in Khan Younis, killing at least eight people, wounding 32 others, according to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.

The question now is what's going to follow beyond those armed airstrikes. Can we -- will we potentially see a ground operation by the Israeli

military in Khan Younis? The last time we saw ground troops in Khan Younis was back in April, and all of this is coming as the Israeli prime minister

says that the current phase of military operations in Gaza is winding down.

We had expected that that ground operation in Rafah would perhaps be the last one that we would see, but it appears that we are anticipating stepped

up military operations in Khan Younis as well. And this is the continuous game of whack a mole that the Israeli military is playing in Gaza as it

leaves certain areas with no governing alternative to Hamas.

And so, the result, of course, we have seen is that Hamas returns and the Israeli military then returns as well.

SOARES: Very concerning picture indeed. Jeremy, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Well, the mother of a now free Israeli hostage has died after -- died from cancer, pardon me. A hospital in Tel Aviv has confirmed that Liora Argamani

died from stage 4 brain cancer. For months, Argamani had pleaded for her daughter Noa's release, if you remember from Gaza.

In December, she wrote a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden asking for his help to gain her daughter's release before her death. Noa Argamani was a

hostage in Gaza for eight months before she and three others were rescued on June the 8th.

We're going to take a short break. We'll see you on the other side.



SOARES: I want to take you to the White House now where the -- where Karine Jean-Pierre is taking questions on President Biden's age. Just have

a listen to her response.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Because for three and a half years, almost four years -- the record, the president's record has

been unprecedented, delivering for the American people.

Another thing that he said that I would add is he knows right from wrong. He knows how to tell the truth. And again, he knows how to deliver for the

American people. Joe Biden is a person. Take away his title. He is someone who has dealt with tragedy. He is someone who has confronted that head on.

He is someone who knows how to get back up once you've been knocked down. That is something that he understands very, very well. And I think and we

believe that's something that many of Americans across the country understand as well.

And he knows how to come back. He knows how to come back. And so, the president's going to continue to focus on what he's been doing the past

three and a half years. He's going to focus -- continue to focus on the American people.

And, you know, to your question, just to add a little bit more to your question. Look, you heard from Speaker Pelosi, you heard from

Representative Clyburn, and let me just share, paraphrase a little bit of what they said. Speaker Pelosi, who's very close to the president, said, it

is not about performance in terms of a debate, it's about performance in a presidency.

And this is a president, you've heard me say this, we've talked about this, he's been able to give us an economic recovery, the strongest economic

recovery in modern history. Let's not forget, during the midterms of 2022, many people, many of you all, some of you in this room, said that it was

going to be a red wave, and that didn't happen.

He defeated Big Pharma. We have seen historic low in crime, in more than -- down to 50-year low. And then, you had Representative Clyburn, who said,

the President has done a great job leading for the last three and a half years. The best predictor of future behavior is past performance, this is

from Clyburn. And when you look at the record of President Biden versus Former President Trump, you see President Biden, who has delivered the

strongest recovery in modern history versus the previous administration whose plans hurts the middle class. And President Biden who is committed to

protecting our fundamental freedoms versus the former president, the previous administration, doing everything that they could, and they did, to

overturn Roe v. Wade. And they are responsible for that.

And those are -- that's coming from two people who are not just leaders in Congress, but also close to the president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think part of the problem that Democrats are articulating is that it wasn't just that he had a cold, but rather he had,

you know, answers, he was trailing off, he didn't answer some questions in a sort of fulsome way. And speaking of Nancy Pelosi, one of the things that

she recently said was that it was a legitimate question, whether his performance was an episode or a condition.

So, I guess I wonder if there's been any consideration given to like releasing a more robust set of medical records or something to show his

mental acuity.

JEAN-PIERRE: So, I will say this, look -- and again, I get the question. It is a fair question to ask. We are not taking that away, and that's why

the president certainly has spoken to this. As it relates to his medical records, we have been transparent. We have released thorough reports from

his medical team every year since he's been in office. That is something that we have been pretty consistent about.

As it relates to, you know, something like a cognitive test, to the question that you're asking me about what the speaker -- former speaker

said, obviously, she can speak for herself. His team who has said, the medical team said, it is not warranted in this case. We have put forward a

thorough transparent annual report on his health.


So, they have said that is not warranted. It is not necessary. Again, we understand. We understand. We're not taking away from what you all saw and

what the American people saw. We understand. It was a bad night. It is not uncommon for incumbents to have a bad night on their first debate. And we

are going to continue to do the work that we have been doing on behalf of the American people. I think the president work record certainly speaks for


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Karine. You just reminded us that President Biden had a cold on Thursday. What medications was he taking in

the days or hours leading up to the debate?

JEAN-PIERRE: And I can -- I know that question has come in a couple of times to us, he was not taking any cold medication.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was he taking any medication that would have interfered with his performance?

JEAN-PIERRE: He was not taking any cold medication, that is what I can speak to. I've asked the doc -- his doctor, and that's what he stated to


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After the debate, did the president get examined by a doctor or did he get a neurological scan?

JEAN-PIERRE: A neurological scan? Look, what I can say is that -- just to take a step back, it was a bad night. We understand that it was a bad

night. And the president has spoken to this. And he understands that. And so, I cannot speak to anything beyond what I just shared. The president has

regular annual physicals that we release in a thorough report. We're going to continue to do that. I don't have anything else beyond that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, was the last time he was seen by a doctor then in February?

JEAN-PIERRE: I just don't have anything beyond that -- beyond the question of a neurological exam.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Well, you continue to say it was just a bad night. But is there an explanation then for why it was so bad? If it's not

his stamina, if he prepared, as you guys say, for so long, if it's not a problem with his mental fitness, what happened that night? What did we see?

JEAN-PIERRE: I will also add that the president also spoke to this as well, he said, I'm not as smooth as I used to be. I don't debate as well as

I used to. I don't walk as easily as I used to. But one thing that he knows is how to deliver for the American people. He understands that. He

understands that he's not a young man, obviously. He said this.

And -- but his focus is going to continue to deliver for the American people on the issues that they care about, the economy, expanding

healthcare, fighting for Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, making sure that we continue to be leaders on the world stage, which is something that

this president has been able to do and turn -- you know, turn around the mess, the mess that this last administration created as certainly on not

just domestically, but on the world stage. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is anyone in the White House hiding information about the president's health or his ability to do the job day to day?

JEAN-PIERRE: Absolutely not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Given the fact that it's more than a bad night when his political future is threatened, would he be willing to provide more

medical information? Would he be willing to have Dr. O'Connor provide more to answer these questions?

JEAN-PIERRE: Look, Kelly'O (ph), certainly understand the question, appreciate the question. But what we have provided has been very

transparent. Has been --


JEAN-PIERRE: But February was this year. It wasn't too long ago. It was indeed this year. And we were -- we provided transparent report, a thorough


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) for many Americans who were concerned about his capacity, was he OK, what happened? And we've now gone several

days where he has only done teleprompter comments, he has not taken questions. I know you've announced a press conference, we appreciate that,

an interview, we appreciate that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But there is a period of time here where the public is trying to understand what happened and the president could help to

answer that by engaging with us in an unscripted way right now.

JEAN-PIERRE: So, let me just say a couple of things. There's a couple of things that you said that I do want to address. Number one, hours -- I

don't know, less than an hour after the debate, he went and he engaged directly with the American people, right? He went to a watch party. He was

in a room with hundreds of supporters who watched the debate.

And when he walked in, they cheered him on. And he did a photo line with them, for some time. Some of your colleagues had an opportunity to speak to

these supporters. He did that. And that was something that he was able to to do right after. And then, we stopped at a walk --