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New Day

Interview with Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY). Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired September 13, 2021 - 08:00   ET


JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Gallup shows it's reached a new high, with 68 percent support last November. And given the restrictive Texas abortion law, it's worth noting that nearly 60 percent Americans oppose completely overturning Roe v. Wade.

Look, some folks will be surprised to see supermajorities supporting the same broad positions, but that's because of our hyper partisan politics. It's a structural problem, particularly in Congress. For example, the U.S. Senate is literally divided 50-50. But the states that Democrats represent contain roughly 41 million more people. Likewise, the rigged system of redistricting, which is happening in state houses right now and results in fewer competitive districts by design, means that members of Congress are incentivized to play to the base rather than reflecting the supermajority of America sentiment.

You should be angry about politicians who refuse to represent the will of the people and, instead, pander to the outer reaches of politics. But you shouldn't despair about the ability of Americans to ever unite on big issues because we're not a 50-50 nation. On many issues, more like 70-30. And that's reason for real hope.

And that's your Reality Check.

NEW DAY continues right now.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar. It is Monday, September 13th.

Former president George W. Bush on the 20th anniversary on the September 11th attacks drawing a stark comparison between the 9/11 attackers and the insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: There's little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit, and it is our continuing duty to confront them.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: President Bush's remarks infuriated supporters of former president Trump. But a new CNN poll highlights divides within the GOP. While 63 percent of Republicans say they want former president Trump to remain their party's leader, they're pretty evenly split on whether they think having the former president back on the ticket in 2024 would be an advantage to winning the White House.

Joining us now to discuss is CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger and former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh. It is lovely to have you both in studio this morning. Gloria, first, just what did you think of what Bush said?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I watched it, and I thought it was historic. I thought it was stunning. I think it may be the most memorable speech he has ever given. And when he spoke about the America I know, 20 years ago, that America, and clearly America is different now, I think he was talking about the elephant in the room. Former presidents don't usually do that on these kinds of occasions. And I think I knew what kind of audience he was going to be having, and I think it's something he feels so strongly about that he had to say it. And a lot of times politicians don't do that. But the former president decided that he had to.

JOE WALSH, (R) FORMER ILLINOIS CONGRESSMAN: He told the truth. And you can't do that in today's Republican Party. Brianna, he went where Trump's Republican Party can't go -- 9/11 was an act of terror, January 6th was an act of terror. But in today's Republican Party, you can't say that. You can't say Biden won fair and square. You can't even say January 6th was a bad thing. Again, I engage with hundreds of Republican base voters every day. You can't go there. You can't say what Bush said.

BORGER: And it makes you a pariah.


BORGER: You may be a pariah.


BORGER: He is a pariah, Bush is a pariah. He may have been before. But he knew. He knew what the reaction was going to be.

BERMAN: It's interest.

BORGER: I think this was a moral thing for him to do.

BERMAN: And it plays on what both of you are saying here. In the same CNN poll, which shows that 60 percent of the Republicans want Trump as a leader, we asked people if believing that the election was stolen is somehow a ticket to being a member of the Republican Party. And you could see, add up very important and somewhat important -- 59 percent, 59 percent of Republicans say that believing Trump won in 2020 is a ticket to admission, 60 percent basically.

WALSH: John, it's stunning, because, again, what it's saying is 60 some percent of Republicans are saying that you have to deny the truth to be a Republican. I think that number is low. [08:05:08]

BORGER: And it gives you a sense of mistrust in government, mistrust of democracy, mistrust of elections. And this is something that's been perpetuated by the former president, obviously. And this is the political identity now. Their political identity is with someone who says your government is lying to you, and they're trying to pull a fast one on you, and your elections are rigged, and democracy is not what you think it is.

WALSH: This is Trump's legacy, is this great lie. And we're already seeing other Republican candidates. Larry Elder, out in California, is already saying before the election tomorrow that it's going to be rigged. We're seeing other Republicans around the country already do this. It's so destructive.

KEILAR: What's interesting, as you mentioned, the Republican Party of today is one where you have to support the big lie, like this poll number where 36 percent of Republicans believe it's very important to support it. This lie that President Trump won the election, the lie, to be clear, that January 6th is based on.

And it makes me think of a conversation I was having just before 9/11 with an American who was overseas going to college when 9/11 happened, and they were actually surrounded by some people who were cheering that it had happened. And they described feeling so incredibly alone and disgusted. And that's, in a way, some of what I see happening when it comes to how people relate to January 6th, right? There's a divide that there wasn't about January 6th. There's a divide there wasn't about 9/11 when it comes to January 6th.

BORGER: Well, the whole question, as you saw on Capitol Hill, were these people tourists? Was this just a walk in a park? Were they not trying to do damage? All of those kinds of things. Were they not insurrectionists? And everybody that thinks they're insurrectionists say yes, they were trying to destroy a symbol of American democracy. That's what George Bush was saying. But others are saying, no, they really got pushed into something. They didn't mean to hurt anybody. It wasn't a big deal. And I think that's what you hear from Trump. And you're going to continue to hear it. It's another wedge issue. It's just another divide. We keep coming up with these things, like should you wear a mask? Should you get vaccinated? How bad do you think January 6th was? It will go on and on and on.

WALSH: But the scary thing is, the average Republican voter does not believe January 6th was a bad thing. It certainly wasn't an act of terror, but they roll it off. And Trump feeds that, and other Republicans are feeding that now.

BERMAN: Can I just say there was another example over the weekend where you could see how far things have gone since September 11th, 2001, and how much the Republican Party has changed. Rudy Giuliani does an annual dinner every year with people who were involved with him on September 11th, 2001. And for years, my impression was it was a somber, poignant gathering of people to talk about what was lost and how the city saw itself through that time. Not really anymore. I want to play for you a little bit of Giuliani's speech.


RUDY GIULIANI, HOST, COMMON SENSE PODCAST: She said, you did a wonderful job on September 11, and, therefore, I'm making you an honorary knight commander of the Royal something or other.


GIULIANI: I turned down a knighthood because if you took a knighthood you had to lose your citizenship. I know Prince Andrew is very questionable now. I never went out with him, ever. Never, ever had a drink with him. Never was with a woman or young girl with him, ever, ever, ever. One time I met him in my office, and one time when we had the party, right, Bernie? You were there.


BERMAN: So that's Rudy Giuliani making jokes about Prince Andrew and the accusations about him having these inappropriate relationships with underage women. In the same speech, he called General Mark Milley an a-hole. And this event was filmed which Steve Bannon, who was there. So you just see this incredible arc of Rudy Giuliani now, Joe.

WALSH: Say no more. That's it right there. What's happened to America in 20 years? That speech. Rudy Giuliani, my God.

BORGER: Stay classy, Rudy. What can I tell you? It's just stunning. And I think, I want to venture a guess that a lot of the people sitting in that audience felt that it was as inappropriate as we do.

KEILAR: You're almost speechless a little bit, both of you.



KEILAR: Does it make you sad to look at that?

WALSH: It makes me uncomfortable. John, I didn't want to answer your question. I didn't even want to respond to it.

BORGER: It's hard to describe Rudy Giuliani these days. It's just -- shaking your head, that's exactly, that's the response.

BERMAN: I want to say that there have been people who try to separate what happened 20 years ago and today, but he won't let it. This was at a September 11th event, right. So that separation is awfully hard to make when he's doing things like this.


BERMAN: Gloria Borger, Joe Walsh, thank you for being with us this morning.

So the former FDA chief moving up his timeline for when a coronavirus vaccine could be approved for children.


DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER: Get a best case scenario, given the timeline I just laid out, you could potential have a vaccine available to children aged five to 11 by Halloween if everything goes well, the Pfizer data package is in order, and the FDA ultimately makes a positive determination.


BERMAN: By the way, it's not his decision. Sorry, go ahead, Brianna.

KEILAR: I was just going to say, the forecast is even earlier than the one that he gave two weeks ago, projecting that shots would likely roll out closer to early winter. And Gottlieb is on the board of Pfizer, right? He also says that the company is expected to have data on this age group by the end of the month.

BERMAN: Meantime, a growing number of Americans support vaccine mandates at workplaces and schools. That's according to a new poll just out from CNN. More than half of Americans, 54 percent, now say they support requiring vaccinations for returning to the workplace, 55 percent support it for students attending in-person classes, and people attending sporting events or concerts. All of that is an increase from April.

KEILAR: There's a new pilot program just launched at Miami International Airport. The airport, the first to use COVID-sniffing dogs to help detect the virus. This is a program that's being tested on airplane employees to start. If the dog detects the virus in an employee, they will be asked to take a rapid COVID test.

Joining us now to talk about this is Kenneth Furton. He's a provost and professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Florida Interview University, and who is that furry guy next to him? That's Cobra. He's one of these amazing COVID-detecting dogs. First, Kenneth, just tell us how this works.

KENNETH FURTON, PROVOST AND PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY, FLORIDA INTERVIEW UNIVERSITY: Yes. So actually, we trained these dogs just using face coverings from patients who at a hospital have COVID and those who do not. And we deactivate the surface so it's safe to the dog. And then the dog just actually works for their favorite toy. And in this case, it's Kong (ph). And so Cobra has actually shown to be over 99 percent accurate in her training.

KEILAR: So how does this, explain -- we've heard of things like dogs. People will tell you anecdotally they have a dog who sniffed their leg and discovered they had skin cancer or something like this. We've heard of dogs being able to detect disease. How did this come to be that you were aware this might work, 99 percent?

FURTON: Actually, Cobra and another dog, One Betta, had been trained for agriculture detection. So we found that they could be very reliable in detecting something called laurel wilt, which is killing avocado trees here in south Florida. And so we knew they were reliable for that. We said let's try to train them on COVID-19.

KEILAR: So where does training take place? And how long does it take to train these dogs?

FURTON: So, we start off on what's called a training wheel. It's like a circle with different containers in it. And then we go out into the field and do real-world type of scenario. And so they initially, since she was already trained for another odor, it only takes a few weeks to really get them proficient to a new odor. They really start picking up the new odor in a few days. If it's a brand new dog that's never been trained, then it make take up to a few months to get them proficient.

KEILAR: So right now they're checking employees, right? I wonder, have they found any that are positive? And when might this move to people besides employees, just to the regular public there?

FURTON: Yes, so this is the fourth week of a pilot that will last another month after this month. And then once we look at the data, we'll decide whether to potentially apply them to passengers. We had one employee, for example, who Cobra alerted to, and it turned out they had just recovered from COVID-19. So when the employee tests positive by the canine, then they do a PCR test and agree to get the results before they come back into work.

KEILAR: Real quickly, finally, what if someone is afraid of dogs?

FURTON: Well, actually, they're away from the dogs. So they hold their face coverings over a container. And right now it's voluntary, so we have a separate line, just like at the airport where you may not want to go or be able to go through a magnetometer, that you might have another alternative search.


KEILAR: Okay, Kenneth, it's fascinating and we appreciate you and Cobra, such a good dog, being with us this morning.

FUTON: My pleasure.

KEILAR: Moderate Democrat Joe Manchin, vowing not to vote for a key part of President Biden's agenda, a progressive response live next.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, a 9/11 widow and a survivor of the attacks talk about the new revelations from the just declassified F.B.I. documents.

And the historic upset at the U.S. Open, the new men's singles champion joins us live.


BERMAN: Democrats continue to clash with each other over President Biden's economic agenda.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): He will not have my vote on 3.5, and Chuck knows that and we've talked about this.

We've already put out $5.4 trillion, and we tried to help Americans in every way we possibly can. And a lot of the help that we put out there is still there and it's going to run clear until next year, 2022.

What's the urgency? What's the urgency that we have? It is not the same urgency we have with the American Rescue Plan.


BERMAN: Joining me now is democratic Congressman Jamaal Bowman of New York. Congressman, thanks so much for being with us.

Joe Manchin says he is no on $3.5 trillion. That's the budget plan. What's your reaction?


REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN (D-NY): So I've spent the last week touring the damage of Hurricane Ida in my district. We lost at least five lives right here in my district, 50 lives in the region. People's businesses -- small businesses have been completely destroyed. Basements completely destroyed, houses of worship completely destroyed, homes completely destroyed.

There were two Iona College professors, both in their late 70s, driving in what they thought was a rainstorm that immediately became a flash flood. Their car started to float, they couldn't get out. They both passed away.

So, when we talk about a sense of urgency, people are losing their lives and their livelihoods right now, because our infrastructure is a hundred years old and climate change is here to stay.

So, it's important for Senator Manchin and others to understand, people are dying every day in my district and across the country and we have to go big right now in this moment. It's now or never when it comes to infrastructure and climate change and Hurricane Ida proved that to be true.

BERMAN: What happens if he doesn't budge? What happens if he says he is not going to go higher than $1.5 trillion?

BOWMAN: Well, right now, we're negotiating and I think it's really important for everyone to understand, we're talking about $3.5 trillion over 10 years. We're not talking about an infusion of $3.5 trillion right now into the economy, it is over 10 years and it has offsets. It has pay-fors.

So the Federal government is going to recoup that money back through an equitable Tax Code on large corporations, international corporations, and the wealthiest among us. We already spend well over a trillion dollars annually on our annual Federal budget, and we spend over $700 billion a year on our military budget.

We have to ask ourselves, how much is a human life worth? I'm the one and many other elected officials across the country to have to speak to people who lost everything, to have to speak to people who lost loved ones, and you don't get those lives back.

BERMAN: I understand what you're saying, it still doesn't answer my question, though, which is that if Joe Manchin doesn't move, how will you handle that at that point? Will you then not vote for the already passed by the Senate, $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan?

BOWMAN: Well, my answer is this, we still have a couple of weeks to get this worked out. It's important for the American people to know that this is the Democratic agenda in terms of Democratic leadership.

President Biden is on board, Speaker Pelosi is on board, Senator Schumer is on board, and right now, we are working out the offsets or the pay-fors, so that when we get to the point where we have to vote, we all vote in the right direction and in unison.

I mentioned a few of the pay-fors. There's also a polluters pay fund that I'm working on with Senator Van Hollen to make sure that the fossil fuel companies that have contributed to pollution pay for the cleanup.

We have narrowed down to several companies who have been the largest contributors over the last 20 years. They are the ones that have to help pay for this cleanup, so we don't continue to have the destruction that we'll see.

So we'll see when we get there, but we still have several weeks of negotiation to make sure we are all on the same page before it's time to vote.

BERMAN: Have you ever met Senator Joe Manchin, Congressman?

BOWMAN: Not as of yet. My office has reached out to his office several times for a meeting, for a conversation, I'd like to get to know my colleagues. So, I reached out to him as well as many others and we have yet to hear back from him.

BERMAN: What would you say to him at this point, if you did get to talk to him?

BOWMAN: I would invite him to my district. I want Senator Manchin to come to my district to see the destruction left by Hurricane Ida. I mean, this is a hurricane that started in the Gulf Coast, and made its way up to the northeast and took over 50 lives.

So, I would invite him to my district, so we can walk and talk and have a conversation and go on the same page. Because here's the bottom line, I represent a district in New York. He represents the State of West Virginia, but we all represent the American people, and we represent this country, and we influence policy around the world.

So we cannot just be thinking about the needs of our district. We have to think about the future of the planet and the future of humanity. And one last thing I want to say, this $3.5 trillion is not a giveaway. It's an investment in the American people. [08:25:08]

BOWMAN: When we increase job training programs, when we increase childcare, people will get back to work and get back to work in the industries that we need to respond to a green climate economy that we have to implement at this moment.

BERMAN: Congressman Jamaal Bowman, we appreciate you being with us this morning. Thank you.

BOWMAN: Thank you.

BERMAN: Up next, why a half dozen Capitol Police officers could be punished for their actions on January 6th.

KEILAR: And President Biden heads to California today. Can he influence tomorrow's recall election?


KEILAR: This morning, U.S. Capitol Police are recommending that some of their officers be punished for conduct related to the January 6th insurrection.

Six officers were suspended with pay in February and more than two dozen others were placed under investigation.

CNN's Jessica Schneider has these details for us. Tell us about these recommendations.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so Capitol Police finally coming out with what they are recommending here. They're recommending disciplinary action.