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President Biden has Long Meeting with Pope Francis at Vatican; White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy Interviewed on Biden Administration's Efforts to Combat Climate Change. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired October 29, 2021 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
STU BRUMBAUGH, KEY GRIP ON MANY MOTION PICTURES: We were all trying to establish ourselves in whatever industry it is, or even figure out what industry we want to be in. And Anna is in that same situation, just tunnel vision, and wants to come in and do a good job. But she's being hamstrung in this industry, and she doesn't realize it because she doesn't have the experience in this industry to really know how to push back and have those arguments and fight those good fights so that your department is run efficiently and safely.
And that's really what this is all about. I'm coming forward because these types of things shouldn't be happen happening. These departments should be run by veterans or at least people who have been around long enough to fight those good fights and understand what is going on in our industry and what is motivating our industry. And what's really motivating our industry is money. And this young mother, this DP, was killed on a movie set because of money. And that's really what it boils down to. And that's the sad part about this.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Stu, you raise a lot very important concerns and questions that I think have to be answered if you want to make sure that this doesn't happen again in the future. We appreciate you speaking with us. Stu Brumbaugh, thanks.
BRUMBAUGH: Thanks for having me. Thank you.
KEILAR: And NEW DAY continues right now.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to our viewers here in the United States, around the world, and in the metaverse. It is Friday, October 29th. I'm John Berman alongside Brianna Keilar. Chris Cuomo is standing by in Rome, because President Biden has just wrapped up a meeting with Pope Francis. America's second Catholic president spent 90 minutes, 90 minutes, a very long time with the Pope.
KEILAR: And in a matter of minutes here, the president is set to sit down with the president of Italy. So let's get right now to Chris Cuomo in Rome. Chris?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thank you very much. They absolutely had a meeting. It was a long meeting. Let's discuss how long, what that means. CNN Vatican correspondent Delia Gallagher here, of course. Father Dave Dwyer, host of Sirius XM's program about the -- I got it wrong before.
CUOMO: I said "Broken Halo." It's "Busted Halo." Huge difference. CNN chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins also here. So Kaitlan, I'm going to come to you, but I want to get perspective about how long this meeting was from Delia. They say 90 minutes. It was a little bit less. It was like 70, 75 minutes. But in terms of context of how long these meetings generally go, and what it says to you about the depth?
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so we'll get the exact timings once we get the statement, because we have a couple of -- 90 minutes, even -- anyway over an hour. But definitely one of the longest meetings for this Pope. If you want to compare it to President Obama, he met with him for about 50 minutes, which was considered quite long. President Trump, about 30 minutes. And we're talking about the one on one private talk outside of meeting the entourage and everything. So that is a very long time. And I think we can infer a number of things from that, but it was probably a very good and deep conversation, covering all of those things that we have been talking about, not just the issues, but probably that personal, pastoral how are you doing, how is it going, that is so typical of Pope Francis.
That's what it suggests to me, that length of time, because remember, he's going down now -- he has gone now to speak with the secretary of state and the Vatican's foreign minister, and that's where they hash out the geopolitical stuff and the nitty-gritty. So the Pope meeting suggests to me that it was personal, pastoral.
FATHER DAVE DWYER, CSP, HOST, "THE BUSTED HALO SHOW," SIRIUS XM: Fair to assume that it was something like a pastor and a congregant having some part of the time together, because you're right, now comes the real nitty-gritty. He'll meet with the secretary of state and the foreign minister.
CUOMO: Kaitlan, it makes sense, certainly it does to you, because of course there had been this talk beforehand, well, this is the Pope and this is the president, and this is going to be very formal. But it didn't -- it never made sense. That's not the kind of man Bergoglio, Pope Francis is, and it's not the kind of man that Joe Biden is. As you well know, if there is anybody who is going to want to sit around and talk and get personal, it's Joe Biden.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. This is a president who is known for meetings that happen with lawmakers or other leaders at the White House that often stretch well past the time that they are designated for. And the White House knew this could potentially be a meeting that did go longer than they initially expected. So there was a little bit of extra time in the schedule for that.
They are now in this expanded meeting. And we know formally what the White House said was on the agenda for this meeting, immigration, climate change, and of course the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. And so one thing it will be interesting to see if they discuss this and what the conversation, what kind of tone it took and what direction it went in was talking about sharing COVID-19 vaccines.
Because that has been something that, of course, the White House has been pressed on by multiple world leaders in order to share more vaccines with other countries, third world countries that do not have the supply, of course, that we have in the United States where there are plenty of vaccines to go around, excess vaccine.
And so that was something that the Pope has made really important and prioritized over the last several months is talking about vaccine sharing from wealthy nations with other nations. And so in addition to obviously the personal relationship that the two have, a very warm relationship, it will be interesting to see what happened and what they talked about when it came to concrete measures like that.
CUOMO: Absolutely. And a lot of that is going on now right now, as Delia was just saying. You have your expanded thing, the Secretary of State Tony Blinken in there talking about what policy rationales there are. But I wonder if Joe Biden will be susceptible after this meeting to talk about what it meant to him as a man and as a Catholic to have really the ultimate pastor, if you're a Catholic, the Pope, talking to him about his situation.
GALLAGHER: OK, well, look, I imagine that he will make some statements about the meeting, because what happens after these meetings is, of course, the Vatican sends out three or four lines, it's all very sparsely word and very carefully worded. And then maybe down the line, if we're on a plane trip with the Pope we can ask about the meeting. But otherwise, we don't get the Pope's impression of the meeting. So really the only information that you have is going to be from President Biden if he decides to talk about it, about exactly what went on there. And --
DWYER: Because there is only one person in the room that entire time, close to an hour and 15, hour and 20 minutes. And that person is sworn to secrecy.
GALLAGHER: Right. Obviously, you have the translator to talk, that would be good.
CUOMO: So we assume that the Pope spoke in Italian and it was translated into English?
GALLAGHER: Yes, or Spanish.
CUOMO: Or Spanish.
GALLAGHER: Yes, he might have done it in Spanish.
CUOMO: Very interesting. So, Kaitlan, in terms of what they wanted to do with this meeting, do you have any expectation of what the White House is hoping that this is a springboard for?
COLLINS: Well, they were really describing it as not this formal meeting. Obviously, it is more formal than had has been in the past when the two of them have met and when President Biden has met with other popes, because of course they are both heads of state. This is the first time since taking office.
But I do want to talk about the length of this meeting because right now what the White House is saying is that it was about 90 minutes, and obviously that is a very long meeting. And if you just look at the context of what other meetings Biden has had with previous Popes, when he met with John Paul II back in the 80s, he often talks about how the meeting went on for so long that they had aides, the Pope's aides coming in and knocking on the door trying to wrap that conversation up several times because they were speaking for so long. That was a meeting that only lasted 45 minutes. So you can compare the scale with how long this meeting went compared to that one. And that was a meeting that Biden described at the time as being a very long time to have an audience with the Pope. And of course, this is nearly double that based on what the White House is saying.
CUOMO: The two men are similar in that regard. Quick little thing and I've got to give it back. Actually, I'll tell this to Brianna. Kaitlan, thank you very much, Delia, Father Dwyer. Brianna, I'm interviewing Biden during the campaign, and we're in Iowa. And first, the staffers are, like, you get the whole thing, they look at you about like, that's time, you've got to stop, you've got to stop. And your producer is saying it. And then Jill Biden comes in and leans in, and she's like we have to go. We have to go to this baseball field right now, Joe. We have to go. So once he gets talking about something he wants to, I'm sure both these men had to be stopped today.
KEILAR: Yes, that was actually a very funny moment. I recall it very well.
Chris, thank you so much. Of course, we're going to be checking back in with you. We appreciate all of the coverage from Rome on this very important visit of the president's there.
Let's talk now with the White House national climate adviser, Gina McCarthy. Gina, thank you so much for being with us this morning. A key day, as we said there. What is the president's goal on this trip when it comes to climate change?
GINA MCCARTHY, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL CLIMATE ADVISOR: Well, the president's goal is to make sure that we go to Glasgow holding our heads up high and recognizing that the U.S. is once again back in the game and we're going to provide the kind of national leadership that other countries expect.
Look, yesterday the president delivered a framework that was absolutely essential to show that the United States is fully committed to tackling climate change. We're talking about a $555 billion investment, not just in climate, but also in growing jobs in the United States and delivering environmental justice for the communities that have been left behind, that are in the cross hairs of the damages and the impacts we're seeing from climate. So we are going to go there.
[08:10:00] And the president has every right to go there and hold his head up high and show the world that we can tackle climate. We have no time to spare. This is the decisive decade, and he has put a marker down that will make sure that the rest of the world understands that the U.S. is not just going to lead this effort, but this is part of our movement to grab a 21st century economy and a future for our kids that we can be proud of.
KEILAR: Easier to hold his head up high maybe with the bill that had passed, right, with something -- or a broad agreement, or a sense that this is over the finish line. We're not there yet.
MCCARTHY: We have a lot to be proud of already. We have already turned the tide. We've already worked with automakers and auto companies to actually make strong commitments to move to electric vehicles. We have already investments in the infrastructure plan that was bipartisan. That's going to build the infrastructure to make sure that charging stations are available. We have worked across, frankly, every sector of the economy.
And we know what's winning in the United States already. We're already moving to clean energy. Solar beat every other energy supply for delivery of more electricity in 2020. We know the direction that our country has to head. But this is all about accelerating it.
So people know the president's commitment. They understand that he's made promises that we will deliver in 2030 by cutting our greenhouse gas emissions in half. And we are going to get there. That's what that framework is about. And that infrastructure plan is going to help build that. Our industries are all for it. Our companies are growing because of it. We're moving to --
KEILAR: I do want to focus on this bill because there is a lot in it.
KEILAR: Over $555 billion, but you're talking about -- look, there is a reason the president wanted a vote, and that's because it strengthen his hand going into Glasgow. How do you convince countries that they need to make these commitments, they need to move towards cleaner energy when he hasn't convinced his own Democrats to pass a bill, vote on a bill that does?
MCCARTHY: I think we have unanimity across the Democrats and where this country needs to head, how we need to tackle climate change. There is no denial about climate change. And we know that we have to do it in a way that grows jobs and in a way that addresses the challenges we're facing in certain communities that have been left behind. They all know that.
And the president didn't put it on the table just to go to Glasgow. He put it on the table because he had been negotiating in good faith for many months. He knew it was time for the framework to move to the Hill because he knows he can get the votes for it. So, yes, there is discussion on the Hill, there should be. That's what Congress does. But we don't need this bill to pass today in order to signal to the world where the United States is heading.
President Biden has made it clear from day one when he rejoined Paris, that this is what we plan to do in Glasgow. And we'll make more progress, because one of the things this framework does is to show people how to get there, to show that we can work with other countries, to help them deliver a clean energy economy. And it's going to be good for the people in our country because it provides consumer rebates, it provides opportunities for job growth and communities that are in transition.
So this is not, Brianna, anything about sacrifice, and it's not just about Glasgow. This has been the president's plan since day one. I'm happy that it is now discussed on the Hill. But we don't need it fully delivered. We need the signal that the president sent on day one that he's back and the work we're doing across government to deliver it in every sector of the economy.
KEILAR: I want to ask you about oil executives who were on the Hill this week, part of a moment that was really reminiscent of tobacco companies being on the Hill after it was revealed the extent to which they actively undermined established climate science. And I just want to listen to something that Democrat Ro Khanna said to these executives during his opening remarks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): Spare us the spin today. Really. We have no interest in it. Spin doesn't work under oath. Today, don't think of yourselves as the CEO. Just think of yourselves as human beings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Gina, what did you think of their testimony? Did they spare you the spin?
MCCARTHY: I actually spent a lot of time talking to you and others, Brianna, yesterday, so I didn't hear all the details of the testimony. But what I do know is that for decades the fossil fuel companies have been spinning this tale that climate change isn't real.
And what I know is that the American public is not buying that anymore, because they're seeing the wildfires, the droughts, the floods, the hurricanes. They're seeing the heat that they're experiencing at levels that no one ever expected.
So that's why Glasgow is so important. That's why this framework is so important. This is going to tell the American people that we have a plan to build them a safe, healthy and secure future. We're going to invest in resilience so that they can be safe.
You know, this is no time to let the fossil fuel companies create a future that we cannot hand to our children, and we cannot actually adapt to. We have to now take the reins in our own hands, recognize a clean energy is the future, that we have to shift away from fossil fuels, and actually do that we need to keep ourselves and our communities safe.
And this is all -- this framework package, Brianna, is not about sacrifice. We know the sacrifice, we can see it every time a home is demolished or flooded. We can see it with the wildfires. That's the disaster.
We're moving to a future that is brighter. And we're going to face climate change. We're never going to deny it again. And we're going to be delivering the kind of investments, $555 billion, that's historic, because President Biden doesn't want to see this continue.
And he knows it will if we don't invest in ourselves, in our people, in our jobs, and clean energy now.
KEILAR: Yeah, this is the biggest chunk of the bill now, this climate part of it, which I know is something progressives will certainly enjoy.
So we'll see this path still ahead in Congress.
Gina, appreciate you being with us this morning.
MCCARTHY: Great to be here. Thanks, Brianna.
KEILAR: The White House is celebrating this framework agreement for President Biden's social spending plan. Still, though, there is a significant lack of trust between progressives and Senators Manchin and Sinema.
The chair of the Congressional Black Caucus is going to join us ahead.
BERMAN: Plus, the armorer on the set of the deadly incident on Alec Baldwin's movie set speaking out for the first time.
And later in the show, Anderson Cooper coming in to reveal the Top 10 CNN Heroes of the Year.
BERMAN: President Biden just wrapped up a meeting with Pope Francis. It was a 90-minute meeting. A very long meeting.
Right there, you can see, that's the first video we have seen from after the fact. That was the pope leaving in a Fiat. The pope does travel intentionally modestly. So, not unexpected to see him leaving in the Fiat. We're waiting to get a readout for what went on inside the meeting and sound of the two men meeting together. We'll bring that to you when it comes in.
Back here in the United States, the negotiations still on over the text of President Biden's social spending bill. Democratic leaders are hailing the framework announced yesterday as an achievement, and saying that members will get in line behind the revised slimmer bill, but it still hasn't been passed and he hopes to pass something. The infrastructure bill yesterday before the president left, that didn't work out.
Joining us now is Congresswoman Joyce Beatty. She's the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, which counts moderate and progressive Democrats alike in its membership.
Madam Chairwoman, thank you so much for being with us.
I wanted to show people what is in the framework insofar as we know it right now. What is in, universal pre-K, child tax credits, a year extension, more than $500 billion in climate spending, child and elderly care? What is not in the bill, paid family leave, tuition free community college and some measures for lowering the cost of prescription drugs, at least not yet. In terms of what's there, how satisfied are you with this? Is it everything you hoped for?
REP. JOYCE BEATTY (D-OH): Well, we're very satisfied. This is transformational. If we would have received any one of those thins we would have been applauding. When you look at this package and you mentioned it, $400 billion for child care and pre-K, reducing poverty for children by 40 percent, when you look at clean energy and all of the things we have been fighting for $555 billion in there, $1.7 trillion package, housing, we know across the board housing is a big problem.
We also -- HBCUs, some $5 billion, $150 billion for housing. There is Pell Grants. There's things that touches every part of every community. But for the Congressional Black Caucus, this is a big victory because our fingerprints and footprints are all through this. We had one-on-one meetings with President Biden. We have a seat at the table.
In the last 72 hours, we have had more than two meetings directly. I sat down, went to the White House, talked to the president, and yesterday he was in our caucus.
This is all about consensus and compromising. And I am very comfortable that we will get there. It is very transformational. The Congressional Black Caucus has six chairs that chairs major committees. They were all in our caucus meeting yesterday, fighting for those things that are important to our communities.
BERMAN: The president took a big risk going to Capitol Hill yesterday and basically pushing for this. And more or less asking, Nancy Pelosi very much wanted the infrastructure vote yesterday and asking this to move forward yesterday. It didn't happen.
Do you feel Democrats let the president down?
BEATTY: I don't know -- feel we let the president down, because we're going to get there. And timetables, as you know, they move. Would it have been great yesterday if we were able to do it, but it will be better, because we will have all of the information, we'll have the text, we now have a framework. So, yesterday was about progress. I think we make great progress
We have thousands of pages of text that we can look through. We know that the bipartisan infrastructure is something we will pass. I can tell you Democrats and especially the Congressional Black Caucus, we're going to vote for both of the bills. The build back better reconciliation plan, and the bipartisan infrastructure plan. We'll get there. I'm very comfortable we'll get there.
BERMAN: I noted as I was introducing you the black caucus includes moderates and progressives. We heard from progressives who say they don't necessarily trust, they wanted Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to promise they would vote for the Build Back Better plan. They didn't get the assurances they wanted.
Do you trust Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to support this?
BEATTY: I think we all want to hear more. It is more about trusting the president, trusting our speaker, Speaker Nancy Pelosi. I think it is going to take all of us.
You know, I'm equally as disappointed we didn't get Republicans on the other side of the aisle. When you think about a $1.7 trillion package, those services, that transformational legislation, that investment in the communities, it is just not for Democrats, it is for every one.
So, we need to make sure that everyone gets onboard. This is beyond just Joe Manchin and Senator Sinema. We need them, of course we need them. But let's also talk about the people who didn't come to the table and who will benefit.
BERMAN: Am I wrong, did I not get a yes when I asked you to trust Joe Manchin to vote for this?
BEATTY: I think we're getting there. I think we're moving the needle. I think they're looking at their districts and their beliefs and I think we're getting there. We're making progress.
So we will get to the point that we will be able to deliver and I'll be able to say, yes, I trust that we will get there.
BERMAN: Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, great to have you on this morning. Thanks for coming in.
BEATTY: Thank you so much.
BERMAN: "I have no idea where the live rounds came from." Those claims coming from the "Rust" armorer now breaking her silence about what happened on set. So, if she didn't know where the live rounds came from, how did they get there?