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Sources Say, Biden Says He'll Curtail Late Events So He Can Sleep; Trump Caught On Video Bashing Biden And Harris; Biden Remarks At White House July 4 Celebration; Beryl Slams Jamaica, Heads Towards Mexico; Exit Poll: UK Labour Party Beats Conservatives In Landslide. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired July 04, 2024 - 18:00   ET


PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Happening now, new fallout from President Biden's debate debacle. Democratic governors speaking to CNN about their crisis meeting at the White House last night where the president said he plans to curtail his late night events so he can get more sleep. One of the governors inside that meeting joins me live this hour.

And for his part, Donald Trump is relishing the chaos inside his opponent's campaign. New video showing the former president bashing Biden and Harris, as we learn new details about Republican plans to take on the if she rises to the top of the ticket, big if at this moment.


Plus, Hurricane Beryl is tearing across the Caribbean Sea tonight after devastating Jamaica. Mexico now in the storm's path with some forecasters warning, Texas could be in line for potential impacts next week.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Pamela Brown, and you are in The Situation Room.

And let's get straight to our top story tonight. This hour, President Biden still trying to contain the fallout exactly one week after his debate against Donald Trump set off alarm bells inside the Democratic Party.

CNN's Priscilla Alvarez has the latest.


PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER (voice over): Tonight, White House officials and President Biden himself stumbling on damage control, a week after that poor debate performance.

REP. JARED HUFFMAN (D-CA): We've got to be honest about that. So, we need a reset. We need a course correction. We've got to acknowledge that this was not just one bad night.

ALVAREZ: Biden telling Democratic governors gathered at the White House Wednesday his plan is to stop scheduling events after 8:00 P.M. so he can get more sleep. That comment, according to sources, leaving some governors privately frustrated.

Biden was also asked about his health by Hawaii Governor Josh Green. According to The New York Times, quote, Mr. Biden replied that his health was fine. It's just my brain. An attempt at humor, according to his campaign chair, that fell flat with some in the room, despite their public support.

GOV. WES MOORE (D-MD): The president is our nominee, the president is our party leader, and the president has told us, and he was very clear back there, that he is in this to win this.

ALVAREZ: The White House's evolving reasons for Biden's bad debate are also raising eyebrows. Officials now contradicting the White House press secretary, saying Biden was seen by his doctor days after the debate.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He did not get checked out by the doctor. It's a cold, guys. It's a cold and I know that it affects everybody differently. We have all had colds. And so, no, he was not checked by the doctor.

ALVAREZ: A White House official tells CNN Biden had a, quote, brief check, not a physical after the debate.

In private, Biden has acknowledged that the next few days are critical, packed with a high-profile interview and two stops in battleground states and appealing directly to black voters in a pair of new interviews.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: I had a bad night. And the fact of the matter is that, you know, it was -- I screwed up. I made a mistake. That's 90 minutes on stage. Look at what I've done in 3.5 years.


ALVAREZ (on camera): Now, we are waiting to see President Biden here at the White House for July 4th celebrations. An event to speak to military families was delayed because of the weather here, but we are still anticipating seeing him again for the celebrations.

He will be joined with Vice President Kamala Harris. Her name, of course, has come up quite a bit as a replacement should he step aside. But sources tell me she is very much aligned with the President and supporting him. And maintaining this is very much still the Biden- Harris ticket. Pamela?

BROWN: All right, Priscilla Alvarez, thank you so much for that.

We're also getting new reaction from Donald Trump to this Democratic chaos. CNN's Alayna Treene has more on that for us.

So, Alayna, Trump has been relatively quiet, unTrump-like, right, lately, and it's clear from the reporting you have, that's because he wants Biden's stumbles to be center stage still, right? ALAYNA TREENE, CNN REPORTER: That's exactly right, Pamela. They want all of the chaos surrounding Joe Biden after the fallout from his poor debate, poor performance last week, as well as the questions over whether he should ultimately step aside to be the story right now. And so you're exactly right, Donald Trump has been uncharacteristically quiet this week, and that is intentional.

His team has told us that they want him to lay low. He's been at his club in New Jersey at Bedminster all week. However, we did actually hear him on a new video that was first leaked to the Daily Beast and then Donald Trump himself actually posted it to his own Truth Social page, where he was sharply criticizing both President Biden as well as Vice President Kamala Harris. Take a listen to what he said.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What did I do with the debate the other night?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, you're amazing.

TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE) old broken down pile of crap. You're so pathetic. It's so nice. It's just so fucking bad, so --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just can't imagine.

TRUMP: But can you imagine that guy dealing with Putin and the president of China, who's a fierce person?


TREENE: Now, Pamela clearly there was some profanity in there. It's unclear if Donald Trump actually knew that he was being recorded in that moment. But, again, he did share this to his own page. So, he's not running away from this criticism.

And I think largely just to take a step back, it's been really interesting to watch how the Trump campaign has reacted to all of the criticism facing Joe Biden.


And, essentially, we haven't seen them for months go on the offense and attack Vice President Kamala Harris. You heard him in that video try to argue that potentially Harris would be a better opponent to beat.

But we really haven't seen them focus any or train any of their fire on the Vice President until this week, where we saw some of his super PAC supporting him come out and attack her as well as his campaign go on offense against her as well.

BROWN: All right. Alayna Treene, thank you so much.

Lots to discuss here with our political experts join us for more analysis. Evan Osnos, I want to go to you first as someone who has written about the president, who has followed his life career for many, many years. What do you think about this admission that he said in his meeting with the governor is that he needs to work fewer hours and not have events past 8:00, which, by the way, is different from not dealing with a crisis or something else that might pop up, but he doesn't want events scheduled after 8:00? What do you think about that, as there are these concerns about his fitness?

EVAN OSNOS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think he's reckoning with this a little bit out loud right now. I mean, what you heard when he said that was a true statement. He's genuinely trying to think through, trying to game it out, in a sense, as Meghan knows, something that he's always been doing. He's trying to figure out if this is, in fact, something that he can do.

You know, we're hearing little bits of a man confronting the hardest choice he's ever had to make in his career. He is, in publicly, emphatically double down on doing this. He's also somebody who is alert to what political possibilities are. He knows he's been doing this a long time. He knows when a lane has closed. I'm not saying it has, but he is at the moment of recognizing, and we've heard little bits of that over the last couple of days, as he said to an ally that the next few days are crucial, that tomorrow's interview is essential. The public events he does are essential. But if they don't turn the tide, then these pressures are going to remain.

And so the pressure is on him ultimately to demonstrate that what we saw was, to use Nancy Pelosi's good term, an episode, not a condition. That's what he --

BROWN: I mean, it's a lot of pressure, right? And amid all this pressure you have Democrats slowly trickling. Right now, you have this Congressman Jared Huffman being the latest Democrat to suggest that President Biden should step aside.

You've worked with President Biden before as a former special assistant, we should note to our viewers. How do these sorts of comments Play with him as he's grappling with this and trying to figure out what to do?

MEGHAN HAYS, DNC CONVENTION CONSULTANT: Look, he takes this feedback very seriously. He has a lot of respect for all the all of Congress, right? This is something that he spent a lot of time in that institution. But I also think that he realizes that he has -- he -- what he needs to do, and he wants to take this to the American people. He wants to show people that it was just an episode last Thursday at the debate. He wants to do this interview. He wants to do a press conference next week. He has NATO in town. So, I think that he's going to take this -- he wants to show people he's up for the job, and then let the people decide in November whether or not they agree with them.

So, I think, you know, to Evan's point, he is figuring out what's going to work and how this is going to work moving forward for the next week or so. And, you know, if the tides turn that that is something different and different conversation, but people need to give him the opportunity to prove that it was an episode and that it's not a condition. BROWN: A condition. Let me -- I'll get you in just a second. Let me just follow up on that, because -- so, you know, the White House is saying this was a one-off, right? It was a bad night. It was a one- off. The reality is no one can ever know if that's going to be just a onetime thing, if it was just a onetime thing, right? No one could ever know. And so how much of a risk is it, or how much of the calculation is this for Democrats, operatives, like, hey, what if this happened again? Like, so the next few days go well, he's really vibrant, he's out there, he's doing great with the interview, but then, October, we see something similar or he has a few times where he can't remember someone's name in his administration, is that part of the calculation just given how difficult this is?

HAYS: Yes, I think so. I think that that's all going into his calculations here. I think this is where people have to look at his accomplishments and what he's done. They also need to look at who he's running against and I think that's where people are going to make a decision. Do they want four more years of Joe Biden, or do they want to go back to someone who said he's going to be a dictator on day one with former President Trump?

So, I think, you know, all these things are very right to point out. We should be talking about this. It should be a conversation. But I think, ultimately, the American people need to decide what they want and who they want to be in the Democratic Party. And let's not forget, millions of people voted for him and Vice President Harris in the primary. So, if he's going to step aside, he needs to do that. And he needs to do that on his own time. And I don't think the pressures here are helpful. I don't think it's great for the party.

BROWN: And Biden will speak soon at this 4th of July. But talking about the American people, Shermichael, you actually have a radio show that's national, and you were saying in the break that you hear from a lot of, of your listeners who were really angry with you when you brought up this idea of Biden stepping aside. And I think that's a really important data point to understand how like everyday Americans are viewing this, despite what we see in the polls and so forth. Tell us about that.

SHERMICHAEL SINGLETON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So, I'm on SiriusXM Urban View. It's the only African-American channel on Sirius XM. Everyone knows on that channel that I'm the lone black conservative there. And I made the case to my audience, like, hey, I think the president should step down based upon what we saw.


And I listened to my audience, all African-Americans, and I said I think he should step down and Vice President Harris should carry forward. Every single person that called into my show, Pamela, they did not think Vice President Harris could win it, not because they didn't support her, but as many of them often said, we don't think this country would elect a black woman.

And so most of them said, we're going to stand behind President Biden. We don't want him to get out of the race. And I said, well, look at the polls, look at what people are saying. What about members of Congress? They did not want to hear it. And so if you're President Biden, or you're advising President Biden, one of his most, I guess, ardent core constituencies, they're behind him. They're not backing down.

And I listened to dozens and dozens of people call into my show, so many, that my producers said we can't take any more callers, because that's how angry they were with me, possibly raising the idea that he should step down and be replaced by someone else. They said, no, we don't want Trump. We want Biden, even if he has some episodes here and there, they didn't really care that he was a better option.

OSNOS: You know, it gets to something really important. I think Shermichael is picking up on something in the popular culture, which is that the metabolism of our business, the news world, the political world, moves faster than voters absorb this information. For a lot of people, they're tuning in now to the possibility that there could be a change on the horizon. It speaks to Meghan's point that you want to make sure, as a party, that this is done, if something happens, that it's done with dignity and grace. Let Joe Biden have some time to work this through. Many of the political professionals who know him, who understand how he makes decisions, will tell you that pushing him hard now is not the way that you're going to get to a result. You want to let him work through this.

BROWN: And you kind of -- because you know him well, you worked with him, what do you think about that?

HAYS: Yes, and I also think he's made this clear, right? Like he wants to show to the American people, and he is an underdog. He has always been an underdog, and he's very resilient. And he wants to prove to not only himself, but to his family, to the voters, to the staff, to all these people who believe in him, to the vice president, all these people have backed him.

And he wants to be able to show them that that was just an anomaly and that he is up for the job. And I think that we should be able to -- he should be allowed to do that. I think that he has earned that right to prove that he is here to do the job, and we should give him that grace.

SINGLETON: But, Pamela, just really quickly. Many in the Republican Party, the establishment wing of the party, the Never Trumpers, they wanted to replace Trump. They wanted to change party rules. And I was always of the position, if Republican voters want to stand behind this candidate, then this is the person the party should support, I look at this through the same way.

From my radio calls, most people in the Democratic Party, and I'm saying this as a conservative, I don't have a dog in this fight, they are standing behind Joe Biden. So, I would say to members of Congress, I would say to those donors, you are a bit detached from what one of the more core constituencies in the Democratic Party want, and that's black voters. You can't win without black voters, and they're standing behind Joe Biden.

BROWN: Yes, we're actually, later in the show, going to speak to a black radio host who was did the first interview.

SINGLETON: Andre (ph).

BROWN: Yes. And we're going to find out a little bit more about what the callers said to him, because I think that's the best way to understand across the country, right. And, okay, Jill Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, the first lady, is speaking. Are we going into to listen to her? Okay. Sorry. My producer is talking to me in my ear, but I think that is why that is such important insight, right, and those important constituencies.

But I think also at the same time, Democrats want to win, right? They want to win. And there is so many fervent, so many loyal backers of Joe Biden. I mean, he's really, you know, garnered so much love from a lot of his voters and followers.

But I think the question is, it's interesting when I asked some of these congressmen and women about, do you think Joe Biden can beat Trump in November? It's not about what he's done in the past or how much you like him. The question is, can he beat Trump in November? And a lot of them will say, well, he's the nominee and I'm going to stand by him. That's different from saying, oh, yes, he's going to beat Trump. Trump in November. And, in fact, the Trump campaign, according to our reporting, actually thinks, some of the campaign thinks that the easiest path back to the White House is if Biden stays atop the ticket. What do you say to that?

HAYS: I mean, these are all fair criticisms and part of the conversation that we're having, but I think that Joe Biden would respond with, I've been the only person who could beat Donald Trump. Everyone in the polling thought that Hillary was going to win, and we had President Trump. So, I just think that, you know, there's a little bit of pushback from his perspective of what can happen here.

OSNOS: I think a part of the rationale of the Biden campaign has been very clearly to keep the focus on Donald Trump. They had a theory of the case, which was build an anti-Trump coalition. As you get closer to the end of this election, that will crystallize in people's minds. That'll be the dispositive argument.

What's happened now, the problem is that the election has become in effect about Joe Biden now. And the big question is, does it stay that way or is his performance over the next days and perhaps weeks able to shift that tide back to making this a referendum on Donald Trump, his character, his performance and everything else?

BROWN: But then I go back to the question that I asked earlier to Meghan, so they can shift it, right?


But then, if there is a moment where he takes a while to think of a name, or he gets his homeland security secretary's name or can't think of it and finally does, will those moments still -- will they be handled differently? Will they be under more scrutiny? Will it continue to feed into -- OSNOS: Absolutely. Look, he's on a tightrope right now. And the hardest thing in politics is when you have an established narrative about you, and then an event confirms that narrative. That's the problem. And so the challenge for him, going forward, if he stays the course on this, is he's going to have four months of people waiting for the other shoe to drop. That's very hard. And then, of course, if he wins, people are going to say, well, what about the next four years?

So it's up to him now to demonstrate, to go back to an earlier point that is at the core of this. Was this an episode or was this a condition? That's a question that will be answered partly medically, and it'll be answered partly with performance.

SINGLETON: Well, from a Republican's perspective, I'll just say quickly here to put on my partisan hat, you're loving this. This gives the Trump campaign an opportunity to raise more dollars, to open up more campaign filled operation offices, which they were previously behind compared to the Biden campaign about two or three months ago. And so you're having this opportunity to build while your opponent is stumbling.

BROWN: All right, we have to go to a quick break. We're waiting for President Biden to speak there at the podium. We'll be right back.


BROWN: All right. President Biden is speaking now at the podium.

BIDEN: -- of the American population, but you keep 99 percent of the rest of the population safe. It's you. You're all volunteers. You do it. And I got in trouble for saying this years and years ago, but I make no apologies for it. We have many obligations as the government, but only one truly sacred obligation, sacred, prepare those we send into harm's way and to care for them and their families when they come home, and when they don't, their families. We've got a long way. We're all part of that long chain of patriots that stretches back to our nation's founding, that's given life to the very idea of America.

On this day, I think it's important we remember, America is unique in -- all every president says this about their country, but we're unique in the world for a lot of reasons. But the one main reason is we're the only nation on Earth founded on an idea, not ethnicity, not geography, not anything else, on an idea, the idea is contained in that we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. We mean it. We've never fully lived up to it but we've never, ever, ever walked away from it, and it's because of you. As your commander-in-chief, along with the vice president and the secretary of defense, I want to thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

Let me close with this. Last month, Jill and I traveled to Normandy, France, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day. We met with American veterans, some of them about 12 or 14, over 102 years old, veterans who toured the battlegrounds, went to the cemeteries, and looked at what has happened. [18:20:08]

There should be no question, no question about it, all those who served as members of the military were heroes, genuine heroes, heroes for freedom, democracy and America.

Look now, decades later, we have to look at ourselves and ask the question, will we stand for freedom again? Will we stand for democracy? Will we stand together as Americans? I believe we will, and we can. And, by the way, you know, I was in that World War I cemetery in France, and the one that my -- one of our colleagues, a former president didn't want to go and be up there. I probably shouldn't even say it.

Anyway, we got to just remember who the hell we are. We're the United States of America. And there's nothing, nothing beyond, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, there's nothing beyond our capacity, nothing, when we do it together, not a single thing. We're the only nation in the history of the world that has gone through every crisis and come out stronger than we went into the crisis, every single time.

And, by the way, I've been all over the world with you. I've been in and out of battles. Anyway, you're incredible. Understand, you are the finest fighting force in the history of the world. That's not hyperbole. In the history of the world, there's never been another military as powerful, as decent, and as giving as our military. I'm so damn proud to be your commander-in-chief.

Happy 4th of July. May God bless you all and may God protect our troops.

BROWN: President Biden speaking at the White House, giving remarks at the White House July 4th celebration. And, Evan, I want to bring in you first because we're watching this speech from the president through a different lens than perhaps we would have over a week ago, right? What did you think? Is this the same Joe Biden that you've always, you know, known and followed?

OSNOS: Well, to some degree, it confirms what we were talking about before, which is he's now being scrutinized in a way that he wasn't before. So, something that might have been a slip up five years ago that people would say, well, that's the way Joe Biden talks, he's got a stutter, he's mastered it, and he's also a discursive thinker, now takes on a different valence when you're looking at it in the context of what happened on the debate stage. People will wonder why it is that he embarks on a sentence and doesn't finish it. Is that a measure of who he always was or is it a measure of the moment?

What you saw today was similar to the remarks he gave after the Supreme Court immunity decision, which is to say it was stronger, more vigorous certainly than what we saw on the debate stage. It was a good speech. When he went off and started to tell stories off-the-cuff, that's when it gets rockier for him. And this is one of the things people will be looking for in the days ahead, is how does he do when he's off the cuffs. BROWN: And I want to get Meghan and Shermichael in here, but I just want to follow up because, it's worth noting sort of the moment we're in. He's speaking at this July 4th celebration, talking about the American experiment, right?


BROWN: And talking about the values of this country. How big is this moment we're in, in terms of the way this country's history could be written?

OSNOS: I mean, it is -- you saw him saying the kinds of things Americans want to hear from a president. They want to hear a call to our highest, best selves, somebody who reminds us of the sacrifices we make, of the dignity we can have as a nation. That's what we want from our president. And I think it's worth remembering, you know, earlier today you heard from the other person running for president, who was talking about his opponent in terms that we're not exactly the most graceful and dignified.

So, as much as we're talking about the, the details of how the president delivered his speech, the content of it is worth keeping in our minds. This is a day of historic significance, not only because it's July 4th, but because we're also making big choices about how we're going to put people in positions of the most solemn and important power.

BROWN: All right. We actually do have to go to break. I'm so sorry, Meghan and Shermichael. I gave a false promise, unintentional.

Coming up here in The Situation Room, we do have a one-on-one with a governor who reportedly questioned President Biden directly about his health during what some describe as a frustrating meeting. Hawaii Governor Josh Green is standing by live.



BROWN: We are learning new details about what President Biden said to Democratic governors at last night's critical meeting at the White House. Sources now tell CNN the president said he needs more sleep and he plans to stop scheduling events after 8:00 P.M.

Here now is Hawaii Governor Josh Green, a Democrat. He attended that meeting remotely. Governor, thank you for coming back on the show. We had you on just before the meeting. Now you're giving us the assessment after the meeting. So, your questioning of President Biden is when he reportedly admitted to seeing a doctor in the days following the debate. Were you satisfied with his answers? And should the White House release more detailed information about his health?

GOV. JOSH GREEN (D-HAWAII): Sure. Thank you for having me and happy 4th of July. Look, I'm a physician and so it was my place amongst the other governors, the Democratic governors, to ask the president, just humbly, how are you, Mr. President? Are you okay? Thursday, the debate day, you weren't who we are accustomed to seeing. The president reassured us. He did share with me, as I've shared, that he was exhausted. And he had done quite a lot of travel in the two weeks before and he didn't make any excuses about it.

Exhaustion is very real for governors and for presidents. I can tell you he gets up probably in the extreme wee hours of the morning to help our country, as do we all for our states.


So, it's not uncommon to have fatigue. That was what he shared. And I think that that is pretty normal for an elderly gentleman who's 81, and it's pretty normal even for his opponent. So, it was a pretty satisfying description of where he is.

But I will tell you this, I'm not his physician. We were very satisfied to hear the president perked up and he looked great just now addressing people about 4th of July.

BROWN: Did anyone in the meeting ask to speak to his physician or, you know, to get more information about his health or anything like that?

GREEN: I know, because that would be completely inappropriate. We don't -- as Americans ask for access to other people's personal medical records, that's not what governors would do.

BROWN: Right, but this is the president of the United States, yes.

GREEN: Oh, of course, but you know, a bunch of governors are not going to ask to see your medical records. And so that's just not the case. And he did get a checkup.

People are going to judge the president. They're going to judge the former president. I can say some blunt things with you, if you'd like, which is to say --

BROWN: Say it.

GREEN: Of course. He's going to have some moments. He's 81. But this is an 81-year-old who may drift periodically. He races ahead of his words sometimes because that's always been Joe. And he's got a very goodhearted nature underneath a brain that's 81 years old, as opposed to his opponent who has a malignant personality underneath his brain. He has a personality that even attacks this president here on 4th of July.

And people can judge. This is a time where we're going to have to judge two gentlemen who are both around age 80 and see who's going to care more for the people of America. That's really what this comes down to, but we were glad to see the president yesterday.

BROWN: Let me ask you, because The New York times has some new reporting about a question, it's part of your question during the meeting. Let's see, after he said -- it says after Governor Josh Green of Hawaii, a physician, asked Mr. Biden a question about the status of his health, Mr. Biden replied that his health was fine. It's just my brain. He added, according to three people familiar with what took place, a remark that some in the room took as a joke, but at least one governor did not, and was puzzled by. Jen O'Malley Dillon, Mr. Biden's campaign chair, who attended the meeting, said in a statement that he had said, all kidding aside, a recollection confirmed by another person briefed on the meeting. So, she also said he was clearly making a joke.

How did you take it? What was the vibe in the room when he said, it's just my brain? Just help give us some color of what was going on. Bring us inside that room.

GREEN: Sure. To all America, people have to be able to take a joke. This is absolutely a self-deprecating joke, which is very common for the president to make. You know, the difference is Joe Biden makes a self-deprecating joke because he's comfortable about that, as opposed to what we would hear from the former president, who would probably be saying things like Trump's brain is great, Trump can pass any test, Trump's brain passed the MRI scan in the third person.

I mean, Biden was just kidding with us. And, frankly, and this is -- I'm saying this as a physician, it is a significant ability to cognitively still be able to make a self-deprecating joke. So, if anything, people do need to lighten up.

Now, I know that the whole country is panicked, especially Democrats. At the end of the day, if President Biden decides not to run, it'll be his choice and Jill's choice. But, you know, for me, I got to witness the president very up close because we had this disaster on Maui 331 days ago. And he was right there by our side. He walked Front Street. He greeted 300 Hawaii residents, hugged every one of them.

You know, the entire country, including the Republican governors, called me to offer support. And there was one individual in America who went off and that was Donald Trump. And he sent some kind of hateful message to me in the state, as we were recovering from a fire that took 102 loved ones.

So, you've got President Biden who came and embraced us, and within six hours helped us heal with a major disaster declaration. And then you've got the one individual amongst the whole planet who attacked us.

And so, look, my heart is with Joe and if he tells us he's not up to running, then it's his choice. But we have a very clear choice in America, which is a really good hearted human being with a great vice president, or we've got someone who is somewhat awful, frankly.

And so I hope that people look beyond the surface, because Joe's going to slip up periodically in the next couple weeks or months, but the actual humans underneath the surface are very different. And I would ask Republicans and independents and Democrats to look beneath the surface, because that's what's necessary to guide this country on every decision.

BROWN: All right.


Governor Josh Green, thank you so much.

Coming up, we're going to talk with a radio host who got one of the first post-debate interviews with the president. You're in The Situation Room.


BROWN: Well, just moments ago, President Biden responded to questions about his political future at the White House. Listen to this.


BIDEN: You got me, man. I'm not going anywhere. All right.


BROWN: With a growing divide among Democrats over whether or not President Biden should end his 2024 campaign, Vice President Kamala Harris has been a fierce defender of the president.

CNN's Brian Todd takes a closer look at how their relationship has evolved.


KAMALA HARRIS, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Our president, Joe Biden.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The public face of Kamala Harris relationship with Joe Biden started on a contentious note.

HARRIS: I'm going to now direct this to Vice President Biden.

TODD: At a Democratic primary debate in 2019, Harris challenged Biden for working with segregationist senators in the past, telling Biden it was hurtful to her.

HARRIS: You also worked with them to oppose busing. And, you know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school every day.


And that little girl was me.

TODD: Harris would later drop out of the 2020 race before a single vote was cast. But she'd impressed Biden enough with her toughness that he asked her to run with him.

BIDEN: Is the answer yes?

HARRIS: The answer is absolutely yes, Joe. And I'm ready to work. I am ready to do this with you.

TODD: Harris fought hard with Biden through a bruising campaign and emerged as the first woman, the first black American, and the first person of South Asian descent to hold the office of vice president.

HARRIS: We did it, Joe.

TODD: But there were setbacks early in the administration. In 2021, after Biden assigned Harris to handle relations with Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Central America to help address the immigration crisis, Harris gave an awkward, heavily criticized answer in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt.

HARRIS: We've been to the border. We've been to the border.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You haven't been to the border.

HARRIS: And I haven't been to Europe. I mean, I don't understand the point that you're making. I'm not discounting the importance of the border.

TODD: CNN reported that year that the president's team was annoyed with that and with other fumbling answers she gave about the border crisis. But CNN also reported that Harris team had its own complaints that the president's aides were leaving her exposed.

TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: It was like the other side where people were complaining there was too much being put on her plate that wasn't setting her up to succeed.

TODD: But since Roe versus Wade was overturned in 2022, it's been Harris who has emerged as a key voice for the administration on reproductive rights.

HARRIS: This is a fight for freedom, the fundamental freedom of a woman to make decisions about her own body and not having her government tell her what to do.

TODD: She's also been one of the president's fiercest defenders since last week's disastrous debate performance.

HARRIS: Look, Joe Biden is our nominee. We beat Trump once and we're going to beat him again.

TODD: A Harris biographer says those who've run against Kamala Harris have underestimated her at their own peril.

DAN MORAIN, AUTHOR, KAMALA'S WAY, AN AMERICAN LIFE: She won statewide three times in California. That's no small feat. You don't do that if you're a lightweight.


TODD (on camera): In recent days, Donald Trump and his MAGA surrogates have stepped up their attacks on Harris. Trump in a Truth Social post calling her, quote, Laughing Kamala Harris. Harris biographer Dan Morain points out that candidates usually don't do that unless they're worried about their potential opponents. Pamela?

BROWN: All right. Brian Todd, thanks so much for that. As President Biden scrambles to contain the damage from his debate disaster, he is making the case to voters that he's still fit for the job. Listen to the president tell Wisconsin Radio Host Earl Ingram his performance last week was simply one bad night.


BIDEN: I had a bad night. And the fact of the matter is that, you know, it was -- I screwed up. I made a mistake.

That's 90 minutes on stage. Look at what I've done in 3.5 years.

We're going to win this election. We're going to just beat Donald Trump like we did in 2020. We're going to beat him again.


BROWN: All right. Radio Host Earl Ingram joining us now. Hi, Earl, thanks for coming on the show. So, President Biden told you in this big interview that he did with you post-debate that he made a, quote, mistake with the CNN debate. What do you think he meant by that?

EARL INGRAM, RADIO HOST, THE EARL INGRAM SHOW: You know, I didn't, take a lot of time to analyze what the President meant by that statement. He clearly had time to reflect before he did any interviews. So, only he knows what was meant by that. I'm not a person who's going to be able to try to go into his mind and decipher or discern what it is he was talking about.

BROWN: I'm wondering, because I was just talking to Shermichael, who has a radio show, who said he was hearing from a lot of listeners who were really fired up when he brought up this idea of Biden stepping aside. What have you heard from your listeners about President Biden's candidacy in the wake of your interview and his debate performance?

INGRAM: Well, my listeners have, for the most part, I would say, 70-30 have been in support of the president remaining in the race. And they clearly don't think that there's anyone else and they think that it's too late a date in time to even consider making the change because they're so adamant about defeating Donald Trump.

They understand that Joe Biden is not the person that he was, you know, two years ago. The gentleman is 81 years old. I'm 70 years old. And I clearly know that I'm certainly not the guy I was when I was 60 or 50.


Age changes all of us. The evil consequences of time will catch up with all of us.

BROWN: Real quick, 15 seconds, because we're running out of time. Seventy or 30 percent, which one -- which bucket do you fall in?

INGRAM: Thirty percent.

BROWN: So you believe he should step aside?

INGRAM: Again, it's up to -- between him and his family.

BROWN: All right. Earl Ingram, thank you so much for coming on. I'm so sorry. We ran out of time, but really interesting to hear your insights and your perspective after doing this big interview with President Biden, hearing from your devoted listeners to your show. Thank you.

Coming up, we have a live report on the unfolding seismic shift in British politics.


BROWN: Hurricane Beryl is heading toward Mexico as a weakened category-2 storm after battering Jamaica with strong winds and a month's worth of rain in 24 hours.

CNN's Rafael Romo reports from Kingston, Jamaica.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Winds and rain pummel Jamaica for 12 hours.


Beryl is the strongest hurricane to strike the island in more than 15 years, tearing a path of destruction through the Eastern Caribbean.

Now, the cleanup begins.

DICKON MITCHEL, PRIME MINISTER OF GRENADA: To see this level of destruction, it is almost Armageddon-like, almost total damage or destruction of all buildings.

ROMO: Many people living on these small islands lost everything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just unbelievable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything is gone. Everything you can think about is gone. People are homeless. They need food. They need water.

ROMO: The eye of the storm passed less than 20 miles south of Jamaica, which seems to have pulled out of this major hurricane better than expected.

ANDREW HOLNESS, PRIME MINISTER OF JAMAICA: I think Jamaica was spared the worst. The damage was not what we had expected, and so were very grateful for that.

ROMO: Many residents we spoke with agree.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The greatest thing is we have life, we're still here. That's the greatest thing. ROMO: This fishing village, just outside Kingston, is one of the hardest hit communities in the area. Take a look at how the powerful hurricane winds destroyed their sheds and stands that they depend for their livelihoods. Now they wonder how long its going to take before they can rebuild.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's going to be expensive to rebuild back everything, but in time, it will be done.

ROMO: The shop owners guided us through the debris-filled beach front.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One shed here, another there and that's a (INAUDIBLE). Rooftop blew off, the (INAUDIBLE) also blew off.

ROMO: The deluge from Beryl triggering flooding and forcing around the thousand people into shelters. The storm dumped more than twice the average July rainfall on the city of Kingston in just 24 hours. Never before has the Caribbean been battered by a hurricane this strong, this early in the year.


BROWN: All right. And our thanks to Rafael Romo for that report. We're going to be right back.



BROWN: In the United Kingdom tonight, an electoral earthquake appears to be shaking the Conservative Party's hold on 14 years in power.

CNN's Matthew Chance is in London.

Matthew, what's the latest?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Well, it's been a very turbulent 14 years. You've seen, you know, Brexit, you've seen referendum, which almost tore the country apart over the Scotland's independence. We've seen the COVID pandemic. We've seen, you know, the cost of living crisis.

All of these factors have played a part in what looks like the devastating defeat of the ruling conservative party. They've been in power for the past 14 years. There have been five prime ministers, but the exit polls that have come out over the course of the past hour or so suggest a massive swing in favor of the left wing labor opposition party.

They're looking set according to these exit polls to win 410 seats. There's only 650 seats in the entire parliament. So, it's a massive victory or it will be for them if the exit poll comes to fruition. The biggest win for the Labour Party since 1997 when Tony Blair came to power in a dramatic landslide victory.

For the conservatives, they're tipped to go down to 131 seat, which is one of the worst performances ever and their worst performance since the end of the Second World War. So, a real devastating blow for the Conservative Party and a real vote for change in this country by the British public reflected in these results, which will -- will pan out over the next couple of hours -- Pam.

BROWN: Yeah, you talk about the change. What kind of change do think voters are trying to signal with this? That they didn't like from the Conservative Party that they want to see from the UK Labour Party?

CHANCE: Yeah. Well, dissatisfaction with immigration situation here, with the high taxation here, with the state of the National Health Service here. These are the problems that the Conservative government has had.

And they're the problems that the new Labour government, when it comes in, is going to have to tackle as well. So there's going to be some potentially quite dramatic changes happening domestically in Britain.

I think what won't change is foreign policy. I was just looking above number 10 Downing Street here, behind me, the official residence of the prime minister. And there's a Ukrainian flag flying above it. That flag and that support for Ukraine, for example, will probably continue under the new Labour government as well.

BROWN: And what's the timeline for all of this?

CHANCE: It happens pretty quickly. I mean, look, votes have been counted now. By tomorrow morning, all of the votes will be in and there'll be a rapid changeover in power. I mean, it will be a situation where the prime minister will come out. He will give a short speech, go off to the Buckingham Palace, had to submit formerly his resignation to the king.

Then, Keir Starmer will go to Buckingham Palace as well, be invited by the king to form a new government. And by the end of the morning tomorrow, we'll have a new prime minister in Number 10 Downing Street, again, the official residence of the British prime minister right behind me.

BROWN: Well, lots some change happening quick as you say, and it's pretty historic there. The UK Labour Party beating conservatives in a landslide, huge, huge win for the Labour Party.

Thank you so much, Matthew Chance. We appreciate it.

And I'm Pamela Brown in THE SITUATION ROOM.

CNN's "THE FOURTH IN AMERICA" starts right now. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.



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