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State of the Race with Kasie Hunt
Trump in Court for Start of New York Civil Fraud Trial; McCarthy Averts Shutdown in Deal with Democrats; McCarthy Won't Rule Out Deal with Dems to Stay Speaker; Trump Steps Up Attacks on Political Rivals; Hardline House Republicans Threaten to Oust McCarthy; Budget Fight Centers on Aid to Ukraine. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired October 02, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KASIE HUNT, CNN HOST: Donald Trump taking his campaign to the courtroom, the Former President appearing in his own fraud trial in New York at this
hour, even though he was not required to show up. Plus, Kevin McCarthy may soon face an effort to oust him as House Speaker, his crime making a deal
And could those same House Democrats help him keep his gavel? I'll put that question to Representative John Garamendi ahead. Hello, everyone. I'm Kasie
Hunt to our viewers watching around the world. It's 11 am here in Washington Monday, October 2. We are 399 days away from the Election Day
from the Presidential Election Day in 2024. This is today's "State of the Race".
Right now, Donald Trump is sitting in a courtroom in New York City. Officially it's his civil fraud trial. He's being sued by New York Attorney
General Letitia James for inflating the value of his properties. But what's his appearance today, they're really about it is about his presidential
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, 45TH U.S. PRESIDENT: Trump stopped to talk to reporters when he arrived at the courthouse earlier today. What we have here is an attempt
to hurt me in an election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: Very clear, where was Trump before he flew to New York last night? He was in Iowa. He met with supporters and farmers there. He even let's wait
to see it signed this tractor. This is of course, the sort of typical Iowa campaigning that we actually didn't really see Trump do much of in 2016.
He is doing it now to try to make sure that one of his GOP rivals very far behind him doesn't sneak up on him in Iowa. But we need to remember he is
not a normal candidate. This is not a normal campaign. The Trump campaign is making the calculation that being on trial represents an opportunity to
motivate especially Republican base voters.
And that it is not something to be ashamed of. Let's not forget that this is the civil trial he faces four criminal indictments, and that is a rat
reality that seems to have absolutely no bearing on his standing in primary polls, his campaign even sending out this fundraising email, selling mugs
with his mug shot on them.
That's where we are folks today. Let's dive into all of this with today's panel. David Urban is a CNN Political Commentator, Republican Strategist
and Former Trump Campaign Adviser. Kate Bedingfield is a CNN Political Commentator and Former Biden White House Communications Director.
And Laura Coates, CNN Chief Legal Analyst, she is a Former Federal Prosecutor and the Host of CNN, Laura Coates live. It's wonderful to have
all of you here today. Laura, I often thinks people at, 5 am for getting up early you are very early considering her show. Is it 11 at night, so thank
you very much for being here.
I just want to set the stage for everybody. Just to underscore why we can say so clearly that this is about optics, and this is about the campaign,
which is that Donald Trump does not have to be there today in the courtroom. So this is very much a decision. What was required of him here?
LAURA COATES, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well think about the fact that he was also not required to attend the proceedings of E. Jean Carroll who
accused him of sexual misconduct. He did not attend that attended this one and said tells you a little bit about why he sees the optical advantage in
this instance perhaps.
He denies of course having wrongdoing in either of the cases. But this is a matter of what has been core to his entire not only professional career,
but his also his candidacy as well that he is this business tycoon that he is the consummate business extraordinaire, the Art of the Deal, of course
that was turned on its head by James saying the Art of the Steal.
But this is why he's there now. He knows the consequence of not being able to be able to practice business or be a businessman in New York, his adult
children his legacy as well. But he is being accused now of not only having inflated his assets and deflated them according to his own.
I know his decision to do so. But also that he may no longer be able to do business in New York and maybe penalized financially.
So far the pack, I believe, is in paying his legal bills. So where, would the money be coming from if that's no longer a source of income?
HUNT: Well, that's coming from can we put the month back on the screen, please? Because what they're doing the receipt is asking for money for the
very things that Laura Coates is talking about. And David Urban, that brings me to you, because this mug, I mean, what they're saying is never
So in addition to what Laura's saying, and I do take her point about, you know, this is what he's selling. He's, you know, the guy did the
apprentice, that's how many Americans know him. But the bottom line here, too, is that he's using it to further the grievance politics of saying look
like the system is going after me that that means that they're going after you.
So you should come defend me. I mean, honestly, in a GOP primary context, and Kate, we're going to get to the general election in a second, but in
the primary context, I mean, it kind of works for him, like, what's your take on it?
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So I think this does work for him in several ways. And to Laura's point, this kind of strikes at the core of
Donald Trump and this is Trump Towers under attack right now. They're cranking up the drawbridge, you know, filling the moat in with alligators
and getting ready to pour boiling oil over the parapet, right?
I mean, this is really an assault on the castle Trump and so I believe it's also something that the Former President feels more comfortable about,
right? He understands real estate, this is his world. This is the criminal world. He doesn't really understand. He's been sued in civil court in New
York before he's been there 1000 times.
I think he's much more comfortable in this setting. And you know, and he takes his personally, I could tell you that I know when you know, he was
impeached to two times it was a big deal, right? I think when the PGA took the tour away the event from Bedminster.
I think was more upset about that, because it struck the brand and who he is in the political part of the impeachment. So this case, which is much
more about, you know, the Trump brand, the Trump properties and Trump legacies or points out, I think, is much more troubling to him than the
KATE BEDINGFIELD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So I agree completely. I was just going to say, I mean, I think what's your -- I do think you're exactly
right. I think it's, you know, he views this as really fundamental to who he is. But I actually think you know, yes, of course, does he clearly see
this as an opportunity.
They're you know, they're fundraising off of it. But, you know, it also speaks to probably the fact that he views this as a threat to right --
URBAN: Over 50 million bucks -- .
BEDINGFIELD: Right. It's financial threat, but it's also a threat to, who this is, you know, his sort of way of, you know, going out and attack is to
attack back harder, right? So he's, in a way, he's actually kind of telegraphing that he views, you know, his entire business empire being on
trial for being a fraud as a fundamental threat to who he is and he's trying to kind of wrestle that --
URBAN: I think just chances maybe better here.
COATES: There's also connective tissue in some respects, remember, part of his legal argument here, the judge was, I mean, who among us has an
inflated assets? And by the way, there was information at the bottom that said, look, I'm saying disclaimers that were there. The judge said he's not
good enough disclaimers here.
This has a lot of notion in the federal contract is saying hold on, I say a lot of things and who among us has always believed everything I've said,
you can doubt me on this thing of being factual or alternative facts. It's the same sort of connective tissue in the court of public opinion did not
mean it worked.
In the court of law in this judge, he's saying, I don't care how many disclaimers you give. If you have objectively over inflated and beat one's
chest financially, it's not going to cut the mustard when it comes to what's going on here. I just had cut the mustard. I'm now 90 years old. I
heard it come out of my mouth. And I was like, cut the mustard, OK. But it works.
HUNT: No, yes. Laura, can you sort of help us understand too, because, you know, David's point about the fact that Trump has been entangled with the
New York legal system before. I mean, that courthouse is an aniconic courthouse right. Every American knows it from law and order.
HUNT: He is very comfortable operating kind of in the New York scene. There's also an all this reporting conversation on the other side on the
less familiar territory about how concerned he is about potentially going to jail, right? That's not a risk here, right? I mean, the worst thing that
could happen is obviously his brand is tarnished.
He loses a lot of money, but he doesn't necessarily lose his freedom nor have his ability to, you know, be the next President of United States.
HUNT: Impinged upon, correct?
COATES: That's true. He's not going to jail over this case. He also could not pardon himself on this case, it's a state court action, so doesn't have
the same criminal context, even for a state matter criminal action here. And of course, when he has a lot of familiarity with the legal system in
New York, it's oftentimes dragging out cases.
COATES: Making the other side so encumbered with legal fees that they just give up and relent and say forget about it.
I'm not going to do it. I heard it right do it but in this case he is the one who has been brought to the courts although he is familiar with being
sued, actually sitting down, not for a deposition, not an emotion practice and responding through what's called interrogatory responses and to answer
your request for admission.
He's actually now sitting there at the council table. This is very different for Donald Trump, and it has been in the past, he is now actually
engaging in fighting, he also has no other choice. The court already said we're not going to continue this. James is not relenting as the AG against
And that's why she's been criticized, of course, because they believe she's a kind of a proverbial dog with a bone when it comes to Donald Trump. But
here a judge has agreed so far.
HUNT: Right. No, for sure. And well, I mean, in the reason that they're casting her in that light is because again, it plays into this grievance
narrative, like the system's rigged against me. And, you know, Kate, as we sort of, you know, I don't want to let lose sight of in this conversation.
The bigger picture here, which is, OK, let's take, I realize it's a big assumption, but by the polling, it's a pretty reasonable one, which is that
he ends up becoming the Republican nominee for President, right? What if that comes to pass, and he is running in a general election against a
Past has shown us that independent voters are not so into it and that Democrats have a huge opportunity here. These pictures now are in the
public record forever. What does this mean for Democrats say in the White House, looking at the, you know, planning out the Biden campaign, about how
they're going to run against him? And is this ultimately going to hurt him in the long run?
BEDINGFIELD: I think so. I mean, look, it's less about driving criticism of him. And, you know, and really going at, like, why this trial is a problem
and trying to sort of make that the center of the Biden campaigns argument.
BEDINGFIELD: It's because people don't, you know, they don't really connect with it. We've seen, you know, if people were going to hold him accountable
for the transgressions that he's committed over the last four plus years, well, he, you know, we would have seen it, and it doesn't seem to be the
And that we can have a whole conversation about that, and what that means for the state of politics in this country, because it's pretty
BEDINGFIELD: But for the Biden campaign, I think what this does is creating a lane an opening for them to speak directly to people about what they're
worried about. He's essentially abdicating the space of, you know, talking about, I'm going to bring your taxes down.
I'm going to, you know, for him to make, he's advocating the opportunity to make a positive argument. And so he's giving the Biden campaign and
President Biden an open lane to say, do you want this chaos in your life again, you don't. And by the way, here's what I'm doing to make your life
And here's how I'm actually focused on what matters to you because, you know, Donald Trump inflating hundreds of millions of dollars in his
Manhattan real estate business actually at the end of the day, doesn't have a whole lot of impact on your life.
HUNT: Yes, very interesting, thank you guys. This was a great way to kick off the show. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy meanwhile up next is looking to
quash a mutiny in his ranks. We'll discuss his chances with our panel next.
HUNT: We are watching events in New York all throughout this hour, Former President Donald Trump appearing there in a New York courtroom. He did not
have to be there and underscore that he's there for the beginning of his civil fraud trial and opening statements are underway.
Before we went in, Trump said that the trial is an attempt to damage him on a political level. That's really all you need to know about what this is
really about, but meanwhile, on Capitol Hill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): I do intend to file a motion to vacate against Speaker McCarthy this week. I think we need to this rip off the band aid. I
think we need to move on with new leadership that can be trustworthy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: Trust or lack thereof, that really explains everything, including that threat from Florida Republican Matt Gaetz as he announced what is a
particularly audacious bid to try to push Speaker McCarthy out. It source tells CNN this morning that top Republicans will try to kill Gaetz his
motion before it gets an upper down vote. McCarthy's message, bring it on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Is somebody wants to make a motion against me bring it. There has to be an adult in the room. I am going to govern which
what is best for this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: New McCarthy thereof that we saw over the weekend. No matter how they proceed, though, McCarthy is likely to need Democrats to help him keep his
job. The question, how many and what will they demand in return? Let's get to our panel now. David Urban and Kate Bedingfield are still with us as
well as Nathan Gonzales, the Editor and Publisher, of Inside Elections.
Welcome all, lots going on here. The sort of top line here honestly, the conversation is about what Democrats are going to do more than anything
else, because we've got this promise from Matt Gaetz that he's going to make this motion to vacate. Kate, this is a tricky position for a lot of
Democratic members in the House.
I want to show everybody what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She spoke to my colleague Jake Tapper over the weekend. And remember she's a member of the
squad, she represents the left of the Democratic Party in Washington, and she was pretty straightforward and saying how she feels about it, watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But would you vote to vacate? Would you vote to get rid of McCarthy -- ?
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Would I cast that vote? Absolutely, I think Kevin McCarthy is a very weak Speaker. He clearly has lost control of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: But Kate, we did have, after that happened, a letter went out from the number two Democrat in the House saying hey, guys, like hold on, let's
not get ahead of ourselves. Let's talk amongst ourselves first decide what we want to say and do and then come out with it. What is the calculus
behind the scenes right now for Democrats in Washington?
BEDINGFIELD: Well, this is a complicated situation. I mean, I think there are a few things to think about here. First, there's the devil, you know,
versus the devil, you don't know, right?
BEDINGFIELD: They clearly have been through a challenging, shall we say? Process was bigger McCarthy over the last few weeks here, but ultimately
got to at least a middling resolution. We don't know who are we? Don't you we've yet to see who the alternative candidate that Gaetz and crew are
going to put forward to be Speaker.
And so you know, you have to think about in politics, there's you know, if you have you know, three facts in your hand that you can take to the bank
and use well then you know, that like --
HUNT: -- stick with that.
BEDINGFIELD: You might want to stick with that.
But look, it's complicated on the other side, because you know, there is a lot of you know, I would argue rightful anger and outrage with the way that
McCarthy has conducted business since he became speaker. You obviously heard from AOC, who I think represents the perspective of a lot of people
in the Progressive Caucus about McCarthy.
So this is sort of a, this is a tough one, because this puts them also in a place where, you know, not voting to vacate can be spun as a vote for
McCarthy, which a lot of these Democrats on the left don't want to have to own.
BEDINGFIELD: So it's complicated situation.
NATHAN GONZALES, EDITOR & PUBLISHER, INSIDE ELECTIONS: And Democrats benefit from the chaos, right, because it's focused on Republican
infighting and they can't even support or elect a speaker or they're focused, or it's Trump trials and Trump on trial all that time is not time
spent on President Biden, or on Hunter Biden, or on inflation or the cost of living. It's all just on Republicans and Democrats can just sit back and
just let it.
HUNT: I think that's part of why that message from the establishment was like, hey, guys, why you just let them do it. Throw them a lifeline.
URBAN: But you know, I agree with Kate again, look at this, again, two times -- .
HUNT: -- actually do you think it's a secret hand shake now?
URBAN: Look, Kate's right. It's super complicated. And for Democrats, they have to ask themselves, who do they want to speak? You know, Kevin
McCarthy's doing a pretty good job. He and Kim Jeffries have gotten along very well. There's a lot of I know, a lot of graciousness, that they that
McCarthy has invited Kim to participate in things.
And so they're on a personal level, they're getting along quite nicely. And you know, I know the Democrats care about Ukraine funding and a lot of
other things that are coming down the pike that if it's not Kevin McCarthy, if it's somebody to the right of Kevin McCarthy, pretty sure Ukraine fund,
he's not going to see the light of day that a lot of things that Democrats care about will never be seen.
And so, you know, it's a tough spot. McCarthy, he doesn't want to cut a deal with Democrats, Democrats don't want to cut a deal with McCarthy. The
best thing I think they may do is take a walk on some of these votes, right, which then lowers the threshold if they just vote present.
URBAN: Democrats vote present and there's a lot less Republicans needed and they, they'd be able to figure that out. I think that maybe what you see
HUNT: So we have a little bit of new reporting here. And this actually raises a number of questions for me. I'm very glad to be sitting here with
you all. So it's, this is our team, Manu Raju, Lauren Fox, Sam on the Hill. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy refused to rule out cutting a deal with
Democrats in order to survive a pinch of potential push by Matt Gates.
Manu asked him whether he would cut this deal, McCarthy get this. He says, "I think this is about the institution. I think it's too important". He
says he's added he's not spoken yet with a keen Jeffrey's. The institution is so important. I mean, this was a real change.
URBAN: But by the way, there may be a good thing for America.
BEDINGFIELD: Yes, I just going to say, I always --
URBAN: It may be a good thing for America, a government that actually functions, right, Democrats or Republicans having to work together, right?
The problem solvers caucus may actually be governing and running the government, which may not be bad.
BEDINGFIELD: And it's also actually what people want. I sort of look at this and wonder like; did Kevin McCarthy wake up and read a poll yesterday?
Suddenly, like, well, he's didn't have access to.
Wait a minute, hang on, well we crap. People actually want their elected officials to find compromise and work together. And so, you know --
HUNT: -- we are.
GONZALES: Republicans have to reach a basic level of competence, because I think what we saw in the 2022 midterms is that some voters want to change,
I would say a majority of voters want to change than when they looked at what Republicans were offering, saying, no, I'm not. I don't like where
we're headed. But I'm not, I'm not, I don't want that. And so, they have to fulfill some level of competency and running government in order to win
URBAN: Listen, if you have that kind of divided government, like they were Democrats were probably you might be able to get something through very
complicated, like, comprehensive immigration reform, right.
HUNT: That's where a stretch from that, I have to say.
URBAN: No, no, I understand. No, Kasie, I worked out; I worked out in the Bush Administration. But my point is you got to crawl before you can walk,
right? And so if people start working together, that's the only way things are going to be accomplished in this town.
And as Nathan pointed out, in the last elections, Republicans got drugged, because what they were offering people didn't want, they want to see a
functional government. That's what they want.
HUNT: Yes. And I mean I'm not sure where even quite to the crawling stage, just like I had a little baby just -- along the floor, you know, like, we
might be amazed. You know, like, one of these questions, David that I have, as I read this, and I listened to. I mean, you saw in McCarthy's voice and
his face when he talked over the weekend.
I hear it in this quote, I think this is about the institution that he has decided he's going to make a strategic shift, and he's going to start using
I mean, this is language that Democrats can understand. And that many even Republicans have been arguing in the Trump era they need to do more of.
However, the week before this all unfolded, two weeks before this all unfolded. Kevin McCarthy said to his hardliners, go ahead. Impeach Joe
Biden, try to impeach Joe Trump, hold this hearing.
URBAN: Well, try to, try to be different than impeach right. So you know, if you're McCarthy, you're --
HUNT: But he gave you the green light.
URBAN: Well, I gave it; he gave the inquiry a green light right.
URBAN: That's definitely impeachment.
BEDINGFIELD: All right.
HUNT: Still it's really anger the Democrats.
URBAN: Listen, he's walking. He has run his --
BEDINGFIELD: Sponsor gun.
URBAN: No, listen, he is running through the raindrops without trying to get what is what he's trying to do right. So he's got to walk a very narrow
line and try to appease.
You know, folks on the right of this party and the folks who are kind of the, you know, the Brian Fitzpatrick's of the party who are in tough
HUNT: Wasn't the impeachment decision when he was with these hardliners trying to give them everything they wanted to try to avoid this moment. Now
he said, OK, fine. We'll throw my hands up and cut the deal with Democrats. Couldn't he come to regret the impeachment decision?
URBAN: Listen, I think he will. I don't think Republicans will ever come to regret that decision to allow that committed move forward. I think
Republican base that's kind of a thing looks at how it plays out. There's no there, then its fine. He could say listen, I gave everybody what they
wanted. There was no they couldn't connect the dots, as was said yesterday.
And so they'll move on. I don't think he'll live to regret it. I think it's something that had to be done. Or you know it's one of the few promises
that were made along the way. So I think it had to be done.
HUNT: All right. Well, Donald Trump, as this is all unfolding is you know, attacking people again, not really news. But his targets are his Republican
rivals and some of them are really questionable. He is trying to get under their skin and influence voters, that's next on "State of the Race"
HUNT: Welcome back to "State of the Race". I'm Kasie Hunt live in Washington. In the hours before he sat down in that New York courtroom.
Donald Trump was engaged in a more familiar form of campaigning for him with brash attacks on his rivals. Here's what happened when he met with
farmers in Iowa last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: His entire career has shown that Ron DeSantis is a sworn enemy of the American farmer. How does that play in Iowa?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: The former president is also attacking Nikki Haley. This is the woman that he appointed as Ambassador to the United Nations. Last week, he called
her bird brain. And yesterday Haley posted this photo on social media. It shows a birdcage, bird food and a note reading from the Trump campaign.
When we asked here at CNN, if they were responsible, the Trump campaign responded only with emojis of a bird and a brain. Unfortunately, I do not
have those exact emojis to show you right now. But you get the idea. Let's get thoughts from our panel.
We're still here with David Urban, CNN Political Commentator, Republican Strategist and former Trump Campaign Adviser, Kate Bedingfield on CNN
Political Commentator, former White House Communications Director and Nathan Gonzales, the Editor and Publisher of Inside Elections.
I feel like everybody's trying to keep it together over the birdbrain situation. Look, I just have to say like, bottom line, something outside
your hotel room door is creepy, especially if you're a woman like it's extremely unsettling. I don't care what it is.
BEDINGFIELD: It's creepy. It's creepy. It's weird. It's odd. Look, I'm actually all for the non-traditional means of communication. And, you know,
I also embrace an emoji.
BEDINGFIELD: Then I think that actually a little more communicative, more, a little more political communication that felt a little more accessible to
people would be a good thing. Not when it is creepy, frightening and just personal. I mean, it's just the personal attacks are just childish, and
small and --
GONZALES: It's par for the course, right.
BEDINGFIELD: Yes, absolute.
GONZALES: This is what has elevated in our politics.
URBAN: It's clear that Nikki Haley will not be the Vice President.
URBAN: From that so far, and it's pretty safe to say. But look, it's why this has been surprising? Do we forget the 2016 the entire like little mark
a little you know, there's everyone had a name, right. And so it's the branding.
And honestly, if you're Nikki Haley, she should I don't want to say in a kind of backhanded way, take it as a compliment that he feels threatened
enough that the campaign thinks that she's ascended high enough to actually warn an attack. He's not attacking -- not saying no to those folks. So --
BEDINGFIELD: And it's absolutely not surprising. I mean, this is par for the course for him, though. One thing I would say we can maybe take a
little optimism here is, you know, in 2020, on the Biden campaign, a big piece of our message was about restoring civility and about optimism, and
people glommed on to that.
And so, you know, it's sort of, it's what we see in him as a reflection of kind of our basis, sort of ugliest instincts maybe, to call each other
names. But you know, when this was put to a test to the American people in the general election, in 2020, they rejected it.
GONZALES: I think this news shows both from the trial and the birdcage and all that, that at its core, Trump is a showman. It's a very episodic
campaign, and he wants to be in the spotlight and almost needs to be in the spotlight. But that sucks up all the oxygen.
We're not talking about, well, the other candidates. And then when we get to next year, when there's maybe another trial, how our senate candidate,
senate challenger, Republican senate challenger is going to make the case against Democratic incumbents. And it's just Trump, Trump, Trump, all the
URBAN: And Kate brought this up earlier, right? You're not what aren't we talking about? We're not talking about policy differences. We're not
talking about the border. We're not talking about taxes. We're not talking about should we be member NATO, what, you know, Ukraine, all the things
that people is really talking about, kitchen table issues.
We're not having those debates, and that's, I think people are going to miss that discourse if we kind of stick to this, you know, these ad hominem
HUNT: Well, I mean, I guess the question is are they going to miss the discord? I mean, Kate, like what kind of, what kind of an opportunity does
this represent in? I guess, to me, the key difference between 2020 and 2024, if your team Biden is that he's obviously an incumbent, right? He has
a record; people feel a certain way about the economy.
HUNT: And instead of being something that, you know, they're willing to try because who knows if anything is going to be better than what they are
experiencing, right, that second, you have to own that in addition to potentially running against him. How does that complicate this?
BEDINGFIELD: Well, you're absolutely right. He is now an incumbent Trump and so there is a different there's a different dynamic. It's you know, is
this late, Mario Cuomo said you campaign in prose, you govern in or sorry, you campaign in poetry and govern in prose.
HUNT: Campaign in poetry and govern in prose.
BEDINGFIELD: Yep. So he's got to own things that happened under his first term. But you know, I think the big dynamic the messaging dynamic for the
Biden campaign, and it sort of illustrated a little bit in this like birdbrain attack here. The challenge for them is to help people understand
that Biden has their back and that Trump does not.
That is kind of the fundamental issue. And so, I think for Trump to -- you know when Trump spends all this time, you know personal attacks and yes, is
there a base in this country that feels represented by him.
That is embraces the kind of grievance politics? Yes, there absolutely is. But the slice of independents in the middle, they generally don't they,
don't feel represented by that. And what the Biden campaign has to do is to go out every day and help people see that Biden has their back.
Now, that doesn't mean they're going to agree with everything that Joe Biden's done or that they're going to say, you know, my life is perfect,
because Joe Biden's president, that's not the aim. The aim is to make people feel connected and feel like he has their back. And Trump is I think
leaving Biden a huge link to do that.
URBAN: Yes, I think Nathan speaks -- it's because it's probably better, because this is what he does. But people aren't getting the messaging,
right. They're not getting you know, Gavin Newsom is out did a very effective job communicating, right? The Biden Administration is failing,
communicate, people don't feel at home, they don't feel the goodness of home, their gut says something's off, right.
And so, I love the fact, I love one of Kate's messages probably don't judge me against the, no the almighty judge me against the alternative. And I
think that that's going to be flipped here. The script is going to be flipped. And that's going to be that's what the Trump message is going to
Don't judge me against the almighty judge me -- judge me against Biden, Harris. I think we did better, I think we can do better. And the polling
kind of that set out right now.
GONZALES: I mean, Democrats, the vulnerable Democratic senators are vulnerable Democratic House members. They see the president's job approval
numbers, and it's not good. But they are confident that when they get their message out, and whether it's paid or earned media that Biden's numbers
But when you look at the president's job approval, it is two parallel lines. And it's been two parallel lines for two years. And so it's a tough,
you know, it's going to take some time, and it's going to take money and effort in order to change those numbers.
HUNT: Yes, I mean, I guess, David, I just I keep coming back to well, actually, you know, one of the other things I want to show before I, before
I go to kind of big picture here is, Trump was out in California over the weekend, he was speaking to the Republican state convention there.
And you might remember there was a vicious attack on Paul Pelosi in his home, while his wife, Nancy Pelosi was at the time Speaker of the House of
Representatives. Here's what Trump had to say about Paul Pelosi over the weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Who will stand up to crazy Nancy Pelosi who ruins San Francisco? How's your husband doing, by the way anybody knows? And she's against
building a wall in our border, even though she has a wall around her house, which obviously didn't do a very good job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: So David, I mean, I'm struck as much by the words that are coming out of his mouth as the cheering from the crowd, right?
URBAN: Look anybody who could, who would cheer somebody being assaulted, right? It's wrong. Just flat out wrong. It shouldn't be you know I'm no fan
Nancy Pelosi. Do I wish her husband well? Absolutely, do I think that would happen is important? Absolutely so that's, there's no place for that,
HUNT: And yet, this man is the front runner.
URBAN: And the people cheer for it. I'm not quite sure why they cheer for them. You know, no, if that were your family member, or whatever. I mean,
again, we could disagree we could have this is America's the marketplace of ideas. That's what this country is built upon, right.
So let's have vigorous debate. Let's you know, knock each other down on the stage and kind of have it out. But we should shake hands. And we're all
Americans here at the end of the day. We all live in the same country.
HUNT: Well, I mean, I just I think part of the reason this stuck out to me and I thought it was important to bring up is because, you know, we've had
a lot of I mean, honestly, we've been laughing on this set today. There's a lot of absurdity that's going on in our politics. A birdcage while creepy
is also something emojis, you can laugh about it, like this stuff's not laughable. This is political violence, right.
URBAN: It's different than somebody were in a duck shoot in a debate, right?
HUNT: It takes me back to January 6, as well. And the idea that perhaps we're coming full circle on Donald Trump. And I mean, Kate, what difference
do you think that will make in this campaign going forward, if any?
BEDINGFIELD: Well, remember, Biden actually gave a speech a week and a half before the midterms in 2022, where he talked about the attack on Paul
Pelosi, talked about it in the context of threats to our democracy and the threat that Trump and Maga extremism poses to our democracy.
And, you know there was a lot of doubting amongst the press corps and in DC about, you know, was this -- the right thing? Is this connecting with
people, he's not talking about the economy. And in fact, it was connecting with people. I mean, we obviously saw Democrats perform better than they
were expected to, and in part because that message was front and center.
So, you know, I think the other piece of this is, you know, we shouldn't underestimate the cult of personality around Donald Trump. I mean, you were
talking about, you know, hearing this, this very conservative crowd responding. You know if Donald Trump had gotten up and said, I hate Nancy
Pelosi and everything she did, but you know, that's terrible.
What happened to her husband? I would expect that crowd to say that's right. You know, he's, and he's a good man. He knows. So --
URBAN: they might have boot him, I don't know.
BEDINGFIELD: I think maybe. But I don't know, I think we also shouldn't underestimate the sort of awesome in the truest sense of the word.
GONZALES: We've completely lost the, we've lost the ability to empathize with people who don't look like us or live near us. And that causes us to
do things or say things to people that we would normally not otherwise if we were peers.
HUNT: People who don't think like --
URBAN: Well, Kate and I got along to start.
HUNT: This mom's high fives, we're off to a good start here on this set. All right, coming up next, Speaker Kevin McCarthy got to avoid a government
shutdown. But will it cost him his job? We'll speak to Representative John Garamendi next for his prediction.
HUNT: All right, we are keeping an eye on Capitol Hill where the House floor is about to open in just 15 minutes or so. Will hardline Republicans
go through with a threat to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy and what about future funding for Ukraine? Joining us now is California Congressman John
Garamendi. He is the senior member of the Armed Services Committee. Congressman, thank you so much for being with us today.
REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA): My pleasure. Good to be with you.
HUNT: So let's start with the question on everybody's minds. Obviously, a lot of us expected the government to shut down over the weekend. It did
not. The House Speaker Kevin McCarthy now facing a threat to his job and he's going to need Democrats to help him survive if he's going to remain
Speaker. Would you be willing to help Kevin McCarthy keep the speaker's gavel?
GARAMENDI: This is totally up to our leadership. I suspect right now that Hakeem Jeffries and the other leaders are negotiating with him if the
Democrats save McCarthy, and we will have to have a rearrangement of the power structure within the Congress. What that's going to be, I got some
ideas, but right now that is up to this, Mr. Jeffries to figure that out.
And I know that he's working on that. But the really important point here is that whatever happens, if McCarthy keeps his seat or doesn't keep his
seat the fact of the matter is that he is totally controlled by a handful of three handfuls of radical mega extremist led by Matt Gates.
The reality is that whatever he -- whatever comes to this, he will not be able to put forth meaningful, useful rational legislation. The only thing
they've been able to put out is the Republican caucus has been an extraordinary series of terrible, terrible pieces of legislation, one of
which was a 30 percent cut in every federal program, including the military. That's the only thing they've been able to do. That kind of
sounds absolutely crazy, bizarre legislation.
HUNT: So if that's the case, sir, and you say all they can do are things that are crazy and bizarre? Why would you help them?
GARAMENDI: Well, because we want the government to function. The Democrats are all about a functioning government that does its job that meets the
needs of the citizens, that takes care of our environment, that deals with the national security. That's what we have always wanted to do, you take a
look at the shutdowns that have occurred since the 19, since 1993, the Republicans in every single time have caused the shutdown.
And they're still at it. We're at 45 days now to the next potential shutdown. The Republicans don't care about governing, about reaching and
fulfilling the real needs of Americans, whether it's education, good heavens, they wanted to cut the education funding for the low income
schools across this nation, ripping the very heart out of the future for those kids.
HUNT: OK. So you said that you had some ideas for if, in fact, Democrats get to the point where they are going to make sure that the gavel stays
with Kevin McCarthy and not with another member of the conference. You said you had some ideas, they are up to Hakeem Jeffries. What would you tell
your leader is at the top of your list? What do you want Republic? What do you want to see from Republicans in order for you to be willing to say
alright, fine. Kevin McCarthy, I'll help you out.
GARAMENDI: Well, I ducked that question the first time you asked it.
HUNT: I know and I'm asking you again.
GARAMENDI: No, it's really up to the speaker. Excuse me, it's up to the leader at Jefferies and his team. Yes, I certainly have some ideas. I've
shared those with him that no, I'm not going to get ahead of him as he carries out, which is going to be a very, very important situation. Going
forward, it's going to have to be different than it is right now.
Already, all of the meaningful, useful legislation has required all of the Democratic votes, save one. This shutdown was, didn't happen because every
single Democrat, except one voted to keep the government running. Only half of the Republicans chose to do that. And nearly all of the Republicans
chose to cut every single federal funding from agriculture to education to the military, by 30 percent.
HUNT: OK. Let me ask you about Ukraine, because the president over the weekend suggested that he had made a deal with Kevin McCarthy for a
standalone vote on Ukraine funding because it wasn't included in the legislation that kept the government open. Is it your understanding that
there will be a standalone vote to provide continued funding to Kyiv?
GARAMENDI: The answer to that question is Matt Gaetz. Matt Gaetz controls the speaker. There's no doubt about it. He controls the speaker. McCarthy
has repeatedly cut deals with the President, with the members of Congress as well as with the Senate and he has reneged on all of them because he is
His speakership is totally dependent upon a, well, a dozen or more radical Republicans. They're the ones that control this. So whatever McCarthy says
to the president, you better check with Matt Gates and see if he's going to carry through. He is not trustworthy, I'm sorry. But the fact of the matter
is, he cannot be trusted.
The reality here is that eventually, the Congress will come to its senses. We must and we will fund Ukraine, it has to be done, standalone bill or any
other mechanism to get it done. And it will be done by the Democrats. We will vote for almost 100 percent for funding Ukraine. We've done it in the
GARAMENDI: We'll do it again. We cannot rely on the Republicans led by McCarthy, or excuse me by Matt Gaetz.
HUNT: Congressman, we are running up against a hard out here, so I just want to ask for your forgiveness if I have to interrupt you. But quickly I
do want to ask you, you are from California. Gavin Newsom, the Governor just announced that he was appointing Laphonza Butler as the next Senator
to replace Senator Feinstein.
My question for you about this, do you think Laphonza Butler should run for a full term for that seat in 2024?
GARAMENDI: No, I don't believe she should. There are three exceptional candidates that have been working more than a year. I just think it's
terribly unfair, that she would do so. And the word around here is that whomever he appointed would not run. Now, I don't know if there's whatever
understanding he might have.
But no, I don't think she should. I think that that's the three candidates, the two women and the gentlemen, very talented, each and every one, each
one putting together a viable campaign. And to be air-dropped into this is simply not fair. And by the way, I don't think many people know her.
HUNT: Right, all right. Well, sir, there we go. Direct, a direct, a direct no, to one of my questions. Congressman John Garamendi, thank you very
much. You're a great support. I appreciate you joining us today.
GARAMENDI: Thank you. Bye, bye.
HUNT: Bye, bye.
All right, we got an update on our breaking news. We've just seen Donald Trump and his sons exiting the courtroom in New York City. Opening
statements just concluded at the beginning of his civil fraud trial there. Here we go and that some tape from inside the courtroom.
The court proceedings are taking a 10 minute break after those statements ended. We are staying across the trial and any new developments we will
bring straight to you. There's also this, a member of the House Democratic leadership is stepping down saying it's because he does not support Joe
Biden's reelection campaign.
Congressman Dean Phillips says his convictions regarding the 2024 race are incongruent with other House Democrats. Phillips was the Co-Chair of the
House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. And for months the Minnesota Democrat has said he doesn't think Biden should run for
And California Senator Dianne Feinstein will lie in state Wednesday at the San Francisco City Hall ahead of her funeral on Thursday. Feinstein's body
was flown to San Francisco over the weekend on a presidential military plane. Her friend and San Francisco colleague Nancy Pelosi was on the
flight with her.
Feinstein died last week at the age of 90 after months of declining health. She was the longest serving female U.S. senator. But of course her
political career began in San Francisco where she was twice elected mayor. And coming up here my panel rejoins me for one more thing. Don't go
HUNT: Welcome back to "State of the Race". My panel rejoins me. Before we go, we're going to ask for one more things. What is the one thing on the
trail or in Washington you're watching for in the coming days? 30 seconds each, David, go.
URBAN: 30 second each. Tomorrow is the jury selection for -- free trial opening arguments on Wednesday.
URBAN: He's played big in politics before he fell, so pay attention.
HUNT: Yes, he was, might pop up, Kate.
BEDINGFIELD: Supreme Court new term starts today. What's going to happen on the ethics front? Are they going to introduce some kind of ethics package?
What are they going to do to try to re instill some of the faith that's been like we see in polling has been lost and that institution.
HUNT: Really interesting, Nathan.
GONZALES: And I'm actually watching college football. Not just because Oregon State is going to finish strong, but also because it gives us a
timeline for the elections that we have to get through the whole college football season. Have a national championship then a week later,
Republicans will caucus in Iowa. That's how far we have to go.
HUNT: It's a great point, I actually yes, college football is great. I'm also watching the Orioles in the playoffs. But this week I'm also watching
particular Pramila Jayapal and what decision she makes as she leads the Progressive Caucus and how they're going to handle what's ahead for Speaker
I think it could emerge as a fault line in the Democratic caucus. I'm Kasie Hunt, that's the "State of the Race" for today. You can always follow me on
Instagram and the platform formerly known as Twitter. Don't go anywhere "One World" is up next.