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State of the Union
Interview With Gov. Jay Inslee (D) Washington; Interview With Presidential Candidate Julian Castro; Interview With Rep. Will Hurd (R) Texas; New CNN/Des Moines Register Poll: Biden, Sanders Lead In Iowa; Controversy Over Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's Comments; Inside Trump's "Twitter Library". Aired 9-10a ET
Aired March 10, 2019 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Democrats divided. The House passes a resolution condemning hate, after incendiary comments from a new member.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It's not about her.
TAPPER: And President Trump rose gas on the fire.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They have become an anti-Jewish party.
TAPPER: Democratic presidential candidate Secretary Julian Castro weighs in next.
Plus, border battle. As some Republicans turn on President Trump over his national emergency, officials say a record number of families are seeking asylum in the U.S.
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is truly an emergency.
TAPPER: Is the real crisis on the border a humanitarian one? Texas Republican Congressman Will Hurd responds in moments.
And poll position. A new poll from the first state to cast votes ranks the crowded field.
And a new candidate goes all in on fighting climate change.
GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is our only chance for long-term survival.
TAPPER: Democratic presidential candidate Governor Jay Inslee joins us.
TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Austin, Texas, where the state of our union is deep in the heart.
We are live at the South by Southwest Festival, where, tonight, we will be moderating town halls with three Democratic presidential candidates.
Now, much of the Democratic field is here, as is almost part of the field, Texas native Beto O'Rourke, who dodged questions about his possible run yesterday.
One potential candidate not here, Vice President Joe Biden, who still has yet to pull the trigger on a run.
A brand-news CNN/"Des Moines Register" poll of Iowa Democratic voters shows Biden leading the pack right now, with Senator Bernie Sanders close behind, both men with substantial leads over the most diverse Democratic field ever to run.
And this key early moment in the race comes as the Democratic Party, in the House at least, is showing some divisions, prompted by freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's latest comments about supporters of Israel and a resolution forced by the Omar controversy condemning hate in the House.
That resolution and those comments giving President Trump exactly what he wants, dissension in the Democratic ranks.
With me now to discuss this and much, much more is Democratic presidential candidate from right here in Texas former HUD Secretary Julian Castro.
Secretary Castro, thanks so much for being here. Appreciate it.
JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good to be with you.
TAPPER: Good to be with you. Look, a little handshake there.
So, let me start right there with the comments from Ilhan Omar. She has previously accused Israel of -- quote -- "hypnotizing the world." She has suggested that support for Israel in Congress is -- quote -- "all about the Benjamins," meaning all about campaign contributions.
And then, most recently, she criticized lawmakers who support Israel as potentially having a -- quote -- "allegiance" to a foreign country.
Is she an anti-Semite?
CASTRO: Well, I was glad that she apologized.
I don't believe that she's, in her heart, an anti-Semite. But I do believe that those comments gave life to some old tropes, biases against Jews as having dual loyalties or somehow dominating industries or politics with money.
And so I was glad that she apologized. I'm also glad that the House is condemning bigotry. We have seen a rise in anti-Semitism over the last couple of years. We have also seen a rise in anti-Muslim hate and hate directed at others. But, yes, I'm glad that she apologized.
I do think that it's fair, whether the country is Israel or a European country or a Latin American country, for people to criticize or to pick apart the policy that the United States is taking toward that country.
But it should be done, I think, in a constructive way, and not in a way that gives rise to old tropes.
TAPPER: So, you suggested that you support the House resolution which condemned anti-Semitism and other bigotry as well.
There are Democrats who felt like that resolution was watered down by not focusing on anti-Semitism and not focusing on Congresswoman Omar's comments.
Congressman Ted Deutch, a Democrat from Florida who's Jewish, voiced that concern. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TED DEUTCH (D), FLORIDA: Why are we unable to singularly condemn anti-Semitism? Why can't we call out anti-Semitism and show that we have learned the lessons of history?
It feels like we're only able to call the use of anti-Semitic language by a colleague of ours, any colleague of ours, if we're addressing all forms of hatred.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Do you think that House Democrats watered it down? Do you think it was something of a cop-out, as Congressman Deutch seems to?
CASTRO: No, I don't think so.
I think that there was a lot of talk about anti-Semitism and the rise of it. I think that the vast majority of people in the Democratic Party recognize that anti-Semitism in the United States and also in places like Europe has been on the rise and that we need to combat that.
I think, also, probably that this was impacted by the fact that Representative Omar apologized for this and said that she should have said that differently.
My hope is that, apart from this resolution, that we're going to take action in this country to make sure that anti-Semitism and other types of bigotry are not given sustenance. And we have to recognize that we have a president who is dividing Americans along a lot of these lines.
And I would like to see us united in trying to offer a different, more positive and inclusive vision for the future of this country.
TAPPER: Let's turn to another issue on those lines. This is also dividing Democrats on the trail.
You have said that there needs to be some kind of reparations to descendants of slaves to compensate for years of slavery and discrimination against African-Americans in this country.
Take a listen to Bernie Sanders, one of your campaign rivals, at a CNN town hall when it was pointed out that you and Elizabeth Warren support some form of reparations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What do they mean? I'm not sure that anyone is very clear.
What I have just said is that I think we must do everything that we can to address the massive level of disparity that exists in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: So, what do you mean? Do you think that there should be actual monetary payments to descendants of slaves? Do you support more like what Senator Sanders is talking about, policies such as child care and education that help those who are disadvantaged?
CASTRO: Well, what I said was that -- that I have long believed that this country should address slavery, the original sin of slavery, including by looking at reparations, and, if I'm president, that I'm going to appoint a commission or task force to determine the best way to do that.
There's a tremendous amount of disagreement on how we would do that. But let me just say something about Senator Sanders' response there, because he was also asked this question in 2016.
What he said on "The View," I think, the other day was that he didn't think the best way to address this was for the United States to write a check. To my mind, that may or may not be the best way to address it.
However, it's interesting to me that, when it comes to Medicare for all, health care, the response there has been, we need to write a big check, that, when it comes to tuition-free or debt-free college, the answer has been, we need to write a big check.
And so, if the issue is compensating the descendants of slaves, I don't think that the argument about writing a big check ought to be the argument that you make, if you're making an argument that a big check needs to be written for a whole bunch of other stuff.
TAPPER: Hmm. Interesting.
CASTRO: So, if, under the Constitution, we compensate people because we take their property, why wouldn't you compensate people who actually were property?
Very quickly, let's turn to the southern border. The Border Patrol says it has apprehended more than a quarter-million people in the last five months, almost double the number from last year.
The number of families apprehended at the border is up by more than 300 percent from last year. Now, you have slammed President Trump for his immigration policy. What do you think needs to be done to deter all these families coming in, seeking asylum? Or do you think they should just be allowed to come in and seek asylum?
CASTRO: Well, under international law and U.S. law, somebody has a right to present himself or herself at the border and to seek asylum.
Also, Jake, this is a very important moment. You will remember that, last year, the administration said that they were taking little children away from their parents because they wanted to deter other families from coming to the United States.
They said that, if we were cruel enough to just take these little children away from their families, that that would show all of these other families in Central America that they shouldn't come to the United States.
And instead of deterring these families, we actually see more families coming. This is exhibit A in the grand failure of this administration on immigration.
So, when people ask, what is the problem, one of the problems is that this administration has taken the wrong path. I think what we need to do in the long run really is to engage these Northern Triangle countries, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and figure out a way to work with them, so that people can find safety and prosperity there, instead of having to knock on the doorstep of the United States.
In the meantime, we ought to follow international law and our practice, which is to allow them to seek asylum when they present themselves.
TAPPER: All right, very quickly, you know that you are only at 1 percent in our brand-new CNN...
CASTRO: Is that what I'm at?
TAPPER: ... CNN/"Des Moines Register" poll.
CASTRO: Well, I don't even -- I don't even make the cutoff right now when you all put the graphic on.
You got -- you could take it down to 1 percent, Jake, all right? (LAUGHTER)
TAPPER: What do you need to do to get that number up?
TAPPER: You have been running for president for a while now, obviously.
I mean, your favorabilities went up a little bit, so it's not like it's having no effect. But what do you need to do to get out of single digits?
So, my favorability over the last, I guess, month-and-a-half went up by six points. I got out to Iowa a couple of weeks ago.
I'm articulating a strong, compelling vision for the future of this country, to make the country the smartest, the healthiest, the fairest and the most prosperous nation on Earth.
I can tell that, as I spend time in Iowa, that I'm going to gain traction. And, as you know, if we were to look at any presidential cycle over the last 40 years, oftentimes, it's people that have started off at 3 percent, 1 percent, 2 percent, including Donald Trump, at one point was at 1 percent right before he announced, that can win the nomination.
And so this is a long road, a long journey. And I'm going to go out there and make my case.
TAPPER: We will see you out there. Good luck.
CASTRO: Thanks a lot.
TAPPER: Good luck on the trail, Secretary.
He's the only Republican lawmaker to represent a district on the Mexico border. Does he see a crisis?
Congressman Will Hurd, Republican of Texas, is here next.
And those brand-new poll numbers from the state that sets the pace in the presidential race. Another 2020 contender is here to respond.
Stay with us.
TAPPER: Welcome back to the STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.
We are live in Austin, Texas, at the South by Southwest Festival, where, tonight, three Democratic presidential candidates will take questions from voters at the CNN town halls.
We are also about 225 miles from the border with Mexico. And, this week, the Senate could follow the House's lead and vote against the president's declaration of a national emergency, which would order funding to build a border wall.
Joining me now is the only Republican lawmaker to represent a congressional district on the U.S.-Mexico border, Republican Congressman Will Hurd of Texas.
Congressman, thanks so much for being here. We appreciate it.
REP. WILL HURD (R), TEXAS: Pleasure to be on with you. And I think we're the only two people at South by Southwest wearing ties, just for the record.
TAPPER: I'm sorry. I'm sorry to force you to wear a tie.
You have come out against the president's border wall. You know that there are new Customs and Border Protection numbers showing that the number of border apprehensions this fiscal year has almost doubled since last year, and that more and more of them are families.
TAPPER: Is this a crisis?
HURD: We are absolutely dealing with a problem. There's no question.
I think the president being focused on border security is important. Last year, 400,000 people came into the country illegally. We had $67 billion worth of illegal or narcotics coming into the -- into the country.
What I have always said -- and I have been saying this since 2002 -- building a 30-foot-high concrete structure from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security. Guess what? The president agrees. He mentioned that on one of his last announcements from the Rose Garden.
So, what we should be doing is focusing on technology, manpower, physical barriers where it makes sense. We have 654 miles of physical barriers on the border. This bill, the bipartisan bill that we passed three weeks ago, four weeks ago, has 88 more miles of physical barrier.
That's going a lot in the Rio Grande Valley.
TAPPER: You don't have a problem with that?
HURD: Don't have a problem with that. I voted for those things.
I have voted since I have been in Congress for $220 billion of funding. TAPPER: And you have 40 percent of the border in your district?
HURD: I have -- I have 820 miles of the border. The border is about 1,995 miles.
And so, ultimately, the issue with the use of the word -- word...
HURD: Not wall, but emergency.
TAPPER: Oh, OK.
HURD: That gives the president certain powers that I believe gets -- is -- goes against what our Constitution has set.
Congress, back before I was alive, gave this authority up that they have, the power of the purse, to the executive branch in times of emergency. I think we need to claw that back.
TAPPER: So, many Republicans were very critical of the president's declaration of a national emergency, but only 13 House Republican, including you, voted against it, against the declaration of the national emergency.
Why? Why such a disparity between those who talk about the Constitution and the rights of the Congress to set the funding and the actual putting their money where their mouth is?
HURD: Well, you will have to ask them why they didn't do that.
Here's why I voted for it, because I have multiple military bases in my district. And there's a plan to take about $4 billion away from construction at our military bases.
I'm in Del Rio, which is on the border. Laughlin Air Force Base produces more pilots than any other facility in the United States of America. There are projects there that take care of the men and women that keep us safe that are going to be impacted. I don't want to see that happen.
Also, we have, what, six months, seven months left in the fiscal year. It's going to be almost impossible to spend $8 billion from other areas. We had a bill that funded border security. We have done $220 billion over the last year.
This is a problem. We need to be focusing on things like fixing asylum, because asylum is being abused for people coming here. That's why you're seeing an influx of some of the families. There's a lot of stuff.
We should be -- we're at South by Southwest talking about technology. We should be using more technology. We're not using the latest and greatest technology. You can put what I call the smart wall along the border on all 2,000 miles in less than a year and gain operational control of the border, which means you know everything that is going back and forth across the border.
TAPPER: So, you voted also for the resolution in the House condemning anti-Semitism and hate more broadly in the wake of those comments from Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
You're the only black Republican in the House. Nearly two dozen of your Republican colleagues voted against the resolution. A lot of them said they thought it was watered down, it wasn't strong enough.
But you voted for it. Why were they wrong?
HURD: Well, I don't think they were wrong.
I voted for it because you shouldn't hate people, period, end of story. We learn that stuff in kindergarten. What I think many of my colleagues were doing in voting against it was lodging they're being upset about that this was watered down, it wasn't narrow.
Had Republicans done that, then the entire Democratic Caucus would have gotten -- gone crazy and gotten upset about that. I think...
TAPPER: Well, to be -- to be fair, I mean, your caucus, the Republican Caucus, tolerated a lot of insanely bigoted comments from Congressman Steve King for more than a decade.
But under new leadership, right, when -- what was the first thing that Kevin McCarthy did as the leader of the Republican Party? As soon as this happened, he's censured him, took him off his committees.
The gentlewoman from Minnesota is still on the Foreign Affairs Committee. This was -- this was similar remarks.
You know, we shouldn't hate people like this. This is 2019. The fact that the Democrats tripped up this week dealing with a resolution on condemning anti-Semitism is absolutely crazy.
We should have been talking about, how are we going to make sure we're competitive in 5G against China? How are we going to make sure we're working on artificial intelligence and being the leader on these issues?
HURD: But, instead, we're getting caught up by some of these -- by comments we know -- we should have learned in kindergarten you shouldn't hate people.
TAPPER: So let's talk about artificial intelligence, because you're here at South by Southwest to talk about this and having a national strategy for artificial intelligence.
You say the U.S. could be left behind on this. You're a former CIA officer. You're on the House Intelligence Committee. Explain why the American people should be concerned about this. What threat does artificial intelligence pose?
HURD: It's the future.
Vladimir Putin said whoever masters A.I. is going to master the world. I think this is the only thing he and I agree on. And the ability to manage people's data, the ability -- every industry is going to be impacted by artificial intelligence.
In agriculture right now, we are learning how to grow more crops with less water, with less land, with less energy. We all know about autonomous driving cars. And this is going to be the future economy.
And if we're not leading on that, China's going to. And that's going to impact our economy and that's going to impact our jobs. And we got to make sure that our young men and women, our sisters and brothers and sons and daughters and grandkids are ready for the future.
And that's one of the things that we're working on up here. And these are one of the issues that I want to be talking about here in South by Southwest.
TAPPER: Lastly, you have a famous -- or infamous -- that depends on your point of view, I suppose -- friendship with former Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who ran for Senate last year in Texas, and lost.
If he were to become -- if he were to run for president and become the Democratic nominee, who would you vote for between Beto O'Rourke and Donald Trump?
HURD: My plan is to vote for the Republican nominee, yes.
TAPPER: So, you would vote for President Trump over Beto O'Rourke?
HURD: It looks -- it's most likely that Donald Trump is the -- is the likely candidate, right.
TAPPER: So, Trump over O'Rourke?
HURD: That's very clear.
TAPPER: I'm pulling you to say the comment.
HURD: Unless -- unless Beto O'Rourke decides to run as a Republican, which I don't think he's planning on doing.
TAPPER: All right, Congressman Will Hurd, thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate it.
Our next guest is a 2020 candidate building his campaign on a single issue, one that President Trump falsely says doesn't even exist, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington responds to that next.
Stay with us.
TAPPER: Welcome back.
We're live in Austin, Texas, at the South by Southwest festival, where, tonight, my colleague Dana Bash and I will be moderating town halls with three Democratic presidential candidates.
And since we're talking 2020, here come the governors. Two of them just joined the race, hoping to follow a time-honored tradition of moving from the statehouse -- the state capital, rather, to the White House.
One of them is trying to make a single issue, climate change, define his campaign and, in fact, the race in 2020. That candidate is Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who joins me now.
Governor, thanks so much for being here.
INSLEE: Thank you.
TAPPER: Really appreciate it.
INSLEE: Thank you.
TAPPER: I want to get the climate change in a second.
TAPPER: But, before I do, your rival 2020 candidate Elizabeth Warren, the senator from Massachusetts, called out Amazon and other tech giants on stage here in Austin yesterday. She called for sweeping regulations that would break up large companies such as Amazon -- Amazon based in Seattle, obviously.
What do you think of the proposal?
INSLEE: Well, I think that we need to do things that will protect Americans in this new economy.
We have seen spectacular advances offered by large outfits in high tech, which have really helped us in our individual lives. But we have to do things that will protect Americans in this new Internet age, one of which is to protect our privacy.
I'm now passing a bill. A couple days ago, we passed one of, if not the best privacy bills in the United States, so that our privacy cannot be shopped and marketed and commoditized. That's extremely important, given what's going on in the world.
Second, we have to protect our net neutrality. And I'm proud to have signed the first law in the United States by statute that will protect our net neutrality. Third, we got to look at the tax issue here, where working people are paying a disproportionate amount of the tax burden.
So, there are many things we need to do to protect people in this new Internet age. And I look forward to being involved in those.
TAPPER: So, I guess the -- that's interesting. That's not really addressing Senator Warren's bill.
TAPPER: Because one of the things about her -- her basic premise is, Amazon and companies like it are too big.
Do you think that Amazon is too big? Do you think it should not be allowed to own Whole Foods, it should not be allowed to own entities such as Amazon Marketplace or Amazon Basics? Do you agree with that idea?
INSLEE: I think that, when you do antitrust law, you should set up the antitrust laws for the whole economy, not for one company.
So I'm not sure the best route of determining antitrust law should be sort of rifle shots at one company that you decide you don't like. I'm not sure that's the best way for us to do business.
But I do believe it's appropriate to have some review of our antitrust laws, given the changing economy. Maybe there are things we can look on that. I have not proposed any at the moment.
But I don't think we should wait for that issue. We need to restrain some of these forces that are abusing our privacy, shutting off access to the net, and having unfair tax advantages.
And then this -- I will tell you about this, about something that I'm very concerned about. We can -- we need to stop corporations from blackmailing local communities to get giant tax giveaways, or they will move out of town, where they pit two communities against each other.
We need to stop that race to the bottom. I have some ideas about how to do that. We cannot allow us to be subject to extortion just because a company threatens our jobs if you don't get a billion dollars in tax breaks -- or a little less than a billion.
INSLEE: So, that is something I do think we need to stop.
I have seen communities be victimized by that. And it's not just Amazon. Every corporation in America looks for that. We have got to protect our local tax base.
TAPPER: So let's talk about climate change.
First of all, what do you say to a Democratic voter who hears that your campaign is about climate change, and they think, oh, well, then he's not really serious about running for president, he's just trying to get an issue on the agenda?
INSLEE: I would say several things.
Number one, I would say that we are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it. And we have got one shot. And that's the next administration.
We have to have this be the primary, first, foremost, and paramount duty of the next administration, because the world's on fire. And we have got to act. And we have got a climate denier in the White House.
The second thing I would say is, if you care about climate change, you're not alone. A poll just came out in Iowa saying it's the top, number one priority, tied with health care.
And the third is, this is not a single issue. It is all the issues. Look, if you care about the economy, the economy is now being ravaged by climate change. And the economic growth that we can have -- I have been on a tour looking at all the job creation going on, solar power in Iowa, batteries in Nevada, wind power in Washington.
So, I have been on this tour nationally looking at what a tremendous job-creating opportunity this is. It's a health issue. It's asthma and infectious diseases.
It's a national security issue. I met with Admiral Fallon in Seattle, who talked about the Pentagon telling us what a national security threat it is.
INSLEE: And now we have Trump trying to -- trying to tear up the intelligence report. That's got to change.
TAPPER: So, let me ask you.
Even with all of this push on climate change, the most recent data from Washington state, from your own government, shows emissions actually increased by 6 percent from 2012 to 2015. You took office in 2013.
Why were you not able to bring emissions down in your state during that time?
INSLEE: Two reasons.
One, we have had the hottest economy in the country. So we have got every -- everybody moving to Washington state. And when you have more people, you have more cars and the like. But we have done some good things. We have developed a wind industry
from zero to $6 billion in 12 years. We have the largest usage of electric cars in the country. We are moving forward in research and development.
And, yesterday, or two days ago, we passed a bill that will give 100 percent clean electricity to folks. And we have three bills that are now moving through the legislature.
But we do need to do more, there is no question about that, because we have to tame this beast. And, when we do this, we know we can grow our economy. We have got the hottest economy in the United States. We're growing jobs in clean energy.
Jobs in clean energy today are moving twice as fast as the average in the United States. The number one job rate of growth in the United States is solar installer. Number two is wind turbine technician. So, we need to develop those policies. We're doing it.
Now, one of the reasons we were delayed is I had Republicans in control of our Senate. And we have a party that denies the existence of climate change. It's kind of hard.
I just got a working Democratic majority. That's why these bills are now moving. And you have me back in three months, and we will pop the champagne cork.
TAPPER: OK, that's fair enough.
TAPPER: Last question, sir.
You're joining the most diverse Democratic presidential field in history. Our new CNN/"Des Moines Register" poll shows that only 38 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa say they would be satisfied with a straight white male nominee.
So, why are you, as a straight white male, the right person to lead the Democratic Party, if there's so much skepticism from Democrats in Iowa?
INSLEE: I think that I have evinced humility about being a straight white male that I have never experienced discrimination like so many do.
I have never been pulled over, as an African-American teenager, by an officer driving through a white neighborhood. I have never been a woman and been talked over in a meeting.
So, I approach this with humility. And that's why I have been so dedicated through a 25-year public career of advancing justice in our society, of making sure that we have as much diversity as possible in the 2,000 people I have appointed -- and we have done really well in that regard -- of making sure that people who work for me have to go through implicit bias training, so that they understand how implicit bias can really discriminate against folks.
Doing criminal justice reform, where I just offered a pardon to 3,000 people with their marijuana convictions, because that's been part of the racial disparity that we have experienced is because of the drug war.
So, during my time in office, I have been very, very committed to making this a more just and open and tolerant society. And that's one of the reasons Washington is so successful.
I was the first governor who stood up against the Muslim ban. That got me in the -- just got my blood boiling. So, I stand up against this anywhere I see it. And I think people will see that when they get to know me.
TAPPER: All right, Governor Inslee, good luck out there on the campaign trail.
INSLEE: You bet.
TAPPER: We will see you out there. Stay with us.
The 2020 Democratic field is putting diversity and youth in the spotlight but the results of a brand new CNN poll might surprise you. That's next live from South by Southwest in Austin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Senators had to speak to whatever they are doing. What I can speak to is what I'm doing.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: There are a number of great candidates. No, there really are. And I always like to jokingly say may the best woman win.
REP. BETO O'ROURKE (D), TEXAS: We got to be a part of this amazing thing in Texas over the last two years, and it continues. And we just want to continue to be a part of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Democrats out in full force this weekend here at the South by Southwest primary, as a new poll in the actual voting part of the state is giving us some insight into the state of the race.
TAPPER: Bernie and Biden out far ahead of the other candidates and potential candidates in the CNN/Des Moines Register poll with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris in third and fourth. Let's discuss with our panel.
I want to start with you, Symone, as a Democratic voter, although not an Iowan, what do you make of the most diverse field of candidates ever and two old straight white men are leading the pack, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders?
SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I think it's so early, Jake. I am someone who believes this is largely due to name recognition. But someone like Bernie, someone like Joe Biden, they have very high name recognition. Bernie hasn't even been to Iowa yet. I don't think.
TAPPER: I think he might have just been there.
SANDERS: He just go -- OK. He just went to Iowa.
SANDERS: So look, I think Democratic voters in Iowa know them and they're looking to people that they know right now. But it's still very early. I think the polls to look at are post the first debate.
TAPPER: Post the first debate.
Well, let's bring in Congressman Eric Swalwell who is a potential presidential candidate. You have not said what you're going to do and I -- no offense but you're under one percent in this poll. A lot of other candidates are.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Room to grow.
TAPPER: Room to grow. That's fair. Have you made up your mind? Are you going to run?
SWALWELL: Did (ph) very close but I was just in Iowa last weekend. And number one issue in that Iowa poll is health care. And I saw across the state from west to Dubuque that you see these hollowed-out candy jars at gas stations where they have a flyer with a picture of someone in the community and that's their health care plan. The charity of a stranger at a cashier check out.
So people in Iowa are saying we need a health care plan that covers everyone and I think that is going to drive, you know, much of this debate as we go forward.
TAPPER: Linda Chavez, let me ask you because there's been so much said about how the Democratic Party is lurching left (INAUDIBLE) and the progressives of all. The energy but this poll for Joe Biden only 14 percent say he's too conservative, 64 percent want him to run. People perceive of him as being more moderate than the other candidates. Does this surprise you?
LINDA CHAVEZ, FORMER REAGAN ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, it doesn't surprise me and, you know, I think that there is a hunger for a centrist candidate in this election. We have got the left wing well represented with Bernie and with Senator Warren and others. And now we have obviously on the right President Trump, and I think a majority of Americans are not in either place.
They want somebody more in the center. And I think somebody like Joe Biden may fit the bill.
TAPPER: What do you think -- who is the most challenging to President Trump? You're a Trump supporter, who do you feel would get the nomination for the Democrats?
SCOTT JENNINGS, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, someone who can withstand the far left flank of the Democratic Party would be most problematic for Trump. But the question that jump out at me to your question to Linda is at the very end of the poll, 56 of Democrats in this survey said they would be very or mostly satisfied if the Democratic nominee thinks the United States should be more socialist.
This is starting to remind me a little of the 2016 Republican field. You have got a candidate in there, Sanders, who's saying a lot of things that the people of his party want him to say, and then you a lot of fragmentation out there in the rest of the field.
He could win Iowa. He could definitely win New Hampshire as a border state guy and the rout could be on. So I think the combination of the left would lurch with his organization and with his already strong position in Iowa. I mean, he might actually be the front-runner right now, not Biden.
TAPPER: Well, that's certainly true. The race is really taking shape. We saw a bunch of candidates or potential candidates say that they're not going to run this week. Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, former attorney general Eric Holder, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. Does --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Merkley --
TAPPER: Jeff Merkley, the senator from Oregon. Does this suggest to you that people are seeing that Joe Biden is in the race and it's not worth running because he hasn't fully announced, but we all think he's going to?
SANDERS: We all think he's going to.
TAPPER: Is that what's going on?
SANDERS: I don't think -- I think perhaps for some folks Vice President Biden is a factor. I think for a lot of folks though they're looking at time and money. And with 20-plus, 15-plus potentially people in the field, you have to be able to raise the money. You have to have the time to go out there, speak to the voters and get across the country.
You have to have people to work for you. OK? So these are strategic decisions I think some folks are making.
I think some of those people you named, all of them actually would make great presidential candidates, but I think we have got a good feel thus far. It's not done being filled out. But, look, I think the folks in the race right now are in the race because they think they could be the president of the United States. The people that aren't are like, maybe this isn't my time.
TAPPER: So one of the things -- one of the dynamics that is most interesting to me and it has a lot to do with the scrutiny that Joe Biden's record is going to. He's been -- he's been in office for literally for decades and it has to do with the fact that Senator Joe Biden when he was senator opposed busing, that's the efforts to integrate schools by bringing in people from different communities. Very controversial at the time.
Biden in a recent story that came out in "The Washington Post" was quoted in a story in 1975 in Delaware saying, "I do not buy the concept, popular in the '60s, which said, we have suppressed the black man for 300 years and the white man is not far ahead in the race for everything our society offers.
In order to even the score, we must now give the black man a head start, or even hold the white man back, to even the race."
Kamala Harris benefited from busing and integration. And she was, I think, in the second --
SANDERS: In the second class.
TAPPER: -- the second class integrated in her school in Oakland, California. She was asked about this comment. She said, "Well, I don't know what he has said recently about those statements but I'll just speak on behalf of myself. There's no question that we need still to integrate the schools of our country. We had and I was part of the second class to integrate Berkley California public schools in the 70s."
I do feel at some point she's going to have to confront Joe Biden in the 70s, because she was in the 70s being -- a child, in her view, benefiting.
SWALWELL: I wasn't alive when that decision was made. I would have supported it. But let's look at the black experience --
TAPPER: You supported busing?
SWALWELL: Yes but -- let's look at the black experience today. You're seeing that, you know, black students who graduate college still have more student loan debt than white students. It's a different criminal justice system for a young black man than a young white man.
And black households still see their wages are lower. So these issues still persists. So we're not doing enough today, and busing wasn't enough then. I think that's going to be again a top of mind issue for --
TAPPER: Don't you think that she's going to have to -- they're going -- they're going -- they're going to come to --
CHAVEZ: I think they are going to come to terms. And my guess is that Biden is going to try to fudge it and is going to try to say, well, it was a different time then, and he's absolutely right about that. There were a lot of Democrats at the time who were opposed to racial quotas in colleges, in hiring, and they were opposed to busing. That changed, but at the time that he had those positions, that was not out of the mainstream of the Democratic Party.
TAPPER: So much going on this week, and obviously the Democrat had to confront the comments made by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. I want you to listen to how President Trump and who Speaker Pelosi framed the issue of Ilhan Omar and her controversial comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They become an anti-Jewish party.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: I don't think it watered down the anti-Semitic language at all. I think it strengthened it. And it isn't about anybody who hates anybody. It's about people who act upon their hatred.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: She's talking about the resolution against hate. We only have about 90 seconds. But I want to get you two into this. What do you think?
JENNINGS: Well, I think the Democrats spent all week stepping on rakes on this issue, watching them try to get their arms around this now for the second time. It's really tragic.
Speaker Pelosi said she had a different experience with words than the rest of us. Well, I guess that it's true since the most of us don't use anti-Semitic words on a regular basis. I think the Democrats have absolutely fumbled this issue, they have failed on this issue.
And I sit out here and get flogged whenever Donald Trump messes up on these issues, and he does, and now the Democrats are absolutely failing after flogging Donald Trump for two years. It is a disgrace.
SANDERS: Congresswoman Omar should not have used the term allegiance and I think she is feeling the rant of that right now but to suggest that she is ant-Semitic I think just isn't true.
Now Donald Trump, folks who live in glass houses should not be throwing rocks, Jake. And that's all I have to say about that. SWALWELL: We are a pro-U.S./Israel relationship party, nothing about that has changed when we see comments like this we're going to call them out. But we can also kind of address some of the issues were -- the two-state solution needs to happen there. We need to restore the aid that President Trump has taken away from Palestinians.
But this week, while all this was going to going on we passed an update to the Voting Rights Act and last week we passed background checks. So we're still doing work. We're not going to be distracted by this.
CHAVEZ: But not being able to speak out clearly against anti- Semitism. Almost 60 percent of the hate crimes on the basis of religion were against Jews last year. And those crimes are up by 37 percent. The Democrats should have been able to speak clearly and resolutely about anti-Semitism.
TAPPER: Thanks so much for being here. I hope you guys all had fun at South by Southwest while I'm working during the town halls tonight. Get there early, because the birther wing is filling up quickly. We're going to take a peek inside the Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library from our friends at The Daily Show here at South by Southwest next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.
The president's tweets in all their glory on display right here at the South by Southwest festival.
TAPPER (voice-over): At the Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library here at South by Southwest the exhibits are constantly hitting refresh.
ROY WOOD JR., CORRESPONDENT, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH": I thought we had a tweet coming in. I was getting excited.
TAPPER: After every 280 character glimpse into the president's mind.
DESI LYDIC, CORRESPONDENT, "THE DAILY WHO WITH TREVOR NOAH": Many people do forget about the haters and losers. But he will never forget about the haters and losers.
WOOD JR.: Happy father's day to all, even the haters and losers.
TAPPER: Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah" dives into President Trump's Twitter feuds and highlights old favorites like the Cinco de Mayo taco bowl tweet where the president touted his love for Hispanics with a plug for the Trump Tower grill. And appropriately framed in gold a master work, the covfefe tweet.
WOOD JR.: We know he loves gold.
TAPPER: Visitors to the exhibit can envision themselves tweeting on a golden presidential throne.
WOOD JR.: Look at me. I'm Donald Trump. It's two in the morning (INAUDIBLE) Kim Jong-un.
TAPPER: Or step up to the tablet and create your own mocking nickname.
WOOD JR.: Jake Tapper's nickname according to the Trump generator, wimpy Jake Tapper.
TAPPER: Trevor Noah believes President Trump's Twitter feed is the key to his appeal.
TREVOR NOAH, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH": Trump is honestly like he's almost a savant when it comes to his tweeting. Because there are tweets that he's written about the future that have come true. These things that -- like he's predicted things we just don't appreciate him that's the thing.
TAPPER (on camera): Mostly about himself though unfortunately.
NOAH: Yes. That's still genius in my opinion. I mean, to tweet things about yourself as a future president and then it comes true is just like, you know, that's -- we have to honor that before we die.
TAPPER (voice-over): And these "Daily Show" correspondents think the president would be flattered but not surprised by the attention.
WOOD JR.: Obama doesn't have a Twitter library. Reagan didn't get a Twitter library.
LYDIC: Nope. Trump is number one. He is winning at Twitter libraries.
TAPPER: So are they rooting for the president to give them four more years of material? Probably not.
WOOD JR.: I would be perfectly content being a correspondent on "The Daily Show" where all we have to do is made Beto O'Rourke jokes or Kamala Harris jokes. Like that's fine.
LYDIC: We are willing to dig for those jokes.
WOOD Jr.: I would write Cory Booker jokes if I had to.
TAPPER: Our thanks to Desi and Roy. Our tour guides there. Make sure to tune in tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Dana Bash and I will moderate three CNN town halls featuring Democratic presidential candidates. "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" picks up in minutes.