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State of the Union

Melania Trump on World Stage; Mexico Deal?; Interview With Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Aired 9-10a ET

Aired June 09, 2019 - 09:00   ET




DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): All in Iowa. Nearly every Democratic candidate heads to Iowa, as a new CNN/"Des Moines Register" poll shows the field is shifting.

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You will see an awful lot of me in Iowa.

BASH: Is the original progressive still the one to beat?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People all over the country are saying, you know what, those ideas are right.

BASH: Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders joins us exclusively from Iowa in moments.

And Hail Mary deal? The president strikes a last-minute border agreement with Mexico, turning down the heat on his tariff threat.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Frankly, we could solve this problem so easy.

BASH: Democrats say the president only solved a problem that he caused. Still, did his escalation strategy work?

Plus, fashion diplomacy, the first lady on the world stage, rubbing shoulders with the British royal family.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II, UNITED KINGDOM: A toast to President and Mrs. Trump.

BASH: Mrs. Trump did not speak publicly, but used her wardrobe to send a message.


BASH: Hello. I'm Dana Bash, in for Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is looking to the heartland.

Almost the entire 2020 Democratic field, 19 out of 23 candidates, descended on the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa this weekend, ahead of a major campaign cattle call, the annual Hall of Fame Dinner happening tonight in Cedar Rapids.

One candidate not there is the front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is attending his granddaughter's graduation. But both Biden and President Trump are heading to the state later this week.

Meanwhile, lawmakers from Iowa are breathing sigh of relief after the president dropped his threat to impose tariffs on Mexico in exchange for what he says will be stepped-up enforcement on the flow of illegal immigration at the border.

And as Democratic candidates try to get traction with Iowa voters, we have a brand-new poll from CNN and "The Des Moines Register" laying out the state of the race.

Here it is. Just five candidates hit above 2 percent in the poll. Joe Biden maintained his slot at 24 percent. Senator Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg are all virtually tied for -- in a three-way race for second place, 16, 15, 14, respectively. Senator Kamala Harris comes in fifth with 7 percent, before a sharp drop to the rest of the field.

And I want to get straight to Iowa now for our exclusive interview with the presidential candidate currently in second place, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Good morning, Senator. Thank you so much for joining me.

We have so many issues to talk to you, but, first, I want to get your reaction to what you just heard, our new poll in Iowa. You're not in the second tier on your own anymore, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg right there with you. And Warren is on top among liberal caucus- goers.

It seems maybe you have lost your position as the clear progressive alternative to Joe Biden in Iowa. Why?

SANDERS: Well, Dana, what I think is that, four years ago, there were only two of us in the race, and we split the vote about 50 percent each.

This time, we got a whole lot of candidates. And I don't think anybody is going to reach 50 percent. But I got to tell you, we have an incredibly strong volunteer network here in Iowa.

We just did several town meetings yesterday, large turnouts. And the issues that we are talking about, the fact that the working class of this country is sick and tired of working longer hours for low wages, worried about the standard of living that their kids will have, worried about climate change, worried that almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent, those are issues that will resonate in Iowa.

Those are issues that are going to resonate all over this country. The American people, in my very strong belief, want a government and an economy that works for everybody, not just the 1 percent. So we're not going to get 50 percent of the vote in Iowa. I don't

think anybody will. I think we have an excellent chance to win here. We're going to win in New Hampshire. And I think we have a very strong chance of being the candidate who will defeat the worst president in the modern history of this country, Donald Trump.

BASH: OK, so let's talk a little bit about some of the issues before us, and Donald Trump in particular.

He, of course, is touting a deal on Friday to avoid imposing tariffs on Mexico, after he says Mexico agreed to increase its National Guard presence, dismantle organizations that traffic migrants, and return asylum seekers to Mexico more easily.

Does the president deserve credit for that?


SANDERS: Well, I think what the president has done is tout what, in fact, in many respects, Mexico has agreed to do many months ago.

But I think what the world is tired of and what I am tired of is a president who consistently goes to war, verbal war, with our allies, whether it is Mexico, whether it is Canada.

The issue here in terms of immigration requires us finally to do what should have been done years ago, and that is pass comprehensive immigration reform to make sure that our young -- young people in this country who are in the DACA program get immediate legal protection, and that we have a humane border policy.

We need a decent relationship with Mexico. They are our allies, as is the case with Canada. We should not be confronting them every other day.

BASH: Philosophically, though, as president, would you be willing to use tariffs as a negotiating tactic on non-trade-related issues?

SANDERS: I believe that the trade policies this country, the United States, has had for many years were written by the CEOs of large corporations, often in secret, by the way.

I voted against NAFTA. I voted against permanent normal trade relations with China. And I think what the facts show is that we have lost some four million good-paying jobs as a result of those disastrous trade agreements.

BASH: And I understand that that's how you feel about trade.

But what about the idea of tactically using tariffs on other issues to negotiate on other issues?

SANDERS: You can't use it to threaten -- you can't have a trade policy based on tweets.

What you need is a -- comprehensive trade policies which represents the working people of this country, and not just the CEOs of large corporations.

So, do we need to change our trade policies, so that we protect jobs in America? Yes. Do we need to work with other countries to lift up the poorest people around the world? Yes, we do.

But Trump's erratic threats and trade policies are not the way to go.

BASH: OK, so you talked broadly about immigration.

You tweeted this week that President Trump's tariffs were a -- quote -- "fake border crisis" -- in quotation marks. But immigration officials have arrested or encountered more than 144,000 migrants at the southern border in May, the highest monthly total in 13 years.

Border facilities are dangerously overcrowded. Migrants are actually standing on toilets to get space to breathe. How is that not a crisis?

SANDERS: What we need to do -- I mean, what Trump has been doing and I think the -- what the meaning of that tweet is about is that Trump has been demonizing undocumented people in this country.

And that's part of his strategy about dividing us up. Before he was president, he was the leader of the birther movement, trying to delegitimize President Trump. He has been anti-Muslim. That's what his political strategy is.

What we need is a border policy that is humane that, among other things, expedites the asylum process by bringing in a whole lot more legal staff and judges, so that people do not have to wait.

BASH: But what I just described to you, is that a crisis?

SANDERS: It is a serious problem, but it is not the kind of crisis that requires demonization of desperate people who in some cases have walked 1,000 miles with their children.

It is an issue that we have to deal with. But the issue of climate change, the issue of tens of millions of Americans not having any health insurance, the fact that half of our people are living paycheck to paycheck, those are more serious crises.

So, it is an issue, but you don't demonize desperate people. We deal with it in a rational and humane way.

BASH: Let's talk to -- talk about the issue of abortion.

Joe Biden changed his position this week, opposes the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits using taxpayer dollars for abortion services. You oppose it too. And you said this week that you have -- quote -- "always voted against the Hyde Amendment."

But you have actually voted in the past to support large spending bills that include the Hyde Amendment.

Is it misleading, Senator, to say that you have never voted for it? SANDERS: Well, look, sometimes, you -- in a large bill, you have to

vote for things you don't like. But I think my record as being literally 100 percent pro-choice is absolutely correct.

Look, if you believe, as I do, that a woman's right to control her own body is a constitutional right, then that must apply to all women, including low-income women. That is what I have always believed, and that is what I believe right now.

BASH: OK, so...


SANDERS: I am very concerned -- I'm sorry. Go ahead.

BASH: No, please.

SANDERS: All right.

And I am very concerned about the outrageous attacks that we are seeing in Alabama, Georgia or Missouri, all over this country, which clearly are trying to overturn -- lead us to overturn Roe vs. Wade.


And let me say to you, Dana, what I have said many, many times, and that I don't have a whole lot of litmus tests regarding Supreme Court nominees, but I do have one on this issue, and that I will never, never nominate somebody to the Supreme Court who is not 100 percent defending Roe vs. Wade.

BASH: So, talking about the Hyde Amendment, that is not the only issue that you and Joe Biden have had a disagreement about.

You disagreed about the war in Iraq. You disagreed about NAFTA. You disagreed about the bank bailout in 2008. He supported it. You opposed it.

If you're right on all these issues, and Joe Biden is wrong, why is he in the lead?

SANDERS: Well, Dana that's the poll of today.

BASH: Well, it's not just one poll.

SANDERS: I think that...

BASH: I'm not even talking about Iowa, just even national polls, all of them.

SANDERS: Well, Dana, last I heard -- the last I heard, the election was eight months from today, when the first ballots are going to be cast in Iowa.

And in terms of the war in Iraq, let the American people decide. I not only voted against that. Well, I did everything that I could to make certain that the United States does not invade Iraq. I did not believe what Dick Cheney had to say, what John Bolton had to say, what the Bush administration had to say. I thought that they were lying.

And, in fact, if you look at my record, go to hear my speeches on the floor of the House...


SANDERS: And it gives me no pleasure to...

BASH: So, what does it say about Joe Biden's judgment that he didn't?

SANDERS: Well, I will let the voters decide that.

All I can tell you is that not only did I help lead the effort against the war in Iraq, I'm very proud of the fact that I helped lead the effort in the Senate, successfully, to get a successful vote to end the U.S.' participation in the horrible war in Yemen, which is leading to the worst humanitarian disaster in the world.

And I will do everything I can to make sure that Trump, or John Bolton, or the Trump administration does not get us into a war in Iran, which, in my view...

BASH: So...

SANDERS: ... would be even worse than the war in Iraq.

BASH: OK, so you mentioned Iran. You are talking a lot about this on the campaign trail.

You say the Trump administration is laying the groundwork for war with Iran. And you repeatedly tout your opposition, as you did today, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So, in real terms, right now, the U.S. has thousands of troops in the Middle East. If you are elected president, how soon would those troops come home?

SANDERS: As soon as possible.

Look, you have a situation where I do not want to see perpetual warfare in that region. We have been in Afghanistan. It's the longest war in the history of this country. The war in Iraq was a disaster. And if you think the war in Iraq was a disaster, the war in Iran will be even worse.

The function of the president of the United States now is not simply to side with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a totalitarian, despotic, murderous regime. They are not our friends. They do not share any of our values.

Iran also has played a very bad role in that region, supporting terrorist organizations. The role of the United States is not simply to support Saudi Arabia. The role of the United States is to bring Saudi Arabia and Iran together and help work out some kind of diplomatic agreement.

But I do not want to see perpetual warfare in that region, where our kids and our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren will still be at war, and we will spend trillions of dollars that should be spent here at home.

BASH: So, let's bring it home, Medicare for all.

Several of your 2020 opponents, like Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, are co-sponsoring your Medicare for all bill. But they also say they do not want to eliminate private health insurance.

Are these candidates who still see a role for private insurance true supporters of your Medicare for all plan?

SANDERS: Well, once again, Dana, I will let the voters decide that.

All I can tell you...

BASH: Well, what do you think -- is that -- I mean, you're the -- you're the creator of this plan.

SANDERS: Well, Dana, I'm not here to -- Dana -- Dana, I'm not here to attack Cory Booker, who is a friend of mine. Kamala Harris is a friend of mine.

BASH: No, I know, but I'm saying, you're creator of this plan. Is your vision to have private insurance or not?


SANDERS: Well, let me just -- let me just tell you what it is.

It is to do what every other major country on Earth does. And that is to guarantee health care to every man, woman and child in this country.

Right now, we spend twice as much per capita on health care as do the people of any other nation. We should talk about that. Spend twice as much. We pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Millions of people cannot afford the drugs that they desperately need, because we're getting ripped off by the greed of the pharmaceutical industry.

And, meanwhile, you got 34 million uninsured and even more underinsured. This is a system that is failing. The function of the current system is to make billions in profits for the drug companies.

BASH: Is there a role for private insurance in your Medicare for all?

SANDERS: There is a limited -- no, the function of a -- this system is to make money for the insurance companies. What I believe, we need a cost-effective health care system guaranteeing health care to all people.

[09:15:01] The function of the private insurance company would be to cover those procedures, often cosmetic procedures, that will not be covered by the comprehensive single-payer Medicare for all system that I am fighting for.

And, by the way, when we talk about Medicare for all, we improve Medicare for seniors by covering hearing aides, by covering eyeglasses, and by covering dental care, which Medicare does not cover.

And when we do all of that, because we get rid of the profiteering of the insurance companies and the drug companies and the huge bureaucratic waste in the system, we save people money on their health care costs.

BASH: OK, Senator, stay right there. We have a lot more to discuss.

We're going to take a quick break. Don't go away.


BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Dana Bash.

And we are back with more of our exclusive interview with 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.

Senator, you have announced a big speech coming up this coming week about Democratic socialism. I remember you gave a similar speech back in 2015.

Do you think, though, now the country is more ready for a Democratic socialist president like you than it was four years ago?

SANDERS: Well, I -- I think the answer is yes, but I think it's important for the American people to understand what my definition is of Democratic socialism. And it's certainly not how Donald Trump defines it.


I have spent my whole life fighting for democracy, fighting against authoritarianism, whether it was in the Soviet Union, Venezuela or anyplace else.

But what I believe, when we talk about Democratic socialism, is, number one, we have to deal with the massive levels of income and wealth inequality in this country, where you have -- and, by the way, Dana, this is not something that we see on TV too often, but we do have to deal with it as a nation.

Is it acceptable that three families in America now own more wealth than the bottom half of the American people? Is it acceptable that the top 1 percent owns more wealth than the bottom 92 percent, or that 49 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent?

If we are a real democracy, is it a problem, is it appropriate that you have a handful of billionaires who can spend hundreds of millions of dollars to elect U.S. senators, members of the Congress, governors, even presidents?

BASH: So, I want to talk about...

SANDERS: So, what we have to do, what I -- I'm sorry.

What I mean by Democratic socialism is creating a government that works for everybody, not controlled, either legislatively or politically, by a handful of very wealthy people. That's number one.

Number two, it means that, in America, we have certain economic rights that are human rights, human rights. Health care, to my mind, is not a privilege. It is a human right. That's what Democratic socialism means to me.

It means that, if you work 40 hours a week in this country, you should not be living in poverty. It means we should not have a half-a- million people tonight sleeping out on the street. It means that we do not have more people in jail than any other country on Earth.

So, when I talk about Democratic socialism, it means a vibrant democracy and an economy that works for all, not just the people on top.

BASH: So, one of the issues that I would assume you consider part of that of that -- that philosophy is your plan for tuition-free public college.

Your 2020 opponent Elizabeth Warren unveiled her own college plan that she says goes further than yours, because it also cancels up to $50,000 in student loan debt for tens of millions of Americans.

So, is she right? Or would you also forgive any existing student loan debt?

SANDERS: Oh, no, of course, our plan forgives massive amounts of student debt. Elizabeth's plan is a good idea. And so is ours.

But here's the story. Every place I go -- I'm here in Iowa right now -- and you ask people about student debt, they're paying $50,000. If you go to graduate school, medical school, could be $300,000, $400,000. That is insane.

We need to have the best-educated work force in the world. We used to 20 or 30 years ago. We no longer do. So, to my mind, when you ask me about...

BASH: Senator, I just want to be specific. I want to be specific, because Senator Warren is specific. She says that it cancels up to $50,000 in student debt.

How much would yours...

SANDERS: Our plan will cancel -- our plan will cancel a substantial amount of student debt and in some ways probably go further than Senator Warren's.

BASH: More than $50,000?

SANDERS: But we have got to -- I don't have the plan in my pocket right now.

But what we have got to do is make sure that every person in this country, regardless of their income, can get a higher education. And I am very proud, by the way, that not only Senator Warren, but others, have moved in that direction.

And, by the way, you're seeing cities and states move in that direction. Four years ago, when I talked about that idea, it was considered to be pretty radical. But I'm delighted to see that, all over this country, there is the understanding that education, higher education, is a right for all workers, for all Americans.

And, by the way, when we talk about higher education, not just college. There are a lot of young people who are not academically inclined who need to get the trade skills they need to be carpenters and sheet metal workers and plumbers.

BASH: Senator, I want to ask you about...

SANDERS: And that -- our legislation does that as well.


SANDERS: Yes, I'm sorry.

BASH: I want to ask you about something that happened in Maine recently, and that is, the state legislature passed a bill effectively legalizing assisted suicide for patients with terminally ill diseases.

Now, if the governor signs it, Maine would be the eighth state to enact that legislation, including your home state, as you know, of Vermont.

Would you support federal legislation to legalize assisted suicide?

SANDERS: Look, that's a very difficult issue.

And I think that is an issue right now that I am comfortable seeing in the hands of the state. It's a controversial issue. And the fear is, obviously, that it could be taken too far. But I think, probably, it is best dealt with at this point at the state level...


SANDERS: ... which is where it is right now.

BASH: OK, Senator, you were in Arkansas this week at a Walmart leadership meeting, where you called on the company to raise its entry-level pay from $11 an hour to $15 an hour.

But they're already paying almost $4 above the federal minimum wage. And Congress, which you're a part of, is not doing anything to raise that. So, why should Walmart raise its wages on its own, when it's already paying more than is required by law?


SANDERS: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.


SANDERS: When you say Congress is not doing anything, let's be clear.

BASH: I'm not saying -- I'm not saying you're not supporting it.

SANDERS: It is the Republicans...

BASH: But go ahead.

SANDERS: Well, actually, it is my legislation...

BASH: I understand.

SANDERS: ... that is the dominant legislation in the Senate.

So, let's be clear. It's not Congress. It is Republican leadership. So, I have asked Mitch McConnell, who apparently supports the $7.25 federal minimum wage.

Now, let me be clear. I think a $7.25 minimum wage right now is a starvation wage. It is a disgrace. Minimum wage has not been raised in 12 years. So, I am pushing very hard to make sure that we have a $15 minimum wage, so that, if you work 40 hours in this country, you can live with a shred of dignity. That's not a lot of money.

Now, I went to Walmart in Bentonville, Arkansas, to make this point, that the family that owns Walmart is the Walton family. As you may know, Dana, the Walton family is the wealthiest family in America. They are worth $175 billion, $175 billion.

They should be able to pay their workers a living wage, at least $11 an hour. And now you have the absurd situation that, because they have a starting minimum wage in Walmart of $11 an hour, you got many thousands of Walmart employees who are forced to go on Medicaid, food stamps and public housing.

And guess who pays for that? It is the taxpayers of America. And I don't think the ordinary taxpayer should have to subsidize the wealthiest family in this country.

BASH: Senator...

SANDERS: But it's not just Walmart. I will be marching -- I will be marching with McDonald's workers today. They need an increase in their minimum wage.

BASH: All right, Senator.

SANDERS: So the fight continues, because -- yes, sorry.

BASH: We're -- we're going to look for that. We're out of time.

No problem.

We will look for you doing that with McDonald's workers.

Thank you so much for all of your time today. Appreciate it, Senator.

SANDERS: Thank you very much, Dana.

BASH: And, as we mentioned at the top of the show, our new CNN/"Des Moines Register" poll shows two candidates are gaining on the front- runners. Why is that?

We will talk about it next.




MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't even view us as having opponents so much as competitors. You'd be surprised how often we are in dialogue with each other, different candidates. And as these cattle calls pick up, we're going to get to know each other better and better. We might as well car pool.

The day will come when we are all on the same page. And we've got to -- we got to have that solidarity, and we can plant the seeds for it right now.


BASH: OK. Let's do car pool karaoke maybe with the Democratic candidates. That was South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg saying there are so many candidates in Iowa this weekend, that's exactly what they should do, car pool. Let's not hold our breath for that.

He is one of 19 Democrats making his pitch in Iowa this weekend as the first in the nation caucus gets under way for real. Buttigieg rocketed into second tear in a brand new CNN/Des Moines Register poll. Take a look once again. Joe Biden is at 24 percent, Bernie Sanders 16, Elizabeth Warren 15, Buttigieg 14 and Kamala Harris is at 7 percent.

Jen Psaki, you have spent a lot of time in the state of Iowa working for various candidates through the years. What's your take on that at this point in time?

JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first, for all the discussion about Iowa not mattering, it hugely matters. It's goings to set the pace for this race. That's not something we would have thought a year ago. Iowa voters are also very discriminating. They want to meet people not once, not twice, but probably five times and they probably want them to sleep on their couch to get to know them. And they're really getting to know these candidates.

So what we're seeing here I think is Iowa voters starting to decide who they're really preferring, who they like, who they're hearing from. And it's a very fluid race. I think we also learned that from this recent poll.

A drop of nine and six points for Biden and Bernie, a rise forward Warren and Buttigieg. They've been spending time in the state. They've been putting forward plans and having substantive discussions.

So I think Iowa is going to be important, vital and I think we'll see more movement in this race. But it was quite a telling poll in my view.

BASH: And what specifically do you make, Aisha, about Bernie Sanders now sharing his second place situation with two other candidates? I mean, there are three candidates tied for third. Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg.

And Elizabeth Warren is even doing better than Bernie at this point with liberal caucus-goers.

AISHA MOODIE-MILLS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, it was different last go-around when the only options were Hillary versus Bernie. But now that you have more people in the field that represent the similar ideals or similar ideals as Bernie Sanders, he doesn't look as exciting as he did last cycle.

I am not surprised that Elizabeth Warren is where she is right now because Elizabeth Warren has a plan and is having those detailed in- depth conversations with potential voters who are in Iowa and other places about exactly what she'll do. I think that what we're seeing right now from Bernie Sanders is, you know, kind of we know what he stands for, he's been repeating that over and over.

He's got his talking points down but we're not necessarily getting anything fresh, and invigorating, and exciting. And so it's not surprising to me the people are like, oh, yes, we know what you're about, but these other folks are now rising up because we're hearing more from them and it's interesting.

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE BULWARK: Yes. I mean, I think for me this is a pretty interesting poll and it confirms -- I think it confirms the suspicion I have. I could obviously be wrong. Biden and Sanders are weak.

I mean, Biden is the two term vice president, the most popular Democratic president obviously in recent times and he's now at 24 percent in Iowa and falling. Once people -- only so many times he can remind people that he was Barack Obama's vice president for eight years which is a good credential in the Democratic primary but I'm dubious that last six, eight, nine months now and Sanders got what 12 million votes or something in 2016, and he's down at 16 percent, tied basically with Warren and Buttigieg.


So I think as a thought experiment, let's assume Sanders and Biden continue to fall. And incidentally once you start falling, we've all been through this, I think -- I certainly have, you kind of keep falling. Then what happens? What kind of race is it?

It's really an interesting race. I suppose Warren is kind of a mild front-runner. But then a lot of room for Buttigieg and Harris, and I would say room for the next tier, even for someone to come out of that and make a run. Cory Booker or Michael Bennet or someone. I think it's a much more wider race than one thinks.

BASH: And on that -- I'm glad you mentioned that because on that there are -- there's the first tier and then there is everybody else. And it's really dramatic the difference between the two. I mean, everybody else is like 2 percent, 1 percent and then kind of non- existent.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. And at some point when you're running one of these campaigns.

BASH: You see it on the screen now. I mean, two, two, one, one, one. And these are not unfamiliar -- Cory Booker 1 percent.

JENNINGS: Yes. And at some point when you're running these campaigns as everyone here know, you have to decide, is it worth it to continue to try to plow forward here when the rules make it so that if you don't get 15 percent of the vote, you don't get any delegates at all. And so if you keep plugging along and you don't have a break-through moment at a debate and you don't raise enough money and you're just not breaking through to that top tier, when do I have to change course here and stop spending all my time in Iowa or any time in Iowa if I just can't organizationally put it together.

And I think several of these candidates after the first debate will have to start making decisions like that. Although there is plenty of time for someone to have a moment. You can have a moment and get hot.

Elizabeth Warren was sort of down and out and then she had a couple of moments on impeachment and a good CNN town hall. And so all of the sudden you can get back in it. But if you haven't had one by the fall --

BASH: OK. So speaking of moments, Joe Biden had one this week that he did not welcome, which is he supported for four decades the so- called Hyde amendment which prohibits federal funding to be used for abortion, and then he flip-flopped. I mean, this is the truest form of flip-flop I think we've seen in a long time in that he came out, he was speaking in Atlanta and he said never mind, I now oppose it.

Jen Psaki, you use worked in the Obama-Biden White House. You know him. What I've been told this and everybody else, he supports it because it is his Catholic faith, it is what he's always believed and then he made a political calculation. Good or bad? PSAKI: Well, I think ultimately he landed in the right place. So I'm pleased to see that. I mean, this is not a progressive view in the Democratic Party. It's a very mainstream view in the Democratic Party across the board.

It was in the 2016 convention platform. What I think it does show about Joe Biden though is that he's rusty and out of touch and out of sync with the electorate.

This is not a new shift. Yes, it is true that this year there is an urgency and a fear among women, and that is something that, if you were out on the trail and you were doing three or four events a day or week, he would be seeing and he hasn't.

So I'm happy to see where he's landed. I think that women he's talking to, maybe women on his team, maybe women in his life have pushed him there. But I think he needs to be out there more to really be more in tune with where the electorate --

BASH: OK. We have got to sneak in a quick break. We have lot more to talk about including new polling suggesting some deep red states could turn blue in 2020. Which states? Stay with us.




SEN. JONI ERNST (R-IA), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: We are breathing a sigh of relief that we will not see these tariffs. The president negotiated with the Mexican delegation and we are glad for that outcome.


BASH: Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst describing her relief at the president's decision to suspend his proposed Mexico tariffs after Mexico said it would end -- it would up its efforts rather to stem the tide of illegal immigration. Let's discuss.

Bill Kristol, I know you're not one to give applause to the president. Is this one where he deserves some?

KRISTOL: I mean, only insofar as he didn't do something it would have been very damaging. Though he's done some damage anyway by just making everyone uncertain about the future with Mexico and with other trading partners of ours.

I was talking to a businessman in the Midwest actually, in Chicago on Friday who said, you know, are you really going to make -- do you have a supply chain that goes through Mexico? Is he going to pull this stunt again in three months or six months, maybe you want to cut back a little bit on the investment, either a plant here that depends on Mexican parts or whatever. There's a reason. Free trade is treated as if there's some crazy abstraction that a bunch of ideologues imposed on the world. There are reasons especially once it starts happening, once globalization has begun, there are a reasons why an awful lot of people understand that you really don't want to monkey with this too much.

BASH: Well, we're old enough to remember when Republicans were the party of free trade.


BASH: Scott, so given what Bill just said and knowing -- because you know the leadership in the Senate so well how worried the Republicans were that the president might actually go through with this. Crisis averted or more than that?

JENNINGS: Well, certainly crisis averted in the short term because nobody wants to see anything happen to the economy that can put it in jeopardy. It's the president's best argument for re-election. And if anything happens to it that drags it down.

Senate Republicans are very worried about electoral prospects. I think do think one thing is true, I think it's very cynical to try to pile on to the president today when he's trying to pull all the levers and pulleys to do something about illegal immigration. I'm glad he lit a fire under the Mexican government's you know what to get them engaged in this solution.

And as they say, all is well that ends. And I don't know if it's going to end well because apart from policy, apart from politics, if you're living in a place that's dangerous and you have children, you're going to leave. And if you don't have opportunity where you live and there's a place that has opportunity, you're going to leave.

Now whether the Mexican government can stop people from crossing over, I don't know. We're putting a lot of eggs in that basket. But apart from everything we talk about on policy and politics, it's human nature to go to places that are safe and have opportunity.


And that's what's going to continue to happen.

PSAKI: I think the problem, Scott, I agree with you that if you're in Honduras or Guatemala and your children are at risk, you're going to leave. I think the problem is this administration is not doing anything to address the root causes. And that is ultimately the long- term problem.

As Bill said, I think the reason businesses and the country should be fearful right now is because Trump is running as a one-issue candidate on immigration. And this is probably not the last time he's going to go back to the well of tariffs or threats or anything for his own political expediency. And so if you're sitting here, you don't know that we're in sure footing now. You just know you averted this recent crisis. BASH: And Chuck Schumer had the -- as you responded I just want our viewers to see what Chuck Schumer said about all this in a tweet. He said, "This is an historic night" -- exclamation point obviously -- an illusion to the way the president tweets. "Real Donald Trump has announced that he has cut a deal to greatly reduce or eliminate illegal immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States. Now that that problem is solved, I'm sure we won't be hearing anything more about it in the future."

MOODIE-MILLS: Yes. So I actually want to just have a conversation about how all this is playing out. You're absolutely right that the president isn't necessarily solving problems, so much as creating additional manufacturing crises with his tweeting. So it's being reported also that a lot of this deal making and the conversations with Mexico and the things are being laid out today have actually been in talks for months.

But the president decided to send out some tweets to create a frenzy to then make it seems like, as a P.R. swirl, he's suddenly solving a problem that actually wasn't quite as huge of a problem as he's made it out to be. And I think that one of the serious crises we have right now is that instead of truly focusing on problem solving, the president is literally trumping up a P.R. game and a swirl to try to make himself look like a victor.


BASH: Now the president has said -- he tweeted this morning that that "Time" story is not true. I just want to --


JENNINGS: But it is -- but it is a huge problem. I mean, it is a huge problem. It is a crisis.

The Mexican people believe it's a crisis even though their president is hugely popular, there's a lot of unrest in Mexico because they don't like these caravans coming through either. And so we have to have their cooperation. And they need to move faster.

And that's where I think the president got this right. I think maybe they had been talking about things, but the Mexican government just wasn't moving fast enough.

I'm worried that the Mexican government doesn't have it in itself to fix this problem for us. But anything they can do beyond what they were doing, which is basically nothing, is better than what we had. So hopefully the tide will stem here.

KRISTOL: And, you know, the Chuck Schumer quote I've got to say reminds me -- I keep thinking, Donald Trump probably will lose in 2020. But then I keep thinking the other party is the Democratic Party, so I lose confidence in the fact that Trump is going to lose.

The Chuck Schumer tweet is stupid. I mean, he should be sounding serious saying we have proposals to deal with -- to help people in Honduras and Guatemala. Plus, we do believe in border security.

Here is the bill. He needs to sound earnest and serious about dealing with the problem, not try to out-trump Trump with cutesy tweets.

BASH: Mm-hmm. You agree with that?

MOODIE-MILLS: Totally. I mean, I think that's where the Democrats lose. When the Democrats try to out-tweet Trump when essentially the Democrats get as dirty as him, that's when he wins. Because he's literally playing a smoke and mirrors P.R. game with our democracy. And it is serious, it's problematic.

And so I think that the entire field should be paying attention and really calling a spade a spade and coming up with proposals about what we're going to do as opposed to how we're going to be as nasty and like get into the ring --

BASH: OK. A lot of good advice for your leaders in both parties.


BASH: Thanks, guys. Everybody standby because first lady Melania Trump she didn't make any public comments while she was in the U.K. this week. But per usual, her wardrobe choices spoke volumes. That's next.



BASH: Welcome back. When it comes to the first lady fashion is an important part of her diplomacy and she appreciates it differently than other first ladies. CNN White House reporter Kate Bennett has this report.


KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER (voice-over): Unlike some of her predecessors when first lady Melania Trump visited the British royals with her husband, the only public speaking she did was with her wardrobe. And as always, some of those clothing choices displayed Mrs. Trump's fierce independence streak. When she arrived at Buckingham Palace she went with the custom dress with an Italian fashion label Dolce & Gabbana. Not exactly British but royal watchers said the look reminded them of another famous female the late Princess Diana, an homage perhaps from Melania to the royals.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II, UNITED KINGDOM: I invite you all to rise and drink a toast to president and Mrs. Trump.

BENNETT: That night it was the president's attire that made headlines with a white tie outfit mocked for being remarkably ill fitted.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people. BENNETT: As well as the appearance of the four adult Trump children who attended several of the formal diplomatic events. On Tuesday at a dinner the president and first lady hosted for Prince Charles in London, Mrs. Trump wore a red Givenchy cape gown designed by a Brit, Clare Waight Keller, who also designed Meghan Markle's wedding dress prompting questions about whether the dress was a silent symbol of support to Markle after the president said she made -- quote -- "nasty" comments about him.

TRUMP: I said well I didn't know she was nasty. I wasn't referring to she's nasty. I said she was nasty about me.

BENNETT: For Mrs. Trump a former fashion model who has become known for her decidedly traditional looks since becoming first lady representing the United States isn't always about showcasing an American fashion house, nor apparently the home country of the dress designer.


But something about great Britain might have rubbed off when she took off bound for home the first lady was wearing a look favored by one new acquaintance.


BENNETT: Now the first lady famously said I wish people would focus on what I do and not what I wear. It's a wish that a lot of first ladies have. But, Dana, I think for this first lady in particular people are always going to want to know what she's wearing, why she's wearing it, what it means. And that's just where we are in terms of first lady --

BASH: And I can't wait to see how many people start to wear scarves over their heads this side of the pond.

BENNETT: It could be a thing.

BASH: It's going to be a thing. Kate, thank you so much for that report. Appreciate it.

And thank you for spending your Sunday with us.

Up next, Donald Trump is hailing his new deal with Mexico but will it actually save, solve the immigration crisis? Stay with us.