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State of the Union
Interview With Fmr. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL); Interview With Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN); Arnold Schwarzenegger Speaks Out; Interview With Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT); Interview With Fmr. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR). Aired 9-10a ET
Aired April 30, 2023 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DANA BASH, CNN HOST (voice-over): House Republicans pass a debt ceiling bill meant to kick off talks.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): We have done our job.
BASH: Democrats say they won't negotiate over paying the nation's bills. Are we inching closer to default? I will speak with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and House Republican Whip Tom Emmer next.
And he's running. The official 2024 roster grows.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's more to finish the job.
FMR. GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R-AR), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am a candidate for president of the United States.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
BASH: But, as the former president dominates GOP polls, is there room in the party for anyone but Trump?
New candidate and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson joins me ahead.
Plus: lessons learned. A family secret.
FMR. GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R-CA): I was born with a father that was a Nazi. Now Arnold Schwarzenegger is using his father's past to try to confront today's problems.
SCHWARZENEGGER: This should never, ever happen again.
BASH: Hello. I'm Dana Bash in Washington, where the state of our union is recovering.
Well, Washington came out, they mingled, they laughed, as journalists joined political leaders. At the White House Correspondents Dinner last night. President Biden highlighted the importance of a free press amid jokes about his age and House Republicans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: A free press is a pillar, maybe the pillar, of a free society, not the enemy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Now it's back to business this morning, with only weeks to avert a financial crisis.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy muscled a bill through the House to raise the debt ceiling and impose $4.8 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade. Republicans see it as an opening salvo in talks with Democrats, but the president says he will not negotiate overpaying the nation's bills.
Here with me now is Senator Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
Good morning, Senator. Thank you so much for joining me.
Let's start on that sweeping GOP bill to raise the debt ceiling. People might not realize it, but you have successfully cut several bipartisan deals during your time in Congress. So what do you think needs to happen to get there now on this debt limit fight?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): Well, needs -- Dana, what needs to happen are two things.
First of all, everybody in Congress has got to understand the United States of America cannot default on its debt. And, by the way, a lot of that debt was accumulated under the Trump administration. You pay your bills, or else there will be cataclysmic economic problems in the United States and around the world, massive unemployment and a major recession.
Number two, the president is right. What we need is a clean debt ceiling bill. You pay your bills, and then you can sit down and negotiate what a sensible budget is.
What the Republicans are saying in their budget proposal is that, at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, when the richest people are becoming much richer, while working-class people are struggling, what they want to do is to cut programs for nutrition, for education, for health care, throw hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people off the health care they need.
Our health care system today is dysfunctional enough. It is expensive enough. You don't throw people off of health care.
BASH: Right. So, Senator...
SANDERS: You don't hold those people hostage to -- yes. BASH: Forgive me.
Is it now time for President Biden to start negotiating on where the confines are for any spending cuts?
SANDERS: Well, I think we can start negotiating tomorrow, but you cannot be holding the American people or the world's economy hostage.
What the Republicans have got to say is, absolutely, we are going to make sure that we pay our debts. Let's sit down and negotiate a budget.
BASH: It is true that House Republicans, their bill is only a bill that passed their -- their House, and it would avoid a debt and -- a default -- excuse me -- this summer.
Speaker McCarthy is already hammering Senate Democrats for insisting on a clean debt ceiling increase. And so that has been the sort of conversation, frankly, the parties talking past each other a bit.
Just on the raw politics of this...
BASH: ... are you worried that voters will start to blame Democrats?
SANDERS: Dana, Dana, let me just say this. Let me just say this. That's what Donald Trump wanted when he was president. That's what he got.
That's what Ronald Reagan wanted when he was president. That's what he got. You don't hold the country and the world's economy hostage over the debt ceiling. You pay your bills.
This country now and what we're trying to do on our committee is address the severe problem them facing the working class in this country. And what I would hope the Republicans understand, there's something wrong with a health care system where we spend twice as much per capita on health care as the people of any other country. Let's deal with that, not throw people off health care.
Let's lower the cost of prescription drugs. Do they have the guts to take on the pharmaceutical industry? Let's raise the minimum wage in this country to a living wage. Let's make it easier for workers to join unions. Let's protect senior citizens by making sure we can expand Social Security and, by the way, demand that the wealthiest people in this country start paying their fair.
BASH: Are you open to any spending cuts as part of the ultimate budget deal?
SANDERS: Yes, I think we can move toward cutting military spending. We're now spending 10 times more than the people -- than any other country on Earth, massive cost overruns in the Pentagon. I'm certainly open -- open to demanding that the largest corporations
in this country and the wealthiest people start paying their fair share of taxes. And I'm willing to look at any other proposals. There's a lot of waste within government. Let's go after it.
But don't go to war against the working class of this country, lower- income people. Don't tell kids that they can't afford to go to college or cut back on public education in America. We have already too much inequality in America. Let's not make it worse.
BASH: You mentioned the high cost of prescription drugs. You just cut a bipartisan deal with Republican Senator Bill Cassidy on a plan to help lower prescription drug prices by increasing access to generic drugs...
BASH: ... increasing transparency for pharmacy management.
Your -- your committee is going to consider this bill this week. Are you confident that this will get the 60 votes needed to pass the U.S. Senate?
SANDERS: I think that it will.
But we will say, look, let's be clear. We pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, in some cases, 10 times more than the people of any other country. Pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars over a period of time on campaign contributions, on lobbying. They are very powerful.
So I would say to my Republican colleagues and some Democrats, do you have the guts to finally stand up to the pharmaceutical industry and make sure that all of our people can get the medicine that they need, and not have a situation where one out of four Americans, Dana, one out of four can't afford the medicine their doctors prescribe?
Now, by the way, this bill, to my mind, is only a start. The following week, we're going to bring the major -- three of the major CEOs of the pharmaceutical industry into the committee, and we are going to ask them, among other things, why is the price of insulin for diabetics so high?
They have lowered it. I want to make sure -- as a result of public pressure, they lowered insulin costs. I want to make sure that, in fact, translates into lower prices for ordinary people who need it. And I want to see substantially lower prescription drug prices across the board.
Cancer drugs out there, lifesaving drugs, cost over $100,000. Who can afford that?
BASH: Senator, President Biden announced his campaign officially for reelection this week. He would be 86 years old by the end of his second term. You're one year older than President Biden.
Is his age something that voters should consider in 2024?
SANDERS: Well, I think, when you look at a candidate, you consider a lot.
I think age is one thing. I think experience is another thing. I think your record that you have established is another thing. But, to my mind, Dana, when you put it all together, what you have to look at is, what does the candidate stand for? Which side are they on?
Are they on the side of the billionaire class, or are they on the side of working people? Look, it is no great secret -- I ran against Biden. No great secret that he and I have strong differences of opinion.
But when we live in a nation where you have a major political party, the Republican Party, where many, not all, but many of their leadership doesn't even believe in democracy, they maintain the myth that Trump won the last election, they're trying to keep people from voting, they're trying to deny women the right to control their own bodies, so that's a whole issue out there.
If you believe in democracy, you want to see more people vote, not fewer people vote, I think the choice is pretty clear, and that choice is Biden.
And, second of all, what I do believe is, the Democrats and the president have got to be stronger on working-class issues. They have got to make it clear that we believe in a government that represents all, not just the few, take on the greed of the insurance companies, the drug companies, Wall Street, all the big money interests, and start delivering for working-class people.
You do that, I think Biden is going to win in a landslide.
BASH: Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you so much for joining me this morning.
SANDERS: Thank you.
BASH: Speaker Kevin McCarthy pulled off a win this week. Can he keep his party united for what comes next?
The number three House Republican joins me live next.
Plus: He's pitching himself as an experienced person with no drama. Is that what his party wants in the White House?
BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.
House Republicans passed a debt ceiling bill with significant spending cuts this week meant to kick off negotiations with Democrats. But it's not clear where we go from here.
Here with me now to help answer that question is House Republican Whip Tom Emmer.
Thank you so much for joining me this morning, sir.
President Biden, as you know, is still saying he is not going to negotiate over the threat of hitting the debt ceiling and a catastrophic default. He does say he is willing to negotiate separately over spending cuts in the nation's budget.
What's wrong with that?
REP. TOM EMMER (R-MN): Well, actually, he doesn't have to negotiate.
The Republicans in the House, led by Kevin McCarthy, have passed the solution. And I take a little issue, Dana, with the cuts language that the media likes to use all the time. This is a transformational bill. It would limit spending.
The savings in it would be close to $5 trillion over the next 10 years. And it starts out by taking a Joe Manchin idea of going back to F.Y. '22 budget levels, which, I might remind all your viewers, was passed by President Biden and Nancy Pelosi. It was just four months ago, the numbers they're talking about, and then capped growth at 1 percent over the next decade.
It would save you almost $3.5 trillion.
EMMER: So to keep calling these cuts, this is really spending reforms that will put this country on a better path and, by the way, prevents us from defaulting on our debt.
EMMER: So, our recommendation is, we passed it through the House, take it up in the Senate and pass it.
BASH: It can be the same thing at once. There are reforms, there are savings, but it is also cutting in several ways to get there.
I want to go back to what you said about the fact that you passed it. Yes, you passed this bill that we were just talking about, but you know that's dead on arrival in the Senate. It just is. So -- and you know that there's no way that the president is going to accept what you just put out there.
So, where are you on the notion of how to sit down with the president and what the parameters are of those negotiations?
EMMER: Well, first off, the White House, since this Congress began, has had no ideas whatsoever, except jacking up taxes and spending even more money, for a country that is in trouble financially. We got to get this right, Dana.
And the Senate -- the Schumer Senate, they have no ideas either. It's just repeated rhetoric. So, to say that it's debt on arrival in the Senate, when you have got even Joe Manchin suggesting support for this type of approach, I think that's not exactly accurate.
We have got a debt ceiling, a debt issue that's going to arise, I guess, now in July, is what the Treasury is saying. If they are refusing to provide any ideas -- and I guess I'd put it this way, Dana, to answer your question. We have passed it.
You now have the solution that is good for all of America and Americans. Pass it if you don't have any ideas. If you don't like something in it, if you have ideas of your own, our speaker is more than willing, I'm sure, to listen to those.
BASH: Outside of the debt ceiling, meaning the question that people are watching want to know the answer to is, can you guarantee, as a leader in the United States Congress, that the United States of America will not default on its debt?
EMMER: I can, assuming that our president and the Schumer Senate recognize the gravity of the problem.
This is no longer about politics. We have passed a debt ceiling solution. We will not, House Republicans will not allow America to default on its debt. We showed that last week. The solution is in the Senate right now. Again, you pass that solution, that solves the problem.
But, by the way, where the president's going to get into it with the House is going to be over the appropriations process, because this is not the end of the job. We're moving into appropriations seasons. We have got some major bills to pass, and we have got to be looking at all the spending across this entire government.
This is just one piece. And I might remind everybody, Dana, that, in the last 30 years,the only real significant spending reforms that have been negotiated by Democrats and Republicans came out of debt ceiling negotiations. President Biden himself said that this was what you have to do back in 2011.
Nancy Pelosi said in 2019 you can't do a no-strings-attached deal. Again, Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans have given you the solution. The Schumer Senate should take it up and pass it. And if you don't like it, then I suppose your next step is to start to talk to our speaker and tell him what you would like to change so that you make sure we don't default on our debt.
House Republicans have already done that.
BASH: Let me just quickly look deep inside what you did get passed this past week.
The bill would cut all nondefense discretionary funding by 22 percent. That is a lot of money. And I want you to look at what the administration said it would mean just for your home state of Minnesota. Thousands would lose food, they say, rental assistance. They would pay more for college. Outpatient VA appointments for veterans could be cut.
This will make a big difference if what you want, this bill, actually would become law, a big difference in the lives of Americans, especially those paying -- living paycheck to paycheck. What do you say to them?
EMMER: Well, I actually challenge it.
You have got a president who was just told by "The Washington Post" that his claims on the deficit get 22 Pinocchios. They're just not true. And what you just said is just not true either, because you should scrutinize what the administration is talking about.
What we did was, you go back to F.Y. '22 baseline budgeting, Dana. That's just four months ago. That's just last year. And the budgeting -- the level we're talking about was passed by Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. So to suggest that House Republicans are doing something now, when you passed it just last year, and this was the numbers you were living under, that just isn't accurate.
BASH: So, the cut...
EMMER: What this would do is, this would be transformational. It would put this country on a trajectory where we can start to address our budget deficit.
We're spending $1.29 for every dollar we're bringing in, Dana. This does not end well unless we start to fix this problem.
BASH: So just to underscore before we go, the cuts that I just laid out came from the administration. This is what they claim.
You're saying that just is not true? And this is a hypothetical, theoretical question, because what you passed, as we said, is ultimately not going to become the law of the land. But these are very specific cuts that they put out there.
EMMER: Again, I know that's your opinion. I would hope this becomes the law of the land.
And the use of cuts, these are spending reforms. And all we're doing is going back to the Biden-Pelosi budget of last year, that limit, and then with Joe Manchin's suggestion, limiting growth over the next decade by 1 percent annually. That's entirely reasonable.
I -- and, by the way, we aren't having any substance coming from the White House, Joe Biden or Chuck Schumer's Senate saying, look, this is what we should do to solve the debt ceiling. Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans have given you the road map of how to do that. You don't have any ideas.
Let's protect this country and Americans by not defaulting on our debt. Just take the bill we passed last week, Dana, make it law.
BASH: Thank you so much. Appreciate your time.
EMMER: Thank you.
BASH: And has the GOP decided another Donald Trump nomination is inevitable?
Well, Trump's newest GOP challenger, Asa Hutchinson, will join me live.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUTCHINSON: I have been a consistent conservative through my time as leader of the party, and now I bring that same vigor to a fight in another battle.
And that battle is for the future of our country and the soul of our party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: "The soul of our party."
Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.
The man making that pitch, the newest Republican presidential candidate, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, is here with me now.
Welcome. Nice to see you in person.
You say that Republicans need to move on from President Trump. I want you to look at just one of the recent polls. You will see he is far and away the leader, away from everybody else in the field. You're not registering quite yet. You have begun to campaign.
And, as you have, have you found any evidence that there is really an appetite for your brand of Republicanism right now?
HUTCHINSON: Absolutely. I wouldn't be in this race if I didn't believe it.
And whenever you talk about a brand of Republicanism, sure, we have our principles that I believe in, which is limited government, which is a strong national defense. But you also look at evolving the party to meet the challenges of today. And today is the economy.
And the American people trust Republicans more to handle the economy than the other side. And that, to me, is a central issue of this campaign. Now, whenever you look at Donald Trump, yes, he's high in the polls. I believe in this, and I believe in providing an alternative.
I believe an economic message of restraining federal spending, of driving education in the sciences, that we can compete with China, with being able not to be an isolationist party, but one that can support both the American people, but also our friends overseas like Ukraine, these are messages that resonate.
BASH: They are.
John Brummett, who I'm sure you are familiar with -- he's a columnist with your hometown paper "The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette" -- he told "The New York Times" that you're going to have a hard time catching on because you are -- your -- quote -- your strength is -- quote -- "a workhorse in a game designed for show horses."
So, you just talked about all of the substantive reasons why you should be president, but then there's also the character, the appearance, and kind of how you approach the candidacy. Is that going to be a challenge?
HUTCHINSON: Well, we will see.
But whenever you look at my background of -- in the private sector of growing up on a farm, whenever you look at Bentonville, Arkansas, where I put Bentonville's first FM radio station on there, people look at a candidate, and that history is important.
That's why I announced in Bentonville. I lived in a double-wide mobile home. So we have very common roots, and America has given us great opportunities. So, that story, to me, I hope is interesting, that people will identify with.
But we will bring the color when we need to bring the color.
Let's talk about some of the issues. Abortion is going to be a major issue this election cycle. As governor, despite some very vocal reservations, you signed a law banning all abortions at any stage of pregnancy, without exceptions for rape or incest.
If you become president and Congress sends you a federal version of that bill, would you sign it?
HUTCHINSON: Well, let's look back at it.
The states are making the debate right now. The Democrats are pushing for a federal standard, which is basically abortion without limits. The Republicans are going to counter that, which would be more restrictions on abortion with the right exceptions.
Now, that's a debate we're going to have as a country. But the fact is that, unless we have supermajorities in each of the houses, we're not -- we're going to keep this issue in the states. I have said and I believe the American people are supportive of restrictions on abortion with the right exceptions in there.
And that's why I have advocated for rape, incest, life of the mother. This is where I think the American people are. And it's a debate that's going to take place in both places.
HUTCHINSON: You state your convictions. I do believe that the economy will be the number one issue.
BASH: Well, yes, but just going back to abortion, it sounds like you're saying that the whole question of what would happen in Congress is a hypothetical because the numbers aren't there.
But the whole question of repealing Roe was a hypothetical for 50 years until it wasn't. So, on this issue, just going back to my original question, if you are president and if you got a bill that had restrictions without -- that had a ban, a full ban on abortion without restrictions, would you sign it?
HUTCHINSON: I would support the restrictions, and I would advocate for the exceptions of the life of the mother and the cases of rape and incest. I believe that's where the American public is.
I don't think anything will come out of Congress without those exceptions. And I certainly would sign a pro-life bill, but I would expect those exceptions to be in place.
BASH: As a small-government conservative, which you just repeated here, what's your take on leaders in your party, Ron DeSantis among them, who are actively using the government to change social policy and wage culture wars?
HUTCHINSON: Well, let's be more specific about Disney. I don't like what Disney said about the legislation that I would have supported in Florida, but it's not the role of government to punish a business when you disagree with what they're saying or a position that they take.
If that was the view of a Republican, then we're going to be in all kinds of trouble in our businesses in blue states if they start punishing businesses for taking a more conservative speech or position. And so I don't understand a conservative punishing a business that's the largest employer in the state.
In Arkansas and, as governors, we recruit industry. We support our industry because it provides jobs. And we're not dictating to them what their speech is. To me, that's a conservative position. And you err when you go otherwise.
BASH: I want to ask you before I let you go about something that one of your primary opponents, Nikki Haley, said this week. She said that -- about President Biden, because if he -- he's running.
"But, if he wins, it would make him 86 years old. And that is not something I think is likely."
Basically, she was saying that President Biden is going to die before the end of a second term.
HUTCHINSON: Well, one, I don't believe the American public want to have a Biden presidency again. I think the polls reflect that.
And so I think they have concerns and I think they want to look to new leadership. I don't think they want a Biden-Trump race either. But in terms of -- I disagree with change in the Constitution to have age requirements for a president or limitations on it. The American people figure this out very quickly.
Every time you go to a town hall meeting, it is a mental acuity test. And the voters sort through this very well. They will make the decision this. And I don't think that they will choose a Joe Biden for the presidency for another four years.
BASH: Asa Hutchinson, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
HUTCHINSON: Thank you.
BASH: And the president poked fun at himself last night.
The best jokes and the latest in the 2024 race when my panel joins me next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I believe in the First Amendment, not just because my good friend Jimmy Madison wrote it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: President Biden poking fun of his age at the White House Correspondents Dinner here in D.C. last night.
My panel joins me now.
Ashley Allison, I will start with you. He made not just that, but a lot of jokes about his age, pretty typical of any politician in this setting, to try to defuse a vulnerability.
You worked on the Biden 2020 campaign. How big of a challenge is something that he can't control, which is how old he is?
ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think if it's the main issue that Republicans go after him, I think it works, honestly, in his favor, because he has a record that has -- from the last two years as being president and maybe for another year before the primary season really starts to happen where he can say: I have done this. I have accomplished this for the American people. I think it's really important that he doesn't avoid the topic. Look,
if Joe Biden shows up like he did at the State of the Union, he shows up like he did last night, you sound a little out of touch to say he's too old for the job. He landed the plane last night. It was a good performance.
And it's not like his schedule has been skimpy recently. He went to Kyiv. He went to Ireland. He had a state dinner this week. I mean, it was a big week for him, and I think he did a good job.
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So I would just say to that, Dana, you heard Governor Asa Hutchinson is out here talking about mental acuity tests for the presidency, not an age -- not an age requirement.
And I think that you will see the criticism largely comes from a point that this president is one of the least accessible presidents to the press in the history -- in the past 100-plus years, right?
Donald Trump did four times as many press conferences in his first two years. Same with Obama. So, this president has not been -- President Biden has not made himself available to the press to answer these tough questions, to stand, give-and-take. People see his note cards with call on this reporter. Here's the question.
So people are really, really nervous that he's up to the task. And they want to see that.
BASH: I want to...
URBAN: If he can go toe to toe with Dana Bash on an interview without notes, again, a lot more props than just be saying he's good.
BASH: All right, Lis, I want you to jump in, but I first want to read to our viewers what you wrote in "The New York Times."
You wrote: "Mr. Biden's biggest advantage might not come from anything he's done. Instead, it might come from the chaos among Republicans. Ultimately, if Joe Biden emerges victorious in November 2024, it will be because voters preferred him to the alternative, not to the almighty."
LIS SMITH, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes.
And just one point I want to make on what, David, said is that it's pretty common practice for a principal to give them the names and photos of reporters, so that they know...
BASH: Not the question.
SMITH: ... to call on.
URBAN: Not the question.
BASH: Not the question.
SMITH: But to that point, yes, I do think that a lot of this race will come down to Joe Biden versus the Republican.
And a lot of people are pointing to Joe Biden's approval numbers right now and saying, OK, well, they're too low to get reelected. But this is the reality of American elections. It might not be the most uplifting thing in the world, but you don't need to be the most popular person in the world. You just need to be more popular than the alternative.
ADAM KINZINGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, look, I think he's right to take on his age.
It's kind of like Ronald Reagan making his old joke, and, from then, it was disarmed. This is what Joe Biden has to do. But it's an issue. And I think, the longer this goes on, if we pretend like it isn't an issue, or we get the note cards, or there's confusion, it's a problem.
Now, let's keep in mind, the likely alternative to Joe Biden is Donald Trump, who's not much, if any, younger than Joe Biden.
BASH: Two years.
URBAN: But, again, it's not an age. It's an acuity issue.
URBAN: And I think that's why the lack of press availability -- if the American people see Joe Biden not sparring with reporters, I think the age vanishes.
BASH: I like how Urban's up here talking about the need for more press conferences.
BASH: Who's going to oppose that?
Let's turn to a different topic, which is, what's going on in the GOP? Fascinating. On the state level, Nebraska and South Carolina, you see two state legislatures where Republicans are saying, whoa, let's put the brakes on putting these restrictions on abortion.
Where do you see the politics of this going for your party?
KINZINGER: I mean, the politics is terrible for the GOP. I mean, I think you have to have a consistent message.
After we had the Dobbs decision, the GOP should have come out and said, we want to create a culture of life. How do you do that? Let's encourage adoption. Let's encourage responsible birth control use, stuff like that.
Instead, it's gone into this doom loop of, like, meanness of, well, now we're going to make it six weeks. Now we're going to make it four weeks. Now we're going to punish the women who have abortions.
And you're destroying any kind of culture of life that you had with this process. So, it's terrible politics. And I think, frankly, these legislators are now running against the wall and recognizing that this is going to cost big in 2024.
URBAN: Yes, I completely agree.
You can't be -- the Republican Party's -- the mantra was, this is a states' rights issue. This is a states' rights issue. Dobbs has decided it's a states' rights issue. President Trump says it's a states' rights issue.
And then you get it overturned. And now you go to the states. The states are deciding it. Some states have, like New Jersey, abortion on demand. Others restrict it. And Republicans say, now we need a federal ban. It's not a good place.
SMITH: OK, there are no states that have abortion on demand.
But let me make this point is, I think what we saw in two red states, in Nebraska and South Carolina, is politicians who decided that total bans -- and a six-week ban is, in effect, a total ban, because the majority of women don't know they're pregnant at six weeks -- is that it was wrong on the merits and wrong on the politics.
But I don't see this as a course correction for the GOP, because you still have people like Governor Hutchinson here who signed into law a total ban. You have Governor DeSantis who signed into law a six-week ban, and that is going to be a millstone around Republicans' necks going into the general election.
ALLISON: I think it is another indication that many of our elected officials are out of touch with what their constituents actually want.
It's not just about a culture of life. It's about women having the bodily autonomy to make decisions and being competent enough to make decisions about what's best for their life. And I think that, when you see two states -- I mean, look, when Kansas happened, everybody was so surprised.
But it's like, you know, women live in those states as well.
BASH: The referendum.
ALLISON: The referendum on abortion, and people were very surprised.
When the midterms happened, it was because women are pissed off, and they're are tired of elected officials thinking that they know what's better for them. And I think it will -- if Republicans continue to go on this path, 2024 will have a similar taste as 2022.
KINZINGER: I spent 12 years in Congress. I vote pro-life, but I never talked about abortion, because it's just one of those things.
Nobody's going to convince each other of this issue, by the way. But what's changed in the politics of this is, I call it -- the choice crowd was not super turned up on the voting on it because abortion was legal at that point. And so it wasn't a driving force. The pro-life group was.
Now that it's on the table, now that it's a real issue, you're seeing, actually, the choice crowd come out and vote in a big way. And it's going to switch the politics in 2024, unless Republicans can figure out, A, how to talk about it, how to actually approach this issue reasonably and without cruelty.
URBAN: Yes, well, we know this is true because the electorate told us this in '24 (sic), right?
The polling all indicated that independents broke from Republican voting because of this issue, this exact issue. So,I don't know what the big mystery is. When voters tell you, we're voting against you because of this, Republicans got to listen.
BASH: Yes, but the Republicans elected a Republican president who put justices on the court specifically for that reason.
SMITH: Right. Exactly. And I...
SMITH: And that's the thing is, is, I understand that Donald Trump is trying to have it both ways, but he's the one who appointed the extreme justices who ripped away this right from the American people.
URBAN: I think he's not trying to have it both ways. He said it's a states' rights issue. He hasn't been out saying -- he's not been advocating for a ban. He said: I appointed these judges. They decided it correctly.
I don't think he's -- I think he's in the right place on this.
SMITH: I think that the Republicans will rue the day that they appointed these justices, and they are going to be paying for it for generations.
BASH: Quick turn.
You were in Congress.
BASH: You have dealt with these debt ceiling negotiations before. We have like 30 seconds.
Do you think this is going to end well for the economy and the American people? Will the U.S. default?
KINZINGER: I'm really concerned about it.
In 2011, we were a much saner majority, and we came really close. We had a credit downgrade for the first time in American history. It was right for the Republicans to pass this just from a messaging perspective. There has to be negotiation.
I don't know how we get through this. I'm really concerned about the debt limit when we approach it.
BASH: Well, that's going to end this on an up note.
BASH: Well negotiations, that's important.
Thank you all.
BASH: Appreciate it.
And up next, my talk with Arnold Schwarzenegger on the lessons he learned from his father's past as a Nazi.
BASH: After his more than five decades in the spotlight as Mr. Universe, the Terminator, and the governor of California, you might think we know all there is to know about Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But now he's taking on a new challenge, fighting hate and prejudice head on. And it's all because of a striking connection to his past.
BASH: Can you tell me about your trip to Auschwitz this fall? What was it like for you?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, Auschwitz was a real mind-blower, I tell you, because it's always one thing when you hear about it, when you read about it.
But it's never the same as when you're actually there and then,all of a sudden, you see the realities of it, of where the people were shot every day, the wall with the target. They were shot there. You look at the rooms where the suitcases are lying around of people
that were told, make sure that exactly where you put your shoes and where you put your suitcase and your belongings, so, after the shower, you can find them right away, because we very quickly put you back on the train and take you back where you came from.
Only, then they never came out of the showers because these were gas chambers. And so, when you see this stuff, it has such a profound impact that you totally understand why they say the slogan "Never again," because this should never, ever happen again.
BASH: You stood up at this forum, and you said:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHWARZENEGGER: And I was born with a father that was a Nazi. Think about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: The air went out of the room.
What did you witness and what did you know growing up in Austria about the fact that he was a Nazi? He joined the Nazi Party in 1938, and he fought for the Nazis in World War II.
SCHWARZENEGGER: None of it was ever spoken about when I grew up.
There was no one that ever talked about the war. I learned everything about the history in America.
BASH: Of your father? Or just generally of what happened?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Not only -- just about the Second World War and about what -- the atrocities that took place.
BASH: So not until you were an adult living in America did you learn what happened in your home country?
SCHWARZENEGGER: That's correct. That's correct.
BASH: In 1990, you went to get information about your father, and Rabbi Marvin Hier in L.A. recalled you saying: "I don't know if it's good or bad. I want you to find out."
SCHWARZENEGGER: A year later, he came back to me and he said: "Your father didn't do anything. He was part of the Nazis. He signed the certificate. The signature is there. And -- but he was basically a soldier that was in the war in Belgium and in France and in Russia and in all the different places."
He says: "But he was not are all linked to anything, nor did he have the power to -- for any atrocities."
My father was like so many other millions of men who were sucked into a hate system through lies and deceits. And so we have seen where that leads. I mean, let's just go and get along. And love is more powerful than hate.
BASH: Your father fought with the Nazis in Austria. My grandfather was a proud Austrian who was forced to leave his beloved country because he was Jewish and lost everything. He barely escaped. And here we are.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Yes, talking about the same subject.
And I'm sure we agree that this is a real problem and that we have to do something about it right away.
BASH: And living in a free...
SCHWARZENEGGER: And you have to work together.
BASH: Living in a free country and talking about ways to figure it out.
SCHWARZENEGGER: That's right, yes.
BASH: Thank you, Governor Schwarzenegger.
And thank you for spending your Sunday morning with us.
The news continues next.