tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN August 1, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT
top of the hour. good morning. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm jim sciutto. >> 2020 democratic candidates wasting no time to get back on the campaign trail after debate night number two brought drama. joe biden and kamala harris not motoring out of the motor city just yet. >> former vice president kicking off his event next hour this after the quote kid as he called kamala harris did not go easy on him like he asked her to. he did fire back on harris' plan on health care. we're outside a biden event this morning. the gloves were off last night. what's the biden's strategy this morning? >> well, poppy and jim, certainly last night a joe biden
pile on from all of these candidates. he was facing attacks from every direction on issues like immigration, criminal justice and climate change but biden was also able to dish it right back and in one of those areas was on health care. when you saw this match-up between biden and kamala harris over each of their health care plans, this is a fight the two had been bracing for, for weeks. biden was trying to call out some elements of kamala harris' new ned care for all plan. he believes it will raise taxes on the middle class. that's what harbor pushed back on. take a listen to another exchange between two of them last night. >> any time someone tells you you'll get something good in ten years you have to wonder why it takes ten years. there's no talk about the fact the plan will cost $3 billion. this is the single most important issue facing the public. to be blunt and very
straightforward you can't beat president trump with double talk on this plan. >> reporter: now kamala harris also pushed back on biden pointing out his plan would leave out about 10 million americans from health insurance. going forward for biden he still needs to prove to democrats that he's the solid front-runner, there's a long time, lot of debates between now and this iowa caucus and primaries just a few months away. >> one of those democratic contonners who took a shot at biden, cory booker. they are looking for something that they hoped to be a viral exchange. his on criminal justice reform. >> reporter: cory booker had a solid night. he threw some punches but avoided getting hit too much. he was able to hold on to that happy warrior which is part of his argument. booker and biden have been fighting over the past week on issues of criminal justice, including the former vice president's support for the 1994 crime bill. take a listen to their exchange
where booker went after him last night. >> we have a system right now that's broken and if you want to compare records and frankly i'm shocked that you do, i am happy to do that. >> there's nothing done for the entire eight years he was mayor. there was nothing done to deal with the police department that was -- >> mr. vice president there's a saying in my neighborhood you're dipping into the kool aid and you don't know the flavor. >> reporter: book her a pretty effective line against biden telling him he can't use the mantel of the obama administration only when it's convenient for him. now going forward we're going to see if booker can capitalize off of this moment last night as he heads closer to that next debate. most candidates on this stage over the past two nights are not going to be in that next round of debates. later today we'll be seeing kamala harris, cory booker, joe
biden here in detroit. >> thanks very much. let's divisive deeper into the debate. we're joined bieiebiey our pane. the headline from the first-round of debates of biden not ready, not ready for the take. kamala harris the biggest winner on attacks on biden. biden more prepared this time. enough to maintain his position as the solid front-runner. >> i would say more attacks from more candidates but he was better able to parry them. many telegraphed what they were going to do. he knew what cory booker would come after him on. he knew what de blasio would come after him. he knew what kirsten gillebrand would say. he had a lot of set pieces. that worked because you would think he could be fully prepared.
he pushed back, established that he's somebody with experience and knows,000 debate and has answers for most of the questions especially on health care that his challengers were throwing at him. >> let's listen to kirsten gillebrand who attacked him on his 1981 vote on paid parental leave but then took on an issue of race in an interesting way. was it effective? here she was talking about white privilege. >> i can talk to those white women in the suburbs that voted for trump and explain to them what white privilege is. when their son is walking down the street with a bag of m&m's with a hoodie his whiteness is what protects him from not being shot. >> was it enough to give her the boost she needs? >> it was an effective line. the problem in general last night is that there were no real break out moments or knock out punches that really set things apart the way you saw when
kamala harris was talking about bussing the last time with joe biden. so the question for kirsten gillebrand, was her overall presentation something that just said yeah that's the person is that shone in the debate. but she got the audience's rejacktion. how will democrats communicate to both their own people, their own very diverse coalition of democrats and these voters they think can get back from trump. so if she can bridge that divide she's speaking to a fundamental problem of democrats but doesn't seem that moment raised her above the others in last night's debate. >> alex, so certainly joe biden had the cross-hairs own him from the other candidates but so did kamala harris. her bump after the last debate kind of put her in the firing line as well. i want to play this with some
effect. >> she put over 1500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it and was asked if she ever smoked marijuana. she blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced theory do so. she kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of california. >> democrats have seen harris' record as a prosecutor as potentially fertile ground there. harris interestingly faded from the stage a bit after that moment. a damaging blow? >> i think so, jim. i think sort of more fundamentally where the harris campaign is concerned. last night was a reality check on the hope that a lot of her supporters had after the first-round of debates that she was on a rapid upward ascent that would designate her within a matter of weeks as the
mainstream nonpopulous alternative to joe biden. that didn't happen. joe biden showed he could mix it up with her. part of it was the emergence of book at another strong critic of joe joe biden on the exact same matters. so i think the good news for kamala harris is that every indication that there are many, many democrats out there who really want to believe in her as a standard bearer in this race. i think something of a splash of cold water last night was, you know, she's not the only alternative to joe biden and for people tuning in for the first time last night i don't know she would have come across as the strongest alternative to joe biden. >> here's something people need clarity. she's had a few different positions on health care. she's had different positions when she was a prosecutor in california when she was the lead
puerto rico. personal view on the death penalty and then what she did in different circumstances. it hasn't been consistent. i'm not saying that's okay or not but people i think are asking for clarity. >> biden's record is scene as a vulnerability. >> he has been all over the place too. >> she has a similar -- >> that's a good point. president obama was not on stage but he might as well have been last night and the democrats some of them went after him. only julio castro defended him and also biden, of course. but listen to cory booker this morning on cnn sort of explaining why he thinks that's okay and not damaging to the party. >> if he was to run for president for a third term i wouldn't be running. the reality is we have a situation right now where we have a president that's doing things in this country that are perverting our very values and allies and talking about what our plans would be, different
than the previous president, different than the current president is not a bad thing. >> is it not a bad thing for the party? >> he's right in the sense that elections are always about the future. one of the weaker points i think or one of the more problematic point joe biden keeps bringing up he wants to recover, he wants to take us back to who we are. you get some of that from cory booker. the reality if you want to do a rerun of the obama presidency, if you want to say i'm going restore the obama presidency and you're not barack obama you'll have a very hard time. voters -- look it's an entirely different era, different questions confronting us, different issues. think about same-sex marriage where it was at the start of the administration and where he was and where he ended up. the mainstream of the country kind of moved along. that's true on a number of different issues including health care reform. book certificate right in the sense that they have to sort of indicate where they want to go.
fortunately for all of them, obama will make it easy for them because he's shown no indication of putting a thumb on the scale for any of these candidates. they have to run without him. >> so obama's policies were mentioned a lot, not in the finest light by the democrats. trump less so than you might expect, right? is that unusual? is that damaging at this stage? primaries are also, you know, you're fighting amongst yourself to be the party's nominee. is it unusual that trump didn't take more fire from candidates on the stage? >> it's interesting you saw a departure from the night before where you had democrats not putting punches on each other and makes it more about us versus the president. is it a good time or bad. we hit that point in the campaign where candidates are trying to stay on that stage for the next debate. that means you're going hear them talking about each other which we did last night more than the president. also, as erol was saying they
are in a new environment. they had to look towards fighting this president in the general election, president trump and not president obama, and the truth is that some of the issues right now that are out there -- obama was not a perfection era. the party moved to a different place based on obama's policies as president. foreign policy wasn't discussed much. there's room to have an open conversation there. obama did not get the perfect health care plan through because of political realities. so that's dominating can you do this or will it limit you. how far can they go towards universal single payer system. >> just on that final thought because the president couldn't get a public option through president obama because of political will wasn't there. it sounds from joe biden like he's saying this is a given. if i'm president i'll have a public option and this will happen. but his quote-unquote he says
it's a more realistic approach for medicare for all is not a given either. >> it isn't. that really hits the nail on the head of bun of biggest challenges for all moderate candidates in this race. the there's a great deal of skepticism from voters not just liberal democrats, democrats across the board, independents that washington can do anything at all. it's a question of whether joe biden talking about realism or kamala harris talking about pragmatism sounds clear eyed and responsible and mature, or whether it leaves voters cold, leaves them feeling look all of this stuff is probably fanciful anyway so let's talk about big aspirational goals that define the party. we don't have any clue which one of those approaches, which one of those tones resonates with voters better. >> donald trump won an election with a lot of aspirational positions. fanciful he some of them. >> thank you guys so very much.
still to come, we'll speak with former obama campaign manager. what does he think about all of those attacks against the former president last night. >> what did voters in the key swing state of michigan think of the debate and the candidates? i'll speak to a congresswoman from that state. she knows what voters are thinking there. lots to discuss. stay with us. ♪ i'm just go with the flowing ♪ no matter where i am going ♪ and i got no plans on slowing down. jeremy. jeremy, you ready to go? ♪ i'm a nomad, nomad... jeep compass. freedom to do it all. did you know you can save money by using dish soap to clean grease on more than dishes? try dawn ultra. dawn is for more than just dishes. with 3x more grease cleaning power per drop,
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two nights of debate in detroit and like the city's great icon joe lewis there were some punches. which candidate came out on top? with me now brenda lawrence, congress warm from michigan. she represents detroit. congresswoman, we appreciate you taking the time this morning. >> thank you so much for having me. >> a big field. a lot of people on stage. are you ready to endorse any of the candidates? >> you know, i watched the debate last night and i have a criteria. i'm looking for someone who has a command of the issues, someone who has the tenacity and the strength and courage to fight donald trump and i'm looking for someone who has compassion for this country.
i feel very strongly about endorsing senator harris. this is a time in our country where we must move forward. we are going to have to have the fight for the soul of our country. and i feel senator harris has that tenacity, the courage and the compassion to be able to win this race. >> well, that's news here on this program, congresswoman lawrence endorsing senator harris. let me ask you this. so far polling among likely democratic voters shows that they believe that the former vice president joe biden has the best chance to beat donald trump. they will often list that as their number one concern really in this election above other issues is winning back the white house, defeating president trump. why do you think that is? they see biden as opposed to harris as most likely to win. >> this is a democracy and we all choose the people that we
feel are the best for that seat. as we know, vice president biden has had a tremendous career. he has shown leadership in so many ways. but for this time, and for this race, i feel that senator harris has the ability, the tenacity, the strength and the compassion, the vision to be able to move this country forward. and win the race which very important to me. >> as you know, very important to voters as well. really tissue of health care and biden and harris had something of a tense exchange last night. biden making the point that medicare for all does, in effect, have a tax in that there will be a deduction from people's salary. that's the deductible as he was phrasing it. i watched senator harris on our own channel this morning explain her answer on the issue of employer based plans that remain very popular among many
democratic voters and i was confused. can you explain clearly what the senator's position is on health care reform? >> her position is that we must have choice. it's been clear. she's talked to the citizens of this great country and they are clear they want to have a choice to have a private plan or to participate in a medicare for all plan. she also found that they want to be x-ray, prescription drugs and those things and her plan includes that. and the other thing fundamentally everyone feels that the choice of health care or health care is a human right. she has presented a plan. and so it is one that we're moving forward with. i'm excited about it because it does have that element of choice which is important to me. unlike some of the other plans it does not give choirks it puts everyone on that same plan.
it doesn't really have the choice that many americans want which is to keep their employer based plan. i hear her argument. she talks about portability so it's not tied to employer. but you know people get comfortable with their health care and if they like it as tens of millions of americans do their employer based plan and then told well that's going to change, they are not going like that. how does senator harris win over voters on that question >> she's been very clear that there's going to be a phase in program. this will not be done overnight. there will be choice. i am repeating, there will be choice in the senator's plan. >> okay. final question if i can. i don't have to tell you how the michigan economy has thrived under president trump, michigan of course went trump's way by a relatively small number of votes in 2016. but the economy has been strong since then. i wonder how you explain to voters how a democratic candidate explains to voters in
michigan that 2020 is the time to change? >> let's be very clear. detroit, the city i represent, is the second highest in poverty in this country. so when you talk about the employment rate, the people who are working core in michigan, and in the detroit area, is a living reality that people may have a job but they are still classified as living in poverty. we are seeing plants close. we also have seen some plants open. so we are living in this volatile environment right now of losing a job, hoping to get a job in the new factory, understanding that the workforce is changing. there's a skilled workforce that is happening with jobs. and we see people coming into detroit and into michigan not necessarily employing those who live here. we still have challenges. i am grateful i have a stock
portfolio. i'll tell you my stock portfolio is doing well. but when i look at the people that i represent and people all over this country, be clear, everyone, in this country, it must be included in this economic resurgence and that's not a reality and that's where trump is not hitting a home run. >> i hear you. only about half of americans are invested in the stock market. congresswoman lawrence we appreciate you joining the broadcast this morning. >> thank you. this just in. cnn has obtained a blistering letter written by the commander of all u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s. in it he writes quote, we have a problem. >> this comes in the wake of several high-profile incidents of alleged misbehavior by navy s.e.a.l.s. he's given his commanders until next friday to tell him how they will ensure that troops are engaging in ethical behavior. to see something like this,
really says a lot. it's a severe concern. what more are you learning? >> reporter: this is from rear admiral collin green. he's head of all navy s.e.a.l.s. some of the most elite troops in history. bold face type we have a problem. you don't see admirals write that every day. listen to what he says to troops. quote. i don't know yet if we have a culture problem. i do know we have a good order and discipline problem that must be addressed immediately. what admiral green is concerned about there's been a number of very high-profile cases of navy s.e.a.l. misbehavior. one s.e.a.l. team sent home from iraq over allegations of sexual assault and drinking alcohol in the field which is illegal, of course. another team facing punishment for using cocaine. there's been a number of incidents. what admiral green is telling his commanders is by next friday
he wants their details on what problems they see and what solutions they are ready to offer. jim, poppy. >> barbara starr, thank you very much for that reporting. keep us posted. now back to politics and the debate. he was not on stage last night but president obama's policies certainly came under frequent attack from his fellow democrats. is that a good strategy for the party? obama's former campaign manager will be with us next. ♪ applebee's all you can eat is back. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
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one of the things i do worry about sometimes among progressives is a certain kind of everigidity, sorry this is h it will be. then we start creating what's called a circular firing squad. >> yeah, remember that. that was former president obama just a few months ago warning democrats of the pitfalls of attacking one another. most candidates did not heed that advice last night though on the debate stage. watch this. >> i asked the vice president point blank if he used his power to stop deportations he went around the question. mr. vice president you can't have it both ways. you invoke problem more than
anybody in this campaign. your plan by contrast leaves out almost 10 million americans. so i think that you should really think about what you're saying. >> mr. vice president, it looks like wurch one of us has learne lessons of the past and one hasn't. >> former kaine manager for president obama is with me. good morning. >> good morning. >> so what do you think president obama is thinking this morning? >> i think he's probably smiling. i know in this post, in this trump world, facts don't matter. but we're talking about a president who helped rescue the economy from the worst rescission since world war ii. who got out out of the iraq war. and so the facts are one thing but then let's just talk for a second about the politics of attacking the former president who is the most popular political leader in the world and in the democratic party he
and his wife are universally beloved and so, you know, you're looking at voters who are looking at this, especially african-american voters and younger voters who came of age in the obama years and they are saying what are you talking about? why aren't we to concussion on president trump. >> why then, jim? when you advise people in campaigns clearly multiple candidates thought this was a good idea or at least not a horrible idea. 95% approval among democrats that's the latest polling in what president obama has held. so why? >> yeah, his wife is probably at 150%. it is crazy. i understand the theory. the theory is silly. right now joe biden is getting a majority share of african-american voters because of his association with barack obama. and he's getting a bunch of democrats who other candidates say we got to go get these people. so they are trying to chip away
at this. the problem is that's not what voters want to hear. what they want to hear is what the plans are for the future and how some candidate can excite them the way barack obama did and i promise you, poppy, trashing barack obama isn't the way to do it. >> give cory booker your grade this morning? >> a-minus. he had a good night. he was a happy warrior. he went at it in a way and really stepped it up and that was a cory booker that's been missing from the campaign trail and sort of gotten lost. i thought last night he had a break out performance, that will him as he continues on. >> what do you mean happy warrior? like the kool aid joke? >> yeah. he was a little bit of obama ability to smile when he attacks. and to kind of do it in a way that, you know, spreads a little more love than anger. and it's always been one of his
positive points. there's stories of him want took the beloved candidate not the hate candidate. he put a little spice in there but stayed love. there's a real lane in our party for that. >> he doesn't have a perfect record in newark which he admits. in his book he admits to having his head up his you know what under holder in newark. i wonder if you think his, you know, contrition and his saying i was wrong and i got it wrong and newark will be enough to help him on that front when it comes to criminal justice and that issue? >> well i think you'll see lots of candidates deal with that issue. obviously senator harris has dealt with it. vice president biden dealt with it. people will say i made mistakes when i was younger i learn. people want politicians to say i learned, i've grown.
people appreciate that. people want to call them flipflopers, voters don't look at it that way. >> they are actually human, we're giving them that? before you go, to me senator harris seemed to falter a little bit last night compared to her first performance. did you see any weakness there, any vulnerability? >> i think she was in a different role. this is the first role in which she was the front-runner and everybody will swing at her for the first time. that's a different position than she was in. i do think that counter punching doesn't come as naturally to her. i think it takes a little bit of time. interestingly i watched the after debate coverage and she was great at that. she counter punched really well. she did some other stuff with the vice president. when she had time to think about it she was really good. in the debate it's a much different role than her
programmed role where she went after the vice president in the first debate. she's going to have to now take on the shrinlin slings and arro come with being one of the front-runners. >> interesting to see democrats playing self-defense there a bit. democrats made their case to voters as well. now president trump gets his turn during another campaign rally in ohio. we'll speak to former ohio governor john kasich next. behr presents: outdone yourself. staining be done... and stay done through every season. behr semi-transparent stain. find it exclusively at the home depot.
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tonight the president will get his chance to rebut the debate over the past two nights in ohio. he's holding a rally there. >> that's right. president headed to ohio for that rally. you can bet he'll not shy away from bringing up the democrats. he was watching. he tweeted about it. let's discuss with former ohio governor john kasich. governor always good to have you on the program. >> thanks, jim. >> so, ohio used to be a swing state. in 2016 trump won 51, almost 52% to 43.7%. is this state even in play based on what you hear there in 2020? >> well, you had a former governor who did a heck of a job. seriously what happened in ohio is things got better. people were working. we expanded medicaid. people had health care. we were dealing with the issue of race in a significant way. fighting the drug problem.
all of those things attributed to why do we want to change? there's a lot of that still in play now. now i know recent poll shows donald trump losing here, but to me the states that you have to keep on is michigan, pennsylvania and wisconsin and whether trump is able to keep all of the states that he had the last time around in his cap, in his column. that's what you got to watch. >> what democrats did you see, governor, on the stage night one and night two that you think could actually flip ohio back and makeitlue? who could win ohio? in your mind. >> joe biden. right now that's what i see. look, this is like the 1st of august and we're already debating. there's a lot of people who are not watching these debates. secondly, you have a situation where, you know, these debates
may not be at the end as important as we think they are. that what really is going matter is a ground game. that's what i experienced in new hampshire which is why i was able to do so well in new hampshire is because i worked the ground game. so if you have people sort of tuning out of these debates and it's very early to be listening to these debates, you know, at the end of july, and you rely more and more on the ground game that's pretty significant. that changes the way in which the calculus works. but look here's what i see happening. last night everybody was attacking biden. okay. he fended them off. what's he trying to do? he's trying to stay in that sort of moderately conservative lane. so when i talk to republicans, you know, who they just do not like the democrats and i say well what if joe biden was the nominee. what if joe biden got elected. well they would lip his wings.
that might be all right. many of the other ones are so opposed to them that that's the problem the he democrats have. you know these big ideas that are hard left i don't think they are going to sell. i'm just telling the truth. now as i see it. as time goes on could somebody emerge? i don't know. because right now it's sort of a scramble, right? there's nobody really emerging big time. i don't see it. >> kamala harris did after the first debates. less so it seems after this. i won as you watch this friendly fire among democratic candidates on the stage, even with a clear front-runner who shows a pretty broad based support in biden are they damaging their own party's chances in 2020? >> jim, it may be that the debate, it might be that the debate brings out sort of the negativity. you're not hearing anybody being
overly optimistic. do you think ronald reagan was a great debater. he was not. do you think that barack obama was a great debater. in think he lost all the debates the to hillary clinton. but he ended up being the nominee. do you think george bush the first was a great debater? i don't think. so this is a heck of a way to figure out who will be a good leader. >> that's a good point. how much do people like him. >> clinton won debates against trump. >> you wrote an op-ed in "usa today" about opioids and how handling the opioid crisis in ohio cab national model. that just didn't -- it wasn't a focus either night yet so many of these lawmakers represent states where this is a crisis. medicaid expansion is part of obamacare. in ohio a big part of the recovery for many, many people
addicted to opioids. i guess my question senior you disappointed more of these candidates didn't take the opportunity to talk about a huge national crisis? >> here's what's interesting about the health care debate. 90% of americans have health care. okay. now what is the issue? the issue is the rising costs. why is it that no one on that stage is talk about the problem of the rising costs of health care? why do we want to take a system and throw it out of the window when 90% of the people get what they want. don't they remember what happened under obamacare, he they turned against obamacare when they will lose their doctor or in and repeat it again. when i'm on cnn, i am not doing this through the lens of a republican. my job is to look at what i see. at the president, at the democrats. my sense is this. if the democrats do not come
with somebody who is more moderately conservative and if they think they need this dramatic change to the hard left i don't think they will win and people will say, you know, i don't like donald trump, but, you know, the fact is that the economy is okay. by the way, their constant attacking of the economy, there were democrats that ran against me, bad mouthing ohio's economy when the economy was good. it doesn't work. talk about what you want to do. so i want you to understand that. >> we do. >> opioids, we had great success out here but took a lot of work. >> there's more to be done for sure. we'll keep the spotlight on that issue. thanks for writing that opinion piece. quick break. we'll be right back. e ♪ i feel alive with nowhere to go. ♪ i'm the king of the road. ♪ ya shimmer like gold.
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among 2,000 fighters continue to be held in syria. these are foreign citizens that travel to syria to join isis. the trump administration has been pushing european countries to take back several hundred european citizens that are still being held for having fought with isis. the u.s. trying to lead by example here. this is the second u.s. citizen repatriated to face charges in this month. but the this is a real problem and it's complicating president trump's plans to leave syria because what will become of these 2,000 fighters should they escape or be released. >> an issue with other countries willing to take back fighters. a bone to pick with the trump administration. ryan brown, always good to have you at the pentagon. coming up we'll hear both from joe biden and kamala harris campaigns. what would they have done differently last night?
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i'm kate bolduan. thanks so much for joining me. welcome to the 1st of august which is amazing and the first day of the rest of the 2020 race. democratic candidates are back on the campaign trail today after they faced off in the cnn debates. round two last night of round two made it clear the gloves are off. from the first minute of the debate the current front-runner joe biden was taking hits from pretty much every where on the stage. on everything from health care to climate change to criminal justice. listen.