tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN August 6, 2019 4:00am-5:00am PDT
there might be room for movement on background checks soon. al be very interesting. so stick around for that. also, cnn has sat down with former vice president joe biden, the exclusive interview with "new day" continues. welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. this is "new day", alisyn is off. chris cuomo with us from el paso, texas, this morning, and this morning we have learned that the president will visit el paso. that visit is getting mixed reaction to say the least. he will also visit dayton, ohio. 31 people killed in those two cities. el paso's mayor says he will welcome the president when he arrives. the leader of the local democratic party is urging the president to cancel his trip and el paso native and current democratic candidate beto o'rourke writes gnthat the president should not come adding that he has no place here. chris. >> reporter: the massacre in el
paso, fuelled by hatred and bigotry, allegedly at the hands of a white nationalist, the president blaming mental illness, video games, the internet. everything except any kind of indication of the rhetoric that he has made all too common. while anderson cooper sat down with him in an exclusive interview with another presidential candidate, former vice president joe biden to get his reaction to this week's shootings, and more importantly what can be done to prevent attacks in the future. >> you entered the campaign said this is in your opinion, a battle for the soul of the nation. given the violence over the last couple of days, who's winning the battle. >> the white supremacists, they're winning the battle. this is domestic terrorism, and look, when those folks came out on the fields in charlottesville, their veins bulging, and i mean, just coming out from under the rocks, carrying torches, saying anti,
young woman gets killed, and the president is asked, tell us what you think, there's fine people on both sides. no president has said that. and he's just continued it. >> you talk about charlottesville being the defining moment, do you see this as another defining moment. >> absolutely. but, you know, it's a continuation. i mean, this is a president who continues to speak in ways that just are completely contrary to everything who we are. i mean, referring to immigrants as, you know, mexicans as rapists and talking about, you know, rats in baltimore. i mean, the way he talks about people. >> do you blame the president in part for what happened in el paso? i don't -- well, what i do is his rhetoric contributes to this notion that -- it almost
legitimates people from coming out from under the rocks. this is white nationalism. this is terrorism of a different sort. but it's still terrorism. >> beto o'rourke has said that he believes the president is a white nationalist. >> well, let me put it this way, whether he is or not, he sure is using the language of and contributing to the kinds of things that they say. the idea that this guy in el paso talked about what he's going to do, he's going to keep paraphrasing, keep these folks in south america, these latinos and mexicans from polluting america, from overtaking our society, wiping out, you know, who we are, i mean, it just, it just is the kind of thing that the president contributes to, and for the first time today, the first time i have ever heard him say he condemns white supremacy, white terrorism. >> when president trump said today, you know, we have to
defeat white supremacy, bigotry, hatred, you don't believe he -- >> show me something, then. from this point on, show me something. can you imagine if you had children in a school where the principal after a terrible shooting or after what happened in charlottesville or what happened in el paso or what happened in ohio, in dayton, stood up said, you know, there's good fine people on both sides. there really are a lot of bad people coming across the border. and all those things he said, paraphrasing him, what do you think would happen? parents would be asking for that principal to be fired and if anything that happened in the school, would they say, he caused it, maybe he didn't cause it, but he sure in fact did not do anything to make it clear it's reprehensible conduct that will not be tolerated. >> you don't go as far as beto o'rourke to say that the president is a white nationalist. i think cory booker said that the president is to blame for
this because of the rhetoric and his lack of action on guns. >> clearly his actions have done nothing to do anything other than encourage this kind of behavior. that going to whether he's -- i'm not sure what this guy believes, if he believes anything, if not just opportunity, an opportunist to continue to maintain his base and divide the country. >> that may behind the rhetoric, you're saying, an effort basically to white supremacists to at least give them a dog whistle. >> they do have a dog whistle. they do have a dog whistle. look, this is a president who has said things no other president has said since andrew jackson. nobody said anything like the things he's saying and the idea that those will contribute to or legitimate or make it more rational for people to think that we in fact can speak out.
we can speak out and be more straightforward and make this an issue, we have been through this before. we have been through this before in the 20s with the ku klux klan, 50,000 people walking down pennsylvania avenue in pointed hats and their robes as they in fact decided they didn't want catholics coming into the country. we went through it after the civil war in terms of the ku klux klan and white supremacy. this is about separating people and the good and bad in his mind. it's about making -- it's about an access to power. it's a trait used by shar letons all over the world. >> if that's the case, it's a dangerous game he's playing. >> there's no question it's a dangerous game. there's no question his rhetoric has contributed to, at a minimum, of dumbing down the way in which we as a society talk about one another, the way -- look, we have always brought the country together. we've never, you know, we the
people, we hold these truths self-evident, he flies in the face of things, we have never met the standard. he looks like he just flat abandoned the theory that we are one people. >> in terms of the actual things he talked about today, in terms of action, early in the morning, he had tweeted about the idea of linking background checks or stronger background checks with immigration reform, he -- he never mentioned it after tweeting about it, i guess. >> there's an example, why don't we have background checks for the guys like, who in fact do these terrible things. they're not immigrants that are dog this. they're american citizens who are doing these things. >> does the idea of linking action on stronger background checks to immigration reform make sense? >> no, but it makes it sound like the reason why we need background checks is because of those immigrants. let's get immigration reform
period, and let's go after the notion that these background checks should be universal, period. let's go and make sure that we in fact do not allow like what i was able to do with dianne feinstein's help, eliminate the ability to have an assault weapon, eliminate the ability to have a clip with more than 10 bullets in. who the hell needs 200 rounds in a gun, in a weapon. >> the person really did not talk about anything relating to guns today. >> i know he hasn't. that's my point. >> yeah. he focused on, he talked about video games. he talked about mental health, the idea of red flag legislation identifying somebody ahead of them, perhaps committing a crime, maybe even involuntary confinement, somebody with a mental issue who seems to be a danger, and he went on to say that it's not, it's mental, it's
someone with a mental illness or hatred that pulls the trigger, tst it's not the gun pulling the trigger. >> here's the deal. hatred is not necessarily -- it's sick but it's not a mental illness. to confuse that with a certifiable mental illness. white supremacy is wrong. white nationalism is wrong. it is not a mental illness. it is hateful behavior. it is the way in which people are raised and encouraged to take out their venom on people who they don't like because of the color of their eyes or the color of their skin or the way they walk or where they're from. that is not mental illness. that is a fact, hatred. >> there's much we don't know about the shooter in dayton yet, but certainly it indicates like he had some mental issues or at least some emotional issues early on and obviously -- >> and by the way, i always argue that, in fact, there
should be people denied the about to have weapons if they have a mental illness, they should be made aware, the police should be made aware of someone with a background check if they have been been treated like what happened at virginia tech and a whole range of those things. we have been talking about that for a long time, but up until now, our friends -- i use that too lightly -- you know, the folks on the right have argued that no, no, no, that's not anybody's responsibility. they should be able to own a weapon. look, why don't we call this for what it is, this is pure and simple, white nationalism, terrorism. it's domestic terrorism. period. >> so do you in a biden administration, would want to see the fbi able to prosecute domestic terror. >> absolutely. >> in the same way they do international terrorism. >> absolutely. >> as of right now, that in itself, domestic terrorism is not itself a crime, it's a weapons charge or something
else. >> there is domestic terrorism, white supremacy is domestic terrorism. >> you would like to see a change in law to have domestic terrorism basically be combatted the same way that international terrorism by the fbi. >> what's the difference, what's the difference. there's been as many -- there's more acts by domestic terrorists today in the past years than there has been by foreign terrorism, even though they're being recruited. >> chris wray from the fbi testified they had almost as many arrests on domestic terrorism in the first three quarters of this year than they have with international terrorism. >> kryeah, so what's the difference in terms of the lives of american citizens, innocent people. >> you're in support of stronger background checks, universal background checks. >> universal background checks. >> you're in support of an assault weapons ban. >> i was able to get one passed. >> in 1994. the final studies though on the assault weapons ban that people point to say it basically was
kind of inconclusive. there were so many assault type weapons already on the market that it didn't really have a demonstrable effect on the reduction of crime which occurred. there was a reduction of crime, but they can't point at the assault weapons ban. >> that's true. but here's a simple proposition. let's assume it's all absolutely accurately, do we want to continue it? does anybody think it made any sense that someone's able to walk into a gun store, buy an assault weapon that has multiple rounds or buy an assault weapon that has a hundred rounds, even though you can't point to the fact that it in fact had stopped it before. do you want more of them on the street? do we want to do that? >> to gun owners out there who say a biden administration means they're going to come for my guns. >> you're right, if you have an assault weapon. the fact of the matter is they should be illegal period. look, the second amendment doesn't say you can't restrict
the kinds of weapons people can own. you can't buy a bazooka. the guy who makes the arguments, we need protection against the government, we need an f 15 for that, you need something well beyond whether or not you're going to have an assault weapon. >> how would you deal with all the assault weapons that are out there? >> what i would do is i would try to -- institute a national buy back program, and i would move it in the direction of making sure that in fact was what we tried to do, get them off the street. >> that's not confiscating people. >> that's not walking into their homes, knocking on their doors, going through their gun cabinets, et cetera. >> people would be allowed to keep the weapons they already have. >> there's no legal way that i'm aware of that you could deny the right if they legally purchased. we can in fact make a major effort to get them off the street and out of the possession of people. >> do you think president trump is afraid of the nra?
you know, he called in members of congress, and he was making fun even of some members of congress saying that they were scared of the nra. he said he would take it on, and then -- >> the first thing he did, showed up to the nra and spoke to them nationally and said what do you need, basically. >> you think he's beholden to the nra. >> i think he's be holden to thhis base, to the nra, a significant portion of his base is made up of people he has identified as dividing people into good guys and bad guys, those who in fact are, you know, he preaches division. that's what it's all about. look, he speaks to his base, which is somewhere around 35% of the american people. a president should speak to everybody. everybody. the base should be democrats, republicans, independents across the board. that's not who he is. he's focused on his base, and
that's one of the ways he has been able to intimidate republican colleagues. >> another aspect of the interview was the former vice president talking about his own life and his incredible experience with tragedy. >> he said, dad, look at me dad, he said i'm going to be okay no matter what happens. he knew he only had months to go. and he said, but promise me, dad, promise me you'll be okay. >> the former vp has an emotional message of hope to families now coming to grips with this unimaginable loss. next. so any plans for this weekend? of course he's got plans. with labor day deals starting from 20% off, bookers are leaving summer with no regrets. it's labor day! book a place to stay and be a booker at booking.com.
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introducing an easier way to move with xfinity. it's just another way we're working to make your life simple, easy, awesome. go to xfinity.com/moving to get started. former vice president joe biden is sharing lessons from his own personal tragedies, while reflecting on the tragedy in el paso and dayton. discussing the president's response to the shootings. we have more of his interview with anderson cooper, now. >> when i mentioned that the
president talked about video games today as being part of the problem, i saw you kind of rolled your eyes. it's something that people have talked about for a long time. >> i have talked about it, too, but it is not healthy to have these games teaching kids, that, you know, the dispassionate notion that you can shoot somebody and just, you know, sort of blow their brains out. >> it is popular in japan. >> they are. that's my point. but it's not in and of itself the reason why we have this carnage on our streets. >> do you think the president's response to el paso would have been different in terms of what he was calling for if the shooter had been muslim or an undocumented immigrant. >> are you kidding. the fact of the matter, my guess is he would be calling for a -- anyway. >> you think it would be. >> i think it would be, and i think that what we're talking about here is look at the way he talks about muslims. look at the way he talks about immigrants. look at the way he talks about people of color.
look at the way he talks about them. he talks about them almost in subhuman terms. he talks about people of different racism, backgrounds, as if somehow we were -- look, you can't define what an american is based on ethnicity, race, on religion, on background, there's only one thing that unites us, only one. an agreement on the basic formation of this government, which is we hold these truths. all men are created equal. we never live up to it. but it's that notion, that notion. how else do you define an american, other than a commitment, whether they talk about it in terms of a constitution or not, the idea that everybody has a chance. everybody should have an equal chance in the country, and given a chance, they can do something. that's who we are as a nation. america is an idea. it's an idea. it's bigger than any damn ocean, powerful than any army.
>> you don't hear this white house talking about that vision of america, that shining sitting on a hill. >> it can't. how can it talk about it when the language used is always about pitting one group of americans against another, whether it's based on your sexual identity, whether you're a man, you're a woman, whether it's based upon your origin, where you come from, what your religion is. come on. >> mitch mcconnell has not allowed the legislation that's in the house right now to get to the senate. he's done the same thing on, you know, election security, just recently. why do you think he is doing that? >> i'll make an analogy, no one knew what the affordable care act was until it started to be taken away. i went into 24 states, campaigning for 68 or 69 candidates, republican areas, we won back the house and the senate. you didn't hear any republicans running around the end of this
last election saying, let's take away preexisting conditions as being covered. let's take away. the american public, unfortunately, is getting exposed to just how deeply and badly this nation has been divided by this president. and the absolute sort of, how can i say it, attack on the character of the country that's going on. and they're feeling it. they're seeing it. and it's a different place. i met with every one of the families up in sandy hook. i met with the families down in the pulse nightclub. i met with the kids down in florida who, when, in fact, their school was victimized, they marched and came up to washington. these are people who in fact have, you know, you have to put this in human terms. and now when american people are hearing the stories, they're seeing, like i said, up in sandy hook, the biggest thing when i met with all the police that were there, the state police,
they needed help, mental help, because you know what they talked about, this guy piled babies on top of one another in the classroom and then shot them again. people should understand, people are beginning to understand the depth of damage and how this is scarring the country. >> and rhetoric and leadership matters. >> it matters a lot. it matters. what a president says matters. like i said, our kids are listening, but the public is going to listen too. they understand if you mean it. they understand what has to be done. the vast majority of the american people thinks there needs to be rational gun policy and that means number one, you have to be able to pass a certain background check to be able to own a gun period. number two, we can limit the types of weapons you can own and the circumstance in which you can own them. that's constitutionally responsible and allowable. number three, you have to be in a position where you let the people know that when you --
that you have a responsibility when you own a weapon, that you have to care for it. you have to make sure no one else can have access to it. you have to lock it up. you have to have trigger locks, you have to put it in gun cases and if you don't, you can be held responsible for that. we wouldn't say that about, i mean, everything else we talk about that damages people. you're required to make sure you take certain precautions, if something you own has the potential to be lethal that in fact, it is protected. it is kept away. and they are just basic things that the american people deal with and know that, in fact, are -- and then when you do have the right to purchase a gun because you've had a background check, you shouldn't be able to buy certain weapons because they have no rationale other than -- like when i was campaigning on the assault weapons ban, i would go through southern delaware, a lot of hunters, because of duck hunting and they would be fishing in the tributary, joe,
why are you taking away my shotgun. i said you think you need this. how many deer out there, if you're going deer hunting, you need 30 rounds? you shouldn't be hunting, man. no, no, no, i don't need that. and so, i mean, people when you expose them to what's going on, they understand, and there's a movement occurring in america where finally, i think we're going to get to the place where there's a rational position on gun ownership. >> if i could ask you one more question, and fst a personit's question, if you don't want to answer it's okay. you have experienced losses that a parent shouldn't experience, will likely be talking to family members whose child or sister or brother or mother or father has been killed. as someone who has been through that, and lived through that, and lived with that every day, what would you -- what do you say to the people who are grieving right now? >> you understand it.
you lost your brother. you understand. it really takes a part of your soul. and what i tell people is that it's going to take a long time, but the person you lost is still with you, still part of you. and that i -- when it happened to me, when i got a phone call when i was in washington after i was elected before i got sworn in that my -- that put a first responder on the phone, god love her, and said you've got to come home, there's been an accident, and i said they're dead. your wife and daughter are dead, and i remember thinking to myself, my god, i mean, i just remember being so angry, angry with everything and i shouldn't say it, but angry with god, just angry, and i remember -- and people would come up to me and say, meaning well, after that, i
understand and you feel like saying you have no idea. you have no idea. you know they mean well, but the people who, in fact, have been through it, you know they understand. and it gives you solace that they made it, you just want to know, can i make it through. and i had a older gentleman, 35 years my senior, a former elected official in the state of new jersey call me, former governor, and he said i understand, i almost said don't, he said, you know, i was walking home from lunch, i was the attorney general and my wife, a woman came running across the mall saying she's dead, she's dead, your wife just died, and i said -- and i realized he did know. he said you know what i did, and my advice that helped me anyway, is two things, one, he said, get a piece of graph paper, and mark every single day how you felt
from 1 to 10 that day. because you know you lost your brother, the thought would come to you after a while, you would be just as down as the moment it happened. don't mark it for six months. mark it on the graph paper, the downs will be just as far down, but you know you're going to make it when they get further and further and further apart. you still get down. >> it never goes away. >> but it never goes away. but that's when you know you can make it. that's when you know you can embrace the family members that are left. that's when you know that you can make a contribution. it's like when i lost my son beau. i remember him saying to me, you know, and i wrote a book about it unfortunately, that was harder than i thought it would be. i wanted people to know what he was like and he looked at me when he -- we'd go home, and on
fridays to have dinner with him, he lived about a mile from us. and he asked his wife to take the kids upstairs, and my wife had gone home to change before he came back. we got right off the train, and he said, dad, look at me, dad, he said i'm going to be okay no matter what happens. he knew he only had months to go, and he said, but promise me, dad, promise me you'll be okay. and i said, beau, i'll be okay. and i know people make fun of it, but we have a thing in our family, give me your word as a biden you'll be okay because that's a sacred thing we do, and i said i will beau, but i knew what he meant, he meant dad don't do what you want to do, you want to turn inward, you want to wall yourself off. you don't want to be part of it all. he just wanted me to make sure that the things that i made my whole life i didn't walk away from. he knew i would take care of the
kids, he knew i would be there for the family, but it's the other thing i would strongly urge and they can't do it now. can't even think through the fog right now, but eventually, what will take you through is purpose. find a purpose, something that matters, particularly something connected to the loss you just had. and so, i'm being too personal, and i get up in the morning and i think to myself in the morning, is he proud of me, am i doing what he wants and i'm sure that it's the same with you and a whole lot of other people, and -- but at a moment, there will come a time when you think of the person you lost and it takes a long while, where you get a smile before you get a tear. and that's when you know you're going to make it. and so many people have gone through what i have been through
without the help i had. think of all the heroes out there walking those streets today, they get up every single morning, they put 1 foot in front of the other, and they move. they move. >> my mom used to say this saying, from a scottish philosopher, and the saying is be kind because everybody you meet is fighting a great battle. and that's an important thing. >> that's right. and you know, and faith sees best in the dark. sometimes it's really dark, but there is hope. and think about what it means for those family members you have left. they need you. they need you. and look, folks. that's why i think that it matters the stories of these people, for the public to understand that this is not just a statistic, this is -- this is
who we are, who they are. i mean, it's -- and it really is about, you know, sort of re-weaving that social fabric that holds a society together, hone honesty, decency, hope, leaving nobody behind. giving hate no safe harbor. that's who we are. that's who we are. it's the thing that holds us together, and i don't see much of it coming from the far right and the breitbarts of the world and this administration. it's uniqueness of america. >> mr. vice president, thank you very much. >> sorry, i didn't mean to get so personal. >> i appreciate it. >> well. >> it helps. >> you know, i mean, it's -- it's just amazing how it's --
everybody knows who donald trump is. we got to let him know who we are, man. even his supporters know who he is, they have no illusions about the basic fundamental character traits. i mean, it's -- and i think -- i think sometimes he thinks that we talk about this thing, we talk about other people like we're being suckers, like take care of yourself, i mean, i don't know. we need to let him know that, you know, we choose hope over fear, you know. unity over division. and maybe most importantly, truth over lies. but you got to make sure that, not because i'm running, we got to make sure that the american
people understand whoever you're trying to lead that you mean what you say, there's some authenticity to it, and it matters, and you know as well as i do it really matters. >> that was something, and i think it went in the direction anderson wasn't expecting. put politics aside for a moment, this isn't about politics or elections here. joe biden has a gift, and it's a gift no one would ask for, and that's an understanding of grief and how to talk to people about grief. that was remarkable to hear. while everyone was sleeping, there was a development on the gun discussion i think everyone missed and it's a reason to think maybe, maybe there might be significant ground for agreement. we're going to speak to the person i think might be one of the most important people in america this morning, that's next.
we just heard from former vice president joe biden weighing in on the discussion about what to do about guns in this country, not to diminish his role or president trump's role or congress's role. now we're going to speak to one person who i think might have said the most important thing about the gun discussion in america over the past 24 hours, joining us now is scott jennings, cnn political commentator for usa today, and spent a big part of his career working for and advising senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. also joining us is tiffany cross, cofounder and managing editor of the beat d.c. and malika henderson. you're all important in my book, but scott and i'm not being
hyperbolic, you wrote an op-ed and when i read it, and i read it in bed, i sat up straight. why because i know that what you say mitch mcconnell hears and sometimes, sometimes mitch mcconnell speaks. so scott, what you wrote last night is you cannot legislate the crazy and evil out of humanity, but you can damn sure let the american people know that political leaders of goodwill exist in our polarizing world and they will set all of this scar tissue aside to reassure a nation asking itself what is wrong with us. and then you wrote you would be in favor of universal background checks of some kind and perhaps a ban on high capacity magazines like the hundred round drums used in the shootings in dayton. my question to you is do you see movement now? can i read what you wrote last night as movement in this discussion? will republicans and the majority leader perhaps be willing to pass legislation on
universal background checks and bans on high capacity magazines? >> well, thanks for having me on this morning, john, and yes, i do think there's going to be movement. i think the majority leader put out a statement late yesterday afternoon indicating that he directed his committee chairs to try to come up with something that could pass both chambers in a bipartisan way. by the way, i also wrote that i would be in favor of a red flag law which then after mcconnell made his statement, lindsey graham made a statement that he and connecticut senator blumenthal seem to have some kind of an agreement oncoming up with a red flag law that a lot of conservatives believe are a key issue here in moving this debate forward, so yeah, i see, look, i'm a glass half full kind of political pundit, and i have optimism here that out of the shadow of this tragedy, these multiple tragedies, something good can happen. i just don't think that it's feasible to do nothing, nor do i think it's feasible to do the most extreme thing, and nor do i think it's feasible to throw up
our hands. i think we have to look at the situation and say what is within the realm of the possible, what is politically palatable, and what could solve some problems. i think it's important that people realize, i don't think there's any law, and i wrote this in my piece that can legislate all of the evil out of this world, and there will be people who exploit any law we pass, but that doesn't mean we can't try to give the american people some comfort that we're looking into this, that we're trying to do anything we can to understanding that there are always going to be bad people in the world. >> is it a reasonable reading this morning, scott, of what you are writing that mitch mcconnell will be open to universal background checks? >> i think he has stated that he is open to a process here to find things that can achieve bipartisan and bicameral support. that's what he always is trying to do, get things to the floor that actually have a chance to pass. i mean, look, i told him yesterday i thought background checks were a 90/10 issue in
this country and that people in both parties find it imminently reasonable that folks would undergo a background check. yeah, i think we're headed towards a process here. are the extremes of both parties trying to derail with things that can't pass or ideas that would derail the whole thing, i hope not because i think most people are aware, the polling says they are, yeah, a background check is imminently reasonable. >> and i want to bring the others into the discussion right now but the house has passed two measures, one of them is a more universal background check, and one of those types of things, and this has to be a yes or no, you think has some kind of a chance of getting through the is that the. the republicans specifically in the senate? >> yeah, i think there is a path forward here to get a background check process on the floor. now, when you put things on the floor of the senate, a lot of folks offer amendments and the lot of things are said, people should keep that in mind. i think these tragedies have opened everybody's eyes to the need to move this debate
forward. congress has done things, they did the fix nix bill which fixed the criminal background check system which was put in place by a bipartisan effort of bush and democrats in congress after the virginia tech shooting. things have happened of an incremental nature. here's a chance for something bigger. nia and tiffany, am i crazy or is this a big deal, scott is telling us, i think that mitch mcconnell is open and he hasn't done it yet but open to the idea of bringing universal background checks to the floor. that's a big movement. >> yeah, and we'll see if it sort of pays off in the end, we'll see if the president judges sort of the political moment is right for him to put together the kind of package that scott wrote about, maybe the house bill, maybe the mansion toomey bell. we have been here before where the president seems open to these ideas, open to all sorts
of ideas that the left would like, and folks get in his ear, the nra or folks on fox news and there is back peddling. it is up to mitch mcconnell and also up to the president as well to signal what he's open for, and i think, you know, i think coming into this process, coming into the presidency, the president did seem to be positioned to be someone who could be open to some of these bipartisan ideas but then sort of the politics of the nra, the politics of folks on the extremes of both parties took over. we'll see. maybe it's the cumulative effect of all of these shootings, we've had. you go back to sandy hook, folks thought something would happen there. so far the politics at the federal level with congress have been just too difficult. >> mcconnell came out and tried to move it along, and the president did it that's a whole other thing, i think it would be in a different position. the skeptics would say, mitch
mcconnell has a universal background check sitting on his desk if he wants it, the house passed it in february, so if he wants to do this, this could be done tomorrow. yes, tiffany? >> john, count me among the skeptics, i certainly don't share scott's description of mitch mcconnell that he's always seeking a bipartisan solution. that's ridiculous, it's false based on his previous actions and his actions during the obama administration. when obama put merrick garland up for the supreme court, and mitch mcconnell actually said, why would i ever consider a supreme court justice that the nra doesn't approve. the nra has so much control over mcconnell, they have given him over a million dollars of contributions. i'm of the mindset, i'll wait and see what actually happens, i'll wait to see if there's any actual movement because like you said, it's sitting on his desk, he blocked two bills from even being put on the floor in the senate, so i just don't know, and i know this is really, you know, for all of us who covered
the minutiae of these things inside the beltway when you get into the politics of this, you can lose the american people who don't follow the minutiae of this. when you look at it, from a humane perspective, i think people really just want to have some sort of resolution to the killing, when you see dead kids, people want to have some sort of resolution and that's the voice of the people that has to reach mcdonnell's desk. >> full, stand by for a moment because the president just moments ago is responding pretty directly to what former president obama wrote yesterday. you'll want to hear how he is weighing in on that. first, though, let's go back to chris in el paso. >> reporter: yeah, two quick things. red flag laws only work in states where they pass them. on the federal level, it's not as effective a fix as it sounds in the rhetoric, and also less than 24 hours, jb, it took this president less than 24 hours to go off the script of unifying and going right back and blaming
obama and what about obama, and nobody ever did this with obama. less than 24 hours. and that's one of the things that's fuelling the frustration and the concern about what happens if this president comes to visit here which now seems like a certainty. and another certainty is that this community is going to show its strength. they're coming together to mourn. you'll see behind us, people are coming to relight the candles after a rain cell passed overhead. even here, look how early it is in the morning, people are still here showing el paso strong. also we're going to speak with democratic candidate pete buttigieg. we're going to talk with the head of the democratic party who's here, and asking the president to cancel his trip. all ahead, stay with cnn. wit looks like jill heading offe on an adventure.
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for wifi with super powers, get xfinity xfi. and go see, fast & furious presents, hobbs & shaw. now playing. all right, we have a new development you're going to want to hear about. president obama of course is speaking out in the aftermath of this weekend's shootings issuing a very careful worded statement
criticizing leaders who demonize immigrants. well, this morning just moments ago president trump respond insisting these types of shootings happened long before he was presidented including when obama was president, more specifically the policy of grievance which he does, he's speaking through fox news speaking through him asking did george bush every condemn president obama after sandy hook. back with us, yeah there might be a little bit of an apples of and oranges problem here. because largely speaking no one ever said president obama was a racist or accused him of fueling anti-immigrant rhetoric, correct? >> right, because he didn't do it, and that was the meat of obama's criticism. and this is a former president who has been loathe to get in the mix here with this president because he knows sort of the blow back you saw there from president trump singling out
obama as he wants to do. so yeah the criticism and this comes from some republicans too is about the language, his racially divisive strategy we've seen from the very beginning, whether it was when he was running for president or whether he's president now. and we saw that in how he talks about baltimore, we've seen that in how he talks about mexicans and immigrants as well. so that is the criticism here, and it's a valid one. and obama in that statement calls on good people all across the country to call out leaders who do engage in this kind of talk we've seen from the president. >> tiffany, president trump didn't even use obama's name specifically. do you think he should have? >> michelle obama says when they go low, we go high but i think there are some people of the mind set when they go low, we go
lower. you need to punch back against donald trump. president trump spends more time criticizing obama than he does time as president. people do look for him. he's still the most popular political figure on the global stage, so i think people are looking to him for his advice how to navigate this space, and people want more. they want some sort of guidance how to deal with the post-trump america. i think we all do. >> less than 24 hours after the president's speech for the white house it took for him to go to twitter and express the type of feelings he often does has get him into trouble, what is your assessment? is this something he should be saying this morning? >> well, i think the president's speech in the white house yesterday was good. that's the kind of language he needs to stay with here in the aftermath of this shooting. i would say george w. bush, my
old boss never commented on what he was doing in eight years. so what he is doing is departure from previous presidents, from expresidents. i don't know if it helps move the debate along to antagonize donald trump. my hope is that all this rhetoric cools down enough for all the members of congress who can enact legislation to work a process to get an outcome. i'm sort of a policy outcome kind of person, and it's hard to get there when you do have people in both parties firing on each other on twitter and other venues. >> this is not the same thing. if anyone is having a departure from what the presidency is like, it's donald trump. barack obama never laughed an an audience member suggesting someone shoot immigrants which we've seen has manifested in reality in the loss of life this past week.
so i don't think we can equate these two things. >> thank you for being with us this morning. mayor pete buttigieg running for president. he has a new proposal he's announcing just this morning to respond to these hate filled attacks and also to respond to the gun violence in the country. we're going to speak to mayor pete buttigieg after the break. anything! at the end of a long day, it's the last thing i want to do. well i switched to swiffer wet jet and its awesome. it's an all-in-one so it's ready to go when i am. the cleaning solution actually breaks down dirt and grime. and the pad absorbs it deep inside. so, it prevents streaks and haze better than my old mop. plus, it's safe to use on all my floors, even wood. glad i got that off my chest and the day off my floor. try wet jet with a moneyback guarantee
makes more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. >> he is responsible for the hatred and violence that we're seeing. we cannot allow him to get off scot-free. >> i don't think i deserve to live. >> why? >> because it's not fair. >> mitch mcconnell went let these bills come up for a vote. >> if they can stop even one shooting from happening, we ought to do it. >> i just grab onto my dad until someone can pull me off. >> so he died in your arms. what did you say to him? >> i just kept saying i love you, get up. good morning and welcome to your new day. it is tuesday august 6th, 8:00 in the east. alyson is off. chris cuomo, we're lucky to