tv Inside Politics CNN August 14, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT
welcome to "inside politics." i'm john keng. thank you for joining us. sending the markets into a tailspin. reliable predictor of a downturn. several democrats running for president being urged to run for the senate instead. john hickenlooper said he's thinking about it. deep skepticism there will be a bipartisan agreement even on that narrow issue, never mind other ideas being pushed by democrats. >> i think we should ban assault weapons as well as large magazines, and as part of passing that ban, do a buy-back
program koss the country so that those who own them can be recompensated for the money that they spent. >> recession is a definite possibility, hardly definite but take a look. dow down over 600 points right now, 630 points and investors say there's every reason for those deep market worries of the one is this. yield curve inversion, on long-term bonds falling below short-term bonds. such an inversion hasn't happened for a decade and it's a phenomena that's preceded every recession the past 50 years. other warning signs come from overseas. world's largest economy, germany, might be tipping into recession. plus new chinese economic numbers overnight, showing its powerhouse economy slowing. a big piece of that is the trade war with the united states.
for everyday americans, a recession would mean job uncertainty, but also for the president, toochlt stronger economy is any president's best friend in a re-election campaign and the boom has help this had president weather storms over his character and temperament. quoting a fox business news segment, arguing the fed must now lower interest rates. more on the politics in a moment. first the numbers and the nervousness. cnn's cristina alesci is at a very hectic new york stock exchange. rough day. >> that's right. the president is tweeting that the fed should lower interest rate rates. by this protracted trade war. you mentioned the inverted yield curve. it's important to note why that is happening. investors are trying to escape
this blood bath and run for cover in a safest place in the markets and that is what is causing the inverted yield curve, which is a wholly unnatural state. basically you are paying more for borrowing for a shorter period of time. investors waking up, realizing perhaps they were too optimistic about the tariff delays yesterday. there is still uncertainty in the business community, which has pulled back from investment spending and this tariff delay doesn't do anything to resolve that uncertainty, which has caused so much of a pull back in stocks and throughout wall street. john? >> cris tichlt na alesci on the floor of the stock market. with me in the studio, julie pace with the associated press,
cnn's phil mattingly and emma swanson with the "new york times." there are a lot of strong economic factors. then you get germany, you see china. what's the strength of each side pulling, if you will, as the united states has a real prospect of being pulled into what is a global slowdown? >> you're starting to see the spill-over effects of the trade war here. and the president pushing back on the tariffs. there's a saying been down so long looks up to me. the president delayed some of the tariffs. they're still going into effect, on $100 billion of product going into effect september and 160 billion going on in december. that will definitely be weighing on the economy and you're seeing
that around the world with germany and china as well. >> you're a president going into a re-election campaign and you're the president of the united states. what can you do is the question. with divided government we're not getting another tax cut if he wanted to stimulate the economy that way. here is peter navarro, one of his economic advisers, saying one tool the president wants, and that's more interest rate cuts. >> the biggest problem we're fighting right now at the white house is the federal reserve interest rate policy. we lost in q2 simply because they raised too fast in the past. the inversion of the yield curve is sending yet another signal that the fed needs to lower interest rates as quickly as possible. >> when the fed did cut rates last time, a few weeks ago, the
signal sort of was, this is a one time thing. rates are historically low but the president and his team -- i don't know if bully is the right term, but trying to nudge them into more. >> the tweet is i would like to stop the fed punching myself or keep me from punching myself. the last 24 hours, indication that there will be a rate cut, the fed will feel like they'll have to come off the sidelines. interesting thing is where you compare and contrast the past two days, based on the president's decision to blink or pull off the tariffs. this isn't a one-to-one fight. china economy, obviously, has wide-ranging spillover effect throughout the course of europe and asia. you see the last 48 hours lower than what was expected, the german contraction as well. you recognize it's not just u.s. versus china.
it's not just tariff versus tariff. there's spillover. it's a global economy. >> and this is the pitfall of policy that leads to this idea of america first, that you're only looking out for your own interests at home. because the economy is connected. and if there is a downturn in china or europe because of a policy that the trump administration is enacting, that could backfire here. for the president, at this moment where he is starting to lean into his re-election, for republicans they've wanted him to talk about the economy. it's what he really has. any president riding this strong economy is in good position. he has started to do that more. we're starting to hear more about the strong economy. this would wrak break up a wh e whole -- >> the last president was george h.w. bush coming out of a recession, even though the numbers were getting better, the american people didn't believe those numbers. it's interesting president trump did back off the tariffs in a
big way, because he has skevently had the position, a, that he's right. b, that the fight with china has to be had, should have be had a long time and c, that the u.s. economy was strong enough to take t you heard helm yesterday talk about we're worried about holiday prices, consumers, for the first time acknowledging that tariffs are paid by you, you, you, you and you out there, not by china. >> recal abrasion of that. and also to phil's point about this connected world that we're in, the biggest story at the moment is how aggressively the xi regime in china cracks down on the protesters in hong kong and what the president will say if and when that does happen. leader of the house gop kevin mccarthy coming out squarely on the side of the hong kong protesters in contrast to the president's very much uncertain trumpet on this issue. what's he going to say if there is a real aggressive crackdown
in the streets of hong kong and how does that impact his negotiations with beijing on tariffs? will he get a lesser deal with china if he sounds too harsh of a note when it comes to their aggression? >> if you're the chinese and see the markets today, you think who has the levenlg today? if you're chiet knee-- the chin today -- look, that number has gone up. that's his only good number. characteristics of a presidency, truthfulness, honesty, temperament, the president has bad numbers. that's essentially the oar he wants to ride. if you are the chinese sbee this, you're not in a mood to blink, right? >> i think that's right. >> although their economy is slowing as well. so you have a tough -- >> that's right. so, they are really struggling as well. i think the president's strength
on the economy is absolutely essential for his ability to win voters in the middle, who are not his base. and this move to delay tariffs is really not about china. it's not china offering anything new at the negotiating table as far as we can tell. it's really all about a domestic audience and concerns about the economy and also the ability for democrats to paint him as the grinch that sole christmas, putting tariffs on toys ahead of christmas is not a particularly good look, going into a re-election. >> what's interesting about this moment is the theory, the case that's been presented to me by people who are involved in this. there's an understanding inside the trade team that the u.s. will feel pain but that the u.s. can sustain ordeal with that pain longer than the chinese economy can and the u.s. is better positioned than china. you look at the numbers, there's some validity to that. how willing are they to stick to
this position? we'll see how long it takes. often when you have an inverted yield curve there's a bump in the market shortly thereafter. it's interesting to see. if you think you can play the long game and withstand the pain longer than china can, now it's happening. >> this isn't a president who cowers to, a, bad news, dips into the market which he lifbs and dies by. sustain the politics is not a good bumper sticker for the re-election. stay the pain. re-elect trump, i don't think, would be very effective. >> the american people have a lot more power to reflect anger at their politicians than the chinese. >> indeed. >> to vent their frustration. >> hear, hear. background checks for gun purchases but not everyone is on board and not everyone even in the negotiations thinks they can get to the finish line. johnson & johnson is a baby company.
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passed several proposals. the challenge now is whether senate majority leader mitch mcconnell will bring anything to the floor for a vote. >> keep why your eyes on the prize here. keep your eyes on the background checks. last time after the shooting in connecticut, we didn't do that. and the public got confused about what we were trying to do on the floor. it was four or five different pieces of legislation. if they fail to pass it, the american people will know that something that 90% of the american people support, mitch mcconnell and the republicans refuse to move forward. >> a challenge in the sense that the house democrats want more. mitch mcconnell probably wants nothing. a, can mcconnell get there?
b, can the democrats say fine, we'll take one item as opposed to the four or five or six that we would like? >> reporter: there's a couple of hypotheticals down the road before that has to happen. first the president has to make a stance on how hard he wants to push it. then you unlock the other questions, what will mcconnell do, what will the house democrats do? the ball is in the white house's court. it's in president trump's court pt he has so much power over the republican power. he has always had the power to make republicans do things they don't want to do but he has very rarely used it. think about criminal justice reform. that was something, there was a bipartisan coalition on. it had been sitting there, because mitch mcconnell didn't want it to go forward. the minute the white house decided to put its shoulder into that legislation, boom, it was done. there is the possibility for that on other issues where there are seeds of bipartisan agreement. it's up to the white house to
decide. this is something they actually want to back and pursue and are willing to take the heat on from elements of their own coalition. >> why not is the question on this one. in the sense if you look at this npr/maris poll, 2016 trump voters, 82%. rural part of the trump base, 87%. white evangelicals, 84%. the president would not alienate very much of his traditional base. >> to the suburbs where he has very bad numbers and try to make in roads? >> in theory, this is an issue where he should be able to bring a coalition together, bipartisan coalition together and not suffer with his own base, always his biggest fear. we've seen this story play out a couple of times where he expresses this openness on background checks and gets a call from wayne lapierre at the nra where they say hey, the polls might look this way. but if you imagine us leaning in
on this issue even further, if you imagine us out in the states that you need to rally your base, those poll also start to change. the argument to trump that always works is your base will start to leave you. he has proven to be susceptible to that argument from the nra. molly is exactly right, though, republicans just need some clarity on this from trump. he can tell them -- if he can tell them i'm going to do background checks and stick with you even when we get that call from lapierre they will move with him. >> he has to be extremely clear and consistent. house speaker nancy pelosi said look, we already passed some things. senate should act. >> we must pass gun safety legislation. every day we lose lives. now public sentiment must weigh
in to save lives, to pass our bill and look at high capacity magazines that should be eliminated as well. >> it's the last part there. senator bennett, more moderate democrat in the senate says let's just do one thing that we might, even that would be hard. he says let's do that. speaker pelosi will she, in the end, if they give her one thing, will she take it? >> i think they'll pass what they can from the senate. one gop senator i talked about this very topic. allowing people to alert potential threats to people who are acting erratically, to take
guns away from them. the senator said the challenge we're going to have is giving them background checks. the democrats, they're not going to be happy with the red flag bill unless they vote on the background checks. >> the senators who are involved in this, toomey, manchin, murphy, they've put their hand in this blender before. forgive the metaphor. they've been down this path, thinking they're close to the finish line. can they really go there? >> if they were being candid, they would tell you there's not a whole lot of optimism, but credit where it's due, they're willing to have the conversations. there's an acknowledgement of this. you get into the weeds, things get complicated really fast and opposition starts flying really fast. you can pull broadly background checks and get 89 to 90%. when you start talking about how
families pass it down, whether a gift is included in that, things get hot fast and you start to lose people. how can we narrow this to a way that keeps everybody at least somewhat on board or at least the opposition neutral? i don't think the nra will ever be neutral. but some of the opposition neutral. they're willing to give it a shot because you never know where the president will stand on this. >> the common reframe from democrats and the gop, joe manchin in the middle of their caucus or right of their caucus is this. you have to outline exactly what you want. i am for the bill. please pass the toomey manchin background check bill. he has to tweet it seven ways from sunday. unless he does that, it will be
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presidential race and running against incumbent cory gardner. that race critical. would you have to reconsider long-shot odds at retaking the senate next year. hickenlooper not the only presidential candidate whose name comes up. 53-47. democrats have to defend a few seats. let's look at those. alabama. the toughest race. democrats say we have to be careful about new hampshire, michigan if they lose that, the math gets more complicated. susan colins in maine? sure. vulnerable.
joni ernst up for re-election. that's where you normally look. montana, lot of democrats steve bullock, they wish would get out of the race and run for senate. this state tends to go blue. that could help a democrat to win in the senate race, a reason a lot of democrats say please go home, governor. help our math. michael bennet, who happens to be a presidential candidate says a candidate like hickenlooper here might make this map a little better for democrats.
the only way we can make the policy changes is by winning races in the middle of the country. >> would hickenlooper be a good senator? >> phenomenal governor, phenomenal mayor. i don't see why he wouldn't be a phenomenal senator. he has to make his own decisions. >> mayor, a capable guy on his staff was a guy named michael bennet. >> small world. >> reporting that he got -- governor hickenlooper got in bennett's car and had discussions about the race. despite the appeal of governors, governors have not taken off out there.
that primary has taken off in colorado. it's already crowded. hickenlooper would come in with quite a bit of stature and establishment money behind him. it's not a sure thing, though. these are hard decisions for candidates to make even though they're puolling at zero. purple state, you were a pretty successful governor, get into the run for president and realize there's no appetite for you. that's a tough blow to the ego. >> or if governor hickenlooper gets in and says i want to be your senator, this will pop up in a primary ad. >> i respect senators. some of my best friends are senators. i don't think i'm cut out for that. >> that clip will be used against you right there. >> yeah, i know. maybe if i create enough of those clips, certain leaders in
the senate will stop. just kidding. >> how many times has chuck schumer called you? >> 76. kidding. he called once or twice. he is one of the persuasive people i've ever met. if anybody could persuade me, it would be him. >> he wouldn't be the first politician to say i don't want that job, and then ran for that job. >> i think he has called him once or twice by noon today already as the show went on the air. he is somebody who wouldn't clear the field necessarily, but would be a formidable candidate as the popular two-term governor. and it would be hard to outrun
>> he has given the wink nod here for people to wait for him. >> yeah. >> whatever enthusiasm chuck schumer has given no question he's dancing around it, sometimes across from it. to go into the united states senate where you talk to united states senators who aren't thrilled with the job on a regular basis. i don't think anybody expects it will be his last position. >> pompeo.
>> are you look -- >> are you a better candidate if you break from the trump administration to take a senate seat in your home state or better off having left after the president's first term? >> that's the question. >> he will make his plans known by labor day, less than a month her here. s that a responsible position to the other candidates to say you want to make it now. >> if that, in fact, is the case, yes. almost everything hinges on the presidential race. for both parties you want good candidates in all of these races, no matter how much of a long shot they look like on paper. you have no idea who will blow up on the other side. kansas has a democratic governor right now, not something you
would expect on paper. it's because of who ran on the other side. this is always what happens. nobody is quite sure which states are even going to be in play next year much less which party will have the advantage. >> and a great reminder we should not just focus on the presidential race. great down-ballot drama out there in 2020. >> lightning round, president trump having second thoughts about granting early political release to a felon. ds. that's a win. but it's not the only reason i switched.
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quickly through some other big political news today, julian castro launching a new campaign ad today, talking directly to the president. listen to the message. it's tough. >> as we saw in el paso, americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racist. innocent people were shot down because they looked different from you. they looked like me. >> tough message to a president and from a candidate trying to break through so he qualifies for debate. >> anything surprising about this democrat he can race so far, it's how few surprises there have been and how hard it has been for anybody to have a breakout moment. so, we're reaching desperation
time, a time when campaign staffs beg them to run for something else, when candidates launch last-minute long-shot, attention-grabbing ads on fox news. for so many of these candidates who got into this race because it looked like it was wide open or anyone had a shot, no clear front-runner, they're finding nobody is breaking out and pretty soon it will be time for a lot of them to call it a day. >> because you've had the same five frozen at the top from biden to buttigieg. that has not moved. nine have qualified for the fund-raising threshold. tom sti tom steyer -- there's the nine who qualified. he spent $4 million on digital advertising to get there. montana governor steve bullock says that's wrong. >> a billionaire literally just spent $10 million to qualify for the next debate stage.
if we think as democrats that spending $10 million to get 130,000 donors is grass roots support, we're missing something. we're not going to win this election based on facebook ads. >> does he have a point or is that a guy having trouble moving up in the polls whining? >> all of the above, john. this plays nicely into bullock's wheelhouse. he has tried to make campaign finance reform one of his go-tos and this gets at what some democrats would see as the absurdity of this process in which you have someone who hops in the race fairly late in the process and then drops millions of his own personal wealth to get attention on facebook to, therefore, get grassroots donors. it's hard to wrap your head around that. i get why he's frustrated. that said, governor bullock has a larger challenge, the fact that times have changed in twooev2019 a red state governor does not have the same cache among folks
in the party he may have had five, six years ago. >> governors used to have more of a shot out there. >> yep. >> another example of reality tv meets politics in the trump age. the president may be backing off plans to commute governor rod blagojevich's sentence. >> this sounded really good to trump in the moment. he seemed to empathy with blagojevich a little bit. then he did hear a lot from republicans about this. in part because it goes against -- whether you believe trump has fulfilled his promises to drain the swamp or not, it goes against a big part of his message in 2016, these politicians are using their jobs to make money, to bolster their own influence. you can argue whether trump has backed that promise or not. but it went against the whole premise of his 2016 campaign. >> yeah. >> we'll leave it at that.
>> sort of crying out for -- >> the white house is trying to make is sound like there was with nothing to back it up. >> the free blago caucus is not a crucial element in the 2020 landscape as far as i can tell. >> >> there are a few alternates in chicago. >> perhaps. and this today from house speaker nancy pelosi, talking about her passion for the democratic agenda. >> sent legislation to the senate. moscow mitch says that he is the grim reaper. imagine describing yourself as the grim reaper, that he's going to bury all this legislation. well, we have news for him. all this legislation is alive and well in the general public. >> maybe alive and well in the general public but it's not moving in the senate. the democratic agenda right now. why is she going in on moscow
mitch? >> i'm not sure going after him with a moniker that he dislikes. speaker pelosi knew what she was doing. keenly aware this has been trending, moscow mitch on twitter, in the left sphere last couple of weeks it's blown up. mitch mcconnell does the same exact thing with the legislative graveyard, yelling about socialists, the democratic agenda and why he's there to kill it. they've known each other for a long time, wokked on the appropriations committee. they've never been particularly close but always have been able to work together, maybe on budget, appropriations. they know what they're doing. >> one final observation. watching pelosi from springfield, illinois. can you imagine he went to springfield, illinois, for public event in 2014, 2016, 2018 cycle? of course she wouldn't.
she is not the face anymore. it's now aoc and the squad and republicans have given up on framing pelosi as the villain. and her folks recognize that and she's free to go and do events in places like, yes, central illinois. up next, front man on immigration says he's not trying to rewrite history or the poem on the statue of liberty. flonase sensimist. nothing stronger. nothing gentler. nothing lasts longer. flonase sensimist. 24 hour non-drowsy allergy relief eh, not enough fiber... chocolate would be good... snacking should be sweet and simple. the delicious taste of glucerna gives you the sweetness you crave while helping you manage your blood sugar. glucerna. everyday progress
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president trump's new front man taking heat from the left. critics say he's trying to rewrite the welcoming message on the statue of liberty. ken cucinelli acting in that job says no, he's just trying to give those famous words some context as the trump administration makes it harder for immigrants to get a green card if it was likely that the applicant would ask for government benefits like welfare, medicaid, subsidized housing? >> would you also agree that emma lazarus words etched on the statue of liberty, give me your tired your poor, are also part of the american ethos? >> they certainly are. give me your tired and your poor
who can stand on their own two feet and will not become a public charge. >> he's trying to make a point that he believes, and to advance this policy. is that a smart way to do it? >> no seems to be the -- when cuccinelli essentially did, we have these assumptions made by democrats and supporters of immigration that what the administration is trying to do is essentially change the face of immigration in the united states, make it wealthier. in some cases make it whiter. and cucinelli gave voice to that idea, basically making clear that he wants people in this country and the president wants people in this country who come with some financial backing, who are not going to be a drain on the system. and the reality is that a lot of immigrants coming from places like latin america and africa are poor and those two continents in particular are black and brown. so, this really does make it
look like they want a whiter and wealthier immigration class. >> washington journal editorial board saying sure, it supports work requirements for public benefits and you get some screening in immigration but saying this rule looks one more attempt to make america a country of no more immigrants. >> the journal edit board has long been in a different position than the trump administration. pushed toward a merit-based system that the administration has said they wanted. they're pushing forward. they weren't lying when they said they wanted it. >> thanks for joining us on "inside politics." brianna keilar starts after a quick break. let's see, aleve is proven better on pain
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i'm brchlt ianna keilar. the warning of a recession as the deficit explodes. what jeffrey epstein was doing before his apparent suicide. a teenager behind bars. as the president rewrites the lady liberty poem, historians say they need a lesson. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> we begin with th