Return to Transcripts main page

NEW DAY

One Person Killed When Crane Collapses in Dallas; CNN Poll: Biden Tops Dems Field in Iowa, Tight Race for Second; Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) is Interviewed about Mexico Deal. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired June 10, 2019 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Completely white and gray from debris.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A crane close to our building, not protecting from wind. How could that be possible? Something is not right in this place (ph).

[07:00:11] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Nineteen Democratic 2020 hopefuls making their pitch to voters in Iowa without front-runner Joe Biden.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to tell you somebody else who has defrauded the American people: Donald Trump.

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To the pundits who say can a woman really win? Yes, of course she can.

KEVIN MCALEENAN, ACTING DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: The president put a charge in this whole dialogue with Mexico with the tariff threat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of the things are being laid out today have been in talks for months. The president is trumping up a P.R. game to try to make himself look like a victor.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY.

One person is dead this morning, at least five others hurt after this construction crane collapsed onto an apartment building in Dallas. Look at the aftermath here on your screen.

This was high wind from a storm that's being blamed. And this morning, more than a quarter million customers in that area are without power.

Also breaking overnight, former Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz shot at a bar in the Dominican Republic. Police say Ortiz was ambushed. He was shot in the back at close range. His father, though, says he is out of danger now after surgery. JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Why would anyone shoot David Ortiz?

In the meantime, a hoard of Democratic presidential candidates. They were in Iowa, 19 of the 23, at one of the biggest gatherings yet in the 2020 campaign. Joe Biden was not there. But the former vice president and the current president Donald Trump have dueling campaign stops in Iowa tomorrow. That will be a very big deal.

This as a new CNN/"Des Moines Register" poll shows a tight race in Iowa for second place.

Want to begin our coverage with CNN's Rosa Flores, live in Dallas with the stunning images of this crane collapse, Rosa.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, good morning. Well, this crane collapsed at about 2:18 yesterday afternoon. And witnesses describe how it was a beautiful day and all of a sudden, in seconds, the skies turned dark; and calm turned to chaos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God! The crane is falling over! Oh, my God!

FLORES (voice-over): Frightening moments as a crane collapses on an apartment complex in Dallas, leaving at least one dead and several injured.

DAVID MENDOZA, RESIDENT: Our wall started to shake a bit. I look out, and the entire courtyard had just turned completely white and gray from debris.

FLORES: The crane splitting apart this apartment complex in two, reducing parts of the building to rubble.

ABBEY KEARNEY, WITNESS: It just sliced through the building. I mean, not to be cliche, but like a hot knife through butter. And it went from the fifth floor all the way through to, from what I can tell, at least the third floor.

FLORES: Sections of the parking garage crumbling, leaving a pile of cars inside.

KAL FAHMY, WITNESS: I heard a noise like an explosion, right? So I thought, proceeding towards the garage to see what the heck was going on. And there was cars -- a lot of cars that fell from the top level.

FLORES: Emergency crews sending rescue dogs to search for the missing and injured. Neighbors rushing to help neighbors escape the destruction.

MENDOZA: I'm looking next to my truck, and we're seeing just a pile of cars, and we over look to the right and we see a gentleman kind of dangling in his car that's, like, facing straight down. And so me and my other neighbor, we were just kind of like, we can't leave him like that. FLORES: Moments before the collapse, a terrible storm with severe

winds tearing through the area, sending debris flying. Officials stunned by the crash.

JASON EVANS, DALLAS FIRE-RESCUE SPOKESPERSON: This is a really challenging situation. I don't recall ever responding to one where it's actually fallen onto an occupied building.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FLORES: And as we take a live look this morning, you can see the collapsed crane cutting through the building and the mangled metal still wedged in there.

And Alisyn, we're seeing some police activity his morning. It's unclear if police are actually going inside the building or not. Because as you might imagine, with that crane still in there, the stability of that structure can't be good.

CAMEROTA: So scary.

FLORES: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, Alisyn, very much for all of the reporting from the ground there.

Well, a new CNN "Des Moines Register" poll shows a handful of candidates pulling away from the pack. Joe Biden remains at the top of the crowded field. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg, though, are in a dead heat for second.

CNN's political director, David Chalian, is live in Iowa for us with more new numbers. Tell us what you're seeing, David?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Good morning, Alisyn.

Yes, beyond just that overall top-line horserace number, we also asked in this poll among likely Democratic caucus goers, "Who's your second choice? Who are you actively considering?" And it just gives you a different score to look at here.

You still see Joe Biden riding on top, but he's sharing that space with Elizabeth Warren at 61 percent. You see those top five candidates, a majority of Iowa Democrats, for each of them are saying they're under active consideration.

[07:05:09] With eight months to go, that's a good place you would want to be. We also look at one possible warning sign for Joe Biden here. This is a pretty good poll for Biden. But this one, I think, could give them a little pause at campaign headquarters.

Twenty-nine percent of Biden supporters say they are extremely enthusiastic about that choice. Compared to non-Biden supporters, people supporting another candidate, 39 percent collectively among them say they are extremely enthusiastic about their choice. So that enthusiasm gap is something I think team Biden is going to need to look at there.

We also, of course, asked, "What is it you want? Do you want somebody who can defeat Donald Trump? Or do you want somebody who's going to align with you on the issues. It's not even close. Sixty-five percent of Iowa Democratic caucus goers tell us they want somebody who can win. It's much more important than somebody who agrees with them on every issue.

In brand-new numbers that we're releasing this morning, we also wanted to test some of the attributes of each of these candidates. And I think this is super interesting, because it's not what you usually see.

Washington experience comes out on top of what Democratic caucus goers think will be an advantage for a candidate, 52 percent. That's good news for Joe Biden.

On the other end of the scale, being over age 70 is only seen as an advantage by 1 percent of Democratic caucus goers. And which issues are driving their choices?

Look at this. Abortion, climate change, getting an assault weapons ban back on the books. These are the driving issues, far and away, more so, even, than Medicare for all or free college tuition, which have been issues dominating the campaign trail -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Really interesting findings, David. Thank you.

Joining us now to talk about it, we have Bianna Golodryga, CNN contributor; Ana Navarro, CNN political commentator; and Joe Lockhart, former Clinton White House press secretary and a CNN political commentator. Great to have all of you on this Monday morning in our studio.

Let's look at that top line, the big poll, the main poll, the horserace poll. And I just want to pull that up, because that one is really interesting. You see so many of the candidates with basically hashtags as their -- I mean, some of their --

BERMAN: Two percent or less.

CAMEROTA: Two percent, two percent or less. So if we can pull it up, I have all the time in the world. That's not it.

BERMAN: Everyone else that's not on this screen right now, which he needs to know, is at 2 percent or less. And that's stunning. That's 18 candidates.

CAMEROTA: Yes, so my point is, Joe, is there any sense in these early days of what's allowing these top four or five people to pull away from the pack.

JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think you have a classic front-runner in Joe Biden getting into the race. So that framed the race, as we all thought it would. And then it's -- who's an alternative. And you've got three or four strong candidates, you know, with --

CAMEROTA: Sanders -- It's Sanders. It's Warren. It's Buttigieg. And then they're -- Cory Booker is doing well in one of the polls, right?

BERMAN: Well, he's at 2 percent. But he -- but people are actively considering him --

CAMEROTA: Actively considering him.

BERMAN: -- which is different.

CAMEROTA: You're right.

BERMAN: He's got that going for him. You see --

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, in comparison to an asterisk, 2 percent sounds awfully good.

CAMEROTA: That's a victory. That is a victory.

So I mean, I just think that it's very interesting, because it's a woman. Kamala Harris scores well. It's a woman of color. It's a gay mayor. When Cory Booker is involved, it's a black man. There's a lot -- I mean, it's interesting who Iowa caucus goers have zeroed in on.

NAVARRO: They're also working their butts off. Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg. They are everywhere in the press. They are giving all sorts of interviews. They are -- they're fanning out across the early primary states. Not just them, but their top-line surrogates. You're not seeing Biden. Biden's best day was his campaign launch.

And I say this as somebody who really likes Joe Biden and would be very happy, skip and hop to the polls if I could vote for him in a general election instead of Donald Trump.

But right now, he is giving me Jeb Bush acid reflux. I want to see him pull this together. He's got time to get -- you know, to get --

CAMEROTA: He's going on Tuesday. Is that good enough?

NAVARRO: We're spending the next two days talking about how Sanders and Warren combined are besting him.

GOLODRYGA: But I think what you're talking about is he doesn't have that fire in the belly we're seeing from some of these other candidates that are out there day in, day out.

Clearly, Biden has the name recognition. No one wants an anointed nominee, though. Right? So you have to earn it. You have to win over the voters with policy, with ideas. Obviously, with an agenda to beat President Trump. But it requires a lot more than that.

And the question is can voters retain 23 different candidates' policies? And it looks like that's not the case now. And that's why you're seeing a certain handful at the top tier. NAVARRO: And what he brings to the table is the idea that he is the

one best positioned to beat Donald Trump. In order to carry that message through, he needs to prove that he's a very good candidate.

BERMAN: I will tell you what I just heard from you two was fascinating. The fire in the belly and the Jeb Bush acid reflux combination there is tough for Joe Biden.

[07:10:04] And David Axelrod on Friday brought up another word, why it's particularly threatening to him, which is age. If you combine these two things and have it be an argument that at least highlights his age, that can be tough for him.

Another point, Joe, that you were sort of making there, I'm not sure the voters are looking at this as a 23-candidate field at this point. That's very interesting going forward. And that could dramatically change the race over the summer.

I do want to play some sound. It's a montage of three of the candidates, three that are decidedly in the top tier and how they chose to address the front-runner. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're not going to win by playing it safe or promising a return to normal. We are where we are because normal broke.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are people who are ready for big structural change in this country.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I understand that there are some well-intentioned Democrats and candidates who believe that the best way forward is a middle-ground strategy that antagonizes no one, that stands up to nobody, and that changes nothing. In my view, that approach is not just bad public policy, but it is a failed political strategy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NAVARRO: I wonder who he's talking about.

BERMAN: He's clearly talking about Joe Biden there. And first of all, with Warren and Buttigieg, you know, they're energized. Clearly, those are energized candidates based on the polls here.

But what's interesting to me is they're making the argument about where you are on the political spectrum, an argument about electability. They're going right at what Joe Biden's strong point is.

But I think there's -- there's -- I agree with everything that's been said about him needing to get out there. But there was some really good news for Biden in that poll. And probably the best is this idea that 65 percent of the Iowa caucus goers believe electability is the most important. That is a shift. If you go back two, or three months, the party was evenly divided

between people who wanted somebody that ideologically agreed with them on the issues or someone who could beat Trump. I think the Mueller report really has crystallized this for Democrats, as in we want the guy who can beat the president -- who can beat President Trump.

The second one that surprised me that David Chalian was just talking about was all of a sudden, D.C. experience means something. That number hasn't been above about 10 percent in decades.

BERMAN: I've never seen that.

NAVARRO: Yes.

LOCKHART: But my -- my big takeaway from the poll, besides him being, you know, mixed but good for Biden is -- and the other reason it's good for Biden is you have three candidates who are splitting evenly the vote -- you know, the sort of younger, more progressive vote. And there's no reason to believe one of them is going to -- you know, Sanders is going to stay in. He's got a floor of, I want to say, 10 to 13 percent.

You know, Buttigieg is the wildcard, because he's just such a good candidate. But we don't know how he'll fare over time.

And Elizabeth Warren is the person who's had the best. And a lot of people say it's because, you know, "I've got a plan for." I don't think that's it.

NAVARRO: And I think the debates are going to be incredibly important. That's coming up in a couple of weeks. And, you know, Joe Biden can't go out there on his -- you know, on his cloud of Democratic love and string a harp. He's got to go out there and prove that he can punch. Because people want to see electability, and they want to see, can he punch? Can he -- will he be able to punch at Donald Trump?

GOLODRYGA: And there's only so much that he can do to hold onto the Obama legacy. But it doesn't hurt Biden that, at least for now, the president views him as his biggest threat.

NAVARRO: And I'll tell you what, sending out a tweet with "Obama is my BFF" friendship bead bracelets is not the way to hold onto the Obama legacy.

GOLODRYGA: I agree.

LOCKHART: The point -- the point on Warren is it's, you know, "I've got a plan." And I really think that what has caused her surge, or mini-surge, is she's taking the lead on impeachment.

And she's been the candidate who's been half a step ahead of the others as far as being aggressive and risk-taking and all of that. And I think, you know, you go from 10 percent in the polls to 15 percent in the polls. When you get that, it's not a huge part of the party. But it's an energized part of the party that wants the president impeached.

(CROSSTALK)

NAVARRO: As a moderate Republican, Elizabeth Warren is -- or Sanders are not what I'd like to see. And I don't want to vote for Trump. That being said, I've got to recognize she's offering ideas.

LOCKHART: Yes.

NAVARRO: She's offering a lot of ideas, a lot of policy, and it's working.

GOLODRYGA: And even with -- in terms of impeachment. She's not being radical when she's talking about the need, in her opinion, to impeach the president. She creates these viral moments by listening and, I think, really reciting the Mueller report in a very successful and succinct way.

BERMAN: If we can, we've got just a few seconds left. I want to get both your takes on the tariff deal if, in fact, it was a deal. Because you have different perspectives. I know, Ana, the immigration issue is one you've watch very carefully for years. And Bianna, I'm curious about your financial take on it, as well.

NAVARRO: This is a recurring theme now with Trump, where he, like, creates crises so then he can come in as the white knight and heroic figure that somehow solves it and wants great press. It works with his base. It doesn't work with everybody else who actually reads real news and understands that this is under negotiations for many, many months and that everything is some sort of facade and smoke and mirrors with this guy.

GOLODRYGA: And from a business and economic standpoint, stability and trust are key. And what you're seeing time and time again is you have our trading partners, some of the largest around the world, constantly questioning whether they can trade, whether they can trade with us going forward, whether they can trust the United States going forward. And it's having a key -- a big impact on business leaders throughout the country.

CAMEROTA: Bianna, Ana, Joe, thank you all very much. Great to have you here.

BERMAN: And acid reflux. Thank you.

CAMEROTA: And fire in the belly. Those go together.

BERMAN: Well, actually, you know, you can treat it. You can treat it at the same time.

CAMEROTA: Treatable.

GOLODRYGA: We need a Tums.

CAMEROTA: At least they're treatable. BERMAN: All right. Several hearings on the Mueller report this week. Will Congress subpoena Mueller to testify? We're going to be joined by a key senator next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: President Trump touting his winning negotiating with Mexico, but a "The New York Times" article claims that much of that agreement was decided on months ago.

[07:20:08] Here with us now to talk about this and more is Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware. He is a member of the Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees.

Senator, great to have you here in studio.

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): Great to be with you again.

CAMEROTA: Are you willing to give President Trump any credit for avoiding tariffs and for striking this deal with Mexico?

COONS: For creating a crisis, which he then sort of partially at the last minute solved while still misrepresenting --

CAMEROTA: Is that a no?

COONS: That's a no.

CAMEROTA: OK. I mean, Mexico did --

COONS: He's still saying that there are secret provisions to the deal that make it better, that make it more than Mexico had already agreed to months ago.

Look, this is classic Trump: spinning up a conflict that fires up his base but that destabilizes one of our critical alliances.

CAMEROTA: Mexico did agree to send more National Guards people to the border, something now to the tune of 6,000. They also agreed that they would act in a faster and more aggressive fashion. Isn't that a change?

COONS: We do have a real border crisis. And we do need to work in a bipartisan way to provide humanitarian relief and to fix our broken immigration system.

CAMEROTA: Right, but don't you think it's that this --

COONS: I will remind you, Alisyn, it was exactly President Trump who blew up a bold bipartisan deal that we in the Senate have worked very hard on almost a year ago.

CAMEROTA: I remember. But just on this one thing, you think that this was all -- not manufactured. I'm just talking about the negotiations. You think that this was all performance art, that the foreign minister of Mexico flew with his team to Washington, D.C., and engaged in 11 hours of negotiations on Thursday and Friday, all for artifice?

COONS: I think President Trump over and over again, whether it's with North Korea or Mexico, whether it's our NATO allies or it's in other places around the world, fires up and creates and stokes conflict only so that he can seem to resolve it.

In some cases, they are very real challenges, like security with North Korea. But the ways in which he fires it up, through Twitter, and then falsely claims to have solved it, as he did with the great handshake summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore, or in this instance, I think is a consistent pattern.

It's also why I think Joe Biden is the best candidate to be our next president. He brings some sense of experience, calmness, predictability in foreign policy, something we're not yet talking about enough in the campaign.

CAMEROTA: I do want to get -- I do want to get to Joe Biden in a second. But just one last thing. Because the acting DHS secretary, McAleenan, said that there's -- there are new things in this negotiation. So let me play for you what he said yesterday. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN MCALEENAN, ACTING SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: All of it is new. I mean, we've heard commitments before from Mexico to do more on their southern border. The last time they deployed down there, it's about 400 or 500 officers. This is more than a ten-fold commitment to increase our security. That's where people are entering from Guatemala and southern Mexico.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: He's not telling the truth?

COONS: When he says all of it is new, he's not saying all of it just got secured on Friday because of the threat of imminent tariffs. He's doing a great job of spinning on behalf of the administration.

I'll remind you, a lot of what has stoked the current crisis at the border was dramatic withdrawal of our support for stabilizing the northern triangle --

CAMEROTA: Meaning financial withdrawal?

COONS: Yes.

CAMEROTA: Financial support.

COONS: Yes. The Trump administration has cut back dramatically on what had been a successful strategy of discouraging folks from leaving their home countries, countries in Central America that are increasingly in chaos.

I am happy to give the Trump administration credit for moving Mexico towards stronger enforcement. But I am not willing to concede one inch that this last completely unnecessary, you know, 12th-hour fight over will we or won't we have tariffs imposed today was in any way constructive. It was destabilizing to our markets, to our relationships. And it continues to have our allies around the world wondering which Trump they're dealing with.

CAMEROTA: OK. I want to talk to you about former V.P. Joe Biden who, of course, you have come out to endorse.

Last week he changed his long-held position on the Hyde Amendment. And it sounds like, from the reporting, you played a role in getting him to see it differently. Can you just tell us about the conversation that you had with him?

COONS: Well, Joe Biden didn't need to hear from me or from any other advisers to look at where we are today and just how much it has changed.

I'll remind you, any of us who serve in Congress have voted for the Hyde Amendment, because it's been a part of the budget package that keeps the government open year after year for a long time. The understanding was Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, and there is robust federal funding for women's access to health care. But the Hyde Amendment prevented federal funding of abortions.

What has changed and changed dramatically is this president, President Trump, who has appointed a record number of anti-choice judges. Not just the Supreme Court, circuit court, district court. And then in recent weeks, we've seen a whole raft of states, including Georgia, where the vice president was speaking --

CAMEROTA: But didn't --

COONS: -- pass anti-choice laws that are extreme.

CAMEROTA: Right. But didn't --

COONS: That's what changed.

CAMEROTA: -- you have to impress that upon Joe Biden? Because the day before your conversation with him, he said publicly he supported the Hyde Amendment.

COONS: He didn't need me to persuade him. Joe is absolutely clear that, since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land he has been a tireless advocate for women's rights.

CAMEROTA: Right, but then why the day before did he support the -- what changed in 24 hours?

COONS: What I think changed was a misunderstanding about what his -- what his position really is. If you asked me on a previous interview, you know, "Chris, have you supported the Hyde Amendment," to be truthful, "I have voted for it. I have voted for it over and over again." Any of us who serve in the Senate -- Senator Warren, Senator Gillibrand, Senator Booker -- all of us have had to vote for it to keep the government open.

CAMEROTA: Right. But so Joe Biden didn't know that he no longer supported it?

COONS: Look, I think this was an important moment for him to look at the ways in which the Republicans have changed the environment we're currently serving in.

It is just in the last few weeks that states like Georgia have passed not just laws outlawing abortion but outlawing abortion in all cases, including incest and rape. Where it has become more extreme than it's ever been in our lifetimes.

CAMEROTA: I don't think you are taking enough credit, basically, for whatever the conversation was with you and --

COONS: I don't think I need any credit.

CAMEROTA: -- Joe Biden. Because remember -- I'll remind our viewers -- you were also, I think, instrumental in getting Jeff Flake to change his position about Brett Kavanaugh. So I'm just wondering what your secret sauce is in terms of being persuasive with your colleagues?

COONS: It's no secret sauce. It's just listening and encouraging people to listen to their heart, something Joe Biden has always done.

I'll remind you, we heard a lot about why he wasn't in Iowa on Friday. It's because he was at his granddaughter's high school graduation. He's got his priorities right.

He'll be out in Iowa tomorrow. And I know that the voters in Iowa will see what I see, which is someone who really understands how to connect with the average American voter.

CAMEROTA: He has a good friend in you. Senator Chris Coons, thank you very much.

COONS: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Always great to have you in studio.

COONS: Great to see you.

ALISYN: John.

BERMAN: All right. Thanks, Alisyn.

One dead, several hurt in this crane collapse in Dallas. We're going to speak to someone who lives at the collapse site. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:30:00]