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Joe Biden Is Going To Deliver A Speech That Goes Right After President Trump; Prayers And Thoughts For David Ortiz Who Was Shot In His Home Town In The Dominican Republic; Cotton Talks About His Concerns With Huawei And The National Security Implications Of This Chinese Tech Giant. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired June 11, 2019 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is "New Day" with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
JOHN BERMAN, CO-ANCHOR, CNN NEWS: All right, good morning and welcome to your "New Day" and we do have breaking campaign news, in some ways a new day on the campaign trail.
The former Vice President Joe Biden is going to deliver a speech that goes right after President Trump. It's a prime time speech and we were just given a full copy, ask yourself why the Biden campaign is releasing this 12 hours before he's delivering it? Because they want the president to know. The vice president, former V.P. will be delivering this speech at the same time the president will be addressing a Republican dinner in Iowa.
Biden plans to call the president an existential threat to America. The former vice president seeming to try to egg on the president who you can bet will respond.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CO-ANCHOR, CNN NEWS: Biden also plans to hit Trump over the trade war that has affected farmers in that state. He says in part how many sleepless nights do you think Trump has had over what he's doing to America's farmers?
Here's the answer, just as many as he had when he stiffed the construction workers and electricians and plumbers who built his hotels and casinos, zero, end quote. Both men will be crisscrossing the first in the nation state all day, so joining us now to talk about all this, we have Bianna Gologdryga, a CNN contributor, Jeffrey Toobin, CNN chief legal analyst and staff writer at the New Yorker and CNN's John Avlon.
OK, let's read a little bit more of this hot off the presses speech that we have. Here is I think Joe Biden's main message, he says, quote, "our democracy is at risk. I never thought I would say those words, but it's true. Everywhere you turn, Trump is tearing down the guardrails of Democracy. It's the abuse of power and if there's one thing I can't stand, it's the abuse of power. Quote, fake news, quote, enemy of the people, these aren't words to be laughed at or dismissed."
John Avlon, you are the speechwriter among us.
JOHN AVLON, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN NEWS: A former speechwriter, recovering, it is fascinating to read this speech though through a speechwriting and political lens.
It is a populist attack at the president from the left. He's trying to remove his credibility on the economy saying a cashier at Target has - understands the economy better than President Trump.
He's going at him saying, you know, he was just another rich guy in a gold plated apartment in Manhattan tweeting it wouldn't matter, but he's the president of the United States.
He's trying to clean up that China gaff he made a few weeks ago, a significant section of the speech is about how he takes China's global competition seriously. And he's addressing Midwest floods and other things folks in the Midwest have been suffering with for weeks and weeks and saying it's about climate change and saying that Donald Trump is a denialist and we need to choose science over fiction.
BERMAN: You make a good case there that the former V.P. is trying to say Trump is a detached rich guy, which is an argument a lot of Democrats wished had been made in 2016 that was not really the thrust of the Hillary Clinton campaign and a lot of people -
CAMEROTA: Well it's harder for Hillary Clinton to have made that argument, you know -
BERMAN: Absolutely, absolutely.
CAMEROTA: -- than Joe Biden who's been riding the train back and forth to - yes.
AVLON: Middle class Joe as his political persona as a contrast to Trump.
BERMAN: But there are people who worked on the Hillary Clinton campaign who think that was a dropped ball, not doing that. There's another message that I think here is very interesting, Bianna, it's that the important thing here is Donald Trump.
The important thing here is the big picture, not what you heard from these 19 others in five minutes speeches last night here in Iowa. It seems the vice president is trying to move this discussion beyond the primary in a big way.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA. CONTRIBUTOR, CNN NEWS: You think we'd already passed the primary and we have the two candidates here. Look, it reminds me a lot of the Mitt Romney speech in 2016, calling the president a phony and listing all of the things that he didn't fulfill or all of the things that he's talked about in his life that actually were not true.
It seems in many respects you have Joe Biden calling out the president on China saying yes, we should be tough with China but you're not doing it in the right way, talking about the economy overall, you're not handling the economy correctly, you don't understand the economy and you don't understand the plight of many of Americans who are suffering in large part because of your policies.
One thing we don't see him focusing on right now or any of his Democratic - other running mates and opponents.
CAMEROTA: What's interesting also is that in the speech he says that he didn't - Biden says he didn't plan to be in Iowa the same day as Donald Trump, because that had been speculated, that he is already positioning himself as having won the primary and so he wants Donald Trump to be his competitor.
But it was just by happenstance, but of course he's clearly making hay of it.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST, CNN NEWS: He is indeed and, you know, what I keep thinking about looking ahead to the fall election is the only way the - there are two ways the Democrats can win, they can switch Trump voters back to - back to the Democrats or they can increase turnout among their base.
Biden's trying to do both here, but I think it is more designed, especially in Iowa a state that the president won pretty handily -
BERMAN: Nine percent.
TOOBIN: Right, to - and a state that Obama won twice, you know, a big switch - to try to persuade them that they've been suckered by this guy. Now the president is going to say 3.2 percent unemployment, what's wrong with that? Why do you want to turn back from that?
That's not going to be an easy argument to refute, that's what he's trying to do, but that is not -
GOLODRYGA: And Biden is going to say where did that 3.2 percent start from, where did it originate from, and that started from -
BERMAN: He does this, he uses the Obama name in here a lot.
GOLODRYGA: -- it started from the Obama administration and the recovery that the Obama administration had made for years before from the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
CAMEROTA: Yes I mean the meager jobs numbers from last month could help Joe Biden's case if he says that, you know, things are starting to - because of the tariff threat, et cetera, et cetera, things are starting to shake (ph).
GOLODRYGA: He's going to say look at - look at - look at what we're seeing replicate itself, look at every single failure in this president's life. He had been handed everything going back to even his own father, he talked about that before, inheriting $200 million which he'd squandered.
And he's saying he's doing the same thing with the economy which our administration had handed him.
AVLON: But and his kickoff point is directed at farmers in particular, saying America's farmers were being hurt by this trade war, they're being hurt by tariffs. And there's a case he can really make in that and look at where he's giving this.
Not only, you know, Iowa obviously, but these pivot counties that are going to be so key, we're going to be talking about and we should be talking about in the coming months so much because there are 206 counties in the country, largely in the Midwest, in the upper Midwest that Obama and Biden won twice and Trump flipped in 2016.
Any Democrat to win you got to flip a large part of those counties back.
BERMAN: Bianna, you were bringing up President Obama, let me just read you where Joe Biden - it's not even, you know, in - it's on the first page, he doesn't wait to drop the Obama bomb here.
One of my proudest moments in the White House was when President Obama and I led the rescue of the American auto industry. We knew what it meant to the millions of jobs and the auto companies and the supply chain.
So, you know, it's very overt what he's doing in terms of the economy and the former president.
GOLODRYGA: Well and look, this can be dangerous to some degree because you don't want to continue to ride the Obama coattails and not present anything new. But to his credit, he was a huge player in the sense that Obama knew that he is a man that had relationships on both sides of the aisle throughout the Obama administration.
So anytime any policy was in jeopardy, who was it that came in to try to save the day, to bring both sides together? It was Joe Biden. So he's saying we're not seeing that from this administration and many respects people are criticizing him on the left for at times complimenting or saying we need to work with the right.
He's listing an example of when that actually worked.
TOOBIN: That's a point in the speech that I think a lot of the Democratic base will rebel against, this idea that the Republicans will come to their senses, that Mitch McConnell, though he doesn't name Mitch McConnell, will work with me.
I think the Democrats think the Republican Party is irredeemable at this point and any suggestion of collaboration is not a positive.
AVLON: So he's - no question he's getting a lot of heat from the base, from the activist base, but if you look at CNN's polling of the top three tributes that people - Democrats say they're looking for in a candidate, number three is an ability to work with Republicans across the aisle.
So it may be another case where that activist progressive base, it doesn't necessarily reflect the rank and file.
TOOBIN: And if you are dealing in the real world and sometimes we like to do, it is extremely likely that even if a Democrat is elected president, there's going to be a Republican Senate.
So the idea that you can somehow pretend the Republican Party doesn't exist as a Democratic president is just, you know, it's crazy, yes.
CAMEROTA: And yet it will not be a cakewalk for Joe Biden in Iowa, a couple of points to point out. This is only his second visit. The governor of Montana, Steve Bullock, has been there a dozen times.
OK, so he is -
TOOBIN: Where is he in the Iowa polling right now though?
CAMEROTA: Well this is - I mean you make a good point -
TOOBIN: He's ahead of John Delaney who's been there even more and Google John Delaney if you don't know I'm talking about.
GOLODRYGA: And he was the first to announce he was running after Trump won.
CAMEROTA: You make good points, Joe Biden is obviously still coasting on his experience and his name recognition, but Iowans may not take lightly to the fact that this is only his second appearance, second.
Nowhere in this speech does it mention his flip flop on the Hyde Amendment. And so as we know from our CNN polling, preserving abortion rights is one of the highest issues for voters in Iowa of what they're looking for. So he'll have to answer to that. AVLON: Well yes, I mean, look, he was - by flipping on the Hyde
Amendment, something of long standing belief in his - and he's always said look, you know, this is a religious issue for me but the government shouldn't make this decision for women.
The Hyde Amendment, he was taking a lot of heat from again that progressive base, so he flipped his long standing position. The primacy of feelings about abortion in this poll of caucus goers doesn't necessarily say the details.
You know, I want no restrictions, I want as few restrictions as possible, I want federal funding for abortion.
It's a response to the sense that the courts increasingly under conservative president and justices that Roe v. Wade is under threat. So I'm not sure those two things are analogous, and I think - you know, I'd argue he actually probably possibly created more problems than he solved by flipping on the Hyde Amendment. (inaudible)
GOLODRYGA: And for a general election - for a general election within the primary -
AVLON: Yes, but when you look at -
GOLODRYGA: Yes, yes, but when you're in the primaries, I mean, you're looking at Joe Biden really want to bypass any competition internally amongst democrats, right? He's focused on the president. I think his bigger issue at least over the next few months is really standing out among the other nominees, and not to assume that he is a presumptive nominee as well.
TOOBIN: Can I say something with love to the people of New Hampshire and Iowa?
CAMEROTA: I'm sure they'll feel it that way.
TOOBIN: They should go to hell.
You know, it's like why do they get to see all the presidential candidates and the other 48 states don't get to see? And like why - who elected them?
CAMEROTA: That is a love letter (inaudible) -
TOOBIN: No really. The people - the people -
GOLODRYGA: I'm not cosigning.
TOOBIN: No really, the people in Florida don't get to see the presidential elects (inaudible) -
BERMAN: Your book sales are going to tumble just cratered (ph).
TOOBIN: No, no. I mean, it just -
BERMAN: Jeffery Toobin, you are never selling another book in Polk County, Iowa.
AVLON: This year, California -
TOOBIN: The other 48 states -
AVLON: California gets to take part in Super Tuesday this year, so all of a sudden (inaudible) get to see a campaign ad for the first time ever.
BERMAN: Look, one other thing I want to say here, and this is just as, you know, a retired campaign reporter, the fact that this was released at 6 a.m. in delivering (ph) -
CAMEROTA: Tells you what?
BERMAN: It tells me the Biden campaign wants this to be the story of the full day, and it's not just excerpts. It's the whole speech. They gave us the whole speech 13 hours before he is delivering it. They also want it to be in the president's head. They want it to be in the president's head and they want this to be a day about engagement -
BERMAN: - with President Trump, and that's interesting to me.
AVLON: Fighting with Trump is good business of Joe Biden.
AVLON: I mean -
CAMEROTA: And President Trump seems to like it. In fact, Maggie Haberman has new - a really interesting reporting out this morning that president - what's happening behind the scenes is President Trump is using his old personal cell phone to message (ph) to call some of his old advisors who haven't heard from him in a long time to talk about Joe Biden. Joe Biden is the bee in his bonnet.
GOLODRYGA: Nothing benefits Joe Biden right now more than a story like that -
GOLODRYGA: - because amongst Americans he is now seen as the man that can take on the president. Why the president is so focused on Joe Biden, and I do think to his - I think there are other candidates here who he should be focused on as well, but it's Joe Biden who's gone under his craw, and I think a lot of this goes back to 2016 because many people believe that if Joe Biden had been made the candidate as opposed to Hillary Clinton, he could have beaten Donald Trump.
AVLON: Props to the president's political end stakes (ph), but the reason he's focused on Biden is he knows that's the candidate who right now he stacks up worst against, and that article by Maggie has great details in it.
BERMAN: Well, it's not just that he's - that the president's talking about Biden. He's lying -
BERMAN: - about the polls. Let me just read this one bit. After being briefed on a devastating 17-state poll conducted by his campaign pollster, Tony Fabrizio, Mr. Trump told ACE (ph) to deny that his internal
All right, Red Sox legend, David Ortiz flown back to Boston overnight by the Red Sox. He's now in the hospital after being shot in the Dominican Republic and his injuries appear to be more serious than first reported. Our Alexandra Field is outside Mass General with the very latest. Alexandra -
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, good morning. He will always be one of the Red Sox own, and that's why they stepped in to bring him home to Boston. We're told that when he woke up from surgery in the Dominican Republic he was asking to see his family. He wanted to see his wife in Boston. He also wanted to see his doctors here. It was an extensive emergency surgery in Santo Domingo. The bullet went into David Ortiz, Big Papi's back. It travelled into his stomach. Doctors there rushed to repair his intestines, his colon, his gallbladder, and then he was declared stable and that's when the Red Sox were able to send in a plane that brought him here to Mass General in Boston. Big Papi a legend in this city being honored throughout at Fenway Park last night, home of the Red Sox. There was a tribute that was paid. Also the manager of the Red Sox sharing these loving words for Ortiz, a living legend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep praying, stay positive, and when he comes back he will be taken care of and he'll be back with us. And he'll be in that clubhouse with that big smile and that huge heart. Back home they're talking about superheroes without capes, and he's a superhero with a cape. That's the way we see him, you know. So he'll be OK.
FIELD: Ortiz retired from baseball in 2016. The Red Sox retired his number in 2017, but certainly they are making it very clear he will always be part of the team, a very big part of this city. David Ortiz will be treated back here in Boston. Alisyn -
CAMEROTA: Alexandra, thank you very much for all of that reporting. So Joe Biden and President Trump will be at dueling campaign stops in Iowa today. Biden will go directly at President Trump, especially on the issue of tariffs. So we will speak to republic senator, Tom Cotton, about all of this next.
BERMAN: All right, the breaking news this morning, we've just been given a copy of the speech that the former Vice President, Joe Biden, plans to give in Iowa tonight in which he goes directly after the president on many things but particularly trade policy. He will say America's farmers have been crushed by his - the president's - tariff war with China. No one knows that better than Iowa. He thinks he's being tough. Well, it's easy to be tough when someone else is feeling the pain. Joining me now to talk about this and much, much more is republican senator from Arkansas, Tom Cotton. He is the author of the new book "Sacred Duty: A Soldier's Tour at Arlington National Cemetery" which is a terrific read.
And I have to tell you, I learned a ton in this book, Senator, and we'll talk about that in just a minute.
First, I know the farmers in your state, in Arkansas, are suffering from floods and also from the tariffs. What's your response to Joe Biden, saying that people in the United States are suffering because of the trade war?
SEN. TOM COTTON (R), ARKANSAS: It has been a tough planting season in Arkansas, like in so many of the country. We've had heavy rains, it delayed planting and now these floods have damaged a lot of our farmland.
But Arkansas farmers, and ranchers and foresters also know that China, in particular, has been waging a 40 year trade war against the United States. So, this not something that the president started, this is something that the president joined.
And the entire effort he's launched against China, is to get more trade on fair and better terms for all Americans. And that's something is support and I think most Americans support it as well.
BERMAN: You have -- on tariffs, there have been some tariffs you were critical back a year and a half ago, I loose track of time, on aluminum and steel you had some reservations about universal tariffs on that.
The farm tariffs, the tariffs on China, recently you've been more supportive of and one of the things you said, is that there will be some sacrifices on the part of Americans, I grant you that, but I would also say that that sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to the sacrifices that our soldiers make overseas. Are you comparing sacrifices made for security and for freedom to trade?
COTTON: No John, that comment was made in the context of an interview exactly like this one about my book, "Sacred Duty." Obviously, tariffs have some negative impact on our country, whether its people who are trying to export their product overseas, or consumers who are paying a little bit more at the cash register.
But when you're dealing with a country like China that has mounted an all out trade war against the United States for 40 years, in addition to stealing our intellectual property and spying at our major universities, building up a military that's designed to supplant our military as the world's dominant one, I think all Americans recognize that some sacrifice may be called for if we want to defend ourselves and defend our interests in the world in the long-term.
I hope the sacrifices for all Americans will be very short-term, but in a long-run we want to preserve America's role as the world's most dominant economy and the world's super power.
BERMAN: You were also deeply concerned with Huawei and the national security implications of this Chinese tech giant. It seem as if the president might be willing to negotiate on that threat. Just yesterday he said, it could very well be we do something with Huawei as part of the trade negotiation with China. Do you think that's prudent? COTTON: I would not include any kind of terms for Huawei or ZTE or other Chinese telecomm companies with trade negotiations. Huawei is an arm of the Chinese communist party and to allow Huawei to do with business with the Unites States or our allies or to ship them critical components would be akin to shipping steel or aluminum or uranium to the Soviet Union in the Cold War, because information technology is so critical, not just to the modern economy, but to our modern militaries as well. So, I think that the Administration has taken the right path on Huawei and I would encourage them to stay on that path.
BERMAN: I do want to talk about "Sacred Duty" now. "A Soldiers Tour at Arlington National Cemetery." It's a chronicle of The Old Guard, which is the unit you served in between tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, which handles so many of the funereal responsibilities at Arlington National Cemetery, receiving the remains of troops at Dover and you talk about this in terms, and I've never read these details before, the importance of the zero defect mission of The Old Guard. Explain what that means and why it's so important.
COTTON: So, The Old Guard is the Army's official ceremonial unit, a mission they've performed for 71years at Arlington National Cemetery and they bring to that mission a no-fail zero defect mentality.
They may perform 20 to 30 funerals a day, but for each family and for each one of our fallen heroes, that's the only funeral that they will have. So, they want to make sure they provide that last perfect moment of honor for the people who have kept our nation safe and for their families.
BERMAN: You play a lead role, I say you, The Old Guard plays a lead role also in major state funerals, the funerals of a president. We saw The Old Guard recently at the funeral of George H.W. Bush, they also played a smaller role, I understand, at the funerals of John McCain and Barbara Bush. Explain what was going on here. What did they do?
COTTON: Sure. A state funeral is one of the biggest events for The Old Guard. It's also one of the shortest noticed events, unlike say inauguration, which you know is going to happen every four years.
So The Old Guard and it's sister ceremonial services in the Capitol region train for it regularly, so when the time comes they'll be ready to deploy rapidly, as they did last December to Texas for George H.W. Bush and then to operate all the major state funeral sites here in the Capitol region, at Andrews Air Force Base and the Capitol and the National Cathedral.
At the same time, The Old Guard left a company at Arlington National Cemetery during those days of the state funeral to make sure that funerals at Arlington continued as well, because there are no do- over's in Arlington.
If a family has a funeral in Arlington, it's going to happen, that's true whether it's the President of the United States or whether it's just a humble private.
BERMAN: One of the things you write in this book is that this is not a political book. You say Arlington National Cemetery and The Old Guard transcend politics. We live in politically divided times to be sure, yet the military remains our nation's most respected institutions and the fields of Arlington are on place we can set aside our differences.
I read that a few weeks ago when I read the book and then I was struck by those words when I saw President Trump sitting on the grounds of the cemetery at Normandy, just above Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings doing that interview with Fox News where he attacked, in very personal terms, the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, also Robert Mueller the Special Counsel.
And given those words, you talk about the fields of Arlington, but also I image Normandy are the one place where we can sit our politics aside. Was it appropriate for the president to do that sitting where he as sitting?
COTTON: The president has to ask -- answer the questions he's asked. I think the fields of Arlington though truly are one place where we do set aside our differences. I've spent a lot of time with soldiers there last year researching this book. I didn't know if those soldiers were Donald Trump or Barak Obama supporters, just like when I served in the Army itself.
The same thing with -- is true of all those families who visit section 60 on Memorial Day as they did a few weekends ago. That may be because Arlington had it's origins in the ashes of the Civil War, the most divisive time in our nation's history.
BERMAN: But Senator -- and Senator, and agree, I think Arlington is one of the most impressive and moving places I've been. I haven't been in Normandy, I want to go, but I image it is similar. Should he have chosen a different way to answer that question? And should have Fox TV, should they have even asked that question given where they were?
COTTON: Well, I'll leave that to your competitors over at Fox News, but the president is going to answer the question that he's been asked.
BERMAN: And you were OK? That made you -- given everything you've been through, you were comfortable with that moment?
COTTON: John, I'll leave it to the president to answer the questions he's been asked.
BERMAN: All right, Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas. Again, the book is "Sacred Duty: A Soldier's Tour at Arlington National Cemetery." Like is said, I learned so much reading it, thanks so much for being with us.
COTTON: Thank you John.
CAMEROTA: All right, John, a helicopter crashed onto the roof of a New York City skyscraper on Monday. Why was it flying in restricted air space over the city? We have all of the latest details for you next.