Return to Transcripts main page


Real-Time Reaction from Speech Watchers. Senate Minority Leader on President's Speech; Trump Condemns "Hate and Evil". Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired March 1, 2017 - 07:30   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So how did the speech watchers feel about President Trump's speech last night?

CNN tracked a group of viewers in real time to see what they really liked and what they really did not like. CNN's Tom Foreman shows us that -- Tom.


We had about 37,000 people that joined in casting around 15 million real time votes to tell us what they thought moment to moment. The line goes up if they like it and down if they don't like it. Democrats in blue, independents in purple, Republicans in red.

And the president had them all pointing in the right direction early on when he talked about hate crimes. Watch the lines.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries as well as last week's shooting in Kansas City remind us that, while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.

FOREMAN: That's what you want if you're a president. All of them deep into the positive territory, all clustered together. That was a lot harder to come by in the rest of the speech, especially when he talked about policy. Saw a little when he talked about veterans, he got some of that; a little bit when he talked about jobs. And interestingly one of the highest areas of agreement among everyone: prescription drugs.

TRUMP: We should implement legal reforms that protect patients and doctors from unnecessary costs that drive up the price of insurance and work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately.


FOREMAN: (INAUDIBLE) briefly together there at the end (ph). But (INAUDIBLE) on how to do it, absolutely not. And if you want to know that, all you have to do is watch what happens to the lines when he talks about ObamaCare.

TRUMP: Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace ObamaCare.


FOREMAN: Yes, big applause line in the room. No surprise; Democrats hated it. Independents didn't care for it but this is interesting. As much as they're applauding in the room, look at what happened to the Republicans in our sample. Even they --


FOREMAN: -- were uncertain, a little wishy-washy about what was happening there and generally didn't seem too happy about it.

Overall, these lines never crossed. The Democrats never liked it more than the independents; independents never liked it more than the Republicans and, importantly, look at this, men always liked what had he had to say more than women did -- Chris, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: All right. That's always fun to watch those dials and those meters and to see it happening in real time. And it's funny --


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: 37,000 people.

CAMEROTA: -- yes, and how all the lines, it's sort of bipartisan, that they all sort of rise and fall, not in exactly the same proportion but at the same times. In other words there are some things that just resonate, regardless of where you are along party lines -- for instance, the Ryan Owens --

CUOMO: Well, yes, interesting there. That's what Tom was just explaining there near the end. It didn't get the bump I would have expected it to. But I think there is a reason for that.

That is powerful medicine. People care about the veterans. They sacrifice their lives. The entire family sacrifices for those of us back home. They don't like politicians playing with that, so the genuineness of it.

Congress likes to stand and clap for vets.

But do they take care of them the way they should?

Even Ms. Owens now a widow, will she get the support, will she get the services that she needs?

That's the open question.

CAMEROTA: Keep your comments coming. We will read them on Twitter and Facebook.

CUOMO: President Trump's speech is getting positive reviews. Is that true from Democrats?

Look at that split screen. That's the same room. Republicans up and clapping, Democrats not so much. That was Scalia's widow right there.

We have Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer.

What did he think last night?

Is anything going to change in a good way because of the speech?







TRUMP: The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us. We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts.


CUOMO: Democrats did not like the president motioning in their direction when he said "trivial fights." That was part of Donald Trump trying to reach across the aisle -- or at least he said he was -- in his address to Congress.

How did it go over?

We had a great guest for that. We have the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, head of the Democrats, joining us this morning.

"Trivial disputes" -- your reaction.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), N.Y.: Yes, well, you know, this president's speech mattered a lot less than the speeches of just about any other president because they're detached from his reality, he talks one way and does another so his speeches are populist.

His inaugural speech and speeches in the campaign, this one aimed at working America. His actions help the special interests and make it harder for the middle class and those trying to get to be in the middle class to get there. Let me give you a few examples.

He talked last night about infrastructure for the umpteenth time. We Democrats a month ago sent him a plan. Nothing. We have heard nothing from them.

How about trade, aimed right at the heartland of America? He said in his campaign he'll make China currency manipulator on day one. He doesn't need Congress for that, just a flick of the pen. He's backed off.

In his speech, he talked heartwarmingly of medical research and education. His budget is slashing those and, maybe at the top of the list, he said he's going to drain the swamp. His cabinet is billionaires and bankers and peoples laden with conflicts of interest. That's not draining the swamp, that's adding to it.

So what's the problem for this president is not his speeches. Speeches have a shelf life, they go away. It's his actions. His actions have favored the hard, hard Right, not where America is, not even where the Republican Party is.

And that's why he's had so much trouble governing over the last 40 days and he's going to have trouble ever since. So there's a low bar here among a lot of the media. Oh, well, he wasn't nasty. That is not enough to get America in the place where we have to go.

CUOMO: Senator, I have known you a very, very long time.

SCHUMER: Yes, you have.

CUOMO: You do not get personally insulted easily. You are known as a dealmaker. This president bothers you. And the tone that you set with not just the Senate but with the party in general is going to matter.

Are you guys in the headspace to work with the president on anything right now?

SCHUMER: Yes, we are waiting. He has not reached out to us once. OK?

He doesn't have any plan that seems to move working America forward. We're waiting.

CUOMO: But you have legislators that are working hard. Everybody knows he is not architecting in the White House the replacement for the ACA. Brian (ph) and his people are dealing with it; other Congress factions within the GOP that disagree with each other are trying to come up with plans. But they all say the Democrats won't work with them on any of these.

Why not seize the opportunity?

SCHUMER: Here's what we've said over and over again. If you say you'll back off repeal, we'll work with you to make ACA, Affordable Care Act, better. They're just onto repeal. They -- some say repeal and replace. But yesterday -- and this has nothing to do with the Democrats. Three Republican senators said they will not be for any replacement plan.

Now they don't have enough votes even in the Senate to pass it. His problems are not the Democrats' making; his problems are his own making. I've said this to him early on and I've said it a few times.

I said, Mr. President, when you ran, you ran as a populist against both the Democratic and Republican establishments. And if you continue to do that, we could do some good things.

But what you've governed as, the cabinet people you've appointed are hard, hard Right, not just far away from where Democrats are, far away from where the American people are and most Republicans.

So that's his problem. And this idea that, well, why don't the Democrats work with him, we need something to work with. He has given us zero.

CUOMO: Well, he said he wants a compromise plan on immigration. He said even more than that when he was talking to some of the news anchors earlier. He said that he was open to a pathway for people who were here working right now, non-criminal but undocumented, to stay.

But then last night, when he mentioned the voice (ph) task force, the victims' advocacy for those that are victimized by immigrant criminals, there was a noise that came over the Democrat side.

Why did that bother you so much?

SCHUMER: Well, I didn't make any noise. But let me just say this.


SCHUMER: You've made my case. To a group of cosmopolitan reporters off the record in the White House, he says, oh, maybe we can work something out. Then he gives a speech that is vehemently, virulently anti-immigrant. And by the way, we have been to this movie before. Three weeks ago, he did the same thing with Joe Manchin in front of a bipartisan group of senators. He said, maybe we can do something on immigration reform.

His base rose up. His staff rose up and the next day he retracted it.

You folks in the media have a pretty low bar here. Bottom line is, if he's interested in a real plan, of course, we'll sit down and talk to him. We have seen nothing like it on immigration. He said one thing several times, backed off and resumed his hard Right position, which is what the speech was all about.

CUOMO: Well, look, as President Obama said, there's never been anything false about hope and people are so desperate for progress out of Washington, D.C., that they take any good sign where they find it. And the media is included in that.

Is there anything that you heard last night that you believe was an authentic nod toward better days ahead for what can be done in D.C.?

SCHUMER: Obviously, the tribute to the widow of the brave soldier who was lost in Yemen touched everyone of us and we're all on our feet applauding for a very, very long time.

But as for something that we can work together on, the president hasn't presented a single thing. We're waiting.

CUOMO: That moment last night, why do you think the applause went so long?

SCHUMER: It was touching and there she was, weeping, and Americans have always done this. The American people are a fabulous people and Americans have sacrificed themselves for the good of the country. That's something that unites us all and I'm glad it did last night.

But we're waiting for Donald Trump to try and unite instead of governing from the hard, hard Right.

CUOMO: Do you know of anything proposed right now to take care of veterans the way that everybody in that room always stands up and applauds?

The last time we saw this, President Obama had a military guy who'd been injured in action and everybody stood up and cheered for a long time. And then they almost submarined the G.I. Bill in Congress and there were a number of other veteran benefits that got short shrift.

SCHUMER: Yes, well, G.I. Bill passed and I'm glad it did.

CUOMO: But there was that secret vote; it got a little sneaky and tricky and it had to be exposed so that they got saved.

SCHUMER: Yes, well, but some -- most -- we Democrats were for the G.I. Bill for a long time in giving people an education, veterans is a very, very important thing. It was proposed by Jim Webb, the former Democratic senator of Virginia.

But on veterans, there's a little example of bipartisanship. It was one of the few cabinet nominees that wasn't a hard Right guy, he came from the Veterans Administration. We all voted for him. We want to be able to come together to help working people and middle class people.

But again, as I said, we haven't seen a single symbol from Donald Trump. What has happened is this, once he became president-elect and now president, he has abandoned the working people he is talking about in all of his actions.

He's let a hard Right group run the show and that's why he has run into such trouble for 40 days and I'll predict, if he doesn't change, he'll run into trouble for the next year.

He can't govern from the hard Right.

CUOMO: Quickly, something he did not mention last night -- we had a huge word cloud of all the things that he said -- Russia wasn't in there. Cyber security and what happened during the election, not in there. Not an accident, either.

How big a deal do you think these looming questions are about any connections between the Trump staff/administration and Russia? SCHUMER: Well, first, it's astounding enough that it's been established by 17 intelligence agencies, even though the president again has denied it. He's in his own reality on this, that Russia tried to influence the election. That's bad enough.

Now whether Donald Trump and/or his campaign participated in this, there's lots of threads out there. Different people are pursuing them in different ways. We'll see what happens.

But I'll tell you one thing, they ought to be pursued and the fact that Jeff Sessions as the attorney general and one of the people closest to Donald Trump has not gone along with the guidelines in the Justice Department, which require him to recuse himself, is very troubling.

CUOMO: Senator Schumer, appreciate the Democratic perspective on this. Always welcome on NEW DAY.

SCHUMER: Thank you.

CUOMO: Thank you, sir.

SCHUMER: Glad to be here.

CUOMO: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, Chris. Well, the president condemning the surge of hate crimes across the country.

So what will he do now to stop them?

We try to find out from one of Mr. Trump's advisers -- next.






TRUMP: Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries as well as last week's shooting in Kansas City remind us that, while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.


CAMEROTA: That's President Trump, beginning his speech to Congress by condemning the surge in hateful acts across the country.

But what action will he take to stop them?

Let's discuss with Anthony Scaramucci. He's an informal adviser to President Trump.

Anthony, great to see you --


CAMEROTA: Thanks for being here.

SCARAMUCCI: Thanks for having me, Alisyn, great --

CAMEROTA: So people were relieved that Mr. Trump finally addressed the spate of vandalism and threats against Jewish community centers and cemeteries as well as what happened outside of Kansas City. Some people felt that it was belated, him speaking out against it.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I sort of think that's unfair because whether it was Sean Spicer, other members of the administration, things that the president said as early as the "60 Minutes" interview when he was first elected, he is constantly condemning these acts of violence and he's constantly denouncing them.

CAMEROTA: Well, hold on now. Hold on. I just want to fact check this.

He's not constantly condemning them. There was silence after Kansas City. He didn't tweet about it. And some people felt that that's -- had it been a Muslim, had it been a Middle Eastern gunman instead of a white gunman, that he would have immediately condemned it. But he didn't.

SCARAMUCCI: OK. Those people are obviously entitled to their opinion. But there's a very delicate balance now. I think what the president has discovered, he's controlling the bully pulpit and the news cycle. And he doesn't want to overly bring this stuff up because sometimes you're worried that that in itself will cause a fire or a potential contagion --

CAMEROTA: But then why does he --


SCARAMUCCI: You're trying to strike the right balance. You can agree with me or disagree with me. But I do believe that the president has consistently and maybe not with the level of volume that you'd like him to but he has consistently and his administration has consistently denounced these acts of violence.

CAMEROTA: But then why does he immediately bring up something even in Europe when there's an Islamist attack or something that he sees as Islamic terrorism?

He is on Twitter right away.

Why not use that same rule of thumb for when there's a white gunman here that does terror?

SCARAMUCCI: OK. So again, we can parse the words; we can -- CAMEROTA: But these are facts. I have the dates for you of how

quickly he does it.

SCARAMUCCI: Alisyn, we all agree on the same thing, OK, whether it's an Islamic act of terrorism or some kind of anti-Semitic act, they should be denounced. We're now parsing the volume and the quantity of those denouncements.

CAMEROTA: What we're parsing is why he doesn't --



SCARAMUCCI: -- I think that's unfair. OK. And we can go through each and every set of circumstances. We can make a decision on when he's doing it and when you think it's appropriate.

CAMEROTA: I just want to know what you think.

You think he does it as quickly, you think he does it as quickly when it is here, domestic extremism?

SCARAMUCCI: I think he has found it. I think he found his voice last night. It was a phenomenal speech. The first thing he opened up with in front of tens of millions of viewers globally is a denunciation of these acts and calling for an end to this kind of hate crime.

So I don't understand why that's not a big deal to people that don't like the president.

CAMEROTA: It is a big deal. But it didn't happen -- I mean, with the JCC attacks, it took him weeks. In fact, when --


SCARAMUCCI: Sean Spicer was out last week saying it.

CAMEROTA: -- you remember that a reporter at the press conference from an Israeli newspaper stood up and tried to ask him about it and Mr. Trump talked about his electoral win and told the guy that he thought it was going to be a friendly question and to sit down.

SCARAMUCCI: I think the president can get frustrated with the media cabal. I think he's sometimes frustrated sometimes with your network and other networks --

CAMEROTA: Because we bring up other kinds of extremism?

SCARAMUCCI: -- no, but he's also challenged you guys on some news stories that you guys have delivered. I'm not going to call them fake news.

CAMEROTA: Do you think it's fake news, the attacks at the JCC?

SCARAMUCCI: -- some level of inaccuracy. No, I don't think it's fake news. I think that's been a horrific thing that has happened.

OK, these are hate crimes. There's no place for that in our society, our social contract. Our people are better than that. But unfortunately, we both know this, there's a small sliver of the society that stains the rest of us with these sorts of things.

CAMEROTA: I want to ask you, Anthony, one second, about your tweet just so that you can clarify it for us because you said about the JCC attacks, you said, "It's not yet clear who the JCC offenders are. Don't forget the Democrats' effort to incite violence at Trump rallies."

SCARAMUCCI: That seemed to have caused way more controversy than I thought that that --

CAMEROTA: It sounds like you were suggesting that the Democrats were behind it.

SCARAMUCCI: I'm not suggesting the Democrats were behind it. What I was really suggesting in that tweet is that we actually don't know who is behind it. And so what you're finding is there's a lot of allegations being made.

And I think people are suggesting that potentially it could be Trump supporters behind it or people that are affiliated with the president or his administration. I think that's categorically very unfair.

CAMEROTA: Why did you make the allegation then?

Why did you tie it to Democrats?

SCARAMUCCI: I didn't make an allegation.

CAMEROTA: Why did you bring up Democrats?

SCARAMUCCI: Read the tweet because what happened over the last --

CAMEROTA: "Don't forget the Democrats' effort to incite violence."


SCARAMUCCI: Alisyn, you're asking me the question. Let me finish. Don't forget what happened last summer. OK, Democrats were fired from Democratic organizations because they were caught inciting violence at very peaceful Trump rallies.

Is that not a fact?

I think that is a fact.

CAMEROTA: What does that have to do with the violence of the JCC?

SCARAMUCCI: Because what we have to do (INAUDIBLE) leave an open question of the source of where these things are coming from.

Do you know where these things are coming from? CAMEROTA: I'm worried that you tied it to the Democrats. You brought up the Democrats' violence.

SCARAMUCCI: I tied it to what has happened in the past. OK. You guys like calling it false flags or whatever you guys want to call it. People get very upset --

CAMEROTA: I'm asking about why you tied it.

SCARAMUCCI: Here's the problem. I immediately pointing out that there was a factual situation, not fake news, real news, that took place last summer, where people were suggesting that it was Trump supporters that were inciting violence at Trump rallies.

We then discovered that that was not the case, that there was a Democratic group of operatives that went to those rallies with the express purpose to insight violence. I'm just calling into question, like a good journalist should call into question, what the motives are of these people and who is actually doing it.

If you're upset about that, that's totally fine.

CAMEROTA: I'm asking you a question.

SCARAMUCCI: I understand that. But it's not anti-Semitic to suggest that. I denounced these crimes, I think these crimes are absolutely horrific. But I don't know who is doing them. And if you know who is doing them, let's announce it right now on CNN.

CAMEROTA: We're not calling it anti-Semitic. But I know that you're here to talk about money and policy.

SCARAMUCCI: I'll talk about anything you want. I'm here to talk about anything.

CAMEROTA: Thank you. I appreciate that. Let's do that.

Last night President Trump talked about --