Return to Transcripts main page


February Jobs Report; Trump Effect on Jobs; Trump's First 50 Days. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired March 10, 2017 - 08:30   ET



[08:33:50] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Time now for the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day."

Number one, FBI Director James Comey meeting with the gang of eight lawmakers who have access to the nation's most sensitive data, including information on Russia's alleged meddling in the U.S. election.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Republicans' Obamacare replacement surviving a second epic House committee meeting. Sources telling CNN, the White House wants to roll back Obamacare's Medicaid expansion even sooner, which may spell trouble for the bill when it hits the Senate.

CAMEROTA: Pope Francis signaling that he is open to the idea of married men becoming priests. The new stance comes as the pope called the shortage of priests an enormous problem in an interview with a German newspaper.

CUOMO: Deadly protests breaking out in South Korea today. The country's president pushed from office, impeached. A high court upholding the president's impeachment, which followed months of turmoil over corruption charges.

CAMEROTA: Now Chris' favorite story. The giant panda cubs at Zoo Atlanta have turned six months old. Oh, my gosh, look at how cute these are. They've already learned to climb and run in their playroom. Look at how much fun they're having there and in a bucket. And the zoo says they may even go outside soon.

[08:35:01] CUOMO: That's very cute. Why don't - why don't you go in there and play with the mom. See what happens.

CAMEROTA: I would like to play with the cubs.


CAMEROTA: I understand the moms can be territorial.

CUOMO: But pandas are so cute and innocent.

CAMEROTA: They are so cute and -

CUOMO: They look so nice. How bad could it go?

CAMEROTA: Yes, they do. It can't go badly. They're like stuffed animals.

CUOMO: You ever see the video of the panda trying to eat the guy through the cage?

CAMEROTA: I don't - no, I don't want to see that video.

CUOMO: Yes, of course, because it's the truth.

CAMEROTA: For more on the "Five Things to Know," go to for the latest.

CUOMO: The new jobs numbers are out and we're going to show them to you and discuss what they mean. Did you almost fall down just now?

CAMEROTA: Probably.

CUOMO: Next.

CAMEROTA: I do drink a lot during the show. But first, we'll be introducing the first CNN Hero of 2017 next week. But two past honorees from Colombia, including last year's CNN Hero of the Year met up and they inspired each other here in New York. Check this out.

CUOMO: I've been wondering where my moonshine went.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'm very inspired by how Jorge fights. His manner, his tenacity, the enthusiasm (INAUDIBLE). It inspires me to do something for others every day.



[08:40:12] CUOMO: The February jobs report was released just moments ago. It's the first full month of jobs data under President Trump. Chief business correspondent Christine Romans at the magic wall with the numbers.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Another strong month of job creation, guys. Wages up. The unemployment rate relatively low. Let me show you January and February, 235,000 net new jobs in February. This is the first sort of full month of the Trump administration. It shows you that companies continue - continue to be bullish about hiring and needing these workers.

Let's look at the unemployment rate, 4.7 percent, relatively steady. When I look inside these numbers, I see people coming off the sidelines and into the labor market. So you might have seen this number fall. It's strong enough - the labor market is strong enough for this number to keep falling, but people are being lured off the sidelines to look for work and that's a good thing. Here's that labor force participation rate. Very sticky here. Barely

moving. Here's why. Lots of people are retiring every day. You've got 10,000 baby boomers who are hitting retirement age. We have a labor market, a workforce, that is sort of shrinking here, and that's a longer-term issue to continue to discuss.

Here are the sectors. Business information services, high paid jobs there. Construction, high paid jobs there. Manufacturing, high paid jobs there. That's why I think you saw wages pretty strong here. The strongest - they've been up 2.8 percent, the strongest since late last year.

Here are futures right now. They are up. Looking like a solid start to the day. These numbers, I think, tell us the Fed will be comfortable enough to raise interest rates next week. So you have an economy that's heating up here. The Fed likely to tap on the brake a little bit, guys.

CAMEROTA: OK, Christine, come join us, if you would.

CUOMO: Earned a seat at the table because they're good numbers.

CAMEROTA: Yes, thank you. Very well done.

ROMANS: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Let's bring down these numbers now with CNN senior economics analyst and former senior economic adviser for the Trump campaign, Stephen Moore.

Stephen, great to see you this morning.


CAMEROTA: So is this the Trump effect?

MOORE: I think it is. I think there's no question that employers like Donald Trump a lot and his agenda and I think the fact that he's just more pro-business from the previous administration. I think Christine nailed it with her analysis. Christine, I love those numbers on manufacturing and construction. Those are the kinds of jobs that, you know, those middle class Trump voters in the states like Michigan, and Ohio and Pennsylvania really want to see a recovery in.

So I think things are very much looking up. I think, Christine, you're right, that this is going to give more of an impetus for the Fed to raise rates at their next meeting. I don't think that's going to have a - much of a negative impact one way or the other. But, yes, I think the question is, is this a Trump bounce or a Trump moon bounce because the country seems to be firing on all cylinders right now.

CUOMO: So, you know, the president went early with the numbers yesterday. There was an estimate out that's higher than the actuals.

MOORE: Yes. Yes.

CUOMO: But the actual is higher than he expected, so it's good news period.

MOORE: That's right.

ROMANS: Right. Right.

CUOMO: But do you think this will be -

MOORE: Yes, I was expecting, Chris, maybe closer to 300,000 based on that earlier report.

ROMANS: I was too.

MOORE: But -

CUOMO: Right.

MOORE: But, look, 240 - what was the number, Christine, 238 -

CUOMO: Two thirty-five.

ROMANS: Two thirty-five.

MOORE: Yes, that's a pretty good number.

CUOMO: Yes, that's why we wait for the real number.

MOORE: Yes. Exactly.

CUOMO: I mean yesterday people were on us, why won't you report this, because it was wrong. So let me ask you this, though, do you think this will be the first month that we hear the president not question the unemployment rate as to why it's so low? Is it - are we going to - are we going to finally not hear that misleading number that, you know, it's really like, you know, 60 percent of people who are out, because you guys like to add in retirees to those who aren't working?

MOORE: Well, Chris, by the way, I've worked with Donald Trump for about six months and the one thing I've learn is you never anticipate what he's going to say next. So I can't - I can't really tell you the answer to that.

But, look, there is still an underlying weakness in this economy. I think Christine would agree with this. We still have too many people on the sidelines. Now, they're starting to nudge back in. But, you know, those - that's a problem -


MOORE: Because we still have a lot of people in the prime working years that are on the sideline.

The other thing I saw in this report, Christine, you're right, the wage bump was a nice one. Still about 6 million people who are what we call forced part-time workers.

ROMANS: Right. MOORE: They're people who want a full-time job but can't get one. I happen to think - this is a controversial statement - I think if we can get rid of some of the regulations under Obamacare that encourage part-time employment, we could see those people move into full time jobs.

ROMANS: So that number little change at 5.7 million people -


ROMANS: Who want to be working full-time -


ROMANS: But they're working part-time. Their hours have been cut for whatever reason. A lot of those happen to be in retail, frankly, because of the - of the big challenge from Amazon.

MOORE: Yes, that's right.

ROMANS: So there's some, you know, you know, some big shifts going on there.

But you talk about this other number, the underemployment rate, 9.2 percent is the underemployment rate and that seems real high. That's way more than 4.7 percent. But that's been coming down steadily, too. And even in very, very good times in the past, we've had an 8 or 9 percent underemployment rate. There's always kind of a fraction of the economy that just isn't fully engaged here.

And, Stephen, my question to you is, I'm not hearing a lot of talk about skills. I hear from companies that they need workers with skills and they can't find them.

MOORE: You got it.

[08:45:00] ROMANS: So those people that you say are sidelined, do they not have the skills to be absorbed here? The 325,000 today, at this moment, 325,000 skilled manufacturing jobs available in America that are unfilled.

MOORE: You're exactly right. In fact, that's just where I was headed with this. That, you know, when I travel all over the country, and when I ask employers, what is your biggest problem, they say, look, we don't like the taxes or the regulations are too high. But, Christine, the first thing they always say to me, about 80 percent of them is, I can't find the workers that I need. I can't find the workers with the skills that could -

ROMANS: But tell that to a Trump voter. You tell that to a Trump voter, they're going to say, you're blaming the victim here.

MOORE: No, no, look, I think we do need to focus on where are the jobs being created right now. And the truth is, you know, if you have any useful skill right now. If you are a welder or a pipe fitter or an engineer or can - you know, you can do construction or you can do, you know, plumbing, those are all on high demand. I think one of the things we just have to think about societally is, you know, we're graduating kids from college with psychology degrees and sociology degrees and political science degrees -

CUOMO: What happened to the trades?

MOORE: Not a lot of demand for that. But if you can do something useful - and there's a new movement that I think is very interesting in some of the states we should keep an eye on. What about this, guys? If somebody gets an apprenticeship or something like that and gets a useful skill, why not give them the equivalent of a college degree, because that might be more worthwhile than getting a four year -

CUOMO: Tradecraft and - and give them financing to get to trade school also.

MOORE: You got it.

CUOMO: Mike Rowe (ph) was a big proponent of doing that.


CUOMO: Of course, people need these infrastructure jobs. They need people who have trade skills.

CAMEROTA: And they're good, honorable jobs.

MOORE: You got it.

CAMEROTA: Stephen and Christine, thanks so much for breaking down the numbers for us.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

MOORE: OK. Have a great weekend.

CUOMO: All right - yes, thank you. Appreciate it.

We're halfway through the president's first 100 days. How close is Mr. Trump to keeping his promises? Let's do a little plus/minus action in "The Bottom Line," next.


[08:50:27] CAMEROTA: It is day 50 of the Trump presidency. So halfway through the president's first 100 days. Where does he stand? Let's get "The Bottom Line" and a bit of a report card from political director David Chalian.

David, great to see you.

You put together something of a status report. So let's go through it. Let's look at where people give the president high marks in these first 50 days, jobs and the economy - we just saw the jobs report, very good - the Gorsuch nomination for Supreme Court and his joint session address in front of Congress. Your thoughts. DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, I mean, we were just

talking about the jobs sector. The business community could not be more enthusiastic right now about Donald Trump. That is great for him out of the gate. And, obviously, the market is responding thusly. He's highlighted individual companies where he's able to make some job deals. So this has been a big, positive for him.

The Gorsuch nomination, I think, is by far his best day, rolling that out, of the entire presidency thus far. Big play for conservatives to be happy with the Supreme Court pick. And so far he's being well received on Capitol Hill. Confirmation hearings, obviously, still to come.

And, of course, the other high mark there that I gave is that joint session address which, of course, got stepped on immediately with the Sessions stuff. We'll talk about that in the low marks. But the speech itself was very well received and - both inside the hall and out in the public when we polled those who watched the speech, gave him really good marks.

CUOMO: Yes, transitioning from the high marks to the low marks, you know, one of the turn-abouts was that people said, well, did you set too low a bar for the president in that joint session because of everything that came after it. What do you make of the low marks?

CHALIAN: Well, obviously, the Mike Flynn firing/resignation was a debacle for this administration. It really showed a huge vetting problem. One that even in today's headlines is continuing, how much Trump and his team really knew about Flynn and his association. So that was sort of a dark mark on the administration.

Sessions not telling the truth to Congress, recusing himself from the Russia story, that is what sort of killed any momentum out of that speech that day. And then, of course, that initial rollout of the travel ban was a complete disaster. To their credit, they retreated and had put a new one out. Obviously, it's going to be challenged in the courts. But clearly through an interagency process they really did try to develop a travel ban here that actually my pass constitutional muster.

CAMEROTA: OK, and you have some lingering questions that you've scored as well. Somehow you've boiled them down to two. I expected the list to be a little bit longer. So Russian contacts, you've lumped that into one, and, of course, what's going on right now, the Obamacare repeal and replace.

CHALIAN: It's television, Alisyn. I was just trying for brevity here printed on the graphic.

CAMEROTA: I appreciate that.

CHALIAN: Yes, no problem. I cannot, though, sort of overstate the importance of these lingering questions. Both of these things, I think, could derail the entire presidency perhaps because if indeed the Russia investigation leads to something where there was collusion or somehow Trump campaign associates were involved in Russia's attempt to impact the election here, that could really derail everything. And, obviously, if he can't get his first major legislative goal, the promise of the party for the last eight years or so over the hurdle out of the gate, that also is going to have a significant impact on derailing what he can do going forward from that.

CUOMO: Yes, I mean there's no underestimating the power of President Trump deciding to accuse President Obama of a felony. And now it is fed into this entire investigative process, which is getting bigger, not smaller.


CAMEROTA: Brevity, I see it. You know, it is the key to wit and television, David Chalian.

CHALIAN: Good morning, guys. Have a good weekend.

CAMEROTA: Thanks so much. Great to have you here.

You know what's the key to comedy?

CUOMO: What?


CUOMO: That was good. She's never used that before.

CAMEROTA: That's right.

Up next, the video that you'll be talking about for the rest of the day. Wait till you see what happens during this live shot. We've all been there.

CUOMO: Uh-oh. Who's that?


[08:58:09] CAMEROTA: OK, we have got to show you this viral video that is making the rounds this morning. This is during a live shot on a very serious subject of North Korea, and we have all been here. Parents, beware. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a trial for democracy. Scandals happen all the time. The question is, how do democracies respond to those scandals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what will it mean for - for the wider region? I think one of your children has just walked in. I mean shifting - shifting - shifting sands in the region. Do you think relations with the North may change?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would be surprised if they do. Pardon me. My apologies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does this mean for the region?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My apologies. The North -


CUOMO: Wait, wait, wait for it. Wait - there it is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: North Korea - North - and South Korea's policy choices on North Korea -


CUOMO: We are told that that is the man's wife that came flying in to save the day.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. Any - anybody - first of all, don't ever do a live shot from your home. I think we've learned that. Anybody with little kids can relate to this moment. You're trying to have a conference call or something and your children saunter in with relish. I love how that little one enters the room.

CUOMO: Yes, he comes in with complete confidence, which you expect of kids. And then the toddler comes behind and that's - I hated those things, that they would walk around in.

CAMEROTA: Oh, I loved those things.

CUOMO: They destroyed everything. But, to me, the story isn't the kids. It's the wife. That is a good wife. She comes flying in there, takes one for the team, sense of urgency, respected.

CAMEROTA: There was definitely a sense of urgency there. Oh, my gosh. And look at him. He stayed trained - he didn't turn around. He was professional. He is a professor of political science in South Korea. Very professional.

[09:00:00] CUOMO: Would you do that for your spouse, if they were on Skype and the kids went in, would you go in there with the urgency and the insistence that that wife did? That's the question.

CAMEROTA: That - oh, this is our toddler.

CUOMO: Well, we can't - we can't just take a hand and move him out