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Paris Deal Withdrawal; Unemployment Rate Slips; U.S. No Longer Leader; Divided American in a CNN Special. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired June 2, 2017 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] RYAN ZINKE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SECRETARY: We hold the bag. We pay for it and it doesn't make a significant difference. That's not a good deal.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Secretary Ryan Zinke, thank you very much for being on NEW DAY.

ZINKE: You're very welcome.


ZINKE: Have a great day.

CAMEROTA: You too.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: It's interesting. If you're picking up some of these themes in these conversations, if the White House doesn't want to talk about climate, then what was behind withdrawing from the climate deal? Was it just about erasing another Obama signature move? Is this part of a strategy to undo the last administration? We'll get into the politics that are at play here, next.


CUOMO: Brand new economic information for you. The unemployment rate is 4.3 percent. That's the new number out. That is the lowest in some 16 years. Good economic news for this president. And it will boot strap the move he just made.

President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement is said to be nothing about the climate but about the economic impact on jobs. It is one of the most controversial moves to date, but it is the right move politically for the president.

[08:35:03] So let's discuss with CNN's senior political commentators Jennifer Granholm and Rick Santorum.

Rick, they say this isn't about the climate. No one around him who helped make the decision will even acknowledge that they talked to him about global warming. They say they don't know whether he still believes it's a hoax or anything else. They don't want to talk about the science. They say it's all about business and delivering on a promise. What do you say? RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, that's actually

not what their saying. What they're saying - you heard the secretary say it, is that even if the agreement was agreed to, it would have a negligible effect on climate. So you're signing up to an agreement that doesn't do anything. So what you - you can set the climate argument aside because the agreement has no impact on the climate. And that's the point that the administration is making. But what it does have an impact on is it has an impact on American jobs, it has an impact on, you know, working men and women that Donald Trump pledged to fight for. And I can tell you from someone from Pittsburgh, who he mentioned, you know, demonstrably in that - in that speech, it's being hailed very positively in our region because we are the center of the shale revolution and we have lots of jobs in energy being created in our area and we're very excited. And, particularly, obviously, a center of coal also. So it's good for us and good for the Midwest, generally speaking.

CUOMO: So, governor, I mean Rick and I can disagree, but all I know is he didn't mention climate change in his piece - in his speech yesterday. Nobody will even acknowledge that they spoke to him about the issue. So, to me, that's ducking the climate aspect of this. Rick can see it differently. That's fine. That's why he's on the show.

From your perspective, they make the case that this is a job killer and wouldn't really help the environment that much anyway and it was too onerous for the U.S. We had to get out. Obama cut a bad deal.

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, it's just totally wrong. I mean this - this sector, the clean energy sector, is the fastest growing in the United States. Solar grew at 12 times the national economy last year. In Pennsylvania, Rick, there are 57,000 people who work in the clean energy sector. There are 7,500 who work in the coal sector. You don't want to leave those coal sector people behind. You do want to invest in advanced technologies.

But this administration cut job training, for example, by 40 percent. This, to me, is so backwards looking. It's not that Trump just made a political decision. He made a decision to have the U.S. shrink globally to ignore scientists, the CEOs and states and cities. Seventy mayors signing - including the mayor of Pittsburgh - signing a letter saying this is bad for the U.S. Why would we deny this fast-growing economic sector? It's so backwards.

CUOMO: Rick?

SANTORUM: Yes, I don't - I don't think we're denied any economic sector. By the way, the mayor of Pittsburgh represents 300,000 people in a region of 2.5 million. So the region, which has a lot of the natural resources, not the city of Pittsburgh, is very, very supportive of what the president has done, number one. Number two, I'm - look, I'm for clean energy. I'm for renewables. I - you know, I'm - I'm involved - ethanol. I mean I'm a big, strong supporter of ethanol. I help the ethanol industry as best I can. And the president has a big decision to make on ethanol. And I hope he makes the right one because it will reduce our carbon footprint and that's a good thing. I'm involved with a waste energy company. I think renewables and clean energy is a great thing, but I believe in

the market. And what - and what the - what the president is saying is, look, you know, we don't want artificial constraints to be put on the United States where we bear the burden of having to drive down our emissions while China can increases their emissions until 2030, while India can increases their emissions to 2030. And, by the way, China's the biggest emitter of pollution. Every other country basically can increase except us.

GRANHOLM: That is just not true, Rick.

SANTORUM: And that's just a bad deal.

GRANHOLM: Rick, this is not a bad deal. This is why - this is why -

SANTORUM: It - it is true.

GRANHOLM: I mean you can be arrogant about it and say 195 countries are wrong and only the U.S. is right. That's your version of American exceptionalism.

SANTORUM: That's because the U.S. is bearing the burden of it.

GRANHOLM: China has shut down or stopped the plans for building 103 coal plants. China is investing -

SANTORUM: But they're building more power - they're still building coal-fired power plants.

GRANHOLM: Rick - Rick - Rick, I let you talk. China is investing more in renewable energy than the entire electric sector in the United States. China, we've just given them the opportunity to lead the world. What we are doing with this agreement is to shrink American leadership, to go backwards. I didn't - I don't know, man, I don't think America first means America alone or, frankly, Donald Trump alone, because he's alienated states and cities across the country and his CEO. It is a terrible decision.

CUOMO: Rick - Rick Santorum, last word to you.


CUOMO: In the context - well, that was a good ribbing (ph) you just had there, governor. I want to let Rick get into -

GRANHOLM: I hate handing him the last word.

CUOMO: And address all of these companies, including fossil fuel giants that came out and said this was the wrong move. What do you say to them?

[08:40:03] SANTORUM: Yes, big companies love regulation. I mean that's the big industries. But guys that hate regulation, the guys that this kills are the small energy companies, the - you know, the small businesses who have to deal with this incredible regulation. So it does not surprise me that big companies like big regulation. And as far as China, one last point to Jennifer, yes, they canceled a

bunch of coal-fired power plants, but they're still building a lot more. And, yes, they're putting more in renewables, but they have a - they have, you know, a huge number of - they have many more people in China. They have much more electric needs than we do. So it's relatively not the same.

GRANHOLM: It's going to be China, number one.

SANTORUM: No, that's ridiculous.

CUOMO: All right. Rick, Jennifer, appreciate it.


CAMEROTA: All right, we do have some breaking news right now, Chris. The Labor department just releasing the May jobs report.

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here with the very big headline.



I want to talk here first about the jobless rate. A 16-year low. The lowest jobless rate since 2001, 4.3 percent. This is a level approaching what economists call full employment. That means companies are going to start to really get hungry to find workers because you have an unemployment rate that's so low.

One of the reasons why that unemployment rate dropped is because people - some people dropped out of the labor market in the month. That will be interesting to see if that is a trend or if that is something that reverses.

Let me show you the sectors real quickly. Lost some jobs in manufacturing, gained some jobs in mining. About 400 of these jobs, we're told, happen to be coal mining jobs. As you know, that's a center of the president's jobs debate. Health care, 24,000 jobs created in health care. That is what we've seen for several years.

A big headline about job creation as well. This is the 80th month in a row. Eighty months in a row of private sector job creation and that is a record. I will point out, however, you're seeing a slower pace of job creation this time this year, let's say from February to April. The president likes to taut how he is really revving up the job market. Job gains are strong. I would say they're steadily strong. But they're not as strong as they were last year this time and the year before.

That's what the numbers tell us, guys.

CAMEROTA: OK, Christine, thank you very much.

CUOMO: Pretend that was me talking. All right, so there's a fierce debate. You have this was the world

laughing at America for pulling out of a situation of leadership for environmental stewardship based on the promise of more jobs. Or it was Trump making America great again. Which is the political argument that wins? We get "The Bottom Line" with Fareed Zakaria, next.


[08:45:26] CAMEROTA: The president's decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, what does it mean for the leadership of the U.S. in the world. Here with "The Bottom Line" is CNN host Fareed Zakaria.

Fareed, great to see you here.

You just heard - we've had the president's supporters on this morning and they basically say it doesn't do anything about the U.S.'s leadership. We're still continuing to lead at home they say in terms of clean energy. We're just not going to do it in this lousy agreement that they - I mean these are their words.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOSE, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": Well, you know, part of the reason that these arguments can be made is because, frankly, they just - they use falsehoods. So, for instance, Rick Santorum was on and when Jennifer Granholm points out that in Pittsburgh - the line from Donald Trump's speech, in Pittsburgh clean energy jobs are twice as many, 60,000 versus 30,000 of coal, oil and natural gas put together. There are twice as many clean energy jobs. He says, well, but in the region. Well, the Sierra Club has a very good analysis just using the Department of Energy data. In 41 states plus the District of Columbia, clean energy jobs vastly exceed the number for coal, oil and natural gas.

CAMEROTA: Fantastic. So what does that have to do with the Paris Climate Accord, that we're already doing it here?

ZAKARIA: Right. So - right. So the Paris Climate Accord puts certain constraints - says to everybody, we're going to try to produce energy with certain constraints on carbon emission. In other words, you should favor those kinds of energy that have the lower carbon emissions. The whole world is doing it. If we are - don't have that constraint, of course you're going to go to dirty coal, which is cheap, of course you're going to go to other forms of dirty energy.

Look, why do we have the greatest technology sector in the world? Why do we have the greatest computer companies in the world? It's because in the 1950s, the United States government bought over half of all computer chips produced, none of which made money. In other words, thy were - much too expensive. They relied on government subsidies and government contracts. For almost 20 years the United States government was the main purchaser of computer chips, mainframe computers. That seeded this extraordinary industry that now dominate - and where we dominate the world.

The same thing is happening in solar, except this time there's a race. China, Germany and United States are all doing it. So the question is, do we want to be left behind? Of course, right now you still - these places still need some help. By the way, the help that clean energy gets is nothing like the help that oil, natural gas get. The subsidies to the fossil fuel industry are in the $500 billion range.

CUOMO: But they're just in different - they're in different forms. They're more obvious right now with the emerging energies -

ZAKARIA: Precisely. They're complicated amendments to the tax code.

CUOMO: Right. But what I don't get is the surprise by the critics of this. This decision checks every box for Trump that matters to them right now, undo Obama, America was weak, now it's strong, the rest of the world is a bunch of leeches on us, climate change, let's ignore it, you know, the idea that the men and women who helped the president make this decision never talk to him about the climate when it is a climate accord is laughably false. But, they don't care about that because their base doesn't care and focus on jobs. Checks every box. So it's a no-brainer for him politically. And it - sure, overvalues the short-term. Politicians always do.

ZAKARIA: Well, you know, the (INAUDIBLE) Trump has, has been so erratic and unpredictable that I'm not sure that I would entirely agree. There are a lot of areas where there's been much more bluster than actual, you know, policies. Many areas Obama policies are essentially being continued. You know, immigration is stuck in the courts. Deportations are kind of -

CUOMO: This was easy. He could do it unilaterally. And what does it cost him?

ZAKARIA: No, that's true. One would have still hoped that the fact that his secretary of state, who was the former CEO of Exxon, was in favor of the Paris Accords. The fact that Gary Cohn, his national economic director -

CUOMO: None of those guys are in his base.

CAMEROTA: His daughter.

ZAKARIA: His daughter.

CUOMO: She's not in his base either.


CUOMO: (INAUDIBLE) socialites are not in his base.

ZAKARIA: No, and this is - in a sense you're right in terms of the politics of this. Trump has decided - frankly a little odd to me that he is simply not really going to try to pivot to the center. That -

CUOMO: Not at all.

ZAKARIA: I mean the obvious strategy, I think, would have been, you get elected and you now say, OK, I have my base, I'm going to pivot to the center, big infrastructure bill, for example, would have put the Democrats in a - in a bind. They would have had to agree with it. He's staying with his base. We'll see what the approval ratings look like.

[08:50:01] CAMEROTA: All right, Fareed, thank you very much. Always great to get your perspective.

And you can watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS." It's this Sunday, 10:00 a.m. and 1: 00 p.m. Eastern only on CNN.

CUOMO: So, we're seeing it play out in real time, the divide in America. This decision to pull out of the accord plays to it. Bill Weir went back to places where he grew up and he knows and talked about what is keeping us apart and what may bring us together. A perfectly time special by a perfect storyteller with a perfect -


[08:53:03] CUOMO: All right, there's no headline in the idea that there's a big political divide in the country. We see it playing out every day. But CNN's Bill Weir has a gift for looking deeper into why things exist and what we can do about it. So he traveled across the country for a special called "States of Change." Take a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought he was a fool ten years ago, and I still think he's a fool, but his policies I tend to agree with.

BILL WEIR, CNN'S "STATE OF CHANGE": Really? Did you vote for him?


WEIR: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I voted for Trump.

WEIR: You did?


WEIR: And do you still feel -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I was proud about it.

WEIR: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And, yes, I still feel the same. I didn't want a puppet. I didn't want Hillary in the same old everything. I wanted someone to come in and rattle the cage.

WEIR (voice-over): Mary is a former classmate, now an accountant, so she understands the economy of a place where retirees and their Social Security checks make up half of the wealth, tourism and agriculture. The rest -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People weren't spending money.

WEIR: Yes. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They weren't getting loans at banks. And that stopped everything. It came - all the building came to a halt almost.

WEIR: Uh-huh.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But now it's coming back.


CUOMO: Bill Weir joins us now.

You know the place very well. What a stat. Social Security and assistance payments half the economy.

WEIR: Exactly. And a lot of folks on food stamps there as well. And this is a county - and when I grew up it went for both Reagan and Bill Clinton. It went for Obama the first time and then Romney. Very - you know, Wisconsin was very centrist state, you know?

CAMEROTA: Unpredictable. Yes.

WEIR: But Trump won in a two to one landslide. And all these folks I grew up knowing, they do live in a different America. They see his words. They hear them in a very different way than my neighbors in Manhattan or Los Angeles did. And I really wanted to dig into why that was.

I went back to the inner city of Milwaukee, where I also grew up. Went down to the evangelical community in Oklahoma. My mom was a big born again Christian who - well, she's the reason we moved all over the country. And I just wanted us to come at each other with a little more sense of empathy and an open mind. You - regardless of what side of the divide you're on, you're never going to - it's like marriage counseling, you're never going to get anywhere if you start with, you're an idiot, let me tell you why. And when you get into these communities and see it through their eyes, it makes a lot more sense.

[08:55:17] CAMEROTA: But did you hear what that woman said? Did you hear that a lot, which is, I just wanted to shake it up?

WEIR: Absolutely. No, I had a buddy of mine who said, yes, no, I was ready for the blank show, you know. You think he can't be president, hold my beer, watch this. So there was a little bit of that. There was some patriarchy at work. I heard lots of people say they didn't believe a woman's place is the White House. I heard that again and again from both sides actually. And - but it was really fascinating. And, in the end, I think, if you watch the full film online, we have a long documentary on, but then Saturday night we have this special, I think you'll see each other, Americans, we, the people, in a new way. And that's really what I was going for.

CUOMO: And that's part of the beauty of your gift is finding what you see as connective tissue between the two sides to build on.

WEIR: Right.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Thanks for sharing some of it with us.

WEIR: No, thanks for having me.

CUOMO: All right, so Bill's CNN special "States of Change," tomorrow, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN. Remember, you can go online and see even more.

CAMEROTA: OK, CNN "Newsroom" with Poppy Harlow and John Berman picks up after this very quick break. Have a great weekend.


[09:00:02] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: We begin with breaking news.

The jobs report out moments ago. The headlines here, mixed results. When it comes to jobs added to the economy, the number is lower than expected.