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Senate Delays Vote on Health Care Bill; White House Deputy Press Secretary Criticizes Media Coverage of Trump Administration.; Interview with Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia Aired 8- 8:30a ET

Aired June 28, 2017 - 08:00   ET

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


[08:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The one person that still denies this intervention seems to be the president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, June 28th, 8:00 in the east. Alisyn is off. The one and only Clarissa Ward joining me. How did I get so lucky? It's great to have you.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, I bet you say that to all the girls.

CUOMO: No, no, no, just you.

All right, so we got big news this morning. Senate Republicans are divided over the healthcare bill, forcing Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to postpone the vote. The Senate Majority Leader insisting the bill is not dead, changes will be made. The president now going to get involved in the process as well. Can he pull out a deal?

WARD: Meantime, President Trump lashing out at reports that he was sidelined during healthcare negotiations as his administration ramps up their war on the news media. We have it all covered as always.

Let's start out with CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. She is live on Capitol Hill. Suzanne, what's the latest?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Clarissa. Well, really the future of the Senate healthcare bill is uncertain at this time. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dramatically lowering his expectations now. He had promised a vote by the end of the week. Now he's just saying that he wants to get 50 people more comfortable. I had a chance to talk to a senator, Republican, against the bill, who is also highly skeptical anything is really going to get accomplished this week. The House, they were able to resurrect their own bill back in the spring, and the big question now is whether or not the Senate is going to be able to do the same.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If we don't get it done it's going to be something that we're not going to like. And that's OK and I understand that very well.

MALVEAUX: Senate Republicans again reworking their health care bill after another stinging setback to the GOP's seven year effort to replace and repeal Obamacare.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: We will not be on the bill this week, but we're still working toward getting at least 50 people in a comfortable place.

MALVEAUX: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell working to win over the nine Republican senators currently opposed to the bill after being forced to scrap a vote bill this week.

MCCONNELL: Either Republicans will agree and change the status quo, or the markets will continue to collapse and we'll have to sit down with Senator Schumer.

MALVEAUX: President Trump convening Republican senators at the White House to discuss the path forward, flanked by two key skeptics of the bill.

TRUMP: We're getting very close.

MALVEAUX: The president, who has largely remained on the sidelines, optimistic despite fundamental divisions within the party between conservatives and moderates.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: The central focus needs to be on lowering premiums. The current draft doesn't do nearly enough to fix the premiums problem.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I have so many fundamental problems with the bill that it's difficult for me to see how any tinkering is going to satisfy my fundamental and deep concerns.

MALVEAUX: Multiple senators voicing concern over this attack ad commissioned by a pro Trump super PAC against vulnerable Republican Senator Dean Heller because he's against the Senate bill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're opposed to this bill, we are opposed to you.

MALVEAUX: Sources tell CNN Heller raised the issue with the president himself after McConnell personally reached out to the White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, calling the ad a stupid move that set the cause back significantly.

COLLINS: I was amazed and appalled to learn that any Republican group would be running negative ads against Dean.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: We know the fight is not over. That is for sure.

MALVEAUX: Senators expected to take heat from their constituents when they head back home for the July 4th recess.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am an angry constituent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit on down! You're done.

MCCONNELL: Some members have town halls and some don't. We'll see what happens.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: And get ready. There are going to be a lot of prominent medical associations as well as advocacy groups that are also going to be lobbying members of Congress over the break here. It is very unclear whether or now this extra time that Republicans have on their hands, whether or not it will garner more support for the bill or whether or not there will be any significant changes to the legislation. Chris?

CUOMO: Of course, you have offsetting that the tremendous political pressure of that promise, we will repeal and replace. Suzanne, thank you very much.

So the Trump White House is escalating something, but it's not the debate on healthcare. It's a war against the media. You had Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blasting coverage of the Russia investigation, sparring with reporters at yesterday's press briefing, and one of the exchanges was something you need to hear. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[08:05:00] SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: I hope that outlets that have continued to use either unnamed sources, sometimes stories with no sources at all. We've been going on this Russia-Trump hoax for the better part of a year now with no evidence of anything. Things like the success at the V.A. barely get covered. They may get covered for an hour at a time, but this story gets covered day in, day out. And I think America is frankly looking for something better.

BRIAN KAREM, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, SENTINEL NEWSPAPERS: Come on, you're inflaming everybody right here, right now with those words. This administration has done that as well. Why in the name of heavens any one of us are replaceable, and any one of us, if we don't get it right, the audience has the opportunity to turn the channel or not read us. You had been elected to serve for four years. There's no options other than that. We're here to ask you questions and you're here to provide answers. And what you just did is inflammatory to people all over the country who look at it and say, see, once again, the president is right and everybody out all here is fake media. And everybody in this room is only trying to do their job.

SANDERS: I disagree completely. First of all, I think if anything has been inflamed, it's the dishonesty that often takes place by the news media.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Joining us is the reporter you saw in that exchange. His name is Brian Karem. He's the executive editor for Sentinel Newspapers. Also with us, CNN contributor and "Washington Post" reporter David Fahrenthold, and CNN politics editor at large Chris Cillizza. Let's start with you, Mr. Karem. What motivated What motivated the exchange?

BRIAN KAREM, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, SENTINEL NEWSPAPERS: I don't like bullies. I've been tired of being bullied. I've been tired of being blamed. I've been called an enemy of the people. We've been told that we're all fake media. I respect what the White House does. It's not wrong for the spokesman for the White House and the president to come out and put their spin on things. As Larry Speakes once said, don't tell us how to stage the news and we won't tell you how to report it.

But at the end of the day I've been browbeaten for six months and told I'm the enemy. And to be quite honest, it's not accurate. And I think it's driving a wedge between us and the public. And I think it's undermining the fourth estate. I think it's very detrimental to the constitution and the foundation of the republic. And those people in that room are merely trying, as I said to Sarah, trying to do their job. And to be browbeaten every day and bullied isn't right, and it's got to stop.

WARD: So David, what is the strategy here for the Trump administration? Why are they doing this?

DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I have to assume it's because nothing much else is going right in their administration. They're floundering on healthcare. They've had trouble getting out from under this Russia investigation. And when you can't bang on the law bang on the table is what they say in the law. And so they're trying to make the media the issue as a way of distracting from what the media is reporting.

CUOMO: Look. Fahrenthold is a good example of something, right. He and his team just won a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting, OK. That's a pretty high bar. Trump doesn't like the reporting that Fahrenthold did so there was a consistent undertone. And David, correct me if this is an exaggeration, if this isn't true, if this isn't how you personally experienced it, that you are a phony, that it was politically motivated, that you guys are bad guys what you are trying to do at your newspaper because you were doing these stories in the first place. And that's the reality. They didn't told you where you were wrong. They never made you correct anything that you reported about his charitable giving or otherwise. But how constant were the attacks from the White House, from the surrogates and the reporters, about you even thinking about doing this kind of reporting?

FAHRENTHOLD: We did hear that a lot. We heard it from Mike Pence, then the vice presidential nominee. He's somebody who would say, this is fake, this is phony, this is all wrong. But nobody ever said exactly what was wrong. The way you combat that, at least the way I did, was to be as transparent as you can how you know what you know. I showed everything I could to the public. But this is how I'm reporting and this is what I asked the Trump administration. They haven't answered. Here's all the chances I've given them to tell their side of the story or tell me where I'm wrong, and they haven't taken them. I think that's an important part of the role we have to play now is to show people more transparently how we're doing what we're doing and how we got to this information we have now.

KRAEM: And transparency is important, but more importantly is to also stand up for the process. And the process of what we do in that room and outside of that room and as reporters. I have 30 people who work for me who I tell this to all the time. I don't care what you think, just tell me what you know, and vet the information. That process is something everyone goes through. And if it's not respected, it doesn't matter how transparent you are. At the end of the day there has to be respecter for process.

[08:10:02] And if they're not going to respect the process they need to be called on that because it is something that we are trained to do. It is something that real reporters do. It is something that we actually, many of us wring our brow over to make sure that we're doing it correctly. And we don't always get it right, we do get it wrong. And when we get it wrong we correct it. And there are prices to pay for being inaccurate.

But yesterday was an attempt to go after CNN in particular I believe, and the press in general. And the fact of the matter is we're not fake media. We're here to do the job. Respect the job and we respect yours. And if you're not going to respect us we need to speak up.

WARD: Chris, at what point does this become dangerous? And I'm not just talking about dangerous in terms of --

KAREM: We're past that.

WARD: -- tearing at the social fabric, I'm talking about dangerous as in a journalist gets hurt, because I can tell you working overseas in war zones, people are emboldened by the actions of this administration, emboldened by the all-out declaration of war on the media. If I'm getting it in the neck, Chris, I can only imagine what a person like you is dealing with. At what point does this become reckless or irresponsible, Chris?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, EDITOR AT LARGE, CNN POLITICS: I don't want to say we're past that point.

KAREM: We are past that point.

CILLIZZA: I think it is already dangerous what the Trump administration is doing, which is Brian's point. They are trying to taken an honest mistake, or not even a mistake, and turn it into the norm as opposed -- the rule opposed to the exception, which is a very dangerous thing because that's willfully misleading, frankly.

The idea that Dave Farenthold, who was my colleague for a very long time and doesn't toot his own horn enough, the idea he was attacked for doing what he did had nothing to do with the quality of the journalism he was doing. It was 100 percent about it was a bad story for Donald Trump. In Donald Trump's world the media is judged by you are good if you write things that are good for Donald Trump. You are objectively bad if you criticize Donald Trump. It is not our job to be liked by Donald Trump. It is not our job to report the news -- as Sean Spicer said and Sarah said it yesterday, you guys ignore the news that's important. You know, I do think the Russian hacking of an election is important news.

CUOMO: Right.

CILLIZZA: We can debate collusion. They're right, there's no evidence of that. But this is about the broader hacking of an election. In Dave's case it was about a charitable organization that didn't give to charity for the man who was running to be the president of the United States. It doesn't have to do with the fact Donald Trump is a Republican. I guarantee you a million times over, because I know Dave personally, if it was the Hillary Clinton Foundation doing the same thing, he would have done the same reporting. That's what's maddening when you're watching this.

CUOMO: Brian, go ahead.

KAREM: To your point earlier that you were asking about, safety, think about that. How many reporters have died for the cause? I've been jailed, there are 12 of us have gone to jail to protect the First Amendment. There are people who have beaten. There have been people who have been threatened. Our newspapers after Donald Trump's election, we've gotten threats from both the far left and the far right. They are emboldened, it is dangerous, and the fact of the matter is, it is insulting to the memory of the people who have given their lives for the cause for providing information to the public to then be told you are fake media, you do not matter, and what you're doing is false.

And quite frankly, every one of us should stand up against that because it is undermining the First Amendment. It is dangerous, making it dangerous for reporters. You're absolutely right, there is going to come a time, and it's not going to be too far off I surmise when we're going to see a reporter is going to face physical harm because of this.

CUOMO: God forbid, nobody wants to see that. It certainly wouldn't make the situation any better. I'll tell you what, I'm in no rush to change positions with Clarissa Ward, because I'll take on a war of words even with president of the United States any day other than being in a war zone. But Brian, let me ask you something. You did something yesterday that was brave but it was also provocative. And what was the reaction, what was the range of response you got for going at Huckabee Sanders?

KAREM: The provocative part of it I understand. But I think they were very provocative because they took their first on camera press briefs in more than a week and used it to browbeat the press.

CUOMO: That's because that's what she was told to do in all likelihood. KAREM: And so the provocative nature of what I did was merely a

reaction to what she did.

[08:15:00] Most of the reaction has been good. I've had some people that have called me, you know, some pretty bad names. But I have a thick hide and been called worse by people that love me. So, it's not anything to worry about that there.

But most has been favorable. But the point is that's not why it was done. The issue is what's important, not the person who brought it up.

CUOMO: I know, it's understandable.

KAREM: As I said yesterday, we're all replaceable. But the issue of free speech, first amendment, covering this president is not. It's not about me. It's not about you. It's about that issue.

CUOMO: And the baseline criticism is something that you were referring to earlier, as a saying in politics, which is -- look, you want to criticize what we do, it's easy. Prove it's wrong. That's all you have to do.

What has been happening in my experience is the White House doesn't like it. They don't like what you say. They think it's bad for them.

CILLIZZA: Which is different than being unfair.

CUOMO: That's exactly right.

CILLIZZA: What good -- good story for you, bad story for you is not directly correlated to fair -- right practices of journalism versus wrong practices of journalism.

CUOMO: Look, and, Brian --

CILLIZZA: You're just conflating those --

CUOMO: Yes, you're right, Chris. You're right. There's certainly a conflation and we know why.

Every time the president hears the words Russian interference, he hears bad for Trump. That's why he denied it so long in the face of such obvious facts. That's why he doesn't want to take it on in the way some in his administration the way some would like him to do. There are obvious incentives there for him. We get it in his own mind.

But, Brian --

KAREM: Yes?

CUOMO: -- what I want to hear your head is on is this fundamental proposition, which is, look, just because they don't like it doesn't mean it's untrue. That has become the standard what's untrue is only what people want to believe. KAREM: Well, there is -- yes, there are people who are confined to

their philosophical cul-de-sac and they're going to believe what they're going to believe no matter what the facts tell them. But in all honesty and to be fair to the White House, in the interest of fairness, Sean Spicer and his staff have done things to make that White House a little more transparent. They have brought in cabinet members. They do conduct briefings. They have introduced the Skype component so people outside of the beltway can ask questions.

So, all of that is supportive of the First Amendment. But I feel there is a great incongruity between what the press staff would like to do and what the president would like to do. And I could be wrong because I don't know. But the fact of the matter is, there is a constant reinforcement from the administration as to what they believe versus what facts show.

So, you're absolutely right. It's a huge concern.

CUOMO: Any concern on your part that they're going to pull your credentials?

KAREM: I've been asked that. I don't know. I guess if they do I will be here or I'll be somewhere.

CUOMO: You've got a home right here, Brian. We always like people who want to speak truth to power on this show.

Fahrenthold, let me ask you something, because we're going to have another example in real time of how this dynamic goes too often. So, in one of the clubhouses of one of Trump golf clubs, they have "TIME" covers on the wall that is not a real "TIME" magazine cover. So, the magazine finds this out, they say, take it down, you find this out, you report on it.

What is the reality of the situation? And how is it being treated at the White House? Because I've got to tell you, all their friends on social media are attacking this understandably so from their perspective as fake. What could be fake about this other than the cover itself?

FAHRENTHOLD: Well, there's nothing fake about it. We've gone a lot of lengths to document how many clubhouses this was in. I found it in five clubhouses at least so far. Yes, it's an a "TIME" magazine cover from March 2009. It's all about Donald Trump and they hung it up in all these places. It's faked. It never happened. It's not based on anything in reality.

So, we asked the White House and the Trump organization, where did this come from? Who made it? Did President Trump know it was fake? And basically got no answers from them. The only answer we got back was from Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying, we won't comment on the decor of the Trump Organization's clubs.

(CROSSTALK)

KAREM: I'm sorry. Whenever it's something they don't want to talk about, I can't tell you the number of times I've been told, we can't talk about that. We'll defer that to this. We can't talk about that. We'll defer to that. We're not going to discuss decorum (ph).

If it's something that is as you pointed out earlier, if it's something detrimental to the administration, they're very quick not to comment or to minimize it. Whereas, if it's something that's very -- like I said earlier, that's typical of most folks when you try to put the best face forward. What's different about it is, they should at least address the issue. If you're going to accuse us of being fake media, and you put up a fake media cover, the hypocrisy of that alone is going to make it, you know, a topic on, I don't know, every stand- up comedian's circuit in the country and probably overnight shows.

[08:20:02] So, you should at least address that.

CUOMO: Well, obviously. Obviously, you should. But it's also similarly obvious why they don't, Chris Cillizza, right?

CILLIZZA: Yes.

CUOMO: Which because once again, it's if I don't acknowledge it, it doesn't exist. That is a signature Trump move that we've seen him do to great effect here in New York for a very long time. And let's be honest, it's working for him at this level as well.

But at the end of the day, we've been here before, my brothers. You know, it is not new for the White House to be inimical to the media. But we have not seen, at least in my experience, and please weigh otherwise, starting with you, Chris, is, his is a de facto declaration of making the media an enemy of the state. That is what this effort winds up amounting to, that is not just Cillizza, it's not just Cuomo, it's just not one story, it's all of them all the time, they're all fake, don't trust them, only trust us.

That is saying that this unique and beautiful dynamic that we have in this country, this messy thing called democracy needs to change and in favor of this White House and it's almost a desire for absolute power when it comes to reckoning the truth. That is new.

CILLIZZA: So, yes. Two things, one, if you look at Sarah Huckabee Sanders press conference yesterday, Brian is exactly right. This was a purposeful ratcheting up of a very aggressive war on the media. There's just no other way to see it. You know, she wound up talking about 17 minutes, half of that was involved in the back and forth with Brian, as well as the sort of the broader indictment of the media.

Point two, this is not new for Donald Trump. He is not terribly consistent on policy, has not been as a politician in his campaign. The through line, the thing -- if you are looking for something that the logical sort of what makes him go from June 16th, 2015 to what is it, June 28th, I lose track, 2017, is a hate, dislike, dismissiveness, attempt to disqualify the media. It was there at the beginning. It's there now.

I always remind people -- don't look at what even the White House or Sarah Huckabee Sanders or Sean Spicer or Reince Priebus say, look at what Donald Trump tweets, almost every day.

KAREM: What he does, exactly.

CILLIZA: Almost every morning, particularly yesterday and this morning, it's about the media. It's about the fake news media. That's what he cares about. That's what animates him, that is at the fundamental core of why the guy is the -- ran for president, why he is president, and he is going to continue to execute against that. So, we should not be surprised. But I do think we may need to change the way in which we approach this.

KAREM: No. You have to confront it. And you have a reporter in the White House, Jim Acosta, who's tried very hard to make his voice heard. They haven't called on him in several weeks. That's part of the problem.

This -- if you go back to the White House correspondents association, the president refusing to attend that. I wrote a column about that then for "Playboy" that talk about this issue. You've got to confront the fact and recognize the fact he is at war with the media. And once we accept that and then move forward and make head way.

But the simple fact of the matter is, if you pretend that it's business as usual in the White House or anywhere else, because this trickles down. This will trickle down to statehouses, the Congress, county, city government. If they see that the guy at the top can get away with it, there will be more opacity, less transparency. It will, in fact, make it hard for us to do our job, harder than it is now.

CUOMO: And I'll give everybody out there one little piece of advice that just shows how clear and obvious the intention here is from the White House. Watch what happens when somebody says something that the White House likes. Watch how quickly the president's attitude and all his people will change towards that person and that outlet. That tells you what this is about. It's not about the truth. It's about what they like.

Gentlemen, thank you very much. Brian, thank you for the bravery.

KAREM: Thank you.

CUOMO: If you end up having more time on your hands, let me know. You're always welcome on the show, all right?

KAREM: Thank you, very much.

CUOMO: David, always a pleasure. Congrats again on the great reporting.

All right. Now to our top story, because that's what we do. We're not just here to complain about our relationship with the White House and the media. But that matters to you, OK? Because you need to know what's going on in your society and you can't always trust power to tell you the truth. We all know that. But let's cover the issues that matter as well. President Trump is trying to get these Senate Republicans to pass a

healthcare bill. Is he being effective? Well, we don't know. Senate Majority Mitch McConnell just had to delay the vote because there were nine Republican senators opposing the plan.

Remember, this was supposed to be the easy route. They only needed 50 with this reconciliation process. The ACA, Obamacare, needed 60.

[08:25:01] One of those nine on your screen, Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. She was at the meeting with President Trump yesterday. She has since announced that she cannot support the current Senate bill.

And doing a little home work on your state, Senator. Thank you for joining us on NEW DAY.

SEN. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R), WEST VIRGINIA: Thank you.

CUOMO: Appreciate you taking the opportunity.

You have a very vulnerable population in your state. It is Medicaid dependent.

CAPITO: Yes.

CUOMO: You do not accept the notion taking money out of that system can somehow keep coverage for all those people.

Is that a fair assessment of your position?

CAPITO: That's a fair assessment. We have a large per capita Medicaid population and we have an enormous and growing opioid issue, abuse issue, and it's very troubling to me. So, it's important to me we get this right.

CUOMO: They say, other brothers and sisters within your party, no, the opioid people will be fine. There's enough money in there. Just not everybody needs it, so we're not going to force it into policies for people who aren't currently addicted to any opioid. So, you'll be OK. Don't worry about it.

CAPITO: Wrong. I mean, if they don't have a problem now, they're going to have it. Our states, West Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire, Kentucky, we have very difficult problems.

And what happened with the Medicaid expansion population is they had access to drug abuse and opioid addiction treatment. Fifty percent of the dollars that are spent in that population that are going towards that treatment, it's absolutely critical to this horrifying problem that we have in our state and around the nation.

CUOMO: And, look, you know, second maybe only to New Hampshire, right? We're doing a documentary right now on this crisis. It deserves the attention.

CAPITO: Right. CUOMO: It will be coming out in the fall. New Hampshire uniquely hit. West Virginia uniquely hit. But we are seeing it all across the country.

So, if they came to you and said, we'll give you a carve out on this, Capito. We're going to give you money for this in your state. You'll be fine.

Do your reservations about the bill end?

CAPITO: No, they don't, because what happens if you just flood the money into treatment centers. And we welcome that. We're asking for $45 billion for more opioid treatment.

But you have to have the coverage, Chris, that goes along with it. It doesn't do -- you know, you're not going to access the treatment without the coverage, whether it's through the exchanges or whether it's Medicaid, you have to be able to have that coverage so that you can access the treatment the extra dollars are going to be put in to provide.

CUOMO: What do you make --

CAPITO: So, to me, it goes hand-in-hand.

CUOMO: I hear you.

So, let's discuss why it goes hand-in-hand because you have many people in your party saying, no, no, it doesn't. We're going to give less increases overtime in Medicaid, but the money will still be real and we're going to provide an off-ramp because a lot of those people shouldn't be on Medicaid, and we're going to help them get care in the private market and we're going to do so through tax credits. That will be good and they can even use going forward.

What do you think of that analysis? Do you think that that would be as good as what they're getting now?

CAPITO: Well, I think what you see now is a great divide between states like mine, who have the expansion, and other states who are non-expansion states. And that's really where we're sort of at loggerheads here, because I can see in my Medicaid expansion population the availability of treatment and how well it's working, both how they're accessing preventative care and their primary care doctors. I want to preserve that. So, I think Medicaid does preserve that.

I'm not in opposition to making sure that those folks, if they move from Medicaid expansion into the market, that they have extremely good coverage like they do at Medicaid and an affordable good price. I mean, that I think is the crux of what we have to make -- if there is a transition, it has to be seamless.

You know, I think the 184,000 West Virginians, I've said repeatedly, I'm not going to drop you off a cliff. And in my view, the Senate bill was too much of a cliff. So, we're working to try to close that gap, to make sure that I'm satisfied and those of us -- I've been working hard with Rob Portman on this, to make sure that we have that assurance that that population, very vulnerable population, has that access to care, affordable care.

CUOMO: What level of confidence did you get from the president that he understands the granular level of these issues and what is going on within these economic dynamics, within this health care bill, and that he can help control the process on that level?

CAPITO: You know, I was at the meeting yesterday. I thought the president was very good. He listened to everybody, all of our disparate views. And, you know, we've been in meeting after meeting where we've heard each other so many times that you can predict what the person is going to say when their light comes on.

But the president was -- basically, one of the main things he said was put more in it, make it more effective to the lower income, make it so it really works. And, you know, that jives with what I believe is one way to make this bill much more effective and much deeper for those who are most vulnerable who need that safety net.

So, the president was right there with, I think, my line of thinking. He was very open to suggestions and he was pushing it, you know, as a policy and, obviously, politically as well.