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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Best Moments from Biden's Inauguration Night Concert; Biden Promises to be President for All Americans. Aired 4:30-5a ET
Aired January 21, 2021 - 04:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATY PERRY, SINGER: As you shoot across the sky Baby, you're a firework Come on, let your colors burst Make 'em go, "Oh, oh, oh" You're gonna leave 'em all in awe, awe, awe Boom, boom, boom Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You know, people were talking about these fireworks saying it was one of the most spectacular pyrotechnic displays they've ever seen. Katy Perry worked for me. Did she work for you? She was the only one that sang her own song.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I loved it. Yes, I love -- look it, as we say, I loved it. I loved all of it.
CUOMO: You like your boy Tom Hanks wearing the Cuomo Primetime outfit?
LEMON: Oh yes, I loved it. Everyone kept saying Tom Hanks needed a coat. They wanted to donate him a coat. I thought it was all beautiful. I thought the singers did great. I actually liked the inauguration because you got to actually pay attention to -- you got to focus on what was important, the people. And it wasn't just about the crowd.
CUOMO: Right, and we haven't had events. So just to have this event and to see stars, you know, it was beautiful. Then, so I'm watching it at home, right? Then all of a sudden, I'm watching this, and I had known that they were going to show some of the teachers in America, you know, all the different people that hold us together. And all of a sudden, this picture pops up on my screen of this kid singing. She just whipped by. Let's see if production capabilities from CNN --
LEMON: And that was your niece?
CUOMO: -- one moment.
LEMON: Was that your niece? CUOMO: And it's my niece. My niece from my oldest sister, Marianna. She decided she wanted to do something. She's one of these kids in this next generation who said, look, I don't want to come from a position of privilege and not come back. I want to do be able to do something. So her mother's like, you want to do something. Do something. She was great. I'm going to teach for America and she's in the south side of Chicago teaching the kids there and she pops up on the video.
LEMON: And singing in front of the --
CUOMO: And I had no idea. And there she is. There she is, look at Marianna with the head move. All Cuomos got a little sock move.
And she's there and she is walking the walk, that kid. She's got the big pedigree, but she wanted to go back. Second year teaching. I had no idea she was going to be in it. Proud, proud, proud
LEMON: What's her name again?
LEMON: Marianna. Congratulations, Marianna. You did great. You looked great. And she brought the same energy. That energy you saw with entertainers because people haven't been able to perform. People are -- they just want to get out there and perform. They're excited. And you could hear it. People have been actually -- and I think the entertainers sound best because they haven't been out using their voices, overusing. They've been at home singing in the shower, still doing their exercises but not overusing that voice. And I thought everyone sounded amazing and they brought an energy that you really hadn't seen before because they hadn't been performing in almost a year.
CUOMO: And I loved all the ands. You know, and we are teachers and front line responders and -- it was really all the people that make us who we are when we're at our best. It was accented by the stars, but it wasn't about the stars. It was them singing about the heroes among us. I loved it, loved it, loved it.
LEMON: Should we sing it to the break?
CUOMO: No we don't want to hurt -- after all that. And I'll tell you what, the way he's been critiquing the singers, you know --
LEMON: I've got very high standards.
CUOMO: You'll make Stevie Wonder cry if you're going --
LEMON: Oh, Stevie's amazing.
CUOMO: Oh, now somebody's finally good. I tell you, if you can hear him when these other people are singing, I tell you you'll feel differently.
All right, we're going to take a break. When we come back, these moments matter on a day like today. And here's another one, from our brand-new president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today on this January day my whole soul is in this, bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation and I ask every American to join me in this cause.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: President Joe Biden setting the tone for his administration with a call for unity and empathy. I want you to check out these key moments from his inaugural address.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My fellow Americans, this is America's day. This is democracy's day, a day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve through a crucible for the ages America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge.
Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause, the cause of democracy. The people -- the will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded. We've learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile, and at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.
Few people in our nation's history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we're in now. Once in a century virus that silently stalks the country. It's taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed.
A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. A cry for survival comes from planning itself. A cry that can't be any more desperate or any more clear now.
The rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront, and we will defeat.
On another January on New Year's Day in 1863 Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. When he put pen to paper the president said, and I quote, if my name ever goes down into history, it'll be for this act and my whole soul is in it. My whole soul is in it today on this January day, my whole soul is in this bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation and I ask every American to join me in this cause.
[04:40:00] And so today at this time in this place let's start afresh, all of us. Let's begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another. Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war, and we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.
Here we stand looking out on the great mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream. Here we stand where 108 years ago at another inaugural thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote, but today we mark the swearing in of the first woman in American history elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris. Don't tell me things can't change.
Here we stand across the Potomac from Arlington Cemetery where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace and here, we stand, just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen. It will never happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever!
We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility and if we're willing to stand in the other person's shoes, as my mom would say, just for a moment, stand in their shoes. Because here's the thing about life, there's no accounting for what fate can deal you. Some days when you need a hand, there are other days when we're called to lend a hand. That's how it has to be. That's what we do for one another.
My fellow Americans, I close the day where I began, with the sacred oath. Before god and all of you, I give you my word. I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution. I'll defend our democracy. I'll defend America and I will give all, all of you, keep everything I do in your service thinking not of power but of possibilities, not of personal interest but of the public good.
LEMON: So let's discuss this and more. Our political commentators are back, Angela Rye, Hilary Rosen, and Amanda Carpenter. Good to see all of you again. So, look, if we don't -- Angela f we don't discuss now what has been happening in the country over the past five years, really, and over, you know, the past two weeks, when are we going to discuss it? I mean, the president explicitly calling out white supremacy this afternoon. That's not something that you usually hear in an inaugural address. Important.
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, it is important, but I think what's even more important is getting past the discussion and resisting the urge, I think, as Amanda said so eloquently earlier, to rush to the healing and forget how we got to the brokenness. The fact that this country was built upon the brokenness. I can't help but to reflect on the fact that on this same day that the first black person and the first woman was sworn in to be the Vice President of these United States.
Was also the same day that Hiram Revels, who was the first black person elected to Congress to the United States Senate in Mississippi in 1870 was also -- you know, also became a U.S. Senator. And what happened with him is there were white supremacists who fought his -- the validity of his election because they questioned his citizenship. So these are things that are rooted in the foundation of this country.
And I bring it up not to say that we're in the same place that we were in 1870 but, Don, we're not so far. And if we continue to build up pride about the fact that, you know, we've come so far, and remember when Barack Obama was elected. All of a sudden, we were post racial. By all of these things we have come far but we have not come far enough. And if we don't reckon with that.
If we don't deal with that, we cannot get to healing. I appreciate what Joe Biden had to say, right? Like given whose shoes he's following, he's talking about standing in somebody's shoes. He's talking about standing in someone shoes who could not bear to be at his inauguration. Right? So to have to repair all of that damage, I understand the position he's in. But woe unto us if we follow the exact same steps that we were in even with Barack Obama.
I remember so many of us thinking that George W. Bush was the worst it could get and then we got Donald Trump. So we will find ourselves in the same exact position in four years if we don't really deal with the fact there are people grieving all over this country because they lost loved ones in a very preventable way to COVID. If we don't deal with the fact that George Floyd said he can't breathe just like Eric Garner said he can't breathe. We have to deal with the repetitive nature of the brokenness in this country and the fact that it will continue to resurface if we brush over it.
LEMON: Hilary, listen I think Angela brings up a very good point where she said he's following in the footsteps of a person who couldn't even stand to be at his inauguration. Why couldn't he? Because he claimed that the election was stolen. Who stole it? Black people in large black cities and populations in urban areas. So, I mean, that's not a dog whistle, right?
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And let's be clear, that's exactly what they think.
LEMON: Yes. Yes. So Biden -- listen, it's one thing for him to call out white supremacy but, again, as Angela said, what can he actually do about it as president? Go on, Hilary.
ROSEN: Well look, I appreciate Joe Biden's desire to be the president for all-Americans, but look, some Americans deserve right now to be at the front of the line. Like black people deserve to be at the front of the line. You know, frontline workers and the people who have been keeping our economy alive and delivering our food and taking care of our communities while we've been home, they deserve to be at the front of the line. You know, every single job that was lost last month was lost by a low
income woman, a majority of them women of color. They deserve to be at the front of the line. So I think that while we want President Biden to unify and be everybody's president, there's got to be a recognition that people deserve -- some people deserve more right now and need more right now and there are things that the government can do not just by example but actually by policy to help.
LEMON: Amanda, how do you think what Hilary just said is going to go over with the -- you know, this administration that's not looking out for you, they're trying to silence you. You know what I'm talking about. They are trying to lump you all in as white supremacists. They're -- you know, they're not looking out for the real American. How do you think that's going to go over with that crowd that Hilary just said, even though a lot of it rings true, most all of it rings true as to what she said?
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first I'd be remiss not to acknowledge Angela's praise she's given me. I don't deserve it, Angela. I appreciate it. I don't deserve it. The things I've said is literally the least I could do.
But I think we have to reflect on this idea of unity that Joe Biden is pushing, rightfully so, our nation needs it, and how bad actors are trying to disqualify that term. I've seen a lot of people say, oh, well if Joe Biden wants unity, he shouldn't talk about things that make me uncomfortable, right? Like don't talk about right-wing terrorism. Don't talk about white supremacy if you want unity. Don't talk about a minimum wage hike if you want unity.
And the agreement about unity is that we are united on basic values. Things like every vote counts. Things like a president won't engage in 24/7 character assassination. That we won't constantly question each other's motives and engage in the politics of personal destruction. That's what unity means. We can debate policy, but if we want unity we have to stare into the heart of the Capitol and see what happened. I don't know how we can look away from that. I mean yes, I remember the discussions back in like 2009 when I think Janet Napolitano is at DHS and she was trying to -- someone there is trying to raise an alert about the rise of lone wolf, right-wing extremists. And a lot of conservatives and even including myself took that personally.
LEMON: She had to retract it and even apologize in some ways.
Yes. Yes. Say they were attacking veterans and you can't do this, and they were right. It has been on the slow burn. And so once you see facts that change reality, once it's staring at you in the face, I don't think you can look away. And if that makes people uncomfortable, so be it.
LEMON: Yes. All right, guys, I have to run. Thank you all. I appreciate it.
Chris you remember when I said a couple of years ago, I got excoriated by -- you remember when I talked about the number one threat? Yes. Crazy.
CUOMO: But that was the nexus of ignorance and arrogance.
CUOMO: Because you weren't saying something that you had developed on your own.
LEMON: I was saying what the FBI was saying.
CUOMO: That's exactly right. And it just didn't meet the perception. But I will say this. You know, it's good Amanda having the humility in face of praise is always nice, but she's also part right, it is the moment. I'm telling you if you don't hear from your own side and you are not worried about your own side, there is very little impetus for change in partisan politics.
LEMON: I've got to get to the break. We've got to get to the break.
CUOMO: That was a huge point.
LEMON: I know, I think it's great. But I've got to get to the break.
CUOMO: Obviously not.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
LEMON: So here we are. Momentous day, momentous time in our country. Let's see if we can fix what happened last time and make it better with this administration.
CUOMO: The grind is the glory. The promise is there. We must do the work and we will do our jobs. I know we promised that to you.
All right. So let's see where we go. You don't go anywhere. CNN's coverage continues with the A team.
LEMON: No way!
CUOMO: John Berman.
LEMON: And Alisyn Camerota.
CUOMO: Alisyn Camerota on the best named morning show for today. "NEW DAY."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARTH BROOKS, SINGER: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me I once was lost ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I will be a president for all-Americans. And I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So help me god.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's so many firsts. One of them is the fact she is the first female Vice President.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Joe Biden signing 15 executive actions and two agency actions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you are President Biden you want to signal right away that you want to set a different standard, a different tone, a different direction than his predecessor and he does that with an executive order.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was not just a transfer of power. It was a profound change of attitude among real suffering and fear and concern in the country.
ANNOUNCER: This is "NEW DAY" with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is "NEW DAY." It is Thursday, January 21st, 5:00 here in New York.
President Biden is waking up.