tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN July 29, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. coming to you live from detroit, michigan, the site of cnn's democratic presidential debates. and for all intents and purposes, let's be honest, the center of the political universe right now. it's great to be here. we're going to have much more on all of that in just a moment. but first, we're going to begin with some breaking news. a deadly mass shooting in california at a food festival in
gilroy, about an hour from san francisco. three people are dead, including a 6-year-old boy. 12 ears were injured. a gunman is also dead. and here's how eyewitnesses described the chaos. >> i thought i was going to die. >> reporter: what did you do? >> i went under a table. >> reporter: and you stayed there? >> yeah, until they -- until the police got them. >> i seen him shooting everyone and it just looked like he wanted to shoot everyone. >> he was just walking and aiming and walking and shooting, but he was kind of like aiming at -- he was just shooting everywhere. >> an officer killed the shooter about a minute after he opened fire. that's according to police. there is a news conference scheduled for a couple hours from now. but the biggest question that is likely not going to be answered is the most important one, which is why. right now, let's focus on the
victims. cnn's is in gilroy. one of them was just 6 years old. what are you hearing about him and the other victims? >>. >> that's right, steeven steven. you're talking about families, 100,000 people that would show up for this festival. this was sunday, obviously, this was a family at at the festival. this festival is a quintessential part of the summertime here in northern california. a lot of folks know it and love it. families were out just trying to enjoy themselves. and we should point out the timing of all of this. police say they were able to engage the shooter within one minute. but in that one minute, as you hear those rounds going off so quickly, he was able to kill three people and injure 12
others. in that one minute span of time. so many families screaming and worrying, so many people in shock and felt terror at those moments in that one minute when he was able to shoot at innocent in the crowd. we should also mention that people are still at the hospital. we understand that the mother of that 6-year-old who was killed was also shot, according to her family members, in the hand and in the stomach. she still remains in the hospital. i want you to hear from the grandmother of 6-year-old steven romaro. she talks about her grandson, she talks about her grief. >> this is really hard. there's no words to describe, because he was such a happy kid, you know. i don't think that this is fair. i just wish that they get the people who did it.
>> reporter: such a happy kid. hear from her and hear her shock. you hear that she had also been able to see him and how disturbed they are, especially since his mother and his grandmother, his other grandmother, both hit by gunfire, according to the grandmother there. we should also mention there were witnesses talking about children actually saving and helping other children, a 10-year-old saving her brother or sister, putting that child underneath a table to keep that child away from the gunfire. these are children experiencing what happens in war. a horrible day here in gilroy. >> just horrific, sara. some witnesses talking about the bounce house that children were playing in. just really chilling. what a family friendly wonderful gathering that this was, just shattered by yet another horrific mass shooting. the question why endures over all of this. sara, thank you so much.
at the very same time as we lift up and remember the victims, there is also aman hunt that is under way for a second suspect that police believe was involved in the shooting. for more on that, joining me now is cnn law enforcement analyst josh campbell. josh, what do you make of the possibility that there was an accomplice here? the gunman is dead. what do you make of this? >> this certainly puts law enforcement in a difficult spot, because as we heard yesterday from authorities, there was an eyewitness accounts that there was policy a second person that was involved. i can tell you having studied these past incidents, there's almost never a second shooter, but nevertheless, when authorities have people telling them there may be someone else involved, they have to investigate that. they're trying to investigate did this person act alone. that is one phase of the investigation. what you can't see behind me right now as we pan down is just a few minutes ago they started pushing us back, authorities.
we saw a more robust presence. you can see down there the fbi's emergency response team vehicle and a lot of personnel down there meeting right now, getting ready to continue to process the scene. again, just a flurry of activity that we've seen in about the last 20 minutes. this is a forensics investigation. law enforcement officers want to account for every single round that occurred here. they want to talk to witnesses and gather as much evidence as they can, both to get to the motive of why the person did what he did and then also, as we mentioned before, rule out whether this person came here alone or there was evidence that someone else may have been involved. >> absolutely. at this point, what is your biggest question right now that you would hope to be learning from officials when they give their next update to the public this afternoon, josh? >> so what i would want to know is what they're finding associated with the subject, his social media, perhaps anything at his residence that may have indicated why he did what he did. i was just over there at the father's house. we saw a number of police vehicles that were there on the
scene. we don't know if the family is cooperating or what information they're providing. we understand the law enforcement presence, that will be a key scene for them to gather evidence and get this that person's mind set. this is a festival that's been here for four decades. it's an important part of the community. the thing we want to know is did the person come here trying to target someone or indiscriminately trying to kill people. we hope to learn more from law enforcement at a press conference here in a couple of hours, kate. >> and josh, actually as you were just speaking i was told from the control room and i'm looking down at my email, that two law enforcement officials have now identified the suspect in the gilroy shooting to cnn. he has been identified by investigators as santino william legan, 19 years old. that's from two law enforcement officials telling cnn, and also the reporting this morning cnn spotted multiple cars at the home of his father who lives in
gilroy, california as well, josh. >> exactly. we just cleared that reporting. again, the naming the subject here, the shooter. what's going to be important for law enforcement as they move forward, we've already heard from them. they're imploring the public if you have any tips on this person, if you saw anything here at the festival or if you know about him in general, they want to hear from you. so the fact that we're able to provide the name and there are people out there that know the subject, that know what may have been motivating him, law enforcement certainly wants to hear from them. a 19-year-old. one other question with his age is we want to know about the weaponry. how did he get his hands on it? that will be a key part of this investigation as well. the weapon of war that he used to come and slaughter people here in california. >> and then we will be hearing an update from law enforcement in the next couple of hours. we'll obviously be bringing that to you when that happens. josh is on the ground for us. josh, thank you so much. really appreciate your reporting on this. >> a few minutes ago, president trump was speaking at an event and he also spoke about the
shooting. listen to this. >> while families were spending time together at a local festival, a wicked murderer opened fire and killed three innocent citizens, including a young child. we grieve for their families and we ask that god will comfort them with his overflowing mercy and grace. we're praying for those who are recovering right now in the hospital. >> we'll have much more on that coming up, as we also know the 2020 democratic presidential candidates are also weighing in. athena jones is here with that. what are you hearing from the candidates on this? >> hi, kate. well, another sad story is shaping the conversation at this debate a few days out. we have candidates who have been responding since last night. we are also talking about thoughts and prayers but action. so vice president biden tweeted this violence is not normal.
how many more families will have to lose a love one. our thoughts are with everyone in gilroy this morning. enough is enough. kamala harris tweeted simply horrific. i'm grateful to the first responders who were on the scene in gilroy and my thoughts are with that community tonight. our country has a gun violence epidemic that we cannot tolerate. and bernie sanders tweets this is sickening to wake up to. when our children are being shot in places that should be safest, let's get serious about gun control. much like the first debate in miami, we can expect the events of the day to shape the conversation on shape a couple of nights ago. in miami it had to do with immigration, the father and his young daughter who died crossing the border. and now it's going to be giving the candidates a chance to talk about their thoughts on gun control. there is broad support for things like universal background checks, banning assault weapons and we know that gun control is
important to democratic voters. you may remember a few months ago there was a compelling emotional moment where beto o'rourke was visiting a classroom and he heard from a young student who was fearful for her life. she said i'm afraid i'm going to go to school one day and not come home. so this is important to candidates and some have put out ambitious plans. cory booker wants to make it a requirement that you have a license like a driver's license or a passport. you need to be finger printed and interviewed and have some sort of gun safety course. kamala harris wants to have what she calls near universal background checks for any gun dealer that sells five or more guns a year would have to conduct a background check. so this is going to give them a chance to talk about their plans and the need for gun control if this country. >> and where they will draw a very clear, as a group and individually very clear distinction against president trump and where things stand on this issue and many others. athena, thank you so much. i appreciate it. coming up for us, senator
kamala harris is once again trying to -- is explaining her health care plan and in doing so also clearing up confusion surrounding her position on health care. does the new medicare for all plan that she's just rolling out today, does that plan do that? the campaign is joining me here live. plus, a massive backlash, but no apologies right now. the president is tripling down at this point on his attack against democratic congressman elijah cummings and the city of baltimore. stay with us as we count down the cnn presidential debate live from detroit, michigan.
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we are live from detroit. ahead of the democratic debates here on cnn. they begin tomorrow night, and they show down over health care could very likely be front and center as kamala harris is unveiling her plan for universal coverage. she is calling for medicare for all with a role for private insurance. this comes after months, really, of somewhat mixed messages and some confusion from the california senator on whether she -- on where she stood on
full medicare for all, and the role of private health insura e insurance. cnn kyung lah is joining me now. what's in the plan that kamala harris has laid out for us? >> before i get to that i want to show you quickly what's happening here. we're in a section of detroit. this is an area where there are quite a few small businesses. you can take a look at the inside picture. she's smiling and ordering coffee cake, having tea, and really just taking a break from debate prep. this is the same morning that she rolled out a new health care plan, and to get to some of those questions, kate, what she is putting in black and white, she is putting in ink is a plan
that scales up the current medicare system. it is a plan that puts her squarely between joe biden and bernie sanders. this plan that harris has rolled out involved traditional medicare. it's a program that we all refer to as the government program, but it also leaves a roll for private insurance. now, currently there is a private insurance program that approximately a third of medicare enrollees can buy into. it's called medicare advantage. she wants to scale that up. this is definitely a difference from bernie sanders, who wants to eliminate private insurance. the second thing that harris is pointing to is that she wants to expand the transition time. under the sanders plan, it is a four-year period before his medicare for all would go into place. she believes it will take at least ten yers in order for a smooth transition. and the third part of her plan, no middle class tax hike. it is something that she said on cnn that she would not do. she does not want to tax
families who make less in their household of $100,000. anyone who makes above that would be subject to a progressive tax, kate. we are anticipating that senator harris, after she comes out of this very packed coffee shop, will be taking some questions about exactly why she decided to roll it out a day before this debate. certainly, the optics here are that she wants to play offense and wants to put these questions to rest. >> all right. we'll see if she takes questions. always great and we'll be right there. thanks so much. this is a big moment for kamala harris and joining me right now to talk about what's going to be playing out over the next couple of days in her home state of michigan. congresswoman debbie dinkle. it's great to have you here. medicare for all and what we heard kyung is laying out that kamala harris is laying out.
what do you think of harris' plan in terms of keeping a role for private insurance, promising that she won't be raising taxes on the middle class? do you think that is possible? >> so first of all, i haven't read the details of the plan, but what i'm hearing, look, you've got to have a vision. i am co-chair of the medicare for all in the house. it's been a dingell family priority for decades. but if you don't have vision, you're not going to get there. so the medicare for all plan we have in the house would keep a role for private insurance. it sounds like we are similar in that. i want to put all the stake holders at the table and develop a plan that's going to work. so i want to look at what she's saying and when all the candidates are up there and everybody says is there a role for private insurance, i want to make shem. because you're in a state where we've had very good private insurance. the autos have always had the cadillac of insurance plans and
people don't want to lose that. but what people are forgetting is if you're a salaried employee for what we call oems, one of gm, ford or chrysler, you lose your health care at 65. you're no longer guaranteed it. and people forget that in 2008 the auto companies have become health care providers that happen to make cars on the side. >> so you're saying that all of them could be right, the bernie sanders vision and the kamala harris vision? >> we've got to sit down at the table and put every stake holder there and get a plan that actually works. it took 20 years to get medicare. >> that's why it's interesting as it relates to the debates. do you want this debate to be -- do you want this to be what is debated over the next couple of nights? because everyone agrees, it seems to me on the stage, generally they want to provide for coverage at a lower cost, if possible, to americans. a very different vision than donald trump. but they're going to be -- but you have joe biden without saying her name calling the idea
of not raising taxes as part of this plan a fantasy land. there are going to be -- there is a fight over this. >> so i think that every one of us, every american should want quality affordable health care for every person. we're on the only industrialized nation in the world that does not guarantee every one of its citizens health care. and the straight competitiveness of it, our companies are competing in a global marketplace where other companies don't have to pay that cost. >> would you call it a fantasy land, though? >> no, because i'm not going to call it -- i think we're going to save money through certain things. people are not going to be paying as much for their health care plan, but i think people overall are going to find that the costs are less and i think we need to stop calling names and really say, hey, we all want every american to have quality affordable health care and how are we going to keep working towards that goal.
>> so what are michigan voters looking for? you are one of the few people that predicted that president trump was likely to win michigan in 2016. you saw and heard his appeal to working class voters in your state. do you hear anything that -- that was '16. looking at 2020, do you hear anything different in 2020 that democrats are going to fare any better here now? >> 2018, a lot of people were worried. we elected a democratic ticket up and down and an all-woman ticket. i think you're going to talk about mccomb county the next couple of days. down river are like that county and they've got a lot of hard working people. the economy is doing better. as democrats, we've got to show them that we care about them and trade deals that have shipped their jobs to mexico. that we care that they're competing with mexico that pays $1.50. general motors but a blazer
plant in mexico last august. they're paying $1.50 an hour. that's not a level playing field. they want to know that we're going to fight to level the playing field for them. they care about their pensions. we've worked a lifetime and they wanted to have a safe and secure retirement. >> how does the next element play into this? you're talking about democrats need to be talking about. president trump going after congressman elijah cummings, continuing the attack today. i heard you say about his tweets over the weekend that this has made you angrier than you've been in a long time. why is that? >> you know, i respect the office of the president and i've said that and i've said i would work with him if he was going to do something to help the people in my district. but last week when he went after not just the squad, he was going after arab americans and muslims and i've got kids in schools who are afraid someone is going to come to their home in the middle of the night and they're not going to see their parents again. and now we're going after one of
the major cities in this country and calling it a rat hole. his job is to unite us, not to divide us. and he is dividing us. >> but dividing, especially racial division, we are hearing seems very clearly his strategy. there's a great reporting in the "washington post" that they think this is working for them. what do you say to that? >> i want to say can all of us look in our hearts and think about who we are. is that who we want to be as americans? we've got to look at what our democracy stands for and look at our pledge of allegiance. and i hope some of us are going to start looking in our hearts and really thinking about is that who we want to be. and i'm not afraid to stand up and say i'm not for that. >> and very quickly to republicans who have not stood up and our republican colleagues that are not standing up on this attack to defend elijah cummings? >> i have said to many of them how can you keep standing on the said. paul mitchell, one of my colleagues from michigan had the courage to speak up two weeks ago. and he's leaving. and we've got to stay and fight. we've got to stay and fight for the soul of america.
and i'll work with the president if it's going to help my people. but if you're going to divide this country, you're going to encourage hatred and fear and poison, i'm taking you on. >> congresswoman, thank you very much for being here. i'm real looking forward to what you think of the debates and how they speak to michigan voters over the next couple nights. >> thank you. >> coming up for us, senator bernie sanders already coming out and slamming the harris health care plan as she rolled it out today. the harris campaign is responding. her national press secretary joining me live next, here in detroit. ♪upbeat music
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welcome back to "at this hour" live from detroit, michigan, ahead of the big cnn presidential debates. before the break, we were talking about senator kamala harris's new medicare for all plan she rolled out this morning that includes a role for private insurance. bernie sanders campaign already coming out very critical of the plan. i want to bring in ian sands. he's the press secretary for the kamala harris campaign. thank you so much for being here. >> absolutely. >> i think the best place to start is where it was left off with bernie sanders campaign manager. he was on just this morning with
my colleague, poppy harlow. listen to this. >> she started with supporting bernie sanders' medicare for all as a plan, and so we appreciated that. now she has moved away from it. unfortunately, i think we've seen two major changes. one is, she's decided she would like to privatize medicare. obviously that introduces more corporate greed and profit-seeking into the medicare program. that's dangerous for medicare in general. the second thing she says she wants to do is phase this in over ten years. no, not in one person or two perms, but that you would have to wait for ten years for people who have been struggling. >> ian, what do you say to that? >> a few things. one, kamala harris from the beginning has supported medicare for all. she supported knit the senate and started this campaign and supports it today. what's changed is the fact that she's gone around this country over the last six months and heard anxieties and concerns
from voters. people worried am i going to lose private insurance, how is this going to work. and what she's done has been directly responsive to those people and consulted with experts in putting together her own plan to get us to medicare for all. which experts are saying this morning is the best path to get us to medicare for all. so i think it's just important to remember what this plan is going to do is tell every single american you can have access to comprehensive health benefits, doctor visits, er visits, reproductive health care, vision, dental, hearing aids for seniors. all of these things are going to happen. we're also not going to ban private insurance companies from offering a plan on the medicare system just like we have today. a third ofd seniors get their health insurance today through a private plan. so we're going to let people have an option, do you want to be on the public medicare for all for all or if a company that can offer a better plan that's competitive, we'll let you have that choice. >> one thing very strongly you heard from bernie sanders' campaign manager is essentially saying that kamala is in the
pocket of the pharmaceuticals and insurance industry. he said that almost outright to poppy on this. how do you want to respond? >> it's just total nonsense. >> why do you think this is coming at you from sanders campaign? >> i would welcome senator sanders to read it and sponsor it himself. >> is she still a co-sponsor on his bill. >> absolutely. >> is she going to withdraw. >> no, she supports a number of legislative measures in the senate to help improve access to care. this is her plan if he's president of the united states how her vision to implement medicare for all would be. >> that's not convictry? >> no, the sanders support contradictory, i don't think so. i think all the senators agree we need to move toward universal coverage and lower costs. we have different ideas how to get there. i think it's important in the process of rolling out the plans
we're straightforward about what it's going to do and we're responsive to the real anxieties americans have. because no issue is more personal to people than their health care. having a rigid approach isn't the right way to make sure people are getting the care they need. >> are you saying that the standards proposal is a fantasy land? because joe biden is suggesting that the idea that middle class americans aren't going to have to pay increased tax sincerely a fantasy land. >> two points on that. first i think it's important we listen to voters on what their anxieties are. it's responsive to some of the real concerns that people have. i encourage the sanders campaign to look at that. on the issue of cost, what she has said and proposed is that families making as little as $29,000 a year will have to pay an extra 4% tax to help pay for this, which she's saying that that's too much of a burden. i'm going to raise the threshold to $100,000 and i'm going to make up the difference for a
wall street trade tax. >> one thing sanders campaign is saying, they've taken a pledge we're not going to take money from the industry. kamala harris has taken some money from the pharmaceutical industry? is she going to join them in that? >> sanders also took some money from the pharmaceutical companies before he gave it back. and senator harris is not taking any money from pharmaceutical executives. i think that blurs the line of what the issue is. >> everyone the laying out their plans, but the standards campaign came out really hard and fast after you laid out this plan. welcome to the big leagues. but do you think it's a cheap shot or do you think this is a true difference of position on policy position? >> frankly, i think that they were attacking the plan before they read the plan. it came out and within an hour they were attacking it. it's unlikely they had a chance to dive into the details. i don't think senator sanders has had a chance to dive into the details. when he does, i think what they will see is this is a common sense approach to medicare for all that gets everybody covered with real options for people and
a transition period that people can feel comfortable that this is a plan that's going to work for our country. we want to make sure this is done right. it's not about setting an arbitrary deadline. it's about making the american people comfortable throughout this process and ensuring that it works for people. not just am arbitrary deadline. >> let's see how it plays out. thank you so much for coming on. >> thanks. looking forward to the week. >> we're going to talk about that off camera. the cnn democrat presidential debates, they start tomorrow with ten candidates, including bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. that is tomorrow tonight. all of it begins 8:00 p.m. eastern, only on cnn. president trump ramping up his attacks on the city of baltimore and democratic congressman elijah cummings and other black leaders. so are racist attacks now just par for the course in the president's reelection strategy? we will discuss that next. [alarm beeping]
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president trump is showing no sign of backing down or reversing course on what appears clearly now is his political strategy for reelection. racial division. this morning his target continues to be democratic congressman elijah cummings and the city of baltimore, calling cummings racist and saying the city is a rodent infested mess, and also one where no human being would want to live there. that is his tweet from the weekend. we've seen this from the president before, singling out democratic members of congress of color. we've also seen the republican
responses to this before. silence. but here's what's different with this episode. elijah cummings has come to the defense of republicans earlier. earlier this year republican congressman mark meadows was accused of racism and elijah cummings was the chair of that committee and this is how he responded then. >> mr. meadows, you know of all the people on this committee, i've said it and gotten in trouble for it, that you're one of my best friends. i know that shocks a lot of people. >> and likewise, mr. chairman. >> yeah, you are. and i can see and feel your pain. i feel it. and i don't think ms. tlaib intended to cause you that. >> cummings publicly sticking his neck out for meadows.
meadows is a close ally of the president and one of the most conservative members of congress. is mark meadows going to do the same and return the favor? here is the host of the van jones show and the former democratic congressman of illinois, cnn commentator. let's say where mark meadows has left off. the silence of republicans is not surprising. we have seen this and sometimes it takes a couple of days for people to come out. but mark meadows was at an event and did not respond to questions at the white house on this very topic. what do you say? >> look, elijah cummings is the definition of a class act. part of why i think people are so outraged is because he is such an extraordinary leader and a good human being. and listen, you can roll tape of elijah cummings doing heroic courageous stuff until the debates tomorrow.
>> is there something different this time, though, because you said this is something republicans aren't going to be able to ignore this time. >> i'm just building it up to say mark meadows, he owes elijah cummin cummings an act of courage and class. elijah cummings made no friends in the democratic party sticking up for mark meadows. it's time for him to do the same thing. it says more about mark meadows' character than anything else. >> we'll wait and see. let's watch his twitter feed. congressman, donald trump thinks that works. look back, infested is a word that he has used often about other cities and often majority black cities. do you think the president is trying to change the subject with this or do you think that racial division really is just a plank of his political campaign? can it be a combination of both? >> i think it's both things,
right. the president of the president of the united states cannot spend one day when he isn't the central part of the news, right. and he will use whatever tactic he needs to use in order to keep himself. but at the same time, feeding a base of voters. let's remember, i mean, this president of the united states was elected by a huge vast majority of white voters in the united states. he knows that, he understands that. he understand how he won pennsylvania, how he won michigan and wisconsin. it wasn't trying to build a broad-based coalition. but i think that meadows and other members of the republican party have a debt to the american people. they were not simply elected to represent their districts. they were elected to represent us all. but they will never put their -- they will never put their self interest in their own reelection, they'll always put that before the american people. >> a lot of politicians would do
that, though. i wouldn't say it's an issue as, pun intended, black and white as this. but i would say putting their reelection in front of a lot of stuff we see from a lot of people. >> the political class in this country is in the toilet and swirling and going down. nobody expects the political class to do what's right. but you expect men of character and women of character to stick up for their friend. and this is not about politics for me. when your friends are being attacked you stick up. that's what mark meadows should do for elijah cummings. >> the question for you guys is what do democrats do about it this time? my colleague is doing some great reporting out of mccomb county, michigan. important because mccomb, county, went for obama, went for trump in 2016. here's what one independent voter told her, a white male voter. i'll take progress over a few words that are said here and there. the guy says stupid things, but as long as things are going good -- >> i think democrats do have to
be very careful. there are two things that trump does. he does this thing before he discriminates and divides and we react to that. that's actually the cherry on top of a bigger cake of distract and destroy. by having us talk about whether or not he is a racist at all means that we're not talking about a bunch of issues that might appeal to the working class of all colors. >> if democrats focus on that? >> in other words, he's not losing. if we say trump is a racist, yes, he is, no, he's not. what we're pointing out is he's in court right now today trying to make medical protection away from people with previously existing conditions. his party is refusing to defend the country from attacks by russia. >> so with that, what do people do on the debate stage? >> i want to see democrats on the debate stage do exactly what van jones was just talking about. i believe that we need to stick
to the issues the same way we took back the majority in november of 2018. and i have to tell you, when i saw all those commercials about health care, and preexisting conditions, i said to myself what's wrong with my party. guess what? they knew exactly where to stay and they stayed on the issue of health care, they stayed on the issue of economic disparity that exists in this country. and guess what? it worked. that's what people want us to talk about. >> let's see the lessons of 2018 if they're learned in 2020. the advice is apparently listen only to van jones and you'll do well. great to see you guys. still to come for us, president trump nominating republican congressman to replace the director of national intelligence, dan coats. why democrats say that is a problem. that's next. no cover-up spray here. cheaper aerosols can cover up odors in a flowery fog. but febreze air effects eliminates odors. with a 100% natural propellent. it leaves behind a pleasant scent you'll love. [deep inhale]
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president trump picks a loyal foot soldier to be the nation's next spy chief. dan coats is out, and now republican congressman john ratcliffe of texas is nominated to be the next director of national intelligence. the president announcing that on twitter. and it immediately set the stage for what could be a bruising and partisan confirmation battle on capitol hill for ratcliffe. critics arguing that he is too partisan and lacks the credentials for the job. ratcliffe last week made quite a name for himself with his questioning of robert mueller. listen. >> i agree with the chairman this morning when he said donald trump is not above the law. he's not. but he damn sure shouldn't be below the law which is why volume 2 of this report puts him. >> here's an interesting bit about that. cnn's kaitlin collins is now reporting that president trump was so impressed with that performance that he deemed him a warrior and from that decided that is who he wanted for the
dni job. joining me right now is former republican congressman and governor from south carolina mark sanford. he is also considering a run for 2020. congressman, thanks for being here. i do want to get your reaction to this move in general from the president. kaitlin collins reporting about the ratcliffe decision that folks around the president actually didn't think he was aggressive enough but then trump was so impressed by his performance in the mueller hearing that he decided that that is when he wanted ratcliffe for the coats job. what does that mean to you? >> what it means to me is that john is going to have big shoes to fill. i think that dan did a spectacular job in that role. i think he had a particular pedigree, both given his time in the senate and, frankly, ambassadorial post there in germany, so he'll have to fill big shoes. that's what it says to me. >> what was -- was it the feeling that you had on the hill
among republicans that hearings and public statements were audition opportunities for other jobs, like we're seeing here with ratcliffe? >> i don't know that that's all that unusual given the dance of how washington really works. there are a lot of auditions taking place on a daily basis up there. i think what's unusual, though, about trump is the way he's taken it to the nth degree and it's sort of on steroids relative to how it's been. it's no surprise that he wants people who are loyal to him and loyalty comes first. loyalty is always important. so is confidence. i served with john. john is a competent guy and does have experience both with homeland security and judiciary committee and intel as well. but he's obviously not as seasoned as dan was, given dan's extensive experience in the senate. but it is in that regard what
you would not be surprised by, which is trump wants a loyalist in that post. it has national security implications, though, given -- >> that's what i was going to ask you. do you have any objection to his nomination? >> i wouldn't. i've known john. again, john as far as i'm concerned, he's obviously much more in the trump camp than i am. he's always been a straight shooter in all my dealings with him. what you don't want, though, coming out of intel is flavored reports that bias one perspective over the other. apparently that's some of what got dan into trouble given some of his pushback on the russia front. >> i do want to ask you about what you're doing right now, which is exploring a possible primary challenge to president trump. by our count you're about halfway through the 30 days that you laid out that you would take to make your decision. i mean where are you now? where is your heart? where is your head on this one? >> i'm still talking to a lot of
folks, getting a sense -- it's a jump in, particularly at this - stage of the game. i've been struck by the fact that there is no debate going on within republican circles on debt and deficits and spending, which were historically a linchpin to really what the party was about, this idea of financial prudence or conservatism. i think we've lost our way on that front. i think the president has been particularly dangerous on that front. we take it at face value the fact that we're spending well above where obama was, but republicans would have given president obama the hardest of times with these levels of spending. so i think it's a debate we need to have. whether or not i can help foster that debate i'm exploring here for another couple weeks. >> looking forward to your decision. where are the deficit hawks is a question i think we've all been asking for a little while now. great to see you, thank you very much. >> a bird that's gone excontinuity. >> much more after a quick
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welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king live today from detroit, the site of this week's cnn democratic presidential debates. live to gilroy, california, in just a moment for the latest on a tragic weekend shooting, three killed, 12 injured when a gunman opened fire on the city's annual garlic festival. plus, new predebate plans from two contenders. elizabeth warren offers her thoughts on trade, while kamala harris stokes a new fight over medicare for all. and a treat for me right here in detroit, lunch with four undecided african-american voters. they weigh in on the president's repeated attacks on democrats of color and they share their takes on the 2020 democrats and what it will take to win their votes. >> i've got