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tv   State of the Union With Jake Tapper  CNN  September 27, 2020 6:00am-7:01am PDT

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♪ filling the seat. president trump makes his supreme court pick official. >> it is my honor to nominate judge amy coney barrett. >> setting off a major battle in the senate over judge barrett's record. but with a republican majority, is she all but confirmed? i'll speak to house speaker nancy pelosi, republican senator tom cotton, and democratic senator joe manchin. and one on one. with two days until the first presidential debate, democratic nominee joe biden prepares for an unpredictable opponent. biden's wife and closest adviser tells me how he's getting ready to face trump.
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>> they're going to see what a president looks like. >> my exclusive interview with former second lady jill biden, next. plus, fighting for power. an extraordinary threat weeks before the vote. president trump refuses to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. >> there won't be a transfer, frankly. there will be a continuation. >> is the u.s. headed for a constitutional crisis? hello. i'm jake tapper in washington where the state of our union is bracing ourselves. yesterday evening just 38 days before election day, president trump announced his pick to replace justice ruth bader ginsburg on the u.s. supreme court. judge amy coney barrett, a respected legal scholar, favorite of conservatives and a former law clerk for the late justice antonin scalia. >> she is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials and unyielding
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loyalty to the constitution. >> the nomination of judge barrett, which could ensure the most conservative court in decades, came just over one week after the death of justice ginsburg. but republicans say they have no time to waste as they plan to hold confirmation hearings beginning on october 12th and a full senate vote on the nomination just days before the presidential election on november 3rd. democrats immediately expressed their opposition to both, that rapid push to confirm a justice so close to the election as well as opposition to the potential justice herself who democrats say could help overturn the affordable care act and roe v. wade. just this morning the president said that judge barrett's past actions and rulings suggest that she may be in the category from his previous pledge to put justices on the court who will, quote, automatically overturn roe v. wade. but it is unclear how democrats could stop a republican senate majority from confirming judge barrett to the court. joining me now to discuss, house speaker nancy pelosi. speaker pelosi, thanks so much for joining us. take a listen to judge barrett
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yesterday. >> if the senate does me the honor of confirming me, i pledge to discharge the responsibilities of this job to the very best of my ability. i never imagined that i would find myself in this position. but now that i am, i assure you that i will meet the challenge with both humility and courage. >> judge barrett graduated first in her class. she clerked at the supreme court. she earned unanimous endorsements from her fellow law clerks and law professors in 2017. now, i understand you disagree with her views. but isn't judge barrett qualified to be on the supreme court? >> well, that will be up to the senate to decide when they go through the hearings and the meetings. i'm not into that process. that's a senate function. what i am concerned about is anyone that president trump would have appointed was there to undo the affordable care act. that is why he was in such a hurry. so he could have been in place for the oral arguments which
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begin november 10th. and it doesn't matter what the process is here. what matters is what it means personally to the american people. if you have a pre-existing medical condition, that benefit will be gone. if you are a woman, we'll be back to a time where being a women with a pre-existing medical condition. if your children are on your policy -- your adult children are on your policy, no longer will they be. and if you have seniors in your family who are having long-term care paid for by medicaid, they're going to be pretty soon moving back home and living with you. that may be a wonderful experience, but that's not what this is about. so it's up to the senate to make that judgment and to have that process. i don't know whoever he appointed was going to be there to overturn the affordable care act. but people have to be hopeful.
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this is unfortunate that the president would be so disrespectful and rush into this. but, nonetheless, it's what it is. vote. the antidote to whatever he does is to vote, vote, vote. vote for affordable care, vote for your pre-existing condition, vote for your safety, and vote for your health. >> so you just criticized the president for rushing this. in 2016 you said that republicans were showing, quote, a disrespect for the constitution. you said that judge garland was, goat, owed a vote in the senate. if judge garland was owed a vote, then isn't judge barrett owed one as well? >> well, wait a second. when did justice scalia pass away? >> february. >> yes, february. this is now september. so, the time frame is quite different that this court would go that long a time without a justice. so i don't see any equivalence in what you are presenting. but let me just say about
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justice ginsburg. because she said something that is important for people to know. we are honoring the women of the court. she spoke for the women members. and she talked about someone called beva lockwood who in 1876 who tried to argue before the court, to be a member of the supreme court bar. she was turned down. there were nine justices then, 6-3, because she was a woman. she didn't take it sitting down. she lobbied congress and then congress passed a law that said women who possess the necessary qualifications must be admitted to the supreme court. now here's the point. this is what justice ginsburg said next. is my favorite example of how sometimes the congress is more in tune with changing times and the expansion of the idea of equality than the court is. well, the same thing applies when it comes to the affordable care act.
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vote, vote, vote. whatever they do and rush in to overturn the affordable care act. and that is their purpose, vote, vote, vote. congress can come back. we have to win the house, we have to win the senate and we have to win the white house. >> so you've noted that you think a 6-3 conservative court could hear and overturn obamacare? there is that case one week after the election. are you concerned about justice barrett voting to overturn roe v. wade? is that something that you think is seriously on the table? >> right now what is on the table is a court case that republicans have overturned, wrote the affordable care act. that is the case that is on the table in the supreme court. so that is where my concern is. but let me also say the election is, what, 37 days from now? the next election and the senators have to remember this.
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the next election is 38 days from now. so many of the senators who are up now may not be worried about what overturning affordable care act means to their constituents. but they overturn the pre-existing benefit which they have been trying to do over and over again. they overturn that, they overturn the affordable care act, they will be seeing elections that look exactly like 2018 over and over again. and, again, the power, the public sentiment is everything. lincoln said that. public sentiment is weighing in on this in a very substantial way. >> so in -- >> but nothing matters more to people. it's not what it means in the court or in the congress. it's what it means at the kitchen table of the american people. >> in 2017 democrats were criticized for questioning how judge barrett's catholic faith influences her views from the
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bench. california senator dianne feinstein told barrett at the time the dogma lives loudly within you. you're a catholic. do you think it's appropriate for democratic senators to ask judge barrett about her catholic faith? >> i think it's appropriate for people to ask her about how faithful she would be to the constitution of the united states, whatever her faith. it doesn't matter what her faith is or what religion she believes in. what matters is does she believe in the constitution of the united states. does she believe in the precedent on the supreme court that has upheld the affordable care act? this is, again, directly related to, a major concern of the american people, as it was in 2018. health care, health care, health care. the three most important issues in this election. even more so than in '18 because of the pandemic, which the president has failed to address and caused some of the over
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200,000 deaths, nearly 7 million. in fact, i think it's over 7 million now infected. understand the power of people and their connection to their health care, to their children's health care, to their senior's health care and the rest. republicans in congress don't believe in a public role. they think medicare should wither on the vine. that is their statement. >> so, speaker pelosi, it sounds as though you're almost resigned to the fact that judge barrett will become justice barrett. and you're saying very clearly that your message to viewers right now is vote, vote, vote. vote november 3rd or early voting or whatever. that would seem to suggest that you are not on the program when it comes to individuals like congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez who this week did not rule out this long-shot effort to try to stall the confirmation of judge barrett by
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impeaching attorney general bill barr. now, you haven't ruled it out. >> well, i'm not familiar with what suggestion of the distinguished congresswoman made. the fact is the more the public is aware of what this appointment -- and, by the way, it's not about this justice. it's about any justice he would appoint right now because they were ready within an hour or two of justice ginsburg's passing. they said we're going to have a vote on this. within like two hours. >> but yes or no -- >> so whoever it is is to overturn the affordable care act. >> but yes or no, you're not planning on bringing an impeachment of attorney general barr? >> well, what we're talking about is the price the republican senators will pay if they vote to overturn the pre-existing medical condition, which they've been out to get as well as the president had been out to overturn.
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now i'm not into the process. i'm into the policy. but i do want to point out that they have totally misrepresented their position on this. in fact, you could say they are lying. >> so, before you go, you and secretary of the treasury steven mnuchin have been talking about a covid relief bill. the clock is obviously ticking before everything gets even more partisan around the supreme court hearings. what is the status of your negotiations with mnuchin? and theoretically, would you be willing now to go below $2.2 trillion in order to get a deal? and if you don't get a deal, will you offer that as legislation? >> look, i have been willing to come below $3.4 trillion. we have come all the way down. so i don't know why the press decides that this equivalent for me to come down further while they're not going up any further. so we are having our conversations. when i have a conversation with the administration, it is in good faith. i trust secretary mnuchin to
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represent something that can reach a solution, and i believe we can come to an agreement. however, at some point, the public is going to have to see why 2.2 or now 2.4 perhaps trillion dollars is necessary. because the president's denial of the virus and just resistance to doing anything to crush it has made matters worse in so many ways for restaurants, for small stages around the country, for, again, more money needed for ppp, more money for the airlines and the rest. so we may need more money than that. and we will reveal what that is in a short period of time. >> and if you don't get a deal, you'll offer it as legislation? >> that is definitely a possibility. but i'm hoping for a deal. i'd rather have a deal which puts money in people's pockets than to have a rhetorical argument. but if they do not want to go to that place, if they're not going to meet the needs of the american people, if they're not
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ready to do what is necessary to crush the virus, to honor our heroes, our health care workers, our teachers, our transportation, sanitation, first responders, police and fire. if they don't want to recognize that these people are risking their lives to save lives and now they will lose their jobs to the tune of millions of people, and then unemployment insurance. was that smart in i don't think so. but i think we have a chance to get something done and we want to -- what we will be putting forth is a proffer to say now let us negotiate within a time frame and a dollar amount to get the job done to put money in people's pockets, to honor our heroes and to crush the virus. >> okay. well, best of luck with negotiations, speaker pelosi, thank you so much for joining us this morning. this summer president trump included my next guest on a list of his potential supreme court nominees. joining me now republican
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senator tom cotton from arkansas. democrats are vowing a fight -- senate democrats are vowing a fight. how confident are you that democrats are not going to be able to derail this confirmation before election day? >> good morning, jake. it's good to be back on with you. judge amy coney barrett is an outstandi outstanding jures. i commend the president for yet another excellent nomination to the federal courts. i look forward to voting for judge barrett. the senate will confirm her to the highest court in the land next month. >> so in october. in 2016 you opposed president obama's efforts to fill justice scalia's seat. >> in a few short months, we will have a new president and new senators who can consider the next justice with the full faith of the american people. why would we deny the voters a chance to weigh in, in the makeup of the supreme court? there is absolutely no reason to do so.
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or at least a principled reason to do so. >> so that clip from the senate floor in march 2016 was eight months before the 2016 election. right now we're five weeks out from the election. why was it so important back then to let the voters have a chance to weigh in, in the makeup of the supreme court, but today it's not? >> yeah, jake. it's not so much about the timing but how the voters had spoken. they had delivered a split decision to the president and the senate at the time. they elected barack obama in 2012. they elected me and a lot of others in 2014 as a break in the agenda, most notably on his far left judicial nominees. that's not the case now in. 2018 we had about as clear a national referendum as we could. just one month after the justice kavanaugh confirmation in which democrats threw everything but the kitchen sink at him. they didn't just re-elect a republican majority. they expanded a republican majority. that includes defeating four
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democratic senators who voted against justice kavanaugh re-electing the one democratic senator who voted for him. so it was a clear mandate for a republican senate to continue confirming this president's outstanding judicial nominees. that's what we're going to do with judge barrett next month. >> that is true that that's what happened in the senate, but in the house the american people gave it to the democrats by a fairly overwhelming margin. but, moving on in that same speech from march 2016, you argued that the dramatic ideological differences between justice scalia and president obama's nominee made it all the more necessary to get input from voters. take a listen. >> should justice scalia be replaced by philosophically liberal justice, the implications for the rights of americans and the direction of our nation will be profound. because the law of the land may take such a dramatic turn, the members of this chamber must first get the input of the
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american people on what the direction of our country should be. >> again, that ideological difference certainly exists between the late justice ginsburg and judge barrett. it's perhaps even more of a stark difference, frankly, considering merrick garland was center-left. to apply your 2016 principles, which i'm not sure are any longer operative, shouldn't the american people get the chance to weigh in? polls indicate that that's what the public thinks, that whoever's elected november 3rd should pick the supreme court justice. >> jake, again, we go back to the split decision they had delivered. in 2014 they helped put the brakes on the obama agenda including his traditional nominees. now we are operating under the clear mandate we received in 20818. you know the old political poll, we had an election on this very issue in 2018. and the voters didn't just re-elect a republican majority. they expanded a republican majority, and they defeated
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those democratic senators who voted against brett kavanaugh. i don't think it could be any clearer than that. >> earlier this month after president trump listed you among his potential supreme court candidates, you tweeted, quote, it's time for roe v. wade to go, clearly indicating how you would vote on that key issue. now, president trump said this morning that he has not discussed roe with judge barrett. but he signaled that he thought the court could overturn it with her on the court. do you think judge barrett should follow your example and be similarly forthright and candid with the american people about how she would vote on roe v. wade? >> well, jake, i'm pro-life and i have long believed that roe v. wade was wrongly decided, in part because it took away a vital question for the american people to vote through their congress or their state legislatures. i can't speculate about hypothetical cases that may be
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filed years from now. but judge barrett said the late great justice scalia's view was her own. but rather to uphold the constitution and the law as it is written. that's exactly what i expect her to do. >> i know, but i guess the question is, like, you were honest about your position on this, it's kind of this weird part of american judicial kabuke that they pretend that they've never talked about or thought about roe v. wade, which is obviously a very significant piece of legislation, whether you're for it or against it. >> don't you think she should just be as honest as you are and say i oppose roe v. wade? >> the big difference between me and most of the people on the president's list is that i'm not a judge, i'm not a sitting judge, i'm not bound by their
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oath on political ethics. now, one way we could have this conversation is if joe biden would release his list of potential nominees. he hasn't done that i suspect because they would be radical left-wing activists that obviously wouldn't just uphold the right to abortion but uphold a right to taxpayer-funded abortion up to the last moment before birth or even after it. joe biden ought to put his name in the supreme court out for the public to assess them. i suspect he won't because it will reveal just how radical the democrats have become on this question. >> as i have said before in the name of transparency, i think biden should put out a list and i think donald trump should release his tax returns. president trump declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he should lose in november. i want to play our viewers what he said. >> will you commit to making sure that there is a peaceful transferral of power after the election? >> well, we're going to have to
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wait and see what happens. >> do you commit to making sure that there is a peaceful transfer of power? >> get rid of the ballots and we'll have a very peaceful -- there won't be a transfer, frankly, there will be a continuation. >> now, that alarmed a lot of republicans, as you know, and democrats too. the number three republican in the house congresswoman liz cheney, she called the peaceful transfer of power, quote, fundamental to the survivor of our republicans. american leaders swore an oath to the constitution we will uphold that oath. do you agree with congresswoman cheney? >> yeah, jake. we've been transferring the office of the presidency from one person to the next since 1796. i'm confident it's going to happen again in 2025 after president trump finishes his second term. >> you are not at all disturbed by what he's saying if the ballots aren't counted -- it's really quite alarming to a lot of republicans his refusal to say, of course, if i lose, i
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will abide by a peaceful transfer of power. >> well, jake, what the president was saying is that he is not going to concede in advance, especially when you have so many states changing the rules at the very last minute for mail-in balloting. he's since said that if there is a clear winner, if the court settles the contested election then of course he will. but the premise of the question you played me is the president's going to lose. i don't think the president is going to lose. i think the president is going to win. this is just another case where the democrats are projecting some of their own intentions onto donald trump. it wasn't donald trump who sicked the fbi on his opponent. and it was hillary clinton's former campaign chairman who projected that if joe biden loses, he would recommend that california and oregon and washington threaten to secede from the union to change the results. the democrats are the ones who should be pressed on whether or not they will accept a loss in november.
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because it doesn't sound to me like they will. >> there's a lot to fact-check in what you just said. i will just say on the first item that the fbi investigation began because of george pop lop dowse talking to an australian diplomat. senator tom cotton, we thank you for joining us today. joining us now west virginia senator joe manchin. you voted to confirm her to the circuit court in 2017. you clearly viewed her as qualified then. why is she not qualified now? >> the aba has qualified. and that was the premise i looked at everybody that was coming before the district or circuit. we have never in the history of the united states of america have confirmed a judge when a supreme court vacancy appeared from july 1st to november. it's never happened before. you were talking, i heard tom talking and i heard nancy pelosi before that, but tom was saying
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the different things of ten months out, eight months out or whatever. but eight months ago in 2016 they took the position that the people should have the right to vote because there was going to be an election in a few months. that was eight months out. we're talking one month out. this has never happened if they want to set a precedent, this is basically just adding more flames, fanning the flames of division in a country that's already divided. it's something that i would think and hope that we would all come to our senses and say, hey, can't we wait till after the election? and if what tom has just said that the people spoke overwhelmingly, what would they be afraid of? >> senator majority leader mitch mcconnell appears to have the votes to push the nomination through. republicans have made it clear they intend to act before the election. you just heard senator cotton say that she'll be confirmed before election day in october. isn't this basically a done deal? >> well, you would like to hope
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that now -- i mean, there's a certain amount of decency and decorum that we've adhered to. that's a part of our democracy. when the president outright said that i'm not sure, we'll have to wait and see if the election whether he'll concede or not and a basically peaceful orderly transfer of power, you're not hearing any of my colleagues speak up at all and really give you a direct answer that they should be absolutely horrified that even the thought of resisting what the people's will. there's a process we go through. election day as far as the votes being counted. and that's the last that any mail-in or absentee ballots have to be post-marked by. and then you have the certification by all states. then you have the electoral college which will meet the second week of december to confirm. so there's a process there. what the president is saying that there could be basically
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upheaval not election night when we usually have had a gratification of knowing who was going to be that winner. that might not happen because of covid-19. we're all in unusual times. our lives are different than what we've been. so we have to expect we've got to count many more ballots than has ever been done before because of this horrible pandemic. but he might not let that happen. and once he sows the seeds of distrust, then we've got a problem. >> what do you think he's going to do --hen yosay he might not let it happen. so viewers are aware, because there are so many vote-by-mail ballots this year, for instance, in the state i'm from commonwealth i'm from, pennsylvania, i think they have something like 3 million. they're probably not going to be able to count them all by election night, maybe not even until wednesday or thursday. what do you think president trump is going to do? could you think he's going to send in the army?
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no. i don't think that's going to happen. but his words do have meaning, especially to his ardent followers. we're trying to count the votes. we're trying to figure out who is the winner. and under a pandemic that we have right now, they should understand. but he's making everyone believe that, hey, don't worry, there's going to be -- if we lose this election, it will be stolen from him. no, if you lose the election, it's because the people wanted change. they want civility. they want decency back in their lives. the we don't want turmoil. we don't want hatred. this is what the vote will be on november the 3rd. >> many of your senate democratic colleagues have floated the idea of expanding the size of the supreme court should this nomination go through with justice judge -- soon to be justice barrett in all likelihood. senator chuck schumer says no options are off the table. just to be clear, if democrats win back the senate, would you
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vote against any effort to expand the u.s. supreme court? >> jake, the thing about the senate is so much different. our intentions in how the senate came about, our founding fathers was supposed to be the cooling sauce, if you will, the sauce that cooled off the hot tea. we were supposed to work in a bipartisan and we've done that. we've set basically over the course of history how the senate basically would be the most deliberate body looking and thinking and bringing people together, letting things calm down so we could have sensible, reasonable decisions. now, with that, i am not going to vote for anything that would cause basically not to be able to work in a bipartisan way. >> so you would vote against that? >> -- that is not something that i would support. i can't support that. the whole premise of this senate, in this democracy, the experiment of ours, is just certain decency and social order that basically has been expected
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from us and especially from the senate from the beginning of our government. now all of a sudden they're going to say, oh, you don't have to talk anymore, you just have to have 51 votes and forget about the minority. well, the minority has always played an important part in the senate's proceedings because it was supposed to basically take our consideration if you're in the minority, you still have input, you're still representing and you're still being deliberative enough to bring common sense together, to make sure that we've looked at every angle we can for american justice. so i am saying that any of that type of talk, there needs to be a cooling-off period. can't we wait at least and get through an election year, making sure it's certified, all the votes are counted? the electoral college has their final vote the second week in december. we either have a new president or we have our current president. and that orderly transfer. >> let me just ask you. there are some senate democrats that want to try to gum up the works and slow the process of the confirmation for judge
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barrett. would you oppose those moves? and even though you oppose this nomination and how it's going forward, would you meet with judge barrett? >> i have never refused a meeting with anybody. i think that's the greatest responsibility as a united states senator you have is to hear all sides of whatever the debate might be or what anybody is going to be confirmed. how can you confirm? it says basically that we meet and confirm. how do you confirm without meeting or not confirm? so i've never denied that. my state of west virginia is right in the crosshairs right now when you talk about the affordable care act. and basically the writings that judge barrett has done over the past. so that will be a very interesting meeting. how do i explain to 800,000 people that their pre-existing condition is not going to be covered, that they're not going to have the ability to even buy insurance? how do i explain to 84,000 west virginians who got health care
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for the first time? we've been fighting it every day. november 10th there's going to be a hearing. that conversation will be a welcomed conversation. but i'm against this process in setting a precedent that we've never done. >> senator manchin, we always enjoy having you on, thank you so much for being with us. democrats are expecting president trump to bring lies and personal attacks to this week's presidential debate. how will democratic nominee joe biden react? how will he perform? my exclusive interview with jill biden is next. plus, ever wonder what comedian jon stewart would make of today's politics? his answer and his new mission, coming up. wabba wabba! all new, plant powered creative roots gives kids the hydration they need, with the fruit flavors they love, and 1 gram of sugar. find new creative roots in the kids' juice aisle. on day one we'll implement the national strategy i've been laying out since march. we'll develop and deploy rapid tests
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with results available immediately. we'll make the medical supplies and protective equipment that our country needs. we'll make them here in america. we'll have a national mandate to wear a mask, not as a burden, but as a patriotic duty to protect one another. in short, we'll do what we should have done from the very beginning. our current president has failed in his most basic duty to the nation. he's failed to protect america. and my fellow americans, that is unforgivable. as president, i'll make you a promise. i'll protect america. i will defend us from every attack seen and unseen, always without exception, every time. i'm joe biden and i approve this message.
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welcome back to "state of the union." i'm jake tapper. we're just two days away from the first presidential debate. and democratic nominee joe biden is taking a break from campaigning to prepare to take on a famously unpredictable president, one who cannot be counted on to adhere to facts or even basic decency in the debate. i got the chance to sit down for an exclusive interview with former second lady jill biden this week to talk about what she expects at that first debate and how supporting military families will continue to be her issue if she moves into the white house. so, you just met with a bunch of military families here in norfolk. and more than 43,000 service members have contracted the coronavirus. at least 3,300 veterans have died in v.a. facilities across the country from this. veterans and their families already have so much to deal with. is the government doing enough to help them through this, through the coronavirus pandemic? >> well, i can tell you this. when joe is elected on november
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3rd, the government will do more. i mean, joe intends to build on the affordable care act. we need to help our military by doing more for veterans hospitals. there's so much more we need to do to help our military. like you said, it's affecting our military because they're on bases and on ships. so there is so much more that can be done. and joe, as you know, we're a militaried family, and we will continue to support our military families. >> when beau got back from his tour in iraq, he told you about the needs -- it's really a dire need among veterans and servicemembers for better mental health care. both the obama administration and the trump administration have done a lot, both of them, to expand health care options for veterans. what more would you do as first
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lady? >> well, we would continue -- like i said, i would relaunch joining forces. one of the things that beau said to me, i said, beau, what should we work on, what should michelle and i be working on? he said, mom, mental health. so we need to expand mental health services for service members. across the board with aca, the affordable care act, we need to increase mental health support. earlier today i was talking to educators. and they said to me, jill, what we need is more mental health support in our schools. so, this pandemic has created so much anxiety and uncertainty, not only for members of the military and their families but for all american families. so i think, you know, this is something that we have to pick up and support our american families. >> cindy mccain, the widow of
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the late senator john mccain, republican, endorsed your husband this week. even though she was running at one point to be first lady, republican first lady. >> that's right. i think it took a lot of courage for her to come out and support joe, being that she is a republican. but, you know, that's the way, jake, things used to be. joe and john would argue about issues, and they would see things totally differently. but at the end of the day, there we would be together having dinner or going on a trip together or whatever it was. i mean, there was true civility in government. and that's what i think we should return to. >> she said that a tipping point came, or, i guess the way she put it is it didn't help when "the atlantic" magazine published the story about president trump allegedly referring to dead american soldiers as losers and service members, american service members as suckers. president trump has denied saying that. but there are plenty of sources
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who say he did say it. how did you react as a military mom to that? >> well, if it is true, i mean, it's pretty heartbreaking. this should not be made into, you know, a political issue. we should have a commander in chief who supports our military family. i mean, as joe says, it's our one sacred obligation to take care of our military and their families. >> so you're an educator. >> i am. >> and you want to continue to change even as first lady, theoretically, if we're going to be dealing with this pandemic for more than a few more weeks, which seems obvious we are, maybe months, maybe years, do we need to rethink how education is done? in other words, are we trying to jam in-person education into the remote model when instead we should be trying to reinvent what education is if we're doing it remotely? >> well, you know, jake, as an
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educate juror, the way i look at is we have to look at this as an opportunity to thing what didn't work in the education system and now make it better. so we've seen all the inequities that are in the system. so many people don't have broadband. so many students don't have laptops. so many people are in different places. school districts get different amounts of money. there is so much we need to do. but now we see it. >> i asked biden about the smears the president and his allied have leveled such as the disgusting and completely false suggestion joe biden is a pedophile. perhaps the ugliest false slur a candidate has ever leveled against an opponent in the history of the united states. you note in your autobiography that at age 13 you punched a neighborhood bully in the face. you don't like bullies. you also note that whereas your husband tends to forgive people and forget really quickly, you
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are the family keeper of grudges. that's how you describe yourself. >> okay. [ laughter ] >> i have it on paper. what is it like for you given the fact that president trump and his campaign and some of his relatives are not just waging a tough campaign against your husband, which we all expect and that's part of the american process. but actually legitimately smearing your husband with the vilest of false accusations. as somebody who public portrays herself as demure in some ways but in reality wants to punch the bully in the face and is the family keeper of grudges. what is this like? >> what you said is these false accusations. >> well, they're smears. they're disgusting smears. >> and so, you know, this is a
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distraction -- i mean, what else does trump have? he's trying to get everybody off of joe because i think joe is just, you know, he has the integrity, and he has -- he's strong and resilient. and he has that steadness, that calm empathy, things that people are looking for right now. and donald trump looks at joe and says, oh, my god, like, there is my competition. what can i think of to distract people? and that's all he's trying to do. but joe's tough. >> i'm not asking about joe. >> joe's tough. [ laughter ] i'm asking about jill. how do you deal with it? because it must be very, very difficult. >> you know, we know who donald trump is. we've known for four years and i expected it. we're a tough family. >> your husband is an experienced debater. he's faced tough opponents in the past. but none quite like donald trump. none who are willing to accuse
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him of vile crimes that he's completely innocent of. i've seen him lose his cool, especially when his family is invoked. i've covered him since the late '90s. so, he's lost his cool a couple times in there. >> i don't recall that, jake. [ laughter ] >> he protects his family very passionately, yes? >> as he should. >> is he ready? >> oh, my gosh, yes, he's ready. one of the things i am excited for is when the american people see joe biden up there on that stage. they're going to see what a president looks like, someone who is, like i'm saying, calm, steady, strong, resilient. it's like night and day between the two candidates. and so i can't wait for the american people to see joe, to see that statesman up there in front of the american public. >> your husband has been known to make the occasional gaffe.
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>> oh, you can't even go there. after donald trump you cannot even say the word gaffe. >> i can't even say the word gaffe? >> nope. done. [ laughter ] it's gone. >> the gaffe issue is over. >> so over. >> what do you think about the fact that president trump is hemming and hawing when it comes to the issue of an orderly transition of power should he lose on november 3rd? >> well, we'll have to -- i'm hoping that it is -- and joe intends on an orderly transition of power. right now donald trump is, you know, trying to -- this is donald trump's america. this is the chaos, and just going off the cuff with this comment or that comment. no, we go back to joe biden. we have calm. we have steady leadership. we don't have all this chaos in america. >> for jill biden, her husband's candidacy is already bringing back a different kind of
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leadership. >> but do you see how it matters? look at all the republicans that came out for joe and are supporting him. it's relationships. and so it doesn't matter if you're a republican or a democrat. you can argue it out. but in the end, we're families. we're american families. we care about the same things about making a difference. >> although i have to say i think if your husband were running against marco rubio, you wouldn't have all these republicans endorsing him, even though the relationships are good. it's something else having to do with president trump. don't you think? >> i don't know. i have to have faith in, you know, the american people. >> john stext wants to get republicans and democrats to actually agree on something. the issue he thinks could bring the nation together. that's next. i felt like... ...i was just fighting an uphill battle in my career. so when i heard about the applied digital skills courses,
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i'm thinking i can become more marketable. you don't need to be a computer expert to be great at this. these are skills lots of people can learn. i feel hopeful about the future now. ♪
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a serious story now that you may not have heard about. the u.s. military has long used burn picks to destroy things, setting fires that churned out black smoke near military basis,
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service members have reported symptoms as serious a cancer which they blame on their exp e exposure to the burn pits but the veterans department has disallowed 78%. as he did for 9/11 first responders, comedian jon stewart has taken up this cause, joining with legislators and activists to expand health care options for these suffering service members. and the organization burn pits 360 has just asked president trump and joe biden to fubly back the legislation. joining me now, former "daily show host," john stewart, kristin gillibrand and the co-extore of burn pits 360, whose husband is a survivor. jon, we all know your amazing work for 9/11 first responders. you said when it was done, we thought it was done. but now you're back. what made you come back and take up this cause?
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>> roseie. rosie and leroy. she contacted john feel and myself watching the 9/11 proceedings because there were so many analogous symptoms with the burn pits, so she contacted us. senator gillibrand was kind enough to lend us her expertise and literally her office. so, we would meet there every six weeks or so. and the idea was to draw up a burn pit bill, toxic exposure bill, that would truly address finally the veterans' concerns. so, we really made a big point of including this really broad coalition of veterans dating all the way back to the '60s, who are still fighting for toxic exposure benefits.
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that's the bill ultimately that was drawn up and was announced last week. >> i want to go to rosie who enlisted you in this. rosie, this is personal for you. your husband developed a lung disease during his deployment to iraq. tell us how things have been for your family since he came home from his deployment. >> it's been such a hardship for us. we've gone everywhere from the point of him being forced out of his job with the state police, and us having to file a suit that's now going before scotus. you know, foreclosure letters, car -- getting a car repossession notices. i had to retire -- take early retirement from the va. i worked for them for 23 years. there's been a lot of loss and a lot of hardship. out of that hardship, we forled burn pits 360 and that's why
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we're here today. >> senator gillibrand, you've introduced this legislation to help the estimated 3.5 million veterans who may have been exposured to burn pits. how has the response been? obviously the republicans control the senate. any positive reaction, any assurances from senate republicans that they will get on board? >> so, i've had several conversations with my republican colleagues and many of them are looking at the bill right now. i believe this will be a bipartisan bill because, frankly, this issue is nonpartisan. this is men and women who on served, they got sick and they should be covered. >> this is an issue we should have addressed in 1990, 1991. 1980, 19 -- you know, the way this country has gone to war, we've always had endless funds to wage war and no funds for the consequences of war to the war fighter when they come home.
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and this has to change. we have to change the paradigm that we operate in. look, ultimately, in theory, everyone is supportive of this. the idea that, you know, america's war fighters have gone over there and been exposed to thing and now they're sick, but the reality of it is, it's money. there is no perfect science, but we know these toxic exposures cause the illnesses listed as presumptive in the bill, right? so, this is purely money. and that's an untenable argument, in my eyes, for this country. we can't sweep this under the rug. that's what rosie enlisted jon and i to be relentless and to not allow this to happen in the dark. and that's what we plan to do. we're going to bring everyone there and force the government to witness this situation.
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>> senator, the pentagon says nine open burn pits are still currently in use as of last year. why hasn't the pentagon shut down these sites given they're so harmful? >> because it's about money, just as jon said. this is nothing new. the va and the department of defense have denied covering service members for a long time. what they're throwing into these pits are the same things that burned on 9/11. electronics, computers, clothing, they use jet fuel to light them on fire. they emit some of the worst toxins known to man. all of those toxins are known to cause horrible cancers. the va says we're not paying for it because there's no science. that's total bs. the truth is, there's lots of science. also, this is the cost of war. if you're going to send our troops into harm's way, this is what war costs. and it should be covered and
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there should be no debate about it. >> rosie, what do you say to lawmakers or pentagon officials who may say, as senator gillibrand just suggested, there isn't enough evidence, there isn't enough scientific evidence to prove a link between burn pits and long-term health effects. what's your message to them? >> the message is the greatest disservice to those who serve to become invisible. it's time they do their jobs and acknowledge these deaths and these illnesses as an intrue mentality of war. >> jon, we all know we hope supporting veterans is an issue that can unite the country at a time when it's so divided. when you look at the state of politics today in america, do you have hope? >> always. listen, you know, systems become so corrupt, and that's what leads to change.
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when the rock becomes untenable from the ground up, people awaken and arise. and in this situation in particular, it's egregious because of how venerated politically we make our veterans. we are patriots in the most symbolic of way. we support the troops. until, apparently, the troops need support. the smoking gun in this case is literally smoking guns. they put weaponry in there and lit them with jet fuel. and the tragedy here is the va shouldn't be the inquisitor. they shouldn't put veterans on trial to be their own doctors and lawyers. the va should be the advocate. the va should be the one fighting congress to get the appropriations for these illnesses. we have this backwards.
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>> jon stewart, rosie, senator gillibrand, thank you so much for your time today. best of luck with this mission. i am here to help in any way i can. >> thanks, jake. >> thanks a lot. >> and thank you for pespending your sunday morning with us. fareed zakaria starts right now. this is "gps," the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria coming to you live. today on the show, president trump announces his nominee for the supreme court. >> judge amy coney barrett. >> what do we know about her? what does this mean for an america that will now have a decidedly conservative supreme court?
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