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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  October 10, 2020 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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> good day everyone. bring you up to date. in about an hour we expect to see the president back on the campaign trail hosting first public event since contracting covid-19. the campaign reportedly invited hundreds to watch him deliver a law and order themed speech from the white house balcony. set for top of next hour. the trump campaign also planning a rally in florida monday. although no indication the president tested negative since his illness was made public. also new today, trump associate chris christie is out of the hospital, one of several who tested positive after the last big event at the white
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house two weeks ago today. this is a list of positive cases following that celebration for judge amy coney barrett. dr. anthony fauci declared that gathering a superspreader, and the president's second debate generals joe biden cancelled. the two sides couldn't agree on safety proehl protocols given the presidential health and refusing to come up with an alternate date. and michael cohen spoke to me in the last hour. >> donald trump doesn't joke, when donald trump talking about how about 12 more years, right? he's not going to stop, if, in fact, he wins the election right now. he's going to then try to go for 2024. he wants to not be the president. he wants to be an ought caautoc. he has no interest whatsoever in
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letting the presidency go and is putting his life in jeopardy to achieve that. >> nbc's kelly o'donnell is at the white house. a good saturday to you, my friend. what will today's event look like and what's the latest on the president's health status? >> reporter: one of the curious things, alex, that we have not heard from dr. sean conley the president's physician yesterday or today, and the last official memo from him said that he expected that the president would be cleared for public engagements beginning this weekend. we have not had any evidence of a test showing the president is no longer shedding the virus or no longer positive himself. of course it has been a tumultuous couple of weeks with the president battling this illness having most cutting edge therapies and treatments anyone in the world is experiencing and is back at the white house and continuing to engage as a candidate now. so it has ban roller coaster for the president and certainly today's event is a really
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outstanding example of how the president wants to be back, whether that is wise or not is for many others to decide. what we know is that a group that had its own political event scheduled here in d.c. in support of police officers and law enforcement has been invited to participate on the south lawn of the white house. this is not a trump campaign event, and yet it is very political. and the president's team is on board here. it's like a, like a wednesday with lots of the president's staff here, and the president is going to make remarks from the blue room bagginglcony. the same location we saw him when he returned from the hospital, addressed the public and took off the mask. the location where he will be speaking today. i'm told that his remarks in one sense, told they would be brief. another official says they might be 20 or 30 minutes. we'll have to see how that plays out, but the crowd invited on to
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the white house grounds was told that they needed to have masks. one question will be, what will be enforcement? not widespread testing. there will be more of a screening of symptoms sort of a questionnaire honor system kind of thing where if you don't have a temperature and haven't experienced symptoms, that's not widespread testing. very, very different. so this could be an event larger in size than the amy coney barrett event, which many described as a superspreader event given the number of tests. today we heard from a top official in the communications team for the president who talked about some of the plans for how they are handling this. this is alissa fera. >> it will be a short event. give some remarks and all outdoors, distanced of course, and then hopefully once cleared by the doctor we'll have him back on the road soon. >> and the president -- >> he will give an update from
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the doctor once cleared for travel. >> reporter: they've yet to give a clear for travel. this is the president at his own home coming out to make an address, certainly it will be political in nature. she described it as brief. see how that plays out and also said there would be distancing. there have been many times here at the white house when we've told there would be distancing at events and it just didn't play that way, as things took place. in part, people are excited to be at the white house. if they are guests who have never been here before. this group may include some who have never been to the white house before. and so they will want to see the president, and will likely try to crowd in, and see things. so will they be wearing masks? something to watch. the understanding that this is an outdoor event, which doctors do say is safer, but clearly not free of risk. so risk to the president, risk to the attendees, risk to the staff and journalists who are covering it. it will be a limited number of journalists who will be covering this event. known as the pool. they've not expanded it to include a broader group of
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journalists. we'll follow all of this for you, alex i. know you will. we're counting on it, thank you, my friend. joe biden is stopping in pennsylvania today in his latest campaign visit. joining us from erie, pennsylvania, ali velshi. no debate least this next week. the president saying a virtual debate is waste of his time. what about the biden camp? what do they say about it? >> reporter: alex, backup, consider the way the debate was canceled in the first place. initially, concerns about trump's health. you've talked about it with people actually paid to know this stuff, whether or not trump is contagious or not. open questions when he should be traveling and safety concerns around having him on a debate stage with joe biden. to that end, the debate commission suggested make the second virtual. the president said it wasn't a good use of his time, you pointed it out. the biden team was onboard.
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the vice president made other plans, doing a town hall and the debate commission made the decision to cancel this second debate. all of these concerns come amid the time that all of these candidates frankly will want to be out on the campaign trail. because it's debate season, but also with just over 20 days left until election day, the time for these candidates to be making stops in all important states like pennsylvania and for both campaigns, frankly, this is a state that is critically important. the fact joe biden is stumping here today in erie county shows the strategy. trying to take a lot of the places trump turned red in 2016, turning them blue in 2020. especially here in erie county. the place previously one of those true blue kind of places. trump surprisingly turned it red in 2016. so joe biden is trying to earn back these kinds of working-class voters today with a speech on the economy. while biden is out on the campaign trail so is mike pence. trump wanting to get back into
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the rally atmosphere. kelly explaining to you the kind of event he's holding today. there are questions, frankly, about if trump should be back on the campaign trail at all as his campaign announce add rally for monday in florida. listen to what joe biden said about that. >> it's reckless since his diagnosis, a stabilizing affect it's having on our gft is unconscionable. he didn't take the necessary precautions to protect himself or others. the longer donald trump is president, the more reckless he gets. how can we trust him to protect this country? >> reporter: and so clearly biden not shying away from criticism there, but to circle back to where we began here, alex, the second debate canceled but still a third debate is on the debate calendar. unclear when, but planning on being in nashville two weeks from now for the debate our own kristen welker is supposed to
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moderate. >> love to see her be able to do that. i believe october 22nd. ali vitali, thank you. joining me now, gabi orr, white house report e of politico and an msnbc contributor and physician and fellow of the brookings institution. ladies, welcome to you both. gabi, you first here. what exactly is the purpose of today's event and what do you expect to hear from the president? >> well, the number one focus of this event, number one purpose of it, to please the president who has been eager to get out on the campaign trail ever since being diagnosed with covid-19. he has been pleading with advisers based on what white house officials told me and my colleagues to get him back out there. we're in a moment now, in political landscape, where his re-election chances appear to be dwindling by the hour, and so the president feels it's important to be back out on the campaign trail, to be utilizing the white house for
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official/political events like we're seeing today, and i think that's why you're really seeing him lean into this despite all the concerns about his ongoing health condition and the safety of others who will be at the white house for the event. >> can you just remind viewers, gabi, quickly, how unique it is to use the white house for a political campaign event? >> the ways in which this president used the white house to further his political purposes is unprecedented. saw him use it for the republican convention, quasi-political campaign rallies inside the rose garden, il essentially what you'll see on the south lawn. it's unusual for a president to hold events billed as official events but really political in nature. >> according to a new article in "new york" magazine written by our colleague, speaking about this tomorrow, last saturday
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trump told those close to him, "i could be one of the diediers. what's your understanding of the state of the president's health? >> it underscores how significant the president's condition was in thor days of his covid-19 diagnosis and how little information his doctors gave not only the white house press corps but the american public about this condition. a fantastic piece of reporting. instances we now know the white house officials, white house doctors and senior members of the president's staff and family had to essentially intervene and convince him to leave the white house and travel to walter reed to be hospitalized for ongoing coronavirus treatment. that really says something about the president's reresistance to taking his diagnosis seriously, taking this seriously and we've sooner a pattern, i think, moving forward that only
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replicates that in term of lack of transparency and information we're getting from his condition heading into the next few days. >> picking up on that. the president discussing his health or fox news including retested for coronavirus. take a listen to that. >> i heard you said you were going to test again today. have you been retested? >> i have been retested. and i -- i haven't eastern found out numbers or anything yet, but i've been retested and i know i'm at either bottom of the scale or free. >> when is your next test going to be? >> i don't know. probably tomorrow, mark. they test every couple of days, i guess, but it's really at a level now that's been -- great, great to see it disappear. >> i need interpretation of what he said there, doctor. the president says he's at the bottom of the scale or free. what does that mean? are those medical, official terns? would a doctor have spoken to him like that. >> no, alex. a doctor certainly would note have used those kind of very
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occasional term very casual terms. we don't get clear information from the white house, but that probably means they're checking. by the way, definitely checking blood every day. no doubt about that. let me get that straight. we're not -- no question the president is getting tests done at least daily and probably referring to the amount of virus that's in his blood, and it would just be clearer, simpler to be able to say i am pittsburgh pcr negative. no active virus in nasal swabs or oral swabs we know they must be doing that and part of all of this mystery is unfortunate because it's putting people at risk as we have already talked about. >> is there any way, doctor, to know if the president is still contagious ahead of these events? >> so this is kind of the, murky area about covid-19. certainly you can have the blood test that shows how many "viral
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copies," the viral load in his blood. we think that's what the president was referring to when he said low or almost free. on top of that you can also have a pcr test we've all infamous will you talked about and if that's negative and the viral load is almost non-detectable, then it's very unlikely that you are infectious. having said that, alex, even the cdc, or anybody, will tell you it's ten days at a minimum after symptoms and we know at least from the president's own reporting, his own words, he had symptoms last friday. today is still within that ten-day window. >> yeah. >> and i think that people are misinterpreting the fact he's going to be on the balcony. the "evita" balcony far away from the masses. you pointed out how many people
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to actually get him there and the staff to staff the event. possible points of contact that pose an infection risk. it's not just the president. we already know there are at least dozens of white house staff that have been infected, and likely to be more in the next several weeks, and those people are walking around asymptomatic at this point and could potentially give the infection to other people. >> yeah. by the president's account, day eight give kwhn what he told us. in florida, that's day ten. ladies, thank you. breaking news to share on delta. that storm has been down graded to a tropical depression moving across mississippi now. residents in louisiana have been left picking up the pieces after that storm hit parts of the state as a category 2 hurricane, and this just six weeks after hurricane laura ravaged the area. one of those places is west lake where my friend and colleague
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nbc's cal perry is standing by with the latest. these back-to-back storms, i mean, unprecedented, cal. what are you hearing from these people in the community there? >> reporter: it's made life impossible. what we're hearing. the damage you're going to see now is from six weeks ago. alex, there used to be a house here, six weeks ago when hurricane laura came ashore. the house uended up there on to of another house. this damp, blown around last night. all the debris from six weeks ago in here, picked up, moved by the storm last night. luckily no deaths reported. still trying to talk to the hospitals and actually spoke to sherry everybodians who works at a local hospital. her house on top of another house. i asked what the lft fast few ms have been like. take a listen. >> laura came in like a roaring lion and left like a roaring lion, and i came home to a trailer on top of my home. my truck in between and my daughter's both intwined in it.
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>> where did you stay last night? >> my daughter the house. >> fair to say last night was not as strong as six weeks ago? >> it wasn't as bad. wasn't as bad. we tried to go out of town, but that didn't work out. had to turn around and come back. >> hard in a pandemic to get anywhere and do anything. you couldn't leave. >> tried. traffic so bad had to turn around and come back to west lake. >> are you going to rebuild here? >> i plan on it. >> reporter: a lot of people are not going to rebuild here, because life has become so difficult with these storms. this was the tenth storm to hit the united states this year. the sixth one ho tto hit the gu. four in louisiana alone. water temperatures rise, the storms are more frequent. you'll see people leaving yaear like southern la lanchts thank you. louisiana. say good-bye.
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wisconsin is quickly becoming a new coronavirus hot spot recording its highest single-day spike of the pandemic this week. the state adding nearly 3,000 cases yesterday bringing the total to 152,000 cases. at a testing site in milwaukee, my colleague. shack, welcome. i see, are you in one of those outdoor, people can drive-thru testing spots? what's behind you? >> reporter: exactly right. drive-through testing site here in milwaukee. i'm told you're seeing it bizzer than a couple past weekends. the commander who leads this, usually on saturday things slow down. look at the line behind me. people were in line hours before, at least an hour before this testing location even opened. what you're seeing around the statelluded to in that introduction.
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a record number of coronavirus cases twice in this state. a record number of hospitalizations and uptick in coronavirus deaths here in wisconsin. officials earlier said the state was on a verge, on the verge of a crisis. i spoke to a doctor a couple minutes ago. listen to what he told me. >> i think wisconsin is in a crisis. i think the fact we opened and alternative care facility, the fact our numbers are skyrocketing, hospitalizations skyrock skyrocketing. comes down to no matter the policy in place or laws and orders it ends up being about individual compliance. folks need to wear their masks like we're doing. distance, like we're doing. be outdoors like we are as much as possible. >> reporter: now, we did see the governor this week limit the amount of people that can gather in places like restaurants and bars. 25%. you have officials asking people to stay home to stop the spread. they're saying the situation here in wisconsin is very
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serious. alex? >> considering what's going on around you, really glad to see you wearing your mask, my friend. thank you, shack. just 24 day s until the election, the second debate officially canceled. slotted to take laplace in miam officially scrapped after the president refused to participate virtually. joe biden instead holding a town hall on nbc. and joining me, ceo of the messina group and from president obama's 2020 reelection campaign. i imagine you don't want to be president. won't give you that title. anyway, give me the strategy here. do you think this is a good thing for the biden or trump campaign? does anyone benefit? >> i think it's a disaster for the trump campaign, alex. we're sitting here just a little over three weeks away from the election. the president trails in every battleground state. trails nationally by a large margin and he's got to do something to change the
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narrative. do something to get the race off of him and back on to a choice. the fact there's no second debate is a very big problem for him. we know that every day people are already voting. 8.9 million have already voted. by the 22nd which will be the third and it looks like final presidential debate over 20 million people have, will have already voted. so if you're the president of the united states, you've got to do something to change the narrative of this election, and a debate is pretty much the only thing he can do. so not having a debate this week is just a huge problem for the president and if i was his campaign, i would have done anything, i don't care if it was virtual or don e it on the mooni would figure out a way to get to that debate. >> why would biden want to participate in the debate after what happened in that debacle of first time. the president doesn't seem he'll change his tune for the next debate. why should biden take part?
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>> well, he shouldn't. i think he made the right decision. on the other hand, if you look at the style, the town hall style favors joe biden. his empathetic nature, ability to connect with voters would have been very good in that debate and able to do it even virtually. a better format for biden and smart to say we're not playing around with the rules. not have another superspreader event. we'll do our own event and going to a nationally televised town hall, same format, let people ask questions putting the onus on trump to do something. very smart by the biden campaign, the right decision and, again, the president's inability to have a message is going to be a problem, because now he's not going to get his second shot at joe biden until time when a bunch of voters will have already made up their minds and voted. >> pretty much of an understatement to say here that since the first debate the president's had a very
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tumultuous week and a half, but for the president to pull out of a town hall and instead do these interviews on fox news, a couple hours on rush limbaugh's radio show, do you think, jim, that's helping him as all with the voters that he needs to win? >> let's helping, but it's helping joe biden. the last thing you should do as donald trump go on right-wing radio or tsh av and asked rightg radio and say things for two hours will be in joe biden ads monday morning. some of the things he said are just crazy, and he's beginning to you know, these swing voters, you cover it, as you should. the swing voters look at this and say, this is not a president who's acting rationally. this is not a president making his case. you know, threatening to lock up all of his political enemies, going on huge conspiracy rants about his own administration and
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criticizing lis own chief of staff and attorney general is not what in politic wes call "on message." this is in politics we call the candidate having left the building and starting to just do his own thing in a way that is very problematic. >> we head to the vice president debate that was on wednesday. the same day the biden campaign, jim, raised $12 million. how significant are these fund-raising numbers, and how much as we look at a picture of kamala harris as well, how much does this boost biden the support among voting blacks needed to win? >> a huge addition to the ticket. if you look at -- want to make sure african-americans and young people and women vote, because those groups are huge supporters, and she speaks directly to them in a powerful way. the money number, alex, that's hugely important in the battleground states now. another challenge for president trump. joe biden is burying donald
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trump on television. has a two to three to one advantage. meaning swing voters, three commercials for every one trump commercial. that's on line as well. just as, online money machine, the biden campaign has built, it's performing incredibly well right now in allowing joe biden to push back on any attack that trump does, and get a positive message out. whereas the trump campaign only has enough money right now on tv to just do negative n. no positive message for the swing voters from a campaign persecutive is incredibly problematic as people make up their minds. >> given we have supreme court confirmations hearings front and center this week. the biden campaign repeatedly asked about the prospect of packing the supreme court. here's what he said this week, jim. take a listen. >> my opinion, packing, court packing, address that when the
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election is over. i don't blame you for asking it. you know, the moment i answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be about that. >> so -- why won't he answer, do you think it's just a, a savvy political move? don't tip his hand to progressives who might want to see a packed court or to the moderates who might not want to see that? >> well, there's a saying in american politics. you know, when someone's drowning throw them an anvil. why do that for president trump. anything that distracts from the health care and the virus -- stay focused on their message health care, preexisting conditions and donald trump. anything else gets him off message. you know, trump is changing his message every day. like literally setting himself on fire with swing voters and the biden campaign is savvy to not give any sort of ability for
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trump to change the narrative. trump wants to talk about anything else. trump wants to talk about the court, china, anything. the biden campaign just is sticking to message. >> i love your rationale. make it a date next saturday if free. appreciate that. thank you. the pandemic's devastating impact on the air liline indust. that's up next. line industry. that's up next. taking california for a ride. companies like uber, lyft, doordash.
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days after the president tried to put a stop to negotiations on thursday house speaker nancy pelosi said she would not support the white house proposal for a stand-alone bill that would only provide relief for airlines unless it was a part of a broader stimulus package. joining me now is sarah nelson president of the association of flight attendance. swa and a furloughed united airline flight attendant. welcome to you both.
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amanda, first to you. this back and forth on capitol hill comes airlines are forced to layoff thousands until they bet nor federal aid. >> this is affecting my entire life. i get health care through my employer, day ten i don't know if i'll have health care soon. i get monthly medications that cost over $1,000 i can't live without. if i lose my health care. i lost my entire life and might lose my home. >> i hate hearing that. will you be okay healthwise? sounds very challenging? >> unfortunately, i'm sgrog goi decide between paying $700 of cobra coverage or public funded health care extremely hard to get nowadays or paying out of pocket medications if i don't take them i can't take another job and can't work. >> wow. sar sarah, what do you think when
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you hear that and also the airline bill proposal? was that a good idea? >> amanda is one of many people i represent and is the reason we cannot stop fighting and cannot stop demanding that congress take action. so the proposal for the airlines was something that we put in place in march, and we demanded our employers come to us and work with us and it's the first workers first package. it requires 70% of the pay roll is covered in return airlines keep everyone in their jobs connected to their health care and continue service to all of our communities. with demand down more than 70% in some cases, this was a lifeline not only to the communities we serve but the people who work at the airlines. like amanda. who can keep connected to health care and continue to spend in this economy. so there's a direct return to the public as well. >> so, sarah, if the stimulus bill gets passed does that stop the furloughs? will those people that have been laid off, do they get rehired then.
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>> alex, there is tremendous agreement all over capitol hill for this to be done. we already have the language done including the recall for people who are on furlough for amanda. that could be done. the longer this goes on the harder that becomes able to do, because people lose their qualifications, harder to get them back to work, restore that service to the communities and we are adding to unemployment lines quickly turns into bread lines. president trump kneecapped his own negotiator this week calling off negotiations. then what he did, pulled a real smooth dividing contra move singling us out and making us to be special. a little like watching "norma rae" watching the boss make her a supervisor because she's the strong union leader bringing in help for everyone. we've been providing the need for relief are and the talks for the whole country and he singled us out and cut off the talks and cut off relief for nirn and now no one is left strong enough to hold anyone else up. >> before you were furloughed
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amanda, how can flights change since the pandemic began? were people still flying? did you have a lot of empty seats on planes? what are you hearing about any return of passengers? are your colleagues, those still flying, saying that the flights are filling up? >> well, they've been trying to fill up as much as possible at the beginning we were practicetively empty. shut down over 80 purse perce% . airlines are becoming packed again because so many little routes to small cities nobody can get home unless we fly them on small airplanes. it's a scary kind of aggressive place to work because of all of the surrounding issues with covid, protecting ourselves. when we go, we go in with uncertainty maybe getting sick ourselves. some people don't want to help us keep ourselves safe and facing aggressive passengers as well sometimes.
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it's very scary for us to still show up to go to work and we need to take all of these medical supplies to small towns. medications through the postal service. not going to work is not an option for us. >> really glad to talk with you. best of luck. i know you appreciate sarah nelson and all her efforts as we do for speaking with you. thank you both. best of luck. >> real people. just need congress to act. thank you for having us on. >> heartbreaking to hear about amanda's situation. meantime, everyone, balance 6 power in washington could be riding 0 an hotly contested race in the nation's heartland and right now it's a toss-up. oss-u
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a senate race getting tighter in a key battleground state. incumbent republican joni ernst trailing by five points in iowa. joining me, former iowa senator democrat tark harkin. thank you for joining me. what do you think about iowa? appears it could go either way. democrat theresa greenfield set a record for most money raised in one quarter. is the surge in support, sir, a good indicator how the state's going to vote in november? >> well i think if you look at all the polls, everything in iowa is just very close. from the presidential race down to the congressional races. but within there, if you look in
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that, there are, there's been a lot of movement i think since june. theresa greenfield, for example, held pretty steady at three to five points ahead in that race. and so that kind of steady advantage i think is going to carry over to election day, and when you look at some of the internals, what comes through both in the presidential race and in the senate races are that women in iowa are voting overwhelmingly for the democratic ticket. >> hmm. that is a key factor right there, sir. with the president, you know, won the state in 2016. his campaign recently poll lly s airing in iowa to focus on states he's now trailing biden. trump and biden neck and neck in your state of iowa. what are your thoughts on this strategy? >> well, the biden/trump race
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has been as i said, narrow since the first polls were taken. again, although, if you look at the internals of it, biden is doing quite remarkably better among a constituency that went for trump in 2016. suburban women, white women without college degrees. all over the state, they have moved to joe biden. right now if i'm not mistaken, i was looking, the latest poll had biden ahead by five points in iowa. i think there's been movement in the last, oh, i would say within the last 20 days or so towards joe biden, and i think that's going to hold again until election day. >> take a listen to this moment during the vice presidential debate. here it is. >> what ended up happening is because of a so-called trade war with china america lost 300,000
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manufacturing jobs. farmers have experienced bankruptcy because of it. we are in a manufacturing recession because of it. >> senator kamala harris is one of only ten members of the senate to vote against the usmca. a huge win for american ought other workers and farmer especially dairy in the upper midwest. >> so, senator, you hear there both harris and pence honing in on the midwest. i know you said that biden seems to be leading by about five percentage points at this point. is that the message resonating over the trump-pence message with voters there? >> i can only speak about what i see in iowa, and quite frankly, i think in the farm community, farmers have been upset for a long time over trump not, not living up to the renewable fuel standard. which means ethanol.
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he has given away what should be going to ethanol and using ethanol, which is, as you know, corn-based. he's given that to the oil companies. well, just lately, in the heat of the campaign this year, he tried to rectify that a little bit, but we've lost a lot of money in the state of iowa, because of the shifting towards oil away from ethanol. secondly, on the trade with china, this has not been good for our iowa farmer economy, and it's hit our farmers pretty hard. so i think -- i think that's another reason why i think you're going to see this lead of biden's hold until election day. >> so the senate begins the hearings on the supreme court confirmation of judge amy coney barrett on monday. senator, you were on the judiciary committee. what are your thoughts on this timeline and the fact it is so close to a presidential election?
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>> well, if you adhere at least to some of what, to the standards and protocols of the senate in the past, certainly this nomination, confirmation process works not have taken place this close to an election. now, i would say the republicans are not doing anything illegal or unconstitutional. it's just that they're breaking with kind of tradition, and sort of the standards of comity of dealing honestly with one another in the senate. the fact is, they have the votes and i assume that they can put judge barrett on the supreme court. it's just -- it's just not going to sit well, again, in the future. it's destroying a sort of a good standard that we'd had for at least the last 100 years. >> hmm. from iowa, senator democrat tom
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harkin. appreciate, sir, your insights from iowa. thank you. why closings of theaters and restaurants means more than the loss of jobs. it is also a threat to the nation's heart and soul. i speak with actor and author john lithgow about that next. h history says, fine jewellery for occasions. we say, forget occasions. fine jewellery for yourself. (snap) we're mejuri,
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welcome back, every one. we'll hope to get to the interview in maine. what you're seeing is what's happening in the set up to the event scheduled to start about ten minutes from now. this is a group of people who the president will be addressing from the balcony of the white house. the same balcony we all became familiar with when he arrived home. the military medical hospital there when he arrived home and went up there removing his mask and saluting as he wanted to put forth the image of strength and
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vigor there upon his return being diagnosed with covid-19 and being treated within walter reed for a couple of days. this is largely supposed to be focused on law and order. lot offense peops of people weae t-shirt. i'm encouraged to see some people wearing masks. a few people wearing the band a bandanas which physicians say that's not what you should wear. a lot of masks around the chin. that's not good either. that will be ineffective but they are there and the white house is following cdc guidelines and handing out masks to those and conducting some sort of testing asking people if they suffered from any symptoms there. not officially testing. we'll take a very short break. hope to come back with josh letterman who is standing by at the white house.
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on friday the broadway league announced all 41 theaters that have been shuddered since march will remain close until may 30th 2021. joining me on the phone, it was the best we could do after some troubleshooting is acad mi award winning john lithgow. he's the author of trumpty dumpty wanted a crown. it's a heck of a title. it befits everything that's inside which nonwe'll talk about in a moment. let's get to broadway. i was hoping to reopen at the beginning of next year. now it's june 1st at the earliest before anyone can take their seat in those amazing theaters. it has to be devastating for employees. those of us who adore the theater. what are your thoughts about this news? >> hi. thanks for having me on. sorry about the tech difficulties.
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it fills me with me llancholy. there's something about struggling actors. they struggle any way. even the hundreds of actors an dancers and singers who have been gainfully employed on broadway are all out of work too. >> it's heroic the way people are trying to put together performances. it means practically speaking most stage workers will be unemployed for well over a year. how does the community cope? >> in every conceivable way. i coped by writing a book and illustrating it. i'm one of the lucky actors who had a project that i had to do
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any way. i probably would never have gotten it done if the job i was doing had not been suspended. it's resuming in a couple of weeks. so many of my colleagues are out of work and just do not know when they with ker -- they can perform again. i try to maintain my optimism. >> it came back after 9/11 when it was closed. that was such a brief closing. it came roaring back to unprecedent levels of box office sales. i was in the audience for one of your performances. what's this mean for the film industry? >> it's kind of growing back to
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life. everything has changed. we live in a business that depends on crowds. ensembles in theater and big film crews on big sets. i don't know. it's going the take time. i look back to shakespeares day. we do survive these things. >> it's not going be shakespeare. the president has gotten to the balcony. we'll go there. promise me you'll cam back to talk about this book. i read parts of it. it's fantastic. trumpty dumpty wanted a crown. we'll have you back to talk about that. let's pivot right now and go to the president who is approaching there. being warmly received by the
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crowd there. >> thank you very much. keep that especially thuz yacnt. we got to vote them into oblivion. got to get rid of them. so bad for our country. i'm feeling great. i don't know about you. how is every one feeling? i'm honored to welcome. we wall this peaceful protest. to the white house in support of the incredible men and women of law enforcement and all of the people that work so well with us and i have to tell you, our black community, our hispanic community, thank you very much. thank you. before going any further i want to thank all of you for your prayers. i know you have been praying. i was in that hospital, i was watching down over. so many people. i went out to say hello to those people. i took a little heat for