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tv   The Bottom Line  Al Jazeera  April 29, 2021 3:30am-4:01am +03

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being online for the moment it looks like much work will continue remotely with diplomats literally remaining buildings if not worlds apart kristen salumi al jazeera the united nations just a reminder you can always had online for all the latest information and all the top story is our website it is right there on your screen at al-jazeera dot com. and. follow the headlines on al-jazeera the u.s. president joe biden is set to address congress ahead of his 100 day in office he is expected to deliver a message of hope and tell the country's recovery despite facing the pandemic and severe economic and political crises our white house correspondent kimberly halkett house more from washington d.c. what we're expecting is that the u.s. president is going to make the argument that big government does have
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a role in people's lives it brings about optimism and future and that's exactly what has america out of the pandemic woes and pains that it was feeling so far and that he really inherited so this is sort of the overarching message that the u.s. president is going to deliver when he speaks in the coming hours people in india are rushing to register for a mass vaccination drive set to begin this weekend as coronavirus infection spiral out of control it's another world record with the highest number of daily infections the official death toll has surged past 200000 but the real figure is believed to be much higher the f.b.i. has raided an apartment and office belonging to rudy giuliani these personal lawyer former u.s. president donald trump it's part of a probe into his dealings in ukraine but his lawyers denies he broke the law giuliani's lawyer says he did nothing wrong. antigovernment demonstrations in colombia capital have turned violent thousands defied coben $1000.00 restrictions
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and march through the streets of bogota to protest against president proposed tax hikes the country's economy has taken a hit due to the pandemic the u.k.'s prime minister has denied any wrongdoing in the downing street flight make over a scandal or is johnson says he covered the cost of the refurbishment of the property himself although he didn't clarify who initially paid the u.k. political watchdog launched a full investigation into johnson about a possible violation of finance rules astronaut michael collins who was one of 3 crew on the apollo 11 lunar mission has died aged 90 collins orbited the moon while his crew mates neil armstrong and buzz aldrin to get their historic 1st steps on the surface in 1969 died on wednesday after a battle with cancer those are the headlines of the bottom line is up next on al-jazeera.
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hi i'm steve clements and i have a question joe biden promised a lot in his 1st 100 days in office how much as he delivered let's get to the bottom line. if you ever needed proof that time flies just look at washington d.c. in january we had thousands of die hard fans of donald trump scaling the walls of congress to stop the transfer of power to the guy who actually won the election joe biden today 100 days later many items on biden's wish list have been fulfilled a massive stimulus package was passed and that put extra cash in the hands of hundreds of millions of americans about half of the population has been vaccinated and now the u.s. is talking about getting the vaccine to other countries that are in worse shape but some things are much harder to fix not one republican voted for by the stimulus package and all the promises of a new era of bipartisan politics still seem really far fetched and for all of
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biden's nice talk about reforming the police about gun control about immigration well there's not much to show for it yet and then there's climate change and there's infrastructure there's health there's education and don't forget foreign policy today we're giving the president a report card on this 1st 100 days in office and we're talking to 2 great people this mayor a former spokesperson and communication official for the republican national committee and josh marshall editor and publisher of the progressive media site talking points memo known as t.p.m. let me start with you is when you are grading joe biden what comes up as the most important steps that he has taken that you think he's moving the needle and what hasn't he done ok so i think when we're looking at joe biden i think the 2 most important things that we're grading him on and the 2 things that are most important to the electric are number one how is he doing with regard to kind of that response . and number 2 how's he doing it not being donald trump right because at the end of
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the day a lot of people simply voted for him because he was not donald trump so i think on the 1st front with regard to the donald trump point obviously he's doing very well there's a strong contrast i think everybody gets that amongst other things we have a president now he we don't have to think about all the time i think that's a pretty major contrast when you're looking at covert response it also seems that we're doing pretty well the u.s. is doing very well when you compare to the rest of the world with regard to our vaccination rates obviously our case numbers aren't great but as her community is approached i think those are going to come down the one caveat that i would offer to this is that joe biden has a habit of setting benchmarks and targets rather low to a point where they should be easily met or exceeded and so i think in some cases he's kind of allowing himself to be graded on a particularly favorable occurred and we'll see how long that works out my personal view is that the electorate may be sort of start tiring of that or may start factoring that into their ice us mint's of how he's doing when i ask friends and
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family they keep telling me look as long as he continues to not be donald trump he can basically do whatever he wants just josh i mean i love to get your take on but i mean one of the it's a comedy of donald trump have won the election you know would we have had kind of you know final 4 west virginia george you know various states competing and if you know the winners get the covert vaccines but i'd be interested to know what you know you think about you know the biden picture where you think he's winning where you think he's losing well i there's a lot i agree with liz about i think you know the. the 2 main things out of the gate are just returning some semblance of normalcy and perhaps just. as you know stability you know kind of af active stability to the white house and just in the way that in the united states the presidency sort of casts a you know sets a tone casts
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a pall over the country and if you have someone like donald trump who's president that is just a very destabilizing wild kind of thing and people are clearly ready to be done with that i think even a number of supporters were kind of ready to be done with that the other overwhelming thing is kovan i think that i would disagree a little bit with liz that i think you know when when he made the projection of 100000000 shots in people's arms 100 in 1st 100 days a lot of people didn't think that was going to be possible or it was you know a stretch he's doubled that. so that is that is going well for him the you know he got through the covert relief package which not only did a lot on the immediate covert front it also addressed a lot of things that people from his party were interested in. interested in found very important i think the main thing that he is succeeding with so far which was
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which was perhaps not easy to predict. is that he is right there with a lot of the most forward leaning elements youngest elements of his party and matching a lot of things that they have wanted putting those on the table he's gotten some of them passed already in the covert relief in the covert relief bill some of that's coming up with this jobs and infrastructure plan he has he has managed to do that and basically stay about as on the right side of public opinion in the country at large as is possible in the polarized era that we live in. kind of take that for granted now and i mean one could argue from a progressive left perspective one of these things are always pretty popular you know if and that's how he's able to do it. he's he's done some of those things he's pushed hard on some of those things some he's hung back from and there's just you
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know there's something very. odd and improbable about this sort of late life act of joe biden's this is not. you know it almost any point in joe biden's career which goes back 50 years in american politics. one this is not something what someone who would have ever of predicted that he's you know that he is this well at least at least trying to be a kind of an f.d.r. l.b.j. type presidential figure and in many ways at least in the initial months is having some luck at all i you know if i if assay depiction is that that joe biden who we've all known everybody in washington has known joe biden right they've known him for decades and he was a guy who ran for president you know any number of times didn't quite make it you know he basically was vice president ited states and told by the president obama
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essentially to you know take a take a pass while hillary clinton tried to run this is somebody coming in who sort of you know many people perceived to win at the margins and as josh said to now look at him trying to do something on the scale of the new deal or the great society franklin roosevelt lyndon johnson i'm interested in how you see it to do conservatives who look at joe biden as as potentially that consequential. i don't know i think that that's an open question i'm not sure that we're far enough in for conservatives to really have a settled view i think that there are a lot of conservatives and i would point out that i call myself a libertarian not a conservative some not quite on the same page as them with us i think a lot of conservatives have been slightly surprised at how progressive biden has been i think what they expected to see was that he would be ideologically moderate but disposition only a little bit more out there and in fact what they're seeing is kind of the reverse
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now for those of us who have had to pay more attention to biden and i would count myself among them since he was obama's vice presidential nominee in 2008 and that's when i was at the r n c so i was going through reams and reams of information about him i'm not terribly surprised by this nor my terribly surprised about where he's ended up and the trajectory of his career and the fact that yes he's very very old it's true that he has achieved success at this point in his life but i think probably compared to the majority of the electorate i'm an outlier there so we'll wait and see kind of where conservatives come down on him i think at the moment the thing that's really interesting to me is that i think on some things he actually appears to be far more left leaning than president obama was but he just doesn't really enraged conservatives to nearly the degree that president obama did and i'm sure that josh has many theories as to why that might be but i think it's very interesting because he's probably going to be in a position to get away with a little bit more than what people had expected. i'm also i would so he is on
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almost every front not just some things with obama i think one is one would be hard pressed to find any major facet of policy or politics in which joe biden in 2021 is not to the left of president obama basically at any time during his presidency which is remarkable i mean i think it's a remote go ahead liz i would argue it's a remarkable comment that joshua shared that when you do you know even along foreign policy lines you think about economic policy about minimum wage you think about climate of course you know obama was there on climate but i think in that in that area of of you know looking at where they are on the scale biden does seem to come out on the left side louis. i think that's generally correct but i think that one thing that's a little bit different is i think that biden from his years of experience in washington d.c. he hasn't really as you noted succeeded in getting bipartisan votes on things yet
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you know he did promise to put a republican in his cabinet then didn't do it doesn't have a lot of high ranking republicans but i think one thing that's different between him and obama that actually does make him look a little bit more moderate is that while the policy that he's pushing is much more left leaning by and by i think in general he has proved a lot more willing to conduct sort of basic outreach and try to do some appealing to republicans so that started i think during the campaign with a lot of outreach to simper and republican women who were going to vote for trump didn't want to try to mediate excuse to him but i also think you know when you look at his career and his record of deal cutting and that kind of thing i can kind of see how he ends up with more success because i think where obama had this this sort of this sort of ethos about him of being a little bit superior coming off to people as being a little bit egotistical a little bit aloof but i don't really doesn't have that and so i think that that's something that that is important to take note of it doesn't necessarily affect the
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policy but i think dispositional he's probably a little bit more inclined towards things that look middle of the road than what obama was josh i'm trying to think of the chamber when when the president is speaking to the joint session of congress giving his state of the address talking about the various boxes he's checked off you know climate change or you know dealing with you know getting the leaders together to look at that you know the american recovery act looking at what he's going to do on infrastructure but another dimension that is foreign policy and you know he was in he said basically is his 2 top national security officials to be tough on china to have very candid talk on china have be have i thought he was going to be much more focused on the domestic less. on the international but he's been able to kind of you know true and you know i should say walk and chew gum at the same time and i'm interested in whether that chamber is going to find moments where he was tough on putin paying and you get the whole chamber applauding his foreign policy what do you think i
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think it's possible i mean i've for reasons we know we all know russia is a very. complicated multivalent issue in american politics now obviously you have but you sort of have both parties moving in similar directions looking at the you know contest between the u.s. and china so that's that's possible there's a lot of ways that china policy has become you know deeply connected with domestic policy in the united states because of because of coal the because of trade issues because of lots of different things i think you know. on the point were making about you know biden versus obama one thing worth remembering is that in many ways biden got the job as vice president precisely because he seemed too old to ever to run again. so it was much as bush had with with dick cheney sort
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of disrupting that model of the vice president being you know having kind of future political interests of their own the big thing about joe biden my mind is joe biden has always always been a consensus democrat he will basically be where the democratic party is kind of wherever it goes and so in that in that sense i agree with liz it does not surprise me greatly that this is where he has ended up i was telling a lot of people in kind of intradermal craddick party discussions you know during the primaries that that this is this is where i thought that you know where i thought that he would be look there's some obvious things with joe biden look joe biden is old he's an old white catholic man who has a very kind of genie all personality even people who are trying to demonize him now a hard time getting past that barack obama was a young black man with
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a foreign sounding name rooted in arabic. is a very different people right it's not surprising to me at all that that that things you know he is a different person american politics reacts to those 2 different kinds of people differently i think that that's just you know that that is just obvious the other thing is and this is one of those examples of sometimes a flawed person we're all flawed but sometimes a flawed person. meets their moment and the kind of a signature thing about joe biden to his political career has been the politics of empathy. and at many points in our history that is that is all that is of only limited political. you know currency political resonance he managed to become president though in a period where it was
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a central grounding aspect of a political personality both because of covert and because he was succeeding a man who is whose signature characteristic was a radical lack of empathy and a signature of predation so in many ways there are things about joe biden you know he moves with the party of the illogically but there are things about him as a person which gave him particular grounding particular resonance particular ability to sort of connect with people that's unique to right now another bit of the drama in america these last few years has been. police issues policing we have the death of george floyd we've had you know efforts on the table on gun reform and also other dimensions of regulation in that space but also broadly as a libertarian what is it what does that do for you is that something that gives you
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a certain concern. yeah i mean it's a mixed bag on the policing stuff i'm sure that overall i probably tend to align more with where most democrats are on that you know i'm somebody who's always been very skeptical of government power in all of its forms as a younger person a teenager growing up in seattle i certainly had negative interactions with the police so i don't think that's something that's confined to african-american males but it's something that certainly makes me very empathetic to the situation that they find themselves in pretty much every single day when they're interacting with law enforcement right so i certainly think that the direction that people seem to be going on that front is a good one i think biden in particular the fact that he's rejected a lot of the proposals to sort of defund the police and a lot of the stuff that seems to be coming from the hard left in this sort of you know sanders needs and the democratic socialists of the world i think is smart in
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fact he seems to be talking about putting more money into policing so that you can have better training to actually address some of these underlying issues and i think that's something that's fairly appealing to me as a libertarian even though i don't like spending the money when it comes to the gun control debate i'm quite sure whatever he puts forward i'm going to want to projectile vomit across the room and i'll probably be mouthing off on twitter about it for josh and everybody got so. you know that's that's also been true i would say with regard to what he's done on immigration i certainly prefer where he is on immigration to donald trump but as somebody who is very very pro immigration my problem with joe biden is i'm one of those people who would fall into the disapprove of the job he's doing segment in a poll but not because i think he's not supporting enough people or he's not being you know tough and border security minded enough i think he's actually kept too much of what trump did put on the books and i think that it's going to cause him problems long term it's already causing him problems substantively and in terms of
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political optics so you know. it's going to be a mixed bag certainly the amount of spending i'm not happy with probably a lot of the regulation i'm not going to be happy with we'll see what actually happens on taxes i'm always a little bit incredulous that democrats want to excess but there are there are some good things here for sure and within the last few minutes right here senator marco rubio has said that he is not going to attend the joint session of congress some issue about seating but senator joe manchin will be there who is a moderate member or the conservative wing of the democratic party if you will and senator manchin has been a guest before on the bottom line but i sometimes wonder if joe manchin were not there would joe biden need to create him because you know he does create a different kind of dynamic in the party a lot of democrats are very frustrated love to get both of your you know snapshots you know on the role in presence and meaning of joe manchin in these times. well i
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would you know i would it's funny i would say it's possible that joe biden would need to invent him because he does allow him to sort of you know create some kind of leverage back and forth right with these different wings of the party that so far he's done a pretty good job you know kind of holding together with him the real people who would need to invent him are probably the 7 or 8 democrats who in a lot of these cases have similar qualms on issues of substance and in some cases on these kind of you know metta issues of you know filibuster bipartisanship all you know collegiality all this kind of story because it's clear i mean you have kristen cinema who to my mind at least is often just up there for the optics right to kind of position herself in this what she finds to be her sweet spot in in arizona kind of a you know a blue trending purple state but you've clearly got you know whether it's minimum wage or you know
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a corporate tax hike or all sorts of different issues you've clearly got as i said 7 or 8 other democrats who are kind of happy to not you know not be the one taking the incoming on right or basically but still having him on a rock and a man that internet say he's just anchored right we're in and all 3 and it's for him as he says very openly sometimes you know having the left wing of his party coming after him is good for him in west virginia even though some of them don't realize that no one's ever going to have a primary against him so he's the one who paradoxically it's good for whereas maybe a mark warner or bennett is one of these guys it's not great for them so they let him take it with get me let me get a quick snapshot from you on the role and meaning of senator joe manchin. well i think that generally people tend to sort of step into this role if there is a void right i mean
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a couple of years ago we certainly wouldn't have thought of senator mitt romney potentially being like this wing votes on anything in the senate and being a right he would have just been considered a bog standard mainstream conservative but you know fast forward and here we are so i think that when you have a void people do tend to step into it and fell it but yet joe manchin is a fascinating political character and i agree with a lot of what josh said when you go back and you look at everything that happened surrounding minimum wage there was this whole discussion about how this was all about the filibuster and in actual fact it was and it was totally about tester cinema mark kelly right right all of these are democrats who were absolutely not going to go for $15.00 minimum wage but joe manchin was the one who sort of stood out front on that and took a lot of fire i do sort of wonder if you're somebody like tester though in montana potentially being seen as being kind of imagine i maybe would be beneficial to him i think the difference is that joe mansion having outright the like your political
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career that he has in west virginia you know i did an experiment once when i was out in west virginia i went through a cracker barrel and i went through and i asked every single table what people thought of joe mansion and i think because of the lengthy political career that he has there and the name recognition he has he does have some capacity to get away with things in west virginia as probably tester doesn't actually have exactly the same standing maybe unlike 8 years maybe we'll find he does but he might not be there quite yet i have been into some of those same cracker barrels in west virginia and i and i and i have kind of who largely felt the same thing there's been a great discussion just really fast you know we have the present could be speaking to the nation or a little bit more than 3 months in what grade would you give joe biden josh. it's a or a minus i think that given given the range of challenges not just in policy terms but also kind of keeping his his his rather you know fractured party together with
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him it's hard for me to think how he could have realistically done much better than he has at this point and liz your great i'm going to say in completing their to reasons why number one big issue for me i didn't know that was an option. an option for me i'm a libertarian i create my own rules yet he has not he has not done what he promised to do with regard to refugee numbers he is currently still holding it up trying number they are saying that they will reverse that within about a month but until they do i can't give him anything other than an incomplete and the other thing that's very important probably for your viewers in particular is he still has a ton of ambassadorships that have yet to be adequately right i'm not shocked when you look at we don't have the u.s. doesn't have an ambassador to the european union that's crazy crazy crazy crazy and i say that is you know somebody who's british and who's just had to you know give away the european union right but it's a huge trading bloc it's a huge economic bloc and the fact that we don't have that position phil get i think
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that that's a little bit of an oversight on his part a pretty significant one i know he's had his hands busy but my goodness so until he those 2 things done for me he's continuing to get an incomplete terrific conversation so there we have it we have you know a minus and an incomplete we'll be back with both of you again i'm sure to take the measure of the by the administration you know later on and it's and it's 10 your communications strategist liz mair journalist josh marshall thank you both so much for being with us today thank you. so what's the bottom line maybe the most important change we've noticed isn't the trillions of dollars that are pouring into the economy to end the pandemic or fix america's infrastructure or the great competition between washington and beijing on the world stage maybe it's got nothing to do with money and power for now i think it's the temperature not the temperature of global warming but the political temperature in america where every new policy initiative from the white house would start
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a new round of culture wars or where every american looked at their neighbors with suspicion wondering if they were quietly destroying the country the reality is that the trump era is slowly receding although it's impossible to measure precisely it's just a feeling but it's kind of a good feeling better than constant rage as president trump himself once said he was trying to provoke for now a decrease in toxicity a lowering of the political heat well it's a good 1st start and that's the bottom line. this time the differences and similarities of cultures across the sentimental when . the news and current affairs that matter to you. it's just before a 100 hours g.m.t. that's 9 pm in washington d.c.
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and we're waiting for joe biden's 1st address to congress as u.s. president on the eve of his 100 day in office he is expected to tell americans and the world that he's turning the coronavirus crisis into new opportunities let's go straight to our white house correspondent kimberly halliday i was so we wait for the president to start speaking just tell us what we should be looking out for and what to expect kimberly. oh let's start with some of the history that's being made if you take a look at the chamber what we see right now behind where joe biden will be speaking is something that we've not seen ever before and that is 2 women standing behind joe biden when he makes his 1st joint address to congress not only is nancy pelosi the house speaker standing there but also beside her will be the 1st female vice president and a woman of color so this is something that is being noted here in the united states
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but also due to the pandemic and the coded protocols we also expect that things will look very different inside the chamber in fact typically we would have at least $535.00 people in attendance not this year it's going to be about $200.00 and it's likely to be a friendly audience for joe biden given the fact that there will probably mostly be democrats a lot of republicans say they're staying home but they won't be attending so that's a problem for unity that joe biden is trying to sort of bring the country together that some republicans are choosing not to even attend now also what will be different this year is the fact that the 1st lady typically would have special guests that reflect the president's policy sitting alongside her not this time well dr jill biden will be in attendance but we know is that in fact she had a special reception to honor those who would typically be seated beside her so those are some of the things.

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