tv AC360 Address to Congress Preview CNN April 28, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
coming up in an hour. thanks for joining us. our coverage of president biden's first address to congress continues with a special edition of "ac 360." we are standing by for president biden to leave the white house and head to capitol hill for his first address to a joint session of congress. we're learning he'll confront some of his toughest challenges head on. welcome. i'm anderson cooper with a special edition of "ac 360." an hour from now president biden will enter a house chamber that looks very different than what we usually see. there is a strict limit on lawmakers in the room because of covid-19. roughly 200 people will be in the audience without the typical packed crowds of officials and guests. there will be a historic bac
backdrop. for the first time two women will set behind the president. camillkamala harris and jen psa >> that's right, president biden will declare that america is on the move again tonight as he totes progress in battling the pandemic and revitalizing the economy and will address alcohol le -- challenges of the next 100 days and-- challenges of the next 100 days and challenges of the next 100 days and challenges of the next 100 days andchallenges of the next 100 d and appeal to viewers at home to get vaccinated and send a message to republicans in the audience working to block his agenda declaring he wants bipartisanship but he is ready to go along with the democrats to get things done if need be. as president biden stairs down trump allies in the chamber, he will condemn the deadly capitol riot in the halls where it happened, just about three and a half months ago. he'll call the january 6th
insurrection the quote worst attack on our democracy since the civil war unquote. on this big night for the current president, we have seen the former president's legacy on stunning display with federal agents raiding rudy giuliani's apartment and office in new york city as part of a lengthy criminal investigation of giuliani and investigation that began during the trump years. giuliani served at trump's personal lawyer and we'll have much more ahead on that. let's go to cnn corresponphil matt mattingly. >> the stakes couldn't be higher to layout his sweeping $1.8 trillion proposal to really dramatically expand this social safe at the net for families. that's why two senior administration officials said the president spent much of this day zeroing in on the speech
laying out the process of the tax increases on the wealthy that will be used to finance this plan. jake, if you think back over the course of the last several decades, it's a pretty tremendous risk to raise tax increases as an agenda item at all. the president isn't just doing that but proposing to raise taxes at a level that individuals, wealthy individuals haven't seen over several decades. that is why he has been working back and forth throughout the course of the day with his chief speech writer, his close senior advisor to work to bring clarity to that language, understanding that this is a moment, this is the moment to explain to the american people on his terms the specifics of what this proposal will actually do. specifically, the idea to make crystal clear that non-of the tax increases will apply to any american making less than $400,000. the president and his team know this plan will be attacked relentlessly by americans. they want to get out front of
that and recognize a prime time moment in front of americans as they roll out a brand-new seismic proposal in terms of the infrastructure of the country. this is a moment a legislative proposal could launch towards success or completely fall apart. jake, the president as he worked through the key components making clear he prefers the ladder to be the result. >> phil mattingly at the white house and i'm joined with abby phillip and dana bash and we really can't impress upon our audience enough how different tonight will be from previous events like this. first of all, the chamber will be almost empty because of the incredible challenges that president biden is facing with the coronavirus pandemic. second, we'll have two women behind him, vice president harris and speaker pelosi for the first time and third, he is in a way returning to the scene of the crime. the january 6th insurrection and there are going to be people in the audience who possibly helped ensite that very battle. it is going to be a very, very
different night than what we're used to. >> different in terms of all the things you said but content. the kind of president joe biden has made clear he wants to be and is going to emphasize that at this 100-day mark and specifically, the notion that they believe inside the white house that the covid pandemic made people in america understand the need for the government. need for the government to work, and the need for the government to work for you. and what the president is doing already and is going to continue to layout in his speech tonight is never mind just fixing the economy fixing the health care crisis, let me how it going to work for you with the programs you're proposing and they believe whether from polling or focus groups or all the above that that kind of push is going to reach an audience and reach voters who are much more apt to
believe it than the past. >> it a tough sell. it will be difficult which is why as phil is reporting, he's reworking the tax increases over and over again because he has a task tonight of not really speaking to whoever is in that audience in the room and there might be even fewer republicans in the room than democrats but he's speaking to the american public. he's going around them to the american public and trying to convince americans to do something really hard. you know, i was reading one of our colleagues on kr,cnn.com talking about joe biden's first state of the union he attended. richard nixon and critiqued him by saying we need a churchill basically saying we need someone willing to tell people what it is like it is even when it's tough and that's what he's trying to do tonight is basically say we need to do this for the future of the country, raise taxes. it's hard and unpopular
generally in american history. >> well, not raising taxes on the wealthy. that's pretty popular. >> we shall see. >> and that's probably -- >> who counts as wealthy, right? >> exactly. we'll hear from him tonight, anderson? >> jake, thanks very much. i'll talk with david axelrod and glor ia borger. talk about this night and the importance of it and the message biden will be delivering tonight. >> what intrigues me is the timing of the speech. it's almost may and is very, very late for a president to make this kind of speech, the first speech to a joint session. this is really intentional. they have been planning this for months because they want to pass this rescue act and they wanted the impact of it to be felt and they wanted to be able to stand up. they wanted him to stand up in front of congress and the country and say this is the progress we've made. we've come a long way and they want this to be the jet fuel behind the second and third stages of his program. so this was very intentional and
we'll see. the next two stages are harder than the first stage but they obviously, they had a strategy, they have been very disciplined about pursuing it. on this issue of tax -- there are two things we need to do on spending. the republicans want to focus on the overall price tag and prose polls that are quite popular so that's one element. >> free community college and free preschool. >> exactly. much is very popular and who is being taxed and not being taxed, which is 99.3% of the american people. so there is this old expression don't tax you, me, the guy behind the tree. been doing quite well and they will help pay for this. >> i was talking to a senior white house advisor who is very confident they're proposal things that the public wants and that the public likes so if you
want to tax the wealthy, that's fine. you want infrastinfrastructure,% approval. that's fine. they're not concerned whether he gets applause in the room tonight. what they're concerned with is he can make the case i've been competent, look what i did for you. i got you shots. i got you checks. i got you jobs. i've done that in 100 days and look at what government can do for you in the future and i promise you that these are things that will help your family and they're long over due. >> we're getting closer to president biden's departure from the white house and the spotlight on the big night. be right back.
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shadow of donald trump. the other big headline today, a very big headline, ted federal agents raiding the home and office of rudy giuliani that served as trump's personal lawyer. it focuses on his activities in ukr ukraine. that was linked to trump's efforts to dig up dirt on biden and his son hunter. the fact they were able to get pretty extraordinary search warrant to go ahead into his home and office, that's pretty amazing. >> it is. let's be clear, you don't get a search warrant for a lawyer or the former lawyer of the president of the united states based on a hunch. you have to have specificity. you have to be able to say look, i have probable cause to believe a crime occurred. i can point to the crime that has occurred and tell you i'm going to find evidence of that crime at the place i'm going to serve so they're going to ask about electronic devices, documents, and i suspect they have some clarity about what
specifically they are actually looking for. you can't go to a judge and say hey, i want a fishing license. a warrant is very particular. it has to be because it's trampling of civil liberties if it's not. >> this is the latest in a bizarre turn for rudy giuliani. he has a series of bizarre turns in recent years. >> a man who came to national fame as a law and order mayor and prosecutor before that. he was america's mayor of 9/11 but he'll be known for the last four or five years, which is as donald trump's personal lawyer and part of a circle of people around donald trump who frankly have created a giant ethical stain on that administration. laura is dead right. you cannot get a search warrant to search an attorney's office. it's an incredibly high bar. not just probable cause but really? do it. this is a test for the biden justice department. joe biden does not like rearview mirror recrimination investigations of political enemies however, clearly here, and we'll hear from the attorney general in time, this is all sealed right now. the prosecutors in new york made
a compelling case. we have a strong case this is worth doing and so it's a huge stain on mr. giuliani presumed innocent but comes at a moment of key choice for republicans. this is a giant debate in the republican party. how much trump, how much trump-ism do we keep? the republicans have a giant choice to make. the former president doesn't want to go away. rudy giuliani comes with him. this coming at this moment f focuses conversations about who, who are we going forward? >> one thing i was touched by today after four years of covering the trump administration and seeing how they react to certain doj investigations, is their non-reaction to the raid today. this is the second time a personal attorney to donald trump had their home and office and you didn't see gloating from the white house and behavior we saw for so many years from trump
and accolades and when you spoke with cedric richmond tonight, he said this is why people wanted joe biden to be in office. they didn't want him to interfere with the justice department. they didn't want him to be involved. they said we're not going to comment on that and ovf course, we're told the white house didn't get a heads up this raid was going on. you're seeing that return to normalcy and that's another good point that while this is something that the white house is not getting involved with, they do say hey, this really shows the point of what we were trying to make the campaign and this is why people put joe biden in office. >> remember what it reminds the american people of. remember this investigation. it was the essence of the first impeachment trial, the first impeachment trial of president trump so it has a clear demarcation between these two different administrations and it also talks about transparency because remember, giuliani is being investigated in part we're
understanding based on his failure to register as a foreign agent on behalf of another nation. the ideas of loyalty. the ideas of to whom you serve and whether or not you're going to be transparent and about serving these two sort of masters is very part and parcel to everything we're talking about and so when you have a justice department and make no mistake about it, you don't get a warrant against rudy giuliani without merritt car lgarland be aware and running up the chain in anticipation of the political optics and yet and still, you didn't have any push back in the form of shutting it down. it thinking is there fresh eyes on this particular case or fresh information now that led this new justice department to decide that whatever was investigated up to two or three years ago was now worthy of having a warrant. that is a question that needs answered. >> let's think of giuliani. he was mayor during 9/11 and
then former u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york, a former top official in the justice department and look now. >> someone who knows the rules. someone who knows the law. someone who knows the dos and don'ts of legal representation. he has every right to have clients and every -- forgive me, scum bag in the world has the right to a lawyer. he rep sresented people in ukrae that don't have a clean past. that's his right and your right. not if the president of the qu united states is asking you or you're telling him you're digging up dirt on joe biden from the same people. not if they have business, some are under indictment before the justice department and have business interest in which the united states government can help them. that's a conflict of an ethical moral he stated. did he cross the line legally? that's what this investigation is about. if we covered the white house for a long time, presidents want this day to be about him. you would think this is a distraction. we did not need to lose time on
cable television. i actually think this helps them because to laura's point and caitlyn's point, he is president because he's not donald trump. in part, because he said i'm descent, no morning tweets, i will make government work for you. i will not surround myself with a clown car of characters. this is a reminder why joe biden is president. >> it's amazing when we heard about this earlier today. i was pretty stunned. i'm sure all of us were. we'll watch it. lawmakers are arriving now on capitol hill for a presidential address to congress unlike any we've ever seen before. our special live coverage continues right after this.
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jeff zeleny now to tell us more about preparations for the speech. jeff, what can you tell us? >> jake, several months in the making but delayed by a couple months. six days before president elect biden took office he promised he would deliver the first address to a joint session of congress in february. of course, that did not happen and the white house is not apologizing for that delay. in fact, it was bewas by design. the pandemic gave administration running room in their words. it's created a political opportunity they hope. so now the president will be addressing the nation on his -- on the eve of his 100th day in office with accomplishments under his belt to use the momentum to go forward to what the white house realizes will be a secondbeyond. it is the opportunity they believe the pandemic creates that allows him really to make this argument this is a time to
reshape the american economy. he'll be talking about using broadband and spending millions and millions as part of the infrastructure bill. the white house believes they are coming after a year of people working from home realizing broadband is infrastructure as important as the gas line or the water line. so look for the president tonight i'm told to use very specific examples. now, yes, he'll talk how to pay for the plans but targeting some of those voters in the middle who voted for him and they may have voted for president trump last time but they are the working class voters so a variety of messages tonight but it is one of opportunity that this white house believes it is time to seize now. that's why he is going big. jake? >> jeff zeleny at the white house, thanks so much. let's throw it back to anderson. >> jake, thanks very much. how much does a speech like this actually matter? i mean, a lot of coverage and we talk about it a lot but a week
from now. >> it matters. i think people, especially progressives, we under estimated joe biden. we were like joe biden, he's going to maybe be slightly better than trump. he's going to maybe walk away from trump, be nicer than trump. he is chasing fdr. joe biden is swinging for the fences. you look at this speech, this is a once in a century opportunity to reset the american system. you're talking about a free community college? you're talking about child care. you're talking about family leave. you're talking about the family economics that are on display here will change people's lives in a real way. so i think nobody has really put it together yet. this is a big reveal. you put all the stuff together. you've got the deferred maintenance taking care of for how this country can work for more people. i think it's a big deal. >> evan, you wrote the book on joe biden. are you surprised by the direction he's moving? >> he feels this moment calls as
van said for something larger than an ordinary set of policy items. in his inauguration address 99 days ago, he mentioned democracy more than any address in history not only because we were two weeks after the insurrection out capitol. it's because he really sees there is a risk if americans don't believe democracy can deliver for them, they'll become more alienated not just in the eyes of americans. tonight he's talking to the world and making a case in effect for the idea democracy can still function and then we can still find ways to solve our problems. >> and where does he go from -- how does he sell this beyond tonight? >> well, i mean, i think that he can rely on the grass roots. there has been progressive left. first of all, biden learned, i think, from obama biden don't wait around too long for republicans. they'll take your time and won't give you any votes. but the grass roots has not demobilized. you take -- ordinary after the
election, we're notorious for going to sleep, that doesn't happen. you have the care can't wait collision that brings people fighting for these policies. they are still pushing ahead. he doesn't have to fight by himself now. >> the issue isn't -- the issue is not really rallying the base. the issue is he's got a 50/50 senate, a very narrow majority in the house. he's got conservative or moderate senators among those in the senate. he's got some suburban democrats in the house who are going to be concerned about taxes. so, you know, landing it in such a way that he can command his own base in these two chambers of congress is going to be a complicated task. >> plus, he knows he's not going to get everything so he wants to put it out there and say this is what i believe. >> at any moment, we'll get a look at the setup for address. the president speaking at the top of the hour. we're covering it all. we'll be right back. brand-new
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session of congress. let's bring in cnn chief correspondent man knu. who is he trying to convince of his priorities and plans tonight? >> reporter: not just republicans, we expect probably will oppose most plans but one very powerful democrat, joe mansion who holds a key vote in the 50/50 senate and i just spoke to him earlier this evening a couple times today and he's raising some serious concerns about the direction that joe biden is taking and spending enormous amount of money to redo the safety social net. he said he's very uncomfortable with the large amount of money that the president is going to propose tonight and he also raised concerns in a conversation i had with him earlier. he said the proposal to raise taxes on capital gains he said would be a quote heavy lift. he said his concern is the economy is about to take off and
he's concerned we put the brakes on them. he also is trying to put the brakes on efforts by democrats to cut out republicans because of concerns republicans aren't going as far as they are and try to prevent them from using a process that would allow democrats to pass the biden agenda on just democratic votes alone. he's saying continue to work with republicans, exhaust all options before we go this other route and that is a very important signal because joe biden, the democratic leaders will need joe mansion's vote in order to advance anything to the scale of what joe biden is proposing here so they have to listen. the president, democratic leaders will have to listen here to one of the most important voices as raising concerns about his proposals. jake? >> right now, viewers are looking at images from national hall and you saw perhaps vice president kamala harris with her senate escort. she was towards the front of the line. these are united states senators
walking in. masked as is required by the physician of the house who is setting the rules this evening. and, you know, as we prepare to hear from president biden, you know, you see these groups walking in. democrats and republicans. they're mainly sticking with their own party in the past there was -- has been a tradition. there is speaker nancy pelosi. it is her chamber. she will be presiding and she will be sitting behind president biden and will be the first time in american history that two women are on there, speaker pelosi and vice president harris. >> and the image that we saw before, let's just actually talk about this moment. >> here is -- >> the vice president walking up. >> vice president harris. let's listen in.
[ applause ] >> this is going to be a moment we're about to see. the vice president, a female walking up next to the female speaker of the house. look at that moment. >> oh, a little bit of a non-covid issue handshake. >> we were told you're not supposed to do that but i think it's going to be difficult for a bunch of glad handling politicians to not gladly handle each other's hands and elbows. >> it's actually for both of them, right? dana. nancy pelosi has been many congress for so long. >> the first and nl only speakef the house. >> the first and only female vice president. >> as we look at that, those images, i was up on capitol hill in the speaker's conference room today with a couple of few
reporters and she was talking about this very moment, talking about how important it is going to be for her, for girls, for everybody across the country to see those images. she also said, guys, that her phone was ringing off the hook. that people were calling from all around the globe because they were excited to see that imagery. she also, of course, mentioned that the two of them are from california, not just from california but the bay area. she said must be something in the water. >> and i remember it was, i believe, 2007 when the house went into session for the very first time with a female speaker and the gavel being handed to nancy pelosi and what a moment that was. it was such a different era in a way that republican house members were even allowing themselves to talk about when a great moment it was for their daughters. i remember former congressman
putnam talking about his daughters able to look and see that women, that girls could grow up to be the speaker of the house and wasn't that a wo wonderful thing and there you see the first woman vice president and the first woman speaker of the house for the first time. a real moment in american history, abby? >> i think a lot of about nancy pelosi and how she has often had to fight to stay in that job and in that chair and it's perhaps for such a moment like this. i mean, i think a lot of democrats wanted hillary clinton to be sitting where biden will be tonight or standing where biden will be tonight but to have kamala harris next to her is another huge, huge moment for this country and as you were saying, dana, the calls from around the world were probably in part because the united states is a little behind the eight ball on this. we're not really leading the world on this one. we are far behind. >> lagging, yeah. >> we're lagging even still but tonight is a really special moment. >> she said earlier today
because she was really dwelling on this moment because it's so historic. she said i thought it was easier to elect a woman president than woman speaker because this place referring to the capitol and she trailed off and pulsed and caught herself. she said well, there is a pecking order of over 200 years. i still want to know what she really wanted to say. >> congresswoman liz cheney, the number three republican in the house is experiencing something of that glass ceiling herself with the number of republicans rebelling against her for standing up for facts and truth and against the insurrection and there was a fascinating article the other day in which a member of house republicans were quoted saying things like that she voted for impeachment. cheney voting for impeachment was like seeing your gill friend s -- girlfriend sitting in the football stands for the other team. she's the house republican chairwoman. it's still an all boys club in
many ways. there is kevin mccarthy, mitt romney, senator mitt romney. >> yeah, it is still an all boys club but doesn't look that way. >> not on the two-shot. >> not on the two-shot. we knew this would happen from the moment she was picked. the moment they won. we knew that would be an image we would see but to actually see it, it's really powerful. >> yeah. it will be even more so when joe biden comes into the room being flanked by these two powerful women, two of the most powerful women in the entire country. and, you know, i think that this is one of those moments where as we often have in the vrecent ye have to take a pause and take a moment and people can recognize there is something very significant about what we are seeing here, a black and south asian woman and a woman, vice president and a woman speaker of
the house. both of them, like you were saying from california, which is really amazing. >> and from the bay area. >> and from the bay area, which is amazing politically considering that that state, you know, very much a democratic stronghold but not necessarily one that sends folks to the white house all that often. >> the congressional correspondent ryan nobles is inside the chamber and joins us now over the line. ryan, tell us what you're seeing there. the cameras are picking up some of the images. there is senator markey and senator elizabeth warren who is a woman that ran and tried to become the first woman president. what are you seeing, ryan? >> jake, you pointed out already that they have gone to great lengths in this room to try and encourage as much social distancing as possible. every single seat here is assigned so when members of congress come in a room, they have a special place they're designated to go to. it's not first come first serve as it normally is with a joint
address to members of congress and each one of those seats is at least four seats in between them to try to keep them apart and as you pointed out, those seats along the aisle which are often most coveted to get close access to the president and dig tarries as they come down the aisle, those are three seats away from the aisle designed to prevent people from crowding that space as the president comes in but as you saw members of the senate and the vice president come in, a lot of those protocols were quickly abandoned and as i look on the floor now, we see a lot of members talking in very tight circles, a lot of handshakes and ugh h hugs and people happy to see each other. while they take every precaution they can to stop the spread of the coronavirus. the lion share of people in this room have received vaccinations, they are fully vaccinated. in addition to that, every single one of us allowed into this room ahead of time had to
show some proof of vaccination or that we had taken a negative covid test within the last 48 hours. so, you know, it will be interesting to see how this plays out when the president himself comes in because they are doing everything they can to protect everybody in this room but it's going to be difficult especially given, you know, the magnitude of this particular event. >> we just saw on the screen there the chairman of the joint chief of staff general mark milly. usually, the joint chiefs are there, all of them or at least almost all of them. tonight, only one of them, same thing with the supreme court, the u.s. supreme court, all nine justices are invited. tonight, it will be one of the justices, the chief justice of the united states, john roberts is just one of many ways that this evening is very different from every previous joint session of congress that you have ever seen before. manu raju, tell us about the ways in which they are planning on getting president biden into
that chamber given the pandemic and also, frankly, given the security concerns we're looking at what was the scene of a crime just three and a half months ago with the january 6th insurrection. >> yeah, remember, the house members have to go through security to come into the chamber. this has never been done. members could blow past security but have to do that here and when joe biden walks down the center aisle, this will be much different than what we've seen in years past and presidential addresses. in the past members crowd the aisle and wait for hours to sit in the center aisle to shake the president's hand. this time they are forbidden from doing that. they're told they cannot line the aisle. they cannot make physical contact but as you were saying, we're seeing and ryan was just reporting, members have clearly not abided by those physical distancing requirements so perhaps some may not listen to this and perhaps some may give a fist bump or elbow bump.
so even the presidential entrance will be different. there will be an escort committee that will leave from the house and senate and both chambers will go and escort into the body. we'll see how the members do react and if any of them do approach them as they try to have some -- lay down some restrictions on the interactions with the president. >> the joint session will come to order. the chair appointments as members of the committee on the part of the house to escort the president of the united states into the chamber. the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer -- >> so the speaker of the house nancy pelosi is reading a boilerplate that's done every time just to describe what is about to happen in terms of the president coming in and the way they're supposed to convene. you know, the president had some of the anchors from various networks over to the white house today to talk about his speech and most of it was off the record but one thing that was on
the record had to do with the way that the president views this moment in time and while i think a lot of people voted for joe biden thinking he was going to be the kind of deal making senator and vice president that they're familiar with and i do think his personal tendency is to make deals and cut deals, i also think that he is really torn between that persona that he adopted for decades and the idea that he wants to be fdr. he wants to be a transformative president. he wants to remake america and he doesn't only see it in terms of his having a successful administration or even the united states being successful, he sees this, he sees the challenge in front of him in the country in terms of whether or not the 21st century will be a century defined by democracies of the united states or defined
by autocracies like china. that's how he views this. i was speaking to a republican office holder today that said he agrees with that and in fact, he said, this are a number of countries throughout the world, especially in asia that are watching. is this going to be the century of the united states or is it going to be the century of china because if it's china, if it's autocr autoacrat autocrat, they will revert. not just can he pass this one piece of legislation but how successful is democracy in the 21st century? >> a lot of people are maybe guilty of this misinterpreted biden's strength as a politician as just being able to glad hand with folks in that room, but it's also in being able to communicate with regular people out in, you know, for example in the rust belt where david axelrod used to send him during
the 2008 election. so i think that's what tonight is going to be about. it's going to be about how he can talk to those people not in that room who he's not glad handling and making deals with but in his view are important for his agenda. >> so true. think about the fact that he has been a senator for 36 years was in that room listening to presidential speeches as a vice president for eight years, went and sat where the vice president is sitting right now to be there for ten of president obama's speeches and now he's going to be the one delivering that and it is him who is going to be focused on the issues you spoke about. i want to say the iconic moment when the house speaker says the president of the united states, another moment of history well see. william walker is now the house sergeant at arms, the first african-american, first black house sergeant at arms ever to
hold that job. >> it's a very different night than what the american people are used to seeing, right there. gloria, there are a lot of republicans and even some democrats who are looking at joe biden in a dinner way, saying that he appears as a moderate but some of his policies are very much in line with elizabeth warren and bernie sanders. >> you hear republicans say it all the time, this isn't the guy who campaigned as bipartisan, this isn't joe biden, he's been captured by the left. when you talk to people in the biden administration, what they will tell you is the pandemic changed the world and the pandemic affected joe biden. and what we have seen in joe biden is somebody who at every juncture has talked to the american people and said, now we have 700 million shots, now it's
up to 200 million shots. this is a moment, and he has to meet it. one thing i want to say, anderson, about tonight is there are some democrats who are actually a little concerned that there's not enough energy in the room for the american public to see and that will be a little more difficult for biden to give this kind of a speech. he's a speaker who likes to rouse people. and there may not be a lot of that this evening because you only have 200 people in the room as opposed to 1,400. and you may not get the kind of applause you want. >> david, also president biden benefits from the position the republicans have put themselves in, after going along with the worst excesses of the former president, they don't have much room to stand on in talking about keeping control of budgets. >> no doubt about it, they're
definitely seasonal budget hawks and they arrived at 2021 to be concerned about deficits again. what's served biden so well in these first 100 days is, his tone and tenor is very much open. he talks about compromise. he doesn't vilify his opponents. he doesn't personalize his disputes. and that has created a sense of a guy who really genuinely wants to work across the aisle. that doesn't mean that he will give them a veto, and he understands that, as between getting something done and working on a bipartisan basis. if he has to make that choice, getting something done is going to be the choice he makes. but he has made it very difficult for them. >> madam speaker, the dean of the diplomatic corps. >> that's the assistant sergeant at arms, kathleen joyce, announcing the dean of the diplomatic corps and others. [ applause ]
i'm sorry, go ahead, david. >> no, i was just saying, he speaks the language of compromise, the language of unity. and so it makes it harder for the republicans, and it is very -- after trump, that is a huge relief to the american people. and that's worked in his favor in the first hundred days. >> and i don't think that he believes that the drama of conflict necessarily promotes change or the kind of change he wants. he's not into that kind of drama. >> the second gentleman, douglas emhoff, being escorted into the executive gallery. >> that's history right there, the second gentleman. and i just want to say, to see kamala harris up there, she was my district attorney when we were young folks in san francisco, she was my attorney general, she was my senator, now she's my vice president. just like you saw joe biden sitting in the audience, then sitting in the vice president's chair, and now giving a speech
as president, kamala harris may one day be standing in that well. >> the chief justice of the united states, supreme court chief justice john roberts. john king, this is an historic moment certainly for the country. but it's also a very historic moment for the president of the united states. >> it is a giant opportunity for the president. he's speaking here in washington in he's trying to speak to the country again, wolf. joe biden first came to the senate 48 years ago. >> let's listen in. >> madam speaker, the chief justice of the supreme court. [ applause ] >> normally most if not all of the justices, nine justices, would be there. but because of the covid pandemic, just the chief justice will be there tonight. >> the chief representing the high court tonight. to the point, joe biden was elected to the senate 48 years ago. he first ran for president 34 years ago. people think of him as an old school politician. this is a very ambitious,
pro-government agenda he will outline tonight. he's banking on the fact that he believes in the first hundred days he has proven, i told you i was going to turn around the covid vaccine rollout, i did it. we are the envy of the world in the vaccination world. he's going to say trust me as i try to do more. it's a tougher sell now. we're heading toward a midterm election year. but he's on good ground as he defies washington wisdom in pushing for the policies on his agenda. >> what we've heard from white house officials is they think it will take longer to get to those priorities but he is going to try to sell this infrastructure bill and american families plan which is childcare, education, paid family leave as well.
of course there is the first lady, jill biden, walking in right now. [ applause ] >> interesting, no guests, at least on the scene, with dr. jill biden or with the second gentleman either. >> there are so many historic firsts, the second gentleman is one of them, in also the first lady not having her guests, where typically the president would call them out during his remarks, there would be a round of applause, you always remember that sight. instead she met virtually with them at the white house at 4:00 p.m. none of them are joining her because of the pandemic. back to what we expect to hear from president biden tonight, is talking about those two plans, not necessarily selling them even to the republicans there in the room. president biden is expected to talk about how he wants bipartisanship but if he's not going to get it, that doesn't mean the train is going to stop, is basically what he's expected
to say. he's going to be trying to sell it to democrats and republicans across the country. >> and the urgency is critical. joe biden has been around washington for a long time. what he's shaped by this night is his time as vice president to barack obama, came in with an ambitious agenda, passed some of of it but lost the house in the midterm election. joe biden knows he's only guaranteed two years. he's got a democratic majority in the house, an evenly split senate, but at least he has a chance to govern now. that's why he'll do as much as he can, as fast as he can. >> it's interesting, jake, all but one member of the cabinet would be there, not necessarily tonight, nutjust two. and they're about to be introduced. >> madam speaker, representatives of the president's cabinet. [ applause ] >> that's right, wolf, usually every member of the cabinet but one is there.
and tonight it is secretary of state, tony brooklyn ken, antony blinken right there, and secretary of defense, retired general lloyd austin. that's it. as viewers of the state of the union address, this annual address, know, since the cold war, since the john f. kennedy years, there's been a designated survivor. there is no need for a designated survivor because so much of the cabinet is not there because of the pandemic now. >> that's right, so many different things, cluck the fact that the chief justice of the united states is the only one there, very few members of the diplomatic corps. as much as this is going to look different, and it does, you can see there, feel different from other speeches, presidential speeches before congress, state of the unions, this is a moment for joe biden that he understands, maybe more than most of his predecessors, because he has been in that
chamber so many times. the importance of it, but particularly because of where we are in this time, in this country. and again, because he feels that he has this very thin sliver of time to convince americans that he should spend the money that he's talking about, he should raise the taxes for the money he's talking about to help the different sectors of america. >> i don't know that there's been a president before joe biden who has had as much experience in that room as he had, who has been as comfortable in that space as he is. i remember so many state of the unions past, of joe biden sitting in the back, winking at someone, smiling, making faces, all kinds of memes. the masks are a different element. but the lack of social interaction which are his bread and butter is a different part of this as well.
and it really highlights not just the covid factor but the degree to which there's really a c chasm now. the shmoozing is going to be gone, by and large. this is a speech to the american public, for the american public, but a moment in american history that joe biden thinks is one of those pivot points in american history about big change, big progress. >> half century in the making. the president first elected in 1972. these are the escorts of president biden. he was first elected to the u.s. senate in 1972, ran for president twice before. he ultimately became victorious. steny hoyer, jim clyburn, house leaders, they are fist bumping. once again, they were told not to, but politicians