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tv   Inside Politics With John King  CNN  October 5, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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of the month, but manchin says it's going to take some time. >> the debt ceiling hanging out there. thank you for being with us at this hour. i'm kate bolduan, "inside politics" with john king starts right now. ♪ hello and welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king in washington. thank you for sharing your day. mike pence and insurrection amnesia. the former vice president said the media is hyping what happened on january 6th. another insider says she's worried that will bring the 1-6 crew into the white house. blues, a white house official steps down. the white house must replace francis collins. and president biden heading right now to a michigan
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battleground congressional district. he's urging democrats to review a spending plan and a path to prevent a government default. we begin, though, with important and damning testimony on capitol hill. facebook whistle-blower frances haugen telling senators the social media giant time and time again put profit over safety. despite that its platforms were harming children and inciting hate and violence. >> i saw facebook repeatedly encounter conflicts between its own profits and our safety. facebook consistently resolved these conflicts in favor of its own profits. the result has been more division, more harm, more lies, more threats and more combat. in some cases, this dangerous online has left to violence, harms and even kills people. >> haugen says the company hides evidence of the damaging impact. and that the responsibility rests with mark zuckerberg. >> mark has been built an
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organization that is very metrics-driven. it is intended to be flat. there's no unilateral responsibility. the metrics make the decision. unfortunately, that itself is a decision. and in the end, if he is the ceo and chairman of facebook, he is responsible for those decisions. >> the buck stops with him? >> the buck stops with him. >> with me now to share the reporting and insight cnn's donie o'sullivan and jennifer heigl from syracuse university. donie, what jumped out on capitol hill as the most important testimony as members of this committee and congress try to debate what should we do about it? >> reporter: it's all about the kids, you know. this is what i think is so compelling and what is so emotive, and why we're seeing some talk of bipartisanship here on the committee, that it is about protecting the most vulnerable people in our society. children.
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and that is what this whistle-blower frances haugen who, frankly, is a nightmare for facebook right now. he's articulate, compelling and speaking like a normal person. oftentimes, tech executives come up here, they sound like robots when they're explaining these things. she is laying it all out very, very clearly. and look, this is something that a lot of us know to be true. right? so many of us can relate to having people in our lives who have become addicted to social media. who has been harassed by social media. who have gone down rabbit holes of misinformation or as this is talking a lot about is, eating disorders. and we saw this week how senator blumenthal's office found that instagram was pushing eating accounts -- promoting eating disorder pages to a teenager's account. john. >> jennifer, it's the scope of this. donie is talking about children on instagram, going to be
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steered, essentially to conversations about annexia. being bullied by classmates. and miss haugen talking about violence and hate speech. and before the election, yes, facebook essentially turned it off, turned the switch to set a higher bar. but then reopened the floodgates. >> the choices that were happening on the platform were really about how we acted and twitchy was the platform, how viral was the platform. and facebook changed those safety defaults in the runup to the election because they knew they were dangerous. because they wanted that growth back, the platform back after the election, they would return to the original defaults. the fact that they had to break the glass on january 6th and turn them back on, i think that's deeply problematic. >> when you hear that, deeply problematic, what are the challenges, number one? who in facebook should be making
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these decisions? should it be artificial intelligence? anybody two, how transparent should the company be to members of congress and parents? and are there conversations about what should be regulated and what should facebook and other platforms be forced to show up? >> i'm happy that she's testifying, because as an external researchers it was very difficult to be able to draw that conclusion for the public. so, now, we have the inside information that helps provide that transparency. and so to put this in context, it's almost as if instagram and facebook platforms are mediating society. this isn't just about cyberbullying that people are experiencing. it's a societal pressure that is building within teenagers that are driving them towards self-harm. towards eating disorders. and let me tell you, i'm here to provide context. believe these parents that have been talked to senator
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blumenthal, it is horrific what is happening. i don't believe there's enough context around what exactly an eating disorder looks like. what you see are images of children starving themselves on this platform. and others witnessing that and replicating it. that is why this platform essentially is so dangerous as well as other forms of self-harm. >> let's hear a little more about that. i think, sometimes, you need to shock the situation in congress, especially free speech and government agency. you have to shock the system. let's listen more from the whistle-blower miss haugen about the issue of cigarettes. >> i'd like to emphasize one of the documents we sent in on problematic use examines the rate of problematic use by age. that peaked with 14 year olds. it's just like cigarettes. teenagers don't have good
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self-regulation. they say explicitly, i feel bad when i use instagram and yet, i can't stop. >> question then becomes, donie, you know, what next? what regulatory steps, what can you force this company which has resisted these efforts before and which spends a boat load on lobbyists, you get a few situations like this, and facebook's money machine kicks in and nothing happens. >> reporter: republicans and democrats have believed for a long time there has to be a regulation, a big tech, on ideas of what's happened. most of that has been and national debate in this country about social media has sort of focused on the political round. and going to first amendment issues and there is a very legitimate debate there. but when it comes to something like this, about the protection of children, about something as simple as pushing accounts that glorify anorexia and other eating disorders to kids that is
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surely something that i think we can see these senators come together on. and they certainly indicated that today. just one final point i want to make, john. obviously, today's hearing is focused on the protection of children. but as you mentioned, when you played that clip, haugen there spoke about the guard rails facebook in place leading up to the election. stopping the spread of misinformation. we know it didn't work very well but guard rails. facebook is pushing back and saying, well, we left some of these guard rails up but they're not saying exactly what they took down. adam schiff indicated yesterday that he is interested in speaking to this whistle-blower. so it's very likely i believe we'll see her back here on capitol hill in the coming weeks. >> again, the issue is transparency, in accessing the information. is the whistle-blower telling the truth? she sure sounds like she is. she eye provided documents. this is the head of global security for facebook saying
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essentially, oh, we're not perfect, but we're doing our best. >> one of the underlying principles behind the work that we do is ensuring people's safety and security. and most people really do feel quite safely and secure on our platform. so -- and they're coming back and they're using our platform because they do feel safe and secure. and we are doing a good job to get that content off. but i do think there are validation systems that people want in place. >> so, jennifer, help people understand -- and i think you made a very important point in your earlier answer, as an independent researcher, you try to do your best to how they operate. and where the bells are and your information is quite limited because they control it. and they're not always welcoming to share it. >> the stuff that i was seeing, especially around 2019 when the uk was looking into this issue is so graphic, we cannot show it on television.
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it is so graphic i feel bad sharing with other journalists. they couldn't even probably show it in the hearing. when they compare it to smoking cigarettes, it's not even close. i'm talking about mutilation and lacerations that go from the hip to their ankles, okay? i'm talking about horrific self-harm. and when these parents are saying that some of their children have been driven to suicide that is real. i believe them. and i think we need to believe parents at this point, who have experienced the absolute darkness that's being promoted on especially instagram. and we need to start to call -- he is the head of this. it's not just mark zuckerberg at this point. he needs to take accountably for what is happening on the platform. >> the accountability is the key word. let's hope congress continues
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with transparency and accountability. jennifer, thank you for your work you do. and donie o'sullivan, i know you'll keep track of the hearing. coming up for us, a shift of politics and mike pence following the boss yet again. now the former vice president case the media is hyping january 6th to try to demean trump motives. and new hickory-smoked bacon. it's the eat fresh refresh™ at subway®. there's so much new we don't even have time for this guy! but i'm tom brady! oh, and there's smashed avocado too! ♪ ♪ before you go there, or fist bump there, or... oh! i can't wait to go there!
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at vanguard, you're more than just an investor, you're an owner with access to financial advice, tools and a personalized plan that helps you build a future for those you love. vanguard. become an owner. remember, mike pence was rushed to a secure room in the capitol on january 6th as some stormed the buildings built a gallows outside and voiced their rage.
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but forgive and forget is apparently the view of pence now, with a twist of blaming the media. >> i know the media wants to distract from the biden administration's failed agenda by focusing on one day in january. they want to use that one day to try and demean the character and intention of 74 million americans who believed we could be strong again and prosperous again and supported our administration in 2016. and in 2020. >> with to us share the reporting and the insight cnn's melanie zanona, tia mitchell of the atlanta journal constitution. >> blame the media is a tired old trick that goes back a long way. he was vice president, a governor, a congressman. we can do two things at once. we'll talk about the biden administration, sir, later in the program. thank you very much. really, really, they're storming
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the building calling for his head that day. and he wants to pretend that the media is hyping it. >> and i think it also is the fact that former president trump continues to spread the same misinformation about the general election that helps fuel that riot that day. he's still talking about it. the media is talking about it, number one, because there were people arrested and faced charges, serious charges but former president trump hasn't let it go either. >> trump is the icon of the republican waparty and they're waiting in limbo to see whether or not he will run in 2024. and i wonder what is the hope that mike pence has. >> it's a sad calculation. the litmus test in the gop is do you believe the big lie or not? and we're starting to see pence wrap his arms around that narrative. and even though with the election results, also read from books coming out he was trying
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to find himself behind the scenes. >> right. so pence to hold some place in today's republican party has to still parrott the boss and foment information. and the information before us, maybe the january 6th committee will find something else, while the speaker of the house, while they were building a gallows outside and chanting "hang mike pence" we don't know that mr. trump did anything? >> right, right. >> and now he has to follow the line? >> right. and that just speaks to the power that president trump retained over the republican party these days. just a reminder to mike pence and to everyone that that one day in january was the most significant breach of the capitol since the war of 1812, just to be clear. but again, asmad was saying, our reporting from our colleagues at the "washington post" show that president trump is very closely watching a couple of potential
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republican contenders in 2024. ron desantis of florida being one and mike pence being the other. we've seen moves that former vice president pence has made going to iowa. making telegraphs of clear potential of a bid should president trump not run again. but because of the big lie that perpetuated in today's republican primary, this is really just this balance that pence is trying to strike, despite what is true and what is out there. >> to that point, remember, he's on hannity, number one. he wants to minimize what happened on january 6th, despite him being rushed by his secret service detail to safety. he wants to make it clear to those out there watching, maybe the boss won't run, if i run, remember, we're still buds. >> i can tell you that we parted am micably at the end of the administration. and we've talked a number of
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times since we both left office. >> no problem. >> yeah. i think that is just so interesting, the reality of january 6th. but i think republicans, we continue to see them try to minimize. i was in the capitol that day. it was a serious breach of security, a serious threat to the safety of elected officials. and it's just very interesting that republicans whose own safety was threatened that day are still prioritizing allegiance to former president trump, over their own safety in some aspects. >> one who is not and she's been criticized for other reasons, bring them up, if you wish, but stephanie grisham who worked in the white house for a long time now has written a book. she does not like what she saw, at least that's what will she said in the book. she worries, listen to this, because republicans won't clearly condemn what happened that day, won't condemn the former president. she says if there's a trump come
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back, she's going to bring those people inside the gates. >> people think that people in that trump white house were sad, perhaps, i have a feeling the 1-6 crowd might be working in the white house in 2024. or the sydney powells or the rudy giulianis. >> but she is a minority voice, if you will, in trump land, willing to speak out and criticize them. again, the trump team attacked her and said she has no credibility. >> and also has set aside her own credibility issues in the white house that she lied about former chief of staff john kelly and other issues. but i thought one point that she made that's interesting in light of the other reporting out there. one of the reasons she's speaking out more forcefully, that she's convinced that president trump will run again in 2024. that's what our reporting is indicating that he does seem to be edging close to a run. he actually wanted to announce something, but his advisers said
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to hold out, not to be blamed in the midterms. it's interesting what stephanie grisham has to say, although a book to promote. she is right, if president trump does run again, it will be a second term. he won't have to worry about a reelection. that's something that you think about. >> if you're the democrats, you you want trump to announce now so you have the issue in 2022. >> and we saw that in 2020, there's nothing that galvanizes like fear. many democrats don't seem to have fear of president trump. >> a legitimate reason. up next, a very big change in a personnel agency critical to the covid fight. head of the agency is stepping down. and we'll balk to leana wen after the break. in our overall health. chantell was suffering, and we had to put an end to that.
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dr. francis collins, the long time head of the institute of health is stepping down. dr. collins is dr. fauci's boss. the 71-year-old said after 12 years serving under three presidents it's time for new leadership in nih. in an interview with "the washington post" he acknowledged the polarization and politicization of science. dr. collins is a born-again christian and when he was named to lead in 2009, some questioned
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whether a man of such deep faith should lead government science. let's bring in elizabeth cohen. this is big news. a., a giant job, b., leaving in still the middle of a chronic pandemic. >> that's right, john, these will be very big shoes to fill at a very difficult time. i was just speaking with dr. anthony fauci about dr. collins. the two men are very close, they've known each other for about 30 years. and dr. fauci talked about his incredible input. the research he's done on cystic fibrosis. on genetics. it's hard to measure the scientific contributions that dr. collins has made over the years. in addition, as director, he's been really devoted to bringing in minorities. to bringing in women. to making those scientists head of institutes, to put them in leadership positions. let's take a look at a statement that dr. collins put out this morning. he said, i'm proud of all that we've accomplished. i fundamentally believe, however that no single person should
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serve in the position too long. and it's time to bring in a new scientist to lead the nih into the future. now, dr. fauci also mentioned just personally how much dr. collins has meant to him. he described him as a very kind and considerate person. 'actually called him folksy. he plays the guitar. he rides a motorcycle. he is a man of many interests. i've enter you haved dr. collins many times over the years. and what comes through is not just his scientific brilliance but his humility. john. >> decency, every time you hear him, he's grateful. let's go to dr. leana wen, the former new york city health commissioner. dr. wen, you hear the humility. saying it's time for somebody else. happening in the middle of a pandemic at the time when other key jobs including when there's no director of the food and drug administration, the fda right now, that's a big challenge for the white house? >> it is, so i do want to add on
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to what elizabeth was saying in that dr. collins is a national treasure. he's led so many important scientific discoveries. the nih also funds a lot of academic research done in institutions around the country. and there are so many treatments and discoveries that we have to credit dr. collins and his leadership for. but you're right, it is a change during a pandemic. the lack of an fda commissioner now, nine months into the biden administration, i think it's something that a lot of people just do not understand. the fda is one of the most important agencies in the pandemic response. i mean, think about what's on the fda's docket right now. boosters, vaccines for younger kids, treatments, tests even are approved by the fda. so, we really need to understand the fda as a public health agency, because its job is to protect the health and well-being of the american people. and i think it's long past time for president biden to nominate a permanent director there. >> maybe this news will give them the kick to do both. let me bring you in on the point
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eye just made, boosters. johnson & johnson, about 15 million people have received the johnson & johnson vaccine. i believe you are one of them. johnson & johnson authorized the fda for its booster. one dose of j&j. but the company says does say that a booster dose given two months after the first shot increases the against covid. specifically, this vaccine, a., this vaccine, b., the broader booster that they've talked about, how significant is this news that they've asked for permission? >> i would be really surprised actually, if the fda does not offer a booster for the j&j vaccine. it may turn out that j&j is actually best as a twotwo-dose vaccine, not just as one dose to which it was designed for. i actually hope they will review the data on the 14th and 15th
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that they will look for the mix and match data. and there are people who will not want to get a second dose of the j&j, et cspecially younger women, because we no there is a clotting problem with the one dose of which i am a part. and with the studies done of zn a astrazeneca and pfizer, i hope that the fda will consider having johnson & johnson consider not only a second dose of j&j but a second dose of the pfizer and moderna. >> help me out, help me out with where we are. if you look, the numbers are getting better and i'm always very reluctant to the say we're heading to a better place because we've gone through this before. right now, the seven-day average of new covid infections down 36% since last month. a month ago, 160,000 average per day.
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monday, it's down. definite down there. follow your eyes. hospitalizations, dr. wen, also down 29% since last month. last month, it was 99,000 americans in the hospital. today, it's a little over 70,000. when you look at the numbers. they're getting better. is this a lasting slope down? or do you believe there could be something in the way? >> well, as a country, we're definitely doing a lot better. but i think people should really look at what's going none their communities. in alaska, they're implementing crisis standards of care. hospitals are overwhelmed there. there are other parts of the country, including in my area in maryland where the number of infections are actually ticking up. we really need to look where we are specifically in our communities. we cannot rest. we're still at over 100,000 new daily cases. that's really high. we cannot afford to plateau anywhere near, especially coming near the winter where a lot more people are spending time indoors or the confluence of the flu, or
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p paraflu or other viruses as well. and we shouldn't let down our guard and focus on increasing vaccination and testing which is a major challenge. i don't understand why the biden administration have not put as much into wrapping up testing as the vaccines. that's critical to the covid response. >> we'll keep an eye on that. let's hope this continues. dr. wen, thank you for your time. when we come back, president biden says republicans are playing russian roulette. we'll ask a gop senator why they have no problems forcing democrats not to go it alone. oh, how disruptive. no salesman there to help me pick out the car i need. how does anyone find a car on this site without someone like us checking in? she's a beauty, huh? oh, golly! (laughter)
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xfinity xfi. so powerful, it keeps one-upping itself. can your internet do that? the treasury department says the government will hit its debt ceiling in 13 days. and even the risk of u.s. default is of giant concern to global financial markets. the biden white house is pushing congress to act and act quickly. the president says the decision by republicans to refuse to help, to refuse to vote yes, could bring an economic catastrophe. >> the meteor is headed to crash into our economy. the republicans just have to let us do our job. just get out of the way. you don't want to help save the country, get out of the way. so you don't destroy it.
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they need to stop playing russian roulette with the u.s. economy. >> get some perspective, republican senator of mike brown of indiana joins me. senator, grateful for your time today. you came to washington, because you're a businessman back in indiana and you said this town doesn't make sense. i'll give you credit off the top, you said both republicans and democrats are responsible for the mess. when you hear the president say just get out of the way, that would mean in washington, ten republicans voting tomorrow with democrats on a procedural method to get the bill. you just have to vote yes on a procedural bill. why wouldn't republicans do that and let this pass without a economic catastrophe even the risk of one? >> you're right. january 18, we were $18 trillion in debt we're now 28.4. i think the key difference here, even though there have been both parties over decades that have
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taken this biggest business in the world and kind of run it close to being in the ditch. here, i think the difference is it was not a mandate election. it was tied in the senate. it was very close on the presidential side. the house has got a three-vote margin. so, they've teed up legislation, in my opinion, that's piling on to a broken system. and i'll give them credit. i call them political entrepreneurs. and they kind of go for broke. this is their business. and a growth business of the federal government. but i think if we keep doing this, without holding the line at some point, even though we've had an epiphany, i guess, to say that now is where we draw the line in the sand, i'm going to be one that wants practical solutions. cut to the chase. and part of that would be let's talk about reforms. do we want to do regular order, run things through budgets again. haven't done one of those in 20
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years. put a bill in place like no budget, no pay. that got 53 votes here last week. that would be a difference. and i would say then, let's move quickly to where we get through this, if there are true reforms associated with it. >> excuse me for interrupting but nthat's not going to happen as you know. >> it's not. >> even mitch mcconnell said it's not going to happen. as a guy who runs a business the damage to your brand, the damage to the institution, if you go into default. this is thelma and louise about to go over a cliff. republicans ten votes even though i know you're here for them. three times, raise on the obama president on a bipartisan basis. during the bush presidency, on the bipartisan basis. why is it republicans saying we're washing our hands with it? >> a lot of those cases you had divided government and you had to do it that way. i don't know if that's the case
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in every instance. but it's been mostly the case. here, john, it's the fact that we got here together, but what they're proposing, what they want our fingerprints on is an agenda that did not get one vote in the rescue bill. it's already there, $1.9 trillion. and there's been not one republican vote for the reconciliation part. infrastructure is a valid concern. but i think if we do do it, and make it easy, we lose the opportunity. and it's more kind of going along, get along. and we're another trillion dollars in debt. and this time, i think it's smart that we make a difference and stick with it. i don't think there will be a republican vote for it. and i think they can do it on their own through reconciliation. >> again, you ran a business. what if half your employees -- the senate is divided 50/50. what if half your employees showed up and said i'm so mad about what happened a week before or a month before, i'm
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not working today. no, i'm mad. so the government tanks because the republicans and house are mad? >> the government is not going to tank. that's an overdramatization of what would happen. gone, this is going to have to happen sooner or later threw an elongated process which we've had no appetite to do in the time i've been here and the decade before i got here. sooner or later, you can't run the biggest business in the world borrowing 23 cents on the dollar every year. taking the structural deficits up to 1$1.5 trillion. yes, it's shameful that we got here. it's got both sides contributing to it. i just think this is a place where you hold the line and they can do it on their own. the difference here, they've got all the levers to get it done. they just want us to be part of it which endorses the $6.5 trillion that we add on top of the $4.5 trillion we do
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annually. even though it's spread out over time. it's just going for broke, at a time when we all say enough is enough. let's try to fix the place. >> i wish we had bipartisan conversations about the fix this place. at this moment, i think history would say that keeping the government on track maybe won't be as bad as i portrayed but that's what people worry about. senator, we're grateful for your time and watch how this plays. thank you, sir. >> thank you. up next, president biden's agenda is stalled in washington. what does the president do? he's off to michigan to make his case.
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president biden right now on his way way to michigan hoping to make a point to squabbling democrats. getting things done in washington is the way to win tough midterm election races. democrats still fighting over a price tag and policy list for a big spending plan. the meetings yesterday and today with house members the president urged lawmakers to come together in the package in the ballpark of $2 trillion. the panel back with to us discuss. he is not only going to a battleground congressional districts. he's going to a premier district. 51% of the vote there, she narrowly wins. trump narrowly wins. trump also won -- you know, trump won this district twice. mitt romney carried it in 2012.
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elissa slotkin is able to get elected. this is a way to pass a bill and the president is saying that's the way to keep her in office, right? >> yes, and also to get there to prove elements of the agenda are broadly popular with the public. and polls show it, expanding medicare, expanding child care. these are broadly popular issues, i think by going to a centric democrat district proves that point. >> and so many of the conversation up to this point has been focused on messy sausage making. democrats are trying to shift the narrative, talk about what's in the package. they have to do more than just sell it. they have to actually pass it. and pass on so americans can feel the votes and what they're feeling and democrats are learning their lessons from obamacare which want, frankly, popular for years. so democrats are working under that. >> exactly. the white house put out a memo which combines what they hope is
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in the final agenda if they pass it and the infrastructure bill. just for you here in michigan. $17.3 billion to repair highways in the infrastructure bill. $1 million for transportation. if you pass the spending plan, child care costs and free universal prek. the discussion has been is it $3.5 trillion not about child care costs or the climate. but just today from camilla jayapal, for the progressives, she says no, at least 2.5 trillion so the money fight continues. >> the money fight continues, congresswoman jayapal countered with a 2.5 from the $2.9 trillion when president biden gave that figure to progressives in that meeting yesterday. and how it matters, it kind of narrows what you can actually spend that money on, obviously
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you can do a lot more with 3.5 than 1.5. you're certainly right about the frustrations the white house has had about their broader message with the agenda package not breaking through. and today's trip to michigan is really a chance to reset that. a white house official told me that this broader issue today is going to be framing this point, a choice between competition and complacency. and that this is needs for economic opportunity. we're going to be hearing that a lot from the president today. >> and we also can't ignore the climate change component. that a lot of times doesn't get talked about much either. and the oil spill in california. the hurricanes, the wildfires. i think there's so many parts of the nation that are impacted by climate change. and again, democrats know that what they want to do is pretty popular. even the climate change measures are becoming more popular. but republicans know that it's popular. which is why they continue to try to bog down the legislative
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process. because the more they can muddy up the waters and stall things. then that takes away the bandwidth for democrats to kind of push in past popular policies. >> we will see that the president on the road with his big picture message can force some progress in the back and forth. although what's in it is important. first you have to figure out how to spend it and divvy it up. when we come back, the supreme court and again then, clarence thomas unusually chatty.
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topping our political radar today, for the second day in a row, justice thomas clarence asked the first questions during the oral arguments in the supreme court. the normally quiet justice comes at this time, abortion and gun rights. justice breyer says the court in his view is a big improvement over doing business virtually. the senior liberal was heckled by protesters who want the 83-year-old to retire. his response -- >> what do you say to people who argue that you should retire as soon as possible, while the democrats have the senate majority? that's the bake basic issue that those folks -- >> that's their point of view. i've said pretty much what i have to say. >> andrew yang says he's, quote,
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breaking up with the democratic candidate. the mayoral candidate is, has changed to independent. he's registered democratic for 20 years. appreciate your time on cn"insi politics." ana cabrera picks. hello, i'm an ana cabrera. facebook on fire. frances haugen laying out facebook's priorities to prioritize profits she says over the mental health of children using their apps, comparing pick tech to big tobacco. >> when we realized big tobacco was hiding the harms it caused, the government took action. when we foun


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