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tv   Debate Pre- Show  CNN  December 19, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." you can follow me on twitter and instagram @cnnsitroom. erin burnett "out front" starts right now. "out front" next, breaking news. no deal. the house shut down for the year without handing the articles of impeachment to the senate and the senate majority leader says fine with him. so what now? we are live in los angeles tonight where the democratic presidential candidates are about to take the stage as a major e vafrmgvangelical public founded by billy graham says billy graham says president trump should be removed from office. let's go out front. good evening to all. i'm erin burnett. welcome to a special edition of out front. first, president trump's impeachment. the white house is heading home, shut down, no business until
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january without handing over the articles of impeachment to the senate 24 hours after president bush became the third president of the united states to be impeached and the house speaker snan nancy pelosi says she wants senate majority leader mcconnell to explain what the trial will look like before she hands over the articles and reins to him in the senate. just moments ago mitch mcconnell going to the senate floor to fight back. >> as of today, however, we remain at an impasse. we have the curious situation where house democrats rushed to impeachment, following weeks of pronouncements about the urgency of the situation. an urgent situation the prosecutors appear to have developed cold feet. >> at an impasse over the president's impeachment trial. a trial that is looming tonight over the fight for 2020 because right now we are less than an hour from a crucial presidential debate, the last debate of 2019
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and everything is at stake. that is because there are now just 46 days until iowa, until those first votes are cast in the caucuses there. chris cuomo is live in los angeles at loyal oola marymountd you will have the senators who will be jurors in the senate trial. >> absolutely, erin. the candidates are about to start taking the stage behind us and three of them will be jurors in any upcoming trial. that may add a layer of shine or stink depending on which narrative on impeachment wins. that said, the challenge tonight is not just to justify the past, but to pitch the best message to the future and to show why you are better than the others on this stage. the key attribute, of course, why you are the one to beat teflon trump, the most judgment-proof politician within his party we have ever seen. now going into this, a lot of
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voters are still undecided according to cnn's new poll 51% say they could still change their minds. that means tonight has the potential to re-shape the race for a few days, a week or more, erin. >> you know, chris, it is important, right? because you're coming into the holidays and this is sort of the last taste people will have in their mouths and we'll be back with chris in los angeles shortly. first, though, i want to get to the latest on the historic impeachment trial. manu raju is out front live on capitol hill and what is the latest with mcconnell's plan for the senate trial? >> they're at an impasse, mitch mcconnell and the democratic leader chuck schumer about how that trial will be structured and the democrats want witnesses agreed to up front. they want the people who did not come before the house impeachment inquiry because the white house has intervened and blocked them from coming forward, mick mulvaney and john bolton, the former national security adviser and they want
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documents up front. mitch mcconnell said that should not be part of the deal initially and they should do essentially what they did for the clinton trial in 1999 in which they simply had a bare bones agreement, detailing the basic structure and worry about witnesses later. that's what mitch mcconnell is saying and this is not going over well with democrats and nancy pelosi is saying she will not transmit those articles to the house over to the senate until she understands what the process is in the senate and both the house and the senate are essentially gone until january and that means we may not get a resolution in this until the week of january 6th at the earliest and erin, the president may be also in a different spot than mitch mcconnell. president trump wants his day in court and that's according to lindsay graham and if the articles are rnn't sense over f the senate that's fine with him and we'll see how that impacts mcconnell's thinking as talks
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continue between him and chuck schumer. thank you very much. out front now, ben ray luhan and i appreciate your time, thank you very much, congressman. so instead of holding a vote that would allow democrats to send those articles of impeachment formally to the senate for a trial, they're closing up shop, holiday recess and you're gone until january 6th. when will your party move forward. the house concluded a couple of weeks of business where we lowered prescription drug prices for the american people. we prevented a government shutdown, a big trade agreement was just passed this week as well including articleless of impeachment, while i'm not going to get in front of speaker pelosi i think she was abundantly clear last night and to date that the ball is in mitch mcconnell's court. he's not set the arena and that way we know cl managers and how many managers to get appointed to this, and so again, we want
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some transparency from mitch mcconnell as does the american people, and it's critically important that he move forward and work with leader schumer to get this done. >> so he came to the senate floor today. i know we had this closed-door meeting with chuck schumer. they're at an impasse according to mcconnell. no movement whatsoever on this issue of witnesses and here is what mitch mcconnell says about democrats, you guy, your party and how you're withholding the articles of impeachment. here he is. >> i admit, i'm not sure what leverage there is in refraining from sending us something we do not want. we'll see whether house democrats ever want to work up the courage to actually take their accusations to trial. >> what do you say to senator mcconnell who says you lack courage? >> what we need is real courage from our senate counterparts to
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have a fair hearing and for mitch mcconnell not to hide behind anything, to come forward and actually present the parameters associated with the proceedings that will be taking place in the senate. here's the other question that mitch mcconnell somehow is trying to avoid. last week he went on fox news to proclaim that he was not an impartial juror, but here's the thing, when those impeachment proceedings begin in the u.s. senate, every u.s. senator has to raise their hand to take an oath that they're going to be impartial jurors. how is he going to be able to do that when he said he'd already made his decision and in fact, he's not an impartial juror and just enough with what's going on with the side of leader mcconnell. get this set up, set up the parameters and there's independent counsel to hide and let's present this to the american people and move forward. >> he made the point that this is urgent and this must happening and there's
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interference happening right now because rudy giuliani was in ukraine and everybody has to move quickly. you're withholding the articles and it could drag longer because of that. so boom understand how the urgency is, here are your colleagues, congressman. >> it is urgence. >> nothing could be more urgent. >> we view this as urgent. >> congress has no other choice, but to act with urgency. >> do you weaken your own argument by now saying you'll withhold the articles and wait as long as it takes to send the articles of impeachment to the senate? >> absolutely not, erin. the president of the united states has been impeached. those were the actions and urgency associated with the abuse of power that we have seen from president donald trump. rudy giuliani, who is fresh off of a trip visiting with ukrainian leaders and reporting
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back to the white house as they continue to meddle. it's as if the president has returned to the scene of the crime. what's important about this is to have a transparent and a fair hearing in the united states senate and that's what mitch mcconnell is trying to confuse the american people with. set the agenda, set the arena, set the rules so that way the house can conclude its business and get the managers appointed and get those articles sent over, but again, i'm not going to get in front of speeaker pelosi and the ball is in mitch mcconnell's court. i just don't know why he's refusing to pick up the ball. >> thank you very much, congressman. i appreciate your time tonight. >> thank you. we do have more breaking news right now. a major evangelical magazine founded by billy graham is tonight out with this op-ed literally coming out moments ago, stunning, calling for president trump to be removed from office and let me just read one of the crucial lines. we believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely
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clear, in a way the mueller investigation did not, that president trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath. the impeachment hearings have illuminated the president's moral deficiencies for all to see. this damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. none of the president's positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character. evangelicals have obviously been a huge part of trump's base and this is the first time we've seen a crack in that support, again this coming from "christianity today," this is the editor in chief publishing this moments ago. kaitlan collins is out front. kaitlan, this is significant. >> yeah. it certainly is something especially when you read through this, not only saying he's grossly immoral, and profoundly immoral, and the president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration and they
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talk about the words that were said about bill clinton when he was being impeached 20 years ago can almost be applied perfectly to president trump. that is something that the president will not like because, of course, he didn't want to be impeached because he didn't want to be compared to bill clinton. we should note, of course, this is founded by the late reverend billy graham. his son franklin graham are big supporter of the president's. he's made that pretty clear, so it will be interesting to see whether or not this has any effect on the president's support on evangelicals. so far in the past things the president's done has not had any effect on that, and the first thing that comes to mind, of course, is the "access hollywood" tape which did not drive a lot of those voters away in the last election so that remains to be seen. in another graham, senator lindsay graham was at the white house and he had a conversation with the president where he believed he was mad as hell now
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that the senate trial could be delayed now that nancy pelosi has not delivered the articles and something not resolved any time soon. he said the president toeldz ld he wants his day in court and soon. it and the idea that it's fine with mitch mcconnell, it is not going to be fine with the president. >> kaitlan at the white house and out front now, former legal analyst, williams, and joe lockhart during the impeachment investigation and the former director of the nixon presidential library and tim naftali. we reserved judgment on mr. trump for years now and yet they come out and he should be removed from office. this is not an argument for impeachment and this is an argument from a full removal from the senate, from a benchmark evangelical publication. >> it appears to be a big crack in the most solid voting bloc for donald trump. donald trump would not have been
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elected without evangelical support. they're not monolithic in a group and they've voted in a monolithic way and supported trump in a monolithic way. if they start praying off and getting to and they are persuaded by the point of this editorial, that is a huge problem for donald trump. he can't win without getting 90, 95% of evangelicals. losing 5% of them is a disaster for him. >> even elliott, if it is a turnout issue. we're not talking about evangelicals makeup for whoever the nominee might be. >> we're talking about white evangelicals and there is an african-american evangelical community. something i would think about is i still think and we were talking about this beforehand, you know, the president's going to find a problem with the -- with that publication -- pardon
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me, i lost my train of thought. >> he can come out and say something personal about the editor in chief, and if he wanted to, he could and that will backfire. >> people will turn on the publication before they turn on the president and the problem will be with "christianity today" not with today. there haven't been many cracks. >> no, there haven't. i read a key line, but i want to read another. he says the facts in this instance are unambiguous. the president of the united states attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of president's political opponents. that is not only a violation, it's profoundly immoral. the president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration and he has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals and he has admitted with immoral actions in business and women of which he remains proud. his twitter feed alone, with
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habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies and slaer slanders is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused. >> this is building on the legacy of reverend billy graham. billy graham argued in the middle of the nixon impeachment drama that the white house was guilty of situational ethics and that was the beginning of the loss of support that nixon felt among his base. it was billy graham who sent that signal. this is the same spirit. >> so you see -- >> anybody who is running a publication founded by billy graham would have done his homework or her homework and known that billy graham participated in the public debate about impeachment regarding nixon and made the moral argument at that time. >> and joe, this comes here as you're talking about a very important moment, right? the senate is about to get this,
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but they don't have it. you've got more time for people to, well, theoretically go into their corners, but perhaps -- perhaps there are some who may read this and think differently. >> you made an important point about turnout. karl rove estimated after the george w. bush drunk driving revelation came out. 4 million of their voters stayed home. he argues that's why it was so clo close. that's why we were counting chads in florida and this may be -- and i think the second thing is and i don't want to infer motives here, but for a lot of evangelicals, all they really wanted out of trump were judges. let's remake the federal judiciary so that we can be stricter on abortion or outlaw abortion. >> they got that. they got it and it's done, you know? maybe now they are now reverting being less transactional than they were before. >> just think of everything or
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nothing that has stuck to president trump after three years and so many things -- starting with the "access hollywood" tape and this is the instance before he was president. >> and it comes as you have this trial delay. is it a smart move, elliott, for democrats to do this? it is coming in the middle of it, but to withhold these articles. >> one thing that resonated that the house of representatives were engaged in a bit of a cover-up. they use that term a lot. the president didn't allow witnesses and did not provide documents and so on, so if the house can tie the senate to that because the senate will be conducting the proceedings then certainly that may resonate with the public. they can't do it indefinitely and it cannot go on for months and months and month, but certainly it will stick with the public that mitch mcconnell is trying to hide this story from you. >> all of you stay with us. next the stage is set. you will have the democrats taking the stage as this delay is happening and this impasse is happening in washington and as you have this major evangelical
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development. so could attacking the front-runner backfire on that stage tonight? we are live in los angeles and so are the candidates. and "the washington post" reporting at this hour that president trump is pushing the conspiracy theory is it is that he has been debunked by his own administration publicly, but he believes ukraine interfered in the election. we now found out who told him that. it is vladimir putin. maria ramirez?
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and welcome back to a special edition of "out front." we are just moment away from tonight's democratic debate and right now on the debate hall they're about to sing "america the beautiful." let's listen. ♪ for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain ♪ ♪ ♪ america, america ♪ god shed his grace on thee
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and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea ♪ ♪ ♪ the country love and bless it far and wide ♪ ♪ ♪ america, america
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♪ ♪ ♪ o beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years ♪ ♪ thine alabaster cities gleam ♪ undimmed by human tears ♪ america, america ♪ god shed his grace on thee ♪ and crown thy good with
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brotherhood ♪ ♪ from sea to shining sea ♪ america [ cheers and applause ] >> all right. beautiful renditions. we are here in los angeles, the crowd is energized. more than 50 days until the iowa caucuses. let's break down the state of play. we have van jones, cnn political commentator host of "the van jones show" and gloria borger, chief political analyst, dana bash, chief political correspondent and david axelrod, senior political commentator and former senior adviser to president obama. you had a good line when we first got there, you looked at
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the stage and you saw the serve and y seven, and you said? >> it looks so bare up there. >> i listened to the chorus singing about brotherhood from sea to shining sea, i don't think we'll see it tonight because we're 47 days away from the iowa caucuses. you have two people up there and one likely to be the nominee of the democratic party, but i don't think the person that will be the target tonight will necessarily be joe biden who is the national front-runner. this is a sequential process and it begins in iowa and the iowa front-runner right now is pete buttigieg, the mayor of south bend. i expect he'll be the recipient of a lot of incoming tonight. it will be interesting to see how he parries that. >> i was in atlanta for the last debate and everyone thought that was going to be the case because his campaign was certainly preparing and he was preparing to take all of the incoming and he didn't. it's hard to imagine that he'll
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get that pass twice especially now because as you said, he is not just ascendant, he is in the seat in iowa, and that is incredibly important for him and dangerous for the other candidates, particularly somebody like joe biden. i don't expect that joe biden is going to be that aggressive against buttigieg, but he is in buttigieg's lane, if you will, on the more moderate, incremental side of -- >> you know who might? elizabeth warren. >> right. >> warren and buttigieg have been facing off constantly now, and picking on each other, and over issues like disclose your mackenzie clients which in the grand scheme of things are not really a big issue on the voters' list, but it will be interesting if buttigieg, if buttigieg decides to take on biden and not the other way around because buttigieg is the other moderate and he has to
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differentiate himself. >> the sparring between warren and mayor pete, you know, she gets him on little stuff. he got her on big stuff. she's had to reposition. he said the medicare fraud stuff is a bit too far and she's had to reposition. this guy, he's a kid. he's from a town nobody's ever visited and he somehow managed to get up on the stage and rearranged the molecules of this party to make a lane for himself. you said it will be a bare stage. it's also going to be a less colorful stage. up until now, we've had so many different non-white candidates and it is remarkable to see who would have thought three months ago that the only surviving person of color on the stage would not be kamala harris, would not be corey booker and would not be tulsi gabbard, it would be andrew yang. >> you would. >> you had the yang stuff.
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>> you were the yang guy. >> i'm telling you, something is happening with andrew yang. his digital performance is unreal and i think it's because people are tired. the fatigue in the country from the impeachment has people looking for fresh answers. nobody, except for me, would have said the surviving person of color would have been andrew yang. >> he said it's all fun and games until andrew yang passes you in the polls. >> do you have any product placement? >> the one person we haven't mentioned was also involved in that gang-up on elizabeth warren on medicare for all and that was amy klobuchar. she's kind of quietly creeping up in iowa and new hampshire. >> yeah. >> this is a big debate -- >> the move for somebody on this stage tonight is to coalesce all of the fakdctions that aren't represented on the stage and are necessary for any type of winning effort. it's interesting to see who spends more time and more
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reaching out to the audience to say i'm your best bet. i think that's what the party's hungry for. we're out of time. let's get it back to erin in new york. that's the state of play here. back to you. >> obviously, it will be a very big night beginning moments from now. more on the breaking news. president trump has weighed in on his own impeachment trial. and a democratic senator will have to vote on whether to remove president trump from office. is he willing to lose his job for his vote? a president who abuses power. and obstructs justice.
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the impeachment of donald j. trump. he was supposed to protect our constitution. not trample on it by asking foreign countries to undermine our democracy for his personal political gain. trump broke his oath to america. members of the house and senate must now do their constitutional duty. if you agree, sign our petition at need to need to impeach is responsible for the content of this advertising. if you have moderate to severe psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats differently. for psoriasis, 75% clearer skin is achievable, with reduced redness, thickness, and scaliness of plaques. for psoriatic arthritis, otezla is proven to reduce joint swelling, tenderness, and pain. and the otezla prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't use if you're allergic to otezla.
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welcome back to the special edition of "out front." no deal, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell saying the senate trial is at a, quote, impasse and democrats have cold feet and they're afraid. as for the house, members have gone home, speaker pelosi refusing to hand the impeachment articles to the senate until they get a, quote, fair trial. out front now, democratic senator john tester of montana and i appreciate your time tonight, senator. impasse is the word that senator mcconnell is using tonight. are you sure that there will be a senate trial in january, that it's going to start, i mean,
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january 6th is what people were expecting. is that even on the table anymore? >> look, i think the charges are serious and it's very, very important that we follow through with impeachment and have the trial. as far as the impasse and negotiating, we've had mcconnell and schumer any leahy and shelby and we got a bunch of bills passed today because people work together. i think what people are sick of in this country is folks who tend to run to their corners and are tribal instead of working together to get things done. . get to a point where we can have a trial that reveals all of the facts so we can make a decision and the charges against the president, i'll say once again are very, very serious charges. we should not be taking them lightly. ? so, look, obviously, now they
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had this 20-minute closed-door meeting and senator schumer says he wants his witnesses and the majority leader went to the senate floor, right in to say impasse and nothing is happening here. he, look, mcconnell is saying, senator that the precedent here is to not agree on witnesses before the trial. he says the precedent is to agree on witnesses before the trial begins and not to agree with it beforehand. would you agree with that? the best thing to do is provide uncertainty so the jurors can prepare for that testimony as it moves forward because i think there is preparation that the jurors need to do and in this case, the people who serve in the united states senate. i can tell you that senator mcconnell a few days ago said he was taking his cues from the president and the president told
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the house they weren't going to get any information whether it was folks to testify or information that they requested. look, i want to give him a fair trial and they should agree who will testify right now buzz iec it's a fairly limited number of folks and it's something that the american people wouldn't be proud of. this isn't about democrats versus republican. it's about three co-equal branches of government and it's about the american people and how we move forward with the democracy. >> so obviously, if mcconnell wins this round for lack of a better word, if he gets no witnesses until the trial starts, then there could be a vote. we've identified republicans who could be swing votes and you would need republicans, as well and four republican, in fact,
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senator tester, to vote four witnesses and then you'd get the witnesses. go ahead. >> that's correct. i don't know that i can predict who will do what. i do think that there potentially is folks who may be surprises on the republican side of the aisle that may say, hey, enough is enough. we need to get to the bottom of this because quite frankly, our democracy is depending on it. the forefathers set up impeachment and it is a very serious situation to protect our democracy and to protect against monarchy and we need to get the evidence to make sure that doesn't happen. >> senator, i know you are talking about having a fair trial and having the evidence in front of you and president trump makes it -- he went after you fiercely in the midterms. on twitter he called you, quote, very dishonest and sick, exclamation point and here's a little bit about what he said about you at a couple of his rallies. >> tester doesn't share your values. jo jon tester will never drain the
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swamp because he happens to live in the swamp and he loves the swamp. >> is this personal for you in any way? >> no. i'm more professional than that and montanans saw through that baloney, but this isn't personal. this is about making sure that we don't have someone that abuses the office of the presidency. the president will be the president. i wished he was more professional. i wish he'd understand what's going on out there as far as being the most powerful man in the world and how important that is as far as setting an example, but nonetheless, that's not what this is about, this is about making sure we didn't have the president that overstepped the powers of the office. i appreciate your time. thank you very much tonight, sir. >> you betcha. thank you. "the washington post" is reporting and we have just gotten this that some former white house officials believe president trump's view that ukraine interfered in the 2016 election which his own
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administration knows and said it's false and came directly from, a meeting from putin and here's a crucial line. one senior white house official said trump even stated explicitly so at one point saying he knew ukraine was the real culprit because, quote, putin told me. >> that was a meeting in july of 2017 for which there is no official memorandum. it was a private meeting. there were no white house aides there and apparently after the meeting the president was pushing ideas about the ukraine having tried to over and undermine him. if putin did that it explains a lot about the president's commitment at the moment to this ridiculous hoax about the ukraine. it fits the pattern of the president preferring to believe vladimir putin over his intelligence community. it explains why he's the first president to be impeached -- >> vladimir putin and russian intelligence services and president trump who has refused
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to blame putin directly listens to put snin. >> i'll quote two democratic members of the house nancy pelosi who say all roads lead to putin and all roads lead to russia and jerry nadler yesterday said i cannot believe that members of congress are using russian talking points. hundreds of republicans have been using hundreds of russian talking points. >> this is a stunning development. next, we are moment away from the crucial democratic debate and a new poll at this hour shows voters still have not made up their minds and we are what? 46 day away from iowa. we'll go back to los angeles where chris cuomo is tonight.
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welcome back to's special edition of "out front." we are just moment away from the democratic presidential debate in los angeles, a debate that you can see right here on cnn at the top of the hour and it comes at a really important time. a new cnn poll showing 51% of democratic voters say they can still change their mind on who to support which, chris cuomo in los angeles is a pretty stunning thing and makes tonight so crucial, chris, as we're, what?
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46 days away from iowa and a lot of people don't know who they're voting for. >> yeah. look, you make the right points, erin. days now are what weeks used to be. so much happens so fast, it cycles through, what sticks, what doesn't. that 51% number, an analysis is what they call the depth number. what is the depth of support? you have half of the party saying we're open to looking at somebody else that means it's a pretty open race. all right, so let's talk to the people that actually know what they're talking about and everything i said comes from someone else next to me anyway. gloria, tom for eperez, is up t now. he is fiery and passionate. he's like the comedian before the late-night show. he is all trump, rejection of the america of what the president is projectioning and we don't hear much from that. >> they're trying to
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differentiate from each other and they're all united in trying to defeat donald trump and what democrats are looking for is someone who can beat donald trump and that's one of the things that someone like a pete buttigieg or elizabeth warren has to talk about is their electability and their ability to beat somebody like the president of the united states. >> i'm not sure that you win that case by talking about your electability. you have to demonstrate it, and part of it is by addressing things that are important to people. impeachment got all of the news yesterday. this court ruling on the affordable care act and the potential of the repeal -- >> unconstitutional that gives it a chance of repeal. >> this is what helped defeat republicans in 2018 and i have to believe you're going to hear a lot about health care tonight. it's the number one issue for democrats. >> i hope we hear about it differently than we usually do.
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>> we have taken the number one weapon and fired it in terms of saying medicare for all versus this or that. i think ordinary people are very, very concerned that, you know, we could be in a situation under the continuing administration where healthcare gets worse and worse and worse. i don't think most people really know the difference between medicare for all and public options. they just want assurance that our values will have us fight for them and we get so far in the weeds in these debates i think we forget that. >> i hear what you're saying, but isn't this question about healthcare just emblematic of the question -- >> the divide in the party and of what the party is and what kind of candidate and yes, everyone says they want the candidate to beat donald trump, but nobody really knows what that means. they can make guesses, educated guesses that if you ask for -- if you vote for a nominee who wants incremental change to make obamacare better and not someone who says i want government to
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take over and somebody who the president can say, oh, they're for socialized medicine, but it does go to where the party is, and what they really want. >> so to that point, here's perez. he just got a round of applause by talking about the list of things that they would change and do differently if they got. it raises the question is the party in the place where each and all of you are suggesting it eventually needs to be which is one sole criterion. this man or this woman or some combination will beat this president because that's not the talk on the stage. the talk is my plan's better than your plan and the president -- >> and just that that particular issue is where they are fighting the philosophical debate. >> but how do you win a fight if you are not standing across and looking at the right person. >> i'm honestly not sure that this is the stage in an election campaign where you find that unity.
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these people are -- they're in market differentiation now trying to be the nominee, if later in the campaign you will will see an effort to try and unify the party, but one thing i'll there is real risk if you are a candidate and you get into a really fierce aside with another candidate. it opens up opportunities for other people on that stage and in that race. we saw this in 2004 when dig gephardt and howard dean went after each other. john kerry was in sixth place and he ended up winning the primary because those guys ended up taking each other out. >> right now you've got somebody who in every national poll can't win, leading in iowa. what does that tell you what the state of play is? >> well, it's up in the air. that's what it tells you. you get into iowa, look, joe biden has never won iowa, so far as i can really. >> hold on, gloria. here are the introductions of the candidates.
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let's take it. here's pbs. >> minnesota senator amy klobuchar. [ cheers and applause ] vermont senator bernie sanders. [ cheers and applause ] former vice president joe biden. [ cheers and applause ] massachusetts senator elizabeth warren. [ cheers and applause ] south bend, indiana mayor pete buttigieg. [ cheers and applause ]
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and businessman andrew yang. [ cheers and applause ] the candidates are on the stage. they're going to remain here for a few minutes for photographs. we'll be right back with the start of the debate in a moment. >> all right. we're going to be right back in 30 seconds. the democratic presidential debate about to get under way, live from los angeles.
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all right. we're seeing all the candidates. former vp biden sharing a kind word with bernie sanders, nodding respectfully to one another. we're moments away from the sixth democratic debate. everybody is back with me. this is very official and very scientific, but the "through the madonna mic" applause meter. >> you're dating yourself. i'm very happy calling it -- >> i call at it brittany mic. >> whatever it is, warren got big applause readings, mostly for elizabeth warren. and i think everybody after that was in a grouping.
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>> i think that's right. we have gotten used to how phenomenal she is. elizabeth warren was written off for dead. she had slipped on 15 banana peels and she was supposed to be out of this thing and has come back as the leading woman in this race. she's extremely formidable. i think we talk a lot about topics and issues and stuff like that. there's a spiritual hunger in this country, though, right now, especially after this week, for somebody to bring us together. i just want to point that out. if somebody, in a way that feels authentic, can minister to the country, this has been a brutal week, it's been a brultal year, it's been a brutal three years. elizabeth warren, if she can add that -- >> the challenge is her rhetoric is very much martial in tone. it's about fighting. there are different kinds of battles. she would say they're righteous
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battles. but in a country that's weary of fighting, that is not necessarily helpful. i will say, everybody says these debates don't mean anything. the fourth debate, we all agreed she ran the best campaign for the first nine months, then came the fourth debate, got hit on medicare for all, and she's been struggling since. she's lost altitude in the national polls in iowa, in new hampshire. this is an opportunity to try and restart that. >> i think the big choice for democrats is whether they do want a kind of a revolution, which is something that elizabeth warren is talking about, medicare for all, or whether -- and david, you and i talk about this all the time, whether they're just so exhausted by donald trump that they are looking for some kind of stability in a candidate. >> stability is what van is talking about. the whole impeachment question actually has raised the stakes on the election. that could redound to biden's
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benefit, because people may be looking for safety. if they assume that he is the safest choice to beat donald trump, he may -- >> how does he beat trump? how do you articulate that? >> he beats donald trump, and this is the theory you would hear from them, he's culturally akin to some of those voters who voted for donald trump who are gettable. there's not a lot of them but there are some in a way that the other democrats are not. >> but dana, does he wake up the different constituencies of the democratic party? >> i think so. >> so that they'll come vote for him? >> when you're talking about the specific issues that he's appealing on. but i think what van, what you're saying, and correct me if i'm wrong, is, we talk so much about how democrats -- where are they going to go with their head, are they going to go this way or are they going to go that
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way. presidents are also elected, and you know this more than any of us, with their heart and how they make people feel. even in the time of trump, even in the era of democrats saying let's just get this guy out of there, there's also a lot of the feel. who on this stage, or maybe a candidate who didn't make this stage, is going to make democratic voters feel like they like them, they think that they can restore character? maybe that's joe biden. they can, you know, bring a sort of message. that they want them in their living room every day. >> i feel like it's a fix-the-system need. the system is broken, that's why we're in trouble, we have to fix the system. that's a bernie sanders for sure, that's an elizabeth warren. there's also a heal-the-nation need. i think pete -- >> that is how he -- it's not just ideological. the way that he has made a move in iowa is with 3 1/2 months of advertising about healing the
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country, about what we're going to do the day after donald trump leaves to pick up the broken pieces. >> you have to check three boxes. you have to fight the good fight because this can't be a passive assault, that's contradiction in terms. the second thing is that you have to reach out to -- the reason this president is teflon isn't because of his charm, it's not his genius, it's not even his tactics. it's that he represents something to a lot of people in this country that's more important to them than everything's criticized for. you have to tap into a little of that. then you have to figure out how to have a heart that goes along with it. >> on your point, there are a lot of people in this country who do not feel this system works for them. >> that's right. >> and that they are disadvantaged by economic elites, cultural elites, that they're discarded, that they're disdeign disdain disdained. democrats need to be aware of
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that if they're going to get some of these people to walk across the bridge. >> democrats are looking for so much. on the one hand they're looking for someone to minister but also someone who can take off the gloves. it's hard to find that in one candidate. >> watching andrew yang tonight, i know everybody likes to laugh him off, because he seems like a fresh start, he's like a reset button. he's talking about robots and other stuff and technology and these kind of things. he might offer this party some relief from the back and forth we've been stuck in for so long. let's just see what happens with andrew young tonight. >> all right. they're getting ready here. we're just a minute, you saw the little clock counting down there at the bottom of the screen. look, if you take nothing else from the pre-game analysis in the last 30 seconds, it's that these democrats have made this very hard on themselves. they're looking for a lot. and they're running against somebody who really only needs to keep pounding one message.
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us, good. them, bad. so you do have to wonder if the democrats know what fight they're getting into and what way to win it. so, 30 seconds left. we see these two men in the middle here. do we believe at the end of the night, dana, it's one of these two we're talking about? >> uh, maybe not. i think it's more likely not, that you're going to see elizabeth warren there, that it could be her. >> time to expand the opening of that lens, because this is going to be a wide-open engagement tonight. we are ready for the pbs us in hour/politico democratic debate, the sixth one, now. good evening and welcome to the "pbs news hour"/politico presidential democratic debate from loyola marymount univers y university. i'm judy woodruff. i'm joined tonight -- thank you -- i'm joined by chief political


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