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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  October 31, 2021 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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hello again, everyone. thanks so much for joining us. i'm fredericka whitfield in atlanta joined by my colleague chris cuomo in rome. moments from now president biden will hold a news conference
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marking the official end to his g-20 summit. we're standing by live to bring it to you as it happens. all of this comes as the g-20 countries release their official communicate tackling a number of global issues but failing to make a full-throated pledge to get to net zero carbon emissions. cnn's chris cuomo hive for us now in rome. >> i'm giving you all the words that i know. >> you're two ahead of me. we're all waiting because the president of the united states is expected to take the podium soon. this is not initial. he's none for being late. joining us is nic robert season and climate correspondent bill weir joining us from there is a flow. for the president's time, what is the hardest aspect that they expect in terms of a question in
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the press conference, knowing everything is on the table. you can't plan for. depending on how many reporters there's no limits and if he wants to talk about the wins-wise and have everything laid out going into glasgow everything is on the table including his domestic agenda. where do things stand and how does he plan to navigate and secure a victory in the two proposals that the democrats are considering and if you go beyond that, you can look at the scale over the last several months whether it's afghanistan or geo political issues. it's a pokal point and that's something that they were factoring in. we haven't had a press conference with the president since after his meeting with president putin in geneva back in june so while he takes questions from us when he arrives on marine one or doing a
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spray with an oval office the ability to sit down with the president and get him to expound on a number of issues is something that the reporters have been looking forward to. yes, you are hearing bells. every minutes you heard church bells and plus/minus for me, nic in, terms of the strongest ground for the american president and in this press conference and where his flank is a little exposed. i might say in reference to bells for whom the bells toll. >> oh, strong, strong. >> out of this conference here has been the resurrounding death knell for the hope for achievement of the g-26 cop in glasgow. the cop-26 in glasgow. why? because they failed to make the big commitments here. i think there's a lot of domestic questions that surely the president must be as you are saying preparing for, by think the international question is going to be why have only 12 of
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these g-20 nations, only 12 of them committed to net zero by 2050? why have you fallen short? what is holding everyone up? what is a conversation going on behind closed doors? what's russia telling you? what's china telling you? what are the pressure points on them, why can't you make it happen because for whom the bell tolls it's the next generation. we heard that from prince charles. we heard that from the u.n. secretary gen and so many leaders saying it's the future generations that are being let down by the current leaders so that's got tonight sort of big ticket international question i would say. >> so, will, you reminded us earlier that the united states has come in strong into the cop-26, that they are bringing former president and the current president. they have secretary kerry. they have the governors. they have a lot of staffers, and -- and the message out of that -- the members of that group that i've been able to speak to. they say you're going to be
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surprised. we'll get things done. is that hype or is that hope. i think there's a legitimate argument to be are made there that over 60% of the economy is behind the paris accord. loy the of people will look at this as heavies around the world, xi is not here, putin is not here. is biden strong or is he weak? none of that ultimately matters for the laws of physics since the very first conversation in rio almost 30 years ago the plan et has lost twillions of tons offite and temperate rain forests and all of that is grinding away. the physical reality of what's happening on the planet.
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half of that is coming since they started to talk about this in all these cops 25 years ago and then a political reality which is an energy crowned and in china where they put three times of the goal capacity on line because they have a lot of people to keep work and this is not a great omen today as hundreds of people tried to take the green ops and due to stormy weather a tree fell and snarling traffic. complete chaos and even the uk environment minister had to be evacuated from his train. >> during covid-19, bill, i would love your take on this, there was a manufacturing slowdown, a travel slow down and everybody was shut in many
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different places and you saw stories of how skies seems cleaner and we all heard the stories out of venice how they saw fish in the water and they shouldn't seen it in deckates and it was having how that gave hope to both sides of the argument. what's your take on people who say see how easy it is. in just a few months everything started to get better. no reason for big changes. >> well, a couple of things to say about that. for one that's sort of close to the ground conclusion. that's smompingt not the greenhouse gas planet booking player of over 150 years. if you imagine there's a giant bathtub in the sky and we're crank out carbon dioxide and methane gas. we eased off for a quarter turn
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for six months and it did nothing and now we've got revenge pollution as factories crank up 24/7. the earth can heal in given a chance, we're at a pint that which eve been ticking the can down the road. it's as much about adaptation and bracing for the wrath of what he eve already bakes into the system as much as it is mitigation of trying to turning it off. republicans will use high gas prize and the threat of your pete being cut off this winter bows of what happened recently with the freak ice storm and that's what makes this the greatest geo political challenge in human history. there will be no 9/11 of climate where everything suffers the same shack at the same time where we adopt so quickly to
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today. phil, certainly on the american scene, it is all about catastrophic catalysts, that if you don't have a huge thing and even when you do you don't necessarily get change and yet in the boyden administration isn't sending all of these big shots to this summit a sign of more kind of energy, you know, no pun intended, behind this issue than we've seen in the past. >> no question about it, and i think can you say it's just for optics and it's for public relations that show that we care and there's real depth behind it in terms of underscoring, just that the u.s. is prange on making commitments, that the u.s. is going to do what they do, but they believe in bring all these commitments they will be bringing not just from the administration side but also from the private sector side, that they are leading as well, and i think that is a critical thing. the level of urgency right now not because of the dire moment
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that the globe is in, that the world is in, but also a level of urgency in the sense of you don't know what's going to happen a few years from now. the u.s. has been a pendulum swinging back and forth over the course of the last 30 years that this bill has laid out so clearly and that the administration wants to underscore. we're here now. now is the time to make these changes and now is the time to make the commitments and now is the time to put in concrete action where it's the largest economies in the world or the smallest ones in the world. >> nic, if you're the american president you would rather talk about climate and what didn't get done here and did get done than what he's dealing with his domestic agenda. he's going have to take questions about why there's no family leave in this spending bill anymore and, you know, the only -- there's no other country here. there's really some policy for him to have. >> good takeaways. he did come in with the baggagech no agreement on the big spending bills when hoe
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arrived but what has he been able to do since? he's been able to show he's willing to take on human rights and president erdogan is willing and able to repair bridges with other leaders, that he's willing to work with the europeans and roll back some of the friction in place on the aluminum and steel tariffs. that's put him in good stead here to want to talk when he takes to the podium because clearly in our conversation they are weighting what is thought back home. >> what does it mean that biden is making the move to ease them, what does that mean at home? >> i think it really plays into one of the key disappointments
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that democrats had is that the white house backed away from a border tax on carbon. when you look at a country like china. so much coal capacity over there, and you want them to have to pay for that, so you could then put a bothered tax on something coming over and the white house doesn't want to come anywhere near a whiff of raising costs an average americans and that plays into the steel tariffs as well to bring down the tosts of your next dishwasher or washer on dryer and those things play out as well and the question of bringing the huge contingent on the sidelines, in the back rooms talking to foreign ministers, a lot can get done there that may end up in the final degree at the end of two weeks and what i'm hearing from where you guys are from environmental
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watchdogs, so much disappointment that came out where basically the 20 richest countries agree our planetary house is on fire and we're not going to talk about when or how to put it out. maybe feel the pressure, the public pressure as a lot of voices come to the fore trying to hammer home the homes of this time, but all of that border crossing and trade is underneath the surface. also we can't forgot when he does and america gets this infrastructure bill passed, a lot of prompts will be raw material dependant and how do you source them. let's take a quick break. as you can see we're looking at an empty podium. the american president is due to show up any moment now. cnn will could have the press
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conference of president biden and how he handles these issues and here's somebody coming out right now. not the president though. let's take a quick break. we'll be right back.
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there's no place like wayfair. all right. i'm chris cuomo. we're he's at the g-20 in rome awaiting on the american president joe biden to address the media. he doesn't do that -- do this that often. he's going to be getting a range of questions, both domestic and international. i got some big shots with me. i have phil mattingly and nic robertson and i have bill weir who is a step ahead of us. he's in glasgow, scotland where the cop-26 is going to be, and, you know, bill was talking right before the break about how a lot of environmentalists are not happy about what he happened here, and, now, you can look at that two ways, bill, right, all right, this is disappointing and there's going to be more disappointment to come, or they may benefit from a low floor when they get there.
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>> that's certainly the roseiest way of looking at it for sure. we have such low expectations given this is the 26th conference of parties and not a whole heck of a lot has gotten done practically on the ground if you look at some almost 200 countries that signed on to the paris accord. only the game crashing the tiny nation in africa is actually on track to meet the commitments that they made so nobody is really stepping up and the idea was after the paris accord you're going to come back every five years and just sort of up the ante and say, okay, here's the reality. we need to go heard. we need to do more about methane. we need to lower our targets, but none of that is happening right now. at the g-20 sergei lavrov, the russian foreign minister said he -- he thought it was rude of the other countries to try to rope russia into setting 2050 as the date where they zero out all
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sort of planet cooking pollution alternate level, and so this is history that is at play. it's ecology. it's trade. it's nationalism which is happening around the world so the forces of agreement coming against some grand agreement are pretty slim. the u.n. secretary-general antonio gutierrez says while i well the commitment for global solutions i leave rome with my hopes unfulfilled but at least they are not buried. boris johnson, prime minister of the uk, host country and one country setting a tone of leadership in this space around the world said to be clear if glasgow fails, the whole thing fails. the paris agreement have crumpled at the first reckoning so the pressure could not be higher right now for them to come up with something that is not only solidifies that moment
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of foreign joy of global environmentalists that happened in 2015 but takes it in the next step, chris, and that's in president clinton call terms so difficult these days. >> let's go from rosy to rabid. what has the international community solved as a group in the g-20 is an outgrowth of the g 5, 6 and 1 and 8 had 8 for a second and then kicked them back out. that was at bretonwoods that took place in new hampshire and that was about understanding a currency model, tying that to gold. nixon blew that up in 1970 when he took the dollar off of the gold standard and that went away and then you formed the g-20 in 1999. let's start again. let's have more people. more stakeholders and we'll get more done. what did they really hold their name to in terms of what they achieved? are we expecting too much in terms of any kind of international erasing of any problemed through collective
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will. we can never expect too much. climate change is the one thing that tells us that you have to aim for the best -- you have to aim for the top because if you don't achieve the climate change that's required then we are going to cook the planet. there's no other way about it. are we trying to achieve too many by bringing in 20 nations. i think it reflection the fact that the seaworld a change place. look how much china has caught up with the united states economically over the last 30 or 40 years. i mean, it's -- it's right at heels of the united states. it's at the heels relative to so many nations. things have changed and you have to let more people in and that makes the game harder and we're millions and millions of people on the planet now than we were back then. the game is hard. this is not easy. this is really seriously about safgt plan the. i mean, that's why we're here. it's in jeopardy. our ways of lives, what we're used to and what we're used to and our children's are going to be different.
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we have to bring in all the stakeholders. my question that i sit her and wonder about when putin didn't show up and president xi didn't show up for here and these are two nations that are pushing the in. you heard what bill said about sergei lavrov today saying this is unfair to hold us to 2050. you say 2050. why should we go for that? okay. reverse that? what are we going to do to hold them to the compliance that is necessary and these are the even tougher questions. let's have a kumbaya and get together and make this work. we all understand that we're looking at it as individual nations still. we cannot afford to do that, yes. we need everyone around the table and we need to aim big. somebody was just at the podium that was a tech check. guarantee you he doesn't show up in a beige suit. he's going to talk about big numbers that the united states is committing. the pushback is going to be nic's point about enforcement and getting those who are laggards to step up and how.
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a two-minute warning with the briefing. we'll be on top of it. let's jump to suzanne malveaux because the pushback to biden's, hey, we're putting in a lot of money on climate and we're ahead of the curve but what is your ability to get anybody to do anything especially when it comes to russia and china and they will say, by the way, you can't even get your own party to get things done. is that story going to change early next week? >> this certainly that that changes. they are looking at tuesday as a point to vote on both of those bills as well as the social safety net bill, but i have to tell you this, chris, three criteria and hurdles they are contending with. the first one is they want the assurances, the progressive democrats want assurances that the moderates manchin and sinema will go ahead with this bigger bill. heard it from senator sanders
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earlier today i.understand that the president is at the podium. >> thank very much. the president. united states joe biden. >> we've had very productive meetings in the past few days and i'm looking forward to continuing to make progress on critical global issues as we head off to glasgow. because of what we've seen again here in rome, what i think is the power of america showing up and working with our allies and partners on issues for all of us. there's no substitution for face-to-face negotiations for global cooperation. i had many one-on-one and a real leader among our partners and allies from american leadership to help bring the world together and solve some of the world's big profblts i found my one-on-one engagements with so many of the leaders and importance of strong personal
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relationships never feels -- never ceases to amaze me when you're looking at someone straight in the eye when you're trying to get something done. they know me and i know them and we can get things done together. i want to thank the italian people, by the way, for the g-20 for their hospitality and congratulate prime minister dag him. he did one heck of a job leading the g-20 through a difficult year marked by great global challenges, critically among them the pandemic, driving a broad-based sustainable global economic recovery and tackling the climate crisis. i believe we made tangible progress in part because of the commitment that the united states has brought to the table. for example, i'm proud that the g-20 endorsed the global minimum tax. this is something that the united states has been driving for over a year and driving momentum up to this achievement and this is an incredible win for all our countries. instead of nations competing
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against one another to track investments by bottoming out corporate tax rates this set at minimum floor of 15% to ensure the giant corporations begin to pay their fair share no matter where they are headquartered instead of hiding profits overseas. we also agreed to establish a fund in the future that for countries can draw on to help prevent, if necessary and respond to the next pandemic, and prepared for the next time around. yesterday together with the prime minister johnson and merkel and mark ron, president mark ron, we came together to reiterate our shared belief that diplomacy is the best way to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon and we discussed how best to urge iran to return to serious negotiations and i also want to note that even as i've been here in rome as you might guess and some of you might suspect are doing the same thing, american reporters, have been focused on the vital issues
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that affect american workers and families back home. i just finished meeting with a broad coalition of partners on how to address the immediate supply chain backlogs and dealing with what the world has been dealing with and facing and we're facing back at home and how to make sure we have access to all the product we need from shoes to furniture to electronics to automobiles to make sure that we talk about how better to secure ourselves against these future shocks whether it's pandemic, climate change or disasters. in the build back better framework which is god willing going to be voted on as early as sometime this coming week, that i announced on thursday, includes for the first time it several billion dollars to help strength-in the supply chain to make sure that we have access to everything that we need, and -- and it's going to give workers and folks making all these products just a little bit of breathing room. the build back better will also make it easier for them to afford everything from child
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care while they are at work for their kids. two years of free high-quality pre-school and finally today i was proud to announce together with our close eu partner another critical win for american workers and the climb agenda. the united states and the european union have agreed to negotiate world's first trade agreement based on how much carbon is in a product. as we negotiated the steel and aluminum tariffs that were in place. we made an agreement and i might add strong support of the u.s. steel workers back home and i want to thank them. i want to thank tom conway when i spoke to today, president of the united steel workers for his partnership in arriving at this deal. the deal will immediately remove a point significant tension with our friends in the european union, and it rejects the false idea that we cannot grow an economy and support american workers while tackling climate crises at the same time. we're talking about a lot, a lot
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during the g-20 -- the cop-26, but we also know tackling climate crisis has been an all hands on deck effort. american workers are a critical part of the solution and now i'm happy to take some questions and i'm told i should start with a.p., zeke miller. zeke, you have a question. >> i didn't recognize you with the mask on. i apologize. >> thank you, mr. president. here in rome you've tried to showcase that america is back, but back at home your poll numbers have fallen. your party's nominee for governor in virginia is facing a very tougher than expected race. your peat spent months trying to negotiate the centerpiece of your -- of your domestic legislative agenda. we're one year now since your election, what -- and you've done a lot in your year in office to turn the page on the last administration but we've seen how presidents can turn the page very quickly from one to the other so why should the
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world, you know, believe that when you say america is back that it is really they're stay? >> because of the way they reacted. were you here. they list yipd. everyone sought me out. they wanted to know what our views, and we helped lead what happened here. it's just very simple. you know, if you're you are honest, i didn't mean to imply you weren't, that we were -- we got significant support here, significant support. we had the most -- the united states of america is the most critical part of this entire agenda, and -- and we did it, and by the way, look, the polls are going to go up and down and up and down. they were high early and then they got medium and went back up and now they are low. look, this is -- look at every other president. the same thing has happened but that's not why i ran. i didn't run to determine how well i'm going do in the polls i.ran to make sure that i followed through on what i said i would do as president of the united states, and i said that i would make sure that we were in a position where we dealt with climate change, where we moved
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in a direction that was significantly improve the prospect of american workers with good jobs and good pay and further that i would make sure that we dealt with the crisis that was caused by covid. we've done all of those. we continue to do them and we'll see what happens, brue i'm not running because of the polls. next question was from jeff mason, from jeff mason of reuters. >> thank you, mr. president. a question on climate and energy. can the world and others be confident that you will be able to follow or do -- make good on the promises on climate change that you have made when you're at glasgow without a vote having taken place on your bill and on the saum topic climate, some exos are already saying that the g-to commitments today were underwhelming. how do you respond to their criticism that the g-20 response is not a good sign for cop-26? >> i'll answer both kwemps
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number one, i believe we will pass my build back better plan and i believe we will pass the infrastructure bill. combined they have $900 billion in climate resistance and dealing with climate and resilience and it's the largest investment in the history of the world that's ever occurred and it's going to pass in my view, but we will see. we'll see, you know. you've all believed it wouldn't happen from the very beginning and the moment i announced it and you always seem amazement when it's alive again u.may turn out to be right. neighbor won't work, but i believe we'll see by the end of next week at home that it's passed. with regard to the -- by the way, the infrastructure bill delivers an you've lot of things in terms of everything from tax credits for electric vehicles to making sure we are able to invest literally billions of dollars in everything from
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highways, roads, bridges, public transport, roads, et cetera, but we'll see and with regard to the disappointment. the disappointment relates to the fact that russia and -- and -- and including not only russia but china basically didn't show up in terms of any commitments to deal with climate change, and there's a reason why people should be disappointed in that. i -- i found it disappointing myself, but what we did do, we passed a number of things here to end the subs days of coal. made commitments from across the board in terms of what we're going to bring to the g-26 and i think, you know, as that old interest rate saying goes, the proof pudding will be in the eating. i think you'll see we've made significant progress and more has to be done and it's going to
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require us to continue to focus on what non-is not doing, what russia is not doing and what saudi arabia is not doing. >> you also met with energy consumers would supply. what steps are you considering taking if opec plus no do the race any supply and do see any iron pushing them to production at the same time you're going cop-26 to urge people to lower emissions. >> it seemsz like an europy but the idea that we're going to be able to move to renewable energy and from this moment on not use little or gas, it's certainly not -- we should get rid as mentioned in my proposal to end methane. it does on thor is face seem recall -- no one anticipated
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that this year we eat be in a position and not be engaged in any fossil fuels and we'll bake significant mix and it makes the more sense that we'll look to re -- use wind and solar on other forms of energy. i admit to you. we're going to cop to deal with renewable energy and i'm saying why are you guys cutting off oil and raise the price just to make it look harder for us? it's a legitimate question. i think though that if anybody thinks about it. no one ever thought. for example, it will take us between now and 2030 to have half the advocates in america electric advocates so the idea that we won't need gasoline for automobiles is just not realistic but we will get to the point by 2050 we'll have 50-50.
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jim tank-yard from the "new york times." >> thank you so much. i would like to start by following up on fef's yes and ask you about supply chains. amount yes of -- poem are suing when you raise the price that people will consume less of it. >> the people have to get to their work. they need to get in the car and get the -- that's the reason why. that's the reason. the why that we can -- that there's an alternative to walk from being into your automobile. this wasn't intended to happen. by the way, when the government of a cool of gas teens
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before-3:35 perful is has a profound impact on fall list just to get back and forgot to work. i don't see anything inconsistent with that but i do think that russia and saudi arabia and other major producers won't pump in. pump more oil for people to get back to fork, for example, and what we're considering doing with that i'm reluctant to say before i have to do it >> on the supply chain, sir. one of the obvious big problems in the united states is supply chains is not having enoughworkers. and a lot of us in the part of the supply chain. workers have not returned to the labor force as thought as your administration thought they would. >> why is that they are able to
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move from -- an awful lot of the truck drivers are not unionized truck drivers. they are working like hell and not getting paid a whole sole what we've seen here is theity tire of tile to take care of their families and next nelg with -- worker play has gone as we even deployed and you have a significant number, i forgot the number, i think it was close to 60 major economists acknowledging that what is going to happen is you'll see continued economic growth under our proposals. you had a total of 14 -- i think it was 14 nobel laureate
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economists in economics saying this is going -- what i'm proposing is going to reduce the -- the inflation, et cetera, so there's a lot going on. look, we really are, i know you're tired of hearing me say this. we really are at one of the infliction points in history. so much is changing. so many pieces on the table are moving, and how they get resettled depends upon the judgments we make and whether or not the united states among others can lead the world in the direction that's going to increase the circumstances for a higher standard of living for workers here and abroad as well as making sure that people have two. as i've said again, just have a little breathing room. i meant what i said when i ran. my desire was to build the economy from the bottom down and middle out not from the top down. that's what's in the process of happening and in the meantime there's been enormous changes as a consequence of covid on the supply chains, why are we having trouble? an awful lot of the very
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factories and operations that in fact produced material that we need for supply chains in everything from shoes to -- to dealing with computer chips they are out sick. they are not working and so it's changing. the economies are changing and the united states has to stay ahead of the dufr. that's why i introduced the infrastructure bill. that's why i also introduced the build back better initiative. "the washington post" are, where are you, sorry, i couldn't see you. >> thank you, mr. president. on iran, how will you determine whether the iranians are serious about rejoining the nuclear talks as they have indicated they will do by the end of november and what costs will you impose on iran as they carry out attacks on the united states such as the recent drone strikes such as the u.s. forces in syria. >> well, in a sense they are two different issues.
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one is whether or not we get to the jcpoa and we rejoin that and that -- that's why i had the meetings with my colleagues here in -- in rome who are part of the original group of six people, six nations that got together to say that we should negotiate a change which i found that i think we're continuing to suffer from the very bad judgments that president trump made in pulling out of the jcpoa, and -- and soy that's one issue and that issue is going to depend on whether and how that gets resolved will depend on their action and the willingness of our friends who are part of the original agreement to stick with us and make sure there's a price to pay economically for them to fail to come back. with regard to the issue of how we're going to respond to actions taken by them against the interests of the united states, whether they are drone strikes or anything else is we're going to respond and we're
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going to continue to respond. >> abc, cecilia vega. it's hard to see you guys with the mask on. >> and the masks are making my glasses fog up so i apologize. thank you, sir. on climate change you just mentioned the incentives you have on renewable energy in your bill back better plan. you do have a number of incentives but as it stands right now there are no punitive measures in this plan to hold these companies accountable and many experts firmly believe that you've got to have the stick along with the carrot in order to get to your goal to reduce emissions by 2030 by 50%. so can you stand here today and say to the world that you'll dev finley meet that goal. >> yes, i can. what we're proposing and what we've initiated is everything from getting the
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automobile-maker to commit to going all electric, number one and number one getting the 'unions to agree to do that as well and making sure we have the investment in battery technology to have the electric buses and electric transportation grids. making sure we're dealing with everything from -- let me go through some of these that. we have tax credits for $320 billion for dealing with alternatives for people getting a tax credit for moving on solar panels, on wind and a range of whole other things and winterizing their properties? i don't think you're going to need any punitive action to step up and do those things and with regard to, you know, to the did
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the -- there's a total of $550 billion in climate and i'm just check the numbers to make sure i'm right and climate investment in terms of resilience. we are now -- it's very much in the interest of the industry to -- to see to it that we move to making sure that we have the resilience to be able to win those towers come down and lines end up burning down and burning large swaths in the rest to bury this underground. there's a whole range of things. i don't think we're going to have to -- everyone knows which direction it's going and there's no indication that it has to be a punitive effort to get people to react in a way that we have to do it, at least i don't feel so, >>i in a follow-up. on your meeting with pope francis, the more than 50 million catholics back at home are seeing something play out that's never happened before this, split in the conservative wing of the scat r catholic church moving to deny someone
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like you, a catholic president the sacrament of communion. for these catholics back home what did it mean for to you hear pope francis in the wake of this, in the middle of this debate call you a good catholic and did what he tell you, should that put this debate to rest? >> look, i'm not going to -- a lot of this is just personal. pope francis has become a -- a -- i don't want to exage rate this. has become a -- someone who has provided great solace for my family when my son died. he is in my view -- he's always been this debate in the catholic church going back to pop john xxiii to talk about how we reach
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out and embrace people with differences. if you notice what the pope said when it was asked when he first got elected pope and he was traveling with the press and they said what's your position on homosexuality, i said who am i to judge? this is a man who is of great e.think and a man who understands that part of his christianity is to reach out and to forgive and so i just find my relationship with him one that i personally take great solace in. he is a really truly genuine decent man. now i'll end by saying that, you know, there are an awful lot of people who -- and many of you, and i'm not putting you in this position, i apologize, but many of you who are -- even in the press who went out of your way to express your empathy and sympathy when i lost a real part of my soul -- when i lost my
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beau, my son, and -- and i -- my family will never exwill never forgot, my extended family, it was a matter of days since my son passed away and pope francis came to the united states to visit with not only president obama but with -- with the catholic church here, and i was asked if i would accompany him to philadelphia to the seminary, anyway. and i did, but it was -- the wounds were still raw of the loss of my sound and i had my, tended family, and your all tired of seeing my extended family. they are always around, my grandchildren and my children and my wife and my daughters-in-law, and -- and before he left and got on the plane the pope asked whether or not he could meet with my
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family. and we met in a hangar at the philadelphia airport, and he came in and he talked to my family for a considerable amount of time, 10, 15 minutes about my son beau, and he didn't just generically talk about him. he knew about him. he knew what he did. he knew who he was. he knew where he went to school and he knew what a man he washes and it had such a cathartic impact on his children and my wife on our family that it -- it meant a great deal, and as i meant what i said. everybody was laughing. i didn't realize y'all were able to film what i was doing with the pope when i gave him a command coin, and -- and i meant what i said.
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this is a man who is someone who is looking to establish peace and decency and honor, not just in the catholic church but just when i won, he called me to tell me how much he appreciated the fact that i would focus on the poor and focus on the needs of people who are in trouble. so i just -- again, i don't want to talk more about it because so much of it is personal. but i'm -- he is -- he is everything i learned about catholicism from the time i was a kid going from grade school through high school. and i have great respect for people who have other religious views, but he is a -- he's just
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a fine, decent, honorable man, and we keep in touch. i thank you all very, very much for your patience. thank you. >> all right. president biden getting a lot of questions about domestic agenda but also about what this means, the g20, what it means going forward for the cop26 and picking on a lot of the issues that we teed up for you in advance about, you know, what this president can really get done. and then, as is not unusual with joe biden, he wound up going to his heart on a question about catholicism. and there is an interesting disconnect, not unusual for american catholics. we've seen american bishops try to target politicians in the past. i don't know about the context of the question. but this pope being countermanded, this pope being contradicted by american bishops
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is new, and this pope going out of his way when meeting with joe biden to say, you are a good catholic, and you should receive communion was unusual. but biden used it as an opportunity to turn towards his personal -- he doesn't want to get involved with, you know, catechism and what church politics are, but he talked about the loss of his son and what the pope did in offering solace during that time and even mentioned that some of the media had offered solace during that time, and he got emotional as he always does because his feelings are raw and often real, especially when he's talking about his family. so how did he do? what does it mean? what did it leave out there? let's bring back phil mattingly, nic robertson, and bill weir who is a step ahead in glasgow scotland. how do you think he did? >> there's a couple things that really stuck out to me. first talking about his domestic agenda, which obviously is top of mind for everybody right now, saying, quote, god willing, there will be a vote as soon as -- and then he paused.
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then he said, as soon as next week at some point. we all think it's going to be as soon as tuesday, but he made clear to the press and everybody watching that he believes not only is it going to pass but could pass as soon as next week. so still optimistic there and i think making the point as we've discussed that officials -- administration officials believe that even in the g20, even at glasgow and cop26, the idea that it hasn't gotten through the house yet is not something that international leaders are focused on. what they're focused on is what's in black and white, on the climate that is $555 billion, that is tangible policy that would dwarf anything the united states has done up do this point. the other thing in the context of being asked about, which we were talking about, the climate language in the g20 communique and what that means heading into glasgow. while this isn't necessarily a revelatory thing, just directly calling out china and russia, saying explicitly they didn't show up, saying he was disappointed in them. again, they quite literally did
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not show up, so he's just stating a fact there. >> and he made that point as well before that, saying, the way i get business done -- because he was asked how effective can you be with international leaders. he said, because i do business with them, i looked them in the eye. i knew that's what he hadn't been able to do with xi and putin. >> it's so critical, him acknowledging, which i wasn't necessarily expecting, that he was disappointed in the outcome to some degree and what that means going forward. so critiquing those two nations, which i think everybody is a little frustrated here and heading into glasgow aren't going to be real players. i think it was noticeable to, you could tick through iran and a couple other things just looking at my notes. but i think you kind of hit in your opening, you know, very personal with his discussion about the pope, very personal about his relationship with the pope. we talked about it before he met with the pope when we were sitting in front of the vatican, how he views this, how white house officials relay how he
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views this. >> you could say that was odd for him to say it's personal. well, i think it's kind of odd to go bdeep on somebody's religion in american politicians. we gave trump a complete pass, right? the man came out as president, said i have a new relationship with god. they had a couple of evangelists say the same thing and nobody ever measured it again, whether he was at services, how he lived. so that's a little unusual. on the climate side, let hop over to bill. bill, what did you make of president biden talking the aspirational talk that certainly we're not unfamiliar with from democrats, but then also going retail on it. people got to get in their car. they got to turn the key. they got to take people to school. they got to get to work. and you can't just think you're not going to have gasoline anymore. and when gas goes above 3.30-x cents a gallon, you're going to
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have problems for people at home, and that matters too. >> exactly. what's interesting is what i thought one of the newsiest bits of that is he kind of fumbled the question about carrots and sticks in what is now a $555 billion plan that he hopes gets voted in on tuesday. it's mostly incentives to encourage people to buy an electric car or get the propane gas stove out of -- natural gas stove out of their house and put in electric, those sorts of things. but no sort of punishment for giant utility companies to get off of coal. if that doesn't happen asap, there's no way any of the targets here, paris, will ever matter. that has to happen. and if you incentivize somebody to go buy an electric car and they plug it in at night, if what's charging that car is a coal-fired power plant or even natural gas, it's not doing anybody any good in the long run. what's so interesting about the biden administration on this topic is the one thing
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economists agree on pretty much more than anything else in the history of the discipline is that if you want to take something bad out of society, you put a price on it. so if you put a price on carbon and maybe $50 a ton, say, or $100 a ton, and it jacks up over time as that is squeezed out, the free market will innovate a replacement for it. then you take that carbon tax, and you can give it back to people as a tax dividend like they do in alaska, or you can put it into resiliency plans or climate justice. the big debate is on what to do with that money, but nobody debates it's a bad idea. for some reason, the biden administration thinks it's a political non-starter, probably because of what you're saying, chris. it will be a regressive tax for the guy trying to fill the tank and living paycheck to paycheck. but he also did say he wants to end fossil fuel subsidies. if he does that, that would be big. the imf, the international monetary fund, estimates that around the world, big oil, gas,
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coal companies are subsidized to the tune of $11 million a minute. that's both in, you know, tax breaks. it's in giving them money to keep gas prices low. but it's in what they don't pay for the pollution that makes people sick and kills them prematurely or the storms and the droughts and the floods that are as a result of all of this burning. so what's interesting on thursday, some of the democrats on the house oversight committee led by ro khanna, they called in the heads of the big oil companies, the four biggest ones. they're looking for that big tobacco moment, accusing them of false advertising. you knew that your product back in the '80s was going to cook the planet, but you got away from it. those guys, when pressed, couldn't even put a price on a ton of carbon even though they say they're for it. but if he manages to do that in some meaningful way, that could have a big ripple effect. >> you know, that's an interesting tale off this narrative, by the way. so ro khanna has the oil
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executives there. they won't answer the questions. they think they're going to take their beating and go home. then he and crowley, his co-chair on the committee out of new york, they subpoena them and say, we want the documents that show your connection to these third-party outfits that are putting out all of this deceptive advertising. that was a big move, and it's a strong point to make, bill. you know, in terms of how he dealt with the press and took the questions, we don't want to look past it just because he's abroad, how he would be measured at home in terms of how did he conduct himself during this press conference and what will be the spin in terms of how he handled it. >> i think that's frankly how he handles his press conferences, and i'm not -- i'm not trying to dodge the question to some degree. i think that's part of the reason why a lot of us in the press wish he would have more press conferences is you actually get a sense of what he's actually thinking beyond the topline points to some degree. his willingness to delve into the realities of gas prices on a
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question technically related to opec to some degree and just the, look, i would love to do this. i understand that it's ironic we would like more production coming out of the middle east right now, however, people need to get to work, at $3.35, that is really bad for the average american person who is trying to fill up their car and go to work. that's not necessarily in their messaging documents. >> no, but gas prices can affect an election more than -- >> he called out russia and saudi arabia explicitly on that. >> i think to be honest, whether it will be viewed as a great press conference or a bad press conference, i think it's an illuminating press conference because you get a better sense what he's thinking. he was asked why haven't more people gone back to work? we get a sense of what he's thinking. getting his thought process on it. i think the other one too is when he was asked about his poll numbers and he made clear, you know, they've been high, they've been low, they've been in the middle. they're back low again. he knows what his pollum


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