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tv   Inside Politics With John King  CNN  April 14, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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♪ hello. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king in washington. we start this hour in ukraine. a somber milestone and urgent battlefield preparations. this is day 50 of vladimir putin's invasion, and the russian military is poised to open a new chapter of this war. the west warns a major russian offensive will happen as soon as the next couple of days. moscow's gun sights set on the donbas region.
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it's the source of a pentagon scramble. the united states is now promising to deliver heavier and deadlier weaponry. helicopters, howitzer cannons and more. overnight ukraine said it put a major military win on the scoreboard. russia's premier warship in the black sea sustained major damage. ukraine claims it struck it with a cruise missile. russia blames the damage on an accidental fire. the pentagon today says it has not determined the cause and says the ship is still afloat, but in need of major repairs. mariupol remains under attack on all sides. debris lines just about every nook and cranny of that city. ukrainian officials say thousands are dead. russian state media claims this is battlefield progress. a video apparently showing ukrainian soldiers surrendering. cnn is unable to determine if this is real or if it is kremlin propaganda. we start our coverage on the front lines in ukraine in lviv with cnn's matt rivers. what's the latest?
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>> yeah, john, the big headline is this certainly warship, this russian warship that has been critically damaged, according -- both to russian state media and to what we're hearing from the ukrainians and americans. the russians only calling this a fire. they say the fire has been put under control at this point. not saying what they believe the cause of that fire was. however, the ukrainians filling in that blank there saying it was, in fact, two or three cruise missiles, shore-based cruise missiles launched by the ukrainians, neptune missiles, developed here in ukraine, brought into service in the last year or so. the ukrainians saying they successfully attacked this ship. the americans say they can't verify that. interestingly, they're already seeing the effects on other russian ships with a u.s. defense official telling cnn they have seen russian ships in and around that area actually move further south, perhaps an attempt to make clear or get clear of any further cruise missiles that might be launched by the ukrainians, john.
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>> some other important battlefield developments, too. the ukrainians destroyed a bridge in kharkiv and mariupol, yes, under siege but the ukrainians saying it has not fallen. >> that's correct. we have some pictures that were provided by the ukrainian military of that bridge. they say they were able to destroy that bridge while russian armored cars and trucks were moving over top of it. those trucks said to be heading toward the city of izyum which would be where russian troops want to move from as they move their way further south and into the rest of the donbas region. as for mariupol, yes, russia claiming they have taken hundreds and hundreds of ukrainian prisoners. however, the ukrainian government saying that city is still very much being contested, ukrainian forces that remain there have not yet given up. this after weeks of continued fighting. it's seemed for a while now that ukraine's forces might be on their last legs, but ukrainian authorities saying they are still fighting that the city has
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not yet fallen to the russians. >> matt rivers live in lviv, grateful for the live reporting. let's look at the battlefield and new firepower included in an $800 million added additional u.s. security assistance package. with me, cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr and cnn military analyst retired lieutenant general mark hertling. let's go to this list of new aid. barbara, we watched through this here. it's much heavier equipment. the biden administration deciding after weeks of resisting saying some things were across the line, we weren't going to do that adding ho howitzers, armored personnel carriers, armored m-3s, helicopters. it tells you what they expect to happen. barbara, help us with the howitzers first. a couple of weeks ago, the administration said no. now it said yes. why? >> it's because of where they are headed. into the donbas and eastern ukraine. this is an area that is
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relatively flat and open. they are going to be fighting over longer distances, open range, long-range fires. and that is why they're going to need howitzers and those counterbattery radars, the air defense radars. this is not what we saw north of kyiv. wooded areas, ambush tactics, successful as they were. that's what is not on the table here. so we've got an -- new $800 million package that they have got to get there sooner, not later because the russians are already moving into the northern donbas, we are told, with their own artillery. their own command and control. not the big muscle movements of tens of thousands of russian troops yet, but they are beginning to make their move into the northern donbas. the last $800 million package took four weeks to get there. they are going to have to move faster. >> going to have to move faster. general, you've been saying you wish the united states and other allies would be more aggressive
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in what it delivered to ukraine. explain the significance of the howitzers as we expect more of an armor battle. if a lot of ukrainians say unseen since world war ii in the east. >> what we'll talk about linking on to what barbara just said. if i were in command of the russian force, i would be thinking about three things. force generation, logistics and massing the force. that's where this long-range fire comes in. what the russians want to do, general dvornikov wants to break through the lines in the donbas region. in order to do that, the russians always fire artillery first. and they fire it from ten kilometers, 12 kilometers away. that howitzer you just showed up there the 19er 8 has a range of 14 miles. and if they have a rocket projected assistile it will shoot around about 20 miles.
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so what they want to do is both that artilly piece combined with the radars that the administration has given. as soon as russia starts firing artillery, they want to fire back and stop that artillery from shooting so that the ukrainian forces can attack the forces that they are trying to make the break through. russian artillery is deadly, john. they have a lot of it. they practice that extensively, unlike some of the other things they do. so artillery is a killer on the russian battlefield, and the ukrainians want to stop that. >> this is a lot of equipment as you say. the urgency is not just to promise it but to deliver it. on this list 11 mi-17 helicopters. this is a russian, genesis is a soviet helicopter. the united states has some of these because of its deployments in afghanistan. president zelenskyy, the reporting is, the one who convinced president biden. originally advisers were saying don't do this.
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president zelenskyy said i needed them. they are now in the package. why? >> zelenskyy wants every tool he can possibly get because of what they are facing in the donbas. the mi-17, look, it could potentially be vulnerable to russian anti-air. but they're going to get some of these in there. i think the problem remains getting them in fast enough to make that difference right off the bat. as general hertling is saying, you don't want the russians to gain one inch in the donbas. if you can assemble this range of arms to stop them in their tracks. so the helicopters will be important, and one of the things that we're learning is that the u.s. will front load, if you will, into these armed shipments the most vital things it thinks ukraine needs. the most vital. these kinds of things, they will go first. they want to get them on the
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ground and zelenskyy wants to make sure he's got everything he can. >> and general, you can equip those. they are largely designed as a transport. equip them as a gunship. talking about a battle in here, a lot of this territory has a presence of russian troops or in separatist areas for eight years or more, presence of russian forces. what value do those particular helicopters bring to the ukrainian piece of this? >> okay, john, i told you what the russian commander wants to do. he wants to regenerate his force, get logistics in there and masses forced to break through. if i were the ukrainian commander, i'm looking at three things. i want to ensure my forces flexible, moving around that 400-mile front in the donbas. i want to find ways to establish quick reaction forces as part of reserves to get to those key breached point very quickly and lighten my logistics resupply capability. if you have helicopters, not only can you arm the helicopters but put 20 guys in the back of
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that helicopter. each one carrying a javelin missile. one of the other things they were provided and continue to be provided with. so they go to the key points of breach where the russians are coming in. they stop the artillery already. they jump out of the aircraft, start firing the javelins at the russian tanks. it gives you a good quick reaction force. it's a brilliant package in terms of clfding those mi-17s. a very good helicopter for this kind of terrain. >> general hertling and barbara starr, thank you. we'll try to track the urgent package. how quickly can you get it there? thank you both. soon for us, the suspect in the brooklyn subway shooting set to appear in court for the first time. we're live outside that courthouse, next. newfound happiness and zero surprises. and all of us will stop at n nothing to drive you happy. we'll l drive you happy at carvana. it's still the eat fresh refresh, and subway's refreshing their italians. so, we're taking this to italy.
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soon, the suspect in the brooklyn subway shooting will afear in federal court. 62-year-old frank james is in federal custody facing the terrorism-related charge. he was arrested in manhattan yesterday afternoon after he called the police tip line to tell investigators he was at an east village mcdonald's. here he is walking the street just before police arrested him. police arrested james roughly 30 hours after they say he opened fire on a crowded subway car during the morning rush hour shooting ten people, injuring more than a dozen others. shimon prokupecz is standing by live outside the courthouse in brooklyn. what do we know? >> so, the prosecutors just filed their detention memo. obviously, they are asking the judge to keep him in jail, keep him behind bars as he awaits trial here. and what they say is that they allege this was entirely
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premeditated mass shooting that he had a stockpile of ammunition, and then they write in the detention memo that he came to brooklyn prepared with all the weapons and tools he needed. and they then list all the evidence they have so far found that they say links him to the crime from the gun. but then they also talk about his social media presence. those youtube videos that we have been talking about and they argue that the youtube videos show how violent he is. take a listen to some of that, and this is what prosecutors are arguing should also keep him in jail. >> i've been through a lot of [ bleep ]. i can say i want to kill people. i wanted to watch people die right in front of my [ bleep ] face immediately. but i thought about the fact that, hey, man, i don't want to go to no [ bleep ] prison. >> john, with these videos and other information that investigators now have, they are
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still working to try and determine a motive. an exact motive as to why he -- they say he conducted this attack, opened fire on this subway car. they also say they have video of him telling people how to make bombs. molotov cocktails and other incendiary devices. we expect to see him in court here shortly where, as we said, prosecutors here asking that he be kept in jail as he awaits trial. >> shimon prokupecz, keep us posted if developments change in the rest of the hour ahead. with me now, caroline polisi, federal and white collar criminal defense attorney and a supervisory special agent for the fbi. shimon outlined what the prosecution says in its memo to have mr. james kept in custody. kept in prison. he has now had some time to meet with his defense attorneys. it's a preliminary hearing. often they're very quick and swift and you don't learn a lot about the case. what are you looking for from the defense side of this today?
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>> yeah, well, john, shimon is right. prosecutors are going to have no problem winning their motion to have mr. james incarcerated pending trial. detention pretrial in this instance is -- falls under the federal bail reform act and safety to society is a factor that they can argue. so they're not necessarily even arguing about the specifics of the offense today. just whether or not he'll be detained pretrial, and i think all evidence points he will be. >> peter, you make an important point on some of the notes back and forth with our producers before the programming that there's a sigh of relief in new york, obviously. there's a sigh of relief around the country because we didn't know where james would head after doing this. that he is in custody. one piece of evidence, shimon played a bit of it. let's listen to a little more. this is mr. james on youtube. you can see why prosecutors say he must be held. he's a risk.
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listen. >> we can see more mass shootings. need some more mass shootings. >> your point, peter, was that evidence is already gathered. because he's under arrest does not stop the critical evidence gathering, the checking the boxes, if you will, sealing this case so that you have it ready and air tight when you go to trial. >> john, absolutely, 100%. the investigation is not over. so right now, as i said, the public at large is breathing a sigh of relief. they can go back to their normal lives, not worried about frank james lurking around a corner to repeat another act. but the prosecution in this case, the eastern district of new york, and the jttf and new york city police department are ensuring all their is are dotted and ts crossed. they don't want to cut any corners in order to let anything influence the trial and the outcome in order to meet the counts on the indictments and
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the criminal complaint that was filed. the hard work is going on. in my experience, after the individuals arrested, it's the joint operation center, it's still going on for a good 72 to 96 hours after it. investigators are working with prosecutors in order to outline specific counts and continue to process that evidence to ensure also that there's no -- there are no co-conspirators or anyone that provided material or financial support to mr. james. >> caroline, i want to read a little from breon peace. these are federal charges being presented. the defendant committed a heinous and premeditated attack on ordinary new yorkers during their morning subway commute. all new yorkers have the right to expect they'll be safe as they travel throughout our great city. so the federal prosecutor making clear he wants to prosecute to the fullest extent here. as we watch this play out, do you believe, will there be state charges as well, or is this federal jurisdiction, and the feds have a better case, a
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stronger case, it will stay there? >> well, absolutely, john. all options are still on the table as peter just pointed out. this has been a colossal effort on behalf of the nypd, jttf, federal and local law enforcement agencies. they specifically noted the kings county district attorney's office is involved as well. so they are absolutely could be a superseding indictment, if there are more co-conspirators, more charges for mr. james himself and certainly state charges are on the table. so all options remain there, john. >> peter, what's your take on that part of it? is it more federal charges as they gather more evidence? they just make a superseding indictment or does the state need come in here as well? >> absolutely. and it's a combination of both, in my experience. so when we're looking at title 18.1932, it's basically an act of terrorism on a mass transportation device. the federal government has a heavier hammer with regard to sentencing and the penalties
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associated with it. so you're looking at 20 years for this individual, and it meets what mr. james did, meets the statute on the section of that statute 100%. i think they are charging 1a and 1 -- sub 17 and two or b1 which is use of a weapon in order to commit bodily harm on a -- basically a mass transportation like a sub way car at rush hour. what i saw happened in the 2016 chelsea bomber as well as other cases. the state usually holds those charges in reserve. they let the federal government proceed and then they can always add those state charges for attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon in new york city and et cetera just to tack on charges in conjunction with the federal government. >> peter and caroline, grateful for your insights. we'll watch how the proceeding plays out and talk again as the case proceeds. president biden just moments ago weighing in on whether the united states should, at this
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>> this is a big question raised after the british prime minister made a surprise visit to kyiv, whether or not president biden or someone from the biden administration would also make a trip to kyiv to show support to zelenskyy as you see more and more world leaders decide to do this now that we're several weeks into this russian invasion. while we're told it's very unlikely that vice president or vice president harris are expected to go at this time, we're told there are discussions about sending someone potentially to ukraine, and the president was just asked about this by reporters as he left the white house. >> will you send senior officials to ukraine? >> we're making that decision now. >> so it sounds like a decision has not yet been made, john. i was told by multiple officials it's not clear this trip will actually materialize, but if they did send someone, they have talked about sending maybe defense secretary austin or secretary of state blinken to go there. of course, it's a very difficult logistically to pull off because, of course, you can't just fly into ukraine. boris johnson took several forms
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of -- modes of transport, including a very long train ride. so i think that's a big question that the white house has to deal with is how long this person would be out of commission going into ukraine. this is something that would have to be done with a lot of secrecy around that visit but it's something they're talking about internally as they are sending this $800 million age package into ukraine. >> katitlan collins, appreciate the update. with me in studio, torini, julie hirschfield davis of "the new york times." i want to spend more time on the substance of the package. symbolically, it would be important and we can show it would most likely be, if the president decided to do something like this, but it would most likely be lloyd austin or tony blinken. you essentially ly lose two or three days of this person's time. they fly to poland, take a train across. why take that person out of other critical meetings for two or three days, yet popping up in
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kyiv you show solidarity with zelenskyy and you also, in a way, show vladimir putin, you thought you were going to have this city by now. you thought this was going to be yours. the united states of america is here as the uk was flying the flag. >> the discussions happening now, is it worth the security risk, sending that message to putin and symbolic message of solidarity is that worth the security risk? is it worth pulling these people out of meetings? who would go, how they would get there? all of that is being figured out. but what the administration has said, the priority is still on sanctions, on the military aid. so while the visit would be symbolically good, the focus remains on the aid packages that they are giving ukraine. >> if you look at that package, and it's a long list, it can seem overwhelming. go slowly through it if you're watching at home. at the top, howitzers. 40,000 more artillery rounds. more javelin missiles, switchblade drones, kamikazes,
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essentially. armored personnel carriers. armored humvees. this is the reflection of how brutal the next chapter of this war which will play out in the east. the biden administration, up until this package, has resisted. saying we've used certain weapons systems as too much, too provocative. they've decided now not to go all in but to go more in. >> they are clearly throwing the kitchen sink at this. obviously as was mentioned, and we're now weeks into this invasion and they want to show and want to actually provide some of what the -- is the really critical assistance. the focus is on the sanctions but you can't see sanctions. the significance of having these conversations about this visit is, people will see somebody, an american presence, a high-ranking official in kyiv, in -- on the ground in ukraine and call attention to the fact that there is, you know, billions and billions of dollars worth of aid that's coming from the u.s. you listed some of what is the first tranche that's been approved that's going to be sent
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just in the next short term. but congress had been pushing the biden administration to do more to consider more in the run up to approving that big package of aid. and now the administration is in a position where they really want to do that and they're very much leaning into that. >> and they have this -- they are being pushed to be more aggressive from congress but also truly rare bipartisan moments where you have just about everybody saying, help, help, help. the pressure from congress and it's unmistakable whether it's sanctions or this package. calls from congress have made the administration more muscular, more aggressive. on this list also these mi-17 helicopters. russian soviet-era helicopters that the afghans had in afghanistan. the united states now sending some. this has gone back and forth. reports just yesterday it was pushed out of the package and the reporting is president zelenskyy personally asked president biden, i need these. you mentioned the power of congress. the power of zelenskyy. >> he made the play directly to the president and, of course, the u.s. is now sending these to
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ukraine. and i think the distinction that the administration had tried to make between offensive and defensive weapons, we're sort of seeing that as nonexistent now. the president is more willing to listen to what zelenskyy is saying, what he's hearing from members of congress and actually give what ukraine needs rather than sort of coming up with some sort of distinguishing line between what is considered offensive or defensive or what could be more escalatory toward russia. >> the language he uses to describe vladimir putin, including the word genocide. two top members of team biden trying to explain the difference between the president's personal views and the legal definition. >> he's the president of the united states and the leader of the free world. he is allowed to make his views known as any point he would like. >> president biden spoke from his heart when he called what we are seeing in ukraine genocide by the russian federation and its forces. >> we've seen this before.
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the president speaks from the gut. sometimes the lawyers have to clean it up a little. does it matter in this case, though? >> i don't think it does. he does speak from the gut but there's a clear legal definition here that his staff is very quick to point out. he was not making. i think he's also taking a page from zelenskyy. zelenskyy has said that this is a genocide, this is what's under way in ukraine. and it's clear the president does feel that way. i'm not sure it affects the debate, whether he's willing to use the word or not but there's a legal question here that will have to be answered. it's interesting where his administration ultimately comes down on that. we know what he thinks. >> and we know what the pictures tell us when you look at what's happening inside ukraine. up next, a new russian warning. mot moscow threatens to move forces to the western border if finland and sweden decide to joioin nat. . try fofor free at i should buy this... oooh socks! we got the house! you did!
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feels tlhreatened or worried an is issuing a warning saying, don't do it. >> this underscores what a terrible miscalculation vladimir putin made. he complained about nato. well, the response to his war of aggression in ukraine, which the united states and others warned him about in advance, very explicitly is now potentially an incredibly significant expansion of nato. and that would be a direct consequence of putin's actions. a reminder that sweden and finland, the entire cold war, josef stalin doesn't cause them to join nato in the way that vladimir putin looks like now he will have. so a big miscalculation. >> it's remarkable. we've been talking throughout the program about this new $800 million biden security assistance package. it's on top of prior packages. what makes this unique is they are heavier, more deadly weapons included in it because of appeals from president zelenskyy, because of expectations about what the next phase of the war will be in eastern ukraine.
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elliott cohen writes this in "the atlantic." in washington, the metronome of war ticks too slowly. the administration has not taken advantage of the near-unanimous support for ukraine in congress. a marvel of bipartisanship in this contentious period of american politics to press for much larger sums for the ukrainian military. is that a valid point that even though this new package is quite significant, that maybe the president should be asking for more? >> well, i think there are certainly strong arguments for doing so. and, you know, president zelenskyy, by the way, has been extremely effective at mobilizing world opinion, lobbying directly for these weapons, even from, you know, his bunker in kyiv. and i think you've seen the united states, as a result of t that, give far more than was ever possible. the biden administration, it's like walking over the ice and testing each step along the way. what will it bear? and there have been these
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enormous concerns every step along the way of russia and escalation which is, to your previous point about the nuclear saberrattling that you hear from russians, you know, that's one of the major deterrents that they have left for the united states and nato is threatening nuclear escalation. that's why you hear it. they don't have a lot of efforts to defer the united states. >> i like the testing the ice metaphor. we're sending howitzers, helicopters, anti-armor weapons into ukraine. have they irreverseibly crossed a line to be more muscular or is this one package at a time we need to look at it? >> look, i don't think that putin is under any illusions here. he understands that the united states and the nato alliance would like to bleed him as much as possible in ukraine. certainly that increases the security of nato members themselves. it's much less likely that putin has the capability to threaten
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the nato members in the baltics and poland right now if he is being pinned down and made to really pay the price inside ukraine itself. so he understands that that's the american calculation right now. we're shipping as much heavy machinery as possible to the ukrainians. >> thank you for the important insights. up next, president biden back on the road today promoting his efforts to boost the economy. it's an early midterm year test and at the moment, the president's grades are not so great. scary.allergies don't have e spraying flona daily stops your body from overreacting to alleens all season long. psst! psst! flonase all good.
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president biden is back on the road today promoting his work and searching for some midterm traction. north carolina is his destination today to tout administration efforts to boost manufacturing. high inflation, though, is shaping public opinion, overwhelm league so, about the economy. and the president's numbers, take a look, they are in a funk. in our latest polling average, just 39% of americans approve of the president's job performance. 55% disapprove. torini and julie back with us. julie, we've been through a lot of midterm cycles. numbers like that mean a republican house and a republican senate. the question is, can the president on the road and otherwise change them? >> right. this is history repeating itself, right? a president in a midterm, the
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first midterm after he's elected, and his approval ratings are not good. this is bad news for congressional democrats hoping to be re-elected to their seats. there's a lot of time. we're in april. and there are a lot of muth mon between now and november. this will be the singular concern of members whose names are on the ballot in november and of the white house because as you said, the issue set that he's dealing with, high inflation, rising gas prices, widespread sort of economic discontent and uncertainty, as we come out of the pandemic. and still a lot of shakiness about whether pandemic restrictions and pandemic precautions are going to stay in place. i think it's a real challenge for these candidates. and i think the white house knows that. that's why you see him go to north carolina and talk -- at a historically black university, about what the agenda has been and what they've been able to accomplish, even if the bulk of the agenda is now stalled. >> iowa, new hampshire, north carolina today, wilmington, delaware, as well, when he goes
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home on the weekends to delaware. but that is the challenge. when you know you have a wind in your face, people are exhausted from the pandemic. then you have high inflation kicking people in the teeth. president has to find a way to say, i get it. >> and i think what's tricky for the administration is if you look at the poll numbers, it's democrats and independents who are also saying that they disapprove at an interesting rate of the president's performance so far. it's not just republicans, of course, who have not supported the president. what's even trickier is it's expected to get worse in some ways. we're already seeing republicans bring up immigration at the border and those numbers, the administration has acknowledged, are going to increase as title 42 is lifted in may. there are also predictions from economists of a possible recession. so, you know, the economy remains uncertain. so it could get, in terms of the external factors that the administration is dealing with, it could get even more
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challenging. >> so you just mentioned two key points. republicans are going to run on immigration and inflation. probably inflation and immigration in that order depending on where you are around the country. what's missing is we're coming out of this pandemic. where everyone is exhausted. one of the things is that obamacare, the affordable care act is more popular now than it used to be. in the 2010 midterms where the republicans took back the house and the obama presidency, that was their issue. listen to chuck grassley who is running for re-election in iowa. he's a senior republican. chuck grassley was part of the effort to repeal and replace obamacare. listen. >> what is the republican plan to provide affordable health care for my children? >> it's not repealing the affordable care act if that's your question. >> pretty quick answer there, which politically, that's smart. republicans are saying, we're done with that. >> absolutely. they tried for a while to figure out a plan that was a replacement for obamacare that would be appealing enough, and it fell flat. and they weren't able to get
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consensus within their own party and it wasn't popular with the public because the fact is that the public likes the affordable care act. people like having insurance coverage. things are better on the health care front than they were when that law was enacted. so republicans are now backing away from that. it won't stop them from criticizing the biden administration on what they -- they'll say they haven't done to keep health care costs down, but that's why you'll hear democrats talk about their efforts so far unsuccessful, but to get the cost of prescription drugs down, to get, for instance, this legislation across the finish line that would bring down the cost of insulin. things that people feel right now. but i don't think we're going to hear a real debate over whether or not we should repeal obamacare. >> the president's dismal poll numbers. can you turn them around? to be fair, i want to show you something. we always say don't believe one poll. don't believe one month. this is the university of michigan consumer confidence survey. it's beginning to tick back up. you see it started in the biden administration way up near 90. fell last month to a low of just
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below 60. for the past month it's ticking back up. the challenge for the president is to keep that trajectory. every little bit that goes up, it improves your prospects. he needs to improve them because listen to mitch mcconnell. mitch mcconnell has lived through previous midterm years. he says this one is fantastic. >> the atmosphere for republicans is better than it was in 1994. so from an atmospheric point of view, it's a perfect storm of problems for the democrats because it's entirely democratic government. how can you screw this up? it's actually possible. and we've had some experience with that in the past. >> he has had some experience with that in the past. normally in places where mitch mcconnell thought republicans were going to win they nominate candidates who can't. that's why he's worried about the trump effect this year. >> that's exactly right. and how can you screw it up part is the question because there
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are a lot of states with very crowded republican primaries and donald trump is investing in -- against republicans. we heard yesterday that he's going to be putting money against the governor -- the georgia governor who is a republican, so if he starts investing in senate races, things could get messy. >> we're in april now. primaries starting to come up. fun to watch. appreciate you both being here. elon musk offers to buy twitter. yep, all of it. so, people can get a free samsung galaxy s22 when they trade in a galaxy, any year any condition.
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the tesla ceo elon musk is offering to buy twitter. according to a new file with the s.e.c., musk is offering $43.4 billion for the social media platform. musk, who has been buying up shares of twitter since back in january, says he believes the company needs to be, quote, transformed. he made the announcement, where e else, on twitter, early this morning. the republican national committee voting it will not participate in the traditionial presidential debates. the rnc chairwoman sent a letter to the commission on presidential debates. echoing complaints former president trump made about how those debates operated back in 2020. but this issue is complicated so stay tuned. despite today's vote, the rnc claims candidates can participate in other events if they are not sponsored by that commission. iowa may no longer be the first in the nation to pick a president. at least on the democratic side. democratic party officials
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approving a plan wednesday that lets other states apply to hold the first primaries or caucuses. a committee will pick up to five states to move up before super tuesday. that's the first tuesday in march. the current first four, iowa, new hampshire, nevada and south carolina, will have to apply to keep their place. appreciate your time today on "inside politics." we'll see you back here tomorrow. dana bash picks up our coverage right now. hello. i'm dana bash. ana cabrera is off today. it's day 50 of russia's unprovoked attack on ukraine. at this moment, the war appears to be entering a new phase. a senior u.s. defense official tells cnn the first russian troops that have left northern ukraine are coming back, appearing in the northern donbas region of eastern ukraine. that's believed to be in preparation for a major russian offensive involving thousands of
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