tv Don Lemon Tonight CNN May 11, 2022 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
this is "don lemon tonight." president biden says the u.s. economy's getting hit on what he calls two fronts. >> at home, it's inflation and rising prices. abroad it's helping ukrainians defend their democracy. and feeding those who are left hungry around the world because russian atrocities exist. >> ukrainian forces pushing russian troops back near kharkiv in the northeast, but a new warning tonight from the mayor of kyiv. >> the main city, the capital, still main target from russia. check out this story. the women's lacrosse team at delaware state university, a historically black college, accusing georgia police of
racially profiling during what the school calls the pre-text of a minor traffic stop of their team bus. more on that in just a moment. i want right now to president biden and the economic crisis facing americans. cnn white house correspondent john harwood is here along with commentator catherine rampell. thank you for joining, good evening. john, let's start with you. biden framing the inflation crisis as a war at home, he's pinning some of the bad economic news on the war in ukraine. and he is slamming republicans for not helping. there's truth in both of those things, but is that the best message? >> don, the problem is there really isn't a good message when you got a systemic problem like inflation as significant as this one is right now. as dan pfeiffer, former top aide to president obama, told me, you can't talk voters out of a bad mood if they're feeling unhappy with the state of the economy, unhappy with their own personal circumstances.
and you're going to have to take a bit of a hit. now, what the president is trying to do is mitigate that a little bit by referring to the impact of the ukraine war on things like energy prices. there is some impact there, but of course the inflation surge predated the war in ukraine. he can try to draw a contrast with republicans, which he increasingly has to do going into midterm elections. he's trying to make the best of it, but it's a difficult political situation. he's been stuck in the low 40s for quite a long time, and no sign that he's going to get out of it anytime soon, particularly as long as inflation is staying at the levels it is now. >> let's give people the realty, catherine, because we have a lot going on. there's a war, a huge change about to happen rolling back what has been a constitutional right to abortion. but the economy affects every single voter. what is your outlook on -- what do you think the outlook is on inflation? have we seen the worst of it
yet? can you make a projection of where it might eup. >> forecasts are dangerous. right now it looks like inflation has been decelerating, we saw the numbers from april, they were a little bit better than march, but they're still uncomfortably high and the months ahead are going to be unfortunatelily high for food prices, for energy prices, for rent and housing. so all those things are going to be really unfortunate for people's pocket books and of course for democrats' political fortunes given that americans are so angry about the price increases. rightly or wrongly, they are blaming the democrats who control the government. i do think that democrats and president biden have made choices that on the margin have probably made inflation a little bit worse. it was going to be bad no matter
what. it's bad in germany and the u.k. and all over the developed world. it's worse here in part because of some choices they've made. you know, beyond that, i think voters are going to say the buck stops with them, you know. they believe the president can control gas prices even if he can't. >> angry and anxious. >> yes, both of those. >> when you get that bill for filling up the car, it's like -- americans are making a choice to put some things back or not buying things. >> or they're not finding the items they want on the shelves, right? >> right on. >> infant formula among other zings i've been waiting for furniture for a long time. can you explain what's going on in the economy and what did it mean for their politicize prospects. catherine is saying, look, this is not good news. you said there's really nothing to sell, there's no good news to sell for the president as well. >> the last president who dealt with high inflation rates
throughout his term was jimmy carter. he was not re-elected to a second term. ronald reagan who defeated him, of course, suffered a serious recession or the economy suffered a serious recession as part of the effort to wring inflation out of the economy. he took a hit in his first midterm election, though by the time he ran for re-election, the economy was in much better shape and he won easily. barack obama after the great recession in 2010 suffered a very large defeat, lost control of the house because even though the actions that president obama and the democratic congress took helped bring the u.s. into recovery and out of that recession, as long as voters were feeling as bad as they were, that was little solace for them and they took it out on the democrats. now, president trump in 2018 proved that you could lose a midterm election even with a strong economy. that was for other reasons. so the economy is a dominant
factor, as bill clinton said when he beat george h.w. bush who had a slow and difficult economy, racing during his term. it's the economy, stupid. it's not only the economy, but that's a significant determinant of how presidents do. >> catherine, let's talk more about gas prices. i keep mentioning it, but that's really the thing that's getting people. gas prices are up again. but there is a point the administration has been making that they think it deserves -- i think it deserves an answer. they know that gas prices shoot up when all prices go up, but when oil prices go down, guess what? gas prices stay high. are gas companies exploiting this crisis? >> oh, man. thc thr rockets and feathers, the idea that prices shoot up much faster than they fall down. they filter down like a feather. this is not some great conspiracy. this is how these markets are known to have worked. it's frustrating, it's annoying,
especially if you are a politician right now. >> right. >> but yeah, we will eventually see gas prices fall. there's just a lag. and i just find it really unhelpful for the president to be -- president and other democrats, frankly. i saw adam schiff tweeting about this today to be complaining about this phenomenon. it's like yelling about gravity. there's nothing they can do about it. this is how the markets work. this is how most markets that are structured with these sort of fragmented wholesale-to-retail structure, not just energy, but especially energy. that's how they work. i get that they think it's a valuable populist talking point, but, you know, there's nothing new happening here. they need to be able to complain about something. >> there you go, getting all wonky all knowing what you're talking about.
go ahead. >> don, if i could just add to catherine's point, we're all playing our parts in a game that is played around, issues like inflation. republicans blame it on biden whether or not it's biden's principle fault that we have inflation. as catherine said, some of the choices they made probably did contribute to inflation, but that's not the entirety of the problem. those of us in the press lightweight to the president and say what are you going to do about inflation, even though we know that there isn't all that much that a president can do. so then a president's got to come up with an answers to those questions, and all those have a bit of phoniness to them and that's sort of the way politics works when you got a big problem in the country that is sitting there and nobody can do all that much about it. now, the federal reserve is trying to do something about it. if you can do it without causing a recession, that will be the outcome everybody wants. but in the meantime, we're all,
you know, yelling at clouds right now and that's the situation with inflation. >> my feeling is both parties are so eager to find a villain to blame for inflation that they forgot to actually figure out what's causing inflation and, therefore, what can be done to solve it, or at least what can be done on the margin to make it a little bit better. you know, this kind of ranting about rockets and feathers or whatever or corporate greed, i think at best is a distraction from the tools that are available. >> it doesn't mean it's not true. i got it, ron, i understand what you're saying. but come on, corporations can be very, very greedy. >> they're greedy all the time. >> exactly, that's my point. thank you both. i appreciate it. i want to bring in cnn senior political analyst david gergen, author of "hearts touched by fire: how great leaders are made." i have so much to talk to you about, david. you advised four presidents?
>> yes. >> of different political stripes and ideologies? >> yes. >> do you think the president has that much to do with inflation and the economy? >> i think the president does have something to do with it. there are supply problems, other forces such as ukraine, but remember, there were big arguments about some passage of some of his legislation earlier. and an economist like larry summer, treasury secretary in a democratic administration was urging people not to go as far or as fast because it was going to cause inflation. lo and behold here we are. human beings have some role in it, but we don't want to overemphasize it. the critical thing is whether they know it or not, the american people think their president can control prices. when they're getting gas at
$4.36 a gallon, you know, they put the blame out there for it and the president has to suffer through. i do think, don, we learned in the past with the federal reserve, if you stick -- as head of the federal reserve, he stayed on and served both parties. he took on the inflationary bear. he went after it, reagan to his great credit supported volker and raised the interest rates. the misery index was very high. so there is times when presidential decisions do matter. >> so speaking of that, catherine talked about the rhetoric. this is rhetoric about something different. but president biden escalating his attack on republicans and going after the former president, "n" what he calls the maga agenda. listen to this. >> under my predecessor, the great maga camp, the deficit increased every single year he
was president. they don't want to solve inflation by lowering the costs. they want to solve it by raising taxes and lowering your income. >> so i am sure that donald trump and the maga movement will take that as a compliment. what do you think when you hear that? >> well, i think it's buck passing in terms of president biden wants to obviously find other villains in this story. i don't think most americans will buy it, you know, because it feels like it's a manufactured argument in many ways in order to cast blame on somebody else. but, look, i think if joe biden can see his way through this, if the prices do come down, if inflation is under better control, he'll be in better shape if he does decide to run for president in 2024. but i think that's what a good president does. he decides whether the federal reserve has the right policy, whether he can get on board with the federal reserve, and then he encourages the federal reserve.
reagan held -- a lot of people in his party didn't want to appoint paul volcker. he didn't have the encourage of doing that, and that's what presidents should do. they should figure out what's the federal reserve up to? instead we had this confusion because on one hand we got the fed putting on the brakes. on the other hand, the administration talks as if they're trying to pour on the gas to make the car go faster. >> dave, i got to ask you, all these monitors in my office, so i turned the volume up watching. i was astounded last night when you told anderson neither biden nor trump should run in 2024 because quite frankly they're too old. i don't know either will take your advice, but why do you think they should consider it? >> well, don, if you look at most major institutions like corporations in america big
corporations, they don't have the ceos stay working into their 80s or 70s. board members frequently on corporations, if you're 70 or 65, your time is done. and i do think the presidency is the most powerful position in the world, it's the most influential, it's most important for protecting america. i think it's really important that the person who is elected have not only full command of their faculties, but the promise of continuing command of their faculties. what we know -- i just turned 80 and i can just tell you, your body changes, your mind changes. a lot of things change for you. you're not quite as effective. it doesn't mean you're a bad person. it means you're getting older. and i just think that as a matter of social responsibility, civic responsibility, i believe that people running for president should be in their 60s or 70s or 50s. a lot of people in gen x, for
example. but as a general population, i would argue president of the united states -- this doesn't apply to every position, but president of the united states it does apply to. you're taking on a heavy responsibility. you're the leader of the free world and you want a person with real vigor, with energy to do that. you want a person with vision, and you want a person with good judgment. you know, the decisions that come to a president are usually 51-49 decisions, hard decisions to make. you want the best mind you can in that office to make those decisions. >> are you saying -- do you not believe the president is sharp or that donald trump is sharp? listener, the pushback to what you're saying is, listen, both of those men ran and both of them won. >> yes. >> the younger people up on the stage with them or in the arena with them, nobody voted for them. >> correct. >> yeah. >> i think that's right. but if you knew that you had a
condition that might incapacitate you when you were president, would you run for president in good faith? we had that issue with paul son gas system years ago. >> we had an issue with ronald reagan. >> but reagan is now younger. he went out younger than these people coming in. i think this is not a game and it's not an assessment of who will make a better president the first year, but it is an assessment that if you're in your mid-80s your vulnerabilities go way up. you're just not as sharp usually. there are exceptions, but it's taking a risk. is that what we should ask the country to do to take a risk because you believe you're the best person for the job when there are 330 million people in our country with a lot of people who could be good presidents? i just think it's a matter of
social responsibility. >> i think you're pretty sharp, david, regardless. >> you're very kind, thank you. >> you don't look a day over 59. so listener, your new book is all about leadership. tell me more about your book. >> thank you. it's a call and it's very consistent with what we've just been talking about. it's a call to the younger generation, young emerging generations to prepare themselves for lives of service and of leadership, public leadership. you know, i believe one of the best way we're going to get out of this mess is through having stronger, more effective leaders than we've been having. we had a series of leadership failures in recent years. it doesn't take a genius to do this. it takes somebody with the kind of capacity and the charm and the bravery of zelenskyy. where are the people that can
mobilize people? >> i can tell you where they are. they are drowned out by the extremes. >> that's right. zelenskyy when he came in, they had extremes on both sides. he wasn't a well-respected person when he came in. but when trouble struck, when lightning hit, he stepped up to it. you want people in the organization who can do that. we need to prepare them. and i think the best -- in the short term i think we ought to be asking generation x to play a larger role. they're merely the age -- some of them are in their mid-50s. they still have all their faculties and they're strong. >> i got to tell you -- >> for the long haul we ought to turn to the millennials and generation z. >> i find myself searching for words, and i'm only 28. i know you'll have a laugh there. thank you, david. the book is called "hard touch
with fire." david gergen, we really appreciate that. >> thank you so much. >> new book, new book. there it is. >> there it is. okay. >> see you later, david. >> okay. take care. vladimir putin thought his forces would just roll right over ukraine. didn't happen. so what'll happen next? ♪ ♪ soso you can imagine my excitement when i heard scotts turf builder triple actionn does three things at the same time. scotts turf builder triple action kills weeds, prevents crabgrass, and feed your lawn. all three in just one bag. i like that. scotts turf builder triple action. it's lawn season. let's get to the yard. >> there it is.
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taylor. ukraine is making significant gains on the battlefield taking back territory near kharkiv. we were all what putin would do on victory day, but there were no surprises. do you think this war is at a stalemate? >> it's certainly in a new days, don. they lost the first phase, the russians. the ukrainians won the first phase. and now they're moving around to the east and they're mounting an effort. they got bombardments going up and down the line in donbas. as you say, the ukrainians are now pushing back around kharkiv, just like they did around kyiv. so they've got some momentum going. the russians are pushing some places and the ukrainians are pushing others. so we're in a new phase. >> the first russian civilian killed inside russia, ukraine haven't confirmed or denied being responsible, but what kind of impact could this have on the war? >> so the ukrainians have been
careful not to gloat, not to make any comments about some of these events that have taken place inside the russian territory. we remember a couple weeks ago there were a couple helicopters apparently that shot some missiles and blew up a fuel depo. and again, the ukrainians were very careful. they didn't confirm or deny. that's the wise thing. it's kind of like our boasts about using and providing intelligence. probably not a good idea. the ukrainians probably have a better way to do it of just not confirming or denying. >> erin burnett spoke to the mayor of kyiv earlier. he's convinced that putin's main target is still the ukrainian capital. what do you see as putin's end game here? >> don, i think putin's end game is controlling ukraine one way
or the other. the mayor, whom i know well, is right to stay vigilant. who knows what the russians are going to try to do, but what we do know, their ultimate goal is to control ukraine. president putin's ultimate goal is to be the russian leader, the russian czar, the russian emperor who brings back ukraine, the jewel in the crown of the empire. so he wants to do that one way or the other. he's been trying to do that as we know, don, since 2014 when he invaded, probably before that he was trying to do that. that attempt failed. so then he tried kyiv. now he's looking for another way to do it. but the mayor's right to be careful. depending on what happens in this next phase, the ukrainians may win this next phase, again. but even if they do, they have
to be careful, ready, and putin will not stop. >> ambassador taylor, president zelenskyy is warning ukraine is losing their willingness to negotiate with the kremlin. take a listen to this. >> from each bucha, from mariupol, each was a step with great masses with each and every step there are less possibilities and desire to solve this issue by the diplomatic way. >> so my question is, is do you think diplomacy is still a real option? or will this war need to be won or lost on the battlefield? >> don, i think in the first instance, the battlefield is going to be where it's won or lost because until both sides figure out that they're not going to win on the battlefield, it's not going to be a negotiation.
however, if the ukrainians continue to do well and if the russians continue to commit these atrocities, then it's going to be very hard for ukrainians, president zelenskyy, his negotiating team, to sit down with people who are killing their citizens in cold blood, sit down with these people to try and negotiate? you can see how that would be real hard. that said, there may be some negotiations on a cease-fire. that could certainly be the case, cease-fire or humanitarian corridors out of mariupol or other cities. >> that would be difficult with the death, destruction, heart ache, just the random killing that russia has leveled on the ukrainian people. thank you so much, ambassador. i appreciate it. >>, don, good to be here. politico reporting the supreme court will meet tomorrow for the first time since the leaked draft opinion on the future of roe v. wade.
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toobin. this is big stuff. politico reporting that none of the conservative justices have switched their votes and this remains the only draft to go around. what is likely happening inside the court right now? >> well, let me just say for starters, you know, the real news here is what this decision means for american women, not about the internal dynamics of the supreme court. however, the internal dynamics of the supreme court are deeply weird right now. i mean, we are in an area where we have never been before, where politico is essentially reporting in real time about what's going on in the supreme court. and i assure you they are freaking out because they prize their secrecy like nobody's business, and they have never been in a situation where an opinion has leaked and where there is now updated information about how the proceedings regarding the case are going.
it's never happened before. >> and your new cnn.com recall the entitled "clarence thomas has been waiting for this moment." you explain thomas may have his way from abortion to gun control. is this now clarence thomas's court? >> absolutely. you know, fundamentally the supreme court is about arithmetic. it's how you get to five votes. when clarence thomas joined the court in 1991, he didn't have five votes. he didn't have three votes in many cases. now there are five hard-core conservatives on that court, chief justice roberts often joins that group. and thomas has brought issues to the court that were seen as fringe ideas back in the early '90s, like overturning roe v. wade, like extensive individual rights under the second amendment to have guns, like broader opportunities to execute
people in the most painful possible ways. thomas has advocated all of these positions, but the court has come to him. it's not really about how good thomas' ideas are or how bad they are. it's about five justices now agreeing with him. as the senior associate justice on the court, the longest tenured member on the court, he gets to assign the opinions like this dobbs case where he's the senior justice in the majority when the chief justice is not in the majority. it's a position of enormous power, and thomas has got it and he's using it. >> jeffrey toobin, always a pleasure. allegations of racial profiling over a traffic stop involving a women's lacrosse team. that story, next. n help you buid a complete financial plan. visit letsmakeaplan.org to find your cfp® p profession. ♪
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only eight and a half cents is left for the homeless. and in virginia, arizona, and other states, fanduel and draftkings use loopholes to pay far less than was promised. sound familiar? it should. it's another bad scheme for california. so delaware state university says their women's lacrosse team was subjected to racial profiling when their bus was stopped in liberty county, georgia, from a minor traffic violation. during the stop officers searched their suitcases for drugs but the university insist they were racially profiled. joining me is a member of the team. hi, sydney, thanks for zbloings
thank joining me. >> thank you for having me. >> your coach said she felt invited for herself and her team. how did you feel about this? >> like my coach, i also felt violated. in the moment i felt inferior. we didn't give them a hard time, they took their k-9 and started going through our personal belonging. >> sheriff william bowman says the personal items on the bus were not searched, but the body cam video contradicts that. what did they say they were looking for? >> narcotics, any drugs. they thought we had drugs on us. >> there should be some probable cause for that and there was no probable cause. >> no, yes. >> it was odd. >> in front of us correlation between a traffic violation and
them checking our luggages. >> the sheriff denies there was racial profiling by his deputies. he also says this. watch this. >> more than anything, we want feedback from the passengers of the delaware university lacrosse team. on the communication approaches we can consider that we simply do not -- that we are simply not aware of. >> so would you and your teammates be open to this conversation with the sheriff? and do you think your team was racially profiled? >> yes, i do believe we were racially profiled. like i said i said before, if we remember stopped for a traffic law violation a bus being in the left lane, why were they checking our gilets jaunes they said the bus was driving in the left lane, which i didn't know. i don't drive buses. >> and two officers told us they were going to check our luggages. they didn't ask us, we were informed that was what they were
going to do. >> it seems like that your rights in some way were restricted or trampled upon just for them going through your things without probable cause. >> yes, it was definitely a violation of our fourth amendment rights because i believe if we were fully caucasian team, this would not have happened. >> the delaware attorney general requested a review by the u.s. justice department. what would you like to see come out of this? >> first i would like a formal apology from the liberty county police. next, i would like the officers to be fired for their unlawful actions and for them to be held accountable. lastly, i would like the university to sue. >> how is your team doing? >> yeah, we're managing, but a lot of us this was our first time being racially profiled so it hit us all differently. experiencing racism first hand, it's one thing to read about it and see it on the news, but it's traumatic on your mental health and it takes a toll on you. >> appreciate you joining us. by the way, she did her own
reporting on this, sydney anderson. so thank you very much. >> thank you so much for having me here. >> we really appreciate it. be well. a series of positive covid tests caused the first postponement of any game in the 2022 mlb season. dr. reiner is here. he's next. you know, you hear a lot about celiac, but i never thought my dna would tell me i had a higher risk for it. i mean, i'm a food critic. i literay eat for a living. this can be a game changer. do you know what the future holds? if you don't stain your deck, it's like the previous owner is still hanging around. previous owner: "laughs" ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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tests on the cleveland guardians forcing the team to postpone today's game with the chicago white sox. this is the first postponement of any mlb game in the 2022 season due to covid and it comes as cases are on the rise again. so, let's get right to dr. jonathan reiner. i said it's 2020 all over again, that's what it feels like. cases are going up, cancellations like this. in a way, feels like we've been here before, because we have, but is this what living with endemic covid is going to be like, not epidemic, but endemic? >> well, first of all, we're still in pandemic covid. covid cases are rising significantly in the u.s. they're up over 50% in the last two weeks. hospitalizations are up 20% and now sadly deaths are starting to rise, as well. and baseball is microcosm of what's going on in the country right now. we're living in this sort of, you know, cognitive disnance
where on the one hand, everyone understands we're still in a pandemic, yet many people are trying to live as if there's no such thing as a pandemic. so, baseball has no mask policy anymore, there's no routine testing anymore. and in the midst of a pandemic, you're going to see players test positive -- or actually get sick, you know, contract the virus, because there's no mask policy, there's no routine testing, and yet there's a lot of virus around. since the beginning of the season, 50 players have tested positive and we'll continue to see this. >> so, you have been looking at the maps that the cdc is putting out and this one is particularly not sitting well with you. tell us about why. >> yeah. so in february, overnight, the cdc changed their metric for alerting the public as to what their community level was. the level of virus in their community. and instead of relying solely on
the number of cases in the community, the cdc added a metric which looked at how much hospital capacity a community had. and overnight, the map turned from orange and red to magically green, so, it was green washed. heavily weighed by the fact that a hospital capacity was improving. so, what we have right now is a situation where virus is rising in almost every state in the country, i think 46 out of 50 states have rising case numbers. rapidly rising case numbers. yet the map of the country still looks green, because we still have hospital capacity. but if you want to understand what your risk is of contracting covid when you go to the store, you don't care about how many ventilators your hospital has available, you care how much virus is in your supermarket. that's the only thing you care about, but that data is hidden from you. the cdc has a separate map which
they label for use for health care facilities only, which does show community transmission levels and almost the entire country is red or orange. and that's the map that really should matter to individuals. the only word that comes to mind when i think about this is gaslighting. we've been gaslit. >> let's see. how do you -- you know, i think everyone has -- i shouldn't say anyone. doctor, a lot of people have the attitude, well, so many people have it, this person has it, everybody's going to get it, it's just inevitable. what do you say to that? >> i say that there is a lot of virus around, a lot of people have gotten sick, but it doesn't effect all of us in an equal way. so, in other words, if you are immunocompromised or if you have a job that won't pay you if you have to be out of work for ten days or if you don't have health insurance or if you don't have a doctor on speed dial who can
instantly prescribe paxlovid, getting infected matters in a much different way to you. so, this notion of sort of, you know, just take care of yourself, don't worry about anyone else, doesn't wash with me. you know, this country has had a dismal record in protecting the most vulnerable and now in this stage of the pandemic, that becomes really magnified. people are continuing to die and the people who are continuing to die are the most vulnerable and we've largely been ignoring them. the wealthy and the well-connected and the healthy are basically turning their backs on the people who are continuing to get sick and die from this virus and it doesn't have to be that way. >> doctor, thank you so much, i appreciate it. and thank you for watching, everyone. our coverage continues.
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this is cnn breaking news. hello, everyone, i'm john vause at the cnn center in atlanta. we begin this hour with breaking news of a fast-moving wildfire sweeping across southern california. a mandatory evacuation order is now in effect for some neighborhoods and cnn affiliate kabc reports some 20 homes, some reported as multimillion dollar mansions, are now engulfed in flame. the fire broke out about ten hours ago and an hour later had dramatically increased in size, spread by strong, gusty winds. as of last report, about 200 acres were burning with zero containment. >> when you have that strong of wind blowing that fire
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