tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC May 23, 2022 12:00am-1:00am PDT
>> the fact is that deterring threats and unwriting stability is vital today for not only the peninsula but for the world. >> mounting concern over a new cold war with russia and increasingly provocative north korea. we're aboard uss maine, one of only 14 ballistic submarines in the u.s. arsenal. this morning, we take you inside america's nuclear defense. spirnl coverage of the high stakes. mary bruce with the president in tokyo, ian pannell in ukraine and former joint chiefs chairman mark mullen exclusive. summer spike. >> the pandemic isn't done. we still have a lot of work t do. >> as hospitalizations soar, the white house warns of dire outcomes amid an impasse on covid funding. dr. ashish jha is here with the latest. and too close to call.
a recount near certain in the key pennsylvania senate primary. another crucial test in georgia this tuesday. >> announcer: from abc news, it's "this week." here, now, co-anchor martha raddatz. good morning and welcome to "this week." as we come on the air this morning, an unprecedented mission for the u.s. military, bringing a critical supply of baby formula to the u.s. the situation so urgent president biden invoked the defense production act to ramp up production. the "operation fly formula" flight landing in indianapolis this morning after departing from ramstein air base in germany. president biden, meanwhile, is in japan after spending the past two days in south korea for biden's first trip to asia as president. it comes at a crucial moment as the u.s. faces the most serious nuclear challenge since the cold war. north korea appears to be on the cusp of a nuclear test, its
first since 2017, and in ukraine, where the russia offensive continues to stall, vladimir putin has threatened the use of nuclear weapons, a threat made more acute by finland and sweden moving quickly to join nato. this morning, with the president in asia we'll look carefully at the stakes in what's being dubbed a new cold war with exclusive access to the most powerful nuclear deterrent in the u.s. arsenal. but first, reports from our team on the ground overseas. ian pannell is near dnipro. we begin with mary bruce traveling with the president in tokyo. good morning, mary. >> reporter: good morning, martha. the president just arrived here in tokyo, the second stop of this trip, biden's first to asia as president. it is a trip aimed at strengthening key relationships, curbing the rise of china and taking on the nuclear threat from north korea. biden just spent three days in south korea. assuring the new president there that the u.s. will help him
confront their nuclear-armed neighbor. biden announcing they could expand joint military exercises and he says he's still willing to meet with kim jong-un, but the president will only do so if kim is serious and he can meet in good faith. kim has been ramping up his provocations. the white house saying that he could launch yet another long-range missile or conduct a nuclear test while biden is still in the region. biden said he's not concerned and they're prepared for anything that north korea may do. biden was asked what hiss message would with to kim. he responded simply, hello. period. >> this trip is coming as the administration is still very focused on the war in ukraine, why go to asia now? >> reporter: this is a trip that biden probably would have liked to have taken sooner if not for the pandemic. biden of course came into the office promising to take on china would be a top priority, but that goal has been largely
overshadowed by the war in ukraine. a chance for the president to reassert that commit and goal. he'll meet with leaders of japan, australia and india. announcing a new joint economic framework again aimed at trying to take on the rise of china. martha. >> thanks, mary. ian, we learned this morning that the administration is trying to get that $40 billion worth of aid into ukraine as fast as possible. >> reporter: that's right. good morning, martha. that military support from america and the others can't come soon enough to the troops now engaged in this brutal, bloody battle in the east of the country. this is all about the donbas now. with the russians already victorious in mariupol. all focus is on this small swath of land here in the east and what happens there will decide the outcome of this war. towns close to that area are being bombarded, we're seeing reports of that. comparing it to mariupol.
zelenskyy saying today, victory will be bloodied but diplomacy to end this. america's multibillion-dollar aid package is vital here. ukrainians are desperate for these multiple rocket launch systems. ukrainians interestingly also saying that this is now entering a final phase. it's not just about holding the russia advance. it's now about trying to back all territory that russia has occupied since 2014 and key putin ally now saying that the military aid coming from the united states and its allies is triggering a wider conflict between russia and nato. even going further saying, such a conflict has a risk of turning into a nuclear war. martha. president biden has called recent nuclear threats from russian officials irresponsible and this morning, with north korea poised to test a nuclear weapon for the first time in five years, the administration says it's prepared for any
contingency, the u.s. still has thousands of strategic nuclear weapons in its arsenal, 70% of them on submarines. we spent 24 hours in the pacific with exclusive access inside one of america's nuclear-armed ballistic missiles submarine. it's a mesmerizing sight. the uss maine normally unseen, undetectable, briefly surfacing off the coast of hawaii. stretching the length of two football fields. it's the most destructive warship ever built. bristling with nuclear-tip ballistic missiles. >> if you can you can go a mile northwest. >> all those squares are missile hatches. >> those are missile hatches.
>> reporter: the vice admiral bill houston is the commander of u.s. submarine forces granting us an exclusive access to this warship as tensions around the world grow. >> the cold war, it was the united states and soviet union as two nuclear competitors potential adversaries. what you have now is china and russia are near nuclear peer competitors against the united states. >> reporter: but houston's mission has not changed -- deterrence. there are 20 ballistic missiles in these orange launch tubes topped with nuclear warheads, lots of them, 12 each, meaning, 240 nuclear weapons. quite the deterrent. >> we're out here to prevent nuclear war. that's what we're doing day-to-day. >> reporter: and preventing war means practicing for one.
below deck, now hundreds of feet deep in the pacific, the crew simulates a nuclear launch. an adversary has attacked with a strategic nuclear weapon and the president in this exercise has ordered this submarine crew to respond. >> authorize entry has been granted. >> reporter: two junior officers open a safe containing the key for this simulation. the trigger is pulled. the exercise, a success. in february of 2020, an unarmed ballistic missile was test-launched off this very submarine, missiles capable of traveling up to 4,000 miles to pinpoint a target. >> we can put it inside a
baseball stadium and with the destructive power that you can carry on one of those missiles it's very, very capable. >> reporter: commander darren gerhardt has been onboard during a test launch. >> it's pretty incredible when you're near it. the energy necessary to lift that missile causes the entire deck to lift up and vibrate. just hearing and feeling that raw energy as it's pushing that missile out of the ship is just incredible. >> reporter: the destructive power not lost on this very young crew who literally hold the key to missile launches. when you hold that key, even though you're simulating it, do you think how serious a job that is and what could happen? >> it's pretty crazy, but the gravitas of the situation is not ever lost. that's why we're here. that's why we train.
>> reporter: 25-year-old joseph loccisano is in the missile technician division. he says his family worries when tensions are high and pepper him with questions when his deployments are over. >> all the good stuff i can't tell them. i just tell them what a normal day is like. stuff like that. i always tell them all the good stuff is unfortunately classified. i can't discuss the fun stuff on the job. >> reporter: what passes for a normal day on this submarine is far from it. this is the berthing area where all of the sailors sleep but in between, these are the tubes where the ballistic missiles are stored. and that very small sleeping space, nine to a bunk room, affords almost zero privacy. meals for enlisted sailors in this mess hall are communal and there are no phones, no televisions, only an occasional use of e-mail.
the submariners can remain submerged for months at a time. is there a certain type that have to be submariners? but almost every one of this submarine volunteered for this kind of work, work that gets more challenging every day. >> vladimir putin has made these veiled threats. and rattled the nuclear saber in particular. >> first of all, we just characterize his comments as dangerous, irresponsible and as a career submarine officer whose profession is deterrence, i'd say it's unprofessional. so when i talk about it, it doesn't matter what type of nuclear weapon you're talking about, but the crossing of any nuclear threshold is significant. >> reporter: a threshold that houston and this crew are determined will never be crossed. our thanks to the crew of the
"uss maine," we should note the navy did screen our video before we left the submarine to make sure no images contained classified material. now joining me is mark mullen. you know what happens on those submarines. you know about our nuclear arsenal. clearly the u.s. wants russia and north korea to remember what the u.s. has in its arsenal. do you think there's a possibility that vladimir putin would actually use a nuclear weapon, even a small tactical nuclear weapon? >> it's very difficult to know what putin is thinking at any particular time. he's obviously spoken to this, i think we need to make sure we consider it as a possibility, both a tactical and god forbid the strategic force, we have it there to deter both he and china, and others that might get nuclear weapons. and i certainly hope that deterrence works, they're the most devastating weapons ever
created on earth. we should remind that as the country that has actually used them in the 1940s how devastating they are and make sure they don't get used. but they are a part of putin's arsenal, he's pretty well cornered and boxed in, we certainly have to consider it's a possible, it's a possible action he can take. >> and you have heard the threats again, but you've also heard warnings that if finland and sweden join nato, russia would deploy nuclear weapons to the region, those countries have officially applied, does this raise the level of concern? >> actually i was encouraged a little bit when putin said the other day that as long as they weren't a threat per se that he would not object. what strikes me about finland and sweden is how deeply neutral they had been for decades and
decades and how concerned they obviously are with this threat, that now has been generated by that now has been generated by putin, and so i'm encouraged by that, i'm encouraged by the unity of nato, almost every european i've spoken to considers the threat in europe now existential to them and i think that speaks to the move on the part of both sweden and finland. i'm encouraged by that. i don't think that it will cause, you know, a nuclear action on the part of putin at this particular point. >> and the russians, let's move to ukraine, the russian did have some successes this week, mariupol finally fell to them after months of fighting. how significant a victory do you think that is and is this just going to be incremental for months to come? >> i've said from the beginning. i think this is going to be a long slog with putin, he's clearly focused out east now
after what has been a disaster in other parts of the country, i think initially he really did want to take kyiv, overturn the government, put a puppet in as a leader, he's not going to be able to do that right now, but i think he'll do everything he possibly can to lose as little in the east as possible, president zelenskyy has been pretty clear he wants that territory as well, so i think we're in for a long one, it's going to be bloody, it's going to be visible, it's going to be what war is, putin will continue to devastate the infrastructure. with respect how he approaches it. the long-range weapons. i think what we've done to supply them has been extraordinary, quite frankly, and we need to continue to do that. >> mark milley, the current chairman of the joint chiefs of staff spoke to his russian counterpart thursday for the first time since february. defense secretary lloyd austin spoke to his counterpart, how encouraging is that?
were you surprised by that? >> i wasn't surprised by it. i have worried that we've had no communications with russia at any level from the presidency on down to the military, so i'm encouraged that those communication channels are back open. i think those are critical to make sure that we don't miscalculate. and we have a way to comm mean that they're talking? >> well it's hard to know. it's a big step in terms of being able to talk about how we get to how we continue in the fight and hopefully it's a start of a path to get to some diplomatic outcome here, all wars have to end. we need to be thinking more and more about what does that mean on both sides, what's okay, so that this is contained as opposed to exploding into a massive holocaust for not just for the region but for the world. >> let's turn to north korea, president biden is overseas on
his first trip to asia. with threats that north korea is going to test another nuclear weapon, launch another ballist missile in a test. where are we now with north korea? it's gone on for decades and decades. >> it's deja vu all over again from his grandfather to his father and to kim jong-un himself. there's no easy answer here. this solution must go through beijing and our relationship with china is worsening so that makes solving this more difficult. i'm encouraged by the president's trip, the time he spent in north korea -- he just arrived in japan -- >> in south korea. >> south korea. sorry. i'm encouraged by the fact that they're working together, and that trilateral peace, japan, south korea and the u.s. working together is really critical. in addition to australia, he's going to meet this week with the
leaders of the quad, which includes india, so i think the president's visit in that regard is really critical to try and contain what continues to be a real challenge in north korea with his development of nuclear weapons. >> if you will, on this baby formula, baby formula being flown over by the u.s. military, i can't imagine that you ever expected something like that to ever happen. >> i'm so encouraged by what our troops have been able to see. a c-17 that flew howitzers into germany to supply ukraine. flies 71,000 pounds of baby formula. >> get it out quickly once they get here. >> in two days. land in indiana. test briefly. i hope the testing by the fda doesn't last too long and we distribute it as rapidly as possible. >> thank you for joining us. coming up, despite vaccinations for more than two-thirds of americans, covid cases and hospitalizations are soaring and it comes as congress can't agree on funding for
vaccines and boosters. dr. ashish jha joins us next. (beep) ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ not everything on the internet is real. but a real online offer from carmax, is really what we'll give you for your car. miss allen over there isn't checking lesson plans. she's getting graded on her green investments with merrill. a-plus. still got it. (whistle blows) your money never stops working for you with merrill, a bank of america company.
we're now at the point of -- we're not at the point of mandated masks. we're not at that point yet. we're not at the point of doing anything than urging new yorkers while you're in indoors wear your masks. we have more tools so we don't have to fight the war we had before, this is a new war and we're going to use all those tools to do so. >> new york city mayor eric adams opting against reimposing an indoor mask mandate even as the city transitioned to a new
high alert level despite the vaccine. the u.s. is again seeing not only a rise in cases but hospitalizations. here to discuss is white house coronavirus response coordinator dr. ashish jha. it's great to see you. we have the daily case number more than 100,000, i know you think the number is actually higher because of home testing, so what is your advice in these high transmission areas? >> good morning, martha. thanks for having me back. first and foremost, my advice is, if you have not gotten vaccinated in the last five months, if you have not gotten boosted, now is a good time to do it. what we know is vaccines continue to provide a high level of protection against people getting seriously ill. that's advice number one. advice number two, i agree with mayor adams, that when you're in an indoor space you should be wearing a mask. crowded indoor places, high
transmissions, people should be doing that. people have access to masks, vaccines and therapeutics and testing. >> and of these infected people how many are quite sick? is this part of what people see and they think, oh, it's not so bad, maybe people aren't as sick, this is just part of life now? >> yeah, well, i wouldn't say quite back to normal, look, we have a lot of infecks out there, because it's still quite disruptive and 300 people a day are still dying of this disease, that's way too much. what i would say, we've certainly started really breaking that link between infections and deaths through two mechanisms, one, by getting people vaccinated and boosted and secondly, by making therapies widely available. those therapies really help a lot.
despite how many infections there are, death numbers are still relatively low, we've got to keep working on it. >> and i know you have to keep working on it, but given that a lot of people aren't following your advice, i've been flying around the country lately, people don't have masks on, what discussions are going on in terms of approaching this in a different way? you've said month after month after month, put your masks on, get a vaccine, get a booster, but the numbers aren't really moving. so what kind of discussions do you have about another plan? >> yeah, so, look, there are a set of things that we know about how to fight this pandemic, right, they are many of the things you've mentioned. so we don't have a new set of tools that we're going to roll out, the ones that work, vaccinations, therapies, testing, masking, and improving indoor air qualities. those are the major tools. the discussions that we have,
what tools are most important at this moment? certainly i think we want to help people understand we're in a different moment than we were two years ago, right, we're at a point where a lot of people are boosted and vaccinated. we're not in the same battle as mayor adams said and two years ago. the key discussion is, how do we help americans through this moment? this is really important, martha, how do we prepare for future variants and the revolution of this virus and how do we make sure we have the resources to do it to protect americans as this virus continues to evolve? >> let's look ahead to the fall, i know you're expecting a surge, "the new york times" reported that experts said that the administration should be doing a better job of preparing the public for a reinvigorated virus in the fall and winter. what more could you do? >> well, there are two set of things we can do. we should be communicating
what's happening with the virus and where our expectations are, and what we're planning for. and what we know this virus is evolving very quickly and every iteration of it has more and more immune escape and makes it harder for people -- harder for this virus to be contained, unless we continue vaccinating people and keeping people up to date. so that's what we know. we're also planning for a variety of scenarios including a wave of infection this fall and winter and making sure we have a new generation of vaccines that are being worked on right now, that we have availability of treatments and testing and we have the resources. one of the reasons i've been talking a lot about the need for congress to step up and fund this effort is, if they don't, martha, we'll go into the fall and winter without the next generation of vaccines, making it much, much harder for us to protect americans. >> cdc advisers recommended boosters for kids age 5 to 11 this week, what about 5 to under? what soon might we see that?
>> yeah, i have a lot of friends who have kids under 5, they're feeling frustrated and i'm very sympathetic. what i know is that moderna has completed its application, those data are being looked at very closely right now by fda experts. and my expectation is, as soon as that analysis is done, probably within the next few weeks, we're going to get that expert outside committee, then after that, fda will make a decision. so my hope is it's going to be coming in the next few weeks. >> and let's talk about this monkeypox, we've heard about that, president biden said we should all be concerned and if it spreads it could be consequential. give us a little update on that and how concerned should we be. >> yes. let's talk about what we know right now, this is not a new virus to us. we've known about this virus for decades. we have a case in massachusetts,
at mass general, we have at least one confirmed case in new york, tracking others, i wouldn't be surprised if we see a few more cases in the upcoming days. and i think the president is right, any time we have an infectious disease outbreak this we should all be paying attention. but i feel like this is a virus we understand, we have vaccines against it, we have treatments against it, and it spreads very differently than sars-cov-2, i'm confident we'll be able to keep our arms around it, but we'll track it very closely and use tools we have to make sure that we can continue to prevent further spread. >> okay, thanks very much. that's good to hear. still ahead, what does the outcome in pennsylvania's primaries mean for a trump re-election bid in 2024? what to look out for this tuesday as georgians head to the polls in that key contest. political director rick klein is
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they like to call people who stand on the constitution far right and extreme. i repudiate that. our view for pennsylvania is one of hope and freedom, that people come here and walk as they see fit not as some governor or some media hack sees fit. in's a movement that's going to shock the state here on november 8th. it's going to be beautiful. >> pennsylvania's doug mastriano there giving his victory night speech after easily winning the republican nomination for governor. he attended the january 6th rally and played a key efforts in overturning the election. abc news political cam director rick klein is back at our midterm monitor ahead of another huge day of primary voting this tuesday and rick, the process of democracy itself is among the big issues on the ballot. >> martha, if you take a look at the states that are voting on tuesday, it includes some really important states, texas, georgia, all four of these
states that are voting, at least one candidate and in most cases far more than one candidate deny the legitimacy of the last election, you're talking about candidates for governor, secretaries of state, attorneys general, congress, all of them have a major role of overseeing an election and certifying results. we have election deniers running in those races. if you zoom out of the full country, we have found at least 18 states where candidates are running who deny the legitimacy of the last election. 50-plus candidates endorsed some version of the big lie, all of those candidates, republicans. >> some of those candidates have already won in some key states. >> yeah, look, this just the battleground states, these are the states that are likely to determine the control of the senate and the presidency, states where we also have election denying candidates. we just saw the results a couple of weeks ago in ohio, jd vance, is going to be the republican nominee for senate. he said joe biden's win wasn't legitimate. we don't know who the senate
nominee is going to be in pennsylvania. we know that trump is already spreading unfounded allegations about that election. we do know that the candidate for governor is doug ma striano. what's interesting about pennsylvania, in pennsylvania, the governor gets to appoint the secretary of state, mastriano, who worked hard to overturn that election, he would in position to name the top election official in the state. he of course got the trump endorsement in that election. it's almost a prerequisite to get that endorgsment, to endorse some version of that big lie. more than 70% who have trump endorsement this year deny the legitimacy of the last election. >> and that primary in georgia on tuesday may be the highest profile test of that big lie. >> martha, donald trump has made its mission to defeat the governor in georgia. what happened there, biden wins in 2020 and just a few weeks later the republicans do even
worse than they did then in the runoff elections. this is the map that warnock used to ride to re-election. voter turnout was in some of the b bluer parts of the suburbs. meanwhile, you had a lot of republicans staying home there and through the central part of the state. talked and fed these lies for many weeks, that many republicans weren't engaged. this year it could be the democrats take advantage of a very similar dynamic. warnock running again and stacey abrams for governor. what's interesting about that night, that was january 5th of last year when both of georgia's senate seats went for the democrats. one day later, the violent attack at the capitol. >> absolutely fascinating, rick. thank you as always. the roundtable is up next, ready to discuss it all. we'll be right back. to discuss . we'll be right back. we do consulting, but we also write. [szasz] we take care of ourselves constantly; it's important. we walk three to five times a week, a couple miles at a time.
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issue but is taking too long to get to this point. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle grilling the fda commissioner in a hearing last week over the nationwide baby formula shortage. here to discuss that and much more, abc's senior national correspondent terry moran, caitlin dickerson from the atlantic, sarah isgur and former obautcampaign manager stephanie cutter. welcome to all of you this morning. sarah, i want to start with you, where rick klein kind of left off, some of the gop candidates who won tuesday, election deniers like pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate doug mastriano. they're quietly saying this could be a disaster in the general. >> it reminds me a little of todd aiken in 2012, it reminds
me that claire mccaskill bragged about $7 million that he would be her opponent on the republican side, she went on to win that election. but it was a heck of a gamble to take with our democracy. similarly here, democrats spent twice as much on tv to help doug mastriano win that primary, they sent out flyers, so for democrats to say that he's a threat to democracy, either they don't believe it or they're willing to play with our democracy just to win the elections. of course republicans voted for him in the end. democrats are playing fast and loose if they think doug can't win in an election year like this. >> and that's pretty much exactly what joe biden said. those candidates no matter who comes out of it, the republican extreme -- she got a point? >> we're going to blame democrats for republican extremism? no. i think that in any election you want to run against a person you think you can beat. most analysis in pennsylvania don't believe that any money
spent on the democratic side had anything to do with mastriano's victory. now that there's a victory on the republican side now the race is clear and we're seeing similar things in races across the country and we may see it on tuesday in georgia. >> and how about in the senate race, in pennsylvania, we don't know the outcome. >> we don't know the outcome. you know, both are, you know, both republicans think of themselves as maga republicans. one got the trump endorsement, the other didn't. >> dr. mehmet oz. >> the fact that this race is so tight is a testament, what does trump endorsement really mean in pennsylvania? which is a good sign for mainstream republicans, if there are any, but also independents, in terms of democrats winning in that state, and fetterman who won the democratic nomination, really racked up votes in rural areas and all across that state, it's a testament to someone
who's well known for being a man of the people, working class elected official who, you know, takes care of, you know, people who get up and put on their boots every day. >> despite suffering a stroke. terry, i want to go back to the pennsylvania's governor race. as we said, an election denyer. if he wins in november he would appoint the secretary of state. does his win in your eyes strengthen the likelihood of a donald trump run in 2024 since that's a key battleground state? >> i think the determinant of donald trump running for president again is where joe biden is, so i think he's obviously pointing in that direction. but yes, if he has his own lieutenants, people who are not only believers in his 2020 lie but want to reshape our electoral process so that it's controlled by them, so the other side really can't win -- >> explain how that works. >> pennsylvania's one of three states where the governor gets to appoint the secretary of
sate, the lead election official, but he also wants to take and make sure -- he wants to decertify voting machines in all kinds of democratic counties because he believes the lie. which was checked by court after court after court in pennsylvania. stole 80,000 votes from donald trump, that's garbage. but that's part of his platform and the outrage about it doesn't count on what donald trump has done to the republican party, which is there's a significant number of republicans i believe who don't want the other side to win ever again. >> and trump's endorsements were kind of a mixed bag this week, how do you view his influence on what happened this week and next week? >> i think what we're seeing a trump endorsement is just that, it's a boost, but it's not a clincher. i mean, look at the gubernatorial race in georgia, for example, where the incumbent kemp has succeeded, you know, despite the fact that trump is
backing his challenger perdue and that's because, you know, one might think this is a sort of a personal battle between kemp and trump that's playing out. trump is still mad at kemp for not overturning the 2020 election result there is. but kemp is saying, look at my record and he has this strong record that speaks to important issues, to republican voters, he signed into law legislation that makes it easier to carry a gun. if you don't have a permit. bans on abortion pills that can be put in the mail. he was one of the first governors to roll back covid-19 protocols there. so i think voters there -- and another key, an important factor -- is stephanie abrams. abrams is a very popular democratic candidate, she has a very strategic ground game, she has national support, and so i think that's voters saying, we don't want to take a flyer of a new candidate just because
former trump supports him. >> sarah, your take on all of this. when you look at trump and brian kemp and the governor's race down in georgia. >> look, from a political science perspective you want all these primaries to be on the same day so you could compare and contrast. in ohio, trump-endorsed candidate was in third place. trump's endorsement rockets him to first place. he wins by quite a bit. clearly a win for donald trump. the non-trump candidate also moved up ten points after trump's endorsement of jd vance, obviously lost, but still dynamics happening in ohio that moved around trump's endorsement. as that race consolidated. in pennsylvania, the two candidates have tied, we're going into a recount there and donald trump's endorsement for someone with that high of a name i.d., where you had other republican officials endorsing someone else, cancelled it out. and in georgia, donald trump's endorsement seeming to make no difference.
again, when you look at what that will mean overall for donald trump, donald trump is going to have a good year in 2022 but his endorsement alone is not enough. no candidate has been able to prove that they can capture the donald trump energy themselves either by being more donald trump, that's still since 2016 never happened. >> and stephanie, president biden. okay, those approval ratings way down in the toilet, 39% in the latest ap poll. does his endorsement help or hurt? he has a candidate in oregon who he's endorsed probably going to lose. >> look, when you're the president of the united states, whatever is going great in the country may you get credit. whatever's going badly in country, you definitely get the blame. inflation is high, people are just generally exhausted by
cisis after crisis after crisis and there's very little, the president has put guard an agenda to deal with inflation, how quickly he worked on the infant formula crisis, he's handling ukraine, pulling the world together, and rebuilding alliances against authoritarian governments like putin, by any metric, with the exception of inflation, this country has moved forward under his leadership. >> but gas prices and inflation are a big metric. >> absolutely. you know, i think the key now for democrats, over the last six months or so of this election, we have to see whether or not the candidates and campaigns matter, i think that they do and you see house democrats who are probably more vulnerable to the president's approval rating really trying to put an agenda forward, gets thing done, and highlight the differences with republicans. who are not only standing in the way, but are banning books,
banning abortion, they want to roll back constitutional rights, they want to raise taxes on the middle class, all of these things drive a sharp contrast in terms of what direction the country is going to in, and if democrats can make that contrast stick over the next six months, it won't matter. historical headwinds against democrats and there are also inflation metrics that, you know, unfortunately governments can do very little about. if there's anything to do this president is focused on it. >> terry, i want to move on to the infant formula, the military to the rescue once again. the white house said they had been working on this for months and months but it didn't appear that way. since we got to such a crisis point. >> it sure doesn't, and the baby formula issue is shocking to americans, it's shocking, the political ramifications of it are profound, this can't be our country. where babies are at risk of dying, i mean, if this goes on for a few more weeks it's
possible we're going to lose someone because of this. the biden administration knew about it in february. whatever the investigation determines, the buck stops in the oval office. i don't know why someone at the fda didn't call the chief of staff and say we had to shut down this baby formula plant and because of american corporations there's no wiggle room at all because efficiency, maximizing profits. you take one piece out and the system collapses. >> caitlin, this does survive as a political issue for sure. it's dangerous. parents aren't going to forget that. how serious in terms of political fallout do you see it? >> right now, i think it comes down to time. as you know for parents of newborn babies every second of every hour counts. it's such a vulnerable time. particularly for parents who have children who have
potentially life-threatening allergies. so, right, as terry said their feeling right now is, this is too late and it's really going to come down to how much of a concrete impact does this ultimately have, because there are two questions here, it's, the concrete danger to baby who need formula and then it's the emotional toll on the parents who aren't going to forget about this. one of the biggest complaints about the trump administration it was chaotic, it wasn't organized, things were forgotten and there was so much focus in one direction. this looks like disorganization it looks like something's incredibly important that was missed. >> sarah, i think in months to come not only are they going to think about it, the economy. the economy, inflation, that seems like what republicans will
be pounding, pounding, pounding on. >> you look at focus groups that are being held right now with for instance republican primary voters, and when you ask them about the economy, about anything, really, what it comes back to things were better under donald trump. we don't really know why. we don't really why remember this early to have him on twitter, but this, this is clearly worse, and look, to have one moment on the baby formula issue not only has the biden administration clearly dropped the ball since they knew about this even before, shut down the plant in february, but, and i want to broaden this out, we have 17.5% tariffs on outside baby formula coming in from outside the united states, we have government-given monopolies where two-thirds of the state have a granted monopoly to abbott. this was a problem that had been simmering for a long time that nobody did anything about. for the biden administration
claiming they're doing everything they can in the last two weeks, that's not going to be enough. as a new mom myself who had a baby on specialty formula, it's outrageous. that this is happening in this country right now. politically, it will have a huge issue. inflation, you're right, will always be a bigger impact. every time you go to gas station, it's every time you go to the grocery store, and baby formula not on the shelves is just another thing to chaos. >> and one more thing, terry moran, title 42. not just one more thing, a louisiana judge extended a temporary block in the administration's plan to lift asylum seekers. what happens now and are democrats actually kind of happy this happened? >> they are. both the courts and the biden administration -- we're going to see a gigantic surge of migrants
across the border which has been become so disorderly and so insanely managed through a hodgepodge of policies and stopgap operations and anger in some ways that it doesn't work and the one thing americans of both parties want, i think, almost all of them, is an orderly, sensible border. not just this humanitarian catastrophe and the use of it by migrants who know the holes and are going to surge to that border. so, yes, the biden administrations and democrats are happy that border will remain sealed using a law that probably wasn't meant to do that. because they don't know what to do when it goes. >> it doesn't end the controversy and the problem we've already seen record numbers, people keep flooding that border, stephanie. >> right. it is -- it's not just a political problem, it's a
national problem that's existed for a very long time. the only way to really deal with it is immigration reform, but unfortunately, we're so stuck in our positions it's hard to have a real conversation on immigration reform in this congress and, you know, you see republicans running ads, even this week after the buffalo shooting, running ads with replacement theory messaging about immigrants, that doesn't help bring us together for comprehensive immigration reform. that's the only way we're going to be able to deal with this. like nobody is for open borders. nobody is for tens of thousands immigrants risking their lives to get to this country. we need immigration reform so we can work here and in those countries to do this in an orderly way but also a humanitarian way. >> can i just add -- >> ten seconds. >> to stephanie's point, what's happening at the border we're
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