The 2020 primaries may be two years away, but the journalists at CBS This Morning on Tuesday are already excited about a potential presidential run by Elizabeth Warren. The co-hosts talked to the liberal senator and promoted her as an opponent of Donald Trump. After introducing “one of the Democrats’s leading voices,” John Dickerson touted: “A recent poll in New Hampshire shows Warren would be the front-runner if that state’s Democratic presidential primary were held today.”
Co-host (and Democratic donor) Gayle King cheered: “Elizabeth Warren, 2020, should they start making up the bumper stickers, yes or no?”
King sounds like a broken record. Four years ago, on April 22, 2014, she lobbied Warren to run for president, citing her “passion”:
You sit today as a United States senator. And people are already thinking, buzz, buzz, buzz, president president, president. I have heard you say no. I’ve heard you say no. But you have said no to many things. Why would you not even consider this with the passion that you have?”
Encouraging the creation of campaign material for Democrat stars isn’t new to CBS. On May 30, 2007, then-Early Show co-host Harry Smith literally placed a “Gore 2008” button on former candidate Al Gore, begging him to run.
On Tuesday, co-host John Dickerson offered a rambling strategy question to Warren, wondering just how Democrats can do excel in the upcoming elections:
Now do Democrats, do you face a challenge, which is that a lot of people look at the Democrats and think they’re just against Trump? In other words, not for something but against something. How do you make the case in an environment where we have so much news happening so fast where you have talked about an assault on democracy which a lot of Democrats say that’s what you should be talking about? Others say you should be promoting something before something. How do you work out those two?
A transcript is below. Click “expand” for more:
CBS This Morning
8:33:25 to 8:41:04
JOHN DICKERSON: Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren says if you don’t fight, you can’t win. She has become one of the Democrats’ leading voices in Congress. A recent poll in New Hampshire shows Warren would be the front-runner if that state’s Democratic presidential primary were held today, which would be a surprise to New Hampshire voters. She leads former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Warren’s latest book, This fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class, is out today in paperback. It accuses the government of working for the wealthy and corporations at the expense of everyday Americans. Senator Warren, welcome back. Before we get to the middle class, the economy, we have this North Korea question. There was a North Korean official coming to America. You said it looks like the President doesn’t have a strategy. It looks like his calling off the summit last week seems to have lit a fire under the North Koreans, three hostages had been released. So, maybe there is a strategy.
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SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN: Look, North Korea’s a bad actor. We understand that. And the President had already promised that they could have a meeting with the president of the United States, something that both Kim Jong-un’s father and grandfather had long, long sought. Then it’s been back and forth. I want this to work. I want this to work to reduce the threat to South Korea, to Japan, to our allies in the region. To the United States of America. To the entire world.
But it really takes a strategy, and I look at the comparison with China. Look at what China’s doing. China’s got the long-term arc and it’s playing everybody. It’s playing North Korea. It’s playing South Korea. It’s playing the United States of America. Because it has a longtime whole of government strategy that keeps driving toward an end. At this point who knows what’s coming out of Washington? Like I said, I hope it all works.
GAYLE KING: But to John’s point, there seems to be some sort of strategy that does appear to be working. Because, right now as we sit here, looks like the talks are on for June 12th.
WARREN: As we sit here — and I hope it happens — I want to see it happen. You can’t take a bunch of disconnected dots, draw a line and say, “Oh, that must have a strategy because I can now draw a line through them.” What it takes for strategy is that you really have a goal, you build up the team to work on that goal. You know, diplomacy is a long and difficult task, and it takes people who know what they’re doing. The Trump administration has decimated the State Department so that the very people who are the experts on the economy, who are experts on the language, on the history, who help negotiate these deals in a way that’s go protect the interests of the United States, many of those people aren’t even there.
NORAH O’DONNELL: You say you want this meeting to happen.
O’DONNELL: You mean you trust the North Koreans? You believe they will ultimately denuclearize?
WARREN: What I want to see is I want to see this work. If the goal truly is let’s see the North Koreans give up their nuclear weapons, of course I want to see that. And I hope that the President is successful at that. But that — there’s a long space between here and there. And it takes a coherent and executed strategy to get there. And right now, it just looks like it’s — what’s the latest that occurred to the guy with the thumbs early in the morning?
O’DONNELL: Is there anything that he’s doing — he gets hammered by the Democrats repeatedly. Is there anything that you can see that he’s doing that you can say, you know what, he’s doing a good job on that?
KING: Well, look, one thing he is doing is he — he gets in, he tries to stir things up, that’s good if you’ve got an underlying plan. That’s what you want to see, what are you aiming toward? And like I said, you have to do this — I’m serious about the comparison with the country like China. Right now China is investing nine percent of its GDP in infrastructure. Roads, bridges, power, right? It’s building a future for its economy, for its workers.
It’s making that economy not only work today but building it for the future. In the United States, what are we doing? We’re spending less than three percent of our GDP on infrastructure while much of it crumbles around us. The consequence of that is because the Trump administration gave away a trillion and a half dollars in tax cuts. There’s no money there to add to the infrastructure the way we need to do, to produce those good jobs today, and to help build a better environment for the future.
DICKERSON: Senator Warren, let me ask you a question about Democratic politics quickly.
DICKERSON: Because David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report did this tally. In the 65 Democratic primaries so far, with at least one man and one woman and no incumbent, women defeated men in 45 races. Men defeated women in 18. What’s happening in the Democratic Party?
WARREN: Listen — women are coming into their own. Women are using their voices, they’re getting in this fight. And that’s what it should be. I mean, the title of my book is This Fight Is Our Fight, and you better believe it. This is a time when two things are changing at the same time. The first is that there is an attack on democracy. And this something Republicans have pushed for a long time. On voting, on an independent judiciary, tax on a free press. At the same moment, democracy itself is rewiring. So that people are coming off the sidelines. They don’t look at democracy as something that, “Well, I vote once every four years, people are stepping up, including people who are stepping up to run for office that have never run before.” You know, I want to say, I was a little ahead of my time on this. I never thought I was going to be somebody who ran for office.
WARREN: I was — I wanted to be a public school teacher. I ended up as a law professor. I was a policy wonk. But people are stepping up now to run for office, to help people who are running for office. They’re in the game. And I love it.
DICKERSON: Let me ask about your book, which is an argument for something, right?
DICKERSON: Now do Democrats, do you face a challenge, which is that a lot of people look at the Democrats and think they’re just against Trump? In other words, not for something but against something. How do you make the case in an environment where we have so much news happening so fast where you have talked about an assault on democracy which a lot of Democrats say that’s what you should be talking about? Others say you should be promoting something before something. How do you work out those two?
WARREN: Look, I got this fight long before Donald Trump was anything other than the host of a reality TV show. I got into this because I was watching America shift from a country that really worked for working people, a country that was really about opening opportunities — an America that invested in kids like me. I went to a commuter college that cost $50 a semester, an opportunity that’s not out there for kids today. And what I’ve watched over time and what I talk about in this book is how this country works better and better for the corporate interests, for the executives, for the billionaires, who have the money to influence Washington, to make it work for them. And as a result, we’re getting to be a country that works better and better for fewer and fewer and kicks dirt in everybody else’s face. I’m in this to fight back. You know, this is the good part.
KING: Elizabeth Warren, 2020, should they start making up the bumper stickers, yes or no?
WARREN: No, no.
KING: All right.
O’DONNELL: Elizabeth Warren, thank you so much.