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Interview: Erin Burnett Interviews Joe Biden on CNN's 'OutFront' - May 8, 2024

  • Joe Biden
    Person
  • Erin Burnett
    Person
  • Note
    Person
Unknown

Note

Unknown
00:00:00-00:00:00 ( sec)
[The following is a transcript of the interview as provided by CNN. It has been cross-checked for accuracy. Video and transcript courtesy and copyright CNN] 1

Note

Unknown
00:00:00-00:00:00 ( sec)
[Begin pre-recorded interview] 2

Erin Burnett

Somewhat Positive
00:00:00-00:00:01 (2 sec)
Mr. President, thank you so much for being with me. 3

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:00:01-00:00:03 (1 sec)
Well, thanks for having me. 4

Erin Burnett

Very Positive
00:00:03-00:00:28 (26 sec)
So, Trump attended a groundbreaking here, where we are, for Foxconn. He promised 13,000 jobs, and only about 1,000 of those actually exist right now. So I know you're promising more than 2,000 union construction jobs and that 100,000 people are going to get trained in A.I. here. Why should people here believe that you will succeed at creating jobs where Trump failed? 5

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:00:28-00:00:55 (26 sec)
He's never succeeded in creating jobs and I have never failed. I have created over 15 million jobs since I have been president, 15 million in three-and-three-quarters years. And, secondly, Microsoft is a serious player. And they're very much engaged in making sure that they pick this area as sort of the home base for their A.I. initiative in the nation. 6

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:00:55-00:01:06 (11 sec)
And they're going to do it, and just like -- and, by the way -- well, I shouldn't go into it. But Trump has -- he started off with the golden shovels, you know... 7

Note

Unknown
00:01:06-00:01:06 ( sec)
[Crosstalk] 8

Erin Burnett

Unknown
00:01:06-00:01:07 (1 sec)
For the groundbreaking here. 9

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:01:07-00:01:10 (2 sec)
For the groundbreaking. 10

Erin Burnett

Positive
00:01:10-00:01:10 ( sec)
Yes. 11

Joe Biden

Somewhat Negative
00:01:10-00:01:37 (27 sec)
And talked about this being the eighth wonder of the world. When has he ever done anything he said? I'm not being facetious. Think about it. He started off, he lost -- other than Herbert Hoover, he's the only other president who lost more jobs than created in his four- year term. He's -- and the way he managed the end of the -- his last year, when we were dealing with COVID. 12

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:01:37-00:01:56 (20 sec)
A million people died. He would tell people, inject bleach, and that may do it, it wasn't a real problem, when he did an interview with one of your colleagues where he just flat-out acknowledged he knew how dangerous it was, but he didn't want to speak to it. It's a -- I just -- and look at what he says he's going to do if he gets elected. 13

Joe Biden

Positive
00:01:56-00:02:13 (17 sec)
He says he's going to do away with what I have done on Medicare, reducing the price of Medicare drastically. He said he's going to do away with the Affordable Care Act. He said he's going to do it -- and just down the line. So we have a very different view. I look at it from a position -- not being facetious -- from a Scranton perspective. 14

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:02:13-00:02:37 (24 sec)
He looks at it from a Mar-a-Lago perspective. He wants to give more significant tax cuts to the super wealthy. You know, we have got 1,000 billionaires in America. You know what their average federal tax is? Eight-point-three percent. He talks about, if I -- I want to raise it to 25 percent. That would raise, that would raise $40 billion, $400 billion over 10 years. 15

Joe Biden

Negative
00:02:37-00:02:45 (7 sec)
We can further reduce the deficit, which I have been able to reduce. I mean, it's just a completely different perspective on how we should proceed. 16

Erin Burnett

Unknown
00:02:45-00:02:57 (12 sec)
When it comes, though, to the 100,000 jobs specifically that we're talking about here, people training in A.I., the actual jobs, when are they actually going to have jobs, those 100,000 people that are being trained? 17

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:02:57-00:03:20 (24 sec)
Beginning probably in the first tranche in three to four years. The community colleges are going to, the one we're at, we're going to provide for 2,000 folks, and to be able to be trained, 200 a year. And it's going to go -- the whole pipeline goes all the way throughout to high schools and training facilities. 18

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:03:20-00:03:34 (14 sec)
It used to be that, when I was in high school, even at the tail end, or the tail end, before you went to high school, we -- most public high schools had shop and home... 19

Erin Burnett

Unknown
00:03:34-00:03:35 ( sec)
Mm-hmm. 20

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:03:35-00:03:50 (15 sec)
That you learned to work with your hands. It doesn't exist anymore. And so it allows people who have skills and be able to train technical skills to be able to make a decent living without a college degree. And it's what we need. 21

Erin Burnett

Very Negative
00:03:50-00:04:13 (23 sec)
So, when we talk about the bet on A.I. and sort of what it means, I don't know if you saw, this weekend, Warren Buffett had his annual meeting, and he talked about A.I. So the first thing he said was, OK, it's got enormous potential for good. But then he likened it to the development of nuclear weapons in the U.S. and he said it scares the hell out of him. 22

Erin Burnett

Positive
00:04:13-00:04:19 (6 sec)
You know he always says it like he sees it. And then he says -- quote -- he "doesn't understand a damn thing about it." [Laughter] 23

Erin Burnett

Negative
00:04:19-00:04:25 (7 sec)
And that may capture how many Americans feel. Does A.I. scare you? 24

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:04:25-00:04:49 (24 sec)
A.I. has enormous potential and enormous downside potential. That's why, three years ago, I got together the major architects of A.I. who did different operations around the world. I met with them in Europe and here in the United States. And it ranges all the way from one of the leaders saying it's a real -- it's going to take over human thinking, all the way to folks who say, no, it's not a problem. 25

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
00:04:49-00:05:09 (20 sec)
And so that's why I set out certain standards that it has -- it can't -- can do no harm. And we have to make sure we know how to do that. We have to make sure it's controlled. And that's how -- that's going to -- and how we -- how it -- it's the most significant, I think, technological development in human history. 26

Erin Burnett

Slightly Positive
00:05:09-00:05:10 (1 sec)
The most significant in human history? 27

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:05:10-00:05:23 (13 sec)
Yes, not in terms of war and peace, but in terms of being able to -- one leader in the A.I. community said to me, it's going to overtake human thinking, and -- which is frightening. 28

Erin Burnett

Very Negative
00:05:23-00:05:24 (1 sec)
Terrifying. 29

Joe Biden

Negative
00:05:24-00:05:33 (9 sec)
But the other -- most think it can be used for everything from find cures for cancer to significantly increase productivity. 30

Erin Burnett

Very Positive
00:05:33-00:05:51 (18 sec)
So, when you talk about the economy, of course, it is by far the most important issue for voters. It's also true right now, Mr. President, that voters by a wide margin trust Trump more on the economy. They say that in polls. And part of the reason for that may be the numbers. And you're aware of many of these, of course. 31

Erin Burnett

Very Positive
00:05:51-00:06:10 (19 sec)
The cost of buying a home in the United States is double what it was, when you look at your monthly costs, from before the pandemic. Real income, when you account for inflation, is actually down since you took office, economic growth last week far short of expectations. Consumer confidence, maybe no surprise, is near a two-year low. 32

Erin Burnett

Slightly Negative
00:06:10-00:06:17 (7 sec)
With less than six months to go to Election Day, are you worried that you're running out of time to turn that around? 33

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:06:17-00:06:34 (17 sec)
We have already turned it around. Look, look at the Michigan survey, where 65 percent of the American people think they're in good shape economically. They think the nation's not in good shape, but they're personally in good shape. The polling data has been wrong all along. How many -- you guys do a poll at CNN. 34

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
00:06:34-00:07:00 (26 sec)
How many folks you have to call to get one response? The idea that we're in a situation where things are so bad, the folks that -- I mean, we have created more jobs. We have made -- we're in a situation where people have access to good-paying jobs. And the last I saw, the combination of the inflation, the cost of inflation and all those things, that's really worrisome to people, with good reason. 35

Joe Biden

Leans Positive
00:07:00-00:07:20 (20 sec)
That's why I'm working very hard to bring the cost of rentals down, to increase the number of homes that are available. But let me say it this way. When I started this administration, people were saying there's going to be a collapse of the economy. We have the strongest economy in the world. Let me say it again, in the world. 36

Erin Burnett

Unknown
00:07:20-00:07:23 (3 sec)
Although GDP last week was far short of expectations. 37

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:07:23-00:07:38 (15 sec)
Oh, it wasn't -- look, GDP's still growing. Looking at the response of the markets, overwhelmingly positive, overwhelmingly positive. And one of the reasons why people feel good about it, not being as strong as it was before, is, they believe that the Fed's going to respond. 38

Erin Burnett

Slightly Positive
00:07:38-00:07:40 (1 sec)
They hope they're going to get a rate cut. 39

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:07:40-00:08:01 (21 sec)
Yes. Well, so -- but, I mean, no president's had the run we have had, in terms of creating jobs and bringing down inflation. It was 9 percent when I came to office, 9 percent. But, look, people have a right to be concerned, ordinary people. The idea that you bounce a check and you get a $30 fee for bouncing the check, well, I changed that. 40

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:08:01-00:08:11 (11 sec)
You can't charge more than eight bucks for that. Or your credit card, your late payment, $35. I mean, there's corporate greed going on out there. 41

Erin Burnett

Unknown
00:08:11-00:08:12 ( sec)
Mm-hmm. 42

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:08:12-00:08:13 (2 sec)
And it's got to be dealt with. 43

Erin Burnett

Very Negative
00:08:13-00:08:30 (17 sec)
What about -- I mean, but there's real pain. I mean, grocery prices are up 30 percent, more than 30 percent since the beginning of the pandemic, and people are spending more on food and groceries than they have at any time really in the past 30 years. I mean, that's a real day-to-day pain that people feel. 44

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:08:30-00:08:51 (21 sec)
No, no, it really is. And it's real. But the fact is that, if you take a look at what people have, they have the money to spend. It angers them and angers me that you have to spend more. For example, the whole idea of this notion that Senator Casey talked about, shrinkflation. You -- I think you always, on your program... 45

Erin Burnett

Unknown
00:08:51-00:08:53 (2 sec)
Same price for a smaller bottle of juice or something. 46

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:08:53-00:09:05 (12 sec)
Yes, right, for example, Snickers bar, they did a thing, and it's like 20 percent less for the same price. That's corporate greed. That's corporate greed. And we have got to deal with it. And that's what I'm working on. 47

Erin Burnett

Very Negative
00:09:05-00:09:31 (25 sec)
I want to ask you about something happening as we sit here and speak. And that, of course, is, Israel is striking Rafah. I know that you have paused, Mr. President, shipments of 2,000-pound U.S. bombs to Israel due to concern that they could be used in any offensive on Rafah. Have those bombs, those powerful 2,000-pound bombs, been used to kill civilians in Gaza? 48

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:09:31-00:09:53 (22 sec)
Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers. And I made it clear that, if they go into Rafah -- they haven't gone into Rafah yet. If they go into Rafah, I'm not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities, to deal with that problem. 49

Joe Biden

Leans Negative
00:09:53-00:10:13 (21 sec)
We're going to continue to make sure Israel is secure, in terms of Iron Dome and their ability to respond to attacks like came out of the Middle East recently. But it's -- it's just wrong. We're not going to supply the weapons and the artillery shells used -- that have been used... 50

Note

Unknown
00:10:13-00:10:13 ( sec)
[Crosstalk] 51

Erin Burnett

Slightly Positive
00:10:13-00:10:15 (1 sec)
Artillery shells as well? 52

Joe Biden

Positive
00:10:15-00:10:17 (2 sec)
Yes, artillery shells. 53

Erin Burnett

Unknown
00:10:17-00:10:24 (7 sec)
So, just to understand, what they're doing right now in Rafah, is that not going into Rafah, as you define it? 54

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:10:24-00:10:46 (22 sec)
No, they haven't gone into the population centers. What they did is right on the border. And it's causing problems with -- right now, in terms of with Egypt, which I have worked very hard to make sure we have a relationship and help. But I have made it clear to Bibi and the war cabinet they're not going to get our support if, in fact, they're going into these population centers. 55

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:10:46-00:10:53 (6 sec)
We're not walking away from Israel's security. We're walking away from Israel's ability to wage war in those areas. 56

Erin Burnett

Unknown
00:10:53-00:10:55 (3 sec)
So it's not over your red line yet? 57

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
00:10:55-00:11:08 (13 sec)
Not yet. But it's -- we have held up the weapons. We have held up the one shipment that is an old shipment that has been designed for -- but we held that up. 58

Erin Burnett

Very Negative
00:11:08-00:11:30 (22 sec)
And I want to ask you one more thing, if I may. The images that people see out of Gaza are horrific. The U.N. is talking about some of these mass graves and the summary executions that there's been evidence of, torture. The images of children, it breaks anyone's heart to look at it. And, obviously, we have seen that frustration here in the U.S. on college campuses. 59

Erin Burnett

Unknown
00:11:30-00:11:45 (15 sec)
And, Mr. President, signs at college campuses, some say "Genocide Joe." Any of us that have gone to those campuses, sometimes, we hear that chant. Do you hear the message of those young Americans? 60

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:11:45-00:12:11 (26 sec)
Absolutely, I hear the message. Look, two things. First of all, there's a legitimate right to free speech and protest. There's a legitimate right to do that. And they have a right to do that. There's not a legitimate right to use hate speech. There's not a legitimate right to threaten Jewish students. There's not a legitimate right to block people access to class. 61

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:12:11-00:12:27 (16 sec)
That's against the law. That's against the law. And so -- and if you look at the data, these demonstrations are real. But they're not nearly -- I mean, look -- and everybody's -- I made a speech on the Holocaust the other day. 62

Erin Burnett

Unknown
00:12:27-00:12:28 ( sec)
Mm-hmm. 63

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:12:28-00:12:50 (23 sec)
And I pointed out that it took seven decades to get to the place where after the Holocaust occurred, and there's still antisemitism. Look what's happened in seven weeks, seven -- 70 -- I mean, what's happening. Everybody's sort of forgotten about what happened in Israel, those 1,200 young kids murdered. 64

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:12:50-00:13:10 (20 sec)
I saw pictures. I went over there shortly after, a mother and a daughter being roped together and then kerosene poured and burned to death. Nothing like that has happened to the Jewish community since the Holocaust. So, when I went over immediately after that happened, I said to Bibi, don't make the same mistake we made in America. 65

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:13:10-00:13:39 (29 sec)
We wanted to get bin Laden, and we will help you get Sinwar. But we went into Afghanistan to -- it made sense to go get bin Laden. It made no sense to try and unify Afghanistan. It made no sense, in my view, to engage in thinking that, in Iraq, they had a nuclear weapon. Don't make the same mistake. Focus on -- and we will help you focus on getting the bad guys. 66

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:13:39-00:14:01 (22 sec)
But -- and we have got to think through, what is happening after Gaza, after this is over? Who's going to occupy Gaza? I have been working with the Arab states. I won't mention them because I don't want to get them in trouble, but five leaders in the Arab community. We're prepared to help rebuild Gaza, prepared to help transition to a two-state solution. 67

Erin Burnett

Unknown
00:14:01-00:14:03 (2 sec)
To govern it? 68

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:14:03-00:14:11 (9 sec)
Well, to maintain the security and peace while they're working out a Palestinian Authority that's real and not corrupt. 69

Note

Unknown
00:14:11-00:14:12 ( sec)
[End pre-recorded interview] 70

Erin Burnett

Somewhat Positive
00:14:12-00:14:22 (10 sec)
I promise you he won't. Those are the words of President Biden, telling me in our exclusive interview that he believes Trump will not accept the election results. Here's more of our conversation. 71

Note

Unknown
00:14:22-00:14:23 (2 sec)
[Begin pre-recorded interview] 72

Erin Burnett

Very Positive
00:14:23-00:14:53 (30 sec)
So, obviously, we're here in Wisconsin. It was a crucial state for you, one of the ones that put you over the top. It was the same for Trump when he won in 2016. And he was actually here last week on his day off from the Stormy Daniels trial. He told "The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel," Mr. President -- quote -- "If everything's honest, I'd gladly accept the results of the election." And then he continued, though, with this: "If it's not, you have to fight for the right of the country." How seriously do you take that threat? 73

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:14:53-00:15:18 (24 sec)
Seriously, just like I did on September 6 -- I mean, on January 6. The guy is not a Democrat with a small D. I mean, he is -- the idea -- look, you can't only love your country when you win, number one. How many court cases did they have, Supreme Court cases? They said -- they all said this is a totally legitimate election. 74

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
00:15:18-00:15:27 (9 sec)
This is Trump. I mean, it's the same whether he -- and he may not accept the outcome of the election? I promise you he won't. 75

Erin Burnett

Somewhat Positive
00:15:27-00:15:29 (2 sec)
Promise that he won't? 76

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:15:29-00:15:30 (1 sec)
He won't. 77

Erin Burnett

Unknown
00:15:30-00:15:31 (1 sec)
So... 78

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:15:31-00:15:48 (17 sec)
Which is dangerous. Look, I travel around the world with other world leaders. You know what they all say? Not a joke. Eighty percent of them, after we have a major meeting, they go: "You got to win. My democracy is at stake." Their democracy is at stake, because, I mean, think of the things he's saying. 79

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:15:48-00:16:00 (12 sec)
He's saying, if I'm reelected, if he's reelected the president, he's not going to -- he's going to make sure his attorney general prosecutes those he tells them to prosecute. And if he doesn't, he's going to fire them. 80

Erin Burnett

Unknown
00:16:00-00:16:01 (1 sec)
On the first day. 81

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
00:16:01-00:16:22 (21 sec)
Not just the first -- no, no, he said this about prosecution across the board. He's going to -- "I am your retribution." What person's ever said anything like this, though? But he means it. He's going to wipe out the changes we made in Medicare, changes we made in terms of drug prices. Changes we made, he's going to wipe it all out. 82

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:16:22-00:16:34 (12 sec)
And then he's going to put in a 10 percent tax, which is going to increase everybody's cost, the average American's cost, 1,500 bucks a year. I mean, listen to what he's saying. 83

Erin Burnett

Unknown
00:16:34-00:16:46 (13 sec)
So, when you look at your campaign at this moment, it's tight. It's tight. And Barack Obama, your predecessor, of course, he has said that this is an all-hands-on-deck moment. 84

Joe Biden

Positive
00:16:46-00:16:47 ( sec)
Yes. 85

Erin Burnett

Very Positive
00:16:47-00:16:57 (10 sec)
That's how he described it. So he believes your rematch with Trump is going to be incredibly close. It certainly looks like it will be. What's his advice to you when you talk to him? 86

Joe Biden

Leans Negative
00:16:57-00:17:22 (25 sec)
Keep doing what I'm doing and to make sure that -- what his advice is, the same advice I sort of gave him when I was the vice president, look, you have got to organize, block and tackle, people knocking on doors, putting up signs. We have over 1.5 million individual contributors in America, wouldn't ever happen before, 70 -- 97 percent less than 200 bucks. 87

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
00:17:22-00:17:43 (21 sec)
We have opened all -- 100 headquarters across the country. He's opened none. We have 5,000 paid staff. We're doing the block-and-tackling. We're going out and making sure that we knock on doors, get folks out the old-fashioned way. That's basically -- because it's awful hard, and we have raised more money than any president has at this point in the campaign. 88

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:17:43-00:18:00 (16 sec)
And so I think I'm feeling good about the trajectory of the campaign. And you know as well as I do most people don't really focus and make up their mind until the fall. There's a lot going on. And we will see what happens. 89

Erin Burnett

Somewhat Positive
00:18:00-00:18:02 (3 sec)
Mr. President, thank you very much for your time. 90

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:18:02-00:18:04 (1 sec)
Thank you. 91

Note

Unknown
00:18:04-00:18:05 (1 sec)
[End pre-recorded interview] 92