CNN: Actress Rosie O'Donnell tells CNN's Chris Cuomo that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is "antiquated in his thinking" and should sit out the 2020 election. Transcript, via CNN:
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, look, we should all know what Democrats want. It is natural for them to see this President as a one-term President. And if you believe the latest polling, as you just saw with The Wizard of Odds, Joe Biden right now is their best person to do it.
Does Rosie O'Donnell agree? She's an avid supporter of the Left. She says, "Nope." That's not where her party is headed in 2020. Here's her take.
Great to have you on the show.
ROSIE O'DONNELL, ACTRESS & ACTIVIST: Well thanks, nice to be here.
CUOMO: No. It's an important time. Your voice matters, so thank you.
O'DONNELL: Thank you.
CUOMO: Let's talk politics, small P, party politics, and then let's talk about people, OK?
CUOMO: Your party, the Democratic Party, where is its head versus its heart, because you can't want Joe Biden and all of these ideas that are being pushed out by the persons in second, third, and fourth position currently in the polls at the same time?
CUOMO: Where are you guys?
O'DONNELL: I agree. I think that Joe Biden should say "I'm going to sit this one out. I'm going to be an elder statesman, and I'm going to advice."
And then, whoever is the nominee, I think, should think about how to best use somebody with the experience that Joe Biden adds in all these years of politics, but he's not the future of the Democratic Party.
And I think we have now until we get a nominee to figure out who that person is. And, in my opinion, it's either Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris.
CUOMO: Well you backed Warren--
CUOMO: --right? Is that fixed or you open to either one being that the - Warren or Harris, Rosie's in?
O'DONNELL: Yes. That - either one of them I would be very thrilled to - to stand behind. I'm really for Elizabeth Warren. I think her plans that she has for just about everything, and all that she did with the big banks and corporate, it's pretty - shake down--
O'DONNELL: --she - she was a leader in so many ways, and still is. And I think she's formidable against Trump, and all of the money that she's raised from non-lobbyists, you know, the - it's pretty astounding to me what she's been able to do. CUOMO: Politics is not plans. It's persuasion. You know this.
CUOMO: The metric is who beats this President. Every poll that comes out says Joe Biden beats the President. In the latest round, really it's head-to-head with everybody else, except Joe Biden.
[21:25:00] CUOMO: So, how does that not make him your future?
O'DONNELL: Well because he's antiquated in a lot of his thinking, a lot of his beliefs. A lot of his history is - is a long time ago, and I feel like it is time to pass the torch, like Eric Swalwell said, it is time to pass the torch.
And I don't think 80 years old is an age to be starting a Presidential job. I think you have to be 35 and there should be an ending point.
CUOMO: No, he's 76, but I take your point. But help me with this, because you're very practical also.
CUOMO: He's the only one who beats the current President.
O'DONNELL: Well that's what they say. But I don't believe that that's true. Your time has passed in terms of being the President of the United States. That's my personal opinion.
CUOMO: Now what I care about more, frankly--
CUOMO: --on the Border.
CUOMO: You want to help, you want to be involved, you're going to have an event soon, I think, this Friday?
CUOMO: What is it?
O'DONNELL: I am not the one who've put this together.
I am just a mother who was horrified when I learned about the conditions in all of the detention centers, over 200 in the United States, all of the statistics of how many children are there alone, the kind of trauma that that puts on a child's psyche, on their heart, it's like a trauma tattoo that will never go away.
And you see these small reunification videos of the parent and the child just wailing and - and sounds that you never even hear.
CUOMO: I've seen them.
O'DONNELL: Humans wail.
CUOMO: And it's the worst thing you can see with a kid, and you know this because you're a parent. Worst thing you can see with a kid is a quiet child.
CUOMO: Blank stare. They don't know who's around. They don't know what's going on. You don't know whether to cry or to scream, and it happens too often. Here's my problem.
CUOMO: You're finding out about it.
CUOMO: But your party, Congress on both sides, this President, they've all known for months, Rosie.
This guy who's the Acting Head of DHS, who was leading the show tonight, he was telling them, "I don't have the money. I don't have the resources. I cannot keep our standard of care. You have to help me," and they didn't do it. The Left, too.
We wanted assurances that they would take care of in the right way. Help me with this Rosie.
You got a kid in crisis. You're going to delay seven months to get it to where you feel comfortable with what the paperwork is or are you going to get it done as soon as you can? I don't understand why both sides didn't act on this one. I don't.
O'DONNELL: Well it seems as though the Trump administration, cruelty is the point.
CUOMO: There is a mesh - a message of deterrence with the separation of kids, but this isn't just him. Now, he could do what he did with the emergency declaration because they say "Well that's not for this." Well it's not for a fence either.
CUOMO: But he used it for that.
CUOMO: You could argue it's unconstitutional, but he has it. If he wants to keep going extra power, he might as well just keep doing it, but he won't do it, because you're right, there's a consistency issue with this President. Kids don't sell fear.
But what about everybody else in Congress? Why didn't they jump on this, six months ago?
O'DONNELL: Well I think that they were shocked. Everybody was kind of appalled that it took whistleblowers to come out and say what the conditions were. It took people seeing children being pulled from the arms of their parents.
And, as a parent in the country, I didn't know what to do. I called down to El Paso. I talked to some of the people there on the ground. I said how can I help? And they told about this candlelight vigil.
It's this Friday, the 12th, and it's in 660 different places in the United States, including six sanctioned areas where they're going to have people speaking outside of the Homestead, Florida detention camp, which is a for-profit--
CUOMO: And the message is what?
O'DONNELL: The message is "We care. You must stop. We will not endorse - endorse this on our watch."
CUOMO: Here's my one suggestion.
CUOMO: As you go forward with this because you carry passion and you carry a big stick with your voice, and your energy, and your contacts. It's not as simple as close the camps. You need places to keep these kids. I would argue you don't have enough, not that I want more terrible facilities.
I just want more capabilities, more resources, more people, and Congress to do its job and look at the rules of what they want in terms of how you can apply to get in, what is asylum, what isn't, who comes, who can't, how long, they have to do their job, Rosie. Otherwise, this isn't going to end.
O'DONNELL: But this is--
CUOMO: You and I will have this exact same conversation in five months.
O'DONNELL: Asylum is a - is not a criminal matter.
CUOMO: No. It is not.
O'DONNELL: It's a civil matter.
CUOMO: It is.
O'DONNELL: And 98 percent of the people who leave there come back for their court cases.
CUOMO: Yes. Well-- O'DONNELL: 98--
CUOMO: --you'll get different numbers, Rosie, but I accept your point.
O'DONNELL: And the 90--
CUOMO: I accept your point. I've seen situations where it's bad policing. I've seen situations where it's abuse, where they had the wrong men and women on the job. I haven't seen proof of that here.
O'DONNELL: You haven't?
CUOMO: Not in large scale.
O'DONNELL: Have you seen the - the videos of--
CUOMO: The conditions--
O'DONNELL: --children, the conditions--
CUOMO: --suck. The conditions suck. They are deplorable.
O'DONNELL: They're beyond suck. There's no water.
CUOMO: No. They--
O'DONNELL: There's no fresh water. The--
CUOMO: Well I - I don't know what is true and what isn't in terms of these. Congress Members coming out of there, pretending like they just learned all this stuff is true, bothers me.
CUOMO: Because it's disingenuous. They knew it was true, Rosie.
O'DONNELL: Until you see it. Until you see it.
CUOMO: For you - for you, yes. For people who don't live it all the time, I agree with you. Not these people. They had people coming up, showing them things, showing them. There was some politics at play that I think are malignant and part of our overall problem.
[21:30:00] But I applaud what you're doing because what you're doing, getting more regular people just to care and pay attention will make a difference.
O'DONNELL: This has to be the - the "The issue" of the election.
CUOMO: I wish it were.
CUOMO: But I don't know.
O'DONNELL: --I think it's going to be because mothers and fathers across the country are going to say "Enough. I can't and will not tolerate this on my watch."
CUOMO: I would love that. But I think you have just as many people saying, "I don't want them here." And we need to have people come together and come up with ideas that make us humane and also someone who respect justice. And we could do both.
But I'm telling you, Rosie, the thing that you're doing this Friday, and getting people out, and getting people to care, so that they start pushing Congress to do their jobs--
CUOMO: --and they make sure there's oversight that is a key ingredient in making it better.
O'DONNELL: And then we hope--
CUOMO: So thank you.
O'DONNELL: --we can make Nancy Pelosi do hers.
CUOMO: Well, look, I think they all got to step up.
CUOMO: You know, I just do.
O'DONNELL: Because this is not the way to deal with Trump as someone who had to deal with him for a decade before he became the President of the United States, relentless, unending abuse from him.
This is not how you deal with him. You don't let him go and give him a - a long lead. You got to reel him back in and confront him at his own level.
And, you know, to - to turn around and say, "We're not going to have an impeachment inquiry," I think is, you know, in - a gross injustice, and I think Nancy Pelosi is making a huge mistake.
CUOMO: We'll see what happens. They're going to have to decide soon.
CUOMO: Rosie O'Donnell, thank you very much.
O'DONNELL: Thank you so much. Great to see you.
CUOMO: Always. Always a pleasure.
O'DONNELL: Great to see you.