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McCaskill, Hawley Face Off in Tight Missouri Race; Pelosi Says Democrats Will Win the House; More Funerals Today for Victims of Synagogue Attack; Trump Tries to Blame Democrats for Stock Market Big Swings; September Unemployment Rate Hit Record Low. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired October 31, 2018 - 11:30   ET



[11:30:24] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: You want to talk about a tough election, how about a Democratic incumbent in a state that Trump won by 20 points. That is Missouri. And that's what Senator Claire McCaskill is facing right now. McCaskill and Republican challenger, Missouri's attorney general, Josh Hawley, are neck and neck in the polls at the moment. How close is that? President Trump is headed there twice in the next six days. That's how close.

CNN's chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, just got back from Missouri. Here is her report.



DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Democrat Claire McCaskill rolling deep in rural, conservative Missouri in search of every possible vote to send her back to the Senate.

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL, (D), MISSOURI: We are realistic about this. It is not that anybody believes I will be able to win Jasper County. You know what we can do? We can win a few more votes.

I've got news for you, it's close.

BASH: In many ways, it is a political miracle this two-term Senate Democrat even represents this red state President Trump won by nearly 20 points. She first won in 2006, a Democratic wave year.


BASH: And again in 2012 after GOP opponent, Todd Akin, talked of legitimate rape.

MCCASKILL: Health care is on the ballot.

BASH: Like many Democrats in tough races, she tries to stay focused on health care and preserving Obamacare's protections for preexisting conditions. Her GOP opponent, Josh Hawley, says he supports them, too, but he is

part of a lawsuit that can strike down those protections. He is casting the race as a clear choice.

JOSH HAWLEY, MISSOURI ATTORNEY GENERAL & MISSOURI SENATE CANDIDATE: We don't like the Washington establishment. We think there needs to be a shakeup in both parties. Voters were very adamant about that. This campaign is really about that.

BASH: Hawley is a staunch Trump supporter, elected Missouri attorney general just two years ago.

The blunt McCaskill regularly launches one-liners at her 38-year-old Ivy League-educated challenger.

MCCASKILL: As Ronald Reagan said, I will try not to hold his youth and inexperience against him.

He may be a Yale-educated lawyer, but I'm a Mizzu-educated lawyer and I can keep up.

BASH: She is running on her experience, yet running from the left wing of her own party.

MCCASKILL: It may irritate some of you in this room that I am proud that I am a moderate. There may be people in this room that think I am not liberal enough to carry the banner of this party.

BASH (on camera): You have a radio ad out saying you are not one of those crazy Democrats.

ANNOUNCER: And Claire is not one of those crazy Democrats. She works right in the middle and finds compromise.

BASH: What does that mean?

MCCASKILL: The crazy Democrats are the people who are getting in the face of elected officials in restaurants and screaming at them. The crazy Democrats is whoever put a swastika on one of Josh Hawley's signs in rural Missouri. That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about, the extreme stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Claire McCaskill and the regular left from passing their social agenda.

BASH (voice-over): Tying her to liberal Democratic leaders is the center piece of Hawley's campaign, seizing on her votes against both of President Trump's Supreme Court nominees.

(on camera): That was a big deal?

HAWLEY: Big deal, very big deal.

BASH: Think that could make the difference?

HAWLEY: Yes, I do. A very big deal. BASH: In what way?

HAWLEY: Because I think voters were so appalled by what -- just appalled by the smear campaign.

BASH: She did say how she would vote before the hearing and all that.

HAWLEY: You're right. She was honest in saying that she was voting against Justice Kavanaugh because he was a conservative.

BASH (voice-over): She says she voted no because Kavanaugh has supported unlimited campaign cash.

MCCASKILL: I would be a big hypocrite if I voted for Kavanaugh because of dark money.

BASH: She is making an effort to connect with Trump voters she needs to win in other ways, like on immigration.

MCCASKILL: Like, the impression he is giving Missourians that somehow the Democrats are in favor of our border being overrun. I am not. I support the president 100 percent doing what he needs to do to secure the border.

BASH: Rallying supporters to get out the vote, the Democrat reminds them she has beaten Missouri's odds before.

MCCASKILL: Because of all of you and your commitment, they will say, that Claire McCaskill, she's done it again.



BASH: Kate, big picture, Missouri is a must-win for Democrats if they have any chance of taking back the Senate on Tuesday. For the most part, privately, and I'm sure you're hearing this, too, Democrats are focused much more on the House at this point when it comes to retaking anything than the Senate -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: And on the House side, Dana, Nancy Pelosi made a pretty bold prediction last night. I know you saw it. For our viewers, here is Nancy Pelosi with Stephen Colbert. Watch this.


REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Let me say this. Up until today, I would have said, if the election were held today, we

would win.

[11:35:04] STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT: What happened today that changed that?


PELOSI: What now I'm saying is we will win. (LAUGHER)


COLBERT: Please don't say that. You want to say that on Hillary's fireworks barge that she cancelled?


Please, please don't say that.

PELOSI: We will win.


BOLDUAN: When she talked to you last week, I was watching you, she was still couching it, she was still, if the election was held today. What do you think changed?

BASH: She is very conservative when it comes to looking at the numbers. She knows the districts and knows the candidates and the dynamics and the Democrat fix and everything in between. So the fact that she said that, what has changed is that she, my understanding is, much more comfortable with what they are seeing internally, that she is going to lead the Democratic Party to taking over the House. Despite the fact that pretty much every single ad in the swing districts by Republicans against Democrats plasters her picture on it. It is really a remarkable dynamic there. But it is the fact that she is incredibly confident. That does say a lot -- Kate, you know her. You covered her, as well -- that she is going as far as she did last night.


And can I say, on behalf of everyone who loves you and everyone who watches CNN, you need to rest that voice. I need you in six days for Election Day.

BASH: I'm out. I'm out. I'm going to rest.

BOLDUAN: OK. Thank you. Great to see you, Dana. Thank you very much

BASH: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, we are keeping our focus on breaking news and where attention should be focused right now. A community coming together, holding each other up in a moment of unimaginable grief. Three more funerals are taking place in Pittsburgh today for the victims of the horrific synagogue killings. We will remember them, next.


[11:41:23] BOLDUAN: People in Pittsburgh might be divided over President Trump's visit there yesterday, but they are united in grief for the 11 innocent people who were murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue over the weekend. Three more victims will be laid to rest today.

CNN's Jean Casarez is there in Pittsburgh with more.

Jean, tell us about those being honored and remembered today.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, the funerals have already started this morning. They are not being held right here at the Tree of Life Synagogue. This is still a very active crime scene. I have noticed today, it is more active than ever. Many vehicles going in and out of the synagogue. I was able to confirm with a local officer that the feds are here.

While this is going on, which is so important to the attorneys and to the prosecution, it's the funerals that are important at this point to the community.

Joyce Feinberg, 75 years old. Her funeral began at 10:00 this morning. She was a researcher specialist at the University of Pittsburgh, a mother. She is a grandmother. She lost her own husband several years ago. She has two sons, grandchildren.

Also, Irving Younger, his funeral begins at 1:00 this afternoon. He was actually someone that was a real estate agent, a local business person.

CNN spoke with a friend of Mr. Younger's. Listen to what he had to say.


VAL SCHROEDER, FRIEND OF IRVING YOUNGER: He just loved life. He was loving life. He would go to the baseball games, Pirate games. He was trying to live his life and love life. This is what happens.


CASAREZ: He was a youth coach of basketball. And currently he was a greeter at a local coffee shop.

Finally, Melvin Wax. He was 87 years old. He lost his wife several years ago. He was a father and a grandfather. The three most important things to Mr. Wax, his grandsons, his Judaism, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. That funeral begins at 1:00.

This continues to be, Kate, a city of mourning for these victims.

BOLDUAN: And in some way, recovery.

What is the latest on those who are still in the hospital?

CASAREZ: There's some good news. First of all, the 55-year-old police officer that was in the hospital has now been released. So there remains one officer in the hospital, 40 years old. There's good news here, too, because this officer appears to be the one that actively confronted who is now the defendant in this case. He had wounds to all of his extremities. He was critical and is now upgraded to stable condition which is excellent.

The two civilians in there who were in the synagogue, a 61-year-old female remains in stable condition. A 70-year-old male, and last I checked, was still critical because he had multiple organs affected by all of the shocks. I spoke to the head of emergency medicine. He told me he is getting much, much better. That is great news, a 70- year-old victim doing so well after so many shots to his abdomen.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

Jean, thank you so much.

Again, Joyce Feinberg, Irving Younger and Melvin Wax, we'll remember you.

Jean, thank you.

There is that.

[11:44:43] We'll be right back.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The stock market has smashed one record after another.

The country is booming. The stock market is setting records.

The stock market has added more than $8 trillion of new wealth.

The stock market is at an all-time high, a record.

It's pretty amazing, $8 trillion and set every record in doing it.


BOLDUAN: The president loves nothing more than touting the gains in the stock market. But now that markets are volatile, roller coaster, as Steve and I were joking, the president is now turning to assign some blame with this, "The market is now taking a little pause. People want to see what happens with the midterms. If you want your stock to go down, I strongly suggest voting Democrat."

Is that really what is going on here?

Joining me now, Stephen Moore, CNN senior economics analyst, the former Trump economic adviser. He is also the co-author of new book, "Trumponomics, Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy."

Congratulations on the book.

[11:50:09] STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Kate, thank you very much.

BOLDUAN: Thank you for being here.

So you have been concerned about the stock market. You've been watching it.

MOORE: Who hasn't?

BOLDUAN: You seemed earlier concerned about the stock market. Do you join in the president that saying that people taking problems in the market, if you will, are people pausing because of midterms?

MOORE: Presidents seem to live and die by the stock market. It is such a volatile thing. You saw what happened with George Bush. The stock market was doing well and then it crashed in his last year in office. I would advise the president, don't tout this stock market too much because, look, we saw a 1,200-point decline over the last few days and then now the latest is, you know, the last couple of days it is up by another 600 points. This volatility, it is kind of making me seasick.


MOORE: By the way, my advice --


BOLDUAN: Who is at fault for the seasickness? Can you say it is Democrats?

MOORE: I'm not -- look, politics doesn't drive the stock market. It does a little bit, but there's all of these other factors.


BOLDUAN: Right, exactly.

MOORE: Yes. I mean, it's the Fed doing this, it's earnings report. I tell people this is kind of noise right now. If you're in the stock market for your retirement account, you know, for the long term, five or 10 years, don't worry about these dips. The market will do its own thing. And people kind of making the mistake, Kate, of getting really panicked when the market is falling and they sell. So you're selling low and when it will be back, so people --


BOLDUAN: So it is --


BOLDUAN: So Stephen Moore's advice is don't drown out the president. I'm kidding.

MOORE: Just ride it out. The market is going to do what it is going to do. It's going to be volatile. (CROSSTALK)

MOORE: Sometimes it's better, if you're somebody in the stock market long term, don't even watch the daily changes in the market.

BOLDUAN: So talk to me about, you wrote the book.


BOLDUAN: What is Trumponomics?

MOORE: Trumponomics, I think, Trump is pro-business. Everything he does is part of what America First is. That he cares deeply about American businesses doing well and American workers doing well. That's why it is America First. That, I think, has been one of the reasons why, you know, since the election -- I mean, Trump is right that the stock market has, even with the dips, the stock market is up 5 percent since he was elected. The other thing, look at the numbers that came out the last couple of days on consumer sentiment. It is an all-time high. We have never seen consumers as confident as they are now. So --

BOLDUAN: With that, Stephen, can we -- are you prepared to dispel with the myth that Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility?

I mean --

MOORE: Look, my problem right now is neither party is the party of fiscal responsibility.

BOLDUAN: But you still have you still have Republicans who want to define themselves as deficit hawks.


MOORE: OK. So this gets to -- All right. That's a fair point. That's a fair point.

BOLDUAN: You know what I mean?

MOORE: But I'll say this. You asked me what Trumponomics is.


MOORE: One of the things that Larry Kudlow and I always told Trump during our meetings in the campaign when we were senior advisers, it was like, get the economy going, gets jobs going, because you will not be able to make any progress on the deficit if you don't have a burgeoning economy. I think, quite appropriately, he's put job and the economy number one. And if we keep up this kind of strong economy, right now, the strongest economy in 30 years, the deficit will start to fall as you have more people working and --

BOLDUAN: You know the numbers. It is now $779 billion.

MOORE: Yes. BOLDUAN: It is up 15 percent -- 17 percent this year.

MOORE: Sure. I'm not happy about that. I think everybody agrees we have a big overspending problem. Last year -- the fiscal year ended September 30th. Last year --

BOLDUAN: But are the tax cuts worth it if --

MOORE: -- revenues were the highest they have ever been. Tax revenues in 2018 are the highest they've ever been. The problem is spending went up by $200 billion. We have a spending problem. I think that's what Trump believes. The problem is frankly neither party is very much interested. Republicans want to spend more money, Kate, on the military. Democrats want to spend money on the best and social programs. Guess what we did. We spent more on both. Shame on both of them.

BOLDUAN: On unemployment really quick, it stands at 3.9 percent. Last time that happened, in 2000, it was a third year of budget surplus. We're not seeing a budget surplus now. What's different now?

MOORE: I think the big worry, if you're really concerned about, you know, the sizable deficits and the $20 trillion -- I think everyone is concerned about -- it is the ageing of population. I'm a boomer. You're too young to be a baby boomer. But there's 79 million of us and we're retiring in the next 10 years. And that's going to put -- I mean, we have known this for decades that this moment was coming. It is here. It is here.


MOORE: Every day, 10,000 more baby boomers retire. Did you know that? Every single day.

BOLDUAN: And guess what, they also are? Voters.

MOORE: They're voters. And they want their Social Security --


MOORE: -- and they want their Medicare and so that makes it really difficult.

[11:55:06] BOLDUAN: With all of this in mind, with all this in mind, what is the one thing as the president heads into his third year as we -- you know, that you wrote the book on that he should be focusing on in terms of the economy?

MOORE: Keep it up. This is such a strong economy. Lowest unemployment rate in 50 years. Keep the businesses investing. Keep it pro-growth. And do not allow Democrats to repeal the tax cut.


MOORE: I'm so proud of it because I think it's had a very positive effect.

BOLDUAN: But do not worry about the deficits and -


BOLDUAN: Great to see you, Stephen. Thank you. Congratulations on the book.


BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

MOORE: Go out and buy it, OK?

BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.